No matter what’s happening in your life, or the world, you can always turn to a good book for comfort or inspiration. I always find time in my day to read. It’s the last thing I do before bed, and it’s no exaggeration to say I’d be lost without it.
Here’s everything I’ve read over the last month
Revolutionary Road by Richard Yates. I shall be forever grateful to have stumbled across this book in the charity shop. It’s no understatement to say it’s a masterpiece. Absolutely the best thing I’ve read this month. First published in 1961, this is the story of Frank and April Wheeler. Tired of their life of suburban America, they embark on a new path with tragic consequences. Yates brings the emotions and dreams of the Wheelers into sharp focus, and it’s something we can all relate to. Can youthful dreams survive amidst the humdrum of family life? And, deep-down, would you really want them to? If you’re a fan of Mad Men, then you’ll love this – Revolutionary Road must have inspired the writers.
The Blue Bedroom and other stories by Rosamund Pilcher. I’m a big fan of Rosamund Pilcher’s big door-stop sizes novels like September and The Shell Seekers. This is one of her volumes of short stories. I picked my copy up for 20p in the charity shop, but I’m delighted to see it’s still in print. These stories won’t challenge you, they’ll soothe you. Perfect for times in your life when you’ve got a lot on your plate. It’d be easy to dismiss Rosamund Pilcher as dated and irrelevant. Think again. Yes, these stories are a little old-fashioned (mostly written in the sixties and seventies, I think) but their quality makes them timeless. Deft storytelling makes you care about characters you’ve only know for half an hour. Just what I needed, and I’ll be passing this back to the charity shop for someone else to enjoy.
Summer in Tremarnock by Emma Burstall. This is the third book in a series about the lives and loves of Cornish fishing village. I read the second book, The Tremarnock Guest House, over the summer and absolutely loved it. Summer in Tremarnock was disappointing in comparison and lacked the well-paced plot of the last book in the series. The characters and their various plot-lines were never fully developed. Good ideas were weren’t brought to fruition and it was all rather half-hearted and lifeless. Only worth reading if you want to carry on with the series.
Green Grass by Raffaella Barker. One of my favourite writers. Raffaella’s novels are always so fresh, vibrant and funny. Green Grass tells the story of Laura, who finds herself in a late-30s crisis of sorts. Her family is completely self-absorbed and Laura has forgotten what makes her happy. The story is divided between London and rural Norfolk and although it’s fairly tongue in cheek, it’s also effortlessly sharp and wise . Expect lots of chaotic mayhem and an amusing set of characters – especially the children and animals, which she writes particularly well. I loved this book and really didn’t want it to end!
This month, all my books came from the charity shop – but they are all in print and available from good bookshops.
What have you been reading this month? I’d love to hear your recommendations.