Barnaby Rudge by Charles Dickens

Barnaby Rudge was published in 1841 and was Charles Dickens’ first historical novel. It is his least read book, which surprised me as the story is very interesting. It is based on a real historical event and includes a murder mystery, a talking raven, two romantic dramas, as well as being a social commentary on … Continue reading Barnaby Rudge by Charles Dickens

John Macnab by John Buchan (1925)

Two distinguished highflyers had separately been to see Dr. Acton Croke. Both were suffering from a common ailment - they had all grown too competent and comfortable and their doctor had given them both the same diagnosis and suggested treatment: “You’ve got to rediscover the comforts of your life by losing them for a little…You … Continue reading John Macnab by John Buchan (1925)

The Maltese Falcon by Dashiell Hammett (1930)

I kept coming across the description ‘hard-boiled’ applied to a certain type of detective/crime novel, but although I sort of understood the description, I couldn’t think of anything I’d read that would fit the category. And then I saw The Maltese Falcon in a secondhand book shop and as I’m happy to try just about … Continue reading The Maltese Falcon by Dashiell Hammett (1930)

The Battle of the Villa Fiorita by Rumer Godden (1963)

The Battle of the Villa Fiorita written by Rumer Godden (1907-1998) is partly autobiographical. When her first marriage ended in divorce and she later remarried, there were difficulties between her two daughters and her second husband. This situation was fictionalised in The Battle of the Villa Fiorita. In this book, the two children of Fanny … Continue reading The Battle of the Villa Fiorita by Rumer Godden (1963)

Murder in Mesopotamia by Agatha Christie (1936)

Murder in Mesopotamia is another book that came out of Christie's first-hand experience of working on archaeological sites with her husband. The setting of this book is the excavation a large Assyrian city about a day and a half’s journey from Baghdad. The book is narrated by Miss Amy Leatheran, a thirty-two year old nurse … Continue reading Murder in Mesopotamia by Agatha Christie (1936)

They Came to Baghdad by Agatha Christie (1951)

‘Outside in Bank Street it was sunny and full of swirling dust and the noises were terrific and varied. There was the persistent honking of motor horns, the cries of vendors of various wares. There were hot disputes between small groups of people who seemed ready to murder each other but were really fast friends; … Continue reading They Came to Baghdad by Agatha Christie (1951)

Trent’s Last Case by E.C. Bentley (1913)

E.C. Bentley wrote Trent’s Last Case as a reaction against the artificial type of detective stories popular in the early 1900’s which portrayed detectives as almost superhuman. He believed it was possible to have a detective who was recognisable as a human being with human emotions and not someone who was a perfect reasoning machine, … Continue reading Trent’s Last Case by E.C. Bentley (1913)

Ambleside Online Year 12 in Australia

Year 12 has looked different every time we've done it. These are my initial, to be updated, plans for this year for my daughter who's just turned 17 using some selections from Ambleside Online (those are marked with an *) and adding other material I'd like her to cover. We're going into Week 3 as … Continue reading Ambleside Online Year 12 in Australia