I was updating my Books I’ve Read page and realised it’s ages since I did a book review type post (last August I think it was), so here’s one now.
The gift of a Kindle for my birthday spurred my reading on a bit, and I’ve also been working through the pile of ‘waiting to be read’ books I have beside my bed – adding to it all the time as I am given books as presents, or recommended ones are passed on to me, or I am tempted by books in bookshops (which happens a lot!). I wonder if it will ever actually be possible to get to end of the pile! Here are two of my favourites from what I’ve been reading recently.
The first book I read on my Kindle was the crime thriller The Big Over Easy (Nursery Crimes Adventures 1) by Jasper Fforde. This is the second book of his that I have read and it didn’t disappoint me. Imagine a world where NurseryRhyme and fairy tale characters (Humpty Dumpty, The Three Little Pigs, Wee Willie Winkie etc) are alive and well and living quite normal lives in Berkshire amongst the general populous, and where a small, underfunded department of the local police force (Detective Inspector Jack Spratt, Sergeant Mary Mary) is dedicated to dealing with any crimes involving them. This is the world that Fforde writes about very cleverly and amusingly. The whole story is sprinkled with clever references to fables, fairy stories and nursery rhymes, and centres round the investigation into the murder of Humpty Stuyvesant van Dumpty III who has been found dead, in pieces, on the ground behind a wall. It’s a well written crime story and great fun. I really recommend it.
I enjoyed The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern very much – it is possibly the best book I have read in years because the idea behind it is so unusual. As soon as I began reading the first page I was captivated …
” The circus arrives without warning.
No announcements precede it, no paper notices on downtown posts and billboards, no mentions or advertisements in local newspapers. It is simply there, when yesterday it was not.
Opens at Nightfall
Closes at Dawn
… The sun disappears completely beyond the horizon, and the remaining luminosity shifts from dusk to twilight. All over the tents, small lights begin to flicker, as though the entirety of the circus is covered in particularly bright fireflies. When the tents are all aglow, sparkling against the night sky, the sign appears.
Les Cirques des Reves “
I just loved the way it is written – very imaginative, and beautifully described and is one of those books that, as soon as it was finished, I wanted to go back to the beginning and enjoy it all over again. It tells the story of two magicians who disagree on the best way to train an apprentice. To settle the argument they agree to train an apprentice each and then pit them against each other in a challenge. The apprentices will not know that they are part of a challenge, and will not know each other. Central to the plot is the creation of a circus and it’s the descriptions of the circus performers and their enchanting, magical environment which was the most wonderful thing for me. I think you should read it.
What have you been reading recently?