Sunday, July 06, 2008

Books, Books, Books and A Book Meme

As it is July I'll do another review of books read as I did in April for the first three months of the year. I was going to do a list of them all but I think I'll mention just a few of my favourites.

The Diary of a Provincial Lady by E M Delafield I read very quickly, was very entertained and laughed a lot. I intend now to find the other diaries and read those too.

The Priory by Dorothy Whipple. I was intrigued by this as Mrs Whipple lived in Nottingham and based her descriptions of the Priory on one of her favourite places - Newstead Abbey, home of the poet Lord Byron. I liked her style of writing and her characters were wonderful, I liked them, then I didn't and then I did again. The book was published in 1939 and covers the two years before the outbreak of the second world war. I shall certainly read more of her books if I can find them.

From the Lighthouse to Monk's House by Katherine Hill-Miller is about the sense of place within the works of Virginia Woolf. The author takes us to the places that influenced Virginia Woolf throughout her life and also gives a guide to visiting the places to look for yourself. Since we moved to Stoke-on-Trent a few years ago I've been trying to gradually read some of the books of the city's most noted writer Arnold Bennett. So far I've managed The Man from the North, Anna of the Five Towns and Old Wives Tales. My latest acquisition, courtesy of the Oxfam shop, is a collection of his short stories The Grim Smile of the Five Towns. I've read three of the stories so far and keep dipping into it between other books.

A Cure for All Diseases by Reginald Hill and Beneath the Bleeding by Val McDermid. Two of my favourite crime writers. A Cure for All Diseases carries on from The Death of Dalziel and certainly made me chuckle. Beneath the Bleeding is the latest in the Tony Hill and Carol Jordan series and as good as any I have read and kept me turning the pages. I love the relationship Tony and Carol have.

For light entertainment I've discovered Adele Geras this last year and have read two more of her books A Hidden Life and Hester's Story and enjoyed them both. I also read, very quickly, the book written by the now famous blogger, Petite Anglaise aka Catherine Sanderson.


  1. Your book list looks very interesting, I will look out for a couple of the ones you mention, especially the quick and cheerful reads - as holiday are on the horizon. I remember being stuck in a dark and gloomy caravan with a copy of "American Physco" one wet summer, hardly a light read!

    I wonder if you have ever read "Three and Sevenpence Halfpenny Man" by Arthur Berry as you live in the the same area as me?

  2. And there is only one book from Flaubert on the list i believe!?!? Its my favorite writer,I also love dickens,Tolstoy,George Sand,and Couperus(dutch writer)and Marquez.
    Love to read ...(and love bookshops!)

  3. valerie, that sounds as if the book wasn't quite the right choice for that holiday:) I haven't read the book you mentioned but will look out for it. I did read one recently written by someone whose parents came to live here first at Hartshill then Burslem, something to do with the Art College there, it was about his childhood in Burslem but I can't remember the title and I've loaned it to someone and can't remember who:)

    dutchess, I love bookshops too. I like the ones that sell old books and also the new ones with coffee shops attached.

  4. These books sure sound interesting. I`m so book crazy and these days it takes me awhile to read one because I read at night and only manage a few chapters if that much. The war time one looks good!


  5. Rosie I am in awe of your reading material. These days I can't seem to settle with anything deeper than a Susan Hill non-fiction. Maybe when the boys are bigger...
    And I'm ashamded to say that despite being born and bred on the fringe of the "five" towns I've never read an Arnold Bennett. Oh dear, one day!

  6. tea, I read at night too and sometimes find myself, no matter how good the book is, dropping to sleep over it:)

    steph - it is hard to find time for reading when you have little ones to look after. Susan Hill is a wonderful writer in so many genres - I know you like The Magic Apple Tree:) Mr Bennett can wait awhile:)