I’m spending 2018 reading mostly women. Only mostly, because I don’t want to be too restrictive about these things. If I read a book by someone who is not a woman I won’t have “failed”. I’m also trying to read books that are recommended to me, books by people I follow on Twitter, that kind of thing.
In March I read
Frederica by Georgette Heyer – I enjoyed this very much. Our point of view character is a bored rich man with nothing to do, whose life is turned upside down by a troupe of distant cousins (including the title character) who insist on his introducing them into society. Set around the same time as Jane Austen was writing, this was written in the 30s so has a little more distance and knowingness. One of my favourite comments was about the dangers of allowing men to wear “regimentals” to balls.
Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman – This was disconcerting from the beginning, and I enjoyed finding out what all of the little hints about Mummy were aiming at. Eleanor is definitely not fine, but by the end of the book she is getting closer to it. I loved how much joy she found in a big Tesco Extra.
A Wrinkle In Time by Madeleine L’Engle – This is definitely a book for children, and I’d put it at 8-12 rather than YA. I chose to read it ahead of the film coming out, and I do recommend the film. The fairy godmothers were absolutely delightful. Don’t expect too much from it though.
Where The Missing Go by Emma Rowley – A book by someone I actually know! How exciting! A thriller about a mother with a missing teenage daughter, who is told to essentially get over it, because the daughter ran away. I guessed a part of the middle, but did not guess the end.
It’s Not Me It’s You by Mhairi McFarlane – This was fabulous, I could live inside this book. Don’t marry your shitty boyfriend, move to London and have mini spy capers while dressed as a giant fox instead. G’wan, you know you want to. (I will absolutely be reading more by this author)
Marie Antoinette: An Intimate History by Melanie Clegg – I’ve read some of the historical fiction by this author but not her non-fiction before. She’s even written a YA book about Marie Antoinette. I felt very sorry for the silly girl, and wished that her family had brought her up to be more politically astute.
The Little Stranger by Sarah Waters – I was warned ahead of time that this book has no historical lesbians, but was not sure whether we would still have a twist or surprise. We don’t. It’s a pretty straightforward ghost story. It does still have Sarah Waters’s deep sense of atmosphere. A film is being made and will come out in August and I’m glad to have read the book before seeing the film, but if you’re thinking of reading your first Sarah Waters book, I’d recommend Fingersmith (which has both of the things I mentioned).