This week Meeghan has asked what our top 5 of 2022 books read are; as we are halfway through the year.
1. I have only just read this so is this why it makes top 5 would it if 5months had passed?
Anyway it is Elenor and Park. Obviously this book has been around a while so I k re people loved it so that maybe meant I read it quite critically. First thinking we’ll it’s ok but what’s the fuss about! I got into it as like the interesting characters was not sure I like his written just very short snippets from each point of view. I like music references and nostalgia of 80s listening to cassettes! I did during reading ask Alexa to play Love will Tear us apart by Joy Division. I also asked Alexa to play Elvis Costello Alison as not familiar with that but Alexa said ‘no’ unless upgraded subscription!
Then the ending first thought flat. But then it became thought provoking. Don’t ruin if not read but as well as above I also went on about this book Here with What could those three words be?
2. Failure is not an option by Matt Whitman (U was gifted this). Thought provoking about how far push self to physical endeavours and sometimes you have to be sensible and give up but in my opinion this is not failure.
3. Normal people by Sally Rooney. Loved tv show then read conversation with friends which not too keen on. Therefore was pleasantly surprised by this.
4. Salmon Fishing in the Yemen. It has flaws but still an interesting read.
If you know then you know I’m talking about the mysterious 3 words at the end of Eleanor and Park. If you do not want the book spoiling, maybe don’t keep reading this – read Eleanor and Park instead!
At first the ending seemed flat, I turned over pages, thinking is this it? At the end of my book the author Rainbow 🌈 Rowell explained she intentionally has not defined the words and never will. I began to think the ending was really thought provoking! I came up with various ideas. What do you think the words were? As an aside I presume she sent his postcode to her back to him?
The three words?
A lot of people think they are I love you. It would fit but what about…
I miss you
Return to sender (harsh?)
Not goodbye forever
Just sit down (echoing dialogue at the end of chapter 1 that was the first interaction)
Meat is murder (Smiths cassette they broke)
More batteries please
Thanks for batteries
Thanks for comments
A dream deferred (poem title mentioned by English teacher end of chapter 5)
Dark night returns (end of chapter 13 park says least boring Batman comic)
But then I was put off reading Great Gatsby as read another Fitzgerald; Tender is the night. Finally I read as part of buddy read.
I found the first couple of chapters slow going as Gatesby hardly featured! I thought the book was all about Gatesby’s his parties so wanted it to get going!
The book’s protagonist Nick does not have an active role in the action so you do not get to know how the key characters in the action feel. But not telling it from say Gatesby’s point of view keeps him mysterious.
Gatesby is a mysterious character, who thinks he can buy anything with money but despite throwing big parties it can not buy true company. The book pivots around his unrequited love for Daisy. The middle chapters start to reveal the characters of Daisy and atom and neither are particular likeable characters; it adds interest having flawed characters.
It was the last chapters where the tangled web weaved by the characters really unravels dramatically. It is a short book so not too traumatic to read. Especially pleased to read with others; it helped me understand the ending… here the review ends unless you want spoiler explanation of the ending.
🚨 Spoiler Alert 🚨
I was not sure whether it was an accident that Tom’s mistress was or targeted attack to kill her. It was explained that there was confusion as previously in the day Tom had driver Gatesby car. You have to be good to understand how the events play out; there is just a quick mention of the mistress moving the curtains and from that meant to know that is why she ran out to the car as she thought it was Tom driving and he would stop for her.
This week is a a choose own topic for Top 5 Tuesday hosted by Meeghan. I have listed 5 books wrote covering the extraordinary last 2 years and how subject handled. There will of course be more written! I think there are real life stories and stories that can be imagined about the pandemic creating dilemmas for those leading double lives with two lovers, for example. Of course there are all sorts of stories of the trauma of covid – having lived it; I’m not sure I’m ready for them yet! Or there may be stories where the pandemic is just in the background.
1. Apples never fall by Lianne Moriety. The ‘present’ part of the book starts on Valentine’s Day 2020 and continues forward from there. It flashes back to Sep / October 2019 and further back. By the end of the book the pandemic has started so it is mentioned but as a background subject until a reflective ending.
2. Wish you were here Jodi Piccoult. This one is set right at the beginning of the pandemic in 2020. It covers being trapped on Galapagos because of the pandemic but on an island free from covid contrasted with the traumatic times in US covid wards.
4. Chalet by Catherine Cooper. The main part of the book is set in Jan 2020. It was published November 2020 so I suspect the book was finished at the start of 2020. The epilogue is 6 months later so July time and mentions how well a business is going – it is like No! That business would have been closed for months, staff furloughed etc…
3. Is three by Ruth Jones ends at Christmas 2019. At the end of the book some of the characters are due to move to a different country however the implication is that there will be visits home and trips by the other characters to see them. If the book had been written in 2020 or later, it would have worked leaving story as it was in December 2019 when we did not realise what was about to happen. I think for the author it would have been tempting instead of having them sailing into the sunset to allude to the trauma and zoom calls to come!
5. If Roald Dahl wrote 2021. A book of short stories. There was a story about masks and the first story about health and safety gone made me laugh out loud! I think with Roald Dahl’s imagination though there would have been more stories about viruses causing havoc! There were not stories about viruses; I suspect the authors thought it was too soon. If book had been wrote later maybe there would have been.
For this week’s book scavenger hunt, Meeghan set the challenge of books with books on the cover. Hopover to Meeghan’s blog to see what Meeghan and other participants come up with.
1. The Book Thief by Markus Zusak. Books are part of the title being a narrative strand in the book alongside the story of the 2nd world war in Germany.
2. The book club by C.J Cooper. As the cover says one of them is hiding a secret. In fact technically to throw you off the scent more than one may have had a secret. However found this unbelievable in terms of the amount of people in the village that seemed to be able to hang around without having laid employment. The final secrets reveal also seemed a bit far detached.
3. Why you should read children’s books even though you are old and wise by Katherine Arundel. This is a non function book, I probably need to re read to remember the arguments for reading children’s books.
4. Little Men by Louise May Alcott. This is a follow up book to Little Women.
5. Hunter Davis lists. This is literally a book of lists, the cover show someone writing a list in the book. The book has all kinds of facts in and also just amusing lists that have been written.
For this week’s book scavenger hunt, Meeghan set the challenge of books with clocks on the cover. Meeghan and other participants, have probably gone for more typical timepieces than myself, therefore Hope over to Meeghan’s blog to see more!
1. Firstly egg timer type clock on Matt Haig; How to Stop Time.
2. Another one, with an egg timer; They both Dir at the End.
4. I may be clutching at straws here to try and get my favourite book on a list again. But some of my copies of One Day by David Nicholas have two faces facing each other and I wonder whether the gap inbetween is meant to resemble an egg timer?
4. Stepping away from egg timers! Who used to blow the fluff from dandelion and count each puff for the time I.e 1 puff = 1oclock etc… Totally inaccurate way of telling the time! The book I have with a dandelion on is 34 days. The book is largely set in Sheffield, which is where I live.
5. Another dandelion is On the Front of the man who did not call. And the reason was unexpected – not the usual type of reason ‘they’ do not call!
Meeghan set the challenge for today of finding books with thrones on. I have no books with thrones on! I tried to think of other royal themes. Ultimately as we have a Queen in the UK and today is International Women’s Day I have found 5 books on my shelves with a girl’s name in the title.
1. Sticking with the Queen theme the first name is Queenie in the title of Queenie Malone Paradise Hotel. To be honest found this a bit dull.
2. Heidi a book I have kept from childhood.
3. Rebecca. I’m not keen on classics but I have read and quite enjoyed this ‘modern’ classic twice.
4. Marilyn’s child by Lynne Pemberton. This is the imagined story of a girl growing up in an orphanage but could it be that Marilyn Munroe was her Mother.
5. Black Eyed Susans by Julia Heaberlin. Black Eyed Susan’s are vivid yellow flowers with a black centre (eye). In the book the appearance of these flowers is associated with murders of teenage girls.