Tuesday 31 October 2017

Books read in October

Well, I knew October would be a slow reading month and so it turned out to be. I read four books which, all things considered, is not actually terrible. Plus... they were all good books and that's a real bonus. And perhaps four good books is better than dozens of average ones. Anyway, these are the books:

55. The Tropic of Serpents - Marie Brennan

56. Bury Your Dead - Louise Penny

57. Jacob's Room is Full of Books - Susan Hill.

I'm not a huge fan of the author's crime novels, but I do think she writes a cracking good ghost story and I do enjoy her non-fiction (The Magic Apple Tree is delightful) especially her books about books. I love Howards End is on the Landing, read it several times, and enjoyed Jacob's Room is Full of Books just as much. It's written on a monthly basis, covering one year, and meanders all over the place with bits about the countryside, the weather, the author's life and yes... books! Very enjoyable, even though I sometimes did not agree with her opinions.

58. Thirteen Guests - J. Jefferson Farjeon.

This is your classic Country House Mystery, the house concerned being Bragley Court. Lord Aveling invites twelve people for a weekend house party and they are joined by Jon Foss, a stranger who had an accident on the platform of the railway station, and was brought to the house by one of the female guests. That makes the number of guests thirteen of course, 'unlucky for some'. Foss is a keen observer of various shenanigans and then two dead bodies turn up and things turn interesting as the police are brought in and secrets are slowly revealed. This crime yarn was excellent, quite pacey once it got going, interesting characters - I always find 'motive' the most interesting part of a mystery like this and this one didn't disappoint. Very much of its time (the 1930s) but I'm always intrigued how these books often illustrate the old saying, 'The more things change, the more they stay the same'. Another excellent BLCC book.

So that's October almost done and dusted. Four good books so it's hard to choose a favourite really. If pushed I would have to go for:

This was a brilliant instalment of Louise Penny's Armand Gamache series set in Quebec. Loved the snowy Quebec City and Three Pines setting, the library, the history... it was perfect. Five stars on Goodreads, no quibbling.



DesLily said...

Hi sis... well, you said 4 is a slow month for you.. my year is horrid for reading and so I read 4 this month and that was GOOD for me lately! lol I keep saying I will try Louise Penny but still haven't gotten to it ..sigh. xoxo

Cath said...

But you did really good for your circumstances, Sis. *Hugs* So pleased you managed four. Also one of my four was mostly read in Sept. lol Plus, this time of year I watch TV more and last week was school hols so the grandkids were here. The books will always wait, the grandkids grow up before ya know it.

BooksPlease said...

You chose well - which is not always easy to do. I've read a few books this month that I struggled to decide what rating to give them, so,so books really. I really must get the Jacob's Room book as I enjoyed Howards End is on the Landing.

Happy reading for November!

Cath said...

Margaret: No, it isn't easy to choose which books to read. I'm getting better at it I think, plus I tend to stop reading a book if I'm not enjoying it. One reason I have very few one or two star ratings on Goodreads...

Thank you and the same to you. I'm hoping to have a bit more reading time this month.

TracyK said...

You might not have read lots of books but the books were all very different. I have not tried anything by Farjeon yet, but I have read a couple of country house mysteries recently and have enjoyed them.

October was a slower reading month for me, and I had no excuse (except for working, but that is always there). It took me half the month to read two books, Emma by Jane Austen and Strangers on a Train by Highsmith.

Cath said...

Tracy: yes, all different. I like variety in my reading. The countryhouse mysteries are huge fun. But one problem I have is that I can't help but read the dialogue in that clipped, upper-class, 'Celia Johnson' style of speaking. (Bit like The Queen.) I don't know if that's because of the odd way it's written or because they actually did speak like that in the 1930s and the writing is correct. Suspect the latter.

Some months are slower and under normal circumstances I can't account for it. One month I'll read 10 books, the next 4 and it's not always down to the length of them.

Have yet to read anything by Highsmith, will look at your blog to see if you've reviewed it yet.