July has been a great month, the weather here in England has been lovely, and on the 18th I began the lovely long school summer holidays. Utterly exhausted the first week I did very little other than reading and blogging – I still seem to be a bit behind myself however. Two of my July reads I have yet to review. I read eleven books – and also (not listed) about eight short stories and a novella from A Capote Reader, a book I will add to my books read list after I have read the whole thing, but I am reviewing it in sections.
The full list – minus the Capote:
64 The Valley of Bones (1964) Anthony Powell (F)
65 Not so Quiet (1930) Helen Zenna Smith (F)
66 The Grass is Singing (1950) Doris Lessing (F)
67 Mapp and Lucia (1931) E F Benson (F)
68 Drawn from Life (1961) E H Shepard (NF)
69 Americanah (2013) Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie (F)
70 Eunice Fleet (1933) Lily Tobais (F)
71 Not Wanted on Voyage (1951) Nancy Spain (F)
72 A Girl is a Half formed thing (2013) Eimear McBride (F)
73 Ambrose Holt and Family (1931) Susan Glaspell (F)
74 An Impossible Marriage (1954) Pamela Hansford Johnson (F)
My three stand out reads from July would be:
1 Not So Quite by Helen Zenna Smith – a remarkable novel of women working as ambulance drivers on the western front. Read for the continuing Great War theme read.
2 The Grass is Singing by Doris Lessing – a novel recounting the murder of a white farmer’s wife, and the white society they lived in in Rhodesia. My first Lessing, of whom I have been a bit scared.
3 Ambrose Holt and Family by Susan Glaspell, – I’ll be reviewing this very soon, it tells the story of the upheaval to a family when an absent family member suddenly returns, and a woman who never feels she is taken very seriously particularly by the men in her life.
And so on to August.
On the Librarything Virago Group it is All Virago/All August. For some of us August is all about reading Virago books, often, though not especially, reading those lovely old original green Viragos we all collect, Persephones are considered honorary Viragos and so count too. I have loads of unread Viragos mainly green ones, and several later editions with the covers I rather dislike, so many, it becomes hard to choose. Therefore in an attempt to focus my mind – I have picked out a few I may read – definitely no promises. Authors I hope to read include Willa Cather, Nina Bawden, Winifred Holtby, Pamela Frankau and Irene Rathbone, but it is so easy to get distracted by other things. I am currently reading my eighth Anthony Powell book The Soldier’s Art, I have Goodbye to Berlin coming up too for that new book group I began attending just last night, and have more Capote stories to read in my A Capote reader, and his short novel A Summer Crossing. So I am feeling rather overwhelmed – I may have set myself rather too much to do, but I tell myself that it’s a nice problem to have. I am off to Devon on holiday in a couple of weeks, and I usually take my kindle for ease, but I don’t think I will be this year, only one of the books I may read in August is on my kindle, so it may have to be a bagful of books again. I am very aware of Austen in August and I had planned to re-read Mansfield Park, which I even have in an old Virago green edition! But I may have to abandon Jane this year, too many books, too many books!
What will you all be reading? Any special plans?