What difference a year makes! Last year the list was full of picture books and junior non-fiction. This year we’ve made a sudden change to a) chapter books that we read before bed over a number of weeks, sometimes months, or b) books my son reads himself. And it’s a whole new and exciting world!
It’s amazing what 6 months of school can do. Our boy who wasn’t interested in reading anything other than his own name is now reads absolutely everything. And I mean everything. From sign-posts and cereal boxes to TV captions and toothpaste tubes… if it has a word on it, my 5 year old will be right there sounding out each of the l-l-l-e-e-t-t-t-er-er-er-s… letters!
1. The 26-Storey Treehouse by Andy Griffiths and Terry Denton
Invite me to your parties, Jay!
It’s the characters that make this story. The narrator, Nick, is fairly plain and uninteresting, but the people around him are such complex, intriguing and entertaining characters that I loved this book from beginning to end.
The story follows the life of the rich on Long Island in the 1920s. They invite themselves to parties, they complain about the heat and are utterly unhappy in their marriages. It’s the perfect recipe for an engaging story where the characters drive the plot, not the other way round.
After a few recent disappointments in my 100 book challenge, this was a refreshing change.
Number 12 on the 100 book challenge
Coming off the back of Pride and Prejudice, I needed something that was short, easy to read and straight to the point. This book promised all of these things. It delivered… but I was left with an uneasy feeling that the story could have been so much better. That it was almost a very good book.
The positives are many. For one, it’s a brilliant concept: that, at the moment of your death, you meet five integral people from your life to help you realise things about your life. Two, the characters are interesting. Three, the story is revealed slowly throughout without pages of info-dump.
But I didn’t love it.