What I read in January 2020 (Part 2)

I am reviewing three books in this post. The first two are library books and the last two are nonfiction.

The Strawberry Thief by Joanne Harris is a stand-alone novel about the same family as Chocolat. I have read three of the set of four related books. I really enjoyed this one. The story is told in an ingenious way. There is much insight and wisdom into the protagonists, their motives and the people and events, which have formed their characters. The unfolding story did not leave any of them unchanged.

The Seafarers A journey among birds by Stephen Rutt has some similarities with Bird Therapy by Joe Harkness. Both authors found that birds improved their mental health.

All the birds in The Seafarers are ones, which spend most of their time at sea. Although I have lived within sight of the sea for longer than I care to say here, my knowledge of these birds is patchy. To read the book properly and learn more from it, I should have had a bird book within reach. I found the parts about places I have visited such as Northumberland more interesting than those about places I had to look up on maps. I did find it interesting to have a map of some of the Scottish isles handy to follow the route, which the author described. It was perhaps a case of it being easier to learn from a better informed knowledge base. There is a lot of interesting information in this book but my lack of knowledge made it difficult for me to read. Had I not had to return it within a reasonable length of time, I might have decided to do more reading alongside it. As it was I kept it for six weeks, reading three fiction books in parallel as light relief.

An Island Parish A Summer on Scilly by Nigel Farrell was a book I found in a second-hand book sale. I remember watching the television series about a Roman Catholic priest on a Scottish island and a vicar on the Falkland Islands. For some reason I had missed the programmes about the Scilly Isles. Nigel Farrell was the director of a series on Scilly. This nonfiction book is written in a way, which made me want to keep dipping into it and reading a bit more. It is mainly about people, the vicar arriving in a new post, islanders beginning new ventures, people on short-term postings and visitors. It was written over a decade ago, being published in paperback in 2008. There were a few times I’d have liked to read bits out to hubby. I didn’t because he intends to read it too. There was nothing in the text to indicate that the author had learned he was terminally ill during his time on Scilly. I discovered that while researching the links for this review.