Books Read in April 2016

I can hardly believe it’s the first day of May – we’ve had such mixed weather recently, including snow. On Thursday evening our road looked very Christmassy but by the morning the snow had nearly all gone.

I read a mixed selection of books in April, eight books in total, five of them books from my TBR shelves including one non-fiction book.

People of the Book by Geraldine Brooks (TBR) – a book I’ve owned for nearly eight years! It’s a novel inspired by the true story of the Hebrew codex known as the Sarajevo Haggadah, but most of the plot and all of the characters are imaginary.  I loved it.

The Price of Love by Peter Robinson – a collection of short stories, including an original DCI Banks novella that I read on my Kindle. Very enjoyable.

Blurb: When DCI Alan Banks arrived in Eastvale his life was every bit as much of a mess as it is now.But he is holding an envelope that could change everything he understood about the events that sent him north twenty years ago. Walking again the narrow alleys and backstreets of his mind, he remembers the seedy Soho nights of his last case – dubious businessmen in dodgy clubs, young girls on the game. And a killer on the loose.

In addition to the brand-new novella that fills in the gaps in Banks’s life before Yorkshire, Peter Robinson gives us ten more brilliant and eclectic stories that have never before been published in the UK. The Eastvale Ladies’ Poker Circle finds that murder may be just another game of risk. Is a suitcase of cash worth a man’s head on a plate? And tragedy leads a young boy to learn the price of love . . .

The Bean Trees by Barbara Kingsolver – the story of Taylor Greer and what happens when she leaves her home in Kentucky and becomes the guardian of an abandoned baby girl she calls Turtle.

Bones and Silence by Reginald Hill (TBR) –  a Dalziel and Pascoe crime fiction novel, the 11th in the series. I liked all the complications of plot and sub-plots in this book and the interplay of the characters. It’s full of interesting characters and humour, but it is the plot that takes precedence. It is so tricky, with numerous red herrings and plot twists.

Before the Fact by Francis Iles (TBR) –  a cleverly written, Golden Age crime fiction novel that is a psychological character study of its two main characters, Lina and Johnnie Aysgarth. It was nearly eight years before Lina realized that she was married to a murderer.

The Mill on the Floss by George Eliot (TBR) –  George Eliot’s most autobiographical novel, first published in 1860. It’s a book I have been meaning to read for years, so I was pleased when the Classic’s Club Spin gave me the nudge to read it! My review is to follow.

The Sea Detective by Mark Douglas-Home (RB) – a book I thoroughly enjoyed, it grabbed my attention right from the start. It’s a complicated story of unsolved mysteries both from the present day and from the Second World War, and of two Indian girls, sold into the sex trafficking trade. It’s set mainly in Scotland with a strong sense of place throughout.

L S Lowry: A Life by Shelley Rohde (NF, TBR) – Lowry is one of my favourite artists, well known for his urban paintings of industrial towns but his work covers a wide range of themes and subjects, from landscapes and seascapes to portraits. My review is to follow.

And my favourite? With such a variety of genres it’s impossible to single out one book, but three books stand out:

People of the Book by Geraldine James, because I was so engrossed in the book I didn’t want to put it down.

And The Sea Detective by Mark Douglas-Home, because it’s crime fiction with a difference and I loved all the different strands.

And finally, L S Lowry: A Life by Shelley Rohde, because I learnt so much about the man and his paintings.

8 thoughts on “Books Read in April 2016”

  1. Wow, you had an excellent reading month. And a nice variety too. I love a month where I read all kinds of books… not that that happened to me really in April.

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  2. It’s interesting to see you read The Bean Trees in April. Another blogging friend of mine has just reminded me how I have neglected Barbara Kingsolver. I used to love her books but have been sitting on her last two books for ages.

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    1. I read The Lacuna, which I thought was a bit disappointing, although good in parts. I thought it began and ended well, with good descriptions and fascinating characters, but I got bored several times in the middle. I’ve had Flight Behaviour for a couple of years now, but haven’t got round to reading it yet.

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  3. Sounds like a great month of reading. I must tell you, I really enjoyed The Cleaner of Chartres. Coincidentally, I recently went to a talk on the stain glass of the Notre Dame.

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  4. I absolutely loved The People of the Book too–what an amazing story. I think it’s my favorite by Brooks. I still haven’t read The Bean Trees, though Kingsolver is a favorite author. I also liked Mill on the Floss, though it’s not my favorite by George Eliot, but still such interesting characters. On to May reading!

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  5. You did have some good reads, Margaret. I’m very glad that you enjoyed The Sea Detective. I think it’s a very, very well-written book. And I’ve put People of the Book on my radar…

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  6. The weather has been all over the place here too – my sinuses really wish the weather would make up its mind! I finished my average 4 books this month. I’m glad you enjoyed your reading and got round to so many books off your shelves. I hope you have a happy May 🙂

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