This has been one of those rare months where I have absolutely loved every single book I have read. Three have been lingering on my shelves for a very long time and one was a book I pre-ordered ages ago and forgot all about (which is always my favourite kind of mail!)
In many ways August seems to have flown by but it also seems like a million years ago that I read The Little Coffee Shop of Kabul by Deborah Rodriguez. In a little coffee shop in one of the most dangerous places on earth, five very different women come together. They soon discover that there is more to one another than meets the eye and they form a unique bond that will change their lives forever. It was brilliantly written and a true tale of sisterhood. I can’t remember reading another book quite like it. It really opened my eyes I absolutely loved it.
Next was Any Human Heart by William Boyd which probably deserves a blog post all of its own. This is without doubt one of my all time favourite books and I was looking forward to reading it all over again before I had even finished it. I bought this book years ago after watching the television adaptation and loving it. I checked out of interest when it was on and it was 2010 so this has been gathering dust for e i g h t w h o l e y e a r s. I could seriously kick myself. Obviously I am quite late to the party with this one but if you haven’t read it, then you must. It tells the life story of Logan Mountstuart who is a fictional character but the diary style writing is so candid that I found myself googling if he was a real person. He wasn’t of course but that didn’t stop me from falling hopelessly in love with him anyway. His life spans the twentieth century and the story starts from his childhood through to his death and everything in between. I laughed and cried the whole way through this book it is truly astonishing. Even the most ordinary of lives can be truly extraordinary.
After mourning the end of Any Human Heart I needed to read something completely different and Lullaby by Leïla Slimani was just the ticket. I imagine that this little book has popped up on many ‘must read’ lists this summer and with good reason. I raced through it, it was such compulsive reading. It is gritty and dark and oh so clever. I don’t want to say that I liked it because that feels wrong when the subject is so disturbing but if you are after a real thriller then this is the book for you. I don’t want to give anything away but trust me, you will be pulled in from the very first sentence. The only thing I would say is that I was left wanting more from the story but I think that might just be because I didn’t want it to end.
And last but by no means least is The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern which is yet another completely different book. After the darkness of Lullaby the magic of this little gem of a book was most welcome. Again this is another book that I am very late to the party on but that seems to be the theme of every one of these round ups I write as I work my way through my many books this year! The circus arrives without warning but it is not quite like any other circus you have ever seen. It is not often that you get to call a book magical as a grown-up but this really was. I got a little wrapped up in trying to keep track of the dates and names of the characters in the beginning but then it all just sort of fell into place and I let my imagination fly away with itself like I would when I was a little girl reading a fairytale. The story just flew off the pages with the most amazing descriptions. It was such a visual book, if that makes sense? I could see it coming to life with every page I read.
So that was me, what have you been reading this month?