Sunday, 1 August 2021

Books read in July

I have no idea where July went or how it's suddenly August but there you go, and suddenly it's become rather autumnal here in the UK. We've already had Storm Evert and it just feels like that was the first of the autumn storms... at the end of July! Very strange.

Anyway, seven books read this month and these are they:

49. The Searcher by Tana French 

50. Swansong by Damien Boyd 

51. Deep Waters: Mysteries on the Waves edited by Martin Edwards 

52. Sicilian Carousel by Lawrence Durrell. Back in the 1970s the author did the Sicilian Carousel which is a tour of the island taking in all the major historical sites. He did it via a coach trip and the book is a delightful mixture of observations about his fellow passengers, history of the sites, and various thoughts on this, that and the other. His more famous works include the Alexandria Quartet and he has written a fair bit of travel-writing type non-fiction. The author is of course the brother of Gerald Durrell the naturalist and there's a TV series about the family living on Corfu. I shall read more by Lawrence Durrell.

53. Chasing the Dream - A New Life Abroad edited by Alyson Sheldrake 

54. The Mauritius Command by Patrick O'Brian. Book 4 in the author's famous Aubrey/Maturin series of books in which Jack Aubrey is put in command of several ships and sent off to the island of Mauritius to stop the French intercepting our East India company trading vessels. I thought this instalment dragged a bit, too many naval engagements and battles for my taste but it was still a good book.

55. One Summer in Crete by Nadia Marks.

Calli is half Cretan on her mother's side but living and working in London. She's been with James for ten years and when the relationship disintegrates for reasons I won't go into (spoilers) she heads to the Greek island of Ikaria on a journalistic assignment. Various adventures later and she's off to Crete to catch up with her relatives. Her mother's sister, Froso, still lives there but something is wrong and Calli wants to know what exactly. Froso, it turns out, has secrets she wants Calli to know about, things that happened way back in the past just after the war, but only when she's ready to talk. In the meantime there's the island of Crete to refamiliarize herself with and new friends to make. The best part of this for me was the depictions of the island. Sadly, I've not been to Crete but judging by this book it really is a very beautiful place. The plot was fairly predictable but fun, I didn't see the point of the whole 'Ikaria' section of the book, but that's just me. I felt the book really began when Calli got to Crete. A light summer read for armchair travellers who like islands in The Med. 

So, a fun reading month. Three crime reads, two travel-writing non-fictions, and a couple of general fiction reads. I travelled to Ireland, Sicily, Ikaria, Crete, Mauritius in the Indian Ocean and all around the world with people who had decided to settle somewhere other than where they had been born. Great fun.

So August is with us and I have no idea what I'm going to read this month! Although I am currently reading this:

It's quite interesting but isn't really grabbing me as I thought it would, despite that wonderful cover. Hopefully it'll pick up a bit.

This is the final month of the 20 Books of Summer challenge. So far I've read 10 so it doesn't look like I'll complete that, but there are options for 10 or 15 so that's probably the number I'll achieve, which is fine.

Happy August reading!


DesLily said...

I haven't read a single book in over a month. Not sure what's going on with me. But then you read enough for both of us! lol.. love you much! <3

Tee said...

I had a really good month, mostly because it was so hot here and impossible to get outside and do anything.

CLM said...

I haven't compiled my July list yet but like Tee I think the nonstop rain helped me do a lot of reading.

I keep looking at your Damien Boyd book but it isn't what I was thinking of. A friend told me she fell in love with a four book series by *Martin* Boyd; however,it took her so long to find the fourth book that she had forgotten the details of the first three. Naturally, I checked the library (nothing in Massachusetts) so ordered the first book. We shall see.

(Diane) Bibliophile By the Sea said...

Good month Cath! The story that takes place in Crete caught my eye as I've never read anything that takes place there but, it doesn't sound like it was ideal. The Searcher is still on my TBR list. Hope August is a good month for you.

Susan said...

I've barely heard of Crete, let alone ever read a book set there. I might have to give ONE SUMMER IN CRETE a go when I'm looking for a light read set somewhere warm and exotic :)

Vallypee said...

A super roundup, Cath. I'd love to read the Lawrence Durrell book. I've read several of his books in the past but I haven't seen or heard of that one. I must look it up!

TracyK said...

I was just looking into some fiction books by Lawrence Durrell. I would like to try some someday.

Some of your books reminded me I need to work harder on my European Reading Challenge towards the end of the year. I had planned to read a book set in Greece. And I have already included one of Tana French's books for Ireland.

Next year I may cut my challenges down to just the Canadian one and the European one.

Lark said...

I'm hoping to read Swansong either this month or next depending on when my library gets it in. (I had to ask them to purchase it, but luckily they said yes.) Hope you have good books ahead of you in August. My plan is to once again check out too many books from my library. ;D

Sam Sattler said...

Another nice month in the books, Cath. Congrats. I managed to read a travel/road trip memoir while on the road myself for the last two weeks and I really enjoyed it. It's from a university press, though, and I kind of doubt it will be readily available in the U.K. It's called "Go West, Young Man" and recounts a long road trip that a man took with his six-year-old son.

Cath said...

Pat: It's my pleasure to read enough for both of us. :-)

Tee: Yes, whenever it gets very hot here (about 2 days a year in the UK) I retreat indoors with a fan and lots of books. Works for me!

Constance: Yes, I retreat indoors when it's raining too. I pretty much spend most of my time indoors reading. LOL

I can't say I've heard of Martin Boyd, I'll look on Goodreads later. The trouble is there are *so* many good authors. Well... it's not actually a 'trouble' is it?

Diane: The Crete book was ok, a little better than OK to be honest, I like to read about islands in the Med so that's always a big attraction for me.

Susan: One Summer in Crete would be perfect for 'warm and exotic'. I'm not keen on very hot weather but still want to go there one day. It might have to be January though. LOL

Cath said...

Val: I've been meaning to read some Lawrence Durrell for a couple of years now. So glad I've finally got around to it but am not sure that Sicily Carousel is typical of his work. I think I probably need to have a go at the Alexandria or Avignon books. Have you read any of those?

Tracy: Yes, I've been meaning to read something by Lawrence Durrell for a while now and it was well worth the effort. I've have a huge biography of him from the library, about 800 pages!

I think I'll go back to the European challenge next year. Maybe. It works for me to just do a couple a year with the odd three month one slotted inbetween, like the 20 Books of Summer.

Lark: I'm impressed that your library got Swansong for you! Hope you enjoy it. Yes, I've now made a few plans for August but it's little busy with family so I may not be able to read as much as usual. Yay! for checking out too many books from the library! :-D

Sam: Thank you! I'm going to look that book up, I think you mentioned that it's not out for a few weeks. I like the idea of reading a road-trip book while you're on a road-trip.

Judith W. said...

Many of Lawrence Durrell’s books are on the Hoopla library app including Sicillian Carousel. i had no idea he had written all these books.

Cath said...

Judith: Yes, Durrell has written quite a few books, some real classics such as the Alexandria Quartet. I must get to some of them.