What I read in December 2018 (Part 2)

I read four more books in December. In fact I was too busy reading to post anything on this blog last week! I thoroughly enjoyed all these books.

The trouble with goats and sheep by Joanna Cannon

I was really looking in the library for the very popular new book by the same author – Three things about Elsie, but it was out on loan. The book I borrowed was a well-worn hardback. Although it is quite a thick book (over 450 pages), it caught my interest so that I had read it from cover to cover in five days. Most of the action is set in the very hot summer of 1976, but events of 1967 haunt the unusual story. I really enjoyed it and will continue to track down Three things about Elsie.

The Limpopo Academy of Private Detection by Alexander McCall Smith

This book was an American edition I picked up from a second hand book sale. It is a good read with interesting twists in the tale. I have reviewed other books by Alexander McCall Smith.

Merry Christmas Everyone Edited by Wendy H. Jones, Amy Robinson and Jane Clamp

This is the second book which has been published this year by the Association of Christian Writers (ACW). The first one is a Lent book, which I am saving until spring. I began reading Merry Christmas Everyone at the beginning of Advent. The early items in it are relevant to the season. There is a wide variety of writing from many members of ACW. There are unusual retellings of parts of the Christmas story, poems, tales from other lands and more besides. This would make a good Christmas present for next year (if it isn’t too early to be considering your present list!). Both these books from ACW are available in Kindle and paperback editions.

News from Nowhere by Jane Austin

In 2018 New Writing North had a project with libraries for selected local authors to speak about their new books. News from Nowhere was one of the Read Regional books. I found it on the New Books shelf at the library as Read Regional had been superseded by a newer display. It is a work of fiction set in WW1. The first few chapters were so convincing that I had to keep reminding myself that it was fiction (especially after reading a WW1 biography earlier this month).

The reason that it is so authentic is that it is based on letters from the author’s family members serving in the trenches. Austin has woven a very satisfactory story around these and brings out the changes in society which resulted from the men being away and women taking on unfamiliar roles. I found it hard to put this book down. The story is mainly set in Wales, but the author lives in the north of England.