This Month I’ave Been Mostly Reading – November Edition

November reading 2014

So endeth another month in NPC land. And what a month it’s been. I NanoWriMoed, I’ve come to the end of my book spending, library supporting ban (more on on that coming soon), I finished an eight week creative writing course in experimental fiction and, of course, I found the time to read some books.

Books I Borrowed This Month

Only Revolutions by Mark Z Danielewski

City of Glass by Paul Karasick (Paul Auster) – graphic novel

The Fault in Our Stars by John Green

The Book of Lost Things by John Connolly

Andrew’s Brain by E. L. Doctorow

The City and the City by China Mieville

The Cement Factory by Mary Costelloe

Books I Read This Month

Only Revolutions by Mark Z Danielewski

City of Glass by Paul Karasick (Paul Auster) – graphic novel

The Fault in Our Stars by John Green

The Book of Lost Things by John Connolly

Andrew’s Brain by E. L. Doctorow

Bookish things that happened this month:

As I mentioned, I finished up a creative writing course in experimental fiction at the Irish Writer’s Centre. In all seriousness, it was something of a revelation. I learnt so much about the type of writer (and reader) that I am. I discovered some great new writers too (well not new but new to me if you get my drift) such as Borges and Bolaño. I’ve started to discover more about myself as a writer in terms of what I’m drawn to and where I’d like to go in the future.

The course was taught by Dave Lordan, a poet whose book launch for The Lost Tribes of the Wicklow Mountains I attended the other week. I’d suggest you pop on over to his website to see some of his work and maybe (if you’re a budding writer in the Dublin area) consider attending one of his writing classes. You won’t be disappointed.

Finally, this month was also NanoWriMo, in which I wrote several posts about my experiences (click on the links below for more). I didn’t make it to 50,000 words but ended with a final wordcount of roughly 30,000 which is more than I’ve ever managed to complete in such a short period of time.

week 1

week 2

week 3

Book of the Month:

book of lost thingsIt was an easy one this month. The Book of Lost Things by John Connolly was by far my favourite read. Connolly is an Irish writer more generally known for his crime fiction – the Charlie Parker Mysteries. The Book of Lost Things is as dark and brooding as you would expect from a Connolly novel but here, he turns his attention to childrens’ literature, specifically, fairy stories.

The novel centres around David, a young boy living in London during the second world war who loses his mother to illness and who (eventually) moves in with his father, step-mother and baby half-brother. After his mother’s death books begin to talk to him and he starts to sense the presence of a ‘crooked man’ following him and his brother around.

Like Alice falling down the rabbit hole, David, invariably finds himself in a strange land populated by well known and less well known characters from traditional fairy stories. He embarks on a quest to save his mother (whom he believes he heard calling her for help) and to find his way home. The success of Connolly’s story lies in his ability to take tales that we all know so well and offer us new insight about the nature of adulthood.  Unlike fairy tales, Connolly offers no consolation for the existence of evil and death.  Horrible things happen and David is not comforted with the platitude that ‘everything will be alright’ or the belief that anyone will be around to save him in his time of need.  The Book of Lost Things considers the nature of prejudice, love and death without talking down to the reader (whatever age they may be). It’s an easy read but beautifully constructed and well worth spending some time with whether your eight or eighty.

Don’t forget to leave your links to your Sunday blog posts below:

 

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6 Comment

  1. I can’t wait to read The Book of Lost Things. I’ve read almost every book he;s written!
    Congrats on your NaNoWriMo. It sounds like you accomplished quite a bit and did better this year.

    Here’s my Sunday Post – http://fuonlyknew.com/2014/11/30/whats-new-on-my-bookshelf-87-and-the-sunday-post/

    1. thenovelprojectchronicle says: Reply

      Oh You’ll love it.

      Thanks on Nano, It was tough, but I was pleasantly surprised by how much I was able to achieve.

  2. I loved the Book of Lost Things as well – such a great book.

    Well done on finishing NaNoWriMo and on your book buying ban – what’s the first book you’re going to buy??

    1. thenovelprojectchronicle says: Reply

      Thanks.

      The book of lost things was brilliant. I’m so glad I read it.

      I was surprisingly restrained yesterday. I went into the bookshop in the afternoon and saw about a million things I wanted but walked out with just two – The Goldfinch and Ancilliary Justice by Ann Leckie.

      Twas my birthday yesterday and I also got some amazon vouchers from friends so no doubt there will be more book shopping on the way 🙂

      1. Happy birthday for yesterday!!

        Well done on the restraint – I think I would have gone crazy and then felt super guilty afterwards. Have you been curating a massive list of books you want to buy since you stopped?

        1. thenovelprojectchronicle says: Reply

          Hehe, like you wouldn’t believe. 🙂 I’ll have to convince Santa that I’ve been a very good girl this year!

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