As I’m writing this, the sun is just beginning to set, sending great fluffy streaks of orange and pink across the sky. I’ve lit some lamps, the heating is whirring away and the radio is chuntering in the background. I’m done with work for the week and am feeling rather relaxed.
As it always does when I sit down for longer than 2 minutes, my mind turns to books: what I’ve read, what I’m going to read.
October was a cracking reading month for me. I’m not entirely sure why, but I raced through a total of 12 books last month. It helps that at least 2 of them are so slender, it was like reading a short story (actually felt quite cheated by the Beard one and cannot remember a single relevant thing from it).
Rosie felt oddly disjointed, Red Bones was okay, Mad Girl made me wince on more than one occasion and The Salt Path gave me hope.
My favourites? Big Sky for being a typical Atkinson-Brodie book: so many threads and stories intertwining, weaving a complex tapestry that Atkinson handles like the genius she is. always in control, always satisfying.
It Takes Blood and Guts by the Skunk Anansie singer, Skin was a riot. She pulled you up a chair in her favourite bar, got you a cocktail and let rip with her life story. Not the best written book but so compelling, a refreshing antidote to all the Britpop nostalgia nonsense that gets pedalled.
And EF Benson’s Mapp and Lucia series. As you can see from the state of them, I’ve read them more than once, and again this year because I needed the escapism. Disclaimer: I grew up near the village Benson bases Riseholme on and he nails it. Skewers the ridiculous snobbery to perfection. These are comic masterpieces that I gobbled down and felt refreshed for it.
On my bedside table now, I have Sandi Toksvig’s memoir, a perfect winter chiller in Pine and a biography of George Eliot. Plenty to be getting on with as my favourite task of buying books for other people begins. The seasonal round of family birthdays and Christmas usually sees me haunting the aisles of bookshops, towering piles of potential gifts (and a treat for me) next to me. This year I’m going to have to browse remotely, so I’m using bookshop.org, the online alternative to Am...n.
Speaking of which, I have an affiliates page, which I'll keep adding to every time I finish a book I think is worth sharing. Feel free to browse, buy and generally cyber-potter to your hearts content.
Enjoy November. Hope you all have something sufficiently autumnal to read.