I read 13 books in August, which is the most I’ve read in one month for a while, but lots of them were short story collections, which tend to have fewer pages.
I went short story mad because I needed to write one myself for my performance at Emotional Madness with Mary-Ann and Mates at Colchester Arts Centre on Monday 12 September. If you’re local, I’d love you to come along - I’m really proud of what I’ve come up with.
Plus, I only seem able to complete writing projects when I’ve been specifically invited to come up with something, so if the night is a success, chances are I’ll get asked to do it again, increasing my output. Otherwise, I mostly default to reading in my spare time, so without further ado…
The Haunting of Lás Lagrimas, by W. M. Cleese - 4.5*
Muzungu, by Rod Madocks - 4*, purely because it gave me SO MANY THOUGHTS.
Supporting Cast, by Kit de Waal - 4*
Ways of Living, by Gemma Seltzer - that feeling when you read an author’s work and wish you could write like them. 5*
Hotel Obscure, by Lisette Brodey - 4.5*
The Lament of the Silver Badger, by Oli Jacobs - 4*
The Lottery and other stories, by Shirley Jackson - loved loved LOVED this. I was underwhelmed when I read The Haunting of Hill House a few years back, and I’m so glad I gave Shirley Jackson another chance.
A Narrow Door, by Joanne Harris - 4.5*
The Last to Disappear, by Jo Spain - my pick for August’s Book Shelf Raiders, though I couldn’t make it to the Zoom in the end. 4*
My Name is Leon, by Kit de Waal - 4.5*
I get ridiculously excited whenever Kate Atkinson has a new book out, so of course I’ll be pre-ordering Shrines of Gaiety. Kind of gutted to have missed the blog tour invite for it, but it’s a good excuse to buy a fancy edition of it.
Two blog tours I do have coming up are Black Hearts, by Doug Johnstone, and The Moose Paradox, by Antti Tuomainen, having enjoyed other books by them. I also plan to continue my newfound Kit de Waal obsession with her recently-published memoir, Without Warning & Only Sometimes.
This month’s Book Shelf Raiders theme is “a book back in time”, which I’m interpreting as “a book I’ve had in my pile for a shamefully long time”. I picked up Thirteen, by Steve Cavanagh, at an author event in 2018 and even though I keep hearing about how great it is (especially at the BSR meetings!), I just haven’t got to it. I can just tell I’m going to be kicking myself for not making time for it earlier.