What I read in August 2020 (Part 5)

The last two books I read in August were on Borrowbox.

I was looking for some light reading, so I searched for Phaedra Patrick and found a book which had WWishes under the Willow Tree coverishes under the Willow Tree: A season of second chances on the cover, but the title of Rise and Shine, Benedict Stone. I enjoyed reading it, although I couldn’t work out how the main character was managing to keep paying with cash, while he had few customers in his jewellery shop! The chapter headings are semiprecious stones with their attributes. One of the questions for readers groups is about belief in the attributes of stones to affect people’s lives. I do not believe this, but it made a good story. The characters are well-drawn and there are unexpected events and plenty of suspense to keep the pages turning. I read it in a day.

The book has different titles in the UK and the US: Wishes under the Willow Tree in the UK and Rise and Shine, Benedict Stone in the US.

I looked for The Handmaid’s Tale, but it was out on loan. However, my search term of Atwood also brought up Atwater. Mr Popper’s Penguins, which I thoroughly enjoyed as a stage play with puppets last year, was originally a children’s book written by an American couple, Richard and Florence Atwater. I borrowed it and read it in an afternoon. It was very interesting to notice how the book had been adapted for the stage. The book was illustrated by Robert Lawson and the e-book published by Open Road Media. There were a few chapters in the book, which were impossible to transfer to a stage production with a tiny cast. However, the play was true to the book with minor adaptations. Mr Popper was absent-minded in the book. In the play this appeared as clumsiness, which worked well. Either way his mind was not on his work! There are several American words, which British children might find difficult, but it is a very funny book. The biographical details of the authors were interesting. They were born in the 19th century. Florence, who edited the book into a form accepted for publication in 1938, lived until 1979.