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What I read in July 2020 (Part1)

So far in July I have only read one book! I began reading Lakeland: A personal Journey by Hunter Davies in June. It was an ebook on BorrowBox. I have not yet mastered navigating around BorrowBox and found myself skim-reading pages I had already read. When I stop reading part way through a chapter, BorrowBox seems to restart at or near the beginning! There is probably a bookmark, which I have not yet found.

Having lived in Cumbria outside the Lake District National Park for over 30 years I found Lakeland (published in 2016 by Head of Zeus) very interesting. Hunter Davies compiled it from documents he had collected over a much longer time of living in the area. Much of the content was familiar to me, but there was also plenty of information I had not read previously. I enjoyed Hunter Davies’ sense of humour in the way he presented what might otherwise have been dry facts.

An irritating feature of reading the book electronically was that most of the illustrations were split between two pages. As with the bookmark above, there may have been a solution to this problem, but I didn’t look for it. Give me a printed book any day!

More of my book reviews may be found here.

What else I read in October 2016

In my earlier post I mentioned that I had two library books.  I managed to finish reading both of them before the end of the month.  I did not find another book to borrow from the library.  Instead I decided to reread some books I have at home.  I read An Alien at St Wilfred’s by Adrian Plass from cover to cover on the last day of October.

The two library books I borrowed are A Walk along the Wall by Hunter Davies and The Making of Swallows and Amazons by Sophie Neville.  Both are non-fiction and relate to the 1970s.

Hunter Davies’ book has been republished several times. The issue I read had a new introduction and the appendix listing publications about Hadrian’s Wall had been brought up-to-date (about 10 years ago).  I chose the book because I have visited a few locations along the wall and Lanercost Priory, which was built from stones originally used for the wall.  Reading it gave me lots of background information.  I hope to be able to explore more of the wall in future.  The book is written in a conversational style by an author with an enquiring mind.  While it deals with history, archaeology and geography, it is a story of a series of meetings with people who live(d) or worked along the wall.  There is information about the landowning families of the counties of Northumberland and Cumbria.  I found it fascinating.

Sophie Neville played the part of Titty Walker in the film of Arthur Ransome’s Swallows and Amazons in the early 1970s.  The Making of Swallows and Amazons is a very readable book compiled from her diary, that of the actress, who played Susan Walker, photos from the time and the memories of others involved.  An appendix includes information about what those involved in the film did subsequently.  There are many black and white photos and some in colour.  I am not sure whether I have watched the film of Swallows and Amazons on TV, but (as a child) I enjoyed the book and others by Arthur Ransome.  I also enjoyed The Painted Garden most of Noel Streatfield’s books.  It is the one about children making a film in Hollywood.  Technology has advanced, so that all sorts of special effects can be achieved nowadays.  In the 1970s there were many practical problems to be solved to achieve the desired effects.  I could go on, but I recommend that you read this book for yourself!

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An Alien at St Wilfred’s is fiction.  I have read it before, probably more than once.  I think it is my favourite of those books by Adrian Plass, which I have read.  Superficially it is about a vicar and organist, who do not get on well together.  But it is much more than that.  It is very funny in a gentle way.  Above all it is a hopeful book.

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What I read in November

Linking with Emily P. Freeman.

As I did in October, I am writing here about books I have read.  In November I finished reading William Wordsworth by Hunter Davis. I found it very interesting to learn about this famous poet, his family, friends and other contemporaries.  I borrowed this book from the local library and had to renew it twice before I finished reading it.  (We borrow books for three weeks.)

I also read a book on my Kindle app.  I must remember that I don’t enjoy reading books on my laptop half as much as I enjoy sitting in an arm chair with a book in my hand.  The book in question was When he fell by Kate Hewitt.  It is a gripping novel about the causes and repercussions of an accident.  I began reading it one evening and had to finish it the next day, because I wanted to know what happened.  The fact that I regard the author as a friend does not affect my enjoyment of her writing, although had I not met her, I probably should never have heard of her books.  Kate Hewitt is a pseudonym.  She also writes as Katharine Swartz.


Some technical things I learned (by reading and applying some logic) included how to transfer contacts from one phone to another.  I also learned that a selfie stick has other uses than just taking selfies.  Hubby held the gadget, I held the camera phone and he took a photo.  I intend to experiment with holding the camera phone in a steady position and using the selfie stick as a remote shutter.  It is Bluetooth technology.  Now how does that work?