This summer has been a bit slow reading wise – I think I’ve only read about three books so far! I’ve got so many books on my ‘to read’ list, that I feel I should have an entire bookshelf devoted to them. I’ve discovered that I lose patience with thick, difficult books in the summer, because it seems to be a time when bestsellers and ‘the story’ get more of a look in. I find books that have exciting or unusual things happening in them tend to get my attention when the weather is warm and you just want to read something that gets to the point.
I bought Doris Lessing’s ‘The Golden Notebook’ two weeks ago and have only got past the first chapter and a half. It’s a really unwieldy book – the idea is fantastic and I have no doubt that it is a work of genius. However, it isn’t easy to get into the flow of it and I wonder if it’s unfair to the reader if a writer doesn’t tell an absorbing story?
Some of the best books I’ve read do get to the point, do tell a story from the beginning, taking the reader on a journey. Other books are slower, and don’t really get to the point until a few chapters on. Sometimes that’s okay – they give you a chance to get your bearings with the character or get a feel for the setting of the story. Yet sometimes I find that there is a lot of waffling or stuff that can be ‘shown’ rather than ‘described’.
Sometimes novels with the simplest and most uncluttered language are the most exciting, as compared to novels that over-describe and use complicated language. I had enough of difficult sentences and theoretical terminology when I did my sociology degree. I find it refreshing when a writer describes something in vivid detail using the most simplest of language. To create a picture in someone’s mind without using so many adjectives and cliches that it just becomes funny, is a gift, in my mind.
Anyway, instead of reading Lessing’s book (I think that will have to wait until the colder and darker months), I’m now reading ‘The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo’ by Stieg Larsson. I’ve never read a crime novel before – it should be interesting – but the story and character seemed really intriguing. I just finished reading ‘White Witch, Black Curse’ by Kim Harrison and the book I read before that was ‘Dead and Gone’ by Charlaine Harris.
Both pretty good books, if you like Harrison’s Rachel Morgan series and Harris’s Sookie Stackhouse Vampire Mystery books. After this I will probably read ‘Prey’ by Rachel Vincent – the fourth book in her Faythe Sanders series. All of these series are about the supernatural – Faythe Sanders is a werecat. If you like the fantasy or supernatural horror genre then they are definitely recommended!
I also read ‘Italian Fever’ in June by Valerie Martin. I haven’t read any of her books before – it was given to me by my aunt, who recommended it. It was quite surprising – definitely keep reading it to the end because there are a few twists! The characters are vivid and the situation quite a strange one. I might read some more of her books, as this one was so interesting.