June Roundup

Flaming June by Sir Frederic Leighton

June has been and gone. Nobody told me it would go so quickly and in fact here we are six months into 2012. It really is a blink and you miss it. It cannot possibly be time for another roundup of books read in the month but do you know what it is! If you are here looking for a review or two, then bear with reader as there will be some of them coming, but I do like to reflect back on my reading and have done so since blogging. In some ways it is sometimes an indication of how I have felt over the month coming out in my reading. Then again the amount of crime novels could mean a number of things….. so that seems like a good place to start.

I am managing (just) to keep apace with the Crime Fiction Alphabet challenge. D was covered by Carola Dunn and Murder on the Flying Scotsman (this also was a book ticked off for my own personal challenges for 2012). A good bit of cosy crime, you cannot beat it and I will go back to Daisy Dalyrmple soon I had neglected her there for a while.

E was not covered by R.J. Ellory and Ghostheart, although perhaps it should have been. This was my first foray into Ellory’s novels and I felt a review warranted to be posted in its own right. I hope to read more Ellory. Although I feel there will never be enough time for me to read all the authors and books I so want to.

F was Fatal Frost by James Henry. A prequel to R.D. Wingfield’s DI Frost novels and the same character brought to life so well by David Jason on ITV. Again, the ever growing wish list has had added to it the first prequel novel about Frost as well as going back to R.D. Wingfields originals. Prequels (and sequels) sometimes work well or don’t. In this case it worked well for me.

So what was E covered with, well that was by Enid Blyton and Five Go Off in A Caravan. It suddenly struck me how  much these stories were actually crime novels and I was reading them by the bucket load as I was growing up. It was great to go back and read this childhood book and look at it from a different angle.

Another children’s book but not written as such as confirmed by the author himself but a number of bookshops and online retailers do categorise it as ‘children’ was Gideon Defoe – The Pirates! In an Adventure with Moby Dick. This is the second “Adventure” story in these ever growing series of books. I love them, they are great escapism, quite funny and educational all at the same time. They make fun of everything and when in a world where we have to be politically correct all the time incase we fear the wrath of some authority, these are a tonic.

Tonic reading (a seamless link!) also came in the form of Sowing Secrets by Trisha Ashley. I am a fan of these books, they are great for cosying up on the settee and escaping to another place, normally one where I want to live and watching lives unfold, dramas and romances. I am looking forward to reading the next one I have. Plus Trisha Ashley kindly agreed to do an interview for my blog and you can see that coming up very soon. Pop back and have a read and tell your friends to visit as well!

Another author who I have read all her novels (apart from her Quick Reads) is Maureen Lee and I was back here in June with Au Revoir Liverpool*. It has been over a year since I picked up one of her books, mainly because I was up to date in reading them and I had forgotten how much I love a good saga, especially one set around the Second World War which some of Lee’s books are. Some are not and they are just as great. I must now add her more recent ones to my list!

Because of the love of all things historical my other ‘history’ read this month was Alison Weir’s – A Dangerous Inheritance. I love my signed hardback copy and got it way back in April when I met the author at The Mary Rose Museum. The Tudors is one of my more favourite parts of history and this time with the adventures of Katherine Grey but also a name sake some years earlier Katherine Plantagenet. This has introduced me to Richard III, The Princes in the Tower and the Wars of the Roses. Interest is piqued and I certainly will be reading more around this subject. I had forgotten how much I like historical fiction.

From history to the present. I am always reluctant to read the ‘in’ book. I invariably buy them but then it is months before I actually get round to reading it. Last year I think that book was Room by Emma Donoghue. This year I read it. I chose it for my book club which I started back in May and seems to be blossoming! I really did not think I would like this book, but was very surprised and it made for some interesting discussion and thoughts.

This years ‘in’ book is without a doubt E.L. James – Fifty Shades of Grey*. I bought it to see what the fuss was about and then we decided to go with it for our third book group choice! If it was not for that I think it may have laid unread for a long time. The sequels no doubt will be, although I know from the wonders of the internet what happens so I am not overly enamoured by it. For me it was a relief to finish it and move onto something else!

And so that is June’s reading, a real mix with a heavy dose of crime, I do wonder if I have perhaps bit more off than I can chew with the Crime Fiction Alphabet, but I am starting to make a dent in the pile of books sent by the lovely publishers! I finish the month reading Elizabeth Nobles’s – Between a Mother and her Child and that will be the first one for July but I wonder what else I will read? Only one way to find out…….

* Book review yet to appear on this blog.