There was a moment a few days before the end of May when I realised just how few books I’d read that month. So, in a desperate bid to up my numbers and feel less guilty, I listened to a couple of short audiobooks at work. They’re both books that I’ve had in my Audible library for a while and ones that would take less than a working day to finish. Both great reasons to pick a book. Who cares about plot anyway? I didn’t have a great deal to say about either of them so I’ve bundled them together here.
April should be easy I thought. I’ve already got a few options for most of the letters. It’s really nothing to worry about. To be fair, it wasn’t. At least it wasn’t until I got to “i”. I’m pretty sure that I don’t own any books that start with that letter but I also know that I owned a copy of I Capture the Castle at some point. I never thought I’d find something that I wanted to read but, with no time to spare, I managed another month. Here’s how I did it.
As much as I enjoyed Klara and the Sun last month, it did leave me with a great desire to reread this beauty. I read a fair few reviews that described the ending of Ishiguro’s latest novel was the most heartbreaking of his career. Yes, it was sad but the most devastating ending? He’s an author who doesn’t think twice about leaving you on the edge of an emotional precipice but I found Klara quite tame in comparison to his earlier work. Particularly this one. I honestly believe that The Remains of the Day has one of the saddest endings I’ve ever read. Yet, it’s a sad ending with hopefulness. This really is quite a book and it was definitely about time that I reread it.
If you’ve read my blog or followed me on Instagram for a little while at this point then you’ll probably know that I have a bit of a long history with the Man Booker nominees. I always get really excited when the longlist is released and desperately get my hands on loads of the books. Not only do I rarely get round to reading them but, inevitably, my favourites never end up on the shortlist. Maybe it’s my fault? Maybe I’m so cursed that any nominated book that I enjoy reading or like the sound of will never win the prize? My last read is one of those books. From the first time I heard about The Dinner Guest I was intrgiued. Telling the story of the author’s grandfather who was murderd before she was born, it sounded like nothing I’d ever read before. So, I bought it almost immediately and promptly left it on my shelves for ages. But, as I’m trying to make my through my unread books this year, I finally picked it up. It’s a pretty short book at only around 140 ages so I expected to have this done in a matter of days but, being me, I only finished it last night. And it’s safe to say I got a little emotional towards the end. But that’s been a fairly common theme this week. Let’s not talk about how many tears I shed watching the Gilette advert…
Every year the Man Booker Prize longlist comes and it becomes a massive list of books I want to read. Inevitably, I never get round to them all but I will try to manage one. That one then becomes my top pick for the prize because it is the only one I’ll ever read. Most of the time my picks don’t make it to the shortlist and, if they do, they never win the prize. It was only last year’s Lincoln in the Bardo that I correctly championed. This year the first and, thereby, only book I’ve read is the one causing a massive stir. For, in 2018, the Man Booker committee have decided to place a graphic novel on their longlist. It’s quite a huge step for a prize that is so often awarded to similar works all deemed to be of high literary value. Occasionally, you’ll get the odd piece that verges more on popular literary fiction, like David Nicholls’ Us, but it never makes it to the shortlist. These guys know what they like and that’s not going to change. So, for there to be a graphic novel on the list is a pretty big deal. For such an elitist prize to pick something so un-literary is unprecedented. I had to check it out for myself.
So how has your week been? What have you been reading?
Today has been a good day but I’ve felt utterly awful for the past 2 days. I woke up yesterday with a horrible cold and I’ve been suffering all day. I’m so pathetic that I keep having to lie down after doing anything. Still, I’ve managed to take quite a few photos for Instagram today. It’s always useful to get ahead of myself. Especially with the buys weeks I’ve got coming up. Hopefully it is something that can last. Doubtful but fingers crossed.