Spell the Month in Books – August

Spell the Month in Books is a linkup hosted by Jana on Reviews From the Stacks on the second Saturday of each month. The goal is to spell the current month with the first letter of book titles, excluding articles such as ‘the’ and ‘a’ as needed. That’s all there is to it! Some months there are optional theme challenges, such as “books with an orange cover” or books of a particular genre, but for the most part, any book you want to use is fair game!

There’s no theme this month. These are all books I’ve enjoyed – the descriptions are taken from Goodreads and the links to my reviews are in the titles of each book.

A is for Absent in the Spring by Mary Westmacott (Agatha Christie)

Returning from a visit to her daughter in Iraq, Joan Scudamore finds herself unexpectedly alone and stranded in an isolated rest house by flooding of the railway tracks. This sudden solitude compels Joan to assess her life for the first time ever and face up to many of the truths about herself. Looking back over the years, Joan painfully re-examines her attitudes, relationships and actions and becomes increasingly uneasy about the person who is revealed to her.

U is for An Uncertain Place by Fred Vargas

Adamsberg travels to London, where a routine conference draws him into a disturbing investigation.

Commissaire Adamsberg leaves Paris for a three-day conference in London. With him are a young sergeant, Estalère, and Commandant Danglard, who is terrified at the idea of travelling beneath the Channel. It is the break they all need, until a macabre and brutal case comes to the attention of their colleague Radstock from New Scotland Yard.

Just outside the baroque and romantic old Highgate cemetery a pile of shoes is found. Not so strange in itself, but the shoes contain severed feet. As Scotland Yard’s investigation begins, Adamsberg and his colleagues return home and are confronted with a massacre in a suburban home. Adamsberg and Danglard are drawn in to a trail of vampires and vampire-hunters that leads them all the way to Serbia, a place where the old certainties no longer apply.

G is for The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman

Nobody Owens, known to his friends as Bod, is a perfectly normal boy. Well, he would be perfectly normal if he didn’t live in a graveyard, being raised and educated by ghosts, with a solitary guardian who belongs to neither the world of the living nor the world of the dead.

There are dangers and adventures for Bod in the graveyard: the strange and terrible menace of the Sleer; a gravestone entrance to a desert that leads to the city of ghouls; friendship with a witch, and so much more.

But it is in the land of the living that real danger lurks, for it is there that the man Jack lives and he has already killed Bod’s family.

U is for The Uncommon Reader by Alan Bennett

Led by her yapping corgis to the Westminster traveling library outside Buckingham Palace, the Queen finds herself taking out a novel by Ivy Compton-Burnett. Duff read though it is, the following week her choice proves more enjoyable and awakens in Her Majesty a passion for reading so great that her public duties begin to suffer. And so, as she devours work by everyone from Hardy to Brookner to Proust to Beckett, her equerries conspire to bring the Queen’s literary odyssey to a close.

S is for A Single Thread by Tracy Chevalier

1932. After the Great War took both her beloved brother and her fiancé, Violet Speedwell has become a “surplus woman,” one of a generation doomed to a life of spinsterhood after the war killed so many young men. Yet Violet cannot reconcile herself to a life spent caring for her grieving, embittered mother. After countless meals of boiled eggs and dry toast, she saves enough to move out of her mother’s place and into the town of Winchester, home to one of England’s grandest cathedrals. There, Violet is drawn into a society of broderers–wo men who embroider kneelers for the Cathedral, carrying on a centuries-long tradition of bringing comfort to worshippers.

T is for The Tapestry of Love by Rosy Thornton

A warm and uplifting story of how a woman falls in love with a place and its people: a landscape, a community and a fragile way of life.

A rural idyll: that’s what Catherine is seeking when she sells her house in England and moves to a tiny hamlet in the Cévennes mountains. With her divorce in the past and her children grown, she is free to make a new start, and her dream is to set up in business as a seamstress. But this is a harsh and lonely place when you’re no longer just here on holiday. There is French bureaucracy to contend with, not to mention the mountain weather, and the reserve of her neighbours, including the intriguing Patrick Castagnol. And that’s before the arrival of Catherine’s sister, Bryony…

The theme for September 10 is Space; books about exploring outer space, stars, science fiction set on different planets, etc. Anything that connects to space in any way.

6 thoughts on “Spell the Month in Books – August

  1. I’ve read three of those – The Uncommon Reader, A Single Thread and The Tapestry of Love, all of which I enjoyed. I might have a go at this sometime, but I think September’s theme might be difficult for me!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. What a fun, clever meme, Margaret! And as far as I’m concerned, you can’t go far wrong with Agatha Christie. I like Vargas’ work, too, and I’ve been wanting to read Gaiman. I always get such great ideas and reminders of authors from you!

    Liked by 1 person

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