Welcome to the round up of this month’s book reviews and it has certainly been an enjoyable reading experience. Not as many books as I would have liked with everything going on in the house but I am sure you will enjoy them as much as I did.
It has been a busy summer and as the rain returns I was looking for something gentle to ease me into the autumn and found this in the lovely collection by Lauren Scott – More than Coffee: Memories in Verse and Prose
My review for the collection September 10th 2022
This is a delightful collection of prose and poetry reflecting on a life tinged with sadness but also a great deal of love and humour. The author celebrates moments from her early life and marriage of over thirty years with stories that will entertain and also bring the reader’s own experiences to mind.
Sometimes it is the simplest things that evoke the warmest memories, such as a silver cutlery set, a toy frog called Sam, a yellowed kitchen chopper and the first time baking a traditional family birthday cake.
We are invited to concerts as a teenager overcomes self-doubt to solo in front of an audience of 2000 and fulfil a dream inspired by her idol Barbra Streisand. There are moments with spiders that might have you looking around your immediate surroundings, but you will also find yourself in some wonderful wilderness areas offering moments of reflection and a dip in a mountain pool.
Love is a central theme beginning with her mother and father’s love story that endured for nearly 70 years having begun in WWII with all its uncertainty and lengthy periods apart, and the author’s own fateful meeting with her husband, involving a kitchen appliance!
The loss of parents, even after a long and wonderful life, leaves a hole in our hearts. Their stories and poetry dedicated to them in this collection are heart-warming and reinforce the extent of their loving influence on the generations that followed.
The final part of the collection reflects on the changes that come when children leave the nest, and whilst this is obviously a time of sadness, there is also pride and delight as new lives are forged with future adventures to look forward to.
I enjoyed all the stories and poems in the collection and I am hard pushed to pick just one favourite but this one touched my heart.
I stare at this page, milk white as the
blanketed ground in winter’s staging
where are the syllables?
I fear they have flown to faraway places,
across desert dunes and boundless oceans
and might not return so that I may tell him
(again) how irreplaceable he is.
Instead, I’ll touch his lips with mine
and steady myself in the arms of a man
who is satisfied with my simple existence.
I can highly recommend this collection to read in one sitting or to dip into when you are in need of gentle and uplifting moments.
The next five star review is for D.Wallace Peach and the much anticipated The Necromancer’s Daughter.
My review for the book September 17th 2022
It will come as no surprise to fans of the books by D.Wallace Peach that this new book is hard to put down once you begin turning the pages.
As expected incredible world building and characters that leap out of the page fully formed in just a couple of chapters. Each compelling and infused with varying degrees of human strengths and frailties from compassion to downright evil.
We travel the road of life with Aster as she encounters obstacles in her quest and many dangers along the way. She does however manage to enchant most of those she meets with her innocence and conviction. This includes dragons who are not immune to her gentle persuasion.
We are witness to the persecution and violence resulting from being outside of the mandated belief system, but also the kindness of strangers often with those with little comfort of their own.
The action is fast paced and dramatic and there is not much time to take a breath between the conflict between good and evil… However, this is infused with romance and growing respect that comes with understanding and acceptance.
I loved the book, can definitely see it as a fantasy film or television series and was sorry to see it finish. As with all the books I have read by this author, that ending comes with a sigh of satisfaction. If you have not read fantasy before then this book is a very good place to start… and I highly recommend this exciting adventure.
Delighted to share my review for the recently published biography by Sue. Bavey – a collection of stories, both fact and fiction and poetry written by her father – Daydreams and Narcoleptic Nightmares: Memoirs and Poems by John Cornelius Rogers. Having read and enjoyed the biography of her grandfather Lucky Jack I knew I would be in for a treat.
My review for the book 15th September 2022
This is a brilliant collection of stories and poems by John Cornelius Rogers, compiled and edited by his daughter Sue Bavey.
I felt I was sitting beside John as he shared stories from his childhood growing up in Sussex and then Lincoln in the 1920s. His memories are vivid and I laughed out loud at so many wry observations and would loved to have been around at the time, including when the family’s first car arrived.
The war brought enlistment in the Royal Air Force Voluntary Reserve where John was introduced to navigation, armaments, engineering and morse code before proceeding to flight training school. After war there was a posting to one of the worst hit cities Hamburg for a year which made for sombre reading, and left him with a feeling of sickening sadness at the devastation and loss of life.
John then went on to train as a teacher and taught in a school where classes had 49 non-reading 8 year olds undisciplined after the war years and determined not to be educated. A traumatic experience for all concerned.
In contrast, having been billeted in Scarborough during training, it was followed up by an eventful holiday in Scarborough with his wife and young daughter which came with some colourful nightlife! This story and many others were filled with such wonderful humour and it is hard to pick one out to highlight, but “Alfred – Not So Great” is brilliant.
We are also introduced to the two conditions that resulted in challenges in everyday life Narcolepsy and Cataplexy and it is inspiring that despite those challenges John still maintained his wonderful sense of humour and love of life.
Poetry is included between the stories but part two of the collection is dedicated to this form with observations on life and more humour including “An Unusual Talent”
If you mix with the poor, or the privileged elite
whether you travel the world or stay in your street,
The most unlikely attribute you ever will meet
is the gift of Les Blain and his musical feet.
I highly recommend this wonderful collection of poignant and entertaining reflections on a life well lived and on the social history of the 20th century.
Thanks for dropping in today and I hope you will be leaving with some books.. Sally.