The Year in Books: September
It was once again quite a varied month, reading-material wise, and I seem to have read quite a lot. According to my Goodreads challenge I am two books ahead of schedule!
My book for September is going to be The Roundabout Man by Clare Morrall. I went to the library searching for a paperback book the right size to fit in my handbag (as I spent three hours on a train this weekend) and this one fit the bill. I've never heard of it, or the author, but I think that's good in terms of broadening my reading choices.
My book for August was The Snow Child by Eowyn Ivey. I quite enjoyed reading it, but to be honest, I can't really remember what it was about, so it clearly hasn't stuck in my memory. It's set in Alaska, and a lot of the book was about the cold - possibly not a book to be reading in August when we had all that beautiful hot weather! I do find that certain books I enjoy more when I read them at the 'right' time of the year.
On Green Dolphin Street by Sebastian Faulks was brilliant, definitely my favourite book of the month. I've had a look on Goodreads, and I'm surprised it's been rated quite low (3.46 stars). Set in America in 1960, the story follows the wife of a British diplomat, and the affair she begins with a journalist. Admittedly, the plot moves quite slowly, but I loved the way it was written, and how I wanted to carry on reading.
I often find that once I've read a book I thoroughly enjoyed, the next book I read has a lot to live up to, perhaps unfairly. I didn't like either of the next two books I read, Beneath The Blossom Tree by Laura Bailey and Safe and Sound by T.S. Krupa. I read them quite fast, and they just didn't hold my attention. I've kept them on my Kindle, so I might give them another try in the future.
I finally finished A Game of Thrones by George R.R. Martin. I fell a bit out of love with it towards the end of the middle third, but after a break I picked it up again, and I was soon engrossed. The ending of the book was excellent, and I am ready to carry on reading the series.
Into the Darkest Corner Elizabeth Haynes was excellent, a real page-turner. It follows the story of Catherine, who has a great relationship with the wonderful Lee, who then turns out to be a very horrible man, and is eventually put in prison for domestic abuse. Several years later, Catherine is (understandably) still incredibly traumatised, and has OCD which is dominating her life. The story alternates between Catherine a few years ago, as she meets and falls in love with Lee, and then the present day, as she tries to deal with what happened to her, and those around her. The way the story moves between the two is great for showing just how different Catherine was before the abuse, and how she is now. The book starts in court, so the reader already knows what happened to Catherine (although not the details) and gradually more and more is revealed about her and her relationships. A genuinely good read (although very graphic in places, you have been warned).
An Enormously English Monsoon Wedding by Christina Jones was another quick read, a bit of light relief after the previous book! Erin's about to marry Jay, who comes from an Indian family. They've planned their wedding, but then Jay's mum (and a handful of other friends and family) want to get involved (take over). All rather predictable, but a pleasant read, and a new-to-me author.
If I Knew You Were Going To Be This Beautiful, I Never Would Have Let You Go* by Judy Chicurel is possibly the book with my favourite title, ever. Shame, then, that I really didn't enjoy it. It's summer in the early '70s and Katie and her friends are on the verge of adulthood. The small town in which she lives is a close community, with teenagers drinking and smoking, and other residents back from fighting in Vietnam. The book did get better in the second half, but again, it's not a book that's stuck in my mind at all. I didn't particularly care (or like) any of the characters, so I struggled to be interested in what was happening to them. I do like the title, though.
A Place For Us (Part 2)* by Harriet Evans is being serialised at the moment, and is great. As I have the tendency to read the ends of books way before I'm close to the end of the book, this serialisation has obviously prevented that, as I don't have access to the end of the book (and I can't find any spoilers online, yes I've looked!). The book is following a family, as they reunite for a weekend, and family secrets are revealed. Have I said how frustrating it is that I can't even find out what the secrets are?!
When I Wasn't Watching* by Michelle Kelly was another good book. Eight years ago, Lucy's son Jack was abducted and murdered, and now the murderer (who was a teenager at the time of the killing) has been released. Another boy is abducted, and Lucy finds herself involved again with the detective who investigated her son's disappearance. A fast moving pace, several twists and turns, and another book I read in a matter of hours.
So, a varied month indeed - I seem to have either thoroughly enjoyed the books I've read, or not liked them at all. I really enjoy seeing what other people have been reading, the list of books I want to read is constantly growing, and I'm just grateful for libraries - what would I do without them?
Joining in with Laura over at Circle of Pine Trees.
*These books was sent to me by NetGalley for the purpose of review. All opinions and photos are, of course, my own.