My Favourite Reads of September 2019

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My Favourite Reads image

Welcome to My Favourite Reads for September 2019.

September was a month of fat books, with one over 800 pages, one at 500 and another at 450, I felt like I read seven books instead of five.

My favourite read of the month was beautiful, moving, and a wonderful, wonderful book. Stand by for some serious fangirling.

The Glittering Hour by Iona Grey

The Glittering Hour by Iona GreyI couldn’t rave enough about Grey’s debut novel Letters to the Lost (my thoughts on that here). I adored that book and wondered how Grey could possibly top it, but she has.

The Glittering Hour is stunning. STUNNING!

Gorgeously written, it’s an early 20th century historical that brings to life the intervening war years, with all its social and political upheaval. Selina Lennox, the heroine, is a “Bright young thing” – basically an “it” girl. But her life changes when she meets artist and photographer Lawrence Weston, a man not of her class. What follows is a breathtaking, emotional journey that left me sobbing and wrung out and wanting to go back to the start and do it all again.

A must-read. No, seriously, get reading The Glittering Hour now. NOW.

Labyrinth of the Spirits by Carlos Ruiz ZafonLabyrinth of the Spirits by Carlos Ruiz Zafon

This is the final instalment in the Cemetery of Forgotten Books series and ties together many of the mysteries of the first three novels.

At 800 pages it’s a monster, and I admit to having moments of wanting to put it down but I so adored the first two books in the series (The Shadow of the Wind was an incredible read as was The Angel’s Game) and the third book had so many loose ends that I had to see them tied up.

There are some deliciously creepy characters in Labyrinth of the Spirits and I love Ruiz Zafon’s gothic Barcelona. As with all his books, he really brings the city and era to life. It’s fascinating.

I look forward to seeing what he writes next. I hope it’s something like Marina (I talk about that here). That book is amazing.

The Ridealong by Michaelbrent CollingsThe Ridealong by Michaelbrent Collings

I am such a Michealbrent fan. His writing, storytelling and characters capture me every time. I keep wanting to pull apart his books to work out how he’s done things, but I’m always too caught up in the story to stop.

Like Terminal, my last Michaelbrent read (I rave about that here), The Ridealong was a cracking read. It’s a fast-past thriller featuring a teenage girl who goes for a ride-along with her cop dad. All pretty straightforward, except you know from the start that something is very wrong, and as the day progresses it just gets worse and worse.

So, so clever with its concluding twist. Highly recommended.

The Honourable Thief by Meaghan Wilson AnastasiosThe Honourable Thief by Meaghan Wilson Anastasios

Now, this was an interesting read. I thought The Honourable Thief was a stand-alone but it looks like it’s as series now, with another Benedict Hitchens story having just been released.

Another 20th century historical, The Honourable Thief follows the adventures of brilliant archaeologist Benedict Hitchens, a man once feted but who falls from grace in quite a spectacular way.

I enjoyed this a lot. It had some seriously cool moments, but I did find the hero difficult to like. I wonder if that’s me though, comparing Ben to Indiana Jones too much. Like Jones, Ben Hitchens is charming, sexy, brave and clever, and both have their flaws. Ben’s are a bit harder to forgive, though. For me, anyway. I’ve passed The Honourable Thief on to Jim to read and it’ll be interesting to hear his opinion.

Pilgrimage of Death by Sally SpencerPilgrimage of Death by Sally Spencer

I’ve been enjoying Spencer’s Inspector Blackstone series hugely (more on those here) so when Pilgrimage of Death came up on sale I snapped it up.

Pilgrimage of Death is narrated by Geoffrey Chaucer of The Canterbury Tales fame. I studied the tales in year 12 and loved it. Admittedly, it took some serious effort to get the hang of the language, but in the end, I found the Tales bawdy, funny, interesting and clever. Which is exactly how I found Pilgrimage of Death.

Chaucer calls this tale his “who-hath-done-it” and credits himself with creating a new genre. That’s what the book is – a historical whodunnit, featuring the pilgrims from The Canterbury Tales.

Great fun.

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What did you read in September that tickled your fancy?

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7 thoughts on “My Favourite Reads of September 2019

  1. AvatarAnnie West

    Wow, Cathryn. Some impressive reading there. I’m surprised you found time for anything else!

    I keep hearing wonderful things about Iona Grey’s latest so must grab it, and The Ridealong sounds intriguing and rather different.

    Last month my two favourites were Jane Harper’s ‘The Lost Man’ – so evocative and enthralling and more than a whodunnit, and A.M. Stuart’s ‘Singapore Sapphire’ – again so evocative, but of Singapore at the turn of the last century, and an intriguing whodunnit.

    Reply
    1. AvatarAnna Campbell

      Annie, I thought the Lost Man started brilliantly but it lost me a bit towards the end. I know I’m Robinson Crusoe in that as everybody else I know loved it. I’ve got A.M. Stuart’s book waiting for me as we speak. I’ve so looked forward to reading this one!

      Reply
      1. Cathryn HeinCathryn Hein Post author

        I loved the Lost Man too, Annie. Terrific read and very atmospheric. (You are Robinson Crusoe there, Anna!!).
        I have Singapore Sapphire on my to-read list too. I’ve read some of AM Stuart’s previous novels and they were fantastic. Beautiful writing and evocative. Great to hear you enjoyed it.

        And yes, you must read an Iona Grey. They are stunning books!

        Reply
  2. AvatarAnna Campbell

    Cathryn, I always enjoy hearing your thoughts on what you’ve been reading! I’ve got Iona Grey’s The Glittering Hour on my Kindle. I used to love her Mills and Boons that she wrote under India Grey. Some of the best category romances I’ve ever read. I did pick up Letters to the Lost repeatedly but it always sounded so sad so I never actually started it – I WILL get to it. Because of all my travel, I haven’t got through much this month at all and most of that wasn’t in the outstanding category. The highlight though was Pat Barker’s The Silence of the Girls which is a harrowing retelling of the fall of Troy from a female perspective. As you can imagine, not a lot of laughs, but a brilliant act of the imagination.

    Reply
    1. Cathryn HeinCathryn Hein Post author

      Oh, I can’t wait to hear what you think of The Glittering Hour, Anna! Ta for the Mills and Boon tip. I love her writing so much I’m going to hunt for them now.
      Letters to the Lost does have sad bits but overall it’s uplifting. That’s what I think, anyway.
      Off to look at The Silence of the Girls too!
      Thanks so much for sharing. Luuurve hearing what everyone is reading.

      Reply
  3. AvatarSue Gerhardt Griffiths

    Oh my gosh, Iona Grey has released another book!!! I did not know that. I LOVED Letters to the Lost, an exceptional book! I will hunt for The Glittering Hour, might even be lucky to find it at the Book Fair although I did promise hubby I won’t attend this one – too many books on my bookshelves, there is no more room not even for one more lol. I think I’ll borrow it from the library. Anyways, here are the books I thoroughly enjoyed last month:

    *The Happiest Refugee by Anh Do – totally worth reading, what a happy chappy Anh Do is.
    *Tuesday’s Child by Kathy Evans – non-fiction
    *The Good Cop by Justine Ford – non-fiction – awesome and very interesting account of Ron Iddles’ life as a homicide detective.
    *Vanessa and her Sister by Priya Parmar – couldn’t get into the book as I’m not into epistolary novels but the audiobook had me completely spellbound, pure magic!
    *Comfort Food by Kate Jacobs – a lovely light read featuring lots of food.
    *Afterwards by Rosamund Lupton – I didn’t like it at first and was going to give up but so glad I persevered, as it turned out to be so amazingly good.
    *Invisible by James Patterson and David Ellis – fabulous thriller
    *Swinging Through Life by Renee Conoulty – super short stories referencing swing dancing into each story.

    Reply
    1. Cathryn HeinCathryn Hein Post author

      Wowsers, Sue, looks like you had another great reading month. So glad you stuck with Afterwards. I LOVED that book, but I’ve loved everything of Rosamund Lupton’s I’ve read. Hmm. Must check to see if she has anything coming out soon.
      You will have to track down The Glittering Hour. It was faaaaabulous, although you’ll need tissues.
      Am off to check out Comfort Food!
      Thanks for dropping by and sharing.

      Reply

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