Despite being so busy this month, I was sitting back the other day, thinking about what I’ve been reading, and am quite amazed to realize that I have actually been reading!
Reading: Spiderwick Chronicles
Over the weekend, I finished reading the Spiderwick Chronicles by Holly Black and Tony DiTerlizzi. I’d seen a review of the books at Brizmus Blogs Books, where Audrey thought the Chronicles would be a much better read if you read all the books back to back. It was a rather serendipitous moment for me, as I’d just seen an omnibus volume of all the books in the series at Costco that day, and as I’d been intending to give the series a try, I ended up going back to purchase the omnibus collection.
I’m very glad I did. Audrey was right – Spiderwick is a great read if you read all the books in the series straight through. I polished the omnibus collection off in one sitting, and enjoyed it as a result. After I finished the first book in the series, I could see how it would have been quite a letdown if I didn’t have the next books in the series on hand.
And the illustrations are absolutely wonderful, of course!
Reading: The Lost Art of Gratitude
I’m also in the middle of The Lost Art of Gratitude, the latest Isabel Dalhousie book by Alexander McCall Smith.
I’ve been taking this one slowly – it’s just so enjoyable getting back into Isabel’s head. I find that it really doesn’t matter very much what the plots of the Dalhousie books are; they’re sometimes dubbed mysteries but they’re not really that mysterious. And even though I love mysteries, a good strong plot, the riveting nature of a story of good against evil, I don’t really care that the Isabel Dalhousie series has none of this.
For me the beauty of this series is the pure enjoyment of being in Isabel Dalhousie’s world once again. I fell in love with Isabel and her Edinburgh very early on, in the first book in this series, The Sunday Philosophy Club, and have looked forward to, and enjoyed, every new book in the series ever since. I love the way she thinks, and the way she goes about her world. I love the gentleness of the books, and the way they make me feel every time I dip in.
Listening: Hamish Macbeth
And finally, on the audiobook front – because I simply can’t get by without having at least one good audiobook on the go.
I had the tough task of choosing an audiobook to follow the last Harry Potter book. I’d just finished listening to the entire Harry Potter series in audio and was really feeling quite sad. It had been quite lovely listening to Harry and his friends every night before bed, and I wasn’t sure whether I’d be able to pick something equally enthralling.
I decided to choose a completely different genre, and ended up listening to M.C. Beaton’s Death of a Poison Pen. This was my very first Hamish Macbeth mystery, and I was in for a surprise. For some reason, I’d always thought these stories were older, set in the 30s and 40s, much like much of Agatha Christie’s mysteries. Well, they’re not. And they are such fun, light reads.
So I’ve been enjoying getting to know Hamish and the village and villagers of Lochdubh. After finishing Death of a Poison Pen, I moved onto Death of a Gentle Lady, which I should be finishing up tonight. There’ve been quite a handful of laugh-out-loud moments, too, which also surprised me.
What’s Up Next
All in all, I’ve been quite enjoying the Hamish Macbeth series. I’m not sure if I’ll go for another Hamish Macbeth novel when I’ve finished up with Death of a Gentle Lady. I recently discovered the audio version of Mary Poppins by P.L. Travers, one of my favorite childhood stories (all the books in the series are so magical, and while the Disney movie version is very sweet, it doesn’t really quite capture this magic); I suspect I might dip into that for a listen when I’m finished with the current Hamish.
And I think I will start Cornelia Funke’s Inkheart series. I have Book One of the trilogy, and since I’m eager to dive into another children’s fantasy series, this seemed like a good bet.
What Are You Reading?
So that’s what I’ve been up to, reading-wise. What have you been reading/listening to lately?