April to June 2022 - Reading

Fresh off a holiday I'm looking forward to sharing with you some of what I have been reading over the past few months. As per usual, it's pretty diverse and should therefore have a little something for everyone.


If you're interested you can follow along with my reading on GoodReads here and keep up with what I'm currently reading before the review goes out.


Throughout April to June I read a further five books:


'Appointment with Death' by Agatha Christie (who dun-it murder mystery)

'Less' - Andrew Sean Greer (regular fiction - kind of a coming of age find yourself style)

'Altered Carbon' - Richard Morgan (sci-fi)

'The Outsiders' - S.E. Hilton (classic young adult)

'This Freedom' - John Morrison (collection of aussie short stories)


Continuing in my dismal reading for this year I read another five books over three months. Again, I have to admit I'm a little frustrated at myself for not reading as much as I used to but considering how busy I have been (including a 6 week overseas trip in between) this honestly isn't that bad.


Something I have not yet updated you on though is the fact that I am now my Department's Book Club Coordinator. We read a book each month chosen by members based on a set theme and then discuss the book at a monthly meeting.


'Less' was the first book chosen in April by the members as it fit into the 'Pulitzer Prize Winners' category. Opinions were mixed and I'm happy to repeat my views here that I had on the book. It was a bit wishy washy to me.


Writers writing about writers hits a little bit of a boring nerve in me and this book was all about that. Not to mention the central character is supposedly dealing with this life-altering crisis of turning 50 which he deals with by travelling extravagantly overseas and having a blast.


It was well written so I'll give it that but as far as substance goes I found it lacking. There was cute romance elements and the travel was fun but it just didn't hit the mark for me.


'Appointment with Death' on the other hand is another wonderful novel by one of my faves. I've spoken about Christie at length before because she is literally one of my favourite authors and I can always find another novel of hers to indulge in. This one was set in Egypt which I found fun and centred around the death of a matriarchal cow. Again, I didn't guess the killer which always makes me both frustrated and happy. She's a hell of a diversion expert.


It wasn't her best work but I read it quite quickly and enjoyed the plot and the characters so I can't fault it in any way.


I started 'Altered Carbon' right before my trip and ending up finishing it within the first week. Given all my transit time it was actually ideal to start reading and I ended up reading three novels and getting halfway through a fourth over my time away.


This novel was fantastic! I loved every second. The plot was enticing but not too complicated that you were getting lost in the futuristic lingo or trying to learn about an entire race of people while having your mind squished up by the timelines. I liked the characters and I loved the elements of fighting, romance, thrills and a mystery all tied in together.


For a first novel Morgan smashed this out of the park.


I guess it means I'll have to go watch the show now and compare.


'The Outsiders' is a book I've had sitting on my shelf for years that I've been meaning to start but never gotten around to due to my large pile of books to be read that usually come first. I ended up taking it on the trip because of its size (fits great in a backpack) and it just seemed like the right time.


This was a very quick read! I finished it over two bus trips and was almost in actual tears towards the end. I held it together primarily because I was in public and it felt a little uncomfy to cry while unable to explain why to the Italians around me.


What a book! I can't believe I put this off for so long.


The characters were fantastic and the plot was so simple yet so engaging. It reminded me of so many of the simple books I've read over the years and how much I loved them like all of my Fitzgerald stories. Sometimes, simple is the best way to go.


Coming of age novels are also one of my favourites. I love reading about characters who face hardship (no matter the scale) and come through on the other side having learnt something. Especially when what they face is actually relatable.


Lucky last is this short story collection by John Morrison. I picked up this book as part of a range of books I inherited from my great aunt's collection. She had quite a range of books and I'm really glad this was one of the ones I ended up taking home with me.


The stories are all set in Australia and usually feature elements of the 'bush culture' as well as the classic 'hard work' mentality. The characters range from wharf workers to travelling swagmen and everything in between and all focus on the classic 'working man' tales for both men and women in Australian history. All of the stories are memorable and unique and create an atmosphere of mingled pride for the aussie way of life and a touch of nostalgia for the customs of old.


I loved the central theme of 'freedom' that ran through it. From a house fire where a man starts over, to a travelling swagman who lives on the road, and even a comfortable blue collar worker who leaves everything behind to start anew. There is a touch of the love of the unknown through all of the stories and that really resonates with me.


Well, that's it! I'm hoping to read a little more over the next quarter and try and bring those numbers up but we'll see how we go.


Till next time,

Rhi

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