Reading Lately – November 2018

After October’s school holiday-fuelled reading binge, November has been a quieter month for me on the reading front. A combination of life, writing (and my library reservations slowing down a bit), has meant I haven’t got through nearly as many books as the last few months might have led you to expect. I’ve been dipping into my own bookshelves for a change and picking up a few old – and new – literary favourites. But quality not quantity and all that….on the first count, at least,¬†it’s been a really brilliant month ūüôā .

My first book was one of the new favourites – Gary Barlow’s¬†latest memoir A Better Me¬†which my husband bought me for my birthday (he’s nice like that). Anyway, you know when you want to eek out a book you’re reading for as long as possible?¬†This one. ¬†Even if you aren’t¬†a fan like me I’d say this is still a stonkingly good read. I laughed at the Northern humour and sometimes found it utterly heart-breaking (particularly the bits about losing¬†his daughter, Poppy). ¬†A hefty chunk of the book is also devoted to¬†Gary’s weight and food issues, and if you’ve ever suffered from body image problems¬†or low self esteem I think this would be¬†a really worthwhile read. I think it’s fair to say that this one will definitely be on my top ten list for this year – in fact I’ll probably read it again in the not-too-distant future. I once met Gary Barlow in John O’ Groats¬†– along with about 500 other people ūüėČ – and he seemed like a genuinely nice person¬†(in so much as you can decipher that when someone just shakes your hand and says hello, anyway ūüėČ ). Whatever, I was charmed!

Picture of 'A Better Me' by Gary Barlow

My second read for the month was one from the bookshelf, and a timely choice for the month of remembrance. I first read The Diary of Anne Frank¬†when I was a young girl and I remember being captivated by it then. It always reminds me how much us humans are all the same – we all fall in love, we all quarrel, we all have hopes and dreams, we all get sad sometimes. I’m always struck when reading¬†it just how much of it is purely about the everyday ups and downs of a teenage girl in an extraordinary¬†life. Amongst the horror and the sadness what I took away from it as a child, and what I still find in it, is that sense of how much more there is¬†that unites than divides us. In today’s¬†world that seems more timely than ever. Let’s hope the future’s taking note.

Picture of 'The Diary of Anne Frank' and poppy

My final book for the month was another¬†one¬†treasured¬†on¬†the bookshelf¬†– The Outsiders¬†by S.E.¬†Hinton.¬†¬†I don’t think I need to say too much about this one here as I wrote a whole post last week extolling its virtues and you can read about that here. Suffice to say, its an all-time favourite, a game-changer – and if you have teenage kids I’d encourage them to read it. I’m definitely hoping my boys will when they’re a¬†bit older (what I am saying – I was little more than my eldest son’s age¬†when I first plucked it off the shelf!)

Photo of 'The Outsiders' book, by S.E. Hinton

So that’s it for a short (hopefully sweet?) round up of this month’s reading material. Instead of my usual run through¬†in December, I’ll be back with a round up of my ten favourite books of the year. While I get my thinking cap on, I hope you all enjoy a lovely start to December. ‘Tis the season for all things festive after all¬†– and of course for reading lots and lots¬†of lovely books ūüôā .

G x

* This post contains Amazon affiliate links which mean I will receive a small commission should you purchase via them.

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