Goodbye August…Hello September

Yes believe it or not it’s that time again. The time to say adious August and welcome in another month which as always will hopefully be filled with many bookish delights. But before I get too excited about the month ahead and all the books I can’t wait to read, it’s time to look back on the books that made August for me.

Sadly this month was a slow one for me, probably because I did something I never do and re read a book, well half a book actually…I will explain. You may remeber that last month I read The God Of Small Things by Arundhati Roy and had a very mixed reaction to it. Whilst on the one hand I was able to appreciate the intelligence and effort that went into this novel I was on the other hand left bereft at my lack of ability to connect with the book. I felt strangely detached from all that happened in the book, slightly defeated by the fact that I had not had the same awe inspiring reaction to it as so many other readers seemed to have had.

When reading the first half of the book I took pain staking time to make sure I fully absorbed every sentence and detail. About half way through though I really gave up and forced myself to fly through the story which is something I never do.

So with this in mind I endevored to read the second half and the result was still a little disapointing. Sadly I didn’t finish the book a true convert to the novel, nor did I feel that I could honeslty say I had discovered the magic of Roy’s work. However I did manage to relax a little, take my time and appreciate certain events and messages within the book that previously had evaded me. I won’t be compltely changing my opinions on this book but I can say the ending was more touching the second time round and for that reason slightly more enjoyable.

So after this slow and rather frustrating read I moved onto something far more uplifting, Witch Light. A story of the atrocious witch hunts in the Seventeenth century and one womans story of survival. The novel was quite unlike anything I usually read and made for a pleasurable story. Especially given that this book describes beautifully the world of Glencoe and all of the majesticy of the natural world. A refreshing change to the rainy days I have been spending in Manchester.

Next up was the wonderful Before I Go To Sleep which I will be reading as part of a  book group tonight…I can’t wait. Until then I will hold back on my thoughts and share them with you in the next few days. I can’t wait to see what everyone else though though and report back to you all.

So what about September, well thankfully I will be enjoying a much needed holiday this month and whislt it might mean a fairly quiet blogging month, for which I apologise in advance, it will hopefully give me the space to catch up on some much needed reading time.

What do you think of my reading choices, I’ve selected Never Look away by Linwood Barclay, I became a fan after reading No Time For Goodbye earlier in the year. A good crime thriller should, fingers crossed, be the perfecr partner for afternoon’s spent by a pool enjoying the sunshine.

I’m also contemplating The Girls by Lori Lansen’s which is the story of conjoined twins. The book comes highly recommended and it seems like a sad but inspiring story so this may well find it’s way into my suitcase. Has anyone else read this book?

I also picked up Rebecca by Daphne Du Maurier at a steal of a price from a second hand bookshop. Whilst this might not make it to Spain with me I do hope it makes it onto my reading list in September as I finally have a copy and can’t wait to read it.

And last but not least I picked up a book by an author that I hadn’t even heard of till I saw it’s attractive silver and pink cover. It’s called White Mice and is written Manchester born writer Nicholas Blincoe which I admit also added to the novels appeal. It seems completley different to the type of literature I usually go for and for that reason it’s top of the TBR list.

So that is August summed up for me and thats my plans for September. So what about everyone else? What are you reading and what did you discover in August? What do you think of my selection? Are there any books on there that you have already read or plan to read? I’d love to hear what reading you have been getting up to?

Also if anyone can recommend some great books suitable for a book group then they would be greatly apprecaited. Tonight is our third meet and as of yet I have no suggestions. Any thoughts?

Happy reading everyone, I hope September brings many treasures your way.


Help I’m having a book dilemma!

We all know the problem so many books such little time. We have bookshelves at home teeming with books, threatening to collapse under the sheer weight of such a tantalizing selection of reads. And yet there’s just not enough hours in the day to read them! So now that I have a summer holiday booked it seems only right that I gear myself up for some serious pool side reading. Bliss. Off course now that I have this imminent freedom I’m stuck – which books do I take?

 And that’s where you all come in, I’m desperate for suggestions and I would also love to hear what you have been reading this summer. Whether it’s on a beach, by the pool or just enjoying some sunshine in the park. Which books have been your summer companions this year? Or indeed in previous summers? Have you read anything that made the perfect partner for hot summer days, can you suggest a book that is perfect for willing away rare uninterrupted hours with?

 I’m going to Barcelona and Alicante and shamefully I’ve read very little Spanish literature so can anyone recommend any good books relating to the Spanish region or culture?

I’ve composed a short list of my most memorable summer reads and would like to hear yours. Please feel free to leave your comments or even better post your list on your blog and I will check it out.

 Here are my summer reads;

The Forgotten Garden by Kate Morton – I don’t know about you but when I’m on holiday I like to chill out. So I put aside my more heavy demanding books and indulge in something with a strong compelling story, something I can completely lose myself in. I read this book when travelling on a gap year and it made the perfect antidote to long car journeys in the Australian heat. The novel which is set primarily in England beautifully depicts our countryside in the setting of a vividly detailed country home. I loved the magic and enchantment of this book. My only criticism – the splendor of the English countryside is so strongly portrayed that occasionally I was left rather homesick. 

 One of my top summer reads this year is The Poison Tree by Erin Kelly. I bet people are sick of me singing this books praises but I really can’t stop. I read it on a rare day off from work, the sun was shining, the afternoon was mine and the book was the ideal company I craved. A book quite simple in it’s narration but with a story that is so gripping I could not put it down – isn’t that what summer reading is all about after all?

No Time For Goodbye by Linwood Barclay– I hardly ever read crime fiction books which is probably quite evident from my blog but when I read No Time for Goodbye I absolutely loved it. Sometimes I guess you just can’t beat the plot line of a really good crime or thriller story. Although I read this book in winter I kind of wish I had read it in summer as it would have being a great pool side read. A book guaranteed to help you wind down and relax whilst still captivating your attention from page one. His latest novel Never Look Away is out and I can’t think of a better place or time to read it than on holiday. It’s the only book I know I will be taking with me. Has anyone else read this book?

Cloth Girl by Marilyn Heward Mills – One of the great things I discovered when travelling is that books are given a whole new sense of freedom. There are so many travelers who have with them adored books but are unable to carry them about. Instead books get exchanged far more freely than they probably would under normal circumstances, you more often that not find yourself being given a wide array of books and all for nothing! One such book that’ sticks out for me is cloth girl a book that from blurb and cover alone probably wouldn’t have caught my eye but it came so highly recommended that I read and loved it. A top summer read and a truly touching story all rolled into one.

One Day by David Nicholls– If anyone asks me to recommend them a good summer read then I will straight away suggest One Day. A book that seems unparalleled in it’s power to captivate a universal audience, this book is the book that summer readers dream of. It has love, loss, sadness, elation and it is so achingly true to human life and love that it’s hard to find a reader not captivated by this book. If you want a book that will have you laughing and crying in abundance then I would definitely suggest this novel. It was certainly one of my top summer reads this year.

The Novel in the Viola by Natasha Solomons – Again another novel that brilliantly evokes the British country side in full summer bloom, this book works in perfect harmony with warm ( albeit rare) English summers day. Take this book to a secluded park and prepare to give up a summers afternoon to a book that once opened cannot be put down.

So that’s my list of perfect summer reading. What about everyone else? Any memorable books that you’ve read that perfected long, hazy summer days? Maybe you have a holiday planned and have a selection of books that you also can’t wait to read? And what do you look for in a summer book? I’d love to hear your thoughts and off course your much needed recommendations.