I've always liked books and reading - my bookshelves are testament to that - but I go through phases of reading a little and phases where I read a lot. Right now it's in the lot phase - and that's been prompted by signing up to NetGalley - so I thought I'd share what I've been reading recently with you.
There is one actual book in my list, but I've read the majority of these on my kindle. While I like the feel of a book in my hands, the thing is once I get going I don't stop at one book so if I'm out and about then the kindle comes into its own. During my recent Jury Service although there was a lot of sitting around waiting to be called, there was also a lot of opportunity to pull out my kindle!
1. The Other Side of the Bridge, Mary Lawson
This one's a re-read and I don't often do that, but it's a book I don't want to lose just yet. It was long listed for the 2006 Man Booker Prize, and was on Richard and Judy's Book Club List too, so it's not a new title.
It's about two brothers, Arthur and Jake, their differences and how their already uneasy relationship is driven to breaking point when Laura arrives in their 1930s rural community. And it's a book that lives up to the quote on the front: "a beautiful read, on every level"
2. All the Stars in Heaven, Adriana Trigiani
This is for the most part set in Hollywood during its Golden Age. It's based on a true life event - Loretta Young's affair with Clark Cable and one that was never public during their lifetimes, despite the child they shared. It wasn't something I was familiar with before reading the book, but it was something I googled before I finished it as I wanted to know if was pure fiction or if there was an element of real life in it. It seems it was the latter.
An interesting book, that I had to work to get into but by the end one that I couldn't put down so definitely worth a read.
3. Drive Me Crazy, Portia MacIntosh
This was a modern love affair with twists and turns you don't imagine right from the start. It's a book that demonstrates that not all IT guys are nerds, although that's something I knew already! It's a fun entertaining read, I zipped through it because I couldn't put it down.
4. Secret Letters, Abby Bardi
The plot evolves following the death of their mum as the siblings sort through her belongings and as you might imagine discover some secret letters. The main character convinces herself the letters are from her father and she learns more about J. Fallingwater and his Indian heritage, opening a restaurant along the way which has shall we say, one or two setbacks.
There's a twist as you'd expect and J. Fallingwater isn't what is first thought. This is one of those books where you feel part of the family and start to care what happens on the highs and lows of their life.
5. The Secret Widow, Sylvie Fox
Nari is a doctor and at a conference, she needs to forget two dates. She has a ritual for coping with those and the conference provides the ideal opportunity. This is a tender book where we follow Nari as she learns to trust and love again, while learning more of her story. This one made me cry, more than once and it's one you can lose yourself in. This is one of my two must-reads.
6. The Tea Planter's Wife, Dinah Jefferies
Set in Ceylon in 1913 the book follows Gwendolyn Hooper as she arrives in the country as a nineteen-year-old bride eager to rejoin her husband who she fell in love with in London. But on the tea plantation he's not the same man, he's wrapped up in his work and she's left to explore the plantation and her new life alone with little help from her sister-in-law. She soon falls pregnant though and both are overjoyed with the news. In the delivery room she's faced with a terrible choice and buries a secret throughout the majority of her marriage. I'll not share the ending but this is my second must-read. This is the one that I read late into the night, wanting to know how it turned out. It was also the one that once it had ended I felt empty, because I wanted to know more.
Sometimes books get you like that don't they? You don't want them to end and it's true you're left with a book hangover!
I've just started A Very Big House in the Country by Claire Sandy, so I'll let you know more about how I get on with that next time.
What have you read recently?