Hello. Fancy a small chat with me about some fiction by Black authors that I’ve been reading over the last few weeks? Every single one of these gets the thumbs up from me although some (An American Marriage) more than others (Dear Martin); if you’re looking to add some diversity to your reading then all of these are great choices. I, personally, am absolutely obsessed with ‘An American Marriage’,I thought it was incredible, and would like to suggest you do not read the stunning ‘With the Fire On High’ if you’re hungry because nothing you cook yourself will be as delicious as the food in this book promises to be. ‘Allegedly’ is a tough read, worthy of the time, but tough, and whilst ‘Dear Martin’ didn’t hit the spot for me I think it’s a smashing read for a teenager, which is its target market after all. I really liked ‘Such a Fun Age’ too - easy to read with lots to think about, one I wouldn’t hesitate in recommending. In fact I wouldn’t hesitate in recommending any of these, which is kind of what I am doing in this post. Go forth and enjoy, oh and hit me up with your own recs; my TBR pile is never big enough!
Some days are bad days; other days are better. That’s just the way it is, it seems, in 2020: a rollercoaster of emotion. Sometimes though, I’m stood in the sunshine with a glass of wine and from across the garden he says something that makes me snort-laugh and I am reminded of a simple fact: I’m doing *this* so that I can always have *that*. 13 weeks feels like a long time to go without touch but it’s worth the distance now for the closeness that will follow. This too shall pass. Also, I fake tanned my legs and the situation in the general area of my feet is laughable so it’s perhaps a good thing nobody can get close enough to notice. Every cloud peeps, every cloud. #lockdownisnotknockdown #notevenalittlebitnotevenatall
I loved #spinningsilver. It took a while to get into: 6 narrators with no obvious distinction about who is talking is a lot, but it was worth sticking with because this book is wonderful. A loose - v loose - Rumplestiltskin retelling where the world-building is incredible (and that can make or break a book for me), the magic makes sense, and the whole Disney fairytale tropes are inverted. This is a dark and ‘proper’ fairytale, and the agency Novik gives to each of her three female leads makes me want to clap. The line between good and evil is beautifully blurred here, too, a study in what really makes a monster and I’m so here for it. This is everything I love in a fairy story and I want to read it all over again.
That 2020 vibe; when staying in became the new going out and my guy was saved from my incessant requests to ‘let’s take a lovely photo because we’re cute’ by the fact he can’t really get close enough for his face not to be blurry. These are the moments. #lockdownisnotknockdown #notevenalittlebitnotevenatall
Part murder mystery, part character study, part coming of age story, part nature lesson, all excellent. I absolutely loved this book.
I’ve read 21 books since lockdown started. I’m going to smash my Goodreads target this year.
To those who gave so much, we thank you. . . . It feels weird that I should be reading #TheEnigmaGame on VE Day, weird but obviously so fitting. I cannot wait to get lost in this book, the new novel from Elizabeth Wein (who wrote Code Name Verity which, by the way, I absolutely loved). This is out next week, is set in the same world as Verity and my bookish senses are tingling. I’ll be back once I’m done to talk about it properly but until then, know this: I am ridiculously excited about this book, which seems set to be full of code-breaking and war planes and diverse feisty characters. YES PLEASE. Verity made me cry real tears so I’ll hold off on the mascara today and I’ll listen to this with Vera Lynn in the background, never forgetting that all we are now is thanks to what they sacrificed then. (Thank you @bloomsburyya for the advance review copy.)
Whatever else life throws at us, at least there’s always books. #nothanks2020 #lockdownisnotknockdown
Two 5 star reads in a row, though. I read a fair bit of historical fiction, a fair bit of that sent in WWII and this is up there with the very best. It’s the true story of Stefania, who quite without knowing how and with nothing really more important than keeping her little sister safe, ends up hiding 13 Jews in her attic. Then, because that wasn’t stressful enough, she’s forced to house 2 German nurses with SS boyfriends in her spare room. It hurts this book - it’s sad and it’s frightening and it’s unfair and it gets under your skin; everything that Stefania feels is so real and so raw. But. But ultimately it’s hopeful - this girl, just a kid, really, willing to risk all she has and all she is for these people who can offer nothing in return and are often thoughtless, there’s something pure in that, something that makes you feel somehow better. It’s a true story - did I say that? I can’t quite get over it - beautifully researched, beautifully written and whilst it might seem an odd choice for right now, somehow in a way I can’t quite articulate without seeming glib, it put things into perspective. I loved it.