Two e-books I read in February 2021

I found these two books on Borrowbox. They are both fiction intended to be read by adults.

Book coverThe Weaver’s Daughter by Sarah E. Ladd is a historical novel. It is described as a Regency romance novel. The genres it falls into include Christian Fiction although the Christian element is only shown in a few church services and the character of the eponymous heroine. During the industrial revolution people employed in cottage industries connected to the textile trade were likely to be put out of work by increasing mechanisation in the large textile mills. This novel is set in a precise historical time with soldiers returning from the war in Spain. It is a good story with lots of excitement and a theme of reconciliation. It left me wanting to learn more about the Luddites and the history of Yorkshire.

The Last Family in England by Matt Haig (Paperback ISBN 9781786893222) book coverThe Last Family in England by Matt Haig is described as comedy. To me it was more like tragedy or irony. I enjoyed it less than other books I have read by Matt Haig. The pet Labrador narrates the story of the family he is pledged to protect at all costs. He learns the truth about all the events, which occur  – some of them surprising. His interventions do some good, but at what personal (or rather doggy) cost? Humour is not universal. What makes one person laugh does not necessarily amuse another. It was an interesting, haunting story.

Five books I read in December 2020

All the books in this post were eBooks from BorrowBox. I returned them before beginning to write this post, so I am relying on my memory. At the time of writing I have read five more books, so my memory is a little congested!

The Truth Pixie goes to School by Matt Haig illustrated by Chris Mould

Having read The Girl who saved Christmas in which the Truth Pixie is a character, I borrowed and enjoyed another of Matt Haig’s children’s books, The Truth Pixie goes to School. It is a delightful story with a serious message about dealing with bullies at a new school.

 

 

 

Cover The Watchmaker of Filigree StreetThe Watchmaker of Filigree Street by Natasha Pulley

This is a story mainly set in London early in the 20th century, but also partly in another country. There are several strands with lots of interesting characters: a female research scientist, a genius watch-maker, Irish activists, civil servants and more. It is quirky, mixing imagination with historical facts, and exciting. I could hardly put it down.

 

Born at the right time: A memoir by Ron McCallumCover photo

Ron McCallum’s very readable memoir tells how he overcame his lifelong disability (blindness) to become an eminent Australian academic. He tells of his faults as well as his achievements. I was particularly interested in the history of the technology, which helps people with visual impairment to read and to use computers. (I am aware of some people, who already use this sort of technology and others, who might find it useful.) He also talks about his spiritual beliefs: his Roman Catholic background has been influenced by Buddhism.

Cover - Mr MiracleMr Miracle: Will they give love a chance this Christmas? by Debbie Macomber

When I read that the angel, who is the main character in the book, had angel friends called Shirley, Goodness and Mercy, I knew I was in for a treat! Life as an earth-bound angel was not quite what he expected. This is a light read with a Christmas theme set in the USA.

The Christmas Train: It’ll take a miracle to get home by David Baldacci was another light read for the Christmas season. I had heard of the author, but not read any of his books. This page-turner is a mystery, a romance and a travel adventure. It is set in the USA and has US vocabulary.

Three more books I read in November 2020

The books reviewed here are all fiction. One is a children’s book.

Book cover The Tiger and the RubyThe Tiger and the Ruby by Kief Hillsbery is a book from BorrowBox. The tagline is A journey to the other side of British India. It is historical fiction set mainly in India in the time of the East India Company. There is a mystery, which a relative of the main character sets out to solve a long time afterwards. I found the book interesting, but there were many snippets of history, which I did not find memorable. I found it hard to remember that it was a work of fiction. It was interesting and well-written. The story jumped from the time of the mystery to the time of the narrator, who was of a later generation.

 

Dust coverThe Tiger in the Smoke by Margery Allingham is one of the books I recently inherited. I had read it many years ago, but couldn’t remember anything about it until the very end. In the last few pages I realised that I had read it before. It has similarities to The Franchise Affair with its background in post-WWII Britain. The variety of characters and the effect of decisions made by some of them on the lives of others make a good novel. I didn’t understand all the language of the criminals apart from ‘slop’ being back-slang for police. The changes in everyday English from the 1950s to the present day are very noticeable.

The edition I read was from a book club – World Books. Its publications had a standard appearance, demonstrated in the photos. The second photo shows how a dust cover protects a book.
Spine of book with inside of dust cover

Book cover The Girl who saved ChristmasThe Girl Who Saved Christmas by Matt Haig is the second in a series, but stands alone. I had not read any of Matt Haig’s children’s books before. It is a mixture of fantasy and historical fiction. I thoroughly enjoyed this book, which I found on BorrowBox.