It’s while since I did an update on books I’ve been reading.
A month or so ago the set book for the Book Club I go to (which is really just an excuse for a glass of wine, some chat and a gossip and discussing the books often takes up five minutes if we’re lucky!) was The Great Gatsby by F Scott Fitzgerald. I didn’t really enjoy it and feel a bit guilty saying that because isn’t it supposed to be a classic – one of those ‘must read’ books? I forced myself to finish it just in case it started getting better, but it didn’t. I think the main problem was that I didn’t really care about any of the characters. The life of the wealthy socialites and residents of Long Island was well described I suppose – the parties, the cars, the private planes, but I just wasn’t bothered about what happened to any of them – I didn’t find any of the characters particularly likeable. So, apologies if it is your favourite book, and a classic, but it’s just not for me.
A book I really enjoyed was Amenable Women by Mavis Cheek. It was lent to me by a colleague with reports that it was interesting and very readable – and indeed it was. It’s about a woman whose infuriating husband dies in a bizarre ballooning accident and she decides to finish his history of the village where they lived all their married life. As she researches it, she discovers a lot about Henry VIII’s fourth wife Anna of Cleves, and so do we. For me that was possibly the most enjoyable thing – finding out about a woman that we quickly dismiss as the ‘ugly’ wife. The book is cleverly written with Anna of Cleves’ portrait cleverly telling us her story.
The Importance of Being Seven and Bertie Plays the Blues, both by Alexander McCall Smith were both good. They continue the gentle stories of the people who live in, or are connected with, 44 Scotland Street. There is no high drama, no jeopardy, no gruesome happenings, no bad language just interesting characters going about their everyday lives, well written and with some wicked humour