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Readathon Wrap-Up: Day Five, Six and Seven

I apologise that I did not update my reading total each day as I said I would, but I thought that gathering the totals for the last three days of the readathon would suffice.

Day four is by far the best readathon total I expect to get to this week, and it was reached mainly by catching up on a stack of review books.

Day Five: (21st February 2014)
Mom & Me & Mom by Maya Angelou – 30pp (read for review)
Territorial Rights by Muriel Spark – 220pp (read for review)
Love Stories, edited by Diana Secker-Tesdell – 206pp (finished)
The Ice Queen by Alice Hoffman – 18pp

Total pages: 474
Daily target of 100 pages beaten by 374 pages

Day four is by far the best readathon total I expect to get to this week, and it was reached mainly by catching up on a stack of review books.

Day Six: (22nd February 2014)
The Ice Queen by Alice Hoffman – 193pp (finished)
Love Poems by Carol Ann Duffy – 55pp (finished)
Moomin: The Complete Comic Strip (Volume Three) by Tove Jansson – 105pp (finished)
The Library of Unrequited Love by Sophie Divry – 17pp

Total pages: 370
Daily target of 100 pages beaten by 270 pages

Day four is by far the best readathon total I expect to get to this week, and it was reached mainly by catching up on a stack of review books.

Day Seven: (23rd February 2014)
The Library of Unrequited Love by Sophie Divry – 75pp (finished)
Secret Seven Fireworks by Enid Blyton – 136pp (finished)
Death Comes as the End by Agatha Christie – 334pp (finished)
A Bad Spell for the Worst Witch by Jill Murphy – 128pp (finished)
The Lesson of the Master by Henry James – 4pp

Total pages: 617
Daily target of 100 pages beaten by 517 pages

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Readathon Wrap Up: Day Four

Day four is by far the best readathon total I expect to get to this week, and it was reached mainly by catching up on a stack of review books.

Day Four: (20th February 2014)
Far from the Tree by Andrew Solomon – 200pp (read for review)
The Unknown Bridesmaid by Margaret Forster – 361pp (read for review)
The Public Image by Muriel Spark – 156pp (read for review)
Mom & Me & Mom by Maya Angelou – 8pp (read for review)
Love Stories – edited by Diana Secker Tesdell – 108pp (in progress)
The Edwardians by Vita Sackville-West – 221pp (finished)

Total pages: 1054
Daily target of 100 pages beaten by 954 pages

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Our Readathon Begins Tomorrow!

Our first Literary Sisters readathon begins at the stroke of midnight and runs until midnight on Sunday the 23rd.  April and I are aiming to read one hundred pages each per day, and will be posting daily updates wherever possible.  We would love to hear from anyone who is joining in with us, be it for a single day or the entire week.  Please do comment with your own updates if you are taking part!

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Flash Reviews (11th February 2014)

‘Amrita’ by Banana Yoshimoto (Faber & Faber)

Amrita by Banana Yoshimoto ***
I have read two of Yoshimoto’s books to date – N.P. and Asleep – and have very much enjoyed them both.  Amrita is a far longer work of fiction, and is consequently rather chunky in comparison.  The premise was so intriguing, however, that I did not think it would take me too long to get through.   The Independent on Sunday have called Yoshimoto ‘the voice of young Japan’, and it certainly follows that all of the books of hers which I have read so far are both culturally and socially important within both the context of Japan and the world.

Amrita was first published in Japan in 1994 and translated into English in 1997.  Throughout, what most interested me was the way in which other cultures have impacted upon modern Japan.  The main family in this novel, for example, eat things like borscht, and talk often about the impact of the West upon themselves.  Sadly, whilst I did enjoy the novel overall, I found some of the dialogue a little overworked.  It did not quite read true of a real conversation.  At times, the story feels a little flat, and the entirety seems to be entirely devoid of emotion at its most pivotal points.  The philosophical elements of the plot have clearly been well thought out, but they too seemed a little overworked at times, particularly towards the end of the novel.  Whilst Amrita is enjoyable, it is my least favourite Yoshimoto to date.

Purchase from The Book Depository

‘The Dogwood Fairy’ by Cicely Mary Barker

Flower Fairies: The Four Seasons by Cicely Mary Barker *****
This is another book which April so very kindly sent me for Christmas.  I have always absolutely adored the Flower Fairies, and it is lovely to have such a beautiful gift book, which includes the entire collection of Barker’s illustrations and poems, in my possession.  Barker’s drawings are absolutely beautiful, and the poems which run alongside them are so enchanting.  Reading them again as an adult made me realise just how informative they are with regard to different plants, and the ways in which a child can recognise them.  Little facts are woven in too – for example, that black bryony ‘used to be thought a cure for freckles’.  Flower Fairies: The Four Seasons is absolutely adorable, and is a book which I will be reading many more times in the future.

Purchase from The Book Depository