Thursday, 4 May 2017

Books And More Books

Being in hospital for a couple of weeks and then since being home, having to take time out to recover, I've had plenty of opportunity to catch up on my reading. I'm one of those people who cannot walk past a book shop without popping in and coming out with an empty purse and a pile of books. I've always done it. Then I'll pop on my Kindle from time to time to search out a best seller or latest book release and end up downloading a few too many books than I'd planned for. Hence, I'm never up to date with my reading and doubt I ever will be, because I buy books faster than I can ever read them. Here are a few of the books I've been reading from my book shelf over this last week or two. 

I'll start with Donna Tartt's 'The Secret History'. This was a birthday gift, which I was really pleased with, as I loved her book, 'The Goldfinch', and I always had the intention of reading more of her books and just hadn't found the time to get round to it. I couldn't put this book down. Set in New England, it tells the story of a closely knit group of classics students. It is narrated through the eyes of one of the students, who reflects on a murder within the group and explores the the circumstances and the lasting effects. It has been proclaimed as a 'whydunit' rather than a 'whodunit' detective mystery and for me I'd say it's a must read.

'The Loving Husband' by Christobel Kent - I picked this one up recently, as it's a 'Sunday Times Bestseller' and a recommended 'Richard and Judy Book Club' read. It's a good one for those of you who like the current trend for psychological husband and wife thrillers like 'Apple Tree Yard' and 'Gone Girl'. It's set in the remote Fens, where Fran Hall and her husband Nathan, together with their young family are making a fresh start. Fran wakes one night to make a devastating discovery... I'll leave you to read and find out the rest if this type of book takes your fancy. 

'The Book Thief' by Markus Zusak - well, what can I say? This one has been on my 'to read' shelf for quite a while. I think at the time I bought it, I'd had a spate of reading books set in the First and Second World Wars (this one is set during the Second World War in Nazi Germany) and I decided to leave it for a while, as I like to vary my reading genres from book to book as I read. I think I'd been waiting for what felt like the right time to read it. Was it worth the wait then? The answer to that is a big 'yes' and it's an absolute 'must read'. Unusual in that the story is narrated by 'death', it follows the life of a young girl Liesel as she is exposed to the horrors of Nazi Germany. Buy and read it now. I don't know why it took me so long! 

'The Seige' by Helen Dunmore. I picked this book up in a National Trust second hand book shop - these book shops are well worth a browse for a bargain. I bought it purely because I'd already enjoyed reading a few of this author's other books, so thought it would be worth a look. Again, it's been sat on my bookshelf for some time, but somehow I decided to pick it up and give it a try. And I'm pleased I did. Another historical novel, set during the 'Seige of Leningrad' in the Second World War and following the lives of four ordinary people, united by love and fighting for survival. This book had me researching further into the history of St Petersburg - it actually left me wanting to visit this city with its powerful history and architecture that's brought to life in the book. Maybe one day sometime...

'A Noble Radience' by Donna Leon. Donna Leon is an American crime writer and most of her books are set in or around Venice and that's why I enjoy this author's books so much and especially her series of books about Commissario Brunetti. Brunetti is a police detective solving crime mysteries in Venice. Venice is one of my favourite places and I enjoy reading a book that is set in a foreign place I've visited. I'm slowly working my way through the whole series of the Brunetti novels and enjoy the characters and families in the books and the vivid descriptions of Venice and Venetian life. I always have the next few books in the series on my book shelf ready to pick up just in case I fancy a little wander around Venice. 

'Body Surfing' by Anita Shreve. I've read quite a few of this author's books - again I picked this one up in a National Trust second hand book shop for a bargain knowing I usually enjoy this author's work. I enjoy Shreve's easy style in how she unfolds a story. Her stories are usually about emotional and complex family relationships. In 'Body Surfing' she weaves her story around the character Sydney, a young widow, and how she is drawn into another family's destructive web of old tensions and divisions. It's well worth a read. 

What have you all been reading recently? Can you recommend any more good books? I'm always on the lookout for a good book and especially at the moment as I'm still slowly recovering from the pneumonia and flu infections I had recently, so need to pace myself and rest often. Plenty of excuse for snuggling down with a good book!

Fortunately I'm making progress now and my latest clinic this week was very encouraging. I'm back again in a months time, where they will reassess my lung function properly, as it too early days yet to do that until the inflammation clears more. It looks like I'm going to be needing some surgery in the near future too as a preventative measure to help my lungs. This is following test results after my lungs were found to be scarred after the acute rejection episodes I had back in autumn. But more on that later when I know more about it all myself. It's been a tough seven months with one thing or another and there's a few hurdles yet, but I do feel very positive that things are improving and are going to get better.

Onwards and upwards now and here's to more books...

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