Wool, Wiltshire and All Manner of Wonderful Things!

October books- 2020

Another good month for books- here they are, and please do let me know if you have read any of these.

A S Byatt- Possession- A Booker prize winner. It’s a beautiful book – well written and plotted with many layers. Essentially two young researchers in 1986 stumble accross some letters between two Victorian poets- one a supposedly happily married man and one an icon for lesbianism/feminism. Reputations are at stake in academia- collectors are at bay- can they uncover the truth. The scene is London, Brittany and wait for it my little bit of North Yorkshire- Whitby, Scarborough, Filey, the moors, the North Yorks Moors Railway, Goathland and even Pickering gets a mention. It’s quite a long book and the narrative is laced with poetry and letters- some of which I confess to having skipped- poems are based on fairy tales and myths and may not be accessible to people. Having said that it was a most enjoyable read and I can see why it won the Booker prize. Love to know if anyone else has read it- did you skip bits?

Rebecca Griffiths- The Primrose Path- A good thriller/murder mystery set in London, Northampton but mostly in mid Wales. Sarah was abducted and held captive for 11 days- now the kidnapper is due to be released and Sarah goes into hiding. Don’t be put off by the first two pages, it’s not all like this at all. Lots of twists at the end ,some I saw coming, most I didn’t! A good read on an Autumn day!

Kate Morton- The House at Riverton– I loved this book very much indeed. I don’t think I have ever read a book where I felt the ending didn’t matter but that is just how I felt about this as the read was so good. The story is set in a beautiful manor house from the 1910s to the present day- told through the memories of Grace who began life as a parlour maid before becoming an archiologist- she tells the story of the family that lived there and of the tragedy that occured by the Lake. In the present day Grace is recording her story for her grandson and “advising” a film maker on the authenticity of settings. An excellent book – so enjoyable that 50 pages can just disapper as you read. I’m putting it on my best 100 books list because it does evoke a period in our recent past very well indeed- the war, bright young things , the roaring twenties, the role of women, the class struggle, the decline of gorgeous houses….Thanks to everyone who sang this books praises- you were so right.

Terry Hayes-I am Pilgrim– so I’ll begin with a warning- there a few sections which are hard to read because of the content- you can skip them with ease. A political thriller- essentially the search by an undercover agent for a terrorist following 9/11. I’m not going to say anymore about the plot as I don’t want to spoil it.. the author has carefully plotted the story- when he needs a character to know the lay out of the land/ a helpful person he sets out a back story, and there are a lot scenes like this. An enjoyable read of a well crafted book, and yes I did skip a couple of sections.

Ann Cleeves- Red Bones- If you have never read a book by this author then do so- her murder mysteries are well crafted and a joy to read. This one is from her Shetland series and didn’t disappoint. Not saying another word as I don’t want to spoil it for you.

I had a birthday this month- think my family knows me well..

walks, murder mystery, self knowledge, cookery, card making and embroidery.

There were other treats too, like a bunch of flowers

lucky old me.

Think the books will keep me out of mischief for a while. I wondered has anyone got any books they are asking for this Christmas, or have you already bought some for someone else. To my mind you just can’t have enough books.

The weather has turned in England this month- well and truly Autumnal- time for getting out the blankets and quilts and curling up with a nice warm drink and good book. Bliss.

Happy reading,


Comments on: "October books- 2020" (40)

  1. Now I’m curious for the Kate Morton book! Happy late birthday!

  2. Happy Birthday and thanks for sharing all those book reviews! Possession sounds pretty interesting (even if there are bits to skip, ha) as do many of the others 🙂

  3. I’ve read all of Kate Morton’s books, she’s a lovely writer. Read the Secret Keeper next, it’s a sad but beautiful story. Happy belated birthday xx

  4. gillyflower said:

    Happy Birthday!

  5. Happy belated birthday Cathy! Thanks for the review, I would love to read all of them. From your new pile, the Artist’s way is great! I’ve read it and I always go back to it!

  6. claire93 said:

    happy birthday Cathy!
    Nope haven’t read any of the above and I’m going to be back to re-reading what I haveo n my shelves since Library is closed again due to new lockdown.

  7. Belated Happy Birthday! I have read all the Shetland series. Not quite the same as the series on TV but I enjoyed both just kept them separate in my mind. Saw Richard Osman talking about his book on TV so it’s on my list but not sure the library have a copy yet.

    • I think TV simplifies things and combines characters a bit. The husband of Fran- Duncan sounds very different in the book to the character in the TV series. Both very enjoyable.

  8. Happy birthday, books and book tokens are my favourite gifts. 😊 Kate Morton is one of those writers that I keep meaning to try but I’m never sure where to my start. X

  9. I was just thinking I should pull up my history and make a list of reads for the past couple of months, and now I have new titles to look for, thank you very much!! Looks as though you have a lovely spoiling for your birthday, well deserved! May this year be full of HAPPY moments and WONDERFUL adventures exploring your new home!

  10. Happy birthday! Hope it was wonderful 🙂 I did read Possession quite a while ago and loved it. I didn’t skip any bits, but I was a literature major in college, so probably have a higher tolerance for the poems and so on. If I was reading it today I might skip them now too 🙂

  11. Happy Birthday, my lovely! I haven’t read anything new for weeks; I took my Kindle on holiday and indulged myself by re-reading the entire series of Laurie King’s Mary Russell/Sherlock Holmes books, which I adore. I really must get back to the library…

  12. HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!! The flowers look beautiful, and your books very enjoyable.

    I’ve read all the Shetland series and enjoyed them very much, despite also having seen the series. There are differences in basic story lines, but those somehow got wiped away during reading. It also helps that the last several shows were “based on” the characters, rather than the books.

    As usual, sadly, most of the authors aren’t in this library system at all, being across the pond from you…

  13. What a wonderful selection of books you had for your birthday. I saw Richard Osman talking about his book on BBC2’s Between the Covers: https://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/m000nj84/between-the-covers-series-1-episode-2

    It sounds fascinating and already there is talk of a film. I’ll be interested to hear what you think of it.

  14. I read ‘Possession’ years ago and loved it. It is one of the (relatively) few books already packed up for our move as I know I will read it again.
    The criteria for books allowed to come with us were, 1) we haven’t read them yet and 2) we have read them loved so much we would read again. I had to be ruthless.
    I’ve also read the Kate Morton book and, if I remember rightly, I enjoyed it but it didn’t make my list to take with me – actually, I think I might have borrowed it from a friend.
    I’m reading a book on my Kindle at the moment which I think I bought on an Amazon ‘first read’ for 99p or something – might even have been free. It’s a piece of trash, frankly, and I’m considering abandoning it. I can’t even remember the name of it which is never a good sign.

    • p.s. Happy belated Birthday xx

      • Thank you, and not good if you can’t remember what it’s called. We moved with far too many books but I couldn’t part with more than a few in the end- mostly the sort you get for Christmas, laugh at once and relegate to the loo!

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