Words on Wednesday…reading in October

I love reading but often find it hard to carve out the time. I walk to work, so don’t have a commute on which to read. I fall asleep after reading one or two pages in bed at night. When I come home from work, there is dinner to make and chores to do, and then in the evening we like to sit and watch something (so many good things around at the moment too – are you watching The Undoing? ). There are some weeks when I find the only reading I do is on a Saturday morning in Squirrel café. I do try to carve out other time at the weekends, and occasionally during the week, but there always seems to be other things going on.

Nothing beats a chance to have an extended chance to read, perhaps with a pot of tea and some sort of treat like rhubarb and custard tarts from Arobake. If it is raining, the sofa beckons, if it is warm and sunny, you can sit in the garden with a cooling glass of water with slices of lime. Oh for those summer holidays where there is nothing to do but read all day!

Anyway, what did I read in October? Well, after a poor page count in September (I struggled with Haruki Murakami’s Killing Commendatore for some reason), October proved more fulfilling. To get me back into reading, I went back to old favourite Barbara Pym and re-read one of her early works Less Than Angels. I love her writing style and humour – there is so much to smile about in her books.

I then picked up Rodham by Curtis Sittenfeld, a really clever novel, which poses the question, what would have happened to Hillary Rodham if she hadn’t married Bill Clinton? It weaves together real historical events with fiction, and is such a good read. Highly recommended even if you aren’t particularly interested in US politics.

We have a book club at work, and rather than pick one particular book, we select a theme. The next one up is ‘The Seven Deadly Sins’, and on looking at my pile of ‘to read books’ I spotted Kelvin Kwan’s latest novel, Sex and Vanity. It has the vague structure and character names to that of E.M. Forster’s A Room with a View and is full of hilarious moments.  This is a great read and I found quite a few deadly sins for the book club too. Also highly recommended.

I also managed to read another volume of Ruth Reichl’s memoirs, Garlic and Sapphires, which concentrates on her time as restaurant critic at The New York Times. An interesting book, she describes the various disguises she used to visit restaurants and how the different personas were treated in the places she went. There are also a few recipes.

The last book I confess I actually did not finish in October, namely Hiromi Kawakami’s The Ten Loves of Mr Nishino. It is the story of a man who falls in love easily, and how his life unfolds: an intriguing and interesting read.

What have you read recently?

You can find Thistles and Kiwis on Facebook, and also on Instagram@thistleandkiwis.  As for Twitter….am totally inactive these days.  If you want to get in touch, email me on thistlesandkiwis@gmail.com


  1. That’s so nice that you make time by going to a cafe. I know what you mean about finding it hard to find the time to read. I’m trying to read before bed but here I am looking at blogs instead. Currently reading Michelle Obama’s Becoming- she is so down to earth, it’s struck a chord with me.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Never enough time to read, and yet read I do, especially on my tablet when I am riding my exercise bike on the road to nowhere. Currently reading two books: The YA Fantasy “A Crack in the Sea” by H.M. Bouman. Also the nonfiction “We Should Have Seen It Coming: From Reagan to Trump—A Front-Row Seat to a Political Revolution” by Gerald Seib. Trying to make sense of what’s happening over here. Not easy.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ah…and exercise bike! If I had one and used it to read as well….! My husband is reading a similar book to you about why the US is where it is at today. Just looked at the latest results….looking like a good result at the moment…

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yes, I think Biden will win. But a little less than half our country voted for a sociopath. Disturbing, to say the least. Which book is your husband reading. Struggling to understand why people would be drawn to someone like Trump.


  3. Although you say you don’t have the space to read much, you sure do have a diverse reading list! I guess that’s the thing – better to have a list and get through most (some?) of it, than not to read at all!

    I must confess I’ve been a snack-reader these days – I get distracted so easily that I flit from book to book. Hence I take ages to get through one.This week, I’ve been snacking on Maya Jasanoff’s The Dawn Watch & Ann Carson’s Plainwater.

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.