I’m a bit late with my books post for February; my computer woes continue, and I was hoping to have Photoshop back before I did the post, but time marches on, and the computer isn’t fixed. So I have had to resort to an online photo editor to put together this month’s little collage. My skills are already somewhat suspect, so I can only apologise for the unprofessional feel of it this month! Hopefully by December I’ll have got a lot better. On with the books!
Cruel Summer – James Dawson
I had heard such good things about this book, having found out about it on UKYA. I was intrigued by the fact that it seemed different from the Young Adult books that I had read before; it is a murder mystery, so quite far removed from the usual teen romance books that I read. But in the end, I was rather disappointed. I found it rather predictable, having worked out who the killer was fairly quickly. I didn’t find the characters all that believable, and I hated the ending.
The Go-Between – L.P. Hartley
I wrote at length about The Go-Between, because it’s a book I am very fond of. I read it first when I studied it for my English Literature A-Level, and it’s one of very few books that I have studied and gone on to really love. I also realised that it’s the first book of this type that I’ve read in a really long time; I’m not sure that it actually counts as a classic, but it’s definitely in that area, and I haven’t read a classic in ages. I’m going to have to remedy that!
It’s Only a Movie – Mark Kermode
I’ve also written about this book, as it’s one of my ten non-fiction books for the year. I can’t emphasise how much I enjoyed this book, it made me laugh out loud multiple times, and I raced through it, reading it in less than a day. It is full of anecdotes about his life as a movie critic, and some of it is really fascinating. I particularly enjoyed reading the chapter he wrote about Simon Mayo, because, as you may know, I’m rather obsessed with their film podcast. I’d definitely recommend it to anyone who is a film fan. I’m currently in the middle of another of his books, which I’m enjoying less, but I’ll let you know how I get on with it.
The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight – Jennifer E. Smith
I’ve also written a review of this book (remember I said that I wanted my blog to focus more on books and reading!). I got it as a review copy from Netgalley, and I downloaded it on a bit of a whim, because I am a fan of Young Adult romance novels (probably more so than adult romance, to be honest). But all in all, it wasn’t all that good. It was short enough not to be offensive, but it didn’t really feel as though it went anywhere. The characters weren’t given any time to develop at all, so I never felt as though I was rooting for them enough.
From Invisible to Irresistible – Peter Jones
The full title of this book is From Invisible to Irresistible: Your Twelve Step Plan to Attracting the Man or Woman of Your Dreams! which is quite a mouthful! It’s not a book that I would ever choose to read, because I don’t really do self-help books. But sometimes, as a book reviewer, you have to read books that you wouldn’t always choose yourself. And I was actually pleasantly surprised, because it was really well-written and rather sensible. There was no navel-gazing, just practical suggestions about how to improve your life. And the author, Peter Jones, seems to be a very nice chap.
The House on Poultney Road – Stephanie Boddy
This is another book I had to read because of my Essex Life column, and it took me a while to get through. It’s a ghost story, and the author purports that it is all true. It’s a hard one to review, because as someone who can be a wee bit cynical about this kind of thing, it’s hard to read a book that claims to be based on a true story. But the good thing about this book is that the author has written it as though it is a story; she hasn’t presented the events as facts, merely as a story to be told.
I’ve worked out that if I continue to read six books a month, with three seven-book months somewhere in there, I’ll reach my goal exactly. I feel as though I’m lagging behind slightly for March already, but I’ll get there.
Twelve books down, 63 to go in my aim to read 75 books by the end of 2014.