Friday 3 May 2013

Book love

Each month I chat about what books I've been reading in my monthly Book Love feature.

Atlantis - David Gibbins
I am a sucker for archaeology-mystery books, so thought this was probably a good shout when I spotted it in a charity shop. It was alright in a sort-of-trying-to-be-Dan Brown way, but the characters were quite wooden, and the villains (scary Russians who ALSO want to find Atlantis, how dare they? etc etc) were a bit boring. The author is an underwater archaeologist so clearly knows what he's talking about, even if it's not the most thrilling of tales.

Gentlemen of the Road - Michael Chabon
I've tried to read a couple of Michael Chabon books but always struggle to get into them... which frustrates me when I know so many people that rave about him! Anyway, the same thing happened with Gentlemen of the Road - I really wanted to like it, but just couldn't engage with it. It's a swashbuckling adventure novel about two travellers who make their way around the Caspian Sea (& get into all sorts of peril!). Sounds awesome, but I wasn't that fussed.

Why Be Happy When You Could Be Normal? - Jeanette Winterson
After battling through a few difficult books, I picked up a book by my very favourite author as I knew I would be in safe hands. I'm not usually into autobiographies or memoirs, but this is something else. I LOVE HER. It's the story of her life, and it's powerful and disturbing and lovely and just brilliant. She is a writer who loves language, and almost every line could be a poem.

Written on the Body - Jeanette Winterson
After reading her memoir, I then had to re-read Written on the Body - it's my very favourite book of all time. It's a beautiful book about falling in love (and I promise it's not as sappy as that sounds). Jeanette Winterson doesn't write in a typical narrative structure, it's more like a stream of consciousness (but not in a terrible James Joyce way!). Nothing I can say will do it justice - it's a beautiful, gritty, honest (sometimes heartbreaking) book that just makes so much sense. Read it!

Stranger in a Strange Land - Robert Heinlein
I have slightly mixed feelings about this book. On the whole I really enjoyed it - it's about a man who grows up on Mars & is brought to earth... and despite being quite old-school I found that I really cared about the characters & the peril (there's obviously peril) that they were in. But when reading it you have to remember that it was written in the 60's... some of the characters come out with terrible statements, things can be unintentionally hilarious & things get quite weird towards the end. If you like sci fi then you should definitely read it! If not, the next book is more for you...

The Passage - Justin Cronin
Ahhh, it's so scary! This is an epic apocalyptic thriller, where experiments go horribly wrong & vampires are actually scary (and definitely don't glitter in sunshine). I absolutely flew through this book, it's the type that once you start reading you definitely don't want to stop! It's also being made into a film so you should read it now before the movie comes out.

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