A year of reading, January redux

Four days into our second month of 2016 and I’ve read eight books already, go me!

After such a dismal selection towards the back end of last year of over-long, clunky, badly edited books; to start off this year with four out of the eight as new reads, all of which I’d read again, that’s not a bad start. Here are some random thoughts on the books, only by order of reading:

Magda Szubanski’s Reckoning was truly life-changing, I still am thinking about it over a month after finishing it. It’s visiting a friend from work who was looking forward to reading it, I don’t usually lend books. I’ve had too many not come home, but I know L will take good care of Magda and return her when she’s done.

Ghost River split our Book Club, some have really struggled to finish it, I think only two of us have completed it. I quite enjoyed it – although not being Australian, I didn’t pick up some of the cultural nuances through the story line. On Monday we spent more time discussing where along the Yarra it was set than the story.

The Little Paris Bookshop was glorious. It was a book I didn’t want to finish. A mixture of The Collected Works of AJ Fikry and The Elegance Of The Hedgehog as well written as All The Light We Cannot See; I am going to be making room for this on my annual re-reading list. A lot of books can lose something in translation from their native tongue to English, I’m glad to say this book was divinely French throughout.

On The Move was ordered not long after the death of Oliver Sacks was announced, along with Gratitude which is waiting patiently to be read too. Dr Sacks was a hero of mine; the way he writes is so intimate, but at the same time explicitly clear and scientific. He never dumbed-down for us layman types, Dr Sacks wrote to share his knowledge and findings with us, lifting our understanding in the process.

I absolutely inhaled Brooklyn yesterday. I wanted to turn it around and re-read it straight away as well, which for me is always a good sign. I think like Snow Falling on Cedars, now I know the story, the next time I read it, I will get more out of and marvel at the language Colm Tóibín has used.

What is coming up?

I’ve collected our next Book Club selection of The House of Hidden Mothers, by Meera Syal at the library on Tuesday, which is a book I’m looking forward to reading. At the same library visit, I also checked out the only Oliver Sacks book on their shelves, Hallucinations. I finally succumbed to Paulo Coelho and checked out The Alchemist and a Neil Gaiman audiobook, Neverwhere.

Our other Book Club selection was The Mysterious Affair At Styles, introducing several book club members to Mr Hercule Poirot, I have him on my bookshelf. I adore Agatha Christie, the ridiculous plots, the overwrought emotions, the ‘of an age’ language, they’re great fun. Next week I’m meeting with Book Club 2, where we are provided with a pack from our library, so I never know what we will be reading (Brooklyn was for that group).

Happy reading!



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