Wednesday, 6 August 2014

A Year In Books - August

As I mentioned in last month's post, July was the month in which we were taking a holiday this year, so I expected to get a bit of reading time whilst on the beach.  I read the first book I intended, before we went away.  It was this book by Carmen Reid.

I enjoyed this book.  It was an entertaining read about a personal stylist/shopper at a smart department store and her attempts to juggle family life and build a business for herself.  It was easily picked up and put down and interestingly, included a holiday to Italy in the plot.

The remaining two books I had earmarked to read in July, I took away with me and the first one was read within a few days of arriving at our destination.  It was this book by Lucy Diamond.  This was an entertaining holiday read about a woman who inherited a beachside cafe from an aunt and gave up her life in Oxford to take over it's running, with all the trials and tribulations this incurred.   Light hearted, but with a plot that kept you interested.

I then graduated to the second book I took on holiday.  I'd bought this one as the main character was described on the cover as living and working in Hackney, London and this caught my interest.  It was once again good poolside/beach reading.  The central character, a young teacher, and her husband, purchase a run down cottage in the countryside and move out of London to renovate it.  All did not run smooth in the course of said renovation and this book reminds one how the dream doesn't always quite pan out as planned.  I  passed this book on to Little Bird to read once I'd finished it, as it was entirely suitable.   She devoured it within a couple of days and wants me to look out for other titles by the same author, which was very encouraging.

Having finished the second of my holiday reads with days left to go of the holiday, I decided I had no option but to read OH's holiday read (which he had finished reading) and which was a book from a set I'd bought him for Christmas, East of Eden by John Steinbeck.  I had thought upon buying the set for him, that I might like to read them myself, so this was a perfect opportunity to get started, although I was unsure that I would like his style of writing.  I needn't have worried.  Within a few chapters I was hooked and found it hard to put down, so compelling a read I found it.  It was set in California and charted the complexities of the lives of two families who lived in the Salinas valley.  I managed to finish the book on our return, before the end of July, but I'm entirely certain that it won't be the last of his books that I will read.

For August, my chosen books are these.  There's a good mix of the light hearted and slightly more serious reading.

I have read titles by Anne Tyler before and find her books quite enjoyable.  This book is about two Korean babies adopted by two American couples in Baltimore, whose lives are then inextricably linked.  I have started reading it and am so far finding it acutely observed and quite moving in parts.

Sophie Kinsella is another author I have read before and as I have two of her books waiting to be read, I thought that I would read one of them this month.   This one is about a woman who wakes up in a hospital bed, 3 years on from where she remembers herself to be, with perfect teeth where once they were crooked and what seems like a perfect life, married to a millionaire.  She soon finds out that all is not what it at first appears.

Finally, I'm hoping to find time to read Joanne Harris's book, although the synopsis on the jacket is a little dark, so I don't know how far I'll get with this one.  If I don't like the subject matter, I may have to send it back to the charity shop.

I'm pleased to note that the book pile is steadily being reduced, which is very encouraging.  There is still far more fiction than non-fiction, so I am sticking to reading fictional novels for a few months to try to even things out a little.  I haven't been buying new books for a while now, save for the odd one I see and simply can't resist.  I've also realised that I have quite a few more books on my book shelves still unread, so I'd like to make some inroads into those too, before I do buy any more.  It would be interesting to see if I could last a whole year without buying a reading book.  I might make that a new challenge starting today and see how long I last.

Joining in with Laura at The Circle of Pine Trees in reading a book a month for a year.


  1. East of Eden is a wonderful book. I love all of Steinbeck's writing.

    God bless.

    1. It definitely is. I'm looking forward to reading lots more of them. I'm just sorry it's taken me so long to get around to reading them.