What I Read: September

I read 3 books in September. 2 fiction, 1 non-fiction, 1 on Kindle, 2 in print.

Dept. of Speculation by Jenny Offill (2014).
I wasn’t sure about this book at first, the writing still isn’t the norm – I guess, it stream of conciousness – and it took me a few (short) chapters to feel like I knew what was going on. In the end, I really liked the book – a look at marriage, parenting, infidelity, life from the perspective of the narrator/wife. Worth reading. And it’s quick (which seems to make all books more appealing to me lately – has the internet shortened my attention span?)

The Mislaid Magician or Ten Years After by Patricia C. Wrede and Caroline Stevermer (2006).
This is the third (and I think last) Sorcery & Cecilia book, and it picks up, as the title suggests, 10 years after the last (which featured cousins Kate and Cecilia on their Grand European wedding tour). Each has children now, and when Kate and her husband James are called upon to investigate the disappearance of a German magician/railway surveyor, Kate’s two boys are sent to stay with Cecy and her brood. The mystery unfolds in letters between the cousins and their husbands. I didn’t love the second book in this trilogy, but I’m glad I kept with it, because this one was just as enjoyable (to me) as the first.

84, Charing Cross Road by Helene Hanff (1970).
A short (100 page or so) volume of letters between the author (Hanff) and the employees of a London bookstore from which she ordered books by mail. I picked this up on the statement that folks who like The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society, would probably also enjoy this, and it did not disappoint. Delightful and charming, I read it in less than a day. True confession: I thought this book was fiction, until 3/4 of the way through I noticed that the woman signing the letters had the same name as the author on the book cover. So clearly, it read like fiction, but with the added delight that it is true!

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What I Read: September

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