It’s a great drying day today – very blustery – so I’ve managed to get two lots of laundry done; the second lot is on the washing line at the moment. We’ve also been to the carpet shop to choose a carpet for the bedroom, visited Ashley’s mother and been to Asda to do a bit of shopping and buy a present for the tenant of my flat in Bournemouth, who’s recently had a baby). Then finished unpacking and put suitcases away, and continued wading through emails, post and Google Reader.
As usual, I had my head in a book for a good portion of the holiday, and here is a review of what I read:
The Chalet Girls Grow Up – Merryn Williams
As a child, I loved Elinor M Brent Dyer’s Chalet School series of books, and read all of them avidly. I still have my entire collection, and always vowed to re-read them one day. They were old-fashioned (but in a good way) even when I read them in the late 70s/early 80s, the first one having been published in 1925, but somehow they just captured my imagination.
This book was written in 1998 (not by the original author) and is the story of what happened to many of the characters after the series finished. It’s a bit of a ‘Marmite’ book (ie love it or hate it) as it is a total departure from the original books and is very much an adult’s read, rather than a children’s book. I’ve read this book before, and loved it, and just felt like re-reading it. I’m pleased to report I enjoyed it just as much the second time around.
The Secret River – Kate Grenville
This is my book club read for this month, and is essentially the story of a very poor family in London in the early 1800s, who were transported to Australia as the result of a criminal conviction. It was well written and easy to read, and I found the stuff about the early settlers in Australia very interesting, having known next to nothing about this period in history previously.
The first third and last third were both great, but it did go off a bit in the middle for me – to the extent that I put it down halfway through, read another book, and then came back to it.
Loved the ending – not what I expected at all, and all the better for that.
The Cupid Effect – Dorothy Koomson
I’ve read two of Dorothy Koomson’s books previously and enjoyed them. They are easy-to-read chicklit – but a jolly good example of the genre, in my opinion – a little bit ‘different’.
I enjoyed this (it’s her first published book) but not as much as the two I’d read before – I couldn’t get to grips with the main character, and found her a bit irritating. The story is about Ceri, who decides to leave her job and h0me, to follow her dream to become a psychology lecturer at Leeds University, and to essentially make a new start.
The Last Juror – John Grisham
I’ve loved John Grisham’s books since reading A Time to Kill about 18 years ago, and this had been sitting on my bookshelf for a while.
It’s set in the Deep South in the early 70s, and as well as having a cracking storyline and some great courtroom drama – one of Grisham’s specialities – it is really evocative of the town it’s set in and of the time, and has some great characters. Grisham can really paint a picture with words – loved it.