Thursday, 27 June 2013

Top 5 books of 2013 so far.

Can you even believe it's almost the end of  June already? Seriously, where does the time even go? I am loving the summer at the moment, now that it's actually here. We're just back from a glorious week in Portugal which was the most fun and this weekend we're off to Scarborough. It's Wimbledon fortnight (and Federer is out which makes my heart sad) and it's warm enough when I get home from work to be able to sit in the yarden with my Kindle and a packet of Drumstick Squashies (erm, yummy) and life is pretty good. Next week Jen is doing an event for More Weird Things in Cheshire and I have booked the day off work to go hang out with her. I shall have a lie in and then drive over and maybe we'll do lunch - Jen, are we doing lunch? - and then hang out with her in the bookshop in the afternoon. I am excited. I haven't seen her face in real life for over a year. Damn geography. Everything that matters is pretty darn rosy.

Anyway, to the point. Around this time of year I like to make a note of the best 5 books I've read so far and see how much the lists changes come December; are the books I read in the first half of the year better than the ones I read in the second?

Here I am, doing just that! So, the bestest books of 2013...so far.

     1: Eleanor and Parkwhich I talk about here

     2. TFiOSagain, already reviewed 

     3. The Night Rainbow

This all began when Maman came back from hospital last summer, but she didn't bring back a baby like she promised, she left it at the hospital, along with her happiness
The Night Rainbow makes my heart happy. It’s a little piece of magic, simple and beautiful and sad and perfect. I didn’t want it to end.

The story is told by Pea. She’s 5 and a half. Her Papa has died and her Maman is heavily pregnant and grieving both the loss of Pea’s Papa and a baby she recently lost. Pea and her sister Margot – aged 4 – are left to run wild in the French summer, they’re desperate to make Maman happy again bur she barely realises they’re there. The girls befriend a man from the village and his dog. He becomes exactly what they need but he has his own past that’s as haunting as the story told in the present. It’s beautiful I think because Pea’s account of her summer is so simplistic; her lack of understanding makes the story that much more poignant although never straying into over-sentimentality. Your heart breaks for Pea and for Margot, but it breaks for Maman too.

The beauty lies in the language. I wanted to read every page twice, just to savour it. You need to read it just to see, because I can’t explain it to you otherwise. To quote Jen ‘it takes you somewhere new’ and it does. What Clare King does with words in this novel just blows me away.

Here. Look.

"A blown kiss is not a proper kiss. Hugs and kisses should be hugs and kisses, not breaths of air. I am tired of breaths of air and not enough hugs and kisses."
 Also, it has a trailer; watch it.
     4. Wonder – which is reviewed here

     5. The Silver Linings Playbook:  Heartbreaking and heartwarming, like Perks for grown ups, this book is a good good book. I don't want to give too much away, except to tell you that Pat's search for his happy ending will stay with you for a long long time.

And I guess that's that? This post makes me happy inside; this year has been a good year so far, for books. I hope it continues. Also, if you have not read these books thne probably you should do something about that.