Books, Reading, The Twelve Books of Christmas
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The Twelve Books of Christmas (Week 3 Update)

TheTwelveBooks of ChristmasI’m making great progress towards my target of 12 books for the reading challenge and 100 read for the year. I’m currently sitting at 10 books read for the challenge and I only need three more to hit 100, and I’m fairly confident I can get them read in the next week.

I’ve had some great reading this week and some average reading. Thankfully I haven’t hated anything that I’ve read, but there were a few that didn’t quite live up to my expectations.

Here are this week’s books:

SuspendedSentencesSuspended Sentences: Three Novellas

Author: Patrick Modiano (translated by Mark Polizzotti)
Genre: Fiction (Literary)
Release Date: November 25th, 2014
Rating: ★★★★

Modiano was the recipient of the 2014 Nobel Prize for Literature and after reading these three novellas, beautifully translated by Mark Polizzotti, it’s easy to see why. Modiano’s work focuses on memory and the past, and for the most part it reads like a love letter to a Paris that has all but disappeared. It’s easy to get lost in his writing and I would happily do so forever. I’m excited to read some more of his work, which is great because I have another of his books lined up for this month. You can check it out on Goodreads here.

SladeHouseSlade House

Author: David Mitchell
Genre: Horror
Release Date: October 20th, 2015
Rating: ★★★

So I was kind of really excited about this because I’ve wanted to read something by David Mitchell for ages. Unfortunately I was a left a little disappointed and I’m not sure whether it was because of the excitement, or whether I should have read something else by him first. Don’t get me wrong, I had a reasonably good time reading it – the premise was amazing. But by the time I got to the final section of the book (it’s split into four sections, each from a different character’s point of view) it felt a little repetitive. Basically the same thing happened in each section, with slight variations. I also found a spelling error, which really annoyed me. You can check it out on Goodreads here.

GirlWithAPearlEarringGirl With a Pearl Earring

Author: Tracy Chevalier
Genre: Historical fiction
Release Date: First published in 1999, my edition is from 2000
Rating: ★★★

This was OK. I liked it, but I definitely didn’t love it. The writing irritated me a little at times and was a little flowery. But it was the main character, Griet, that brought the whole thing down for me. She didn’t have a whole lot of personality, was quite passive and, well, a bit boring. The rest of the characters I really liked though. The book overall is a solid piece of historical fiction that regular readers of that genre would probably enjoy, particularly in terms of reading about everyday life in 17th century Netherlands which I always find interesting to read about. You can check it out on Goodreads here.

TheYearOfMagicalThinkingThe Year of Magical Thinking

Author: Joan Didion
Genre: Non-fiction (memoir)
Release Date: First published in 2005, my edition is from 2012

This hurt my heart so much, but was really beautiful to read. I’m almost not even sure what to say about it, it’s left with a lot of thoughts and a lot of feelings and I wondered how I would deal with the loss of a loved one. This passage towards the end I found particularly moving and a reminder that life does eventually go on:

All year I have been keeping time by last year’s calendar: what were we doing on this day last year, where did we have dinner, is it the day a year ago we flew to Honolulu after Quintana’s wedding, is it the day a year ago we flew back from Paris, is it the day. I realised today for the first time that my memory of this day a year ago is a day that does not involve John. This day a year ago was December 31, 2003. John did not see this day a year ago. John was dead.

You can check it out on Goodreads here.

28191768Richard II: Arkangel Shakespeare (audiobook)

Author: William Shakespeare
Genre: Play
Release Date: June 15th 2008

I thought I’d take it easy on the last day of the week and listen to an audiobook (I have the play in print so I read along too – it was fun). I was kind of excited to listen to this after seeing the same play performed while in London recently and in the end I had a pretty good time listening to this, mostly because it reminded me of seeing it live. I have to say that the King Richard I saw, was A LOT better than the one I listened to. But on the whole it was a pretty solid production and exactly what I needed to round out the week.

Currently Reading:




  1. Pingback: Book Review – ‘After the Circus’ | bitsnbooks

  2. Sorry you weren’t as enthralled with Chevalier’s Girl with a Pearl Earring as I was! Everyone in my book club loved it. I have yet to read a Joan Didion, but you really make me want to read this one! I like the way you posted weekly updates. I just didn’t get the time to do that…maybe next December. 🙂


    • I almost forgot to do weekly updates – but it was more for me than anything else, so that I could actually keep track of what I read. I had so much fun doing this challenge and cleared lots of books out of my TBR, which is the best thing. Hope you went well also!


  3. Slade House is on my radar at the moment – kept popping up on ‘Best of 2015’ lists. Have been meaning to read The Year of Magical Thinking for ages – your review has prompted me to move it up the list.


    • I hope you have a better experience with Slade House than I did. I didn’t dislike it, but I wanted more. I think I’m mostly alone in that opinion though, so don’t take it to heart too much!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I’m planning to start my David Mitchell journey with The Bone Clocks, and I’m hoping that’ll shed some light on Slade House as I’ve heard they tie together. I have Cloud Atlas on my stacks but it’s been sitting there for years unread, so I might as well start elsewhere. I LOVED The Year of Magical Thinking, so I’m glad to see you did, too! 🙂


    • I thought I read somewhere that Slade House and The Bone Clocks kind of connected, but I think it was a case of them being in the same world rather than one story linking with another, so I thought I’d be ok with Slade House first. I wonder if I’d read one of his longer books first whether I would have enjoyed Slade House more? I’m *hoping* to get to Cloud Atlas this year (I bought my copy when the movie came out and never read it), so maybe my opinion of Slade House will be altered.
      I really did love Joan Didion – I’m excited to read some more by her.


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