What I read in August 2020 (Part 4)

This post includes two book reviews.
The Testaments coverOn my first visit to the library since lockdown I returned the first two books I reviewed here  and borrowed two more books. (I was wearing the mask I wrote about here.)

The Testaments by Margaret Atwood is a prize-winning novel published in 2019. The hardback edition has its own ribbon bookmark. Although the content is disturbing I found it fascinating. I had not realised that it was written as a sequel to The Handmaid’s Tale, which I have not yet read. The unusual structure of the novel (narrated by three different women – a hologram and two witnesses) is not explained until the end.

The Bertie Project cover

The Bertie Project by Alexander McCall Smith is from the Scotland Street series. I borrowed it as light relief from the other book. It made me laugh out loud. My loyal readers will be aware that I enjoy reading books by Alexander McCall Smith. My other reviews of his books, which I have read may be found here.

For an index to all the books I have reviewed online please click here.


What I read in May 2020 (Part 2)

The three books I am reviewing in this post were all ebooks on BorrowBox.









I searched for Alexander McCall Smith and discovered two children’s books – Precious and the Monkeys Precious Ramotswe’s very first case and Precious and the Mystery of Meerkat Hill A new case for Precious Ramotswe.

They are delightful. The stories in both books include at least one told to Precious by her father as well as her own adventures with school-friends. The first book explains how she discovered she had the skills to be a detective. The second one shows her developing those skills further. The illustrations are in keeping with the stories.

I found The Outrun by Amy Liptrot from a list of recommended books. I had already heard of this nonfiction book. The background to the story was in some ways similar to The Seafarers, but I found The Outrun much easier to read (in spite of my preference for books over devices). The author’s life on Orkney, in London and back on Orkney are described mainly in the present tense, with descriptions to draw the reader in to the landscape and the events. The subjects, which interest Amy Liptrot, are wide-ranging and she explains them well. I enjoyed it and hope to read more of her work in the future

What I read in October (Part 2)

There are two book reviews in this post.

The story of Taizé by JLG Balado

A very old copy of this book was destined for recycling, but I decided to read it. The Taizé community has had a huge effect on worship in many Churches. I didn’t know much about the early history of the community. This book filled in many gaps in my knowledge. First published in 1976, the copy I read was updated in 1981. Of course I was aware of the tragic way in which Brother Roger’s life ended and every mention of Notre Dame Cathedral reminded me of the devastating fire there. It was interesting to read about events of the 20th century and to reflect on the changes which have occurred in society and in the Church since those days.

Tears of the Giraffe by Alexander McCall Smith

Tears of the Giraffe is the second book in The No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency series. I bought a second-hand copy at a charity book-sale. It is a delightful book. My pile of books to read is rather taller than I like at present, but this light read was just what I needed after the non-fiction books I have been reading recently. I have read and enjoyed other books by this author, but this one seemed to be particularly good. The themes woven into the story involved lies and the morality of not always telling the (whole) truth. There was an unexpected revelation at the end, which I found very amusing.