I’ve not got as much reading done as I wanted at the start of June, unfortunately. I was caught up in reading one book alone for quite a few days and I also had a review book on behalf of Netgalley, of which I’ll post the review on here closer to its date of publication. Spending time on exercising as well has eaten into my reading time, though that’s definitely worth it as I’m feeling pretty good about myself at the moment, for a change! Nonetheless, here are a few snapshot reviews of what I have managed to get through in the past week or so:
Tender is the Night- F. Scott Fitzgerald; After loving The Great Gatsby a few years back, this novel was admittedly a little bit dull in comparison to that one. Though it did have some pretty interesting moments, the only reason I persevered with it after a boring start was because it was a Guardian list read; otherwise it’s safe to say that it would have gone in the charity shop bag. It also took me ages to read it. The book is about the Diver family- charming psychiatrist Dick Diver and his schizophrenic wife Nicole. Set amidst the glamour of the Mediterranean, I loved the loquacious prose, but there were just too many characters and too much going on for my personal tastes. 3.5 stars out of 5.
All Around the Town- Mary Higgins Clark; sometimes I am in the mood for a pacey, suspenseful read and Clark’s books always fit the bill. Though they are a bit dated now in parts, they always contain a good degree of drama and some decent characters and a lot of psychological insight. This one focuses on the death of a college professor and the evidence that suggests his obsessed student, Laurie Kenyon, is responsible for the murder. A quick, tense read, it contains themes including child abduction and multiple personality disorder and featured some absolutely bat-shit crazy kidnappers! Though far-fetched with a rushed ending, I actually enjoyed this novel a lot and it fitted my reading requirements at the time just perfectly. 4 stars out of 5.
A Cold Season- Alison Littlewood; this British horror/suspense thriller has had mixed reviews but I have to say that I found myself gripped by it immediately. Albeit a bit cliché in places and somewhat contrived, it was certainly a spooky, engaging read.
Following the loss of her husband, Cass and her young son Ben rent a home in the sleepy village of Darnshaw. Whilst it looks idyllic enough however, the locals are downright hostile and Ben begins behaving in strange, violent ways. Once the blizzards start however, the two of them are marooned- and Cass comes to realise that they are being threatened by forces she cannot comprehend.
I appreciated the sinister atmosphere in the book, which had just the right degree of creepiness to keep me hooked and some subtle scariness. The description of the insular country village and mysterious locals was aptly done. This was a one-sitting read for me and again, a nice quick novel to plough through, though its ending was downright ridiculous! 4 stars out of 5.
Scenes from Provincial Life- William Cooper; one of my Penguin orange classics! Set in the 1930’s, it is the story of a science teacher at a comprehensive school and the ups and downs of his love life and that of his gay friend’s love life. At the time this book was said to shock for its rather modern representations of relationships, but nowadays the content is obviously pretty tame. Somewhat repetitive in parts and admittedly with not too much of a plot, I nevertheless enjoyed this book for its old-fashioned charm and subtle British humour. 3.5 stars out of 5.
At the moment I am reading Monster Love by Carol Topolski on my Kindle, which it must be said is something of a harrowing read (understatement) though it’s certainly very well written. For a bit of lighter, escapist relief I am also listening to The Hitchikers Guide to the Galaxy on audio-book, read by the amazing (and utterly irreplaceable) Douglas Adams. I just love his voice- so expressive yet oddly soothing at the same time.
What are your reading plans for this weekend? Whatever you may be reading, I hope your weekend is a good one 🙂