I’ve bigged-up my appreciation for Kindles - and here’s what I’ve managed to consume so far this year on my daily commute thanks to my handy handbag friend.
Serious bookworms be warned, I’m not one for major highbrow reading…
The Miniaturist by Jessie Burton
Hmm, I’d heard the hype about this one and thought I’d see what all the fuss was about – the tale of Nella married-off into a rich family and being gifted an unusual (and downright unromantic) wedding present of a doll’s house which is an exact replica of her new home. A few pages in I started to feel like I’d read it before, in essence it reminded me a lot of Girl with a Pearl Earring by Tracy Chevalier – a young girl being thrown to the lions in a wealthy household in Amsterdam where a strong female matriarch reins over with a serious case of constant-PMT. Except the one major plotline that differs from G.W.P.E hangs on these mysterious miniatures for the doll’s house in which it’s all a bit Voodoo. To me, there were a few unexplained plotholes that made me wonder if there were a couple of chapters they’d forgotten to tag onto the end – the mystery behind the book’s title wasn’t satisfactory enough for my inquisitive mind. All in all a bit of a disappointment sadly.
That’s Another Story by Julie Walters
Ok, this was released in 2009 so I’m a bit behind on the ‘current reads’ here. I’m not usually a fan of a celeb autobiographies, they scream of “I’m desperate to churn out some extra cash to buy another ugly mock-Tudor mansion with 400 more rooms than I actually need”, plus I don’t actually care about whatever yawnsome tale of troubled childhood/inevitable period of drug abuse/how many husbands it take to get free dining at The Chiltern Firehouse to waste valuable reading time on any of them. But I have read one or two autobiographies of famous people I’m genuinely interested in – Darcey Bussell for one – and I fancied reading more about Julie Walters simply because she is a national institution. Sorry Julie if that makes you sound like a large car park somewhere in Bolton. It’s a fun and easy read and as expected she has a natural, witty tone to her writing. The book takes you from her birth in Birmingham to her foray into the big time after Educating Rita was released to international acclaim and the stress of learning that dance routine in Billy Elliott. I finished it in a matter of days – definitely one to stow in your suitcase for holidays when your brain is turned down a notch to lazy mode.
The Handsome Man’s Deluxe Café by Alexander McCall Smith
I love these books. It’s been fifteen years since the first book in the No.1 Ladies Detective Agency series was published (there are now 16 in total) and I’m always genuinely excited when a new story in the set is published. Set in Mme Ramotswe’s No.1 Ladies Detective Agency in Gaborone, Botswana, this particular new release centres around Mme Maktusi returning to work after the arrival of her new baby and making the big step of launching her very own business- whilst of course staying on as newly-promoted 'Assistant Detective' in the Mme Ramotswe's agency. I want to believe these characters really exist because they’re so full of life, warmth and personality and McCall Smith does such a grand job of wonderfully encapsulating life in Southern Africa. Beautifully written with devotion to fans and as ever, guaranteed to make you smile.
A Spool of Blue Thread by Anne Tyler
A work pal introduced me to Anne Tyler a few years back. She writes my kind of books – essentially a window into real life where there are no huge plot twists, gruesome murders, Shades of Grey saucy tackiness or pretentious longwinded narratives – it’s all about ordinary people and the relations between loved ones written in an unassuming, perceptive and engaging fashion. Spool of Blue Thread is another success in that you find yourself identifying with, irritated by, championing or simply intrigued by the characters – which pretty much mirrors most of the people in our circles of lives. A winner if this kind of fiction is your bag too.
This post was brought to you with the sound of Teardrops - Womack & Womack
Bookshelf image © galleryhip.com