Thursday, October 16, 2014

Books read 2014 #4

#16 Emma Healey Elizabeth is missing
Another book I saw in a bookshop on holiday, then ordered from the library! This is a murder mystery story, but with a difference, as the main character has dementia. I thought the author did a pretty good job of describing how bewildering it must be from the point of view of the person with dementia, who is trying to find out where her friend Elizabeth has gone, but no one seems to care that she is missing. The action jumps between the present-day, and her childhood, when her sister also went missing. Intriguing angle for a story, and it kept me captivated anyway.

#17 Andrew Atherstone Archbishop Justin Welby: the road to Canterbury
This is a shortish biography of Justin Welby, published just as he became Archbishop of Canterbury. I don't agree with all of his views, but I like what he's done so far as Archbishop and I think he could be a very positive force, so this seemed like a good idea to read. It did help me fill in a lot of the background to things that I'd read in the media. It covers everything, from childhood, through to Archbishop, explaining things along the way, such as his education and how he came to faith and what he did before ordination, and got involved in various initiatives at the churches he worked at after ordination. A good introduction, which has given me the background to help understand more about what I read elsewhere! It's written in a very readable way, and only took me a week to read, so well worth dipping into.

#18 Stephanie Pearl-McPhee Free-range knitter: the Yarn Harlot writes again
Another amusing collection of anecdotes from the Yarn Harlot. These are the perfect thing to dip into at the end of a long day. Some observations are longer than others, and some are tinged with sadness, as well as amusement.

#19 Clara Parkes The yarn whisperer: reflections on a life in knitting
Borrowed this from a friend, and it was read almost overnight when I couldn't get any sleep when I had a cold. It's in a similar vein to the Yarn Harlot books - reflections on knitting, and is a very enjoyable read.

#20 Wendy Moore Wedlock: how Georgian Britain's worst husband met his match
This was from a display of books by the issue computer at the library, which I picked up as the title intrigued me and ended up borrowing. It's the biography of Mary Eleanor Bowes and was fascinating. Mary Bowes wasn't someone I'd heard of before (she is actually an ancestor of the Queen Mother, and I'd heard of the Bowes Museum). She was an incredibly wealthy girl, who was married twice, neither time particularly well, but the second was a disaster, when she married a fraudster and experienced what we would now recognise as domestic violence. In those days women had very few rights, and weren't allowed to own property (it passed directly to their husband on marriage), but Mary managed to pull off the almost impossible and get a divorce. It was interesting finding out how the very beginnings of equal rights for women began, and made me very glad I live now!

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