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What I read in February 2018

This post is both later and longer than I expected. My expectations for February were that there would just be two books in this post. However my plans to spend time with family and to get out and about were disrupted by a winter bug. Reading was one of the few things I was capable of for a couple of weeks. Fortunately I had a supply of books, which I wanted to read or reread.


The Wild Places  was written before the other books by Robert Macfarlane, which I have read. I began reading it in January. It took me a little while to work out what the map at the beginning was about. At the end I also appreciated the inspiration for the illustrations around the map. The style of writing is superb. Although I have travelled extensively around Great Britain, the only place in the book, which I have travelled across is Rannoch Moor. To me as a passenger in a car this large open space seemed vast, but Robert Macfarlane puts its full extent in context as he describes walking in this wild place.

There was some synchronicity around my reading mainly in connection with The Wild Places. I travelled on a train with the engine John (Longitude) Harrison on the day I read in The Wild Places about his invention. The Highland Clearances were also mentioned and the Irish Potato famine. It is not long since I read a book about the Highland Clearances. It is important that the injustices of local history are not forgotten. The Lake District in 1802 was mentioned in connection with Samuel Coleridge Taylor’s night walks. Dove Cottage tweeted on 6th February 2018 about Dorothy Wordsworth and snow in 1802. (Samuel Coleridge Taylor and the Wordsworths were some of the Lakes poets and I have another related book on my “to read” pile.)

Coleridge was described sitting in Greta Hall in Keswick – a place I visited when it played host to part of the C-Art exhibition a few years ago.

In the chapter entitled Storm Beach there was the description of a hawk’s silhouette and warplanes. As if to order on Twitter a peregrine falcon was compared with a bomber in flight. Unusually I found a word, which I had to look up – sigil (a seal or signet).

Mystical Circles by SC Skillman could hardly be more different. This is a novel about a community led by a very self-confident individual. Personally I like to read novels without having learned much about the story beforehand. This is a well-written, well-plotted tale. There is plenty to think about including ideas about synchronicity. It would make a good book for a reading group to discuss. I shall add A Passionate Spirit to my “books to look out for” list.

Beauty for Ashes

Beauty for Ashes

Beauty for Ashes is a booklet of poems mainly written by people from the Cockermouth area in support of Poverty Swap. One contributor is Martin Halsall, who was poet in residence at Carlisle Cathedral and wrote Sanctuary. The booklet includes children’s poetry about hoping and helping. It is illustrated and makes a useful addition to my poetry shelf.

Hons and Rebels: Hons & Rebels by Jessica Mitford (20-Jun-1999) PaperbackC. S. Lewis: A Biography
Hons and Rebels by Jessica Mitford is an autobiographical work, which I bought second-hand. The Mitford family was one I was aware of from childhood due to the literary endeavours of (in particular) Nancy. Hons and Rebels is a good read. Some of the events in it are real eye-openers. I suspect there is an element of exaggeration to make a good story even better. There is also tragedy, which is not dwelt upon unduly. It is a window to a different world in the years before WWII. It was published with the title Daughters and Rebels in the USA.

C.S. Lewis A Biography The classic life of the author who created Narnia by A.N. Wilson was a book I received for Christmas along with the first book in this post. Hubby and I had watched the film Shadowlands in the autumn. This book provides a dispassionate account of the real-life events surrounding the film. There is much about the life of academics between the two World Wars and afterwards. C.S. Lewis died on the same day as Aldous Huxley and President John F. Kennedy. His life was not typical of his contemporaries. It was interesting to learn more about his associates.

 

Destiny’s Rebel by Philip S. Davies is a book I have already read and reviewed. Davies has attempted to create a series about another universe similar to the Narnia books. I enjoyed reading this book more the second time than the first. I think I suspended my critical faculties and enjoyed the exciting story. Although I am not good at remembering details of plots, I came to it without the desire to get to the end and know the whole story, but just to enjoy it.

Destiny’s Revenge by Philip S. Davies is the second in the series. It is set six months after the first, but much has changed and the characters have learned from their earlier experiences. I enjoyed it more on a second reading. The third book, Destiny’s Ruin is due out in September. I hope I shall remember what has already happened, when I read that. The genre is YA (Young adult).

More synchronicity is that for the writing group I attend our books to discuss at the March meeting are to be written by authors whose first or last name begins with D. I had been intending to reread Philip S Davies’ books, but had not deliberately looked for an author beginning with D.

There is also some synchronicity around a book, which I bought in February and have only just begun. I failed to win it in a Twitter giveaway, but bought it from a bookshop, because it was such an attractive volume. It transpired that the original author, Evelyn Underhill, influenced C.S. Lewis. I had not heard of her until this year. The book is Evelyn Underhill’s Prayer Book.

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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.

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What I read in 2015

In 2015 I read at least 22 books.  (These are the ones I read from beginning to end.)  I have been reading others, but have not yet reached the end.  There are some I don’t count.  For example I use some Bible reading notes, New Daylight from BRF and I study the Bible privately and with others.  Last year the ladies’ Bible study group used Be that girl by Charlotte Gambill.  It is a book I recommend.  The Bible passages are mostly not well known and the videos reflections are inspiring.  I took away from the course at least one idea or resolution.  “Own your zone!”  (Take responsibility for your immediate surroundings.)  There are also cake recipes, although some of these caused practical problems for those members, who baked.

I finished reading another book after Christmas.  The author’s writing was familiar to me from her contributions over the years to New DaylightFinding Myself in Britain by Amy Boucher Pye is a delightful book.  It is entertaining and revealing.  Readers on both sides of the Atlantic Ocean may understand each other better by reading this book about living in England.  There are also recipes handed down in the author’s family.  I do not usually try out new recipes, so I cannot say whether they work or not!  Judging by the way the book has been edited and produced, I expect they have been tried and tested before publication.

Although I used to read crime fiction years ago, I have not enjoyed this genre recently.  (In the past I read many of Agatha Christie’s books.  Other authors I read and enjoyed include Patricia Highsmith, GK Chesterton (Father Brown), Ruth Rendell, PD James, Ellis Peters and Dorothy L Sayers.)  I read one book in this genre during the year, which I found disappointing.

I have already written about some of the books I read last year:-

https://suestrifles.wordpress.com/2015/01/24/blogging-belief-and-books/

https://suestrifles.wordpress.com/2015/02/07/the-heretic-book-review/

https://suestrifles.wordpress.com/2015/07/04/what-i-read-in-may-and-june/

https://suestrifles.wordpress.com/2015/08/08/books-i-read-in-july/

https://suestrifles.wordpress.com/2015/08/29/book-review-love-triangles-by-bobbie-ann-cole/

https://suestrifles.wordpress.com/2015/10/03/what-i-have-read-in-september/

https://suesconsideredtrifles.wordpress.com/book-reviews/destinys-rebel-by-philip-s-davies/

https://suestrifles.wordpress.com/2015/12/02/what-i-read-in-november/

https://suestrifles.wordpress.com/2015/12/26/book-review-baby-baby/

Also in December I read another book by Alexander McCall Smith, The Saturday Big Tent Wedding Party.  Although it involves detective work, being in The No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency series, there are no dead bodies.

I have already linked with emily p. freeman for a What I learned in 2015 post, but I am also linking this post.