Monday, 28 September 2009

page turners

I am a reader, always have been and no doubt I will be until my days are over. I love books, bookshops and losing myself in a great story. I thought I'd share a few of the best books I've read so far this year.

The Great Gatsby
F. Scott Fitzgerald

I'd been meaning to read this for absolutely ages, as is the case with so many of the other great classics out there. Well, I finally made the time and now I can tick it off my list! I'm pleased to say that I was definitely not disappointed. I am a huge fan of the 1920's era, and was quickly drawn into the world of the enigmatic, mysterious and handsome Jay Gatsby and the glittering parties held at his Long Island mansion, full of Bright Young Things drinking and dancing the night away.

It's not all glamour and sequins though, and has a much darker theme running throughout it: "Beneath the shimmering surface of his life he is hiding a secret: a silent longing that can never be fulfilled. And soon this destructive obsession will force his world to unravel."If you haven't read it then, I'd definitely recommend it, oh and I heard a rumour it's being made into a film which is coming out next year. Amazing! Can't wait to see the outfits.

The Bolter
Frances Osborne

Did I mention I love the 1920's...It seems to be a running theme in a lot of the books I've read lately! This one recounts the life of English aristocrat Idina Sackville- "The woman who scandalised 1920's society and became White Mischief's infamous seductress". It is told by her great-granddaughter Frances Osbourne. I was gripped from the first page and absolutely loved it. I think these two extracts from it's many reviews sum it up better than I could:

'The Bolter is the real Idina's story told by her great-grand-daughter Frances Osborne. It whirls the reader through the London social scene during the First World War and the decadence of Kenya's Happy Valley via Idina's five marriages and innumerable love affairs.' - Alice O'Keeffe, Amazon

'Passionate and headstrong, Lady Idina was determined to be free even if the cost was scandal and ruin. Frances Osborne has brilliantly captured not only one woman's life but an entire lost society.' - Amanda Foreman.

The Thirteenth Tale
Diane Setterfield

This is a brilliant page-turning, gripping thriller all about books. I read it all on the flight back from Thailand and literally couldn't put it down. That's over eight hours of solid reading! It has all the elements of a great novel- plenty of twists and turns, twins, a governess, a decaying house on a remote moor, a governess, warring siblings, and a fire.

It is undoubtedly a gothic tale, with more than a few parallels with Jane Eyre and Wuthering Heights but it is a captivating read in it's own right, by an extremely masterful storyteller. I will be re-reading!


Hannah said...

I LOVED The Thirteenth Tale! Was such a great mystery and I really found myself getting engrossed in it.

I've been meaning to read The Bolter. I'm sure I will one day but at the moment I'm still experiencing the fallout of having worked at a bookshop for two years- a massive pile of books I've yet to read!

AmyE said...

I have only read The Great Gatsby of that selection. My personal favourite author is Margaret Attwood - I love everything by her! Particularly The Handmaid's Tale.

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