I'm a couple of days later posting this than usual having been ambushed by a pesky three day migraine. Bummer, I tell you, it's so inconvenient getting a migraine when you're halfway through a really exciting book. I must have worried that plot to death for hours while I was lying there. First thing I did once I was capable of focusing was grab that book to find out what actually happened as my imagination had been running wild.
But, on with the breakdown. Eighteen books read, and there's a definite smattering of wizardry towards the end. Tree very kindly sent me her Dresden Files books to borrow and I've been completely unable to keep my nose out of them. They are brilliant! Sadly they did have the side effect of adding more to my TBR pile than I was capable of reading from it so that challenge failed badly again this month. I did rather splendidly on the 1001 books though and also read my Big Read book so all was not lost. I'm sure I can catch up on the TBRs at some point this year…
Best books this month? Apart from The Dresden Files of course. The White Tiger was a big surprise. I always expect Booker prize winners to be a bit more, well, snooty for want of a better word. White Tiger was just marvellous. Go and get a copy and read it now! Honestly, you won't regret it. Then there was Never let me go by Kazuo Ishiguro. I was expecting it to be rather more Japanese but it really wasn't. It was pretty amazing. One of those books that stays with you. Highly recommended. Those were the stand-outs but all in all it was a very good month.
4 x bookrings
12 x 1001 list
2 x Big Read
13 x from TBR
1 x local library
Vanity Fair – William Thackeray (e-book, 1001, Big Read) It's taken me ages to read this as I just didn't get on with the e-book format. I did finish it finally this month though and I did enjoy the book. I'm sure I'd have enjoyed it an awful lot more, however, had it been a 'proper' book.
The autobiography of Alice B. Toklas – Gertrude Stein (bookring, 1001) This just didn't hold my interest so took almost a week to read despite being quite a short book. Had it not been a bookring, I'd probably have put it to one side and read something more appealing.
Disgrace – J. M. Coetzee (bookring, 1001) This was much more enjoyable than the previous two books, noticeable by the fact that I started and finished it on the day it arrived. It wasn't a particularly thrilling story of the type with murders and car chases, but it was so well written that I just didn't want to put it down. I felt compelled to keep reading to find out how the characters were going to react to the situation, and how the situation would unfold.
The girl with the dragon tattoo – Steig Larsson (tbr) I've been saving this one up as it had such great reviews and I was expecting it to be amazing. It was a very good book and I did very much enjoy it. Sadly, not as much as I was expecting to. I should know by now that hype does not necessarily mean I'm going to love a book to bits. This was a slightly better than average book, in my opinion, and I am looking forward to reading the next book now that I've got to know the characters.
The green man – Kingsley Amis (tbr, 1001) I enjoyed this. A nice scary ghost story. Ok, mayby not scary by today's standards but very good all the same. I quite liked the way the story was tackled. You could see that a different author would have taken the same story and gone about it from a completely different angle. I rather enjoyed the way this one was about the occupants of The Green Man rather than being focused on the horror/ghost aspect of the story.
The white tiger – Aravind Adiga (tbr, 1001) I loved this one. From the very first paragraph I was completely hooked. It was so easy to read, so easy to get drawn into. I've read several novels set in India recently but this one is by far my favourite. A smashing story and great characters. Brilliant!
Storm front – Jim Butcher (tbr) This was the book that I found in the BookCrossing box at Created in Birmingham and is the first of the Harry Dresden books. I'd been wanting to read these books for ages so was incredible to find book one just sitting there waiting for me. I wasn't disappointed either. It was superb. It absolutely blew the socks off the TV series and now I can't wait to read the rest of the books.
The Black Dahlia – James Ellroy (tbr, 1001) This was excellent. I loved the way you got a peek into the workings of the police procedures of LA in the 1940s. You saw the corruption, the violence and how the good guys tried to work against that. You saw how this one case worked from start to finish, including all the intrigue of the personal lives of the main characters in the book. It really was a superb story, and very well told.
Death's mistress – Karen Chance (tbr) I love the author's Cassie Palmer series and almost didn't buy the first book in the Dory Basarab series as I wasn't sure if I fancied it. I'm so glad I did as it's set in the same world, sharing the same characters and is equally as good. Death's mistress is the second book in the series and is even better than the first. Lots of action, plenty of vampires, fey and a mystery that Dory needs to solve. Brilliant!
Don't tell – Karen Rose (tbr) I do like Karen Rose's books. This one was lovely and chunky at 500 pages and was excellent from start to finish. I may have stayed up a little bit later than I should have on a work night to finish this but I just could not put it down. A thriller with sex and violence and a jolly good story to hold it all together. Bostin!
Great expectations – Charles Dickens (1001, Big Read, local library) Although I have the complete works of Dickens on my bookshelves, they are quite old and are getting a bit delicate. Also, the print is small, the pages are yellowing and as they are hardbacks they're a bit heavy. They do look and smell lovely though. I've been a bit reluctant to read them due to their condition as they wouldn't have been as pleasant to read and I was worried that handling them might damage them. So, I borrowed this book as a paperback from the library and left my copy sitting on the shelf. I enjoyed it immensely. I'd forgotten just how much I like Dickens as I'd been putting off reading my editions for the reasons above. It was a really gripping story, told in a style that was easy to slip into. Now I can't wait to start reading the others, but I think I'll be using the library again.
Breakfast of champions – Kurt Vonnegut (tbr, 1001) This has got to be one of the oddest books that I have ever read. I liked it.
I really can't think of anything else to say about it…
Around the world in eighty days – Jules Verne (tbr, 1001) I really enjoyed this. Quite simply written but still interesting to read and with a fun ending.
Kitchen – Banana Yoshimoto (bookray, 1001) This was lovely. It was only a novella with short story tucked into the back of the book as a bonus. Both were very enjoyable and I'd definitely look out for more by the author. The writing style was whimsical and slightly quirky, but also slightly poetic.
Neuromancer – William Gibson (tbr, 1001) This was the first proper Science-fiction that I'd read for ages and I really enjoyed it. It was all dark and cyber-punky with drugs and violence, ninjas and espionage. Absolutely brilliant!
Never let me go – Kazuo Ishiguro (Bookring, 1001) Not at all what I was expecting, as it was completely different to the only other Ishiguro that I've read. That said, I really enjoyed it. The story reminded me slightly of Spares by Michael Marshall Smith which I really loved. This book was a lot gentler than that but it was slightly chilling once you realised what was actually going on. A marvellous book and one I'd highly recommend.
Fool moon – Jim Butcher (tbr) Tree has loaned me her Dresden Files collection to read and I dived straight in as soon as the box arrived. I really enjoyed this one. You can see the plot they used in the TV series but there's so much more in the book. Much more magic, much more detail and much more humour to make the character of Dresden come alive. This one was based on Werewolves. Love it! Thanks Tree 🙂
Grave peril – Jim Butcher (tbr) Another of the Dresden Files books and another great read. This one was all vampires and ghosts and was absolutely brilliant. There were loads of things I should have been doing this afternoon but instead I was glued to the pages of the book, completely unable to put it down as I just HAD TO KNOW what was going to happen next. Fantastic!