Happy Sunday, everyone. This has been a gorgeous, sunny autumn weekend, a sharp contrast to the torrential rain mid-week as Tropical Storm Nicole worked its way up the east cost of the US. And now only three months remain in the year!
I’ve read 63 books so far this year, and 25 during the third quarter. That’s a significant increase over the first and second quarters, thanks to an amazing July. My top 5 reads for the 3rd quarter are listed below (links take you to my reviews):
- The Custom of the Country, by Edith Wharton
- The Siege, by Helen Dunmore
- The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, by Rebecca Skloot
- Flush: A Biography, by Virginia Woolf
- The Outcast, by Sadie Jones
As for the month of September, I read 7 books, but most were just average. Helen Dunmore’s The Siege stood out, as did Iris Murdoch’s The Bell. But I was disappointed with Troubles, which won “the lost Booker Prize” earlier this year. Here’s the complete run-down (links will take you to my reviews).
- The Siege, by Helen Dunmore
- The Bell, by Iris Murdoch
- Cold Earth, by Sarah Moss
- Life & Times of Michael K, by J.M. Coetzee
- Precious Bane, by Mary Webb
- Postcards, by Annie Proulx
- Troubles, by J.G. Farrell
This string of mostly-average reads has made me a bit impatient. While reading my last book in September (Postcards), I felt more critical than usual, and at one stage just wanted to be done with it. It wasn’t really a bad book (3 stars is respectable, after all) — but I wanted to be reading something really good. It was frustrating!
Now I’ve moved on to Rose Tremain’s Trespass, which was nominated for the 2010 Booker Prize. I’ve read two other books by Tremain (Restoration and The Road Home) and really enjoyed them. I received my copy of Trespass through LibraryThing‘s Early Reviewers program, which always feels a bit like winning a prize. And we have a group read going over there for others who “won” the book, or are reading it for whatever reason. It’s early yet — not much discussion because it’s too soon — but there are some who feel it’s not quite as good as Tremain’s other books. We’ll see … have I mentioned that I want to be reading something really good??
Even if the Tremain turns out not to be my really good book, I have high hopes for the rest of October. Here’s what’s in my queue:
- Something to Answer For, by P.H. Newby (this is the only Booker Prize winner I haven’t read, at least until this year’s prize announcement!)
- Adam’s Breed, by Radclyffe Hall (The Well of Loneliness was excellent, and this book will complete my Book Awards Challenge)
- Summer, by Edith Wharton (it’s Edith Wharton — what’s not to like? And this one was chosen by my readers!)
- Testament of Youth, by Vera Brittain (this book has received rave reviews from a couple of LibraryThing members)
- For Grace Received, by Valeria Parrella (recommended by a commenter on a recent post about Belletrista)
What was your favorite book this month?
What are you looking forward to reading in October?
Read more from The Sunday Salon here.