I get through quite a few books and I’m not likely to write even full blog posts on all of them – trust me, we’d both get bored veeery quickly. So at the end of each month (in addition to other posts) I’ll do a quick rundown to remind me what I’ve read and to point out any other fun things that cropped up.
Murder in Montparnasse
I haven’t read a Kerry Greenwood book I haven’t enjoyed. The Phryne Fisher series read like sexed-up Agatha Christie novels, with a murder of the moment, fantastic 20s Melbourne details and well, Phryne Fisher often seems like a female James Bond – men want to be with her, women want to be her. Can I be a wealthy, intelligent, beautiful detective in 1920s Melbourne? Please?
In Murder in Montparnasse Phryne’s slightly scandalous Parisian past intrudes on her new life in Melbourne, and it’s good to see that our heroine has made a few mistakes in her time, and wasn’t always as sure of herself as she is now. A plus – the audiobooks are very well done and the length, genre and pace of Kerry Greenwood’s stories work well in audio form.
The Catcher In The Rye
This is not a book I feel I can say anything new about – it’s for that reason you’ll rarely find full reviews of beloved classics here. If I enjoyed them, I probably can’t do them justice, if I didn’t I don’t feel I’m in any position to judge.
Several years ago a friend and I were trading favourite books. I always want to fall madly in love with the books my friends love, but it doesn’t always work out the way we both hope it will which is generally confusing for both of us. Ditto when I love something and someone whose taste I generally agree with finds it fairly meh. When I love a book I’m filled with an almost evangelical zeal, and I feel like I need to force everyone I’ve ever met to read it so that they don’t miss out on how fantastic it is (and, well, so I have someone to talk about it with). For my friend, that book is Catcher In The Rye, and when I read it I…..didn’t like it very much. Which was awkward. We were able to move past it though, in case you were wondering.
A few weeks ago I picked it up again and unexpectedly, this time it just clicked. It made me question whether books I’d disliked or dismissed previously might have suffered purely from my mood at the time.
Regardless, this time Catcher in the Rye was lovely – the mood, the language – it kills me, it just kills me.
The Diviners – Libba Bray
The twenties seem to be the fashion at the moment (no idea why *coughgatsbycough*), and the trend seems to be seeping into young adult fiction even more than pre-WW1 Downton Abbey style settings are. Thankfully it hasn’t moved to the stage were “If you loved The Great Gatsby, you’ll love…” is emblazoned on the front cover the way Downton Abbey is, but it’s probably only a matter of time. The couple I’ve had a peek into previously haven’t interested me despite the setting – taking characters straight out of Gossip Girl and dumping them in the twenties does not enthrall me (though hey, more fun to you if it does).
The Diviners is more my kind of twenties YA – if there’s a TV show it’s borrowing from Buffy’s a better bet that Gossip Girl. Three young girls (who become close friends despite their differences) have to band together to fight the powers of darkness. If you know me, you’ll know that’s definitely my shtick. Libba Bray has built a fun world for playing in – one where Ziegfeld girls and humans with supernatural powers exist alongside speakeasies and socialist protesters. Very entertaining – I can’t wait for the next one.
The Chaperone – Laura Moriarty
Cora Carlisle gained and gave up a lot on marrying her husband, and by middle age her life seems fairly set. Until she’s charged with chaperoning a young Louisa Brooks to dance school in New York and everything starts to change. The whole Louisa Brooks aspect of the novel seemed fairly unnecessary – commentary on how amazing she would be later in life distracted from Cora, a character whose life and mind are starting to open up for the first time. But ultimately this was an enjoyable piece of historical fiction.
In other unwise, book related purchases….. if you feel like announcing to everyone that you read JD Salinger’s non-Catcher In The Rye books you could always get this and see who notices that they’re listed in order by age?