Sunday, July 06, 2014

Books read 2014 #2

#6 Jambusters: the story of the Women's Institute in the Second World War by Julie Summers
This is one I picked up from a display at my local library. It's a very readable history (although it does include notes, bibliography and index should you want them), starting with an introductory chapter about how and why the WI was started - this answered the question of why I've never found a WI near most of the places I've lived (they were in villages, not cities). Subsequent chapters cover different aspects of their work, from the early years of the war when villages had to adapt quickly to take in evacuee children and teachers coming from the cities, to a more thematic approach covering crafts, cooking, growing vegetables and also the influence they had on government. I found it really interesting.

#7 Shrubs and small trees: simple steps to success by Simon Akeroyd
#8 Planting with trees by Andrew & Rosamond McIndoe
These two are again from the library, and are a perfect example of why libraries are brilliant - there's no way I'd have bought two books about trees just to help us choose a suitable tree for a space in our garden, and other than the RHS Plant Selector, information online tends towards the patchy. Both books are at the introductory level, covering various aspects of using trees in the garden. Both include recommendations for differently sized trees and particular aspects/soil types.

#9 Fly-by-night by K.M. Peyton
This is a book I loved when I was about ten, and when I came across it again I couldn't resist re-reading it.  It's all about a girl called Ruth who is desperate to have a pony, and buys an unbroken one. Back when I first read it everything but the pony stuff must have washed over me, but I was struck by how much concern there is in the book for the family's economic situation, their struggles to pay the mortgage (a whole £5 a week, which did give me the giggles) etc. And also the freedom for Ruth, who is only eleven at the start of the book, yet goes hitch-hiking and wanders the country lanes all on her own!

Have any of you gone back to read a book you loved as a child and re-read it as an adult? How did you find it?

#10 The detective's daughter by Lesley Thomson
Another one from Greensideknits list from a while back. Basically a detective dies very suddenly and his daughter (rather implausibly) goes ahead and solves the murder from years back that's at the centre of the story. It was an interesting read, and I liked the different approach (even though it wasn't totally believable). It also featured a lot of parts of London I know well, which added an extra level to it.


Mary deB said...

I was so glad when my kids got to the age of enjoying Arthur Ransome books, and I could reread them! (Though I still wonder where the kids went to the bathroom on that island...)

Iris said...

A few years ago I re-read Tolkien. Loved LotR when I was a teenager but now? Not quite so much... It was OK, but, and this is not something that bothered me at all as a teenager, I really thought Tolkien's dialogue is terrible. The world itself and the description of it is stunning, but when people talk... oh dear! ;-)