Lately I have been reading a fair amount of books. As I mentioned the other day: I read mostly at work, although I will read a few chapters before going to bed as well. Although the other night it turned out to be nearly a quarter of a fairly big book!
So, what have I read then? First I read a book that was set by somebody in my book club: An Olive Grove at the Edge of the World. Basically an autobiography of the writer and his partner setting up home in rural New Zealand. It was written in the form of blog posts and concerned everything from olive harvests to killing chickens. It was a fun read and I gave it 3 out of 5.
My next outing was The Tattooist from Auschwitz. Another true story, this time about the man who had to tattoo all those numbers on the prisoners who lived to see at least one other day. One of those was a woman he fell in love with and tried to spend time with outside working hours. For some reason it just never really did much for me though. The main character or the story never grabbed me. The only reason I gave it 3 out of 5 stars was the story. The story telling was what kept the score down!
Next came The Travelling Cat Chronicles. The cat Nana is telling about his life with his owner and how at some point they go travelling in the silver van. The owner wants to find him a new home, but doesn't mention why. This story had me hooked from the beginning. It had me smiling, it had me laughing and in the end it had me bawling my eyes out. Obviously I gave it 5 out of 5.
Then it was the turn of The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks. It was a documentary book, telling the story about Henrietta Lacks and her family and how her cells became the most important in the world, helping to find cures and medicines for everything from Polio to Diabetes. HeLa cells may be immortal and generated billions of dollars, but her family lived from pay check to pay check, not even knowing their wife/mother/friend was famous. It was a really thought provoking book, especially in this day and age of personal liberties and privacy. Another 5 out of 5.
My last book so far was Little. I didn't know who it was about really, not until I read the last couple of pages when I wasn't even close to the end. Marie is born in Switzerland, loses her parents, leaves Bern for Paris with her employer, lives at the Palace of Versailles all the while making wax figures of body parts and people. It was quite a macabre book, filled with drawings by the author, but for some reason it kept me gripped. In the end I gave it 4 out of 5.
My next outings will be: Early Riser by Jasper Fforde; A Country Escape by Katie Fforde (no relation); Maybe This Time by Jill Mansell; The Whole Town's Talking by Fannie Flagg (love her) and The Bookish Life of Nina Hill by Abbi Waxman.