Saturday, 15 November 2014

Nina Stibbe's funny collection of letters  Love, Nina, was my Christmas reading last year and proved exactly right for those days between Christmas and New Year when you'd like to get stuck into a book but there's lots of interruptions for eating and conversation and playing silly games. I wasn't completely convinced that, as a 20-year-old nanny to the literati - Alan Bennett is a neighbour, often dropping in -  she was quite as naive as she makes out ... but it was a nice, funny, easy read.

I'm much less taken by her latest book Man at the Helm, a semi-autobiographical first novel about two impossibly precocious sisters trying to fix their flaky mother up with a man. (It's not actually a new book, it was written years ago and has only been published now on the back of last year's bestseller.)

I'm getting tired of all that breathless, self-conscious ditzy charm ... In fact, I feel as if I'm at a party that I was quite enjoying half an hour ago but now I'm getting desperate to escape. It's just too relentless. Aaarghh ... let me out! It's going back to the library!

4 comments:

Cosy Books said...

So the best thing about it is the cover then?
I am so glad that my shelves at home are filled with wonderful books from the last century because it doesn't feel as though this century is keeping up. When I look at the list of new books arriving at my library each week I could weep at the amount of 'fluff'. And my standards are not really all that high!

mary said...

It got some very good reviews but I found it mightily irritating, Darlene.

Sue said...

You're not having much luck with your reading matter lately are you Mary?

mary said...

I'm not having a good run, Sue, though I did enjoy the Ian McEwan. But I'm up to my eyes in builders and mess and I can't seem to settle to anything, which doesn't help.