Why not join in? Just answer the following three questions in a post and then put a link to that post in the Comments over at Taking on a World of Words.
The questions are:
- What are you currently reading?
- What did you recently finish reading?
- What do you think you’ll read next?
As always, clicking on the cover image will take you to the book’s Goodreads page.
1. What I’m reading at the moment
The Light Between Oceans by M. L. Stedman
I have mixed feelings about this one. The setting is wonderful and the descriptions of the lighthouse are perfect, but some of the crucial characters aren’t all that sympathetic. Hopefully I’ll have a review up tomorrow evening.
What it’s about (very long version): After four harrowing years on the Western Front, Tom Sherbourne returns to Australia and takes a job as the lighthouse keeper on Janus Rock, nearly half a day’s journey from the coast. To this isolated island, where the supply boat comes once a season and shore leaves are granted every other year at best, Tom brings a young, bold, and loving wife, Isabel. Years later, after two miscarriages and one stillbirth, the grieving Isabel hears a baby’s cries on the wind. A boat has washed up onshore carrying a dead man and a living baby.
Tom, whose records as a lighthouse keeper are meticulous and whose moral principles have withstood a horrific war, wants to report the man and infant immediately. But Isabel has taken the tiny baby to her breast. Against Tom’s judgment, they claim her as their own and name her Lucy. When she is two, Tom and Isabel return to the mainland and are reminded that there are other people in the world. Their choice has devastated one of them.
M. L. Stedman’s mesmerizing, beautifully written novel seduces us into accommodating Isabel’s decision to keep this “gift from God.” And we are swept into a story about extraordinarily compelling characters seeking to find their North Star in a world where there is no right answer, where justice for one person is another’s tragic loss.
2. The last books I read
Persepolis by Marjane Satrapi
Here’s my full review. I encourage everyone to read this. A unique insight into growing up in the social and political turmoil of a revolution and counter-revolution. With lots of surprisingly humorous bits. I suppose that’s life…
What it’s about: Here, in one volume: Marjane Satrapi’s best-selling, internationally acclaimed memoir-in-comic-strips.
Persepolis is the story of Satrapi’s unforgettable childhood and coming of age within a large and loving family in Tehran during the Islamic Revolution; of the contradictions between private life and public life in a country plagued by political upheaval; of her high school years in Vienna facing the trials of adolescence far from her family; of her homecoming–both sweet and terrible; and, finally, of her self-imposed exile from her beloved homeland. It is the chronicle of a girlhood and adolescence at once outrageous and familiar, a young life entwined with the history of her country yet filled with the universal trials and joys of growing up.
Edgy, searingly observant, and candid, often heartbreaking but threaded throughout with raw humor and hard-earned wisdom–Persepolis is a stunning work from one of the most highly regarded, singularly talented graphic artists at work today.
Illuminae (The Illuminae Files #1) by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff
My full 5* review. Another 5-star review of Illuminae from me. If you’re a sci-fi fan or just looking for something gripping you should pick this up.
The (very short) blurb: Illuminae is the first book in a heart-stopping, high-octane trilogy about lives interrupted, the price of truth, and the courage of everyday heroes..
3. What I’ll read next
The Crane Wife by Patrick Ness
You all knew I wouldn’t be able to stay away from him for long! This will be the first piece of adult fiction by Patrick Ness I’ve read (although I would argue that most of his “YA” books are suitable for everyone).
The blurb: The extraordinary happens every day…
One night, George Duncan – decent man, a good man – is woken by a noise in his garden. Impossibly, a great white crane has tumbled to earth, shot through its wing by an arrow. Unexpectedly moved, George helps the bird, and from the moment he watches it fly off, his life is transformed.
The next day, a kind but enigmatic woman walks into George’s shop. Suddenly a new world opens up for George, and one night she starts to tell him the most extraordinary story.
Wise, romantic, magical and funny, The Crane Wife is a hymn to the creative imagination and a celebration of the disruptive and redemptive power of love.
Our Endless Numbered Days by Claire Fuller
The blurb: 1976: Peggy Hillcoat is eight. She spends her summer camping with her father, playing her beloved record of The Railway Children and listening to her mother’s grand piano, but her pretty life is about to change.
Her survivalist father, who has been stockpiling provisions for the end which is surely coming soon, takes her from London to a cabin in a remote European forest. There he tells Peggy the rest of the world has disappeared. And so her life is reduced to a piano which makes music but no sound, a forest where all that grows is a means of survival. And a tiny wooden hut that is Everything.
Peggy is not seen again for another nine years.
1985: Peggy has returned to the family home. But what happened to her in the forest? And why has she come back now?
Have you read/are reading any of these? What are you reading? Let me know! 🙂
If you missed them, check out my vanilla Christmas biscuits/cookies 🙂 My attempt at festive baking turned out surprisingly well!
Claire Huston / Art and Soul