Another month as come and gone and as my new Habit is Read One Book At a Time, I have read less, but more fully. To strengthen this Habit, I need to review the books I have read and report to other of my progress. For that reason ‘The Book Pile’ is back.
A Fete To Remember – Julia Stagg (Library book group read for August-September). It was an odd choice of book to be given and everyone who managed to read it gave it a middling review. I think this was partly because it was the fourth book written about the same village in France and the people that live there. The book begins in the middle of their story and the author writes as if we already know the characters, which personally none of us did. The most irrelevant character had to be the trapeze artist and the funniest was a man called Christian and the fact that he sang to his bull, to calm it down of course. Would it have made more sense if I had read the previous book? Possibly, but not necessarily.
The Scarlet Letter – Nathaniel Hawthorn (Online book group at Goodreads – Old Books, New Readers) Love these old books. Originally printed in 1850 and then banned as being too risky, however today it is just a really good book. The main character is Hester Prynne. Set at the time of the Puritans in New England. Hester does the unthinkable and unacceptable and has a child, Pearl out of wedlock. She also refuses to give up the name of the Pearl’s father. Normally she would have been stoned to death for adultery, but the court take a more lenient approach and let her live because of the child she is carrying. The man in question does eventually own up, some seven years later, but is so weakened by his sin, he promptly dies leaving Hester and Pearl alone again. But all is not lost, as Hester was previously married in England and her husband turns up after two years, just in time to see justice being carried out on Hester and her daughter. However he is a wealthy man and at his death he leaves his home, land and wealth to Pearl. One negative point is that is has a very lengthy Introduction and meanders all over the place, but the book is a oldie but goody.
The Leftovers – Tom Perrotta – (Online book group at Goodreads – Bound Together) In a instant millions of people all over the world and through all walks of life disappear. Some call it The Rapture, but whatever it is people are left broken and bewildered. Many cults are set up, some flourish and some don’t, some are odder than others too. Not all the people that disappear are the most righteous, but they include the young, old, men, women, the unknown and the famous. No one is ever able to explain why and after three years life begins to move forward again. It is set in Mapletown, New York and is also a TV program. It finishes as oddly as it starts.
The General’s Son: The Journey of an Israeli in Palestine – Miko Peled (Library book group read for September) Thought this was an odd choice to begin with, but learnt so much about the wars and the people in both these countries. It is part autobiographical and biographical as Miko Peled tells the story of his father General Matti Peled, a much respected man who tried until he died to bring acceptance and peace to the two countries. After Miko’s niece, aged 13, is murdered in a suicide bomb attack Miko takes up the baton that his father had to let go by his death and continues the work to bring peace to both Israel and Palestine. A heart wrenching account of one atrocity after another, which made me wonder how one human being can be so cruel and treat others the way that they did, not soldiers, just citizens.
Simplify – Joshua Becker – 7 Guiding Principle to Help Anyone Declutter Their Home and Their Life (Kindle) This is a very basic ‘how to guide’ to clearing away the things you don’t want, so you can enjoy more of what you do want in your life.
Reconstructing Amelia – Kimberley McCreight
To Kill A Mocking Bird – Harper Lee
Anna Karenina – Leo Tolstoy
The Portrait of Dorian Gray – Oscar Wilde
What are you reading and what are you going to read next?