Saturday, 22 February 2014

February reads: a belated monthly contribution to 'The Year in Books'


As I had a busy week or two at the end of January, I never did get round to posting on my reading. Unfortunately my plan to read 'The Prince' by Machiavelli' just didn't happen.  I needed lighter, escapist reading to get through grim time, not classic literature, if you could call it that.  And so I skipped the book club choice.

But I did read two books in January.  Feel a bit ashamed to admit this on the Year in Books link because most others are reading serious stuff like 'The Goldfinch': my choice was the new Bridget Jones book, ' Mad about the Boy'.  I loved the original Bridget Jones book, which I remember reading at one sitting, and enjoyed the film, which I watched again with my daughter when it was on TV last week.  So I hoped that this book would be as good and ordered the Kindle version as I wasn't prepared to fork out for the hardback and the reservation queue in the library had 46 people in front of me.  Deeply disappointed, though; it was terrible. Entirely implausible plot with Bridget aged 50+ being pursued by a 30 year old toy boy.  And a large part of it consisted of text message exchanges with this toy boy which was really irritating.  Also it was obvious from early in the book who she was going to end up with.  Still, there were some funny bits like her response to the other mothers on the PTA  at her children's school and the way she kept checking to see how many followers she had on Twitter.  Sound like me checking on my Blogger stats.

My other January read was 'Where'd You Go, Bernadette?' by Maria Semple.  I've already blogged about how much I enjoyed this.  It was similar to the Bridget Jones books in some ways: the plot unfolds in a series of emails and other documents; it satirises the behaviour of PTA mothers; it has an implausible plot and it could be described as comedy.  But it is vastly superior -  it made me laugh but deals with serious stuff like mental health issues too.  I really cared what happened to Bernadette and there were loads of unexpected plot twists, keeping me guessing right until the end.  Plot really matters to me, you see.

In February I am reading 'The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry', which has a quote from Erica Wagner on the cover saying she 'couldn't put it down'. I'm finding it quite easy to put down and am getting a little weary of Harold's journey: am half way through and he's only just reached Bath from his south coast starting point - he's planning to walk to Berwick.  Feel a bit like he does about my journey through this book - it's a long haul.

12 comments:

  1. Stick with 'Harold' it's worth it I think!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Persisting; getting there. Good bedtime read as one chapter sends me to sleep.

      Delete
  2. But but but….what happened to Mr D'Arcy? I also enjoyed the first Bridget Jones, sad to hear this one was a disappointment but you've saved me from wasting my time (and money) reading it.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Mr D killed somewhere in Africa doing his human rights lawyer work. Would have been better to see them surviving married life and kids together I reckon

      Delete
  3. I'm sorry, I'm with you on Harold. I found it all too implausible, but my daughter loved it!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's his refusal to buy proper shoes that annoys me. By the way went through Heswall yesterday, walked dog with teenager and friends on beach at Thurstaston

      Delete
  4. Interested to hear how you get on with Harold..I did stick with it and enjoyed it but found the ending a bit unexpected. Won't spoil it by saying anymore! My mother in law has a soft spot for it as it was the first book she read after her stroke, on my recommendation. She was a heavy reader beforehand and wanted a lighthearted, easy to read book to get her back on the reading wagon again and it did the job nicely...tho she shared my view on the ending!
    Thanks for the other recommendation .. Bernadette will be on my kindle before too long and as for Bridget - I'll wait till the movie comes out! How can she be 50+ though? Surely she was only about 35 in the last movie? x

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That's just how I feel! Surely I was only 35 last birthday....

      Delete
  5. Hello, absolutely delighted to find you via the Year in Books linky. I'm glad now I didn't buy the Bridget Jones, something about killing off Darcy felt like an author cop-out and you've convinced me I was right.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Hello - have checked your blog out too - what beautiful tapestries! All I've ever managed was a cross- stitch pin cushion.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Oh, sad to hear that the new Bridget Jones is no good! x

    ReplyDelete
  8. I have added "Bernadette" to my audiobook playlist and look forward to get started as soon as I can. I enjoyed Harold's journey mostly but at times got a bit annoyed with him, sometimes I liked him, other times I didn't. I am glad I didn't get the Bridget Jones sequel after reading your review. I am going to check out some of your older post now! C

    ReplyDelete