Only eight books read in September but two of them were absolutely huge. Both very good though. Of the eight books, five were 1001 books and two were Big Read. One was a 1001-library book and four were bookrings. One was read because I wanted to trade it. Only three were taken from Mt. TBR. Oh dear.
Listed the order in which they were read:
House of Orphans – Nothing at all to do with any challenges, I just fancied reading it. Set in Finland, a country about which I know very little considering how close it is to the UK, and very good indeed. (bookring)
The Pillars of the earth – 1075 pages and quite daunting until I picked it up and started reading it. The Big Read challenge looks an awful lot more do-able now that one is out of the way and I really enjoyed it. I must have – I flew through it during the week, going to bed early to get an hour's reading in before reluctantly putting it away to go to sleep and then staying in bed until 9.30am on my first day off to finish it. The historical period was familiar to me from reading the books by Ellis Peters, although I did keep expecting Brother Cadfael to pop into the priory for a chat with Tom and Philip.
It also reminded me of the books that Peters wrote under the name Edith Pargetter, in particular The Heaven Tree trilogy which is about a master stone carver and has made me fancy re-reading those again at some point. I might just tackle Follett's equally huge sequal to Pillars one day too. I'd quite like to know if that's as good. (big read list)
The Magus – 570 pages and very small print. This one took me over a week to read but it was well worth the effort. Every time I thought I had the book figured out it went in a completely different direction. I had the greatest sympathy for Nicholas as I had no idea what was being done to him either. A few times I wanted him to just walk away but I don't think 'they'd' have let him, and would he have been able to have anyway? A very compelling book and makes you wonder just how easy it is for someone to manipulate you. (1001 list, big read list, bookring)
The comfort of strangers – Oh I did enjoy this. I've read quite a few by McEwan recently and liked them all but this one especially was very good indeed. It was quite creepy in places and reminded me of those horror films where you find yourself shouting at the screen for the heroine not to go into the basement alone – you know it's just not a good idea. (1001 list, 1001-library)
The Amulet of Samarkand – A young adult book, and I've nothing against reading kid's books if they look as interesting as this one did. I probably wouldn't have got around to buying it but it was a freebie when I pre-ordered the last J. K. Rowling, if I remember correctly. It'd been sitting on my TBR pile ever since until I was asked if there was any chance I would loan it out. It seemed much more sensible to read it and trade it so that's what we did and the generous Bookcrosser I traded with has sent me not one, but two rather nice books in return. He seems very happy with the deal and I'm delighted, especially as the surprise extra book looks fascinating and I can't wait to get my nose stuck in it. Oh yes, and the Amulet of Samarkand? It wasn't half bad for a kid's book. Rather long but it kept me interested enough. I doubt I'd bother to read the rest of the trilogy but I'm happy enough to have read this.
Sexing the cherry – This was a fairly short read and was excellent. Quite odd in places, very whimsical, strange. All things I like in a book. There was a bit in the middle that was the story about the twelve dancing princesses, and it was what happened to them after the popular folk tale. That was brilliant and I also Ioved the dog woman character. I think this is a book that not everyone would like, you have to be someone who likes their books to be a little bit offbeat, but if you do, you'd love this. (1001 list, bookring)
Like water for chocolate – I doubt very much I'd have read this if it wasn't on the 1001 list even if given the opportunity. It's just not my cup of tea. It's only redeeming feature was the mystical, whimsical element which stopped it from being, dare I say it, a dressed up Mills and Boon. And that's probably the worst insult I can give to a book. Sigh. It was ok while I was reading it, but when you sit back and analyse the story afterwards, it was actually pretty dire. (1001 list, bookring)
The Midwich cuckoos – Now this was absolutely splendid! Classic sci-fi and just what I needed to read next. The story was excellent and kept me gripped the whole way through. The ending was shocking and also superb. Some of the issues discussed were so relevant to the present day, it made me realise how little some things have changed. An absolute corker of a book. Must read more Wyndham! (1001 list)
And that takes my total books read for the year so far to 135.