Book finds: May 2017

It's time for my monthly Book Finds. Each month I showcase books that I've loved reading. Some of them might be best sellers, but the majority of them won't be.

This month, I seem to have read a number of books that I couldn't recommend 😞 so again, my selection for you is a bit thinner than I'd like!

This month's selection is:

Mark Dunn: Ella Minnow Pea

This is a really interesting book, set on a fictional island - the home of the man who invented the phrase "The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog". There is a statue to the man, but one day, one of the letters (Z) falls off and the island officials decree that the letter Z may not now be used either in speech or in writing. And indeed, it is then not used throughout the rest of the book.

Subsequently, more letters fall off and again, it's decided that no one may use these letters, and again, they are then not used in the rest of the book.

As well as being very inventive (and yes, E is one of the letters that falls off and is not used again!) there is another aspect raised - if we don't have precise language and we lose the ability to communicate, what effects will this have on society? How do you draw up legal agreements? If people can't write what they want to, how does this then affect their lives?

The islanders are left with an ever dwindling pool of letters and therefore words, with which they can communicate. Eventually, only the letters L, M, N, O and P (Ella Minnow Pea) remain. Will the island end up silenced forever?

Ruth Ware: The Woman in Cabin 10

The blurb on the back says:
"This was meant to be the perfect trip. The Northern Lights. A luxury press launch on a boutique cruise ship.

A chance for travel journalist Lo Blacklock to recover from a traumatic break-in that has left her on the verge of collapse.

Except things don't go as planned.

Woken in the night by screams, Lo rushes to her window to see a body thrown overboard from the next door cabin. But the records show that no-one ever checked into that cabin, and no passengers are missing from the boat.

Exhausted and emotional, Lo has to face the fact that she may have made a mistake – either that, or she is now trapped on a boat with a murderer..."
I can see on Amazon that the reviews for the book are mixed, but I really enjoyed it. Lo, the main character is annoying, but I think she is meant to be. I know many readers want all of the characters (except the 'baddies') to be delightful and the sort of person you'd choose as your best friend, but I'm not in that camp. I think good things can happen to bad people and bad things can happen to irritating people. The fact that they are 'bad' or irritating, doesn't influence how I feel about what's happening to them. I was genuinely interested in the central plot and (irritating as she might have been) was rooting for Lo.

Previous books finds: