Yes, I know I always say it, so you can join in. Altogether now! ‘Where has June gone?’
It is always my favourite month, a birthday month for me, my younger son and several of my closest friends. But with the heat, the work, the travel, it somehow just sped by… I do, however, have some good books to show for it.
I’ve read 12 books this month, of which: 5 crime fiction, 1 poetry, 4 feel-good books and 2 not-so-feel-good books. 5 were from the library, 4 were review copies and 3 I bought myself (an unusual proportion this time round, I feel, but something to keep track of in the future). 9 were by women writers, 2 by men, and one was an anthology. Uh-oh only 2 books in translation (or the original)! I’ve not reviewed all of these, but have included links where reviews are available.
Karen Dionne: The Marsh King’s Daughter – a surprise hit with me, although the subject matter very nearly made me give up on it from the outset
Busted! Arresting Stories from the Beat – eclectic collection of short stories featuring largely US law enforcement professionals
Nicky Wells: Dead Hope – Nicky is a friend of mine in real life and has previously written romance novels featuring rock stars. This is her first thriller, although it does contain a good dose of romantic elements.
Annemarie Neary: The Orphans – a story of dysfunctional families and obsession set in London
Pierre Lemaitre: Three Days and a Life – study of youthful anger and guilt in a small French village
Elizabeth von Arnim: Elizabeth and Her German Garden
Alison Lurie: Real People
Elizabeth Jane Howard: Marking Time (Cazalet 2)
Raymond Antrobus: To Sweeten Bitter – because poetry always makes me feel good, even if it is sad
Other (aka not recommended if you are suffering from depression):
Sarah Pinborough: The Language of Dying – Slow-building sense of claustrophobia, gradual reveal about a family stretched to breaking point and … the unfairness, the pain, the poignancy of grieving yet with economy of detail. Succint, subtle and devastatingly effective.
Nelly Arcan: Folle – I wanted to like this one so badly, but, although I appreciated the candour and insight into a troubled mind, I expected it to be much more frenzied and lyrical. It was instead a factual, often cold analysis of unsuitable passion, very frank about sex, but ultimately about a self-centred guy who was definitely not worth the narrator’s time and passion!
And you know what is most shocking? She was younger than me – and, despite her chaotic life and messed-up mental health, wrote 5 novels and has now been dead for 8 years.