Not a lot of reading going on this month. It started off fairly well with a few books read while I was on holiday but then it seemed to slow down once I got home. That was partly because of all the unpacking and other sorting out there is to do after a holiday, and partly because I hadn't done any stitching for a while so wanted to do some of that. Then, a couple of the books weren't really grabbing me so instead of snatching every available minute for reading, I was putting it off. So the result is only eleven books read. Best book of the month was Atonement and I also really enjoyed Murder with Peacocks as it's always good to find a new author.
Challenges? Let's not talk about those.
3 x bookrings
8 x from TBR
3 x 1001 list
3 x Big Read
Picture Perfect – Jodi Picoult (tbr) I really enjoyed this. I took it on holiday as a light pick-up put-down read but actually found it quite hard to put down once I'd started it. It was a reasonable size at 436 pages but I almost got through it in one busy fun-filled holiday day, snatching an hour here and there. I polished it off the following afternoon. I liked it better than the last few of the author's that I'd read, which were starting to feel a bit samey. This one felt different. Less to a formula.
Chasing the dead – Tim Weaver (tbr) I enjoyed this. Plenty of action, plenty of twisty-turny bits to keep you interested. A bit gruesome in places so probably not for the faint-hearted. Definitely a good, gripping read.
Rumour has it – Jill Mansell (tbr) I like Jill Mansell's books. This one was great fun. Well written and just enjoyable to read. Definitely a winner.
Murder with Peacocks – Donna Andrews (tbr) Stacey recommended the Meg Langslow mysteries a few months ago and I've had them on my Amazon wishlist waiting for my tbr pile to get a bit smaller. Then, while I was on holiday I spotted the first two books in Borders and thought I'd try them. I'm really glad I did, as if the series is going to be as good as this first book was, I'm in for a real treat. I loved the way Meg interacted with all the other characters. There was loads going on in the book, plenty of it suiting my sense of humour perfectly. And the plot was superb. Thanks Stacey!
Grave Secret – Charlaine Harris (tbr) These are different from most of Charlaine Harris's other books but I really like them. This one is the fourth in the series and as it wraps everything up so nicely it could be the last. I hope not as I've enjoyed them a lot.
Great Apes – Will Self (1001, bookring) This was interesting, and quite amusing, although I found it fairly slow going. A man wakes to find that everyone else is a chimp. He's under the delusion that he is human and is confined to a psychiatric ward. It's quite bizarre to see everything slightly skewed as if chimps had become the dominant species.
Conjugal rites – Paul Magrs (bookring) This was slightly different from the first two Brenda and Effie books in that it was written in the third person rather than from Brenda's point of view. This allowed a different perspective, which I enjoyed. The sinister Mr. Danby is back at the start of the book, and someone from Brenda's past appears too causing Brenda and then her friends to all end up in Hell. Literally. And strangely, it looks a lot like Whitby. I really loved this, but it was over much too quickly. With a bit of luck I'll be getting book four in the spiral soon so I can find out 'What Happens Next'.
Stormbreaker – Anthony Horowitz (tbr, Big Read) This is one that I found in that handy Oxfam shop in Solihull and it just happened to be the first in the Alex Rider series and is on the Big Read list. It wasn't half bad. I was in the mood for a quick light read last night and this fitted the bill perfectly. There are a couple more of the series on the Big Read list and I won't mind reading them at some point now.
I capture the castle – Dodie Smith (tbr, Big Read) I started to read this one on holiday but stopped after about thirty pages as I couldn't get interested. I thought I'd give it a second chance and this time got into it straight away. I won't say I loved it but it was enjoyable enough and was a quick read for its size. It felt very old fashioned, and ok it was written 60 years ago, but it felt dated where a lot of books don't.
Atonement – Ian McEwan (tbr, Big Read, 1001) Excellent! I only started this last night and have just finished it this morning. I'm afraid no housework of any description was going to be contemplated until that book was done. It was that good. So, I stayed in bed until 11am and read. And read. And read. Utter bliss. I think this is probably my favourite McEwan and as I've enjoyed all of his books so far so that is saying something. It was a fascinating story and I just loved the way it was told. I loved the contrast between the different parts, and the ending was superb. Definitely a highlight of the month.
The last of the Mohicans – James Fenimore Cooper (bookring, 1001) It's taken a couple of attempts to get into this but once I'd managed to get past the first few chapters I started to enjoy it. I found it fairly slow going and kept trying to remember if it was like the TV series that I vaguely recall from my childhood. As this was quite a long time ago I wasn't having much success although the more I read of the book, the more of the series came back to me. Once I'd got halfway through the book it clicked and I got really interested and was keen to keep reading to the end. The verdict? Not the easiest book to read but worth persevering with.