September 2015 favourite reads

Deborah CookLife 20 Comments

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.

Lynda La Plant Tennison

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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.
Elizabeth Gilbert - Big Magic

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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.

charlotte wood the natural way of things

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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.

Jenny Lawson Furiously Happy

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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.

cathy kelly between sisters

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Hachette Australia

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?

debbishDeborah blogs about books, not-dieting and life in general at Her life-long love of reading is only surpassed by her addiction to vanilla diet coke, baths, chocolate and champagne. 

Comments 20

  1. How could u not have read Cathy Kelly. Best chic lit writer. Also try Kate Morton, qld writer and her new book The Lake House is due out in a month, really not to be missed

    1. Ah yes Debra, I’m a fan of Kate Morton and heard her speak a few years ago in Brisbane. I slipped up and missed the initial opportunity to preview The Lake House, but hope it’s coming my way now!

  2. I’m a keen reader and have just finished Sweet Caress by William Boyd. I loved it. It reads like non fiction about a woman photographer but is fiction. Also liked ‘All the Light I cannot see’ by Anthony Doerr and ‘The Children Act’ by Ian McEwan

  3. Thank you for the book suggestions I will keep my eyes out for the new Cathy Kelly book.I just finished reading Joyland by Stephen King he never disappoints!

    1. I hadn’t read any Stephen King for a while until his recent (Mr Mercedes and Finders Keepers) series. As an aside, although I’m not a non-fiction fan, his ‘On Writing’ book for aspiring writers is just amazing!

  4. I want to read Big Magic and the one by the Blogess sounds hilarious. The metaphorical book sounds like torture to my ears haha but I can imagine it will be popular with others.

  5. thankyou for the tips deb!
    I’ve become a lazy reader of late too many other distractions!
    I loved eat pray love such an easy insightful read!
    i’m a creative! … so I must make sure I read “big magic”!
    thanks also to Dianne too for that recommendation too!
    love m:)X

  6. Attention all creative types out there… Especially anyone aspiring to make a living from their craft of choice… If you only read one book this year, make it Big Magic. Liz did a great interview with Marie Forleo which is definitely a must watch too.

    1. Glad you enjoyed it Dianne. As I said, I haven’t loved all of her books (each quite different in its own way) but find her inspiring so others like me will very much appreciate this book!

      She also did a podcast with Brene Brown that I keep meaning to listen to! (It’s on her site!)

  7. I’m almost finished The Girls in the Spider’s Web by David Lagercrantz. Its the fourth book in the Millennium series by Stieg Larsson who unfortunately passed away whilst writing the third book. Anyone who is familiar with the series will love this new book … great read!

    1. Ah yes Jacqueline, I hadn’t read the earlier novels so gave that one a miss, though I did watch all three movies (the originals). I enjoyed the first two from memory.

      I’m glad this fourth novel is consistent in terms of quality etc.

    2. Ah yes Jacqueline, I hadn’t read the earlier novels so gave that one a miss, though I did watch all three movies (the originals). I enjoyed the first two from memory.

      I’m glad this fourth novel is consistent in terms of quality etc.

    1. Yes Kirralee, this was my first Cathy Kelly and I know ‘heartwarming’ sounds like a terrible cliche, but it’s true… I kept reading and reading until I was done.

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