Another round of book reviews, first published on Instagram. I am getting through a lot of books at the moment - I am posting six at a time on here, and I am already half way to another round up after this! Follow me @whereisharriet for more real time book reviews. I feel like after a few years of not really reading very much I have gotten back into reading with a bang. I think what stopped me before was moving out of my parents house (and saying goodbye to a ready supply of books), to a little flat with no storage space for books, and getting a tablet meant more time spent on pinterest than reading!
Now I have a library just round the corner from me though, I make sure I order in a few books I want to read every couple of weeks, and always carry one in my bag to read on the way to work. Joining a book club as well has meant I have a bit more of a push to read something different, and I have found some brilliant books that way.
The Restaurant of Love Regained by Ito Ogawa. This was translated from Japanese, and I don't know, maybe it lost something in the translation? The characters just felt very thin and unrealistic and their actions never really made sense or were explained. It's the story of a girl who returns to her tiny home village and opens a restaurant which serves one person everyday. I finished it quickly but it didn't leave a great impression.
The Miniaturist by Jessie Burton. This is the latest book club book and my choice, so I'm glad I liked it! Set in Amsterdam in the 17th century it is the story of Nella, a country girl who is married off to a wealthy merchant and finds herself alone in a strange city, and a secretive family. She commissions a Miniaturist to build tiny objects for her dolls house but they seem to take on s life of their own. I love miniatures so I really enjoyed the descriptions of the tiny furniture and dolls, and the story itself was gripping and full of twists. A thumbs up from me.
The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo. This has been everywhere lately and in a moment when the clutter and mess in my house seemed overwhelming I picked it up. It was a quick easy read and soothed my messy brain, although I'm not quite sure if I'm ready to give the KonMarie method a go yet! I just love my stuff too much!
Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn. I finally read this about a year after everyone else was obsessed with it! My colleague got a box set of Gillian Flynn books, and had already read this one so passed it on to me. It was a good page turner, although I had already spoiled myself for the twist so I knew it was coming which probably took away some of the impact. I enjoyed it but I wasn't crazy over it.
Fashion on the Ration by Julie Summers. This is a tie in with an exhibition at the Imperial War Museum, which I haven't seen yet but the book is fascinating on its own. I think before reading it I had a bit of an idealised view of 1940s fashion, but the reality was far from it! Stories of having only one piece of elastic which you had to thread into each pair of knickers for example definitely dispelled any illusions I had! Despite this the book has a fairly cheerful tone, reflecting the Blitz Spirit of the day.
The Hundred Foot Journey by Richard C Morais. The last of my food themed books (for a while - they make me too hungry!) this was the story of a young boy from Mumbai who ends up as a Michelin starred chef in Paris. I loved the first half set in Mumbai, Southall and rural France as I've been to all three and it was really evocative of those places. The second half in Paris felt a bit rushed and less showing more telling. Still an enjoyable read though.