I’ve got through quite a few books in October and only one of them is mine! The rest are library books. (I also broke the book buying ban for Morrissey’s autobiography, but in my defence, it was on offer at less than the price of Marie Claire, so…)
(As usual, all images are from Waterstones.)
The Spy Who Loved- Claire Mulley (my own book)
I was sent this to review by Historical Honey as part of their Secret Book Club. The idea of the book club is to get a book that you would never usually pick up and write your thoughts about it. This was not one I would usually pick up- it’s the true story of a Polish woman who became one of Britain’s best spies in World War II, who was then murdered in the 1950s by a former lover. Although it took me a while to get into, I loved this. I didn’t know much about spies in World War II, much less about the role of Poland. A thoroughly enjoyable book that I’m raving about to everyone.
Fables: 1001 Nights of Snow Fall- Bill Waddingham (library book)
It’s no secret that I’m a big graphic novel fan and the Fables series is one of my favourites. When I saw this, a sort of add on to the series, at my local library, I picked it up. The Fables universe is complex, surprising and, quite frankly, a bit weird and this fits right in. I can’t really explain it, except that it’s a few short stories set in the Fables world and is a good introduction to it.
The Testament of Mary- Colm Toibin (library book)
I’m fascinated by religion and when I saw this was on the shortlist for the Booker Prize, I thought I’d give it a go. It’s barely 100 pages long and tells the story of the crucifixion from the point of view of Mary (who isn’t convinced about her son’s divinity.) It’s a really emotional, heartbreaking story and one that manages to make Mary and Jesus seem more human than they have done before. Just utterly brilliant.
Girl in a Blue Dress- Gaynor Arnold (library book)
Another historical novel, this one tells the story of a novelist and his wife and their marital breakup. It is clearly based on the life of Dickens (who in some ways was SUCH a hypocrite when it came to morality..) I found this to be a real page turner; the Victorian era was perfectly written and you feel so much for the main character: I discovered that I was getting really angry on her behalf. I really enjoyed this.
Tales of Mystery and Imagination- Edgar Allan Poe (library book)
All the classics are here and I’ve enjoyed reading most of them. I must admit though that I found some of the stories boring or hard work, but then Poe isn’t for everyone! The Black Cat is genuinely a creepy story and The Pit and the Pendulum is really quite scary. It’s also really interesting to see exactly how much Arthur Conan-Doyle ‘borrowed’* from the Dupin stories for Sherlock Holmes.
*cough, ripped off a bit.