My Favourite Book: Joanna Goddard

Monday, 27 February 2012


I've been busy rounding up people for my new 'My Favourite Book' feature after Jane's wonderful introductory post. Some of the responses I've gotten are long, some are short, but all are interesting. One of these people is Joanna Goddard from A Cup of Jo, whom I asked because I became intrigued after reading this post. Her answer did surprise me though as she mentioned a book I've never read (always a good thing, it means I have another book to add to my growing list). Thanks for taking the time to respond Joanna, I know you're very busy. I'd love to hear some opinions on this book as it reminds me of another book I read a long time ago, but its name escapes me. I hope you enjoy this short but sweet contribution by Joanna, and I also hope this post is a good way to ease into Monday!

One of my favorite books is When We Were Romans by British author Matthew Kneale. The tale is narrated by a sweet-hearted nine-year-old boy, whose mother abruptly moves him and his sister from England to Rome when she becomes convinced that his estranged father is spying on them and going to harm them. As their adventure turns more madcap, you start realizing that things may not be quite what they seem. The little boy has such a sweet, authentic voice and your heart swells for him, as he tries to figure out which end is up. (He also loves talking about the universe and Roman emperors.) It's one of those books you can't put down; at bedtime, I was always fighting to keep my eyes open to If you liked The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, you'll really love this book. It's not only a page-turner, but you'll fall in love with the little narrator.

Image credit: Photo of a lovely boy found here. The minute I read Joanna's words, this photo popped into my mind.


Leah said...

I have this book, but I couldn't get past the narration. It might be because I read Curious Incident in school, and didn't particularly like it either.

But the reason I got this book is because Matthew Kneale wrote one of the best books I read last year (not written last year, mind, that was just when I read it), English Passengers.

It was an absolutely mind-blowing picaresque story of an 1850s sailing journey to Australia from England, filled with crossed lines, sinister scientists and dozens of different colonial voices. I ate it up, and then When We Were Romans was just so different that I think I was disappointed. I might try it again, some time. When I get through my other three thousand to-read books.

Monica said...

i always enjoy hearing why someone loves a book.

this one hasn't intrigued me from past reading of the synopsis. i did try the first pages of curious incident and wasn't pulled in either. but the latter is on the 1000 list so i might give it a try.... eventually!

Hotly Spiced said...

A Cup of Jo! I know of her (not only from her blog) but because I believe she is in my sister's mother's group over in NYC. What a small world! Love your first image.

louise said...

Hi Hila, Feels like an age since I've been to visit, and consequently I have many of your wonderful posts to catch up on. What a treat. xolj

Chuck said...

Wow, big internet guns! English Passengers has been hovering in the background of my ever expanding To Read list for a while. Might need to bump it up. x

rooth said...

Hrrmmm, how interesting. I haven't heard of this one but it kind of also reminds me of The Magus is a strange and mystical kind of way

angela said...

Thanks for the my fav book post, sounds like a great book!

amy said...

it sounds like a sweet book, i might hunt it down.

Rambling Tart said...

I'm so glad for a new author to read. :-) I'm always delighted by interesting narrators in a story, so I think I will thoroughly enjoy this one. :-)

Naomi Bulger said...

How have I not even heard about this book? It sounds right up my alley, must read.

(On another matter, I meant to thank you for your honest and candid 'not in a mood for blogging' post the other day. I am guilty of just going silent when I'm down, maintaining a kind of false positivity on my blog. You voiced a lot of thoughts I was already having, and a little battle I have with myself on authenticity versus privacy that I haven't quite resolved yet. Truth: I was sick as a dog this week and didn't have energy to comment anywhere, hence you didn't hear from me at the time. But I was there. I heard you.)

Kristina said...

Sounds like a wonderful book! I will add this to my ever-growing "must-read-list"! Looking forward to discover more great books from your new feature!

Kate said...

Such a brilliant idea for a post! I've never read this before but will definitely add it to my list!

Hila said...

Leah: That sounds like my kind of book, thanks for the tip.

Monica: I haven't read it either, so I'll have to give them both a try.

Hotly Spiced: It's a small world indeed!

Louise: I hope it's not a chore :) Just kidding ... xo

Chuck: I have so many books I need to bump up on my list.

Rooth: I understand what you mean.

Angela: thanks!

Amy: It does sound very sweet.

Rambling tart: Very few authors can pull off a child narrator convincingly, so I'm interested in reading this.

Naomi: Oh no, I hope you're feeling better! I'm not one for false positivity either - you can tell what I'm feeling by what I choose to blog about, or my face.

Kristina: I'm looking forward to more discoveries too.

Kate: Glad you like it.