This post includes reviews of three books, one nonfiction and two fiction.
Get Lost In the ancient trackways of the Lake District and Cumbria by Alan Cleaver and Lesley Park
This newly published book by two local authors with whom I am acquainted arrived in our house* on Valentine’s Day. Get Lost might not be a conventional Valentine’s Day greeting, but hubby and I enjoy walking in the Cumbrian countryside. This is a useful addition to our collection of walking books. It is beautifully produced, well researched and humorous. I read it from cover to cover in three sittings during weather, which was not suitable for walking far. Parts of the county are very popular with visitors. Here are lots of ideas for quieter places to explore in the county. The unnumbered chapters are full of information and suggestions of where to go, allowing readers to explore in their own way. Most of the walks are suitable for families or people who no longer climb the higher fells. Where steep climbs are involved these are mentioned. It is thoroughly researched and completely up-to-date. There are instructions for using a map and compass so that readers have no excuse if they are unfortunate enough to get lost! Cumbrian words are explained. Legends and folklore are included. There is an index and suggestions for further reading.
Lost and Found It started with a letter… by Tom Winter was a library book I chose in a hurry. I read it in a couple of days. The chapters are very short and the story is never predictable. However this is not a book for anyone shocked by bad language or outrageous content. Parts are very funny. The book is set in Croydon, a town I know patches of. Descriptions of it are rather harsh. I read it before Get Lost, but didn’t feel it merited a post to itself.
Little Women by Louisa M. Alcott is a book I first read as a child. I probably read the whole series, but had forgotten the details of the story. The release of the new film has prompted discussion both on and offline, so I decided to refresh my memory by rereading it. It is a book of its time – being first published in 1869. The language is not easy being old-fashioned American English. Occasional footnotes in my copy explain references to Greek myths, but there is little help with vocabulary. For example, a verse about Afghan’s must surely have gone over my head as a child. Now a relative has two beautiful crocheted Afghan’s made by extended family members in Canada, I know they are blankets. At times the book is rather preachy, but the characters are very human and their attempts to overcome their faults as they grow up are endearing. I shall probably read the sequel, Good Wives, because it is bound in the same volume as Little Women, but doubt that I shall seek out the later books.
*In case you are wondering, I bought it from a local bookshop.