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3 weeks ago
30.06.19 June #wrapup ☀️
1. Bitter Orange by Claire Fuller (2018)
A perfect Summer read! Looking back at the Summer of 1969, Frances recalls from her deathbed the young couple she shared a delapidated country house with as they catalogued the significant features and contents for future sale. There are histories within histories being told. Whose account can be relied upon as to what has happened?
I love all of Claire's books!⭐⭐⭐⭐
2. Coot Club by Arthur Ransome (1934)
The "D"s, introduced in Winter Holiday go boating on the Norfolk Broads and make friends with the Coot Club who seek to protect nesting birds from some rowdy and aggressive holiday makers on a motor cruiser.
3. Machines Like Me by Ian McEwan (2019)
Charlie buys one of the first artificial human "Adams", and with his new girlfriend, Miranda, programs the ideal personality. But Adam is a fast learner - including about Miranda's past.
An alternative 1980s Britain that loses the Faulkland's War is the backdrop to this study on human understanding.
Not my favourite, but I will still read everything he writes.
4. The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt (2014)
This absolutely lived up to the hype for me. Fate, guilt, redemption and captivation. And all tied together really masterfully over a very large novel. I cannot wait to see the film!
And that's a wrap for another month! I am still reading How to be Both by Ali Smith.
And I probably have more books than I can manage to read lined up for July.
I hope June has been a good month for you too!
#bookblogger #bookstagrammer #bookstagram #junewrapup #junereads #clairefuller #bitterorange #arthurransome #cootclub #ianmcewan #machineslikeme #donnatartt #thegoldfinch #lorrainereads #reader #readersofinstagram #literaryfiction #booksofinstagram
4 weeks ago
23.06.19 #authorsfrommyshelves "C"
1. Wilkie Collins.
The Woman in White is one of my favourite classics. I have read 5 of his books, but long to collect more.
2. Angela Carter.
I read this one at university, and The Bloody Chamber I have read a few times. Her other books that I have are quite slim, so I ought to fit in another one soon.
3. Amanda Coplin.
I am saving this one for September as that seems a good month to read about orchards.
4. Peter Carey.
Oscar and Lucinda was such a beautiful book, that I have picked up a few more by Carey. Predictably though, I haven't read a second one yet!
5. J. M. Coetzee.
I have read Disgrace, but not this second Booker Prize winning book.
6. Willa Cather.
I am yet to read this slim classic.
7. Joanna Cannon.
I really enjoyed The Trouble with Goats and Sheep; and plan to read Elsie this Summer.
Since taking this picture, I realised that I should also have included Joseph Conrad. I have only read The Secret Agent by him.
That's my "C" authors. Who features in your home library?
Go and check out @barbaras.book.obsession
B authors collection too!
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2 months ago
30.04.19 April #wrapup 🐣
1. Swallowdale by Arthur Ransome
I read this to my youngest, as we are reading most of the series. A charming re-visit to the characters from Swallows and Amazons, but not my favourite so far. ⭐⭐⭐
2. The Year of the Flood by Margaret Atwood.
Book two in the dystopian MaddAddam trilogy. Some more background on the scenario set up in Oryx and Crake. Thought provoking and frightening like all well-written dystopian fiction, the Christian/environmental group, God's Gardeners provide much of the backdrop. I liked that Atwood wrote them hymns which were included in the narrative.
3. The Enchanted April by Elizabeth Von Arnim.
No, I didn't do that to the spine! 🙄 I loved this! Funny and charming, it tales of the transformative power of a holiday in beautiful surroundings on four women's lives. I thoroughly enjoyed reading this with other bookstagrammers!
4. The Secret History by Donna Tartt.
A study in guilt of elite college students selected to read ancient Greek. The first part details events leading up to the murder of their classmate revealed in the prologue. Part two deals with the subsequent guilt, paranoia and degeneration of their lives after this event. Everyone in this book was despicable. It was hard to know how I wanted them to end up. ⭐⭐⭐🌟
5. The Cement Garden by Ian McEwan.
Four children, unexpectedly orphaned, fend for themselves in the family home. Disturbing, disgusting and macabre as only early McEwan can deliver. His writing always describes perfectly. You might not want to imagine, but you always do! McEwan always delivers a memorable scenario.
#bookstagram #bookstagrammer #bookblogger #aprilwrapup #ianmcewan #donnatartt #elizabethvonarnim #margaretatwood #arthurransome #reader #readersofinstagram #aprilbookstagram19 #lorrainereads #booksofinstagram
4 months ago
14.03.19 Out for coffee and cake to celebrate a friend's birthday, and like all good #bookstagrammer folk, I had my new read in my bag ripe for a photo!
My friends and family are getting used to these sorts of antics now!
Anyway, I first saw this debut historical novel on @renie_reads account, and it caught my eye!
Set in 1612, the year of the Pendle Witch Trials, in Lancashire, England; it follows the story two women whose lives are dependent on each other: one to survive childbirth, and one to survive witchcraft accusations. That's all I know, because I'm just beginning it!
Has anyone else been affected by this glitch in the Instagram system? I feel like I missed loads of things yesterday because my feed wouldn't refresh, and I kept getting repeated messages on Messenger and DM.
#bookstagram #staceyhalls #thefamiliars #bonnierzaffre #bookblogger #bookandcake #reader #reading #readersofinstagram #bookcover #pendlewitchtrials #lorrainereads #historicalfiction #booksofinstagram #bookish #thedeliilfracombe
4 months ago
28.02.19 February #wrapup 🌸
1. The Pickwick Papers by Charles Dickens (1836-7, this edition, Vintage 2009)
Dickens' first, and my penultimate read through his novels. This took me so long to read!! It's not that I struggle with big books particularly, but a combination of a busy period in life and the episodic nature of Pickwick left me struggling. It was if course, originally published in serial form, and very much has that feel.
The scenes vary from out- dated situational comedy to laugh-out-liud hilarious; from observational witticisms to serious social criticism.
Some memorable scenes and characters (Sam Weller being marvellous!), but overall not in my favourite Dickens reads - I definitely prefer his latter works -
2. The Doll Factory by Elizabeth Macneal (Picador, May 2019)
I reviewed this book yesterday, so you can check that out if you want to hear more, but this is a great literary thriller of a book from a debut author.
Set in Victorian London in the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood scene of artists, but also featuring characters from a sinister underworld.
I really enjoyed it!
3. Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro (Faber, 2005)
A dystopian story told in a series of memories by Kathy, who grew up in an idyllic boarding school, where children are kept for a special purpose in adult life.
I thought that this was beautiful writing once again from Ishiguro. It's my second book read by him and I will be devouring others soon now. I love how controlled his storytelling is. I am a big fan now!
In March, I am planning to read some books from my top ten tbr which I picked in January, as well as some that I have recently bought.
Do you have a plan, or are you going with the flow? 🙂
#bookblogger #bookstagrammer #bookstagram #reader #lorrainereads #thepickwickpapers #charlesdickens #vintagebooks #thedollfactory #elizabethmacneal #picador #neverletmego #kazuoishiguro #faberbooks #februaryreads
5 months ago
31.01.19 January #wrapup
I read 5 books, two of which were kindly sent to me by publishers.
1. Melmoth by Sarah Perry (2018)
A short novel in the gothic tradition that re-explores the legend of the Wanderer; in this instance, in female form.
A wonderful study on guilt, but possibly with predictable examples of human evil.
I am a big fan of Sarah Perry’s books!
2. Night Theatre by Vikram Paralkar (out 7 February 2019) Thank you to @serpentstail for this copy.
I really liked this short novel about a surgeon in rural India who has a fatally wounded family walk into his surgery late one evening, begging to be repaired and thus returned to life by morning. Gothic, macabre, surgical magic realism! It’s a great read!
3. The Winter of the Witch by Katherine Arden (2019)
This copy was kindly sent to me from @penguinrandomhouse
The third book in The Winternight Trilogy, but the first that I read. I think maybe I lost some of the impact of the opening scenes because I hadn’t already read the first two books, but this one is non-stop action all the way to the end! ⭐️⭐️⭐️
4. The Bear and the Nightingale by Katherine Arden (2017)
My personal favourite of the three books. This was so magical and full of Russian fairytale and snow! A perfect winter read!
5. The Girl in the Tower by Katherine Arden (2018)
This was enjoyable too. The switch to wider Russia and ultimately Moscow was good. I think that my daughters will love this series. I recommend reading these in the winter months!
And as I write, it’s snowing! 🌨
Unfortunately, it’s just falling wet, and I am heading out on the school run shortly. Maybe we will get a snow day tomorrow? 🙌
#januarywrapup #winterreading #bookstagram #bookstagrammer #bookstack #katherinearden #delreybooks #winternighttrilogy #winter #thebearandthenightingale #thegirlinthetower #thewinterofthewitch #serpentstail #sarahperry #melmoth #gothicfiction #melmothiswatching #vikramparalkar #nighttheatre #thewoundsofthedead #reader #reading #lorrainereads #books
6 months ago
31.12.18 “...and the happiest New Year.” 🎶
1. A Wizard of Earthsea by Ursula Le Guin. (1968)
A classic children’s fantasy story, but it just wasn’t for me. I found it tedious.
2. Christmas With the Savages by Mary Clive (1955).
Another children’s classic, set in a big house in the Christmas holidays through a child’s eyes. I loved this one!
3. The Toy Makers by Robert Dinsdale (2018).
Magical, fantasy set in a toy shop and spanning the early twentieth century; it tackles family relationships and rivalries; and war and trauma. I wanted to like this a lot more than I did. I feel that my younger self would have appreciated this a lot more.
Although it has some interesting things to say about trauma, having read Pat Barker’s Regeneration Trilogy very recently, it doesn’t compare.
However, magical and full of wonderful imagery. Not dissimilar to The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern.
My total books read in 2018 was 59, having set a target of 40.
Thank you to everyone who has chatted to me about my reads this year! I’m already drawing up lists for 2019!
#jinglebookrock Day 31 - New Year Greeting and wrap up.
Happy New Year everybody! 🎉🎉🎉🎉🎉🎉🎉🎉🎉
#decemberwrapup #bookstagram #bookstagrammer #bookblogger #lorrainereads #monthlywrapup #robertdinsdale #thetoymakers #maryclive #christmaswiththesavages #puffinbooks #ursulaleguin #awizardofearthsea #childrensbooks #reader #reading #bookstack #teapot #bookphoto #bookcommunity
9 months ago
30.09.18 #septemberwrapup 🍎
1. Reservoir 13 by Jon McGregor - A teenage girl disappears and a community is changed forever, and yet the natural cycle of life continues.
It surprised me a bit. I felt that it was very truthful.
2. The Swimming Pool Season by Rose Tremain - A redemption story involving a swimming pool set in rural France and Oxford.
Great characters and really poignant.
3. Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen.
Two sisters of titular dispositions and their love interests. I think that I read it in my teens, and didn’t enjoy it. I still didn’t. Sorry Austen fans! #Austen18
5. Little Dorrit by Charles Dickens
Exploring themes of imprisonment and isolation, Dickens contrasts the fortunes of the (many) characters of this long novel.
Dickens is a genius!
6. Paris Echo by Sebastian Faulks.
An exploration of Paris and its Metro system exposing some of its darker moments in the 20th century.
7. Autumn by Ali Smith.
Poetical and playful with its language, Autumn captures the mood of Britain at the time of the Brexit vote.
I thought that it was beautifully done.
And so, another month is over!
I’m planning on joining in with #victober next month.
Has anyone chosen some titles for this, or any other reading plans you may have?
See you in October Bookstagrammers! 🍎
#bookstagram #bookstagrammer #bookblogger #monthlywrapup #septemberreads #literature #reader #read #books #lorrainereads #september #autumnreads
9 months ago
The Little Red Chairs by Edna O’Brien (Faber & Faber, 2015)
The Little Red Chairs of the title refers to a commemoration event on the 6th April 2012 to mark the twentieth anniversary of the start of the 1,425 day siege of Sarajevo.
11,541 empty red chairs were laid out in rows to represent those killed.
643 small chairs represented the children of Sarajevo who were killed during the siege.
A Balkan war criminal turns up in a small Irish village masquerading as a faith healer.
The whole community are in awe, but one woman in particular is filled with attraction for him.
I have not read an O’Brien book in a long time. This one sounds emotional! 📕
It’s nearly October! What has been your best September read? 😀
#booksofinstagram #ednaobrien #thelittleredchairs #lorrainereads #bookstagram #bookstagrammer #bookblogger #faber #irishliterature #sarajevo #ireland #reading #currentread #literature