Monday, 13 July 2015

Reading binge

Mr Norfolkbookworm and I have just spent two weeks on the Greek island of Mykonos. It was an interesting time to be in Greece with all of their financial troubles and the referendum but at no point were we ever greeted with anything other than smiles. We certainly added to the economy by eating and drinking lots of wonderful items - although we'll gloss over the sea urchins...

While we did do lots of exploring the main purpose of the trip was to unwind and spend lots of time reading.  I certainly managed this as in 2 weeks I read 23 books as well as plenty of relaxing.

  • Boston Girl by Anita Diamant - a great read all about first generation immigrants to Boston in the 1900s. 
  • Sagan 1954 by Anne Berest (tr. Heather Lloyd) - an imagined biography about the year in which teenager Sagan wrote and published Bonjour Tristesse.
  • The Readers of Broken Wheel Recommend* by Katarina Bivald (tr. Alice Menzies) - a young Swedish girl visits her pen pal in the States to find she has died. Books were the link between the two and might just save the Iowan town of Broken Wheel.
  • Early One Morning* by Virginia Bailey - set in Rome during the German occupation an impulsive decision to save a Jewish boy from being deported has repercussions for decades.
  • Grey by E L James  - no words to explain why I read this.  It is dire.
  • Hearts of Stone* by Simon Scarrow - before WW2 a German boy makes friends with two Greek teenagers on Lefkas during an archaeological dig. He is posted back to the island during the war...
  • The Umbrian Thursday Night Supper Club* by Marlena de Blasi - I thought this was going to be fiction but was in fact the story of five women and their family who meet to have supper. The stories were interesting and the recipes had me drooling.
  • Let Me Explain You* by Annie Liontas - a dysfunctional Greek family are contacted by their father to say he is dying and spend the time trying to unravel their relationships with him and each other.
  • One* by Sarah Crossan - a young adult novel about a pair of conjoined twins. A bit predictable but still moving.
  • The Summer of Good Intentions* by Wendy Frances - three sisters and their families return to their beach summer home but the summer doesn't work out as planned. A good holiday read.
  • In the Unlikely Event by Judy Blume - in the 1950s three planes crashed on one small New Jersey town and the novel imagines the effects this had on some of the inhabitants.
  • Anything to Declare by Jon Frost - a former Custom and Excise officer talks about some of his jobs.
  • A God in Ruins by Kate Atkinson - I wasn't blown away by Life After Life but this companion novel enthralled me from the start and I liked that Teddy was a pilot in Bomber Command and not a fighter pilot.
  • The Reader on the 6.27 by Jean Paul Didierlaurent - a very odd book that I don't think I 'got'. I am still not sure if it is a dystopian novel, a love story or a fable that I missed the point of.
  • My Cousin Rachel by Daphne DuMaurier - A gripping psychological thriller, glad that a friend recommended it to me.
  • Adeline* by Norah Vincent - a novel about Virginia Woolf that probably would probably have been lot more enjoyable if I'd known more about the relationships within the Bloomsbury Group.
  • A Spy Among Friends by Ben Macintyre - another great read about the British spying world, this time with Kim Philby as the focus.
  • The Martian* by Andy Weir - a gripping space thriller about a man left alone on  Mars after an accident.
  • Finding Audrey* by Sophie Kinsella - a young adult novel which starts quite well but by the end seems to be too simplistically dealing with mental illness.
  • Motherland* by Jo McMillan - the mother and daughter protagonists of this novel set in the 1970s and 80s are fervent communists and given the chance to visit the DDR, will they be disillusioned?
  • The Bees by Laline Paull - a fascinating tale told from a bee's point of view. Hard to explain the charm of this but I always knew I didn't like wasps!
  • The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins - a thriller like Gone Girl or Before I Go to Sleep.  I spotted the twist in this one but it did still give me nightmares.
  • The Enlightenment of Nina Findlay by Andrea Gillies - Nina is involved in a serious accident while on a Greek island but we only learn why she is there as she talks to her doctor, but is he who he seems? A bit self indulgent and also the constant Americanisms really jarred for a book that is set in Scotland as well as Greece.
Not a bad collection of books, none that I gave up on this time.  Now I have to go to the library and pick up all the books I've reserved and are now ready to read...I'll need another holiday to get through them all!

All of these books except Sagan 1954 were read as eBooks and those marked  * were proofs provided by

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