While I seem to be in a happy reading groove now things were all over the shop backalong, but I did manage to finish a disparate range of books and here's a selection...
The Comforts of Home ~ Susan Hill
I do enjoy the Simon Serailler series (especially as I'm in one of them...number six I think) but had fallen behind with the life and times of our erstwhile hero and his detecting life, so it was good to catch up with the eleventyfourth (I'm losing count)one. There is some cold case crime to be resolved as well as a bit of drama on the Hebridean island that our man has travelled to in order to escape the stresses and strains of ...well 'that' accident of which I can say no more for fear of spoiling. Good plotting, involving characters and their lives as always, and lo and behold I have another one waiting in the wings.
The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe ~ C.S. Lewis
I first read this aged about seven or eight on a holiday in Tintagel, staying with one of those aunts and uncles based on friendships your parents had made during the war. Tintagel had one gift shop and empty beaches, Uncle Bill ran a market garden, Auntie Pam was a teacher at Delabole Primary School, there was always a pile of children's books by the bed and this was one of them. I was transfixed all over again. Back in the day us children (Auntie Pam had three boys) were ushered out of the door and sent off to explore, and well I remember walking to St Nectan's Glen and imagining here could be Narnia.
Of course the religious allegory had by-passed my completely back then, but it jumped off the page this time around.
The question is...I don't recall ever reading any of the other Narnia books...should I, and if so which ones.
Officers and Gentleman ~ Evelyn Waugh
I mentioned my stately progress through the Sword of Honour trilogy a while back. It's all thanks in large part to a beautifully tactile, floppy, new Penguin Modern Classics edition that is everything you want the book in your hand to be. There is no wrestling the spine into submission to keep the book open, the paper is soft, the font is large enough and with the 1.5 line spacing I'm in reading heaven.
Having finished Book Two Officers and Gentlemen I remain constantly amazed at Evelyn Waugh's ability to find humour in the midst of war. The invasion and eventual retreat from Crete was horrific and yet still he spots the risible and the ridiculous amid the bureaucracy, and the rigid adherence to protocol and orders even in the face of danger and defeat.
It's also a very small world, this world of conflict. Everyone seems to know everyone else and old friends or foes suddenly find themselves flung together again. Old misdemeanours follow them around like a bad smell and it comes as little surprise when they carry on where they left off. And in the midst of it all Guy Crouchback seems to be doing his honourable best to preserve every else's honour and reputation as well as his own.
I'm saving the final book, Unconditional Surrender for exactly the right reading moment.
Meanwhile, as always please do share your recent reading successes...