Read This Week
I am extremely happy to report that, after the pretty slow reading week I had last week, the past seven days have been far better. For the first time this year I’m not behind with my Goodreads goal, which I’m feeling pretty proud of, and I feel like I’m ready to pick up the pace a little and attempt to get a good chunk of my TBR list read in the coming weeks. Tomorrow is my birthday (eeeek!) and to celebrate my boyfriend and I are heading off for a few days in the Lake District for plenty of relaxing and, hopefully, reading! It will be great to have some time to switch off and read to my heart’s content, without feeling guilty that I should be doing other things. That being said, I managed to read three books this week and get part way through a fourth, which isn’t too bad at all.
The first book I read this week was Chance Developments: Unexpected Love Stories by Alexander McCall Smith (☆☆☆☆). I purchased this beautiful little collection of short stories, each one inspired by an old photograph, last year, but it was soon forgot and hidden away on my bookcase. While organising my shelves last week, I rediscovered it, and picked it up this week as I thought it would make a sweet little read for Valentines Day. I’m not usually the biggest fan of short story collections, as inevitably there’s some that you’ll enjoy more than others, but I can honestly say that I loved each and every one included in this volume. Given the length, McCall Smith did a fantastic job of making the characters feel so very really, and his writing style is beautiful. I’m so glad I decided to give this a go, and I’ll definitely be picking up more of Alexander McCall Smith’s work in the future.
I also finally got around to reading The Perplexing Theft of the Jewel in the Crown, the second in the Baby Ganesh Agency Investigation series by Vaseem Khan (☆☆☆☆). I read the first instalment in this fun, Mumbai-based mystery series last year and really enjoyed it, so I was pretty certain I was going to love this one. The books follow the adventures of Private Detective Chopra and his baby elephant Ganesha as they find themselves in all sorts of trouble! This volume sees Chopra attempting to track down Koh-i-Noor diamond, which has been stolen from a Mumbai exhibition of the crown jewels, with a little help from Dairy Milk-loving Ganesha. This was a really light, quick story that I devoured in just a couple of sittings, and was exactly what I was in the mood for. I’m already looking forward to the next installment, which, luckily, isn’t too far away.
Finally, yesterday I took part in the #GettingGraphic readathon, hosted by BookTubers Kitty G and Elena Reads Books. The aim of the one-day readathon was to read solely graphic novels and comics, so I thought that it would be a great time to read Agatha: The Real Life of Agatha Christie by Anne Martinetti, Guillaume Lebeau and Alexandre Franc (☆☆☆☆). This graphic biography offers a very insightful glimpse into the world of the best-selling crime novelist, right from her childhood until her later years. The art style was charming, and I particularly enjoyed the imagined conversations that Agatha had with her famous Belgian detective, Hercule Poirot! If you enjoy Agatha Christie’s novels and want to learn a little more about the woman behind the pen, this graphic novel is a great place to begin.
I’m currently around a third of the way into Not Forgetting the Whale by John Ironmonger, a literary-dystopian novel set in Cornwall. I stumbled upon this while shelving books in the charity shop that I volunteer in, and was instantly sucked in by both the beautiful cover and the premise. I managed to read a good 100 pages while on the till (it was a slow afternoon…) and couldn’t put it down, so of course it had to come home with me. I love this so far – it’s both witty, clever and deeply moving all at the same time, and I’ve already grown very attached to the characters. I’ll be continuing on with this over the next few days, and while I don’t want to speak too soon, I think Not Forgetting the Whale has the potential to be a 5 star read for me!
Quote of the Week
“She sent him away. She closed her eyes. Such happiness, she thought; such happiness came from knowing who you were and where you came from. And from knowing, too, that you did not have to go back unless you really wanted to, and sometimes you did.”
– Chance Developments: Unexpected Love Stories by Alexander McCall Smith
To DNF, Or not to DNF?
As I mentioned last week, I’m currently reading The Dark Days Club, a YA historical fiction/fantasy by Alison Goodman. Well, I say currently reading – I haven’t picked it up, or had any inclination to do so, in over a week. Now, I don’t usually like to DNF books, as I feel that I should give them a proper go and persevere in the hope that the book will become better or more enjoyable. To put it simply, I don’t want to give up. Yet despite hearing many good things about this book, I haven’t found myself in the mood to read it, and I’m contemplating just putting it back on the shelf for now. I can’t really say that I’m currently reading it if it’s not being read at all, and I don’t want to force myself to read it incase it puts me in a slump. So, to DNF or not to DNF? That’s proving to be a tougher question that I first anticipated.
Another (Not-So-Little!) Kindle Splurge
Yes, I know that I bought quite a few Kindle books last week, but what can I say – cheap books are my weakness, and I am powerless to resist a good Kindle deal! I managed to find a good mix of genres all reduced this week, and many of the titles have been on my wishlist for quite some time. I’m planning on taking my Kindle when we go away this week, as it’s far easier than travelling with a stack of paperbacks, and having an eBook-reading binge, but now I have so many Kindle books I’m excited for that I don’t know where to begin!