Our Claire has been reading…

Lately, I’ve been watching Between The Covers on the BBC. If you’ve not seen it, it’s basically a program where people sit around and chat about books. Even though the last books I read for pleasure were Harry Potter (don’t judge me!), I’ve found myself hooked to the program and the guests’ enthusiasm for their chosen books made me want to read again. However, I found my brain wouldn’t settle down enough for me to read. But then I remembered the library has audiobooks to borrow online. So, with us in lockdown again and plenty of spare time on my hands, I signed up and, instead of listening to music this last week, I’ve listened to the books I’ve borrowed. So I thought it might prove useful to offer my thoughts on them…

Heroes by Stephen Fry

This is a sequel to Mythos (which I’ve not read) and delves into the world of Greek myths with a focus on heroes such as Hercules and Oedipus. On the face of it this might seem a bit high brow and, at over 15 hours long, a bit daunting. However, Stephen Fry makes it an absolute joy to listen to with his storytelling featuring funny voices and witty dialogue. I loved it.

Stardust by Neil Gaiman

Having watched and liked Good Omens (a TV series based on the book Neil Gaiman wrote with Terry Pratchett), I was drawn to this book. It’s set in ‘The land of Faerie’ and features a fallen star come to life and a chap called Tristran. Unfortunately, I found it rather uninvolving and not a patch on Good Omens.

My Name Is Why by Lemn Sissay

This is an autobiography by poet Lemn Sissay about his upbringing in the child care system. The story he has to tell is harrowing in parts and it’s clear that Lemn Sissay has been scarred by what happened to him. It’s a credit to him that he emerged from it to become one of the country’s foremost poets – poetry which he treats us to at the start of each chapter. I found it thoroughly gripping.

Dark Corners by Ruth Rendell

As a kid, I would devour Ruth Rendell books! I also preferred her to Agatha Christie because I found her modern where Christie was dated. This, I’m afraid to say though, was interminable rubbish! I’m now wondering whether I misjudged her all along. I guess I’ll have to borrow more of her books to find out.

So those are my thoughts on the books I’ve borrowed but now I’m after new stuff to ‘read’. What would you recommend? Also, if you don’t agree with my opinion of these books, I’m happy for you to tell me why. Please leave your comments below.

Despite the return of lockdown, WHISC continue to offer a weekly selection of services, including the listening ear service. To find out more, please visit the What’s On page.