Thursday, 2 June 2016

What I've been reading: April-May

This time around, I'm trying not to let being back at work stop me from reading for fun. Because I work with words, it can be hard to switch out of professional mode and back into normal reader mode. If I've been translating, I try to avoid reading anything that has been translated (from French to English or English to French). If I've been editing, then there's no hope and I go and do something else...

Books from the past couple of months have included:

1. Helen Macdonald,  H is for Hawk. 

This made quite a lot of noise when it first came out, so when I spotted it in the local library, I thought I'd see what the fuss was about. The verdict? Definitely worth a read. The only issue for me was that I read most of it whilst feeding Es, and I ended up projecting Mabel the baby goshawk onto Es the baby human, to the point where I felt like I was breastfeeding a bird of prey. That bit was...bizarre.

2. Ben Aaronovitch, Moon over Soho.

My parents introduced me to the Rivers of London series a while back, but I've been reading them all in the wrong order (not particularly advisable, it gets confusing in places). This is the second in the series, and I'm starting to understand some of what happened in the fourth and fifth volumes a bit better now! I finally managed to get volume 1 from the library just this week, so hopefully I'll be able to fill in the gaps.

3. Kate Grenville, The Lieutenant.

Relaxing, but not mindless, reading. I'd actually be more interested in using the source documents Kate Grenville used for her research, but that's probably just me.

4. Charlotte Mendelson, Almost English.

I am struggling to find words to express how much I disliked this book, and I have no idea how it ended up shortlisted for the Orange Prize. I was expecting something along the lines of Marina Lewycka (quirky, fun, pure escapism), only reason I actually carried on reading to the end is that I started it when I was ill, so I thought my appreciation of the book might have been skewed by fever-dreams. It wasn't.

5. Chautona Havig, Aggie's Inheritance (series).

Hear me out on this one.

As far as I can tell, Chautona Havig is a fairly prolific writer of self-published e-books, all of which are free to read with Kindle Unlimited (I had a one-month free trial). She writes evangelical Christian romance, which would usually make me run a mile. However, based on a positive review online and the fact the books were free, I decided to give this series a shot.

Unreliable proofreading aside, I actually really enjoyed it. All the escapism of classic chicklit (I hate the term, but it serves a purpose) without the gratuitous, and usually badly-written, sex. It is, esentially, good, clean fun. Yes, even for Catholics.

More (hopefully) next month!

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