It’s November. Enticed by the pleasures of small achievements, in September I applied myself to two reading challenges which ended with October. I remember thinking at the start that Halloween would have been and gone by the time I’d finished and it seemed such a long way off back then. The weeks fly past!
I’m pleased with how much I’ve read over these past two months but since I haven’t managed to review any of the books I don’t feel able to say that I managed either challenge. I will get reviews written eventually. I’m aware I’m reading differently since book reviews found their way into the blog. The reading experience remains a great pleasure, but the post-reading experience has become more focused, more intense. It is now very much a learning experience and for me, one that takes time to percolate and distil and settle into something worthwhile.
(Worthwhile for me that is, I don’t mean to suggest it will be worthwhile for anyone who finally gets to read what I write 😉 )
So it will be a while before my thoughts on these books appear, by which time the respective challenges will have been dusted off, folded neatly and put away. They will not have suffered from my lack of reviews, I think. And I shall have enjoyed the impetus they gave me to choose from certain genres.
For now, here’s a summary of the past two months of reading:
A Room of One’s Own (1929)
Seminal essay that has fueled the flames of women’s literature for me
and which I need to read again very slowly. A stimulating read
A Writer’s Diary (1953)
Not yet finished. Such rich pickings in these carefully edited fragments of Woolf’s life and thoughts. I’m pleased that I started it so soon after A Room of One’s Own; I feel that they feed into each other. A book I’ll return to often and one which will have a strong influence when I come to read more of Woolf’s novels. A framework for her books and more
The Birds and Other Stories (1952)
Daphne du Maurier
My first proper taste of Daphne’s short stories.
A haunting feast
Heart of Darkness (1899)
Totally chilling. I can at least say that
I have read it and in time I’ll draw things out of it.
Not a book I’ll return to again
Lady into Fox (1922)
The surprise in the reading pile.
I did not expect to like this strange little story and I did.
It leaves me wondering…
A Gull on the Roof (1961)
Making a life in rural Cornwall.
The first in a long series.
Much to look forward to
Ross Poldark (1945)
The first in another long series.
This Cornish saga has me gripped on page and screen
– the first book was an enjoyable page-turner
A Year of Marvellous Ways (2015)
A warm and whimsical Cornish tale which I love.
Already a firm favourite
Mansfield Park (1814)
Working my way through Jane’s catalogue.
Rainbow Valley (1919)
Lucy M Montgomery
I’m almost at the end of the Anne series.
A return to the familiar feel of these books after a blip with the previous book
I smiled throughout
That leaves just the one book from my original Oct/Nov list that I’ve yet to start: The Glass Room by Simon Mawer. It’s sitting here waiting and looking a bit forlorn, but I suspect it will be a book for next year now – November/December is already looking full.