What I read in August 2016

This is the latest in my series of posts about books I have read.  One way to find my earlier posts about books is to scroll down until the categories appear in the sidebar and click on Books.  Or click here.

August seems to have flashed past.  I have spent more time gardening, knitting, playing the piano and going for walks.  Although most of my regular group activities are suspended for the holidays, I have not read as many books as in recent months.

The first book I finished reading was a beautiful library book, which I found on a display to mark the 150th anniversary of the birth of Beatrix Potter.  I have now returned it and am writing from memory.   Beatrix Potter’s Gardening Life by Marta McDowell is a lovely book in sections. There is a section about Beatrix Potter’s life and one about visiting some gardens, which have strong connections with her.  There are many illustrations including her paintings of plants.  This is a very well-produced, readable book by an American author, who has produced a similar book about Emily Dickinson.  (Emily Dickinson’s Gardens.)

The other book I read in August was a historical novel.  The Maid of Buttermere by Melvyn Bragg  tells a story, which was something of a sensation in its time.  Buttermere is a small village (and lake) in the English Lake District.  The maid of Buttermere was the beautiful daughter of the innkeeper.  I have read other books by Melvyn Bragg and found it difficult to keep track of all the characters.  Although this book includes a list of characters as an appendix, it does not give any further details about them.   The book paints a picture of life in remote rural communities in the time of the Lake Poets.

It is a racy tale, which takes a while to develop, but then has elements of suspense and adventure, which kept me reading to the end.

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What else I read in July 2016

After I posted my list of books I had finished reading in July I also read The Buried Giant by Kazuo Ishiguro.  It is a story set in an imaginary world just after the time of King Arthur.  Ishiguro has a style of his own.  There is no variation in the pace even in the most exciting parts of the story.  There are a lot of layers to this book – it could be interpreted in various ways.  Unlike the other books I read in July this one did not come from the library.  A member of my family discovered it in a charity (thrift) shop.  I do not regret reading it, but I have to admit that I nodded off once or twice, due to the lack of variation in pace, the warm weather and comfortable seating!

I have read other books by this accomplished author.

When I went to the library to return the books I wrote about previously, I noticed that they were featuring books by Beatrix Potter and those she had written.  A book of her art felt very heavy and I had to walk across the town.  However a book about her gardening life appealed to me more and I borrowed that.  Some of her art was displayed at Wordsworth House and Garden, Cockermouth last time we visited it.  The 150th anniversary of her birth was 28 July.

I have also been reading information online and in dated printed publications.  By dated I do not mean old-fashioned, but issued for a specific time.  I have learned (via Twitter) that there is going to be a fourth book in Jasper Fforde’s Dragonslayer series, that Lian Hearn has announced a new series (I really enjoyed the series beginning with Across the Nightingale Floor) and Katharine Swartz has announced a new book in the Tales of Goswell series, The Second Bride, to  be published in February 2017.  When I lay my hands on those, I am likely to be Lost in a Good Book (the title of a book by Jasper Fforde).  Lots to look forward to!