Monday, 15 June 2015

The Year In Books - June

I've had a little bit more time to read recently, which has been truly wonderful, so after writing off the month of May I've decided to rejoin The Year In Books in June.

Most of my reading has been done on the train on my way to my temping job, a nice relaxing start to the day. I made it through three books this month, all very different, and I enjoyed them all.

First up is 'The French Lieutenant's Woman' by John Fowles. This is one of those books I've been meaning to read for a long long time (I haven't seen the film). I absolutely loved it! It follows the experiences of Charles Smithson, an aristocrat engaged to be married to the daughter of a wealthy industrialist more than ten years his senior. After encountering the tragic figure of Sarah Woodruff, who stands on the Cobb at Lyme Regis looking mournfully out to sea his life takes a series of unexpected turns. I don't want to give much away, but it's a fascinating book, and kept taking me by surprise. My favourite part of it was the narrator, quite unlike any other narrator I've come across, who is an anonymous figure and narrates the lives of these figures of Victorian England from the perspective of today (or when the book was written rather). So for example one character is compared to the Gestapo, there are several references to prominent literary movements and theorists and the description of our prim Victorian forebears is rather tongue in cheek. It's also interesting how the narrator reflects on how he writes the story, constantly underlining it is fiction, yet includes lots of historical sources about the period and facts. A really wonderful book!.

Then I read 'It's Not Me it's You' by Mhairi McFarlane. This is chick lit at its best in my opinion. A thoroughly readable book about Delia Moss, a woman in her thirties who in the same week quits her job, proposes disastrously to her boyfriend and moves to London. The characters are fun, and Delia really is rather likeable, I could definitely relate to her.

Finally for this month is 'On Green Dolphin Street' by Sebastian Faulkes. It's possibly just me but I thought this was nowhere near as good as his other books that I've read. I still enjoyed it, he writes very well, but the plot was somewhat lacking. The novel is set in the Cold War and follows the experiences of the wife of an English diplomat based in Washington, after she meets a New York journalist. All of the period detail was wonderful, but the main storyline didn't convince me that much, I don't want to say too much as it would give the plot away, but would be very interested to hear if anyone else had a different experience?

So for this month I am going to try and read Suite Francaise, which I tried to read this month and couldn't because it reminded me too much of my research! What have you been reading? Any recommendations?

Linking in with Laura at The Circle of Pines for The Year in Books


  1. Sounds like a good mix of books. I haven't read any of these but I have considered reading the first one, it does appeal to me!

  2. I've added the first 2 to my list of Summer books. I'm always looking for recommendations and these sound very good!

  3. You have intrigued me with these reads my friend! Especially It's Not Me It's You! That one sounds like a fun read for sure! It is a great thing when you have a bit more time to read! Something that I need to start doing! Wishing you a great week my friend! Nicole xo

  4. Some authors are not improving with experience, rather their later books leave you a bit disappointed. I don't know if it is the pressure to publish? A good story just can't be rushed. I have stopped Faulks after his third or fourth book I think. I am intrigued by your first book, it sounds like something I would enjoy reading. x

  5. I really want to read "The French Lieutenant's Woman" too, your review just reminded me that! : )

  6. I mean to read "The French Lieutenant's Woman" too at some point, hope you are enjoying the chance to read just for pleasure. Hx

  7. Glad you finally had more time to read! I also read on the train everyday on my commute and I love every single minute of it! :)
    I already wrote "The French Lieutenant's Woman" on my reading list, you make it sound so interesting!
    Greetings, EmmA

  8. It is lovely to start a day by reading books while on your way to work. I didn't commute when I used to work but I read a lot on buses and trains while travelling around London back when we lived there. 'The French Lieutenant's Woman' sounds interesting. Will keep an eye out for a copy next time I'm in a charity shop. Hope you're having a nice week! X


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