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Books- August 2019

August, a month for enjoying the long summer days  and good books…

Jojo Moyes- Still Me- the third and final part  of the trilogy which began with Me before you.  A jolly nice read with a suitably happy ending. Bit fanciful and fluffy, but perfect for a wet and rainy week when I was kept indoors.

Neil Spring- The Lost Village- a thriller with ghosts. The lost village is Imber on the Salisbury Plain. It was taken over by the army for training purposes in WW2. The villagers were forced to leave and believed they would return after victory. You can visit the village for a few days in August. It was a good read, ideal for Halloween, should you be that way inclined.

Sally Magnusson- The Sealwoman’s Gift- I really, really liked this book. 1627, 400 people are abducted by Dutch pirates and sold into slavery in Algeria. This real event is told through the experience of Olafur, a priest who is sent back to Denmark to arrange a ransom, and his wife Asta left with her three children. It is heartbreaking in places. I have put this on my top 100 books as it covered an event hitherto unknown to me. Brilliant, that’s all I am saying.

Danny Miller- Kiss me Quick- This book got a mention by Erin Kelly as background reading for her novel The Ties that Bind. Kiss me Quick is also set in Brighton in the early 60’s, the days of Mods and Rockers, and dodgy underground nasty villains. Not for the faint  hearted, but well plotted, and a good thriller.

Lisa Jewel- Watching You- This was good, very good indeed. Joey falls for the charisma of her neighbour, the head of the local school. She becomes somewhat obsessed by him, and almost becomes his stalker. But someone is watching her, and someone is  watching them…. very well plotted, prepare to loose a day, or in my case two consecutive afternoons.

Alys Conran-Dignity- This is a wonderful book. Told through three narrators, Evelyn Roberts who marries and goes to India in the 1930’s, her daughter Magda who we meet at the end of her life living out her days in a big rambling house in the fictitious seaside town of Bay Mouth and her carer Susheela. Evelyn finds the life of a woman in a British colony extremely restrictive and hard. I really enjoyed reading her narration. My Dad was sent to India in WW2 and found the colonials very unwelcoming to the officers who had joined during the war. No croquet and cucumber sandwiches for him. Themes include, the role of women, the treatment of the Indian servants and staff, the life of a British born Indian in the UK, PTSD , love, relationships, money, etc etc. A lot to get one’s teeth into.

Jodi Picoult- Sing you home- There are some authors that I re-shelve week after week during my library shifts, and have never tried myself- Dilys Court and Josephine Cox come to mind. Jodi Picoult was another- I assumed,  wrongly, that she wrote chick lit, not a favourite genre of mine, but as I say I was wrong. I have a dread of running out of books to read over a bank holiday so choose this one just in case. Oh my days, it is good. Same sex relationships, infertility, court room scenes over battles for the frozen embryos, so much detail, so well plotted. Thoroughly engrossed me through the hot weather. A jolly good read. Is it a film? It would make a good one for sure.

And those are the books I read this month. Thanks to everyone who mentioned these to me. Love to know who has read any of these and what they thought. Have you read any good books this month?

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Comments on: "Books- August 2019" (46)

  1. This sounds like a good variety of books. I’ve only read other Jodi Picolt books (not this one) and they were always very well researched and thought out.

  2. Great selection, love Picoult books, I need to add this one to my list. I didn’t have much luck with my August books. One of them I stopped after a few chapters, and another one I carried on until the end, it was good, but the end made me dislike it. Hope for a better September reading.

  3. I do like the sound of Watching You. I will put it on my list. Xx

  4. Wow if I am looking for my next read ideas, I can reference your blog, awesome 🙂

  5. I scared to read this – as I’m so not reading at the moment. But I know where to come when I need some recommendations.

  6. I am tempted by Dignity. Will check to see if it is in my library. The only one I have read on your list is Watching You which I loved.
    I am reading A Murder Unmentioned by Sulari Gentill, I think it is #6 in the Raymond Sinclair series. I read the previous books many years ago and I spotted the three most recent books in the library, this is the first of those three. The books are set in Australia and each chapter starts with a news cutting. Excellent entwining of Australian history in crime fiction. The first book in the series is A Few Right Thinking Men. https://suth2.wordpress.com/2012/03/18/a-few-right-thinking-men-is-that-what-we-need/
    I read the first book in 2012.

    • I bet they are good too. The library has e versions of two of the most recent ones, but not the one you mentioned. I shall keep my eyes open in charity shops and certainly worth a trip to our second hand paperback shop in town.

  7. Wow, seven books in one month — I seriously need to make more time to read! These all sound so good. Thank you for the recommendations, Cathy.

  8. claire93 said:

    I do love it when you give a nice long list of book reviews . . . I’m now off to have a look on amazon.

  9. Some nice book choices. I read several Jodi Picoult books a few years ago, loved several, but disliked a couple for being too ‘samey’. I rediscovered her recently having picked up ‘Mercy’ in a charity shop – definitely one I’d recommend if you fancy another Jodi Picoult. (A husband had been asked by his wife to help her to die as she had a terminal disease, should he be on trial for murder?). I shall add Sing You Home to my own pile to read. I loved your Lisa Jewell title !!

    • Jodi Picoult does turn up a lot in charity shops, so if I can’t find them in the library I can always pay hard cash for them,

  10. Another batch of excellent reads! I just finished a trilogy on William Marshall, which I found very interesting. Elizabeth Chadwick is the author. I also read Into the Free by Julie Cantrell, which I didn’t like at first, but it grew on me. Now I’m reading The Orphan’s Tail by Pam Jenoff, which is about a circus during WW2.

  11. I think I would enjoy the one about the lost village and India – I will look out for them.

  12. Ooh, I hadn’t come across that book about Imber. We used to visit quite often when we lived in Wiltshire. It was also sometimes open at Christmas and Easter so people could visit the church. The peace and quiet is what strikes you.

  13. You’re quite the reader, Cathy! I’m stuck in a rut, I’m afraid, of reading mostly murder mysteries and some non-faction and little else.

    • Following recommendations on my blog has really broadened my reading of books and authors I wouldn’t have given a second look at. And gradually I have sussed the ones that really match my likes. I am very partial to a murder mystery myself.

  14. I haven’t read any of these either! But I have just succeeded in persuading my local library to buy half a dozen books to complete the chronological sequence of a series I’ve found riveting. It’s by Laurie J King, and it features Mary Russell, a young woman who becomes an apprentice to Sherlock Holmes in his retirement to the country. The series is extremely well written, the period detail is excellent, and I love her development of the characters of Mary, Sherlock and Mycroft Holmes, Dr Watson and Mrs Hudson, as well as a huge supporting cast through the series. If you like a period detective story, do yourself a favour and begin at the beginning, with The Beekeeper’s Apprentice.

    • I like the Russell and Holmes books a lot, too! At least the first several–I didn’t like the Pirate King and haven’t read any since then, I don’t think.

      • The Pirate King was my least favourite too, but it definitely gets better in later books. It does help to read them in the correct order, which is why I besieged the library till they filled the gaps!

        • Well done on persuading the library to get the books. I think I read the beekeepers apprentice, and wasn’t there a film too? I will order it and at the very lest have an enjoyable reread.

          • I haven’t been able to trace any film by the same title, but I’d say a film series would be fun if much more shallow than the books. There’s such a lot of thought and introspection in them that I don’t know how it would transfer into a movie.

  15. You had some great reading this month!

  16. I haven’t read any of these. Jodie Picoult is often on lists I see and like you I’ve always dismissed her – maybe time to give her a go? I just finished reading ‘The Secret Wife’ by Gill Paul, a novel of the Russian Revolution and today. I thought it very good and it sent me off looking for more info on the last days of Czarist Russia now I’m reading ‘The Murmur of Bees’ by Sofía Segovia which is one of those beautifully written and slightly magical stories we stumble on every so often.

  17. Thanks, have made a note of these, my local library has been closed for 3 months because it’s been getting a new roof – can’t wait to get back into it! 🙂

  18. I’ve read the very good ‘The Sealwoman’s Gift’ as you know but none of the others.

    Books I’ve read recently that I would recommend and think you would enjoy are:

    ‘Queenie Malone’s Paradise Hotel’ by Ruth Hogan a non-demanding but charming book and better than her first two IMO.

    ‘The Familiars’ by Stacey Halls set at the end of the 16th century when being accused of witchcraft was just one of the things women were at risk of.

    ‘The Doll Factory’ by Elizabeth Macneal. I’m in the middle of this at the moment but really enjoying it. A young woman who is an aspiring artist meets a member of the pre-Raphaelite brotherhood and becomes both model and student whilst a sinister presence in her life seems, at least at the stage of the book I’ve reached, to have a sense of foreboding about it.

  19. I like the sound of Sally Magnussons book, I’ll look out for that one. I’ve read quite a few Jodi Picoult books, they are always very well researched and always have a twist at the end! My favourite is My Sisters Keeper, though have some tissues ready and ignore the film – they changed the end!!!

    • I was impressed with the level of research that had gone into Jodi Picoult’s book. I recall reading about the film My sisters keeper, I didn’t realise it was a book as well.

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