Only three books in my pile this month but I have to say that I enjoyed taking my time over each one of them. Small Great Things by Jodi Picoult has been sat waiting on my shelf for at least a year now but it was worth it wait. I binge read countless books by her a few years ago and I guess it is fair to say that I overdosed on them so this is the first of her books that I have picked up in an age. I have to say though that I think this book is in a whole new league. She is an amazing storyteller and always has been but this book is something really very special. When a newborn baby dies after a routine hospital procedure, there is no doubt about who will be held responsible; the nurse who has been banned from looking after him by his father. Small Great Things is about prejudice and power; it is about that which divides and unites us. I’m not going to lie to you, I found parts of this book deeply distressing and it made me question my own privilege but it is a book that will stay with me for a very long time. I appreciate that I am late to the party with this one so you have probably all read it already, but if you haven’t then you really must. Never has a book felt so timely.
Next is Past Imperfect by Julian Fellowes which I absolutely loved. I’m probably showing my age here but Julian Fellowes will never not be Lord Kilwillie from Monarch of the Glen to me and I couldn’t help but read this book in his voice. The narrator of the book is actually nameless and it took me until about halfway through to realise that?! Anyway, he who shall remain nameless is forced to revisit his past when his sworn enemy Damian gets in touch to ask for his help. An anonymous letter suggests that Damian may have fathered a child as a young man and now on his death bed, has to turn to our narrator for help. The story flits between the present day and 1968 when their life was made up of lavish parties and balls. I have to say that I find the whole debutante thing utterly fascinating (probably because it is so far removed from any life I have ever known!) But what I really loved about this story was seeing just how much life these now middle aged men had seen having really lived through the sixties, seventies, eighties and more. It is a cracking story to boot and I became so fond of the narrator even though he didn’t have a name! Ha!
And last but by no means least is Sourdough by Robin Sloan which is the loveliest book I have read in such a long time. Lois Clary is a software engineer at a San Francisco robotics company who codes all day and collapses at night. Her only human contact is with two brothers who run a takeaway service where she orders the same dinner from every night. But when they have to suddenly shut up shop, they give Lois their sourdough starter to keep alive. She is no baker but soon is not only making her own homemade bread but is part of a secret market that aims to fuse food and technology. It’s all a bit bonkers when seen written down like that but I can only urge you to read it and find out for yourself. As a sourdough fanatic myself, this book just reinforced the fact that sourdough is much more than just flour and water, there is magic in those little bubbles.
So that was me, what have you been reading this month? As always, you can find me talking all things books over on Instagram under #mostlyreading or please feel free to leave me a comment here on my blog. I’m still aiming to work through the books I have on my shelves before buying any more this year but that doesn’t mean that I don’t want your recommendations!