I found a lot of books to love in October.
‘The Provincial Lady Goes Further’ by E M Delafield was exactly the right book to ‘change gears’ after a week absorbed in one author.
I read the opening chapter of The Adventurous Lady by J C Snaith a while ago, I meant to go back and finish it, and this month I did. The story didn’t quite live up to the lovely set-up, but it was readable, it was entertaining and it fills a year in my poor neglected century.
I’ve pondered shifting the century, giving up on the century – I’ve done it before so I know I can do it – but in the end I decided that my reasons for starting out were still good, but I needed more tie for digressions and to read some of those very big Victorian novels I’ve always meant to read. And so my century is open ended – no more deadlines – It’ll be done when it’s done.
Anthony Trollope has been one of those digressions – I only allow one book per author in the century but I’ve read three of his and I plan to read more. I found much to love in The Eustace Diamonds but it isn’t my favourite, and so I decided to have a little break with another Victorian before I go back to ‘Phineas Redux’, ‘The Prime Minister’, ‘The Duke’s Children’ ….
I turned to Charles Dickens and ‘Bleak House.’ The change of style was a shock – Dickens paints pictures where Trollope introduces people – but Dickens did what he did so well in this book that I was very soon absorbed and involved. And I will be for quite soe tie, because it’s one of those big Victorian novels I mentioned a few paragraphs ago.
That’s my audiobook of the moment.
My traditional book of the moment is ‘The Shuttle’ by Frances Hodgson-Burnett. It’s lovely, the grown-up equivilant of her children’s books, and I don’t want it to be over but I think I may finish it tonight.
Frances Vernon is my best discovery of the month, Privileged Children will be one of my books of the year, and I already have her next book lined up and ready to go.
I’ve read just two recent books. I had mixed feelings about ‘The Paying Guests’ by Sarah Waters, but I loved a book that slipped out much more quietly – The Girl Who Couldn’t Read by John Harding.
And that was October!
In November I want to finish all of the books I have in progress.
That includes ‘Folle-Farine’ by Ouida. I hadn’t meant to start reading but I had to because I was captivated by a lovely story wrapped up in pages and pages of description.
I have a copy of ‘The Hotel’ by Elizabeth Bowen lined up for a readalong. I’ve been meaning to read her fiction in order – reading some for the first time and re-reading others – and so this was a very well-timed push in the right direction.
And I have a few books in mind for Australian Reading Month. ‘My Career Goes Bung’ by Miles Franklin and ‘The Three Miss Kings’ by Ada Cambridge are possibilities from the Virago bookcase. And I have ‘The Idea of Perfection’ by Kate Grenville, which was highly recommended by last year’s Virago Secret Santa.
The year’s Virago Secret Santa is underway, so my only book-shopping between now and Christmas will be for other people.
And that’s not a bad thing, because I want to read more of the books I have already, I want to read the books that call.
What books are calling you? What are your reading plans?