Yarn, Yorkshire and All Manner of Wonderful Things!

Posts tagged ‘Gerald Durrell’

Five Favourite Reads from 2017.

It’s usually hard to choose a top five favourite reads from the last year , but in 2017 five books made my top 100, so the task is easier.

5 Susan Hill- In the Springtime of the Year – an early novel from this author. A very young bride looses her husband in a fatal accident. Deals with the themes of grief, survival, but I loved it for its lyrical qualities in describing the countryside.

4 Joanne Harris- Blackberry Wine-an utterly charming book in the vein of Chocolat. Young boy Jay befriends an old man Joe, an ex miner, a whizz of a gardener, herbalist and wine maker. Years later Jay writes a best seller based around Joe. Then Jay moves to France, nearly spoils the idyllic life he finds there and discovers his soul.

3 John Boyne- A History of Loneliness- Irish catholic church, the abuse of power and the dangers of submission and wilful delusion. Excellent.

2 Ian McEwan- Atonement-  1935, a single very hot and languid day which takes half the book to describe, ends in a crime. Part two concerns a group of soldiers trudging towards Dunkirk in WW2. Part three, a London Hospital coping with the returning soldiers, so powerfully written. Part four- how it all ended. A very good read indeed.

1 Gerald Durrell- The Corfu Trilogy The trilogy of books on which the TV series The Durrells was based. I read this on holiday in Greece during  the” 30 days wild challenge ” in June. The books are laugh out loud funny. The nature content is superb but it must be remembered that the book was written in the 1930’s and Gerald was a naturalist, not the conservationist he is portrayed as on the telly. This was the perfect book to read in June, on holiday during the challenge. It was very Funny, and my absolute number favourite from last year.

Does anyone else have an absolute favourite book they read last year? I love suggestions for a good read as you know.

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June books.

It seems that June was a good month for reading, lots of really good books. And one gone from the heap by the bed. And something more for the 30 days wild challenge.

Alan Bennett- The Lady in the Van- extracts from his diary concerning Miss Shepherd who parked her camper van in his garden and lived there for the next 20 years. Also a film of the same name with Maggie Smith. (One from the heap by my bed).

Tracy Chevalier- The Virgin Blue- a thoroughly good read, which reminded me a lot of the books by Kate Mosse. Set in France and Switzerland. across two time periods, highlighting the religious conflict between Catholics and Huguenots.  One of the best books I have read this year.

Ann Cleeves- Cold Earth-she never disappoints, one from the Shetland series

Gerald Durrell- The Corfu Trilogy- My reading matter on the Kindle on holiday in Greece. Fitted in perfectly with my Go Wild Challenge. The books formed the basis of The Durrells, a TV programme. The books were very funny indeed and had me laughing out loud many ,many times. Lots of natural history , but, the Durrells lived in Corfu in the 1930’s when the attitude to natural history is very different to what it is now. The TV series completely changed this aspect of the book. Gerry in book raids birds nests for eggs, steals baby birds to hand rear, steals a tortoise egg and blows it for his collection, mounts butterflies and moths etc etc. Never the less a really good read and perfect for this holiday whilst taking the 30 days wild challenge.

Susan Hill-From the Heart-Really enjoyed this book, my favourite this year, so far. Set I think in the 1950’s and covering topics of female education, the love that dares not speak its name, birth and adoption.

Susan Hill- In the Springtime of the Year- This was written in 1970, and so is an early novel from this author. I found it languishing in the Yorkshire section of the Library, no idea why, it seems wrong as most people wouldn’t look in Local History/ walks/ countryside for a novel. I am so glad I found it lurking there. The protagonist is a 19-year-old bride. The book themes are love, grief and survival. I would guess the setting is between the wars or immediately afterwards. The writing is sublime, the lyrical quality of the descriptions of the countryside are beautiful. I loved this book, so much so it makes it onto my top 100 list. The best book, even better than the previous one, this year.. so far

I kept a diary during June for the 30 days wild challenge. I was no way as thorough as I was when I kept this nature diary for three school terms aged 11, eventually winning the nature diary prize which was open to the top two junior years. Mum kept it safe for me and it is rather a lovely thing to have and to look back on, during June.

So anyone read any good books lately? I am re reading The Mayor of Casterbridge on the Kindle. I studied it for A levels, and I must admit it is far more enjoyable to read for pleasure than to read for an exam.

After thoughts. Just want to say a big thank you for all the encouraging comments on Friday’s post. I am down in Wales at the moment, visitng my Mum and brother and feeling proud of myself in a B&B . Mr E is at home doing chap things, mowing the lawn, setting up minature railways at an agricultue show and going to car boot sales. He lent me his internet gizmo and after some effort tonight I have managed to get it working, ALL BY MYSELF, hence this post at a late hour by me. Had a super day today with Mum and brother who ( brother and sil that is, not mum) , has just moved into a new house but new bedroom furniture not yet delivered, hence the B&B. What I am really wanting to say is that I have spent the day watching buzzards and red kites. No photos, but what a way to end the 30 days wild challenge with. And there is hot chocolate to drink in the room. Hurrah.

 

 

 

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