Monday, 1 September 2014

Recent reads

One of my regular blog posts will be about books I have read recently.  I will not write about everything but will add them to my books I have read page.  Please feel free to comment or provide recommendations.  As you will discover I have quite an eclectic taste and I will read pretty much anything apart from horror!  For me though the books have to be physical paper books.  I know for things like holidays a kindle or such device would be easier but as I get most of my books from charity shops, second hand book shops or my local library it works out cheaper. 
Roald Dahl collection

The two books I have recently finished couldn't be more different.  The first is a children's book - Roald Dahl's Matilda.  Reading this came about as a result of doing some birthday present shopping for my best friends little girl and realising to mine and Mr D's horror that I had never read it!  At this point Mr D (who is a big Roald Dahl fan) wanted to disown me so I quickly searched our bookcases Unsurprisingly we had a copy (although worryingly it had Mr D's sisters name on the inside) so it was next on my to read book pile. 

If you have never read Matilda (I recommended you do) it's about a super bright little girl called Matilda.  The book journeys though Matilda's first year at school and her adventures along the way.  It's been many years since I have read a Roald Dahl book and they are still good fun to read even through adult eyes.  I loved his descriptive use of names for the characters ..... Miss Honey is Matilda's kind and sweet teacher versus the bullying and horrible Miss Trunchbull.  It's a great story, funny with some twists in the story that surprised me! 

The second book, which I started on the train up to Edinburgh, is a Penguin Modern Classic called The Lonely Londoners by Sam Selvon.  This is one of many, many books I have bought over the years at Barter Books, a massive secondhand bookshop in Alnwick, Northumberland.  Despite The Lonely Londoners only being 139 pages long (2006 edition) it still took me several weeks to read.  I don't know about you but it always takes me longer to read books that are written either in old English e.g. Charles Dickens or with a particular accent (in this instance West Indian).  I find it harder to understand so I have to read sections several times until I think I have understood it.  This was the case with The Lonely Londoners, words like spades and test are used for descriptions of people.  

The book is based in the 1950's and is told from the viewpoint of Moses, a West Indian, who has lived in London for many years.  Moses tells the stories of his fellow country men who see him as a respected person, someone to go to for help and advice.  There is no plot to this book instead it gives the reader an insight into migrating to a new country. It was an interesting read and presumably based on the author's own experiences when he migrated to London in 1950.  Very few books make it to my 'I would read this again' imaginary pile and this sadly is not one of them. 
Books waiting to be read
My current read is Children of The Mill by David Hanson which I have loaned from my local library.  It's a book which accompanies the Channel 4 drama The Mill and explores the lives of the workers at Quarry Bank Mil, Cheshire.  I thought it would be an interesting read but to be honest I am a bit disappointed with the book.  There are many sections where the author writes about imagining what it must have felt like to work at the mill which I am finding really annoying.  There are also comments about the television drama itself which, as I have not been watching it, I don't find very helpful.  However, I am one of those people that unless I really am not enjoying a book I will keep going until the end.  I have a couple more chapters to go and look forward to finishing it!

What are you reading at the moment?  Have you read any of the The Man Booker Prize 2014 longlist books?  I planned to read some but I have not got around to reading any yet and the shortlist is released next week.  

Happy reading.


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