Random thoughts & things

April ’One Book a Month’: Feeling like a kid again

Bookends bookshop in Emsworth
This month’s One Book a Month task was extremely arduous. I walked three minutes from my front door and went to Emsworth’s only bookshop Bookends. (It’s a second hand bookshop but it’s an independent business and, like I said, it’s the only bookshop in the village, so it counts!)

One of the things I love most about my One Book a Month campaign is just how much I look forward to going into a different bookshop each month with the sole mission of choosing just one book. Because I go in with no preconceived ideas as to what I’m going to buy, the whole thing becomes an adventure.

I get the same feeling I used to get when I was a child and my mum took us to the local library each week. It was a heady mixture of anticipation and excitement. You just knew all sorts of wonderful things were waiting for you in the library. The question was, which wonderful thing would you take home with you that week?

I’d also forgotten how much interacting with a book enhances the whole experience – I can pick a book up… feel it’s weight in my hands… stroke the cover… turn it over and scan the blurb on the back… flip through the pages to get a feel for the writing… and, of course, read the first paragraph (vitally important as far as I’m concerned – it sets the tone for the whole book).

This month it took a record-breaking three minutes to choose my book. Kate Mosse is an author who lives nearby in Chichester. I spied her bestselling novel Labyrinth on the shelf and decided that was The One.

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Last month’s book: Wild: A Journey from Lost to Found by Cheryl Strayed

'Wild' front cover I had a major stumbling block with this book – I wasn’t entirely sure I liked the author! I found it hard to connect with her at first. She seemed quite cold and distant, as if she was holding a massive part of herself back. But as she started giving us glimpses into her background, my initial scepticism slowly turned to admiration. A solo eleven hundred mile walk through the wilderness of America is gutsy by anyone’s standards. More so if you’re a lone woman. I’m pretty sure I couldn’t have done it (fear would have got the better of me). In summary, I wasn’t gripped by the book (no going to bed early and falling asleep with the book on my head), but I really enjoyed reading it and by the end, I was moved and inspired. Job done.

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6 thoughts on “April ’One Book a Month’: Feeling like a kid again

    1. I looked at the reviews for Labyrinth on Amazon after I bought it and was a bit concerned – the reviews are very mixed and the book only averages 3 stars! So it will be interesting to see what I make of it. Let me know what you think of Wild. That got really mixed reviews too.

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  1. It’s that time again. To choose my latest book of the month. Looking forward to browsing the shelves. I have no idea what I am going to buy. That just makes it more exciting. I will let you know how I get on x

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  2. Hi Katherine. I chose my latest book of the month at Bookends Emsworth. I think secondhand bookshops count? Anyway the book I chose and it didn’t take long is from a genre I don’t usually read. But I guess that’s what one book a month can be all about. The book is called the Historian by Elizabeth Kostova. It’s about a young woman who after exploring her father’s library discovers an ancient book with a cache of yellow letters addressed to ‘my dear and unfortunate successor’. She plunges into a world where her father’s past and mother’s mysterious fate connect to an evil hidden in the depths of history.
    Sounds fascinating. It’s an update of Bram Stoker’s classic and was one of Richard and Judy’s summer reads. I’ll let you know how I get on x☺

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    1. Hi Phil, yup, I think second hand bookshops like Bookends count as they are independent businesses (plus Bookends is the ONLY bookshop in Emsworth so, as a rare species, we need to support it!) I love how you’re picking books you wouldn’t normally read. Me too. I like the sound of Historian. I might check that out myself! Let me know when you’ve finished it and what you think x

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