It’s time for March’s Reading Roundup! And what a varied month it was. I seemed to have covered everything from Jazz Vampires to the greatest of classics. As always, if you’ve read any of these then I would love to hear what you thought! And don’t forget to read all the way to the bottom to claim your two free Audible downloads as well. I’m obsessed with my audiobooks at the moment!
In December 1995, Jean-Dominique Bauby, editor-in-chief of French ‘Elle’ and the father of two young children, suffered a massive stroke and found himself paralysed and speechless, but entirely conscious, trapped by what doctors call ‘locked-in syndrome’. The Diving Bell & The Butterfly was painstakingly dictated to an assistant letter by letter through Bauby’s only form of communication – blinking his left eye. Understandably, that means this book is short and to the point. Every sentence was planned by the author in advance as he filled the hours between visitors, and it carries a certain weight because of that. Even so, the writing was a lot simpler than I expected, and at times a little rambling. I think this is a book that everyone should read once, but I don’t know if it’s earned a permanent place on my bookshelf. If you’ve read it, I would love to know what you thought!
After last month, there was no way I would have been able to resist ploughing through this sequel to Rivers of London as soon as my Audible credit arrived. Moon Over Soho sees PC Grant operating a little more independently than in the previous book (for better or worse? I’ll let you decide). There’s a little less of the practical magic instruction that I enjoyed so much in the first book, but the Jjazz theme has really been moved to the forefront and I loved every minute of it. Aaronovitch also took the opportunity to flesh out a little of the history of magic in this alternate world of his, and I’m looking forward to discovering more of this as the series progresses. Again, this is a series that really isn’t suitable for younger readers (the sexy times ramped up a lot in this installment), but if you’re an adult that likes your fiction a little on the magic side, then I highly recommend.
Like basically every other child ever (I hope) I loved His Dark Materiels, Phillip Pullman’s epic trilogy. The Book of Dust takes place in the same universe but follows Malcolm Polstead and his dæmon, Asta. Unlike the orphaned Lyra, Malcom lives with his parents in their inn near Oxford, and it’s interesting to see the college from an outsiders point of view (side note- this book has completely re-sparked my desire to visit Oxford when I head to London later this year, and if it’s not anywhere near as magical as Pullman makes it sound then I’ll have something to say about it).
Slipping back into Pullman’s universe is like curling up with a blanket and a cup of tea on a cold day. Every old friend rediscovered is an absolute delight, but so far the book seems easily stands alone for those who haven’t read his previous work (-if this is you, what are you doing with your life?? Get onto His Dark Materials, stat)
So I’ve never actually read any Dickens before. I know! Shocking. So when I fell into a Youtube hole and discovered A Tale of Two Cities: The Musical, I was intrigued. Who was this Sydney character? Why did he get all the good songs? Why was reading the synopsis on Wikipedia making me cry, dagnabbit? I figured anything that managed to hit me that hard was worth investing some time in, so here I am. Despite it’s age, I’ve found A Tale of Two Cities surprisingly easy to read so far. I’ve yet to meet Sydney, I’m sure that once I do, it will be literary love. Watch this space…
What have you been reading this month? Comment below to share your favourite, I’m always looking for recommendations!
You can check out some of my earlier Reading Roundups here: