I read a grand total of two books in September. Two.
Well, seeing as Steph and Jana are celebrating two years of the linkup, that’s kind of fitting? Let’s pretend I did it on purpose, shall we?
Random snap of Alaska, because I have nothing more relevant to add. You’re welcome.
Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption, Laura Hillenbrand ***** ¦¦ This was recommended to me by Kristen – I can’t remember whether she actually recommended it to me or I stalked it off her Goodreads like a total weirdo, but wow this book more than lived up to expectations. I downloaded the audiobook to listen to on holiday and never actually got time to listen to it at all, so it’s been my commuter book for the last week. It’s such an astonishing story that covers so much hardship and bravery that summaries don’t really do it justice. This book follows the astonishing life of Louis Zamperini, from naughty schoolboy to Olympic runner to Pacific POW. It’s almost unbelievable, but true, and an important and educational read. It’s made me consider and reconsider various things in my life and for me, that’s the power of books.
The Shepherd’s Life: A People’s History of the Lake District, James Rebanks *** ¦¦ I’m all about the life stories this month. Here we have an autobiography, written (funnily enough) by a shepherd in the Lake District. This was another audiobook, and another one I listened to whilst commuting – except this one didn’t make me cry on the train. I enjoyed learning more about fell farming, what it means to live a traditional farming life in Britain, and the ‘invasion’ of people’s traditional lands by tourists. It’s a part of UK history I hadn’t really thought about much before so it was eye opening in that regard. However I found the content slightly repetitive at times, and the authors dogmatic view that these traditional ways of life were far superior to anything else began to descend into reverse snobbery. It also didn’t really get explained how he reconciled his time away at Oxford studying for a History degree with these views. My Mum recommended this book to me, with the darkly muttered caveat that it contained “bad language”. So if you are offended by the odd swear word, steer clear and read James Herriot instead (I think they’re much better books than this anyway). On balance it was a good read, just not excellent.
TL;DR: Definitely read Unbroken (just not in public), read A Shepherd’s Life if you like sheep and/or learning about the Lake District.
Happy reading everyone!