…. and I’m not entirely convinced that the time before we went on holiday, the week away and the days we’ve been back add up to a whole month, but the calendar is quite certain that it does.
It’s not been the best reading month – I’ve picked up and dropped too many books as I tried to find the right book for my reading mood – but I have read some very good books:
This month’s Trollope
I decided to brave and pick up Cousin Henry to read during the month of the great man’s bicentenary. I say brave because I didn’t get on with the book when I decided that it was the place to start my Trollope reading a few years ago. This time around I’m pleased to say that I found much to love, and I think that proves the importance of reading the right book – and the right author – at the right time.
Since I pick this book down I’ve started on The Vicar of Bullhampton, which I think I’m going to love even more.
One book plucked from tips for the Bailey’s Prize longlist
Claire Fuller’s debut novel, Our Endless Numbered Days, was one of the books that caught my eye when it appeared in almost every post I read about books that might be or should be listed for the Baileys Prize. It didn’t make the list, but it is a very impressive and readable first novel that wouldn’t have been out of place there.
I’m delighted to see that Claire Fuller has been shortlisted for the Desmond Elliot Prize for new fiction.
One comfort read:
During a stressful week at the beginning of the week I needed a comfort read, Katherine Wentworth by D E Stevenson was just the thing
Two stories of suspense:
After The Storm by Jane Lythell and Who Are You? by Elizabeth Forbes. Two interesting second novels, each one quite different from the book that came before and yet each one defining the author’s particular strengths. I’ll write a little bit more about that in a day or two.
One lovely children’s book:
I bought quite a few books when we were on holiday, in the lovely bookshops of Totnes, but I was very, very restrained when we were at home. I just picked up two Puffin books from the 1960s, that would have sat very nicely alongside the others I had on my shelves when I was young.I l
I didn’t know the title Marianne Dreams or the author Catherine Storr, I loved the sound of it.
“Ill and bored with having to stay in bed, Marianne picks up a pencil and starts doodling – a house, a garden, a boy at the window. That night she has an extraordinary dream. She is transported into her own picture, and as she explores further she soon realises she is not alone. The boy at the window is called Mark, and his every movement is guarded by the menacing stone watchers that surround the solitary house. Together, in their dreams, Marianne and Mark must save themselves.”
I loved it, and I wish I’d spotted a copy when I was a child because I think I might have loved it even more,
The other Puffin I bought was a lovely copy of The Little White Horse by Elizabeth Goudge.
I had another book for Elizabeth Goudge Reading Week – The Rosemary Tree – but I’m afraid the week will be over before I’m finished. She’s an author who rewards time and attention, this week has been rather busy, and it wouldn’t be right for me to rush.
One big history book:
I took The Plantagents: The Kings Who Made England by Dan Jones on holiday, and it was so readable and so full of great stories that I flew through it. It’s a book about the history more than a book about the people, but that was what I needed to fill the gaps in my knowledge.
My non fiction book of the month:
The Dead Duke, His Secret Wife, and the Missing Corpse by Piu Marie Eatwell tells a true story as remarkable as its title wonderfully well.
My fiction book of the month:
As Far As Jane’s Grandmother’s by Edith Olivier is a little gem, and as I wrote about it a couple of days ago I’ll leave it at that tonight.
And that was April!
I have a couple of books in progress, I have those books I picked up and dropped to reconsider, I have a few interesting review books, and I have my Classics Club Spin book.
That should see me well into next month, and then I’ll see which books call me.
Now, please tell me, how was your April? And what do you have planned for May?