Reading plans

What I’m Reading : Episode 38, September 2021: terrorism and injustice

Oops, September is almost at an end and I haven’t done my monthly “What I’m Reading” posts. Better get cracking before the midnight hour arrives and I’ll have been turned into a pumpkin

August has proved to be a bit of a juggling act. It’s the final month of #20booksofsummer but i got side tracked by #WomeninTranslation month and the arrival of some library reservations. I’ve read some cracking novels this month but also abandoned four.


What I just finished reading

Wilderness by B. E Jones. You’ve probably not heard of this author or novel, but I suspect that will change when a series based on the book gets to our TV screens. B. E Jones is the pseudonym of an author who lives not too far from my home in Wales but I’ve yet to meet — we were due to get together until a small matter called Covid-19 intervened. Maybe when we do finally make it she’ll be able to share more info about who is going to play her central character, a woman who takes off on a holiday around the National Parks of the USA thinking she might push her philandering husband off a canyon rim if he doesn’t pass three challenges she’s secretly set for him. Review of this to follow tomorrow.

What I’m reading now

I’m part way through one of the books that I’d originally planned to read as part of my 20booksofsummer list but I simply ran out of time. I’ve been very late to the Anne Tyler party; A Spool of Blue Thread is only the second of her books I’ve read. Shortlisted for the Booker Prize in 2015, this is a saga about three generations of a fairly ordinary middle-class American family. I have the feeling nothing of great dramatic significance is going to happen but that’s OK, I’m rather enjoying the muddled, mundanity of the Whitshank family’s life in their comfortably shabby home in Baltimore.

There’s a muddle of a different kind in my other current read: the novella Dissipatio. H. G by Guido Morselli. It’s a first person narrative of a man who escapes to a mountain cave because he doesn’t like civilisation and all the problems of modern day living. When he emerges he finds that the entire human race has evaporated. He’s the last man on earth. The main narrative is easy to follow but Morselli does love multi clause sentences and digressions so I often find I’ve read several paragraphs without having understood a word.

On the iPod is an audio version of Fall and Rise by Mitchell Zuckoff, an impressively detailed narrative about the events of 9/11 and the stories of people most affected by the events of that day. Some were passengers on the fated flights, others were employees and visitors in the targeted buildings or fire crews and ambulance teams who tried to save them. The tone is jarring in places but the details about the structural defects of the Twin Towers and the lack of co-ordination between government bodies are fascinating.

Later in the month I’ll be starting a bookblogger buddy read of The Fortune Men by Nadifa Mohamed, a novel based on the real events surrounding the wrongful imprisonment and execution of Mahmood Mattan, a Somali seaman living in Wales. Described by The Guardian as a “determined, nuanced and compassionate exposure of injustice”, this is one of the shortlisted titles for the Booker Prize this year,

If I was a sensible reader I would get a head start on some of the titles I’ve picked up for Novellas in November and Australia Reading Month. But I’m rather tempted to read The Beekeeper of Aleppo  by Christy Lefteri having seen all the comments in praise of this book when I asked whether I should keep it on my shelves of owned-but-unread novels.

As always my plans are subject to change at the last moment.

What are your reading plans for the next few weeks? If you’ve read any of the books on my “reading next” list you can help me make a decision.



What do you need to know about me? 1. I'm from Wales which is one of the countries in the UK and must never be confused with England. 2. My life has always revolved around the written and spoken word. I worked as a journalist for nine years then in international corporate communications 3. My tastes in books are eclectic. I love realism and hate science fiction and science fantasy. 4. I am trying to broaden my reading horizons geographically by reading more books in translation

21 thoughts on “What I’m Reading : Episode 38, September 2021: terrorism and injustice

  • I hope you enjoy The Fortune Men – that’s the only book that really appeals to me on this year’s Booker Prize shortlist!

    • Me too. I do have a copy of The Passage North but I’ve heard that its hard to get into

  • Yes, well… Tyler doesn’t have huge dramatic events in her books, but things do get muddled with her characters’ lives.

    • That’s certainly true – this family isn’t quite the picture of perfection they’d like you to believe

      • That’s Tyler for you. Flawed families but more subtly problematic and with gentle ways of becoming self-aware of their problems.

  • What’s about terrorism and injustice in this post? I’m afraid I couldn’t extract that heading from your post.

    • The terrorism relates to the book about the 9/11 attacks that I’m currently listening to and injustice is the theme of The Fortune Men that I’m planning to read next. Hope that makes sense now.

      • Yes. By the way I was reading the heading of your post, I assumed that you wanted to link both issues, but I believe that the miscarriage of justice against Mattan was rather racially inspired than terror related.

        • I think it depends on how you read the subject line, I wasn’t trying to connect the two

  • I might read Wilderness just to find if she gives him that push.

    • I couldn’t possibly give the game away (well unless you are feeling generous with the amount of your bribe)!!

  • Nice list! I’m very curious about Wilderness. I won’t reveal my October TBR just yet, though I have some really exciting titles coming. Tomorrow, you will discover what I read in September, and my October titles will be posted on October 5, as I have reviews to post before that

  • You’re right to assume that nothing much happens in spool of blue thread! 😂😂😂

  • If you’re enjoying A Spool of Blue Thread you’ve a nice long backlist to look forward to.

    • I can see she’s been busy over the years. I think I saw somewhere that Spool of Blue Thread was going to be her last novel

  • I can’t read anything about 9/11 but I do have The Fortune Men on the shelf that looks pretty interesting on my shelf. 🐧🤠

  • Oh boy, I’m awaiting your review of Wilderness, which sounds right up my alley. Do you know if it’s available in the U.S.?

    • I know it’s in e-book format which would make it available to you Mary. Not sure if it is in US as paperback though


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