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Book Club No.21

Can you believe the last Book Club post was back in June 2019?! I know, I'm horrified too but, I can assure you, I have been reading still since then albeit sporadically. Now that it's January 2020, I've set myself a new Goodreads Reading Challenge for the year and I'm hoping I can actually accomplish it this time around!

As I mentioned earlier, I did read a few books since my last Book Club review so here's two works of fiction that I got stuck into:

The Book of Lost Things | by John Connolly
This one was recommended by Matt after he enjoyed reading it and thought I would too. It follows a 12-year-old boy called David who is dealing with his mother's death and his father moving on from it. He finds solace in books and enjoys reading but finds that his books have started to whisper to him when he's alone. His reality goes from one bad thing to another and soon, the fantasy worlds he has been reading about begin to seep into his reality as an escape - an escape which sucks him into a world involving heroes, monsters, and the fight between them.

I quite enjoyed this book. The characters are all diverse and bring something to the story, no matter how small of a part they play. I found that they translated to the reader really well and within a few lines, you could get the measure of each character and their personality. The story was unpredictable but used folklore and fairytale tropes we're all used to so there was an air of familiarity running throughout the pages. Although there were familiar elements, Connolly used them in a fairly unique way so you were never too sure about how the story was going to develop. I found it very easy to think of how characters looked, sounded, and acted without Connolly giving the reader too much description which, if you've read any of my previous Book Club reviews, you will know I hate over-descriptive books that force you to see things a certain way.

If you're a fan of traditional fairytales or folklore such as The Brother's Grimm and have a penchant for the particularly dark stories, The Book of Lost Things will tick all the boxes for you. Not only does it meet the fictional storytelling well, it also leaves you feeling attached to the characters, particularly David, and you feel him grow and change as the events shape him and help him mature.
Pick up a copy of The Book of Lost Things here

The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time | by Mark Haddon
In 2019, I decided to reread this. I'm not entirely sure what sparked the desire to reread it, having previously dissected it for English classes and reading it in my free time but, I'm pleased I picked it back up. I seem to have a love hate relationship with Mark Haddon work and I'll either really enjoy a book of his or I won't. The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time is a love story for me as a reader though; I've really enjoyed it every single time I've read it.

The book follows a 15-year-old boy called Christopher. Christopher is on the Autistic Spectrum and finds safety and familiarity in logic, numbers, patterns, and his routines that he has set in place. His world and comforts get turned completely on their head when his neighbours dog, Wellington, is murdered. Inspired by his favourite detective, Sherlock Holmes, Christopher decides to investigate the murder and everything just snowballs along in his journey. The book is written from Christopher's perspective and it translates really well. Working with young people who have a range of learning needs, I can see a lot of truth in how Haddon writes Christopher's view on things. The story covers some difficult situations and topics but with Christopher's outlook, they come across almost lighthearted and funny at times which makes it very easy reading and there's a level of uncertainty over what's going to happen next.

Another aspect I really love is that Haddon includes diagrams and sketches occasionally throughout the pages which relate to something Christopher is talking about. It not only helps the reader understand something that doesn't translate well just through words but, it also helps accentuate how Christopher thinks and that only makes the story feel all that more real and believable.
If you'd like to pick up a copy, you can find one here

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1 comment

Kate] Kate's Closet said...

Both these books sound great, The dog in the night time sounds really interesting .

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