I’ve always been a bookworm, but in recent years I’ve read a little less. This year I’m hoping to read a little more. So at the beginning of the month I took this picture of the books I planned to read to encourage me. This is the batch I’d planned to read this month.
A God in Ruins by Kate Atkinson is one that I’ve wanted to read for ages. I tend to mostly get books out of the library to feed my book habit, otherwise it would get expensive. That had always worked well, but fairly recently Birmingham libraries cut their book budget and I think there isn’t one now at all because the council is so cash strapped. This book is one that they would have bought 20 or 30 copies of in the old days and there would still have been a waiting list. When I put myself on the list there were 30+ people waiting for 1 copy. There are now a handful of copies in the library, which have either been bought or donated, but still a massive wait. My turn eventually came round and I got to read the book at last.
I’d previously read Atkinson’s Life After Life and it was a stand out novel for me. I have read all Kate Atkinson’s works and I felt it was by far her best. I also thought it was the best new novel that I’d read for a number of years. A God in Ruins isn’t quite so compelling, but it’s a companion piece to Life After Life with the main character being Teddy (the brother of Ursula who was the main character of the first book). It’s a excellent book with many layers that draws you into the lives of Teddy, his wife, daughter and grandchildren. It can be read independently of Life After Life, but I do think it makes sense to read that first.
The Merry Devils by Edward Marston is a bit of light relief in comparison though. In fact, in January I read this and The Trip to Jerusalem from the same series of historical crime set in a theatre company in Tudor Britain. Very easy to read and I liked the historical background. I’m working my way through the series and expect to read some more in February.
I didn’t get to The Second Life of Amy Archer, so I’ve carried that forward to next month. I did get Gone Girl out of the library and felt I should read it quickly as there was a waiting list for it. I managed about 60 pages and then gave up. I don’t know how it came to be a best seller, as I thought it was distinctly unappealing and I found I really didn’t care what happened (or had happened) to the characters.
On Different Kinds of Air is a book that my brother bought the whole family for Christmas as it is about our ancestor James Tytler. I have started reading this and I’ll tell you more about it next month.