“A Clash of Kings (A Song of Ice and Fire, Book 2)” by George R. R. Martin
“A Storm of Swords: Steel and Snow (Book 3 Part 1 of a Song of Ice and Fire)” by George R. R. Martin
“A Storm of Swords: Blood and Gold (Book 3 Part 2 of a Song of Ice and Fire)” by George R. R. Martin
“A Feast for Crows” by George RR Martin
So, I’ve continued reading the Game of Thrones books. I’m enjoying them. Look, I’m not alone here. More blood and gore than I like and a bit long winded but I have always been a fan of the fantasy novel. I am making Mr. Waffle watch the telly series with me as well. He is not enjoying it. To be honest, I am not enjoying it hugely either but I feel strangely compelled to watch it. For my money, the books are better.
“High Wages” by Dorothy Whipple
Young woman who works in a shop makes good through her own industry. Unfortunately, falls in love. I am really enjoying all the Dorothy Whipples that I can get my hands on. She’s terrific.
“They were sisters” by Dorothy Whipple
A story of three sisters. One is beautiful and self-centred, one marries a bad lot and one is plain and responsible and ends up happiest. Another fantastic Dorothy Whipple novel.
“Number 11” by Jonathan Coe
I am a big Jonathan Coe fan and I would read any of his books. I quite enjoyed this morality tale but it is not his strongest work and, in places, feels like a number of vignettes strung together rather than a coherent novel. If you were launching on an exploration of Jonathan Coe’s work, I would not recommend that you start from here.
“The Murder of Roger Ackroyd” by Agatha Christie
I haven’t read this in years. My enjoyment on re-reading was somewhat marred by the knowledge of who the murderer was. But still surprisingly enjoyable.
“Death of a Nurse” by MC Beaton
Another Hamish Macbeth mystery. Pity me.
“Viper Wine” by Hermione Eyre
I should have loved this. Strong, interesting writing based on true historical events. But I did not. As a friend said to me, it felt more like an MA thesis than a novel. The author wears her learning very heavily and, at times, it felt like ploughing through a primer on England under the Stuarts. There was an artsy conceit of linking historical preoccupations with current ones (lead make-up/cosmetic surgery etc) which did not work for me. I did not enjoy this at all; it may not have been helped by the fact that I really expected to.
“The Unknown Bridesmaid” by Margaret Forster
I read this immediately after “Viper Wine” and the sense of being in the hands of a competent novelist who knew how to engage readers was a huge relief. This is an engaging short novel about the relationships between mothers and daughters. Perhaps not particularly cheerful but interesting.
“Bossypants” by Tina Fey
This largely left me cold. It’s a series of work done for other contexts strung together into a memoir. It’s not particularly good as a memoir but it is entertaining in parts.
“Darkmouth: Chaos Descends” by Shane Hegarty
I have to stop reading these. I understand that they are not bad at all if you are a ten year old boy but I am not a ten year old boy and, frankly, this was tedious.
“The Bone Clocks” by David Mitchell
This is a really long book. You know when you are really enjoying a book and you don’t want it to end? Well this is what this book is like. I loved it. It’s literary fantasy which I think is a genre that David Mitchell pretty much has to himself. It’s about a group of immortals and humans interacting and fighting a war that most humans don’t know is going on. Fantastic. In every sense of the word.
“I Heart London” by Lindsey Kelk
This kind of book wouldn’t normally be my cup of tea. I read it because I was curious about the author. Slightly tedious romantic comedy. Not for me, I fear.