Wednesday, May 18, 2016
What I've Been Reading Lately
Back with some quick reviews of what I've read lately - I'm starting to shift into what feels like some summer reading already so hopefully next time I'll have more easy, breezy books for you!
A Red Herring Without Mustard by Alan Bradley
The third in the charming Flavia de Luce mystery series, this entry was just as delightful as the first two. Flavia is just a wonderfully readable character. Especially since she's a child solving mysteries around her idyllic English village you'd think it would be easy for the main character to become saccharine and annoying. But it's just a fun pleasure reading these quirky whodunnits.
The Cuckoo's Calling by Robert Galbraith
I've been meaning to read Robert Galbraith's (aka J.K. Rowling) detective novels for a while now and somehow expected them to be dark and dreary. But Rowling's skill as a writer floats across every page. Private investigator Cormoran Strike sets out to solve the high profile murder of a supermodel with a well paced plot, great sidekick, and the perfect setup to an awesome Masterpiece Mystery series. After reading this book I realized that Rowling is a master at characterization, I fell in love with the cross-examinations because each character had such a unique voice that was perfectly presented. I didn't even want to solve the mystery, I just wanted to keep meeting new people through the eyes of the indefatigable, intelligent, yet troubled detective, Cormoran Strike. It's a novel that really stands on it's own regardless of genre, but as a detective novel I thought it was first rate!
The End of the House of Alard by Sheila Kaye-Smith
Remember how I was on a Sheila Kaye-Smith kick? She's a little known early 20th century pastoral novelist and contemporary of G.K. Chesterton. Her books are out of print but, oh, how I wish they weren't because I would recommend this novel to anyone who likes Downton Abbey. This is a fascinating novel about the aristocratic Alard family, their romantic and spiritual entanglements, and the changing face of British society. Kaye-Smith is a really astute writer when it comes to portraying realistic characters and spiritual struggle, in this novel a variety of characters come face-to-face with spiritual truths yet choose different paths which proves fascinating. I feel like this book is best described as Downton Abbey meets Brideshead Revisited. Highly recommended if you can find a second hand copy on Amazon or Ebay!
Notes From A Blue Bike by Tsh Oxenreider
I love Tsh Oxenreider. I think her's was the first blog I discovered, the first I followed, and still follow today. I enjoy her writing and felt this book presented a lot of new material that has never been on her blog before, but I think because I am pretty much coming from exactly where she's coming from, that this just didn't bowl me over. I already am on board with everything she writes about when it comes to living simply, I feel like I am her choir. But for anyone who hasn't a clue what living simply means or entails this would be the perfect starting point.
Lila by Marilynne Robinson
Omigoodness, the third book in Marilynne Robinson's trilogy set in Gilead and I loved this novel in a completely different way than I loved the previous two. I find it just amazing how Robinson can so perfectly inhabit and write from a different person's inner life so effortlessly. It's really a joy to become part of Lila's life while reading this book. Lila is different from her husband John Ames, but just as alive on the page. I really don't want to say anything more because reading it is so rewarding and I feel like each and every reading will be different than another's experience. To sum up, I gave it 5 stars on Goodreads. And I reserve 5 stars for books by Chesterton, Jane Austen, and Evelyn Waugh.
Joining Modern Mrs. Darcy with Quick Lit again this month!
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