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2022 Review of Books 11/12



I've been starting to feel a bit more like myself this month, although hills are still something of a challenge! I've managed to do a fair bit of editing and have been working on a couple of brand new projects at the same time. Both involve huge amounts of work, but will pay off in time and I've been thoroughly enjoying getting my teeth into something new. I look forward to being able to share these projects with you after Christmas!


The short one has been challenging himself to beat my monthly total and this month he's actually managed to do it - and by quite some way! He also hit 500,000 words this week so he's feeling very pleased with himself at the moment. My favourite part of this month's reading is the fact that he's suddenly got into the Sherlock Holmes books (albeit the children's versions) and spent the whole of this weekend dressed as the great detective!


I've also been updating my TBR pile and realised that as well as reducing it quite considerably (even though I've added more books to it this year) I've also managed to clear almost everything off it that's been on there for more than two years. There's still a lot to read before I get it down to the size I'd like, but it's definitely going in the right direction now.


Books read this month: 13

Annual total: 151


Reviews


Historical


The Lost Sister - Kathleen McGurl (thoroughly enjoyed this one, particularly because I had no idea until right at the end of the book, which of the three sisters was the one who was lost. I would have said that it was unbelievable that so much could happen to one family, except that I can cite real life examples where it did. Really good read.)


The Secret Of The Chateau - Kathleen McGurl (another really good book. I loved the idea that people stayed friends pretty much all their lives and completely understood the motivations of all the characters - there was so much in them that I could identify with and although it took me a little longer to warm up to the historical characters, by the end of the book, I did mourn their loss.)


A Company Of Liars - Karen Maitland (this was recommended to me during the first lockdown and it's taken me this long to get around to reading it. Sad, without being depressing, was my overwhelming feeling by the end. I felt that it really highlighted the way people can be haunted by their past and how easy it is to exploit people's fears of being found out. I think I'm quite glad I didn't read it during Lockdown, but it's definitely one worth reading now.)


Classic


The Casebook of Sherlock Holmes (audiobook. So many good stories in this, but the stand out for me was The Disappearance of Lady Frances Carfax, which was brilliant, but chilling.)


The End Of The Affair - Graham Greene (audiobook. I could listen to Colin Firth read a dictionary, so this was an absolute treat. I found it quite difficult to relate to some of the characters' reactions to events, but their world views are very different to my own.)


Contemporary


May We Be Forgiven - A M Holmes (a Between The Covers recommendation. Heavy going emotionally at times, but absolutely fascinating as an exploration of the twists and turns life can take and the unexpected consequences of our actions.)


Gold Diggers - Sanjena Sathian (brilliant exploration of the mythology of gold and the consequences of putting ambition above all else. Some of the side plots were fascinating too - particularly the one about the Indian gold hunter. So much of this book was outside my own experiences and it was utterly compelling to be drawn into a different world view.)


Non-Fiction


Sex With The President - Eleanor Herman (fascinating insights into the love lives of the American leaders. Learnt loads and it certainly changed my perspectives on some of the presidents and their wives.)


Children's


The Blythes Are Quoted - L.M. Montgomery (final instalment in the story of Anne of Green Gables. I'm glad I read it and it was interesting, but there was relatively little about the Blythe family in it and it reminded me more of the Avonlea Chronicles than of the original Anne books.)


Thriller


The Ink Black Heart - Robert Galbraith (I love the Strike books and TV series and this was an interesting addition to the series. Read at face value it's a brilliant thriller. However, it is becoming increasingly difficult not to read more into these books, which takes away some of the enjoyment of them.)


Crime


In Bitter Chill - Sarah Ward (1st in the DC Connie Childs series. Read the third one a while ago and decided to read a few more. Good, solid detective novel with fewer stereotypes than are often found in these types of books.)


Brighton Rock - Graham Greene (audiobook. Started this book feeling very confused and it took me a few chapters to work out that I'd somehow managed to muddle the little bits I knew of the plots of this and the film Quadrophenia. I know they're both set in Brighton, but it was quite an impressive mix up! Once I'd stopped feeling confused, I enjoyed it. It's quite bleak, but very interesting and as it was read by Samuel West - another actor who I would listen to if he was reading the phone book - that only added to my enjoyment of it.)


Fantasy


Mrs Bradshaw's Handbook - Terry Pratchett (parody of the Bradshaw's Railway Guides in true Pratchett style - it had me giggling out loud at various points and made me want to re-read the Discworld books.)


Book of the month?


Sanjena Sathian's 'Gold Diggers' simply because I found myself getting increasingly frustrated when I didn't have time to read it. It was an insight into different cultures and mythologies and kept my interest from start to finish.







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