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October 2019 Reading Round Up

Breakthrough – I’ve read more this month than I have in a relatively long time. Adding to the month’s list one by one has been an excellent motivation and the fact that there was re-reading to do helped.

All books are works of fiction.

The Books

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Jane Austen: Sanditon – When a carriage accident befalls the Parkers, they are taken in by the Heywoods and when better, they return to their seaside resort of Sanditon with the eldest Heywood daughter, Charlotte. I’ve read this twice now and it was just as good the second time, the promise of what could have been both wonderful to read and understandably a little sad as well.

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Meike Ziervogel: The Photographer – To Agatha’s dismay, daughter Trude falls in love with a local photographer; when Agatha finds out the couple are listening to an anti-Nazi radio station she sees her chance to save her daughter by going to the police about Albert. A very well-written tale of the German experience of the war and its aftermath.

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Naomi Hamill: How To Be A Kosovan Bride – Two young women prepare to marry as Kosovo looks to the future; one will find herself in a traditional marriage, the other, believed to not have been a virgin is returned to her parent’s house but finds freedom in her new status. A stunning look Kosovo post-war, its birth as a new nation, and the mixing of tradition, culture, and outside influences.

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Nicola Cornick: House Of Shadows – Receiving a phone call from her frightened niece, Holly leaves home for the holiday house she owns with her brother, and when Ben doesn’t just turn up as everyone says he will, Holly takes up a meeting he had scheduled with an antiques expert who has the mirror that matches Ben’s reputed pearl. A timeslip novel that goes back to the 1600s and 1800s, this book is super – always compelling, well-paced, and just a joy to read.

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Orlando Ortega-Medina: Jerusalem Ablaze – A boy sees a homeless man and envy takes him from onlooker to problem; a woman discovers a dead body following a storm and feels a sense of possession over it; a priest in training follows a prostitute to a bedroom not knowing the darkness that lies in front of him. The book is a collection of short stories, dark, sinister, and exquisite.

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Samantha Sotto: A Dream Of Trees – As Aiden waits to die he is joined in his hotel room by a stranger, a lady who wants to help him by taking him to his ‘rooms’ in the period between life and death. It’s incredibly hard to sum up this book in one sentence, not least because there is so much mystery involved – it is an incredible and very moving fantasy/magical realism story of souls and unfinished business told with an immense amount of heart.

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Sara Ramsey: Heiress Without A Cause – Lady Madeleine is a spinster and, bored of her role in society, has taken to acting in a theatre in a low-class area of London; when Ferguson, the owner of the area in which the theatre stands, recognises her he suggests she pretends to be his mistress to lessen any scandal that would occur if she were found out. The basic premise of this book is good and the characters are fairly well developed but the story is pretty thin which means there’s a lot of manufactured threads, repetition, and overuse of the idea that Ferguson is going to end up like his father.

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Virginia Woolf: Mrs Dalloway – On the day it is to happen, Clarissa plans the finishing touches to her dinner party, musing about her life as she goes; the book also looks at the life of her old friend Peter and a couple whose day will make an impression on Clarissa later. I appreciated this but didn’t feel I ‘got’ it. A good book, just not for me.

Of the new books, my favourite was A Dream Of Trees. It’ll be on my best of list for the year, quite possibly along with a re-read or two – I’ll have to see where re-reads fit in the year round up.

November will involve a few more re-reads and potentially the completion of The Secret Commonwealth – I must admit I put it aside after 80-odd pages as this young woman just doesn’t seem like Lyra to me and I’m disappointed with the direction Pullman’s taken with this sequel as it just doesn’t line up with what Lyra was to do when she came back to Oxford at the end of The Amber Spyglass. So we’ll see. If I get to all the other books on my list, I’ll go back to it.

How was your reading October? (And I know a few of you are taking part in R.I.P – how is that going?



November 1, 2019, 2:46 am

You did well this month!

House of Shadows is waiting in my Kindle and this makes me anxious to get to it.

Felicity Grace Terry

November 1, 2019, 4:32 pm

Another great selection. October was obviously a great month book wise.


November 1, 2019, 5:49 pm

That really is a ton of reading, well done! Hope you can keep it up for November!


November 1, 2019, 8:28 pm

Well done! That looks like an excellent month of reading. I enjoyed House of Shadows too, although my favourite Nicola Cornick book is The Phantom Tree.


November 4, 2019, 3:02 pm

All: Thank you!

Kelly: You have a great book waiting for you there :)

Felicity Grace Terry: Good to hear!

Freda: I may have my fingers crossed ;)

Helen: I remember your thoughts about that one :D There’s a lot to be said for the use of history in ‘Tree, and I loved everything about Alison, the method of time slipping and her backstory.



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