The Reading List #24

Wow, my reading list posts have been a little neglected of late! Not to worry though, I’ve been keeping a list of everything I’ve read and I’m planning to write a few posts today to have them lined up and ready.

The posts may have slowed, but the reading definitely hasn’t, and I have so many to talk about over the next few weeks. So here it is, the next four books on my reading list:

Five Quarters of the Orange, Joanne Harris

Widow Framboise works at a creperie, working on and refining old family recipes. Her nephew tries to exploit her success and claim the family secrets. Throughout the novel, details of Framboise’s wartime childhood tumble out, and it becomes clear that a lot of her memories are more constructed than they originally appeared.

The story had potential, and was intriguing. I loved the childlike perspective of Framboise’s memories, but at times the narrative was a bit too disjointed. I didn’t feel like I particularly warmed to any of the characters, and I think that would have helped me to get lost in the story a little more.

The House By The Sea, Santa Montefiore

10 year-old Floriana is caught by the beauty of a Tuscan villa outside her small village, and one day is invited inside by Dante, the son of the owner. Decades later, a Devonshire hotel has landed on hard times and hires an artist in residence to try and improve visitor numbers.

This had all the elements of a great trashy novel, with secrets and lies and instantly recognisable characters. It was a bit of a page-turner and a great, simple read for lazy days or holidays. Some of the twists were unexpected, and it did keep me hooked.

Jane Eyre, Charlotte Bronte

I don’t often re-read books, as there are just so many out there to be read! However, I had been talking about this book with somebody and decided to re-visit it, as I’ve not read it since Year 9 at school. I think we’re all familiar with the story, but here’s a little set-up in case: an orphan governess wins the heart of Mr Rochester, her seemingly heartless employer…

It’s a true classic that just doesn’t age. I love it now as I did when I was 14, and some scenes are just so vivid in my mind. It’s one novel I’ve not seen stage or screen adaptations of, and I really enjoy the fact that the world Bronte created sits so clearly in my mind. I’m really glad I re-read it.

The Rosie Project, Graeme Simsion

Don Tillman is ready to marry, and devises the Wife Project to help him find his perfect match. His mission is side-tracked by the arrival of Rosie, and he joins the hunt to find her biological father. Rosie ticks his project boxes, but is fiery and unpredictable, making her an unsuitable match, as Don lives his life planned and ordered to the second.

I really liked elements of this book, and the concept and voice were there, waiting to come out. However, the overall effect just left me very unconvinced. I didn’t feel the voice was well sustained enough, and it often felt like it was trying a little too hard. I also found a lot of the outcomes very predictable, and just felt let down after having heard such a huge level of hype around the book’s release. I will give it credit though for being something a little different, and the story as a whole was witty and touching.

So there we have it. Have you read any of these books? I’d be really interested to hear what you think.

What should I read next?


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