The Reading List #38

This list is a real mixture of old classics and newer discoveries, along with things that have been on my ‘to read’ list for years.

The Woman in White, Wilkie Collins

This was a really gripping ghost / mystery tale, narrated through journal accounts of multiple characters. I had been meaning to read it for a while, after hearing years ago there was also a musical version of the story, but it sat waiting on my shelf for so long I’d almost forgotten. The book built up the suspense well through the delivery of all of the separate accounts, some of which had more to say than others, and some who were a lot more certain of what they had seen than others. I can’t think of anything else I’ve read that’s quite like it, and it’s worth a try.

Flight Behaviour, Barbara Kingsolver

Dellarobia makes a life-changing discovery on the failing Appalachian Farm… and I can’t really say much more than that without revealing too much. This novel contains themes of nature, climate change, class and poverty, and each of these are incredibly well handled, especially the class angle. Overall, I thought the book was a little too long and drawn out for the amount of plot within it, but it was a careful and intricately woven read, with moments of real beauty.

The White Queen, Philippa Gregory

It is 1464, and the houses of York and Lancaster are at war. Elizabeth Woodville, a Lancastrian widow, marries warrior king Edward IV of York. This was a brilliant portrayal of the Wars of the Roses as a backdrop to a tale of betrayal and loyalty, with a fascinating main character. I got completely swept away in it.

The Great Gatsby, F. Scott Fitzgerald

I was a real latecomer with this one, and had actually seen the film before I read the book. I enjoyed the book 100% more than the film. So who is Gatsby? There’s not much I can say about the story, both because I don’t want to reveal anything, and because so many people already know and love it! This is a stunning love story, and the tempting question hovers of what is behind the beauty of the glittering parties. This novel captures an era of glamour and mystery, and I can see why it’s heralded as such a classic.

What should be next on my list?


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