Sunday, 5 October 2014

The Year in Books: Easy Reading October


I've been on an enforced blogging break recently - busy with work and barely getting to essential household maintenance never mind blogging.  But time this morning for a quick books post, joining in again with Laura at Circle of Pine Trees.

In September, I eventually finished 'The Goldfinch'.  It was hard work in the end and I didn't enjoy the last 300 pages much.  I ceased to care very much for Theo and skipped over the rather complex business of how the painting was found; lost again and then returned for a large reward. There were too many characters; too much violence for my taste; and the aspects of the novel I was enjoying, such as the Theo's relationship with Hobie and Alice, were not really developed.

So my October choices are much lighter, easy reading.  Many other readers who post on The Year in Books have recommended 'The Rosie Project', so I'm now reading it too.  I love it and am already nearly half way through.  Don is utterly charming and a much more pleasant companion than Theo (Is it just me who considers characters in books in this way - especially when there is a first person narrator?)  But I am a little uncomfortable with the humour in this book.  Should we be laughing at the results of Don's social blunders because of his Asperger's Syndrome?  My experience of teaching children with Asperger's suggests that their lives are much more challenging than this.  My other September read was 'The Reason I Jump', which was written by a Japanese boy and translated by David Mitchell, gives a better insight into autistic spectrum brains.

I have also borrowed from the library 'How to Build a Girl' by Caitlin Moran which I'm looking forward to - I love her writing.  And I have reserved  'We are all Completely Beside Ourselves' by Karen Joy Fowler . I know nothing at all about this book but the title is intriguing.

Nothing too demanding then: I'm beginning to wonder if my capacity to cope with more serious intellectual books is declining and that is why I didn't like 'The Goldfinch while others loved it.

13 comments:

  1. I loved The Rosie Project, did you know there's a follow up book? I have The Goldfinch waiting for me on my Kindle, I'll get around to it eventually.

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  2. The Rosie Project is a favourite amongst my pupils, but I have to admit to not having read it yet. Funnily enough, Doris, I was always first in line for the heavier, more intellectual books, but now at times find them more and more difficult to cope with. I certainly can't read any heavy stuff before turning off the light anymore. Is this to do with age, do you think? I feel a strong need for lighter stuff - hence my interest in food writing and the like. xxx

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    1. Yes- I only tackle serious books on a long holiday these days!

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  3. I loved The Rosie Project! I have the follow up on the 'to read' shelf. Nothing wrong with a bit of light reading, my October book choice for Year In Books is a light read too! Must be an autumn thing! X

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  4. The Rosie Project is on my list of books to read. Taking your advice, I'm not going to bother with the Goldfinch as I do get impatient with over wordy books.

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    1. Feel a bit responsible as it may just be me - others I have spoken to love it.

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    2. Don't worry, Doris, plenty more books to choose from out there x

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  5. I've not read the Goldfinch but have seen it sitting on bookshelves a plenty waiting to be purchased. Not sure it would be my sort of thing. I have an 11 year old boy with autism and I was quite intrigued by the Reason I jump. I have read it and found it very useful to give me a better understanding of what makes my young man tick. Sometime ago I read the book, Freaks, Geeks and Asperger's Syndrome which was written by Luke Kennedy who was a 13 at the time and has Aspergers. It was definitely worth a read. I've not heard of the Rosie Project so I'll be off now to go and have a look at it.

    Mitzi

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  6. i diidn't know about the Luke Kennedy book - thanks. I've now finished 'The Rosie Project' and enjoyed it a lot though I can't promise much insight into Asperger's as it's escapist fiction.

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  7. They sound like very interesting reads. I loved The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time which I suspect you have read. I am still very undecided about the Goldfinch it seems to be a book on a par with marmite, you either love it or hate it. But perhaps that is true of all books?

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    1. I loved the Curious Incident too. A friend recently saw the stage adaptation (at the Lowry, I think) and she said it was incredibly good.

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    2. I saw that too - though in the cinema as National Theatre live programme. Absolutely brilliant.

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  8. I liked the Rosie Project but you are right, it makes for an uncomfortable laugh at times. I might check out the other book you mention, The Reason I Jump. I have the feeling that I mentioned this before, maybe even here? Maybe it is a deja vu. I am working through my Scottish fiction pile just now, I do enjoy the Quarry but not as much as the other books by Iain Banks. My favourites are also The Bridge, and The Crow Road. Cx

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