I am still struggling with blogging and wanting to do it. I am not so sure why I am so stuck at the moment. Life just seems to pass by so quickly and blogging is a last priority of my list of things to do. However, I thought I would write about my pile of books I am currently reading.
The first is The Overstory by Richard Powers. This book I have been putting off reading with its 625 pages was just overwhelming. However, this week I have made a real conscious effort to make a start and I am kicking myself at putting this amazing novel off. I have finished part one and I am addicted and it may potentially by my favourite book of the year.
Synopsis – An artist inherits a hundred years of photographic portraits, all of the same doomed American chestnut tree. A hard-partying under-graduate in the late 1980s electrocutes herself, dies and is sent back into life by creatures of air and light. A hearing- and speech-impaired scientist discovers that trees are communicating with one another. An Air Force loadmaster in the Vietnam War is shot out of the sky, then saved by falling into a banyan.
This is the story of these and five other strangers, each summoned in different ways by the natural world, who are brought together in the last stand to save it from catastrophe.
This book is simply breathtaking overwhelms you with nature and what we miss because in this day in age people do not look around and spend too much time on phones or just being busy. Richard has triggered a reminded in my brain to take some time and look around me and really appreciate nature and how it is imperative to our lives. Strangely, it’s a book I do not want to end, and when it does, I know I will be sad. For a book to do that and provoke a response like that from me is rare.
The Overstory is published by Vintage .
I am also reading A Moth To A Flame by Stig Dagerman. This book is part of the Penguin European Writers collection. I have read a couple of chapters and already want to collect the rest of the books within the series. Stig Dagerman was a popular writer in Europe but had not quite made the same impact on the UK market.
Synopsis – In 1940s Stockholm, a young man named Bengt falls into deep, private turmoil after the unexpected death of his mother. As he struggles to cope with his loss, his despair slowly transforms to rage when he discovers that his father had a mistress. Bengt swears revenge on behalf of his mother’s memory, but he soon finds himself drawn into a fevered and forbidden affair with the very woman he set out destroy….
A Moth To A Flame reflects the emotions and turmoil you go through when grieving, and the secrets that may escape when a person dies. So far, I really feel the sense of confusion Bengt is going through and trying to work out the issues in his mind which is already clouded with grief.
A Moth To A Flame is published by Penguin .
A book that has been on my shelves for a long time is The Bees by Laline Paull another book that I have only heard good things about. Another book left abandoned on my shelves, for no other reason other than it was pushed aside.
Synopsis – Accept. Obey. Serve. Flora 717 is a survivor. Born into the lowest class of the totalitarian hive society she is prepared to sacrifice everything for the Queen, surviving internal massacres, religious purges an terrifying invasions by vicious wasps. With each act of bravery her status grows, revealing both the enemies within and the sinister secrets overwhelmed by a fierce and deeply forbidden maternal love, she breaks the mast sacred law of all….
The Bees reflects the complexity of the bee community and the social dynamics within the hive. I did not fully appreciate all of the different roles and responsibilities each bee has and the social standings and specific roles which enable the hive to run in harmony. We also witness the barbaric violence that occurs and the consequences of when you step out of line. When I am not reading this book, it certainly plays on my mind. Even if you are not a fan of bees or nature books, this is a fabulous reflection of the dynamics of any social community and the writing although simple, has an amazing way of connecting author to reading which I have not witnessed in a long time.
The Bees is published by 4th estate.
The next book I found at my local library sale for $1 which I simply could not refuse Mr Penumbra’s 24-hour Book Store by Robin Sloan. We follow the story of Clay who has recently been made redundant and finds another job working in a 24-hour book shop which is not your usual book shop. There are some quirky and eye-opening characters he meets at all times of night coming in to collect their wish list of books. If only this book shop existed near me, I would certainly use it.
Synopsis – Clay Jannon, twenty-six and unemployed, reads books about vampire policemen and teenage wizards. Familiar, predictable books that fit neatly into a section at the bookstore. But he is about to encounter a new species of book entirely; secret. Strange and frantically sought after.
These books will introduce him to the strangest, smartest girl he’s ever met. They will lead him across the country, through the shadowed spaces where old words hide. They will set him on a quest to unlock a secret held tight since the time of Gutenberg – a secret that touches us all.
But before that, these books will get him a job.
Mr. Penumbra’s 24-hour Book Store is an easy read, which is not a negative comment, it is the ideal book when I have had a busy day with the children and I just need some quite time to get lost within my own thoughts and this is the ideal companion.
Mr. Penumbra’s 24-hour Book Store is published by Text Publishing
Lastly, is a book that was kindly sent to me by Ventura and I have just read a couple of pages and that is Paris Savages by Katherine Johnson. I was so desperate to make a start on this book that as soon as it arrived on my doorstep, I could not resist to start reading it as soon as the package was open and I know from the start this book is going to be simply outstanding.
Synopsis – Fraser Island 1882. The population of the Badtjala people is in sharp decline following a run of brutal massacres. When German scientist Louis Muller offers to sail three Badtjala people – Bonny, Jurano and Dorondera – to Europe to perform to huge crowds, the proud and headstrong Bonny agrees, hoping to bring his people’s plight to the Queen of England.
Accompanied by Muller’s bright, grieving daughter, Hilda, the group begin their journey to belle-epoque Europe to perform in Hamburg, Berlin, Paris and eventually London. While crowds in Europe are enthusiastic to see the unique dances, singing, fights and pole climbing is relentless and the culture in the world, the attention is relentless and the fascination of scientists intrusive. When disaster strikes, Bonny must find a way to return home.
This novel reflects the complexities of combining communities and people trying to push their own ways of living on others to try and get them to fit in. Whatever fit in means? It’s a book that I believe will be on the must-read lists of all publications.
Paris Savages is published by Ventura Press .
My hope for this weekend coming up is to put another dent into The Overstory, finish The Bees and Mr. Penumbra’s 24-hour Book Store and continue to work my way through A Moth To A Flame and Paris Savages. I certainly have some diverse but amazing books to get lost in this weekend.
If you would like your book to feature in my wrap up or on my blog, please do email me at Thesecretworldofabookblogger@mail.com
Have a great weekend x