Been doing some reading.
The Vitner’s Luck by Elizabeth Knox – this is one of the strangest yet most compelling books I have read in a long time. Sobran Jodeau is a Vitner in France, one night in his vineyard he meets Xas, an angel who smells of snow and each year on the anniversary of that meeting Xas returns to talk once more to Sobran. It wont be everyone’s cup of tea and some might find it offensive, but on reflection this was one I enjoyed.
On Chesil Beach by Ian McEwan – This is a little gem, funny and poignant with a touching and real ending. Love is not the same as sex as Edward and Florance begin to discover on their wedding night. McEwan’s light touch with gentle humour makes this short read sing, he touches deep truths without shoving them in your face and drops insightful nuggets into how the world has changed. Big gold star from me for this one.
The Robber Bride by Margaret Atwood – I must admit to getting slightly lost at one point while reading this book. Zenia is a bit of a femme fatal and we follow the story of three women, Tony, Charis and Roz who have all had encounters with her. In one sense it could be said to be three books woven into one as each element of the story is told through each of the three women in turn from their perspectives, then we move on a bit in time and hear the next element from first Tony, then Charis, then Roz. We learn about the women, why they reacted as they did, why they have continued to be affected like they have, and what has driven each of them to the meeting at the conclusion of the book. Strangely the conclusion wasn’t the end of the book, the book continued to waffle on for some 40 pages. If I hadn’t been on holiday I probably wouldn’t have finished this book, but that says more about me than the book.
The Good Man Jesus and the Scoundrel Christ by Philip Pullman – I read and enjoyed Philip Pullman’s Dark Material Trilogy before people started stirring up a whole lot of nonsense about it, so found it amusing that plastered on the back cover in big letters, isn’t reviews or any of the usual stuff but just four words ‘This is a Story’. Pullman has obviously done his homework and drawn on non-canonical books to help him create this children’s story. It reads much more like a children’s story than any of his other books that I have read yet I am guessing that it will probably be read mostly by adults. I read it because I thought I should, was a waste of my time, not particularly clever, not particularly good and why anyone is getting their knickers in a twist about this book is totally beyond me.