This month was not stellar for me, reading wise. I don’t really know why. Maybe because I read so much (for me!) last month? Or maybe because I’ve had a jam packed few weeks of intensive 30 before 30 completion tasks. So far I’ve attempted doughnuts (fail), been to the V&A (success!) and done some UK weekend breaks.
This month’s National Trust property: Oxburgh Hall in Norfolk. A beautiful moated house with a killer library. I mean, it’s got a secret door. Tell me that’s not the coolest thing?
The Secrets of Happiness, Lucy Diamond **** ¦¦ I found this book fairly similar to the last Lucy Diamond book I read, The Year of Taking Chances. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, as I quite enjoyed that one too. Basically it centres around a largely female cast, getting out there and doing things for themselves. When we join the book the two main characters, stepsisters, aren’t in great shape. Throughout the course of the book we follow them as their fortunes change. This was a positive book, a bit fluffy, but left me feeling like I could do anything with my life if I wanted to.
The Five Love Languages, Gary Chapman **** ¦¦ This is one of those books that people always tell you to read. Well, it’s a good book but it took me foreeeeever to get through. There’s just so much thinking and reflecting involved, there’s participation bits, you have to write down how you’re feeling… Sometimes that was all a bit much but generally I did get more of an insight into the way I work and some things that might help my marriage work better. Sometimes it was overly American (sorry) but I just tried to push past it and focus on the message. There’s also an app which I feel may be less of a faff than the book.
Never Mind, Edward St Aubyn * for story **** for writing ¦¦ Here we have a deeply, deeply unsettling book. The description was very vague, but basically it follows an ensemble cast over the course of about 24 hours. There’s lots of character development and it all builds slowly, with hints of unpleasantness from the characters, and then it all gets very disturbing. Some pretty horrific stuff happens in this book so it’s not for the faint hearted. I did not know that was coming and am a little disturbed by it… However, the writing was done excellently and the author spears the British upper class mercilessly. It’s a really skilful piece of literature and social commentary but not pleasant to read.
Sarah Thornhill, Kate Grenville ** ¦¦ Sarah Thornhill is an early settler in Australia and this follows her life through various twists and turns. It’s got some interesting historical points about the treatment of Aboriginal people by the early settlers, and what life was like in the early days of colonisation. However, I found the main love story a bit tiresome. The ending was a bit more interesting than it could have been, but this just passed the time. I didn’t find it thrilling, unfortunately.
What did you read this month?