Books for September

September Reading List

If you’re looking for a good book as the evenings get darker, here are my recommendations for the month. I’ve tried to include something for everyone. Do check back next month for more.

The Ivy Tree by Mary Stewart

The Ivy Tree by Mary Stewart

James picked this up for me from a charity book stall. I’d never come across Mary Stewart before – although a quick glance at the book jacket revealed she was actually a prolific author of many thrillers and historical novels. Most of these were written between the 1950s and the 1980s, which probably explains why I hadn’t come across them before.

The Ivy Tree (1961) is a gripping work of light suspense. When I say light suspense, I suppose I mean a romantic thriller. It reminded me of Daphne du Maurier. It’s a tale of jealousy, impersonation, love and intrigue. The characters are intriguing – quite unlikeable at times – and there are plenty of twists and turns.

I don’t want to give too much of the plot away, but it centres on a chance encounter, through which our heroine is drawn into the life of complicated family estate. Set in Northumberland, in the shadow of Hadrian’s Wall, I think it’s supposed to be vaguely contemporary – at times it felt like the 1930s, others the 1950s.

It’s quite a long book but stick with it.  I couldn’t turn the final pages fast enough as certain truths began to dawn on me. All in all, it’s a great read for Autumn.

If you’re after a bit of non-fiction then I recommend French Children Don’t Throw Food by Pamela Druckerman.

French Children Don't Throw Food

It’s a witty and very readable account of the author’s experiences as an American (married to an Englishman) bringing up her children in Paris. The contrast between the calm, slightly detached, style of French parenting compared with the sometimes fussy helicopter parenting of the Anglo-Americans made me smile.

I learnt some new things, and recognised a few techniques that we did with our boys when they were young, which really worked for us. Some of the advice – especially about sleeping – is  really very useful and I haven’t really seen it elsewhere. I would definitely recommend first-time mothers read this while pregnant. It’s definitely one I wish I’d read.

A few other recommendations in brief…

At a Distance by Raffaella Barker. I’m a big fan of RB and I loved reading this unusual – and moving – story.

The Complete Richard Hannay by John Buchan. James is currently enjoying re-reading  these gripping tales of Edwardian espionage. This collection includes the most famous of the Richard Hannay books, the Thirty Nine Steps. Our Penguin edition is out of print, but it’s worth trying to get it second-hand. Or you could try the Wordsworth edition I’ve linked to above. They’re also available to download for free here.

Autumn Story by Jill Barklem. A classic Brambly Hedge tale from my childhood. At 6 and 4, my boys are just the right age to appreciate the complex drawings in these wonderfully illustrated books.

What books are you loving at the moment? I’d love hear what you’re reading – just say hello in the comments below! 



  1. September 22, 2015 / 10:00 am

    My 6 & 4 year old boys are getting Autumn Story tonight! I’ve not read much at all recently. I was an absolutely ravenous reader of books right through to my late twenties, but when I had the two younger children I realised if I read I’d never get anything done, as I can never put a book down! I’m about to start reading The Girl on the Train for my book group though. Elise has great book roundups which I love to read and bet you would too. They’re here:

    • marmaladepie
      September 24, 2015 / 10:10 am

      Most of my reading is done in bed at night. Now the boys are at school though I’m looking forward to reading while I eat my lunch too! Thanks for the recommendations x

  2. September 22, 2015 / 11:08 am

    Yay I love some good book suggestions!! I recently read “The Museum of Extraordinary Things” by Alice Hoffman and “Heading out to Wonderful” by Robert Goolrick – both borrowed from my beloved library and both fab Xx

    • marmaladepie
      September 24, 2015 / 10:10 am

      Thanks for the recommendations! xx

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