Blood Feud by Rosemary Sutcliff (1976)

Rosemary Sutcliff is considered to be one of the finest writers of historical novels for children but her writing is appealing for adult readers as well. As she herself said, “I write for children aged 8 to 88.” This ability to appeal to a wide age range is obvious in Blood Feud. I was listening … Continue reading Blood Feud by Rosemary Sutcliff (1976)

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

An Artist of the Floating World by Kazuo Ishiguro (1986)

In the 2016 introduction to the thirtieth anniversary edition of An Artist of the Floating World, the author wrote: ‘This novel is set in Japan before and after the Second World War, but it was very much shaped by the Britain in which I was then living: the pressure on people in every walk of … Continue reading An Artist of the Floating World by Kazuo Ishiguro (1986)

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)

Bookish Destinations 2022

2022 Art Book Reading Challenge Rebecca @ a humble place is hosting a 2022 Art Reading Challenge with seven categories. I've chosen the four options below: A biography of an artist from the 20th century (Beatrix Potter by Linda Lear) A biography of an artist from the 19th century (? Van Gogh by Peter Burra) … Continue reading Bookish Destinations 2022

Father by Elizabeth von Arnim

Jennifer Dodge made a promise to her dying mother that she wouldn’t leave home but would stay and take care of her father. Twelve years later, after a life of dutiful drudgery to her aloof and unapproachable parent, her father announces his marriage to a woman more than ten years younger than his daughter.Jen seizes … Continue reading Father by Elizabeth von Arnim

Kingfishers Catch Fire by Rumer Godden

Kingfishers Catch Fire was published in 1953 and was ‘compounded of three years’ living, thinking and perhaps dreaming in Kashmir.’It is said to be Rumer Godden’s most autobiographical novel and if you’ve read anything of her life you can find similarities between that and parts of this story. It’s interesting that Godden took the first … Continue reading Kingfishers Catch Fire by Rumer Godden

The Riddle of the Sands

The Riddle of the Sands by Erskine Childers (subtitled, A Record of Secret Service) was published in 1903 and is considered to be the first modern spy thriller.Childers had an interesting background; he was raised in Ireland, educated at Cambridge, and was a clerk in the House of Commons for fifteen years. During the First … Continue reading The Riddle of the Sands