Saturday, 7 May 2011

Reading a little...May

Well since I fell off my bike and have incapacitated  my arm, I have obviously not been doing any crafts or mosaics at all in the past week. It's been quite annoying because finishing up some of the projects I was half-way through would have been an ideal way of stemming the boredom that comes with being sat around the house doing nothing. I'm not a very good patient and would much rather be doing something than sat here twiddling my thumbs.
However, one thing I have been eternally grateful for over the past two weeks has been my kindle. Without it, I really would have been bored stiff. Due to the way I have injured myself, I can't actually hold a book properly - and certainly can't turn a page, so the kindle has been a bit of a relief really.
Thought I'd share some thoughts about the books I've been reading instead of my usual ramblings...

I've just finished reading The Awakening by Kate Chopin.
It's the story of Edna Pontellier, a typical American lady of society during the late 19th century. Over the course of a summer, she suddenly begins to 'wake up' to her situation, the restrictions of society and her fate. And decides that enough is enough. She refuses to listen to her husband, starts arousing attention in society for associating with undesirable gentlemen, steps to the brink of an affair and ... well you should probably read it. It reminded me strongly of The Age of Innocence by Edith Wharton that I read at school and as such I wasn't that excited by it. But it's a pleasant enough read - I'd give it 3 out of 5 stars.






A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness did have my spellbound (pun intended) while I read it.
It centres on the main character Diana Bishop, a witch by birth but who prefers the scholarly life of a normal human - so much so that she denies her powers greatly. She meets a vampire, Matthew Clairmont, (of course) and inadvertantly falls in love with him. The plot centres around a manuscript that has been lost for a century that Diana accidentally finds, but lets go. And of course all the witches, vampires and daemons in the world are out to get it - or her. Quite fast-paced and entertaining, although the ending is fairly weak and I only discovered it's part of a series at the end - and the next one isn't out till 2012! I am intrigued enough to read the next one I think...





Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro...where do you start on this one? Very disturbing but very well-written. I was pretty horrified, but also couldn't put it down once I had started. A terrifying look at what could happen in medical science if we don't think about ethics. The main characters are all 'donors' and the story is written from the viewpoint of Kathy H - still a carer but tidying things up before she becomes a donor herself. It is written as a selection of memories from childhood and her life - her relationships with Tommy and Ruth being predominant. The portrayal of character is excellent - you really sympathise with Tommy especially. I started this while in hospital and was listening to it as an audio book so I had Cecilia Fox's voice as my narrator throughout - which I found strangely fitting. I enjoyed this as a piece of writing, but as a story it has left a lot of questions!




Kafka on the Shore by Haruki Murakami. I'm actually still reading this, and as it's a DTB (dead tree book) I probably won't finish it for a while - which is a shame as I have only about a quarter left and was quite into the story. It tells the tales of Kafka, Nakata and Miss Saeki predominantly although a number of other characters also feature. It's magical, incomprehensible in places but brilliantly written and I am really enjoying it!

4 comments:

Steve (ArtySandp) said...

Those are some pretty serious books but they certainly look interesting. I've added Kazuo Ishiguro and Haruki Murakami onto my 'to read' list.

Hope you're on the mend!

Creating Trouble said...

A Discovery of Witches isn't at all serious! But you're right - I have a tendency to go for the more 'serious' reads. I highly recommend Never Let Me Go - although as I said it is pretty disturbing.

James G said...

I can't believe you had never read The Awakening before!!!

Creating Trouble said...

It's American... I'm British! And not only had I never read it, I hadn't even HEARD of it either! Preferred The Age of Innocence...

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