Thursday, 6 October 2011

Reading round-up: September

A little summary of this month's books, as per tradition...

66. The Stranger's Child by Alan Hollinghurst - 8/10 (full review). A slow-burning, but rich and rewarding family saga spanning almost a century, this will definitely appeal to fans of Brideshead Revisited.
67. God's Own Country by Ross Raisin - 10/10 (full review). A simply brilliant book with a completely unique, funny and shocking narrative voice. Farmer's son Sam Marsdyke relates the story of his infatuation with a new neighbour's daughter, building effectively to a terrifying climax.
68. Cold Light by Jenn Ashworth - 6/10 (full review). Part coming-of-age story and part murder mystery, this novel slowly uncovers the truth behind an apparent suicide pact between a schoolgirl and her older boyfriend, told partly in flashbacks from the perspective of the girl's best friend.
69. The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern - 7/10 (full review). The most-hyped book of the month, this tale of two rival magicians' apprentices falling in love against the backdrop of a fantastical travelling circus is pure escapism.
69½. Incubus by Carol Goodman - ABANDONED (a bit more detail). A 'paranormal romance' from the author of several very good gothic mysteries, this was just terrible in every way and SO cringeworthy - a big letdown.
70. The Blue Book by A.L. Kennedy - 6/10 (full review). While wonderfully written in truly beautiful prose, this story of middle-aged emotional angst set on board a cruise ship is frustrating in parts and lacking in plot.
71. The Legacy by Kirsten Tranter - 9/10 (full review). I couldn't help falling in love with this due to its similarities to a number of my favourite books, but the plot - regarding an Australian woman who disappears in New York on 9/11, and her friends' struggle to discover what became of her - is enthralling in its own right.

Quite a good month, given that I've been very busy with work. I'm already close to achieving my target of reading 75 books in 2011! However, I read a total of 25,435 pages in 2010, and I'm still some way off that this year (I've already read more books than I did in the whole of 2010... but obviously, last year, I was reading longer ones!)

I came across The Legacy by complete chance on Goodreads, which is something I seem to have been doing a lot lately - the happy by-product of browsing numerous strangers' profiles for interesting reviews! Next on my reading list is another random find, Like Bees To Honey by Caroline Smailes, a tale of loss and family secrets set in Malta, which I had to snap up when I saw the Kindle version was just 99p. But since work and life in general have been a bit stressful recently, I'm going to go for some light relief this month and read a few trashy thrillers.

Which books have you read and loved (or hated) this month? Has anyone managed to get their hands on the Alan Partridge autobiography? I really want to read it, but I kind of resent the idea of paying £9 for a silly comedy book!

1 comment:

  1. I haven't read the AP biog. yet but a friend of mine went to the signing at Waterstone's at Piccadilly Circus and Alan leered down her top, then I believe she jumped up on a stage and shouted 'Smell my cheese' before having to leave..!

    I recently read 'A Visit from the Goon Squad' after it had been recommended to me by a friend with impeccable taste an a 100% past success rate in these things (she introduced me to AM Homes, enough said) so I was excited to see what it was like. Although I loved bits of it very much indeed, I was mainly disappointed. But I've had a lot of fun discussing it's flaws with friends over wine, so it's had its perks. I would be interested to see what you thought of it.

    I also finally read The Little Friend when I was on holiday and thought it was a much better book than the Secret History in many ways, although it petered out. I absolutely loved it. What did you think? Have you read it?