Sunday, February 20, 2011

What I've been reading

I confess that despite a bookcase full of books, my reading has taken a bit of a back seat to my crochet for the last wee while. 

I've been struggling to get into "Committed" by Elizabeth Gilbert and eventually gave up to try something else.  I'm the kind of person that feels bad about starting a new thing if I haven't finished the last so hadn't picked up anything else for a while.  I'm also fairly careful about my reading as I get the teensiest bit obsessed... I forget to go to bed, forget to feed the children etc.  Having 5x Baby-brain hasn't helped my situation and I find it hard to find books that I read and don't feel like I've just wasted a day of my life on, or that are so complicated and award-worthy that I feel like a complete failure for not seeing all the clever twists and turns!

I am, however, very fortunate to have 2 wonderful friends who understand my love of books and saw me complaining on Facebook about the price of books here in Australia.  Both of them now send me regular book parcels with whatever they have been reading, and we have very similar taste in books - hurrah!

So in the last 2 weeks I have managed to read 5 books, 2 I loved, 2 I enjoyed and 1 - hmmm.

This morning I finished The Help by Kathryn Stockett.  Absolutely loved it,  what a great story about truth, the lines that we draw between ourselves, mother/daughter, employer/maid, black/white set in 1960's Mississippi.  Made me want to make a peach cobbler!

Before that was Falling Angels by Tracy Chevalier (author of The Girl with a Pearl Earring) set at the beginning of the 20th century, beginning with the death of Queen Victoria.  It follows 2 girls as they grow up in this new era of change in London, new roles for women, looking back and looking forwards.

I admit that I have avoided reading The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini for at least 18 months since my Mum brought the book out with her.  I figured it would be too much for my poor porridge-brain and that it might be too sad.  Well, it took a bit more than I'd hoped to get into initially and then I was hooked.  I think I sat up until 1.30am to finish it off!  Grumpy Mummy in the morning!  I know very little about Afghanistan but now I want to know more.  I think it's very brave to tell a story where it's hard to be too sympathetic with the narrator yet at the same time to appreciate that honesty. 

Husband and I recently watched Agora, a film about the life of the Greek scholar Hypatia, and the Library of Alexandria.  Not my usual choice for a Saturday evening movie but I really enjoyed it.  When I saw The Alexandria Link by Steve Berry reduced in Big W, I slipped it into my basket.  It's a Dan Brown style thriller all about finding "the most important cache of ancient knowledge ever assembled: the legendary Library of Alexandria".  It was good fun, and like Brown had all sorts of fun suggestions including the fact that the land promised to Abraham is in fact in Arabia, not Palestine after all!

The first one I managed to complete took ages to get into and I felt I had to trudge through it a bit  One Moment, One Morning by Sarah Rayner was described by Red magazine as a "Quirky thriller" but I'm afraid I didn't find it the least bit thrilling.  It is about friendship between women which I could appreciate, but I found it hard to empathise with any of the characters and was just glad to be finished!

I was wondering what to read next when I caught sight of Pride and Prejudice on the top shelf.  I thought I should go back and revisit the classics only to get it down, start reading and realise I have never actually read it!  I did English for A-level and read like a crazy lady from then until I had the children, and I'm still not sure how that one slipped through!  I'm on chapter 6 so far and I'm loving Mr Bennett!

Well I would love to hear your recommendations for what to read next - I'm thinking The Lacuna by Barbara Kingsolver, but I really must get cracking on Miss M's blanket!

1 comment:

  1. I re-read P&P a few month ago, but bought the annotated version and it was amazing! I was always a bit confused about the politely barbed conversation between Elizabeth and Darcy while dancing at Netherfield Ball. Also the depths of Wickham's badness are explained to despise him even more. Also pictures of all the various carriages...

    I think you'd like Flowers From The Storm by Laura Kinsale. I learned tons about Quakers. I'll also suggest anything by Mary Roach. She can make an icky, slightly taboo subject like cadavers and make them fascinating and funny.

    I started a blanket last night too! It's blanket season! I'm thinking I'll make a dozen quick ones and a few scarves and hats, too and see about selling them at the Sunday market.


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