Thursday, 27 February 2014

Winter '13 Gut Reactions

 If you recall the Winter TBR pile looked different, in that it was in fact two piles. 
Like so;

I also read
The Art of Letting Go (The Uni Files: Year One) by Anna Bloom
Elizabeth Is Missing by Emma Healey

Star of the List goes to;

Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell. This was recommended to me right back in May, (Alexa and Fairview, thank you) and I loved it. The phrasing was brilliant, as was the amazingly huge arc that supported the book like an arching spine, of the excruciatingly delicate growth of a relationship. I will admit there was a point where I thought that the end was going to make me howl, not with tears but frustration, but it didn’t let me down in the end.

Starter for Ten. I felt David Nicholls was funny when I read One Day. This is funnier, but maybe mostly to people who were at a UK uni in the Nineties. He does great lines, sets his narrator up for ridicule beautifully, and lines up one joke after the other with a deftness of touch that is
breathtaking and relentless. Strangely I haven’t liked how he ended either book, but the journey getting there has almost made up for that. If you write humor for adults, then I can only recommend his writing as a shining example as how it is done.

Elizabeth is Missing by Emma Healey. A heartbreaking 1st person account of dementia and a murder at same time. This was sent to me as an arc, so got a shoo-in. Clearly the writer has had experience of a loved one with dementia, but the way she wove it into the structure of the book was  excellent.

The Art of Letting Go by Anna Bloom was one of those books that I had on my ipad, without quite remembering how or when. But it was a very pleasant surprise. NA set in a UK university. It was young, fresh and sexy without being too grinding. And it is only the first of three, with two short stories out there already to tide you over between release dates.

And the other thoughts:

 Remember that second pile, where I was going to take a literary trip through Venice? Yeah, it was a bit of a damp squib. 

  • One, though the plot was fine in premise the execution was poor. Time/travel limitations were broken depending on what the plot required, blowing all credibility.
  •  Another book seemed like a huge saga that had been stripped down to a standard length story. It was almost as if the writer had embarked on it, and halfway though felt that they had bitten off far more than they could chew, but contractually had to dish up a book and this is what they managed.
  • Three of the books I gave up. Three! Like half. Simply down to the writing or the style.
  • One I pushed myself all the way through and wished I hadn’t bothered. It was enormous and while the premise was intriguing, it played out as far too tenuous and unbelievable. And my, it needed a sound thrashing by an editor....

At the very least though I did manage to shift 6 books off my book case which was one of my goals. Hurrah!
 Would I take a trip like this again? Not for the foreseeable. I think I'll go with theme or form again over location.

Anyone read anything good or lame in the last three months?

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