the year in books…

I came across this ‘blog circle’ book club over at ‘Circle of Pine Trees‘, a lovely blog that I stumbled across recently and it struck a chord…

I’m not really a ‘book club’ type person. I have reached that point in my life where I happily toss a book to one side if I’m not gripped/enthralled/enamoured by chapter 2 (or sometimes page 2!) firmly believing that life is just too short to struggle to the end of a book that I’m not enjoying. The idea of agreeing to read a book club book suggestion regardless of its initial appeal doesn’t really fit with this attitude  – although I’m happy to accept that I might be missing out on amazing books and authors that I’d never otherwise find.

So, a book club that isn’t really a book club, a sharing space to just say ‘hey, I’m reading this, it’s great/indifferent/awful’ and to pick up some recommendations along the way seems like a very nice idea!

I’m jumping in right in the middle of the month and doing it all wrong, as usual 😉 I believe the normal procedure is to blog at the beginning of the month with your intended ‘read’ and also post a review of last month’s book if you feel so inclined but if I wait until June I’ll probably forget all about it and that’ll be another good idea that’s escaped, so here is my halfway-through-the-month-of-May book pile…these are ones I’ve already read this month 😉

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I am quite a speedy reader when it’s something that grips me. I do only really read in bed, before going to sleep each night but if I’m engrossed it can be an hour or so – tiredness permitting! So, these 3 have passed across the bedside table already this month. I have to admit I didn’t finish the Robert Goddard. I tend to treat his books as gap-fillers (the libabry always has lots of his on the shelf) but I find him long winded and his plots can be so convoluted that by the time I got two-thirds through this one I’d lost the will to find out what had happened to her or who did it and why!! Besides, I’d just had a library notification that the latest Mark Billingham ‘Tom Thorne’ book was ready for me to collect and I’m a sucker for these so Goddard got ditched. As usual the Billingham took about 4 days to get through and didn’t disappoint. I think ‘Thorne’ is my new ‘Rebus’. I’m a sucker for a good detective novel and tend to favour the ones that are slightly rough around the edges… this latest book involved Thorne’s partner’s home town and missing/murdered teenage girls and had the usual fast pace and gripping climax. It didn’t disappoint.

‘Falling’ by Emma Kavanagh was much slower paced but nonetheless gripping for it. I though it was a really good read. Picked up at random in the library, it tells the story of a plane crash with several characters who are linked with the crash in some way weaving in and out and together until the final denouement. Weirdly, I picked this up very soon after the German Wings tragedy in the Alps – although it was published last year – and there is a strong suggestion right from the outset of the novel that this is a pilot ‘murder suicide’ crash. Not having been a scenario I’d ever contemplated before it was suddenly everywhere I looked. So, not necessarily a joyful read but a very well written one that had me guessing right until the end.

I don’t often do ‘joyful’ reads… my reading is usually:

– Crime/detective/psychological thrillers or

– ‘soft’ literary fiction (if it’s on the Booker shortlist I probably won’t get through it)

– library books

– proper books but I do have a Nook and once the library list gets better I’ll probably use this more

– forgotten almost immediately (barring a few exceptions). I can pick up a book in the library and have no idea that I read it less than a year ago. If I’m asked what a book I just finished was about I often can’t remember much of the detail.

I’m now reading ‘Faithful Place’ by Tana French which is set in Dublin and is good, so I’ll look out for her other books. The next big one on the horizon is ‘A God in Ruins’ – the new Kate Atkinson, which I have graciously let my mum read first as my library reserved copy was ready to pick up and I want to finish what I’ve got piled up first. I am very much looking forward to this as I thought ‘Life after Life’ was fabulous!

4 thoughts on “the year in books…

  1. It’s nice to come across others that speed read. I am on my seventh book for May. I am really enjoying taking part in Laura’s year in books. It’s nice to share books you’ve read as well as getting recommendations.

  2. I definitely recognise myself in some of what you say…like when someone asks what the book I just finished reading was about and I can’t always remember! Luckily I’m not at an age when I can put it down to my age….and if a book doesn’t really grab me so that I want to keep reading whenever and wherever I can after the first few pages, I shelve it for a while, return to it later and if it’s still the same reaction, ‘hello charity shop bag’. Too many books and too little time is a saying bandied about all the time, but how true it is.

  3. I am a speed reader, too. I often listen to audiobooks to slow myself down (hoping to remember what I actually read). I do love a good crime novel but I am very picky. Good to meet you here!

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