My Commonplace Book: September 2019

A selection of words and pictures to represent September’s reading:

commonplace book
a book into which notable extracts from other works are copied for personal use.


‘What credulous creatures we are, really. We believe evidence as though it were gospel truth. And what is it really? Only the impression conveyed to the mind by the senses – and suppose they’re the wrong impressions?’

Partners in Crime by Agatha Christie (1929)


“So it will go,” Merriman said. “He will have a sweet picture of the Dark to attract him, as men so often do, and beside it he will set all the demands of the Light, which are heavy and always will be.”

The Dark is Rising by Susan Cooper (1973)


Illustration of a winged, fire-breathing dragon by Friedrich Justin Bertuch, 1806

She couldn’t decide if she was flattered or insulted. ‘It’s because he remembers so much more than the others. I sometimes think that age is based more on what you’ve done and what you remember than how old you are.’

Dragon Haven by Robin Hobb (2010)


Conscience? It struck me like a blow from a hunting whip, fine and cutting. What was conscience? A jackdaw, picking up one shiny object, then discarding it for another, whatever would suit the occasion. Or haphazardly collecting one bright stone after another, until it had a whole array of glittering trivia in its nest.

A Tapestry of Treason by Anne O’Brien (2019)


Leon Kryder had replied with an exposition of the greater burden of conformity to socially sanctioned behaviour patterns that American adolescents have to bear. Although the individual has a great deal of freedom, it is only freedom to enjoy the same sort of freedom as everybody else of that age and that group.

Death on a Quiet Day by Michael Innes (1956)


Aurora Borealis

‘Why wait?’ Bullmer shrugged. ‘One thing I’ve learned in business – now almost always is the right time. What feels like prudence is almost invariably cowardice – and someone else gets in there before you.’

The Woman in Cabin 10 by Ruth Ware (2016)


The truth is not so simple, I thought. The truth is that I am a man, from the soles of my feet to the top of my head. I have a man’s thoughts and a man’s desires. And yet, if you were to look at my skin, Mr Whitford, heaven forbid, you would think I was female. That would be your truth. Whose truth is more important, do you think: yours or mine?

The Anarchists’ Club by Alex Reeve (2019)


You spend months stalking a problem that constantly escapes. Then cover more ground in half a second than your brain can comprehend.

The Silver Pigs by Lindsey Davis (1989)


Favourite books read in September:

The Anarchists’ Club and The Dark is Rising

New authors read in September:

Lindsey Davis

Countries visited in my September reading:

England, Norway, Italy (Ancient Rome), the Realm of the Elderlings


Have you read any of these books? Which books did you enjoy in September?

16 thoughts on “My Commonplace Book: September 2019

  1. Silvia says:

    Wow, I loved all those quotes, really, fascinating.

    I have not read any of those books, no. I’m knee deep into Moby Dick, Eco’s Experiences in Translation, and Paz’s El laberinto de la soledad, (Solitude’s Labyrinth?)

  2. Melita says:

    I’ve read The Dark is Rising and Silver Pigs. I think Susan Cooper’s series awoke my love for Wales. I studied there for a year as an exchange student.

    I started reading Lindsey Davis’s Falco series when I was there. Falco and Helena are great characters and there are a lot of interesting secondary characters. I think my favorite entry is Venus in Copper.

    • Helen says:

      I really enjoyed The Dark is Rising and am looking forward to reading the rest of the series. I didn’t love The Silver Pigs but I liked it enough to want to read the next book – I agree that Falco and Helena are both interesting characters.

  3. Sandra says:

    What a great selection, Helen. I find myself torn now over whether to go straight on to The Dark is Rising or wait until the end of the year as the contents page suggests that it opens with a wintery setting.

  4. Calmgrove says:

    The Susan Cooper is the only one of these titles I’ve read, but as usual one or two of your quotes have got me seriously considering more purchases that can take up non-existent spaces on my shelves…

    • Helen says:

      I enjoyed all of my September reads, some more than others, so I’m glad one or two of these quotes appeal to you. I’m looking forward to continuing with the Susan Cooper series soon!

  5. jessicabookworm says:

    Helen, I haven’t read any of the books you read in September, however I have A Tapestry of Treason by Anne O’Brien waiting for me in my Kindle’s to-be-read folder; which I am excited to read after reading your thoughts on it. In September, I read four books, three of which were for R.I.P. XIV, which is a brilliant start for me! My pick of the month was the Viking, murder-mystery Council by Snorri Kristjansson. Happy reading in October! 🙂

  6. Judy Krueger says:

    I have not read any of the books you read but your selected quotations tempted me to read some of them and I plan to read The Dark Is Rising soon. My favorite book read in September was The Lonely Hearts Hotel by Heather O’Neill. I posted my full list today, a little late due to my travels at the end of September. Happy reading in October!

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