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May 2016 Reading Round-Up

This month was another good reading month. I’m continuing to get better at choosing good books – I actually had a tiny slump when a book wasn’t quite so great: it was a 4 star book! I’m doing a whole lot less of that read-a-book-even-when-you-reckon-before-starting-that-you’ll-find-it-mediocre thing.

All books are works of fiction.

The Books

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Alice Dunbar-Nelson: Violets And Other Tales – A collection of very short stories, poems, and a bit of non-fiction by a 1800s American female activist. Okay by itself; a promise for her future writings.

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Ayelet Gundar-Goshen: One Night, Markovitch – A man with an unremarkable face and his friend with the amazing moustache decide to join men heading to Germany to save Jewish women from the Nazis and bring them home to Israel. Full of humour, this is no less a book with a lot to say. It was even better than I’d hoped.

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Elnathan John: Born On A Tuesday – Dantala goes to live at a mosque, studying the Quran and working for the Imam, and doesn’t see the turbulence outside. A good book about how religious intolerance isn’t straight forward.

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Sue Gee: Trio – A man looses his wife; during his trauma he accepts an invitation to a concert wherein he meets a group that will aid his recovery. Beautiful but the end is a pity.

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Thomas Hardy: Far From The Madding Crowd – Three men make a play for Bathsheba’s hand with varying levels of passion and her frivolous nature causes tragedy. The first half is very boring, the second absolutely fantastic.

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V H Leslie: Bodies Of Water – Drawn to the river for reasons she doesn’t understand, Kirsten moves into a renovated Victorian hospital, a place that saw death. Very good book about hysteria and female ‘problems’.

I’d say One Night, Markovitch was my favourite this month; it took me a while to read it but that was my problem – the text is consistently fabulous. Trio was almost sublime, but, ironically, Gundar-Goshen’s ending literally spelled out what was wrong with Gee’s book – the Israeli author speaks of the problems with books jumping in time; her own does this but she’s made amends for it. And I was enjoying Far From The Madding Crowd very much by the end. The other three books weren’t bad, indeed they were very special – it’s hard to speak of favourites when each has entertained you.

Quotation Report

Yaacov Markovitch of One Night, Markovitch is pleasantly surprised to learn his visa-wife is a fan of agricultural literature – she’d said she’d read a great deal about Israel’s oranges. What he doesn’t realise is she’s read a four-line stanza.

Having got back from the Hay Festival, I’m ready to get back in the reading zone.

How was your May?



June 1, 2016, 11:02 am

I am so pleased to hear you had a string of good to great books you read this month! I also read some great books and I am finding it hard to pick a favourite for the month too. I look forward to hearing a bit about the Hay Festival and I wish you more happy reading in June :-)


June 1, 2016, 8:36 pm

A great month for you! Happy June!


June 2, 2016, 10:56 am

Oh, this makes me very interested in reading Far From the Madding Crowd. Have you read Tess of the D’Urbervilles as well? I have it on my shelf but can’t quite manage to start it.

How was Hay??

Jenny @ Reading the End

June 3, 2016, 2:27 am

So you liked Born on a Tuesday? I’ve had it on my list for a while to read, because I can’t get enough of African fiction. Glad to hear a good report of it!



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