Yarn, Yorkshire and All Manner of Wonderful Things!

December books

I have read four books this month which gives a total of 63 books consumed in 2017. Clearly I am a Lady of Leisure.

Robert Harris- An Officer and a Spy- Robert Harris is a favourite author of mine, and this book came recommended to me by Jane who blogs at Rainbow Junkie Corner, here.   The story based on a true case,is  set in France and concerns the Dreyfus Affair, in which an innocent man is framed by the army. The Army persists in covering up their role and it takes a brave officer to help uncover the truth. As always Harris tells a good story. I was gripped very early on in the book and spent two afternoons reading it whilst indulging a head cold! A jolly good read.

Qui Xiaolong-Death of a Red Heroine- ostensibly a murder detective story, but really that is a peg to hang other things on. I was initially frustrated by the very slow pace of the tale, till I relaxed into it and stopped looking for detective bits of the plot and allowed the whole narrative to pull me in. The book is really about life in China, Shanghai in the 1990s, the political undertones and faint menace of life, food, there is a lot of food and Chinese mythology and poetry. I really enjoyed the book. It was recommended to me when I was reading my way through an alphabet of authors and had got unstuck on X. I rather suspect that the last name is really what we in the West would call the first name, so should really be Q, but it’s as close to X for an author as I think I can get, unless you know an author whose family name begins with an X. I am calling that particular challenge to myself, complete.

Margaret Foster- How to Measure a Cow- a woman released from prison tries to make a new life for herself with a new identity. But she is thwarted by the interest of three former friends and the lady who lives opposite her. The book is OK. It started off very well and had my interest quite quickly, but it is another book where I feel the author didn’t know how to draw it to a conclusion. But you do learn briefly how to measure and cow, and more importantly why. I’ve been reflecting on this book further. The plot was not the point of this book. The story was a peg to be hung on, when am I going to learn to look beyond the story line. It is an exploration of self, can you re-invent yourself to be someone completely different, or rather do you come to terms with past events and become a better you. A better book than I first thought, give it a go and let me know what you think please.

Jane Gardam- Old Filth. This author had come highly recommended to me this year, but the two books I read I didn’t enjoy.Then the BBC world book club choose Old Filth and I liked what I heard. So it came home with me for Christmas reading and did not disappoint. Sir Edward Feathers, Teddy, Eddie or Fevvers to his friends, aka Old Filth (acronym for Failed in London try Hong Kong) was born in Malay and sent back to the UK aged five for his health, fostered out to a couple in Wales along with two distant cousins and another boy. Not a very nice couple it transpires. Onto schools, Oxford, the Bar and finally Hong Kong where he is highly successful. A fascinating read which has left me wanting to read the other two books in this trilogy, and to find out more about the Raj orphans.  A good book to finished the year on.

I shall do a pick of my top five books I read in 2017 sometime next week. Next year I hope to join in with Circle of Pines, details here a blog for sharing books each month. Here’s a preview of the books I shall try to read in January.

You can tell I was shelving the B’s last time I was volunteering in the Library. The How to Read like a Professor is my own book and one day when I have absorbed it all, you will be bowled over by my erudite book reviews!!

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Comments on: "December books" (22)

  1. I wish I could read books as quickly as you. Strangely, reading is the only leisure activity I feel vaguely guilty about doing during the day unless I am on holiday. Most of my reading is done in bed and I usually fall asleep after a page or two which is annoying as it often spoils the flow of the writing and I sometimes don’t remember what happened so have to re-read those pages anyway. Perhaps I will start setting aside an hour a day to read properly while I’m fully awake.

    • I read books in an odd way. The first half is read slowly as bedtime reading and then I am into the story and I can quite happily spend an hour or so in the afternoon reading. Volunteering every Monday in the library is quite an incentive to finsh off a book and return it knowing that I am sure to find another book whilst I am shelving.
      I never feel guilty about reading. One of the very few bits of advice I took on child rearing was on encouraging children to read. Adults should be seen by children reading for pleasure, and should make children wait for attention whilst they finish the page, thereby showing it’s important and pleasurable. All three sons read for pleasure now. And the grandchildren also seem to read for pleasure. According to my eldest son Mr T, his children’s favourite shop is Waterstones, so glad I gave them book tokens for Christmas.

  2. Both my girls read a lot – although I’m not always in agreement with their taste – and one does work in a University library at the moment. When they were younger, I was younger so managed to stay awake when reading their endless bedtime stories and favourite books with them, Now, I probably wouldn’t get past the first few pages of ‘The House at Pooh Corner’ or whatever without nodding off 🙂

    • My eldest loved his books so much as a toddler, I became word perfect in them and could read them after lunch in that marvelllous semi awake state with my eyes closed as only Mama’s of toddlers can. How wonderful that your girl works in a university library, I bet she loves her job.

  3. I wish I could keep my consumption down to only 4 books a month. We had no TV when I was a child, and books were my retreat and my obsession, with the result that I now read extremely fast. I get through about 5 or 6 a week, and that’s when I’m pacing myself. The local library is now used to me taking half a dozen out at a time for a week, so it’s just as well I can reserve as many as I like online. I’ve just finished reading Philip Pullman’s Book of Dust Part 1: La Belle Sauvage. It’s the first of a trilogy prequel to the His Dark Materials trilogy published 20 years ago, and it’s brilliant!

    • Oh my goodness me that is a lot of books, you must read so fast as you are not exactly slow with the quilting as well The library will love you for taking all those books . I mean that sincerely , we need more people to take out more books, we have plenty of footfall from people sitting down in the warm while waitig for a bus but they don’t borrow books.

      • We’re both big fans, and are very fortunate, our library is open 7 days. The Husband borrows audio and e-books to listen to at work, I borrow the real thing, and we both borrow magazines and movies.

  4. Several interesting titles there, I need to make a list of all the books that have caught my attention this year, so I don’t forget about them! We are not book worms, but book anacondas here. The library, and now the online library are necessary at our house. 🙂

  5. You’ve been a busy reader this month! Lol I sometimes get lost just in the plot of a book too and forget to think about the bigger message, but I figure I don’t have to please anyone but myself with my reading now, so this is okay😂

  6. Murtagh's Meadow said:

    Excellent book reviews, always nice to have revommendations.

  7. I am reminded that I need to go back and re-read “How to Read Lit . . .” I learned so much from it and have probably forgotten it all. I’m like Tialys–too much of my reading is currently done while I am too tired to get very far. Maybe that should be my resolution for 2018–to set aside prime time for reading!

  8. I’m always impressed by how many books you get through. Sounds like you already have learned to look beyond the story line to me. Thanks, as always, for sharing your reviews. Look forward to seeing your top five of 2017

  9. Wow! 63 books is amazing! I don’t think I could ever read that many in a year. Great job!

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