It’s rare nowadays for me not to finish a book, as I tend to try to read ones I think I’ll enjoy or an author I know I love or something that will at least intrigue me. And the DNF – “The Bronski House” should have been right up my street, but for some reason it really didn’t gel with me.


The book was one I stumbled upon in a charity shop, and the subject matter – the tale of an exiled Polish poet returning to her homeland in post-Soviet times, coupled with the history of her family – is the kind of thing which appeals to me. But somehow, despite trying more than once to read the book, I just couldn’t engage with it. Which is very frustrating, as all the reviews seem to rave about it. For whatever reason, I couldn’t care about the protagonists, so off it will go back to the charity shop.

The “did-not-like” was a puzzlement:

heads and straights

“Heads and Straights” by Lucy Wadham is part of the Penguin volumes produced to celebrate the 150th anniversary of the London Underground, and is labelled as the one celebrating the Circle line. However, I had a couple of issues with it. The first is the book itself – it’s basically about  Wadham’s upbringing, coming of age in the 1970s/1980s and dropping out of a Sloaney type existence to become a punk, with little portraits of all her family members. The story itself is fascinating, and the problem is that it’s just too short – Wadham and her family and in particular her grandmother have led such lively and unusual lives that this book doesn’t do the history justice. It really needed a much longer book to tell the story fully.

The second issue is that the book has absolutely nothing to do with the Circle line (and it’s not just me that’s picked up on the fact as when I checked out online reviews they said much the same thing). I was a bit disappointed about this, as the other ones I’ve read have dealt with the Tube even if tangentially, but this one didn’t at all.

Oh well – back to the drawing board and Mount TBR…. 🙂