As you'll know I finally gave up my twitter addiction, and am now just checking messages once a week on Friday. So I've had lots more time to read. Maybe now my 'TBR' pile will start to shrink rather than just constantly growing!
First on the list is a book I listened to on Audible. Not Alone was the story of aliens, discovery and whether we are alone in the universe...well that's what it appears to be at first glance. But many people who reviewed it were disappointed (I wasn't) to discover that in reality the book is about the media, both traditional and social, and how they can make or break stories, how that can create news both fake and real, how people's minds can be changed, how vulnerable we all are. Big on conspiracy and slower on plot it was a long but interesting book. And despite the somewhat tedious nature of much of the 'behind the scenes' news stuff, the story managed a plot twist or two as well. If you are a fan of aliens, fake news or conspiracy theory - it's the book for you.
“Britain’s recent political past meant that conservative leaders were chosen largely on their ability to sell unpopular policies to working people who wouldn’t benefit from them, so Godfrey was an even stronger debater than his predecessors and rivals.”
― Craig A. Falconer,
I also read (in paperback) the really lovely The Night Rainbow. An impulse buy because I liked the look of the cover and there was a quote from Joanne Harris on it (and I love her writing). And what a good judgement that was. Two young girls try to amuse themselves after a father's death, while the mother struggles with her new pregnancy and the grief of having lost her husband. Plot twists are plentiful and the prose is almost poetry in places. Gorgeously scented scenes of France, with over ripe tomatoes and dusty donkeys bring this story to life. Very sad in places with a lot of remembered loss, but ultimately uplifting. A lovely summer read (a bit late for that now!) or to warm your heart as you sit in the cold by the fire, remembering long ago holidays and tree climbing in the sun.
“She turns her back to us, starting up the stairs slowly, her legs shaking with every step.
I think she forgot to put her skeleton in, says Margot.”
― Claire King,
I also listened to A Company of Liars on Audible. A motley band of people are thrown together by circumstance and travel towards the north of England to try and outrun the pestilence (the black death) that has recently arrived on our shores from Europe. As the story progresses we gradually learn more of each character's past, but all have secrets, all are liars in one way or another and slowly, one by one, they die. But it is not the plague they have to fear, it's something much closer. A book that starts simply enough as a medieval tale, slowly moves into myth and tales of omens and portents, soon the reader begins to have the same superstitious fears the travellers have, and maybe we are right to. A creepy tale with terrifying twist.
“Miracles are like murders. After the first one, each becomes easier than the last for, with each success, the miracle-worker's certainty in himself becomes stronger.”
― Karen Maitland,
Twists in the plot seem to be a theme with my recent reads and the last book is Random Acts of Unkindness. I'm 80% through this paperback and so can't yet be sure of a twist, but I'm enjoying the dark interweaving of two women's heartbreaking struggle with the loss of their teen sons. One story the journal of a dead woman, and one story the modern story of a a police detective, the two stories are beginning to merge in frightening ways. *Trigger warning for gore and bloodshed, and references to the Moors Murders.
"John's touching the white sheet. I can see the outline of a face, nose sticking out. Further down , shoulder blades before the sheet becomes thicker and turns into a thick shroud. I realise thatJohn is staring at me and I nod" ----Jacqueline Ward, Random Acts of Unkindness
So there we are, my reading pile is getting more manageable. What have you been reading? If you've blogged about books don't forget to link up with Chantelle and her Read with Me Linky. It's a great place to meet new books! And of course, follow me on Goodreads.
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