September Reading Fun & Plans for October

Well here we are again, no sooner was I writing a post on my August reads and here I am month later reflecting back on my reads in September. But instead of dwelling on the equivocal nature of time I will instead share with you what has been for me a wonderful month of reading.

You know those months when no matter what you pick up you love it, from one book to another it’s great read after great read. O I love those times. So I started the month with Fear The Worst by Linwood Barclay and whilst I can’t proclaim that this book is stylistically ground break or award worthy it was a damn good holiday read and any book that has me desperate to get from the first page to the last will do for me. And so September was kicked off in crime fiction style.

Next I went for a book that couldn’t have being any different; a novel about conjoined twins. It was a brave, honest, frank and beautifully told story written through the eyes of two girls with big personalities. I laughed and cried in abundance and urge anyone who hasn’t read this book to give it ago.

Just to lighten things up a little I read Gigi by Colette and I still have fond memories of a sunny day in Spain reading this book poolside whilst laughing away to Colette’s hilarious character portrayal in a novel sure to inspire great pleasure and enjoyment.

After this it seemed rude not to read The Cat also by Colette and also included in the same book. This was a far more sombre book given a more playful edge with the addition of a cat named Saha who forms one-third of a love triangle also including his owner and his new wife. I didn’t enjoy the short story as much as Gigi but then I adored this book so didn’t quite expect to. Still it’s an engaging and worthy read especially as you can probably read it in one day given its minature size.

And next up I read this months book group choice, the breathtaking Annabel. I can’t say too much yet as the book group aren’t meeting till next week and I don’t want to give up all my thoughts yet, where would be the fun in that? But stayed turned as the review will be going up soon.

And lastly I started but didn’t quite finish Jayne Eyre. I’m still in the middle of it and loving it, Jayne has just met with a travelling gypsy proclaiming to tell her fortune, things are all up in the air lending excitement and intrigue to this read. I can’t wait to read on and see how things will unfold so this novel will form the start of my reading in October.

I don’t have many more plans for October other than whatever we decide for book group. I’d quite like to actually get round to the first in the Stieg Larsson trilogy kicking off with The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo. This book has been burning a hole in my TBR list for too long.

So what books kept you up reading this month, anything you can’t wait to recommend and tell me about? Or perhaps you struggled to find a book that you could connect with? I’d love to hear your thoughts and off course your reading plans for October.

Happy Reading All.

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The Cat by Collete

Feline magic is pared with tense marital complexity in a unique and engaging novella.

I apologise now for my recent Colette overload but you see ever since discovering Gigi I have been infatuated and desperate for more fixes of this fantastic writer.

Luckily my copy of Gigi also came with the short story The Cat.

The Cat is quite unlike Gigi in many ways and for that reason I did at first struggle to get into the story. There is a far more somber tone in this book. The Cat is a story about a love triangle between a recently married couple and the young grooms cat.

We first meet the couple, Alain and Camille a week before their marriage. While the young bride seems excitable and optimistic, Alain, whose perspective the story is told through, is more apprehensive and hesitant.

In fact to say Alain is hesitant may be an understatement as he battles with a mixture of lust and repulsion for his soon to be bride. Alain understands he must marry and so tries to encourage his own senses to be more inclined to Camille but it is with rather amusing irony that Colette portrays his rising anxiety.

Colette explores and portrays the range of disturbing and terrifying emotions that any soon to be married couple can experience and it is this fear that lends a darker, more heavy tone. The light relief for me was in the form of Saha, Alain’s beloved cat.

Now I’m a huge lover of cats, but many people may feel the complete opposite and I’m not sure how people disinclined towards cats will find this book. You see Alain is quite literally enthralled with Saha. The two have a beautiful bond of unspoken and unlimited affection for one another. They communicate through gestures and actions and unbridled commitment.

Camille, desperate to be an attractive and desirable bride is naturally perturbed by what seems to be a un-healthy obsession with Saha. How can she compete with a cat that he so clearly adores? Alain’s feelings only worsen after marriage and it is as though he can’t bear the reality of marriage and the fact that he will lose so much control over his personal life and sense of self.

Saha seems to be his one connection to his old self and a part of the man he was before marriage. When Alain realizes that he cannot be parted from his adored Saha he moves her into the marital home and it is with humour and wit that Colette describes a scenario that feels more like a three person marriage than anything else.

I won’t spoil the ending but needless to say Camille desperately struggles with Alain’s infatuation of Saha. I’m not sure whose side Collete is writing from but it seemed to be me that she was more sympathetically inclined towards Alain and Saha.

What worked wonderfully for me were the descriptions of Saha, Colette understands the movements and characteristics of our feline friends very well and this comes across with winning results in the book. Like all cats they have their own individual personalities and Saha is no exception, she refuses to be cast aside by marriage and has all the haughty huffs and sulks of a jealous lover.

This combined with Alain’s hesitations and doubts made for a read that was acutely in tune with our basic human emotions but that was also elevated with a sense of individuality and uniqueness thanks to the addition of Saha.

The book also got me thinking about other animals in books and how writers symbolically use them in books . Murakhami often features cats within his work and Yan Martel famously used a whole array of animals in The Life Of Pi in order to portray family life.

What books have you read that heavily featured animals and enhanced a story? Have you read The Cat, if so did you enjoy it?