The Reading List #23
I cannot believe how long it has been since I’ve published a reading list! I really want to get back to doing them weekly, as the amount of books I’m getting through has definitely not slowed down. I’ve kept lists of what I’ve been reading though, so there’s plenty to get writing about. Without further ado, here is the latest list:
Sovereign, C J Sansom
It is autumn 1541, and lawyer Matthew Shardlake is in York with his assistant, Jack Barak, to do some work for King Henry VIII. Whilst they are there, a glazier is murdered, and Matthew becomes entangled in the mysteries surrounding the man’s death. Matthew narrates the novel, and it is a web of intrigue, threats to the throne and the life of the church in Tudor England.
I loved that this was set in York, because I went to university there and was able to picture some of the streets and landmarks, or moments in history it referred to. It was a brilliant murder mystery, complex and gripping. It’s certainly a long novel, but it doesn’t run away with itself.
The Jungle Book, Rudyard Kipling
One of my favourite films as a child, I was interested to read the book that inspired the tale. The film uses only small elements of this original text, so the book stands very clearly and separately on its own.
This reads like a series of short folk tales, mixing poetry and prose. It didn’t wow me, but was more a nostalgic read. I love seeing the inspiration for films or stories I’ve loved, and I’m glad I added this one to my list.
The Mystery of Mercy Close, Marian Keyes
Helen is a private detective, and her latest case involves working with her ex, Tom. Torn between Tom and her current detective boyfriend, Helen races through her discoveries, often making up her own investigation rules. On the surface, this is a fun detective novel with a bit of a love story thrown in.
The other element to the book is that Helen is battling depression, and this side of the story really impressed me. It added much more to the character, and was written in a sensitive, yet witty fashion. As someone who struggles with panic, I found some of the sections where she talks to her doctor or has internal monologues with herself to be spot on, and I really related with the character. The fully-formed character of Helen lifted this book out of being simply trash, and made it a warm and touching read, blended with a lot of humour.
Rebecca, Daphne du Maurier
Whilst working as a lady’s companion, the narrator meets and falls in love with Max de Winter. They marry, and she finds herself living in the shadow of the first Mrs de Winter, Rebecca. This feeling is emphasised by the presence of Mrs Danvers, an elderly housekeeper who doted on Rebecca.
This book is a favourite for many, and one I’ve been meaning to read for years. I loved the narrative voice of a young girl trying to find herself. She is growing up into a world which she does not fully understand, and is a voice you warm to, and feel uncomfortable for in Rebecca’s shadow. The second half of the novel is a page turner, and draws some interesting, and unexpected, conclusions.
So there we have it, the reading lists are back! I’m going to write up my next now, so it’s ready for later in the week.
What have you been reading recently?