Not read quite as much this month, but I have been reading fairly steadily – at least a couple of pages a day if nothing else.
I have also continued my Bad People podcast binge and now know about a multitude of true crime cases that I was previously in blissful ignorance of. People are… creatively terrible sometimes.
Anywho, on to the books!
What I Read
- Wolf Bane (Chronicles Of Ancient Darkness #9) by Michelle Paver: 5* – Ugh. This was brilliant, and finished the series off beautifully, but it also made me cry repeatedly because it turns out that saying goodbye to characters you’ve loved and been invested in for years is horrible and breaks your heart. (Which is obviously a lesson I have learned many times before when series end, but never gets any less difficult each time round. And I don’t mean ‘say goodbye’ as in they all die, I just mean that you reach a point where you know that there’s not going to be anything new, no more adventures, no more character discovery…)
Michelle Paver’s descriptive skills make the setting practically a character and I went on a dog walk with Chase whilst I was reading this and found myself in a quiet patch of woodland that was so like the Forest in the books that I had to just stand there and take a few moments to soak it all in. Feel the ground beneath me, soft and springy with fallen pine needles, smell the sweet and leafy woodland air, listen to the birds, and not be able to see any evidence of anybody else in any direction other than Chase and myself. It was magic, and I would probably have never left the beaten track and thought to wander there and experience it if I hadn’t had a head full of Michelle’s words.
- Forgotten Fairy Tales of Kindness & Courage adapted by Mary Seabag-Montefiore: 4.5*– This is an Usborne collection that is absolutely beautiful, I didn’t read it all this month, I just finished the last story this month. I have actually sat down and shared this one with the Not-So-Smalls and they have quite enjoyed it, the stories were all new to us and the illustrations were lots of fun and added to the stories without being distracting. Turns out 11, 13, and 34 years of age are all still perfect for discovering and enjoying new fairy tales, and whilst this book would make a stunning gift for a little one, it is also a beautiful book for anyone who likes a little magic and kindness in their life.
- The Wren Hunt by Mary Watson: 3.5* – I didn’t not enjoy this, but I’m not rushing out to get book two either. At first all I was was confused, so I did a little research into the Irish tradition of the Wren Hunt and the folklore behind it, and that helped a lot with getting my brain on the right level for the story. It was an interesting take on the folklore and at times it was quite pacy and tense, but it was also a bit predictable, especially when it came to the romantic relationships. Saying that, I didn’t see The Big Twist coming until just before it was revealed so it wasn’t entirely predictable on every level. I think if you were familiar with Irish lore and legend then this would be a great read, but the fact that I had to go do some research and rely on knowledge I’ve gained from reading other Irish fiction (and attending WorldCon 2019 in Dublin where Irish folklore was often discussed in panels!) left me feeling a little bit distanced from the story and like an outsider looking in. I was never entirely sucked in and swept away.
- The Gibbon’s In Decline But The Horse Is Stable by Maureen Lipman: 2.5*– This was an illustrated collection of silly verses, written by the author as a coping mechanism when her husband was undergoing treatment for Myeloma and illustrated by a variety of people all in aid of raising money for Cancer research.
I loved about two of the verses themselves but enjoyed the illustrations very much. The rest of the verses varied from dull but almost funny, to vaguely problematic or just nonsensical.
I liked the reasoning behind why it was written and produced, and don’t regret reading it, but it’s not a keeper and I won’t be rereading it. It sort of peaked with the title.
Something has begun…
I have started Wolfsong by TJ Klune which is honestly one of the most beautiful books ever, and I am enjoying it so far. Honestly it could be rubbish but I’d still consider it a prized possession just because it’s so pretty.
I also started listening to Mexican Gothic by Silvia Moreno-Garcia but am only one chapter in so don’t really have any idea what is going on yet!
I am now up to 52 books finished this year, which has surpassed my 50 book target. Woo! Now I can over-achieve with no pressure.
What have you been reading this month?