Wool, Wiltshire and All Manner of Wonderful Things!

July books- 2021

Four out of five books read this month were wonderful. Let me know if you have read any of these.

JP Delaney- PlayingNice– One of the best psychological books I have ever read. I stayed up to 1am till my eyes were drooping , woke at 7am, wondering how the characters were, then finished it by 10am. So what hooked me? Two narrators, Pete and Maddie parents to Theo. Pete a freelance journalist and main carer, Maddie an advertising bod. One day Miles turns up and explains he is Theo’s father. He claims that Theo and his son David were mis- tagged in the hospital they were born in.That’s all I am saying.

Willa Cather- O Pioneers– beautiful book set in the early 20th Century about life in rural America. Thoroughly enjoyable.

Sarah Armstrong- The Starlings of Bucharest- Set in 1975, Ted Walker, aged 22, makes a big desicion to leave home and life as a fisherman to become a journalist. He gains work at a small and little known film magazine as International Film Reviewer and is sent to Bucharest to interview a film director and to Moscow to an International Film Festival. Here we see an Innocent Abroad encounter the murky world of the Cold War. At times funny, and at times slightly menacing, and always entertaining, a good read for sure.

Hilary Mantel- Fludd- Written in tthe 1980s but set in a Northern Mill village in 1956. Father Angwin, Roman Catholic Priest has lost his faith, but carries on. His Bishop thinks he needs modernising- out with the Latin and the Saints, and determines to send a curate. Enter Fludd- Bishops Curate, spy, practitioner of dark arts? On the plus side, it’s a short book and the scene setting is so so good you feel you are there. But no, not my cup of tea, I got to the end but had it been longer I’d have given up. Love to know if anyone has read it and what they thought.

Fredrik Backman- A Man called Ove. I totally loved this book. Ove is a Swedish man, very similar to the UK’s Victor Meldrew. Rather grumpy with very fixed opinions on how everything should be done, and repaired! It’s a love story, a sad story, it’s funny and weepy. I defy everyone not to have laughed and shed a tear by Page121, paperback edition or Chapter 15. I am rather attached to the Cat Annoyance. Have you read it, what did you think?

I write my reviews as I finish a book , or this post wouldn’t have been possible.

Reading has now really slowed down for me, as has blogging and crafting. Mr E is very poorly indeed, he started to get unwell in September. In the Spring he had some treatment and we were optimistic , however he failed to perk up as anticipated . The trip to the Weald and Downland was probably our last as a family. Since then it’s been hospitals, pharmacies, community nurses, endless phone calls etc. We are so glad we moved nearer the family, our sons, daughters in law ,and grandchildren are being amazing. I am having to get my head round things I never had to think about, from dripping overflow pipes to how to plant leeks to sounding just like Ove , -whoever thought that to charge a mobile phone you needed a lightning cable? For goodness sake!

My sense if humour appears to be lurking around somewhere which helps with feelings of panic, helplessness, frustration- Mr E is the messiest man on the planet, and when he needs some obscure piece of paper, well I could growl, and tears which come at the worst possible moment, often when satnav sends me down a single track road for fun, and it’s all too much. Next week is our wedding anniversary, 47 years. That’s a long time, and the worst is seeing him just vanishing before my eyes, the feelings of sympathy and loss are overwhelming at times.

This blog is my happy place, I have a huge capacity for feelings of positivity , making the most of life, but this, this is defeating even me. So I won’t be sharing much by way of Wiltshire explorations, or even wooly goodness. I hope to keep reading, crafting may come back in time, the forlorn patch needs me, poor thing, I may share my lamentable attempts …

Sorry to end this way. I am reading your blogs, leaving the odd comment, and I will click like to show I have been there. Thanks for reading.

Comments on: "July books- 2021" (26)

  1. Just catching up on your blogs and needed to stop by. So sorry to hear of your news. I’m glad you are surrounded by your family. We just expect everyone to go on for ever. We are never prepared for this. Hope there are lots of happy moments to come. Sending you virtual hugs and strength. Xx

  2. I didn’t want to click ‘Like’ as it’s wrong to like such illness and stress but it’s a show of support even if through the ether. I’m wishing you strength Cathy. Xx

  3. Oh Cathy, sending you and Mr. E all the love and good wishes possible. Now that I know what’s up, I will keep you two in my prayers. For strength to endure this hard road, for blessings above and beyond in the days and weeks ahead, and for the grace to love each other through every circumstance. May Jesus be your rock and your strength. XXOO

  4. Karen Dodgson said:

    Oh Cathy I’m so very sorry to hear about your husband. I rarely leave blog comments but felt I had to send you a hug through the ether. I’m so glad you are surrounded by your lovely family and are not facing this alone. I’m sure they will be a great source of comfort and support for you. My thoughts are with you xx

  5. Dear Cathy, I so admire your humour and honesty in such difficult times. Thank you for sharing your current circumstances, I can fully understand how frustrating things can get and feel I am right there with you cursing, crying, supporting and laughing at silly things. I hope you feel the love and support of this wonderful blogging community and that it is of some help to know that we are all with you in spirit. I am so happy I got to meet you both and share that obscure Yorkshire delicacy 😉 a couple of years ago. Hugs to you both. ❤

  6. Oh Cathy, I’m so sorry about Mr E. I’m glad that I’ve read your post to know what a hard time you are both having.

    I’m glad that you were able to move down to be nearer your family. This must be a comfort in lots of ways.

  7. Cathy, I’m so sorry to hear about Mr. E. 47 years together?! That’s incredible. I’m thinking of you and your family right now and am grateful you’re near them. I’m glad to hear you’re finding comfort in reading (and that you loved My Antonia so much!) — I hope it continues to help through this painful period. Lots of love!

  8. Sorry to hear about your challenges and I am glad you have some distractions such as reading (I bet PlayingNice was a great book if you stayed up late and then finished it off the next day!). Sending you and Mr. E thoughts of peace.

  9. Sorry to read about Mr E, Cathy. I am sending you thoughts of love. I sometimes think getting all your angst and worries out on a blog really helps. Glad you are near your family. Take care xx

  10. My heart is breaking for what you and your husband are going through. This cannot be easy at all. I am so encouraged that you are closer to family now. There is no easy way to do what you are doing. Please know that you will be in my prayers. I am here is you ever need to vent. Regina

  11. Mr E is fortunate to have the loving care of someone who has been at his side for 47 years, and understands him and his needs as no one else does. It’s you I worry about… May I recommend a really wonderful book? It’s called How Stella Learned to Talk by Christina Hunger. It’s the story of a speech therapist and her dog, and how they learned to really communicate with each other. I have a whole new respect for the intelligence, love and moral integrity of dogs! I’m also reading Daughters of Sparta by Claire Heywood, a fictionalised account of the lives of Spartan princesses Helen and Klytemnestra, married off to Menelaus and Agamemnon, and what led to the siege of Troy. It’s wonderful, as was her earlier book about Circe.

  12. I’ve read the Ove book and we’ve seen the film. It’s good. I’ve read another by Willa Cather called My Antonia, really lovely book. You’ve reminded me that I wanted to read her others.

    Writing you an email now xx

  13. Life is in session and it’s not always an easy class. I’ve been having a feeling this was coming but you wanted to spare us. I have always thought the blog can only be as good as we are honest. The good, bad and indifferent for all the world to help us bear. This is where you need to be when the going gets hard. I’m telling myself that as well.

    I have read many of Fredrik Backman’s books and LOVED them. A Man called Ove was my first. It took a while to get me caught in but then I couldn’t put it down. I have been reading a lot of writers from your corner of the world. Love the difference. I’ll keep good thoughts for you and Mr. E. Hugs.

  14. I am sorry to hear about your husband. I hope this blog will continue to be your happy place. I do so enjoy visiting your part of the world through your posts.

  15. Big hugs to all. ❤️❤️

  16. Murtagh's Meadow said:

    So sorry to hear Mr E has not been well. Sending you every best wish. Thank you for sharing your reviews. I love reading them. I hope you can find some comfort in escaping into your book for a few hours each day. Take care of you too.

  17. Oh Cathy, I am so sorry and I am sending you the biggest hug I have. I’m glad that you have the support of your family, and you ARE able to do this, even if it feels as if it is too much.

    “Ove” is a great book – I only watched the movie, but my parents, especially my father, absolutely loved the book, and he talked about it for weeks. If you want, I’ll ask him how the other books by that author were or if he knows something similar, if it did you so much good.

    All the love and my best wishes to Mr. E!

  18. So sorry to hear about Mr E’s declining health. It must make the rest of life so hard. It’s a blessing that you have family so near who can help and support you. At least you have your books for some respite. Sending loving thoughts and prayers your way. ❤🧡💛💚💙💜

  19. I’m so sorry to see this. I think when someone is dealing with something so huge, it is often the little inconveniences that cause the most frustration. Take care of yourself. Thinking of you. Xx

  20. Agreeing with all of the above, Cathy. ❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️
    And saying your book reviews are wonderful, even if I’ve never heard of most. They send me exploring new authors.

    • Wonder of wonders! Have just downloaded an audio version of “Playing Nice” and am 43rd on hold for “A Man called Ove”! Am not looking for the one you didn’t like, but shall report immediately on P.N. unless, like you, I spend 24 hrs. reading the whole thing! THANK YOU!!! ❤️❤️❤️

  21. Dear Cathy, I’m having a little cry for you myself. This is so terribly hard. Mr E is blessed to have you, and you are both blessed to have a helpful and loving family close at hand. I will be thinking of you. Jill xxx

  22. I know I don’t comment very often but I do read all your posts and I enjoy your book reviews. I’m so sorry to hear about Mr E and I well understand that at times like this even the smallest thing can make you crack. Don’t forget to look after yourself and don’t be afraid to ask for help if you need it – even carers need caring for xx

  23. Dear Cathy, so sorry to hear your news, when we’ve got too much on our plate we all crack at the little things like satnavs. Don’t forget to look after yourself as well as your nearest and dearest, do whatever helps you to keep strong. Sending big Yorkshire hugs xx

  24. Dear Cathy – I did wonder whether something was happening in your life as you haven’t been around here so often,
    I don’t need to read a weepy book now as I’ve shed a little tear for you and what you must all be going through at the moment. It’s often the small things – like an irrational Satnav – that will be the final straw in a situation you have been bravely coping with up until that moment.
    I am sending as many positive thoughts as you can handle and thank goodness you now have your family much closer to hand to offer support as and when you need it Sending lots of hugs too and strength for the coming days. Don’t forget to also take care of yourself. xxx

  25. Oh Cathy! I am so sorry you are going through this hard time! Blogging is a great outlet, but not a necessary one. Your occasional post will be more treasured when you do find the time or inclination to write. – Thank you for the book recommendations. I’m glad you are finding a moment to read. A book is always a great escape:). My thoughts and prayers are with you and Mr E — Tracy❤️❤️

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