Wool, Wiltshire and All Manner of Wonderful Things!

August Books!

 I volunteer at the local library one morning a week. It means I get to see books that are available by all my favourite authors whilst I do the shelving. This month in one morning I found five books. I borrowed the lot! Here’s what I have been reading in August, in the order I read them.

Susan Hill- The Pure in Heart- After a bit of a wobbly first chapter this turned into a jolly good detective story featuring DCI Simon Serrailler. The familiar themes from Susan Hill came through even in a different genre, love, life grief, relationships. An entertaining read.

Winifred Holtby- The Crowded Street- an interesting read which I think would be a good choice for a book club to read. Life for middle class women before, during and after the First World War, the birth of feminism. If the author sounds familiar she wrote South Riding and was friends with Vera Brittain ( who is the inspiration for one of the characters). Vera Brittain is Shirley Williams mother and wrote Testament of Youth. One of my favourite books this year.

Joanne Harris- Gentlemen & Players- the middle book of a trilogy, but the third one I read. Fortunately the books work well as stand alone novels. The plots are all revealed in a similar way and in this third book I saw the big twist by page 96 of 507 pages. To begin with I thought this would spoil my enjoyment. However there was a different enjoyment to be had, first was I right and secondly and more interesting to see how the characters were being duped, and hence how the readers were being sent off in the wrong discription.The story is set in St Oswald’s School for boys and has two narrators, one who focuses on events of 15 years ago and one on the here and now. Thoroughly enjoyable.

Ann Cleeves- The Glass Room-another Vera book. The setting is an authors retreat. I was well and truly hoodwinked till the final scenes! Good detective story.

Marina Lewycka- The Lubetkin Legacy. There is love and government corruption in this tale of an iconic social housing flat designed by Berthold Lubetkin. The tenant dies and her son fears losing the right to succeed in the tenancy and smuggles in an old lady to act as his mother, for the housing officers investigations. A good read. I spent a happy evening afterwards researching the real life architect Lubetkin, surely a mark of a good book. Can’t say I liked the buildings I saw, but then I don’t like concrete much!

You may recall that last month I was taking an online course called How to read novel, through Future Learn. I completed it with great enjoyment, it may be repeated next year but there is still a week that you can access it for. I thought about paying for the upgrade but decided against it, instead taking up Kerry’s suggestion, I bought this book.

It’s very readable and very good.Thanks for heads up on this one Kerry. I started to read it whilst reading the last book, and he’s right , the author is frequently quoting Shakespeare!

Have you read any good books lately?

Comments on: "August Books!" (20)

  1. I love all Joanna Harris books and the way Gentlemen & Players twisted and turned really made it a page turner.

  2. Glad you liked the “Read Like a Professor” book–I reread it occasionally, just to remind myself to look beyond the surface. Right now, I’m reading books in the Peter McGarr series, by Bartholomew Gill–more mysteries, these set in Ireland.

  3. I love book reviews! Thanks for the recommendations.

  4. Maggie chose one of the bookshelf yesterday but didn’t like the back cover much. It was PURGE by Sofi Oksanen. A Finnish friend sends us some classic North European literature. PURGE is set in Estonia is dark but a reminder of how evil war is but how much worse the after effects are if you lose or get invaded by the Russians. I’m reading Birds Art Life Death by Kyo Maclear for creative inspiration. Its semi auto biographical but packs a lot to think about.

  5. I’m still trying to catch up here. That keeps my reading list short for now. Working on finishing a couple of memoirs. I’ll let you know when I finish them.

  6. Thank you. Always good to hear your recommendations/thoughts on books.

  7. I am happy to see your suggestions. I hate going to to the Kindle shop because all the “recommendations” are for self-published novels with what they think are irresistible covers but I find offensive. I really have to know a definite author or title before I even go looking. (I have talked to customer service many times about this issue but haven’t gotten any help. One lady told me, “This isn’t Netflix, you can’t set up a profile.”)
    Anyway. As far as what I’m reading. I saw a recommendation for Lucinda Riley, and from about 10 books by her, I chose The Orchid Room. Started reading it, and realized I had read it before. I guess I got it at the library last time. Fortunately it is really good and worth re-reading, but I wish I had spent my $12.99 on a different book by the same author!

    • Oh dear that is so annoying. The library is self check out and flashes up a message if you have borrrowed a book before. Really helpful

  8. Bless you for volunteering. We have some serious issues with our local rural library system here. But that’s another subject. I must admit, I don’t read very often, or I should say,I don’t take the time. I love Ann Cleeves’ Vera series tho. It was my fave on PBS. I miss them. ~cheers

  9. These all look good to me. I am in the middle of two. The current audio is the biography of Catherine the Great, and my read is Ben Hur. Sewing this pm, so Catherine will get the nod today.

  10. I’ve just finished Ian McEwan’s ‘Sweet Tooth’ a sort of romantic spy story. I couldn’t help thinking how familiar it sounded all the way through and thought I must have seen the film but when I Googled it there is no such film – yet I’m (almost) sure I hadn’t read the book before. It’s a worry.

    Before that I read ‘The Keeper of Small Things’ by Ruth Hogan which is billed as ‘a feel good novel’ but I found there to be too many sad moments to make me feel that good :(. I must have bought it for my Kindle as a ‘first’ because it was all over the airport when I came back from the U.K. last weekend as if it had just come out in paperback. I think it’s a Richard and Judy recommendation which I don’t usually go for but I didn’t know that when I downloaded it. It’s quite a ‘charming’ read though if you fancy something not too taxing.

    I did start the course you recommended and found it interesting – so many things I’d forgotten from my previous studies – but have now fallen behind with it and might not be able to finish before the free version runs out.

    • According to the Professor all stories are the same it’s just the characters and plot which is different, which maybe why you think you read Sweet Tooth before! Chances are Shakespeare or the Bible got there first. I shall make anote of the two books you mentioned. I need to write myself a list of all these books, at the moment I have rather a lot of scraps of paper in my library handbag.

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