Hello and welcome to the first What’s on your bookshelf? challenge hosted by fellow bloggers Deb, Sue, Donna and Jo. The idea is to share what you’re reading, what you’ve enjoyed lately share – why they resonated with you, how they made you feel, who are your favourite authors and what you recommend. Sounds like a fun monthly challenge! As Deb says “The simple purpose of this challenge is to share our love of reading”.
So for my first post for #Whatsonyourbookshelfchallenge, I’m just going to do a round up of what I have read this month, which was a bit of a mixed bag really. I’ll start with the bad, and that is Camilla Lackberg’s latest book Silver Tears. Don’t get me wrong – I love a good beach or sofa book that you can read in a couple of days which is the norm for Lackberg. But this is awful – a totally unbelievable main female character, a ridiculous plot and a feeling that this hadn’t been properly edited. If you normally like her books, don’t bother with this one.
In contrast, The Funny Thing About Norman Foreman, is a real feel-good book about a young boy’s ambition to become a stand-up comedian. Norman and his friend Jax have a five-year plan to perform at the Edinburgh Fringe by the time they’re fifteen, but Jax dies before they turn twelve. Norman, his mother and their elderly friend Leonard set off for from their home in Cornwall to go to Edinburgh, to honour the short life of Jax and also to try to find Norman’s father. It is a charming book which can be read in a couple of days if you have the time. A good book for lockdown!
Moving on, the theme of our work book club this month was ‘a place you want to travel to in 2022’ (since we won’t be going anywhere outside New Zealand in 2021 by the look of things). One place I hope we get to next year is Sweden, so since the Lackberg was so bad, I picked up an old Liza Marklund book Lifetime. Set in Stockholm, it features Annika Bengtzon, the journalist who appears in most of her books. This is another book you can just rip through at a fast pace, with a great story and well-drawn characters.
I also read a book of essays about gardens, a charming little book with very mixed pieces from diverse authors. The piece by food writer Nigel Slater was probably my favourite. I’m about half way through Susanna Moore’s autobiography Miss Aluminum, which I am really enjoying. I confess to having never ready any of her books, but this account of her life is lively and interesting regardless.
Finally, I am one of those people who like reading or browsing recipe books. This new book from Zuza Zak, Amber and Rye, is a lovely exploration of the food of the Baltic lands. Beautiful photographs, some interesting ideas, the book is a delight. I’ve already made her take on a celeriac slaw, and once lockdown is over and I get to spend a bit of time in the supermarket, think I would like to try this fish soup. The other recipe book I have had fun with this month is this 1959 Recipe Book and Home Science Note Book which I found in a second hand bookshop in town. I love the illustrations, though am not sure about the salad dressing recipes, and am very intrigued by the note that there is not a mistake in the recipe for ginger snaps! These books are always so much fun to browse.
So that is me for my first What’s on your bookshelf? Why not join in?
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