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April 2018 Reading Round Up

A month of much better weather, Brits putting on the shorts and firing up the barbeques at the first higher temperatures. In the south we had our hottest April day on record for many years, a complete contrast to the snow of March. In reading, it was a month of authors beginning with ‘C’, entirely by accident. Whilst carrying on with my 1700s reading – and I’ve another on the list to start afterwards – I read Claire Fuller’s work in preparation for the restart of my conversation events. After having moved venue twice due to closures, I’m hoping I’ve found a good place in Cobbett Road Library, a community/local not-for-profit run hub.

All books are works of fiction.

The Books

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Charlotte Smith: Emmeline – An orphan is finally visited by her uncle after a lifetime of neglect; the man brings his son who falls in instant infatuation with her and so begins a journey of getting away from suitors and finding her own way. Not so good in the context of today, but excellent in its historical context.

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Claire Fuller: Our Endless Numbered Days – At nine years old, Peggy’s father kidnaps her from London, taking her to a remote place in Germany and telling her the world has ended when it hasn’t. A story of isolation and the effects of extremes, that ends with a nod to magical realism.

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Claire Fuller: Swimming Lessons – Gil sees his long-lost wife outside the bookshop and injures himself trying to catch up with her; alongside the narrative of the family coming together to help him are the letters Ingrid wrote to Gil about the lie of their marriage, that she slips in between the pages of relevant novels. This will be on my best of list for this year, it’s an utterly fantastic book – very well written, well plotted, and the literature aspect is incredibly compelling.

No guesses which my favourite was!

Quotation Report

In Swimming Lessons, Claire Fuller posits that ‘writing does not exist unless there is someone to read it, and each reader will take something different from a novel, from a chapter, from a line. A book becomes a living thing only when it interacts with a reader’.

It’s getting to that time of year when shortlists are publicised in earnest and many books are released in time for the longest of days. I’ve got a lot on my list to read (Fuller’s Bitter Orange, Manu Joseph’s latest) and looking forward to it. But first I have to finish the Charlotte Lennox; at 1/3 of the way in, I’m starting to wonder if anyone is going to point out to the main character that her ideas of gallantry and death are based on ancient mythology and cannot be applied to the real world…

Which new releases are you looking forward to?



May 2, 2018, 3:01 pm

The nice weather has hit where I am too, finally. I love the warmer months. :-)
You read a couple books there I got my eye on. Happy May!

Jenny @ Reading the End

May 5, 2018, 1:10 pm

I’m so happy for all the people who are finally getting nice weather! Down here in Louisiana, we’re just about at the end of our pleasant weather for the year — it’s going to be in the 90s (low 30s) next week, and then we’re on to summer. Bah.


May 7, 2018, 3:10 pm

Charlie, sounds like you did some fantastic reading and I wish you all the best for the restart of your conversation events at your new venue. Happy reading in May!


May 24, 2018, 8:24 am

Freda: The weather was poor across the board those first few months, wasn’t it? Happy May!

Jenny: From where I’m sitting, the end of your pleasant weather sounds great, but if that’s a constant thing then yes, bah. Everyone here talks about the heatwave of 1976 when Britain had an endless summer – we’re very good at complaining about poor weather but if it’s hot for too long (a few days sometimes!) woe betide!

Jessica: I’m getting to this after the event post, but thank you!



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