August/September Summary and Plans for October

The last few months have been a bit of a blur for me. I’ve spent a lot of time away from home and when I have been back it is chaos because we’re having a lot of work done on our house. We’ve basically knocked down all the internal walls and restructured everything. This means I’ve been without electricity (and a kitchen or anywhere to sit!) a lot of the time and so I’ve found it difficult to blog. The end is now in sight, so hopefully things will get back to normal soon. Reading has also been at a slower pace, but I’m sure it will pick up again once the dust has settled!

Book of the Month: The Yearling by Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings

The Yearling

Vivid story about a family trying to survive in the swamps of Florida. It beautifully describes an almost forgotten way of life and should be more widely known. Read it!

Books Reviewed in August/September:

The Yearling by Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings 

Flight of Passage by Rinker Buck 

Nine Parts of Desire by Geraldine Brooks 

H is for Hawk by Helen Macdonald 

Fourth of July Creek by Smith Henderson 

The Miniaturist by Jessie Burton 

Confessions of a Ghostwriter by Andrew Crofts 

The Rabbit Back Literature Society by Pasi Ilmari Jääskeläinen 

Chocolat by Joanne Harris 

Plans for October

I’ve read (or tried to read) all the books currently in my sidebar so will be reviewing them when I get the chance. I’m afraid I haven’t got any other reading plans at the moment – I’m just going to grab whatever takes my fancy!

I hope you have a great month!


10 replies on “August/September Summary and Plans for October”

The kids and I actually started The Yearling on audio awhile back (back when they tolerated such things) and it just wasn’t a good listen. I’d like to take another stab at in print, because it is a classic that takes place in my state.

Sounds like a proper ‘Grand Designs’ job, Jackie! – I’m sure it’ll all be worth it when it’s finished.

‘The Yearling’ is now high on my tbr pile thanks to your review (hard to imagine a children’s book winning the Pulitzer these days!).

I read 22 books during August and September but the five star stand-outs were:

H.E. Bates’s ‘Fair Stood the Wind for France’, a novel set in the war that manages to be both lovely and incredibly tense even though there is hardly a jackboot in it.

Susan Downe’s ‘Juanita Wildrose: My True Life’ which is a fictionalised memoir about the author’s 102-year old mother, told in both the author’s own voice and Juanita’s (as the author imagines it) and utilising a blend of prose, poetry and newspaper clippings to reach back from Juanita’s dotage, via her rural childhood to her grandfather in the American Civil War. It’s an unusual book that is almost impossible to categorise but the writing is beautiful and a joy to read.

Ali Smith’s ‘How to be Both’ which is playful, witty and packed with ideas and ‘a-ha!’ moments. Although I’m still rooting for Richard Flanagan, I’d be equally happy to see this take the Booker Prize.

John Dufresne’s ‘Johnny Too Bad’, a fabulous collection of stories mostly about ‘Johnny’ (a character who would seem to be very similar to the Florida-based author) and his dog Spot. He manages to do poignant, gut-wrenchingly sad, surreal, laugh-out-loud funny and blackly comic, often all in the same story. I now want to read everything Dufresne has written, not least because his books have such great titles: ‘Love Warps the Mind a Little’, ‘Louisiana Power and Light’, ‘No Regrets, Coyote’… they sound wonderful (and a little mad) even before reading them.

Grabbing the books you fancy rather than having any definite plans sounds good – looking forward to your reviews of them, whatever they might be 🙂

David, Yes, it is almost worthy of Grand Designs – it’s just lacking the external beauty!

I’m glad ‘The Yearling’ is on your TBR. I think you’ll love it!!

Susan Downe’s book sounds interesting. It isn’t one I’ve heard of before, but I love unusual books with beautiful writing – I’ll make a note of the title and keep an eye out for it.

I love Dufresne’s book titles. I’m still not convinced about short stories, but I hope you enjoy reading his other books just as much.

Life without a kitchen is almost as worse as life without a bathroom. I’ve lived through both and wouldn’t wish that on anyone. Probably best to go with the flow when it comes to reading with so many other stressful changes. Good luck with the house and happy October!

Christina, I think life without a bathroom is worse. We’ve had no hot water for several weeks at a time, but luckily have always kept a working toilet throughout. I’m very glad we did all this through the summer months 🙂

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