I have just been recently dipping into Nick Hornby’s compilation of his columns in the Believer magazine, where he gives a monthly wrap up on the books that he has been reading / buying for the month, and thought that it would be a neat way to kinda summarize a little of what I have been reading/ buying in the past months.

First up, the reading.

These were the ones that I managed to actually finish reading. There were also others that I’ve started, continued or dipped into, but not quite finished with just yet.

The Fiona Shaw was much better in book form than its recent film adaptation, I felt. Enjoyed time spent with both Manguel and Banville, as well as Miłosz (although I did find it a bit tough going at times). And I will definitely continue with the rest of the Old Filth trilogy, having enjoyed the first one much more than I had expected.

In other reading news, I’ve also started on the door stopper that is Middlemarch, and although I’m only at Book Two (with just another 700 pages to go!)  it has way exceeded my expectations of how good it is. The writing is simply sublime! ❤

Another really good one that I’m in the middle of right now is this William Trevor. Really impressive.  And a rather intriguing story line too. Trevor really is a master at storytelling.

Books I’ve been listening to:

I’ve always loved audiobooks but it is something that has sadly been dropped out of my routine in the past couple of years, ever since the gym that I had been subscribed to, closed down. While I have yet to sign up with another gym todate, I did manage to get back into the habit of listening to audiobooks. And what a joy it has been! 🙂 Started back with some old favorites (ie: Sarah Waters’ Night Watch and The Paying Guests) and then moved on to some new-to-me authors, such as the le Carré. I think I started off with the right one, A Murder of Quality. Boarding school settings have never lost their appeal to me, thanks to a healthy diet of Enid Blyton’s Mallory Towers and St. Claire’s during my teenage years. I think I’m now a fan of le Carré and will definitely be on the lookout for more of his books.

Am also currently listening to Jackie Kay’s collection of short stories and it’s such a pleasure. Kudos to the narrators for bringing the characters to life, complete with all the Scottish and Russian accents. Brilliantly done!

Moving on….. books bought :

The overview.

A closer look at a few highlights.

I’ve been collecting a fair few of Morris’ travel writing books and have always found her life (both the transformation from being a man to a woman, and her relationship with the same life partner through it all) very interesting.


Very much looking forward to this one, Simenon’s autobiographical notebooks. Love the cover, by the way.
Have been wanting to read this collection of essays from Knapp ever since reading the Gail Caldwell memoir on their friendship earlier this year.

The rest consists of essays on architecture (Witold Rybczynski’s Looking Around: A Journey through Architecture), on the home (Lisa Knopp’s The Nature of Home) and on the garden (Allen Lacy’s The Gardener’s Eye and other Essays).

Then there’s a biography of Dickens (by Claire Tomalin), and another of Vermeer (by Anthony Bailey), a classic (Thomas Mann’s Buddenbrooks)  and two new to me writers (Ida Jessen and Jack Finney).


Last but not least, a Deirdre Madden and a Penelope Fitzgerald. Love Madden, but have yet to really warm up to Fitzgerald.

That’s about it for now. Happy reading, everyone! 🙂

2 thoughts on “Stuff I’ve Been Reading (… & buying!)

    1. These were not exactly all random finds…. some were kinda meticulously hunted down actually. 😁 I have collected quite a few of Rybczynski’s books in recent years (but having read none!) simply because they sound so interesting! :p

      Liked by 1 person

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