Do you ever find yourself reading a book that you don't want to stop reading, but you don't quite... get? And you keep reading and reading, thinking it'll click soon and you really want to know what happens, but....
Well, that's the main theme this month!
The Bone Clocks by David Mitchell
I'm not even really sure how to describe this really. I love David Mitchell, I really do. I thought Cloud Atlas was interesting, I really enjoyed Black Swan Green and I was excited to read this one. But it just didn't chime with me the way his others have done.
It starts off with Holly Sykes walking out of her family home at 16 and then, as Mitchell books tend to, tumbles through various other characters' points of view. Holly is a human, somehow caught up in a struggle between supernatural forces. I won't say anymore, for fear of giving the lot away.
I think this is one that I'll revisit in a year or so. I felt like the meaning was just beyond my reach and I couldn't really see what he was trying to convey. Which is why it took me so long to read! But I didn't dislike it at all and would love to try it again. I'm just left a bit... bemused by it really.
Dragonfly in Amber by Diana Gabaldon
Now this book I flew through! I read the first Outlander book last year, when I'd seen a couple of episodes of the series (it's an excellent adaptation, in my opinion), but it was so long that I didn't fancy reading the whole series in one go. I certainly didn't mean to leave it this long though!
Set twenty years after the end of the book, we found out what happened before how it happened, which is a trick I really love as it keeps me tearing through a book. I was happy to be back in the company of Jamie and Claire and to meet a host of new characters. Gabaldon clearly adores these characters and they do feel like real people.
This may also be because she documents an awful lot of their lives. The books are long, not necessarily because lots happens (although lots does happen!) but because she shares so many details and funny little conversations between Jamie and Claire. While this does make the book a doorstopper, it also makes their relationship very real and very believable.
Yes, there are moments where I've cringed at some melodramatic declaration or dash of purple prose, but I love these books. They are most definitely not for children and they are probably not even for all adults given the level of graphic detail, both violent and sexual. But it's a good story and that's what I like.