Reading plans

I’ve had a very bitsy reading week. I abandoned a book I was halfway through as it just wasn’t exciting me. I didn’t like the main characters & by the halfway mark, I didn’t really care what happened to them so I left them to it. Then, I read the short story Carmen by Prosper Merimee, the basis for Bizet’s opera, for my book group reading 19th century books that became the basis for musicals or operas. I enjoyed the story very much & ever since I’ve had Bryn Terfel in my head singing the Toreador song which has been lovely as I’m a big Bryn fan. I hadn’t read anything by Merimee before but I’ve been reading more 19th century French authors recently so I’ve gone on to read the other stories in the OUP edition I have. I’ll review it over the weekend.

So, after a false start & a serendipitous slide into short stories, I’ve replenished the tbr table with a couple of library books & quite a few more from the tbr shelves, including one that’s been waiting for 16 years. This may be a record. I always write my name & the date on the flyleaf of my books so I should see if I can find anything that’s been sitting there longer than this one. From the top the books are,

Commonplace – Christina Rossetti. A lovely Hesperus edition of a novella by one of my favourite poets. This volume also includes 4 other short stories.

Murder at the flood – Mabel Esther Allan. A Greyladies murder mystery set during the floods in Norfolk in the 1950s. I loved the sound of this as one of my favourite movies is Thunder on the Hill with Claudette Colbert & Gladys Cooper as nuns in a Norfolk convent of the same period trapped by the flood waters with a murderer on the loose.

Carve her name with pride – R J Minney. The story of Violette Szabo, one of the incredibly brave women who worked for SOE in France during WWII. I also have the DVD with Virginia McKenna & Paul Schofield to watch.

Storm in the village – Miss Read. I love Miss Read, one of my favourite comfort reads. I especially love these beautifully floppy US paperback editions. I recently listened to Winter at Thrush Green on audio so I’m in the mood for a little more Miss Read.

Travels with a donkey – R L Stevenson. This is the 16 year veteran of the tbr shelves. A lovely Folio Society edition with illustrations by Edward Ardizzone. I moved this to make room for another book & thought I really should stop moving it & start reading it.

Shadows in the street – Susan Hill. The new Simon Serralier mystery. I’ve been looking forward to this one.

Death & the virgin – Chris Skidmore. A book about Elizabeth, Dudley & the death of Amy Robsart. I love a historical mystery & Amy Robsart is often just a footnote in books about Elizabeth. Her death caused a scandal that changed Elizabeth’s life & I look forward to a rigorous sifting of the evidence & a convincing theory. Was it accident, suicide or murder?

There’s a long weekend coming up here & I’ve taken the rest of next week off to make the most of the break so I hope to read quite a lot in between turning out a few cupboards, walking & maybe a little gardening. Of course if the weather’s too wet for walking or gardening I’ll just have to do more reading. Stands to reason.

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