September’s Reading -Lots of paper books and interesting non-fiction

September is over and we are three quarters of the way through the year. I read 28 books in September bringing my total for the year up to 270. My reading has been fairly consistent for the first nine months as I have read 30 books on average each month. This should mean that I read 360 or so for the year which is around what I managed last year although less than I have achieved in the past. I am not particularly bothered about the total as there are no prizes, but it would be good to read more, if only to reduce the massive to-be-read pile than haunts me !

In September only two of the books I read were on my Kindle. This also is an attempt to defeat the physical to-be-read pile issue but also acknowledges the fact that my favourite Kindle died this month and I am using another one which I really don’t like as much (I’ll write a blog in the future about Kindles I have owned and their features).

I read my 250th book of the year which was “The Patient Assassin” by Anita Anand and which was one that I read on my Kindle. This is a non-fiction book about a man who was present at a massacre of Indian people in Amritsar by British troops in 1919 and sought to gain some sort of justice by killing those responsible. It is an eye opening tale of quite astonishing insensitivity and brutality by the British occupiers of India and shared the experience of Indian people who moved away from the sub-continent at that time. Fascinating.

I note also that I hadn’t mentioned the 200th book of the year because I read that in July when I wasn’t blogging. That book was also non-fiction and was “The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich” By William L Shirer. I have read this before and it is a hefty volume so this time I listened to it on audio where it took me about a month of commuting to finish it. I have read quite a lot of books about World War II but this is still one of the best (although the author’s description of homosexuality as a moral failing made me wince). It is well put together and tells a compelling narrative explaining the political and cultural landscape and the vision that the Nazis had for the future in an easy to understand way.

I will list a few other books I read in September that may interest you. As ever with my reading they are a varied and interesting collection and I hope that there is something that I recommend that you may enjoy :

  • Byron’s Women by Alexander Larman tells the story of Byron’s life through the connections he had with nine women. A great way to tell his story (spoiler – he wasn’t nice to any of them) and surprisingly enjoyable – I listened to the audio.
  • The Stone Circle by Elly Griffiths. The latest in her Ruth Galloway crime novel series and one which links to the first book so it helps to have read that. Gripping and enjoyable as ever from this author.
  • All that Remains by Sue Black. Another I listened to on audiobook which was narrated by the author who is a forensic anthropologist. She talks about her life and experiences and also about death. Surprisingly interesting.
  • In Darkling Wood by Emma Carroll is a young teen novel about fairies, war, death and families. A good read which anyone from about 13 years will enjoy – adults included.
  • Hag-Seed by Margaret Atwood is one of my novels of the year. It is a modern retelling of Shakespeare’s The Tempest set in a prison where the play is being staged. There are lots of layers to this book and the author is very clever in connecting lots of different ways of looking at the themes of the play while making a compelling narrative. You really need to know the play to get the most out of this book.
  • My Family and Other Animals by Gerald Durrell. This well-known autobiography is a delight to read and the author’s love of nature and animals shines through on every page.

Keep reading !

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