My Wonderful Reading Year – November 2022 – The Journey Continues.

Well, it felt like November has flown by. Not only is Christmas fast approaching, but it will soon be time to pick my favourite reads of 2022! Not an easy task at any time, but more so this year, having read some amazing books, both by new authors and old favourites. Many of the books I read this November will feature in that list because they were all individually very good, especially the non-fiction reads.

First up are the book I read from my rather high to be read pile.

The House Party – A Short History of Leisure, Pleasure and The Country House Weekend by Adrian Tinniswood.

Short it might be, but it packs a lot into such a small book. If you are looking for a concise history of the country house and those that lived and partied through one of history’s most violent periods of change, then this is the book for you. I have studied this period of history and the country house’s role in social history quite a lot and so there was nothing in there that surprised me, but it is well written and imagined. Maybe it could be used as a starting point to learning about a period on the cusp of violent change.

The Magician by Colm Toibin

This was the book selected as October’s read by the Waterstones Cardiff book group. I loved the writing, characterisation and the period in which the book is set. It was made all the more fascinating because it is the fictionalised story of German writer Thomas Mann. It reads a bit like an autobiography, but one in which we are privileged to take a journey beyond the facts of his life and into an imagined telling of his thoughts, actions and a life lived through a period of such violent change.

Women and Power – A Manifesto by Mary Beard

I am ashamed to admit that this stunning pocket-sized book has sat on my bookshelf for many years! I was inspired by her words, felt angry at the how women have been written out of history, excluded just for being female. I want better for my niece and my godchildren, and this book inspires change.

Delicacy by Katie Wix

I bought this book on the recommendation of the lovely staff at Swansea Waterstones and the lovely Kathryn at Nut Press! I knew it would be great as a result and I was right, moving, inspiring and darkly funny, I found her writing and story poetic in nature. In it she speaks with a clear and original voice about events that led her down a dark path, but from which she has, by writing this book, shown others that there is a route out of the darkness.

Now the books I read to review as part of blog tours, or at the request of authors.

Dawnlands by Philipa Gregory.

When picking up a Philippa Gregory novel you know you are going to be guaranteed a thrilling story, beautifully researched and inhabited by a cast of characters that feel so real, you could walk into their world, becoming part of their story.  It is no mean feat given the phalera of books set in this period, to be able to stand above the crowd as Dawnlands does, because it is written by an experienced storyteller who knows how to deliver a first class read, an intelligent story that had me gripped throughout. 

The Pain Tourist by Paul Cleave

In The Pain Tourist, the twists and turns that are a staple part of the thriller genre are used sparingly and as a result have far more impact. The drama becoming subtle, intricately woven into the story and not dominating it. God, how I loved that, that feeling that you just have to read one more chapter, than one more, because you are drawn in, so involved that sleep becomes a luxury and not a necessity. Paul Cleave for me understands that less is more and uses that with such skill, you really don’t see as he leads you down a one-way street, forcing you then to do an about turn, leaving previous assumptions behind you.

Well, that was November 2022 and that means there is only one reading month left this year. I plan on packing it with some amazing books. Hope your reading October was as great as mine.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s