I recently discovered that it’s possible for me to stream some of my favourite TV series from ‘back home’ (in French!) and spent a lot of time catching up on their latest seasons… It left me with less time for reading, hence why I decided once again to combine September and October books into a more substantial post.
The Wicked Wit of Queen Elizabeth II | Karen Dolby
This book popped in the Kindle Store suggestions and for only a pound, I thought it was a good deal… I was wrong. If the book is not atrociously bad, its title is certainly misleading. I was hoping to laugh, at least a little, but it didn’t happen. Sure, there are a few good quotes in there and not being really familiar with the British monarchy I was agreeably surprised to learn the Her Majesty is not as serious as she looks, but most citations are only hearsay. Plus, many words in the collection are from other members of the Royal Family and not from the Queen herself. I wouldn’t really recommend it, even if it were given out for free!
Love in a Cold Climate | Nancy Mitford
Someone I like a lot lent me this book so I really tried to enjoy it, but I couldn’t. I was bored after a few pages… The language is old and dated, the characters have no depth and the story seems to be going nowhere. Love in a Cold Climate is described as a romantic comedy but read more like insipid gossip. I know Nancy Mitford’s novels are very popular but I really can’t recommend this one.
The Great Gatsby | F. Scott Fitzgerald
A great American classic and a novel I enjoyed more for its wording than its story. Indeed, Fitzgerald prose is beautiful and reflective of that era’s style but in my (very humble) opinion, the characters lack depth and personality, and the story sometimes drags. But it’s a classic and classics are always worth a read!
Dear Bill Bryson: Footnotes from a Small Island | Ben Aitken
Notes from a Small Island is one of the first books I read when I moved to the UK and I really loved it so I was looking forward to reading this ‘homage’ to the travel classic where Aitken retraces Bryson’s journey. I have mixed feelings about this book… The writing is witty and humorous but often sounds juvenile (the author apparently wants to sleep with every single waitress he encounters); however, it’s dotted with surprisingly insightful pearls and them alone are worth the read. A book I’d certainly recommend to anyone who enjoyed the original.