Wool, Wiltshire and All Manner of Wonderful Things!

July books-22

Only three books this month, but the First one was at least quite big!

Colleen McCullough-The Thorn Birds– this book appeared on the Big Jubilee book list, produced for the Queen’s jubilee, 70 books written by authors across the Commonwealth, one from each year of her reign. This book was a runaway best seller when first published, and its surprising I had never read it. Set mostly in Australia, but also in London, Rome and New Zealand, it’s a multi generational narrative set on a huge sheep station, covering lives and loves. It was enjoyable. The cover likened it to Gone with the Wind, in that it’s a big historical novel covering settlers. Probably less controversial these days than GWTW. A Good read.

John Boyne- The Echo Chamber– I read a review of this on a blog, and placed my library reservation straightaway. It’s really a book for the 2020s. Very funny, says the things you ask youself about the Twitterati , Instagrammer poser, woke and cancelled culture, troll world that swirls around us. I think the time I had finally decided I became a dinosaur was when my solicitor’s firm started adding their preferred he/him, she/hers after their names! So as not to spoil the plot I am using the back cover blurb only..The Cleverley family live a gilded life…. they will go on a journey of discovery through the jungle of modern living, where reputations can be destroyed in a moment…I found it laugh out loud funny whilst nodding my head in agreement so often. Read and enjoy.

Muriel Spark- The Girls of Slender Means– another one from the Jubilee List, appearing for 1963. It’s more a novella than a novel, just 141 pages. Nicholas Farringdon is murdered in 1963 in Haiti. Back in 1945 he was a would be poet but a dramatic event led to a religious conversion and his becoming a missionary. The book concerns the events that occurred at The May of Teck club in 1945 between VE day and VJ day, and the Young women who lived there, a hostel if you like, for those following poorly paid careers. What can I say really, it’s a modern classic but I just didn’t get it, it seems dull. I fully accept that it’s me and not the book. Love to know if anyone loves this book and why please?

And that’s it for July 22. My current read is the follow on from Wolf Hall, by Hilary Mantel, called Bring up the Bodies. 484 pages to enjoy, lovely.

Love to know of any recent good reads, or your current book. I have four more library books already out , plus five on request. Unlimited request subscription seemed like a very Good idea, but I think I might have to reign in my enthusiasm a tad.

Comments on: "July books-22" (23)

  1. Absolutely loved The Thornbirds and also enjoyed the TV series with Richard Chamberlain.

  2. I am a huge fan of John Boyne… I am off to find this book! Thank you!

  3. I highly recommend A House in the Country (1957) by Ruth Adam. It’s charming, and I wish she had written more novels! Also, Gathering Moss (2003) by Robin Wall Kimmerer (author of Braiding Sweetgrass … which is next on my list).

  4. My reading has slowed down again with all the needlework but am hoping to get back to more soon. I bought an audible book that would not peak your interest and have already finished it. The Woman Who Kept Everything by Jane Gilley was a quick and lovely read. An older woman in England who suffered greatly after the loss of her husband and the transformation that ensued. I loved how it was gently written. It was on Kindle of course. I read too slowly for the library.

    • Doesn’t matter how you read as long as you do. Youngest son learned on a comic called the Beano, then graduated to football magazines, now reads avidly… History, Art, Mythology…

      • Yes, I agree. I’m a very eclectic reader. I read a lot of quantum physics and books on writing and spiritual matters. Nothing that would interest others so novels are usually at the bottom of the list. I do read every night for a short time. Maybe a chapter or two. Just takes forever and the kindle list gets longer. I have an anthology a friend sent that she had published with stories from women of wisdom. See what I mean. I read but not something others would be interested in. 😉 Keep it up, you challenge me.

  5. I’m sorry the Muriel Spark was such a dud for you but am so glad you enjoyed the other books you read in July! I’ve tried and tried to read Wold Hall but have always struggled to get into it… I hope you’re having better luck than me with it. Right now I’m reading Booth by Karen Joy Fowler — it’s about John Wilkes Booth, the person who assassinated Abraham Lincoln. But it’s told in the most fascinating way and I’m really enjoying it.

    Enjoy your weekend, Cathy. Stay cool!

    • Enjoying Wolf Hall is probably helped if you studied the Tudors at school, or live in England where they really changed the course of history.

  6. Going Batty in Wales said:

    Thank you Cathy (and Karen) – more to add to my Library list. I seem to be able to request unlimited numbers of books from both Ceredigion and Carmarthenshire libraries. I haven’t been with carmarthenshire long but the librarians in Cardigan know me well and encourage me to be greedy!

  7. Karen Dodgson said:

    I’m reading The Message by Nikki Erlick after ordering it from the library. It’s really well written and is based on the premise that all adults wake up one day to find a box with the measure of their life inside it…and the fallout that ensues when people have to decide wether to open if or not. Many philosophical questions posed and not my usual style but I’m loving it.

  8. I read and enjoyed Thorn Birds back in the day along with many other Aussies. My reading has taken a backseat to my Ancestry family tree subscription but I shall get back to it. It’s always interesting to see what you are reading, and similarly my to-read list is longer -and continues to grow- than I’ll ever manage in my lifetime but there is a feeling of comfort and security that comes with knowing there is always a book to be read that will transport us into someone else’s mind-time-place.

  9. Murtagh's Meadow said:

    Oh these look interesting. I enjoyed ‘wolf hall’. Happy reading

  10. The Thorn Birds was a favourite of mine years ago. I watched the tv mini series in the early 80s, that’s when I ‘fell in love’ with Richard Chamberlain who played the priest, then years later I bought the book from a charity shop and the series on video. I also named one of my cats after Meggie 🙂

    • You were a fan! Richard Chamberlain would have been the perfect actor for the priest. I didn’t see the series sadly. Meggie is a great name for a cat.

  11. I have the three books by Hilary Mantel sitting on my books shelf to read! I need to get started with Wolf Hall! I remember The Thorn Birds! I read that a zillion years ago. I should re-read it.

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