Wednesday, 30 May 2007

Books I read in May

My first proper list, accurate and everything. I've still only read 42 of the top 100 books :).

Total: 12 books

- The Year The Gypsies Came (Linzi Glass)
- The Naked Woman (Desmond Morris)
- This Book Will Save Your Life (A.M. Homes)
- The Boleyn Inheritance (Philippa Gregory)
- The Pig That Wants To Be Eaten (Julian Baggini)
- Electricity (Ray Robinson)
- Double Fault (Lionel Shriver)
- The Secret Life of Bees (Sue Monk Kidd)
- Liars & Saints (Maile Meloy)
- Wicked (Gregory Maguire)
- The Last Family In England (Matt Haig)
- The Boy In The Striped Pyjamas (John Boyne)

The Year The Gypsies Came is a lovely, sad and beautiful novel. It was one I bought the second time round as part of a 3 for 2 (Borders, Oxford Street). I read this mostly in one day on the 30th. It's got a similar feel to John Steinbeck's Of Mice And Men, especially towards the end. I'm keeping onto it and I'd recommend it as a read.

The Naked Woman was another full price Borders buy (Oxford Street). I read this one and Graham looked at the pictures :). An interesting book about the female from a zoologist's perspective. I'll hang onto this one. I read this over the bank holiday weekend and finished on 29/05.

This Book Will Save Your Life was bought a fair while ago from Borders, Oxford Street (3 for 2). Chaotic and bizarre whilst still in the 'real world', I quite liked this. It's full of chance encounters, relationships and acts of kindness. I wasn't a particularly special read but it has prompted me to go find some other books by the same author. I finished this on Thursday 24th. Good as it was I've passed it onto someone else (Katsi:UK via BookMooch).

The Boleyn Inheritance is one of those books where I've been waiting for it to come out in paperback since I saw it advertised in hardback. It's a historical novel by Philippa Gregory so I had to read it :). I bought this from Books Etc., Oxford Street (half price offer of the week) after a disastrous Amazon attempt. It was as good as I expected though it's hard to tell now if this one is as good as The Other Boleyn Girl, the first one I read and the one that got me interested. I finished this on Monday 21st May. A very fine read that will sit on my shelf with the others.

The Pig That Wants to be Eaten was borrowed from Mike when I travelled up for Lizi's birthday weekend. I read 80 of the 100 "thought experiments" on the train down to London after that Lizi weekend and the remaining 20 traveling back up for my sister's 21st birthday curry on the 18th. I was going to give him the book back then only I forgot so I've left in in Liverpool with my dad. An easy-going philosophy book I've passed over on the shelf before this was an ok read. A bit empty for a book on this topic but a good intro for someone who wants to poke a bit into philosophy without knowing they're doing it.

A first novel, Electricity is another very readable book. I finished this book after most of a week's commuting on Thursday 17th. I swapped this on Read It Swap It for 101 Experiments In The Philosophy Of Everyday Life with mouseymouse (UK). It follows Lily, an epileptic in her search for brother Mikey and it was pretty good. Another easy read (aren't they all at the moment?), read it if it lands in your hands.

Another 'I read this because I liked...' book, Double Fault is the second book I've read by Lionel Shriver. A very different book to We Need to Talk About Kevin this is a much easier read but not nearly as good. That said, I did like this book a lot, it's about the marriage of a couple of pro tennis players as their careers change. It's a good characters/relationships book. I read the whole book on the train home from Derbyshire after the Lizi weekend (14/05). I bought this one from Borders, Oxford Street (3 for 2) and gave it away on BookMooch (Robin:USA). (Read We Need to Talk About Kevin, it's hard work but worth it - I've persuaded only my dad on this one so far).

I finished Liars and Saints on the 9th. I mooched this from jill adams (UK) after reading A Family Daughter by the same author. This book is the semi-autobiographical novel written by the character Abby in the second novel A Family Daughter. Maybe I'd have appreciated this book more if I'd read these two the other way round but I much preferred the second of these. I'm waiting for someone to mooch this from me but won't be keeping it.

The Secret Life of Bees was a very enjoyable read which I mooched (Susan:UK) following a recommendation from the Lovely Lizi. The book is roughly about a girl's journey discovering herself and her mother's past. It has some very sad moments. I basically read this in a day on Friday 11th on the train home for Lizi and Thom's birthday partying. A good weekend and a good, easy-to-read, book. This book isn't on my shelf in Ewell and I haven't given it away so I think I must have left it with Lizi.

As a musicals and soundtracks addict, Wicked is a book I bought (Borders, Oxford Street) almost as soon as I saw it. Unfortunately, for quite a while that's all I did. It became a TBR that stayed TBR as new things came and were conquered. However, I went to see the show with Kimball one Wednesday which did prompt me to pull the book off the shelf and actually read it. It took me a little while to get into but wasn't a hard read. I finished this the Tuesday after the bank holiday (08/05/07) after reading it off and on through the preceding week. It's got fairly loose connections to the musical but I enjoyed both. It is, as the musical, based around the story of the Wicked Witch of the West from L. Frank Baum's novel The Wizard of Oz. I'll keep this one and no doubt reread it more than once.

The Last Family in England is a book I mooched (David:UK) after reading The Dead Fathers' Club also by Matt Haig. I read it over the bank holiday weekend, finishing on Monday 7th. It wasn't as good as good as The Dead Fathers' Club, and I won't be keeping onto it (it's gone to Evil Olive:Singapore via BookMooch), but it was good and worth reading at least once. DO read The Dead Fathers' Club though. Someone reviewed it as being like The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time which it sort of is and sort of isn't - I can see where they were coming from. I've forced it onto Graham but everyone should read that one. Both books are easy reads.

This book was acquired from Borders (Oxford Street, 3 for 2) in that expensive Easter trip with my Dad along with Electricity and many more. I read The Boy In The Striped Pyjamas within a day's worth of commuting on Friday 4th May. It's a children's book so it's not a difficult read, but it is not an easy read either. It's thought-provoking and lovely-horrible. I've kept it and I'd recommend it.

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