What I’m Reading – Jan/Feb 2018


17carnations17 Carnations (Andrew Morton, 2016) Amazon

Royalty, sex, spies, and Nazis…. oh, and it’s a true story! What more could you ask for?  I did start to lose interest when the story turned to how the scandal was uncovered after the war, but the first 2/3 of the book are riveting.  Morton – famous for that scandalous, pre-divorce biography of Princess Diana – really does his homework here.


cheer upCheer  Up Love:  Adventures in Depression with the Crab of Hate (Susan Calman, 2017) Amazon

I’m a fan of Scottish comedienne Susan Calman – she’s a frequent guest on BBC Radio 4 comedy shows such as Just a Minute and The News Quiz.  She started out as a lawyer before trying her hand at stand-up comedy, so when I heard that she had written a book about her struggles with depression (something I struggle with often myself), I knew I had to pick it up – and I wasn’t disappointed.   Equal parts humorous anecdotes & how to manage with the debilitating disorder, this is a must-read for anyone who’s ever been laid low by the black dog … or crab of hate, as Calman calls it.

summerbeforeThe Summer Before the War (Helen Simonson, 2017) Amazon

What is a small village in rural England in 1914 to do when the new Latin teacher arrives … she’s a lady! and pretty!  ““I may be progressive, but I would never hire a pretty teacher,” remarks the matriarch of the novel’s primary upper-middle class family.  The story follows Beatrice Nash (the scandalously freethinking Latin teacher) and several other women in the village of Rye as the first months of the War to End All Wars turns all social conventions upside down.  An excellent read.


hp3Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (J.K.Rowling, 2001) Amazon

What can I say, I was in a Harry Potter mood… I’d been listening to the Goblet of Fire on audiobook and thought I’d run through book 3 while I was at it.  I found quite a bit of foreshadowing in this re-read that I hadn’t noticed before.


aoggAnne of Green Gables (L.M.Montgomery, 1906) Amazon

I reread Anne at least once a year.  She’s my favorite heroine – spunky and lovable, with a vivid imagination and a knack for falling into scrapes.  This is the best of all the Anne series.



giftofwingsLucy Maud Montgomery: The Gift of Wings (Mary Henley Rubio, 2010) Amazon

I’ve read all her journals and almost all of her books, but this biography shows you the real Maud.  Her rural but privileged upbringing on Prince Edward Island, her struggle to gain an education and to earn her own way, her fame with the publication of Anne of Green Gables, her lackluster marriage to a minister with mental issues, and her troubles with her sons.  Well worth the time of any LMM fan!

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