What I read, October-December 2018

The list of the year is coming soon. But for now, here’s the list of books I read over the last few months, not as many as I hoped or as varied as I wished for but a few good ones nonetheless.

Rosie Loves Jack- Mel Darbon

A fairly heartbreaking tale of a teenager with Downs and her boyfriend who has some of his own anger issues he’s working through. She fights crazy odds and some ultra disturbing times in London to get to Brighton to be with him. It’s a good read in altering perceptions and stepping into someone else’s world. Worth it for that.

Whistle in the Dark- Emma Healey

I read this in a day, it was that compelling and interesting. But strangely disappointing all at the same time. Dealing with the fairly hard issues of a teenage daughter who doesn’t want to live and how family life plays out against the backdrop of her going missing for a few days and then coming home but unable to talk about what happened. Beautifully written but maybe I was too anxious to get to the end.

In the Days of Rain- Rebecca Stott

Fascinating and disturbing insight into the life of the Strict Brethrens over the last century of their existence. Worth a read.

How to Train your Dragon- Cressida Cowell 

Son1 is devouring these with the beloved Daddy at the moment. I got drawn into the first book which is a great read and, from the sound of it, the 7 others that they have read in the last couple of months are equally capturing his imagination. He has to read the first page of each chapter out loud and Daddy reads the rest. As a result of these books he’s certainly become a more confident reader and understands the excellent nature of all the best stories having bits where you wonder how it could ever be ok again and then it all works out in the end.

The Magician’s Nephew- CS Lewis

I wanted to get into Narnia again this Christmas. As always I was in floods of tears at the way Aslan and Diggory talk about his Mum’s illness.

Cutting for Stone- Abraham Verghese

A fascinating book covering a man’s life from birth to later years growing up in Ethiopia, growing into a surgeon and dealing with his upbringing whilst encountering his absent father. It’s hard to sum up as it’s a story that covers in intimate detail his early years, the relationships around him and how they change and grow as time moves on. Well worth a read, such beauty in the pages and I was in tears many times throughout the story.

The Unlikely Heroics of Sam Holloway- Rhys Thomas

A novel exploring the affect of great tragedy on Sam Holloway and what happens when he encounters a woman who turns his neatly ordered coping world upside down. OK in an odd sort of way…

The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe- CS Lewis

I had been waiting for ages to introduce Narnia to the boys, son1 is super sensitive to anything scary and I wondered how he’d cope with the White Witch and the tension of what happens to Aslan. In a funny way I think the how to train your dragon series has helped him. Hiccup Haddock the Third has escaped death so many times that I think son1 is used to realising things generally work out in the end… We devoured this in the Christmas week and it was lovely watching them playing Narnia with some of their cousins, a shared story is always a good basis for friendship.

Conversations with Friends- Sally Rooney

I thought I was meant to like this, but I just found it a bit hollow and depressing. Some hard to like characters do some stuff and it’s all a bit meaningless. Maybe I’m missing something. But it just left me feeling a bit cold. I’d read a book by her again though because it was well written.

And there you are. The book shelves are bulging with Christmas presents and purchases at the moment and I’m looking forward to reading more over the coming year.

 

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