If anything can be said about the books I read this month I think eclectic is a good choice.
Reasons to Stay Alive – Matt Haig – 5 stars
Matt Haig is incredible. That he shares his story so fully is touching and humbling. There were so many moments in this book where it felt as though the memory had been plucked out of my head. The enormous obsessions over little things, the stressing on something that hadn’t happened, on and on. Thank you, Matt.
A Storm of Witchcraft – Emerson W Baker – 4 stars
Orlando – Virginia Woolf – 4 stars
I’m not even going to try to break this novel down. I really enjoyed pushing myself to read this and I’m glad I did because by the end, I wasn’t prepared to let Orlando go. It is a tough read but once you get your eye in for the prose you really are in for a treat!
This Little Piggy – Bea Davenport – 4 stars
Davenport has written a book that is driven by the story and the characters. This could sound like a strange thing to say about it but what Davenport achieves is a suspension of the reader in the industrial action of the mid 1980s UK. She makes it human and real and there are no glib asides that reference how thoroughly modern we are thirty years later. If you didn’t know different, you would think it was actually written during the time it is set.
The Miniaturist – Jessie Burton – 3 stars
I found myself somewhat confused by this book. I neither liked it nor disliked it. I could see why so many people have raved over it as there are many praise worthy elements but it just didn’t grab me. Burton tells a story that is correct within its historical context but for many readers (going by some of the reviews on Goodreads) she has missed the mark when it comes to showing / giving understanding to the themes addressed in this book. As 21st century readers, our understanding of life is very different from to someone from 17th century Amsterdam. We do not share the same sensibilities and for a large group of people, who do not know the history of homosexuals throughout history, there are no markers to explain why what is happening happens. I ramble. I realise that. Burton’s books is well worth the time to read but you just have to forget your modernity for 400 pages to really see the strength of this prose.
Average Star Rating – 4