September was pretty much an average reading month for me, six books read... well actually five and half... as one of them, Barchester Towers, is a book I started back in August and have been reading slowly. So this is what I read:
58. Bone Crossed - Patricia Briggs
59. The Gates - John Connolly
60. Barchester Towers - Anthony Trollope
61. Blood Detective - Dan Waddell
62, Eclipse - Stephanie Meyer
63. The Small Hand - Susan Hill
Every single one of these was a thoroughly good read, but if I had to choose a favourite it would probably be Barchester Towers. It was just so beautifully written, characters that were very memorable and superbly drawn such as Obadiah Slope, and an excellent storyline. And honestly, it was so much fun and a joy to read. My next book in the Barchester series is Dr. Thorne which I have on my Kindle but I'm wondering how long I'll be able to resist getting myself a nice hard copy.
So six books read, five of those for Carl's R.I.P. VI challenge, so I'm very pleased with that acheivement. If I don't manage to read anything else for the challenge, five will complete it quite nicely. Although I *am* hoping to read several more... I have the Miss Peregrine book everyone's talking about, from the library, and a couple of others that will fit in very well. It all depends on real life circumstances really.
Next up, a quick review... my first book for October is The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie by Alan Bradley.
The story here is based around the De Luce family who live in a crumbling country pile by the name of Buckshaw. Flavia de Luce is eleven or there abouts and very keen on chemistry, a child prodigy you would probably say. She lives with her father, and two older sisters that she doesn't get on with. In fact at the beginning of the tale she's tied up and gagged and left by them in a wardrobe. Their father lives there but is not there in spirit. His wife died some years ago and he has become a bit of a recluse, interested only in his stamp collection.
When Flavia finds a dead body in the cucumber patch early one morning, after witnessing a strange meeting between her father and the dead man the night before, she sets about investigating the crime. Is it connected to the dead bird with a stamp impaled on its beak that turned up on the doorstep a few days ago? The answer is almost definitely yes. But where does her father's stamp collection fit in? And why is the local librarian obsessed with Flavia's father's school days and clique of friends? The local police seem clueless but Flavia is not. Methodically sorting out the clues and using her skills as a chemist to aid the investigation, Flavia finds herself not only one step ahead of the police but ultimately in some considerable danger herself.
I think I might be the last person in the world to read this book. Since I first read about it on various blogs two more books have been written in the series! And I'm very pleased about that as I enjoyed this one immensely.
Flavia is such a wonderful character, full of curiosity, intelligence and enthusiasm. I have to say I'm not too sure that an eleven year old would have quite that grasp of the English language but it's all so charming that it's quite easy to suspend disbelief. You find yourself not only rooting for her all the way through the book but also feeling a lot of sympathy as her family is really quite dysfunctional. The father has no interest in his three daughters and Flavia's sisters are appalling in their disinterest and spitefulness.
The plot itself is huge fun, I loved following the clues and, as a lapsed stamp collector, found all the philately details fascinating. Humour abounds as Flavia flies around the countryside on her trusty bike, Gladys, telling the reader her thoughts on everything imaginable but especially chemistry. Truthfully, it was one of those books I found myself reading with a smile on my face and that's not to be sneezed at as an accomplishment of the author, Alan Bradley.
Wonderful. Loved it and have already reserved book two, The Weed that Strings the Hangman's Bag, from the library.