Last night I finally finished my January choice for Laura's The Year in Books link-up. You may recall I was reading The Casual Vacancy by JK Rowling.
It was a long book. I'd read a few reviews which described it as 'dark' - I suppose the first book for adults by someone known as a hugely successful children's writer would be expected to be fairly lightweight. It isn't. It's funny in places; her character observations are great and I did find it difficult to put down of an evening. But it was also gritty, sad and by the end, downright depressing.
Would I recommend giving it a go? Yes. Is it a feel-good read? Most definitely not.
So my next book is The Snow Child by Eowyn Ivey: set in 1920s Alaska it tells the tale of a couple who find themselves visited by a mysterious little girl and of the impact she has on their lives. I'm looking forward to it. My glasses are at the ready.
I've noticed that The Goldfinch (Donna Tartt) is a popular choice and is getting some good reviews so have put my name down on the waiting list for it at the local library.
Of course, there's the usual pile of books beside the bed vying for my attention. I dip in and out of them as the mood takes me: cookery books, poetry and a few on Scotland. Joe and I went to the library after playgroup today and I let him loose in the children's section. He was more interested in rearranging the furniture than looking at books so I chose him some and he made a huge fuss when I put him back in his pushchair to leave. Fortunately it didn't last. The self-checkout facility distracted him nicely.
There are also a couple of books sitting on the stairs: the story of Liz Jones getting married (frothy, I'm sure) and To Kill a Mockingbird. Both were given to me to pass on to the charity shop. I may try the latter. Various people have either raved about it or been left indifferent after reading it so I'll have a look. Sometimes you get along with a book, sometimes you don't. But I've always believed that life's too short to stick with a book you're not enjoying. There are far too many gems waiting to be discovered and enjoyed and, sometimes, treasured and re-read.
These are the books you pass on to others. Cold Comfort Farm is one: I read it and knew my mum would love it, and indeed she did. It's one of her all-time favourites. Likewise, she passed on Daughters of the House by Michele Roberts and I loved that too.
Books are wonderful things, aren't they? (I wouldn't say no to a Kindle though)...