One of my big big big intentions for 2014 was to get back into reading. Books kind of unfortunately (I have no excuses) fell of my to do list last year, which as a formally huge book reader was below par on my part. So this year is about making amends and getting back between the pages. Interacting and using Goodreads again has been a big help and I though as I love reading book reviews on blogs - it was high time I shared some of mine, so monthly I'll be throwing a pile of books at you that I've read in the last 30 of so days.
So just what have I been reading? Well ...
2013 found me coming across a vintage biography of the actress Lauren Bacall (famous for movies To Have and Have Not, The Big Sleep). By Myself captures her journey from New York to Hollywood in the height of the golden age of film. Often biography's can be a hard read, but Bacall is a talented narrator, it's engaging, funny and offers a great insight. Light-hearted tales of serving soldiers during WW2, filming her first movie to falling completely in love with a married man and also famous actor Humphrey Bogart, a man 25 years her senior. Following their married and Bogart's illness and untimely death - the passion they shared and the emotion she shares capturing those final hours are heartbreaking to read. Nevertheless, this book leaves the reader with many more questions to ask - especially post Bogart and Bacall's lines regarding her role has a mother (it often seems her career always came first). While I whipped through the first three quarters of By Myself, the last part was a darn old slog to the end.
Supercontinent actually surprised me at just how much I enjoyed it. As a former geographer student I always remember the school lessons of volcanoes and plate tectonic and Supercontinent is a great read if you still have that child like fascination with the world beneath your feet. Accessible for the science reader and lay person alike, Ted Nield outlines the history of continental movements addressing the first scientists who questioned the possibility of countries across the oceans once being joined and goes on to question just how our world may look physically in the far future.
Estate sales are great places to pick up pieces of social history documents - the Cold War being one such time periods it's really easy to find books upon as many were government issued and delivered to every home. How to Survive an Atomic Bomb is certainly of it's time and with the benefit of hindsight and the long term side effects of Hiroshima and Nagasaki that perhaps our chance of surviving such a bomb isn't as likely as the book would have you believe.
After reading The Fifth Beatle (reviewed here) I ploughed head long into Last Diner Standing * - a thrilling murder mystery set in a cold wintry Texas. Headstrong waitress Rosie comes head to head trying to solve the murder of one of her best friends former husband and in the process uncovers all kinds of plots and corruption. Its easy to say a books plots and twist keep you gripped but in Last Diner Standing they really do - right until the very end the turns of the tale always keep the guessing.
What have you been reading lately?
* Last Diner Standing was a Goodreads First Reads giveaway win back in 2012.