September 2018 reading round-up


Ah, September was definitely a better month. Work continued to be hectic but my health has greatly improved and we ended the month by going on an awesome holiday. See above for highlight number one – I finally made it to Shakespeare & Co! I was surprised to find myself emotionally affected by walking through its upstairs rooms, seeing the old photos of previous residents and the camp beds made up for current occupants.

While we were in Italy the transition from summer to autumn happened in earnest. I love autumn. Happy October, folks!

Books read

The Story of the Lost Child by Elena Ferrante
I’m really glad I read this just before going on holiday to the Bay of Naples. It prepared me a little for the vibe of Naples itself. It’s the fourth and final part of Ferrante’s Neapolitan Novels, chronicling the final few decades of the friendship of Elena and Lila, from their early 30s to the moment that opens the series: when 60-something-year-old Elena hears that her oldest friend has gone missing. It’s a really good, well written novel.

Convenience Store Woman by Sayaka Murata
This was the novel of the moment back in June, so of course I bought it in July and read it two months later. It’s a really interesting – and funny – character study of a woman who has difficulty with social situations and only really feels comfortable in the small convenience store where she has worked for 18 years, since she started university nearby.

Peyton Place by Grace Metalious
I picked this off my Classics Club list (which I’m woefully behind on). The premise – revealing what’s behind the twitching lace curtains of small-town America in the 1940s – definitely intrigued me, but I didn’t realise quite how much would be revealed. I can completely see why this was shocking when it was published and it’s a really enjoyable read.

The Children Act by Ian McEwan
I bought this in London St Pancras Station at the start of our holiday and read it during two days of idyllic leisure on Ischia. It’s about a complicated moral decision overlapping with the marriage troubles of a High Court judge. I deliberately picked it to read on holiday because I don’t plan to review the books I read on holiday and I expected it to be tough to review, but I will say that I think it’s one of McEwan’s better books. He writes intelligently and without introducing his own judgement into the situation.

Short stories read

“Stuff” by Joy Williams

“The murder” by Ray Bradbury

“Peter Caninus” by Ray Bradbury