Oh, I was full of good intentions at the start of December. I have lists and charts of all the books I was going to read, all the reviews I was going to write, all the witty Christmas themed posts I was going to publish……well, that didn’t work out too well!
Between present buying and work, a 5th birthday party and car shenanigans, December has passed in a flurry of business and I haven’t managed to do anything blog related for weeks.
I have been reading though, so yet again this will be another quick round up post before the holidays, but I’m determined to get back on track in January and catch up with all your lovely blogs.
No 649 The Beautiful Things That Heaven Bears by Dinaw Mengestu
I read this book for Naomi’s Diverse December and was captivated by this quiet but moving tale of Sepha Stephanos, an Ethiopian man who fled his home country and now runs a largely unsuccessful grocery store in Washington. As well off white people start to move in to his predominantly black neighbourhood, Sepha starts to hope for a new, more fulfilling life through a tentative relationship with his new neighbour and her daughter. The novel moves from past to present as Sepha recalls the circumstances that led him to flee Ethiopia and Mengestu explores the theme of displacement – from a country, from a community and from love – with an attention to detail, and an eye that notices the little things in life. This is a novel about unfulfilled potential yet the characters are well observed and the melancholic tone is relieved by moments of wit and warmth.
Read on: iBooks
Number Read: 98
Number Remaining: 648
No 648 The Lake by Banana Yoshimoto
This was another read for Diverse December, but I was a little underwhelmed by this tale of a couple Chihiro and Nakajima who are trying to forge a relationship in the shadow of a traumatic childhood. Yoshimoto’s style is compact and the translation by Michael Emmerich flows well, but the story lacks cohesion and introduces elements of magic realism that seem at odds with the tone of the rest of this slim tale. It also seems strange that the crux of the novel, which should be a surprise, is given away in the blurb at the back of the book, leading to a rather underwhelming ending.
Read on: iBooks
Number Read: 99
Number Remaining: 647
No 647 A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens
I recently found out that A Christmas Carol was the oldest book on my TBR – gathering dust there for an amazing 34 years. Yes, you read that right. So, what better time to rectify that than at Christmas? I must say, I found it strange to read a book that I am so familiar with – from movies to pastiches, the tale of Ebenezer Scrooge and his ghostly visitors is so well known that at times I felt I had already read it! It’s hard to believe that there have been 172 Christmases since Dickens wrote this masterpiece which is heart breaking and heart-warming in equal measure
Read on: Book. A very old book….
Number Read: 100
Number Remaining: 646
So, there you have it. I have finally reached the 100 Read mark as hoped!
If 2016 goes to plan I aim to be in to the 500s by this time next year.
I hope you all have a very Happy Christmas. May your days be merry and bright… xx
I am a 40 something book buying addict trying to reduce the backlog one book at a time!