Thursday, 26 April 2012
Books I Have Read In April
I love reading and have decided to keep a blogging record of the books I have read each month.
First was "Digging To America" by Anne Tyler. I was reading this when I went to see Anne being interviewed and so I will keep this battered second hand copy forever as it contains her signature. I do love her books and this tale of two Korean babies adopted at the same time by two families in Baltimore was a deliciously good read. The characters were vividly painted and by the end I was rooting for them all, even the ones I had thought highly annoying at first. Warm and funny, it is a yet another excellent book from the really rather wonderful Ms Tyler.
"The Sense Of An Ending" by Julian Barnes is a slim volume that won the Booker Prize last year. The last Booker Prize winner I read was "The Finkler Question" which I did not like at all, so I was a bit wary of reading this. However, I need not have worried, it was a beautiful book and even though slim, I felt like I had read a much longer novel. It concerns a man entering old age and how his past comes back to haunt him, it is a book about love, friendship and loss and written so well I was enthralled. It was a worthy winner.
Every so often, I like to read something a little lighter, a "holiday read" really and Joanna Trollope fulfills that need very well. "Daughters-in-Law" is a family saga set in present day Suffolk and the title does give it away! It is about how family dynamics are thrown into chaos as each one of three sons gets married to three very different women. Yes, its cosy and middle-class, but Trollope is a master of the genre and I enjoyed it very much.
I am a member of a thriving Book Club that has being going for over ten years now and our book this month was "Wilt" by Tom Sharpe. I have never read any of his books, and I thought this was extremely funny in a painfully farcical way. I also could not believe it was written over thirty years ago, the themes were very comtemporary ( lecturers disaffected with educational institutions etc!). I have now got "Porterhouse Blue" on my shelf and I am looking forward to reading it.
Finally, my absolute favourite read this month was a book recommended by India Knight on Twitter and recently short-listed for the Orange Prize. "The Song of Achilles" by Madeline Miller is a re-telling of the legend of Achilles and Patroclus. It is simply a beautiful book, which taught me a great deal about the story of the Trojan War. The love story between the two men is so moving and more so by our knowledge of how it ends. They cannot escape their destinies and ultimately die for the love of each other. I could not put this book down but was sad when it had ended, really worth a read.