What I read in December 2017

Unusually I didn’t reach the end of any books in December apart from my regular reading, which doesn’t usually feature here. I have been using daily readings from the Bible Reading Fellowship for many years, with occasional breaks, when I have tried readings from other publishers, such as CWR or Scripture Union. New Daylight has been my usual reading matter since it took over from its predecessor – Daylight, I seem to remember – years ago. For the last couple of years I have also been reading The Upper Room, a publication written by some of its readers, rather than by theologians. I know one or two of the contributors. Both these booklets are published three times a year in January, April and September. Thus reaching the end of the year coincides with reaching the end of an issue.

I have not yet finished reading the French translation of The Prisoner of Azkaban.

The books I received for Christmas are in the photo, which shows what I may be writing about soon. (The Wild Places by Robert Macfarlane, another in the French series of Harry Potter, a biography of C. S. Lewis and Jane Hawking’s book about her marriage to Richard Hawking, the physicist.)

My Christmas books

My Christmas books

Some of the reasons reading books has not featured much in December are that I have been busy knitting, taking part as a choir member in concerts and church services and doing my Christmas correspondence.

I have also been reading blogs, but again that is something I usually do alongside any books I may have started.

For Booklovers, if you haven’t already encountered the blog of dovegreyreader, I recommend it. Also for writers, More than Writers to which I contribute posts is usually interesting.



Wishing all my readers a Happy Christmas

It is nearly Christmas. I am sticking to my weekly posts, so this is the one where I wish you all peace and joy at Christmas. I have some photos of Christmas decorations on Sue’s words and pictures. I am sharing a different one here. Perhaps those who prefer to celebrate a winter holiday will enjoy this.

Christmas decorations with a view

Christmas decorations with a view

Here are some links to previous Christmas posts.





The last link in the list has a carol to listen to in case you haven’t heard enough yet!

Wherever you are and whatever you are doing at this season of the year I wish you well.

Books I read in December 2016

I read one book from cover to cover in December and began reading another book or two, one of which I’ll write about here.

Book CoverThe book I read from cover to cover was one I won on Twitter. It wasn’t really what I expected. The Parish Nativity Play by Kevin Carey didn’t seem to me to be just what the parish where I live needs. We didn’t have a play this year, due to a shortage of children among other things. Before that the same play has been performed by different children every year for over twenty years – possibly longer than that. This new play is in the style of a modern mumming play. It is designed to be read (by adults?) with little rehearsal. I am not good at visualising how a play might be interpreted. However I suspect this one could be made into something spectacular with the use of multimedia effects, but not where where tradition is strong (and change is resisted!).

The second book I began, but did not finish until I had renewed its loan twice, was The Highland Clearances by John Prebble. I realised over a decade ago that the versions of history taught north and south of the Scottish border are completely different. I had heard of the highland clearances, but knew nothing of the details, the length of time over which people were forced to emigrate and the cruel conditions on the ships they sailed in. The book is well-researched, with extracts from other writings quoted in a slightly smaller font size. What happened is yet another example of man’s inhumanity to man. While people were campaigning about the slave trade, something equally horrific (but hardly noticed) was happening within the realm. This is a book which should be read by anyone, who wishes to understand the history of the British Isles and why there are so many expatriate Scots. People of Scottish descent abroad, particularly in Canada and Australia might also find it interesting.