The year in books: December

My book for December is going to be Christmas Holiday by W. Somerset Maugham.  Last month I bought a set of Christmas books, as I do try to read Christmas or winter-themed books at this time of year.

My book for November was We Are All Made of Glue by Marina Lewycka, selected simply for being at the top of the nearest pile of books.  This was part of a '3 for £1' deal from our favourite charity warehouse and I had enjoyed A Short History of Tractors in Ukranian which I read several years ago.  I was not a fan of whatever her next book was, something to do with strawberries and caravans (will Google...apparently it's called Two Caravans but I'm sure the edition I read had strawberries on the cover.  Anyway, I digress) so I wasn't sure whether I'd enjoy this one.

Turns out I absolutely loved it.  Georgina is going through a rough break up from her husband and struggling with her teenage son who splits his time between his parents.  Georgina meets Mrs Shapiro, an elderly lady (her age is flexible, shall we say) and suddenly finds herself responsible for Mrs Shapiro's house and cats (all in need of TLC) when the elderly lady has a fall and ends up in hospital.  It doesn't sound terribly exciting, but it is so well written, each character is special (in their own way) and the story moves along at a decent pace.  I really, really enjoyed it and have since found out that lots of other people have too.

I'd heard good things about The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion - academic Don Tillman, who has Asperger's (or similar - can't remember if what makes him different from others, as he says, is ever labelled) sets up the Wife Project to try and find him a wife.  There is a rather long and inflexible questionnaire for possible candidates to fill out (I wouldn't be successful).  Then Rosie comes along and, well, I found the rest of the book entirely predictable.  Rosie was annoying, Don's colleagues were annoying (especially Gene), I don't think I particularly liked any of the characters.  I read it very fast, skipped at least half and still the ending made sense, thus implying most of the book was irrelevant (to me, anyway).  This one is going straight back to a charity shop and I won't be bothering with the second book.

I am very much looking forward to the Christmas break - I have nearly a fortnight off work and I intend to spend a lot of that reading - I have lots of Christmas books waiting to be read and quite a lot of NetGalley requests on my Kindle. The most wonderful time of the year!

Joining in with Laura.


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