What I’ve been reading: June 2016

This month, I have devoured books. Two were recommended, one of which I loved and two are oldies but goodies and free or basically free on my Kindle. The house may not be tidy, but I feel enlightened in a way that only books can do.

100 years of Solitude by Gabriel García Márquez

I had heard good things about the novel and the title seems to pop up everywhere. Well, I was a bit put off by the accolades (I am almost permanently put off reading anything on the Man Booker short list after a few bad experiences), but after a positive review on one of my favourite blogs (As the Bird Flies) I decided to read it. I’m so glad I did. I absolutely loved it and it is my favourite book so far this year. It’s whimsical and dark and lets you meander through a tiny village in central America but you’re not sure if you’re dreaming. It may not be everyone’s cup of tea as it’s not written with that much of a structure, you’re just kind of carried along by the story. There’s no telling what will happen and sometimes what happens is really weird and it’s hard to tell if you’ve just read it wrong! The first and last lines are to die for. You may need to make a chart of all the names – there are a lot of names.

 

Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson

A free or almost free book available on Kindle and an adventure tale of pirates, treasure and mutiny. After reading more modern fiction, the differing structure of older books takes some getting used to, but this is a classic and really drew me in. I think I had read this before when I was a kid, but it was so long ago now, so it was like a surprise and I did really enjoy this one.

 

The Crystal Cave (Arthurian Saga Book 1)

I was recommended this book by a lady at Vauxhall station. She had seen that I was reading another Mary Stewart book and she said the Arthurian Saga was her favourite. While I appreciate any book recommendation and I do not doubt her taste in books, I really didn’t like this one. Now, I absolutely love the King Arthur stories and read anything related to them. Maybe because I’ve read a version of this story so many times and maybe I’m finally getting tired of it after more than a decade, but this version really didn’t do it for me. It was written from Merlin’s perspective which sounds like a good thing, but it just didn’t have the whimsy and the joy of the story in it, to me anyway. It could be that I just loved the previous book too much that no book was ever going to seem good after that. I don’t think I’ll be investing in the rest of the series.

 

Around the World at 80 Days by Jules Verne

An older one that was free or basically free (I can’t remember). This book will inspire the most sedentary reader to want to pack up and go on an adventure around the world. It’s also entertaining for all the wrong reasons as it is a book of its time and has some statements of dubious character. It’s a classic, everyone knows the story and I enjoyed it.

 

Into Thin Air: A Personal Account of the Mt. Everest Disaster  by Jon Krakauer

A document of a major tragedy that occurred on Mt Everest in 1996. Inexplicitly, this book has done more to make me want to climb Mt Everest than anything else. It’s a horrifically heart breaking story told with some emotion but more as a somewhat dry account of events. While reading about this tragedy 20 years ago, I just kept thinking of the more recent disaster after the Nepalese earthquake last year. To state the obvious, it really is life or death on the mountain with or without a major earthquake. Despite the tragedy, the description of life on the mountain and the scenery and the challenge was incredible. I don’t think I’ll actually climb the mountain, but boy do I want to see it close up.

 

 

Image sourced from here.

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