Monday, March 14, 2016

Did you Ever Have a Family | Bill Clegg

I enjoyed the structure of this novel. A central event is seen, chapter by chapter, by various key players. As they describe their experiences, the truth is revealed.

The stage is set for a beautiful garden wedding for June's daughter. But in the night, a fire engulfs the home, killing June's daughter, fiance, ex-husband and boyfriend. The officials clean up the site immediately, taking no care to find the source of the fire. Everyone thinks they know who set it and why.

June needs to redefine her life, so goes off and lives in a quiet motel by the Pacific Ocean. And it is this location which connects many of the characters in the town. The caterer who never got paid, the local kid who helped with yard work, the mother of June's boyfriend... They all get to tell their side of the story.

Intricate web of strands ties this circular tale into a beautiful story. well worth reading.

The Flood | Ian Rankin

Rankin wrote this while at University, instead of writing his thesis. I rate this one as one of his best books. Loved the story idea and the style. He really can tell a story.
In this novel, we meet a mother and son trying to make sense of their world, a small Scottish community. They are both marked by the unfortunate events in the mother's life: as a child she was pushed into the chemical runoff of the local factory. Her hair turns white and she is marginalised by ignorance and suspicion.
As a solo mother, more isolated than before, she starts a relationship with a schoolteacher and as her son grows up she has to reveal their family secrets for him to make peace with himself and his community.

Dark, powerful and a great start to Rankin's career.


Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Best Books of 2015

For me, 2015 proved to be a record year for reading. In 2015 I managed to break the 100-book mark. Of those, forty four books made it to my 'excellent' list. I will endeavour to review them all for you but for starters, here's the list. I hope you enjoy going through them.

Off the Map by Fergus Fleming
Waiting for Doggo by Mark B Mills
Little Princes by Conor Gennan
Into the Dark Corner by Elizabeth Haynes
The Spark: a mother's story of nurturing a genius by Kristine Barnett
The Bone Clocks by David Mitchell
The Translation of the Bones by Francesca Kay
The Lighthouse by Alison Moore
The Man in the Wooden Hat by Jane Gardam
A Spool of Blue Thread by Anne Tyler
The Invention of Wings by Sue Monk Kidd
A Map of Glass by Jane Urquhart
Oyster by Jane Turner Hospital
Goat Mountain by David Vann
A Mile Down by David Vann
A Reunion of Ghosts by Judith Claire Mitchell
The Secret Life of Luke Livingstone by Charity Norman
Etta and Otto and Russell and James by Emma Hooper
House of Stone by Christina Lamb
A Tale for the Time Being by Ruth Ozeki
Madness in Civilization by Andrew Scull
Traitor by Stephen Daisley
A God in Ruins by Kate Atkinson
All the Light we Cannot See by Anthony Doerr
Chappy by Patricia Grace
Stalin's Daughter by Rosemary Sullivan
The Mountain Can Wait by Sarah Leipciger
That Old Ace in the Hole by Anne Proulx
The Rocks by Peter Nichols
After Such Kindness by Gaynor Arnold
The Reader on the 6.27 by Jean-Paul Didierlaurent
Mountain Rescue by Phillip Merchior
The Invisible Mountain by Carolina de Roberti
Signs for Lost Children by Sarah Moss
Euphoria by Lily King
Sweet Caress by William Boyd
The Miniaturist by Jessie Burton
This is Where I Am by Karen Campbell
The Heart Goes Last by Margaret Atwood
My Grandmother Sends Her Regards and Apologies by Fredrik Backman
Headstrong:52 Women who changed Science by Rachel Swaby
An Astronaut's Guide to Life on Earth by Chris Hadfield