I used to be indecisive…

…but now I'm not so sure

another ‘what I’ve been reading’ post

18 Comments

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.

Cover of "The Big Over Easy"

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.

 

https://i0.wp.com/www.thestorysiren.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/05/night-circus-cover1.jpg

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?

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18 thoughts on “another ‘what I’ve been reading’ post

  1. Both of those sound great.

    I’ve really enjoyed Fforde’s Thursday Next series, so maybe I’ll move onto Nursery Crime next.

    I think you might also like The Hollow Chocolate Bunnies of the Apocalypse by Robert Rankin. Lots of references to nursery rhymes in there as well! (It’s set in Toy Town, where the stars of various nursery rhymes are being murdered. a young boy called Jack and his friend – a teddy bear (well it IS toy town!) – set out to solve the crimes. I found it hilarious.)

  2. I know exactly what you mean when you wonder if you’ll ever get to the bottom of your pile of books! I’m pretty sure I NEVER will! I’ve just finished ‘You Had Me At Hello’ by Mhairi McFarlane. Pure chick lit, but well written and pithy, and a great storyline.

  3. At least with my Kindle the pile of books I’m accumulating doesn’t take up lots of space and they are all easy to carry around. The other day I was waiting for an appointment and realised that I didn’t have the next book in the series I’m reading, so I downloaded it on the spot…so quick and convenient.

  4. Thanks, Elaine, both books sound totally different from each other, but both good!

  5. I enjoyed the Night Circus too – some very original, beautiful ideas in it. But I did find the persistent use of the present tense a bit grating at times. Think I’d really like Jasper Fforde – he’s on my list!

  6. I read the first Thursday novel but didn’t like it enough to read any more.

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