I did not quite get my TBR down to my goal of ten books during the rather busy August I had, but it is down to twelve at present. This seems like a far more manageable number to me than the eighteen which I began with at the start of July. I am hoping to get my TBR down to eight books by the end of September, but ideally, I will read a few more than this.
During August, I added three books to my TBR, but have read all of them. I purchased a copy of Joanne Harris‘ The Strawberry Thief when it was up as a Kindle daily deal, and I had been unable to find the copy which the library was insistent it had. I have really enjoyed Harris’ Chocolat series on the whole, but the final instalment was a little disappointing. At first, I found it rather difficult to differentiate between the different viewpoints used in the novel, and did not find the characters’ voices anywhere near as strong or varied as they have been in previous books. Whilst it proved easy to get into after a while, The Strawberry Thief was not as page-turning as I expected it to be. There is not much with regard to plot within the book, and it does feel a tad too long.
I also received a copy of Ninni Holmqvist‘s The Unit as a belated birthday gift from one of my friends. It sounded so intriguing, and I have been so entertained (and creeped out in equal measure) by dystopian literature over the last couple of years. Translated from the original Swedish, the novel has a great flow to it, and it gets more and more unsettling as it goes on. I thoroughly enjoyed it, and quite liked the ending too.
The final book added to my TBR during August is Belinda Bauer‘s Snap, which I picked up in an Oxfam bookshop for less than £1. I was intrigued by it as it was longlisted for the Man Booker Prize in 2018. I’m around halfway through the novel at the time of writing this post, and it’s not quite what I expected. The writing is a little plain for my tastes, but the different storylines intrigue me enough to keep reading, and see how everything comes together.
As with last month’s TBR tracker, you can find reviews of the books which I read during August below.
These Happy Golden Years by Laura Ingalls Wilder ***
I mistakenly skipped the seventh Little House on the Prairie book when I picked up These Happy Golden Years. This is a nice enough conclusion to the series, but I must admit that I haven’t enjoyed the books as much as I was expecting to. Although the children are growing up as the books progress, each of the tales are quite similar, and only a couple have stood out for me.
Anne of Avonlea by L.M. Montgomery ***
I really enjoyed the first Anne of Green Gablesnovel, and duly purchased the entire collection on my Kindle. I feel similarly to these books as I do the Little House on the Prairie novels, in that I was expecting to love them, but have been left feeling a little disappointed. Whilst I liked this novel, there was nothing much in terms of plot, and I did not feel as though Anne was quite as headstrong, sassy, or interesting as she was in the first novel. I really enjoy Montgomery’s writing, and whilst I’m not ruling out returning to this series at some point in the future, I’m not going to rush to read the rest of the series at present.
The Necessary Marriage by Elisa Lodato **
I purchased The Necessary Marriage on my Kindle purely due to hearing good things about Elisa Lodato’s debut, An Unremarkable Body. The novel was not at all what I was expecting. The prose is fine, but at no point was I blown away by it. Whilst Lodato demonstrates that she is understanding of her characters, I found them relatively two-dimensional. The conclusions which the novel comes to are obvious; whilst not a great deal happened, what did was apparent ages beforehand.
Full reviews of Mary Poppins, She Wrote: A Biography of P.L. Travers by Valerie Lawson and Brighton Rock by Graham Greene, both of which I read during August, will be published soon.
My current TBR is as follows:
- Thomas Hardy: A Life by Claire Tomalin
- The Magic Mountain by Thomas Mann
- The Diviners by Margaret Laurence
- North and South by Elizabeth Gaskell
- Les Parisiennes: How the Women of Paris Lived, Loved and Died in the 1940s by Anne Sebba
- Cold Light by Jenn Ashworth
- Travellers in the Third Reich by Julia Boyd
- The Priory by Dorothy Whipple
- The Seabird’s Cry by Adam Nicolson
- Hagseed by Margaret Atwood
- Sweet Caress by William Boyd
- Song of the Lark by Willa Cather
Current total: 12
Goal for the end of September: 8