audrey niffenegger, barbara kingsolver, book review, book tags, claire fuller, flight behaviour, Mr Chartell, must read books, noir, olivier pauvert, our endless numbered days, our love from the stars, paul torday, rebecca hunt, the girl on the landing, the time travellers wife, try a chapter tag
I tried picking them myself but it didn’t work out so I took to my twitter and asked friends there to pick a shelf number and a book number. And here are the books that came up. If you don’t know how this works, you basically pick up a bunch of books, read a chapter each and report back on what you thought, if it intrigued you and if you plan on reading that. Thereby picking your next read. I’m going through a bit if a slump right now and thought this was the best way to solve it!
1. Noir – Olivier Pauvert (translated from the French by Adriana Hunter)
France, in the future. A man finds himself wandering the streets of Paris, haunted by a vision of an unknown woman’s bloody corpse. He is tormented by her grisly death—and by the terrifying thought, Could I be her murderer? Horror-struck and dazed, he makes his way home, where his wife recoils from him and his friends deride him, hostile and pitiless. Perhaps most shocking of all: when he looks in the mirror, he sees nothing. What follows is a dystopian story of electrifying suspense as the hero chases after the truth—the truth of who he is, of what he has done, and of what has happened to the world around him. Meanwhile, the secret police are after him, and he finds unlikely refuge with the Noir, a secret and highly elusive group wanted by the French National Party. In the spirit of Orwell’s prophetic1984, Noir brings a fascist France to life in this thriller about politics and morality.
This seems really interesting. It’s off to a great start, the first chapter starts off with the main character and him smoking weed and witnessing the girl’s body (he calls her a Venus) and being picked up. Thought it ends in a rather disturbing and confusing manner. I will have to get to this soon if not immediately.
July 1964. Chartwell House, Kent: Winston Churchill wakes at dawn. There’s a dark, mute “presence” in the room that focuses on him with rapt concentration.
It’s Mr. Chartwell.
Soon after, in London, Esther Hammerhans, a librarian at the House of Commons, goes to answer the door to her new lodger. Through the glass she sees a vast silhouette the size of a mattress.
It’s Mr. Chartwell.
Charismatic, dangerously seductive, Mr. Chartwell unites the eminent statesman at the end of his career and the vulnerable young woman. But can they withstand Mr. Chartwell’s strange, powerful charms and his stranglehold on their lives? Can they even explain who or what he is and why he has come to visit?
Now this I didn’t like so much. It feels so disconnected and vague, and I think I may need to know thing and events about America if I am to understand this. And I’m not American….so. I bought this because it sounded funny and interested but if the first chapter is anything to go by it seems like it won’t suit my tastes. But the chapter is so short that I can’t completely write it off so I’ll give this a go later and see if I like it about 50 pages in.
The novel begins as Michael, a middle-aged man of means, is dressing for dinner at a friend’s country house in Ireland. As he descends the grand staircase, he spots a small painting of a landing with an old linen press and the white marble statue of an angel. In the background is a woman clad in a dark green dress. During dinner, Michael comments on the painting to his hosts but they say there is no woman in the picture. When Michael goes up to bed later, he sees that they are correct.
This is only the first in a series of incidents that lead Michael to question his grip on reality. His wife Elilzabeth is unsettled by the changes she sees in a man she originally married because he was dependable and steady, not because she loved him. Suddenly she is aware that she has never really known Michael and as he changes, she sees glimpses of someone she could fall in love with. Michael, in the meantime, is disturbed by events at his family’s ancestral home in the wilds of Scotland and by a past that he is threatening to destroy everything, and everyone, he has ever loved.
I think this may be the book! The hair at the back on my neck is already on end and while i despise horror (ghosts mainly) I couldn’t imagine not continuing with this. Michael and Elizabeth are invited to a house in Ireland and in that house, he sees the aforementioned picture. Granted he only stays there for two days but those two days seem to have left an impact on him and affects his life quite badly. I can’t wait to see what happens next. I hope the dog doesn’t die! Oh and this isn’t the cover I have, I have the ugly red cover but this is what I wanted.
1976: Peggy Hillcoat is eight. She spends her summer camping with her father, playing her beloved record of The Railway Children and listening to her mother’s grand piano, but her pretty life is about to change.
Her survivalist father, who has been stockpiling provisions for the end which is surely coming soon, takes her from London to a cabin in a remote European forest. There he tells Peggy the rest of the world has disappeared.
Her life is reduced to a piano which makes music but no sound, a forest where all that grows is a means of survival. And a tiny wooden hut that is Everything.
This was the second shortest chapter so far, Mr.Chartwell being the first, but it leaves behind a much stronger impression. I’m not necessarily compelled to read it immediately but I’m definitely going to be reading it in the near future, maybe after The Girl On The Landing. The story starts right after Peggy has come back and is about a picture she finds, of her father. it is beautiful and descriptive and melancholic. And damn will you look at the gorgeous cover!
On the Appalachian Mountains above her home, a young mother discovers a beautiful and terrible marvel of nature. As the world around her is suddenly transformed by a seeming miracle, can the old certainties they have lived by for centuries remain unchallenged?
Flight Behaviour is a captivating, topical and deeply human story touching on class, poverty and climate change. It is Barbara Kingsolver’s most accessible novel yet, and explores the truths we live by, and the complexities that lie behind them.
With the bible references that I had to google and the meandering, I just didn’t feel connected to this. I didn’t not enjoy it but I don’t think I’ll be reading this anytime soon. Maybe next year or something. it feels like a summer book, not like a winter one.
The Time Traveler’s Wife is the story of Clare, a beautiful art student, and Henry, an adventuresome librarian, who have known each other since Clare was six and Henry was thirty-six, and were married when Clare was twenty-three and Henry thirty-one. Impossible but true, because Henry is one of the first people diagnosed with Chrono-Displacement Disorder: periodically his genetic clock resets and he finds himself misplaced in time, pulled to moments of emotional gravity in his life, past and future. His disappearances are spontaneous, his experiences unpredictable, alternately harrowing and amusing.
This sort of reminds me of My Love From The Stars, has anyone seen that? Well it probably has nothing in common with this but the synopsis does make me think of that. I love this as well. And I’m a little torn now about which one to go for. The Girl On The Landing or this one. It’s hard. I cannot imagine going through what Clare does but then it is so interesting to see the go through this. Have you read this? I strongly encourage you do because the first chapter is amazing.
I’ll probably go for one or the other. Most probably Paul Torday since I’m in the mood for some scaryness. And I’m tagging The Orang-utan librarian, Zeezee with books, Nthato from a scribe to describe, Jen from combustible reviews, Bina from Ifyoucanreadthis and YOU! If you want to do it, that is.