Books you are reading

Please comment on the book(s) you are currently reading by replying to this post.


17 thoughts on “Books you are reading

  1. Hannah Jeens

    I have read two of this year’s crime novels, Natural Causes and The City of Shadows. I definitely preferred Natural Causes, perhaps due to the focus on Irish politics in the latter, and the race against murderers in the former!

  2. Hannah Jeens

    Sorry to do all my posts at once, but I’ve only just discovered the blog. I also had problems with the structure of Saskia Sarginson’s The Twins which alternates between narrators and between past and present.

  3. Hannah Jeens

    I have just finished The Sea Change by Joanna Rossiter, which I did not enjoy as much. I loved the frequent beautiful metaphorical descriptions, but was disappointed by the plot, which felt rather like a soap-opera, and the structure, which I found repetitive. Has anyone else read this book?

  4. Hannah Jeens

    Looking at all these posts, and no-one has read the books that I have! Still, I suppose that isn’t surprising with over 90. My favourite so far is definitely “The Universe versus Alex Woods”. I thought it was a very engaging book with a very appealing first person narrator.

  5. Gwen Goodhew

    Dirty Work by Gabriel Weston looks at the impact on a young female surgeon of having to carry out abortions as part of her surgical role. It certainly makes you think but, for me, it simply didn’t read as a novel. It’s easier to imagine the words being performed to camera in a TV documentary.

  6. gwengoodhew

    Just finished Chaplin and Company by Mave Fellowes and am left wondering why this one has slipped under the radar. It’s full of the quirky characters you often find living round canals and the descriptive passages (which to be honest I often find quite boring) are so vivid.

    1. richardtaylor573

      Just finished Eddie the Kid by Leo Zelig. Bit of a curates egg. Enjoyed the bleak stuff about relationships but less so the politics… Certainly reinforced the old adage that we are all destined to turn into our parents, or as Philip Larkin so nearly put it ‘They ‘mess’ you up your Mum and Dad.’ P.S Not really for the prudish but don’t let this put you off!

  7. Peter Goodhew Post author

    City of Blood (set in Johannesburg) is a pacy and violent thriller which surprised me by being written by a women. The message that violence corrupts even the good is unpalatable, but realistic, I suppose. How depressing!

  8. Peter Goodhew Post author

    Jellybird – whose author will be speaking to us in January – was a very good read. It made me wonder whether it is a necessary condition for a novel that the characters don’t talk to each other about key issues. Is real life this uncommunicative?

  9. Stephen Fox

    The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion. Hilarious Laugh out Loud stuff. A very different hero. He is entirely logical and has limited social skills. Typical of many men you may say. Its worth the read to see why he is different.

  10. Peter Goodhew Post author

    Finished Ghana Must Go. It was worth persisting beyond the rather confusing first chapters because there is some fine writing and many acute perceptions.

  11. Peter Goodhew Post author

    Palace of Curiosities surprised me. I don’t normally enjoy tales with a supernatural element but this story is so unusual and so touching that I soon found myself fully engaged.

    1. richardtaylor573

      With you here. I find I can live without the supernatural under virtually all circumstances. Maybe its because the supernatural element is so peripheral to the story?..

  12. Stephen Fox

    The Scarlet Thief. Very quick read. The standard is Bernard Cornwell’s Sharpe. If you enjoyed Sharpe you may well enjoy this. The period is a little later Crimea rather than Waterloo.

  13. Peter Goodhew Post author

    The First Book of Calamity Leek is bizarre and complicated. Eventually I appreciated its very timely message about brainwashing and slavery, but I almost gave up on the way.

    1. Richard Taylor

      Yes, worth persevering with. Animal Farm meets Lord of the Flies without the politics or plane crash. Very strange with a faint whiff of plausibility.

  14. Peter Goodhew Post author

    I have just finished The Gamal, a novel written with the voice of an Irish “village idiot” (the Gamal of the title) who proves not to be such an idiot at all. The book reminded me of two previous WGRA books which I especially enjoyed: “Grace Williams Says it Loud” (in 2010/11) and “Poppy Shakespeare” (in 2006/7). There are also some similarities to Nathan Filer’s entry this year “The Shock of the Fall”. All these books deal with mental impairment or disability and I find myself not knowing what should be the appropriate terminology to describe in general terms autism, schizophrenia and (in the case of The Gamal) PTSD and ODD. [If you can’t instantly decode these, the Gamal does it for you!] Can anyone advise me?


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