Monday 8 July 2024

Books read in June

Now that it's July, the Wimbledon tennis tournament has my attention, so my reading has dropped off the last few days. But June was not actually a bad reading month for me. I read eight books in all and these are they:

38. The Bordeaux Book Club - Gillian Harvey

39. A Charmed Life - David Essex. Autobiography by the famous British singer, actor, writer. Enjoyed this one a lot.

40. What Would Jane Austen Do? - Linda Corbett

41. The Wild Isles - edited by Patrick Barkham. An anthology of British nature writing, a bit hit and miss but overall not bad.

42. The Canal Boat Cafe - Cressida McLaughlin

43. The Canal Boat Cafe, book 2 - Cressida McLaughlin. A continuation of the story from the first book, great fun. 

44. Death in the Sunshine - Steph Broadribb

This crime yarn is set in a retirement complex in central Florida. Moira is a retired British under-cover police officer, hoping to find a quiet life away from people she knows who might be aware of the secrets she's harbouring. Her mission is to keep herself to herself but this intent is stymied rather when she's the one to discover the dead body of a young woman floating in a swimming pool. Moira is not the only retired police officer living in the complex. There's another British couple, Phillip and Lizzie, he was a DCI and she a crime scene investigator. And then there's retired American cop, Rick. The police are so inept that the four retirees start to investigate themselves and discover that there's still life in the old dogs yet. I rather enjoyed this. The Florida retirement village setting was unusual although it was rather a stretch to imagine 'three' retired Brits in the same place, all previously attached to the British police. I also struggled to believe that the local police would that antagonistic. But I liked the way the four main characters with their various secrets were written and having each chapter written from the point of view of each of them worked for me. It kept me guessing about what had happened in their previous lives and even at the end we realise that not everything has come to light. Interesting. I will definitely read more in this series as I thought this was a decent start.

45. Frederica - Georgette Heyer. This was a reread for the 'Reread an old favourite' category in a Book Bingo  challenge I'm doing with a friend. It was like snuggling into a comfy old blanket as I immersed myself in the story of how Frederica and her young family inveigle themselves into the affections of the Marquis of Alverstoke. No one did Regency Romance like Heyer and I enjoyed this so much I plan to reread a few more favourites, Arabella, Sylvester etc. before too long.

Oh, here's a strange thing that happened while I was reading Frederica. It has a long scene about two thirds of the way in concerning an adventure the youngest brother has with a hot-air balloon. That mode of transport was in its infancy when this book was set. So, I'm sitting there reading this when I hear noises outside and when I looked out there was only a hot-air balloon floating along just above the house! How's that for weird?

So, eight books is not bad for me, I liked them all so that's even better. And I even managed a couple of non-fictions which I failed to do in May. 

My total for July so far is two and I will be back soon to talk abut those. Hope the summer is treating you well and it isn't too hot where you are. It certainly isn't here, it's more like autumn, but that's ok with me, I'm not a hot-house plant. 



Sam said...

Sounds like a really nice reading month for you. Kind of rare to go a whole month and like every book you read, especially that many of them. I like the idea of that re-read you and a friend did together. Lately, I seem to be doing more re-reading than I have in years, and it's kind of embarrassing to learn how little I really remember about some of the books I consider to be among my favorites.

Here's hoping your July is as successful for you as June was!

Lark said...

I've been watching a lot of tennis, too. Wimbledon is my favorite tennis tournament! And we had sort of cooler weather last week (in the high 80s and low 90s), but we're heading into a string of 100+ days this week and I'm so not looking forward to it. It's hard to sleep when it gets that hot...and the heat just drains away all my energy. Except for reading. ;D Hope you have a great week!

Yvonne @ Fiction Books Reviews said...

As discussed in your previous post, I have added numbers 38 and 44 to my reading list, although with my reading seeming to have ground almost to a standstill, goodness knows when, or even if, I shall ever get to them!

As I was reading back through that last post, I also noted where you commented about the number of book-club themed fiction around nowadays. That also seems to apply to bookshop related storylines, another of which crossed my desk today, via one of my Netgalley publishers. 'An Irish Bookshop Murder' by Lucy Connelly, is the first novel in her Mercy McCarthy series and I am sorely tempted to hit the 'download' button, as it sounds quite good.

I am also trying to make inroads into the vast amount of bookshelves I have full of physical books, as I am determined to begin clearing out some of the clutter we have managed to surround ourselves with. Success is not a given, however I am almost done with an Ian Rankin paperback from his Inspector Rebus series 'The Naming Of The Dead', a series I have dipped in and out of over the years.

Sounds as though you enjoyed a nice escapist month of reading and we all need those from time to time! :)x

Cath said...

Sam: Thanks, to be honest I didn't read anything very challenging as I'm not in that kind of mood right now. Sometimes you just have to go with your mood.

It's funny you should say that about not remembering much about rereads. It is years since I last read Frederica but even so I expected to remember a lot more than I did. It almost felt like a new book!

Cath said...

Lark: Another Wimbledon fan! Excellent! You can see the sort of weather we've been having, lot of wind and showers, temps. in the mid-60s. I love how you say it's been a bit cooler and then say, 'high 80s to low 90s'. To me that's a horrible heatwave! I feel very sorry for you trying to sleep when is oer 100. :-(

Cath said...

Yvonne: I think Dave's retirement has severely affected your reading? I know when Peter retired from the bank my quiet life was turned upside down and it took me a 'long' time to adjust. And now I'm adjusting it right back of course, which is crazy. I've never minded being solitary but this something else again.

Yes, bookshops, bookclubs, libraries, I'm sure publishers are now suggestng that contemporary fiction writers set books in these places as they're super popular at the moment and it will increase sales. I suppose you can't blame them.

Good luck making inroads into your physical book shelves! LOL! I need to do that too but every time I want something new I head to my Kindle Fire...

Kathy's Corner said...

Hi Cath and 8 books in one month is very good. I think because it's Jane Austen July I might go with What Would Jane Austen Do? I figure it will be a fun read and a grumpy crime writer sounds a bit like a Mr Darcy character and he is my favorite Jane Austen character

TracyK said...

I can see that there are pluses and minuses to Death in the Sunshine but I have a copy on my Kindle and I will definitely give it a try. Too many coincidences or not, I think a group of retired policemen and women detecting could be fun.

I have only read two of Heyer's Regency romances and Frederica was the first one. I enjoyed it a lot. I have more of them and I need to read one of them soonish.

Margot Kinberg said...

I'm glad you had a good reading month, Cath. Some of those books are really appealing (e.g. Death in the Sunshine. You have a nice variety here, too - definitely some things for me to explore!

Cath said...

Kathy: Thank you! I really enjoyed What Would Jane Austen Do? It's not great literature but it's a lot of fun and of course will do nicely for Jane Austen July.

Cath said...

Tracy: Death in the Sunshine is well worth a read, I was just nit-picking really. I liked trying to guess what secrets they were keeping from each other.

You have a treat in store if you read more of Heyer's Regency romances. There're a lot of good ones.

I hope your eyes are doing ok?

Cath said...

Margot: Thank you. I didn't read as many crime novels as I would like so I plan to get back to those this month.

Kay said...

Nice to hear what you've been reading, Cath. I think that the Florida 'senior' sleuths book sounds good. That has definitely been a bit of trend hasn't it? And I'm all for it. Ha! Hope you enjoy your tennis watching and also enjoy your July reading. Take care!

Cath said...

Kay: Thank you, I'm trying to get back to posting a bit more regularly. Yes, senior sleuths is definitely a trend. I'm not sure whether Richard Osman started it or not but it's an enjoyable trend whoever was the first. I hope you're doing ok and that the heat is not too brutal in Texas?

Judith said...

Hi Cath,
I love the cover of The Wild Isles--beautiful and original. It's hard to find a collection of essays or writings by a group of different nature writers, where the writing is consistently good, I've found.
And 8 books in a month! That's great. I know I'll be hard-pressed to read even four in one month this summer.
Happy Reading!

Cath said...

Judith: The artwork on the cover of The Wild Isles is by artist, Angela Harding. Her work is stunning and we see it about a lot now here in the UK. Yes, compilations of nature essays are bound to vary, as you say. Some will be interesting, some not. In general, I prefer single author collections when it comes to nature writing. Kathleen Jamie, Helen MacDonald, Robert McFarlane, Peter Fiennes etc.

Good luck with your summer reading. Because of Wimbledon I've found it hard to settle to reading but I just started Lucy Worsley's book about Jane Austen's various homes and it's already very good indeed.

Mary said...

Ha! Had to smile when I saw about your Frederica re-read. I have similarly just re-read all of Heyer's regency books (think I might have a record for the number of repeated reads of her books going back to the 1970s). They do provide a peaceful interlude in a world that seems to have lost its mind (esp. here in the US). :)

Vallypee said...

Oh Cath, my heart did a little leap when I saw you'd re-read Frederica. I adored all Georgette Heyer's books when I was a girl and would love to read them again. I remember Frederica. It's just a shame I'm not in the UK. The Kindle's are expensive and the paperbacks aren't available here. I'd have to order them and pay heaps for postage. One day, when I'm visiting, I'll stock up! I like the look of Death in the Sunshine too.