Barbara Pym has been on my radar for a couple of years, ever since a customer at the library I used to work at recommended her to me. I had been discussing my fondness for Alexander McCall Smith’s books with her and she encouraged me to give Barbara Pym a go! I was told that her books were subdued, humorous, and comforting. The next time I felt like I needed a gentle read, I made sure to scout out one of her books at the library. I ended up choosing A Glass of Blessings.
I read The Glorious Heresies by Lisa McInerney in 2016, not long after it won the Women’s Prize for Fiction. Despite initial misgivings, I ended up adoring it. So when I heard that McInerney had released a sequel I knew that I would be reading it at some point. I was awaiting its paperback release, because hardcovers are just too cumbersome to carry around, and when I saw it in the library this year it went straight into my bag.
Jane Austen is, and always will be, one of my favourite authors. She is witty and perceptive and her stories have had a lasting impact on my life. I’ve read her six complete novels at least twice and I enjoy them more with every re-read. Despite this, I still hadn’t read Lady Susan, an epistolary novella that was published posthumously in 1871. When I saw this beautiful edition in the library, I knew that the time had finally come to pick it up.
In Lady Susan we explore the character of our eponymous leading lady – a beautiful woman who has been recently widowed. Susan takes it upon herself to visit her brother and his wife (Charles and Catherine Vernon) at their country home, much to the displeasure of Catherine Vernon. Susan has already had a flirtation with a married man in London and when she is introduced to Catherine’s brother, she sees him as a new conquest. Lady Susan is also trying to marry off her sixteen-year-old daughter, Frederica, to a gentleman whom she despises. This results in a great deal of tension between the mother and daughter, although Catherine Vernon takes a liking to the young Frederica. Through a series of letters we follow the exploits of Susan and the effects they have on those around her. Continue reading “Lady Susan – Jane Austen”
Mapp and Lucia by E. F. Benson is a book that my mum has been bugging me to read for the last couple of years; she was sure I would enjoy it. She took matters into her own hands at Christmas last year and bought me a copy. Come March, I decided that the time had come to finally read it, and I am so glad that I did. Mum really does know best.
When God Was a Rabbit by Sarah Winman is a book I picked up because I so thoroughly enjoyed her novel, Tin Man. Whilst the title has long since intrigued me, I was never tempted enough to actually pick it up. After reading Tin Man though, I knew that I wanted to read more of Winman’s work, so I borrowed it on my most recent trip to the library.
I wish you a very happy holiday period! This is my absolute favourite time of year, so I hope that you’re enjoying it as much as I am. And if you don’t enjoy it, I hope that you get through it as best as you are able to. Personally, I’m going to enjoy gingerbread biscuits, Christmas music, festive decorations, and wonderfully cheesy films. I’ve already watched Love Actually with my housemate, so we’re off to a good start.
November was a slow reading month for me. I’ve struggled to find a book that grips me recently. I’m still on the hunt (and luckily have lots of recommendations in the comments of my latest video) and hopefully will find a good book to read soon!
I know it’s a cliché to comment on how quickly the months go by, but seriously, where did October go? And how is it November already? More to the point, how are we already over halfway through November? Not that I’m complaining. The shops have put up their Christmas displays, the Christmas market is set up, and pretty soon it will be socially acceptable for me to be excited about Christmas. My true self is never more powerful than when the Christmas season arrives.
Right, let’s get on to the books that I read in October.