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What I’m Reading : Episode 45, May 2022

What I just finished reading

In last month’s update, one of the books in my “Read Next” list was Sorrow and Bliss by Meg Mason which had been selected by the book club for our first in person event in two years. We had the meeting last week and it’s fair to say the book had a very mixed reception. Some people loved it, others were lukewarm and called it “disappointing” particularly in view of its inclusion on the Women’s Prize for Fiction. I’ll post my thoughts in a few days (I hope) so for now will just say I was in the camp that didn’t rate it highly.

I also finished All Come To Dust, a crime novel by Byrony Rheam set in Zimbabwe that has an unusual detective character. You can read my review here.

What I’m reading now

An article in the Sunday Times colour supplement alerted me to The Day the World Came to Town by Jim DeFede. It’s a factual account of 38 jetliners that were forced to land in Gander, Newfoundland, on September 11, 2001 when US airspace was closed in the aftermath of the terrorist attacks. A community of 10,000 people was suddenly called upon to host more than six thousand displaced travellers, providing accommodation, food and clothing. DeFede’s book tells the story of some of the passengers and describes acts of extraordinary kindness by the Newfoundlers.

In parallel, I’m reading one of the books that was included in the Queen’s Jubilee Reading list — it’s a list of 70 books by celebrated authors across the Commonwealth chosen to mark The Queen’s Platinum Jubilee. A Golden Age by the Bangladeshi author Tahmima Anam takes place against a background of the war for Bangladesh’s independence in 1971, looking at this from the way the conflict affects one mother and her two children.

The book club choice for June is the dystopian novella Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury. Often regarded as one of his best works, the narrative depicts a world in which  books are outlawed and “firemen” burn any that are found. I predict this is going to generate a much heated discussion….

June marks the start of 20booksofsummer hosted by Cathy at though in my case it’s going to be 10booksofsummer. I’ve already made a short list of books I’d like to read between June 1 and September 1, that will take me on a reading tour around the world.

The only question remaining is which of these I’ll read first. My instinct is to begin at home in Wales with The Hiding Place by Trezza Azzopardi. Shortlisted for the Booker Prize in 2000 it’s set in the Maltese community of Tiger Bay in Cardiff where the author grew up. Or I may embark on my travels immediately, hopping over the Wales/ England border to read A Perfectly Good Man by Patrick Gale.

Now tell me, What are your reading plans

What I’m reading is in support of WWW Wednesday  hosted by Sam at Taking On a World of Words. WWW Wednesday is actually a weekly meme but I choose to do it just once a month. This month, Wednesday somehow became Friday….

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