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 October in case you’re in need of inspiration.
Zadie Smith – White Teeth
One of the most talked about fictional debuts of ever, White Teeth is a funny, generous, big-hearted novel, adored by critics and readers alike. Dealing – among many other things – with friendship, love, war, three cultures and three families over three generations, one brown mouse, and the tricky way the past has of coming back and biting you on the ankle, it is a life-affirming, riotous must-read of a book.
Emma Donaghue – Room
Jack lives with his Ma in Room. Room has a single locked door and a skylight, and it measures ten feet by ten feet. Jack loves watching TV but he knows that nothing he sees on the screen is truly real – only him, Ma and the things in Room. Until the day Ma admits there is a world outside.
Anthony Doerr – All the Light We Cannot See
For Marie-Laure, blind since the age of six, the world is full of mazes. The miniature of a Paris neighbourhood, made by her father to teach her the way home. The microscopic layers within the invaluable diamond that her father guards in the Museum of Natural History. The walled city by the sea, where father and daughter take refuge when the Nazis invade Paris. And a future which draws her ever closer to Werner, a German orphan, destined to labour in the mines until a broken radio fills his life with possibility and brings him to the notice of the Hitler Youth.
Tracy Chevalier – A Single Thread
Violet Speedwell, mourning for both her fiancé and her brother and regarded by society as a ‘surplus woman’ unlikely to marry, resolves to escape her suffocating mother and strike out alone. A new life awaits her in Winchester. Yes, it is one of draughty boarding-houses and sidelong glances at her naked ring finger from younger colleagues; but it is also a life gleaming with independence and opportunity.
Philip Pullman – Northern Lights
‘Without this child, we shall all die.’ Lyra Belacqua and her animal daemon live half-wild and carefree among scholars of Jordan College, Oxford. The destiny that awaits her will take her to the frozen lands of the Arctic, where witch-clans reign and ice-bears fight. Her extraordinary journey will have immeasurable consequences far beyond her own world
Anita Shreve – The Lives of Stella Bain
A woman wakes up in a field hospital in Marne in 1916. Gradually she remembers her name – Stella Bain – and that she knows how to drive an ambulance. The rest she must reconstruct: why she is in France, where she came from, and what she left behind.
Sylvia Plath – The Bell Jar
When Esther Greenwood wins an internship on a New York fashion magazine in 1953, she is elated, believing she will finally realise her dream to become a writer. But in between the cocktail parties and piles of manuscripts, Esther’s life begins to slide out of control. She finds herself spiralling into serious depression as she grapples with difficult relationships and a society which refuses to take her aspirations seriously.
James Herriot – All Creatures Great and Small
Fresh out of Glasgow Veterinary College, to the young James Herriot 1930s Yorkshire seems to offer an idyllic pocket of rural life in a rapidly changing world. But from his erratic new colleagues, brothers Siegfried and Tristan Farnon, to incomprehensible farmers, herds of semi-feral cattle, a pig called Nugent and an overweight Pekingese called Tricki Woo, James finds he is on a learning curve as steep as the hills around him.
Thomas Keneally – Schindler’s Ark
In the shadow of Auschwitz, a flamboyant German industrialist grew into a living legend to the Jews of Cracow. He was a womaniser, a heavy drinker and a bon viveur, but to them he became a saviour. This is the extraordinary story of Oskar Schindler, who risked his life to protect Jews in Nazi-occupied Poland and who was transformed by the war into a man with a mission, a compassionate angel of mercy.
Julia Navarro – Tell Me Who I Am
This is a novel about memory and identity with an exceptionally well-drawn and unforgettable literary character: a woman who throughout her extraordinary life was able to achieve the highly difficult feat of knowing herself. A victim of her mistakes, aware of her guilt, frightened by her traumas, she is above all an anti-heroine, a flesh-and-blood woman who always acts according to her principles, facing up to every challenge and making errors for which she will never fully pay. A woman who decided that she couldn’t be neutral in this life.
Other suggestions from Cwts Club Discussion Group. include, Oscar Wilde, Anne Tyler, Debbie Macomber, Clive Barker, R.L. Stine, P.G. Wodehouse, Michael Crichton, Nora Roberts, Wally Lamb and Evelyn Waugh.
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. Whatever you decide, don’t forget to let us know what you’re reading over on Cwts Club Discussion Group.