It’s been a few weeks since my last Sunday Snapshot. I’ve had quite a few things happening, some of which you may be aware of through my re-blogging other people’s posts. Some others I might write about later on. I don’t want you to think I haven’t been reading, however. You only have to look at these photographs to know that isn’t the case. I promise I’m not going to discuss all the books at length, I’ll just make comments on a few personal favourites.
The writer Mal Peet died recently. Twitter was full of praise for his writing. I looked at his page on Fantastic Fiction, my go-to place for finding out about writers and their books, and confirmed I hadn’t read anything he had written. Life: an Exploded Diagram is a coming of age story set primarily in Norfolk against the background of the cold war. I found the social and agricultural history fascinating, particularly as the protagonists were only a few years older than me.
I’ve loved Berlie Doherty ever since I read Paddiwak and Cosy, a delightful picture book about introducing a new cat into a household. Her novel The Company of Ghosts is a brilliantly atmospheric ghost story. A young girl finds herself abandoned on a remote island, cut off from everyone and everything she knows.
I really enjoy Maggie Stiefvater’s writing. The Wolves of Mercy Falls series told stories about werewolves who felt like real people and The Raven Cycle is equally gripping. Blue Lily, Lily Blue is the third book in the series. Foolishly, I had expected it would be a trilogy as these things so often are. I got to the end of the book and looked up, gasping “There’s going to be a fourth book!” much to the bemusement of my family. The Raven King is due out in 2016.
If you enjoyed the Disney film One of Our Dinosaurs is Missing, you may well enjoy How Kirsty Jenkins Stole the Elephant. Just before he dies, Kirsty’s grandfather asks her to take care of his allotment and she promises that she will. Unfortunately that means nothing to the man from the council. Kirsty and her half-siblings try a number of ways to convince Mr Thomas that he should follow granddad’s dying wish. Can you guess what their final plan involves? It is truly ingenious.
As I’ve mentioned before, I am curating a series of book lists for Hampshire County Council with the umbrella title When a Book Might Help. The idea is to provide some suggested book titles that might be of comfort and support to families dealing with difficult situations. As a result I get to read lots of picture books and early readers. There were some lovely picture books in this collection. My favourite was Slug Needs a Hug, a delightful story about a little slug who thinks his mum doesn’t hug him because of the way he looks. He listens to a host of different creatures who all suggest ways he might improve his appearance and he tries to follow their advice – all at the same time. His mum tells him how much she loves him and wants to hug him. Unfortunately she can’t because they don’t have arms, so they kiss instead. This will shortly be added to the ‘Body Confidence’ book list.
I look forward to every new book from Harlan Coben. He writes gripping stories with clever twists and engaging characters. The Stranger didn’t disappoint and I really hadn’t expected it to end the way it did.
Please don’t think I haven’t enjoyed, or at least found something of merit, in all the books I’ve read over the last few weeks. I just didn’t want to bury you in an avalanche of reviews. I’ll try to be back on track next week and just have a handful of books to how you.