I read eleven books in September and by far the most interesting of those was House of Leaves. Most of the month’s reads were from the easy reading pile as I wanted suitable holiday reading. I needed books that would be quick and enjoyable reads, but most importantly that I could wild release as we travelled. I love BookCrossing for that and it’s great when I get journal entries from books that I’ve released in the US and Canada.
When we got home I had books waiting for me from the library, from bookrings and from the Transworld book club so I dived straight into those. Overall I’ve had a very good month and have read some great books.
I’ve tagged the last couple of books from August onto the start of this, as I posted that entry early last month.
The private patient – P D James (Aug)
This was the first book that went on holiday with me and was mostly read in the Travelodge and Heathrow airport. It was ok but I didn’t enjoy it as much as I used to enjoy her books. It felt a bit stilted and over described compared to the books that I’ve been reading recently. I hadn’t read any of her books for quite some time so maybe I’ve just outgrown the style. It was ok though, as I said and it was a good enough mystery.
To the moon and back – Jill Mansell (Aug)
I liked this one. I read this one partly on the flight over from Heathrow and partly in our hotel in Vancouver. I do enjoy Jill Mansell’s books when I want some light chick lit. This one was a nice story and I liked the characters. It wasn’t a book that I’m going to be raving about and recommending to everyone that I meet but it was definitely what I wanted for now.
Worth dying for – Lee Child
I’d been waiting for this one, if only to find out what happened at the end of the last book. Of course, you had to wait until about halfway through the book to find out but that was ok. The book was excellent, as all of the Jack Reacher books have been. They’re great holiday reads. Actually they’re a great read at any time – full of action and attitude. Reacher is a brilliant character and Lee Child is one of my favourite authors.
A perfect proposal – Katie Fforde
Katie Fforde is another of my favourites, especially at holiday time. Her books are always light and fun and sweet. This one was lovely and I really enjoyed it. It was obvious how it was going to end up but that didn’t spoil it at all. Always recommended.
I can see you – Karen Rose
This was quite a thick book at over 500 pages but was a fairly quick read once I found the time to pick it up. The plot was quite interesting and some of the characters were familiar from one of the author’s previous books. I guessed who the killer was but there were plenty of hints dropped so that wasn’t difficult.
Mini shopaholic – Sophie Kinsella
This is one of my favourite chicklit series. I’ve read every one of these and I really love them. This one was a great read but I didn’t love it quite as much as the first few. I’m not sure why, but it was still very enjoyable anyway.
Skin – Mo Hayder
This was excellent. I really like the Jack Caffery thrillers. There’s no black and white in them, a bit like Lee Child’s books. Jack Caffery is human, he doesn’t always play by the rules and he makes judgement calls. I love Flea too – she’s a great character and you could see her getting deeper and deeper into trouble when she’d just made one bad call to start with. The book was more about the characters than the plot, I think and that’s what made it such a good read as you were with them every step of the way. There was a lot going on, mind, with several cases being investigated.
One day – David Nicholls
This wasn’t quite what I was expecting from what I’d read and what people had told me. It took me several chapters before I decided whether or not to continue reading as I wasn’t sure if I liked it or not. In the end I carried on with it, mainly because I hate to give up on a book. I did warm to it as it went on but I didn’t love it. I guess a lot of people have enjoyed it from the popularity it’s enjoyed but it just wasn’t my cup of tea.
Fever of the bone – Val McDermid
This was excellent and one of the best reads of my holiday, although it only just qualifies as a holiday read as I started it on the flight home. I’ve enjoyed every one of the Tony Hill books as the mix of character interaction and murder mystery is always perfect. The writing is spot on and once you start reading, it’s almost impossible to put the book down. Of course, it helps that since the brilliant TV adaption, I can see Robson Green in my head while I’m reading 🙂
House of leaves – Mark Z. Danielewski
This had one of the oddest layouts of any book that I’ve read. It took some concentration to read it but it was worth it as it was quite compulsive reading. The main story was a sort of critique of a film by an old man. The story was assembled by a younger man who found the story in fragments in a trunk after the older man died and then he put it together along with lots of footnotes. It also contains the story of the young man, and this is told in the footnotes, which is where it gets tricky. A footnote by the young man suddenly veers off into his story and you find yourself trying to keep track of two different storylines.
Then, just to make things interesting, the text on the pages doesn’t always follow the usual top to bottom, left to right standard that we expect. In one instance, where the character in the story is climbing up some steps, the text contains two words to a line and the lines are double spaced. You read them from the bottom upwards – just as if you were climbing along with the character. Some pages have only one word on, and it could be anywhere on the page, and it could be upside down or sideways on. One page has the text diagonally, starting in one corner. I was turning the book this way and that as I was reading. It was most bizarre. It’s as if the text layout is used to add to the suspense of the book. It’s actually pretty clever.
I’ve read it in three huge chunks over the weekend as I needed to know what was going to happen next, and I was really loving the quirkyness of it. I’m guessing this isn’t for everyone, as it’s not a book that you can race through, but if you have the patience for it, and like something different, I’d recommend it.
Death Sentence – Mikkel Birkegaard
This was the third book from the Transworld Book Club selection, it was rather good, and I did a full review here.
Hanging by a thread – Monica Ferris
This was another installment in the needlecraft mysteries that I’ve been getting every now and then via a book spiral. They’re light and fun and easy to read. I enjoy them as a nice change of pace and I like the cosy mystery style, which is done quite well in this series.
The woman in white – Wilkie Collins
This one was a definite change from the previous two and was quite a long read. I liked the format which was similar to the other Collins that I’ve read and enjoyed – The Moonstone. The mystery wasn’t sophisticated enough in this day and age to fool me, and I could see what was coming up quite a few times, but that didn’t spoil the book in the slightest. The enjoyment of it was in the actual writing style and the way the mystery was revealed. The characters were excellent and so well described that you almost felt you were in the room with them at times. Loved it!