A selection of words and pictures to represent August’s reading:
a book into which notable extracts from other works are copied for personal use.
“Leave it alone? Our very own murder mystery – if it was murder!”
“It was murder, I think. And that’s just why I should leave it alone. Murder isn’t – it really isn’t – a thing to tamper with lightheartedly.”
‘Of course I am a hero,’ he said, getting up and laughing very cheerfully. ‘Every man is a hero of his own tale. Surely, Dr Maturin, every man must look on himself as wiser and more intelligent and more virtuous than the rest, so how could he see himself as the villain, or even as a minor character? And you must have noticed that heroes are never beaten. They may be undone for a while, but they always do themselves up again, and marry the virtuous young gentlewoman.’
She was conscious of a glow of spurious strength, followed by a rush of confidence, as she climbed out of the traitor’s hell into which she had hurled herself.
“Lost causes are the only causes worth fighting for,” she told herself.
The Wheel Spins by Ethel Lina White (1936)
She had never stitched so much embroidery. Where once she had done nothing but dance, she could not now bear to have music, for she felt so fragile that it must surely break her. Music evoked joy or sadness; it brought back memories or lifted the soul. She could not take any of that now. She was merely existing, trying not to think too much. When her musicians knocked at her door, she told her women to tell them that it was not the time for dancing.
People want love. People demand love. They prescribe love. They proscribe it, too. People make mistakes, and people grow afraid, and they fail and hurt each other. Some people talk about love like drunkards, and their words end up meaning nothing. But some people cannot talk about love; it kills them to do so, and with time, passing straight through the hurt itself, we come to see the nature of their love. We come to see how transformative it was, and what an honour it was to have it in our lives.
The Intoxicating Mr Lavelle by Neil Blackmore (2020)
“Oh dear,” she said impulsively, “I wish you could be happy.”
…But the hard-eyed Cornishwoman was looking at her with an odd surprised kind of approval. “A perilous wish!” she said. “For where one may be made happy by harmless things, another may find happiness only in hurting. But good may come of it.”
Favourite books read in August:
Sleeping Murder, Greenwitch
New authors read in August:
Neil Blackmore, Ethel Lina White
Countries visited in my August reading:
England, Italy, France, Canada
Have you read any of these books? Which books did you enjoy reading in August?
This year’s 20 Books of Summer challenge has also come to an end now. I only managed to read 14 of the 20 books on my list, but I hadn’t expected to do much better than that so I’m quite happy!
Here are the books I read, with links to reviews where available:
1. Moonflower Murders by Anthony Horowitz
2. A Time to Die by Hilda Lawrence
3. The Silver Collar by Antonia Hodgson
4. The Honey and the Sting by EC Fremantle
5. Tsarina by Ellen Alpsten
6. The Sin Eater by Megan Campisi
7. When We Fall by Carolyn Kirby
8. Katheryn Howard, the Tainted Queen by Alison Weir
9. The Silken Rose by Carol McGrath
10. Sleeping Murder by Agatha Christie
11. City of Dragons by Robin Hobb
12. The Surgeon’s Mate by Patrick O’Brian
13. Greenwitch by Susan Cooper
14. These Old Shades by Georgette Heyer
Here are the books I didn’t read (although I have started two of them). I will have to make these autumn or winter reads instead of summer ones.
15. The Land Beyond the Sea by Sharon Penman
16. The Green Gauntlet by RF Delderfield
17. Confusion by Elizabeth Jane Howard
18. The Wheel of Fortune by Susan Howatch
19. Daniel Deronda by George Eliot
20. The Horseman by Tim Pears
How was your summer reading? Did you take part in 20 Books of Summer – and did you complete your list?