Books and stories have always been a core part of my life, so one of the hard things to deal with whilst I was having chemotherapy was the effect it had on my ability to hold a thread and keep a story in my head. For months I'd pick a book up and have to put it down again because it just wouldn't stick - "chemo brain" really is a thing folks and a very frustrating thing too. Luckily that has now changed as the treatments have changed and so I can begin again with the mountain of books that have accumulated on the "to be read" pile, just waiting patiently in the wings for me to pick them up and return to them. Some of them I have bought and some have been gifts. Some are in paper and print form - I do love the look and feel of a "real" book; others are in electronic form waiting for me on my phone or tablet - very handy for hospital waiting rooms, and others are stories on CD waiting for me to listen to them - whatever the format the waiting has at last come to end.
I have recently finished "In the midst of winter" by Isabel Allende, a Chilean author that I came across many moons ago whilst studying Spanish - her books are mix of gentle observations about life, love and the nature of humanity, fantastical myths and the cold hard realism brought about by being caught up in the politics and violence of late 20th century South America. I thoroughly recommend her!
A pocketful of crows" written by Joanne M. Harris and illustrated by Bonnie Helen Hawkins. Inspired by folk and faerie this book contains wonderful illustrations as well as magical prose. You may already be familiar with the novels "Chocolat" or "Blackberry Wine" but she has written so much more and I can't wait to get back to it later this evening. I daresay I will return to the others too as winter approaches.
Next up will be "The dark angel" by the wonderful Elly Griffiths. Dr Ruth Galloway is one of my favourite literary characters, up there with Phil Rickman's marvellous Merrily Watkins for keeping me enthralled throughout a story. This is the tenth outing for Dr. Ruth and I'm thoroughly looking forward to it.
Then I will probably dabble with one of the many intriguing and definitely new-to-me books that I have received through a gift subscription to Mr B's Emporium in Bath. My very kind colleagues bought the subscription for me when I first fell ill and each month a beautifully packaged parcel has arrived and the contents have been patiently waiting for me to begin.
And then... well that will be October's bookshelf won't it.