Books · Witterings

August Roundup

Well that is my holiday done and it is frightening to say that the next long break I will have will be at Christmas!

So let us not worry about that at the moment but concentrate on the books I read in August and where can I start because I feel I have been all over the place book wise but in a good eclectic sort of way.

I had started Rona Jaffe – The Best of Everything in July (first published in 1958) but was still reading it August a basic account of life of Fifties Women in New York. I stand by what I said in my review, a chick-lit book before the term was even born.

As I was in a strong women reading mode I then picked up another book with a strong woman in it Lily Savage! The second autobiography of Paul O’Grady – The Devil Rides Out and covers the years from around 18 to the birth and development of Lily Savage. Not as funny as the first, but the pathos comes out from the book and disregarding the amount of jobs he has had, the things he has scene would probably make a weaker man or woman very angry with life. I look forward to his third instalment, as I know there must be more to cover.

I have found in August that I have broken up my reading by going back to something I know that I will enjoy and can consume quite easily (bit like chocolate) not that that negates them as weak books. I was back with M.C.Beaton and Agatha Raisin and the Potted Gardener and enjoyed how Agatha is starting to really enjoy village life if only she would admit it to herself. I have plenty of these to catch up on and I think by reading one a month is a great way to spread them out and enjoy them. The same can be said for Debbie Macomber and 6 Rainier Drive, where I was back among friends at Cedar Cove (review to follow in the coming days) I do not have the next one in the series, but I have the Blossom Street series and perhaps will have to get my Macomber fix this way until I can pick up the next Cedar Cove book. It can also be said about Maggie Sefton and Needled to Death where I was back with Kelly Flynn and lots of lovely wool and colours and some investigation to do as well. (Another review to come).

I have also gone back this month to some authors I have read before with good results and bad. I am always prepared to change my mind and I did. The lovely Rosy Thornton contacted me and asked if I would like to read and review The Tapestry of Love. As I had read many good things about it I said yes but I was honest. I had tried previously to read one of her previous novels Hearts and Minds and admit to giving up on it. I was honest with Rosy and I can say that perhaps I read the book at the wrong time as I loved The Tapestry of Love! I will now look out for more of her books.

As part of the Transworld Challenge one of the books I have been luckily enough to receive and read is Christopher Fowler – The Water Room which is the second in the Bryant and May series. (The review is to follow in subsequent days). This was an interesting read and certainly appealed to the historical side of my brain and enjoyed learning something and piquing my interest as well as enjoying a crime novel. Perhaps some say a bizarre combination but I did have to ‘Google’ the rivers under London which made for interesting reading.

Mark Mills was another author I have read before, in fact all of his novels and have to admit that perhaps some of them I have nearly given up but I have persevered with them. I got the opportunity through Amazon Vine to read his latest novel The House of the Hanged. A very James Bondesque book and certainly better than some of his previous novels and I hope this book actually has a sequel because the author may have hit upon a good few characters and storylines. No pressure then!

Continuing the ‘hanging’ theme which I can assure you was unintentional I picked up the second Flavia de Luce novel by Alan Bradley – The Weed that Strings the Hangman’s Bag. Flavia is such a joy and her passion if not obsession of chemistry and poisons frightens me, but I also I am learning a lot along the way. Something I appreciate books for more and more. Did it ever occur to you that a number of famous poisoners have names that begin with the letter ‘c’.

Thomas Neill Cream, Hawley Harvey Crippen and George Chapman (remarkable, isn’t it, that so may of the great poisoners’ names begin with the letter ‘C’?), who with strychnine, hyoscine and antimony respectively sent a veritable army of wives and other women marching to their graves; Mary Ann Cotton (see what I mean?), who, after several successful trial runs on pigs, went on to poison seventeen people with arsenic;….

If Flavia had the chance to go to India then she would probably find lots more plants for her to practice her chemistry with. (Really tenuous link!) As of yet though she hasn’t but I have been with Elle Newmark and The Sandalwood Tree (Transworld Book Challenge). It is one of those books which had me, as I enjoyed my history lesson, the love story and the cultural impact that the India has. This is one book which I recommend from this month and it is with regret that there will no longer be any more novels from Elle Newmark, so we must cherish this one greatly.

Experiencing new cultures is how Nicky Pellegrino in Recipe for Life loves to theme her books and it works so well. An author I have read before and enjoyed as they are chick-lit but they are just wonderful sunny stories and a good summer read and probably a good winter one on a grey wet day. I had a lovely email saying thank you from Nicky and to say she is writing her next novel set in 1950s Rome in the meantime I have a couple more of hers to read before I am up to date with this author.

If you follow this blog then you will know that I also partake in a lot of crafts (although that has been a bit slow on the that front – I think it is the weather?) so I was immediately drawn to Amanda Addison – Laura’s Handmade Life especially by the front cover. A début novel but an author that deserves another chance with her next novel.

I think that is a good amount of reading for August, mainly due to my 3 week holiday and in fact there are more reviews to come because I wanted to space them out a bit and also mention other bits and pieces along the way. 


Generally I do not make any plans for my reading because sometimes that can take the pleasure out of it. However, I am going to join in Book Snob’s Persuasion Reading which begins on the 18 September. I am rather lacking in what I call ‘great’ reads e.g. Austen, Bronte, Dickens, et al so I thought this would be a good way to join in something. I have already got the book on my kindle and I have started it and have become quite hooked with all the characters and it may even be read before the date I am enjoying it that much. There is no pressure with this as it says in the post, “casual and leisurely” so if you feel like joining in then everyone is welcome.

As for the rest of September well let us see what evolves from the books spilling off my shelves!

How was your reading for August? Any plans for September?