After a very long reading slump I have been devouring books hungrily, here’s the three that started me off.
Paper Towns – John Green
Seeing John & Hank Green in Dublin as part of ‘The Fault in Our Stars Live’ in January, I guess reminded me of how good TFiOS is, and encouraged me to pick up ‘Paper Towns’ – I had borrowed it a long time ago. I think it’s the only John Green book that I hadn’t read. It is YA. It is set at a leaving-high school time in the characters’ life and it does contain a road trip. But these things do not detract from Green’s wonderful writing, wit and wisdom. My friend summarised it as being about image, and people not being how they may seem. There’s some brilliant thoughts on loving someone from afar, and loving them up close. How people can be mysteries… and the ending really resonated with me in ways I’m not 100% comfortable with. Quentin Jacobson and his friends are a funny bunch, and the search for the ‘real Margo’ kept me hooked until the end. (Image here)
Ten things I’ve Learned About Love – Sarah Butler
A beautiful novel that I was a little jealous of, as it was Sarah Butler’s very successful debut, just published last month. There’s a list of ten things at the beginning of each chapter, the main story is about father-daughter love and there are many other love stories feeding from this one. It’s very original and fresh, and beautifully written which is always the best bit, for me. There’s a lost and hurt girl, Alice, who’s grieving for several reasons, main one being the recent death of her father while she was away travelling (as usual). And there’s a homeless man, Daniel, who’s struggling with his heart in both senses of the word, really approaches his situation with optimism, and who has always been on a search. I gobbled it up, a wonderful story.
All the Beggars Riding – Lucy Caldwell
My friend spotted that Lucy was doing a book signing in the Verbal Arts Centre in town, I had a rare Saturday off, so three of us had tea and scones in Bloom’s Cafe and listened to Lucy’s interview and reading, and had a chat to her afterwards. She was so soft-spoken, interesting and funny, she also gave some wonderful insights into writing and enduring. We decided to create a wee book group with this as the first book. I don’t want to talk about it too much incase my friends steal my ideas, haha! Not really. I zipped through it much too fast and will probably have to reread in time for any potential book group meetings. It’s about the daughter of a surgeon who had been living a double-life, with two families. She is trying to work out why her mother stayed with her father, and changes from writing memoir to writing fiction to try to tell their story after they have died. I don’t think I would have picked it up if I hadn’t heard Lucy talking about it and her experience researching and writing it. Here’s the lovely Lucy talking about ‘All the Beggars Riding.’ (Don’t you love how she says ‘Plastic Surgeon.’)