When you have 8,409 books on your TBR list, the smallest detail can boost a handful of them to the top of the stack. Which feels tremendously specific. And terrifically random. So when Karen and Simon chose 1965 as their next reading year inspiration, a few books presented themselves
Story-wise, this is the fourteenth volume in the Jalna series, and the house is about a hundred years old. There is time to reflect here, so that when a new character, like Humphrey Bell, is introduced, readers are reminded of all the other characters who have lived in his
Among my grandmother’s copies of the Jalna books, this is the only volume (so far, at least) which splits upon opening. Most of the bindings are well and evenly worn, so that the volumes fall open comfortably at almost any spot, whether closer to the front or to the
These are the kinds of stories which expose the imperfections which lie beneath a carefully smoothed comforter. Honest characterization is key, Lisa McInerney explains to Marie Gethins,: "There is absolutely no element or aspect of their characters’ lives a writer should shy away from presenting, no matter how unpleasant.
There's some Irish in me and some on my bookshelves, too, but this March, with Reading Ireland hosted by Cathy at 746 Books and memories of reading Irish short stories with Mel at The Reading Life, I went for a library browse to add to the volumes I'd pulled from my shelves.