Monday, 27 May 2013

Day 27: May reads

1. I absolutely loved Adorkable, which follows teen blogging sensation and self-pronounced dork Jeane and popular, sporty Michael as they first discover that their respective partners are cheating on them, and then discover their true feelings for each other.  A lot of the book rang true for me (especially as I'd been a teenage fanzine writer, more concerned with building my music criticism empire than concentrating on my A Levels, just like Jeane).  The characters were believably flawed, the writing funny and sexy and moving.  I am already looking forward to rereading this in a year or two.

2. There's A Boy In The Girl's Bathroom was a great quick read.  Louis Sachar wrote the modern children's classic Holes, and I picked this up on the recommendation of a pupil. 

3. Sophie Hannah's thrillers get ever more ludicrous and silly, but you can't fault the tight plotting and the characterisation of the recurring characters from Spilling CID.

4. The Daylight Gate is May's book group pick, and at the time of writing I haven't quite finished it.  Last month we read Jeanette Winterson's autobiography, so it's been good to read some of her fiction.  This is a less narratively ambitious novel than her early work like Sexing The Cherry, and I'm enjoying it so far.

5. World War Z was a great buy on my Kindle recently, and kept me going through a variety of flights and train journeys.

6. My mum recommended The Submission to me.  The tale of a Muslim architect who wins an anonymous competition to design a memorial at Ground Zero, it's definitely a thought-provoking read.

7.  As a HUGE fan of teen movies, I adored Stranded At The Drive-In.  Mullholland analyses 100 films from the past fifty years, and I particularly enjoyed the chapters on some of my favourite but little-known films, such as Dazed & Confused, But I'm A Cheerleader and Bring It On, as well as deservedly famous ones like Dirty Dancing.  I was most struck by the feminist reading he applies to many of the films, and found myself heartily agreeing with almost all of his judgements.

8.  After reading Hilary Mantel's Wolf Hall I became a bit obsessed with Tudor and Elizabethan history.  The Time Traveller's Guide to Elizabethan England is a very enjoyable layperson's guide to life five hundred years ago.

9. I loved some parts of Patti Smith's autobiography, Just Kids, and found others hard going, but still its one I would recommend.


  1. Oh I remember Sara Manning used to write for Just 17! And she wrote the accompanying books that went with it.. diary of a kiss. Hehe x ps thanks for recommending Wonder, i read it on holiday & really enjoyed it.

  2. I'm sure I read There's a Boy in the Girls Bathroom when I was a teen. Cannot for the life of me remember the plot, but in sure I enjoyed it.

    The Submission sounds like a good read, I'm adding that to my list! Xo

    1. Definitely worth a read; the theme of anti-Islamic sentiment is all the more relevant after coverage of the Woolwich murder

  3. I was OBSESSED with the Diary of A Crush series that Sara Manning wrote for (I think) J17. It started off as a serial then they did 3 free books with the mag (I think these later got edited a bit and written up into stand-alone books). My copies were SO well thumbed. Perfect reading for a 16-18 year old, and I'm sure I'd still enjoy them now for the nostalgia! I'm tempted to give Adorkable a go after your review.

    1. Ooh, never read those but might hunt them down secondhand.

    2. Ah that's it, Diary of a Crush (not Kiss as i said above!) Yes they were perfect reading for a 16 year old - not sure how well they'd hold up now! hehe x