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What I Read

I’m testing out the idea of a weekly What I Read Last Week blog post to see if I like it. I’m hoping it will act as a jog to my memory and perhaps even an aid to reflection on what I’ve been reading, but without the formality of a review structure.


In the last week I’ve been quite focused on reading Desmond Elliott longlist titles. I devoured The Bees by Laline Paull over Saturday and Sunday. My scepticism about a bee narrator was completely unfounded, happily. I’ve not had much success with animal narrators in recent years, but Flora 717 is sufficiently alien that it felt removed from the everyday, and the story does not attempt to be either cute or humorous (this is a good thing). For me, the novel works brilliantly.

I also read Chop Chop by Simon Wroe. I doubt I would’ve come across this if it hadn’t been on the Desmond Elliott longlist. It was a bit of a hard read for me at times; my vegetarian sensibilities took a battering now and then. The atmosphere of a professional (and I use the term lightly) kitchen is well done and I liked the way the idea of narrators is played with. I’m still undecided about how well the story holds together – I’m mulling it over…

Our Endless Numbered Days by Claire Fuller is most impressive so far. Both the story and the storytelling wrapped around me and I was hard pressed to put the book down unfinished. The survivalist theme and how that seclusion could affect a child has actually made me think about Emma Donoghue’s Room again, perhaps somewhat unexpectedly. I look forward to finishing the rest of the story and putting some missing pieces together.

 In non-Desmond Elliott reading, I finished Emma Carroll’s The Girl Who Walked on Air. This is a book full of wonders and bravery, more of which later this week. I’ve also been reading Alix Christie’s Gutenberg’s Apprentice. This historical fiction is right up my street, with the birth of printing, religious turmoil, and characters striving to make their mark on the world.


I think that’s it, reading wise, but, I did see a production of Peter Pan on Saturday evening that made me think it really is time I read the book. I’ve watched the Disney version and Hook and Finding Neverland, and read Disney versions to assorted small people as well as the Ladybird Classic. But, I am not convinced I have ever read the actual J.M. Barrie book. This I will rectify.

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