Reading Wrap-Up

 

Well, it has been a hot minute since I posted on here. Life has been chaotic, but I have indeed been reading! Instead of posting individual reviews, I thought it might be fun to do a quick wrap-up of the highs, the lows, and the DNFs. If you’d like more detailed comments, I post all reviews on my Goodreads and have a few videos on my channel.

Starting on a positive, I have read some incredible works in translation in the last few weeks. Amelie Nothomb’s Strike Your Heart FCC8616E-3446-4DFA-81EC-2BDDC6997921has set me on a quest to read all of her works (well, those translated into English from French anyway!). It’s a short but incredibly unique read following the relationships a woman has with other women in her life in the absence of any maternal love. I also ticked off a book that has been on my TBR for years, Carlos Ruiz Zafon’s The Shadow of the Wind. 1DB73663-D74F-4E98-A4C9-44ECD6BD2B25While this was an imaginative and compelling narrative that was a delight for a booklover to read, I couldn’t get past the constant objectification and sexualization of every female character.

I feel like I DNF’d (did not finish) more books than usual of late, including Man Book Prize shortlisted The Mars Room by Rachel Kushner. EF32DA78-D0C0-40C7-A949-5E0897F7C152I just couldn’t get into the overly-detailed descriptions and felt lost in the constant jumps within the narrative itself. I also stopped Kitty Zelidis’ Not Our Kind very early in too – I will say that if you’re looking for fiction with representations of Jewish identity in post-war NYC, this may be the book for you!

Taylor Jenkins Reid, author of The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo, released a free short story recently, Evidence of the Affair. 5389B928-C1CA-4683-A234-5E84B9FEBA3CTold entirely in letters between two individuals whose spouses are having an affair with each other, for me this took a predictable turn and lacked the sparkle of Evelyn Hugo. I am looking forward to her upcoming release, Daisy Jones and the Six though. I think in many ways it is harder to connect with a short story, particularly a stand-alone that doesn’t have the comfort of being within an anthology to buffer its reception.

I dipped my toe in “Southern lit” with Diane Chamberlain’s The Dream Daughter – a book that I would recommend going into blind as Goodreads is littered with spoilers! 4D2D78CF-B961-4BA6-9501-3CE7D3899C46Another in this genre that has become one of my favorite reads of the year is Delia Owens’s Where the Crawdads Sing. This was a flawless story for me, an incredibly well-paced narrative about life on the fringes of a community in North Carolina. It still captures my thoughts and I think is one that I will look to re-read soon!

There have been some other stand out reads that I would be remiss not to mention. Esi Edugyan’s Washington Black 0E133D83-A726-46B9-BEC5-076F1639F1C4was an adventure story with a difference – it gives a global perspective on slavery and is filled with profound discussions, as well as being a compelling and page-turning read. Chris Hammer’s Scrublands was another read that I was entranced by. The descriptions of the drought-stricken community reeling from a church-massacre was atmospheric, and the characters so vivid! The ending was complex and very clever (perhaps too clever, I’m not entirely sure I followed everything!) and it is an Australian crime fiction that I’d highly recommend to international readers. 63665CFA-BEB9-46D0-AEAB-7A95FEB95DDB

I’d love to know if you’ve read any of the books I mentioned, or have any you’d recommend to me?

 

 

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