Monday, 5 May 2014
Reading round-up: April
23. The Quick by Lauren Owen - 4/10. Read my full review / Buy the ebook
24. The Girl in 6E by A.R. Torre - 6/10. Read my full review / Buy the ebook
25. The Moth Diaries by Rachel Klein - 10/10. Read my full review / Buy the ebook
26. The Blindfold by Siri Hustvedt - 10/10. Review to come / Buy the ebook
27. Nagasaki by Éric Faye - 7/10. Read my full review / Buy the ebook
28. The Sea Garden by Deborah Lawrenson - 8/10. Read my full review / Pre-order the ebook
29. The Summoning by F.G. Cottam - 6/10. Read my full review / Buy the ebook
30. Who Is Tom Ditto? by Danny Wallace - 4/10. Read my full review / Buy the ebook
31. A Cat, a Hat and a Piece of String by Joanne Harris - 6/10. Read my full review / Buy the ebook
32. Wild Things by Brigid Delaney - 7/10. Read my full review / Buy the ebook
High points: I completed my reading of Siri Hustvedt's oeuvre with her debut, The Blindfold. A completely riveting and beautifully written set of four stories with the same main character/narrator, it's an extraordinary book and every bit as good as her most recent offering, The Blazing World. I also loved Rachel Klein's The Moth Diaries: presented as the journal of a teenage girl, dripping with atmosphere and dread, it's a vampire book like no other, and I find that I'm still turning it over in my head and savouring its brilliance weeks after finishing.
Low points: The Quick was an overhyped debut I found disappointing and dull. On the other hand, I didn't have high expectations of Who Is Tom Ditto? but I found that disappointing too, partly because I felt it wasted a potentially interesting premise.
In between those highs and lows were various levels of success. The Sea Garden isn't out until July but I couldn't resist reading it; I expected it to be an enjoyable, cosy, easily readable kind of book, and it delivered on all counts. Wild Things was an excellent book but difficult to read, filled with near-unbearable characters and horrible behaviour. I enjoyed Nagasaki, The Girl in 6E and A Cat, a Hat and a Piece of String, but none of them left a lasting impression on me. The Summoning by F.G. Cottam was a deviation from the author's usual subject matter - it's more fantasy than ghost story - and although I enjoyed it, I came to the conclusion that it wasn't really for me.
I've been reading at a fast pace recently but I've been struggling to make my mind up about what to read and keep starting books and then abandoning them. I want to vary my reading a bit more in May and read some older books, translated fiction and at least one classic... We'll see how that goes!
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