Last month I read:
- Rilla of Ingleside by Lucy Maud Montgomery
- The Chamber by John Grisham
- Word by Word: the Secret Life of Dictionaries by Kory Stamper
- Rainbow Valley by Lucy Maud Montgomery
- The Rainmaker by John Grisham
- Emily of New Moon by Lucy Maud Montgomery
- Lucy Maud Montgomery: the Gift of Wings by Mary Henley Rubio
- Emily Climbs by Lucy Maud Montgomery
- Emily’s Quest by Lucy Maud Montgomery
- Redwall by Brian Jacques
August was, like July, mostly concerned with making my way through the Lucy Maud Montgomery canon. In July I read the first six Anne books; in August I finished up with the Blythes (excepting the short stories in The Road to Yesterday, which I am currently in the middle of) with Rainbow Valley and Rilla of Ingleside, though I accidentally read them out of order. I also made it through the three books of the Emily series — and though it’s too soon to tell how well they will stand up to re-reading, I have to say that as a protagonist I may well like Emily more than Anne!
In between, John Grisham provided a welcome palate-cleanser — you can’t get much further removed from LMM than Grisham, I think. The Chamber was the better of the two; it was quite difficult to put down, and while the ending was very different from what I was expecting, it was also satisfying, albeit in a sad kind of way.
My two non-fiction reads were Mary Henley Rubio’s excellent biography of Montgomery — more on which here — and Kory Stamper’s book on dictionaries. I’ve been reading Kory’s blog, Harmless Drudgery, for a few years now and I was pretty excited to get my hands on Word by Word. I wasn’t disappointed; it’s erudite, snarky, deeply fascinating, and — although I suppose by this point it’s likely too late — it made me want to be a lexicographer when I grow up.
The last book on the list is the one that doesn’t fit with any particular reading pattern: Redwall. I saw it on display at the library, remembered that one of my brothers had devoured the whole series when he was a pre-teen, and snagged it to see what the fuss was about. Redwall is set in a vaguely medieval-era abbey run by — wait for it — mice, and the first book concerns itself with Redwall Abbey’s defense against the fierce bilge rat Cluny the Scourge — I know, right? — and his evil army of vermin, and the raising up of Matthias, a mouse in the bold tradition of Martin the Warrior (also a mouse). Does this sound a bit silly? It’s not. It’s awesome. With apologies to John Grisham, Redwall was easily the most gripping thing I read in August and if I ever get through Lucy Maud Montgomery I will be diving in to the rest of the series… all 22 books. The big question, though: do I read them in published order, or in the order of internal chronology? Time will tell…
On to September!