Do you know that feeling you get when you've read an amazing book and you just don't want it to end? I've got that right now. I finally read The Book Thief by Mark Zusak.
I LOVED it so much that I truly didn't want it to end, but I really couldn't put it down! We went to Canberra for a few days over the school holidays and I threw it in at the last minute thinking I might have a few spare moments to start it, and once I started I was reading into the early hours each night.
There was so much to love about it, but the central characters desire to read really resonated with me. It was something that carried her, even in the darkest times, and even when the subject matter seemed so far from her own reality. I also love a little history and characters that you can connect with, and this truly had both.
The Book Thief had actually been on my reading list, but just never quite came to the top. Then at our very first Book Club meeting it was mentioned, and I ordered it along with our first club read, Sky Burial by Xinran. So if you're reading this Alison thank you for the suggestion!!
Since I last shared what I've been reading I've had such a big pile on my bedside table it was becoming a little ridiculous. Here's what I've been reading.
Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng - I added this book to the list after seeing in mentioned on Instagram, and though I did enjoy it, it wasn't a favourite. What I'm learning about my reading habits is that I really want to connect with the characters, to feel some relationship with them. With this book I was interested in the characters and their interactions, but not invested in them.
I really loved The Lost Flowers of Alice Hart by Holly Ringland. I read this on recommendation by a very good friend, and she really was not wrong. The native flowers woven into the story really were beautiful and I loved that it was set in Australia.
I'd heard so much about The Shape of Water the movie, that I had written the book on my list earlier this year. But the book, by Daniel Kraus, felt aggressive and violent. They way in which interactions were described, the way characters interacted, all felt disconnected. Though the main character was a women I felt very little connection with her.
I added The Bookshop by Penelope Fitzgerald to my list because I thought I might go and see the movie and I much prefer to read the book first. But I needn't have worried, the book was interesting but disappointing.
I have to be honest and say I gave up on The Zookeepers Wife by Diane Ackerman it really wasn't my thing. I imagined something different and though I got through to the end I was ready to jump into another book immediately. It didn't leave a lasting impression.
The Tattooist of Auschwitz by Heather Morris was another of this months favourites. I loved it. Yes it appealed to my love of history and historical stories. But I was invested in the people and places, and I wanted so much for them to survive.
Last time I posted about my reading list I'd read Me Before You by Jojo Moyes. It was such an easy read and I loved those funny, believable characters. No it's not something that would change your life, but it is something that will make you smile. So, of course I had to read After You and Still Me and yes I loved them.
I must admit that I had fallen off the wagon with my reading goal somewhere in there, I think because I'd had a few disappointing reads. But having the Book Club get going has gotten me well and truly back on track!
Our first Book Club meeting was lovely, and exactly how I imagined it; people getting together and chatting about books, me madly writing down suggestions of what to read next and hearing about what people love reading (and a little about what people hate too!).
We had a couple of suggestions for our first read so they went into the hat (or in this case a bag) and we drew out Sky Burial by Xinran, the story of a Chinese woman and her search for her husband in Tibet. I won't say to much now, but will share again after the next Book Club catchup.
If you're interested in joining the book club, you're very welcome to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
As always, if you've got a book suggestion or two, I'd love to hear them!