January reading

This month started off with another Jodi Picoult book, Lone Wolf, which I chose from the local library.  The story follows siblings Edward and Cara after their father, Luke, is seriously injured in a car crash.  Even though Luke had marked on his driving licence his wish to donate his organs, his family needs to consent and Edward and Cara disagree as to what they should do.  The title refers to the work of Luke, who for two years had abandoned his family to live with wild wolves in Canada.  I really enjoyed this book, I liked the way the court case developed as Edward and Cara fought to have their father treated the way they wanted him to be treated, and the technique of having different chapters narrated by different characters is excellent for getting to know them better, and build the different parts of the story.  It shows how important it is for people to discuss with their relatives if they would like to be organ donors.

(If you're interested, information on organ donation is available here.)

I've always enjoyed books for children and young adults, and this month I thoroughly enjoyed reading Pirates! by Celia Rees.  It follows the adventures of Nancy, the daughter of a rich 18th century merchant and slave plantation owner in the Caribbean, who, through various events, ends up becoming a female pirate.  It's great to read a story with a strong female lead, and pirates are always fascinating fictional creatures!

I picked up a copy of blueeyedboy by Joanne Harris at my local Homebase store, which has a very good charity book stall.  In the past I've really enjoyed her books (especially Five Quarters of the Orange and Blackberry Wine) but I just didn't get this book at all. According to the Amazon product description it's a book which requires patience, and is similar in style to Iain Banks' The Wasp Factory which was another book I didn't really get!  I wanted to read, and enjoy, another Joanne Harris book, so I got Peaches for Monsieur le Curé  from the library but then realised it's the third book in the Chocolat series so I need to read Lollipop Shoes first. Think this is a sign to come back to her books later on and leave them alone for a while!

The Half-Life of Hannah by Nick Alexander I bought when it was available as a free Kindle book.  I wanted something easy to read to take to Butlins and this was ideal.  Four adults (two sisters, one husband, a gay best friend) and their two children spend two weeks on holiday in France, and various family secrets are uncovered.  The half-life refers to the adults being roughly half way through their adult lives, and how do they want to spend the next half of their lives - do they want to change, or are they happy continuing just the way they are?  A good, quick, easy to read book, which does have a sequel, although to be honest I'm not bothered about reading it (unless it's ever available for free) as I was happy with the way this book ended.

Too Many Notes, Mr Mozart by Bernard Bastable was a present many many Christmases or birthdays ago, and for some reason I've never wanted to read it. In my mission to read the books I already own, rather than acquiring new ones, I did read this, but really didn't enjoy it.  It's the third book in a series (I'm not doing very well at the moment at reading books in order!) and I just found it all a bit bizarre. It was quickly added to the charity shop pile.

My most recent trip to the library (despite wanting to read books I already own, sometimes in town I just find myself walking to the library, and not to Tesco, so I end up bringing home more books but not the milk I actually went into town to buy) saw me bring home Mary Poppins Opens the Door by PL Travers.  I never liked the Mary Poppins film, so I never rushed to read the books, but I read the first one a few months ago and liked it. It's quite different from the film (there are five children, not just Jane and Michael!) and I was pleased to discover there were more Mary Poppins books.  This one is the third book, and I haven't read the second (again! books not in order!) but I don't think that matters quite so much.  It was a cute story (let's overlook some of the language which is a bit un-PC by today's standards) and I do kind of wish I had a genuine Mary Poppins bag and umbrella!

So a bit of a varied month, which is good.  I've made a teeny weeny bit of space on my bookshelves and given a few books to charity (which counts as part of my Less 365 challenge).

Now on to February's reading.  This month I vow to pay more attention to the order in which books are published!


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