For me, and I’m sure most other readers, settling down on the sofa to read a good book is one of life’s best, simple pleasures. I’m a lifelong book buff and I’m always reading at least two books at any one time. I’m hoping to do a regular Sofa reading post towards the end of each month mentioning one or two books that I’ve read during that month.
I’m happy to say that Liz, who has been guest posting Tree following posts the past couple of years, will also be contributing with her book(s) of the month. Here’s what she says…On occasion Mike and I have emailed emailed each other about the books that we’re reading so when he invited me to join him with my take on one or two good reads I accepted with pleasure. I do love a good book in which to lose myself for an hour or two at a time. Sometimes I get so caught up in a story line that it’s a straight read from start to finish.
Today we’re looking back at our top reads for 2016, starting with Liz’s.
From last year there are two books, both published earlier, that remain with me (Liz).
All The Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr was published in 2014, and won the 2015 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction and the Carnegie Medal for Excellence in Fiction. It is a beautifully crafted story of a blind French girl fleeing as the Nazis advance on Paris in WW2 and of a young German man with a talent for science and mechanics and is recruited into the German occupation in France.
We follow these two main characters through harrowing circumstances, both separately and then as their lives intersect.
Anything written by Jane Gardam is welcome news to me. When Old Filth came out in 2004 I read it as soon as I could get my hands on a copy. Filth is an acronym for Failed in London try Hong Kong, and the nickname given to Sir Edward Feathers, QC. The sun is setting on the British Empire and his story is one of an a Raj orphan. We learn of his lonely childhood, distinguished life as a barrister in Hong Kong then his retirement to Dorset. Gardam captures her character with wit and pathos in equal measure.
Reading, and rereading this book was a sheer delight. It is fortunate that this story is followed by two more to make a magnificent trilogy.
The most enjoyable book that I (Flighty) read last year was The Ballroom by Anna Hope, and was an unlikely choice given what I usually read.
The story is set in 1911 in an asylum on the edge of the Yorkshire moors where men and women are kept apart by high walls and barred windows. The ballroom is where they are allowed to come together to dance every Friday evening. It’s an enduring story of love, madness and sanity, and I have to admit that the last few pages had me tearing up.
Happy reading, have a good weekend and don’t forget it’s the RSPB’s Big Garden Birdwatch.