Reading roundup 16/11/22

Hello, fellow readers and welcome to this week’s Reading Roundup! Today I have three books to tell you about…

56 Days by Catherine Ryan Howard

My first book was 56 Days by Catherine Ryan Howard, chosen at random from the ebook selection at my local library service. This is the blurb which intrigued me:

“No one knew they’d moved in together. Now one of them is dead. Could this be the perfect murder?

Ciara and Oliver meet in a supermarket queue in Dublin the same week Covid-19 reaches Irish shores.

When lockdown threatens to keep them apart, Oliver suggests that Ciara move in with him. She sees a unique opportunity for a new relationship to flourish without the pressure of scrutiny of family and friends. He sees it as an opportunity to hide who – and what – he really is.

Detectives arrive at Oliver’s apartment to discover a decomposing body inside.

Will they be able to determine what really happened, or has lockdown provided someone with the opportunity to commit the perfect crime?”

I also realised that I had read another of this author’s books back in 2017, which I apparently enjoyed, although I can’t remember much about it! Anyway, I also found this book both interesting and enjoyable. This is my response on Goodreads:

56 Days56 Days by Catherine Ryan Howard
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This book was a very cleverly thought out and plotted thriller. I had occasional difficulties in following the changing timelines and had to check back a few times to get the story clear in my mind. Perhaps the author wanted us to be a little confused, so that her revelations would come as a real surprise.

Anyway, it was an unusual story set in the difficult COVID times, with plenty of twists to keep you reading. I will definitely seek out more by Catherine Ryan Howard.

View all my reviews

After this quite complex read, I turned to a short story…

Galatea by Madeline Miller

Madeline Miller is well known for her book, The Song of Achilles, and I was quite shocked to realise that I haven’t read it yet! That will be remedied soon, when my reservation becomes available from the library. When I saw that her short story, Galatea, was on the catalogue, I downloaded it straight away. So, here is the blurb:

“In Ancient Greece, a skilled marble sculptor has been blessed by a goddess who has given his masterpiece – the most beautiful woman the town has ever seen – the gift of life. Now his wife, Galatea is expected to be obedience and humility personified, but it is not long before she learns to use her beauty as a form of manipulation. In a desperate bid by her obsessive husband to keep her under control, she is locked away under the constant supervision of doctors and nurses. But with a daughter to rescue, she is determined to break free, whatever the cost…”

And this is my very quick review:

GalateaGalatea by Madeline Miller
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

A retelling of the Pygmalion and Galatea myth as a short story. Strongly feminist and haunting.

View all my reviews

My third and final book was much less successful, unfortunately…

The book was A Slow Fire Burning by Paula Hawkins. I must say that it has been well-received by many readers and was nominated for an award on Goodreads in 2021. Anyway, here is the blurb:

“’What is wrong with you?’

Laura has spent most of her life being judged. She’s seen as hot-tempered, troubled, a loner. Some even call her dangerous.

Miriam knows that just because Laura is witnessed leaving the scene of a horrific murder with blood on her clothes, that doesn’t mean she’s a killer. Bitter experience has taught her how easy it is to get caught in the wrong place at the wrong time.

Carla is reeling from the brutal murder of her nephew. She trusts no one: good people are capable of terrible deeds. But how far will she go to find peace?

Innocent or guilty, everyone is damaged. Some are damaged enough to kill.

Look what you started.”

Well, I was intrigued by the blurb, which drew me to the book. My eventual response was this:

A Slow Fire BurningA Slow Fire Burning by Paula Hawkins
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I found this very confusing to read – couldn’t get a grip on what was happening until the final sections. Most of the characters were thoroughly unlikeable, apart from one. All of the switching around left me lost. The final revelations were interesting, but I wonder why I persevered with the book!

View all my reviews

Ho hum! Now, I am reading something completely different and you will find out what it is in next week’s post.

Until then: Happy Reading to you all!

Love and best wishes,



About The Librain

Retired School Librarian
This entry was posted in Reading and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Reading roundup 16/11/22

  1. Lyn Hopson says:

    I totally agree with you on the Paula Hawkins book, had I not enjoyed her others so much I doubt I would have finished it.
    Love the sound of your first choice, I will look out for it.


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