November reading

The Museum of Cathy – Anna Stothard

I read this free from The Pigeonhole – thanks – and was intrigued by the premise. I like stories or articles that examine the significance of things and, in this respect, the Museum of Cathy didn’t disappoint. I did however have trouble warming to it, and Cathy especially. Growing up in a shack on the Essex coastline, Cathy collects objects from the natural world, and goes on to work in a natural history museum as a result. But she also has a nasty past and a relationship that’s clearly gone wrong when she receives objects through the post from a past boyfriend. Can she escape her past? Though the flashback scenes and the parts where Cathy examines her objects are beautifully written, I think the style did distance the reader from the characters a little. On the other hand, I was relieved that the author didn’t fall into schlock standard violence scenes for the ending.

His Bloody Project – Graham Burnett Macrae

I liked this but I was also disappointed by it. I think the hype surrounding it was the problem. It’s an excellent portrayal of the hardships faced by small croftsmen and their families, the historical details are wonderful and really draw you in. The issue comes where the reviews have said the novel is an examination of the precariousness of truth. There wasn’t enough of a twist or a change at the end to warrant the reviews; I just went ‘oh ok’ at the extra reveal. Read it for the details, don’t read it for the shite talked about it.

The Readers of Broken Wheel Recommend – Katarina Bivald

OK, this is a bit light but I had some trouble reading the below and had to grab something quickly. It was fairly improbable but fun enough.

The Honourable Schoolboy – John Le Carre

I was nearly halfway through reading this when my husband picked it up and started reading it as well. This has outraged me. Am I the only person that thinks this is rude? It made it difficult to settle down and read, he was reading it when I wanted to and I was just uncomfortable – it made me feel the book wasn’t mine. I find the reading process to be a personal one and I need to know the book will be there when I need it, not when it’s available. Reading is not a sharing activity. Anyway, I enjoyed this though I feel it could have benefited from having about 200 pages edited out (and I’m not just saying that because it took so long to read, there is no real need for long background info on a character Smiley interviews for 15 minutes.)

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