Tuesday, 2 August 2022

Books read in July

I have to say that July is always my least favourite month of the year and I'm always glad when it's over. This year it truly lived up to my dislike of it by being the month my husband went down with a second bout of pneumonia. That pretty much took up 3 weeks but I'm pleased to report that he's well on the road to recovery. It'll probably take another month or more but progress is steady.

The first weekend of July, on the other hand, was absolutely delightful as Constance from 'Staircase Wit' came to visit and we did a flying visit to Cornwall. Constance has done two delightful posts about our trip:

Post 1

Post 2 

Well worth a read with some lovely photos.


Anyway. Books. I read 10 in July and these are they:

60. The Camino - Shirley MacLaine. I mentioned this book very briefly here.

61. Traitor King - Andrew Lownie 

62. The Mysterious Mr. Quin - Agatha Christie 

63. Walloon Ways - Val Poore. This is another of Val's delightful travel books about the canals of Europe. Val lives on a canal boat in The Netherlands but this books tells about her weekend trips into Belgium, the people they met, the places they visited. I always love Val's books, they have a kindness and a gentleness about them that is quite rare in this day and age. Highly recommended. 

64. Miss Austen - Gill Hornby 

65. Mansfield Park - Jane Austen 

66. Death Beside the Seaside - T.E. Kinsey. Book 6 in the author's Lady Hardcastle series wherein her and her maid/companion, Flo, go off to Weston-Super-Mare, in Somerset, for their hols. Needless to say they don't get much of a holiday as death and mayhem ensue. Excellent and fun.

67. Squashed Possums - Jonathan Tindale. Read for my Book Voyage challenge, the category being Australia and New Zealand. The book recounts how the author spent a year in a caravan in a wilderness area of New Zealand. Not bad but a bit odd as it's told from the pov of the caravan...

68. Away With the Penguins - Hazel Prior 

69. A Sky Painted Gold - Laura Wood. A coming-of-age story set in Cornwall. An eighteen year old girl, Louise, whose older sister has just married, finds herself lonely and at a loose end. She's been hiding away in a big neglected house on a nearby island, reading their books in the library, when suddenly the owners reappear. Thus begins the most exciting summer of Lou's life. Loved this to bits and read it in two sittings.

So, a fairly eclectic bunch of books last month, 6 fiction, 4 non-fiction and lots of worldwide travel - New Zealand, Antarctica, Belgium, Spain, The South of France etc. I've really enjoyed Jane Austen July, and will continue on with that as I have a huge list of books I now want to read connected with her.

I'm currently reading these two.

My problem with Elly Griffiths's books is that once I start one I end up gobbling it up far too quickly. I try to slow myself down but it doesn't work. The Postscript Murders is proving to be exactly the same as all the others!

Enjoying this very much, not just the Jane Austen discussions but also the travel aspect of Central and South America, not regions I tend to read very much about.

So, here we are in August and I have lots of reading planned and am looking forward to the end of summer and autumn arriving. I hope you're all well and have plenty of good books to read.


Margot Kinberg said...

I am sorry to hear your husband was so ill, Cath, but it's very good to know he's on the mend. Wishing him a continued fast recovery! I can understand not reading quite as much with everything going on, but you have some really interesting, varied choices here! A Sky Painted Gold sounds appealing - glad you liked it so well! Next time I'm ready for a break from crime fiction for a b it...

Sue in Suffolk said...

Squashed Possums sounded good until you said it was written by the caravan! How odd.

Hope your husband continues on the recovery road

(Diane) Bibliophile By the Sea said...

Glad your husband is recovering, even if it is slower than hoped for. I agree - July was a month I'm glad is over. All it was good for was reading. I've never tried Elly Griffiths and have added many of her books to the TBR over the years. Glad you enjoy her so much - one of these days perhaps. Hope August is a good month (better at least) for all of us.

Cath said...

Margot: Thank you! Yes, A Sky Painted Gold was a very appealing book, especially given it was set in my area of Cornwall. So it brought back some nice memories.

Cath said...

Sue: Squashed Possums was quite an odd book. There were 'diary entries' from the author but having it mostly written from the pov of the caravan... well I'm not sure it completely worked. Nice sense of place though.

Thank you!

Cath said...

Diane: Thank you. Sorry to hear you had a bad July too, I hope August is better for you. Around this time I always start looking forward to September even though it's a month away. LOL

I hope you do get around to Elly Griffiths someday. She is so worth it.

DesLily said...

Please send me an email. what's happened to Peter?? love, sis

Kay said...

I'm sorry that is not your favorite month, but with all the things you had this year, I can see why. I'm so happy that you can't put down Elly Griffiths' books - ha! That's a good thing! Hope August is much more to your taste and then will come September and fall. Also hopes that Peter's recovery continues well.

Lark said...

Hope August is a better month for you than July was! I'm a little sad to see summer come to an end, but only because it means I have to go back to work soon. The new Elly Griffiths' book does look like a good one. :)

Sam said...

Happy to see that Peter is on the mend after that double bout with pneumonia. That must have been rough for both of you. Looks like you had another great reading month, as you continue to amaze me by coming up with books I would never have otherwise stumbled upon.

Oh...very much enjoyed the two posts you linked to. What a beautiful, and interesting, part of the UK you guys live in. It was almost like being there again.

TracyK said...

I am glad to hear that Peter is getting better gradually. I enjoyed Constance's posts on your visit to Cornwall with her. Gorgeous scenery and lots of food.

A Sky Painted Gold sounds interesting, I will look into it more. I did add another comment on your post on Away with the Penguins. I have finished reading that one, but under the US title, How the Penguins Saved Veronica, and I loved it.

I am now reading the third book in the Lady Hardcastle series, Death Around the Bend. I have the fourth book in a paperback, and recently was able to purchase the next three in the series as ebooks at a very good price, so now I am set with that series for a while.

Yvonne @ Fiction Books Reviews said...

It is good to hear that P is well on the road to recovery, sending you both Best Wishes.

Like yourself, July is not my favourite month, but from my POV that is purely weather related. I am so looking forward to a few cooler days on the horizon. However August looks as though it is going to be another hot one and of course Autumn will bring its own challenges with energy costs etc. Maybe I should be thinking about crocheting a few Afghan blankets (I can only imagine the look on D's face - but needs must!!)

'Away With The Penguins' is already on my 'wish list' after the good things you had to say about it, as is 'The Lady Hardcastle' book, although I really should begin with the first book in the series to get some background info about the backstory and characters.

'The Postscript Murders' is also a definite must read for me, although once again I might need to visit book #1 in the series first.

'A Sky Painted Gold' would be a complete punt for me, along with a couple of the author's other stand alone novels. I definitely wouldn't be interested in all her writing. Love the cover art on that book too!

Sounds as though you had a pretty good reading month, so here's to August! :)

Cath said...

Pat: I emailed you last night, hope you got it ok.

Cath said...

Kay: Yes, it really is a good thing that I can't put Elly Griffiths's books down. Every one is like revisiting an old friend, especially the Ruth Galloway instalments. I think she must be my favourite crime author although there are plenty of other candidates!

Thank you.

Cath said...

Lark: Thank you! Oh dear, I'm sorry the end of summer means back to work for you. Yes, the Elly Griffiths is excellent, I'm probably going to finish that today despite trying to be slower with it.

Cath said...

Sam: Thank you! Yes, you're quite right, it was rough for both of us. Keeping my fingers crossed that things will return to normal soon.

Nice that I continue to amaze you by finding unusual books. I think that's more to do with my weird tastes than anything else. LOL

Glad you enjoyed Constance's posts, it was a fun weekend. Yes, we're very fortunate to live in this region of the UK, others have to visit and holiday here but we're here all year round and it's great.

Cath said...

Tracy: Thank you. And I'm glad you enjoyed Constance's Cornish posts, she did a great job!

A Sky Painted Gold has been compared to The Great Gatsby, not in its writing and so forth but in its plot and themes... an outsider trying to fit in with the 1930s privileged set etc.

Glad you're enjoying the Lady Hardcastle books. They're a nice bit of light relief I find.

Cath said...

Yvonne: Thank you, it's much appreciated.

My dislike of July is also weather based, and I especially dislike it when we have no rain and everything turns yellow. Our lawns look horrendous! I'm with you on the crocheting of Afghans, except I can't crochet so they'll have to be knitted. We did actually buy some cosy blankets on Amazon for last winter and they really did prove invaluable but made us feel like old fogies!

Most people seem to have enjoyed Away With the Penguins so I have no hesitation in recommending that. Also Lady Hardcastle for fun, light reads, they don't cost the earth either which is nice. Your love of Cornwall might mean you would like A Sky Painted Gold. It's different and I liked that.

Have a good week!

Mary said...

So good to hear your husband is on the mend. Know that it takes a long time to recover from pneumonia--people don't realize it. My DH had it in his 50s and it took over two months before he was fully recovered. Much tougher on you as you get older.

Make sure you take care of yourself, too. Be the carer is not always easy.

Vallypee said...

Cath, firstly p, I’m so pleased to hear your husband is on the road to recovery. What a worrying time you’ve had! Secondly, I know what you mean about Elly Griffith’s books. I gobble them up far too quickly as well. I need to get that one. Lastly, thank you for a great list of reading tips and for the kind mention of my book. It was a lovely surprise to find it here!

Cath said...

Mary: Yes, when he had it in 2020 I think it took him about 2 -3 months to be fully over it and even then remnants remained. And of course the scarring it left on his lungs is permanent. Thank you, I will try to take care of myself too, as you say, it's not always easy.

Cath said...

Val: Thank you, I'm just grateful we caught it quickly and even though he did have several days in hospital he is now recovering nicely.

Yes, it's a thing about Elly Griffiths's books, they'r so readable and intriguing that you just have to keep reading. Needless to say I've already finished The Postscript Murders and loved it. I now have several Ruth Galloway books to catch up on.

You are most welcome as regards your lovely books. They're like taking a nice relaxing holiday yourself... even though you're not actually there, you feel like you are.

Susan said...

I'm so glad to hear your husband is feeling better. I hope he continues to heal and soon feels 100% again.

Sounds like your trip to Cornwall was lovely. What a beautiful place! I definitely want to visit it when I go back to the U.K.

I hadn't heard of a A SKY PAINTED GOLD before, but it sounds excellent. I'm adding it to my TBR pile. Thanks for the rec!

Cath said...

Susan: Thank you. He's getting there now and it's quite a relief to be honest.

Oh, Cornwall is well worth a visit on your next trip to the UK. I hope that's not too far in the future.

A Sky Painted Gold was a real charmer of a book and I think you would like it.