What I read in March 2016

I finished reading Rainy Day Sisters by Kate Hewitt.  This was a very readable book probably intended for the US market.  It is published by Penguin.  The setting of the story in an English village was interesting.  The author is very observant of people and places.

The Abbess of Whitby: A novel of Hild of Northumbria by Jill Dalladay was a book I found locally.  I decided to read it because I have been to Whitby and as a student I sometimes attended a church dedicated to St Hilda.  Is she the same person?  Yes.

This is historical fiction with some bloodthirsty scenes and the ideas of the time.  Although it is set in a much earlier (although equally turbulent) time than The Heretic, which I reviewed last year, there is a similar thread of one set of beliefs being replaced by a better one.  I enjoyed this book, which I finished reading on a train journey.

labyrinth-mockup

The Labyrinth Year by Mari Howard is the second book about the same characters.  My review of Baby, Baby was far from being a spoiler.  This second book is set almost two decades after the first.  (Baby, Baby begins in 1988 and The Labyrinth Year in 1996.)  The story unfolds from the viewpoint of the main characters as before.  The characters and the situations seemed credible.  I hope we won’t have to wait too long for the third book in the series.  They are published by Hodge Publishing.

This post will be linking with emily p. freeman’s What I learned in March.

My posts for the Blogging from A to Z in April will (hopefully) be appearing daily apart from Sundays.  Anyone else doing this?

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What I read in 2015

In 2015 I read at least 22 books.  (These are the ones I read from beginning to end.)  I have been reading others, but have not yet reached the end.  There are some I don’t count.  For example I use some Bible reading notes, New Daylight from BRF and I study the Bible privately and with others.  Last year the ladies’ Bible study group used Be that girl by Charlotte Gambill.  It is a book I recommend.  The Bible passages are mostly not well known and the videos reflections are inspiring.  I took away from the course at least one idea or resolution.  “Own your zone!”  (Take responsibility for your immediate surroundings.)  There are also cake recipes, although some of these caused practical problems for those members, who baked.

I finished reading another book after Christmas.  The author’s writing was familiar to me from her contributions over the years to New DaylightFinding Myself in Britain by Amy Boucher Pye is a delightful book.  It is entertaining and revealing.  Readers on both sides of the Atlantic Ocean may understand each other better by reading this book about living in England.  There are also recipes handed down in the author’s family.  I do not usually try out new recipes, so I cannot say whether they work or not!  Judging by the way the book has been edited and produced, I expect they have been tried and tested before publication.

Although I used to read crime fiction years ago, I have not enjoyed this genre recently.  (In the past I read many of Agatha Christie’s books.  Other authors I read and enjoyed include Patricia Highsmith, GK Chesterton (Father Brown), Ruth Rendell, PD James, Ellis Peters and Dorothy L Sayers.)  I read one book in this genre during the year, which I found disappointing.

I have already written about some of the books I read last year:-

https://suestrifles.wordpress.com/2015/01/24/blogging-belief-and-books/

https://suestrifles.wordpress.com/2015/02/07/the-heretic-book-review/

https://suestrifles.wordpress.com/2015/07/04/what-i-read-in-may-and-june/

https://suestrifles.wordpress.com/2015/08/08/books-i-read-in-july/

https://suestrifles.wordpress.com/2015/08/29/book-review-love-triangles-by-bobbie-ann-cole/

https://suestrifles.wordpress.com/2015/10/03/what-i-have-read-in-september/

https://suesconsideredtrifles.wordpress.com/book-reviews/destinys-rebel-by-philip-s-davies/

https://suestrifles.wordpress.com/2015/12/02/what-i-read-in-november/

https://suestrifles.wordpress.com/2015/12/26/book-review-baby-baby/

Also in December I read another book by Alexander McCall Smith, The Saturday Big Tent Wedding Party.  Although it involves detective work, being in The No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency series, there are no dead bodies.

I have already linked with emily p. freeman for a What I learned in 2015 post, but I am also linking this post.

The Heretic – Book review

This book is a historical novel set in the time of Henry VIII.  This is a popular topic at present with all the interest in Wolf Hall – the book by Hilary Mantel televised on BBC2.  I bought it for hubby for Christmas and read it before him!  On the cover are the words

1536 who will survive the new world order?

It is well-written and well-produced in paperback by Lion Hudson.  There are maps and a list of characters to help the reader keep track of this long and involved story.

There is plenty of action, intrigue and mystery.  The beliefs of the various characters and the changes in the country are woven into the story in a seamless way.

Henry Vyner-Brooks introduces each chapter with a phrase in dog Latin and its translation into English.  Latin also appears occasionally in the text, with the translation in footnotes.

I enjoyed this book very much.  It is not a particularly easy read, but the story made me want to keep reading one or two chapters at a time.  To reach the end, I read well over one hundred pages in an evening, because I was immersed in the story.