I'm finally back, I deleted the massive piles in my Google Reader as there was way too much to trudge through so I will get back to commenting soon. My computer problem turned out to be something that was fixed in 30 seconds!
Anyway this is going to be a post about the books I read whilst I wasn't blogging, I didn't get through as many as I had hoped as I seem to have been in a reading slump and had one week where I seemed to have eye strain constantly.
NORTHERN CLEMENCY - Phillip Hensher
This is one of the Booker Nominees of last year, it was a fantastic read so it gives me hope as I'm in a group reading last years short list.
This is a family saga spanning the 1970s till 2006. The ovel starts in Sheffield, a northern English town famous for its mines and the mining strikes of the 1980s.
The beginning of the novel is a shocking introduction to the street that the novel is primarily focused on, the new neighbours move in witnessing on their first day a mother stamping on her sons snake and also revealing all her marital problems.
The novel then travels through the families ups and downs, success, illness, hatred and love.
This took a while to read because of the hefty size and weight but was well worth it in the end.
999 (New Fiction)
The Complete Booker
The Chunkster Challenge (738 pgs)
Birthday Stories [ed] Haruki Murakami
The is a amazing collection of short stories from around the globe, Murakami set out to fine stories which all featured birthdays. There was only one story in the whole collection I didn't enjoy. Definately a must read.
999 [Short Story Collections]
100 Shots of Short
So Many Ways to Begin, Jon McGregor
I read McGregor's 'Nobody Speaks of Remarkable Things' last year and jumped at the chance to grab this copy at my last bookcrossing meeting.
This novel is about the lives of David and Eleanor, childhood sweethearts from two different parts of the UK. The ovel explores the way that love has to cope with all the incidents in peoples lives, the painful memories from the past and the small, incidental happenings which can spiral into something much larger. As with Nobody Speaks... the language and the sense of atmosphere is lovely, warming and gripping. An author who deserves to be discovered by many more people.
Themed Reading Challege (Move 'em Along)
Fun Home: A Family Tragicomic, Alison Brecdel
I spotted this in the library, a graphic novel-cum-memoir (two challenges in one!).
Alison's father can be abusive, he struggles to restore their home to Victorian perfection, and he is a closet homosexual (a fact she doesn't learn to she comes out herself). Her mother reveals her fathers secret affairs, including those with young boys and the babysitters. From this revelation Alison looks back at her childhood and her own developing sexuality, along with her relationship with her father before his death/suicide.
The Graphic Novel Challenge
In Their Shoes
I also read The Master of Margarita graphic novel, which I'm still not sure of. I think I need to have read the novel before I pass judgement.
Family Matters, Mistry
I won this fantastic novel from Bethany from B&B Ex Libris as part of the OT challenge last year, for anyone taking this challenge this year you should certainly stick this on your reading list if you haven't already read it.
The Chenoy family are living on the brink of poverty in a tine two roomed flat. Their jealous siblings, envy them their freedom. These siblings live in an 8 roomed apartment with plenty to eat, but with the burden of looking after their elderly step-father. When he breaks his leg and becomes bedbound he is simply dumped on his youngest daughters doorstep. Despite a lack of food and space she cares for his every need and his developing Parkinsons Disease. Her family struggle with the problems the grandfather brings with him but learn a lot in the process.