Did you take part in the #24in48 readathon this weekend? I didn’t manage 24 hours (not even close), but I really enjoyed taking part!
The 24 in 48 readathon is my kind of reading challenge – the aim is to read for 24 hours in a 48 hour period. The creator and host, Rachel, holds different challenges throughout the weekend, encouraging people to share their reading on social media. I really enjoyed seeing what everyone else was reading over the weekend, on Twitter, Instagram and especially Litsy. I didn’t win any prizes, but maybe next time!
The thing I love most about the readathon is how flexible and relaxed it is. I’d never manage to read for 24 hours straight (I like my sleep too much), and I’m not sure I’d want to anyway. I managed to fit this challenge around my prior commitments – I had a 75th birthday party and a catch-up with friends to attend! Even though I didn’t manage 24 hours, I managed a half-decent 6 hours of reading, and I doubt I’d have done that without the readathon to spur me on.
Here’s what I managed to read over the weekend:
The Mermaid and Mrs Hancock – Imogen Hermes Gowar
I managed to get an advanced copy of this book from NetGalley, which I was really pleased about as it doesn’t come out until January 2018. It is the story of Jonah Hancock, a merchant whose life is changed when one of his sea captains sells his ship and brings him back a mermaid instead. He’s subsequently drawn into the world of Angelica Neal, an escort trying to make her name in London. It’s been compared to The Essex Serpent, which I enjoyed a lot, so I thought I’d give this a go.
I can see why it drew such comparisons – this book is more about the characters than it is about the actual mermaid, which is more of a device for exploring their relationships with one another.
I have mixed feelings about the book – for me, it took a little too long to get going. I was about halfway through before I got interested in what was going on. The characterisation also felt a bit inconsistent – I found Angelica to be especially annoying and all over the place, although I warmed to her by the end of the book when she became a bit more interesting and fleshed out.
There were also a number of subplots that were left unresolved, and this was incredibly frustrating to me – this is personal preference I suppose, but there are some really interesting side characters in this book and I’d have liked to have seen more of them and their stories.
The book is well-written, with some beautiful prose. One character I really liked was Sukie, Jonah’s niece, and I’d have liked to have seen more of her. But there were too many loose ends for me to want to pick up anything else by this author.
Angel Catbird volume 3: The Catbird Roars – Margaret Atwood
I love anything by Margaret Atwood – she could publish her shopping list and I’d probably buy it. I also love graphic novels, so I nearly had a heart attack when I found out a MARGARET ATWOOD GRAPHIC NOVEL was on its way into the world.
I’ve read all 3 volumes of Angel Catbird so far, and I think this one is my favourite. They all follow the exploits of Angel Catbird, a human/cat/owl hybrid, and his merry band of half-cats as they try to stop half-rat Muroid from taking over the world. It’s good cheesy fun, with a nod to comics of the golden age and more puns than you can shake a stick at. If you love cats, comics and talking anarchist mice (you know you do), give it a go.
A Man Lay Dead – Ngaio Marsh
I’ve had this on my Kindle for a while, and I was trying to pick a relatively short book to round off the readathon with, so I decided now was the time to read it! I didn’t quite finish it over the weekend, but I’m still counting it 🙂
This is the first Detective Alleyn mystery Marsch published, and I didn’t enjoy it as much as I enjoyed one from later in the series, False Scent. I’ve found with so-called “cosy mysteries” that, although I used to quite enjoy them, nowadays I don’t get as much out of them. But I did enjoy this book. The cast of characters is gathered at a mansion for the weekend for fun and games. The murder game the host has planned goes awry before it even begins, when one member of the party is actually murdered. Enter Detective Alleyn to investigate…
The book is reminiscent of the style most common at that time – quite sanitised of the gory aspects of murder, set against an English countryside backdrop and housemaids, butlers and public schoolboys at every turn. I didn’t find myself rooting for any of the characters, but I don’t think that’s the point – the characters are really just there to keep the plot moving along, which they do. Everything is tied up in a nice little bow at the end, making it a satisfying and easy read – perfect for a readathon!
That’s all I managed for the readathon! What did you read over the weekend?