What I read in February 2017

This post coincides with World Book Day UK and is the next in my regular series about books I have read.

In February 2017 I have read and enjoyed four books, three novels and one children’s book – dare I say classic? The novels were all well-written with keen observation of human nature and the dynamics of interpersonal relationships. (The children’s book had a lovely example of generosity.)

I bought a second hand copy of The Queen’s Fool by Philippa Gregory from the ongoing used book sale at the local parish church. Although this is not the first in the series of books about the Tudor court, I found it easy to read as a stand-alone story. It opens in the reign of Edward I and continues through to the end of the reign of Queen Mary. The storyteller is a fictitious character – the Queen’s Fool. This is a mass-market paperback and a real page-turner.

Following on from Winnie-the Pooh I read The House at Pooh Corner from the same volume. I did not possess a copy of this as a child, although I did read a library copy. The stories are less familiar to me than those in the first book, but equally delightful.


I bought a copy of Trying to Fly by Annie Try. I reviewed her earlier novel, Losing Face last year. Trying to Fly is well-written and easy to read. The story drew me in from the first page. It has a similar flavour to the Evie Adams books by Mel Menzies, but in this case it is not the therapist, who investigates the mystery. I read it in a single day at a time when it was not easy for me to get out – an important concept in the book. The strap line is Haunting Memories arouse a dormant mystery. The mystery is intriguing and the plot is well-constructed. I am looking forward to the next book from Annie Try, due to be published in September.


I also bought a copy of the third in the Tales from Goswell series by Katharine Swartz. Her earlier books The Vicar’s Wife and The Lost Garden are also mentioned on this blog, which incidentally now has 600 posts. The Second Bride is written in the same style as the two earlier books with chapters alternating between two parallel stories set in different centuries.  With rather small print and around 350 pages I finished reading it the day after I bought it! There are questions for book groups at the end. The Tales from Goswell series seems to be going from strength to strength. The stories in this latest book involve the tensions of blended families and have unexpected twists and turns.

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What else I read in July 2016

After I posted my list of books I had finished reading in July I also read The Buried Giant by Kazuo Ishiguro.  It is a story set in an imaginary world just after the time of King Arthur.  Ishiguro has a style of his own.  There is no variation in the pace even in the most exciting parts of the story.  There are a lot of layers to this book – it could be interpreted in various ways.  Unlike the other books I read in July this one did not come from the library.  A member of my family discovered it in a charity (thrift) shop.  I do not regret reading it, but I have to admit that I nodded off once or twice, due to the lack of variation in pace, the warm weather and comfortable seating!

I have read other books by this accomplished author.

When I went to the library to return the books I wrote about previously, I noticed that they were featuring books by Beatrix Potter and those she had written.  A book of her art felt very heavy and I had to walk across the town.  However a book about her gardening life appealed to me more and I borrowed that.  Some of her art was displayed at Wordsworth House and Garden, Cockermouth last time we visited it.  The 150th anniversary of her birth was 28 July.

I have also been reading information online and in dated printed publications.  By dated I do not mean old-fashioned, but issued for a specific time.  I have learned (via Twitter) that there is going to be a fourth book in Jasper Fforde’s Dragonslayer series, that Lian Hearn has announced a new series (I really enjoyed the series beginning with Across the Nightingale Floor) and Katharine Swartz has announced a new book in the Tales of Goswell series, The Second Bride, to  be published in February 2017.  When I lay my hands on those, I am likely to be Lost in a Good Book (the title of a book by Jasper Fforde).  Lots to look forward to!

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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?