5 Books to Read in September


Book Stack time and yes, I did jump the gun a little by reading 99 Stories of God in August but I couldn’t wait and as I wrote last week, it proved to be the perfect holiday read  – it just tickles me,  see below.

Ha!  And its all like that  – short , pithy, weird and real – not in that surreal way either which I detest but subtle and ironic.  Read it – and no, I am not on commission.

The rest of this month’s book stack is made up of filtered recommendations.

Clover Stroud’s book  – the Wild Other – is life affirming in  a semi wild way although ultimately in a middle class never unsavoury type version of running away with the gypsies.  Think lovely floral dresses, denim jackets and designer cowgirl boots…that said, the pretty seismic life events that precipitated the urge to flit are horrible and teach us  that we can survive even when our own lives are ripped apart by the actions and consequences of others.


Olivia Laing’s book has sat on my book shelf for a while, coloured by vivid recollections of my own less than successful sorties into single living in a lonely capital city, London .  Put it this way – I am glad I got out of there alive and in one piece – single living in the city brings its own challenges and necessary survival skills, looking back on that now I don’t recognise that version of my self and am struggling in the wish to go back to that place even if only through the writing of words in a book.  But that said, the writing is particularly strong so much so that a cursory glimpse of the first few chapters at Waterstones have brought some of that challenge back vividly to me that I felt the same feel of being in the city, the same smell of the city , the same unspoken fear, the same clock that sat above the mantelpiece ticking its silent message in such slow motion I had thought my heart would burst with pain and sadness and loneliness  – and I am now in two minds as to whether to read on or not  – tell me, – have you read this yet – have you any thoughts you can share?

Roxanne Gay’s  -Hunger- is a different kettle of fish.  I have not read her work before but I was moved by the recommendation on the back cover from another hero write of mine, Anne Patchett.  If Ann’s going to recommend it, I ‘m going to read it, I thought.  Memo to self  – be careful what you recommend and what you put your name to!

And finally, Sarah Ruhl – again a new short story writer to me but one I think I want to get to know based on the back of recommendations from my dear friend Austin Kleon (actually never met him but his writing is so very generous) and his pretty fantastic newsletter – and if you don’t subscribe, get your metaphorical pen out now and do so – your life will never be the same again!

As I am yet to read this one I can only share notes from the book blurb which says of the short stories,

“The titles themselves speak to the volume’s uniqueness: “On lice”, “On sleeping in the theatre (sic)”, “On motherhood and stools (the furniture kind)”, “Greek masks and Bell’s Palsy” ”

Sarah, it seems is a mother of three and one of America’s best-known playwrights – what’s not to like?

Happy reading my friends, I hope you enjoy this  month’s book stack, would love some feedback…

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