After almost a month without internet, I’m finally back! We’ve sort of settled into our new home (albeit with very little furniture) and I’m slowly getting used to a completely new area.
With life being quite hectic these last few months, I’m really disappointed to say that (in addition to a lack of regular blogging) I have failed on the reading goal over the first half of the year. My work involves a lot of writing, reading and editing and from February to April I was managing the peak of four or five projects. Then we had our offer accepted on our new house in March so quite a bit of spare time was been spent on that. Life just gets in the way sometimes!
That said, with no TV, only having wifi quite recently and having a longer commute now, I have smashed three books in a month and I’m determined to keep going. So rather than beat myself up about the chance I might fail my target of 18 books this year, I thought you might like to know what I have managed read. It’s holiday season after all and I reckon most of what I’ve read would be ideal for lounging on the beach or poolside!
Released from the confines of a difficult marriage by the death of her domineering husband, Cora Seaborne moves from the bustling capital to a quiet village by the sea. It’s 1893 and for many years Cora felt the pressure of meeting society’s expectations, when deep down inside she had a thirst for scientific discovery and held no desire for fashion or folly. Aldwinter provides her with a place to embrace her interests, which collide with the village’s religious inhabitants. The arrival of the Essex Serpent shows the struggle between science, religion and myth of the era. But the story also touches on other issues at that time, like London’s divide between the rich and poor.
What I liked most was the contrast of scenes between the city and the sea, and how this leads to a mixture of characters and the wider context of life at that time. It’s a really easy, enjoyable read. I think you’d like it if you enjoy period dramas or books with a mythical aspect.
Andrew Pearson has spent half his life collecting lost objects after failing to keep his wife’s promise. As he realises he’s running out of time to return hundreds of lost objects, he leaves his house and treasures to his assitant Laura. It is her job to reunite them with their owners. The story is not just about two characters but a handful of owners whose lives ultimately intertwine.
Whilst I thought it was in parts quite cheesy and a bit cliche (the dating scenes are a bit cringy in my opinion), it is overall a lovely story and I liked the clues given through out that lead you to the ending. You’ll like this if you enjoy romances and easy to read stories.
Following the tragic death of her mother, a famed ballerina, Kate Darling goes on a journey to unravel the hidden secrets of her family’s past. It takes her back to the 1920s, through the wars and up to the present day in the 1980s. It travels between London, Paris, New York and Corsica as Kate deals with her grief and finds out who she is and where she has come from.
I really loved this book. I generally love stories around the 1920s, but it was the visual details of the different cities and the unravelling of secrets that made it capitaviting. You’ll like this if you enjoy books by Kate Morton or Kate Mosse.
Ifemelu and Obinze fall in love as teenagers, however, life in Nigeria pulls them apart. Ifemelu travels to America to escape the military dictatorship of the time in the hope of greater opportunities, but Obinze is denied access and forced into an undocumented life in London. 13 years later they find themselves both back in Nigeria, Obinze a wealthy businessman and Ifemelu a vocal race blogger.
Chimamanda tackles not only issues relating to race in America, but also the struggles of fitting into a culture completely different to your own and how to find your own voice. It’s a very powerful book that puts the reader into the shoes of Ifemelu and Obinze. It’s certainly an eye opener as someone who has never lived in a culture different to my own or been in the minority. Whilst the focus is largely on race, I did think that the themes apply to anyone who has lived as a minority group. I think it’s worth anyone reading this as it’s not only well-written, but it has an interesting story and context. Thanks Jaime for the recommendation!
Ruth is a dedicated nurse, passionate about bringing new life into the world and caring for mothers. When a baby dies after a routine procedure, there is no doubt who will be blamed – the nurse who was banned from looking after him by his father. The court case takes Ruth, her lawyer and the father on a journey of realisation about the world that surrounds them.
I was drawn to Jodi’s latest novel on the basis of a review that said it was a ‘To Kill a Mockingbird for the 21st century’. A powerful book in it’s day, I was drawn to find out what a modern version might have in store. Whilst I’m not sure Jodi’s book will reach such an iconic status, she does cover an incredibly relevant topic and offers a perspective of racism from three different characters. Like Americanah it’s an eye opener for anyone who hasn’t found themselves in that position. I think what I took away from it was the concept of passive racism. It’s so easy not to see someone else’s experience and carry on life being completely ignorant of it. It definitely offers food for thought.
I think you’d like this book if you’ve read Americanah, you like Jodi’s other books or you’re looking for a really relevant read.
If you’ve read any of these books, do share your views in the comments below. I would love to read them! (I’d also love any recommendations of course!)
As we’re now in the swing of the summer and I have a garden (!!!) to read in, I’m hoping that I’ll do better this next half of the year! Wish me luck! 🙂