I'm just going to mention these two books briefly, not because they weren't good, but because I'm still a bit short of time. The end of the month is nigh and I don't want a backlog of reviews building up.
First up, Good Bones by Margaret Atwood.
When I picked this up in the library I thought it was a book of short fictional stories because that was where I found it - in the fiction section. I took it because I hadn't read any Margaret Atwood at all and wanted to see if I liked her style. Well, these turned out to be not short stories but essays. About what? Well all kinds of things really, being an unpopular girl, stupid women, men and all their peculiarities, Gertrude from Hamlet has her amusing say, ecological distasters, theology - all human life is here. It's a short book, but still manages to be both thought provoking and very amusing. I shall certainly move on to Atwood's novels some time this year.
Next up, The Aye-Aye and I by Gerald Durrell.
Another library book brought home on impulse. I read a lot of Durrell's animal collecting books when I was younger and enjoyed them a lot but had forgotten just how much of a good read they are. I think this may be the last book he wrote before he died - several years later. Anyway, it deals with his expedition to the island of Madagascar to collect half a dozen species of animals for his breeding programme in Jersey zoo - including the elusive lemur, the Aye-Aye. There is much about the difficulties such an expedition encounters, about the way of life and people of the island, about the ecological disaster that's happening in Madagascar - the stripping away of the forests - and, of course, about the animals themselves. Durrell tells the tale in an honest and very amusing style and I really recommend this one. I'm keen to reread his early Corfu books now and am eyeing up The Corfu Trilogy on Amazon and trying to resist...