If you aren’t up to writing a full review, tell the world what you’re reading/recently finished.
Very much enjoying it. Set against the second world war and the liberation of France, the book follows two characters and their stories are told in alternating chapters. One is a 16 year old French girl who is blind, and the other is a young German soldier.
Haven’t finished it yet, but their stories will no doubt come together at some point. It’s the first Doerr book I’ve read, but I’m really enjoying it.
Haven’t been reading a great deal of fiction lately, but am almost at the end of the first volume of the History of the English speaking peoples, by Winston Churchill.
Spoilers, but the Normans did it.
Currently reading “Italian Ways” by Tim Parks. A humourous jaunt through the foibles of the Italian train network by Parks, who is a regular user of the Italian railways. Well written and amusing so far.
Also got the autobiograpy of The Rev Richard Coles on the go. I don’t really go for autobiographies, but I like listening to Rev Coles on R4’s Saturday Live. It’s quite a nice little read.
I have had The Finkler Question staring at me from the bookshelf for the last 4 years and never got around to starting it. Has anyone read it and if so, is it worth it?
Five Little Ducks by Penny Ives
Probably the most disturbing novel I have ever read! It’s about a young mother of five, and one day, one of her children is abducted. So far, so hundrum, but what elevates the novel is the cavalier, uncaring way that the mother reacts to this news. Perhaps having 5 children, she feels the odd one here or there is of little importance, or maybe she is sociopathic, but in any case she makes no effort to contact the authorities, or track her child down. She just coldly carries on with her life.
But then, another child is taken. And then another. It carries on like this until all the children are gone. I haven’t quite finished it yet, so I don’t know the explanation for all this, and to be honest I don’t know if I even want to read the final chapters, because no doubt the solution will be very disturbing.
It’s interesting book though! I would recommend. Or if not, I understand there is a movie version which can be found on youtubes…
Just finished “The Ghost” by Robert Harris. Total joke - not a single scary moment nor supernatural type thing happened at all. I’ll ask for my money back.
Actually it was very good and very readable - I finished it in a couple of days. Fairly old book now I suppose but for anyone who doesn’t know it’s about a ghostwriter who goes out to Martha’s Vineyard to meet up with the British ex-prime minister to work on his autobiography. The ex-prime minister gets embroiled in war crimes accusations and the “ghost” does a bit of digging and finds out some uncomfortable truths. It would be easy to draw comparisons with Lang (the prime minister) and Tony Blair but I’m not sure they really worked that well - I kept imagining Cameron as the Lang character. Anyway, worth a read especially as a reasonably intelligent thriller.
I’m reading Raising Steam *AND* The Last Chronicles of Thomas Covenant the Unbeliever at the mo.
Easy reading for me at the moment - a Thomas Lynley crime novel by Elizabeth George.
Having a break from the usual sci fi and just starting the final part if the Ibis trilogy by Amitav Ghosh. Tis bout the opium wars and I really enjoyed the first two.
Finally reading Great Expectations by Charles Dickens.
I would prob have “The First Half of any Charles Dickens Novel” in my top 10 books or whatever. They seem to wander a bit as they go on, prob something bout how they was written, in weekly doses for newspapers or whatever it was, i.e. so by the time he approaches the end he’s kind of straight-jacketed himself, and can’t go back and change things. If that makes sense.
I think I get that. First Dickens book I’ve read (passed me by at school, too busy reading Stephen King and James Herbert). But that makes sense from this one. Will have to read a few more.
I read that a few years ago, when the Blair comparisons felt more immediate and therefore worked better. I can see what you say about Cameron, but I don’t think I could re-read it and see anyone other than Blair as Lang - all the more so given the part played by Lang’s wife. Like you, I enjoyed reading it.
Yes, Dickens wrote a lot of his novels for publication in popular journals - hence the tendency for each chapter to end with some kind of cliff-hanger. It does show in Great Expectations, but it’s a brilliant novel nonetheless. I’m pretty sure, too, that a good number of novelists of that era, here and elsewhere, had works published in the same manner - Dostoevsky springs to mind, though I could be wrong.
Great Expectations was one of my GCE books, Intiniki, but, despite that, I really like it.
I Let You Go is worth reading and has a really good twist to it that I defy anyone to see coming. It would make a good TV thriller.
Ploughed my way through Tale Of Two Cities as I had not read any Dickens and thought it was time I did. Found the language hard going but they guy can tell a tale f’sure.
I am now nearly at the end of Book 2 of Song of Ice and Fire and am enjoying it as much as the TV series. There are so many characters and threads that it helps we make sense of the series. One thing that puzzled me though - the obsessions the author has with tunics and clothes. It is a time of war and austerity yet none of the high born wear the same thing twice! If there we less descriptions of the kit I’d have far fewer books still to read! Still, a ripping yarn all the same and well worth reading if this is your type of thing.
Gradually working through volumes of The Walking Dead comics. Not exactly high culture, but they’re pretty bloody evocative for a collection of black-and-white scribblings.
If you watch the TV show, they’re best taken as a different take on the same universe. Anybody expecting the same storylines will likely be left cold.
I was only ever in it for the zombies. I could have totally done without the “storylines”.
Zombie stories are never about the zombies. Always about the living. That’s just the way they work.
Have you seen Made In Chelsea?