For me January is a month to go into a little hibernation mode after the joys and excesses of the Christmas season. Regular exercise and a good diet is a great start but for me chilling at weekends in front of a fire and not running around is a wonderful way to recharge your batteries.
First things first – reading. I have gotten through 3 books now this month and am on my fourth. So in order of reading them:
I have read several of Ian Mc Ewan’s books including Atonement, Amsterdam and Saturday, but I found this totally different from his other work. It’s an older book, first published back in 1997 and the plot concerns two strangers who become perilously entangled after witnessing a deadly accident. It’s a slim book but packs an enormous punch and I would highly recommend it for the thrill alone.
I got this for Christmas and I was really excited to read it after hearing so much hype around it (the first time author received a two book advance of over €700,000 and is the grand daughter of writer Mary Lavin) and while I enjoyed parts of it, I wasnt blown away. The characters are well developed if a little cliched in parts fitting neatly in stereotyped boxes and the plot was predictable. All in all, an underwhelming read but to be fair perhaps expectations were set a little too high to start with.
A funny and fast paced novel following the 100 year old hero Allan Karlsson as he dashes an escape from his nursing home and embarks on a comic crime spree through Sweden picking up equally ludicrous accomplices along the way. The novel also manages to cleverly take in all the major events of the 20th century and the lead character’s role in them. Funny, entertaining and well worth a read.
I am currently reading Claire Kilroy’s The Devil I Know and while I am only a few chapters in, the writing and dialogue is excellent and I am looking forward to getting stuck into it more. It is a pretty savage satire on Ireland’s property boom so a good reminder of the excesses and tasteless extravagance of the so-called ‘Celtic Tiger’. Feels like a distant memory now in the heart of austerity.
On an aside, the house is falling down with books but it’s one thing I find it hard to part with so I have decided I need a Book Barn kind of like this one – Baldwin’s Book Barn, an 1822 building in West Chester, Pennsylvania which has five floors of books, pretty realistic goal don’t you think?
Below are some images to ogle for book lovers.