Wool, Wiltshire and All Manner of Wonderful Things!

I read most of these in August,concentration is a bit hard at the moment. I am sure you’ll understand. I maybe should add that I write these posts as I finish each book whilst it’s fresh in my mind, then try to tie things together in a post.

Elly Griffiths- The Blood Card- This sounded so promising . A murder mystery set in 1953 with spies, stage magicians and police. But it dragged, the pace was too slow. I kept going because the blurb promised a splendid reveal, a truly startling rabbit out of the hat. I’d call it a damp squib of an ending. Can’t recommend this unless you need something to send you to sleep !

Thomas Keneally- The Dickens Boy- This took me a while to read. Not certain if that was because the book didn’t grab me to begin with, or that life was getting harder by now. Anyway, the book- Charles Dickens had a large family. His father had ended up in a debtors prison and Charles as a young boy had been put to factory work. He grew up determined to never put his own family in a similiar situation, which explains his work ethics and prolific output. If his sons showed no academic aptitude he sent them to the colonies to apply themselves, Canada, India and Australia. Such was the fate of his youngest son Plorn, sent to Australia to try sheep farming. The book has two themes, Dickens himself, in particular his affair with an actress and separation from his wife, and a portrayal of colonial life in New South Wales. I enjoyed the book. It told me nothing new of Dickens, but the descriptions of Australia and life there were interesting.

Lisa Jewell- Invisible Girl- A good psychological read. Don’t want to give anything away. The hint is in the title.

Susan Hill- Howards End is on the Landing. Big thank you to everyone who gave a shout out for this book. Susan Hill is one of my favourite authors , and nothing to do with our mutual birth place. One year she decides to only read the books she owns, reading the ones she didn’t read before and revisiting old favourites. As well as drawing up her top 40 books, she litters her narrative with personal anecdotes, biographical details of long gone authors (link back to Dickens), different genre’s , where and when she reads and the authors she doesn’t like…. Jane Austin for goodness sake and Terry Pratchett which I totally get. She also talks of books that support her spiritually. Needless to say my to be read list has grown again. All I can say is I’d love to be a weekend guest and browse her bookshelves. I love looking at people’s bookshelves don’t you? A friend of mine says his father advised him never to bother with someone whose TV screen is bigger than the bookcase. No problems with me then.

Christina Hunger- How Stella learned to talk- Stella is a dog. Christina is a speech therapist who works with autistic children enabling them to communicate through AAD- Buttons= Spoken word. One day she notices her puppy’s behaviour and wonders if Stella could learn to use one. Yes she can! Big thanks to Kate for recommending this book, totally fascinating and funny as Stella is one opinionated dog!

Tennessee Williams – A Streetcar named Desire- Play that became a film with Marlon Brando. Fragile Southern Belle, hits hard times and goes to visit her sister and somewhat uncouth husband, gradually her mental health worsens. A re-read for me, thanks for reminding me of this play, Katie. Still powerful after all this time.

John Grisham – The Reckoning- ages since I read one of his thrillers, and this doesn’t disappoint. Pete Banning, a returning war hero inexplicably deliberately shoots dead the local Methodist Minister. He refuses to say why. Part one covers the court room scenes. Part two looks at his war time experience fighting the Japanese in the Philippines. The book doesn’t pull any punches , man’s inhumanity to man never ceases to shock me. Part three covers the aftermath for the family before revealing motive. It’s quite a long book, perfect holiday reading.

Yrsa Sigurdardottir- I remember you. The library classified this as “horror”. The blurb calls it a chiller thriller”. Whatever! There are two stories running side by side, and each chapter changes narrative until they come together. One involves three people renovating a spooky old house on a deserted holiday island in Winter, the other some inexpicable deaths, a psychiatrist and a missing child. It was OK, but not very scary if that’s what you like…..

I don’t think I will be finishing my current book quickly, I’m only managing a few pages at bedtime at the moment, so I will hit the post key.

As the days get shorter I think I will read more again. Escapism is good.

Love to know what everyone is reading at the moment.

And thanks for being here, x

Comments on: "August and September Books- 2021" (34)

  1. I’ve got ‘How Stella Learned To Talk’ waiting in the wings – I have an autistic daughter and two dogs so it’s a must really. I did read ‘This is How We Are Human’ by Louise Beech recently, also involving an autistic character and found it very interesting.
    I’m so pleased you are still finding comfort in books – what would we do without them?

  2. I burst out laughing at your description of the first book on your list. Funny how some manky fiction gets through, isn’t it? I know very little about Dickens’ personal life – you’ve made me want to read the Keneally book. But never enough time to read everything I want to these days….dammit, why IS that?
    It’s good to see your post popping up in my inbox. Looking forward to your next reviews, as usual x

  3. I am intrigued by the Invisible Girl. Might have to give it a read!

  4. Three more to find from your list. I now have an autistic piano student that is slightly verbal, so I will hunt for Stella first. I read the Reckoning last year, and really liked it. So glad to see your post, Cathy. XXOO

  5. a few titles there for me to keep my eyes open for, thanks Cathy ^^I read one by Sigurdardottir and can’t say I found it very convincing myself, so I’ll give that one a miss ^^

  6. Haven’t read, as in held a book, this past month, but have been listening to a repeat of whatever Louise Penny is audibly available on the Libby (library) app. Do you have access to that in Blighty? I have a Canadian friend who’s mentioned it so I know she can use it (she’s in B.C.).
    Now I think about it… I can read magazines published in AU and GB using Libby, which GREATLY thrill me!
    Have about talked myself into buying e-copies of both Osman books – after being somewhere around 50th in line for his second one, marked “On Order” at the library. (Sadly, not on Libby At All πŸ™ˆ, but I keep checking hopefully.) Am hoping amaz. doesn’t raise their prices.
    So glad you continue to read, and are writing to give us your thoughts. My state is still hovering around the 50% level of vaxed, which doesn’t make me eager to get out & about much. Tropical heat & humidity don’t help. But on the plus side, we’ve got some wonderful dry/cool weather thru the weekend – Thank You, Canadians, for the cold front!!! Twenty degrees cooler & 30% less humidity!!! 🍁 πŸ‚ 🍁
    Sending you warm hugs & all best wishes, Cathy. xx

    • I suppose I could try audio books again. I can’t stand things over or in my ears, but now I wouldn’t have to, and I could listen over the internet. Something to think about.

      • You don’t have to listen to an audio book, you can also read books online. That’s what I do, mainly with magazines (not available with audio). I just like to hear the French pronunciation of French terms in Penny’s books, and listen whilst sewing or crocheting. (I bought a digital copy of Osman’s 1st book last night & am enjoying the re-read. πŸ˜‰) xx

  7. I appreciate all the book reviews and suggestions! I have another Lisa Jewell book on my bookshelf and the invisible girl one sounds interesting. Right now I’m reading kingdom of copper the sequel to city of brass by S.A. Chakraborty – it fantasy/science fiction set in mysterious lands outside of 18th century Cairo Egypt, pretty awesome!

  8. Going Batty in Wales said:

    That looks an interesting mixture. I am off to the library next week so will see what I can get.

  9. I like the sound of Howard’s End is on the Landing, I rarely reread books because I know there are so many new stories to read.

  10. Nice to hear from you. It is interesting to read that Charles Dickens sent his children abroad. I know little about him so maybe I should read the book. How Stella learned to talk sounds good too. My friend has an autistic son who doesn’t speak. He’s not very fond of animals though. I am currently reading The Penguin 🐧 Lessons about a man who rescues a penguin from an oil spillage in 1970s South America. It’s a charming and heart warming read. x

  11. I’m so glad you liked the book. We still talk about it, and Mouse has adopted one of Stella’s phrases (only using body language) when he doesn’t get his way: “Love You No”… totally crushing, in this house of dog-spoilers!

  12. The Thursday murder club and the new follow up, which is even better than the first book. Osman is a clever clever guy!

  13. I am so so happy that you liked “Howard’s End is on he landing”!! I found that I disagreed with a lot of what she said about some books, but it was great because I felt as if I was more in a debate (without the thought exchange of course πŸ˜‰ ).
    It’s so good to know that reading helps you right now, I hope it continues to do so! Much love.

    • I really enjoyed the book and did feel I was talking with her, either agreeing if disagreeing. Book talk is my favourite conversation. So pleased my sons all read… Sometimes I like what they read, sometimes, eg life of a wrestler,definitely not, but then they tell me why they like it and that is good.

  14. Thanks for recommending How Stella Learned to Talk – it sounds interesting! As you know, my middle child is Autistic and uses a communication device to talk. How fun to see how this tool can be used in other ways πŸ™‚

    So glad to see that you’ve been able to turn to books for comfort. (And that you reread A Streetcar Named Desire!) I find that books are the best when I need a distraction from the “real world” — which can be a difficult place sometimes!

    • I found the book fascinating, I think you will enjoy it. Even if I have only managed a few pages at night, the simple act of holding a book and reading a few words settles me.

  15. You get more reading done in a bad month than I do in a good month. It’s all I can do to read as many of the blogs I follow in my sitting time so still working on the stories of Synchronicity. I have a couple of audio books and a couple e-books that I still can’t seem to get to reading. If I find something good, I’ll let you know. I look for something light and funny to read at night. Some of your reads do sound quite tantalizing. I’m not allowed in bookstores anymore. ;( I have too many TBR already. πŸ™‚ I do agree with the TV size and the size of the bookshelves. Maybe that’s why I have so few friends. Very few people I know have any books!

    • I am discovering that a nice film at night helps. Little Women and Paddington Bear have been good! I think you and I would be Good pals if we met. Thanks for being you.

      • I agree on both counts, Cathy. I used to make fun of my mother for slipping back into Disney movies or old sitcoms. Now I get it. Life is too stressful otherwise. Then once in a while it’s nice to watch something to help you cry it out. I’ll be here if you need someone.

        • Thanks so much. Last night it was Mary Poppins 2 watched with grandchildren and my so . Highly enjoyable but I prefer the original, the songs were so much better.

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