Sunday, 1 February 2015


As one of my plans for this year is to read more I'm showing a few books that I plan to try to get through.

I've just finished 'Burial Rites' by Hannah Kent.  A dark, brooding novel based on the execution of the last person in Iceland.  I love books and films that are quite dark and claustrophobic and this book certainly hit the spot.  The writing is rather good and the story develops like an Icelandic saga, a family history set several centuries after the original sagas.  Based as it is on an execution you'd be right in thinking that there isn't a happy ending.

I'm now reading 'The Electric Michelangelo' by Sarah Hall.  This is the choice of a new book group that's started up. Starting at the beginning of the 20th century the story follows Cy Parks,a young boy in Morecambe who becomes a tattoo artist before crossing he water to live in America.  I'm struggling with it a bit at the minute.  The writing is fabulously descriptive but it seems as if the author is trying too hard - why only use one simile when you can use five!  
Like a portion of thousands of migrating, flaming meteors swarming and being spun with his eyes pieces of a mirror being smashed.'
The first chapter sets the tone of the novel and is quite hard going.  TB, consumption, abortion and all of it it in quite a lot of detail.
Had I not been reading this for a book group I think I would have given up by now.

Other books on my 'to be read' pile are...
  • 'The Miniaturist' by Jessie Burton.
  • 'Elizabeth is Missing' by Emma Healey.
  • 'The Invention of Hugo Cabret' by Brian Selznick - I loved the film and this novel in words and pictures looks great.
  • 'Wolf Hall' (missing from the picture) and 'Bringing Up the Bodies' by Hilary Mantel.
  • Jo Nesbo's Harry Hole novels: 'Cockroaches', 'Phantom', 'Police' and stand-alone novel 'The Son'.  I've read quite a few of the other Harry Hole books and also Headhunters.  I enjoy the writing of Scandinavian authors and can get through these books fairy quickly.
  • 'A Faraway Smell of Lemon' by Rachel Joyce - on the Kindle.
I'm quite luck to have a great independent bookshop nearby in Corbridge, Forum Books, and in February they have a couple of authors visiting for talks and the delightfully named nearby tea room 'Tea and Tipple'.
Brooke Davis - author of 'Lost and Found' and Helen McDonald who has just won the 2014 Costa Book Award for 'H is for 'Hawk' are the authors visiting the NE.  So their books may both go on the to be read pile too.

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