What I’ve Been Reading: Fiction

Alas, it is still early in the year, but I have yet to read a novel that I just loved.  The ones I’ve read I’ve liked well enough, but none of them are making me rush to recommend them.  Maybe it’s just the funk I’ve been in recently.

Anyways here’s a few of the novels I’ve read in the last month and you can decide for yourself:

317457Making History by Stephen Fry.  I enjoy reading alternate histories, and this one was a fun premise on a serious topic:  How would the world have turned out if Adolf Hitler had never been born?  One would think that would be an easy answer, but Fry’s story makes it complicated and definitely something to consider, though in a lighthearted way. I picked up this book at the Waterstone’s in Amsterdam where I was browsing with Judith from Leeswammes and she said she enjoyed this book as well.




9780307886217The Funeral Dress by Susan Gregg Gilmore.  If I had to choose a favorite book of this group, I’d probably choose this one.  It is a novel set in the 1970s in rural Tennessee and is about young Emmalee Bullard, a new mother who takes on the task of making the funeral dress for a woman she worked with and who was her mother figure.  It is a lovely story about community.




47780Hunting and Gathering by Anna Gavalda.  Another story about community, in a way.  This is a novel about 4 unlikely roommates who share a grand Paris apartment.  As you all know I have a hankering for all things Paris so that is what drew me to this novel.





18007514A Star for Mrs. Blake by April Smith.  I should have loved this novel.  It is about a group of Gold Star Mothers in 1930 who are sent on a pilgrimage to France to see the graves of their sons who died in the battles of World War I.  So it theoretically fed my interest for France and for history.  Alas, there were too many other stories going on in the novel that took away from the mothers’ journey, and there was one sub-plot – that of the African-American mothers – that, once revealed, would have made the novel a lot more compelling for me had it been fully developed.


Have you read any of these books?  What were your thoughts on them?

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6 Responses to What I’ve Been Reading: Fiction

  1. I haven’t read anything I’ve loved yet either. Hopefully we’ll both stumble across something amazing soon!

    It’s great that you got to go book browsing with Judith – I’d love to do that (and with you 🙂 ). Hopefully I’ll manage it one day!

  2. Leeswammes says:

    Glad you enjoyed Making History. I thought it was very clever, it rattled my brain!

    I hope you come across a really GOOD book sometime soon. Maybe Jackie and I can help you choose when we all go to the Edinburgh Festival next year. 😉

    • bibliosue says:

      Wait, is a trip to the Edinburgh Festival truly a thing because COUNT ME IN!
      And Jackie and Judith, I am currently reading Hope: A Tragedy and it might just be the book to break me out of my slump.

      • Leeswammes says:

        Well, it was just a bit of wishful thinking from my side. But if you are all for it, let’s see if we can arrange it. Last time I checked (2012?) I found the hotel rates rather prohibitive, plus you have to queue up (via internet) to get tickets. I hate any kind of queuing!

      • bibliosue says:

        Well I’m definitely up for it and we can always let Rob do the queuing for us 🙂 I have family in Dunfermline, not too far from Edinburgh, so if I talk nice maybe we can borrow a room or two in their home…..

      • Leeswammes says:

        Now you have opened a can of worm, Suzanne! I’ve looked on the map and Dunfermline is a mere 30 minutes by train or car from E’burgh. It’s something we could do! I mean, even a hotel there would be fine (and probably a lot better priced than in E.). Hmm, my dream may yet become reality.

        You see, it’s on my bucket list: Visit a literature festival in the UK. That’s a bit harder to arrange than ‘visit a sushi restaurant’ which I still have done, either.

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