How do you read yours?

Although I am not a huge fan of the term (and have tried hard to think of a cute alternative to no avail) I am definitely a mood reader – I always choose my next book based on how I am feeling at that very moment in time.  I remain bewildered by those who plan their “to read” list months in advance then work through it methodically one by one, as in my mind this limits the potential for that incredible, life-affirming buzz when you pick exactly the right book at exactly the right time for you.  I also credit the fact I devour so many brilliant novels to this approach, as my heart and mind unite to choose something my subconscious knows will hit the spot at that very moment.  I have read some incredible books recently and below is a quick round up of the ones I’ve loved best.

Imagine if every New Year’s Eve at midnight you time-travelled to a different year of your life: from 19 to 90, you never know where you will end up next or at what point in your existence you will be.  This is the concept behind The Rearranged Life of Oona Lockhart, a brilliantly delivered novel that sees our heroine learning to cope with living each year out of order.  It sounds like it should be a car crash in terms of structuring a novel, but Montimore delivers an incredibly addictive, moving and heart-warming story with great finesse. From relationships that finish before they start, to friends who turn out to be family, this book reminds us that no matter how we live our lives, we grow from every experience and are stronger when we learn to take nothing for granted.  Definitely one of my favourite reads of the last few months, I would wholeheartedly recommend it. 

The Island of Missing Trees by Elif Sharak is what can only be called a masterpiece and has promptly lodged itself in my top 5 books of all time. This is the story of 2 Cypriot teenagers who fall in love in the 1970s despite their differing backgrounds – Kostas is Greek and Christian and Defne is Turkish and Muslim.  Decades later in London, their 16 year old daughter Ada is struggling to come to terms with losing her mother, battling her own grief and that of her father.  She knows nothing of her Cypriot roots or of the trauma in her parent’s past, until her estranged aunt arrives, changing her life for good.  I have no words to describe how beautifully written this story is, in language that is so lyrical and evocative it lifted my literary soul to a higher plane.  Most poignant of all is the way Sharak intertwines the natural world into the lives of the humans she portrays.  I was left speechless (which is incredibly rare) and wish I had the money to buy everyone I know their own copy.

In contrast, Lady in Waiting by Anne Glenconner is the autobiography of a woman who has lived all of her life on the periphery of the royal family. I am not much of a royalist, if truth be told, but given the current jubilee celebrations it felt like an appropriate time to explore the world of stately superiority and all this entails.  Glenconner writes such engaging prose – something I already knew from reading one of her novels earlier this year – and the anecdotes come thick and fast.  From a childhood disrupted by the second world war to an adult life shaped by her marriage to a highly eccentric and unpredictably violent husband (and not to mention her role as lady in waiting to Princess Margaret), she has certainly been through many fascinating experiences and I was highly entertained by them all. As autobiographies go this is both compelling and eminently readable. 

So which one will you be buying, Bookaholics – maybe all 3?  Just don’t let them languish at the bottom of your TBR for too long and let me know what you think!

Author: Bookaholicbex

Book-nerd with a passion for all things literary. If only real life would stop getting in the way of reading...

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