Books I Read In May & June.

Books I’ve read recently have been a bit of a mixed Book- Bag. See what I did there.😅 There have been some goodies though. Two recommended by bloggers….and one written by a blogger. Yay!

Convenience Store Woman ~ Sayaka Murata (2016). Keiko has always been a bit disconnected from other human beings. Her response to an annoying boy in primary school is to hit him with a shovel. And shouldn’t a dead budgie be taken home for dinner. It’s apparent her family think she’s definitely strange ,so it’s a relief to them when she gets a part time job in a convenience store. The in-store training manual shows Keiko how to be an acceptable and productive member of society and Keiko is happy to appear normal at last. However many years later Keiko is unmarried, has no children and at 36 is still in the same role. She no longer conforms to what society thinks she should be. This is a funny, sometimes sinister, a little heart breaking and actually life affirming story. Go Keiko! ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

The Water Cure ~ Sophie Mackintosh ( 2018). I really wanted to like this book, but it just annoyed me more than anything. If your looking for a distopion classic then I recommend The Handmaid’s Tale. The storyline idea is good. Three daughters are brought up by their mother and father on an isolated island, away from the real world which is apparently full of deadly toxins. They are subjected to cruel purifying treatments which involve drowning dresses etc. But to them this is all quite normal. Then oneday their father disappears leaving their mother to carry on his good work. Things go awry when three men are washed up on the island. Read it and let me know what you think. ⭐⭐

Yeshiva Girl ~ Rachel Mankowitz ( 2018). A Jewish novel about a teenager whose father abuses young girls ( herself included) is difficult subject matter , but Mankowitz’s quiet yet real writing provides the reader with a heroine we really want to hear more from. When Izzy’s parents put her in a new orthodox school whilst he goes through a court case, she finds herself dealing with having to make friends & relationships whilst questioning a religion that appears to very much prioritize men over women. And how can Izzy get on with her life when her peers don’t realise just how manipulative her father really is. ⭐⭐⭐⭐

The Country Diary of an Edwardian Lady ~ Edith Holden ( 1979). Book illustrator and art teacher Edith Holden’s Nature notes for 1906 lay unseen and unpublished for many years after her death. Then in 1979 her beautiful paintings and observations were set out in diary form and shown to the wider world. They were an immediate success even spawning a TV series. The diary contains poems and sayings about each month, lovely illustrations and Edith’s day to day pondering’s about the wildlife she saw whilst walking or riding her bicycle in her beloved Midlands. Unfortunately for Edith she died in her forties. Leaning over a river to observe some plant life, she fell in and drowned. 😦 ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

The Chess Men ~ Peter May (2012). Back to Peter Mays trilogy set on Lewis in the Outer Hebrides. In this novel many loose ends are tied up and it seems former detective Finn MacLeod has reached some sort of peace in his life, back on his childhood home of Lewis. Of course as is mandatory in Mays trilogy, Finns past is brought back to haunt him when a former friend turns up dead and another is suspected of his murder. ⭐⭐⭐

Remarkable Creatures ~ Tracy Chevalier ( 2009). I must admit to not having heard of the fossil hunter Mary Anning until quite recently. She was a working class girl from Lyme Regis who discovered some of the greatest fossil finds of the 19th Century. Due to her sex and lowly station she wasn’t even credited for her discoveries for many years. Her story is currently being made into a feature film ‘Ammonite’ starring Kate Winslet & Saiorse Ronan. I’m not sure if the movie is based on this book by historical novelist Tracy Chevalier, but her tale is a compelling one. Chevalier tells the story of both Mary Anning through Mary’s own eyes but also through her friend Elizabeth Philpot, who befriended the young fossil hunter after moving to Lyme with her two sisters. Remarkable Creatures is a very easy read and shows just how remarkable a woman needed to be to make her mark in a man’s world. ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Have you read anything good lately? Any recommendations?


31 thoughts on “Books I Read In May & June.”

    1. I did, thanks to your brill review. 🙂. Remarkable Creatures is an enjoyable read and based on a true story. I’ve been to Lyme Regis and the Dorset Jurassic coast and never realised many of the early dinasaur fossils found there were discovered by Mary Anning. X

  1. Impressed with your eclectic reading list. Struggling to read ONE book of Alice Munro selected short stories! Will look out for Edwardian Lady based on your review. Sounds lovely.

  2. I like the sound of Convenience Store Woman, I’ll have to look out for that one. There were a couple of boys in my class at school who would probably have benefitted from being hit with a shovel! 🙂 Incidentally, I’m just updating my camping blog with some of my photos of Ravenglass, probably the last ones I’ll ever take as I won’t need to go again – I hope you approve if you see them 🙂

    1. What is your camping blog called again Eunice and can it be followed on bloglovin? Convenience Store Woman is a great read. Makes you think that you shouldn’t need to conform to other people’s ideals.

      1. should find it, I don’t think you can follow it on Bloglovin but if you scroll down the page there’s an option on the left to follow by email, or you can click the follow button bottom right

  3. Wow, what a diverse set of books! Loved your reviews. I enjoyed the Lido which you sent me. Though I’m finding it hard to read good books recently. Thanks for your suggestions xx

    1. Oh fab. I know! I googled her ( as you do) and I noticed she died quite young. And yes she drowned whilst in London near Kew Gardens. Very sad indeed.

  4. I will definitely have to get The Country Diary of an Edwardian Lady. I love nature books. Remarkable Creatures sounds like an interesting read too.

    1. I think you would love Edwardian Lady Christine. I guess her diary is a bit like a scrapbook with illustrations of things she saw and found. And Remarkable Creatures is a good read. Can’t wait to see the film.

  5. Hello there. I’m slowly making my way thru Robert Louis Stevenson’s The Master Of Ballantrae, which is not one of his better-known books. Don’t put it on your TBR list. It drags too much. On the other hand, his novel Kidnapped is a good one.
    Neil Scheinin

  6. Oh, oh , oh, so glad you enjoyed Remarkable Creatures. I well recall how we all went crazy for the Diary of an Edwardian Lady. There was real hype, and so many spin offs. My lounge curtains featured her drawings, the fabric I mean, I loved them, and you could get wallpaper too. So pretty , and so much part of the 70s, Laura Ashley etc. I am currently re reading the Prime of Miss Jean Brodie.

    1. Wow I didn’t know Edwardian Lady was that big a craze. I’m impressed that you had the curtains. 🙂 I liked Miss Jean Brodie when I read it , bought it in Edinburgh when I visited earlier this year. X

  7. I’m struggling to find time for reading at the moment… work is busy and I’ve not had a plan-free weekend for quite some time (and weekends are booked up into mid august now!). I read an interesting book about insects last month though.

    I have the Country Diary and really enjoyed Remarkable Creatures when I read it a few years ago. I didn’t know there is to be a film about Mary Anning, I’d like to see that.

  8. Not read any of these – though I’m familiar with Edwardian Lady. I’ve read Girl With a Pearl Earring and have another Tracy Chevalier on my to-be-read pile but haven’t got to it yet. My reading has stalled a bit. The last book, and probably the best one I’ve read recently, was Maggie O’Farrell’s The Hand that First Held Mine. I’ve read a couple of hers and would like to read more. The best of hers so far was The Vanishing Act of Esme Lennox which I found very moving – about a woman who was “put away” in an asylum for being pregnant out of marriage and was only released in old age with devastating consequences.

    1. I have actually read The Vanishing Act of Esme Lennox too. Think I got it from a charity book sale. Yes it was a very moving story. x

  9. Convenience Store Woman is the one that appeals most from this list. I’ve read a number of Tracy Chevalier’s books and always found the period detail fascinating. I don’t think I’ve read Remarkable creatures though

    1. Convenience Store Woman is a thought provoking read. I thought so anyway! Having recently left a similar style job after nearly 30 years, it really struck a chord.

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