Tuesday, 6 October 2009

Recap on holiday reading

When the weather is like the picture above (that's a view of St Mark's square from the Grand Canal, Venice, in the biggest rain storm I've ever seen) what's the best thing to do? Yes - read.
I think October must be my favourite month to immerse myself in literature. It's so wet, and dull. No late Autumn frosts to encourage you out on a good long stomp, just the tempting sofa on which to curl up.

I've already finished four books in the last week, and my appetite is simply craving more. Here are my favourites from the past few weeks ....

The Glassblowers of Murano by Marina Fiorata
This was one of my holiday reads - indeed in painted a better picture of Venice than the one I was witness to. I honestly think I would've have been drier if I had chosen to swim up the grand canal! Anyway - the book follows the fortune of an immensely talented glass maker, and his descendant who comes to Venice to change her life, and finds more than she ever expected. It's a cleverly woven tale, and the process of glassmaking - so important to Venetian life - is wonderfully depicted.

The Information Officer by Mark Mills
I think Mark Mills' writing style is wonderful. Clear cut, but with just enough mystery around the edges to leave you wondering. I had read 'The Savage Garden' and loved it for it's Italian setting and the way it drew you in. This novel - set on the bomb ravaged island of Malta during WWII - draws you in too, but makes you feel the danger heightened by wartime activities. There were times I could almost
feel the vibrations of the bombs falling. Mills is an author I would recommend to anyone, he has the universal touch.

The Forgotten Garden by Kate Morton
I think I'm a bit late coming to this particular party (but that's fashionable, right?), but I absolutely adored this book. I'm always on the look out for what my Father calls 'a ripping yarn', and I struck gold with this one. Spanning three generations, two of which are hunting for the answer to a young woman's heritage. It rattles along at a great pace, and takes some surprising turns in its quest for the answer. I love the fact that it uses fairy tales to help the plot along, and that the different voices telling the story don't drown each other out. I couldn't put it down - in fact I spent an entire evening in a pub finishing it (300 pages in 3 hours, not too bad going), which goes to prove how captivated I was.

Which leads me onto my next subject .... but that deserves a post of its own. I shall leave you with a view of Lake Garda after the weather had cheered up considerably!


Bloomsbury Bell said...

Lake Garda looks stunning but even Venice in the rain looks enticing. I envy your holiday reading. I have heard good things about The Glassblowers of Murano and your post has confirmed that I need to put it on my TBR pile.

oxford-reader said...

Venice is the rain is quite magical really (lots of things rising out of mist etc), but not so nice when your shoes are completely soaked through!
I wanted to go over to Murano after reading the book, but we didn't have time. I had to content myself to buying glass jewellery. Oh the hardship!

Thomas said...

Oddly enough, as much as I like autumn and always think it is a great time to read, my reading tends to slow down in the fall.I think it is because fall is probably the best time to be outside in Washington DC. Summer is ungodly hot (reading output is high), Spring is nice but short, and winter, while not bad, is a good time to stay inside.

oxford-reader said...

Thomas: If you have a good Autumn weather wise, then it's always good to get outside. Washington in auntumn sounds wonderful. I've only been there in early spring, when the blossom was just out.