Books #6 – 26-30

5 more books read, and I’m now just over halfway in this year’s challenge – I’m up to book 30 and it’s now midApril.

Medieval Obscenities by Nicola McDonald and the Viking Wars by Max Adams were two I enjoyed a lot, but I think you probably need to already be sold on medieval history – I don’t think that they would work as introductions to the period or topic.

The Crimson Petal and the White, Michael Faber

I didn’t actually finish this one – I read over 300 pages before I gave up. Most people seem to have really enjoyed it, but I just couldn’t get into it at all – that’s not a problem I usually have, but I’m trying to get better at just moving on to another book if the one I’m reading just isn’t working for me. It’s really well reviewed so my expectations were very high, possibly too high. Don’t let me put you off at all – I might well try reading it again in a while, but I feel that if 300 pages in you’re still struggling, it’s probably not for you

Scout, Atticus and Boo, Mary McDonagh Murphy

I love To Kill a Mockingbird, which probably isn’t a controversial opinion. Atticus almost made me want to be a lawyer and Scout is one of my favourite characters in literature. This book is several short essays about to Kill a Mockingbird, written before the discovery and publication of Go Set a Watchman. Mostly I thought it was brilliant, and it was interesting to read lots of different perspectives on the book. Like my memory of the book itself, Jem remains largely unknown and unexplored, and it would be interesting to see some of the reactions to Go Set a Watchman. It was a lovely testament to the impact To Kill a Mockingbird has had on so many people without feeling at all sycophantic.

First Person Singular, Haruki Murakami

I’ve just finished this – it’s a collection of short stories, most of which I really enjoyed (a couple I didn’t, but an advantage of short stories is that it doesn’t take long to get to one you enjoy more!) I think my favourite story was ‘Confessions of a Shinagawa Monkey’. Sometimes the stories were a bit MPDG, but some other things I’ve read by Murakami are too, so I was expecting that. I loved the way it was written (/translated) – even if I didn’t necessarily understand it all.

Book Challenge: 30/52

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