What I Read in October 2017
This October I rediscovered my love of reading. Which is unsurprising when it’s also the month the log burner came back into action after its summer break. Reading in front of the fire is one of my favourite things.
During October I’ve zoomed through three novels and dipped in and out of Marian Keyes’ book of autobiographical articles, Making It Up as I Go Along. I’ve not actually finished this book yet, and I’m actually in no hurry to do so because I’m enjoying reading it at a leisurely pace. I’m finding it rather wonderful as a 'palette cleanser'. I feast on Marian’s delicious writing before picking up another juicy novel.
Marian has told me tales of her life along with the joy of Chanel lipstick, eyelash extensions, gel nails and Chanel nail varnish (I'm in the health and beauty section). I’m looking forward to her articles on autumn, soul searching and how Marian does Christmas.
You may have read my post about YouTubers, Zoella in particular, and it’s through watching Zoella I discovered another vlogger, Louise Pentland. Louise has recently published her first novel, Wilde Like Me, so I thought I’d try it out. (She's chatted about the writing process briefly in her vlogs which I find fascinating - which has also encouraged me, in part, to write fiction again.)
It’s a light read which touches on some feelings that many (new) mothers can empathise with. I certainly can. Robin Wilde is a single mum and make-up artist who is struggling with The Emptiness. She’s lonely and low but decides enough is enough and it’s time to sort her life out. The thing is, happiness is not where she thinks it is.
An Almond for a Parrot is by Wray Delaney, a pseudonym for Sally Gardner, an award-winning children’s author. This is her first adult novel (and it is very ‘adult’ at times) and what a sumptuous, gorgeous novel it is.
Tully is in prison to be tried for murder. After being mistreated and neglected as a child, Tully became a magician’s assistant and a celebrated courtesan before being arrested. Her life is an addictive tale, frequented by odd and colourful characters and vivid scenes.
I picked this book up purely based on the front cover design and the quote saying ‘shades of Sarah Waters’. I knew nothing about it bar the brief description on the back. So that’s all I’m saying to you. Except - this is my favourite book from October and, quite possibly, this year.
The Paying Guests by Sarah Waters has been hiding on my bookshelf for two years and, yes, An Almond For a Parrot reminded me that I had it.
It’s a few years after the First World War where Frances lost her two brothers. Her dad has also recently died, leaving debts, so Frances and her mum take on paying guests: the young married couple called Mr and Mrs Barber. Despite finding the novel became very slow in places I still loved reading it and found my feelings changed for the characters on a regular basis.
So that's my October reads. Have you read any of them? Or do you have a recommendation you've read recently?