We’re very nearly into autumn; the season of getting cosy with a good book. It’s crazy to think that summer is almost over as it feels like we never had a summer here in the UK (just constant rain and cloud).
Despite this, I managed to keep up with my reading and read a total of six books this month!
Here’s the books I read in the month of August…
Murder on the Orient Express by Agatha Christie
If you read my post about getting out of a reading slump, you’ll know that I gave a lot of credit for this to Agatha Christie ❤
I decided to continue reading more Agatha Christie in the month of August, primarily because I love her writing and her storytelling, but also because her books keep me engaged with reading in general.
Murder on the Orient Express might perhaps be the most famous Agatha Christie book. I don’t think I’ve found an Agatha Christie story that I love as much as And Then There Were None but I did really enjoy Murder on the Orient Express.
The book is a Poirot book (I’m starting to fall more and more in love with the Poirot mysteries). The book is set on the Orient Express; when the train stops due to heavy snowfall, the passengers discover that a murder has been committed under their noses. The door was locked from the inside meaning the murderer has to be on-board the train. Witty and clever Poirot, once again, manages to wrap his head around the most crazy and out-there mysteries to exist. I really did enjoy this book, though the solving of the mystery wasn’t so surpising to me as I did watch the film starring Kenneth Branagh (which is also great!)
The Girls by Emma Cline
I’d heard a lot about this book from booktube. It’s based around the cult that Charles Manson was leader of during the 60’s in California. The book follows a teeenager called Evie who sees a group of girls in the park. She idolises these girls and thinks they’re the epitome of cool; their freedom, their attitude, their lifestyle is everything that Evie wants. Soon, Evie is drawn into the circle of girls and meets the leader of this group (based off Charles Manson). The leader deliberately lures in insecure, troubled young girls to use them for his own needs.
The book is told from the perspective of Evie who is now in her fifties, looking back on what she did/did not do, how this was allowed to happen and her experiences at the time. I found this a really interesting angle to write the book from as we were able to hear more about Evie’s feelings of regret and guilt.
Though the book was slow in some points, I did enjoy reading it as it was set in an era that I’m particularly drawn to reading about.
The Familiars by Stacey Halls
You know I love a book about witches and this book did not disappoint. The book focuses on the life of Fleetwood Shuttle, a woman who has tried many times to have a baby. None of her previous pregnancies have succeeded and her husband, Richard, is increasingly anxious for an heir to his estate. By change, Fleetwood meets a midwife called Alice Gray who promises her that she can help to deliver her child. The only issue is that Alice now stand trial, accused of witchcraft. Fleetwood is thrust into a conundrum; does she remain loyal to her husband or does she fight to prove the innoncence of Alice and her one chance of a healthy birth?
This book is set around the Pendle Hill Witch Trials which I did a bit of research on before, during and after reading the book. King James I was obsessed with ridding the country of the “evil” of witches, particularly over the countryside and what he saw as the “lawless” lands. The whole idea of witch trials is so interesting to me; I find it fascinating how this was allowed to happen and how the witch trials were primariyl an excuse to discriminate against poorer, illiterate women.
Any book that teaches me more about this time period is a winner in my eyes!
Death on the Nile by Agatha Christie
Another Christie book! At this point, are we even surprised haha?
I decided I had to read Death on the Nile as the film starring Kenneth Branagh is going to be released soon and I really loved his version of Murder on the Orient Express. Unlike Murder on the Orient Express, I had no idea how the mystery of this book would unfold and how Poirot would solve it.
Honestly, I normally try to solve the mystery in my head before I get to the end of the book but there was no way I was solving this one! It’s absolutely full of twists and turns and there’s never a point where you get bored. Like Murder on the Orient Express, the book follows a journey (this time a cruise along the Nile). The peace and tranquility of this journey is shattered when a passenger is discovered dead; murdered by someone on the boat.
I definitiely preferred this book to Murder on the Orient Express. I feel like the setting is really different for Agatha Christie and I liked the way the whole mystery came together at the end.
The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini
This was the one book I gave five stars this month! The Kite Runner was such a beautiful read, and so timely as well. When I started reading the book, the news about Afghanistan had not really hit the media. I learnt so much reading this book, that the news made more and more sense to me as everything was unfolding.
The story is about two childhood friends who grow up together in Afghanistan. They come from different backgrounds, and set in a country that is gradually being destroyed by the end of the Soviet military intervention and the rise of the Taliban, this causes a lot of problems in their friendship. The book is deeply affecting and coupled with the fact that a lot was happening in Afghanistan at time of my reading of it, I felt hugely influenced by it. The book is set in the 80s and it felt like history was repeating itself in 2021.
I know a lot of you will have already read this book (I’m so late to reading it!) and I would love to hear your thoughts and comments below ❤
The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller
This is another hugely popular book that I never got round to reading before! I have to admit that I was fully prepared to rate this book 2 stars; I did not enjoy it in the beginning, I didn’t feel grabbed by it and I wasn’t convinced by the relationship between Achilles and Patroclus. Towards the middle and end, that completely changed and I was weeping. The love story is beautiful and is at the core of this story. I don’t think I realise how pivotal the love story was going to be to this story and perhaps that was why I couldn’t quite get into it in the beginning. If you have read the Iliad, you’ll know this story well. I’d never read that book before, but I found myself recognising parts of the story e.g. the siege of Troy, the Trojan Horse, the role of Odysseus… It was a new perspective to this well-known story and one that I ended up loving! I definitely need to read Circe now…
Those are the books that I read in the month of August! What did you read this month? Let me know in the comments below 🙂
Thanks for reading!
Love, Zoë x