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Showing posts from June, 2017

The Yorkshire Shepherdess by Amanda Owen #inbetweeny

Another weekend in the countryside, another book about rearing sheep! This was purchased from Sedburgh, England's book town apparently. I had wanted to read it for a while but high pricing on Amazon had put me off.  A trip to a cheap bookshop in Sedburgh later and I was filling the holiday houses roll top bath and diving in to both book and bath.

I was a little disappointed given the books strap line 'how I left city life behind to raise a family and a flock' to find that Owens previous life took place in Huddersfield where she left at an early age to gain experience farming. I expected a solicitor or an accountant who gave up living in London not a trainee farmer who met her farm owning husband and moved into a ready made farm. I did however enjoy the early stories of her farming experiences.

Those of you following the blog will be aware I recently read the excellent Shepherds Life by James Rebanks and where this book primarily differed was with Owens birthing stories. In…

The Essex Serpent by Sarah Perry

This was described as Dickens meets Bram Stoker and liking both of these authors I had high hopes.

The book was primarily chosen for its cover - especially nice in hard back, and whereas we hit gold with the Axemans Jazz chosen solely for its excellent cover The Essex Serpent didn't live up to expectations.

I liked the Dickensian parts, there were some excellent very Dickens like characters - Charles Ambrose, the man who lost his leg (was it Tom?) and the man who lived down by the marsh with his two goats (sorry can't remember his name either). Yet parts of the book were superfluous (Naomi and her disappearance) and the book seemed quite bitty at times - going to great pains to describe the ground breaking heart surgery despite it not being a book about medicine. Perry never really delved in to Cora's backstory with her husband other than to refer to her scar and how she envied how dogs were treated. It would have been an obvious point to expand and yet again illustrated h…

Exile - Richard North Patterson #inbetweeny

Ok I'm a couple of books behind on my blog so this is an effort to bash a couple of posts out before bedtime.

This book had been on my bookshelf for literally years and I can't remember whether it was purchased for me or whether I actually picked it up. The topic - the conflict in the middle east was something I, to my shame, only knew snippets about. The book provided a vivid portrait of Israel and its complicated politics, along with the West Bank and the Palestinian movement. I must admit I did struggle getting to grips with who was on which side but Patterson spelled it out as clearly as he could.

I guessed the twist very early on and was disappointed it took the lead character, David, some 600 pages to work it out (I won't spoil it for you) but that does lead to my other criticism of the book, it was VERY long. At times it felt like the page count (nearly 800) was needed - the trip to the middle east (although totally pointless for the trial) was really interesting to…