The Handmaid’s Tale

I read The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Attwood a number of years ago. I have read most of her books and they are absolutely fantastic tales. I am currently watching the TV adaptation which is being shown on Channel 4 in the UK. It is a fantastic adaptation and is quietly horrifying. It portrays a society where the government has been overthrown and fertile women are chosen to become reproductive ‘vessels’ for women unable to have children. They become prisoners and are raped by their new ‘masters’ while being held down by their master’s wives. It tells the tale of Offred who is played brilliantly by Elisabeth Moss. It is well worth watching on catch up. 

I think I’m going to re-read Margaret Attwoods’s novels. I recommend them all.

http://www.channel4.com/programmes/the-handmaids-tale/on-demand/66751-001
http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/38447.The_Handmaid_s_Tale

Flora and Ulysses by Kate DiCamillo

I am currently reading this to my 8 year old. We are reading mostly chapter books now. It’s been so hard to leave the old favourite picture books behind … not for him though … me! I love that he’s growing up and is now doing lots of independent reading but I will miss the old ones. 

Flora and Ulysses is a great read. It’s about a squirrel who gets sucked into a hoover and develops ‘powers’. Oh, and his sidekick a 10 year old girl called Flora. It’s very funny and the chapters are short so there’s lots of “please one more chapter mum”.

I look forward to finding out what happens to the unlikely duo.

 

History 

A History of Ireland in 250 Episodes https://g.co/kgs/SvJMT6

I loved history at school and studied it to A-level. Looking back I wish I had studied history and maybe english at degree level. Anyway I could go back and do another degree but I can’t afford it so decided to just enjoy re-learning history. I’m starting off with the above title, just a few pages per night before my novel. However, it’s very readable and I’m reading more than a few. Utterly amazing. Does anyone else read factual books for pleasure? If so, what is your choice?

Himself – a novel by Jess Kidd 

I loved this book. Debut novel by the talented Jess Kidd. It’s about a young Irish man who having been brought up in care, returns to the village where he was born. He goes with the intention of finding out what happened to his mother and who his father is\was. The village is full of characters, both dead and alive. The author has developed the characters really well and I was totally drawn into the insular, small-minded community. I loved her descriptions of the village’s ‘departed’ residents and their antics. Highly recommended and I look forward to her next story.

Here’s a link to the reviews on Goodreads:

 http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/33023729-himself?ac=1&from_search=true

A Man Called Ove

I absolutely adored this novel by the Swedish author Fredrik Backman. It’s the first novel of his I’ve read and it was a delight. The characters are so well rounded and I missed them when the book was finished. I just love and hate that about books .. you love the characters so much but hate it when the story ends. It’s basically about a lonely and grumpy old man who is sucked into the lives of his new neighbours and there follows a series of events that change his life forever. It’s funny and sad and Ove is adorable.. I wish he was my neighbour … on second thought maybe not actually.

I think you might like this book – “A Man Called Ove” by Fredrik Backman.

Start reading it for free: http://amzn.eu/bA1VMdE

Vinegar Girl by Anne Tyler

https://www.penguin.co.uk/articles/find-your-next-read/extracts/2016/apr/vinegar-girl-by-anne-tyler/

I haven’t read an Anne Tyler novel in years and had forgotten how much I love her writing. I read a review of this one in a magazine recently and then spotted it at a bookshop at the airport. So … I bought it even though I had 3 novels on my tablet for holiday reading. It was fabulous and I just loved the main character. I think that’s Tyler’s strength – her characters are so complete and she portrays them so well that you feel like you know them and I felt sad when I finished it. It WAS too short though. 

City of Bones

​I recently read this young adult novel because my teenage son had recently done so and I like to sometimes check out what he’s reading if it’s something that he has enjoyed. I still really miss cuddling up with him to read at bedtime even though it’s been a long time since we have done that. I loved reading to him when he was younger, just having that time together, relaxed and lost in the story. We enjoyed so many books, particularly Road Dahl and the Harry Potter series. 

Anyway this book was quite good. The central character has been introduced to a world of warlocks, vampires and creatures she thought only existed in people’s imagination. I think it’s quite engaging and full of suspense and also quite well written. I went on to read the second in the series, City of Ashes and it was OK too. That was enough for me though but I can see how they would appeal to a younger teenager. There are 6 in the series which is always good for Birthday/ Christmas presents.

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/256683.City_of_Bones?ac=1&from_search=true