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August 2015 Reading Round-Up

August’s been a busy month. The Worm Hole met Of Books and discovered many great book stores, including City Books. I read a lot, happily, but still in moderation to hopefully forestall what seems to be the inevitable slump following a good run. And I re-started Final Fantasy XIII, which I’d abandoned for the longest time. It seems summer’s been quick – partly because August’s weather has been questionable – but it’s been a long time since I was sat on a bench in the garden of my retreat centre reading Mary Ann Shaffer.

All books are works of fiction.

The Books

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Annie O’Neil: Doctor… To Duchess? – Julia is doing well at her new surgery in her new village until the heir to the Earldom returns from war. A pretty good romance with well-written inner dialogues and a good setting.

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Berhard Schlink: The Reader – At fifteen, Michael has an affair with an older woman and years later sees her once more, this time in a war trial. Fantastic.

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Claire Watts: How Do You Say Gooseberry In French? – Molly holidays in France with her penpal, watching her friend enjoying herself until she realises she can be, too. Great summer read that shares the atmosphere of The Enchanted April.

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Horace Walpole: The Castle Of Otranto – Prince Manfred tries to get his sickly son wed in order to continue his line but a giant helmet falls on the boy before it can be accomplished. Rambles a lot and isn’t the best gothic novel (though it was the first).

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Irène Némirovsky: The Misunderstanding – A poor man and a rich woman have a relationship but cannot understand the life of the other. It may not be Suite Française but it’s up there.

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Jo Walton: Among Others – Mori spends most of her time reading as she lives through grief, and spends a bit of time with fairies. Not bad but too much time is spent commenting on books.

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Meike Ziervogel: Kauthar – A white convert to Islam struggles with her desires for love and a stronger identity. Excellent.

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R J Gould: A Street Café Named Desire – When David is suddenly dumped by his wife, he finds love with an old classmate and the custodial parent of his children. Well characterised, nicely British and very funny but the editing in the second half lets it down.

My favourite this month was The Reader, which wins over Kauthar by virtue of the fact length meant more could be covered. I must thank Alice for the Schlink. I also had a fantastic time with Watt’s book; it really is excellent and I’d recommend it to most people. Némirovsky, as always, needs a shout out.

Quotation Report

I’ve quotes this month but can’t deal with them in my usual way – Auschwitz is not something you can joke about. So I’ll simply tell you that there are many note-worthy passages in The Reader.

This said, there is no trouble talking about Among Others. In the book, Mori brings a smile when she says she’s going to keep Dodie Smith’s I Capture The Castle for a day she’s interested in a good siege. There is also this, showing double standards: ‘How interesting that what comes out as doing the best he could in a man looks like neglect in a woman’.

Okay autumn, let’s do this.

What was your favourite read this month?


emma at Words And Peace

September 2, 2015, 5:12 am

hmm, some cool classics here. I read lots of great books in August, it was hard to decide my best two of the month.


September 2, 2015, 2:00 pm

I am pleased to hear you had a good month of reading and gaming. I really hope there isn’t another slump for you.

With my time off from work I have read more than I usually do. My favourite was The Shadowy Horses by Susanna Kearsley.

Happy reading in September :-)

Tracy Terry

September 2, 2015, 2:01 pm

Great selection of which I’ve only read two (The Reader and Among Others).

My favourite read last month? Huntress Moon by Alexandra Sokoloff.

Fiona McGier

September 2, 2015, 5:45 pm

I’ve just finished the 4 books written by Jonathan Howard, involving Johannes Cabal, whose first book is “The Necromance”, because that’s what he is. He sold his soul to the devil to learn how to raise the dead, and he condemned his only brother to becoming a vampire by leaving him in a crypt with a hag. He’s not a very likable character at first…but he grows on the reader. The writer has a very dry, very droll British wit, and that, combined with understatement, makes all of the books great reads. I heartily recommend them.


September 3, 2015, 1:10 am

Happy September reading!


September 13, 2015, 5:48 pm

August feels so long ago now. You stormed though books, amazing :D So glad you read Kauthar as well, it was an amazing book. (And it was so much fun meeting up!)



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