Books Read in 2017

  • Dot May Dunn - Christmas Around the Village Green (pub.2015) memories of her life as a small child in a Derbyshire Village 1940-45.
  • Anne Cholawo - Island on the Edge, A Life on Soay (pub 2016). Her life on a small  Scottish island from 1990 up to date.
  • Rachel Joyce -  A Snow Garden and Other Stories(pub 2015). Short stories linked together.  
  • Georgette Heyer - Snowdrift and Other Stories (pub 1960 and 2016) Regency romance - short stories
  • Angela Thirkell - Miss Bunting (originally published 1945) Fiction, one of the Barsetshire series.
  • Mabel Esther Allen - The Wyndhams went to Wales (originally published 1948) Children's Fiction
  • Sylvia Townsend Warner - Scenes of Childhood (originally published between 1936 & '73) Memoir
  • Carola Dunn - Buried in the Country (2016) Crime Fiction set in 1970's Cornwall 
  • Elly Griffiths - The Blood Card (2016) Crime Fiction set in 1950s Brighton
  • Bernard Knight - Mistress Murder (2016 originally published 1966) Crime Fiction 
  • Sylvia Townsend Warner - The Corner That Held Them (Originally Published 1948) Fiction
  • Anne Perry - A Christmas Message (Pub. 2016) Historical Crime Novella
  • 12 books this month
  • Angela Thirkell - Peace Breaks Out ( originally published 1947) Fiction, one of the Barsetshire series
  • Bernard Knight - The Expert (originally published 1976) Crime Fiction
  • Angela Thirkell -Pomfret Towers (originally published 1938) Fiction - a re-reading
  • Rafaella Barker - Come and Tell Me Some Lies (published 1994) Fiction
  •  George Bellairs - The Dead Shall be Raised (originally published 1942) British Library Crime Classic, reprinted 2016
  • Rennie Airth - The Death of Kings (pub.2017) Crime fiction, 5th in series, set in 1949
  • 6 Books read this month
  • Angela Thirkell - Three Score Years and Ten (published 1961) The very last of her Barsetshire fiction series
  • Christopher Somerville – The January Man. (Pub 2017) A year of walks round the UK in which the author remembers the walks he had with his late father. 
  • Michael Alexander - Confessions of a school nurse.(Published 2015) A Male nurse in an exclusive co-educational international boarding school in the French Alps. Supposedly Non Fiction biography but I'm not sure!)
  • E.Nesbit - The Lark (originally published 1922. A Furrowed Middlebrow/Dean Street Press reprint)Adult Fiction by the author more well known for The Railway Children. A light-hearted story about two young girls learning how to earn a living.
  • Hilary Burden - A Story of Seven Summers, Life in The Nuns' House.  Non Fiction (pub.2012) Hilary Burden was a high flying journalist based in London when she decided to return to Tasmania. To live simply and grow a garden.
  • Agatha Christie - Problem at Pollensa Bay. A collection of short mystery stories. Featuring her characters Harley Quin and Parker Pyne. (Published 2013)
  • Rory Clements - Corpus. A thriller set in Cambridgeshire in 1936. Fiction (published 2017) The approaching war and abdication are involved.
  • Noel Streatfield - The Winter is Past.(Originally Published 1940 Reprinted by Grey Ladies 2015) A Fictional story of women left behind in an English Country House during the war, coping with changes in class and society
  • 8 Books Read this month
  • Frances Faviell - A Chelsea Concerto-Non Fiction.( Originally Published 1959 - A Furrowed Middlebrow /Dean Street Press reprint) A Brilliant but horrifying account of the London Blitz as it affected the author who was doing voluntary work at a First Aid Post. 
  • Megan Westley - Living on the Home Front. Non-Fiction (Published 2013). A Young journalist tries to live in 2013 as life would have been during WWII. She uses the rations available and tries to grow some of her own vegetables. An interesting though slightly naive ( I felt) look at how things were for people between 1939 and 1945.
  • Agatha Christie - While the Light Lasts. ( Published 2016) Crime Fiction A collection of nine of her early short stories, different types of crime and mysteries. 
  • R.C.Sherriff  - The Fortnight in September. Fiction (Originally Published in 1931. Persephone reprint in 2006). A story of the Stevens' family holiday to Bognor in which nothing much happens yet it is brilliant. 
  • Chris Nickson - The Iron Water. (Published 2016). Historical Crime Fiction set in late 19th century Leeds. Fifth in a series
  • Graham Ison  - Exit Stage Left (Published 2015) Crime fiction. 
  • 6 Book Read this month                   
  • William Sitwell - Eggs or Anarchy. The remarkable story of the man tasked with the impossible: to feed a nation at war. Non Fiction (Published 2016). A very interesting look at  Lord Woolton, Minister of food and how his experience of being a business man helped him negotiate with all the bodies concerned with food supplies and rationing.
  • Deborah Crombie - Garden of Lamentations. (Published 2017) Latest in a long series of modern crime fiction. 
  • Agatha Christie - The Listerdale  Mystery (Originally Published 1934) Early Short Stories 
  • Alys Clare  - The Devil's Cup. (Published 2017) The 17th and final book in the Hawkenlye Mystery series. Set mainly in Kent during the 12th Century.
  • Dorothy L Sayers - In the Teeth of the Evidence (Originally Published 1939) Short stories. 
  • Kate Ellis - The Mermaid's Scream . Modern Crime Fiction ( Published 2017) Latest in the D.I. Wesley Peterson series set in Devon.
  • Ysenda Maxtone Graham - Terms and Conditions:Life in Girls' Boarding School 1939 - 1979. Life in boarding schools as told by over 100 woman who either enjoyed, hated or just survived at schools large and small during the period. Teaching varied from good to non existent and teachers could be kind, sadistic or distant. 
  • Jacqueline Winspear - In This Grave Hour. The excellent 13th book in her Maisie Dobbs series. This one starts at the outbreak of WWII and sees Maisie asked to track down the killer of a Belgian man who stayed in this country after arriving as a refugee at the outbreak of The Great War. (Published 2017)
  • 8 Books read this month
  • Barbara Pym -  An Academic Question. Written in 1971 but not published until 1986, 6 years after her death.. A short book narrated by Caro Grimstone the wife of a university lecturer.
  • D.E. Stevenson - The Four Graces. (First Published 1942). A light novel set in a village during the war, describing the effect war has had on the four daughters of the Vicar during one summer.
  • Barbara Pym  -An Unsuitable Attachment. Her seventh novel. The one that was refused by her publishers and then not published until  1982, two years after her death.
  • Peter Turnbull - A Dreadful Past. Modern crime fiction. Police procedural, the latest in a huge amount of crime fiction this author has written. (Published 2016)
  • Anne Perry - An Echo of Murder. The latest in the Commander William Monk Victorian Crime Fiction Series. These are very well written and the characters develop through the series. (Published 2017)
  • Tessa Harris - The Anatomist's Apprentice. Historical crime fiction set in 1780's. First in a series of 6 so far about a pioneering forensic detective Dr Thomas Silkstone. (Published 2011)
  • Nic Compton - The Shipping Forecast. (Published 2016). A BBC publication to accompany the national institution that is the shipping forecast. Read on BBC4  4 times  a day it has fans covering a broad spectrum of listeners. A small book but there are others on this subject of which my favourite is "Rain Later, Good. - Painting the shipping forecast" by Peter Collyer. 
  • Julie Wassmer - The Whitstable Pearl Mystery. A new-to-me author. This is the first in a series of modern crime set in and around Whitstable in Kent. (Published 2015).
  • Alys Fowler - Hidden Nature - A Voyage of Discovery. Non Fiction. She travels round the unknown bits of the Birmingham canal system in an inflatable canoe noting wildlife etc. But it's also a story  of finding she is gay at the age of 37 and coming out to live with garden designer Charlotte Harris.(Published 2017)
  • 9 Books read this month
  • Trisha Ashley - The Little Tea-shop of Lost and Found. Light Fiction (Published 2017) 
  • George Bellairs - Half Mast for the Deemster.  Crime Fiction. ( 2017. Originally Published 1953) A reprint of a writer popular in the 40's and 50's. Set on the Isle of Man.
  •  Anne Perry - A Christmas Escape. Crime Fiction Novella ( Published 2015) One of her short novellas featuring people from her other two historical crime series. This explains about characters who feature in A Echo of Murder - see June reading.
  • R.C.Sherriff  - Greengates. Fiction  (originally published 1936. Persephone reprint 2015) Like his other book - A Fortnight in September, this is a quiet book about a man who retires and then spends a year wondering what to do. The couple move to a new housing estate in the country and his life changes for the better.
  • Tessa Harris - The Dead Shall Not Rest. Historical Crime Fiction (Published 2012) Second in the series about anatomist Thomas Silkstone. 
  • Margaret Pemberton - The Londoners. A Family Saga set in a London Square and starting in 1936. The main characters are neighbours and friends Carrie and Kate and describes how their lives change through the war.
  • Agatha Christie - The Mysterious Mr Quin. ( This edition 2017 First published 1930) Lots of lesser known AC short stories have recently be republished. These short stories are about Mr Satterthwaite and the Mysterious Mr Quin who appears and then vanishes again.
  • George Bellairs - Death in Dark Glasses. Crime Fiction ( 2017 originally published 1952)
  • 8 Books read this month
  • Barbara Pym - No Fond Return of Love . Fiction (Published 1961)
  • Ursula Orange - Company in the Evening. Fiction (First published 1944. This Furrowed Middlebrow edition published 2017). Review  HERE
  • Chris Arnot - Small Island by Little Train; A Narrow Gauge Adventure. Non Fiction (Published 2017)
  • Tracy Chevalier -  New Boy. Fiction (Published 2017) A short read but powerful. An elementary school in 1970s Washington. Osei from Ghana arrives at the school when his diplomat father is posted there. Everyone else at the school is white. All the story takes place on one day and 4 childrens lives are changed forever. This is a retelling of Shakespeare's Othello so of course it is a tragedy.
  • George Bellairs - Corpse at the Carnival. Crime Fiction (Originally published 1958 republished 2017)  Another well told crime story set on the Isle of Man. 
  • Natasha Solomons - The Song Collector. Fiction (Published 2015). A brilliant story about a man's passion for music.
  • Mary Wesley - The Camomile Lawn.Fiction (Published 1984). In August 1939 five cousins gather at their uncle's house in Cornwall. This story moves from London to Cornwall,telling the stories of the cousins,their families and friends through the war. 
  • Chris Nickson - Modern Crimes.A PC Lottie Armstrong Mystery. Crime Fiction (Published 2016) The first women PCs in Leeds in 1924. First in a new series by a prolific crime author. 
  • Meg Elizabeth Atkins - Death Out of Season . Crime Fiction. (published 2001).
  • Ngaio Marsh - Death in a White Tie. Crime Fiction ( First Published 1938)
  • Ngaio Marsh - Overture to Death. Crime Fiction (First Published 1939) 
  • Barbara Comyns - Sisters by a River. Fiction and semi-autobiographical  ( First Published 1947) . Told through the eyes of a young Barbara.
  • Pip Granger - Not all Tarts are Apple . Fiction (Published 2003) Set in seedy Soho in 1953 and told by Rosie a young girl fostered by kind Aunt Maggie and Uncle Bert after her mother - the perfumed lady- a prostitute and alcoholic - is unable to look after her.
  • Dodie Smith -  I Capture the Castle. Fiction (First Published 1949) 
  • 14 Books read this month
  • Ngaio Marsh - Death at the Bar. Crime Fiction ( First Published 1939)
  • Elly Griffiths - The Chalk Pit. Crime Fiction ( Published 2017) Latest in a series featuring Dr Ruth Galloway -a forensic archaeologist and  DCI Nelson.
  • George Bellairs - Death sends for the Doctor. Crime Fiction (First Published 1957)
  •  Max Arthur - Silent Day; Oral History of D Day on the Home Front. Non Fiction ( Published 2014)
  • Nicola Slade - A Crowded Coffin.  Light Crime Fiction. (Published 2013)
  • Anthony Rolls - Scarweather. British Library Crime Classic 2017 (First Published1934)
  • Natasha Solomons - The Novel in the Viola. Fiction (Published 2011) A Young  Jewish girl, daughter of a famous Viennese singer escapes from Austria just before the war to work as a parlour maid in a big house. The story spans the war years and is based on the true story of Tyneham, the village in Dorset which was taken over by the army and on the authors own aunt who also fled from the Nazis.
  • Dorothy L Sayers - Unnatural death. Crime Fiction ( First Published 1927) 
  • Julie Wassmer - Murder on Sea. Cosy Crime Fiction. 2nd in a series set in Whitstable. (Published 2016). 
  • Allan Jenkins - Plot 29. A Memoir. As a child Allan and his brother Christopher were fostered by an elderly couple and that's where his love of growing things started. Through this book he searches for the truth about his birth mother and father while nurturing an allotment. (Published 2017) 
  • George Bellairs -  The Case of the Famished Parson. Crime Fiction (First Published 1949)
  • 11 Books Read this month
  • Ann Granger  - Rooted in Evil.    Crime Fiction ( Published 2017) 
  • John Lewis-Stempel -The Running Hare; The Secret Life of Farmland  Non Fiction (Published 2016)
  •  Andrew Wilson - A Talent for Murder. Crime Fiction(Published 2017) Using Agatha Christie's mysterious disappearance as the base for a story featuring the author.
  • George Bellairs - Death of a Tin God. Crime Fiction. (First Published 1961) 
  • Ann Cleeves - The Seagull. Crime Fiction. The latest from this author in the Vera series. Wonder when it will be made for TV. Quite a complicated story, I shall be interested to see how they change it to fit it in to a 2 hour programme . (Published 2017)
  • Mary Wesley - Part of the Furniture. Fiction (Published 1997). It's 1939 and Juno Marlowe is 17, her mother has emigrated to Canada with her new husband but Juno doesn't want to follow. She has spent her life so far as a innocent misfit, worshipping two neighbours....... older boys who use her, before they go off to join the war effort. During an air-raid a very ill man rescues her from the street but then dies during the night after writing a letter to his father and asking her to deliver it. The rest of the story is set on a farm in Cornwall.
  • Chris Nickson - On Copper Street. Historical Crime Fiction. (Published 2017). 6th in a series set in Leeds at the end of the 19th Century.
  • Hazel Holt - Death is a Word. Crime Fiction. ( Published 2014) Final book by this author. Cosy crime. 
  • Muriel Spark- The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie. Fiction (Published 1961)
  • Mary Wesley - A Sensible Life. Fiction (Published 1990)
  • Anne Perry - Twenty-one Days. Historical Crime Fiction (Published 2017). The first of a new series by this author. Set in Edwardian England, featuring Daniel, the son of Thomas Pitt. Daniel is now a newly qualified lawyer.
  • 11 Books read this month 
  • Dorothy L Sayers - The Nine Tailors. Crime Fiction (First Published 1934). The lore of bell-ringing and a quiet Fenland village are the background for an unsolved crime and the violent conclusion 20 years later. 
  • Dorothy L Sayers - Striding Folly. Crime Fiction Short Stories ( First Published 1972).  3 short stories featuring Lord Peter Wimsey.
  •  George Bellairs - Corpses in Enderby. Crime Fiction (First Published 1954) 
  • Simon Brett - The Cinderella Killer. Crime Fiction (Published 2014) Prolific author, this story features the often out of work actor turned sleuth Charles Parris.
  • Mike Brown - Put That Light Out. Non Fiction. (Published1999). Interesting but rather dull account of the Civil Defence Services in WWII.
  • Sue Grafton - Kinsey and Me. Short stories about the author and the character she created for her ABC Private Eye crime series. A re-reading (Published 2013) 
  • Martin Edwards (Editor) - Crimson Snow. Crime Fiction -short stories set during winter (First published in various magazines and books between 1930's and 1970's)
  • Ruth Adam - I'm Not Complaining. Fiction. (First Published  1938) Madge Brigson is a primary school teacher in industrial Nottinghamshire during the depression, at a time when teachers are all spinsters she deals with poverty, staff disputes and love affairs with wit and perception.
  • Ngaio Marsh - A Surfeit of Lampreys. Crime Fiction (First Published 1941) The 10th in her series of police crime featuring Chief Inspector Alleyn and the upper classes before the war.
  •  Felicity Hayes-McCoy - Enough is plenty; A year on the Dingle Peninsular. Non Fiction (Published 2015). A year of photos from this Irish Speaking remote part of Ireland.
  • Shaun Bythell - The Diary of a Bookseller. Non Fiction (Published 2017). A really good read by the owner of 'The Book Shop'. Which is the largest second-hand bookshop in Wigtown - Scotland's town of books. He writes about the rude and strange customers, the annual Book Festival, and books of course.
  • George Bellairs - Death in High Provence. Crime Fiction.(First Published in 1957). Another of his well written books - republished 2017
12 books read this month (105 running total)

  •   George Bellairs - Murder Makes Mistakes. Crime Fiction. ( First Published 1958). Good story with lots of characters. Republished 2016
    • Christopher Fowler - The Book of Forgotten Authors. Non Fiction (Published 2017). 99 forgotten authors, their forgotten books and their unforgettable stories.
    • Jeanette Winterson - Christmas Days; 12 stories and 12 recipes for the 12 days of Christmas. Mystical, magical happy and sad short stories around Christmas. ( Published 2016)
    • Nicola Upson - Nine Lessons. Historical crime fiction (Published 2017). The 7th in a series set in 1930's and featuring Josephine Tey. Set in Cambridge and the Suffolk Coast with Christmas approaching there seems to be a serial killer eliminating people who were knew each other at university many years earlier and and someone attacking young girls on their own at homes.
    • Elly Griffiths - The Vanishing Box. Historical crime fiction. (Published 2017). The 4th in this series set in Brighton in the 1950's and featuring DI Edgar Stephens and Magician Max Mephisto.
    • Ruth Padel - Tidings. Poetry ( Published 2016). A magical poem about Christmas Eve in the city. 
    • Martin Edwards (Editor)- The Long Arm of the Law. Short crime stories. Another of the British Library Crime Classics with stories originally published in 1930's/40s (Published 2017)
    7 Books read this month making a grand total of 112!


    1. Haven't thought to check your "books read" list recently. I always enjoy your book thoughts.
      I was going to recommend The Dove Grey Reader's blog, but then realised you read it anyway. I love reading these things - but the problem is, the more time spent reading them means less time to actually read books!

    2. Love the look of your book list........thank you.........always good to get recommendations. Most impressed with how many books you get through!

    3. Love the look of your book list........thank you.........always good to get recommendations. Most impressed with how many books you get through!

    4. Love your reading list!
      I read a book a few years ago and have taken a notion of re reading it, but have given it away. It was a woman with a husband and 2 children, who inherited a little money, bought a little property and left them to live on her own and grow her food. I cant remeeeember the name of it. think it was set in America

    5. 112 ... wow!!

      Here's to 2018 ...and even more books.

    6. Thanks on your marvelous posting! I seriously enjoyed reading it, you happen to be a great author.I will be sure to bookmark your post and definitely will come back someday. I want to encourage you to ultimately continue your great work, have a nice weekend!
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