Tuesday, 27 December 2011

On my book shelf

Or perhaps I should say on my new beautifully attired Kindle? Hermione bought me a bright pink jacket for my Kindle for Christmas, which I hope will help it roll with the knocks it inevitably takes.

Amazon describes this book as, 'The fascinating narrative of the fabulously wealthy Jewish Ephrussi family moves through the decades from commercial Odessa to the Paris of the Impressionists and artistic salons to the brutal destruction of the Anschluss of 1938 in Vienna and a familial diaspora over three continents. Parallel to this, we follow with the author his own emotive journey to reclaim the lives lived in the vanished rooms of his forbears'.

It has rave reviews and was recommended by a friend. It's fair to say I set out with high hopes. Sadly those hopes weren't realized. I struggled through the first half and was much more than half was through before I began to really enjoy it. It was interesting, and had huge potential, but I felt the writing style was lacking.

Dissolution is the first book I have ever read by C J Sansom and I thoroughly enjoyed it. It's the first in a series about a lawyer called Shardlake. The subject matter is relatively dry, and as I was buying it I really did wonder if I wanted to read yet more about the dissolution of the monasteries, seeing as Hermione got stuck in the Tudor groove of history for suck a blinkin' long time.

I was surprised with how quickly I was drawn in. The style of writing was excellent, really descriptive with a good balance of narrative. I enjoyed it so much I quickly moved on to the next in the series, Dark Fire.

Again, what can I say, a real page turner! If some had said to me, 'Oh, go read this book about a lawyer in Tudor times searching for the secret of Greek Fire, a weapon used in Byzantine times' I would have thought they were mad! Had it not been recommended by friends I wouldn't have looked twice at it.

This is a beautiful collection of songs, stories and poems. I've thoroughly enjoyed reading these aloud during recent dark and windy days. You can buy it here amongst other places. I have the Spring one on my wish list.

Of all the above I think The Help is perhaps my overall favorite. Described as, 'An aspiring author during the civil rights movement of the 1960's decides to write a book detailing the African-American maid's point of view on the white families for which they work, and the hardships they go through on a daily basis,' it had me hooked from the start.

All recommendations on what to pick up next gratefully received. I'm no fan of romance, sci-fi or gratuitous gore, although I don't mind gore which is part of the whole if you know what I mean.

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