Monday, 29 June 2020

Micro Review 2

Mudlarking by Lara Maiklem

Since the whole Coronavirus (Covid-19) outbreak started the one thing I have discovered about myself is that water and water landscapes are very important to me. The three months of serious lockdown became the longest time I have ever not seen the sea, and I think that I would have gone stark staring mad if we hadn't found some riverside walks close to home.

Similarly a visit to London that doesn't include sight of the Thames also feels wrong to me and I can only image Maiklem's relief at being allowed back on the foreshore again.

This book is split in to sections, generally divided by the bridges and Maiklem talks if her finds and the history of each area specific to the river bank. For a mudlarker there are certain things that are 'holy grail-like' it seems as well as each person having their own special treasures, patches and stories to tell.

At a time that you can't travel this is a wonderful read, and it makes me want to comb the banks of the Thames at low tide next time I am on the Southbank with some time to kill.

When we were younger my sister and I did a little mudlarking of our own when visiting our aunt and uncle who lived by the coast in an area that was once a brickworks. The foreshore there was full of curiosities, pieces of china and glass and when the tide (and mud) were right we would comb the area looking for bottles and the like. This book brought back those happy memories too and so another reason why I see this one ending up in my top reads of the year in a few months time.

As I was writing this post a Tweet scrolled by saying that Mudlarking has won the non-fiction Indie Book Award 2020 a fact that has made me very happy!

Saturday, 27 June 2020

Micro Review 1

Leonard and Hungry Paul by Ronan Hession

I think that I saw some chat on Twitter about this book and I was intrigued enough to see if it was available from the Norfolk Library service as an ebook to borrow. Luckily for me it was, and amazingly without a wait too!

This book was a wonder, it was deceptively simple and really is just about the friendship of two men who just don't quite fit in to society as is (stereotypically) expected.

The joy for me about this book was that Leonard and Paul's differences were just stated and the story was about a short period of time and how they navigated it. 

Unlike so many books with non-neurotypical characters (I'm looking at you Rosie Project, Eleanor Olliphant and so on) Leonard and Paul didn't change to fit in, they weren't unhappy and needing redemption they were just two, well written, characters living their lives in the way they chose.

For a while I was reading this expecting a huge (or humiliating) plot point to occur and it just didn't, it was a gentle, realistic book that I loved spending time reading.

(ps apologies for the change in layout and other quirks - blogger has changed the interface for creating posts and it is just too hot to fight with it right now!)

Saturday, 13 June 2020

Reading Break

Both the Kentishbookboy and I have lost our reading mojo a little bit right now - partly because of the Coronavirus changing so much of daily life and partly because in May the weather was sooooo glorious we spent as mush time out doors as possible.

In fact in May I only read 7 books which is the lowest figure in years (the months following my SAH not included).

June has started in a better fashion for me, partly because the weather has changed I think but hopefully we'll have more book chat to share soon!