Wool, Wiltshire and All Manner of Wonderful Things!

Archive for September, 2021

August and September Books- 2021

I read most of these in August,concentration is a bit hard at the moment. I am sure you’ll understand. I maybe should add that I write these posts as I finish each book whilst it’s fresh in my mind, then try to tie things together in a post.

Elly Griffiths- The Blood Card- This sounded so promising . A murder mystery set in 1953 with spies, stage magicians and police. But it dragged, the pace was too slow. I kept going because the blurb promised a splendid reveal, a truly startling rabbit out of the hat. I’d call it a damp squib of an ending. Can’t recommend this unless you need something to send you to sleep !

Thomas Keneally- The Dickens Boy- This took me a while to read. Not certain if that was because the book didn’t grab me to begin with, or that life was getting harder by now. Anyway, the book- Charles Dickens had a large family. His father had ended up in a debtors prison and Charles as a young boy had been put to factory work. He grew up determined to never put his own family in a similiar situation, which explains his work ethics and prolific output. If his sons showed no academic aptitude he sent them to the colonies to apply themselves, Canada, India and Australia. Such was the fate of his youngest son Plorn, sent to Australia to try sheep farming. The book has two themes, Dickens himself, in particular his affair with an actress and separation from his wife, and a portrayal of colonial life in New South Wales. I enjoyed the book. It told me nothing new of Dickens, but the descriptions of Australia and life there were interesting.

Lisa Jewell- Invisible Girl- A good psychological read. Don’t want to give anything away. The hint is in the title.

Susan Hill- Howards End is on the Landing. Big thank you to everyone who gave a shout out for this book. Susan Hill is one of my favourite authors , and nothing to do with our mutual birth place. One year she decides to only read the books she owns, reading the ones she didn’t read before and revisiting old favourites. As well as drawing up her top 40 books, she litters her narrative with personal anecdotes, biographical details of long gone authors (link back to Dickens), different genre’s , where and when she reads and the authors she doesn’t like…. Jane Austin for goodness sake and Terry Pratchett which I totally get. She also talks of books that support her spiritually. Needless to say my to be read list has grown again. All I can say is I’d love to be a weekend guest and browse her bookshelves. I love looking at people’s bookshelves don’t you? A friend of mine says his father advised him never to bother with someone whose TV screen is bigger than the bookcase. No problems with me then.

Christina Hunger- How Stella learned to talk- Stella is a dog. Christina is a speech therapist who works with autistic children enabling them to communicate through AAD- Buttons= Spoken word. One day she notices her puppy’s behaviour and wonders if Stella could learn to use one. Yes she can! Big thanks to Kate for recommending this book, totally fascinating and funny as Stella is one opinionated dog!

Tennessee Williams – A Streetcar named Desire- Play that became a film with Marlon Brando. Fragile Southern Belle, hits hard times and goes to visit her sister and somewhat uncouth husband, gradually her mental health worsens. A re-read for me, thanks for reminding me of this play, Katie. Still powerful after all this time.

John Grisham – The Reckoning- ages since I read one of his thrillers, and this doesn’t disappoint. Pete Banning, a returning war hero inexplicably deliberately shoots dead the local Methodist Minister. He refuses to say why. Part one covers the court room scenes. Part two looks at his war time experience fighting the Japanese in the Philippines. The book doesn’t pull any punches , man’s inhumanity to man never ceases to shock me. Part three covers the aftermath for the family before revealing motive. It’s quite a long book, perfect holiday reading.

Yrsa Sigurdardottir- I remember you. The library classified this as “horror”. The blurb calls it a chiller thriller”. Whatever! There are two stories running side by side, and each chapter changes narrative until they come together. One involves three people renovating a spooky old house on a deserted holiday island in Winter, the other some inexpicable deaths, a psychiatrist and a missing child. It was OK, but not very scary if that’s what you like…..

I don’t think I will be finishing my current book quickly, I’m only managing a few pages at bedtime at the moment, so I will hit the post key.

As the days get shorter I think I will read more again. Escapism is good.

Love to know what everyone is reading at the moment.

And thanks for being here, x



Thank you all so much for your kind comments. I just wanted to let you know I am ok. My sons and their families have been amazing, I am very lucky. So much to do at the moment, but it helps to be busy and cared for.

Walking on Greenham Common with Mr B, Mrs G and Baby P

Picnic with them at The Vynes, a National Trust property and

The runnner beans which just keep on giving.

I am reading your posts, and they help remind me of life beyond grief.

Much love,Cathyx

Sad news

Mr E passed away at the weekend at home peacefully in his sleep. I was supported during the last week by our local hospice, and especially in his last hours.

My sons and their families have been wonderful, and we are all ok.

Now is the time to grieve and to deal with the bureaucracy that has to be done.

I will be away from blogging for a while, but thank you all so much for your supportive comments and emails which have sustained us this year.

God bless you all.


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