I didn’t have as much time for reading this month, but I did manage to finish a few books and, unfortunately, had to abandon one too…
K = Kindle e-book
R = Reviewed for publisher or author
Dire – don’t waste your time
OK, but nothing to write home about
Very good – worth a read
Superb – read it immediately!
BOOKS FINISHED IN MARCH:
23. Charles Dickens – Great Expectations (K)
I enjoyed the earlier parts of this novel, but as time went on I found myself less and less engaged in the plot and characters. I no longer cared about Miss Havesham; I couldn’t understand why Pip still pined for cold, aloof Estella; and I wasn’t bothered by Pip distancing himself from his old friends and family. Before reading this, I knew the basics of the story, but there’s a lot here that always gets cut in adaptations, and I can see why as a lot of it was, to be perfectly frank, very dull. The humour I found in the first half of the book gave way to the doldrums and I felt like I was wading through the second half of the book like wearing lead boots in a lake of treacle. It felt like it took forever and by the time I neared the end of it, I was wishing it would hurry up and reach a conclusion. So, overall, I was rather disappointed by this, but I will not let it put me off trying more Dickens…
24. Terry Pratchett – Snuff
I was so excited about this novel as it’s a Vimes book and his are always my favourites. Till now. Don’t get me wrong, I did enjoy it, but nowhere near as much as the others and therefore not as much as I had hoped and expected. I don’t know what it was about it exactly, but it just didn’t have the same flow as usual – perhaps it’s the switch Pratchett has had to make from typing to dictating. It’s good, but others have been better. Vimes is still Vimes, but I feel he’s mellowing a bit with age and fatherhood, and the rest of the watch were barely mentioned – there were a few bit-parts and one-liners for a couple of the usual crew, but they were mostly left out and Vimes took the helm, so to speak. Usually, this would be a fine thing indeed, but on this occasion, I felt it lacked a little sparkle.
I’m still looking forward to the publication of The Long Earth by Terry Pratchett and Stephen Baxter in June though!
25. Georgette Heyer – Regency Buck
This was my first experience of Heyer’s work and I was pleasantly surprised! A colleague loaned me this novel and I semi-reluctantly took it home to read, then found myself sucked in by Heyer’s witty humour and sumptuous settings as well as the intriguing plot. I’ll admit I fell for several red herrings and double red herrings, which is unusual for me, but it made for a fun read and I didn’t at all resent being taken in. I’ll certainly try other novels by this author. In particular, I’m interested in reading The Reluctant Widow, as Stephen Fry has listed it as one of his favourite novels and, well, the man is never wrong!
26. Thomas Hoover – Caribbee (K)
If you like swash-buckling adventures with a basis in historical fact, then this is the one for you! The characters are, in the main, conglomerates of real people and the tumultuous period in American and British history (with the dark roots of the slave trade) is fascinating. Hoover has a flair for the dramatic and the sweeping events of this novel are so exciting that I was on the edge of my seat the entire time.
27. Steven Scaffardi – The Drought (R)
Reviewed at the request of the author. Please see the full review HERE.
BOOKS STARTED BUT CARRYING OVER TO APRIL:
- Robyn Young – Insurrection (Insurrection Trilogy 1) (R)
BOOKS STARTED BUT ABANDONED:
Lew Wallace – Ben-Hur (K)
This was the March choice for Kindle Klub, but sadly I just couldn’t get into it at all. It felt like I was reading a novelisation of The New Testament, and not a particularly exciting one, so I had to put it aside. It was particularly embarrassing because I had nominated it in the first place!
PRIORITY FOR APRIL:
- Jude Morgan – The Secret Life of William Shakespeare (R)
- Mark Stevens – Broadmoor Revealed: Victorian Crime and the Lunatic Assylum (K / Kindle Klub)
- Gladiator: Fight For Freedom by Simon Scarrow (from library)
- Ultraviolet by R J Anderson (from library)
- The Body at the Tower (The Agency 2) by Y S Lee (from library)