Well the 8th month of the year has come and gone and I managed to pack in 11 books raising my number of books read this year to 69.
It was another eclectic month of reading. A memoir, a little music history and some amazing fiction. I wanted to read The Mockingbird Next Door about the author of to Kill A Mockingbird so I read the novel first. It still stands up. A terrific tale. The memoir of Marja Mills from the time she first met and then lived next door to Harper Lee and her sister I found to be somewhat lacking.
I finally got around to reading Jayne Martin's collection of short tales, Suitable for Giving. A nice read. I often found myself sniggering throughout this book. And that's a good thing.
As a fan of 60s and 70s music, particularly The Beatles I enjoyed The Beatles - Solo, about each of the Fab Four's solo careers. Not much new here but great pics and reading about these guys is always interesting. By the time I was done I'd bought 2 CDs and 3 BluRays. Hooked me like a fish.
I rated several reads 5 stars this week. The first was Before I Go To Sleep. Think a sophisticated Groundhog Day. It's about a woman who loses all memories every 24 hours. So day after day she works at remembering her past and with some surprising results.
I loved John Williams 1965 masterpiece Stoner. It's about university professor William Stoner who leads a rather mundane life in academia, while trapped in a loveless marriage. Sounds boring I know but the writing around this sad tale is magnificent, as evidenced in this excerpt that really resonated with me:
"In his forty-third year William Stoner learned what others, much younger, had learned before him: that the person one loves at first is not the person one loves at last..."
I ended the month with The Pyramid by Henning Mankell. It's a collection of short stories that explore his Detective Kurt Wallander's early years. In this book Mankell nicely ties up some loose ends about his chief protagonist. If you're fan of the Wallander series, you have to read this.
The best read of the month had to be the three volume Divergent series by Veronica Roth. If you like Suzanne Collins' Hunger Games or Margaret Attwood's MaddAddam Trilogy, you'll love Divergent. After reading this I saw the movie and I have to say it was excellent, very close to the book.
Here's a full list of the books I read in August...
To Kill A Mockingbird - Harper Lee ****
The Mockingbird Next Door - Marja Mills ***
Stoner - John Williams *****
Before I go To Sleep - S.J. Watson *****
The Divergent Series - Veronica Roth
Suitable for Giving - Jayne Martin ****
The Beatles - Solo: The Illustrated Chronicles of John, Paul, George and Ringo
after the Beatles - Mat Snow ****
Bad Signs - R.J. Ellory *****
The Pyramid - Henning Mankell ****
Let me know what you're reading these days.