Monday 4 June 2018

Books read in May

The garden's grabbing a lot of my attention at the moment and last week was half-term so fun with the grandchildren was had. All nice but it means I'm behind with book posts and likely to remain so possibly until Sept. Answer: don't do long reviews of everything I read which is what will happen with May books. So, books read in May... seven in all, not bad for me.

21. The Essex Serpent - Sarah Perry.

22. Something Sensational to Read in the Train - Gyles Brandreth

23. Have Mercy on us All - Fred Vargas

24. Far Horizons - Frank Gardner.

Frank Gardner is the BBC's Security Correspondent, very familiar to most people who ever watch the BBC News. In 2004 he was shot and left for dead by a terrorist gang in Riyadh in Saudi Arabia, he didn't die but his cameraman sadly did. Before that Frank was a person who sought excitement via extensive travel around the world. This book charts many of his trips but Gardner always had a special love for the Middle East and it comes over very strongly in this book. After he was shot he put his life together again and continued travelling but of course he focusses on many of the challenges which come as a result of travel with a wheelchair. This is an excellent book by an incredibly brave man, interesting and rewarding to read. There's a good interview with him here by the Daily Telegraph newspaper.

25. Seven Dead - J. Jefferson Farjeon.

26. A Walk Across France - Miles Morland.

In his mid-forties Miles Morland, a banker at the London Office of a Wallstreet firm, decides to give up his job to walk across France with his wife, Guislaine, who is herself French. People think he's mad, of course. They choose the route at the bottom of the country, shadowing the Pyrenees but not walking in the mountains, from Gruissan-Plage on The Med. to Capbreton on the Atlantic coast. As French travel books go, I found this kind of middling. The walking, the descriptions of the countryside, towns and people, that was all fine, enjoyable, interesting. But for me there was a bit too much about his previous life as a banker and this I did not find at all interesting. So there you are... swings and roundabouts. Some books are just like that.

27. The Chalk Pit - Elly Griffiths, book 9 of the Ruth Galloway series.

Ruth is called in to examine some bones found in the abandoned chalk mine tunnels that run under Norwich. She thinks they're very old so no need to call in the police. A homeless woman goes missing but no one seems to be much concerned until a friend says that she's 'Gone underground'. A figure of speech or something more sinister? Then a local woman goes missing, a mother of three children with no reason to just walk off. Is there a connection between all of these occurences? Well of course there is, LOL! Yet another excellent installment of Ruth's complicated life with her daughter and policeman, Harry Nelson. I'm trying to get used to the twists at the end but they nearly always catch me by surprise. One of my favourite modern crime series of the moment.

So, a good reading month for me... not by quantity but quality. Every single book was good to excellent and I really can't choose a favourite so I'm not going to. I'm just going to feel grateful for good books when there's nowt on the telly... and with the World Cup fast approaching I fear there will be even more 'nowt on the telly'!

My first book of June has been read and finished and was The Enchanted April by Elizabeth vo Arnim. Delightful. Will try to find a moment to write a few words about it soon.



DesLily said...

Wow!..with all your reading and puzzles when do you have time to sleep??!! lol. You are amazing! I seriously wish I could read fast (and enjoy at the same time)! I read only one book in May because I didn't finish the 700 page book until June 1 ! I won't ever discuss book numbers this year!!lol. You are very lucky to have had so many books this month and like them all so much!! You are on a roll I hope it stays that way for ya!

Peggy Ann said...

Nice list of books, Cath. I finally picked up a Vargas this last week at a used bookstore in Myrtle Beach, The Three Evangelist. I’ve been wanting to read one for ages. Also just picked up an Elly Griffith so looking forward to that too. Also have In the Garden on my Kindle app. Glad your enjoying the grands! Mine will be here in a month!

Kay said...

So glad you enjoyed The Chalk Pit. I thought it was very good and the inclusion of the tunnels was interesting. I love that series. Look forward to when you get to read the new one - set in Italy. Good luck with your garden. And whenever you get to share a bit, we'll be around.

BooksPlease said...

Seven is good. And I'm the same at the moment - gardening means short book reviews. I must look up Frank Gardner's book. I think he's an amazing man and as you say incredibly brave!

Cath said...

Pat: I'm mostly reading in the evenings at the moment because there's just nothing on the TV to watch. I do my puzzles in the afternoon, gardening, housework, shopping in the mornings. Gets hot in the afternoons so I don't tend to do much... not as hot as where you are though!

Peggy: I hope you enjoy The Three Evangelists... I liked its quirkiness. Enjoy your grandkids, always fun to have them around.

Kay: There's always something to be learnt from the Ruth Galloway books. I didn't know there were chalk mines under Norwich for instance. Very interesting. Can't wait to get to the new one!

Margaret: We're getting there with the garden but the veggies are very slow this year. The Frank Gardner book was excellent.

Yvonne @ Fiction Books Reviews said...

I haven't read any of your featured books or authors this time, although I do have a couple of the earlier books in the Elly Griffiths series on my kindle, but when I shall get around to actually reading them, who knows?

All of your fiction titles sound good, and although I don't typically read memoirs, I so admire the tenacity and determination of Frank Gardner, that I might well be tempted. If not, I aim to try and read at least one of his fiction books in the 'Luke Carlton' series. I know that so many presenters, correspondents and ex-service personnel try their hand at writing fiction, with varying degrees of success, but Frank's books have met with some very positive ratings and reviews.

Our garden is undergoing something of a makeover right now, although hubbie prefers to call it a work in progress, rather than the bomb site I see every day. He has started on all areas and does a little to each when he can. Whereas, as an organised female, I would work on and complete, one area at a time!

Enjoy your time with the grandchildren and I hope that you have plenty of school holiday fun lined up for them :)


Cath said...

Yvonne: I hope you do manage to get around to Elly Griffiths at some stage as her Ruth Galloway series is rather good.

Ah now, I didn't realise Frank Gardner wrote fiction. I wonder why I didn't know that. I will look into those as his writing in his memoirs is excellent.

I hope your garden is eventually done. It's a labour of love and no mistake. I'm trying to help out a bit more than I normally do, partly because my husband needs it but also I'm sure the exercise is good for me.

Have a good weekend!

Judith said...

I'm very much behind with responding to posts--please excuse me.
How wonderful to have time with the grandchildren during half-term! Busy you were, I'm sure.
How was your trip to Cornwall?? Good weather, I hope.
And I will try to follow you more closely in future.