This Saturday the Edinburgh International Book Festival begins – my favourite time of summer! The first event will be taking my friend’s daughter to see Jacqueline Wilson and we are both very excited about it (Jacqueline is her favourite author and she often gives me updates on what knowledge she has gained from her monthly subscription to the Jacqueline Wilson magazine). The challenge will be not spending all my savings in the Book Festival bookstore as I’m booked up for several events over the next few weeks!
So going into August – what I am currently reading? Here is the list of books I’ve been reading since I finished my last pile.
To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee – To Kill A Mockingbird is a book that had failed to make it to my bookshelf as a teenager as it was recommended by a school teacher. Most of the books they seemed to recommend I found deathly boring, so I never read it. The furore Go Set A Watchman has created, made me realise that I really needed to give it a go. I enjoyed the read, can understand why people love it but I would be lying if I said I thought it’s the best book I’ve ever read. It took several chapters before I felt the story got started, and I felt like it jumped around too much, I started to get confused who was who and how they were related in one chapter. I found the ending a little disappointing…just as the story became interesting, it felt like it came to rather an abrupt end. I almost want to go and edit the book to include more story.
Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me (and other concerns) by Mindy Kaling – I have a bit of a girl crush on Mindy Kaling, and though I don’t watch The Mindy Project and have never seen an episode of the American version of The Office, I do think this woman is hilarious, clever and I’m like…thank the Lord for some diversity on our television screens. This book is a collection of essays that are a mixture of thoughts and memoirs written by Mindy. I’ve found the book really easy to read, related to a lot of what she has shared and it’s been my ‘handbag’ book for the last week since finishing To Kill A Mockingbird. I’ve almost finished it, and it’s totally made me want to write more. Oh, and Dear Mindy…I’m so glad that we have almost identical writing offices and uniforms. 🙂
Friends, Lovers and Chocolate by Alexander McCall Smith – since reading The Forever Girl at the start of the summer, and realising that I was lacking some fiction in my life, I decided to give Isabel Dalhousie another go. She’s the only main protaganist created by Alexander McCall Smith that I’m supposed to like but struggle to. I’m not sure what it is. I do find the storyline always interesting, but something about this character irritates me slightly and I feel terrible about that. I love Bertie, and Precious Ramotswe, I loved La and felt for Clover, Freddie De La Haye is the best dog in the fiction world since Hairy McLary and I even feel like I would know how to handle Prof Von Igelfeld. I have two friends that love Isabel, and I don’t understand why I don’t. This inner turmoil and guilt seems to be distracting me from actualy enjoying reading a book by one of my favourite authors (There’s a joint third position here between Alexander McCall Smith, Jacqueline Wilson and J.K. Rowling).
Only When I Laugh by Paul Merton – The realisation that I’m going to be seeing Paul at the Book Festival next Monday (as long as I’m able to get the day off…!) and that I’d almost finished Mindy’s book found me back in Waterstone’s this week buying Paul’s memoir. I read the first couple of chapters in a comfy chair in the store before I got too cold and hungry to sit there any longer and headed for home where there was bread and fleecey blankets. I like it so far, and I love reading and hearing about people’s life stories. His anecdote about the wonders of a supermarket with automatic doors had me pondering over what inventions today’s kids will consider weird that we ever lived without (my suggestions during a discussion about this with my friend are: wifi, smartphones, DVDs).
As always, you can follow my reading habits on Goodreads. I even track down my favourite quotes there! 🙂
Any books that you’ve been reading this summer? Leave a note in the comments…