Saturday 2 October 2021

Books read in September

With just six books read for September it sounds like I've had quite a slow reading month. Except that it doesn't feel like that, probably because one of the books was over 600 pages long and the two non-fiction books I read took me a while to get through. Anyway, these are the books:

63. The Secret Life of Albert Entwistle by Matt Cain 

64. A Talent to Amuse by Sheridan Morley 

65. Grey Mask by Patricia Wentworth 

66. The Collected Ghost Stories by E.F. Benson. He's best known now for Mapp and Lucia but I gather in his day it was his ghost stories he was famous for. I'm not surprised. It was wonderful to reread his output, so brilliantly imaginative and beautifully written. One of my favourite ghostly collections - an especially good creepy read for Autumn. Highly recommend. 

67. Sherlock Holmes and the Shadwell Shadow by James Lovegrove (to be reviewed but a fun romp.)

68. 40 Memorable Life Experiences edited by Robert Fear (to be reviewed, very good.)

So, four fiction and two non fiction.  Apart from the two non-fictions I was mainly based in the UK last month which is very odd for me! But the two non-fictions, Noel Coward's biography and 40 Memorable Life Experiences took me all over the world. I prefer to travel a bit with my fiction too though so hopefully I can arrange that a bit better this month. 

So what's for October? I'm not sure is the answer to that.

I started a reread of this:

But it's not grabbing me and I can't remember whether it took a while to get going last time I read it (2007 apparently). At the moment all the drug taking is irritating me so I fancy I may put that aside for the time being, or read it slowly in dribs and drabs when the mood strikes.

Perhaps something else from this pile as I've only read one so far.

I'm pretty sure I'm going to start The Salt Path next and I want to read The Moth and the Mountain too. I also really want to reread The Historian this month. We'll see. But I love October so hopefully it will be chock full of good books!

Happy Autumn!


(Diane) Bibliophile By the Sea said...

Cath, October is always a favorite month of mine as well. I recall reading The Historian, another talented author there. I don't even care how many books I read - my numbers sometimes seem high as I generally read 4-5 kids books each month. My problem now is to catch up with reviews and blog comments LOL Hope October is a good month for you.

Yvonne @ Fiction Books Reviews said...

I have had several Blog Tour Reviews to complete during September, so I have had to get myself a lot more organised about reading a book, then getting the review drafted immediately, before starting on another book. So far, this arrangement seems to be working really well and everything remains under control, as we venture into October.

Most of my reading has also been UK based, although I have ventured into Germany and the USA a couple of times, with a fleeting visit to Japan (Okinawa). Lots of WWII stories, all remarkably different and unique, I have enjoyed them all.

I hope you get to read 'The Historian'. This one has been on my list for so long, but is one of those catch-up books I hope to get to one day.

Have a good weekend, the weather looks to be much better on Sunday - It couldn't get much worse after today!! :)

Margaret @ BooksPlease said...

I love October too - such beautiful colours! You had a good reading month in September and I especially like the look of E F Benson's Ghost Stories. October's books look good too - I enjoyed The Salt Path, The Historian and Wakenhyrst, and would love to read The Moth and the Mountain.

I have decided to read The Mirror and the Light this month - so that will probably take most of the month!

Sam said...

You read some good stuff in September, Cath. I'll look forward to hearing what you have to say about that Sherlock Holmes one. I'm hoping to read some Holmes-related stuff in October myself.

I never could get into Tales of the City, even years ago when I was a whole lot younger. I struggled to find anything about the book that I could identify with long enough to keep me turning pages. And all the drug-taking did get pretty boring before long.

I started the audiobook version of The Salt Path just yesterday, and I'm starting to get used to, finally, the author's rather deadpan narrative style. But what a tragic beginning to that story...just wow. I think you'll like that one even though I'm only about one hour into this nine-hour book myself.

Enjoy's definitely one of Houston's better months.

Lark said...

Nonfiction books do take longer to read. I love October, too. I'm hoping to find a good ghost story this month, but they're not always easy to find. The bad ones are everywhere. Happy reading!

TracyK said...

I read Tales of the City in 2018 and I loved it, but I don't think I ever reviewed it. That just seemed too daunting. At first it seemed like reading a soap opera, but finally I got into it, starting enjoying the characters and the story. I bought more of the books but haven't gotten around to them.

I have to remember to get a copy of The Secret Life of Albert Entwistle sometime. I remember your review and wanting to read it.

Cath said...

Diane: Yes, Elizabeth Kostova is very talented. I loved The Historian when I first read it and also The Shadow Land, set in Bulgaria, was really excellent.

Cath said...

Yvonne: Good luck with keeping your Blog Tours under control. I honestly don't know how you do it!

I think fictional WW2 stories are always (usually) rewarding because if the author has done their research we the reader can learn 'so' much. More I think than reading non-fiction which often doesn't tell you more than the bare facts of any given situation.

The Historian is such a good book, well worth your time. I set it aside to read again once I'd read it and the time has come to do just that this month. To be honest I don't remember an awful lot about it as I first read it in 2007!

Yes, it's definitely a bit better today than it was yesterday.

Thanks for stopping by.

Cath said...

Margaret: Another October fan (like Anne from Green Gables)!

I keep seeing Raynor Winn on walking docs (Kate Humble, Michael Portillo) and the local news so it really is about time I read her book, which everyone seems to love. Pleased to hear that Wakenhyrst is so good, I liked her Dark Matter.

Good luck with the Mirror and the Light.

Cath said...

Sam: Thank you, they were an interesting bunch of books all told.

I think the reason I'm struggling with Tales of the City is that I'm can't identify with anyone in it. The characters seem quite shallow. I checked on Goodreads and see that I read it first in 2007 and gave it three stars. So not madly impressed even then. I'll keep on but slowly and see how it goes but won't be afraid to just give up I think.

I'll be starting The Salt Path later. Raynor Winn has been on TV quite a lot recently and she seems like a very interesting person. Plus of course I know the region her and her husband walked which always helps.

Cath said...

Lark: Yes, non-fiction books definitely do take longer to read. I need to tell myself that at the end of each year when I'm wondering why I've read far more fiction than non-fiction! LOL

Well, I can definitely recommend E.F. Benson for good ghost stories.

Cath said...

Tracy: Yes, most people do seem to love Tales of the City. I first read it in 2007 and was only so-so about it then. The reason I'm rereading is that I watch a vlogger called Simon Savidge on YouTube and he's doing a reread of the whole series so I thought I's join in. I'm wondering if it was such a good idea. LOL!

The Albert Entwistle book on the other hand was quite delightful. It's very 'English' so if you do read it you'll learn a bit about us.

Jeane said...

Look forward to hearing what you think of the Salt Path. I did like that one. Sam is right though, the beginning sure is depressing.

Kay said...

That ghost story collection looks good. Hope you enjoy whatever October reading you decide to try!

Nan said...

I'm sorry I haven't been around very much. I'm hoping that is changing. Here's something funny. When I first read your post - the last part - when you said "the drug taking is irritating me" I at first thought you meant you have had to be on medication so I went back a few posts to see if you had written about being sick. Hahaha!
The old TV show Goodnight Sweetheart really does a good Noel Coward, I think. I also watched In Which We Serve, and thought it quite excellent. I am quite fond of him. Surprising to me that Americans might not be familiar with him. It seems like I've known about him all my life. I have a four movie set called David Lean Directs Noel Coward. In Which We Serve, This Happy Breed, Blithe Spirit, Brief Encounter. It isn't available at Amazon UK but is from the US. Why would that be? Anyhow, it is pricey but I think worth every penny if you are interested. Terrific extras.

Vallypee said...

I'm always impressed by the amount you read, Cath. What a great collection. I'm definitely going to that Noel Coward book!

Nan said...

I should have put my thoughts on NC on the other post. I read them one after the other, and just combined them in my comment.

Cath said...

Jeane: I'm enjoying The Salt Path but finding it quite traumatic, especially those first few chapters which had me full of anger for the couple... just as Sam said.

Kay: The ghost collection is 'excellent'. Thank you!

Cath said...

Nan: No problem, I haven't been around much myself to be honest. And no problem either about combining posts and comments. Sorry I gave you a turn thinking I was ill!

Noel Coward is very well known amongst the older pop. in the UK but probably not in anyone much under 40. I'm not sure whether I thought he was known in the USA or not but he certainly loved America in his time, finding it a lot freer in its attitudes. I think he liked working with David Lean as a director. The four films you mention often come on the TV so I plan to keep an eye out for them to record to keep. I actually had no idea that NC had a finger in so many pies. Short stories? A travel addict? I had no idea.

I'm sort of developing an interest in some of these vintage theatre/film people and that's why I read the Coward book. The next one I read at some stage will be one on David Niven that I also got free from Dean Street press on Twitter. I've read his autobiographies but no biography about him.

Cath said...

Val: Thank you but I do have a lot more spare time than you I suspect. The Noel Coward book is well worth a look. Dean Street Press on Twitter repeat their free books so if you wait for a bit and keep an eye you may be able to pick it up for free. If I see it offered again I'll give you a nudge. :-)