October’s been a pretty decent reading month for me – based upon the fact I have been in an increasingly downward spiral – numbers wise – for months and months. The picture above topped by my trusty kindle – which I have been having a bit of a conscience about – there are just so many books on it – and it’s so easy to forget about them, and I find, that I read so little on it these days. I do find my kindle so useful, light to hold, easy on my poor old eyes – but when it comes to choosing something new to read I am always drawn back to my real books. I wonder – is anyone else falling out of love a little with the old e-reader?
Anyway, on to October – it began with a lovely review copy – on my kindle – sent by Dean street press who are publishing the Furrowed Middlebrow titles, I read A Chelsea Concerto – a superb memoir of world war two. My next read was for my very small book group – we all loved it, a superb collection of essays; How to be a Heroine by Samantha Ellis about literary heroines it’s a work of feminism, literary criticism and memoir. Next came two utterly marvellous books for the 1947 club hosted by Karen and Simon, I read In a Lonely Place by Dorothy B Hughes and One Fine Day by Mollie Panter Downes – it seems 1947 was a very good year. My Name is Leon by Birmingham author Kit de Waal was simply unputdownable, it forced me to shed tears, but is a wonderful novel about the bond between siblings, identity and loss. I read that novel a week after I saw Kit de Waal and the wonderful Jackie Kay at the Birmingham literature festival. Goodness, I can still hear Jackie Kay reciting her poetry in my mind – I could have listened to them both all night. The Mussel Feast a slight novella from Peirene Press is a powerful little book, which became a modern German classic when it was published in 1990. My second read for #Woolfalong phase 5 was A Writer’s Diary – and it was simply a beautiful, powerful reading experience.
One of the best things about October is half term, and I started the holiday into the final hundred pages or so of A Writer’s Diary. I then moved on to a lovely old edition of Sing for your supper by Pamela Frankau, the first in a trilogy – I now have the next two waiting. Instead of a Letter by Diana Athill came next making the fourth non-fiction book for me in a month – that must be a record for me, you know what I’m like about non-fiction. I ended the month by racing through Summer Half by Angela Thirkell – it is ages since I read one of those – I need to be in the right frame of mind for Angela Thirkell. I think I needed a comfort read before I headed back to work.
So yes, I do still have two of those October reads to review, hopefully another review up by the end of the week.
And on to November.
I love November in her late autumn colours – bonfire night, the faint smell of smoke in the air as I walk home from work, and watching other people’s fireworks from my bedroom window. I love wearing poppies for Remembrance Day – the Last Post makes me cry. I am a sucker for the lights that start appearing (too early) for Christmas, and I am one of the few Brummies who love The German Markets that come to Brum about midway through November each year. So, yay for November.
#Woolfalong phase 6 – gets underway, but first I will be reading The Magic Toyshop by Angela Carter with my very small book group, which I am starting today. I also have several review copies (some pictured below, some on my kindle) I must try and get to (oh the guilt) though I won’t read them all this month. Jacob’s Room might be my first phase 6 Woolf read. So, tell me, what will you be reading in November?