The Body by Bill Bryson

The Body: A Guide for Occupants by Bill Bryson was published in 2019 and is a very readable and comprehensive book about the human body covering interesting aspects of anatomy, physiology, disease, the history of medical science, the immune system, conception and birth, and much more. The author includes amusing (and sometimes horrifying) anecdotes to … Continue reading The Body by Bill Bryson

The Unconquerable (While Still We Live) by Helen MacInnes (1944)

Twenty-three year old Sheila Matthews had been living with her Uncle Matthews in London after her parents died when she was very young. As this story begins, she is visiting the Aleksander family in Poland. Andrew Aleksander had met her when he had visited her Uncle in London and had gone home and talked about … Continue reading The Unconquerable (While Still We Live) by Helen MacInnes (1944)

A Son at the Front by Edith Wharton (1923)

A Son at the Front was one of four novels written by Edith Wharton in the 1920’s after she had won the Pulitzer Prize in 1921 for her book Age of Innocence. These novels focussed on the growing sense that World War I had brought about irreparable damage that left an indelible mark on society.A … Continue reading A Son at the Front by Edith Wharton (1923)

Waverley by Sir Walter Scott

In 1805, Walter Scott sat down to write the opening chapters of Waverley, a book that was to usher in an entirely new type of literary genre, the historical novel.In the same year Scott had published his narrative poem, The Lay of the Minstrel, which was received enthusiastically, but when he submitted the first few … Continue reading Waverley by Sir Walter Scott

The Citadel by A.J. Cronin

The Citadel by A.J. Cronin tells the story of Andrew Manson, a young Scottish medical doctor, who began his career in a Welsh mining town in 1924.Manson was ardent and idealistic and was appalled to discover the general condition of health care in the small community.He hadn’t been there long when an outbreak of typhoid … Continue reading The Citadel by A.J. Cronin

A Prince and a Spy by Rory Clements

A Prince and a Spy was published this year (2021) by Pegasus Books. It is set during World War II and the basis of the story is an actual historical event. In 1942, Prince George, Duke of Kent and Queen Elizabeth II’s uncle, died when his military plane crashed in Scotland on its way to … Continue reading A Prince and a Spy by Rory Clements

The Enchanted April by Elizabeth von Arnim

The Enchanted April, published in 1922, was written by the Australian-born British novelist, Elizabeth von Arnim (1866-1941). She left Sydney as a young child, moved to London and then to Europe, and never returned to Australia. The delicate and delicious fragrance of the freesias came in through the door and floated round Mrs. Wilkins's enraptured … Continue reading The Enchanted April by Elizabeth von Arnim

The Power of Geography by Tim Marshall

The Power of Geography: Ten Maps That Reveal the Future of Our World was published this year (2021) and is a sequel to Prisoners of Geography which I wrote about here.In that book Tim Marshall focused on the fact that geography has played a major role in history. In this new book he explores ten … Continue reading The Power of Geography by Tim Marshall

Rilla of Ingleside by L.M. Montgomery

Rilla of Ingleside was published in 1921 and is the eighth book in the Anne Series which began with Anne of Green Gables in 1908.Rilla is Anne’s youngest daughter and the story begins just prior or the start of WWI when Rilla is fifteen years of age.The tone of this book is more sombre than … Continue reading Rilla of Ingleside by L.M. Montgomery