Some Books I’ve Liked This Year

jamaica

Hello everyone! How have you been? I’ve been well, but it has been a bit of a down reading year for me. I haven’t read very many things that I’ve absolutely loved this year.

Part of the problem is that I spend about 8 months out of the year reading books for two Book Buzz programs that I do for work – one in the summer and one in the fall. And though I do enjoy presenting these programs at my library, it limits the time I have to read by whim. I do really miss those days of picking up something just because the cover catches my eye and finishing it in a day or two. This rarely happens for me anymore. I have to plan pretty far in advance which books I am going to read for my programs. And I can’t always go just by my taste – I have to make sure to include titles that I know will appeal to a broad range of library users. So, my reading life is much different these days than when I was regularly blogging years ago.

During my “free” months I do manage to read some titles that are just for me and these are six that I have loved:

A Wreath of Roses by Elizabeth Taylor

High Wages by Dorothy Whipple

Jamaica Inn by Daphne Du Maurier

Confusion by Elizabeth Jane Howard

Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte

Agnes Grey by Anne Bronte

Have you read and loved any of these too?

I hope you’ve all been well. I miss the blogging community and would like to jump back in for the rest of 2018 and beyond. I’ll try to also stop by and visit your blogs this week before I leave for a trip to England on Monday.

 

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Book Club: Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier

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I read Rebecca when I was a teen, but haven’t read it since so I added it to my book club’s list of possibilities thinking that it would be a wonderful way to slip a classic into our selections. The August host chose it because she hadn’t read it before and really likes Gothic novels, but I don’t think it went over as well as I thought it would.

What struck me this time around, and did the other book club members as well, was the absolute passivity of the narrator. I think her submissive and timid personality really bothered them, although most of us were able to see how she developed into such a doormat. It was also hard for many of us to believe that the narrator would continue to live with Maxim after the truth about him is revealed. But what other choice does she have, really?

I think this novel is probably the least successful choice my book club has read so far. It did not inspire a good discussion and left most of us feeling flat and ready to move on to the next book.

Though Rebecca is not one of my favorite classics, I think it is incredibly suspenseful and darkly atmospheric, qualities that I enjoy but that might not make for the best discussion.

Next up for my book club in September is The Submission by Amy Waldman.

How do you feel about Rebecca?