October is finished – I review my challenge and talk about my 300th book read this year

It was not the brightest of ideas to choose to read history books for my 12 in 12 Challenge in the month that I was also moving house. I knew it was a mistake even as the month began but by then I had packed my books into many, many boxes and had only a crate (maybe two) of books that I would read over the 4 to 6 weeks that we expected to be living in rented accommodation until we had completed the purchase of our new house. Of course I could have changed my mind and nipped out and bought some others (charity shops galore here in Holmfirth) but stubbornness won out in the end and although I haven’t reached my target of 12 I have enjoyed my history month immensely. If you have the time please have a look at some of my blogs for the month – I read a variety of history in a variety of styles and one or more may take your fancy. These books took longer than the average novel to read but they were worth it.

For November I have chosen books with a name in the title as my theme. This is mostly because I noticed that I had so many of them ! I have my crate sitting in the corner of our rented cottage filled with appropriate books but I have no idea how many I will get through during the month given that I sincerely hope to be moving into our new home in the next few weeks. Most, but not all, of the books are novels which means that they usually take less time to read than non-fiction books. We shall see.

During the past month I have reached 300 books read for the year. This puts me on target for an annual total of about 360. Last year it was 353 and I had expected to read more this year with time off for foot surgery and the extra time gained by not having to commute as I am working from home but the house move has rather put paid to that. There are no prizes and this is not a competition because the object, after all, is enjoyment.

My 300th book read this year is Whispers Under Ground by Ben Aaronovitch which you will notice is not actually a history book – I did read some novels as well for some light relief. This book is one of a series set in London and featuring Peter Grant who is a police officer and also learning magic. They are whimsical and clever and really enjoyable. I have read this one before but am rereading the series in order at present. Start with Rivers of London and you will be able to follow the story through.

A couple of other books I also read this month which didn’t fall within the boundaries of my challenge :

  • Sing, Unburied, Sing by Jesmyn Ward – a story of a family. This book is told from a number of points of view, including that of a dead man, and looks at the story of one poor black family in modern America and the legacy of poverty and discrimination which determine their present and their future. It sound heavy but it is actually an absorbing read and told in an almost poetical style. Each character has their own point of view and each interprets the actions of others in a different way. I enjoyed it.
  • Now You See Them by Elly Griffiths is the latest in her series of mysteries set in Brighton at the end of WW2. This is a great series and the books are easy to read but full of period character. I would start with the first which is The Zig-Zag Girl.
  • Take Six Girls by Laura Thompson is a biography of the Mitford sisters and I finished listening to it on audio on my rare trips out in the car this month. I’ve read about the sisters before but this was informative and interesting although it may be concentrated a little too much on the books of Nancy to make the points. I am not sure that I would have liked any of these women !
  • We’ll Always have Parrots by Donna Andrews is one of her ongoing cosy mystery series featuring an ornamental blacksmith and her actor partner. They are light, fluffy and funny and I particularly enjoyed this one which is set at a fan convention.

In the midst of personal chaos I have still have found time to read and I have still found excellent and enjoyable books to read. Hopefully by the time I have wrapped up November I will be in my new home and in a position to start taking all the books out of boxes and placing them on shelves – can’t wait. Let’s all keep reading ….