July Roundup

This month has seemed long, busy and tiring. It was on all three accounts which is probably why things have been a bit slow round here lately. The reading has been slow and the reviews forthcoming have been even slower. It was great to see everyone’s 6 in 6 and I will check back over all those who participated and gather even more categories for next year. Hope to see you then.

Now I have a bit more time, it should all perhaps be a bit more flowing on here.

If you wanted to actual visualise the books I have read in July in terms of their size then I have had some right chunksters and some little tiddlers! The majority were page turners.

Lucinda Riley – The Italian Girl* was the first chunkster of the month. Kindly sent to me by the lovely Lucinda and is actually a book she first published under the name Lucinda Edmonds but has been rewritten and worked on and what has been set forth onto my reading table along with many others is a wonderful musical novel in many ways. What stands out for me about this book is the fact that it is absolutely about the characters, outside events (be here I mean, wars, politics, etc) have not infiltrated in the book to give it a sense of place and time and in some cases atmosphere. I am looking forward to see if there are any other reissues and re-workings of her back catalogue.

When you have been absorbed so much in a book you kind of want a little light read, something diverting but not disturbing. Here is where Agatha Christie – The Murder at the Vicarage steps in. I am slowly just working my way through reading her novels. I picked this because I had recently re-watched the TV version.

Now diverting and disturbing is certainly a good combination and this is where Erin Kelly – The Poison Tree* stepped into the breach. I have seen her speak a couple of years ago at the Guildford Book Festival Readers Day, I follow her on twitter and I had heard many good things about this book from other bloggers. However I had not actually got round to reading it and I avoided watching the TV version from last year, as I wanted to read the book first. Eventually it has taken until July to read the book. And all I can say is, why did I not read it before? So many books, so little time is obviously the reason but I think disturbing and diverting are two adjectives which describe how well the book is written and how good it is. I hope my review will do it justice.

I am lucky enough to receive books from publishers and where I can, I do try and read as many of them as that takes my fancy. However I received Monica McInerney – Hello from the Gillespies* from a different source, through the Good Housekeeping Magazine. Who would send me the book and then two weeks later send me a questionnaire about the book. No problem, two weeks would be ok and I knew you got another two if you had not finished the book in the first two. I had read Monica’s work before so was certainly not phased by her work. And so the book arrived all 500+ pages of it. And I could not put it down. I want to talk about this book, but it is not published in the UK until November, so I will contact the publisher and find out when I can post a review. Although it is readily available in Australia I think? Watch this space.

Being reassured by authors you know I thought I would catch up with Jack Sheffield – School’s Out* this set of ‘school’ stories are very much in the Gervase Phinn vein, being set in Yorkshire, but they come from the head teachers point of view. I was not that keen on this book, I felt the whole series is perhaps being diluted and I cannot see where it can possibly go? There is still one book to read but I think I might take a trip to the library for that one.

You know when you find a book and you finish it and then you want to know what happens next? I was in that position with Vanessa Greene – The Vintage Teacup Club*. A book again I have had on my shelf for a while and had kept moving around to the ‘to-read’ pile and back again. I finally decided that it was time it was read, I wanted something that was going to ease my soul and this book was just my cup of tea! Which is good because I needed another top up and was pleased to discover a short story Vanessa Greene – Tuesdays at the Teacup Club* which allowed me to carry on share their lives of the three very different women in the début novel.

All in all not a bad book month really. I was pleased with all that I read and rediscovered authors I had not read for a while and some new ones too. As July came to a close I was indulging in some Angela Thirkell for the first time. Pure bliss.