Sunday, 2 July 2017

A few good reads

So many books, so little time.... a phrase often spoken by readers. Of course, it might help if we stopped buying and adding to the 'waiting to be read' pile, but who can resist an interesting cover, a good review, a freinds' recommendation? Not me... unfortunately. And it would also help if I didn't read for the Romantic Novelist of the Year Award, one of the many who get to receive a package of books to be read and reviewed each year. And if I didn't set myself challenges.... June's was to read a book that's older than me, lots of choice there, but have I managed to pick one? No. And July's challenge is to read a book by a foreign author, in English. Haven't even begun to think about that...
but here are a few I have read this last month.

Actually I am still reading 'Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine'. Eleanor was hard to warm to, a stick in the mud, old before her time, and someone I thought was in her fifties turns out to be a young woman. But there has been a traumatic event in her past, leaving her with facial scars and a fractured relationship with her mother. So then I began to feel sorry for her, now, as she seems to be blossoming in, loosening up, letting people get close to her, I am intrigued as to where she goes now, so really enjoying this books.

'Heartburn' by Norah Ephron is the story of a marriage. Seven months pregnant and with a young son, Rachel discovers her husband is having an affair. She leaves, but he talks her into coming back, swearing that the affair is over. But it starts up again, and Rachel knows that she deserves better than him, better than this life. And she has a friend, Richard, who knows it too. Norah Ephron is the creator of Sleepless in Seattle, and though I enjoyed this novel, I preferred Sleepless!

Dorothy Koomson's 'When I Was Invisible' is another great story, one which was hard to put down, sadness in there, and a difficult subject really. Two little girls meet when they are eight years old and attending ballet classes. One black, one white. One goes into a convent, the other becomes a minor celebrity, but are they each meant to be living the lives they lead?

'Miss Mary's Book of Dreams' by Sophie Nicholls is another for my collection of books, fiction and non-fiction, set in or about, bookshops. Maybe it's because I've always wanted to own a bookshop but never will, that I am fascinated by this type of book. Just love them and haven't had a bad one yet. This is for those who like a bit of magic in their novels. Ella runs Happy Ever After, a bookshop in a cobbled courtyard in York. She's a wife, mother, successful author, but something is missing. Then into the shop one day comes Bryony, and though she doesn't know why, Ella feels a connection with her. Bryony buys the Book of Dreams in the title and that's when the magic really begins.

Sheila O'Flanagans' 'The Missing Wife' is the story of Imogen, who is unhappy, leading a life she no longer wants, and so she has The Plan, which is to get away from her husband, Vince, a controlling man she no longer loves. She moves to a small town in France where she lived as a child, leaving no trail behind for Vince to follow. She gets a job, makes new friends and more importantly meets some old ones, and when Vince manages to unravel the trail and track her down, she finally has the courage to tell him how she feels so that she is free to get on with her new life.

'The Spy' by Paulo Coelho is a novel based on facts about the life of Mata Hari, the supposed femme fatal spy, who arrived penniless in Paris but soon became known as the most elegant woman in the city. She was shot a hundred years ago this October, for spying - based on evidence later describes by one prosecutor as "so poor that it wouldn't have been fit to punish a cat". An interesting and enlightening read.

So, that's it for now. More another time. Happy reading.... tell me what you're reading now (if you're a reader of course).