Wednesday, 11 July 2018

Books - Climbing Mount Toobie - Book by Book

When I said I was hoping to start blogging again a couple of people expressed their hope I'd be blogging about what I was reading, as it gave them plenty of ideas. I've started several posts now - after all I've read over 30 books in this first 6 months of the year. But when I look at what I've read I've mainly read books by the same authors and apart from a couple of stand out books, I didn't know where to start.

This past 10 days or so I've been on a new book reading kick. I've been doing my best to reduce Mount To-Be- Read. Do you have a Mount Toobie - you know a pile or stash of books you've acquired and really mean to read but never quite have managed it? My Mount Toobie probably got out of control when I was a hard core Book Crosser - going to meets regularly and joining in with book swaps and Not-So-Secret online swaps. At times I literally had more books that I knew what to do with. Of course it's always good to have a selection of books to dip in so you have something for every mood.  Then of course I got a kindle and that created a whole other Mount Toobie. But as that takes up less space I'm not even going to worry about reducing the size of that! My  virtual library can rival the Bodleian as far as I'm concerned.

Anyway, I digress. My plan has been to go through Mount Toobie and either read or get rid of the books on it. Sometimes the moment just passes to read something. I really want to rationalise the books I have squirrelled away so I ask myself: Why didn't I read this when I had it? Do I want to read it and if no I'll pass on/wild release.

The first book I started off with was Cold Mountain by Charles Frazier.
  Summer Reading 2018 

I think I've seen the start of the film but I don't remember the plot and the story was totally unfamiliar to me. I think I'd been given this book by my sister in law who thought the book would be up my street. But to be honest I wasn't sure I fancied it. I've always said I don't like historical novels. Then some of the best books I've read have been historical novels! Anyway, I couldn't put it down once I'd picked it up. I loved the stories within stories and the amazing descriptions. I'm not particularly interested in the American civil war era but did engage with this story.

Inspired by the success of reading this I decided to read
The Secret History by Donna Tartt
  Summer Reading 2018

Another book I couldn't put down. Why hadn't I read this before? Well, for every person that said I'd love it, there were others with cautionary warnings about this book and her other book The Little Friend. So listening to the naysayers I kept pushing this up Mount Toobie (or is that down?) Basically it's about a group of elite New England students that commit and act which leads ultimately to their downfall. It reminded me of something from the 1980's brat pack era.

Liza's England by Pat Barker was next up.

  Summer Reading 2018 

I'd read Union Street and Blow Your House Down and had picked this up in a charity shop because it was by the same author.  It was only when I started reading it I realised it was set in Middlesbrough where Chief is from. When I mentioned one of the streets that kept being mentioned it turned out Chief had lived in the street across from this one when he was growing up! He's since downloaded the book to read himself on kindle. This would be a great choice for book groups as there is so much in this book to discuss - history, great characters, great descriptions. If you like Pat Barker and haven't read this I would recommend.

After that I tackled Enigma by Robert Harris. Summer Reading 2018

This is a fictionalised thriller based on the Bletchley Park Code Breakers. I couldn't remember if I had this book because I'd seen the film and wanted to read it or if I had it then saw the film and didn't want to read it while the plot was so fresh in my mind. Either way I felt bad I hadn't read it as it was passed on by another book crosser and she was only getting shot because she wasn't going to re-read it any time soon and she wanted it read rather than languishing...hmm I think I've had it 10 years!

Next up I read The Forgotten Garden by Kate Morton.

  Summer Reading 2018

I remember buying this in the supermarket when you could get two books on offer. Then I think I was put off reading it because it's over 600 pages. Although I've since learnt that thicker books are often more gripping and easy to read than small ones. Anyway, I loved this and I definitely want to read more by this author. Again I'm wondering why I put off reading this.

Anyway, if you'll excuse me I have more books to read. So hopefully I'll be back with another book round up soon.



9 comments:

  1. I have recently reread all of the Kate Morton books, my favourite is The Distant Hours.A few years ago we read Cold Mountain in our book group and I just couldn't get into it. I have recently been doing a lot of rereading and letting some books go to friends just through lack of space. I only keep ones that would be 4/5 or 5/5 stars when I list them on Goodreads. My favourite new ones recently are Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng (I had heard a lot about this and it lives up to expectations), and The Marriage Pact by Michelle Richmond which is rather unsettling in places but a fascinating, thought provoking book. x

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    1. It's good to get book recommendations. I've heard of Celeste Ng quite a lot recently so must look out for Little Fires. I'd not heard of The Marriage Pact. I used to keep every book I read but now I read about 60 books a year I'd soon run out space so it's nice to pass on when I've read. I'm not really a re-reader as there are too many new books to read.

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  2. I don't have much time to read, so I don't start a book. My problem is that when I start reading and like it, I can't stop! I don't do any house chores till the book is finished! I read, though, Dona Tart's Secret History. I loved it!

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    1. I have exactly the same problem with reading books myself. If I pick up a good one I don't want to put it down until it's finished! Sometimes if it's really good I don't want it to end though!

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  4. I'm an avid reader, I was a bookseller for 12 years. I really didn't like Cold Mountain. It would have put anyone off regarding the Civil War.

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    1. I don't think I'd have enjoyed Cold Mountain if I'd have read it when it came out. I think it was very much a case of the right book at the right time for me. Or maybe I'd just convinced myself it was going to be dreadful and it wasn't!

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