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January 2017 Reading Round-Up

Unlike Terry Pratchett’s Death, ours on earth has no fondness for cats. We lost relatives of both the human and feline kind this month. One thing I am glad for: I trusted my intuition when it told me to use the free day I had to draft and schedule posts for the rest of the month. Knowing my blog has been continuing in my absence, that something is working to routine, has helped a lot.

All books are works of fiction.

The Books

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Amanda Craig: The Other Side Of You – Finding his aunt dead in the flat, Will runs away, discovering an abandoned garden in the middle of a nice square where he can live and take care of the plants. I’ve read a lot about Quick Reads books – short and easy stories to aid literacy – but never read one; this particular story is somewhat based on Beauty And The Beast so it’s an interesting mix of reality and fantasy.

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Evie Wyld: All The Birds, Singing – Running away from problems at home, Jake ends up on a remote British island looking after a sheep farm where someone is reducing her flock. Didn’t like this much at all – few answers, the dual narrative was written far too vaguely, and there’s neither plot nor development.

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Josephine Johnson: Now In November – As the Great Depression looms over America, Marget and her family take up residence at a farm that will leave them constantly in debt. Originally published in 1934, this is a semi-forgotten Pulitzer Prize winner and whilst very good – not unlike, in atmosphere, to the Brontës and their moors – it’s definitely one to keep for a slow afternoon.

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Margaret Laurence: The Stone Angel – A ninety-year-old looks back on her life as she fights off attempts to put her in a home. This is a Canadian classic from the 1960s so whilst it fits the trend we have going at the moment, the younger years of the woman are Victorian; a good book if difficult to read (due to the character).

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Nicola Cornick: The Phantom Tree – When Alison runs away from those she is staying with as an unwelcome guest, she finds herself in the future and sees a way out of the restricted life she’s living. A good Tudor time travel book.

It would be difficult to pick a favourite this month. The two older books, the Laurence and the Johnson, were ironic, for me, in their subjects. I enjoyed the Cornick but it wasn’t as good as her previous. Considering what I said earlier this month I should point out that I’ve Marlon James’ prize winner and Tom Connelly’s Men Like Air on the go. I decided it was finally time for me to read James on the evening of the inauguration – on a day when I was constantly expecting the media to say ‘fooled you!’ suddenly the idea of starting such a daunting and long book didn’t seem so unrealistic after all. I’m finding the accenting difficult in that way that when an accent is written out some words will be hard to decipher and require some thought – I think I’ll enjoy it best by making it a long-term read. The Connelly I picked up in a moment of reading enthusiasm and it gripped me from the first page.

Quotation Report

None this time.

There are still things to come but I’m hopeful that February will be a little better. One thing that has been very good is that the post-Christmas reading slump I thought might persist has gone.

What was the last book you finished and did you enjoy it?



February 1, 2017, 4:17 pm

My deepest condolences for your losses.


February 1, 2017, 4:30 pm

The Phantom Tree sounds interesting, so I’m off to check out the full premise.

My sympathy for your losses, both human and feline.

April Munday

February 1, 2017, 5:38 pm

I’m sorry things have been so grim for you lately.


February 1, 2017, 8:32 pm

I also enjoyed The Phantom Tree in January. I must read Nicola Cornick’s previous book soon!

I’m so sorry to hear about your losses too – I hope February will be a happier month for you.


February 2, 2017, 4:51 pm

I am sorry to hear about your losses – I really hope February is a better month for you.


February 2, 2017, 8:37 pm

Glad your reading slump is gone. But I am so sorry about the human and feline losses.


February 5, 2017, 2:13 pm

I’m so sorry for your losses, Charlie. Hope you’re doing okay.



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