Wool, Wiltshire and All Manner of Wonderful Things!

August Books- 2020

Hurrah the library opened here, and all by myself I enrolled online and requested some books, and collected them. No help from the Tech wizard required, but first is the book loaned to me by my son.

Tombland- C.J.Sansom- A good read- well written with pace, a who dun-it, a peasant uprising in Norwich in Edward V1’s reign ( son of Henry 8th), skullduggery, spies, betrayal etc. Thoroughly enjoyable and told me about a period in history I knew little about. Thanks son.

M.J. Arlidge- The Doll’s House- romped through this who dun it, set in Southampton (U.K.) A young woman is kidnapped  and kept in a cellar (reported missing) and a dead female is found buried in a beach. I don’t think I need to say more. It’s the third book in a series featuring DI Helen Grace- I’d not read the other two but that didn’t matter. I would read other books by the author, but I already have a lot of other books in the to be read list!

John Fowles- The Collector- I tried to see who might have recommended this book to me as I really enjoyed it, and very oddly indeed the plot was quite similiar to the last book. It’s Fowles’ first novel and was written and set in the 1960s. Fred takes up the story first. He lives with his Aunt and disabled cousin and works for the local council as a clerk. His attitudes are very old fashioned, more from the 1950s than from the 60s. His hobby is collecting butterflies and his whole life really revolves around that, until he notices a local girl who has won a scholorship to the Slade Art school. He becomes obsessed with her beauty but lacks the social skills to make an approach. Then he win the Pools. He pays for his Aunt and cousin to go to Australia to visit relatives, and hatches a careful plan to collect Miranda. He buys a remote Sussex farmhouse, converts the cellar, fills it with everything he thinks Miranda will need- clothes, art books etc, and kidnaps her. He wants her to love him, but she keeps trying to escape and things don’t go to plan.The next part of the book tells the same story in diary form from Miranda’s view point. I won’t spoil the ending.

I found it to be very well written, and thoroughly enjoyed it, reading over a couple of hot days when I didn’t want to do anything but melt. Highly recommend this one.

Lucy Mangan- Bookworm- A Memoir of childhood reading. The author is younger than me but older than my sons. She learned to read at a very early age and never looked back. Starting with early picture books , she takes us on a reading journey through to young adult books. The earliest books she wrote about were ones that I read to my sons, and are still very popular now- The Tiger who came to tea, Where the wild things are, the Hungry Caterpillar etc. The next ones are ones I read myself- I was a late reader- I say I was 8 before I was reading independently- Enid Blyton was the reason I learned. Anyway it’s a super book, reminding me of books I have loved- I didn’t agree with all her thoughts- I like the Cat in the hat for example but she doesn’t- I just love the flow of the rhymes. A book for anyone to enjoy who loved reading as a child. And just like me she got told off for disappearing with a book- my Mum called it “ sloping off!” She thought I was disappearing to get out of helping her, but really I just wanted to read.

Graeme Simsion- The Rosie Project- I loved this book. It’s funny, poignant and baically wonderful. Professor Don Tillman is nearing 40 years of age and decides he would like to be married and share his life. So he begins the Wife Project with a questionnaire for potential spouses. Just read it, unless you have already.

At this point the library click and collect system went a bit awry. I was told by email that I had some books to collect and having requested a further six I was very excited. I took the above books back, collected my bundle and removed myself as quickly as I could  re covid and facemasks and came home. They had only given me all these books again, not one new one amongst them-RATS. Fortunately I had two left from the previous trip.

Claire Douglas- Do Not Disturb- Pyschological thriller, set I swear in the village in Wales my Mum lived in- Crickhowell the nearest town, Pen y fan and Sugarloaf, bridge over the River Usk all get a mention, along with the Rectory turned into a B&B. That aside it is a good read, the final twists were forseeable but enjoyable over a couple of hot days.

Tania Carver- The Doll’s House- well what can I say- a well constructed who dun it, but not one for the faint hearted. Read it if you must. I won’t be reading other books by this husband and wife team writing under the name of Tania Carver.

So now I was without a library book and took one from my to be read pile- it was a birthday present a couple of years ago.

Kate Morton- The Clockmaker’s Daughter- after a month of good books  I was thrilled with this one, which was better than all these others. I LOVED IT. It’s the story of a house told through an interconnection of people who spent time living in it, an artist’s model, a school girl from when it became a school, a recovering soldier who came to recuperate, a grieving widow and her children in WW2, a man on a treasure hunt and a young archivist. If you don’t fall in love with the house , well I don’t know what to think. AND- the setting is not far from where I live and the two houses which inspired the house- Avebury Manor and Kelmscott ( William Morris) are also not far but closed because of you know what. It is not often that I read a book slowly because I don’t want it to end, but that happened with this one. About half way through I hoped the ending would not be a disappointment, 3/4 of the way through I realised I didn’t care if the ending was less than perfect for I had enjoyed it so much, and I can happily report that the ending is very satisfacory indeed. I shall be requesting more books by this auther for sure.

Meantime the library contacted me and I have three library books already for me. Goodo.

Have you read any of these books- did you enjoy them? And what are you reading right now?

Till next month- may all your books be good ones.

 

Comments on: "August Books- 2020" (25)

  1. Oh my goodness I loved The Rosie Project! I am not sure if I am going to read the sequels but they were highly recommended.
    Another one you might enjoy is The Authenticity Project it is by a UK author Clare Pooley

  2. Looks like you hit the jackpot this month! I’ve not read any of these, so will be on the look out for them!

  3. What a great stack of books! Kate Morton is my favorite author, hands down. I’m glad you enjoyed The Clockmaker’s Daughter!

  4. Those all sound like interesting books – will have to check some of them out! Maybe not the one that sounds like it was a little much 🙂

  5. I’ve read several (maybe all) of Kate Morton’s book…..and enjoyed them at the time….. but for some reason find it hard to recall the story lines. Even the ‘plot’ of The Clockmakers Daughter which I read at the beginning of this year Is fuzzy – so many nows and thens, people coming and going,….I haven’t had a chance to return it to it’s rightful owner (because of you know what) so as it’s still here on the shelf maybe I’ll have a reread.
    Right now I’m about to start an old Anita Shreve….Where and When……my box from the library hasn’t arrived yet so I’m down to rummaging for books in the garage

    • Thank goodness we all have books in a stash somewhere, I can’t imagine life without a book to read, hopefully your box will come soon. I am ridiculously excited when I get an email saying I have a book to collect from the library.
      I think what I most liked about the book was the characterisation of the house as a place of peace and warmth that enabled the people to relax. The house with twin gables!

  6. I’ve read several Kate Mortons I enjoyed, including this one, The Lake House and The Forgotten Garden. Perhaps ‘read’ is the wrong word, as I got them as audio books, to listen to while I sew. I also recently enjoyed Sofia Khan is Not Obliged by Ayisha Malik and have just started The Scent of You by Maggie Alderson, which I’m finding very interesting; it’s about a perfume blogger and I love all the detail about fragrances and how they’re constructed.

    • Oh my , I can’t help wondering now if you are going to add perfume making to your skill set. I need to concentrate so hard on my sewing I need SILENCE! I do watch tv when knitting and crocheting, but at the moment the garden is occupying a lot of our time in general labouring duties- off to the tip today with tree roots! I’m going to make a note of the book by Ayisha Malik, thank you. take care, you are in my prayers,xx

      • I have a good ‘nose’ but not nearly good enough for that 🙂 But I’ve always been fascinated by the process of developing a new one, to the point where I have several books about it. I find talking books engage the part of my brain that gets bored by the repetitive aspects of sewing, whilst still allowing me to use my eyes and make creative decisions. And of course, I can always hit Pause!

  7. Kate Morton is one of my favourite writers. Thought the ending of the Clockmaker’s Daughter was so sad. She wrote a novel called the Secret Keeper which I found so sad and profound. I hope you get to read more of her novels xx

    • I have requested one which will hopefully turn up soon- some of the copies are in far flung libraries and I think will take a time to work their way to me under the new system- but at the moment all requests are free- yippee. The ending was sad, but one knew it wasn’t going to end well. I am so happy to have so many of books by her to read, and can’t wait for the NT next year to open up two of the houses which inspired her in this book.

  8. I have read the collector. It was so creepy, a good read though. I remember reading the sequel to The Rosie Project. I should probably have read project first because the sequel is pretty meh I thought. X

    • I enjoyed the Rosie Project but don’t want to spoil it by reading just more of the same- sometimes authors should just leave things alone and move on. The Collector was very creepy, but enjoyable in a perverse way.

  9. claire93 said:

    lots of titles and authors to keep my eyes open for!

  10. I love Kate Moreton books! Haven’t read a bad one yet:)

    • I thought I had read the Lake House but reading a discription of it realise it must have been a book with a similar name, which means I have all her books to go at now.

      • Oh well at least you have some awesome reading to look forward to! I think my favourite is The Forgotten Garden.

  11. Well done for cracking your library’s online ordering service.

    I read ‘The Collector’ years ago and remember enjoying it , although it wasn’t me who recommended it. I haven’t read any of the others although I have read a couple by Kate Morton – ‘The Forgotten Garden’ is one of them which I think you would like.

    Right now I’m reading ‘The Spirit of the Dragon’ by William Andrews, the third in a trilogy based in Korea – all very good. I’m listening to ‘The Hoarder’ by Jess Kidd which i’m loving. I’m enjoying the reader’s soft Irish accent and the narrative has me hooked although I’m only up to chapter 4.

    • I ordered another Kate Morton from the library last night after I wrote this post, as well as Tom Brown’s school days having discovered there is a Tom Brown’s school museum nearby! I think a local connection to a book really adds interest if you can imagine where the characters go. Your two books sound really good- duly noted for my consumption at some point- having left my old library I transcribed all my saved lists from recommendations from bloggers- rather a long list, and it does strike me that I really enjoy the vast majority of books mentioned. Recmmendations are really brilliant.

  12. Haven’t borrowed any books since March but attracted by your first review of a book set in Southampton I have decided to borrow the ebook version of the first in the series. I have to read it in Borrowbox which I didn’t especially like when I used it before because it doesn’t allow you to change the screen colour at night. However I am still reading The Lord of the Rings in the evening so this will be a breakfast book! If I like it will read the second book and then the one above that you enjoyed.

    • I hope you enjoy the book- so nice to find one set somewhere you can recognise. i like the idea of bedtime and breakfast books, I tend to only read one at a time and then get engrossed.

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