I've been trying to dodge a nasty sinus headache all week, but it doesn't seem to want to leave me alone, so I haven't been online too much the last few days. I have been reading a bit though. One day, not being able to concentrate on much else, I curled up on the sofa and read Austenland by Shannon Hale. A cute romantic tale was just what I needed. I followed that up with the movie, The Jane Austen Book Club, which was pretty much what I expected but entertaining enough. I've also almost finished reading Mother Superior by Saleema Nawaz. I only have the last short novella left so I'm sure I'll finish it either tonight or tomorrow. I've really enjoyed all of the stories so far, and I think I've found a new Canadian author to watch.
As it's almost the end of April, I guess it's time for another look back at what I was reading 7 years ago. April 2002 saw me continuing my chick lit phase that had started with re-reading Bridget Jones's Diary during our move from Japan to England in late February. I can't remember now exactly for sure but I think all of our stuff probably arrived sometime in April. We had a few essentials sent by air, but the majority of our things were sent by ship container, which tends to take about 6 weeks to arrive. So I'm guessing that with unpacking and getting settled in, easy reads were the most appealing.
I have to admit that I don't really remember much about these titles now, but the ratings and brief comments are taken from my reading journal at the time. Looking back at them, I didn't seem to really love any of the books I read that month.
The Rebel Fairy by Deborah Wright 6/10
Cheesy at times but with a few twists and clever references to Shakespeare.
Norwegian Wood by Haruki Murakami 6/10
Less surreal than Sputnik Sweetheart, with frank, memorable characters, but the ending didn't seem to match the rest of story.
Angus, Thongs & Full-Frontal Snogging by Louise Rennison 6/10
Cute, sometimes silly, and very predictable.
About a Boy by Nick Hornby 7/10
Amusing but still pretty typical for chick lit/lad lit. [I think the movie has overtaken any of my memories of the book. I can't help but think of Hugh Grant in the lead role.]
Irish Girls About Town by various Irish authors 6/10
As usual with story anthologies I liked some more than others but it was enjoyable overall. Favourites were the stories by: Colette Caddle, Cathy Kelly, Annie Sparrow, and Morag Prunty.
Of these, the only one I'd really like to read again is Norwegian Wood. That was only my second Murakami and even though it's not as surreal as his other books, I still didn't really 'get' his stuff then. It wasn't until a couple of years later, when I read The Wind-up Bird Chronicle that I began to appreciate his style, and became a fan. Kafka on the Shore was one of my favourite reads of last year. So I really think I would feel differently about Norwegian Wood if I were to read it again now.
As for other authors I'd like to read more of, other than Murakami of course, About a Boy is still the only novel of Nick Hornby's that I've read, besides two of his non-fiction titles about reading, The Polysyllabic Spree and Housekeeping vs. the Dirt. I plan to read the third book of essays, Shakespeare Wrote for Money, soon. It's on my short stack. And maybe one of these days I'll try another of his novels.
Do you have a book you'd like to try again? One that you think you'd like more now than when you originally read it.
Week in review:
New books and Favourites of 2009 (so far)
'Dear Everybody' by Michael Kimball (review)
'The Graveyard Book' by Neil Gaiman (review)
Have a good week. Happy reading!