Book Reviews

Snapshot May 2015

May blossomI like to capture what I’m reading on the first day of each month so I can look back on it in a few years from now and relive the memory. I’m a little late this month but here’s what I was up to on May 1, 2015 in the realm of reading, listening to and watching.


When I heard that the Costa Award for Debut novel had gone to a book written from the perspective of a teenager with mental health problems, I decided it was too close to the Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night (which I didn’t care for) to be of interest. But come May 1 guess what I was reading? Yes, Nathan Filer’s Costa Award winning The Shock of the Fall. Not only was I reading it, I was engrossed in it. If it hadn’t been for the fact this was the selection for the month at the book club I wouldn’t have bothered but I would then have missed a wonderful novel. It is extremely well constructed, has a strong narratorial voice and very deftly seems to weave in messages about the appalling way in which people with mental health are treated without making me feel I am being hit over the head.


I loaded up my iPod thinking I would have many hours of opportunity on holiday to  enjoy some good audio books while finishing my cross stitch project. Not only didn’t I finish the cross stitch but I didn’t even get through one audio book. I’m about a third of the way through Colm Tóibín’s Nora Webster. It’s a wonderful portrait of a recently widowed mother of four living in Wexford, Ireland, trying to keep the family together while she grieves for her husband. This is not a book I want to rush through. I don’t usually care for Fiona Shaw but as a narrator she is is doing a beautiful job.


I have learned in recent weeks that I am not capable of doing a full time job, taking an active part in a local campaign group to save our library and trying to follow some on line classes. Consequently my time with Coursera’s module on Australian literature was short – the lectures I did watch were interesting so I will download and watch at a more leisurely pace in the future. I did manage to finish a short course on genealogy however so all was not lost. But I’m going to reign in my enthusiasm and not start anything new for a while.


Nothing! Too much to do on holiday to spend it stuck in front of a tv screen.


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

9 thoughts on “Snapshot May 2015

  • mushypeasonearth

    Hope you don’t mind I think I’m going to steal this idea for a monthly blog post for my blog!

    • No issues at all from my end. I think adapted it from something I saw about people taking photos pf the same place once a year and always on the same date.

  • I know exactly what you mean about trying o do too many things at once. I’ve been following an online creative writing course while teaching 25 hours a week and trying to manage my blog and You Tube channel. It’s been great the online course but will be happy to get back to normal when it’s over in 2 more weeks. Learning a lot and will definitely do this again. The Shock of the Fall sounds really intriguing. Can’t wait for your review! I may have to check out your Australian online course. That sounds like something I’d love to do.

    • You might have to wait a long time for that review Didi – I am currently running about 16 reviews behind!

      • Ouch! You definitely have me beat on that. I’m about 4 behind. I hate being behind. Don’t you? Reviews can’t be rushed though.

        • No question of me ever rushing a review Didi. I am painstakingly slow

        • The most important thing is you’re efficient and thorough. That’s all that counts.😉

  • I have Nora Webster on my TBR which I am determinedly trying to tackle! Enjoy your reading and listening!

    • I have the same feeling about my copy of Brooklyn which has Ben similarly neglected Cleopatra.


We're all friends here. Come and join the conversation

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: