One of my greatest winter pleasures is curling up by the fire with a good book or two. As little G gets older she’s more and more content playing quietly in her own world of make-believe, which means more time with my nose in a book if I’m very lucky.
I’ve read some great books over the past few months…the sort of books I want to go to bed early for (though it doesn’t take much in our house!). Some have left me dreaming of far off places, some have left me feeling uncomfortable and others just left a smile on my face. That’s what I love about books…from that first page you sometimes have no idea what sort of journey you are going on…
Here are my top reads this winter:
– May We Be forgiven? By AM Holmes. Probably my favourite book from recent months. It’s hard to summarise as there’s not really a traditional narrative, but it totally enthralled me. It focuses on the relationship of two grown brothers and the sad, messy but ultimately uplifting aftermath of their indiscretions.
– The Slap by Christos Tsiolkas. This book (set in Australia) was totally gripping, however it left me with a nasty taste in my mouth. Luckily I found friends who had also read it as I really needed to talk about it afterwards.
– Beautiful Ruins by Jess Walter. I liked this, but I expected more from the premise. It flicked between a narrative set in Italy 1963 during the filming of Cleopatra to present day Hollywood. I actually struggled to get into it as I found the main narrator, a mild Italian inn keeper rather irritating, but as he grew, I grew to enjoy the book too and the journey it took me on.
– Prep by Curtis Sittenfield. I’m a sucker for anything preppy and New England, so this ticked the box for me…a teenager’s experience at an East Coast boarding school…the highs and lows. I also love a bit of teen drama.
– Seating Arrangements by Maggie Shipstead. A social satire, set on an exclusive New England island (spot the theme?) over a wedding weekend. This enjoyable book provided observations on love, lust and family obligations. I sped through this and yearned for an invitation to a wedding on Martha’s Vineyard (anyone?).
– The Hive by Gill Hornby. This was an easy witty read on the minutiae of school-gate politics. I just hope the real experience outside the school gates (that I have yet to experience) is nothing like this!
I’m now mid Donna Tartt’s the Goldfinch which was one of my best Christmas presents. Have you seen the size of it? I could be reading it until Summer…but I doubt that as I’m absolutely addicted!