Tuesday, 23 July 2013

The Library of Friends

I don’t know about you, but I get a slight sinking feeling when a friend announces ‘I have a book you are going to love’.

I get it, you read a book, you enjoy it and you want to share that enjoyment. You’re just being nice for God’s sake! I do it myself. So why do I cringe a little as I accept the book? Actually, why do I accept the book? I have hundreds of unread books of my own to feel guilty about not reading and now I have to add someone else’s beloved book to that list??

You see, once someone lends me a book, it comes with an obligation; an obligation to be read and an obligation to be read within a certain time frame.  And that’s the problem for me – suddenly I feel like I have homework. The reading becomes a chore, and let’s face it, reading should never be a chore.

So, the Library of Friends has thrown up The Good Father by Noah Hawley and Beautiful Ruins by Jess Walter.

I’ve started on The Good Father. So far, so Jodi Picoult. Noah Hawley is a screenwriter and it shows. I’m only 50 pages in and it reads a bit like ‘TV Issue Movie of the Week’ and isn’t quite the page turner I expected. I’ve read it has been dubbed ‘We Need to Talk About Kevin’ from the male perspective and from a basic plot point of view that seems a fair comparison, but so far, for me, it lacks the nuance and the fire of that particular book. So far, the storytelling is slick, but if that’s what I’m after, I’ll usually just read Harlan Coben’s latest!

But it’s early days and I shouldn’t write it off just yet. Anyone else read either of them? Thoughts?


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