Reading List :: March & April

My reading lately has slowed to a crawl compared to the start of the year. I knew this would happen, as the shine of a new year slowly fades and energy gets zapped by competing demands. This recent sticky, lethargy inducing weather does little to help in spurring me to pick up a book, and when I do my eyes get heavy with sleep. Having said that, now that I've looked back over the books from the last two months, I'm actually quite surprised with how many I did manage to read. A few books on this list have also become new favourites to be cherised and join others on the bookshelf.

The King's General, Daphne Du Maurier

I'm still on my 'must read all the du Maurier books ever' stint. I really enjoyed this one, it had the suspense, the romance, a great female main character and a lil bit of mystery. 

Swing Time, Zadie Smith

I had actually started this last year, but got distracted by something else. I didn't enjoy it as much as White Teeth, but once I got into it it was very readable.

Villa America, Liza Klausmann

Another one I started last year but failed to get into the first time around. I'd never heard about Sara and Gerald Murphy, the couple who inspired Fitzgerald's characters in Tender is the Night so it was an interesting read from that perspective. It jumped around a lot, and introduced a lot of characters, and I actually found the story of her fictional character more interesting. It was an enjoyable read nonetheless.

Jo’s Boys, Louisa May Alcott

I first read this many, many years ago and enjoyed it at the time. I found it better than Little Men, as it wasn't quite as patronising and the characters were a little more developed and it was nice to see where the characters all ended up. 

The Remains of the Day, Kazuo Ishiguro

This was a good read, if a little sad. It was incredibly subtle with the main character slowly facing the consequences of the life he has lived. It is beautifully, quietly heartbreaking. 

The Duke in his Domain, Truman Capote

This is an account of an interview Capote had with Marlon Brando in Japan and is an interesting insight into an actor I know very little about off screen. It's worth reading just for Capote's writing which I am still very much in love with.

The Handmaid's Tale, Margaret Atwood

I was looking forward to reading this and it did not disappoint. Obviously it was slightly unnerving, especially when compared with headlines in the news today. I'm now going to watch the tv series and try not to compare the two. 

A Gentleman in Moscow, Amor Towles

This book. This book was so uplifting. After reading the blurb I really wasn't sure what to expect, but it was a fairly lighthearted read about a very difficult time period. The joie de vivre that the main character has, despite being confined to one building for the rest of his life, was so encouraging. 

Agatha Raisin and the Quiche of Death, M.C. Beaton

This was a nice read which didn't require too much thinking. I took a while to liken to the main character, but this tale of murder in the Cotswolds kept me reading to the end.

The Flight of the Falcon, Daphne Du Maurier

Oh hey Daphne, you again. This wasn't one of my favourites, it had the mystery and a big ol' eerie atmosphere but I found it fell a little flat at the end. 

We Should all be Feminists, Chimamanda Ngozi Adiche

A very short but essential read that I whizzed through one lunchtime. 

Behind the Scenes at the Museum, Kate Atkinson

Not one of my favourite Atkinson books, but I did enjoy the time jumping and finding out the stories behind the family objects. 

One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich, Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn

This was another re-read, and one I enjoyed just as much the second time through as the first. It tells the story of a day from the perspective of Denisovitch, a prisoner in a Russian gulag.

Women and Power, Mary Beard

This is a compilation of two short lectures so was a quick read with lots for you to think about. As a previous Classics student, I enjoyed the feminist perspective from a classical point of view.