I seem to have hit a winning streak with good books! I was beginning to give up on my self as a reader; I would get books recommended by friends, for either of my two book clubs, that I read about in the press or on various websites or in blogs, I would wander round book shops, I would wander through Amazon, I would reread books I’d bought some time ago… Disappointment after disappointment, failing to finish, finishing but annoyed at having spent so much time on something I hadn’t enjoyed/thought was not very good/thought was rubbish/thought was badly written… And I began to think it was me… but maybe not, maybe I just hadn’t found the right books!

So, starting a while ago:

  • The Red Tent by Anita Diamant
  • Holding by Graham Norton
  • South: The Endurance Expedition by Ernest Shackleton
  • The Dry by Jane Harper
  • Days Without End by Sebastian Barry
  • Off With His Head by Ngaio Marsh (an old one, re-read many times, but recently enjoyed it again)
  • Perverse and Foolish by Lucy M. Boston

Seven good reads… and if I had to put them in order it would be very difficult, mainly because they are so different. I loved the Graham Norton book, it was gripping, moving, subtly funny and set in Ireland. The Red Tent was magnificent, what might be called a tour de force, it was so vivid, compelling, emotional, arousing feelings of indignation, compassion, anger, sorrow, admiration… South – well, the strength and endurance of people in appalling circumstances, day after day of ice and cold and near death – and yet never boring, again it was compelling and gripping and awe-inspiring. The Dry – a great read! Difficult to put down and brilliantly evokes Australia in a searing drought! Days Without End – a thing of beauty despite the appalling events which are described and the unbelievable suffering of ordinary men in ghastly circumstances. Off With His Head a classic British detective story! Perverse and Foolish is a fascinating memoir written by a seventy-seven year old lady looking back to a  peculiar upbringing in a strictly religious family and how she found freedom – freedom of thought and then freedom of life!

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