It’s very almost the end of March and I’ve got some more literary treats to share with you this month, so grab a cup of tea, switch the wifi on your kindle, have a read of these and maybe think about downloading a couple –
:: Ready Player One – Ernest Cline
I gave you a little teaser for this book in a recent Friday Favourites post – and for good reason, I have been running around recommending it for weeks! A complete departure from my usual psycho-thrillers and beach reads, RPO is set 30 years in the future, a time when the majority of the world’s population is living in abject poverty the planet has been ruined by global warming and the resulting housing crisis means that most are living in the ‘stacks’ – trailers piled precariously on top of each other, twenty or thirty high.
To escape this day-to-day misery everyone is living, learning and working in a high-tech virtual reality existence known as the OASIS – plugged in for days or sometimes weeks on end. OASIS’s creator (think: Steve Jobs) has recently died and left his entire fortune to the one player that can find the secret egg – hidden somewhere in the thousand of planets and kingdoms that make up the OASIS – and now the whole world is looking for it. The resulting scavenger hunt (or egg-hunt) is fast-paced, action-packed and liberally peppered with 80’s pop culture references which kept an 80’s baby like myself endlessly amused.
:: Life After Life – Kate Atkinson
Do you ever wish that you could hit re-do? Atkinson’s novel cleverly explores the theory of multiple lives and reincarnation as protagonist Ursula moves through history living multiple versions of her life and seemingly learning from her mistakes along the way.
It opens with Ursula shooting Hitler in a small cafe in 1930, the SS return fire and darkness falls. We’re now back in 1910, the day of Ursula’s birth – but it is short lived, the umbilical cord is wrapped around her neck and the doctor isn’t on hand to assist, darkness quickly falls again. The next time is more successful, the doctor is present and Ursula makes it – at least until she becomes a toddler. From here we embark on a journey through her multiple lives, each one shifting slightly (for her and those around her) as events in the previous life have changed the course.
This was a re-read for me and I’m already looking forward to reading it again. The story is beautifully complex and there are small details that you notice each time.
:: Truly, Madly, Guilty – Lianne Moriarty
Truly, Madly, Guilty starts after the main event and then slowly works you back to discover what it was that happened that has left the characters so emotionally shattered. It jumps from past to present, teasing you with snippets of information until the events of that fateful afternoon are eventually revealed.
Moriarty examines ambition/competition and the complexities of female friendship, the effects of grief on a marriage, painful family relationships and other seemingly unrelated topics as the story unfolds.
You can catch up with previous book review posts here, here and here.
I’m always on the lookout for something new, I’d love any recommendations!