• Emily

Reading in September, 2020: Part 1

Updated: Oct 23, 2021

This month so far

I'm still figuring this blog out, and I wanted to try something new. I think that my book lists are too long, so I'm breaking September in half. I started some of these books in August, and it feels like I was reading Austen Years for forever, but I zipped through The Furies pretty quickly- I began it right at the end of August and finished a few days into Sept. And Persuasion went by lickety-split.

The Furies, Natalie Haynes

I'm not sure what I think about this book. It had blurbs from Madeline Miller and Joss Whedon, so my expectations were high, maybe too high. It was a bit like a mystery, but the type where you learn the ending early on and have to read on for the details to make it make sense, and I don't really care for that. It was pretty good, and it kept my interest, but I don't think that it's the kind of book that will stay with me.

The Deep, Rivers Solomon, et. al.

This book is dark myth. A group of sea creatures have no memory of their past, because the burden of their history is given to one Historian. The Historian finds it too great a burden to bear and escapes from it. The history that is explained over the course of the book shows that the creatures are descended from pregnant women who were thrown overboard slave ships to die; the babies lived, born into water. It's dark but not altogether depressing. The babies form their own society, and the main character is able to lighten the load she carries. It's a novella; I read it easily over a long weekend.

The Jane Austen Corner

I didn't intend to have such an Austen-centric month; two of the books were library holds that came in close together, and one was a book I checked out to test a library ebook app. But it isn't surprising; she's my favorite author.

I was going to read The Clergyman's Wife by Molly Greeley, but it looks like my library's copy isn't going to come in any time soon. We've gone through two copies, and it has a high rating on Goodreads, but I am inclined against books in which new authors take another author's characters and make a new story. I caved on this one because it's Charlotte Lucas Collins, who I love, but I suspect that it's really just a romance novel with some Austen touches. Anyway, I could have had 4 Austen books this month instead of 3.

The Jane Austen Society, Natalie Jenner

It was cute. There was a chapter early on outside the chronological order... some slightly anachronistic speech. Only one character in the bunch doesn't pair up. The best parts were discussions of Austen. Not much description of place. Not really a historical novel: no description of their clothing, or how many of them didn't have cars yet, or what they ate on rationing, There were some mentions of the second world war, and one character was directly affected by it. I could tell that it wasn't my usual thing, but I wanted to try it because I love Jane Austen.

Austen years: a memoir in five novels, Rachel Cohen

As with The Jane Austen Society, the book discussions were the best part. Really interesting looks into each of the five main novels. (Why doesn't everyone love Northanger Abbey and Lady Susan like I do? If you don't, you're wrong.) She talks about her relationship to the books and her experience reading them in the aftermath of her father's death. It isn't morbid, though.

Persuasion, Miss Jane Austen

I wrote about my reading of this classic in another post.

Coming up

I'm reading The Unlikely Escape of Uriah Heep by H. G. Parry and Somewhere in the Dark by R. J. Jacobs now. I'll have more to say about them later. I'm going to read The Guest List by Lucy Foley soon, so I can get it back to the library on time.

The heat here has finally broken, so I'm thinking now of what scary books I'll read next month for Halloween. I love scaring myself to death each October :)

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