Book Count (since 1 January 2012)

Book Count (since 1 January 2014): 30

Tuesday, 31 December 2013

Hercule Poirot's Christmas by Agatha Christie

A festive murder mystery involving a violent death in a locked room and numerous family members with motives to kill. As always, a well written and engrossing read perfect for a Christmas treat.

Butterflies in November by Auður Ava Ólafsdóttir

A novel about an Icelandic woman who, following her divorce from her husband, takes a road trip with her best friend's disabled son. I didn't particularly enjoy this book as I found the plot a bit light and the main character one dimensional and difficult to relate to.  There are some nicely depicted moments between the woman and the boy but overall a feel good novel that doesn't make you feel especially good.

The Yellow Birds by Kevin Powers

A powerful book about a young soldier returning from Afghanistan. This book is difficult to read as it is easy to feel real empathy with the main character. The novel does not get drawn into moral or ethical debate about the war, but contains simple stories and human tragedies which gives the book it's great impact. The writing is simple but effective and the novel's straightforward narrative works very well for this sort of book. Worth reading and likely to stay with you for a long time.

Dear Life by Alice Munro

A collection of short stories which work very well together and which are easy to enjoy. Many of the stories are written so they are almost incomplete - with the reader dropped into the middle of a character's life and then left without a rounded conclusion. Whilst some might find this frustrating I enjoyed this collection and found the inconclusive nature of the stories rewarding and thought provoking. An enjoyable collection which you can dip in and out of, taking your time over each story.

Hotel New Hampshire by John Irving

I really enjoyed this unusual book about a family who buy a dilapidated school and try to establish a thriving hotel in a small American town. The writing is excellent and the characters are all complex, likeable and well drawn. The plot is engaging and the reader is easily drawn into the family relationships, especially between the siblings. Surprisingly easy to read for such a layered book, I would definitely recommend this novel.