Odd Girl Out by Elizabeth Jane Howard
My bestie LOVED the Cazalet Chronicles by EJH, so Sian borrowed one and about 20 pages in was all like "this is so freakin' boring, fuck this shit.." (except that she would never use swears like that, she's a lady) which piqued my interest enough to try one of EJH's earlier (70's, obvs) novels. It was ace. A quietly devastating cat-scratch to the face of middle-class complacency, lush.
Great Granny Webster by Caroline Blackwood
An odd little novel about crazed aristocracy and the trauma of the lost generation...both worlds that Caroline Blackwood, heiress to the Guinness dynasty, writer, journalist, it-girl, knew well. I hate it when people are described as 'muses', ugh. I mean, this was excellent in every way and kind of reminded me of Franny & Zooey - it does so much with so few scenes.
Hunger Makes Me A Modern Girl by Carrie Brownstein
What i liked most about this memoir was how un-rock n' roll it was, but when you think about it, the food allergies, panic-attacks, self-doubt, all that stuff, actually seems pretty rock n' roll - like, the true spirit of rebellion and survival and reinvention are all there.
Chilly Scenes Of Winter by Ann Beattie
Definitely my favourite book of the month! A whimsical, smart, New Yorky, 70's novel about absence and 20-somethings trying to find meaning and love. Beattie was touted as a bit of a voice of her generation it seems, and her debut feels fresh, beautifully self-conscious, and somehow full of warmth and heart despite all the post-60's dejection.
The Signalman by Charles Dickens
Read this on Halloween as a lil spooky bathtime read. The BBC version with Denholm Elliot is one of my absolute favourite things so when i spotted this at work i was all like "hallo below theeere!!" and it was great. Turns out Dickens wasn't always shit.