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March 2011 Reading Round-Up

This month I strove to read more novels rather than novellas and completed my self-inflicted (although happily inflicted) challenge of reading another long book, which I hadn’t done since Villette.

All books are works of fiction.

The Books

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Elizabeth Chadwick: Lords Of The White Castle – An outlaw marries a bold woman and causes King John endless issues. Very funny in places and, although it goes on maybe too long, is a joy to read.

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Ella Drake: Jaq’s Harp – A secret agent climbs a beanstalk to get an antidote for her sick sister and meets her ex-fiancée in the proceedings. The bad guys may have it coming to them. A poorly-placed sex scene dampers the plot for a time, but overall the story is very good.

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Elle Newmark: The Sandalwood Tree – An American in 1940’s India finds some old letters that give her purpose and reason while her marriage falls apart around her. Awesome stuff.

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Jane Austen: Northanger Abbey – Gothic-novel-obsessed Catherine finds her hero easily and although her friends may cause a few problems, things go rather swimmingly, just as Austen says they will. In my opinion the Austen to rival Pride And Prejudice.

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Katharine A Russell: Deed So – A girl living in 1960’s America lives through the changing opinions of whites to “Negros” while experiencing the situations that arise when communication breaks down in families. Full of grammatical errors but a good effort and interesting read by a self-published author.

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Véronique Olmi: Beside The Sea – A mother takes her sons to the seaside for a holiday that may end badly. Brilliant, and provides a lot to think about.

I was delighted by Northanger Abbey, even if the first part was a lot stronger than the second, and the difference in writing style was fantastic to read. The Sandalwood Tree surprised me as I hadn’t expected it to be so compelling. Lords Of The White Castle was well overdue and showed me that yes, I really should read more Chadwick.

Quotation Report

In Deed So, Sarah Jane wants to read a bodice ripper, whatever that is, and in Lords Of The White Castle, Fulke feels his family is eccentric for his parents wanting privacy in the bedroom. Well, it is the late 1100’s after all. Also in Lords Of The White Castle, Oonagh’s dog is used to it’s mistress’s meetings turning into sexual conquests. When one looms it leaves the room with a bored sigh. In Northanger Abbey, while Austen critises the critics, Isabella spends time saying she’s not interested in two men before practically running down the street on their trail. And as we all know, a person is going to be very happy on meeting someone they haven’t bothered to see for years than they possibly would be had they made a point of staying friends – if you don’t believe it, ask Mrs Allen and Mrs Thorpe. Don’t expect a satisfactory answer though, these women’s conversations are never the result of two people talking on the same subject.

So not a bad month at all. I don’t know what April will bring, already I’m speeding through Lauren Oliver’s Delirium but this month is going to be a particularly busy one. I’m reading as much as I can while I have the time.


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