Here is the second post about the books I read in February. Because we were spending a lot of time and energy trying to get everything sorted, I did not write much about the books, opting instead to take pictures of the descriptions on the back or dust jacket. I apologise for the poor quality of some of these--by the time I looked at them, the books were back at the library.
Still Life by Louise Penny
This series of Inspector Gamache novels has been recommended to me by several people and I made a mental note to look for these books in charity shops. I had read that it’s best to read them in order, so figured I’d take what I found in charity shops and borrow from the library to fill in the gaps. I was really happy when I found this, the first book in the series, in a charity shop. I got hooked pretty quickly and had requested the second book from the library before I finished this one. So fun to have a new series to dive into!
The Mandelbaum Gate by Muriel Spark
I found this at a charity shop at the same time I found the Louise Penny book above. I always pick up Muriel Spark when I see her (which is not often). I wasn’t sure I would like the book, but I was quickly stuck into it and enjoyed it a lot.
Wild Atlantic Words by MEAS writers
I found this at the library. It’s a collection of short stories by a group of writers from south Donegal. It was a fun read, especially the stories that are set in places I am familiar with.
Everything Under by Daisy Johnson
I has started listening to the audiobook of this several months ago and didn’t get on with the reader, so stopped listening, making a mental note of the title so I could eventually get the book from the library. When I saw it one day, I checked it out. I got on just fine with the print version. I cannot say I liked the book (it seemed a bit too quirky, weird, and sort of uncomfortable), but I thought it was a good read nonetheless.
The Big Windows by Peadar O’Donnell
This guy seems to be a big deal here. He was a local and there is a building named after him down the street from us. I think there used to be an annual festival in honour of him, but I am not sure whether it still happens--guess I'll find out!When I saw the book on the shelf in the library, I figured I should read it and I will seek out more of his work so I can learn more about him. I found the book really interesting. It’s a good story which illustrates a way of life, but also reminded me about things that are universal. While the setting is a rural Irish village on the ‘mainland’ of Donegal (located in the hilly area around Slieve League, an area I have visited a few times, so can visualise the landscape), aspects of the behaviour of the local people reminded me of people I have known in the various small towns we have lived. Even though the village in the book was far smaller and more isolated than anywhere I have lived, and the story took place a century ago, I have known people in larger US towns that are not isolated behave in exactly the same ways.