Tuesday, March 10, 2009

4 x 10 Reading Challenge: Update 2

Finished book titles are blue, with those completed since my last post in bold; books in my current reading pile are green.


  • Nella Last's War: the Second World War Diaries of Housewife, 49 (ed. Richard Broad)
  • Nella Last's Peace: the Post-War Diaries of Houseife, 49 - interesting, but I didn't like it as much as the first book. The sense that although the war was over, things were getting worse rather than better, was depressing.
  • Flora Thompson: the Story of the Lark Rise Writer (Gillian Lindsay) - I enjoyed getting to know Flora / "Laura" as she really was, and what happened to her after she left Lark Rise and Candleford (which I discovered was based largely on Buckingham, a town I know well). The biggest disappointment of the book was the discovery that in real life Laura's father was not the conscientious family man shown in the TV series of Lark Rise to Candleford, but an increasingly embittered man who spent much of the family income on drink.
  • Alison Uttley, the Life of a Country Child (Denis Judd) - following my own rabbit trail after reading Little Grey Rabbit's Pancake Day to Little Cherub.
  • A History of Hand Knitting (Richard Rutt)
  • Sensational Knitted Socks (Charlene Schurch) - also in my Amazon package, thanks to the enthusiasm of Elizabeth de Hority (a homeschooling mother suffering from breast cancer ... please say a prayer for her).
  • The Shrines of Our Lady in England (Anne Vail) - still reading as this is an easy book to pick up, read a snippet, and put down.
  • My Life With the Saints (James Martin, S.J.) - three chapters in so far.
  • A Pocket Guide to St. Paul (Scott Hahn) - arriving from Amazon any day, thanks to Alicia's review.
  • The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society (Mary Ann Shaffer) - set in 1946, the novel is framed as correspondence between English writer Juliet Ashton and members of a literary society on the Channel Island of Guernsey. Juliet gradually uncovers details of life on the island during the German occupation while simultaneously developing a relationship with her new friends that leads her to travel to Guernsey. Written with a light touch and easy to read, but includes serious themes of wartime suffering and loss.
  • The Uncommon Reader (Alan Bennett) - a witty and clever short novel (120 pages). The Queen borrows a book from the Westminster travelling library, and begins a literary journey that accelerates until books begin to outweigh duty in her estimation, and her courtiers feel obliged to try to deflect her. Excellent.
Geography and Travel
  • Beatrix Potter At Home in the Lake District (Susan Denyer) - started but stalled. Hoping to get back to it.
  • The Road to Wigan Pier (George Orwell)
Science and Nature
  • Electric Universe (David Bodanis)
  • A Year in the Country (Alison Uttley) - part of that Little Grey Rabbit / Alison Uttley rabbit trail.

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