October 2018 reading round-up

Bulrush tasting menu

I ended last month swimming in the Med, reading in beautiful gardens, eating Neapolitan pizza and drinking Ischian wine. I ended this month eating delicious Michelin-starred food right here in Bristol (if you click on the pic above and go to my Flickr page, you can read what all the courses were at the very excellent Bulrush). And the wine might not have been made two miles from where I drank it, but it was pretty damn good. So being back home isn’t so bad (but I still miss holiday).

I have started three or four books since coming back from holiday, but finished none of them. Maybe I need to set aside a day for nothing but reading sometime soon – a good old-fashioned read-a-thon. That would be nice.

Lack of reading aside, this month I watched a couple more K-dramas – Love in the Moonlight and Strong Woman Do Bong Soon – and I also went to the cinema for the first time in ages, to watch the excellent biopic First Man.

Here’s to a happy November.

Books read

Anne of Green Gables by L M Montgomery
In the second week of holiday I wanted simple comfort reads. I hadn’t read the “Anne” books since I hoovered them up when I was…12? 13? There’s more religion than I had remembered, but Anne is still an endearing heroine. Also, Montgomery does a great job of advertising Prince Edward Island as a beautiful place to visit one day.

Anne of Avonlea by L M Montgomery
Once I had started, I didn’t want to stop. I love that a book was published in 1909 that was so firmly pro the higher education of women, acknowledging that some women need to earn a living. But time passes a little too quickly in this volume. Basically, I didn’t want Anne to grow up!

Anne of the Island by L M Montgomery
And this is where the series begins to disappoint, for me. Anne just isn’t Anne anymore. Despite my obsession with romance on TV lately, I don’t really read romance and I tired quickly of it forming the bulk of this novel.

Residence on Earth by Pablo Neruda
Before our holiday, we watched a few films set in the Bay of Naples, such as It Started in Naples and Il Postino. The latter heavily features Pablo Neruda, who lived on Capri for much 1952 while he was in political exile. I went through a Neruda phase just after I left university so I had a couple of large volumes of his poetry. This is one of his later, more political volumes, and some of it is powerful, unflinching stuff. But there’s also some of his gentler poems about love and life that can be equally moving.