Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Books and Reading

I've decided to join in with The Year in Books blogging challenge organised by Laura at a Circle of Pine Trees.  I noticed this reading challenge on Kathy's Amanda's and Louise's blogs and thought that it sounded like a good idea.

I've read four books so far this month so I thought I'd share some of them with you and tell you more about one of them.  I will also continue to place the books I have read in my sidebar and list the whole year's books as separate pages at the top of the blog.

At the moment I have three books on loan from the local library, two of which I requested the third, the Secrets of Armstrong House, I saw on their 'quick choice' shelf near the check in/out machines and thought that it looked interesting.  


I'm still reading the A. O'Connor book but the other two I've read and thoroughly enjoyed.  I love the DI Vera Stanhope books by Ann Cleeves  Harbour Street is the latest and it didn't for one moment disappoint.  I found it intriguing, atmospheric and hard to put down.

January's Book

In contrast The Secret Rooms is non-fiction (but still very much a detective story) and is written by Catherine Bailey author of the equally interesting and readable book Black Diamonds.  The author went to Belvoir Castle in Leicestershire initially to research the lives of the men from the Belvoir Estate who volunteered to serve in the Midlands Regiments at the outbreak of WW1.  What she found and eventually wrote about was an intriguing mystery surrounding John, the 9th Duke of Rutland.  What was in those secret rooms?  Why had they been closed up for so many years?  Why had the 9th Duke elected to spend his final days in there destroying huge swathes of correspondence from three distinct periods of his life?  Follow the author as she gradually pieces together, using the Belvoir Castle and Haddon Hall archives as well as many other sources, a story that is both astonishing and ultimately quite tragic.


Next month I'm hoping to read The Outcast Dead the latest novel in the Ruth Galloway series by Elly Griffiths.  I have it reserved at the library and I'm sixth in the queue so hopefully I'll be able to read it in February.



30 comments:

  1. Secret Rooms sounds really good and I love the Ruth Galloway series so much I have pre-ordered it to be delivered the day it comes out.

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    1. I think you'd enjoy the Secret Rooms, Janet. There are 3 authors of whom I can't wait for their next books - Elly Griffiths (Ruth Galloway), Stephen Booth (Cooper and Fry) and Susan Hill's Serrailer novels. You will probably read it before me - I think it is mostly set in Norwich this time:)

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    2. I have also pre-ordered it Janet, I love Ruth and Nelson.

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  2. Ah this is right up my street Rosie, I just love the idea of a book challenge. I've been over to Laura's site and will link in with her. Thanks for sharing this. Incidentally how would I grab the button on the sidebar? its been so long since I did any playing around with the layout I can't remember?
    Patricia x

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    1. Glad you are joining in Patricia - I like this one as there is no pressure and no specific book you have to read. To grab the button to put on my sidebar I copied the html code in the box under the image on Laura's blog, then I went onto layout on my blog dashboard, chose html/java on 'add a gaget' and pasted it in giving it the heading and moved it to where I wanted it on the sidebar - hope this makes sense:)

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    2. Thanks for that Rosie. Simple when you know how! x

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  3. I read Secret Rooms a while ago and enjoyed it though it didn't do much to improve my opinion of the Manners family! I'm reading David Hey' s new book at the moment - A History of the Peak District Moors.

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    1. Nor mine, Rowan - fascinating non the less mainly because Catherine Bailey is such a good writer. The David Hey book sounds interesting, I must look out for that:)

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  4. This looks like a great challenge but I think I would struggle to read a book a month even though I enjoy reading! I look forward to reading your reviews and recommendations Rosie. x

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    1. The challenge is for any book, fiction, non-fiction, short story or poetry so you wouldn't have to read a long book and you can chose. Know what you mean though I'm lucky to be retired now and have the time to read:)

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  5. I'm glad your joining in. I do look at your sidebar books every so often but it is nice to find out a little more about the books in this way.

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    1. Thanks, Louise - I know I get a bit stuck in a ruit with my reading so I'm going to use this as a way of sometimes reading something a bit different:)

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  6. I'm always looking for new books and authors to read so I shall follow your reading with interest!

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    1. Thanks, Wendy I hope you enjoy following my reading which can, I confess, be a bit 'samey' at times but I'm comfortable with what I know I'll like - I may use this challenge to look at different books:)

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  7. Thanks for joining in! Laura

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    1. Thanks, Laura - I'm looking forward to it:)

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  8. I am going to pop over and have a look at this.So far this month I have read Guernica by Dave Boling,Mongol by Uuganaa Ramsay,Longbourn by Jo Baker and The Ruby Slippers by Keir Alexander.This last one isn't out yet.I was doing a review for Newbooks mag.on it.

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    1. I haven't read any of those beejay but I did pick up Longbourn in a shop the other day and wondered about trying it:)

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  9. I need to get back into my reading. My hubby never used to read but now reads constantly! He does not like fiction though. I'll have to look into using the library for downloading the books as I could read them at the gym on my playbook, that would work.

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    1. Can you listen to them as you work out? What a good idea! :)

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  10. I think I may join in with the challenge too - I haven't read any of the books you list so it will be fun looking them up.

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    1. Hope you join in Elaine - it will be interesting to see what people chose to read and to try out something different sometimes:)

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  11. Thanks for an interesting post. I have now added The Secret Rooms to my Amazon shopping cart along with The Secrets of Armstrong House. Harbour Street sounds too scary for me to read at night, that's when I read most so I don't want a restless night. Just wish I had more time to read during the day and then I might give it ago.

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    1. I'm sure you will enjoy The Secret Rooms, Elizabeth it is very intriguing. I'm just getting into Armstrong House and quite enjoying it although sometimes the way it is written jars with me slightly - let me know what you think when you've read it. Harbour Street isn't at all frightening just an ordinary detective mystery set in present day Newcastle in and around the street in Mardle just before Christmas:)

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  12. I enjoy my reading and the library is my main source for books especially when it's possible to reserve the latest publications on line. There's usually a long wait for some of the popular ones such as Harbour Street, but I don't mind. I'm never short of reading material! Thank you for the reminder of The Secret Rooms as I'd forgotten that I wanted to read that one. I shall be reserving that as well.

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    1. I like to support local libraries as much as possible and they have been my main source of reading material since I was a child and the mobile library used to come to the village. Like you I enjoy being able to reserve books on-line too. Hope you enjoy The Secret Rooms:)

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  13. Thank you for your reviews. I've much enjoyed your reading selections in the side bar. I've read Longbourn and enjoyed it. I'm in line at the library for The Goldfinch.

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    1. I think I may try Longbourn later this year as one or two people have said they enjoyed it! Not sure about The Goldfinch - I read Donna Tartt's Secret History many years ago but haven't read her later books:)

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  14. I wish I could get more reading done - one day. They all look really great books Rosie. I've never been to Belvoir Castle, but it is on my list. I'll have to read the book before I go. I'm currently reading one I picked up in a charity shop that is written by a relative of the Kray Twins. Its more about the social history of the East End and i'm hooked.

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    1. The book sounds intriguing! I too want to visit Belvoir - i was taken many years ago by a boyfriend at the time (I'm talking late 1960s) and I know I visited but all I can remember about it is seeing loads of military stuff so I feel I need to revisit:)

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