….. which means that it’s time I looked forwards and backwards at my reading.
March was a much better reading month than February.
I read four books from my pool for Reading Ireland Month
Broken Harbour by Tana French got me off to an excellent start. Yes it’s a crime novel, but it’s also a state of the nation novel, or quite simply a top flight contemporary novel I was tempted to start on Tana French’s novel for a while, but I settled for savouring the prospect for a while longer because I had lots of other interesting possibilities.
I had a lovely time In The Vine Country with Somerville & Ross. They were excellent company, they brought the trip to life on the page, and I’m looking forward to reading more of their books, both fiction and non fiction.
Then there was The Wild Geese by Bridget Boland; a historical family story told in letters. It’s out of print and a ‘pick it up if you see a copy’ book, rather that a ‘go out and find a copy’ book.
Maura Laverty is out of print too, but definitely worthy of reissue. Alone We Embark is a lovely, human drama; and a few weeks on from reading it the people and their stories are still swirling in my head, because Maura Laverty has art of making her characters feel like friends and neighbours.
I started ‘The Quest for Fame’ by Charlotte Riddell too, but I found that it was a book best enjoyed slowly, so that one will run on into April.
I read two very good crime novels. I’ve already written about The Case is Closed by Patricia Wentworth, a lovely period piece for those who like their stories character driven and don’t mind if they work out the solution before the book gets to it. And I will right about ‘Humber Boy B’, a brand new novel by Ruth Dugdall, so for now I’ll just say that I was very impressed.
I had mixed feelings about my other contemporary reads: I’ll just sat that:
- Rise by Karen Campbell was great
- The Girl in the Red Coat by Kate Hamer was readable
- The Forgotten Garden by Kate Morton was ….forgettable ….
Now let’s talk about classics.
Lady Anna was my first non-Palliser Trollope and I loved it, for the drama and the romance of it all. It might not be his greatest work, but it is a very fine entertainment.
I’ m looking forward to reading more Trollope for his bicentenary next month. Ayala’s Angel is the book I have in mind, and I’m planning to take it with me when we cross the border for a week’s holiday in Devon.
I’m afraid though the I was disappointed in this year’s Dickens – David Copperfield – there were moments when I loved it, but there were moments when I definitely didn’t. I’ll pull my thoughts together soon. I will say that it probably didn’t help that I read this not long after last years Dickens – Bleak House, which I loved – and that I wish I’d read Dickens chronologically, because I spotted one or two characters here that I suspect were re-worked for later books
I started with my new book of the month and I’ll finish with my old book of the month:
The Flowering Thorn by Margery Sharp is a gem, and it so deserves to be reissued. But even of it isn’t there will be another party next January, for Margery’s 111th birthday.
And that was March.
Beyond that I shall, as always, be trying to read the books that call.
Now, please tell me how your March was? And what do you have planned for April?