It seemed to me that September had no sooner arrived than it was gone. I'm sure time is speeding up! And now it really is autumn with leaves dropping and gales coming in from The Atlantic. Love it.
So, books read in September, by me, numbered 7. (Feel free to say that as Len Goodman would have. :-) )
78. The United States of Adventure - Anna McNuff. (This has an alternate title of 50 Shades of the USA.) I read this for the Read Around the USA challenge I'm doing, this category was 'a book that covers multiple states'. The author, a British cyclist, decides to cycle every state of the USA, taking 6 months to do it. Some states she really just passed into and out of an hour later but others she spent time in properly. I enjoyed this a lot especially reading about the people she met who were so kind to her. But my gosh, what an endeavour! Amazing.
79. The Belial Stone - R.D. Brady. This was a Dan Brown type mix of adventure, archaeology, paranormal thriller - all life was there. There's an ancient source of power that needs to be found before someone or some'thing' gets hold of it and destroys the world. Enjoyable romp, first book in a series that's already 14 books long. I have book 2 as it's about a hidden library in Ecuador, but how much further I'll go after that I'm not sure.
80. The Mystery of 31 New Inn - R. Austin Freeman.
This is a London based novella published in 1912. R. Austin Freeman wrote a load of books and short stories featuring his detective Dr. Thorndyke, and this one of those. A friend of Thorndyke's, Dr. Jervis, takes a position standing in for another doctor while he's on holiday. He's called out in the middle of the night but the situation is very mysterious as he's not allowed to see where it is he's being taken in the enclosed coach. When he gets there the patient is clearly either suffering from sleeping sickness or an overdose of morphine and the two people whose care he's in are very odd indeed. Something is clearly not right and Jervis needs Thorndyke to help him solve the mystery. I always like the style in which these early 20th. century crime yarns are written, they're always well written with a nice sense of the macabre. The two drs. are very much in the vein of Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson with one of them knowing everything and the other not so much. I enjoyed this but thought it was more of a short story padded out than a book in its own right. Not bad though and I'll read more when I come across them.
81. The Night Hawks - Elly Griffiths.
So, this is book 13 in the author's well known Ruth Galloway series. Ruth is now head of archaeology at the fictitious University of North Norfolk after a brief foray in Cambridge. Metal detectorists who don't abide by the rules are known as Night Hawks, although the group who find a dead body on a beach are not in fact of that ilk, their leader has just called the group that. Alongside the dead body is found a bronze-age burial so Ruth is called in. Meanwhile Nelson is called to a lonely farmhouse where a murder/suicide of a man and his wife have taken place. Eventually, of course, the two cases collide in the middle. So, I loved this as I do every Ruth Galloway book but had the sense that Griffiths was coming to the end of her interest in the series and indeed she has said that book 15 is the last but possibly not forever. I find each instalment strangely addictive, once I start reading I simply can't stop and I think quite a lot of people are the same. Ruth's thoughts have always brought a lot of humour to the books but this time I found that humour to be not quite there. I still enjoyed the ongoing saga of her personal life with Nelson and the cast of extra characters, all different, all with their complicated lives... Cathbad the druid is a favourite and has been since the start. I shall miss Ruth when I have no more books in the series to read.
So that was my month of September in books. Standouts were Remarkably Bright Creatures, Legends and Lattes, The United States of Adventure and The Night Hawks. I consider it to be a pretty good reading month when you have four really good books out of seven and the rest weren't actually terrible either.
At the moment I'm struggling to decide on another fiction book after setting aside two after 30 or so pages. I am reading this non-fiction though:
Outlandish by Nick Hunt is split into four sections all dealing with various wilderness areas that are sort of in the wrong place, Arctic tundra in Scotland, primeval forest in Poland, the only European desert in Spain and grassland steppes in Hungary. The writing in this is sublime and I'm absolutely 'loving' it. Will look for more books by him when I've finished this.
Happy October! I hope your families are doing better than mine healthwise, it seems to be one thing after another for us. Thank goodness for good books. I hope you all have an excellent reading month.