I have decided to make Wednesdays Reading Roundup days. As I usually get through quite a few books each week, it will be good to remind myself about what I have read on a regular basis, apart from the short reviews I write on Goodreads.
Well, I say “quite a few books” and that is usually true, but this last week I got a bit bogged down with one book! First of all, I finished Elly Griffiths’ A Dying Fall. I think I was having some trouble concentrating as I wrote in this review:
I enjoyed this book, as I have all that I have read of the Ruth Galloway series so far, but I have to give it 3 stars rather than 4. For some reason, although I read the book in one sitting, I got the strands of the story a bit muddled and found some aspects rather unlikely and over the top. I even found an error early on in the book! Page 64 of this paperback edition: “…she understands how the Roman legions must have felt, leaving the sunny comfort of Italy and travelling northwards to the barbarous lands of the Anglo-Saxons”. Um, I think that the Anglo-Saxons did not live on these islands until after the Romans came. I could be wrong, but I thought that the Roman legions fought the British. Anyway, I suppose that is nit picking and I am already looking forward to reading Elly Griffiths’ next book.
As I spend more and more time in bed, I tend to flit between reading a print book, an ebook or random stuff on my iPad: Facebook, tPF, blogs, news etc. Just as the younger generations seem to find sustained reading an issue, I believe that a mixture of the above behaviour plus illness plus age is having a similar effect on me. Whereas in the past I had no trouble with concentration, I am finding it harder to focus on one thing at a time. Multitasking can be a very useful skill in certain contexts, but can be a serious block to reading a long book or one with an involved plot and lots of characters. So perhaps I was a bit harsh on this book and also the next one that I finished a couple of days ago.
Joe Hill’s NOS4R2 was a real struggle for me to finish. In the past, or in a different mood, I would have gobbled this book up with relish. Yes, it is very long and the plot pretty involved, but I used to love gory horror fiction just like this. Yet, as I said, it was a struggle. I got to around half way through and wondered if I should simply give up. But, and readers will know this feeling, a mixture of childhood admonitions that everything started must be finished together with the idea that I would have wasted my time by giving up…well, let’s just say that I did persevere and got to the end. There is nothing wrong with the book. I think that it was just me.
Oh, and one other thing. I must be getting stupid or forgetful in my old age! All the way through the book I kept getting an echo of Stephen King. Well, of course Joe Hill is Stephen King’s son! I should have remembered that nugget of information 😂.
Anyway, let us draw a line under that and go on to the next book. This is by one of my favourite authors: Karin Slaughter. I tend to read her books in one go and The Kept Woman was no exception. I love Slaughter’s series: Grant County and Will Trent. The characters are different, not stereotypes, and very vivid. The plots are complex but the writing holds your attention and does not let go. Some find these books too gruesome, but I like a bit of “grue” in my reading. I read for escapism and I do escape into these worlds and lose track of the even more nasty real world in which we live.
The next book was started yesterday and I will probably finish it tomorrow: Shot Through the Heart by Isabelle Grey. I am enjoying this a lot so far and will review it on Goodreads when I do get to the end.
The next Reading Roundup will be on Wednesday 31/05/17, assuming all is well.