What I’m reading #2.


Book-review-Cider-with-Rosie March-reading-list-Cider-with-Rosie

February is a month made for reading, if you ask me. March, less so. With the turn of the season, I’m finding the urge to stay home with a book less and less strong. I want to be out and about, in the fresh air! Looking out for lambs, and blossom, and being followed down country lanes by chirping robins! It’s all very Famous Five, I know.

February’s short, dreary days, weekend days especially, lend themselves to hours and hours of page-turning. Which is probably good, since The Goldfinch has plenty of pages to turn! I finished off Rivers of London not long after mentioning it in my last ‘What I’m reading/Book of the month’ type post, and picked up a couple of new books to read straight away afterwards. The Bee was a recommendation from my lovely friend Kathryn (I’m yet to get started on that one, though Jason’s making headway with it and has pronounced it ‘odd but good!’, and The Goldfinch came up over and over again in the comments of last month’s post!

I’m almost halfway through The Goldfinch now (we’ve not long arrived in Las Vegas, for those who’ve read and understand!) and am finding it such an interesting one to read. Plot-wise, it is pretty slow to progress. It’s full of the most incredibly detailed and vivid sensory descriptions, and at times it almost feels like Donna Tartt is writing merely for the love of her art form. There’s a section near the beginning of the novel that seemed to last an eternity, in which the main character is experiencing a major concussion. I was torn between desperately wanting the story to move forward, and also enjoying how skilfully Tartt has her writing become as fragmented and woozy as the character’s train of thought. Strangely, even though I’m not finding the plot particularly gripping, there’s something compelling about the novel. It’s impossible not to feel pangs of sadness and affection for the lonely figure of Theo, and even an urge to dive in and protect him as he deals with the death of his mother. I’ve found it heart-wrenching at times, even though it’s not written in a particularly emotion-provoking way.

Interestingly though, my Mum and her (fellow English Lit teacher) bookclub friends all absolutely loathed it! I think maybe it’s one of those Marmite books! I can’t say I’m surprised though, since my Mum and I so rarely see eye to eye on books- I think she almost disowned me when I expressed a total dislike of every Jane Austen novel I’ve ever read! ;)

Tell me, what’re you reading at the moment? Are you enjoying it? As with last month’s post, I’d love to pass on my most recently finished read, Rivers of London! I’ll pop it in the post to the first person who shouts in the comments :) It’s a great read, kind of silly and ridiculous but totally enjoyable! (I can only post within the UK, I’m afraid!)

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  • http://www.theprimroseparasol.com Menekse

    I’m reading Elizabeth is Missing at the moment, and have just finished reading The Miniaturist, which I *loved*.

    • http://www.ciderwithrosie.com/ Rosie

      I’ve heard so many amazing things about The Miniaturist! It’s next on my list! :)

      • http://www.thelibrarian.co.uk/ Georgina

        I fount The Miniaturist a bit weird, a good read but it felt somehow unfinished at the end. You’ll have to tell us what you think of it once you’ve read it!

        • Dianne

          I agree. It is a really interesting story but too many loose ends. Maybe there will be a sequel.

        • Kate

          Yes! So great, but the ending just didn’t sit well with me.

  • Guest

    Oooh, I’d love Rivers Of London please Rosie! Total book addict here!

    Alice x

    • http://www.ciderwithrosie.com/ Rosie

      Then it’s yours! If you could just drop me an email with your postal address in, I’ll send it out to you in the next couple of days :) Hope you love it! x

      • Alice

        Thank you so much! I’ve just emailed :) x

  • Victoria

    Sounds like a rather interesting read. :) I’d add it to my list of books to read but I’ve pretty much given up on keeping a list. I need to get better at actually making a list and sticking to it. I’m one of those people who has a few favorite books and reads them over and over and over.

    Right now I’m reading a book called Buried in a Bog and it’s really quite slow. I’d give it up but I’ve finally made it to the middle (still slow) and I just feel like an unread book is a wasted one- somehow.


    • http://www.ciderwithrosie.com/ Rosie

      Oh I LOVE reading books over and over! Must’ve read Little Women a hundred times, it’s my all time favourite! This is partly why I’ve been passing on my old books via these posts, so stop myself from just reading ones I’ve enjoyed over and over and never getting round to anything new!

      Totally know what you mean about feeling as though you’ve wasted a book if you don’t finish it. In that way though, I’d say I wasted about 75% of the books on my uni reading lists! ;)

  • http://www.thelibrarian.co.uk/ Georgina

    I’m battling with The Casual Vacancy and Wolf Hall at the moment, both have been on my bookshelves for years and never picked up but I feel like I must read them before I watch the adaptations, and they are hogging space on the sky box! The Goldfinch is also on my bookcase currently, yet to be read, and the last book I finished was Wild by Cheryl Strayed, which I started out loathing and ended up loving, definitely recommend that one :)

  • https://gertigiggleswick.wordpress.com/ Elizabeth Onn

    I have just finished reading Elizabeth is Missing, which was a really good read. I am now currently reading Arthur and George, which I suggest reading if you are a fan of Arthur Conan Doyle. It is currently a tv adaptation on ITV at the moment with Martin Clunes

  • http://majamoliere.com Maja Molière

    I totally agree about the concussion section. I was majorly confused while reading it and only later in the novel did it fully sink in what happened there. Fantastic writing in my opinion. I am reading Americanah for my book club at the moment and am really liking it so far, even though, for some reason, it is so hard to relate to the characters at times.

  • Smidge

    I really loved The Bees! Well worth persevering with – it is the most interestingly written book i’ve read in a long time.

  • Georgia Christakis

    I’m still trudging through Game of Thrones, which is not some groundbreaking discovery of mine, I know. I recently started reading the Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down, a nonfiction book by Anne Fadiman and even though it’s required reading, I’m the most engaged I’ve been in a book in a LONG time. It’s about a Hmong refugee family in the United States and their daughter with epilepsy and how Western medicine fails this family. The story is fascinating, beautiful and tragic, and the writing is pristine.

  • http://bethspurplenotebook.wordpress.com Beth Wilkins

    I’m rereading His Dark Materials by Philip Pullman for the 10,000th time!

  • http://www.brittonloves.co.uk Lauren S

    I miss reading and definitely need to get back in to it – I’m thinking of trying Harry Potter all over again…

    Lauren x

    Britton Loves | Lifestyle Food Fashion Beauty – http://www.brittonloves.blogspot.co.uk

  • emily couture

    I love just spending hours getting lost into a book :)

    emily xx


  • petitepea2011

    I just read Deerskin by Robin McKinley, I’ve had it years and always enjoy the read. Every time, I find something different so it’s a good book. I’ve picked up the Goldfinch several times, but never actually taken it to the kiosk yet. Still not convinced whether it should make it into the basket…


  • http://notuntilcoffee.com Marina Recio

    I’m reading Dark Places by Gillian Flynn, same author as Gone Girl which I loved :) Next on my reading list, Girl on the Train! It’s supposed to be really good…


  • http://nextpagenewchapter.com/ Sarah

    I might need to give Goldfinch another try! I had a hard time getting through it when I started it a few months ago.

  • http://daintydoe.com/ Stephanie

    I have been really intrigued by The Goldfinch as I keep seeing it everywhere and boy do love a bandwagon! ;)

    I recently finished reading One Day by David Nicholls for the second time and I think I loved it even more this time around. I have found myself in a reading slump if late and it was just the perfect pick me up I needed to kick those lingering winter blues.

    I just started reading The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern and so far I can’t tell how I feel about it….it’s a bit of a slow starter and although I think it is starting to pique my interest, I just hope this slow start and build up pays off later on!



  • https://rhymeandribbons.com Amanda @ Rhyme & Ribbons

    I’m afraid that I’m probably in the same school of thought as your mother when it comes to the Goldfinch! x

  • http://windsweptwishesx.blogspot.com/ Carina Maree

    I quite enjoyed the Goldfinch. It’s odd, like you said, that I found the plot very slow but was at the same time gripped by it! I think it’s Tartt’s amazing writing that got me. Funnily enough, I just finished reading The Secret History and I preferred the Goldfinch!

  • http://www.thesnugblog.com/ Abigail

    I’m reading ‘The Letter’ by Kathryn Hughes – it’s very good and easy to read, not too taxing so perfect for train journeys :) It’s one of those with a split narrative that all slots together as the narrative commences. V. Interesting!

  • http://jasmincharlotte.com/ Jasmin Charlotte

    I’ve heard that The Goldfinch is a bit polarising. My mum didn’t like it which is why I haven’t tried it! I’ve been reading the Opposite of Loneliness at the moment which is good but a bit sad! I’m also rereading harry potter which is amazing as always! x

    Jasmin Charlotte | UK Lifestyle Blog

  • http://la-bea-boheme.blogspot.co.uk/ Ruby

    I loved the Goldfinch! And I read it whilst in Amstersam which was a funny coinsidence! http://la-bea-boheme.blogspot.co.uk

  • http://www.missmollyemma.blogspot.com/ Molly

    I’ve seen Goldfinch in bookshops but never thought to pick it up- I’ll read the blurb next time I’m in Waterstones! I’m currently reading ‘the Last Letter from your Lover’ by Jojo Moyes after falling completley in love with her book ‘Me before You’

  • http://lizziedailyblog.blogspot.co.uk/ Elizabeth Rebecca

    I’ll have to add the Goldfinch to my reading list.

    Lizzie Dripping

  • http://www.igaberry.com/ Iga Berry

    I did enjoy the Goldfinch too. Currently I am looking for something similar.

    If you want to check out my last post about organisation it’s a click away: http://www.igaberry.com/

  • http://thebeautifulunnecessary.blogspot.co.uk Ellie

    have you read Donna Tart’s The Secret History? So good!

    ellie xo


  • http://pollyrowan.com/ Polly Rowan

    I agree with Ellie, The Secret History is Donna Tartt’s better novel. I enjoyed the Goldfinch but found it quite long and just not the best. I’d be interested to know what you think! I found it really heart-wrenching too :(

  • Lavenderhill

    I did not like The Goldfinch. The facts are so off that it bypasses science fiction. Smart phones were not invented 13 yrs ago neither Xbox. When facts start to get distorted, the book takes a different realm. Details dragged out for the sake of details and nothing chronological. I agree with you mum…thumbs down on this one but let us know your thoughts when you finish.

  • http://www.lovedbylaura.com/ Laura

    I gave up on the Goldfinch, as loathe as I am to admit it! Currently reading the Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society – which is a lovely warm hearted read and gently thought provoking – I recommend it!! xx

  • http://unciaandtigris.com/ Clare | Uncia + Tigris

    Ahh, I’m glad you love this, I feel like it is my life’s mission to convert people to Donna Tartt’s epic works, because I think some readers are put off by her style of writing or the length of her work – but they’re so rewarding!
    I completely agree with you though about loving it, if you are enjoying it I think the end will make you so emotional, because I am the coldest person in the world and I definitely shed a tear when I finished reading it! I posted a review on my blog right after finishing it, and reading it back now, I sound like such a sap! haha x

  • http://caribeary8.blogspot.com Carrie

    I really love your blog! It lets me get a daily dose of England here in the Pacific Northwest :)
    The last book I read was The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins and I loved it! We went to London last September and I’ll admit to some backyard snooping myself while we rode the trains…
    If you’d like to visit the PNW from your couch drop by my blog! http://caribeary8.blogspot.com

  • http://laretour.com Laura

    I’m trudging through Shakespeare at the moment for uni (but had a Waterstones’ binge on ‘normal books’ last weekend!) I forgot how compelling Hamlet was. I’ve heard the Goldfinch is great so will have to add it to my summer list! xx

  • http://namaste-rowan.squarespace.com/ Rowan Collins

    I’m totally with you on the detailed descriptions front! I’m just over half way through, and although to begin I really struggled to get into it and felt almost frustrated with how much time was spent on descriptions, after a while the vocabulary lover in me took over, and now I’m actually really enjoying getting lost in Tartt’s imagery.


  • http://b-jolly.co.uk Bella

    I totally agree that the Goldfinch doesn’t have a gripping plot but is still compelling – I found myself picking it up to read without even really knowing why I was doing it! I feel like it leaves a lasting impression in a strange kind of way – I don’t think I could tell you what happens (I read it about a year ago) but I know that the characters stayed with me!


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