Sunday, 29 April 2007

Books I read in April

Total: 10 books

This is the first month I've compiled a list and it was done retrospectively so I may have missed some, but here are the books I think I've read this month (most recent first):

- Belle de Jour (Anonymous)
- Mister God, This is Anna (Fynn)
- Poppy Shakespeare (Clare Allan)
- The Tenth Circle (Jodie Picoult)
- A Family Daughter (Maile Meloy)
- Seeing Voices (Oliver Sacks)
- Born on a Blue Day (Daniel Tammet)
- The Vagina Monologues (Eve Ensler)
- The Memory of Running (Ron McLarty)
- The Last Witchfinder (James Morrow)

Of these only Belle de Jour (the intimate adventures of a London call girl) was a quick evening reread as I was giving it away on BookMooch (to Auz:UK) and thought I'd skim through it again before I parceled it up. It's a nice easy read, particularly as it's not really continuous and there's little inserts with lists and such. The second one's out in paperback nowish but I'm not going to rush out and acquire it. It's an OK book but it's not wonderful.

Mister God, This Is Anna is a really nice short little book I shall be hanging onto and I will buy the other Anna book as soon as I see it again. I bought this book at Borders Oxford Street and almost bought both then - now I want it, they don't have the other one! Will almost certainly reread this many times in the future.

Poppy Shakespeare is another book I've decided to keep onto for now. It's a first novel and I really quite liked it. The story of Poppy, who finds herself in a London mental institution but insists she's not mad, is told by another inmate 'N'. Great characters and some nice observation. 'Twas a Borders Oxford Street 3 for 2 acquisition - it was bought at Easter in the same trip as A Family Daughter, Seeing Voices & Born on a Blue Day (plus many others still on the TBR pile).

One in a string of Jodie Picolt novels, The Tenth Circle was roughly as expected. An enjoyable, fairly easy-going read which I'd happily read again. For future reference, this is the one in which a teenage girl, Trixie, accuses an ex-boyfriend of rape after a party. It's got some nice comic-book art too. I've given it away (it went with Perfect Match to Caroline2403:UK through BookMooch) but will perhaps acquire it again to read in the future (as if there weren't enough books out there to keep me going). This was, as many, a Borders Oxford Street 3 for 2 acquisition.

I read A Family Daughter at Spring Harvest so again it's fairly easy reading :) This is the second novel by Maile Meloy. I didn't read the first novel until June which made things very confusing and I've only just got it sussed in my head now that... the first novel (Liars and Saints) is the semi-autobiographical novel written by the character Abby in this novel! It all makes more sense now. I much preferred this book to the first one. This book was good and I almost didn't give it away but I did (on ReadItSwapIt to amc78:UK for Keeping Faith which was a duplicate I then gave away on BookMooch to siobhan:Ireland).

Oliver Sacks is another one of those authors I come back to again and again. I bought this full-price at Borders Oxford Street. Reading this book prompted me to go out and track down everything else he's written that I didn't already own, so there will be more to come. Seeing Voices was read half whilst commuting (which is currently when I do the majority of my reading) and half at Spring Harvest. Whilst Oliver Sacks is a very readable writer, the stuff in this book is too interesting and demanding of my attention to class it as easy reading. Having said that, it wasn't really hard and I love to read all his stuff - I also want to go away and read all his references but perhaps that's not such a great idea! This book mixes all my interest in Psych. with my interest in Deafness and sign languages. Really liked it, will keep it, will reread and recommend to those who like that kind of thing.

Born on a Blue Day again plays on my interest in Psychology - it's a biographical account of an 'autistic savant'. This book had been on my wishlist for a while and was picked up, 3 for 2, in an expensive Borders (Oxford Street again) trip over Easter with Dad. I'm pretty sure I read it one evening after work. Good, roughly what I expected. I've lent it to Dad now so don't expect to see it for a while.

The Vagina Monologues has been something on the longer list of 'things I will acquire to read... one day' for a bit - a result of it's regular performance at Lancaster Uni. I mooched it from the US, my second successful mooch and my first foreign one. I read it in one go, as soon as it arrived, an evening after work in the sun (starting in the garden but quickly moving to the conservatory once the breeze got to me). My curiosity now satisfied I've hung on to the book for another reread in the future. It is, unsurprisingly, about vaginas but isn't particularly painful to read.

The Memory of Running - Another Borders Oxford Street 3 for 2 acquisition. This is the story of Smithson Ide as he discovers himself and his memories. It's a nice charactery novel and I've hung onto it. I will no doubt recommend it to someone and reread it sometime.

The Last Witchfinder my first Borders Oxford Street 3 for 2 acquisition. I got this because it looked historical and sort of good. I've quite enjoyed the Philippa Gregory stuff I've read so wondered if I could find something of a similar nature. The book was ok but really not what I was after so it went onto BookMooch (Marco & Wendy:Costa Rica)as soon as I was done. It's the second book I've tried in an attempt to find something historical and good and the second failure (the first being Life Mask by Emma Donoghue).


* Where I haven't otherwise stated, I most likely read the book whilst commuting. I read a book if I'm awake in the morning from Ewell West to Vauxhall and then the Metro from Vauxhall (where I pick it up) to Oxford Circus (where I go to work). I'll usually be reading my book again by the time I leave work (often right from the moment I step out the office to wander towards the tube) and continue all the way home.
I dislike hardbacks so if I don't suggest otherwise, then whatever I am reading is a paperback copy.
Any book listed here was a book I reached the end of in April 2007.

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