#EmptyShelf18: December Reads

#EmptyShelf18: December Reads

The Improbability of LoveThe Improbability of Love by Hannah Mary Rothschild
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I found this a pretty enjoyable book – there were bits of it that felt a bit mish-mashy, and there were slightly too many characters to keep track of, and the ending felt a bit abrupt after so many pages. The characters, however, were interesting, and the insights into the world of fine/high art were definitely fascinating (but not too bogged down in detail). Not bad for £1 in a charity shop…

The Pharmacist of Auschwitz: The Untold StoryThe Pharmacist of Auschwitz: The Untold Story by Patricia Posner
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This was quite heavy reading, though more for the subject topic, rather than the style of writing. Very interesting insights, through research/documents, with the first half focused on ‘telling the story’ of the war, and the second half focusing on the war crimes trials. The question of ‘culpability’ and whether people were ‘just following orders’ gives much material for thought.

PhoebePhoebe by Paula Gooder
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I borrowed my mum’s iPad to read this, as I’d been wanting to read it for a while, and swallowed it in one day. I love the fact that I’m able to read a Biblical story from a woman’s perspective, and by one who knows her material so deeply as theologian Paula Gooder, and I felt myself drawn into the story, but also questioning things I thought I knew from the Bible/about the way I might have interpreted it for my own life. It brought the era of early Christendom to life. I skimmed the notes at the end (about 1/3 of the book), picking out a few extra nuggets.

One Day in DecemberOne Day in December by Josie Silver
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Another book chosen for the YBCN book group, and I galloped my way through this. Haven’t read any ‘chicklit’ for quite some time, as found them a bit samey, but this feels both an enjoyable romp, and something with a bit more substance to it. I did guess who the guy on the bus would turn out to be in relation to her flatmate, as obviously we need a story with complications, but I also liked the fact that people in relationships worked hard at staying in them, and that (at least some) of the splits were mature in the way people were grateful for what they’d had. I appear to have highlighted 9 sections…

Why Mummy DrinksWhy Mummy Drinks by Gill Sims
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Very readable, enjoyable romp through life as a ‘mummy’; I’m not one, but I’m involved a lot in the lives of friends/family with children. I giggled at a few bits, I took it as a very exaggerated take on a whole lot of stuff.

 

EMERALDEMERALD by Elisabeth Luard
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Long book, but I found it really interesting in the vein of ‘what if’ history (my PhD was in history, but I remember a module in which we questioned ‘what if the Nazis had invaded’). The Windsors are not my specialist topic, but they seem to have painted the couple well (clearly with extra imagination, but a lot of ‘real history’), and kept track of where the existence of a child ‘should’ have been in the record keeping. Characters seem to be well built, and Emerald is an unusual and enjoyable character to follow as she deals with the many challenges that life throws at her as an unacknowledged ‘bastard’ of the royal family. Chunky book, but a good read.

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