Wednesday, January 20, 2016

What I've Been Reading Lately

I'm back with a bit of quick lit today sharing a bit about what I've been reading - it's been awhile since I've written about books and I'm so behind that I read some of these titles months ago! I gotta catch up!

Police at the Funeral by Margery Allingham

Have I mentioned I have a small obsession with Golden Age of Mystery writers? Like her contemperaries the great Agatha Christie and Dorothy Sayers, Margery Allingham was a wonderful detective fiction writer from the middle of the twentieth century. She had a gift for characterization that made her main character, Albert Campion, as well as a varied cast leap off the page. Her mysteries have a deft touch and always provide an entertaining foray of mystery. This title was satisfying, although I could have had even more Campion. It revolves around a troubled Cambridge family who all appear as suspects to the murder of an inconvenient and annoying relative. I really love her and recommend her if you're a fan of Agatha Christie.

Spell Land by Sheila Kaye-Smith

I went on a bit of a Sheila Kaye-Smith kick after reading about her as a popular author, and G.K. Chesterton contemporary, who has fallen out of fashion but writes intriguing British pastoral novels. Think stories that take place in rural England with strong story-telling revolving around the life of characters who make bad moral choices and suffer the consequences. She is a great writer who can really move a story along, she's probably fallen out of fashion because she is unapologetically moral in the sense that choices have consequences and sometimes very bad ones. But she isn't directly preachy and does a great job bringing to life the drama of country life. Spell Land tells the story of a young man who grows up on a farm but makes choices that lead down a tragic path.

Starbrace by Sheila Kaye-Smith

I'm enjoying immersing myself in her work, what can I say? This novel takes place in Regency times, I believe, and it's a bit more of a love story as young Starbrace falls in love with a beautiful girl but somehow becomes a rogue! I enjoyed this and was shocked by the ending. I thought this was just like this was something Mary Crawley would read in the library after dinner.

A Dab of Dickens & A Touch of Twain: Literary Lives from Shakespeare's Old England to Frost's New England by Elliot Engel

Nonfiction!? What?! I haven't had time to read much nonfiction lately, but this was actually a great easy-to-read book that has succinct introductory essays on many famous writers. I found that the most interesting chapters were on authors I didn't know much about like Dickens and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, so I'm sure if you didn't know much about any of these famous lives you'd find this book a treat. But you'd probably be a book nerd like me to begin with.

Hannah Coulter by Wendell Berry

Have I not written and said enough about this book? I guess not. For the record I just loved this book. It's short, but there is so much packed within it that it stays with you long after you finish. Hannah Coulter tells the story of her life. From growing up in the Depression without her mother, marrying a man who goes off to fight WWII only to go missing and never to return, to creating a new life with her second husband Nathan Coulter. The beauty of an ordinary life lived with love, family, home, and a love of the land is told through this book, and Hannah's insights are often so poignant. Berry's realism is spot on, and his prose as beautiful as always.

I'm linking up with Ashley for Five Faves and Modern Mrs Darcy for some Quick Lit!

follow along:

facebook ~ instagram ~ pinterest


  1. These look awesome! I definitely want to look for some Allingham books at the library now :)

  2. Christy
    Have read a little Allingham before, enjoyed:-)

    Just thinking that you might enjoy a few of these authors,
    mystery writers from the 20s

    and Rhys Bowen's series

    let me know if you try them, love to know your thoughts:-)

  3. I completely agree about Hannah Coulter! And I am adding a few of these to my (growing!) 2016 book list!

  4. I really should just copy the contents of ALL of your book posts onto my reading list! :-)
    (that said, I still haven't finished Kristin Lavransdatter, I really do need to scale down my book heap...)

  5. Ooooooh girl. How did you know my little heart was yearning for 'pastoral english novels.' !?! :D


Imagine we're having a coffee together and let me know what you think --
I love comments almost as much as coffee!

(And please check to make sure your email address is connected to your profile, I'd love to email you a reply.)


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...