Monday, January 28, 2013

(Some) Books Read January 2013

I love to read (like many relatives in the line before me, I probably often read when I should be doing something else...)

Here are a few of the books I read and enjoyed in January.

Village School and Village Diary by Miss Read

These are the first two books in a series about the rural English village of Fairacre during the mid-20th century, "written" by the fictitious persona of the village schoolteacher. I had never encountered these books before finding them recommended on a blog, but read a couple of the Christmas stories in December and enjoyed them enough to start the series. They are a cozy read, with no particular plot, but rather recountings of the different events and characters in the life of the village.

Major Pettigrew's Last Stand by Helen Simonson

Another book set in Britain (I did have the reaction, about halfway through this one, that I needed to take a break for a while from books set in England), this one with a more contemporary timeframe, focusing on a retired British major who represents "tradition," and his romance with the widowed Pakistani woman who runs the local shop. I enjoyed this book, and (most of) the characters -- except the whiny ones, who you weren't supposed to like anyway. It was an interesting approach to the changing face of British culture, and the development of more multiculturalism -- usually, I see that presented in American books.

Half--Broke Horses by Jeannette Walls

This is sort of a memoir of Jeannette Walls's grandmother -- although, since the grandmother died when the author was 8, it's put together via memories of her speech patterns, family stories, and research. I enjoy history, and good biography/autobiography/memoir, so what I particularly enjoyed was watching the development of American 20th century history unfold through the experiences of the author's grandmother -- her move to Chicago and getting a "flapper" haircut not only for social reasons but for safety, with the increasing use of machines in the workforce; her foray into bootlegging to support the family during Prohibition and the Depression, etc. The grandmother's life was mostly centered in the West, and the book has a very strong flavor of that. She was a strong woman, and I could hear her voice through the book.

To find more reading suggestions, visit the Booking It post at Life As Mom, where you'll read about what Jessica, Anne and Carrie have been reading.

Disclosure: Book titles in this post are Amazon affiliate links. If you make a purchase at Amazon after clicking through here, I will receive a (very) small percentage of the profits; there is no additional cost to you.

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