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Tuesday, 3 June 2014

The Year in Books: June





















I seem to have rather fallen behind on my TYIB posts - I have a feeling the last time I wrote about reading matter, it was March. Ah well, a quick recap of what I've been reading over the past few months...

The most recent book I finished was The Red House by Mark Haddon, he of The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time fame. It was good, there's no denying. It was a bit of a departure from my normal reading material though, as I don't tend to read male authors - not through any conscious choice, they're just generally not the books I'm drawn to. I really enjoyed both of Mark Haddon's previous books (A Spot of Bother is the other) so when I found this for cheap in a local charity shop, I thought I'd give it a go. He has a real knack of getting inside a character's head - you feel like you know the characters almost instantly. The subject matter did err on the side of dark and depressing, but he shows the complex relationships between family and the mundanity of family life in a very honest, if slightly bleak, way. Bleak could well sum up The Red House, but don't let that put you off. It's well worth a read, but don't rely on it to cheer you up.

During April I devoured Life after Life by Kate Atkinson. I was completely absorbed by it and wished I could just curl up on the sofa and spend whole days reading it. Once I'd got my head around the chronological jumps, I found it utterly fascinating. Mapping how someone's life could be changed depending on tiny choices that were made makes for a really interesting book. A definite recommendation - I have yet to meet someone that hasn't enjoyed it.

I've also been dipping into The Dud Avocado by Elaine Dundy, which I first started way back in August 2013 after taking it on holiday. It was published in the same year as Breakfast at Tiffany's (1958) and centres around Sally Jay Gorce who (and this is the bit that first sold it to me) glumly notes that her clothes divide themselves in three great looks: Tyrolean Peasant, Bar Girl and Dreaded Librarian. It's a funny read, and I really hope I can keep renewing it from the library until I get it finished... 

June's book is Donna Tartt's The Secret History. After loving The Goldfinch so much, I really wanted to read this earlier book. Judging by the online reviews, it's a good one. 

What are you currently reading?

Joining up with Laura for #theyearinbooks

3 comments:

  1. What an absolutely beautiful photo. I've heard a lot of people talk about Life After Life - I do like her work very much and that sounds like a good read. Do you know The Dud Avocado has been on my Amazon wishlist for years...I should buy it!

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  2. It is funny how we seem drawn to a particular gender for our author choices. I tend to read more male authors than female authors, but as you, not by conscious choice. I really enjoyed Life after life, too.

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  3. Oh, yes, I want to read The Secret History too. A couple of friends, both with impeccable taste in novels, have told me that it's one of their absolute favourites. That and the fact that I adored the Goldfinch...

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