Monday, November 28, 2011

Recently Read

I did enjoy A Thousand Days in Venice  a great deal; it gives a very different picture from the normal rose-tinted view many people have of Venice, but still an affectionate and loving account of starting a new life in this wonderful city.

I so loved Katherine Swift's first book and was thrilled to find that she had published a second book about the garden she created at Morville. This volume is profusely illustrated in colour. Well worth getting the hardback edition if you can !

I disliked this book. I disliked the arrogance and foolishness of the couple concerned, their disdain for the French way of doing things and their expectation that the guests who were paying good money to stay at the Chateau should just have to put up with the chaos of extensive renovations and often malfunctioning amenities around them without complaint. My 2 cents worth, at any rate.
 I was glad I borrowed this from the library.

A good read if you like SAS fiction - which I do :-)

I have a great fondness for the writings of Lady Winifred Fortescue, capturing the Provencal way of life between the two World Wars, and this was a welcome addition to my collection. Perhaps not her best book, but enjoyable, nonetheless.

Fascinating, poignant and heartbreaking. It was good to read a factual account of one group of soldiers' experience of war in this troubled land.

I don't really know what to say about this book. It made for fascinating, if at times rather irritating reading but provided an insight into the British education system which was all too woefully familiar to me. It purports to be an absolutely true account of her time teaching, but has been criticised for being far too fictionalised. Borrow it, don't buy it.....

I waited a long time for this to be released, and read it twice in quick succession.
 It is a much better book than some of his more recent offerings, but there is still a very dark undercurrent running through it at times. There is much "laugh out loud" humour, and it is a delight to get a glimpse into the lives of Sir Samuel and Lady Sybil's life together, especially as young Sam is growing up to be a delightful hybrid of his parents' characteristics. Wherever Sir Samuel goes, he discovers crime, and this book is no exception to the rule.
Great fun, and I did love it.

It was interesting to see how socialist and  atheistic Winifred Foley's book detailing her life during the last century was. Quite how characteristic this was of the areas in London where she lived, and then back in her beloved Forest of Dean area, I really cannot say without doing further research, but the poverty and deprivation was really quite staggering. Despite her disdain for God, it is interesting the number of times she sees fit to drag Him into the conversation.....

Mallowan's Memoirs was a truly fascinating account of the travels and experiuences Sir Max Mallowan had as an archaeologist in the Middle East, particularly when he took his wife, Agatha Christie, with him on so many of his "digs". A little technical in places, but really interesting for those who like history.
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