I believe that these are all the books I have read since the last time I made one of these posts. To me it feels like a lot, but then I read other blogs and turn green with envy and realise that it is actually not so many. Hey ho.
Some I’m working on full reviews of so I won’t include them here.
If Nobody Speaks of Remarkable Things by Jon McGregor
After trying and failing to read this for years, I finally slogged through it. I enjoyed it well enough, but honestly I think I ruined it for myself by taking so long to get round to it and subconsciously putting it on a pedestal. It was a nice book, but the writing style was a bit irritating and it says it all that I read it at the end of August and have already forgotten pretty much everything that happens in it. 3/5
Down the Rabbit Hole by Juan Pablo Villalobos
I have to question just what kind of idiot I am when I win a Facebook competition and am offered a book of my own choosing from And Other Stories and I pick the one with the naive child narrator, despite naive child narrators being one of my least favourite literary devices. Despite this, I enjoyed Down the Rabbit Hole, as much as a person can enjoy a story about a Mexican drug lord told from the perspective of his seven year old son. It was great to have the opportunity to read a book that I might not have ever considered otherwise, and I thought the translation was excellent – no quirky not-quite-correct sentences that I can remember. 4/5
The Book of Lies by Mary Horlock
You can read my review here at Judging Covers. 4/5
The Report by Jessica Francis Kane
I’m working on a longer review of this so will leave this at the bare bones. The Report is a fictional account of a real life story, the Bethnal Green tube station disaster in 1943. I thought the book was well written and very tactful. It was all the more devastating as I read it around the time that all the new information was coming out regarding the Hillsborough disaster. A really worthwhile book but perhaps not for the faint hearted. 4/5
One Million Tiny Plays About Britain by Craig Taylor
I have to admit that I’m not sure if I ‘got’ this. Some of the ‘plays’ were amusing, some were depressing, some were just blah. I gathered that the idea was that these were meant to be like real conversations that could happen in Britain but where it fell short for me was that so many of them were completely unrealistic, hugely clichéd and a bit try-hard for my liking. Still, they passed some time. 3/5
The Book of General Ignorance by John Mitchinson
This was exactly what I expected it to be like, and I enjoyed it a lot. I read it before I left for Slovakia and spent a good few hours following various family members around the house proclaiming ‘DID YOU KNOW…’ 5/5
How To Climb Mont Blanc in a Skirt by Mick Conefrey
This was really interesting but often seemed like a huge muddle with no focus, which must be part of the reason that it took me from June until September to read it. That said, it’s useful to have a book suitable for reading in chunks as and when you feel like it, so that it comes in handy when you have a bit of time to kill. 4/5
The First Time: True Tales of Virginity Lost & Found by Kate Monro
Another nice little non-fiction book that’s good for dipping in and out of (no pun intended, chortle chortle). Overall I found it little disappointing, as though it was always reaching towards a conclusion that was never realised. 3/5
How I Killed Margaret Thatcher by Anthony Cartwright
You’ve heard the phrase about not judging a book by it’s cover – this is one you don’t want to judge by its title. The title injects a lot of arguably unnecessary shock value into a novel which is actually a slow-paced story of a young boy growing up in Dudley under the first few years of Thatcher’s rule. 3/5
Love and Other Possibilities by Lewis Davies
There was maybe one of these short stories that I enjoyed, and the fact that I can’t remember it speaks volumes. Overall I was wholly unimpressed. 1/5
Possessed by Niki Valentine
Read my review here.
Poppy Shakespeare by Clare Allan
I only read this because my Kindle had broken and this was one of the cheapest English language novels I could find. It was okay, and only just okay. I found it quite tiresome and felt quite relieved to have finished it, but it had some moments of humour in it. 3/5
I will refrain from writing a review of The European Union and its Eastern Neighbours, as I’m not so sure that anyone would want to read it.
At this very moment in time I am reading Mother’s Milk by Edward St Aubyn and I am not enjoying it at all. Anyone read it? Does it get better? Is it supposed to make me feel uncomfortable and queasy?
As for what’s next, I’ll probably read one of the new Kindle books I’ve recently downloaded: From Dictatorship to Democracy, The Redemption of Alexander Seaton, A Place of Meadows and Tall Trees, The Italian Chapel, Winter in Madrid, Safe House and The Last Talk with Lola Faye. Some of those were only £0.20 so if you have a Kindle, check them out.