Friday, May 8, 2015

April's book pile


April came and went, with not so many showers, but plenty of books. It was a month for fiction alone, and I haven't minded getting swept away in the least. 

1. The Bookseller: A Novel by Cynthia Swanson
This was clever, though a bit predictable from the middle part on. I enjoyed the story, though the narrator was not the most likable for me - which isn't always a bad thing! Another story full of what if's and what could have been. Ultimately the narrator finds herself in two different lives, one during the day and the other when she dreams. As a reader you find yourself wondering which reality is, well, reality... and there in lies the clever aspects of the book. You'll have to read to find out!

2. Lighthousekeeping by Jeanette Winterson
I was introduced to Winterson during college when I read Written on the Body, and have enjoyed her prose ever since. I started Lighthousekeeping months ago, and then something happened and it got put aside... so I finally picked it back up and fell in love all over again. Winterson's writing is smooth and fluid, and even when you're not quite sure what she's trying for, you can feel it fully. This is another book that I will reread and underline, for there are so many passages that need to be read over and over.

“It was a long story, and like most of the stories in the world, never finished. There was an ending - there always is - but the story went on past the ending - it always does.” ~Jeanette Winterson, Lighthousekeeping

3. Outline by Rachel Cusk
This was one of those books that I found in the new fiction section at the library. I knew nothing about it, but the blurb on the jacket sounded interesting. Cusk weaves a story about the narrator through her interactions with those around her. Hardly a straight forward story, but full of subtle mystery and intrigue... I thoroughly enjoyed Outline.

4.The Royal We by Heather Cocks and Jessica Morgan
This is a story about a fictional couple...  loosely based on the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, except it's an American exchange student who falls in love with the heir to the British throne.  If you have an obsession with the monarchy, love all things British, you'll probably enjoy this story! There were some moments when I felt I was reading about Will and Kate because of the accuracy and details, and the speculation that went into parts of the novel made me cringe a little {Bex and her love life get a little complicated...}... but it's all in good fun and it was a great novel to read while waiting for news of the newest little princess ;) The authors could not have timed the release of this book any better!

5.A Desperate Fortune by Susanna Kearsley
I've long been a fan of Kearsley, and have read all of her other work.... and love it all. That being said, this and her other most recently novel have fallen a bit short for me. I was dedicated to reading it, as I knew I'd eventually get into the story, but it took a good third of the novel  before it turned into a page turner. I still enjoyed reading about the Jacobites, and being transported into another time in history. Kearsley's attention to detail is both wonderful, and at times tiresome. But... the magic in her books lies in the love story, and this one didn't disappoint. It never fails that at least once during the book I will be sitting in a puddle of mushy tears because the girl and the guy finally realize they love each other and all is right in the world. What I love about all of her books is that while it's categorized as historical romance, there's more adventure than there is romance. The amount of research that goes into each one of her books is astounding, and when you are reading any of her books you can't help but feel you are in them. If you're new to Kearsley I suggest starting with The Winter Sea.

6.Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty
A story that revolved around the parent drama in a kindergarten class... the winner here is the dialog. Witty and clever, that's what kept he book moving for me. One story line in particular didn't work all that well for me, but with several to follow that isn't surprising. A bit predictable, but still fun to watch the social dynamics of any group {and of course, the drama... there's always drama when you put people together who wouldn't normally be friends if it weren't for the shared interest of children!}. Ultimately a story of friendship, marriage, and the lies we keep... and the ones we tell. A good beach read. I'm new to Moriarty, and have already started another by her, so I do enjoy her story telling!

7.Station Eleven: A  novel by Emily St. John Mandel
Oh my word... this book. It'd been recommended to me by several people, and so I finally requested it from the library. This was an excellent book. Truly. Beautifully written. Ingenious even. Station Eleven is a story about a post plague world... ultimately filled with hope and beauty and truly about the human spirit, but also showing how fragile society really is. I guess I'd call it haunting, as it haunted my dreams for about three night straight. I couldn't sleep while, and after, reading it. Maybe it was too spot on, too real. It felt like a possibility, and it terrified me. BUT if you don't get terrified while reading about life like post apocalyptic scenarios, you should read this book!

And there we have it... what have you all been reading? Any must reads? Any books that surprised you? I'd love to hear!


2 comments:

  1. What a great month of reading! Station Eleven just blew me away, literally. In my memory the story glitters. I adored it. Also really liked The Royal We and I haven't read Outline yet but have enjoyed other work by Cusk so I should pick it up! ox

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  2. I love your book reviews! I just started "The Farm" by Tom Rob Smith yesterday and can't put it down. I'm off to drink coffee and read a bit more of it before work. It's been a long time since a book has pulled me in like this. Check it out and let me know if you read it. xo

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