Library book, book club book, short novels, and a non-fiction book. This month has been a good mixture of books, and I'm really surprised that I managed to read as much as there were long walks by the canal in London, soggy walks around central London, rollercoasters and Bakewell tarts in Bakewell.
Girl Meets Boy - Ali Smith
This was a re-read, and it remembered me how much I love reading Ali Smith's novels. Repackaged for The Canons series by Canongate with a bright and bold cover. Inside, this modern retelling of Ovid's Metamorphoses is punchy, fresh and funny. It's about girls finding boys, girls finding girls, love transforming lives, politics changing lives. You'll get whipped up with the pace and lyrical language. This reminded me that I must get around to reading Ali Smith's Autumn. This is a great book but Hotel World will always be my favourite Ali Smith.
Widow - Fiona Barton
Jane Taylor has a seemingly perfect life - a lovely house, a lovely husband, a nice job. She considered her husband her Prince Charming. Yet he is on the front page of every newspaper, being called a monster, being interviewed by the police for the disappearance of a toddler. Jane must keep a brave face in public. Yet, now her husband has died, and the truth is about to come out. Jumps in the timeline, alternate chapters from different characters keep my attention through the story but I really wanted more depth from the characters.
The Penelopiad - Margaret Atwood
I love Margaret Atwood, and I'm enjoying the Canons myth series too. This novel, like Girl Meets Boy, has a striking cover. The devoted wife of Odysseus, Penelope walks the underworld, ready to tell her story. Lust, greed, murder are all crammed into this short novel. I really enjoyed it.
The Party - Elizabeth Day
A couple of months ago I read this amazing article on why we should learn to embrace failure by elizabeth Day, and I knew I wanted to read her novel, The Party. I added this to my list, and while in the library, joining up as my membership had lapsed for over a decade, I spotted the book so I borrowed it. Cross between The Talented Mr Ripley and The Truth About The Harry Quebert Affair, this is a book about society and manipulating characters to better their lives. I really enjoyed this book, and the way Elizabeth draws the reader into the characters' lives. Unnerving plot and complex characters. I'm glad my first book from the library was a good one!
Notes on a Nervous Planet - Matt Haig
This is a part memoir, part guide on how we can live a happy life when the world around and the technology is making us nervous, lonely and disconnected. After years of anxiety and panic attacks, Matt has decided to share his experiences on how to survive when society is trying to encourage us to be anxious with constantly breaking news, the need to be thinner, the need to have the lastest waterproof jacket.
Right, let's get started with October - I'm having a delayed spring clean and donating old clothes, books, bags to charity.