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May 2018 Reading Round Up

May was quite the busy month. With packing, then a wedding/holiday to go to, an event, and various other things (including the birth of some baby rabbits I had to go and visit, because you can’t not), I haven’t finished as many books as hoped. But I do have a few books on the go and completed Marian Keyes’ tome on the 1st June, so that technically counts. I got my library books back on the return date and took them out for another month, adding an older Nicola Cornick book into the mix (she’s our next author; older books are hard to come by). So here is what I finished in May. Most likely June will have quite a few books to speak of.

All books are works of fiction.

The Books

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Charlotte Lennox: The Female Quixote – As an isolated child, Arabella educated herself via the fiction books that belonged to her mother and, upon the arrival of her cousins and her entrance into society she finds conducting herself in the same manner as the histories she believes to be real very difficult. A parody of Cervantes’ classic, Lennox’s book was written and is set in the 1700s so there is much drama and fainting (or wish for fainting) but it’s pretty fun.

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Manu Joseph: Miss Laila, Armed And Dangerous – On the day of election results, social media prankster, Akhila, comes across a crumbled apartment building in Mumbai, a victim of an earthquake, and offers to help the rescue team get to a man buried in the rubble; he’s mumbling about a potential terror attack in progress. Quite good, but more of a report than a fully-fledged piece of fiction.

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Weike Wang: Chemistry – The unnamed narrator has been proposed to by her boyfriend twice and can’t find it within herself to say yes; there’s a lot of confusion – she’s struggling with her PhD and is unconsciously still suffering from the neglect of her parents. A search for identity where the reader is more privy than the character, this is an excellent book full of vignettes, humour, and boasts an interesting writing style.

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Yaa Gyasi: Homegoing – As the slave trade continues in Ghana, one sister is ushered into marriage with a white man at the ‘castle’, whilst her unknown half-sister is taken into slavery to be shipped to America; we follow both women’s decedents as they tackle their pasts. A wonderfully written book that succeeds in writing short pieces about various characters without you ever feeling lost.

Tough call as to a favourite this month – both Wang’s and Gyasi’s books were fantastic; as Wang’s in particular will be on my ‘best of’ list I should probably choose that, though in all likelihood, Gyasi’s may be on the list too.

Quotation Report

Hilarity and heartbreak in Chemistry:

At the gate, he goes through his repertoire of tricks – sit, lie down, crawl, play dead, roll over, high-five, sit, lie down, crawl, play dead, roll over, high-five. I ask him to please be dignified about this, but I have not yet taught him that command.

Whilst in The Female Quixote, Arabella’s cousin and suitor agrees to read her favourite books at his peril – it just so happens her favourites include the (still) longest fiction book published, all 13,000 pages of it.

Earlier this year I began reading books from the 1700s almost on a whim – I read one and then just thought I might read another. Now I’m on my fourth book, Frances Burney’s Evelina with no thoughts as to when I might ‘stop’ or which to read next. It has meant that I’ve read both the 1700s Charlottes I spoke of last year (my plan to read five classical Charlottes) which leaves me with one remaining – the Victorian Charlotte Mary Yonge. It’s also given me a crash course in a number of literary subjects I hadn’t expected, as evidenced by a few recent posts. All this to say, this month I’ll be reading 1700s fiction. I’ve also a couple of review copies to get to and I’m hoping to finish Claire Fuller’s upcoming Bitter Orange and those library books.

What are your favourite books of the year so far (of those you’ve read, regardless of when they were published)?

 
 

Freda

June 4, 2018, 10:48 pm

Sounds like a great month, indeed! Happy June!

jessicabookworm

June 8, 2018, 9:31 pm

Ooo Charlie it is hard to pick favourites so early in the year, but so far this year, I have loved Seeking Allah, Finding Jesus by Nabeel Qureshi, Katherine of Aragon, The True Queen by Alison Weir, The Red Queen by Philippa Gregory and God’s Smuggler by Brother Andrew. Here’s to more great reading!

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