A Spot of Bother - Mark Haddon
Dr Dolittle's Post Office - Hugh Lofting
Lois on the Loose - Lois Pryce
Slaughterhouse 5 - Kurt Vonnegut
Wilderness - Roddy Doyle
Films seen at the cinema:
Can this really be right? I should be making amends in July on the theatre and movie fronts, anyway.
A Spot of Bother
Donated by my mum, who failed to see the humour in a retirement-age gentleman going bonkers. With youth on my side, I found it both funny and touching. The short chapters and my desire to know what happens next kept me reading just one more chapter before lights out, and snatching a few pages over meals. The characters - Mum, torn between an affair and looking after her husband; daughter having doubts on the brink of her second marriage; son trying to make up with his boyfriend - were sympathetic and believable.
Dr Dolittle's Post Office
I pounced on this in Oxfam, as it was my favourite of the Dolittle books but as far as I can recall not one I ever owned myself. I love these gentle stories about the eccentric doctor who learns animal language, and Lofting's distinctively naive illustrations. Pacifist and chubby, the Doctor is an unusual but adorable hero. In this instalment, he establishes and runs a post office for people and animals in the small African country of Fantippo - but first he has to teach the animals to write...
Lois on the Loose
I posted about attending a talk by the author - her book is an expanded version of what I heard that evening, told in the same chatty, humorous style that understates the many scary, frustrating and lonely moments.
This had been on my 'must get round to' list for some time, and I wish I'd read it sooner. Funny and sad and weird and horrifying. The Second World War plus time travel. Recommended.
I'd tried to read Roddy Doyle several times, but found the Janet-and-John prose not to my taste. I was won over by huskies, however, and enjoyed the delight and wonder experienced by two boys and their mother as they go on a sledding holiday. Yes, it's exactly like that! I found the secondary narrative strand, in which the half-sister back at home meets the mother who left her as a toddler, unnecessary and annoying, but that might be the husky bias again.