I read six books in June, half May’s number. But I wrote two instalments of a People’s Friend serial and a short story. Writing/reading – sadly, it seems I can’t do lots of both at the same time.
Her Forget-Me-Not-Ex by Sophie Claire.
Read my interview with Sophie here.
Wonder by RJ Palacis
Read for book group. This is an American YA novel about a boy born with a severe facial deformity:
'My name is August. I won't describe what I look like. Whatever you're thinking, it's probably worse.'
But ‘Auggie wants to be an ordinary ten-year-old. He does ordinary things – eating ice cream, playing on his Xbox. He feels ordinary - inside.’
It’s written from Auggie’s point-of-view and various others such as his sister and his classmates. He’s been taught at home but now that he’s twelve his parents decide he should go to high school.
In places it’s more cheesy than a pound of cheddar but, yes, of course I cried when Auggie won through to be voted the most popular boy in the school.
From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs Basil E. Frankweiler by EL Konigsburg
As I was buying Wonder, From the Mixed-Up Files came up as ‘customers who bought this … ’ When I read that it was about two children who run away from home and hide out in the Metropolitan Museum of Art I had to have it.
It was originally published in 1967, won the Newbery Medal, and ‘has rightly become one of the most celebrated and beloved children's books of all time.’
Claudia and Jamie aren’t badly treated at home or anything like that – the wonderfully resourceful twelve-year-old Claudia is just rather bored in the suburbs of New York. She plans their escapade to the nth degree while her entrepreneurial younger brother looks after their (not very much) money.
The new edition is lovely (paperback with flaps). I loved the characters and the setting, and the story is quirky and charming and I really liked it – I expected to love it though, not sure why I didn’t.
Debs at War 1939-1945 by Anne de Courcy
What upper class young ladies did in the war, from factory workers and land girls to decoders, ambulance drivers and pilots. For most of them it was the first time they’d mixed with the hoi-polloi – but one had to do one’s bit.
Beauty Tips for Girls by Margaret Montgomery
Blog post about this book here.
The Silkworm by Robert Galbraith
The second in the private-investigator Cormoran Strike series (after The Cuckoo’s Calling) – did not disappoint. I would enjoy these books even if it were a previously unknown writer called ‘Robert Galbraith’ who’d written them.
In The Silkworm:
‘When novelist Owen Quine goes missing, his wife calls in private detective Cormoran Strike. At first, she just thinks he has gone off by himself for a few days – as he has done before – and she wants Strike to find him and bring him home.’
Strike’s enquiries take him into the murky word of … London publishing. The author must have had great fun writing it.
Can’t wait to read the next one.