The Zone of Interest by Martin Amis book cover
September’s been a really good month for me: the new academic year has kept me busy, the resumption of my book club has kept me sane, and the first signs of autumn have brought the promise of cosy nights curled up with books to come. Reading has been good, although very little course reading has been done (as ever), and writing has been good too (I’m 11,000 words into my second novel). I’m even considering taking part in NaNoWriMo in some form this year, despite my long-standing doubts about its value. So yes, in summary, everything’s pretty swell. Even as I type this I feel like I might be tempting some sort of backlash from fate, but there it is.

So what will I be reading this month? Well, my main read for October is a very easy one this time round. I’m going to be seeing Martin Amis at Cheltenham in a couple of weeks, so prior to that I will post something about his latest novel, The Zone of Interest. His second novel to address the Holocaust, it has had rave reviews so far, but, me being me, I’m swimming against the tide on this one, and am not wholly convinced. Stop back in a few weeks’ time to find out why (just promise you won’t tell dear Mart, or he might not let me into Cheltenham).

Another thing I’d like to do this month, is add to my Author Guides, which I kicked off (predictably) with a guide to Martin Amis a couple of months ago. I’ve been reading a lot about Thomas Hardy lately – he’s been an author I’ve felt a strong connection with for a long time – and I’d like to put together a post on him. He was such a strange, sad man – or at least he was if you read him like I do – that just exploring his life gives you so much to think about before you even get to his writing, which is by turns melancholic and brilliant.

I’m supposed to be reading A Clockwork Orange for my book club too, so there’s a fair chance that I’ll post something about that too. I am a huge fan of the language – even if people talk it down by pointing out that Burgess wrote in but a few short weeks – and would be glad to open up a discussion about it. It’s one of the most iconic pieces of literature of the twentieth century, largely (near-completely) because of Kubrick’s film adaptation, and books that are so much in the common consciousness are really great for sparking interesting conversation.

That’ll about do for me, I think. I hope you all have a beauteous October – see you again in a month!

Notable Posts from September
Review: Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell
Review: Slaughterhouse-Five by Kurt Vonnegut
Review: Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë