This year’s challenge is simple, just pick an author that was born in that month and read a piece of their work. I told you, easy!
Obviously, there are hundreds of books and authors to choose from so we’ve just listed a few for August in case you’re in need of inspiration.
Jeanette Winterson – Frankissstein
What will happen when homo sapiens is no longer the smartest being on the planet? Jeanette Winterson shows us how much closer we are to that future than we realise. Funny and furious, bold and clear-sighted, Frankissstein is a love story about life itself.
Paula Hawkins – The Girl On The Train
Rachel catches the same commuter train every morning. She knows it will wait at the same signal each time, overlooking a row of back gardens. She’s even started to feel like she knows the people who live in one of the houses. ‘Jess and Jason’, she calls them. Their life – as she sees it – is perfect. If only Rachel could be that happy
Ray Bradbury – Dandelion Wine
In the backwaters of Illinois, Douglas Spaulding’s grandfather makes an intoxicating brew from harvested dandelions. ‘Dandelion Wine’ is a quirky, breathtaking coming-of-age story from one of science fiction’s greatest writers. Distilling his experiences into “Rites & Ceremonies” and “Discoveries & Revelations”, the young Spaulding wistfully ponders over magical tennis shoes, and machines for every purpose from time travel to happiness and silent travel.
P. D. James – Cover Her Face
Meet the dark and brooding Dalgliesh – a gentleman, a poet, and a gifted detective-and read the novel that launched P.D. James’s career as the world’s pre-eminent crime writer. Investigating the violent death at the manor house, Detective Chief Inspector Adam Dalgliesh becomes embroiled in the complicated passions beneath the calm surface of English country life.
Stieg Larsson – The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo
Forty years ago, Harriet Vanger disappeared from a family gathering on the island owned and inhabited by the powerful Vanger clan. Her body was never found, yet her uncle is convinced it was murder – and that the killer is a member of his own tightly knit but dysfunctional family.
Frank McCourt – Angela’s Ashes
It is a story of extreme hardship and suffering, in Brooklyn tenements and Limerick slums – too many children, too little money, his mother Angela barely coping as his father Malachy’s drinking bouts constantly brings the family to the brink of disaster. It is a story of courage and survival against apparently overwhelming odds.
Dorothy Parker – The Collected Dorothy Parker
The decadent 1920s and 1930s in New York were a time of great experiment and daring for women. For the rich, life seemed a continual party, but the excesses took their emotional toll. In the bitingly witty poems and stories collected here, along with Parker’s articles and reviews, she brilliantly captures the spirit of the decadent Jazz Age in New York, exposing both the dazzle and the darkness.
Ali Smith – Spring
With an eye to the migrancy of story over time, and riffing on Pericles, one of Shakespeare’s most resistant and rollicking works, Ali Smith tells the impossible tale of an impossible time. In a time of walls and lockdown Smith opens the door. The time we’re living in is changing nature. Will it change the nature of story? Hope springs eternal.
Stephen Fry – Mythos
In Stephen Fry’s vivid retelling we gaze in wonder as wise Athena is born from the cracking open of the great head of Zeus and follow doomed Persephone into the dark and lonely realm of the Underworld. We shiver when Pandora opens her jar of evil torments and watch with joy as the legendary love affair between Eros and Psyche unfolds.
Sue Monk Kidd – The Invention of Wings
Sarah Grimké is the middle daughter. The one her mother calls difficult and her father calls remarkable. On Sarah’s eleventh birthday, Hetty ‘Handful’ Grimké is taken from the slave quarters she shares with her mother, wrapped in lavender ribbons, and presented to Sarah as a gift. Sarah knows what she does next will unleash a world of trouble. She also knows that she cannot accept. And so, indeed, the trouble begins.
Other suggestions from Cwts Club Discussion Group. include, Leon Uris, Isabel Allende, Daniel Keyes, Jostein Gaarder, Rachel Kadish, Barack Obama, Suzanne Collins, Howard Jacobson, Lisa McInerney, Mary Shelley and P.L. Travers.
Pick a book from our list, pop along to your local book shop or library or pick something that’s already in your TBR pile. What ever you decide, don’t forget to let us know what you’re reading over on Cwts Club Discussion Group.