Saturday, 31 May 2014

The best of May's reading

Once again joining with Laura at Circle of Pine Trees and her year of books posts, here are my books for May.

Several years ago, knitting groups and knitting in general featured in many books both fictional and factual... those of Kate Jacobs (novels) and Stephanie Pearl McPhee (nonfiction) are amongst my favourites, but this one by Ann Hood was also worth a second read. 'The Knitting Circle' ... well, the title says it all really. It's about a group of women who gather each week at Alice's wool shop to sit and knit. And talk. Different women from different backgrounds... Mary who is grieving for her dead child, Scarlet who's outgoing and glamorous, Lulu who sculpts for a living, Beth who is what today would be called a 'yummy mummy' with her seemingly perfect life, and Ellen who takes everything to heart. The group helps them all, and this is a lovely story of  how women who might otherwise not know each other or get along, come together and form firm friendships through their love of knitting. Anyone who's a knitter will love it.

Sometimes you buy a book because you are drawn to the cover, or the blurb,  or the first page grabs you. In this case it was all three...

Isn't this a gorgeous cover? A misty image of the Eiffel Tower, red and yellow tulips in the foreground. The blurb tells us this is a story of 'food, friendship and falling in love from afar'... now doesn't that make you want to read more? It did me, and I wasn't disappointed. This is the tale of Eve who writes to a famous author in America, Jackson Cooper, to praise him on a particular scene in one of his novels. He replies, and they discover a mutual love of food, and so begins a correspondence. Over time they realise this correspondence is perhaps more than just emails and letters between casual friends, that there may be a chance to start again with their lives. The final chapter, the very last line, will have you sighing with pleasure! If you get chance, 'That Part was True' by Deborah McKinlay is definitely worth the reading.

'The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel' by Deborah Moggach is the book of the film. I loved the film, it had my favourite actors in it and was so funny and touching, and hopeful for those of us in later years shall we say? The book too, is worth a read.

'Lifesaving for Beginners' by Ciara Geraghty, is the story of Kat, who never looks back, who lives for now in her unremarkable life filled with lots of friends and Milo a small boy who likewise goes through his life, enjoying his lifesaving classes after school and peanut butter and banana muffins. And with one of those strange twists in life, somehow the two become known to each other, this little boy in Brighton and the woman in Dublin, and secrets are revealed. Great story, loved it. And is it just me, but if you know the character is Irish, do you read in your head, in an Irish accent? Please say it's not just  me...

Ann Patchett is perhaps better known for her novels to us here in Britain, than her writings that appeared in Vogue and other American publications. This Is The Story of a Happy Marriage is a collection of some of these, a memoir telling of her childhood, the excitement at selling her first book, her adventures and her happy marriage, and is well worth a read.

So there you have my best reads for last month. Looking forward to reading about yours, and thanks for dropping by.


  1. All these have gone on my list (apart from Best Exotic which I have read) - I get inside the library and forget every single author and title I have ever heard of - so thanks for this.

    1. I'm the same when I go into a bookshop, the authors I want to look for go completely out of my head. I'm a list-maker, but one who often forgets to take it out when she needs to!

  2. I like the sound of 'That Part Was True' so may look for this at the library - it sounds like a sitting in the garden in the sunshine book - if we ever get any sunshine that is:)

  3. Hi Edwina, thank you for visiting me today and commenting. Your descriptions are very vivid, I have picked up a couple of recommendations from your list, thank you!

  4. Hi - love the Marigold Hotel film and I'd like to try the book too.

  5. I absolutely loved 'That Part Was True' !!