2017

Read-alouds
Hinds Feet on High Places by Hannah Hurnard

The House of Arden by E. Nesbit

The Twenty-One Balloons by

The Gammage Cup by

Carry On Mr Bowditch by

Redwall Abbey by ?? Jacques a newbie for us – audiobook version with fabulous cast. Story for younger children but it’s so well done even our 16yo was chuckling.

Mama’s Reads
Autobiography of Madam Guyon by Madame Jeanne-Marie Bouvier de la Motte-Guyon
Inspirational faith. Dreadful suffering. I disagreed with her conclusions in some instances (for example, she took a completely dualistic approach to literature). Seemed a little contradictory in urging mothers to bring up their children well and then essentially abandoned her son to others – curious. Pleased to have read it.

Shadow of a Century by Jean Grainger jumping between modern-day America and the Irish uprising a century ago, this book weaves the connected stories of friends and family. A bit repetitive at times and somewhat predictable, but interesting history all the same.

where my heart used to beat by Sebastian Faulks. To be honest, the beginning struck me as simply trashy and I might have put it down if it weren’t for the praise of a friend! I’m glad I kept reading. The worldview stuff was simultaneously tragic and fascinating. Luisa’s marriage caught me by surprise. The ensuing angst was palpable and understandable. I was intrigued that there was no sense of betrayal (unless I missed it)

At the conclusion of the book I was a little dissatisfied. Faulks had done a good job of building suspense on a number of occasions, all of which amounted to nothing. What was the reason for Hendricks’ urgency at leaving New York? It should be more than a gripping story beginning! Who was the mysterious woman on the answerphone and what was her message? Surely not just Hendricks’ imagination. And what’s with the drunken girl inviting herself in and causing his girlfriend to dump him? That was a bit weak and convenient – at least the girlfriend got a bit more of a mention in the book, but it wasn’t his best writing!! The war scenes, on the other hand, were very believable. (Much more so than a beautiful young woman happening upon an old man on the rocks and so dropping her dress in front of him to go diving!! Even if she were mad, she might have waited until he went for lunch)

A moving commentary on human nature and the twenty-first century….but light enough to make a good summer holiday read.

Friends, Lovers, Chocolate by Alexander McCall Smith Always full of observations about humanity in this age.

The Thinking Machine by Jacques Futrelle Mini mysteries solved by logic. Delightful characters.

Worldwalk by Steven Newman Exactly as the title states, this guy walked around a good portion of the world over four years in the 1980s. A keen observer and journalist by profession, he crafted an insightful account.

A Manual for Cleaning Ladies by Lucia Berlin wow, what powerful writing. This is a collection of short stories but there is a narrative that ties them together into a bigger story. Stories of sadness, shame and remorse, they frequently spin round to shock at the last minute.

Hillbilly Elegy by J. D. Vance A memoir with sociological and almost political messages, this haunting blasphemous account makes you simultaneously laugh and cry. While it reaches many conclusions, it raises even more questions. A book to grapple with.

And There I Was Volume V by DH Koester Day by day, blow by blow account of a backpacking adventure through Turkey, Georgia and Armenia early in the 21st century. History is seamlessly woven through the accounts that feature characters met along the way.

Neither Nowt Nor Summat by Ian McMillan All you need to know about Yorkshire – and then some. Simultaneously chuckle-inducing and instructive.

The Walkabout Chronicles with Tor and Siffy Torkildson
A collection of essays and stories by a range of contemporary people who have taken long journeys on foot. Each contribution is accompanied by the answers to a short questionarie as well.

We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves by Karen Joy Fowler
This is a book to read knowing absolutely nothing about it the first time you read it. Some of the reviews on the cover indicated other readers cried at the end. I didn’t.
I would read it again though. Easy read for a quiet weekend but with enough substance to not be fluffy.

Almost Perfect by Kelly Denly
Mother of eight takes a camping trip for 15 months around Australia. The story is told through her eyes with little reference to the rest of the family. Mostly an account of relational difficulties.

The Island of the Ancients by Ben Hills
Meet some of the centenarians of Sardinia! And forget about trying to find their secret.

In Patagonia by Bruce Chatwin
Love his “snapshot” style of writing. Has inspired me. Might copy;-)

Ghosts of Spain by Giles Tremlett
It seems it was always going to take an outsider to uncover some of these stories. A readable history and commentary.

Wild by Nature by Sarah Marquis
She walks alone, shunning people, from Mongolia to Australia. A real adventurer. Made me realise I’m probably not cut out for what she did. Long walks, yes. Extremes, not so much.

Lone Traveller by Anne Mustoe
One older woman, two wheels and she goes around the world twice. Quite the opposite approach in many ways to Sarah Marquis. She tries to end up in a village as many nights as possible, avoids tenting at all costs, is very aware of keeping herself safe. Much to learn from her.

Born to Walk by Dan Rubinstein

3mph by Polly Letofsky
She walked around the world raising funds for cancer awareness. The bulk o fher walk ended up being organised by various Lions’ Clubs, which had its drawbacks, but also made accommodation and food much easier than the parts she did alone. The book completely put me off doing any more walking as a fundraiser.

Like  Tramp, Like A Pilgrim by Harry Bucknall

In Patagonia by Bruce Chatwin Love his “snapshot” style of writing. Love the unexpected almost anticlimactic ordinary details. Love the strong expressive evocative verbs.

Shirley Valentine by Willy Russell Usually I’m not a fan of reading plays but I loved this one. It moved me.

An Unhurried Life by Alan Fadling

Sabbath Keeping by Lynne M. Baab 

Sabbath As Resistance by Walter Brueggemann

The Bastard of Istanbul by Elif Shafak

The Rue Baker by Stanley Ginsberg Got scared away from the book by the hyper-scientific approach. Tried one recipe which semi-worked but would have been better if I’d listened to my instinct. Lots of great looking recipes from around the world that I may come back to at a later date.

Other Rye Book by lady Lots of recipes copied out from this one. Very basic.

Redemption Journey ish

Setting Boundaries for Strong-Willed Teens or something

In the Dolphin’s Wake by Harry Bucknall Even more funny than his pilgrimage book, this one coveted his summer visiting (almost) all the Greek Islands.

One for the Road by Willy Russell midlife entrapment, desire to escape. Ultimate inability to do so.