Editor’s note: Please welcome back Deborah from Debbish dot com who’s sharing her favourite new releases with Styling You readers each month.
Halfway through this month I was panicking. I’d read 9 or 10 books over the first couple of weeks but was feeling underwhelmed.
Of course I was then bombarded with fabulous books (including seven new arrivals this past week) requiring me to
draw straws meticulously analyse the latest offerings to decide what I’d share.
1. Tennison by Lynda La Plante
If the name Jane Tennison sounds familiar it’s because the prickly Detective Chief Inspector was immortalised in the Prime Suspect TV series which aired in the 1990s, starring Dame Helen Mirren and based on the book by La Plant.
The author’s now taking us back in time to 1972 to meet a 22 year old Jane, fresh out of the police academy. Although she’s a bit naive the young Jane is smart and determined, and fighting to be something other than the ‘plonk’ who makes tea for her colleagues and gets pinched on the bum every so often.
I adored this book and loved the opportunity to get a glimpse of how this bright-eyed young woman became the formidable DCI.
Simon & Schuster Australia
2. Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert
I haven’t enjoyed all of Elizabeth Gilbert’s books but am a huge fan of her TED talks, podcasts and the like. Not to mention her tell-it-like-it-is Facebook page. Fans of her down-to-earth philosophy will undoubtedly enjoy her latest book which builds on her inspiring presentations around creativity. It’s unlikely you’ll agree with everything she has to say but easy to take away snippets of what appeals and you’ll most certainly find some meme-worthy quotes and a stack of inspiration.
Allen & Unwin Australia
3. The Natural Way of Things by Charlotte Wood
This novel reminds me how bad I was at poetry comprehension at school. I mean… I don’t think I’m THAT dumb, but can’t help but feel this book is one huge metaphor that I just don’t get.
It’s beautifully written though bleak as we’re in the heads of two young women (in a group of ten) ‘taken’ from their lives and held captive. They don’t know who’s responsible or where they are but they’re told why. All of the girls were the ‘outspoken’ victims of sex crimes or involved in sex scandals of some sort.
Under guard they’re forced to endure hard labour, beatings and non-stop humiliation. Wood’s obviously trying to say something about the way women and female victims of crime are often treated in society. I think. I really can’t decide what I think of this novel and look forward to hearing the thoughts of others. Plus I don’t really understand the ending. Accordingly, book clubs will love this book.
Allen & Unwin Australia
4. Furiously Happy by Jenny Lawson
I’ve decided I’ve been living under a rock cos although I’ve heard of The Bloggess—a hugely popular American blogger and columnist—I’ve never read her stuff.
The theme of her latest book centres around a decision Jenny made, while struggling with depression and anxiety, to plan ways to become #furiouslyhappy. The book itself is basically a huge compilation of blog posts and anecdotes about her experience with mental illness. And it’s about making those ‘okay’ moments bloody amazing. It works because Jenny is friggin’ hilarious. It’s more than LOL funny… it’s snorting-champagne-out of your nose funny (as an aside: surely I’m not the only one who does that?).
Aussie readers will particularly enjoy the ‘Koalas are full of Chlamydia’ chapter in which finding out if kangaroos have three vaginas is just one of her lofty aspirations on a visit here.
Pan Macmillian Australia
5. Between Sisters by Cathy Kelly
Once upon a time I enjoyed the likes of Maeve Binchy, but something happened and I now generally shudder at the notion of saga-like novels involving extended families and gazillions of characters.
Embarking on my first Cathy Kelly (solely for YOUR benefit SY readers—and yes, you’re welcome) frightened the bejesus out of me as it was everything I’d decided I hated, as character upon character was introduced into the mix. However… by the time I was a third into the book I realised I was hooked.
It’s the story of Coco and Cassie, abandoned by their mother and raised by their grandmother, as both reach turning points in their adult lives. It’s pretty easy to guess where everything is headed but I still NEEDED to keep reading for that happily ever after. I was sucked in. Big time. Perhaps I just needed the feel-good read. And it’s definitely that.
And that’s it from me this month and I’m already sorting my upcoming reading which includes Elizabeth George, Isabel Allende and Jostein Gaarder, to name but a few wonderful authors I have awaiting me in my pile.
Do any of my favourite reads for September appeal?
Anything I’ve missed?
Deborah blogs about books, not-dieting and life in general at debbish.com. Her life-long love of reading is only surpassed by her addiction to vanilla diet coke, baths, chocolate and champagne.