Shelf Life – November 2014

Wow, December really snuck up on me this year (said me, every year). It’s almost Christmas, and we all know what that means – a brand new haul of books to add to my TBR pile. Yay, and gulp.


November felt like a bit of a slow reading month – I got bogged down rereading Jane Eyre for book club. Initially, I thought I would just skim read it, but I was so quickly compelled that I found myself rereading the whole freaking thing (except the bit when she’s with the cousins – snooze, get back to Rochester already).

I also read The Lowland by Jhumpa Lahiri, which I enjoyed but couldn’t say I was blown away by. I read some really rave reviews before I started this, so maybe my expectations were a bit high. It was very moving in parts, and the writing was beautiful, but I think it’s going to be one of those books that I never really think about again.

I finally got around to reading The Casual Vacancy by JK Rowling, which I also enjoyed but also wasn’t blown away by. I love a multiple character narrative, so in that respect this book was right up my alley, but I thought it got pretty silly at the end, and that kind of ruined it for me. It’s a tough gig for old JK though, because every time she dropped a swear (which she did a LOT) or wrote about some really gritty character/plotline, I couldn’t help but feel that she was going a bit overboard in an attempt to distance herself from Harry Potter. But if it wasn’t JK, I probably wouldn’t have bat an eyelid at the naughty stuff.

Aside from these and getting half-way through Life After Life by Kate Atkinson (which I am loving so far), I also read We Were Liars by E. Lockhart. I liked this much more than I thought I would, and the ‘twist’ came as a real surprise, which is always a good thing. The main problem I had was the way the main character called her mother ‘mommy’ – it just really jarred with me for some reason, which added to an already quite disjointed story because of the incredibly short chapters.

In other exciting bookish news for the month, I bought a new bookshelf which means I no longer have piles of books all over the floor – and coming into the Brisbane storm season, when leaks and floods are likely, this couldn’t be any better timed.

How was your November?

4 replies »

  1. I totally agree with what you said about The Casual Vacancy! I wish I had room for a new bookshelf… my shelves are overflowing and I have boxes full of books in my basement.


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