June Book of the Month
The Other Hand by Chris Cleave
I was lured in by the vague, air of mystery blurb on the back of the book from the publisher, about not telling us what it is about. It may seem like a pretty silly tactic but to be honest I probably wouldn't have bought it if it had said "this is a story about a middle-class English woman's friendship a Nigerian refugee". That is what it is about, but if I had ignored it on that summary, I would have missed out on a wonderfully written book, that was beautiful and moving. I may have also been put off by a story told from the perspective of two women that was written by one man, but again this was done brilliantly. It has some very bittersweet bits of humour in here.
July Book of the Month
Willard and His Bowling Trophies by Richard Brautigan
A short, surreal story from Brautigan who most famous works (In Watermelon Sugar and Trout Fishing in America) I wasn't so impressed with. But I loved this one. It is about two couples living in the same apartment block, and three brothers who are looking for their stolen bowling trophies. The Willard of the title is a papier-mache bird - its that kind of book!
August Book of the Month
Riven Rock by T C Boyle
My new favourite Boyle book. This one is loosely based on the true story of Stanley McCormick who spends most of his adult life locked away from society due to his mental illness. The book charters his treatment by various doctors, which at times descends into farce, but other parts of the book were genuinely moving. I was reduced to tears by the end.
I used to write - I still do occasionally, but I've just not been publishing them. Things about actual feelings. Things that I hope I might look back on at some point and cr...