Helloooo all. How are you? It’s been a while hasn’t it…
I’ve gathered some more of my favourite reads for you. Some I’ve read fairly recently and others were advance reader copies, read quite some time ago before publication. What I haven’t done this time is link the titles to GoodReads since I figure you probably have your own favourite book-site. Let me know if you miss the links.
The Garnett Girls by Georgina Moore
The story of three sisters: Rachel, Imogen, Sasha and their mother Margo, their relationships, secrets and glimpses into their past after they were abandoned by Richard their father, Margo’s husband.
The seaside setting in the large family house on The Isle of Wight was perfect, and the characters so real that I feel genuinely sad to leave them.
The writing is so good, the story just flows off the page; this is the first book that I have read into the early hours in ages, far beyond when I should have gone to sleep. I’ve loved it. The Garnett Girls is one of my reads of the year. I predict it’s going to be a huge hit and wouldn’t be at all surprised if it’s adapted into a film, and rightly so!
The Ink Black Heart by Robert Galbraith
The latest installment in the highly acclaimed, internationally bestselling Strike series finds Cormoran and Robin ensnared in another winding, wicked case. When frantic, disheveled Edie Ledwell appears in the office begging to speak to her, private detective Robin Ellacott doesn’t know quite what to make of the situation. The co-creator of a popular cartoon, The Ink Black Heart, Edie is being persecuted by a mysterious online figure who goes by the pseudonym of Anomie. Edie is desperate to uncover Anomie’s true identity. Robin decides that the agency can’t help with this-and thinks nothing more of it until a few days later, when she reads the shocking news that Edie has been tasered and then murdered in Highgate Cemetery, the location of The Ink Black Heart. From GoodReads.
Wow! I finally finished it – having paused at just over halfway through to pick up Landlines by Raynor Winn. I was enjoying this, but not enthralled. It’s hard to feel sympathy for the victim and a compulsion to find out whodunnit when you’ve met the murdered character in only one or two pages. However, things really start mounting up after that and then I was completely in it for the long haul.
It was so cleverly done, lots of red herrings and diversions. I’m pretty good at picking the criminal, as I read a fair bit of detective fiction, but this time not at all! Even as they entered the building, in my mind it still could have been one of two others. I got it totally wrong! And it’s there fairly early on…
So, so, so glad I read this on my Kindle. I couldn’t have held that brick of the hardback and due to the extremely large cast I found the search function invaluable to check who is who and where they fit in. I gave it 4/5 stars because it was unnecessarily long. The editor could take a stronger stance!
Obviously a lot of the author’s personal experience of the internet, Fandom, Twitter etc has gone into the writing of this book. There is much more swearing in it, not offended by it, but I noticed the increase.
I bet Strike’s meeting with Prudence will lead into the next instalment…
Landlines by Raynor Winn
Some people live to walk. Raynor and Moth walk to live . . . Raynor Winn knows that her husband Moth’s health is declining, getting worse by the day. She knows of only one cure. It worked once before. But will he – can he? – set out with her on another healing walk? The Cape Wrath Trail is over two hundred miles of gruelling terrain through Scotland’s remotest mountains and lochs. But the lure of the wilderness and the beguiling beauty of the awaiting glens draw them northwards. Being one with nature saved them in their darkest hour and their hope is that it can work its magic again. As they set out on their incredible thousand-mile journey back to the familiar shores of the South-west Coast Path, Raynor and Moth map the landscape of an island nation facing an uncertain path ahead. In Landlines, she records in luminous prose the strangers and friends, wilderness and wildlife they encounter on the way – it’s a journey that begins in fear but can only end in hope.
Loved it! Alternated it in two halves with the mega long Ink Black Heart.
I recommend you read The Salt Path, and then read this! The afterword is bone tingling and I hope really helps to spur on further research.
Go as a River by Shelley Read
A chance meeting on the street between a teenager and a young drifter starts this story, which is set in rural Colorado. Beginning in the 1940s, we leave them three decades later in the 1970s. It’s hauntingly written, lyrical and really rather beautiful. This is a book about family, about love and about loss. But it’s also about resilience and strength. Victoria the main character is a force to be reckoned with, she is the definition of a strong woman and yet you also see her vulnerabilities and feel her pain. You follow her growing up from a young teenager in charge of the household, on her family’s peach farm, into an independent woman with a place of her own, dealing with loss and grief in her own way.
All the characters are sympathetic, even the troubled Seth, his uncle and father to an extent. This is a tough life, the family has experienced tragedy and huge losses, they do the best they can, but often fall short. Victoria is holding it all together, at least in a practical sense. Other members of the local community are believable and well drawn; the trouble making vinegar-tongued woman who runs the flop house, the jolly large woman who is friendly to customers and excels at selling the Nash family peaches at the roadside stall, the odd neighbour who is one of the most touchingly written. I could picture them all clearly, the writing is crystal clear.
I gather that there really was the damming and flooding of the Gunnison river to make the huge Blue Mesa Dam. I am interested to find out more about the communities who had to move and the houses and farms that were lost in Colorado.
Admittedly I preferred the first half of the book. I was not so keen on the diary extracts, but it was a clever device to move the story forward and to explain what happened in the interim, between the two main events of Victoria’s adult life. I did find that I really missed reading about the trees and the peaches though!
Homecoming by Kate Morton
Homecoming has a dual timeline which switches back and forth 60 years, between 1958 and 2018. There is an historic murder investigation, a missing baby, fractured mother daughter relationships and three women who reflect on their lives and place where they feel most at home. The characters are distinctly drawn and sympathetic for the most part. The author is clever at giving the reader an insight into what has shaped them and their relationships (or lack of) with each other.
This is a long book at over 500 pages, it’s a slow telling of a period in time when a tragic event occurs which rocks a community, changing the lives of everyone connected to the Turner family. The backstory loops around and around revealing more through a variety of devices. The chapters from the true crime book were an effective way to provide background. However, it took until around halfway through the book for me to become gripped, it’s rather turgid in places, but by then it really hooked me and got me guessing. Even when I was confident I could easily explain exactly what had happened, I was wrong!
The descriptions of the countryside, big skies, houses and rural life were well described. I used to be familiar with most of the locations mentioned as I lived in the hills of Adelaide, travelling down to ‘the flats’ via the Greenhill road daily for work, before the expressway was built, so this greatly added to my enjoyment of the book as it brought back many memories.
The Roasting Tin by Rukmini Lyer
Pop your ingredients in a tin and let the oven do the work. The Roasting Tin has recipes for 75 delicious one dish dinners ranging from chicken traybakes to supergrains. The concept is simple: fresh, easy ingredients, a few minutes prep, and let the oven do the work. Each chapter also includes a helpful infographic for how to build your own roasting tin dinner using whatever is in your fridge tonight. These quick, clever and delicious recipes are for anvone who wants to eat nutritious food made from scratch that fits around their busy lives. (And for anyone who doesn’t like washing up). GoodReads
Such a good book. I’ve made a few recipes, so far, and the one that’s already been cooked several times is the Crispy olive & pine nut* crusted cod with roasted red onions and cheery tomatoes. I made the tapenade with reduced salt green olives, using the recipe HERE
* Actually I forgot to buy the pine nuts, equal quantities of grated grana padano (or parmesan) works well instead. I stuck with that combo instead, as it tasted so good.
Have you read any goodies lately? I’m currently reading an advance reader copy of Pip Williams next book, which runs parallel, time wise, with The Dictionary of Lost Words. It’s an interesting read, so far. And I started a new audiobook the other day, but I’m not altogether sure about it. I’ll have to listen to a bit more, before making up my mind whether to continue. (Quite gory.)
If you read any of the books I’ve featured, today or in the other posts, let me know what you thought of them? I’d love to know if we share some of the same tastes.