What We’re Reading

It’s been a while since I last did a book post, but fear not! for I have definitely been reading. In fact, I feel as though I’ve been inhaling as many printed words as I can, in preparation for the newborn-months when my brain will be too foggy to even dream of picking up a novel!

At the moment, I’m giggling my way through ‘Vanity Fair’, by William Makepeace Thackeray (don’t you just adore his name??!). Another 19th-Century novel, with ladies and gents, and couples “making love” instead of “flirting”, and maids and coaches and all sorts of colourful language and characters. I think part of the reason I love novels such as this is that the reactions of the characters are always so exuberant and over-the-top, and also because the most unlikely relationships between people seem so normal. Thackeray writes in the third-person, but occasionally refers to himself as our humble narrator, and therefore offers extra little opinions and hilarious sidenotes which add an amusing touch. This is the kind of novel that should be read on the London underground, so that people wonder why you’re grinning!

Before reading ‘Vanity Fair’, I devoured the second in the Millenium Trilogy, ‘The Girl Who Played with Fire’, by Stieg Larsson. I enjoyed it just as much as the first (and yes, I have come to the party a bit late with this series, but I put it off to avoid all the hype clouding my judgements), but the ending really annoyed me. I won’t spoil it, just in case this is on your “to read” list, suffice to say that now I have to read the next installment, and in the not-too-distant future.

And before that, I finished ‘Possession’, by A.S. Byatt. After my initial thoughts that it was dragging, and feeling a bit “ho-hum” about it, I absolutely loved it. It turned into a real page-turner (a bit like a crime-thriller), and I couldn’t put it down. You can read my full review in a few days, on an awesome new bibliophile’s-dream blog called 1001 Books to Read Before You Die.

As for Tiny, he has two new books which he adores: ‘The Gobble Gobble Moooooo Tractor Book’, by Jez Alborough, and ‘Mad About Minibeasts’, by Giles Andreae (author of another firm favourite, ‘Commotion in the Ocean’). Both are fun, interactive, colourful books with gorgeous illustrations and I’m contemplating adding them to my “must buy for friends’ children” list!

However, the clear winner for Tiny at the moment is Richard Scarry’s ‘What Do People Do All Day?’ – he would have this read to him all day if he could, and the cover has become rather tatty due to being lugged here, there and everywhere (it was found under Tall’s pillow last night. Of course.). I was surprised at at how much he loves it; we thought it would be too “busy” for him, but he adores the pictures (he likes to point out the little mice and the worm that appear in every scene) and seems to take in the wordy stories. I think this is one mummy and daddy will tire of first!

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8 thoughts on “What We’re Reading

  1. Jez Alborough is a favourite here too – The Duck ones and also Yes and Hug. Richard Scarry is such a classic – I remember many hours looking at the pictures (especially the ones with clothes and food – how little has changed!!)

  2. I’ve read most of Vanity Fair. I’m taking a little break from it at the moment, since it’s pretty damn long. I think it does a really good job of trivialising, and mocking, early 19th century British attitudes to life. It really is very funny, particularly if you’re familiar with early 19th century societal norms – have you read much Hardy?

    • It really is very long! I’m finding Thackeray’s little commentaries really funny. I’ve read Tess of the D’Urbavilles, Far From the Madding Crowd, and Jude the Obscure – love how he, too, writes about “taboo” subjects.

  3. Thank you for you kind words about our blog and an even bigger thank you for your review on Possession. Super keen to read it now; watched the movie a few years ago and I remember enjoying it but not much outside of that. So hopefully I will remain in the dark while reading it.

    With the Millennium trilogy, the second one annoyed me a fair bit as well. The synopsis on the back cover laid out events that didn’t happen until halfway through the book. This really bugged me! A weird thing to be annoyed about, but it did nonetheless.

    • It’s a great idea for a blog!! I’m glad I’m not the only one who was annoyed with TGWPWF – strange because I really did enjoy it, but I found myself getting a bit “grrrr, come ON!” with it at times. I’d be interested to hear your thoughts on Possession 🙂

  4. Pingback: BBC Big Read update | Tall, Short & Tiny

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