My reading life that is. The ease and convenience of having all magazine and news content so readily available at the swipe of a finger is beyond resistance.
Before Flipboard, my usual bedtime routine consisted of winding down with whatever novel I was engaged with. Not necessarily a paper one but instead a kindle text accessed through my ipad. And here lies the problem. The ipad is a source of much distraction. There is twitter, facebook and access to the whole damn world via Safari. Before long I had created my own bespoke world of journalism, selecting content specifically that appeals to me. Everything from Pinterest, to articles on JD Salinger, ten things you need to know about Transylvania, Oprah’s book club and Syrian bloodshed. Eclectic I know. Throw in some music features on Jimmy Page and photography instruction and I have suddenly lost an hour of my night time routine.
My reading time was eaten away but by bit until I realised I hadn’t read any fiction for over a week. Instead I have been downloading sample chapters courtesy of Amazon thus not committing to any one book. Oh the shame.
But do not fret reader for I have found my way back. To kick start my fiction reading life I have bought Susan Hill’s little ghost story, Printer’s Devil Court. Little because it is short - a Kindle single. A mysterious manuscript is presented from the step-son of the late Dr Hugh Meredith, a country doctor. In the manuscript we learn Meredith was haunted by events that took place years before, during his training as a junior doctor near London’s Fleet Street, in a neighbourhood virtually unchanged since Dickens’s times. What goes on between the young doctors haunts Meredith until his death.
Perfect reading for Halloween.
So there I am, lying in bed, all snug and pleased with myself for stepping away from ’The Mockingjay’ - (not as good as the first two) and ready to delve into ‘The Light Between Oceans’ by ML Stedman. Oh, what a book. It dragged me in and didn’t let me go until I was a burbling, washed up wreck.
For a début author Stedman can certainly tell a good yarn. The dilemma facing the characters of Tom and Izzy is completely compelling. We understand Tom’s steadfast rule keeping, his commitment to doing what is right but his love for Izzy and his pain at witnessing her grief, clouds his judgement, and this sets the scene for a tragic decision which ultimately destroys the idyllic life they have living on the island of Janus.
This book will keep you reading well into the night. Dinners will be burnt, children will be ignored and your husband will think you’re suffering from a bad bout of PMT. Be prepared for a good weep.
- Hardcover: 368 pages
- Publisher: Doubleday; First Edition edition (26 April 2012)
- Language English
- ISBN-10: 0857521004
- ISBN-13: 978-0857521002
Young adult literature has grown up. The wizards and vampires have been banished and replaced with an alternate reality of life and death situations created in the name of entertainment for the population of the Capitol. Taking inspiration from Greek mythology and Roman gladiators, who fought to the death in amphitheatres for the enjoyment of the masses, The Hunger Games, presents a world of two extremes: the Capitol with its excess of wealth, people with cosmetic enhancements, crazed fashions and the twelve Districts, where food is scarce and oppression is rife.
Suzanne Collins’ dystopia takes a satirical swipe at our modern world: our obsession with reality television, appearance versus actuality and gorging and purging on rich foods while others starve.
While dystopia fiction is not new, Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World was published in 1932 and John Wyndham’s The Day of the Triffids in 1951, Orwell’s 1984 was published in 1949, Collins offers a dystopia were the female protagonist, Katniss Everdeen, is battling the oppressor while also providing emotionally poignancy.
The Hunger Games succeeds in being a well paced, page turner of a read and is the holy grail of modern publishing – cross over literature- that appeals to both young and older readers.
Other great dystopian reads:
Margaret Attwood’s ‘The Handmaid’s Tale’ and ‘Oryx and Crake’
Meg Rosoff’s ‘How I Live Now’
Lauren Oliver ‘Delirium’
Kazuo Ishiguro ‘Never Let Me Go’