So this little pile was pulled off the bookshelf last week and put beside the computer to get 'reviewed' before hopefully sending them off to new readers. Then I went off at a tangent with other recent events and didn't get round to extolling the virtues of the books.
So, before I get sidetracked once again, I will plough straight on!
I'm pretty sure I already covered 'A Tiny Bit Marvellous' - suffice to say, it made me laugh to start with, but after a while I tired of it. I still finished it, but you know, it didn't quite live up to expectations.
'My Dear, I Wanted to Tell You' is set in the Great War and deals with the wartime experiences of Riley and Peter, from different ends of the social scale, in the trenches; and Nadine, Julia and Rose, the women left behind in England. It almost goes without saying that it was an emotional read, but it was also interesting to learn of the work of Dr Harold Gillies, a pioneer of plastic surgery. I quite liked the book, though if I was at a Book Club and was pushed, I might say that I didn't really 'engage' with the characters to start with - maybe till the point where I'd go past the modern-sounding names of Riley and Nadine! How shallow am I?
To be fair, when I read this, I had just wolfed down 'The Snow Child' and 'The 100 Year Old Man Who Climbed Out of the Window and Disappeared', both of which I had adored. Tough acts to follow!
Next I read 'The Silver Linings Playbook'. I had chosen this because the film had done well at the Oscars, but I hadn't seen it, and because we were on holiday and I thought it was a book both Mr U-t-B and I might read.
I found this a real page turner - I was really drawn to the characters and wanted it all to turn out well for them. It was both emotional and hilarious - but be warned, the plot of the book and the film do differ slightly! I watched the film after, and felt a bit let down because some of the bits I found best in the book had been changed. But maybe if I'd seen the film first, I'd have felt differently...
Jo of Fiddlesnips blog very kindly sent me 'The Sisters Brothers' as she thought I might like it - and she was right! I'd probably never have chosen it myself as I wouldn't have known that I would so enjoy a story of two assassins in the Wild West during the Gold Rush, where death, despair and violence are part of every chapter. The black humour had me laughing out loud at times and the main character, Eli, is very likeable, especially for a psychopath...
Here's the one I chose for the front cover! I'm trying to stop myself from being drawn in by covers, but this one got me. It is a story set on a remote island off the Australian coast in the years after the First World War, where Tom, the lighthousekeeper, and his wife, Isabel, live in almost complete isolation. In some ways it was similar to 'My Dear I Wanted to Tell You' in that the story hinges on a deception and how that deception impacts lives.
Well, finally, the one I'm close to finishing now. This is another 'quirky' book. It's funny and moving (I seem to be reading a lot of those these days) though a weeny bit long-winded at times. Oh dear, I am beoming awfully critical. Not exactly giving these the hard sell am I?
Well, I am trying to give these away (all except The Silver Linings Playbook which I've already sent to someone who didn't get one last time and who I thought might enjoy it!)
If you are interested in reading any of the others, do tell me which one in a comment and I will send it winging its way to you. This time I'm just going to do it on a 'first come, first served' basis, to make sure they disappear before I go on holiday! (Yay! I've finished at school for the year and I'm hoping to get away for a few days soon!)