Wool, Wiltshire and All Manner of Wonderful Things!

Books- November 22

Oh my goodness , three very good books this month, and one merely ok. They begin with two with Autumn in the title as displayed in the library.

Ali Smith- Autumn- Well I liked the book cover! Basically nothing happens. Written in the aftermath of Brexit- clearly the author was a remainer,so she was in shock. The plot is pretty much non existent, two narrators, Daniel aged 101 in a care home and dreaming weird dreams, Elizabeth his one time neighbour who enjoyed walks with him as a child when he was in his 80’s, nothing suspect going on, visits him regularly and reads to him and recalls their conversations often about a British Pop artist called Pauline Boty. She is real , died young, largely forgotten now. And that’s about it. I skim read the last few chapters, curious to see what might happen. It was short listed for the Booker Prize. So has anyone read it, just what don’t I get about this book? But it does have a nice Autumnal cover.

Louis de Bernieres- The Autumn of the Ace-I chose this purely for the title from the library’s Autumn book display, not appreciating that it is the third book in a triology. The earlier books are, So much life leftover, and The Dust that falls from dreams, which fortunately I had read a few years back. There is no mention anywhere on the book’s cover that this is the case. Indeed it easily reads as a stand alone novel. The Ace in the title is Daniel Pitt, First and second world war hero. When we meet him he is intent on one final adventure in the Autumn of his years, which takes him to France and South Africa, and finally to Canada, before returning to England. There are multiple narrators, sometimes moving the plot along through letters, personal reflections,etc. I loved the book, I mean really loved the book. Being in the Autumn of my own years so much resonated with me, although my life has not been particularly exciting, I have made a better fist of personal relationships. I love his use of language, and some ofvthe quirky characters he interacts with. This book will be included in my top 100 books, the highest accolade I can give it. Love to know if you’ve read any of the books in this triology.

Jessica Moor- Keeper. Oh my days this is a grab you in book , read in 24 hours. A detective story, examing the apparent suicide of a young woman Katie Straw. She worked in woman’s refuge, and if you ever wondered why women stay with their abusers, this book tells it how it is. I managed a housing scheme for vulnerable women, and worked closely with women’s aid.Fabulous twist too, which I so nearly saw but didn’t.

Kate Sawyer- The Stranding- I think this must have been recommended by someone, so thank you. It is incredible, and I really enjoyed it. So I don’t spoil it for anyone I shall quote from the back cover. ” Ruth is ignoring the news. Like most people she has relationship problems, job stress, friends and family who need her. Ruth has a life. …. But the news catches up with her, her problems are swept away… Only with her old existence gone, does she realise how to live a full life”. Told by Ruth, her life before in London, and alternatively after in New Zealand. Unique and brilliant! Oh and there was swimming in the pond on Hampstead Heath!

December now. I have a stack of library books to snuggle down with , but first I shall read two books from my very own books with Christmas in the title.

Have you read any of these? What have you lined up for December, warm and snuggly for those of us shivering in Winter(freezing fog for me today), or the perfect Summer book for shade on the beach or in your garden?


Comments on: "Books- November 22" (12)

  1. Except for the first, they sound like great books! Thanks for the reviews – always on the lookout for new books 🙂

  2. I have picked one of Ali Smith’s books up at the library before, purely because of the cover, then couldn’t understand the story and gave up. X

  3. I read one of Ali Smith’s books for a book club – think it was Summer. No one liked it and most of us couldn’t understand it. None of us will ever pick up one of hers again. Thanks for the other recommendations though.

  4. I haven’t read any of them but intend to read some of them. Next year is going to be mainly ‘recommended reading’ plus ‘off the shelf picks’ not necessarily ‘new best sellers’. My library has Autumn of the Ace…plus the other two, so the first in the series is now on order. Here’s to 2023

    • I think you will enjoy the triology a lot. Look forward to hearing what you think. I need to tackle books I have been lent by family or own myself. I kept them in case we locked down again. And I have notebooks upon notebooks with recommendations from others, I periodically reserve some from the library, and cross off those the library doesn’t have. All of which is good until someone writes a booklist, and I’m undone!

  5. I took out Autumn of the Ace as well, but came to the same realisation. I think I’d like to read the other two first; so much information is assumed that the characters seem a little light. I’ve returned it for now.

  6. I’ve read The Dust That Falls from dreams so Louis de Bernieres’ The Autumn sounds interesting.

  7. Autumn of the Ace sounds interesting and Keeper even more so. I had connections with my local women’s aid many years ago so this is a book I would probably read and enjoy.

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