I don’t usually include ebooks in book hauls – I feel they don’t interest other people as much as they do me – but I bought/received all of these books around the same time. Obviously this means I was excited and had to post about them.
Firstly, the physical books: I treated myself to When God Was a Rabbit by Sarah Winman and Pigeon English by Stephen Kelman.
I was in Waterstones, for once through no fault of my own (my friend was looking for a Marge Piercy book) and I ambled over to my favourite table display. I can’t remember what they call it, but it’s something like ‘Books that change your life’. It’s not that, but that’s the general sentiment of the display. A lot of my favourite books happen to be included in that display so I always cast my eye over it in the hope of finding my new favourite novel.
I picked up Pigeon English and started reading from page 13 (this is my new trick in bookshops. Reading from page 1 isn’t always the best way to know if you like a book, because it takes a while to build up. Page 13 is generally a good place to start because there’s usually dialogue or a bit of action by that point). I was intrigued, and I did a very naughty thing and ordered it on Amazon instead of supporting bookshops and buying it in Waterstones. (I’m sorry, all right? When I get paid I’ll buy from bookshops. At the moment, Amazon is my friend.)
I’m not sure what it’s about but it’s from the viewpoint of an immigrant growing up in Britain. It looks like he will face violence and bigotry, and I want to see how Kelman does this.
I’m not sure what it was that made me want to read When God Was a Rabbit, but something made me download a sample of the ebook. I started reading and felt something begin to stir, so I ordered the physical copy from Amazon (cheaper than the ebook. Love it when that happens),
Not really sure what this one’s about, either, but the sample shows our young main character making friends with a Jewish neighbour and gaining an interest in Judaism. Her throwaway comment when her mother says she needs to change to be Jewish is heartbreaking:
“I know, I need a number.”
On with the ebooks: the first is from Netgalley. I had actually preordered it already and then suddenly thought, ‘Oh! I bet I can get this fo’ free!’
It’s The Scandal, otherwise known as Beartown, by Fredrik Backman. I was so excited when I was approved for this ARC ebook, but sadly I’m struggling to read it. Not because it’s bad – I love Backman and he is quickly becoming one of my favourite authors – but because the ARC copy is so badly edited. For some reason it keeps missing out the letter ‘f’, so I’m constantly stumbling over sentences and having to reread to work out what’s being said. I stared at ‘oic’ for whole minutes before I realised it was supposed to say ‘office’.
It’s also from several different viewpoints, and the paragraphs aren’t set out properly so I don’t have a page break between the different viewpoints. So I’ll be reading about one character and then all of a sudden it’s from the p-o-v of another character and it gets really confusing.
I will keep trying because I love Backman and want to be able to write my review of his latest work. However, I keep getting thrown out of the narrative by all these typing/editing errors, so I feel like I’m not getting the full enjoyment out of it that I would if I waited for publication. We’ll see how that one goes.
I bought Herland by Charlotte Perkins Gilman, which I keep hearing about recently. I don’t know why it’s suddenly being talked about again, as it’s an oldie, but I started the book and really liked it. It’s about a utopian world that three men have travelled to to explore because they hear it’s populated entirely by women.
Like I say, I was really enjoying it, but I’m at a point with it now where I feel the story is dwindling. It’s not so much a narrative as a description of the all-female society and how everything works there, which was interesting to start with but now I’d like some plot. I’ve put it down for the moment while I read…
…The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood.
Yes, finally! I have, at last, properly gotten into this. I’ve tried to read The Handmaid’s Tale several times before but it never held my interest. But now Channel 4 have started broadcasting the Hulu series, and it’s fantastic.
I’ve watched episodes one and two so far, and they encouraged me to give the book another try. This time, I got really into it so I downloaded the ebook and have been reading every day. It definitely feels a lot slower than the TV show so far, but I’ve got an ominous feeling that shit’s going to get very real very soon.
Thanks for stopping by!