Monday 1 October 2012

October Reading - and Writing!

To celebrate the start of October, here
is the the illustration for the month from
the Duc de Berry's Book of Hours, which
was created in the 15th century.
Well, October is upon us, and what with holidays, various trips, visits from my Mother and Elder Daughter, outings with Younger Daughter, computer problems, and then mum being ill, I seem to be way off track with reading and blogging, and need to get myself organised again. August and September really didn't go according to plan, and while I seem to have read lots of books which weren't on the monthly list, there were things I meant to read and didn't - and I didn't get round to posting many reviews. So October is going to be a kind of mopping up month, caching up on writing, and reading things which have been sitting around for a while. Actually, I said that about September, but I can but try – and if I don't succeed, at least I will be well prepared for November!

I didn't get round to 'To The Lighthouse', because I loved 'Mrs Dalloway' so much that after years of being scared to read Virginia Woolf, I'm now afraid to read more in case I don't like it as much! And Kate O’Brien’s Without My Cloak' is still on the shelf, unopened.

My notes on Carol Ann Duffy's 'The Bees' flew away when Younger Daughter's old computer (which I used after my laptop died) ceased to function at all and, despite assurances from The Man of the House, they do not appear to be on the hard drive. Since this was a library book, I can't write about it until I can borrow it again - unless I buy it! A rough draft of my thoughts on 'The Provincial Lady Goes Further', by EM Delafield also disappeared into the ether in the great computer disaster, but I can remember what I said about that, and re-instate it fairly easily.

Meanwhile, the stack of books that are 'read but not posted' seems to have grown. There's 'Kilmeny of the Orchard', by LM Montgomery, for my Canadian Reading Challenge (I've got mixed feelings on this one), and 'The Third Miss Symons', by FM Mayor, which was difficult to get into – it was one of those books where I wanted to slap the central character (you can't possibly call her a heroine) good and hard.
Some of the 'read but not posted' pile.
But Madeline Miller's 'The Song of Achilles' and 'Fair Exchange' by Michele Roberts were both absolutely fantastic, and Diana Tutton's 'Guard Your Daughters' was one of the best novels I've read this year. And I mustn't forget 'Jabez', David McKie's account of the rise and fall of a Victorian rogue whose financial frauds rival anything dreamt up by modern scoundrels, and could come straight from a Trollope novel.

That sounds a lot of catching up, but they are books that I've read, and I've even scrawled out some some ideas about them, so it won't take long to turn my thoughts into proper posts (as long as I can decipher my writing!).
To be read...
So, hopefully, I'll have plenty of time for more reading. Susanna Moodie's 'Roughing it in the Bush' will put me back on course with my Canadian Reading, and I'm looking forward to 'The True Deceiver' by the wonderful Tove Jansson, which was just begging to be rescued from a charity shop. And I bought 'The Town in Bloom' when I ordered 'Guard Your Daughters' because I wanted to explore more Dodie Smith. In addition, although the Beryl Bainbridge Reading Week is long since fiished, I've acquired 'Every Man For Himself' and 'Injury Time'. And I got Carola Dunn's 'The Gunpowder Plot' from the library, because people keep telling me how good her Daisy Dalrymple mysteries are, so I thought I would give one a go. Finally, I'm just finishing Robert MacFarlane's 'The Wild Places', downloaded on the Kindle some weeks ago for an incredible 99p. I love a bargain!


  1. Aahhhh, so you're part of the Canadian Book Challenge as well. Good for you! I'm enjoying it very much.

    1. Me too! I know very little about Canadian literature so it's a voyage of exploration.

  2. Oh dear, I haven't got round to doing my September books. Reading what you said about The Third Miss Symons, I looked up my own review and found I didn't like the book at all.
    Much as I enjoy most books by LMM, I find Kilmeny er, creepy, shall we say?

    1. It is certainly a little odd... review on Friday, hopefully!

  3. I too loved The Song of Achilles. Great post!

  4. What a wonderful lot of reviews to look forward to! I'm so pleased that you loved GYD - can't wait to hear your thoughts on that. And then there's The True Deceiver, Injury Time, and the promise of more Virginia Woolf!

    1. Simon, thank you! Your enthusiasm for books always cheers me up, even if your recommendations make spend money!