Spring time, eh? Time for a little reading update! I'll be honest, my book game hasn't been on top form of late. Usually, my time to read is during the commute and one of these titles had me stepping onto the platform still clutching my book whilst slowly weaving in and out of fastidious commuters who 'tutted' loudly at my 'tunnel vision' book antics.
Recently things have been very busy at Camp Snug, half for very happy reasons and half for generic life/work reasons. I'd love to say I'd spent the past two weeks up to my eyeballs in photography work and frolicking through the woods... Actually, the frolicking in the woods did happen, but unintentionally and in the mountains of Portugal, which is a story to save for another day. The truth? Being back at work has knocked me over the head this week and on more than one occasion coming home my book has slipped out of hands and onto the train floor, occurring at the same time as an inelegant chin bob that jerked me awake.
Regardless, I have managed to get through a few books and some of them are absolute winners that you'll want to be adding to GoodReads. Also, if anyone wants to explain to me how GoodReads works and if it's a very 'time heavy' activity, do let me know! Ok, on to the titles...
The Midnight Rose // Lucinda Riley
Spanning four generations, The Midnight Rose sweeps from the glittering palaces of the great maharajas of India to the majestic stately homes of England, following the extraordinary life of a remarkable girl, Anahita Chaval, from 1911 to the present day . . .
This title was read as part of the Bloggers Book Club and whilst opinion was divided on it, I can adamantly say that I absolutely loved it. Sure, this book isn't going to change your life, but the level of description, the dialogue, the characters, were absolutely dreamy and hugely vivid. I know the exact palace layout of Anahita's childhood, the moors of her English home, the smell of the herbs she uses to heal; it's total escapism. The woven narrative of a modern day American actress discovering the past life of a 1920's Indian nurse is brilliantly done. The only let down? THAT odd event at the end, which spoiled the beautifully intricate world I had built up in my head a little bit. Is it worth a read? Absolutely. Just don't read the last 20 pages.
Us // David Nicholls
'"I was looking forward to us growing old together. Me and you, growing old and dying together.'
'Douglas, who in their right mind would look forward to that?’”
This is that book. The one I mentioned at the beginning of the post. My housemate Farouk recommended it to me and he bombed through it in a couple of days; a trend I promptly followed. I had trepidations, if I'm honest. I would never have picked up a novel about the divorced father of one teenage son if not for such high recommendations. But do you know what? This book is hilarious. In fact, it's not just hilarious, but beautifully poignant in a observational, delicate way. Nicholls frames the scenes of humanity in a such a way that you find yourself constantly looking for everyday 'screenshots' after you've put the book down. I openly laughed out loud at some points; something I haven't done since reading the Georgia Nicholson books as a 13 year old. Seriously, I loved it. Now the question is, should I read 'One Day'?
Frankie is a magazine that oozes great design and authentic journalism, but above all it showcases some bloody cool people in a format that makes my eyes and heart hurt from how aesthetically pleasing it is. Some of the people you read about seem to have such a wonderfully creative life that you want to punch them in the face but also go out for granola and a flat white afterwards. It's inspiration and aspiration in a magazine. If you're a paper fiend like me you're going to be a happy bunny. Not only do they have gorgeous print work inside to cut up and use in the future, but they also give you 'tear out' writing paper, cards and wall planners. #swoon.
The Song of Achilles
Greece in the age of heroes. Patroclus, an awkward young prince, has been exiled to the court of King Peleus and his perfect son Achilles. Despite their difference, Achilles befriends the shamed prince, and as they grow into young men skilled in the arts of war and medicine, their bond blossoms into something deeper - despite the displeasure of Achilles' mother Thetis, a cruel sea goddess.A war for Helen of Troy brings the two boy's bond to breaking point...
This was another recommendation from a friend, which I have been slowly reading over the past few weeks. You know a book that seems better when you read big chunks of it at a time? This is one of those books. I've never been into Greek/Roman Gods that much. I don't really know who Theseus or Apollo are. This book is a perfect springboard into Ancient Greek culture, as the modern writing, highly sensory descriptions and intoxicating love story have you hooked from the beginning. What I struggled with a bit? The war bits. I love watching war scenes on TV, but for some reason reading about them makes me feel as bored as Ron Weasley in a History of Magic lesson. If you want a contemporary angle on Greek history, jump in with two feet. As a novel out of my comfort zone, it's proved pretty good indeed.
Do you go through different paces of reading? Have you ever kicked your book across a train carriage in a desperate attempt to get off before the doors close? It can't just be me?!
Have a read of all bookish related things here.
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