Tuesday, 4 March 2014

Reading again

The other day I was updating my reading list, wracking my brains trying to remember what I've read over the past few months, and I realised I hadn't let you all know how I've been getting on with it either.  And you deserve a sign of life from me again!  And looking back over it, I've left it some time too.

So here are the additions to my first and second lists:
The Hobbit - JRR Tolkien (I last read this at primary school, but wanted to refresh my memory before watching the first installment of the film trilogy.  I'm glad I did - the film was so long, at least I knew which bits had been added so I could pop out to powder my nose without missing anything crucial!)
Wessex Tales - Thomas Hardy (I fancied returning to an old favourite, but picked something I hadn't read before)
The Phantom - Jo Nesbø (another go at reading a Harry Hole novel.  It went a bit better than my last attempt)
Heartbreak Hotel - Deborah Moggach (A gift from my MIL.  We watched Best Exotic Marigold Hotel together and were joking that Deborah Moggach should write something about a hotel in Wales ... and she must have been listening!)
Hanas Gwanas - Bethan Gwanas (a Welsh writer and broadcaster.  This is her autobiography - it made me laugh and cry - fab)
Dyddiadur Gbara - Bethan Gwanas (I then went on a bit of a Bethan-fest didn't I? She spent two years after uni doing VSO in Nigeria.  This is her diary of her experiences)
Yn ôl i Gbara - Bethan Gwanas (S4C filmed her returning to the village in Nigeria where she lived 20 year on - this is her diary of the journey)
Byd Bethan - Bethan Gwanas (this one and the next are some of her columns for the Welsh Herald)
Mwy o Fyd Bethan - Bethan Gwanas
Ar y Lein Eto Fyth - Bethan Gwanas (The book to accompany her S4C series about following various 'lines' around the globe - this one is the Equator, but she's also done the longitude of her home town, Dolgellau and from pole to pole)
My name is Red - Orhan Pamuk (This was about Istanbul in the time of the Sultans.  He won a Nobel Prize for Literature)
Istanbul - Anthology (another gift from MIL for our holiday last year in Turkey)
Death comes to Pemberley - P. D. James
The White Queen - Phillipa Gregory (I had to read this trilogy in preparation for the TV series)
The Kingmaker's Daughter - Phillipa Gregory
Tulip - Anna Pavord (the history of tulips)
A Commonplace Killing - Siân Busby (Siân was a member of our choir and grew up in the same part of London as DH and set this book there too.  Very moving as she died shortly after completing it, but before its publication)
Innocent Traiter - Alison Weir (I have an obsession with Jane Grey, so I had to read this)
Wolf Hall - Hilary Mantel (I was on a bit of a history fest!)
Cathedral of the Sea - Ildefonso Falcones (inspired by our trip to Barcelona in November)
Miss Smilla's Feeling for Snow - Peter Høeg (As I'm rather partial to Scandi-lit, I thought I'd give this a go, but struggled to stick with it.  I don't think I'll bother with anymore of his books)
The Follies of the King - Jean Plaidy (I felt I need to know more about this period after we saw David Tenant in Richard II.  I hope to track down the following novels in the series before we see Henry IV parts 1 and 2)
Aderyn Brith - Rhiannon Gregory (based on the life of a Breton miller's daughter who rose to become courtesan to a Prince and then wife to an industrial mogul)
The Kashmir Shawl - Rosie Thomas (a lovely story connecting India and Wales)

Goodness - I've just realised that it is more than a year since I filled you in on my reading escapades!  Sorry!  Count yourselves lucky that I had a bad autumn for reading, or this post would be even longer. ;-o

I must really get back to some books that I've started but haven't managed to finish now and let you know how I get on (if I don't get distracted by other books!):
A short histoy of Nearly Everything - Bill Bryson
From the Holy Mountain - William Dalrymple
Y Trydydd Peth - Siân Melangell Dafydd
Eine Frau in Berlin: Tagebuch-Aufzeichnungen vom 20. April bis 22. Juni 1945 - Anonyma (the diary of a German woman living in Berlin as WWII comes to an end and the Russians flood in. Fascinating, but hard going, especially in German.  It caused such an uproar when it was first published, that it was published anonymously)
The curious gardener - Anna Pavord (this is a 'dip in and out' type of book about stuff to do at various times of the year in the garden.  Maybe now that there are signs of life in the garden again, I'll start dipping into it again.)
Life of Pi - Yann Martel (I'm not sure why I didn't finish this!  LOVED the film though.)
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