As each month flies by I am constantly sure that I will not achieve the book challenge, rushed for time to fit in everything that a busy life appears to demand. And then without warning, at the end of the month I discover that I have more than met the five books for the month challenge, having read double the number once again.
Ten fabulous books for the month of March, and as I write this in April (still searching for a good computer; code for struggling to find a good computer within my price range!) its not before time that I revealed my list.
The first of two mystery novel from Phil Rickman for the month, and thoroughly enjoyable. This story has paganism at its central core, and I like that the character Merrily Watkins seems terribly human in her struggle to keep the faith in the midst of things that might persuade others that there is no God, or that He is of no significance. Having said that, I’m still not entirely sure (nor do I have the inkling to spend the time researching) whether Phil Rickman is a Christian or not. That’s how well written the books are. No overbearing preachy messages… just mysteries that look at issues that arise from real day life.
This is the first of two” Irish Country” books that I read this month – the library delivers and I read! Its the continuing story of newly minted Dr Barry Laverty working as the assistant to Dr. Fingal Flahertie O’Reilly (now there is an Irish sounding name!) in the make believe village of Ballybucklebo. Simple story written by the Irish-Canadian author Patrick Taylor. That’s one thing I find terribly interesting in this Canadian country. Very few people will claim to be only Canadian if they can thrown another country along side of it… French Canadian, Irish Canadian – well here’s hoping that I might be the first Australian Canadians to write a great story!
Santa Montefiore is the kind of writer that I read and weep over; wishing and hoping that I might one day be as glorious a weaver of words as she is. The past with the present written together to unfold the truth behind the garden. Lovely. Visual. Stimulating. Oh, this book was bliss. Blissful enough that I researched more of Montefiore’s works and added them to my wish list at the library. Oh who am I kidding…? I’ve read another of her books already for April and it was just as lovely. I have officially discovered another new author that I adore.
Second dose of single mother, Anglican priest Merrily Watkins for the month. Possession, murder, Romany gypsy folklore and a stubbornly unbelieving daughter… its all there for the enjoyment of a few hours. Really enjoyed the book.
I found this book particularly painful to read as I dealt with the memories of my own ten year battle with infertility and the painful decisions surrounds the reality of frozen embryos lost in the misery of divorce. Lest you think there is nothing more to this story, add in a mix of one member of the former marriage discovering their homosexuality and the other finding Jesus in a super fanatical demonimation and let the battle for human rights begin.
UPDATE April 14th 2011 : looky looky! The Herald Sun newspaper back home has an article about the story online.
I read this book on my beloved hot pink e-reader (and if any book publishers out there want to send me e-books to read and review – send them to me electronically… really!) and I have to say I loved it. Glorious story. Powerful mystery woven around another mystery. Enthralling. I read The ‘Weight of Silence” at the same time as I was reading ‘Sing You Home’ and it was only at the end of both books (finished on the same day I might add!) that I realised that both books had been broken into chapters written from different characters points of view. And that I loved both books for it. Heather Gudenkuaf is a new author that I hadn’t discovered earlier, but one that I would be more than willing to pick up another book to loose myself in. Strong characters written so well that I could identify with and feel repelled by. Characters that I could marvel at and find myself crying for. One of my favourites for the month.
A rather dull little book that I read in my quest to learn about Enid Blyton. Not worth the time to be honest. One can’t help but feel that Gillian was trying to erase the story that younger sister Imogen had published, in which she went about describing her mother in less than glowing terms. Not much to say really.
I had a lot of expectations of Rhoda Janzen’s book – I’ve had a long term love affair with the Amish and by proxy the Mennonites - but this book was disappointing. Reviews stated that it was funny, witty, clever. I didn’t see anything that could be described in this book with those words in the whole novel. I found the story line confusing and I never really connected with the author. It doesn’t appear that she had learned anything about herself in the journey of recovery from her (oft explained) car accident and divorce from an abusive husband who went and left her for another man. Although ironically enough, I found myself at one with the author when she wrote this….
Second book by Patrick Taylor for the month, and I can’t help but envy him the time he gets to spend in Irish pubs dreaming up new story lines for his ongoing series as he undoubtedly enjoys a Guinness or two. Interesting to see the crabby, wont let the wool be pulled over his eyes Dr O’Reilly start to fall in love. Its a look back in time to the 1960′s in a country still tormented by sectarian differences and divided loyalties. It’s a simple story to be read and enjoyed.
As part of my challenge (an extra brownie points bonus you might say) I have decided that each month I need to read at least one author I’ve not read before. Expand my literary horizons so to speak. Hence Brooklyn by Colm Toibin. I enjoyed the way he described the level of homesickness an immigrant feels when they are living life in a new country. How home looks so inviting, and then when going back, the new parameters of life that have been forced upon the immigrant in the new homeland (that they often struggled against and resented) suddenly seem so much wider, stronger and sometimes more inviting when the reality of being back home sets in. An interesting story. Didn’t fill my heart with joy like discovering Santa Montefiore did, but I’m glad to say I’ve added Toibin to my list of authors.
So there you have it.. ten books for the month of March and I’m well on my way to ten books for the month of April. Lord willing I will have my own computer again by the time that particular review goes up.
Now… go and open a book, turn on an e-reader and loose yourself in someone’s imagination.