Thursday, February 23, 2012

It's Great to be Back!

I am finally back from my break and can't wait to let you know of the books that I devoured in this time. So much to write about but the most exciting thing of all is that I have found out just how much I am attached to this blog of mine and that whatever I do now or read or write anywhere, in the back of my mind is the constant question of "How am I going to make this work on my blog?" I am guessing that is a good thing but we'll see.

Well in the movies last week was the showing of Susan Hill's The Woman In Black  so I thought I would give the book a go first. It's been a while since I'd read a ghost story, the last one being The Little Stranger by Sarah Waters. Just a quick note: if you liked Sarah Waters' book you will love this one. The book is not a horror story but a ghost story that slowly takes hold of you and will not let go until you have finished the last word on the last page of the book. I like it because the main character is telling you the horrific story of what has happened to him and around him through a letter that he is penning to his family. His idea is that he will share the story once and never again bringing a closure to that part of his life. Although we, the reader, know that he has survived to tell the story it becomes more important to know who didn't and at what expense that survival came.

Funnily enough, after I finished this book I randomly chose Snowdrops by A.D.Miller; a book I have been meaning to read for quite a while now but never really got to. You can imagine my surprise when the main character in this novel also starts out by writing a letter to his fiancee this time telling her the truth about himself during the time he was living in Moscow before they met.  This is a really good book that I think resonates with our economic and social values of this day and age. This is a glimpse into the harsh climate of the new Russia and of the influx of foreigners looking to make a quick buck. Lots of violence, lots of sex and an obscene amount of vodka.

On my kindle I downloaded Stop What You're Doing and Read This which is a compilation of essays written by several prominent writers on why they believe that reading will never cease to be important and presenting their case for or against the rise of e-books and how that will affect the reading generations in the future. Some really good points and it is a book I will probably go back to time and again. A point made in the book and that made me really stop and think was that it is not enough to make books accessible to people but you should also provide the environment that will make time for reading which can only be obtained through better economic, social and welfare conditions. I know you want to argue the point (as did I) and please feel free to do so in the comments below.

On a lighter note I would very much like to one day thank Tara Palmer-Tomkinson for her book Inheritance which I read on the flight back to the UK. I have a ridiculous fear of flying that I ridiculously acquired after the birth of my son. The book was funny, quick paced and it may not be a literary marvel but Tara tells a good story in a captivating and absorbing way and after all isn't that what proper writing should be about? That book got me through an eight hour flight with turbulence thrown in for good measure. I would recommend it anytime :)


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