Book #24 “Wild Fire” by Ann Cleeves

I think this is the first Ann Cleeves book I have read, although I have seen TV series based on her books. This book is from the Shetland series, and I knew from the start I had seen this on TV, but the plot and characters were subtly different from what I remembered. The book was engrossing and even knowing something of how the plot would develop from the TV I was no wiser about who had done it. I will look out some more of her books.

Book #23: “Transcription” by Kate Atkinson

I am a fan of the writing of Kate Atkinson. and was pleased to be given this book, but mistakenly lent it out before reading it – so had to wait for it to come back before diving in.

The plot was definitely that of a spy novel although the heroine is not sure she is “an agent”. The book moves between Juliet’s role transcribing meetings of German supporters in the 1940s and her role working for the BBC in the 1950s. It kept me engaged from start to finish.

Book #22: “Everything I Never Told You” by Celeste Ng

This book opens with “Lydia is dead. But they don’t know this yet.” and I was hooked as soon as I read those two sentences. The book reveals the history of all members of this inter-racial family, the parents own thwarted ambitions for themselves and their hopes for their children, especially the elder daughter Lydia.

I also enjoyed Celeste Ng’s book “Little Fires Everywhere“. I wonder if she is writing more books?

Book #21 “Holes” by Louis Sachar

“Holes” is another children’s book, with a plot that entwines the life of Stanley Yelnats, a teenage American wrongly convicted and packed off to a “camp” where he is forced to dig holes, and his ancestors with whom he shares a name.

Parts of the plot are unbelievable but they add to the story and the reader is quite able to excuse the twists.

Book #20 “Normal People” by Sally Rooney

“Normal People” is in the top ten best sellers, so I was surprised to see it had received mixed reviews. I really enjoyed the book and felt it was well written with an engaging plot, taking the two main characters (Connell and Marianne) from school to university and the challenges they faced and their changing roles. I certainly will read more by this author.

Book #19 “The Goldfish Boy” by Lisa Thompson

This is a children’s book but written in a style that is also suited to grown ups. The hero obviously suffers from OCD, and spends his time avoiding germs, largely by staying in his bedroom, watching the world from his window. When a nearby toddler goes missing he turns detective…

A well written story with an engaging plot, and alongside the plot the difficult world of pre-teens is explored.

Book #18 “After the Fire” by Henning Mankell

A friend lent me this book, the cover told me it was a thriller, but other than that I had no expectations. It engaged me from the beginning. The characters seemed like real people and the story was told in the voice of the main character, a 70 year old retired doctor living a solitary life on an island in a Swedish archipelago. I wanted to know what would happen after the fire which was the opening scene of the book.

I am certainly wanting to read more by this author