Monday, 4 May 2015

The Year in Books - May

Another month already (I think May might just be my favourite time of year) and another selection of books for the Year in Books.

I really enjoyed Gone Girl, my choice for April. It twisted and turned and kept me guessing right to the end. It's hard to say much more without giving too much away but the story is about Nick Dunne, whose wife Amy disappears on their fifth wedding anniversary. Nick is the chief suspect for what is believed to be a murder case... Or is it? You will just have to read it!

I also read This Boy, a memoir by the politician Alan Johnson, our village book club choice for this month. It tells of his childhood, where he was raised in extreme poverty in a single parent household. He came across as likeable and it was interesting enough and a quick read but not terribly well written so I am not sure why it has won awards. There was also a lot about his living conditions that were very familiar to my own early childhood in the East End of London, so perhaps I felt I already knew about existing in just two rooms with no bathroom and an outside toilet! Tell me something new!

 Two really enjoyable reads this month have shared the same title... Walking Home. The first I read was Simon Armitage's tale of walking home to Marsden along the Pennine Way going from north to south and funding his trip with poetry readings. It was a really enjoyable, witty and charming tale. Likewise, Clare Balding's anecdotes in Walking Home based on her popular Radio 4 series Ramblings were also witty and charming and just make me want to put on my boots and get outside.... which is what we did today.
Making the most of a fine Bank Holiday Monday we did a lovely nine mile walk with a stop at a village pub for lunch and a beer!
It was glorious and so much better than the day of stitching I had scheduled for today... although it does mean I will be playing catchup all week!
I probably shouldn't have come home and done two hours gardening though... I can barely move now! My choice for May for the Year in Books is the Man Booker prize winner, The Narrow Road to the Deep North. I don't think this will be an easy nor quick read but I've a lot of train journeys into London this month so plenty of time for reading.

Are you reading anything good at the moment? Any good walking books you can recommend?
Joining in with Laura for The Year in Books at a Circle of Pine Trees.


  1. I think my favourite read recently has been Marilynne Robinson's Lila. So beautifully written. I'm working way backwards now through her other books. And I was pleased to have been put onto Wolf Winter by Love those Cupcakes. The book would ahve benefited from some tougher editing, but the evocatation of time and place is excellent.

    Gone Girl went back to the library after about five pages. Didn't like the characters one little bit, though I guess that was the point.

    Good Luck with the Richard Flanagan and thanks for sharing your reading

  2. I haven't read Gone Girl, I have seen it sitting on the bookshelf and I know it's also a film. Having read The Girl on the Train I may just have to look for a copy of Gone Girl now.

    I read Claire Balding's my Family & Other Animals and really enjoyed it, but I've not read Walking Home.

  3. I haven't read any of the books you mention but have just reread Daphne du Maurier's The House on the Strand. I discovered it many years ago and still enjoy it.

  4. I managed seven books last month, most of which were re-reads. I am currently reading Snow Geese by William Fiennes but it is slow-going. I think it is one to re-read after digesting the first read.

  5. Nice reads!
    Feeling ashamed since I haven't been reading a real book for a while now.
    Anyway, take care,

  6. I have never finished Gone Girl. I was annoyed by the narrator. I really want to get the book, must stop by the library soon! Train journeys are good for reading, aren't they? I commute by bike and listen to an audiobook. Don't tell, I know it is frowned upon to wear earphones on the bike (but I am mostly off road through the woods). I am listening to Margaret Atwood's Robber Bride. Very enjoyable. xx

  7. Hi Gina

    I love reading your very interesting book reviews although I probably wouldn't read these particular books myself as I prefer historic stories and mysteries. At the moment I am reading a Railway Detective story by Edward Marston and, as I only read a couple of pages before bedtime, it will take some time to finish!

    I love the pictures of your walk.

    I wouldn't recommend any walking book as, in our experience, if the walking book is not new or recently revised, footpaths may have been changed by the local authority and hence make it difficult to follow. We find we do better planning our own circular cross country walks using an up-to-date OS map, often with a particular point of interest or goal (like yourselves it could be to a pub or maybe to a historic building or a viewpoint) we generally walk only about five or six miles.
    Looking forward to your next walk in pictures!
    Barbara xx

  8. Hi, found you via Year in Books linky. I almost chose 'Narrow Road to the Deep North' as my book this month, will be interested to hear what you make of it. You have got through a lot of books this month! X

  9. I saw Gone Girl at the cinema and loved it, so I want to read the book now too. I'm still wading my way through Trick and Treat by Barry Groves, Visual Thinking by Rudolf Arnheim and various others, all unrelated and all tomes! I long for a novel!


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