Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Lots of Reading

I read, I read a lot and I normally read 3 books at a time.  But for some reason I find myself reading 5 at a time.

The first is William Manchester's biography of Winston Churchill The Last Lion: Defender of the Realm 1940-1965  1200 pages.  I've been reading this series for a while and finally made it to the last book.  I'm about 40% of the way through it.  It's so interesting, but heavy, heavy reading.  I never studied much modern history so I'm learning a lot about WWII.  I bought the hardcover copy of this to begin with, but with my broken wrist it was too heavy and I reordered it for my Kindle.  I read a bit of it each day and I'm up to the tank battles in North Africa.

The second is The Fifth Season by N.K. Jemisin 512 pages.  This book is the beginning book in a trilogy and won a Hugo last year as best science fiction/fantasy book of the year.  I'm enthralled, she creates such interesting worlds.  This is the second series I've read by her.  My daughter is a friend of hers and first introduced me to her writing.

The third is The Sea, The Sea by Iris Murdoch  528 pages.  I've known about Iris Murdoch as a writer for years, but I've always been a bit intimidated and figured she might be a bit too highbrow for me.  I knew this book won the Man Booker prize in 1978 and I've liked other books that had won this prize and decided to try it.  I'm loving it!  The writing is wonderful and such an interesting story, I'm never quite sure what's going to happen next or what is real or imaginary.

The fourth is The Book of Speculation by Erika Swyler 384 pages.  I'm a sucker for books about books.  This begins with a book being sent to a man who works in a library, he's told it might belong to his family.  It turns out to be the daily log of a small traveling circus from the late 1700's/1800's .  The story is told in 2 parts, one historical and one up-to-date.
The man's  house is slowly sliding into the sea, his mother and other female members seem to have all committed suicide by drowning and now he's worried about his sister.  And this is all tied to the book.  Really enjoying it.

The fifth is The  Prisonor of Heaven by Carlos Ruiz Zafón 304 pages.  This is the last book in a trilogy:  The Angel's Game and The Shadow of the Wind .  I liked the first two much more.  They all take place in Barcelona in the Franco era and they're a bit of a fantasy or maybe not.  Well written, but long-winded.

So that's how I spend most of my time.


  1. Wow - 5 books at a time....I struggle to get through one these days. Lots of interesting subjects, too. The Churchill books sound interesting to me. I just read an excellent book about WWII - 'Prague Winter', by Madeleine Albright - our former Secretary of State. She grew up in Czechoslovakia and was 12 when it was invaded by Hitler's forces. Her father worked for the resistance. This book gave a clear outline of Hitler's rise to power, the reasons behind it, and the work of the resistance told from a very personal viewpoint. This book was chilling with its correlations to today's political climate. A must read if you are interested in WWII history. x Karen

  2. I am in awe, these days I have a tendency to craft rather than read. I have just started to read a little but that is because I am running out of projects that are not packed. The Churchill books would probably be of interest to my husband he has a real interest in WWII.

  3. The Shadow of The Wind is one of my favourite books but I didn't realise that it's part of a trilogy, and I read The Sea, The Sea about thirty years ago and loved it. I used to read a lot but seem to have been sidetracked by knitting - and Blogland! x

  4. They all look interesting reads. I have heard that Iris Murdoch is good, but have never tried one of hers. The Churchill biography looks interesting, though I have read so much about this fascinating flawed, brilliant, man, inspiring leader and genius. WW2 is one of many interests too - we have grown up in its shadow. I've just polished off some Robert Goddards - a bit of light relief between some heavier stuff. I enjoy his plots.

  5. The Book of Speculation appeals to me.... it strikes me as a 'must read'.

  6. So the book about Churchill has me intrigued. We watched The Crown series and I was a little down about how they portrayed Churchill in the series. He always seemed so "elevated" in history, it was hard to see him with faults as we all have. As you, I tend to read several at a time but in my case I lose track and end up with just a bunch of half-finished books around. Will be watching to see how you liked them in the end, especially the Churchill one (please share)

  7. They do look good reads ...

    I wonder how many books you may read this month?
    Happy wishes for this new month of March

    All the best Jan

  8. Five books, that's a lot to have going at the same time :) I read the first two by Zafón (in Swedish). I think I liked the first one best although I can't say I remember much apart from a lingering impression of the general setting and atmosphere. The Book of Speculation sounds interesting, I never heard of it before. I read one or two books by Iris Murdoch way back in my university days. I doubt I'll get round to reading the Churchill biography, but I have a film on DVD about him - The Gathering Storm. And I recently watched the Netflix series The Crown (about Queen Elizabeth) where he is (of course) an important character as well.

  9. I am sorry to be late visiting, but I wanted to wait until the link had closed and I could write to everyone who had taken part. Thank you so much for your support of Five On Friday this week and in the weeks gone by. I do so appreciate it and have really enjoyed reading your posts. I hope that you will enjoy going to the new link up just as much and will continue to take part. I hope that I will still see you at my blog sometimes, I will of course still be visiting you sometimes too! Best wishes and many thanks.

  10. You write such succinct reviews ;) At least there are no spoilers with the short write ups. I'm going to write down a couple of these titles for myself. I have three large books to get through before I buy any more though ... could be a while because I only read one book at a time ;)

  11. I'm a little jealous that you get to read so much! I used to read three books a week or so when I was a kid. Now? Life seems to take up too much of my time. I proofread engineering reports for a living, so in my spare time I balance it out with mostly "fluff" (chick lit, as a friend calls it). But still, sometimes it takes me months to finish a book.

  12. Interesting books; might have to check them out. I average a book a week. I find lately I'm reading a lot of angst books but perhaps because that's what's going on in our life and I can lose myself in the sufferings of others.



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