Title: A Christmas Carol
Author: Charles Dickens
Date Finished: 26/03/14
Re-Read? : First time read
Challenges? : Yes – The Classics Club
Overall: 3/5 – just average
It feels like ages since I last posted on here – I’ve been very busy this month (as usual) with coursework and a brilliant few days in Paris with my school French A-level trip (I don’t actually do French A2 but I did AS last year!!) In all this bustle I didn’t get chance to post earlier in the month when it was my 2nd blogovesary! Thank you so much to everyone who has continued to read my little blog over the past two years – your interest is hugely appreciated!
Anyway back to Dickens: as you can probably tell, I didn’t really get much chance to read this month and therefore my reading of A Christmas Carol was rather bitty. I think this spoiled the book slightly for me, as Dickens is one of those authors you really ought to settle down with and immerse yourself in their world. Since I could’t do this, the 3/5 would probably change with a re-read.
The plot was quite simple, since the book is so short and I wasn’t particularly captivated, as the story is so well-known. I didn’t need to turn the pages to know what happened next, which is probably another reason I only dipped in and out of the book. Obviously it’s a nice, heart-warming story of redemption, but it is probably more suited to a cosy winter evening rather than a busy March springtime too. The characters and setting are also well-known so I don’t really feel the need to comment on them; all were very Dickensian and I hope to enjoy it all more on a re-read. Definitely a book I’d recommend as a winter read and not one to take on a hot summer holiday!
Title: In The Company of Cheerful Ladies
Author: Alexander McCall Smith
Date Finished: 9/03/14
Re-Read? : First time read
Challenges? : No
Overall: 5/5 – absolutely fantastic
This is the sixth book in the wonderful ‘No.1 Ladies’ Detective Agency‘ Series, which follows the life of Precious Ramotswe, Botswana’s only female detective. I really love this series and I always look forward to reading the next instalment so much; can’t believe it took me a year to get to this one…where my self-discipline comes from, I have no idea!
The plot in this book is really good. Despite there not being a central case for the detectives to solve, the mysteries of each of the character’s personal lives are completely sufficient to fill the book with intrigue! Although, I do think there is still one mystery left unsolved…unless I just happened to miss something!
We know the characters really well now, so McCall Smith starts to introduce new characters as well, with their own stories and histories, and it seems just the right time for this to happen. Mr Polopetsi and Phuti Radiphuti are welcome additions to the cast and I am sure we will see a lot more of them in the following instalments of the series.
The setting is as fantastic as ever, with McCall Smith really painting a vivid picture of Botswana and the relaxed prose is a pleasure to read. I am really looking forward to reading the next book in the series and hopefully I will get to it before I get to 2015! Although thinking that far ahead means I will (hopefully) be at university and who knows what will happen to my reading schedule then!!
Anyway, as always, I really really recommend this series to absolutely everyone – you cannot fail to enjoy it (I think!).