There is something rather magical about summer holidays. We are blessed in our house, that Mr Barefoot’s office closes between Christmas & New Year, so there is an automatic week of holidays of us all together. Then, what with the public holidays, and bank holidays and whatnot, we are able to add another few days out of his leave entitlements for a pretty decent chunk of time. Of morning we all pitch in and get our chores done and the house straightened, and then the day is ours. High on my priority list? Reading and crafting (I know, absolute shock of the century, right?). Before I jump into what’s on my summer reading list, let’s do a quick revisit of November’s list, and my in-progress books.
Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy – John le Carrè – carry over from October, still haven’t had a chance to get a good run at it due to work. A must finish for the holidays!
So Much For That – Lionel Shriver – FINISHED – 3 stars. An interesting look inside the relational effects of terminal illness/chronic illness. The pacing felt a bit off and and the ending was rather rushed and not overly satisfying. More than one character needed a good hard shake to get them to wake up to themselves.
Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine – Gail Honeyman – FINISHED – 4 stars. I read this book in just over a day, thanks to kindle+audible whispersync. I really enjoyed this book, although at first I struggled with Eleanor being too archetypical, but it all came together and made complete sense by the end. It was a gripping exploration of the power of the mind that sucked me in and threw me sideways with the ending. Highly recommend, and will be rereading/listening sometime soon!
The Lost Life – Steven Carroll – 3 stars. I grabbed this one from my local indie thanks to a gift voucher for my birthday. It is a beautiful read, rather lyrical, and is centred around the overwhelming self-absorption of a young couple in love for the first time, and how contracted their world view becomes, at the expense of others. The young couple intersect with a secret ceremony shared between T.S. Eliot and his Special Friend, Miss Hale, but I would have loved to have seen more depth in this secondary relationship, and an exploration into his first marriage and his wife. Overall an enjoyable read but I felt some of the recurring themes were overplayed or unresolved (or both).
Rose Raventhorpe Investigates Black Cats & Butlers# – Janine Beacham – 4 stars. I selected this one for my summer reading pile based on the fun cover, pretty much, and the back page quote of the ARC which likened it to shades of Downton Abbey. Totally up my alley…what I didn’t realise was that it is an MG novel, with a 12 year old protagonist. Nevertheless, it was a super fun read! A Nancy Drew style main character, secret tunnels, covert societies of city guardians, Victorian Gothic themes and a best friend reminiscent of Catherine Morland from Northanger Abbey, Black Cats and Bultlers is a perfect summer read for mamas looking for nostalgia, or tweens looking for a good fun series of suspense novels.
The Zanzibar Wife# – STARTED – seems to be a pleasant easy read. Based around a photojournalist, her handler, and a second wife, and their chance meeting to travel together in Oman
The Life To Come# – “…a mesmerising novel about the stories we tell and don’t tell ourselves as individuals, as societies and as nations” and right then I was hooked! I am yet to start this but the blurb makes it sound fabulous, so I’m keen to get cracking.
5 Things To Pray For People You Love – this was a gift from a lovely friend of mine for Christmas, and a potential source book for bible study next year. It’s reasonably thin but I have discovered that size can be deceptive with faith based books!
Fight Like A Girl – Clementine Ford – a score from Kindle’s 12 Days of Christmas sale
The Missing Pieces of Us – Fleur McDonald – another Kindle 12 Days bargain, that I also added the audible for, because whispersync is awesome.
Little Fires Everywhere – Celeste Ng – a suggestion on Audible that seemed interesting but I am yet to start
Anne of Avonlea – IN PROGRESS – the children & I love to listen to audio books as we do our handcraft for homeschool, and this was their request after we finished Anne of Green Gables.
*phew* what a list! Good thing there’s still 2.5 weeks until Mr Barefoot goes back to work! My goodreads total stands at 36 out of 52, but I’ve easily filled those remaining 14 spots with fanfic and some rather dodgy free books from iBooks that really don’t need to appear on my goodreads account!!
# indicates books of my choosing, gifted to me as ARCs in exchange for reviews, from my fave indie bookshop, The Dust Jacket. All book choice, ratings and reviews are my own. These guys are awesome and will happily post books wherever. I don’t receive a commission from sales but do get warm fuzzies from helping to spread the small business love.