28 November 2014

Light


It is dark till late in the morning these days.  We have taken to lighting candles for our breakfast table and leaving them burning until the light comes in.  It is one of the things I find difficult about this time of year but in less than a month the days will be increasing again, even if the weather takes  longer to brighten up the daylight is a blessing.

Light is one of the links between the two books I have read this month, I do love links and connections don't you?  A Sudden Light by Garth Stein is set in the North West of North America in the Seattle area.  Although the book is set in the 1990s as the narrator, a fourteen year old boy, moves with his father to his ancestral home, it moves from the present into the past as Trevor, our narrator, explores the house and his family's past.  The move is ostensibly for his father to begin a trial separation from his mother and so that the home can be sold to release much needed funds for his bankrupt father.  He finds a spirit in the house who does not want the house to be sold and the surrounding land to be developed.  This book explores many worlds, that of the timber barons of the nineteenth century, that of spiritualism and transcendentalism (which gives the book its title) and that of the environment and our relationship with it over time.  The extensive mention of trees gives me a link to my reading from last month.  I absolutely loved this book, I couldn't put it down.  I had never heard of the author, although I understand he has several other books,  I picked this book up in the library because it was on the new book stand which is near the children's section.  I have written before about how I select books from the library!

My second book is one that I did not think I would finish this month but I have, catching me on the hop again as I don't have another book lined up!  At 832 pages The Luminaries  is a meaty book.  A Luminary is a person having much intellectual, moral or spiritual influence or a natural light giving body esp. sun or moon (from Concise Oxford English Dictionary) this book weaves both into the narration which is complex and compelling.  Its complexity is aided by the speed which its woven into the text, for some this is too slow and they have given up on continuing, for me this is the books strength.  It gives you time to absorb the characters and the complexity of the plot, a mystery set in 1860s New Zealand at the time of the gold rush.  A wealthy man has disappeared without trace, a whore has tried to end her life and an enormous wealth has been discovered in the home of a dead man, twelve men gather together to discuss these mysteries.  Their meeting is held in secret at a local hotel into which stumbles a thirteenth man who has himself just arrived in the town and is drawn into their mystery.  It accounts for the first 360 pages of the book, each of the twelve characters is introduced with their part in the mystery.  This was another book I could not put down.  I read at night before going to sleep this was perhaps not the best choice of bedtime reading.  I read to help me get to sleep this book is a good one for keeping you awake as it gets the mind churning.....

So what next?  I will update when I have visited the library later today!  So I visited the library and came home with another very long book.........one that I perhaps won't finish this month.........we'll see.  I am tackling The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt, another book with mixed reviews but I loved the first two novels that Donna Tartt wrote so I am hoping I will love this one too.

Linking up with A Year in Books



10 comments:

  1. I have been struggling to read any books this month! It is rather gloomy here at the moment. But I don't mind so much, it is the rain and wind that bothers me more. We don't have a family breakfast, the younger ones go to breakfast club at school, the older ones eat after my husband and I have gone to work. It is such a lovely idea to have candles on your breakfast table. We do this for dinner sometimes but not often enough. Have a lovely weekend. x

    ReplyDelete
  2. love the idea of candles at breakfast, I'm really struggling with the dark at the moment......

    I'm reading a thriller at the moment, it's keeping me awake far too long at night as I read just a "few more pages...."

    ReplyDelete
  3. That's a beautiful daily ritual, with the candles. : )

    A Sudden Light sounds like an excellent book! I'll have to keep it in mind. I've got the Luminaries with me to read on this trip, I can't wait to get into it.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Goodness - both those books sound so interesting. I doubt that our library will have them though!
    We are about to go into our 6 weeks period of no sun - it doesn't get high enough at this time of year to get over the mountain tops. I like the idea of lighting candles at breakfast time, I think I will start doing it too - it can replace the 'warmth' of the sun for a while.

    ReplyDelete
  5. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  6. It sounds like you have had a very productive month on the reading side! Your books sound so interesting although as you suggest the second may be a little too slow for me! I love discovering new books though blogs, such fab recommendations!

    ReplyDelete
  7. It's been so dull all week here, it's only the thought that it'll soon be getting lighter again that keeps me going. The Luminaries sounds like a good book, I like ones which keep you reading.

    ReplyDelete
  8. I do like the sound of that first book - I'll have to keep an eye out for it.
    The low levels of light recently have been quite oppressive (and a nightmare for taking photos)! but I do enjoy the feeling of cosying up indoors. I completely understand why the Scandinavians keep all their interiors painted white. And candlelight is so soft and lovely, I don't blame you for lighting them each morning.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Such great reviews here! I think one or two of them will have to go on my wish list. Its always so nice to read a good, enthusiastic review. I laugh when I read about your book selection because so often, mine goes the same way! xo

    ReplyDelete
  10. It is interesting to read your comments on The Luminaries. I have really struggled with it and am temporarily giving it up until I feel less in need of an easier read! I hope you enjoy The Goldfinch...... Emma

    ReplyDelete

Hello......would love to hear from you :)