Thursday, October 20, 2016
What I've Been Reading Lately - October edition
Trying to pull myself out of the non-writing abyss here...trying so hard!
What have you been reading lately?
My Brilliant Friend by Elena Ferrante
I've read so many amazing reviews of the Neapolitan novels by Elena Ferrante that I had to read them...they've just been on my TBR list for a year or two now! I was instantly drawn into this story of two female friends in 1950's Naples. Growing up in a tough neighbourhood, with tragedy and violence always at their side, the girls forge a bond because of their shared intellectual gifts. At times you can't tell which girl is the brilliant friend, the enigmatic Lila or the quiet but astute narrator, Elena. It's just written in such a provoking, yet completely engrossing way - it's unlike anything I've ever read. This first book of four is on the shorter side and I just flew through it, if you like complex characters with emotional power you will love this book.
The Madwoman Upstairs by Catherine Lowell
I read this book alongside Jane Steele, so the combined effect was a touch too much Jane Eyre fan fiction, but this story was surprisingly enjoyable. A descendent of Charlotte Bronte, Samantha finds herself studying at Oxford under a dashing but sarcastic tutor and realizes she's got more than a few skeletons in her family's closet that she needs to work out for herself. This book read like a good rom-com with a literary panache, I thought it was a fun but smart read.
Mike and Psmith by P.G. Wodehouse (currently out of print but in public domain, hence this terrible cover)
This was my P.G. Wodehouse read of the summer because I always need a P.G. Wodehouse in the summertime. A farcical story of two boys at boarding school it's quintessentially British. You instantly recognize the setting of quirky boys at boarding school because so many have copied Wodehouse's perfect representation. A quick read, but probably not for first time P.G. Wodehouse readers, make sure to read Jeeves first!
The Awakening of Miss Prim by Natalia Sanmartin Fenollera
I've recommended this book to all my friends, and I think it will continue to be the book I recommend to practically everyone; it's just a delightful read that shows the beauty of truth in surprising ways. Miss Prim begins a new job in a small Spanish town, but not just any town, a town where all the inhabitants have a completely unique view of how life should be lived. Her employer also happens to be an intriguing, and dashing man of faith she completely misunderstands. What follows is a really enjoyable conversion story in the shape of a romantic comedy. We also discussed it on this week's new episode of the podcast, take a listen!
Before the Fall by Noah Hawley
I thoroughly enjoyed this thriller, even if the ending wasn't perfect. I thought the pacing and writing were of such a great quality that I couldn't put it down. I wouldn't recommend reading on a flight as it surrounds a plane crash involving very rich people and the resulting investigation, but if you enjoy thrillers then you'll enjoy this book. After I read this book I began watching Fargo, which is the tv show written, produced, and directed by Noah Hawley and was completely enamoured with the quality of storytelling. Obviously Hawley has some amazing gifts for writing and after watching both seasons of Fargo he's entered the hallowed ground of Matthew Weiner and Vince Gilligan of geniuses who make astounding television.
Joining Modern Mrs Darcy for Quick Lit, because I have a compulsion to write about books and I need the monthly reminder!
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