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 🙂 .

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 😉 – 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 😉 ). 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 🙂 .

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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