Books: November and December 2018

Happy New Year!

Had a fab haul of books for my birthday and Christmas, including ones that have been on my to read list for a while, and some other surprises that are completely new to me. I may also have indulged in a few purchases in the Kindle 12 days of Christmas! The other thing I have to look forward to is a subscription to the Willoughby Book Club (not received my first book yet so I'm excited about the prospect of this).

The Party by Elizabeth Day
This is told in the voices of Martin and Lucy in the aftermath of The Party held by the much admired Fitzmaurices where some great tragedy has occurred, what it is and who did it become apparent at the end. It looks back over Martin's (who is a self-confessed misfit) obsession with Ben Fitzmaurice who is rapidly escalating the political ranks. 

Desperate Remedies by Thomas Hardy
What a cracking first novel by Thomas Hardy! I am planning to read all his novels in chronological order, however long that takes. It is a tale of complicated twists, wives that are not wives...or are they and two Cythereas. It is worth a read just to encounter the macabre Mr Manston. Just brilliant.

Circe by Madeline Miller
Madeline Miller is a fine author (Song of Achilles is equally brilliant). She writes with such charm and warmth the story of Circe who is banished to an island, and what fates befall those who trespass on that island. If you like Greek myths, then this is the perfect book for you. I would say that I haven't encountered anyone who hasn't liked it, but my husband has just told me he is finding it a chore!

Lincoln in the Bardo by George Saunders
This is a real Marmite book, but I was surprised that I liked it. The format is really odd, told in snippets of conversations or press cuttings. I found that this made it a really quick read. It centres on the death of Abraham Lincoln's son, Willie and his visits to the cemetery, and is in parts really sad. Willie wants to be held again by his father just one more time. 

Dark Matter by Michelle Paver
A spooky tale perfect right for winter, as it is set in the remote arctic. A series of unfortunate events leads to an expedition on the brink of collapse. Add in the unending snow and ice and tales of a bloody end to a trapper and you have all the makings of a nicely chilling story. 

Michelle usually writes for children and this is her first adult book, which does show. But don't let this put you off.

Bird Box by Josh Malerman
I speed read this one in advance of watching the film on Netflix. I'm really glad I did because I thought the book was much richer than the film (as is often the case). In a nutshell, "creatures" are causing people to kill themselves if they are seen, which results in a small community of survivors existing in a blindfolded world. Two of these are pregnant. The narrative follows Malorie escaping with these children in a dangerous bid for a better life, with flashbacks to the early days of their new world.

Currently reading: In One Person by John Irving
Currently listening to: Fragile Lives by Stephen Westaby

I would love to know what you are reading at the moment.

Mrs Jones x


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