Yeah, Yeah! I know we are over half way through July – How have you lasted? I didn’t have a plan what to read and in what order. I decided to go with whatever took my fancy when I was looking for a read.
And The Mountains Echoed – Khaled Hosseini
I utterly loved The Kite Runner and A Thousand Splendid Suns (both in my top 5 favourite books ever) so, along with hundreds of other readers, I was really looking forward to getting my teeth into his 3rd book. I didn’t even wait for it to come out in paperback and paid a massive £8+ for it.
I wanted to love it and be sucked in but if I’m honest I found it just ok. The story is about several people who find their lives interwoven over the years. They don’t all get to know each other and they are spread over several countries but they are all linked by various circumstances.
The first chapter to me, was the best and a real tear jerker. The div that comes to take away a child is such a horrific prospect and so well written. Unfortunately, the rest of the story just didn’t hold my attention as well. I’m not a massive fan of short stories and this book felt like one.
3 out of 5 (I would err on the side of 3.5 but not quite a 4)
The Man of my Dreams – Curtis Sittenfeld
This was another author who’s previous books I have loved. The American Wife is another on my list of top books and Prep is pure escapism. I had read reviews on Goodreads about The Man of my Dreams but chose to ignore the negative ones (there were quite a few!)
The title alone put me off slightly – I had images of Mills & Boon type books. It wasn’t quite as romantic a read as that thank goodness.
Described as a ‘Coming of age’ book, we meet Hannah at high school and follow her journey to adulthood. I just couldn’t get to care about Hannah. She wasn’t interesting enough to hate or love. She wasn’t geeky enough to be unique. She appeared to have friends around her but not appreciate them or that actually her life wasn’t too bad. I found it very unbelievable that she just happened upon becoming a teacher and was brilliant at it. Surely, someone with that talent would have had an inkling of their vocation earlier?
3 out 5 (I’m being a little generous there due to my love of Curtis Sittenfeld)
The Night Rainbow – Claire King
This was a real impulse read. I have seen it hanging about and half thought I would read it on my hols but just dove in one evening. I completely loved it. I expected it to be a little more chick lit but it didn’t follow any particular formula.
Set in France, (which is where I’m going on my holidays and it didn’t half make me want to be there NOW!) The story is about 5 year Pea (anyone else wish they’d named their daughter, Peony?) and how her life has changed since the death of her father 12 months earlier.
There is real desperation in the story. I felt so sorry for all the characters. I wanted to shout at the mother but also really felt for her. There is intrigue and a sense of impending doom in the introduction of the character, Claude. I’m not going to tell you how it turns out as its really worth reading.
4 out of 5
Fractured – Dani Atkins
I’ve no idea where I saw this book but I discovered it on my Kindle. A quick read as I really wanted to find out what happens.
Rachel’s life is turned completely upsidedown by a split second event…or so it seems. As I was reading the book I was trying to work out what the answer could be. I’m not sure I wanted the outcome to turn out like it did and this is possibly the reason that I have given the book 4 and not 5 stars.
A good read for on holiday! 4 out of 5
In other book news, me & Violet finished our Wishing Chair trilogy and thoroughly enjoyed them, We are almost at the end of Gangsta Granny now which Millie (aged 11) highly recommended. Violet has loved it and laughed so much. We’re reached the difficult bit towards the end where Granny confesses that she is seriously ill – its a bit tricky to handle with a 7yo but between me & Derm, we are muddling through.
I set out a couple of years ago to read 100 books before I was 40 (I didn’t count children’s book). During that time Tara made an appearance and reading took a massive back step. I’ve really got back into it and am more than chuffed with my total of 47 with just under a month to go (eek!) Considering I was only at 20 at the turn of 2013, I’ve done ok. I’m even toying with setting myself a target of 500 books before I’m 50!
Off on hols soon so August’s Reads should be delayed but will hopefully be a mega edition. Have you got any holiday recommendations I should be taking with me?