Friday 30 April 2021

Books read in April

I've just studied my list of April books and something really rather startling has happened: I read no crime fiction whatsoever! So once I picked myself up off the floor, sat down again and thought about it... well nothing really, I still don't what happened! How bizarre.

Anyway, seven books read this month and these are they:

24. HMS Surprise by  Patrick O'Brian

25. The Platform Edge - supernatural stories edited by Mike Ashley 

26. The Volcano, Montserrat and Me by Lally Brown 

27. The Cold Vanish by Jon Billman 

28. Life After Life by Kate Atkinson. A well written book about a woman who keeps getting new chances to relive her life in order to get it right. At least I think that was what it was about. I found it confusing and ultimately did not get it at all. But there you go, win some, lose some.

29. Mr Finchley Discovers His England by Victor Canning. A charming book written and set in the 1930s. It's about a middle aged man, a bit set in his ways, who gets an unexpected walking holiday, travelling from London to the south west of England and who has many bizarre adventures. It reads a little like a series of short stories. Definitely a 'discovering yourself' sort of book and very enjoyable.

30. The Villa by Rosanna Ley 

So what have we got? Two non-fictions, five fictions. Four of the books really stood out, HMS Surprise by Patrick O'Brian, The Volcano, Montserrat and Me by Lally Brown, The Cold Vanish by Jon Billman and The Villa by Rosanna Ley.

I've pretty much frolicked and cavorted all around the world... crossed the Atlantic, and rounded The Cape of Good Hope to India with Jack Aubrey and Stephen Maturin, spent time with an erupting volcano on Monserrat in the Carribean, been all around the National Parks of the western USA, then all around the SW of England with Mr. Finchley and then,  finally, off to Sicily for my hols. What a journey! I've loved every minute and wish I could personally thank the authors concerned for their efforts on my behalf. 

So what about May? Well, here're a few books I might have a go at but the trouble is I make pile like this, admire them for a day or two and then... read off my Kindle. Out of the seven books I read in April, six were Kindle reads. What to do about this? I don't know really but I will try to read a few of these. (Click for a much clearer view.)

It will be noticed that I've included several crime fiction reads for this month. I doubt all of that non-fiction on the right will be read but I'd like to read one of the two historical fictions on the lefthand pile, Washington Black by Esi Edugyan or One Thousand White Women by Jim Fergus. We'll see.

Happy May reading!


DesLily said...

Wow! You are at it again lol. Surprisingly I haven't heard of any of those books! Generally you have something I've heard of or read myself ! Goodness what is this world coming to?!

Cath said...

Pat: If I had to choose one of those books to give to you it would be Mr. Finchley Discovers His England. I think you would love how quirky it is and how old-fashioned.

(Diane) Bibliophile By the Sea said...

Cath, what a nice month you had. It's funny how we can surprise ourselves with our reading sometimes. I rarely read historical fiction and then boom, pandemic and 2021 they keep calling me and they have been good experiences as well.

I am almost done with the audio version of The Cold Vanish and loving it. I am so happy you blogged about it. The narrator is fantastic and the story/stories of disappearances quite chilling. I have a friend, nearing 70, who goes for multi-day hikes alone in the woods, even out-of-state- still. When she gets back I am going to suggest she reads this book. Hope May is a good month for you.

Lark said...

Here's one of my bookish confessions: I read about 280 pages of Atkinson's Life After Life a few years ago and just couldn't get into it. I finally quit. It just wasn't the book for me. At least the rest of your April reads were much more satisfying. :D

Sam said...

Another nice month in the books, Cath. It's hard to believe we're already starting a new month. I'm not very organized coming into May, but I really do need to sit down and come up with this month's stack. I've been slow to do it because I still have several books in-progress right now, including a new one of over 800 pages I just got in the post this afternoon.

I've read both "Washington Black" and "1000 White Women," and I enjoyed both of them. "Washington Black" was a little harder for me to get into because of the setting...I never feel entirely comfortable on novels set on islands for some reason and this one gets a little "weird" at times. But it's a very good book, and I'm happy that I spent the time to read it.

TracyK said...

This sounds like a nice month, although I would miss the crime fiction. The crime fiction you have on your stack for May sounds good.

My copy of HMS Surprise should come by mid-May and since I am reading something else now which may take a while to finish, that could be very good timing. I was also looking into some companion books for the series without a lot of success.

I am very interested in Mr. Finchley Discovers His England. I am a big fan of Victor Canning's crime fiction novels, and I think I would enjoy this also. I bought a copy for the Kindle when I saw how inexpensive it was, but I would rather have a paper copy so I will look for that too.

When you do read All Roads Lead to Austen, I will be interested in what you thought of it. I could not quite figure out what it was all about.

Cath said...

Diane: Exactly the same has happened to me. I too rarely read historical fiction (I used to like historical romance in my twenties though). But along comes the pandemic and a historical fiction challenge and suddenly I'm a bit hooked. I should also add that historical fiction these days is not just romances, it's quite a different genre now. Much more interesting I think.

I'm glad you're enjoying The Cold Vanish, it was Lark who put me on to it. I got so hooked on that! Interesting about your friend. I have to admit I would not have gone walking alone in your wilderness areas 'before' I read this book but I certainly would not now.

Lark: So pleased it's not just me with Life After Life, and I know Sam felt the same way about it. I really should have abandoned it too but I was hoping for an explanation at the end. Er... no. Cheated!

Cath said...

Sam: I know, all of a sudden it's May, where did four months go? Look forward to your post about your May stack.

Ah, you've read Washington Black. I heard about it on a Youtube vlog, recommending historical books. I thought it sounded good so sent for a paperback copy. I don't mind islands or a bit of weirdness. :-) Who knows, I might read both of those historicals in May!

Tracy: I did miss the crime fiction so have three lined up and will probably read one of the BLCC books first.

HMS Surprise is probably the best Aubrey/Maturin book I've read so far. Such a lot going on in it. I have the next one on my Kindle, The Mauritius Command, after that I'll have to decide whether to keep buying or use the library. I quite fancy having a complete collection on my Kindle Fire but it gets expensive.

Mr. Finchley was huge fun and it helped that I live in and know the area he was exploring very well. I didn't know he wrote crime novels, although I can easily see where his style of writing would suit the genre.

I'm thinking All Roads Lead to Austen is a non-fcition book where the author goes around Latin America visiting book clubs where they discuss Jane Austen. I could easily be wrong about that though. LOL

DesLily said...

I will check out the book on Amazon!!!

CLM said...

I too was somewhat baffled by Life After Life, although my sister really liked it and we usually agree:

Cath said...

Pat: OK!

Constance: Thanks for linking to your review of Life After Life. I still think about it from time to time so it must've had an impact. Thus I enjoyed reading your thoughts which rather confirmed my own slight confusion. I wanted some kind of explanation at the end and was quite annoyed when that didn't happen. *But* I loved her writing so have the first Jackson Brodie book on reserve at the library and look forward to reading it.

Susan said...

No crime fiction? Who are you and what have you done with Cath?? LOL. I don't know that I've ever gone a whole month without reading a mystery/thriller of some kind or another.

I just got a copy of the latest (last?) book in the Fergus series. I haven't read any of the others, but I definitely want to. I hope we both enjoy the series.

Vintage Reading said...

Not a huge fan of Kate Atkinson either. I like the look of The Salt Path.

Vallypee said...

What a lot you manage to read, Cath! I’m so pleased Montserrat was on your list there. What a remarkable account it is, isn’t it? Real edge of the seat stuff. Lally Brown is amazing!

Cath said...

Susan: In point of fact in the volume of supernatural stories about railways there was one non-supernatural story that was a murder mystery tale. So perhaps not 'quite' no crime, but near enough. Heehee... you did make me laugh with your comment though.

The Jim Fergus series seems to be well thought of so hopefully we will both like that/those.

Nicola: I'm in the odd situation where I didn't care for the KA book but adored her writing so I'm going to give her another go. We shall see how that works out.

Val: I'm very fortunate in that my husband and I are retired so I have more time to read than others perhaps might.

I'm in awe of what Lally went through during those three years on Montserrat. It was just completely staggering. It should be a 'go to' book for people interested in volcanoes in my opinion.

Nan said...

I have Mr Finchley and so look forward to it!

Cath said...

Nan: I think you'll love it.

Terra said...

I am glad you read the Patrick O'Brian book, isn't that a wonderful brilliant series? I have only 2 or 3 left to read in the series. I like the Mr. Finchley book and have a second one wherein he goes to France.

Cath said...

Terra: Oh yes, the Patrick O'Brian series is absolutely wonderful... I have book 4 lined up to read soon. I'll probably be getting the Mr. Ficnley 'France' book soon as it sounds very good.