What I Read: July + August 2017
I don't read on vacation. Shocking, right? But when you read so much in real life, vacation is a time to plug in. Hence, the combined months for the What I Read series. I spent the majority of July and August traveling, most notably flowering for a wedding in the U.K. While I managed to buy STACKS of books overseas and ship them home, I didn't read more than ten pages the entire time we were there. So here are the slim pickings that I read over the past two months.
44 Scotland Street
By far, Alexander McCall Smith is the author who is most represented in my "waiting to be read" pile. Currently FIVE of his books are sitting on the shelf hoping to be opened next. This was my first McCall Smith read and it wasn't what I expected. Truthfully, I'm not sure what I expected. What I found was a slow building book focused on character development rather than one large plot. Originally published as a weekly column, 44 Scotland Street follows the lives of multiple tenants of a building of flats. It's quirky, full of rich description, and an interesting set-up for the remainder of the series. It did take me quite a few chapters to click with the story but overall it was an enjoyable, rainy day read. The verdict is still out until I finish the next one in the series. I've got to get a bit more of his narratives under my belt before I let you know if it's a must read or a pass.
The Cafe by the Sea
Ah Jenny Colgan. Obviously I can't get enough. Her books have been a delight this summer, a breath of easy breeze fresh air. This book travels to a Scottish island, involves cooking, hard family dynamics, and a bit of romance. Yes please. (Are you seeing the Scotland theme?) If you have read any of her other books and enjoyed them, you will love this one. It's a girly, cheerful win.
If I'm Found
The second book in the If I Run Series. My goodness, this one was intense and invigorating. Casey is still on the run, trying to evade the law as she pieces together what really happened to her father. As she makes a new life in another town, she uncovers a story of an abused girl and a blamed teacher. She races to help clear the teachers name all the while trying to remain under the radar. It was a fast read and kept me turning the pages as quick as possible. The final book in the series comes out in early 2018 and I can not wait!
This was one of the novels I snagged in Bath at the bookstore of my dreams. If you find yourself in the U.K you must RUN to a Topping and Company book store. It's a nook crammed with every book possible, complete with free coffee while you browse and moving ladders against the wall. Rush, Oh loosely based on the actual whaling season of 1908 in southern Australia. I wanted incredible characters, epic developments, and a story grander than the black whales they hunted. Instead of a sweeping novel, Rush, Oh read more like a diary, a single snapshot of a few months out of Mary's life. It's a peak into the past and into the life of whalers which is intriguing. However, because it covers such a short span of time, character development of any depth is challenging to achieve. When I finished the book, I was dissatisfied, like I never actually consumed a story. While it has received critical praise and I appreciate Shirley Barrett for tacking a normally male dominate genre (fishing novels), Rush, Oh didn't quite hit the spot.
Also, it's halfway through September and I have yet to finish a single book. I've got to start churning out large doses of pages if I am going to have anything to write about in two weeks. Happy reading!