SEPTEMBER 2018 READING ROUND-UP

 

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September has been an excellent month, in terms of a holiday, a Family Visit and other diversions but it has not been a good reading month, as you can see below. But it has been an excellent month for buying books, due to a windfall, plus birthday book vouchers.

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I’m eagerly waiting for  the courier van to bring me two of the 2018 Man Booker Short List  nominations, plus a quirky book of postcard stories; consisting of short-short stories written on the back of postcards. I’ve been involved in a similar project for the past year, with a lovely Dutch lady called Gonny, in the Netherlands (but that’s a story for another day). I’m keen to see what the originator of the postcard story format, Jan Carson, wrote.

Plus two non-fiction books on order. Another recipe book with beautiful photos and text, from the Buddhist Retreat Centre at Ixopo  – and a local columnist’s hilarious hunt through the outer shores of the Self-help universe.
Quiet Food – A Recipe for Sanity
John Strydom, Antony Osler, Chrisi van Loon, Angela Shaw, Claire Clark

Self-Helpless – A Cynic’s Search for Sanity – Rebecca Davis

I am gingerly exploring the vast world of Amazon’s Kindle, cautiously ekeing out my dollar gift voucher. Thus far I have succumbed to Exit West – Mohsin HamidTBR.
Currently I am reading Less- Andrew Sean Greer, 72 pages in,  I am vastly amused and enjoying the story enormously.
And I won’t even begin to list the downloaded Samples on my Kindle – devilishly devious those Amazon marketers. Resisting these goodies is worse than turning away from chocolate. On to more mundane matters , like my monthly reading report.

I’ve decided to continue the revamped monthly review format, no star ratings, but divisions into Fiction/Non-Fiction/YA, books listed in my order of enjoyment. The star rating was a continuation of the Goodreads system and like all systems, it had its pros and cons. So often a book hovered between rating categories, or presented other dilemmas, e.g. the writing quality was excellent, but I hated the storyline, etc.
I’ve been reading cookery books again. I get hungry in winter, what can I say? And I find the genre extremely relaxing.

FICTION
A Gentleman in Moscow – Amor Towles. Reviewed on this blog, 15 September. What a wonderful, satisfying read. Highly recommended. P.S. I’m in love with Count Rostov. Why have I never considered adding a charming, elderly Russian aristocrat to my life ? the Towles novel has pointed me in a new direction!

NON-FICTION
Packing my Library – Alberto Manguel. Books, reading and literature. See review on this blog: 8 September. A slender book, elegantly written and not to be missed for book lovers. I shall be re-reading it many times in the future.

Return to Corriebush – Lynn Bedford Hall. Illustrations by Tony Grogan. The sequel to Fig Jam and Foxtrot, our introduction to Karoo life, people, love and food. Life’s necessities. Four delightful stories, some very boozy recipes – who knew rum featured in Karoo cookery? Old Brown Sherry, yes: a perennial Cape Winter standby, but the rum came as a surprise.

 

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