Another year dawns and with it great uncertainties in the political and economic world both at home and abroad most notably in the USA where the Simpsons cartoon is now happening for real. It is frightening in so many ways and as a historian in a past life the parallels with the 1930’s are stark. For now I feel helpless but also acutely aware that those that are disturbed should not sit back if we can make a difference in this world of hatred and intolerance.
The 1st January also dawned with me catching norovirus which wasn’t the best start to the year but did allow me to watch the marvellous Crown on Netflix as I felt sorry for myself on the sofa. But reading over Christmas and New Year was curtailed and as I was feeling sorry for myself the first few books of the year were easy but good reads especially the Shadow Sister by Lucinda Riley. The stand out book of the month was Jodi Picoult’s Small Great Things. Those that know me know I love to Kill a Mocking Bird and I think this book is a modern equivalent and given the current times very thought provoking. She came to our village hall in November and was one of the most intelligent writers I have ever seen and very challenging. My only criticism of a book that held me spell bound was that the ending was too tidy and wrapped up for a book that truly shocked me. Other good books were Local Girl Missing by Claire Douglas and Lie with Me by Sabrine Durrant the former had a brilliant ending the latter poor in comparison with the rest of the book.
And my reading challenge? Well I’ve decided not to take this in order but mix and match I’m too good at just doing things in order so time for a mix up. So as a 99% fiction reader is going to start the challenge with a non fiction book that I asked for Christmas. “Love of Country” by Madeline Bunting it’s a Radio 4 book. But that’s not the reason I wanted to read it. It’s about the Hebrides part travel book, part history and part political for the here and now and I loved it. Read it a week and savoured each and every chapter. And I will read it again. Learnt lots about islands I thought I knew relatively well as well as food for thought re politics in the U.K.
So the January reading list with scores on the doors.
1. The Snow Rose by Lulu Taylor -3/5
2. The Gift by Louise Jensen – 3/5
3. The Shadow Sister by Lucinda Riley – 4/5
4. Small Great Things by Jodie Picoult – 5/5
5. Love of Country by Madeline Bunting – 4/5
6. Local Girl Missing by Claire Douglas -4/5
7. Lie with me by Sabrine Durrant – 4/5
8. Gone Again by Doug Johnstone -3/5