Stone Mattress: Nine Tales by Margaret Atwood
Having bought this in hardback last year, I only got round to reading all 9 tales this July on holiday in ebook format.
As ever, Margaret did not disappoint with an eclectic mix of stories covering both mundane life and death along with a few twists and shocks. I liked the way some tales linked to characters in other tales in the book and indeed other books of hers. A really enjoyable and darkly humorous summer read!
Forget the TV series, the Game of Thrones novels are epic and my top recommendation for engrossing yourself in this summer. Whether you are a fan of fantasy, drama, action, politics, death, sex, humour (the list goes on!) the series has something to delight every reader. Be warned though, the volumes are pretty hefty and once you start reading you won’t be able to stop.
I’m also going to revisit some Thomas Hardy classics this summer, like Far From the Madding Crowd and The Woodlanders. My family have spent the summer holidays in Dorset for years so Hardy’s scenic descriptions of the towns and countryside evoke good memories, especially when on the crowded tube!
Autobiography of a Yogi by Paramahamsa Yogananda is a very interesting account of a yogi’s life and the training and personal development he went through in order to reach his status. He also explains the ancient Indian science of Yoga and the tradition of meditation. Paramahansa Yogananda was responsible for bringing yoga to the US and Europe and narrates the chronicle of his life: the experiences of his childhood, encounters with many saints and sages during his search throughout India for his guru, his intensive training in the hermitage of a revered yoga master, and his experiences of living and teaching Yoga in America.
This summer I finally got around to reading The Island by Victoria Hislop. It had been sitting in my bookshelf for a while, and I’m really glad I finally picked it up. Set on the island of Crete, this book tells the story of Spinalonga and the link it has with Alexis’ family and past. Set in beautiful Greece, it is a good summer read and would be perfect for the beach, although be warned that there are some sad moments
I’m now reading Her Fearful Symmetry by Audrey Niffenegger, the author of The Time Traveler’s Wife. I picked this up because I was curious and because of the quote, ‘An original, outrageous, and thoroughly enjoyable ghost story’ that is printed on the back cover. I’m enjoying it so far and am looking forward to seeing what happens next!