callmemadam (callmemadam) wrote,

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February books

Here's what I've read this month.

Charlotte Mary Yonge the Story of a Uneventful Life by Georgina Battiscombe
The Young Stepmother by Charlotte M Yonge. Terrific. See earlier post about Yonge.
Made in Heaven by Adèle Geras. Already reviewed.
A Crowded Marriage by Catherine Alliott. Now this really is chicklit. The heroine reads the Daily Mail and so, I suspect, do most of her readers (no offence, chaps). Some amusing incidents but really a string of improbable events rather than a novel. Not a patch on Made in Heaven.
As it is in Heaven by Niall Williams. I started this as an aid to forcing down some breakfast. I was hooked from the first page and it was very hard to close the book and get on with the day’s work instead of sitting down to devour it. Then at the beginning of chapter seven I started to switch off. The stylistic trick which had lured me in seemed likely to be repeated over and over again until the end. Luckily there was a return to the narrative but I still haven’t finished it. It was a great relief to be discussing books with a friend on the phone when this one came up and she said, “It went off, didn’t it.” I was irresistibly reminded of Fergal Keane, my least favourite journalist. The dampness permeating this book reminded me how much I loved Troubles by J G Farrell and what a tragic loss his early death was.
How to be Good by Nick Hornby. Got stuck and didn’t finish it, but may try again.
All Families are Psychotic by Douglas Coupland. Read fast, brilliant. Great relief as I couldn’t get on with Jpod.
All American Girl Ready or Not by Meg Cabot. Will she, won’t she? Does her boyfriend really expect her to? Like I cared.
The Complete Polysyllabic Spree by Nick Hornby. Already reviewed.
Pumpkin Pie by Jean Ure
Jacky Daydream by Jacqueline Wilson
The Angel Makers by Jessica Gregory Already reviewed.
The Night Watch by Sarah Waters
A lovely fat book which I read very quickly. It works backwards from 1944 to 1941 and draws you in by making you wonder just what the connection is between the different characters. As usual the result is slightly disappointing (why am I always looking for the miraculously surprising or shocking?) but I was never tempted to stop reading. The wartime atmosphere is very well conveyed and in places I felt homesick where the book simply reeked of a vanished London. Some of the blitz descriptions are quite poetic and I enjoyed all that. Just wish there were a plot.
The World of Jacqueline Wilson (2003, produced for W H Smith). Picked up for 50p.
A rip-off little book, although rather charming. Consists of themed extracts from her books (friends, mums, style etc.) each with an introduction by JW about how these relate to her own life.

The Heir of Redclyffe by Charlotte M Yonge
Nella Last’s War
Tags: books, reading

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