Sunday, 8 November 2015

The Year in Books November

I am yet again late with my post. Sometimes life just gets in the way.

Octobers reads were a mixture of books and kindle reads and of course their was my return to my favourite childhood read.

Larkswood written by Val Mendes, mother to the famous Sam Mendes, is the story of the troubled Hamilton family. Shrouded by secrets and lies this is a family pulled a part. That is until Louisa Hamilton grand daughter to Edward comes to stay at Larkswood to recuperate following glandular fever. Louisa soon falls under the spell of Larkswood and is determined to find out the truth.
Very well written but not sure the content would suit everybody.

Josephine Cox's Whilstledown Women....  I had looked forward to reading this one.  Sometimes it can be the cover of the book that draws me to it and this one certainly had me full of intrigue.  This is the story of a obsessed husband who does not believe his wife's unborn child to be his. On the evening of her birth the baby is given to a gypsy women and told to take her away to raise.   She has no idea she is from aristocracy  and it is some years later that the truth of her birth is revealed but in doing so puts the young girl in danger.
Very good read and really and enjoyed all the intrigue.

Missing by Susan Lewis was my charity shop find.  I have read a couple of Susan Lewis novels and for me they are my Marmite I either love them or I hate them.  This one I loved.  A family struggle to cope when their baby son is taken from the backseat of his mother's car.  They never discover what happened to Sam and 16 years later his mother still grieves for her son.  This has lead to her not being able to build a relationship with her daughter afraid that she too will be taken.  It has destroyed her marriage leading to two people living separate lives under one roof.
Very good book and one to read.

My return to childhood read was Pollyanna.  The story of a little orphan girl who goes to live with her aunt. She teaches everyone around her that even in your darkest of times you should still have something to be glad about.  Great story and one of my favourites from my childhood and one I shared with my own daughter when she was a little girl.

This month I read three novels on my Kindle. Helen Bryan's War Brides starts in 1995 when a group of women who have not seen each other in 50 years arrange a reunion.  They know one of their number will not be at the reunion. From here you are taken back to 1939 when the war breaks out and their story begins. This one had been sitting patiently on my kindle for a while but I am glad I finally got a round to reading it. Great story and one I would recommend.

Kathryn Hughes The Letter. The story begins with a child asking her grandmother how did you meet granddad?  From here you are transported back to the 1970's and a young wife who volunteers in a charity shop on a Saturday, who discovers a letter in an old suit pocket.  It has an old stamp on but no postmark so therefore it evidently was never posted. Tina Craig is intrigued as to why the letter was never posted and takes it upon herself to try and locate the letter intended recipient.  In doing so a story unfolds of a young girl who finds herself in the family way and who believes her boyfriend has abandoned her. In truth her controlling father is behind everything that follows.
What can I say this is a book you will not be able to put down. You will need a large pot of tea definitely some chocolate and most importantly a vast quantity of tissues. Beautifully written.  If you loved Philomena you will love this story even more and I cannot recommend it enough.  It is now the most read book of my office and yet again I think my colleague's husband will find her in tears this morning when he takes her a cup of tea in bed and finds her reading this one.

Lastly is Tom Rob Smith's The Farm, another very well written novel.  I have never read any of his novels before but when this one was one of Simon Mayo's book club sometime ago I had to add it to my collection.  It starts with a young man receiving a phone call from his father to say his mother is sick and he should come, but before he gets there his mother has arrived from their home in Sweden convinced that her husband is trying to convince anyone who will listen that she is mentally ill. Not normally my type of read but very well written and one I would recommend.

So that was my October reads and now I will tell you about those I have selected for November.  I think I have some thirty books between my kindle and the bookshelf and I am determined to have reduced this number by Christmas in order to buy more books obviously.  They are quite an eclectic mix and I do find that I pick books dependent on my mood.  My return to childhood read for November is The Borrowers. Those little people that live under your floor boards and in your walls, who borrow everyday items to make their homes leaving you convinced you have simply mislaid them.

Life After You is Lucie Brown's true story of life following the early death of her husband at just 37. Get the feeling I am going to need to Kleenex again.

Then I am going for three more off my kindle. Brooke Powley's Letting go of Emma, Douglas Johnstone's Gone Again and Natalie Martin's Together Apart and if there is still time before the end of the month I may even sneak in Jodi Picoult's The Pact.

All that said just leaves me to tell you which of my October reads was my book of the month.  I don't think you will be surprised when I tell you that it is Kathryn Hughes The Letter.

Happy reading one & all



  1. Sounds like a great mix of books to read and yet to be read too! Hope that you have a good November of reading! xx

  2. Wow Mitzi, you read so much. It sounds like you are trying to read what is already on your shelf, as am I!
    The Letter sounds really interesting!
    Happy reading Xx

  3. I really enjoyed The Letter - a really good story. I understood her motivation - I would have wanted to find out more too. Looking forward to seeing what you think of Gone Again, I've just finished it.

  4. You've been busy, Mitzi. I recently finished the new Robert Galbraith book. It was more violent and dark than expected and IMO not as good as the previous two, but still worth reading.

  5. Thanks Mitzi, I have added several of those books to my must read list. Just as well the bad weather has arrived! Barbara


Thank you for stopping by my blog. Please leave a comment as I do like to read them and will answer any I receive.