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April 2012 Reading Round-Up

Finally I am starting to read more than two short books a month.

All books are works of fiction.

The Books

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Charles Dickens: Great Expectations – A boy comes into a great deal of money without knowing who gave it to him, and encounters the love and prejudices that wealth brings. Very good, if wordy.

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Daphne du Maurier: Rebecca – Accepting a sudden proposal of marriage from a wealthy widower, the heroine does not realise just how much the dead first wife is kept alive by the actions of those who loved her, and will struggle to find her own identity in a house that time forgot. A regular idea made alluring by fantastic writing.

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Erin Morgenstern: The Night Circus – Two magicians, forced by their mentors to compete against one another, find themselves competing in circus. Their paranormal work ensures the protection of the place and their fellow artists, but who will win and stay around is still undecided. Brilliant, brilliant, brilliant, however do be prepared for the dull middle.

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Irving Bacheller: The Light In The Clearing – A young boy from a poor family learns how to live in an unequal world, especially when it comes to those around him. Not bad, though it could do with less accented dialogue.

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Kimberly Derting: The Last Echo – Violet and her team take on a man who kidnaps girls to be his girlfriend, and this time it’s more personal than ever before. The best book of the series so far.

An interesting month for reading. I liked all the books I read, in fact most of them I loved. I read a classic, a modern classic, and another older book, making this possibly the most historic month of reading I’ve ever had. My favourite was definitely The Night Circus, but Rebecca was a strong contender, had the plot been less straightforward it would have been in my list of books from which I take my best five of the year. I’m very much looking forward to reading the rest of Du Maurier’s work. My least favourite book was The Light In The Clearing, it took me ages to read because for so long it bumbles along. But there are no books I didn’t like this month, and that is always something to celebrate.

Quotation Report

The Baynes family of The Light In The Clearing demonstrate how well, in the absence of knowledge of a foreign language, a word can be substituted for the plural “snags”, and as the Pocket family of Great Expectations shows, a woman brought up in the 1800s to be a thing of beauty and nothing else, was perfectly useless when it came to, well, anything at all. Whilst the heroine of Rebecca reminds us of the sad truth that we have for many years neglected the needs of our elders.

I’m looking forward to the great possibility of reading more books now that summer is almost upon us, and I look at the new world Dickens and du Maurier have opened up for me with relish.



May 1, 2012, 2:31 am

First three on your list are on mine! I can’t wait to read all of them. It sounds like you enjoyed them, which is always good :-)

Charlie: Yep, all three are top-notch books, definitely worth reading. I’d say put Great Expectations and Rebecca high on your list, because having now read them myself I see the amount of conversations I was missing. Whether you end up liking them or not (Rebecca just missed top marks for me), reading them means another two classics have been accomplished.


May 1, 2012, 10:13 am

Good job on the books! I love reading but haven’t had time to read in almost a year… I only have time to read on the bus now and it takes forever to finish a book. :( I wish my commute to and from work was longer.

Charlie: Hi Katy, I’ve read your book posts in the past and enjoyed them a lot. Have you tried audio books? I know a lot of people have started listening so they can use up time that is impossible for physical books.


May 1, 2012, 11:13 am

I’m looking forward to your Rebecca review! And I’ll be reading your The Night Circus one when I have read it myself (it should happen sometime this year).

Charlie: In which case I look forward to your review of The Night Circus! I’m not sure whether we’ll share the same opinion on it which makes me more interested to know what you thought because of the times when our opinions do match. I’m planning to have Rebecca discussed here sometime in the coming week. Rather nervous about it!

Andrew Blackman

May 1, 2012, 10:00 pm

Nice mix of books here, Charlie! I’ve read the two classics (a LONG time ago) but not the others, so will be interesting to look them up. I always like to discover new books – not so good at finding the time to read all of them :-/

Charlie: Hi Andrew, same here. Finding time to read can often be so difficult (not great when you blog about books!). I found I had to read the two classics, the discussions of Rebecca especially are always about and I wanted to know why there was so much – positive – fuss!



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