My Commonplace Book: July 2021

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

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


In the romances, victory was always resoundingly conclusive and the hero had no more to do than seat himself in the place of honour beside his bride at a miraculously-conjured banquet. In real life matters were less tidily disposed.

Red Adam’s Lady by Grace Ingram (1973)


‘Dull novels? But, George, why? Anyone can do that.’

‘Laura, they cannot. It needs a power, an absorption, which few possess. If you write enough dull novels, excessively dull ones, Laura, you obtain an immense reputation…’

High Rising by Angela Thirkell (1933)


Zanzibar east coast beach

“That’s where you are wrong,” said Tyson, leaning his elbows on the warm stone. “I’ve seen a lot of the world. A hell of a lot of it! But there’s something special about this island. Something that I haven’t met anywhere else. Do you know what is the most familiar sound in Zanzibar? – laughter! Walk through the streets of the little city almost any time of day or night, and you’ll hear it.

Death in Zanzibar by M.M. Kaye (1959)


Time is an unkind teacher, delivering lessons that we learn far too late for them to be useful. Years after I could have benefited from them, the insights come to me.

Fool’s Assassin by Robin Hobb (2014)


Finally, feeling depressed and misunderstood, he set up a Twitter account, and the rest, for him, was history. At last, he had discovered a place where people would listen to the magical thoughts that ran through his mind. Almost 1,800 people, in fact. Two or three of whom occasionally liked something he posted.

The Echo Chamber by John Boyne (2021)


I often wonder why the whole world is so prone to generalise. Generalisations are seldom if ever true and are usually utterly inaccurate.

The Murder at the Vicarage by Agatha Christie (1930)


Cecily Neville, Duchess of York

Peace, no less than war, calls for strength of arm. You still have to win it.

Cecily by Annie Garthwaite (2021)


Is it love to worship a saint in heaven, whom you dare not touch, who hovers above you like a cloud, which floats away from you even as you gaze? To love is to feel one being in the world at one with us, our equal in sin as well as in virtue.

I Will Repay by Baroness Orczy (1906)


Favourite books read in July:

The Echo Chamber, Death in Zanzibar, Fool’s Assassin

Places visited in my July reading:

England, Zanzibar (Tanzania), the fictional Six Duchies, France

Authors read for the first time in July:

Grace Ingram, Angela Thirkell, Annie Garthwaite

Have you read any of these books? How was your July reading?

3 thoughts on “My Commonplace Book: July 2021

  1. jessicabookworm says:

    Helen, surprise, surprise, I haven’t read any of these again! However there are definitely a few here I would like to try! While my July flew by in a string of comfort reads. I thought you’d be interested to know that I am now well over half way through A Tapestry of Treason by Anne O’Brien. 😊

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