September has been yet another absolute weirdo of a month. Coronavirus feels like it’s getting well out of control again globally but it’s also coinciding with a lot of people giving significantly less of a shit about it. It’s terrifying how many people think a global pandemic is some sort of mind-control hoax but here we are. 2020 isn’t it?
From a personal point of view it’s been difficult both financially and mentally but I also managed to take two weeks off work which was much needed. In that time I had a massive clean and organisation of my entire house. It’s a very small house but it still took ages. I took a ton of books (barely think that’s an exaggeration) to the charity shop, donated a bunch of furniture and recycled so many clothes. It’s been….cathartic. I’ve also managed to sort out my wee home office (see pic) so hopefully it’ll feel less miserable in there when I’m working. I’ve also got plenty of workout space in there now too which is vital since I’ve sadly had to quit the gym for a bit until I’m back on my feet a bit more after Boiler-gate and Porch-gate.
Reading-wise it’s been a lovely month. I’ve enjoyed so many of the books I read and have so much more to get excited about in the final quarter of the year too. All good in the reading hood.
Shuggie Bain by Douglas Stuart is an incredible book. Touching, heart-breaking and beautifully written this struck all sorts of notes with me. I’m delighted that Stuart has now been short-listed for the Booker Prize, I would absolutely love if it went to him #ScottishBias
I was so so SO thrilled this month to finally get my hot little hands on The Thursday Murder Club by the brilliant Richard Osman. I actually got the last copy of the day from Tesco so felt very lucky. It’s an absolute hug of a book. Cosy, heart warming, mysterious, funny, perfect. Read it in a day and cannot wait for the next one.
One of my favourite reads this month was Summer of Night by Dan Simmons. I’ve had this one on my TBR for literal years so it was good to really sink in and enjoy it. It spooked me big time which is all I ask from my horror reads.
The Ladies of Horror Fiction hosted a readalong at the start of the month and I managed to read four novels for it: My Sister, the Serial Killer by Oyinkan Braithwaite; House of Glass by Susan Fletcher, The Book Collector by Alice Thompson and Harrow Lake by Kat Ellis. Harrow Lake turned out to be a bit of a chore but the first three were wonderful reads. The Book Collector in particular absolutely blew me away. One of those right book, right time moments.
Finally, and randomly, I read The Story of Babushka by Catherine Flores as part of a Book Tour. Children’s Books aren’t usually my thing, as I have no kids yet, but I dunno, when I got the email I saw a matryoshka and couldn’t help myself. Turned out to be a good thing though as this was an utterly charming and lovely wee read. Keeping hold of it in the hope I’ll have someone to read it to someday.
I chose to read a short story collection for The Read More Book Club this month: The Bloody Chamber by Angela Carter. While I liked a couple of the stories a lot I found her writing style wasn’t to my taste.
By luck, what I had been hoping to find within The Bloody Chamber (feminist retellings/reimaginings of fairytale and folklore that wouldn’t bore me to death) I actually found in Hag: Forgotten Folktales Retold. This was a really brilliant collection, I can’t actually think of any I didn’t enjoy. Every single writer in this collection absolutely smashed it.
I also read Reality, and Other Stories by John Lanchester this month and really enjoyed the collection overall. It was a good mix of traditional ghost stories and satire which is right up my street.
It’s been a slow month as it goes for non-fiction. The only book I read was Now We Have Your Attention: The New Politics of the People by Jack Shenker. This was part of a Tandem Collective readlong and those are always good fun so I enjoyed it a lot. The book was a decent read and I think it would be a good introduction to political writing for people interested in delving in. That said, when a book is touted as British it would be good if there was more than just slight lip service to the devolved nations.
How was your September? Have you read any of these books? What did you think?