In some ways, this has felt like such a long month but in others, it has passed in a flash. I must admit that I’m still bumbling along trying to find my feet this September. I’m not sure why this year has felt like such a struggle but it really has. I have had so much going on but that brisk back-to-school-now-let’s-crack-on-with-things feeling hasn’t quite hit me this year. Maybe all of that September sunshine has messed up my internal calendar? But oh, wasn’t it lovely while it lasted? Anyway, maybe October will be my month of new starts. We’ll see.
So first I read Before I Met You by Lisa Jewell which I loved. I’m really enjoying working my way through all of the books of hers that I missed. There were a fair few years there where I was drowning in nappies and dying of sleep deprivation when I didn’t read at all as I just didn’t have the time (or ability to concentrate!) It’s a really cleverly written book and the story unfolded in the most beautiful way. It all starts where there is a mysterious beneficiary in Betty’s grandmother’s will so she leaves the quiet island of Guernsey for the grungy streets of 1990s Soho on a mission to find out more. As Betty goes on her search she discovers the most amazing secrets about her grandmother’s past while also taking a whole new journey of her own. It’s a beautiful tale of love, loss and heartbreak. By the end, I was heartbroken myself. I don’t remember a book making me cry so much for a very long time!
Next I read After You’d Gone by Maggie O’Farrell which I also loved. I must admit that it took me a good 100 pages to actually get into this story though and I only persevered because I have loved every other book of hers that I have read. I might have given up otherwise. I just couldn’t keep track of who was who or at what point in time we were in, the story seemed to skip all over the place. I just trusted that it would all make sense in the end and indeed it did. In hindsight I can see that the jumping around was a reflection of the main character Alice slipping in and out of consciousness as she laid in hospital in a coma. Maybe it was a bit too clever for me? But I got there in the end!
Then I read The Reader on the 6.27 by Jean-Paul Didierlaurent which was a book I treated myself to with my National Book Tokens a few months ago but have only just got around to reading. Guylain Vignolles works at a book pulping factory in a job he hates but his one pleasure in life is to sit on the 6.27 train each day and recite aloud to a rapt audience from pages he has saved from the jaws of the pulping machine. Now is it just me or is that just about the most romantic thing you have ever heard? Ha! There is a real tenderness to this book that is hard to put into words. I gobbled it up in just a couple of sittings, it was just so entrancing.
And last but by no means least I read Breakfast At Tiffany’s by Truman Capote. This edition also includes three other short stories – House of Flowers, A Diamond Guitar and A Christmas Memory. That takes my book count up to something like 37 this year which I am genuinely chuffed with considering that one of those books was War and Peace! I have never read this before despite being borderline obsessed with the film in my teens. It is such a great little story and so much darker than the film. I’m afraid there’s no Hollywood ending for Holly Golightly or Cat in the book but it’s all the better for it. (I can also now see why Truman Capote allegedly wanted the lead role to be played by Marilyn Monroe not Audrey Hepburn. Poor Marilyn was robbed there, the part was made for her. And I say that as a huge Audrey fan!) Definitely one to read if you are a fan of old movies like me. Or not even. It’s a great story in its own right.
So that was me, what have you been reading this month? I’m always on the lookout for more recommendations so do leave me a comment here or you can find me over on Instagram as @BySarahMostly using #mostlyreading where you will find me talking all things books. I love seeing what everyone is reading each month!