September was a terrible reading month. I got horribly addicted to The Good Wife (I watched the first five seasons in about two weeks. I know) and only read two books so I didn't bother doing a monthly book round up at the time and have instead added them to my non-spooky October reads! You can read my Halloween reads in a separate post HERE.
The Silkworm by Robert Galbraith
I listened to this on audio and so it took me ages to get through it as I bought it just before I put my back out and I primarily listen to audiobooks when I'm walking. Doh! I did try listening to it at home when I was lying down but I kept falling asleep and having horrid nightmares based on what my ears were absorbing. Yup, this one is nasty. If you read the first Cormoran Strike novel, thought it was a relatively easy going detective story with well written characters and peppered with typical J.K. Rowling wit and were then expecting the same from this then you are wrong. Very wrong. If you have read the first book then you'll know that Strike is an ex military man who lost a leg in Afghanistan and now works as a private detective. His fiancé has left him and is engaged to someone much richer and better looking than he and his office is a bit of a kip. He does have a bright and eager assistant in the form of Robyn though- a young woman who is keen to join the business and build a career for herself. With her help they solved the case of the mysterious death of a supermodel in the first book and in The Silkworm they are now tasked with finding an eccentric author who has gone missing. It takes them a long time to gather all the necessary clues and figure out what's happened but it was an interesting journey and as with the first book, I enjoyed the writing and the character development. I just struggled with some of the more gruesome descriptions; primarily of the missing authors own work, which is really not for those with a weak stomach. I consider myself pretty hardy and even I felt queasy. Bleurgh.
We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves by Karen Joy Fowler
I got this in a kindle sale as it was in the Booker Prize shortlist and I'd heard good things. Rosemary is our narrator. She's twenty-two and is lamenting the loss of her twin sister, Fern, when she was five years old. Fern didn't die but was sent away by their parents and Rosemary is still coming to terms with the events that led to this incident. As a child she was extremely talkative and enjoyed learning and using big words. Now she has created a cocoon of silence for herself to block out the pain and confusion that comes with the sort of loss she feels. With the arrival of her fugitive brother visiting her in college, she finally starts to learn about what her five year old self did to have such an impact on Fern's fate. During the first chapter, we're told some fairly important facts about Fern that then shape the entire storyline and really make it a completely different book than what I've described here...but if I tell you that then I'm giving the whole thing away and I can't be doing that! What I will say is that this is a strange and distinctly different novel; engaging but at times slow in pace, emotive and disturbing but with very few actual likeable characters (which I always find interesting in a book). There's been some real differences of opinion on this one so if you are going to read it, keep an open mind and don't blame me if you hate it!
Seriously…I'm Kidding by Ellen Degeneres
I've always been a big fan of Ellen and only have to hear her voice to start laughing so naturally I bought this on Audible. At first, I was confused by what this was supposed to be; was it a memoir? A series of anecdotes? Advice for living a better life? Well it's kind of all three. She does touch on some personal subjects but overall everything is spoken about in a jokey manner so it never feels like she reveals a huge amount about herself and I would say that's the one thing that bothered me about this; I finished it not knowing a great amount more about her as a person, That said, every time I listened to it I had a smile on my face and I was sad when it ended. I found myself loudly chuckling several times and really enjoyed it overall. She approaches everything with a positive attitude and throughout the book, encourages you to live your life with a better outlook. I genuinely felt uplifted reading it and found it to be the perfect accompaniment for walks- I could still concentrate on the surrounding scenery but be pleasantly entertained at the same time. I would definitely recommend this but only on audio; I feel you'd miss out on a lot of the humour without that.
Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix by J.K. Rowling
You know the drill by now, I'm reading the HP series for the first time this year. This is the fifth book and sees things getting much tougher for poor Harry. I actually felt really sorry for him throughout this one, he struggles with rumours flying around that he's a liar and that he made up the worrying news of the return of Voldemort. Once again, he stumbles into more life-threatening danger towards the end of the book. I cried like a baby at some parts of it and also did a "noooooo!". All very sad. Already onto number six!
The Nightingale Nurses by Donna Douglas
Same thing with this one, I'm reading this series about a group of young student nurses in 1940's Britain; how they cope with the difficulties of their harsh training, various family problems and the inevitable slide into World War 2. I started off thinking this one was more formulaic than the others but somehow it still got me and I ended up weeping away to myself (I cry a lot at books, apparently). There's a Christmas special I'm looking forward to getting stuck into soon!
Have you read and loved any of these?
What are you currently reading?