I didn’t have quite as good of a reading week – either in terms of amount read or enjoyment – as last week, but I’m hoping to get back on track this week! Nonetheless, here’s my weekly run-down!
The Bookshop is a very short book, and a relatively easy read. But I’m finding it much more difficult to figure out what to say about it. I went into it with high expectations since it was apparently shortlisted for the Booker Prize and the synopsis appealed to me. I had a hard time figuring out the time period and setting, and some of the terminology was unfamiliar to me. Which is fine – it’s like reading a classic and I’m used to inferring from context, but it does change the reading experience. I think the problem I had with this was that the story didn’t really hook me and it felt abridged. So I’ll need to put some thought into it before writing a full review.
I finally finished The Elegance of the Hedgehog, and I’m glad I stuck it out. It’s not the favourite I expected it to be, but it did somewhat redeem itself in the second half. I don’t read a ton of books in translation, but this was one where I felt it really did suffer from being translated. I don’t think it was a bad translation, I just think it’s a book that relies much more on writing style and imagery than plot, so some of the subtlety and rhythm of language was lost in translation. But it’s still one I enjoyed well enough, and if I were fluent enough to read a book this size and level in the original French, I definitely would.
I’m only about a third of the way through The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake so far, but I have to say it isn’t blowing me away like I expected. Maybe it’s that I’ve read a fair amount of Latin American magical realism so this feels like magical realism light. Or maybe it’s that it’s a bit of a downer and I’m not in the best mood for that at the moment. Or perhaps it’s just not as good as I thought it would be. It’s not bad, it’s just not great. But I’ll keep at it and maybe it’ll surprise me!
When I was a child the film The Snowman, based on the book of the same name by Raymond Briggs, was my favourite Christmas film. (It helped that it was introduced by David Bowie…) As I grew up I enjoyed several of his other books, including, notably, Fungus the Bogeyman. It’s really weird but beautifully illustrated and really funny if you like that sort of thing. My dad passed on a copy of Ethel & Ernest to me ages ago, and I think I lent it to someone who never gave it back, as I couldn’t find it. It was mentioned in some booktube videos I watched recently, and I ended up ordering a new copy because once I’d remembered it, I just wanted to read it. It arrived today and I’m already well into it and loving it.
It’s been a long time since I read any of Barbara Pym’s books, but I remember liking Jane and Prudence, so I’m curious to give it a re-read and see if I remember anything as I read it!
I’ve had This One Summer on my shelf for such a long time that I’d more or less forgotten about it. But someone mentioned it recently and it reminded me that I have yet to give it a try. And hey, what better time to read a book about summer than summer?
So that’s it for my week in books, what about you? Have you read any of these? What are you reading at the moment?
My Week On Wednesday is a weekly post in which I share with you what I’ve been reading, what I’m reading next, and any other bookish stuff I enjoyed in the past week! If you’d like to write your own My Week On Wednesday post, or if you’d just like to share your recent reads, feel free to link or chat in the comments! (Click on cover image to visit Goodreads page and learn more about the book.)