Wednesday, 4 March 2015

The Year in Books - March

My Year in Books choice for February was H is for Hawk by Helen Macdonald and I absolutely loved it. 


It is not a book I would have automatically been drawn to and if you told me it was a memoir about falconry I would probably never have picked it up. But it is our village book group choice for this month and I always try to read the choices if possible as I am often pleasantly surprised and this was a case in point. It is part memoir, part biography about the training of a Goshawk but it is also a study of coming to terms with grief, relationships and life, set against the most beautiful writing about nature and wildlife. I can definitely recommend it.

I also read Room by Emma Donoghue which was one of my Christmas presents. It is the story of five year old Jack, who lives in a single locked room with his mother, told through his eyes. At first I thought I wasn't going to enjoy it and it isn't a comfortable read but I found it powerful, heart breaking, uplifting and compelling all at once. It was difficult to put down.
 

For March I have chosen The Foundling Boy by Michel Deon. Translated from French, it is about the life of a baby abandonded on the doorstep of Albert and Jeanne Arnaud. It is set in Normandy between the two World Wars and it is also a village book club choice. I'm only two chapters in and at the moment I'm not warming to it but I often struggle with translations, plus I'm reading it on my Kindle and I always seem to take a few chapters to get used to the Kindle again... I still prefer to have a real book in my hands. So I'm optimistic it will improve... And I'll report back next month!


Have you read any of these? What did you think? Or can you recommend something you've read this month? Would love to hear from you.

Joining in The Year in Books with Laura at A Circle of Pine Trees


18 comments:

  1. The author of H is for Hawk was recently on Country File. I don't think it was the 1st of March, but perhaps the 22nd of Feb.
    Sandy in Bracknell

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  2. I haven't come across any of these books but do like the sound of H is for Hawk.

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  3. Oddly enough, I am instantly interested in reading "H is for Hawk"! I love reading about people's experiences in working with animals and will be looking for this in my bookstore. I just can't read books like "Room" anymore, even if they are well written I find them far too disturbing. Thanks for sharing.
    Wendy

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  4. I haven't read any of your books. Room doesn't appeal to me because it is too sad, Hawk I am not sure, the cover is not speaking to me (I know that is really shallow!). I wanted to have a falcon when I was about 10. I have no idea why, maybe I read a novel where the hero or heroine owned a falcon.
    Happy reading in March! x

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  5. H is for Hawk is definitely one for the future. But at the end of winter, I do find I need something a little uplifting to liven my spirits, so turned to Jane and Prudence by Barbara Pym. I'd quite forgotten how funny it is. I'm half way through Elena Ferrante's My Brilliant Friend, which I'm very much enjoying - strangely evocative about the enclosed world we live in as children. Next up a biography of Eglantine Jebb, the woman who set up Save the Children. Our book club's way of celebrating IWD.

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  6. H is for Hawk is sitting on my bedside table waiting for me to finish The Miniaturist. I also found Room a gripping but uncomfortable read. Never heard of The Foundling, will wait to hear what you think!
    Ax

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  7. Gina, I had previously only heard of the second book, but each of them sounds intriguing.

    I need more hours in which to read! xo

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  8. I still have trouble with reading on my Kindle, I can never remember what it was I last read and, having finished a book, frequently can't recall anything about it. I shall stick to real books.

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  9. They all sound like very interesting and absorbing books. I struggle with my kindle and although I like it - especially for free books - I prefer real books! xx

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  10. I've heard lots of good things about H is for Hawk, and heard her interviewed on local radio recently too. I actually prefer reading on the kindle app on my iPad generally, unless it's a non fiction art type book, then I like a real copy!

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  11. As usual Gina, you're way ahead of me with your reading!!

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  12. Another H is for Hawk fan here, a brilliant book.

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  13. Absolutely loved Room Gina, as you say such an emotional read, but also really convincing. I keep meaning to read another of her books to see where she goes and what she wrote before

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  14. Youre the first I've heard who read H is for hawk, I've heard a lot of buzz and read very positive reviews. Glad to know its good in the 'real world' and I'm adding it to my list right now!

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  15. I haven't read any of these books! Several times my hand has hovered over H is for Hawk in the bookshop - for the cover alone! I try not to judge a book by its cover but....

    Thank you for these reviews.

    I enthusiastically recommend The Sisters Brothers by Patrick deWitt - you've probably already read it.

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  16. Gina, I think H for Hawk was the best book I read last year. I thought it was so well written and so poignant on all levels. I have just loaned it to someone and will probably read it again when it is returned. I finally finished Robert Macfarlane's The Old Ways and I'm currently reading a biography of Bruce Chatwin from the library. It is a hefty thing and I think I will be renewing many times before I manage to finish it! I must search out that book about the little boy and add it to that ever growing list of books to read from recommendation.

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  17. My colleague has read H is for Hawk and she waxed lyrical about it, so much so I have now downloaded it to my kindle with a view to reading at some point in the near future.

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  18. H for Hawk sounds great, something different. I'm not normally into memoirs but need to try some different genres :)

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