April Roundup

When I come to write these posts it always surprises me how much (or how little) I have read. April being one of those months in the year when I have more time off work and more time to read of course and it seems that I did that.

Mainly all on my kindle as I think it was just convenient more than anything else but the only physical book read (though plenty bought) was Cressida McLaughlin – The House of Birds and Butterflies which had been languishing on my shelf for a while. I prefer to read Cressida’s books as a whole rather than in serial format.

Going back to authors you know is of course reassuring and comfortable and that is why I was delighted to revisit Wynbridge with Heidi Swain – A Taste of Home. I am now all caught up with these books and look forward to the next, but am slightly jealous of all those who have only just discovered them and have so many to catch up on. That joy of discovering never goes away.

Sometimes though the joy of discovering can be disappointing and looking back over the last few years when I have picked up a book by Tilly Tennant I have either been enraptured with it or just felt rather flat – that was the case with Tilly Tennant – The Little Orchard on the Lane. I think I might need a break from this author for a while.

I was not disappointed with Gervase Phinn – A Class Act only the fact that it was the last in the series and there would be no more. I do love a good school story and one set in Yorkshire is just like spreading joy on every page. If you want laugh out loud then I would always recommend Gervase Phinn’s recollections of being a school inspector.

Just as you come to the end of one particular author’s oeuvre it is always great to find another and having only read a couple and knowing that I have more to read I was delighted to be able to read Jo Thomas – Chasing the Italian Dream her latest novel. Perfect armchair travelling for the foodie and a wonderful story which had me enveloped in the warmth and taste of perfect sunshine and food.

It is a while since I have read anything by Alex Brown, her writing has taken a different direction and this latest Alex Brown – A Postcard from Paris moved more into historical fiction which I enjoy reading. This time in Paris, the occupation in the Second World War and the beauty of a city ruined by invasion but with a story to tell. I think Alex Brown might have found her new writing way and I look forward to where she might take me next.

Sticking with historical brings me nicely to Lorna Cook – The Girl from the Island who I have been with since her debut novel. I think her third is sublime and was a fascinating read about the occupation of the Channel Isles and makes me want to book a visit and explore all of this wonderful history. She always seems to feature known but not well covered parts of history in her fiction and it makes me then want to read as much as I can about the subject.

Learning is all part of reading and that was the case with Emily Hourican – The Glorious Guinness Girls. The name was familiar but not really much else and sadly this book did not live up to what I was expecting. However it led me to read more about this fascinating family and of course their place in society. Perhaps I could say upon reflection this book was a good starting point but not the be all and end all of a read about them.

Of course the previous book mentioned is fiction based on real people,. but when I picked up Jay Blades – Making It I was getting the real story from the real person (with a little bit of writing help). Jay Blades is very well known in the UK, thanks to the wonderful television programme The Repair Shop but his start in life was not wonderful. This books reflects on growing up in a world that views you suspiciously and assumes the worst. I think we have a lot to do ourselves and in the world as a whole to repair all actions of the past and to make sure they do not continue.

The final book of the month was an author I took a chance on having never read any of her work before and thought it would be a change. Tracy Bloom – The Wife Who Got a Life was an odd read, it was a book which just was there, whilst the plot had some sort of purpose it did not really go anywhere for me. I can’t deny its humour but the rest was sort of lost on me.

That was my April, what was yours like? Anything I should be reading that has passed me by? I think I need to be reading more books from my shelves in May!