I read 10 books over the past couple of months, and on the whole, it's been a good two months of reading.
Doctor Zhivago by Boris Pasternak (1957, Vintage)
I wanted to love this book so much. I love Russian history, Anna Karenina is one of my favourite books and I've been told repeatedly how amazing the film of this novel is. The final kicker for me to pick this book up (as it's been sat on my shelf for an embarrassingly long time) was its adaption into a musical by the team that wrote the musicalisation of The Secret Garden which I love. But something was just missing from this novel for me. Pasternak's evocation of the Russian civil war is brilliant, but I didn't really feel that much of a connection to any of the main protagonists.
How the World Works by Noam Chomsky (2011, Hamish Hamilton)
Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe (1958, Penguin)
This is a strangely polarising book. Achebe's novel follows Okonkwo, a powerful member of his tribe who is exiled after a tragic accident. It explores ideals of masculinity really well, and also the arrival of colonialism and Christianity within Okonkwo's community. I really liked this, and look forward to completing Achebe's Africa trilogy soon.
This is the fifth installment of the Song of Ice & Fire series by George R.R. Martin which is the basis of Game of Thrones. I won't go too much into the plot, but maaan the ending of this makes me want to hunt Martin down and force him to finish the next bloody book. I'm also extra excited for the new series.
The Flavours of Love by Dorothy Koomson (2013, Quercus)
Elizabeth is Missing by Emma Healey (2014, Penguin)
When I Lived in Modern Times by Linda Grant (2000, Granta)
I picked up this book for cheap on my Kindle, as it has been a Baileys/Orange prize winner. It tells the story of Evelyn, who moves to Israel before the state is properly created-in the last days of the British mandate. It was interesting in the sense that my knowledge about life in Israel before it was Israel was pretty limited, especially regarding the amount of people who were inspired by Soviet Russia. Grant also really brilliantly created a sense of place. However, I just didn't feel that connected to the action and I struggled to feel that sympathetic with many of the characters.
The Silkworm by J.K Rowling (as Robert Galbraith, 2014, Sphere)
So, a pretty good month! I think it's between Things Fall Apart and The Bees in terms of favourite reads this time around. What have you read lately?