A Fortnight in September by R. C. Sherriff

This book is going on my forever shelf. A seemingly simple tale of one family's yearly end of summer vacation to the shore. A turning of the tide for the whole family. I wil definitely read more by this author.

Enchanted August by Brenda Bowen


This book is modeled after one of my favorite books--Enchanted April. I liked it for what is was but it is a pale comparison to Elizabeth von Armin's classic.

Book of the Month Club



This category is pretty much self-explanatory--each month the challenge is to read a book with a particular month in the title. Although sometimes I might "cheat a little" and let the author's name substitute for the title. So far so good... 



Bloody January by Alan Parks


I like Alan Parks--especially since he is writing a series of crime novels "by the month". I like Scottish noir and Harry McCoy to so I will definitely keep reading.

Girl 4 (Detective Inspector January David #1) by Will Carver


For my January 2021 read I found myself plowing straight through all three books in Will Carver's -Detective Inspector January David triology...for those of you who also lived through the horror show of early January 2021 in America you will appreciate the need for very distracting reading. 



Dead Set (Detective Inspector January David #3) by Will Carver


I very much enjoyed this series and love the writing style of Will Carver--and English author that deserves a bigger audience in the USA. My only quibble is that I question the pull of a women to get a psychopath do her bidding. I look forward to reading more...as there are rumors that January is coming back.

Jane Doe January by Emily Winslow


I was mesmerized by this book set in my home town of Pittsburgh, PA-- even though I do not like think of women getting raped here. What I liked best was the author's message. Sometimes you don't perhaps get the full justice you deserve but sometimes you get enough to fill in the cracks. 

The February House: The Story of W.H. Auden, Carson McCullers, Jane and Paul Bowles, Benjamin Britten, and Gypsy Rose Lee Under One Roof in Brooklyn by Sherill Tippins


Set right before American joined WWII - a glimpse into the literary and creative world of NYC at that time. These were apparently "top dogs" during those years. Some of the names I vaguely recognized but mostly not--didn't really care for any of them. It all seemed to play into the trope--if you want to be creative it pays to be tortured, an alcoholic, perhaps gay, depressed, a trifle insane and insecure--then by golly you must be a genius. What do I know I haven't read or listened to or watched or saw any of their works--nor am I likely to. But this book was very well written and gave a fascinating look at who was who at that time.

February by Lisa Moore


Other reviewers seemed to not like this book--it is grim and sad but I mean after all it is a book about woman grieving the tragic loss of her husband after he was lost at sea. I found it to be a compelling well written book. 

The Violets of March by Sarah Jio


I don't read a lot of romance books. They irritate me. One example from this book... Attractive woman (although of course she doesn't believe that she is) flees end of marriage (and her perfectly remodeled NYC townhome) to handsome philandering husband (who of course, has realized his mistake and wants her back by the end) to beautiful idyllic location (of course to the fabulous beach side home where she spent her summers as a tween) only to catch the eye of the handsome single men on the island (not just one or two--but three). Irritation aside it was a quick read and I enjoyed the somewhat farfetched mystery attached.

MiddleMarch by George Eliot


This is my second reading of Middlemarch, a forever book, that remains on my shelf to be read time and again.

One of my favorite Mr. Brook's quotes: "I went into science a great deal myself at one time; but I saw it wouldn't do. It leads to everything; you can let nothing alone."

Snow In April by Rosamunde Pilcher

Way back in '80's I was a huge fan of Ms. Pilcher but many years of passed since I have read any of her books. I love the Englishness but lately romance has begun to irritate me...I may have to stop reading them altogether. I have these silly notions that sometimes being sensible is the way to go...and what's wrong with finding yourself before you worry about finding a man. But apparently here the heroine must be saved from herself by manly intervention. This was a bit hard to take, Ms. Pilcher, aside.

The Enchanted April by Elizabeth Von Arnim


I have wanted to read this for several years now. Glad that I finally have--plan on reading more of her books after this. Light springy and romantic. It was reminiscent of The Durrells of Corfu. If not for COVID I'm sure I would be off to the Mediterranean Sea right now.

Extraordinary People (Enzo Files #1) by Peter May


I was experiencing difficulty in finding a book I wanted to read that featured "May" in the title and Peter May kept popping up in my various searches. So I figured why not and selected the beginning of the Enzo files simply because my husband has a cat named Enzo. I painted a watercolor of said cat this spring. The book is pretty good am I am planning on reading the second installment of the Enzo files next May.

Three Junes by Julia Glass


I had collected this book awhile back for my Book of the Month Club category. This is one of the best fiction books I have read in 2021 so far. A story that reaches across generations and continents through the viewpoint of multiple characters, it also slides back and forth through time, revealing unexpected links between the characters. It is very well done and well worth the reading time.

The First of July by Elizabeth Speller


I ordered this as a used book on Amazon. It came missing the first 17 pages but the seller quickly refunded my money. Still one not to want to waste a mostly intact book...I sourced out the first 17 pages for free from Google Books. Once again, Google to the rescue. A book for July and a book about WWI was just what I wanted. I really enjoyed this book, a fictional look into one of the most horrific battles of WWI. I really enjoyed this author and look forward to reading more of her books. Next August I am starting a non fiction book about the start of WWI.

August by Judith Rossner


I had originally had another title in mind for my August book title but when I stumbled across this one I couldn't resist and changed course. It is about a young girl and her female therapist, most of it being set in the office during her analysis. It is told from perspective of the therapist and some of the chapters deal with her own personal life. I really enjoyed this book and hope to read more by this author, new to me, but apparently quite well known for writing Looking for Mr. Goodbar.

The September Society by Charles Finch


This is the second book in this series. It had been awhile since I had read the first book and was a little worried that I would be a little lost...but no worries I slid right back into the groove. I will definitely continue to read this series of mysteries.

The End Of October by Lawrence Wright


As we are living through an actual pandemic these last couple of years, I almost decided not to read this book--but once I started I couldn't stop. It wasn't the best of books but for an unusual reason. Lawrence Wright is a reporter who has won a Pulitzer Prize for one of his other books. He researched the hell out of this subject and it shows--it was a foreshadowing of COVID. But it made the "novel" a bit wooden--like a whole bunch of actual reporting was given the barest smear of fiction as an icing on top. So it was fascinating--random swirl of the universe--we have vaccines that as of December 2021 are still holding. I would glady read his non-fiction.

Rosemary and Rue (An October Daye Novel) by Seanan McGuire


An interesting read, a re-imagined San Francisco, where October Daye, half human half fae, spends her days (sorry couldn't resist). She has a lot of attitude, but to cut her some slack, she did spend the last 14 years cursed to live as a fish in a pond. I guess she grew on me, I will be reading the rest of the books in this series. 

November Road by Lou Berney


An interesting book set around the Kennedy assignation and the possible involvement of the Louisiana crime organization. A gangster on the run gets a brief taste of an alternative life. But no worries no cliches here...I particularly liked the portrayal of women as strong players during the progression of this tale. I will definitely be reading more Lou Berney.

Tenth Of December by George Saunders


This is a book that sat on one of my shelves for many years. I needed a book for December so I decided that I would give it a go. Currently I am working a side gig as a nanny and needed something to read during nap times. I had been reading epistolary novels but thought that short stories might work as well to fill this time. 

Full disclosure, I am generally not a fan of the short story genre. This collection did not change my mind--I liked some of the stories and there is no doubt that he is a good author but... most of the stories popped out of nowhere into very dark versions of the world--starting in the middle and randomly ending well before the end of the story. In other words just as I am getting invested in the characters and the premise--the story ends. 

Hi! I'm Debbie. Here at Categorically Well-Read I give an extra layer to the reading life. Learn more about me, check out my current category of books, submit your own suggestion, or check out my latest post.