This Week In Books – 22 February 2017

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This meme was set up by Lipsyy Lost and Found.

I have been a terrible book blogger so far in 2017 – I have been struggling to finish books and the ones I do finish I’m finding that I haven’t tended to enjoy! I started a new job in January so I’m putting this sorry state of affairs down to being distracted with other things. But I’m determine to get my reading / blogging mojo back, and in today’s post I’m going to list a few of the books I have enjoyed over the past few weeks…

Here is what I am reading now, then and next!

Now…

51aghjfgdrl-_ac_us218_I’m steadily working my way through A Dictionary of Mutual Understanding by Jackie Copleton. It is set in Japan and is narrated by Amerterasu, who is shocked and disbelieving when a man claiming to be her grandson – who she believed to have died in the Nagasaki bombing years before – turns up on her doorstep. You can read my teaser from yesterday, and here in the blurb…

Amaterasu Takahashi has spent her life grieving for her daughter Yuko and grandson Hideo, who were victims of the atomic bomb dropped on Nagasaki in 1945.

Now a widow living in America, she believes that one man was responsible for her loss; a local doctor who caused an irreparable rift between mother and daughter.

When a man claiming to be Hideo arrives on her doorstep, she is forced to revisit the past; the hurt and humiliation of her early life, the intoxication of a first romance and the realisation that if she had loved her daughter in a different way, she might still be alive today.

Then…

oveSo I kicked off February by reading A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman. I had heard so much about this novel, but wasn’t really sure if it would be my thing, but I decided to give it a go after a found a cheap secondhand copy – and I wasn’t disappointed! The book is funny, sad and uplifting, and the character of Ove is a brilliant invention and I loved his old man grumpiness – and how we peel back the layers of his life to find out why he is as he is. Since reading this, I have picked up two other Backman novels from the library, so I hope these prove to be as enjoyable! 

ladderTo help me out of my reading rut, I decided to read a few books by authors who I feel can do no wrong! I started with Ladder of Years by Anne Tyler, which I have read before but many years ago. The novel tells the story of Delia, who one day simply walks away from her husband and grown-up children and starts a new life. As always with Anne Tyler, the small details and cast of characters make this a great read, and one I would highly recommend – even though at the end I wanted to grab Delia and give her a good shake! 

boneI followed this with The Bonesetter’s Daughter by Amy Tan. The novel follows Tan’s tried and tested formula of writing about different generations and the conflicts between Chinese culture and tradition, with a western lifestyle. We meet Ruth and mother LuLing, who is suffering with dementia. I thought the depiction of LuLing’s illness was pitch perfect, and I loved the ways in which the relationship between mother and daughter developed. I also enjoyed reading about LuLing’s troubled past. 

frankieFinally I also read The Magic Strings of Frankie Presto by Mitch Albom – another author I’m a fan of. This novel tells the story of world famous musician Frankie Presto, starting at his funeral. The novel is narrated by music (yes, really), and also contains sections by other musicians (including many real artists who the author had permission from to include in the novel). I loved the novel at first but did find it became somewhat repetitive – and the ‘twist’ at the end took it a step too far for me. But overall I enjoyed this book and it was definitely a bit different!

Next…

goat roadI must read The Green Road by Anne Enright – it was a Christmas gift from my mother-in-law and she’s bound to ask me soon what I thought of it! I also have The Trouble with Goats and Sheep by Joanna Cannon, which I have heard nothing but good things about, as well as the Fredrik Backman books to get through. Not to mention about 30 NetGalley proofs clogging up my Kindle! 

What are you reading now, then and next?

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