I loved my Year in Books choice for September - The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt. I've read a lot of reviews that suggested it was too long and drawn out but it kept me gripped throughout. It tells the story of Theo Decker, who at the age of thirteen, escapes a major catastrophe that kills his mother and tears his life apart. I loved the theme that a single incident can totally alter the path our lives take. It is well written and the characters are absorbing and believable.
Although it wasn't a quick read... at over 850 pages it is a long book... I still managed to finish it in a couple of weeks so was looking for something else and I'd remembered that I'd downloaded Apple Tree Yard by Louise Doughty to my Kindle. I thought it was brilliant! It's a psychological thriller full of adultery, sex and murder, combined with a courtroom drama that twisted and turned constantly... and I couldn't put it down. Anyone read anything else by this author?
Next I thought I'd get ahead of myself and read the village book club choice for this month - Oryx and Crake by Margaret Attwood. This one I hated! It tells of a post apocalyptic world that was just too depressing and plausible for words. I felt no empathy for the main protagonist Jimmy or Snowman and just felt utterly miserable the whole time I was reading it. In fact I'm surprised that I even finished it... but I did, so at least I can report back when the book club meet next week! It will be interesting to see what everyone else thought. There seems to be enough misery in the world without reading fictional accounts of how bad it really could be.
I then picked up one of those self help books that promises to change your life forever! The Life Changing Magic of Tidying by Marie Kondo. For most of my adult life I've hung onto the belief that if only I could de-clutter properly, get rid of the junk, clear some space then life would be so much easier. If only... and I'm not the only one, am I!
Although this book does have some pretty weird ideas... like talking to your possesions... there is still a lot that makes sense. The basic idea is that you discard anything that does not bring joy to your life... some really major throwing out is called for. The author has her own method for going about this and claims it needs to be done in the right order and in one fell swoop... which in the case of the average size house should take about six months. She claims that most "decluttering ideas" bring only a temporary solution... sounds a bit like most diets really... and what is called for is a change of life style. As you can see the major declutter I did over the summer in my studio was indeed only temporary and already my desk is buried so I'm willing to give it a try. I've already cleared two big bags for the charity shop but I'll report back in six months!
So now I've to choose another book for The Year in Books for October and my choice this month is Longbourn by Jo Baker (another village book club choice) which tells the story of Pride and Prejudice from the servants' viewpoint.
I did think I might reread Pride and Prejudice again first just to refresh my memory... but on second thoughts I might just look out that BBC adaptation which suddenly seems infinitely preferable...
Have you read anything good lately?