I read fifteen books in July and managed quite an interesting mix. There were four bookrings, and three from the 1001-library. Seven books were from the 1001 list and one was for the Big Read challenge. Seven were by the same author.
I have to start by talking about the Charlaine Harris books. I'd had the new book in the Southern Vampire series, From dead to worse, on pre-order for a while and as soon as it arrived I pretty much sat straight down and read it. I just love that series. I'm enjoying the adaptation on TV as well, although there's rather more 'adult' material there than I remember in the books…
Once I'd read that, I just fancied more by Charlaine and I had her Aurora Teagarden books, which Tree had loaned me, so I read all of those. All six of them. One after the other in the space of a week. I really did enjoy those. So much so that I went and ordered books seven and eight. Sometimes you just need a bit of comfort reading, and these books fit the bill nicely.
One of the bookrings this month wasn't a 1001 book for a change. I'd signed up for it almost a year ago before I started obsessively joining rings and rays to read the books on the list. The book was worth waiting for, though. It was A thousand splendid suns by Khaled Hosseini, the author of The Kite runner. I'm fascinated by the subject matter so was keen to read the book for that. Fascinated and horrified at the same time, I should say. The story was so well told, it was hard to put the book down. I'd definitely recommend this one.
The other bookrings were Empire of the sun by J. G. Ballard, which took me a couple of chapters to get into, but then I started to really enjoy it. The Monk by Matthew Lewis was a delicious Gothic tale of love and lust set in Spanish monastaries and castles. It was easier to read than I'd anticipated -sometimes gothic novels can have rather flowery language - and I flew through it. Superb! The Passion by Jeanette Winterson was short and sweet. It was mystical, magical and just beautifully written. I loved it.
I read an excellent sci-fi book, from the 1001-library on BookCrossing, by John Wyndham called Chocky. Not quite as good as Day of the Triffids, perhaps, but a very good read nonetheless. The other two 1001-library books were both by Ian McEwan. The first was The Cement garden which was short but very interesting if slightly bizarre. The other was The child in time which was much more complex and thought provoking. I loved them both.
Finally, I did actually manage to read one book from my ever expanding 'to be read' pile. Birdsong by Sebastian Faulks. I felt that perhaps I should throw in a token Big Read book as I'm falling down on that challenge, and after a shaky start I surprised myself by thoroughly enjoying the book. I'm determined to read a couple more off my TBR pile this month as the bookcase that houses it has now overflowed onto some other bookcases. Reading fifteen books in a month is all very well, but if they're not off my TBR pile it does't really help, now does it?