(Some of) My Best Reads So Far – 2012

8 May

Good to be back in the blogosphere! In no particular order, here are some of my best reads from the last couple of months with a little review of each, for posterity… 

The Night Circus – Erin Morgenstern

A fantastical tale woven in the true tradition of magical-realism, centred around a real-life circus which only opens at night. The love story made my knees weak and the plot had me spellbound. Not everybody will love it, but some of you won’t be able to put it down. Sometimes I catch myself still thinking about it…

The Marriage Plot – Jeffrey Eugenides

Blast yourself back into the 80’s via Madeleine, Leonard and Mitchell’s love-triangle. You’ve got to be in it for the detail, with this one. Quote from Goodreads.com: ‘With devastating wit and an abiding understanding of and affection for his characters, Jeffrey Eugenides revives the motivating energies of the Novel, while creating a story so contemporary and fresh that it reads like the intimate journal of our own lives.’

The Thirteenth Tale – Diane Setterfield

A little known proofreader is invited by England’s most famous (and most elusive) authoress, Vida Winter, for an interview.  The book begins with this invitation, and leads you down a most mysterious path – what happened to the missing Thirteenth Tale? A book about books, a story within a story (my best kind!) and a wonderful, edge-of-your-seat gothic novel.

Fingersmith – Sarah Waters

Am becoming quite the fan of Sarah Waters’ novels (see also: The Little Stranger, The Night Watch, Tipping the Velvet) despite the same ole lesbian trope that runs through each of them (can I even say that? oh well)  – no matter, each story contains brilliant, unforgettable characters. This is the tale of Sue Trinder, an orphan born into Dickensian London, raised in a house of thieves and baby farmers, destined for nothingness – until the conman ‘Gentleman’ proposes a devious plan that will result in unimaginable riches for them both. Fingersmith had me hooked – who can you trust?

The Magicians – Lev Grossman

I was excited about this book for so long, that I may have over-hyped myself.  Every review you’ll read of The Magicians will tell you that if you loved the Chronicles of Narnia, The Secret History or Harry Potter then you’ll love this too. In my opinion, it borrows a little too heavily from all of those wonderful books (there were moments I seriously thought about checking for plagiarism) – but Grossman still conjures up Fillory and the Magicians imaginatively. It left me a bit wanting, but admittedly I’d still read the sequel – this could be the diving board into a potentially great series.

Books of Art by Isaac G. Salazar

In between new books, I also re-read The Wizard of Oz (L.Frank Baum), The Virgin Suicides (Jeffrey Eugenides) and The Secret History (Donna Tartt). There’s something delicious about sinking into a familiar old story, after just enough time has passed that the details have blurred – which totally justifies reading it over again.

Happy reading, kids!



Please leave a reply! Thanks - Dannii x

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