Book Count (since 1 January 2012)

Book Count (since 1 January 2014): 30

Monday, 10 June 2013

Mateship With Birds by Carrie Tiffany

A short but powerful novel about Harry, a dairy farmer in Australia who befriends his neighbour, Betty, and her two children. Harry is a likeable, interesting character who is revealed very slowly as the book progresses. The plot is simple but not slow so the book remains very engaging. The writing is enjoyable and sometimes thought provoking although not outstanding. Definitely worth a read as this is an enjoyable novel which tackles some big subjects in a very sensitive way.

The Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness

I really like magical fantasy novels but this one is overly long with a very slow paced plot and uninspiring characters. I think I aged about 10 years reading this so I am not going to waste further time reviewing it.

HHhH by Laurent Binet

This historical fiction is about Heydrich, a top ranking Nazi official, and is excellently written/translated. The book comments frequently on the boundary between fiction and history and this makes the book not only historically fascinating but also a really thought provoking commentary on what fiction is.  Definitely recommended as an accessible historical novel.

Miss Peregrine's Home for The Peculiar by Ransom Riggs

I was disappointed by this book which is about a world in which peculiar people with unusual abilities are born and have to try and live alongside regular humans.  It's a much blander book than I was expecting, perhaps because the main character, Jacob, was very difficult to engage with or to be particularly interested in. I still enjoyed this novel which is still great escapism, but this is nowhere near as gripping or as memorable as other novels in this genre.

The Unknown Bridesmaid by Margaret Forster

I loved this book. Julia, the main character, is excellently written and hugely realistic. The writing is very enjoyable without being obtrusive and the plot is engaging (if a little predictable at times). This book is relatively dark as the novel follows some of the murkier sides of relationships and human behaviours. Definitely worth reading.

If Jack's in Love by Stephen Wetta

An enjoyable novel about Jack, an intelligent boy who's part of a red neck family whose neighbours distrust their poverty stricken way of living. When Jack's brother is suspected of murder Jack suffers even more from his peers' prejudices as he tries to better himself despite his social disadvantages. I loved the writing in this book which is easy to read but has fantastic depth, and the characters are all easy to believe in. The plot is a little indistinct but this does not prevent this being a great book.

The Good Soldier by Ford Madox Ford

I really enjoyed reading this novel which is narrated by John Dowell, a sometimes rambling narrator who reveals the main characters and plot twists very slowly and incidentally which adds to the impact of this novel. This is a book which requires complete concentration as you can easily miss a dramatic storyline buried in John's verbose descriptions of more everyday activities. A really innovative novelistic style which is compelling and an excellent read.