January Reading Wrap-Up

Books I’m Currently Reading

egg and spoonEgg & Spoon by Gregory Maguire
I’ve just started this one, but so far I am liking it!  It’s full of Russian folklore and history and involves a case of mistaken identity between two girls… one who’s rich and one who’s poor.




Far From The Madding CrowdFar From The Madding Crowd by Thomas Hardy
Thomas Hardy’s fourth book was originally published in 1874 and tells the story of a shepherd named Gabriel Oak who falls in love with Bathsheba Everdene.




Fading Into The LimelightFading Into The Limelight by Peter Sallis
This is the actor’s autobiography.  He has appeared in a lot of shows over the years but my favorite of his characters is Norman Clegg from Last Of The Summer Wine.




the greatest knight

The Greatest Knight by Elizabeth Chadwick
Originally published in 2005, this historical fiction follows the life of William Marshal.




Books Finished In January

listening valleyListening Valley by D.E. Stevenson
Another great book from D.E. Stevenson!  The story starts in the Scottish countryside when Tonia is a child and very much dependent on her older sister.  As the years pass though, and Tonia’s sister gets married and moves away, a friend of the family helps Tonia gain confidence in herself.  A majority of the story takes place during WWII and the events of the war shape the story both in London and back in Scotland.


summer halfSummer Half  by Angela Thirkell
This is the fifth book in the Barsetshire series. Despite his family’s desire for him to study for the Bar, Colin Keith decides to take a teaching job at Southridge School.  There are a lot of great new characters in this one and some from previous books as well.  The Birketts have a large role in the story and Tony Morland is back!



quick curtainQuick Curtain by Alan Melville
This detective story from the 1930’s has been republished by the British Library Crime Classics.  While there is a mystery that needs to be solved (the leading man gets shot onstage during the opening night of his show) this is more of satire on the detective genre of the time.  I loved the ending!  It reminds me of a longer, slightly more detailed version of Murder By Death.


murder undergroundMurder Underground by Mavis Doriel Hay
This is another story that’s been republished by British Library Crime Classics.  The wealthy Miss Pongleton is murdered on the stairs leading to an underground station.  There are plenty of suspects… no one seemed to like her very much. The other occupants of the boarding house where she lived start an investigation of their own and a lot of details are thrown around as the suspects try to keep their story straight.


letter for the kingThe Letter For The King by Tonke Dragt
This was originally published in Amsterdam in 1962 but has since been translated into English.  Tiuri and some other boys are secluded in a chapel the night before they are to become knights.  Tiuri’s vigil is interrupted though when an old man knocks on the door looking for help.  Tiuri agrees to help him and leaves the chapel. An action that puts his chances of becoming a knight in jeopardy but sets him on a journey that could save a kingdom.


man of some reputeA Man Of Some Repute by Elizabeth Edmondson
This is the first book in the Very English Mystery series.  When a new job takes Hugo Hawksworth to Selchester, it’s arranged that he and his young sister will move into the castle.  They’re not there very long when a skeleton is discovered in an old chapel at the castle.  It’s the body of the Earl who has been missing seven years.  Hugo, with help from his sister and others in Selchester, work to solve the murder.


village schoolVillage School by Miss Read
This is the first book in the Fairacre series and it’s an absolutely charming story!  Miss Read is a schoolteacher in the English village of Fairacre, a place brimming with intriguing characters.  This story takes you through the school year, and highlights the challenges and joys that each new season can bring.



Excellent WomenExcellent Women by Barbara Pym
Originally published in 1952, this book is about a spinster in 1950’s England.  Mildred Lathbury has had a quiet, uneventful life until the new neighbors move into her building.  She’s fascinated by them and soon finds herself becoming involved in their lives.





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