Saturday, 12 October 2013

Season of Mists and Mellow Fruitfulness

Autumn is by far my favourite season. As time rolls towards October, the evenings close in, and the air becomes chillier. There's nothing I like more than wrapping up in woolly layers to go outside, and to feel the pink sting of cold air on my face. Autumn is the time of hot chocolate, cinnamon, soups, firelight, falling leaves. The trees are still in their summer greenery at the moment, but I am looking forward to the riot of colours to come (nothing like the spectacular New England fall colours, unfortunately, but still golden and stately).

Anyway, there is something deliciously cosy about staying in on autumn evenings (with a cup of mulled wine, perhaps?) and an enthralling book. Here are a few on my wishlist:

(Photo from PanMacmillan)

I love tales of the war, and this biography about a young woman who signed up for the Wrens (because she liked their hats, naturally) and was drafted into the secret services seems just my cup of tea. I can't even imagine her bravery - especially when she had to tell her family she was just working for the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries. A fiction 'version' of this that I have read recently is Jackdaws, by Ken Follett (author of the amazing Pillars of the Earth and World Without End), which is about the heroic female spies parachuted into wartime France, whose bravery was barely acknowledged because the medals they deserved were not, at the time, awarded to women.

Also on my wishlist is Life After Life by Kate Atkinson. I've read so many good reviews for this, and the premise is so intriguing - the chance to live a life again, an infinite number of times, changing the path taken. I can't wait to read it.

Finally, although I've already read this, I had to recommend it to you. A love of Jane Austen (or at least, familiarity with Pride and Prejudice) is a must - it is such a joyful read. Simply put, it's Pride and Prejudice below stairs, but in reality it's much more rewarding than that. There are enough glimpses of the real P&P novel to make the Austen-lover smile, but it's actually an entirely different story of the incredibly difficult lives of the servants of Longbourn, the Bennets' residence, who, to be brutally honest, do not care a fig for the balls, Bingleys or romances occurring, and instead are exasperatedly calculating how long it will take to remove those six inches of mud from Miss Elizabeth Bennet's skirts. Of all the books I've read this year (and I've read a few), this is my recommendation! Let me know what you think!

E xxx

P.S. You know what I'm like about book covers, so I couldn't resist: the American version is infinitely superior to the British! Click here to have a look. It's so much more simple, elegant, and regency than the horrendous British purple cover, which seems more brash and Victorian to me...

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