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Summer Reading 5+6+7July 22, 2018

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Usually I read before bedtime, this last slot of the day used to hold meaningless browsing and equally addictive game apps but no longer. Sometimes I get the odd extra time but this past week, with my little one being ill, I’ve had time a plenty to indulge the summer reading challenge as he’s laid his head down through the day. Reaching the 7 book target has been wonderful though the three books I’ve covered couldn’t be more different.

I’d spent most of the year in non fiction and so before the challenge I read a YA box-set. Book 5 was supposed to be that category too but somehow I went wrong in my browsing and ended up choosing almost entirely by the cover. In book 6 (memoir/translated) I read one harrowing chapter after another and, not wanting to sleep with such images in my mind, I plumped to read as much as possible during the day. Hot on its heels came the soothing balm of an easy read mystery in quintessential England.

Book number 5
 
Title : ‘Four is an odd number’ by Sandy Griffiths
Cost : £0.00 (kindle unlimited)
Category : 21 (Fiction)
Date finished : 14th July
 
Three word summery : repeat, family, heritage
 
Sentence summery : Looking backwards how can she possibly be contemplating this, a journey thorough warning signs and unfortunate twists.
Book 5

I love Young Adult fiction but I know it draws me into it’s vortex and rarely do I feel fed by the journey. I loaded up the YA category in kindle unlimited and scrolled lazily through a few pages clicking randomly at books and dismissing them by the third review if not before. Then I spied a book cover with a street that called me home, a familiar sight. A quick glace at the reviews seemed promising and I didn’t even realise I’d strayed from the YA section. As the book opens the main character is trying to explain to her four kids the possibility of a fourth marriage. Going back to childhood she tells the surprisingly believable story of how she reached that point. It’s the kind of book I expect to see stuck to a magazine one day, light summer reading. I liked the authors main character even though her fait accompli parenting was annoying if rather refreshing about respecting the individual.

The second they’re born, even though they depend on you for everything, they are individuals, unique, already showing signs of what they’ll become.

Book number 6
 
Title : ‘Never Stop Walking: A Memoir of Finding Home Across the World’ by Christina Rickardsson (Translated by Tara F. Chace)
Cost : £0.00 (kindle unlimited)
Category : 16 (Translated into English) & 12 (A Memorir)
Date finished : 19th July
 
Three word summery : pure, histroy, harrowing
 
Sentence summery : A story of splitting your life into parts and learning to find wholeness again.
Book 6

I’m unsure how this came to be on my wish-list, but it was the only memoir there and as such I pulled it out to read. The author tells her story chronologically with two threads, starting one with her decision to retrace her past and the other with her earliest recollections. As the chapters flit between the safety of the adult in an affluent world and the utter poverty of her early images, the contrast is huge. Using the same voice only makes the reader more uncomfortable with the disturbing pictures painted. What I found most moving though was the beautiful and strong love that winds it’s way through the book. When her life is cleaved in two, and she refuses to think of herself as any kind of composite of the two halves, the love shown by people along all her journeys threads it’s way back in. Her reflections of souls lost to time, circumstance or simply distance echoes many a ‘lost life’ I’ve experienced.

Missing someone doesn’t have anything to do with how long it’s been since you last saw each other, or the number of hours that have passed since you last spoke. It’s about specific moments when you wish they were there by your side.

Book number 6
 
Title : ‘Pancakes and Corpses’ by Agatha Frost
Cost : £0.00 (kindle unlimited)
Category : 18 (Mystery)
Date finished : 19th July
 
Three word summery : british, twee, who-dunnit
 
Sentence summery : Can a cake shop owner really solve the case before the new detective?
Book 7

I was the kid who loved murder mysteries. I still love detective drama’s and devour the various tv shows. My childhood love was Miss Marple but there have been many since. Mystery novels however are not as much of a pull, I often find them too grisly and grim in their descriptions to read as my overactive imagination tries to settle for the night. Not since the ‘No.1 ladies detective agency’ have I read a mystery book and been eager to grab the whole series, but I may indulge in a few more of these Peridale Cafe Cozy Mysteries. The book starts with our cake loving amateur sleuth in her little backwater cafe where everyone knows everyone else and the tourists stand out as they pass through. It’s so British twee it almost hurts and yet thankfully not too predictable in story line. It took less than 2 days to get through this easy read and with a nice mix of characters that could easily be built upon it’s very ‘midsummer murders’ without the body pile.

People in Peridale talked about the weather a lot, which was a sign of not much else happening. Julia tried to avoid the subject at all costs because it was all she heard all day in her café, but she was a Peridale girl, born and bred, so the weather seemed to be her default conversation setting.

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