Book Cover Book Cover Book Cover Book Cover Book Cover Book Cover Book Cover Book Cover

Reading Life: 31st August 2015

A photograph of flowers

I’ve read a lot this month; for now the slump is at bay and I’m going with the flow, taking breaks between books when it makes sense to (days out, for example) and any ‘must be reading’ thoughts are being acted on only if it’s because I want to read for leisure. I’m hoping this phase lasts.

It seems literary fiction might be more important to me than I thought. Of course I love themes and subjects that can be discussed, but I’ve found going along with my desire to read more of them and pushing away the inevitable anxiety that accompanies them – the ‘this review is going to be hard work’ anxiety – makes me a happy reader. I’ve been mixing literary Young Adult, bog standard literary fiction, and some general fiction and really loving it. And I’m just reading some awesome books.

Yesterday I started The Castle Of Otranto. It’s been on my list for ages and with just two days left of the month I want to see if I can fit another book in. (They may mostly be novellas but there is something satisfying about a high number.) It goes on a bit sometimes and certainly an editor would have a field day with it nowadays, but there’s enough suspense and a creepy feeling that means it’s still a good read. Reading it has made me remember that Catherine Morland recommends Ann Radcliffe. In researching Horace Walpole I discovered his house, Strawberry Hill, which has gone straight on my list of places I want to see. The Walpole is on my Classics Club list which means I will have crossed off another measly one entry. I think I probably should’ve thought more about modern classics when I typed it up as I’m reading up a storm when it comes to the early 1900s, but I’ll take this book released in 1760 and be proud of the minor progress.

I mentioned brieftly meeting Alice of OfBooks. we met earlier this month and Alice showed me round the markets and bookstores of Brighton. City Books, her favourite, is a place I’d recommend making a priority if you go to Brighton, it’s one of those bookstores wherein you just know the staff are thinking about their customers rather than what the publishers want to sell.

It was during this trip I bought The Reader. I may have been overcome at the end.

August has been quite a month. We’ve had mostly awful weather, constant rain, that makes me wonder if we’ll see another random day of hot sunshine in November as happened a few years ago. We welcomed my friend’s baby into the world. Our circle has expanded to include little people and it’s rather nice. I’ve visited a couple more castles and historic houses – the presence of Henry VIII looming large as usual – and took a mini holiday. I discovered country music to the happiness of a relative who said it’s time. I witnessed my young nephew flying a kite – the first of our family to do so successfully. It’s been quite a summer.

What have you been reading and, if you’re in the northern hemisphere, how was your summer?



August 31, 2015, 12:18 pm

Although the weather hasn’t always been good. I am glad to hear you have been having a great month. I had also had a great reading month. The sun did manage to come out for my friends wedding.


August 31, 2015, 3:24 pm

I’m glad you’ve been enjoying your reading this month. I read The Castle of Otranto a few years ago and thought it was fun – and yes, Strawberry Hill sounds fascinating, doesn’t it? I hope you have a good September!

Fiona McGier

August 31, 2015, 4:40 pm

I’m on the 4th book in Jonathan Howard’s Johannes Cabal series. He’s a Brit also, who has written video games for years. The first book is The Necromance”, and it captured my attention due to the irreverent attitude and the dry wit. The second book was fabulous, and the 4th one is even better!

I’m also half-way through Horrorstor, about a haunted “Ikea-like” store. Starts out funny, then the creepy things start to happen. Caution: do not read before bedtime!


August 31, 2015, 7:15 pm

I loved our day out, it’s not often I get to walk around talking about books and perusing bookshops.

Christina Courtenay

August 31, 2015, 11:22 pm

Thank you for reminding me about Castle of Otranto – it’s been on my shelf for ages so I really should read it soon! Just need more hours in the day … :-)

Jenny @ Reading the End

September 1, 2015, 2:11 am

Oh how I wish that summer were sufficiently done with for me to say how my summer “was.” My summer continues to be hideously way too hot and I don’t know why it has to be this way. Someday there will be an autumn. Someday. I have to believe that.

Tracy Terry

September 1, 2015, 3:19 pm

A bit of a non-event here in NE England, Summer came and went and we hardly noticed. That’s ok with me though as I’m no fan of the summer sun.

Glad to hear this was a good month reading wise. I look forward to your thoughts on the books.



Comments closed