Read and Reading – the story so far in 2019

The first book I finished this year was “Edge” by Jeffery Deaver. I didn’t read this entire book during 2019 but I count it as belonging to this year because that’s when I reached the end. It is a standalone novel of his and as usual it is fast paced, set over a short timespan, full of tension and with a couple of huge twists. Twists in crime novels/thrillers have become standard these days but I often feel that the book has been written solely to provide a vehicle for the twist and consequently the author pays very little attention to characterisation or often to believability. Jeffery Deaver never falls into that trap and his books are always very readable. I enjoyed this one a lot.

I am actually reading quite a few books at the moment. I often read more than one at once but it has rather got out of hand in the past week for reasons I can’t quite articulate. I need to finish one or two and avoid starting any more in order to make things more manageable. Here’s my current list – I am enjoying them all !

  1. “The Wise Man’s Fear” by Patrick Rothfuss. This is the second of his epic fantasy novels in the King Killer Chronicle. I loved the first one which I read on my Kindle and managed to pick this paper version of the sequel up very cheaply in a charity shop. This may have been a mistake because it has 994 pages and is written in small print and is very heavy (physically). This will mean that I read it in small instalments so it might appear on my blogs for a few weeks to come !
  2. “Love All” by Elizabeth Jane Howard. I’ve just started this novel set in the 1960s and involving a group of connected people none of whom appear to be very happy. This one has 443 pages so it might take a while as well.
  3. “The Signature of All Things” by Elizabeth Gilbert. I’ve been reading this one for a few weeks. It is the fictional life story of a woman set in the nineteenth century and concerning botany and plant collecting.
  4. “Welcome to the World, Baby Girl !” by Fannie Flagg. This author does great titles ! Her books are always uplifting without being sentimental and I find them very funny.
  5. “The Go-Between” by LP Hartley. Set in 1900 this is the story of a summer in the English countryside. It examines the class system especially and unlike the other books here it isn’t very long – every page counts though as the writing is so atmospheric.
  6. “The Green Man’s Heir” by Juliet McKenna. When I started recording my reading back at the start of the year 2000 my first book finished was also by this author. I like her rather traditional fantasy but this newer book is a departure from the worlds she has created and is about the son of a dryad who becomes involved in a murder investigation in contemporary Britain. The folklore she uses for the book is ancient and not always very benevolent and the story is gripping.
  7. “The Magician King” by Lev Grossman. His is the second of this trilogy which is also a fantasy but set between this world and an imaginary one which distinctly resembles Narnia. It is sort of like a grown up Harry Potter with protagonists who are not always very likeable – it is another long book.
  8. “Waterloo” by Tim Clayton. This is my current audiobook about the battle. Last year I visited Brussels and stayed in Waterloo. They have some excellent museums which tell the story but I felt that I needed to know more which is why I bought the book. I’ll read more of this next week when I start back to work and am having a daily commute.

I don’t like to have so many books on the go at once – my usual number is about four plus an audiobook and I’ll try to reduce this total over the next week or so. Of course, I am back at work from Monday so time for reading will reduce considerably but it is always nice to have ambitions. What I really must NOT do is start any more !! Wish me luck …