We were away with family and friends for most of the weekends in August – brilliant fun and an opportunity to gather new inspirations. I’m gradually reframing how I approach the yearly cycle and have decided to consign summers to absorption rather than application. Still, despite all the activity, I did manage to read quite a lot and as usual, we bought a fair amount of books including Carpe Jugulum by Terry Pratchett, The Heeding by Rob Cowen, The Year of the End by Anne Theroux and Every Heart a Doorway by Seanan McGuire.
Audiobooks were my friend in August. I’d stacked up my Audible credits so used these to buy reads for the various car journeys (and yes – I deliberately chose short ones). I also knocked a couple off my TBR pile (The KLF and Foxglove Summer) and took my yearly reading total to 54/80. Best read? Atomic Habits took the prize with its practical advice for creating routines and systems – stuff I really need to implement (see my list of Life-Changing books for more info) followed by The Heeding by Rob Cowen. It was great to return to poetry and it encouraged me to write a few lines myself.
- I Belong Here by Anita Sethi (4.25/5)
- We Should All Be Feminists by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie – audiobook (4.5/5)
- Every Heart A Doorway by Seanan McGuire – audiobook (4.25/5)
- The Heeding by Rob Cowen (4.5/5)
- The Offing by Benjamin Myers (4/5)
- Foxglove Summer by Ben Aaronovitch (4/5)
- Atomic Habits by James Clear – audiobook (4.75/5)
- [PR product] Why We Sleep by Matthew Walker – audiobook (ongoing)
- The KLF: : Chaos, Magic and the Band who Burned a Million Pounds by John Higgs (3.75/5)
- The Easternmost House by Juliet Blaxland (3.75/5)
Al spotted a couple of books in the media and decided to try them out. He found the Barbara Pym a bit slow , but suspect he might pick up another of hers if he sees it in a bookshop. He has high praise for the Anne Theroux so I’m going to read this in September.
- Quartet in Autumn by Barbara Pym (4/5)
- The Year of the End by Anne Theroux (5/5)
There was reading but it tended to be of the comic variety. M has been motivated to draw comic strips after immersing herself in a combination of The Phoenix, Youtube and Netflix animations. Late bedtimes haven’t helped either as she tends to read at night – about to change imminently!
- George’s Marvellous Medicine by Roald Dahl (5/5)
Film and TV
Not a lot to report on this front. We’ve started to watch Gravity Falls – a two season animation and bagged one episode of The Mysterious Benedict Society.
Where to start! We watched Dracula in the grounds of Whitby Abbey, chased dragonflies at Mount Grace Priory, saw the Cheshire Cat and Lyra’s bench in Oxford, drew on the floor of the Tate Modern and rounded it off with a visit to Stratford-upon-Avon then a glamping weekend in deepest Worcestershire. It was amazing to be back on the road and to catch up with everyone, but now we’re ready to lie low for a while.
September aims – to spend more time on this blog, read another 10 books and write more fiction.
Wishing you a month of turning leaves, warming beverages and productivity.
Mel, Al & Little M