Monday, 3 November 2014

The Year in Books :: November

Is it really November? Where has this year gone? I read somewhere that the reason time seems to go past so much faster the older we get is that we compare it against what has already passed. So that when we are only seven years old,  by comparision a year seems like an awful long time... yet when we are fifty seven years old a year is but a small fraction of what has already gone. No idea if that's true but I do know that summers never seem as long as they used to!
 
 
But I digress... my October Year in Books choice, Longbourn by Jo Baker was delightful. A gentle re-imagining of Pride and Prejudice from the viewpoint of the servants but a story in its own right too. Not particularly taxing but a thoroughly enjoyable read. A pleasure!

 
I also read another Peter May thriller this month - Entry Island, which I found every bit as gripping as previous books of his that I've read. He tells a good story and it was an entertaining page turner.

 
Having a few days holiday last month meant I got through another couple of books too. I picked up Perfect by Rachel Joyce with some reservation. I had loved her first book - The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry but had read some poor reviews of her second novel, Perfect. I suppose its main theme is mental illness told through the parallel stories of childhood friends James and Byron, and that of Jim, a man struggling with severe OCD. I found it a very sad but excellent read and gripping story. I've also treated myself to a copy of Grayson Perry's Playing to the Gallery, which is more or less based on his very entertaining and insightful BBC4 Reith Lectures last year.
 
It has occured to me that all the fictional books I read in October, although not in the least similar, do share something in common and that is a good story. And I do like a good story!

 
And my book choice for November is We are all Completely Beside Ourselves by Karen Joy Fowler. Liking it so far! Have you read any good stories recently?
 
Joining in with Laura's Year in Books at A Circle of Pine Trees

16 comments:

  1. Grayson Perry is a huge hero of mine and I can't decide whether to save money and buy this book on the Kindle, or follow my heart and buy the hard copy! I can see what you've gone for... and now I'm hovering over the Buy Now button - ooooh!

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  2. Hello Gina!

    I spotted Longbourne whilst in England last week and I was very tempted. So, I might just slip it into my Amazon bag some time soon.

    I wish you a lovely week.

    Stephanie

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  3. You have some interesting titles there Gina. I keep meaning to find something by Peter May and must look out for Grayson Perry's book having missed the TV programme on his work.

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  4. Didn't know about Grayson Perry's book. (Heard the lectures though) So that's my Christmas list begun. Really hate Christmas tat, books are brilliant. Not really reading... but have you looked at any of keri Smith's books?

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  5. Wow, I don't seem to have time to read one book in a month these days, let alone this many. Glad that you enjoyed them all though. I think that you are right about the time passing faster thing, although I have a theory that time has sped up since the year 2000! Perhaps it is just my age though! xx

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  6. No good stories - but a very good book about decluttering and spent a happy afternoon rolling scarves, t-shirts, socks and knickers. I'm easily pleased x

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  7. Gina, thanks to you and the prior comments for lots of great reading suggestions. Now...my question is, how do I find enough time to pursue these excellent suggestions.

    xo

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  8. Hi Gina. The theory of whizzing years makes perfect sense, this year has certainly evaporated and like you I'm amazed it is already November. Thanks for the reading recommendations. I love to read before bed each night but some nights I fall asleep before the end of the page! I really enjoyed Birds without wings by Louis de Berniers which I finished quite a few weeks back and have dug out an old copy of his first book (The war of Don Emmanuels netherparts) to re-read, which again I'm really enjoying - he tells a very good story.

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  9. Yes, tempus is certainly fugiting. I enjoyed Longbourn, too, and have your November book on the to read list. Can recommend Lady's Maid by Margaret Forster, a well written tale and mix of fact and fiction, about Elizabeth Barrett Browning's maid.

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  10. I have to say I didn't enjoy 'Perfect' as much as Harold's story. But I've just read the sequel to Harold, and it was brilliant. Also read the Karen Joy Fowler, and enjoyed that too.

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  11. I keep going back to 20th Century female writers, having just read three of Winifred Holtby's novel,
    Anderby Wold, The Crowded Street and The Land of Green Ginger. They are so well written and perceived and remind one of how women's lives have changed since the early years of that century.

    As well, they cost just £2.50 from Abe Books with no postage charge!

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  12. An interesting selection of books you have read this month. I have made a note of Longbourne and may have to check that one out. I loved the Grayson Perry lectures last year the book sounds interesting. I am still on the search for a good story, started one book and couldn't get into it, now trying another but too early to tell.......

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  13. I am stuck partway through Perfect, I just find it too sad. I might pick it up again in Spring, when all is more bright. I always like to see what you read, there is always something that tickles my interest! Thank you. Have a lovely weekend. x

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  14. I'm loving the theory of why time passes faster the older we get.

    The Grayson Perry lectures were soooo good, I must pick up a copy of the book, thanks for the recommendation Gina.

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  15. Can't wait to see what you think about We are completely beside ourselves. It was my October choice for a year in books. My post is coming out next week but contains no spoilers! Hope you enjoy it.

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  16. I've just started the sequel to Harold Fry--The Love Song of Miss Queenie Hennessy--really liking it so far! Also have the Grayson Perry on my bedside table. xx

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