Here are the books I read in March 2019!
Educated by Tara Westover
Wow, what a book.
What an intense, thick and nourishing soup of a story, with so many layers and issues to deal with.
And it’s all true.
Read about Tara’s toxic family, her childhood spent without ever going to school, and marvel at her survival and academic successes, against all the odds. Get yourself educated and read this amazing memoir.
Wonder by R. J. Palacio
I’m a bit late to this party. Published way back in 2013, this tale of a boy called August has since been made into a movie. Bit of a tearjerker is this Wonder, about a boy born with a facial disfigurement who goes to school for the first time. I defy you not to be moved.
How To Stop Time by Matt Haig
Let me say that I hate the cover.
It reminds me of Disney’s Beauty and the Beast.
The story is wonderful, though, and had me hooked from the very beginning. It’s a sort of time-hopping romance and mystery, about Tom, who has been alive since the 16th century.
Blessed (or cursed) with a condition which means he ages very, very slowly; he looks 40 but is in fact over 500 years old.
His wife died back in the 16th century, but his daughter inherited this strange condition. He wanders the world, trying to find her.
I found the ending a bit convenient, but on the whole I enjoyed the story, which is an examination of memory, love and loss.
Alive, Alive Oh! by Diana Athill
From a novel about memory (How To Stop Time) to this memoir about the very idea of memory itself, written from the perspective of a woman who lived for a century.
It is refreshing to hear someone’s story told from their own perspective, towards the end of their life. Athill reflects on key events that shaped her life, and lessons she learned along the way.
A real gem of a book. You will wish that you had known Athill; the phrase joie de vivre was surely invented for her.
a Short History of Tractors in Ukrainian by Marina Lewycka
I remember seeing this in book shops when it was first released, but I passed it by many times. The title and cover confused me, putting me off. It looked, well, boring.
How wrong I was. This book is anything but boring.
What’s it about?
A recently widowed pensioner in the UK marries a buxom Ukrainian woman, some thirty years his junior, and chaos inevitably follows, with endless family dramas and mishaps.
I devoured this funny and compelling story in just a few days.
What have you been reading recently? Comment below!