The Reading List #29

The big book news this week is I’ve finally set up my Kindle! So tips and book recommendations are most welcome…

But in the meantime, here’s the latest wonderfully random mixed instalment of The Reading List:


The Russian Concubine, Kate Furnivall



1928. Lydia and her aristocratic mother, Valentina, have been exiled from Russia and taken refuge in China. In her new surroundings, Lydia resorts to theft and is saved from death by a communist, Chang An Lo.

My auntie lent this book to me, and I could immediately see why she had loved it so much. The writing is absolutely beautiful, and the descriptions of love and loss are expertly handled. Within the beauty of the writing are some horrific scenes of clashes, kidnap, fighting and an unsettled Jungchow. This was a page-turner both for the plot, the context, and the beauty of the writing itself.


Quiet, Susan Cain



Non-fiction, now, and it’s a book that was lent to me by my dad. Exploring ‘the power of introverts in a world that can’t stop talking’, Cain delivers a fantastic case for not always being the loudest in the room, both personally and in the business world.

I won’t say too much about this, as different sections will, I’m sure, appeal to different people, but it’s thoughtful, it’s well written, and at every page-turn had me thinking ‘wow, she’s describing me’. I found it so interesting to read something that seemed so specifically targeted to certain elements of my personality, and to then hear how Cain herself and many others, in many contexts, used their attributes in different ways to reach success. I’d encourage anyone who may even have a few qualities of an ‘introvert’ to at least have a browse. I’ve lost count of the amount of people I’ve recommended this one to.


Bridget Jones: Mad About the Boy, Helen Fielding



Now a mother-of-two, Bridget is still dating, weight-losing and wondering about life. Fielding manages to keep up that same refreshing tone of voice as is in the original book, but still making it clear that this is an older Bridget.

Bridget Jones is still funny. The life stories sharing woes familiar to us all are still entertaining, and that distinctive stream-of-consciousness diary format works just as well as in the original novel. In terms of the actual storyline, I don’t think this sequel comes even close to the original, as there are parts of the story I just don’t believe, but it was touching and a good, fun read.


Tigerlily’s Orchids, Ruth Rendell



Stuart Font is hosting a flat-warming, and invites the residents of the whole building. ‘Tigerlily’ lives opposite, and her spell and actions on the night of the party will change everything for every guest.

This was set up brilliantly, the characters were all believable, and I liked their personal stories. However, once the main ‘mystery’ took hold, I felt the plot ran away with itself, and I fairly quickly lost interest.


Have you read any of these books? And do you have any thoughts on what I should try next?




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