Wednesday, 1 May 2013

Longing For A Good Book

Time To Read Some Old Favourites 

I've been trying for some time to find a good book to read with little success. I know there are so many good books out so I have to conclude it's me. I think I've got two problems with my reading lately, one I'm too fussy and secondly I find concentrating on any book difficult. Therefore I've decided to go back and try and reread some books that I've really enjoyed but haven't read for some time.

My pile of reread books

My absolute favourite book of all of these has to be Shades of Grey by Jasper Fforde, not to be confused with that other great work of fiction that has a similar name. One of his other books The Eyre Affair was recently given away as part of World Book Night. At the beginning of each chapter you are given words of wisdom, an example from Heading Home is as follows: 'Unnecessary sharpening of pencils constitutes a waste of public resources, and will be punished as appropriate'.  The story is set in our future and is a world ruled by colour.  The Social order is defined by colour perception. The main character of the story is Eddie Russett who is sent to East Carmine with his father who is a Swatchman ( a bit like a doctor I suppose) to conduct a chair census. The story is also about spoons, mildew, The Emerald City, love and corruption.  And this is only a small part of the story.  

Shades of Grey being signed by the author at Foyles Bookshop, Charing Cross Road, London

Next on my list is The Book of Lost Things by John Connolly. Unlike a lot of his books this isn't an action thriller. This story is about a twelve year old boy David whose mother has died. David is lured from his home into another world that is accessed through a garden.  The story is a mix of both fairy tale and horror.  I suppose you might say it has hints of Pan's Labyrinth about it. 

Compared to some of the other books I've selected it's not that long since I read The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern.  The Night Circus is another book with aspects of a Fairy Tale about it.  The story is set in Victorian London and is about a magical wandering circus.  The main characters are Celia and Marco, rival magicians.  They travel  around by train and only perform between sunset and sunrise. Usually disappearing just as quickly as they arrive.  The story concludes with a breathtaking finale.

My penultimate choice is The Stolen Child by Keith Donohue.  This story is set in New England and tells the story of seven year old Henry Day who is taken by goblins and replaced by a changeling child. It's some time since I originally read it but I think it starts out in the 1940's.  Yes I know another fairy tale type story, a story of fantasy.  The story weaves between the lives of Henry and Aniday the changeling child that replaces him. Even now having not read the story since 2007 its memory still haunts me.

My final choice is Verity Red's Diary by Maria Mann and no it's not a fantasy or a fairy tale.  It's the biography of an M.E. sufferer over the period of one year.  In reality the events took place over a longer period of time but placing them into a one year time period doesn't affect the story.  Maria has a great imagination which helps her to cope with her life.  Some dwarves from Robert Dyas and some kittens contribute to positive changes in her life.  This is a great story written with humour.

The front covers

Shades of Grey by Jasper Fforde.  The Book of Lost Things by John Connolly.  The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern. The Stolen Child by Keith Donohue. Finally Verity Red's Diary by Maria Mann. 

I have to say I don't only read fantasy and modern fairy tales.  My recent reads have been romantic fiction.  I enjoy biographies but not about famous people or people who've had terrible problems to overcome. I did get a book from the library yesterday by Ben Law called Woodsman who has lived in a wood for twenty years.  

If anyone has any suggestions for books they think I might enjoy please feel free to leave me a comment.

Until next time


  1. You could try Inceptio by Alison Morton

    1. Thank you Steve it's one I've been giving consideration to for a while

  2. I would highly recommend Inceptio - it is really well written, doesn't have lulls, and is a great concept :-)

    1. I may have to wait until next week but at £2.99 on Kindle I can't go wrong, thanks.