Sunday 1 April 2018

Books read in March

March was not a bad reading month for me... seven books read altogether and a nice mix. These are they:

10. The Herring Seller's Apprentice - L.C. Tyler

11. The Misty Harbour - Georges Simenon

12. Breakup - Dana Stabenow

13. Mother Tongue - Bill Bryson. Very interesting book on the English language... its origins, its spread, its influences and so on. Bryson's sense of humour is not as evident as it is in some of his books but it is there. Informative and enjoyable.

14. As I Walked Out One Midsummer Morning - Laurie Lee

15. Lost Mars edited by Mike Ashley. A detailed review to come but this is an excellent anthology of fictional short stories all about the planet Mars. Available to buy in a couple of weeks.

16. How To Be Champion - Sarah Millican.

British comedian, Sarah Millican, writes very candidly about her life. A shy but clever girl at school she hated being in the limelight, but like a lot of us, was a different person at home and with close friends. After a messy divorce she took up stand-up comedy and went from strength to strength, she's now a household name in the UK. Those outside the UK might not understand the title with its lack of an A. Champion is Geordie-speak (Newcastle area) for 'excellent' 'good' 'terrific' and so on. And the book really is 'Champion'. I thoroughly enjoyed Sarah's honesty and humour, especially the banana cake baking chapter... loved that the original recipe came from John Barrowman. A word of caution, this book has a lot of adult content, if that's not your bag, this is not for you.

So four fictional books and three non-fiction read for March. They varied a bit. One or two were average, but the rest were all good. I loved Dana Stabenow's Breakup, Lost Mars had some excellent classic sci-fi stories and Sarah Millican's How to Be Champion struck quite a few chords with me. Overall though my favourite book eneded up being this:

As I Walked Out One Midsummer Morning by Laurie Lee was so beautifully written but about a country I'm not that much interested in, so it was quite an achievement to make me like it so much. I definitely intend to read more books by the author this year, I might even change my mind about Spain! (Not...)

Happy reading!



BooksPlease said...

It was a good reading month and I like your mix of books. I have a copy of the Bryson book - but, as so often is the way, I haven't read it yet, so I'm glad you enjoyed it. Sarah Millican is a favourite of mine - she is candid and she always makes me laugh, so I think I'll have to find her book. I'm not too surprised the Laurie Lee book ended up your favourite - he writes so beautifully.

Cath said...

Happy Easter, Margaret. The Bryson book has been on my tbr pile for *years*. In fact I think it's been rescued from the charity shop box a couple of times. It's not my favourite Bryson and it did drag slightly but was really interesting in places. Er... it's back in the charity shop box now and will actually make it to the charity shop this time.

Yes, Sarah is quite candid and the book really reflects that. My daughter passed it on to me from her library and I've now passed it to my other daughter, we all enjoy her female slant on things.

It's several weeks since I finished the Laurie Lee and it's still haunting me, funny how some books do that to you. Possibly it's because I watched the Friday evening BBC2 programme with celebrities walking the Santiago pilgrim way in Spain, which reminded me of Lee's book a lot.

Yvonne @ Fiction Books Reviews said...

Hi Cath,

What a great mix-up of genres in this post. Was that intentional, or just the way things worked out?

I know you weren't too keen on the L.C. Tyler book, but I do read the occasional light hearted murder / mystery, so I might well add this to my list, as the series does sound rather intriguing.

Maigret is obviously a 'must read' for me, although having read most of the stories back in my teenage years, this would have to be a marathon series of re-reads for me, and is probably something I might consider in the future. But you have tempted me and put the idea into my head!

I have the first book in the Dana Stabenow 'Kate Shugak' series sat in my TBR pile and have opened it with the intention of reading, several times. I just haven't been able to get past the first few pages though, although I can't pinpoint what the problem is. Not being one to ever give up on a book, I am determined to get to and finish it, one day.

Thanks for sharing and I hope that you enjoyed your Easter Weekend :)


Cath said...

Hi Yvonne. It was just the way things worked out. I try to read a bit of non-fiction alongside the fiction and I'm a bit random in the way I choose the non-fiction, it's whatever takes my fancy at the time, or something my daughter hands over.

Yes, you may well enjoy the Herring book, and I didn't 'not like' it or I wouldn't have read to the end. And I believe they're quite popular on Goodreads too.

I too read a huge amount of Maigret back in my teens and twenties, but oddly I haven't remembered a single one from back then! I do love how very French they are despite Simenon being Belgian.

That first Kate Shugak book is not amazingly good if I'm honest. It's a scene-setter to read quickly in my opinion, and the books after that are much better.

Yes thanks, I had a lovely Easter, hope you did too.