It’s time again (already?!?) for my monthly book wrap-up. After a disappointing August with only 2 books, I was ready to really bump it up in September. Oh yeah!
And did I succeed?
Um, I read 3 books last month. But let’s focus on the positive – all three were fabulous, classic books written by women. Every page was worth reading and long overdue. If I was only going to read 3 books, these were well-chosen.
On to the recaps!
Pride and Prejudice – Jane Austen – 4.5* – (Sept. 9):
This was a book club choice, though it was already on my list as my next classic after reading Jane Eyre. I was reading along, admittedly uncommitted, until the halfway point when things really picked up and I just couldn’t put it down. The second half of this book launched it so far up my list of favorites and suddenly I understand the love for Mr. Darcy. Before that, I was beginning to think he was another Mr. Rochester (Jane Eyre reference) and I really do NOT get the love some people have for Mr. Rochester. I gave this book 4.5* based on the slow start but the addressing of social and family issues is such an amazing look back at the times. It’s crazy to think it was first published over 200 years ago in 2013, but it really stands up. Also, you have to appreciate the humor in the book. Jane Austen seems like my kind of woman. (Note: I haven’t seen any of the movie versions yet but it’s worth checking out The Lizzie Bennett Diaries on YouTube – it’s a modern-day take on the story and very well done.)
Rebecca – Daphne du Maurier – 5* – (Sept. 12):
This book may be one of my favorite books ever. It’s dark and mysterious, with a protagonist who never ever receives a first name. She’s the second Mrs. de Winter, marrying Maxim and moving to Manderley less than a year after the mysterious drowning death of his first wife, Rebecca. She’s haunted by the accounts and memory of the fabled romance and perfect marriage Maxim had with Rebecca, feeling her presence everywhere at her new home and letting Rebecca’s ghost sabotage all of her new relationships, including that with her husband. I would consider this book a modern-day (published 1938) classic. It’s haunting and includes great twists and psychological drama with vibrant, layered characters. I can’t rave about this book enough. Added bonus? Finding out that one of my new favorite books has an equally amazing (fairly faithful) movie adaptation by my favorite director, Alfred Hitchcock. Actually seeing Manderley on my screen was a bit thrilling.
And Then There Were None – Agatha Christie – 4* – (Sept. 30):
This was the most recently published of my three books this month – 1939, only a year after Rebecca. It’s my first venture into Agatha Christie territory and a great whodunit in which you suspect everyone until there’s literally nobody left. It’s very suspenseful and you want to figure out what’s happening, though I don’t believe the book provides enough information to figure out the conclusion. As with the other books I read in September, this one also has multiple movie versions. However, I saw a movie of this before reading the book. I didn’t realize that until I was a few chapters into the book. It semi-spoiled the book for me, though I couldn’t remember exactly what happened. I dare say I may have enjoyed the movie more – I’d like to watch it again but I haven’t had the time. I believe the version I watched was from 1945.
I’m now at 36 books towards my adjusted goal of 45. I’m currently reading “Everything I Never Told You” by Celeste Ng – my first contemporary read in awhile. After that, I’ll be reading “The Goldfinch” by Donna Tartt for book club. I have three months to make my goal so even if I only keep my current (pathetic) pace, I’ll make it.