Charlaine Harris' "Dead to the World" is book 4 of her Sookie Stackhouse Series. Set in modern day small-town southern Bon Temps in Louisiana, Sookie is a "supe" - supernatural - who gets up to various escapades involving vampires and other supes of various shapes and sizes. It's a bit like Nancy Drew meets Twilight. The stories could be considered slightly daft, however it is fantasy, so I guess that's ok. Definitely a bit tongue in cheek, and providing you don't take them too seriously they are an enjoyable read. As with books 1-3, book 4 was a real page-turner. I'm looking forward to book 5 :)
My next book was very different. Nancy Farmer's "A Girl Named Disaster" follows Nhamo, a young girl in Mozambique, who runs away to avoid being married off. Wow, I loved this book, I really couldn't put it down. The first couple of chapters were quite hard work as there are a lot of unfamiliar names and words to get to grips with, but fairly quickly, as the story line evolves, I stopped noticing them. We follow Nhamo as she travels up-river, alone and with extremely limited resources, searching for safety. The author really evokes the sounds, smells, and culture of living in Nhamo's village, and we are also introduced into the villagers' belief system. Once Nhamo has run away we feel her fear, frustration and fight to stay alive, and her struggle between hope and despair. Life in the village was hard and relentless, and being on the run for Nhamo is, in a lot of respects, easier. This is a story about survival, and discovery of hidden strength. It's not especially light subject matter, but it is a very worthwhile read.
My 3rd book was in complete contrast to Nhamo's story. "The Great Christmas Knit-off" by Alexandra Brown is a lighthearted seasonal yarn (do you see what I did there ... :). Girl has various woes in busy noisy London. Girl goes to visit best friend in quaint village. Girl falls in love with hunky village man. Girl turns dream of knitting for a living into reality. Everyone lives happily ever after. No, I haven't just spoilt the plot, you out could work it out in the first chapter or so.(Actually as I write I have a couple of chapters still to go, so there could be an unexpected zombie apocalypse at the end, but I rather doubt it). The Great Christmas Knit Off is warm and fuzzy, just like cozying up on the sofa with a cuppa, a biccy and your knitting (or in my case, crochet). Very predictable chick-lit, but isn't the predictability of chick-lit the exact reason we love it ? Of course the addition of knitting banter makes the whole thing Even Better. Great, great fun to read, really gentle and uncomplicated, no tear-jerking heartache moments, it's just hearty, wholesome, yarny fun.
For February I've chosen 3 books again.
"Just how well can you ever know the person you love ? This is the question that Nick Dunne must ask himself on the morning of his fifth wedding anniversary, when his wife Amy, suddenly disappears."
I bought Gillian Flynn's "Gone Girl" for my kindle over a year ago. I'd like to see the film (it's got Ben Affleck in it. Enough said :), but I think seeing the film first spoils the book more than reading the book first spoils the film. Does that make sense ?
The purple yarn is about to be hooked up into a scarf and wristies for my friend's birthday next week.
My second choice should be a bit lighter - "The Gap Year for Grown Ups" by Annie Sanders. This is one of my charity shop purchases, the title appealed to me, as did the cover. "After twenty years of comfortable marriage, and with the kids finally off her hands, Sarah Lewis realizes she has filled the wash machine once too often ...... What Sarah needs is a gap year for grown ups". Sounds quite light-hearted and fun I thought. I could do with a gap-day myself, never mind a year!
The granny squares above are destined for the playroom, I have about 3 to go and then I can join them, it's a bit of silly fun and I can't wait for the big ta-dah!
Finally for February I'm planning toread is "Dead as a Doornail", book 5 in the Sookie Stackhouse series. I'm fully expecting more vampire silliness, but that's ok! I haven't even read the blurb on the back of the book, to be honest, but as I know the characters now, I'll just dive straight in. I'm going to read this book last so I can move straight onto book 6 at the start of March.
The blue, green and white squares are for a little something for my 100th post Giveaway - only a couple of posts away now - exciting!
Happy reading everyone :)