Monday, October 29, 2012

jamrach's menagerie

I finished reading this book just recently and it was so good!  It's a proper rip-roaring yarn, a real adventure story, but kind of dark and a bit dreamlike at the same time.  I've been reading it while feeding Dulcie in the evenings, trying to get her settled, but perhaps all my gasping and exclaiming is what's been keeping her awake.  I love it when books make me exclaim out loud, apart from when I'm on the bus or something (as happened with Fingersmith) which can be kind of embarrassing.  Upon reading the acknowledgements at the end of this book, I discovered that the two most gasp-worthy moments were actually based on real-life events.  No way!  Now I think, to find out more, I'm going to have to read a non-fiction account of a sea journey, something I swore I'd never do again after struggling my way through Ernest Shackleton's South.  Ah, it felt so good to read something a bit gripping after the last bland (but vaguely enjoyable) bit of fluff I slogged through.

Not that I don't have a huge pile of books by my bed just waiting to be read, but I'd love to hear any recommendations anyone has.  Given how hard it is to find time/space/free hands to read these days, any recommendations had better be good!  No pressure...  :)


  1. I just read Pure by Andrew Miller. It won the Booker Prize a couple of years ago. I loved it. Just starting Wolf Hall, Hilary Mantel which I'm finding slow to get going but I am determined to love it!

    1. BRILLIANT recommendations! But the reason I can say that with such capital-letter confidence is because I have already read them both :( But if you think of anything else along those lines...

      It took me a while to get into Wolf Hall too because my knowledge of English history is so poor and there was one character that I thought was two people, or was it two characters that I thought was the same person? Either way, it made the first third of the book (until I consulted a character list and realised my mistake) very hard going! It was definitely worth the effort in the end though. Mind you, I'm not sure I'm quite up to reading the follow-up yet. One day!


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