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What I’m Reading : Episode 50, January 2023

What I just finished reading

It’s winter here so what could be more appropriate than a novel set in a snowbound community in Iceland? Snowblind by Ragnar Jonasson is the first title in his Dark Iceland series which takes place in a town where an avalanche has cut off all communication, putting added strain on a police force investigating two potential murders.

I score a double hit with this one — it not only fits nicely with Annabel’s Nordic FINDS Reading Month , I can also tick off one more country in my World Of Literature Project. As an added bonus it means I have completed that project, more of which in coming days.

What I’m reading now

I’m a quarter of a way through the novel that resulted from the latest Classic Club spin. The Old Wives Tale by Arnold Bennett is set in the Staffordshire Potteries region in which he was born.

In it he focuses on two sisters who grow up as daughters of a draper in a rural town. Sophia, the defiant, romantic one, runs away to Paris where she marries a cad. Her shy sister Constance remains in England and marries her father’s mild-mannered shop assistant. The sisters are reunited many years later when they are both old, giving Bennet the opportunity to reflect on the effect time and environment have had on their personalities.

It’s a long book (600 plus pages) and Bennett is apt to dwell on detail — about the first three pages are taken up by explaining precisely where his chosen town is located. So it was a little slow to get going but now I’m hooked.

The book club choice for this month is How To Kill Your Family by Bella Mackie which I’ve not heard of previously. According to the blurb:

When Grace Bernard discovers her absentee millionaire father has rejected her dying mother’s pleas for help, she vows revenge, and sets about to kill every member of his family. Readers have a front row seat as Grace picks off the family one by one – and the result is as and gruesome as it is entertaining in this wickedly dark romp about class, family, love… and murder.

I hope no-one in my family thinks I am plotting their demise when they see me reading this book!

JapaneseLiteratureChallenge is now underway and I’m hoping I can squeeze in one or two books for this. Maybe it’s time to read A Man by Keiichiro Hirano which is about a search for identity though I might change my mind and read Strange Weather in Tokyo by Hiromi Kawakami. I recently read a collection of micro stories by her and while they were not to my taste (far too short) i did like the writing style so maybe a full length novel would be more interesting.

As always these plans, such as they are, are subject to change. I am nothing if not consistent in my inconsistencies…

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.

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