At the beginning of July I was in the middle of reading two long non-fiction books, A History of Modern Britain by Andrew Marr and John Le Carre: the Biography by Adam Sisman and inevitably this slowed down my reading as I took my time with those.
The fiction I read is a mixed bunch, one crime fiction No Man’s Nightingale by Ruth Rendell, a spy thriller, The Spy Who Came in from the Cold by John Le Carre, a book of short stories, Sandlands by Rosy Thornton and a novella, The Man Who Would Be King by Rudyard Kipling.
And I’m now in the middle of reading The Sunne in Splendour by Sharon Penman, a huge historical novel about Richard III. She paints a very different picture of him from the villain in Shakespeare’s play and in the Tudor historians’ depictions.
Three books are from my TBR books, the Andrew Marr, Rudyard Kipling and Sharon Penman books, and none are for the 20 Books of Summer challenge. Sometimes I just have to forget about reading plans and lists and enjoy reading books as I come across them – there is pleasure in that too.
My favourite for July
I’m amazed at this, because short stories are not usually high on my list of favourite books, but the book that gave me the most pleasure this month is Rosy Thornton’s collection of short stories, Sandlands, strong, atmospheric stories, bringing to life the world of the past, and tying them to the present; stories of family life, of the natural world, of folklore and the mystery and wonder of it all. I loved it!
(The links are to my posts on the books – I’ll post a review of The Man Who Would be King in the next few days)