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 Jojo 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.


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?




Reading books on my Kindle app

An author I know advertised a special offer for one of her books on Twitter.  I decided to read it and to purchase two other books, which I have been intending to read.

I read “A Yorkshire Christmas” by Kate Hewitt in a single sitting.  The characters were believable and the plot well-constructed.  There was plenty of conflict and suspense.  It is a contemporary romance (con rom), although at one point I wondered if it was about to become a tragedy.  The book seems to be aimed at readers in North America.  As a British reader I found that one or two passages of conversation jarred slightly.  (Unless I am completely behind the times with trends in language, someone in England would ‘go and draw’, rather than ‘go draw’ as Molly did in Chapter 7.)

People in rural Yorkshire speak a dialect of their own.  I wondered how well the book would have worked, had this been used by one of the characters.  I think it was in her book A Woman of Substance, that Barbara Taylor Bradford wrote a whole section in dialect.  Not everyone was able to decipher it, so there are merits in using more standard language particularly for an overseas readership.

Even without dialect the characters in “A Yorkshire Christmas” have some difficulty in communication due to their different cultures.  This is interesting and helpful to readers unaware of the differences in vocabulary across the Atlantic.  Being fascinated by words, I enjoyed this aspect of the book, which lends authenticity and interest to the story.

It is a good read involving the emotions as well as the mind.

Kate Hewitt also writes as Katharine Swartz with books including, The Vicar’s Wife, which I enjoyed reading in paperback immediately after publication.

The other books I downloaded are “Fisherground: Living the dream” by Ian Hall and Finding the Way through Water by Roland K Price.  These are both authors with whom I have a very tenuous connection.

Watch this space!