What I read in June 2017

I have read four books this month.  Three of them were on sale at a writers’ retreat. The fourth was a gift from a friend. I wonder whether you can work out which one that was!

Destiny’s Revenge is the second in a new series for young adults by Philip S. Davies. I have already posted a review on Sue’s considered trifles. I am looking forward to reading the third book, when it is published.

A Scargill Poetry Anthology by Helen Brocklehurst is only available from Scargill Movement as far as I know. It is a delightful booklet of poems mostly inspired by community life. I was fortunate to hear Helen read one of them.

The Gift of Peace bookThe Gift of Peace by Anne Rogers is an inspirational book published by The Leprosy Mission. It is a book of beautiful photos overprinted with quotations and inspirational messages. A book to dip into from a charity worth supporting.


Product DetailsA Shed in a Cucumber Field by S. L. Russell is a novel about two sisters, who have not seen each other for twenty eight years. I wondered how similar it would be to Rainy Day Sisters by Kate Hewitt. This book is a more serious read. The back story is revealed a bit at a time in dated chunks about the sisters and a third character. Strangely there is also a similar incident in it to one in the back story of the fiddler in The Fiddler’s Leg by Ann Lingard. The title is a phrase from the Bible (Isaiah 1:8). I found it difficult to put this book down.


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.


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?


The blog post I nearly forgot to write

Displaying a badge from the Daily Post is my promise to post once a week.  I suddenly realised late in the afternoon on Friday I had nothing prepared and scheduled for the following day.  It has been a busy week.  I have spent more time than usual doing things away from my computer inside and outside my home.

I consulted my ideas folder and realised I could write about a few books, which I have read recently.

In January I read a book by an author, who had been recommended to me.  It was The Girl You Left Behind by Jo Jo Moyes.  Soon after that a friend invited me out to lunch with a few more of her female friends.  My nearest neighbours and I spent some time discussing books.  As a result I recommended this book to one of them.  Later she told me that she had bought a copy with a book token she received for Christmas.  This week I learned it is the next book on her ‘to read’ pile.  I hope she enjoys it as much as I did.

Finding a book set in France reminded me I had not read anything in French for years.  I mentioned in an earlier post that I had chosen another library book.  It was L’Etranger by Albert Camus in a school edition with the story analysed in the preface and innumerable footnotes, which mostly made it unnecessary to have a dictionary to hand.

I have a copy of a French edition of another book by Camus – La Peste (The Plague).  It is much longer than The Outsider.  I have read it twice, I think, having bought it a long time ago.  Reading The Outsider in French, I was struck by the descriptions and the high quality of the writing.  However, I am glad I did not pursue my studies of languages in a formal setting any longer than I did.  In my opinion it is more fun to follow one’s own interests in reading than to be forced to study literature for exams.

I am currently reading three books (apart from the Bible and dated Bible reading notes).  One is a book by Bridget Plass, The Apple of His Eye.  I have been aware of this book ever since it was published in 1996, but have not felt like reading it before.  As I am hoping to meet the author and her husband later this year, I thought it was about time!  I am really enjoying this book, which is in short sections including a passage from the Bible, a reflection and a prayer.  I have added it and one poem a day from the next book to my morning quiet time.

The second book was written by Martyn Halsall (a retired journalist) during his time as Poet in Residence at Carlisle Cathedral.  As an aspiring poet, who has visited Carlisle Cathedral more than once, I am finding the book fascinating and myself somewhat cut down to size.  The title of the book and one of the poems is Sanctuary.

The third book is Rainy Day Sisters by Kate Hewitt.  I am enjoying this book, which is set in Cumbria and written by an author of my acquaintance.  Some of Kate Hewitt’s books are only available as e-books.  I prefer to read a book than to use the Kindle app on my laptop, so I am glad to have found a second-hand paperback copy.


In other news I have signed up for the Blogging from A to Z in April Challenge for this blog and Sue’s words and pictures.  This week the Link up for the A to Z theme reveal went live and I have signed both blogs up for that.  There is still plenty of time to join in.  It is a good way of finding other interesting blogs, as well as encouraging and being encouraged by other bloggers.