Reading Horizons: Episode 18

Reading Horizons, 22 May 2019

What are you currently reading?

TheFranchiseAffair

Cover of the first edition. Creative commons licence via Wikipedia

The Franchise Affair by Josephine Tey  was named one of the Top 100 Crime Novels of All Time in 1990. It’s obviously stood the test of time since the Sunday Times culture magazine included it in a similar list just two weeks ago. Published in 1948 its about a Scotland Yard investigation of a mother and daughter accused of kidnapping a young girl. I’ve read only one other book by Josephine Tey – The Daughter of Time – which was a fictionalised investigation into the deaths of The Princes in the Tower.  A very different kind of novel but I liked her style of writing so snapped up a copy of The Franchise Affair when I spotted it in a second hand bookshop.

What did you recently finish reading?

transcription

The book club chose Kate Atkinson’s Transcription for our May meeting,  Having disliked Life after Life to the point where I abandoned it part way through, I was hoping Transcription would mark a return to the kind of books by Atkinson I used to love in the past. Transcription was definitely an improvement in the sense that I did make it to the last pages but otherwise this proved to be a seriously disappointing novel. The premise was promising – the past life of a woman who was recruited into the world of espionage, assigned to an obscure department of MI5 where she helped monitor the comings and goings of British Fascist sympathisers. But it never lived up to its promise.

I keep seeing this novel described as a work of rare depth and texture, a bravura modern novel of extraordinary power, wit and empathy.” I don’t know who wrote that description (her publishers presumably) but it’s anything but a work of depth and power…. I’ll explain why when I write my review in a few days.

What do you think you’ll read next?

In theory my next read should be Evelina by Francis Burney since that was the result of the latest Classics Club spin. But having read a few pages I’ve decided I’m not in the mood for eighteenth century epistolary novel so have put Miss Burney on hold for another time.

Ghostbird

I’m much more interested in the books I’ve listed for the 20 Books of Summer 2019 challenge. I’m aiming to read 15 between June 3 and September 3, all of them set in or written by authors from different countries.

I’ll be kicking off with a book written by Carol Lovekin, an author from Wales, that has been sitting in my bookcase for a few years. I do love the cover….

Ghostbird is set in a small Welsh village and the house called Ty Aderyn (the house of birds), home to generations of the Hopkins family.  It’s a house of secrets, secrets that young Cadi Hopkins is determined to uncover.


WWWednesday is hosted by Sam at Taking on a World of Words. It involves answering 3 questions:

The three Ws are:

What are you currently reading?

What did you recently finish reading?

What do you think you’ll read next?

About BookerTalk

What do you need to know about me? 1. I'm from Wales which is one of the countries in the UK and must never be confused with England. 2. My life has always revolved around the written and spoken word. I worked as a journalist for nine years then in international corporate communications 3. My tastes in books are eclectic. I love realism and hate science fiction and science fantasy. 4. I am trying to broaden my reading horizons geographically by reading more books in translation

Posted on May 23, 2019, in Welsh authors, WWWednesdays and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink. 8 Comments.

  1. You remind me that I still have some of Tey’s novels left to read. I’m thinking about putting together a list of ‘cosys’ For long winter nights, a sort of parallel to the Summer books; my unread Teys would fit in marvellously.

    • That sounds like a lovely project. I don’t tend to change my own reading habits based on the season but I can understand the desire for something comforting when darkness descends earlier and earlier in the day

  2. I love The Franchise Affair – Tey is such a good author!

  3. I enjoyed The Franchise Affair, maybe not as much as The Daughter of Time, but still good.

    I haven’t read Life After Life yet, so I’m sorry to see that you abandoned it as like you I’ve loved her earlier books. And Transcription too.

    Ghostbird sounds more promising though – I hope you’ll enjoy it.

  4. Judy Krueger

    Let’s see. I am in 1964 reading these days for My Big Fat Reading Project and that has taken me to Great Britain. I last finished a Joan Aiken novel, for adults, The Silence of Herondale. I read it in one day and loved it, as I have loved anything I have ever read by Joan Aiken. Now I am reading The Midwich Cuckoos by John Wyndham. I love his weird stuff also! Next up according to my plan is the next Richard Powers, Plowing the Dark, but who knows?

    • Is that reading project about reading doorstep size books or books that deal with the issue of physical size and how it is represented? Loved the Midwich Cuckoos too 🙂

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