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Cornflower book group

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I'm midway through 'Westwood' by Stella Gibbons which is proving to be very entertaining indeed. Set in London after the blitz, it makes fun of the pretensions of the upper middle class and literary set. I've seldom enjoyed disliking characters so much!

'Mrs Palfrey at the Claremont' by Elizabeth Taylor and Rose Tremain's short story collection 'The Darkness of Wallis Simpson' are our summer book club reads.

adele geras

I read Hilary Mantel's A PLACE OF GREATER SAFETY on a long trip recently and loved every minute. It's astonishing to think of her writing this well in her debut novel. And you can see all kinds of effects she uses again in WOLF HALL. I'm now reading something completely different: DEFENDING JACOB by William Landay: a courtroom thriller about a DA whose 14 year old son is accused of murder of a classmate. Exciting so far and I have no idea how it's going to end. Next up, A MONSTER CALLS by Patrick Ness which won both the Carnegie and the Greenaway medals this year. It's a most beautiful production and the illustrations are brilliant. So very promising...


Trying to finish Jasmine Nights by Julia Gregson in a hurry as it is due back to the library today with no chance of renewal and I don't want too big a fine to pay. Very enjoyable it is too following the adventures of a young singer in an ENSA troupe in Egypt and Turkey in 1942 who gets caught up in espionage and a romance with a fighter pilot.
After that will be 'A Lady Cyclist's Guide to Kashgar' (also a library book with no hope of renewal), the latest Cara Black crime novel set in 90's Paris 'Murder at the Lanterne Rouge' and A Venetian Contract by Marina Fiorato set in a plague affected 16th century Venice when the Doge hopes that building a magnificent church will help keep the city safe.
If I get tired of fiction I am also dipping into The Old Ways a chapter at a time and will follow that with Sarah Moss's Names for the Sea about her year in Iceland.
That should keep me out of mischief!


I recently finished 'Night Waking' by Sarah Moss, which I enjoyed (bleak humour was great)although the research was a little prominent, like roadworks interrupting the sweeping A835!

A friend insisted I try the 'Rivers of London' series by Ben Aaronovitch and although the first book didn't enthuse me, I was well settled in by the end of the third and now I am waiting for the fourth.

'The Glass Guardian' by Linda Gillard, 'A Tale of Two Cities' by Dickens and 'The Night Circus' by Erin Morgenstern are on the top of the TBR list.

Oh and I would like to read 'The Inklings'...


I have just started 'The Secret Intensity of Everyday Life' by William Nicholson after discovering it through your very own Cornflower Books! It's shaping up to be a good read.

"What They Do in the Dark" by Amanda Coe was my last read. Because it was so well written I was truly sickened by the ending. Every child in the book was a victim of some kind of abuse at some level. It was a very disturbing story.


I live to reread the Inklings. Next in line is The Leftovers for book group, although a friend just finished Age of Miracles and raved about it.

B R Wombat

I've just read Mansfield Park. I must have read it years ago but remembered very little of it and enjoyed it immensely. After that it was Mrs. Palfrey at the Claremont, thanks to Radio 4's Book Club. I'd never read any Elizabeth Taylor and was impressed by it. She reminded me of Anne Tyler, which is high recommendation as far as I'm concerned. Now I'm on to Louise Welsh's Naming the Bones which is quite a come down after Austen and Taylor. I'm having to resort to skimming, which I very rarely do. I mistyped Louise as Lousie at first, which is rather cruel, she's not that bad.

Dark Puss

Snowdrops by A D Miller I have just finished. Next in my book queue (haha!) is PRINCIPLES OF RADIATION INTERACTION IN MATTER AND DETECTION by Leroy & Rancoita which I am reviewing - a good thing too as it costs ~ £150!


I am reading Ian Rankin and Watchman. A rather strange little novel, but not have much left to read.

As always I have a HUGE pile of books to read, but think I need something relaxing next and not too taxing.

Barbara MacLeod

I came across a book in the Hyndland Bookshop (which someone on the web described as an "adorable little bookshop [which] never fails to make me feel warm and fuzzy inside" and made an impulse buy: The Cello Suites by Eric Siblin, Vintage Books. It was a "just right" holiday read for me being about JS Bach's music and Pablo Casels's playing.

Mrs. Pom

Just downloaded The Glass Guardian, how could I not after Linda Gillard emailed me upon reading my post where I discussed her comments on writing that she made on one of your posts. The internet is an amazing and wonderful way of having the world expand and contract at the same time. Such a lovely set of writing serendipity this weekend, I can't tell you!


As usual I'm reading a stack of books--too many to mention, but I will say I am also enjoying The Absolutist, which I just started! I thought I needed a break from war books, but this one has completely captured my interest!

Julie Fredericksen

Friday evening and Saturday afternoon I read:

The Queen Jade
by Yxta Maya Murray
This was kind of a fun, "lost treasures hidden in the jungle" type book, with loads of codes, riddles and hieroglypics to figure out.

Saturday evening and Sunday afternoon I read:

A Girl Named Zippy: Growing Up Small in Mooreton, Indiana
by Haven Kimmel
I found this memoir to be laugh-out-loud hilarious.

Sunday evening I began:

Lolly Willowes: Or The Loving Huntsman
Sylvia Townsend Warner
I bought this on your recommendation and am really enjoying it so far.

My next book? I might start:
Shadow of the Night
Deborah Harkness

Or else I could be nice and let my husband read it first. He and I both loved the first book, A Discovery of Witches.

All of this reading was done in an attempt to beat the horrid heat wave here. Afternoons I read inside by the A/C and the evenings cooled off nicely so that we could sit on the deck and read.


I've just finished Wilfred and Eileen (Jonathan Smith), but feel lukewarm about it - thought it would work better on television, and indeed it was serialised back in the 80s although I don't recall seeing it.
Dipping into Try Anything Twice (Jan Struther). Not as engaging as Mrs MIniver but easy hot weather reading.


Thanks! I had forgotten that Shadow of the Night would now be available. It's downloading as I write.


Grandchildren visiting in a few weeks' time and I am reading my 11 year old granddaughter's recommended list! I am thoroughly enjoying Maryrose Wood's "The Incorrigible children of Ashton Place'--very reminiscent of "The Wolves of Willoughby Chase". Next will be Eva Ibbotson's last book "The Dog and his Boy and then a re-read of "Children of the New Forest" which, surprisingly, she is now re-reading for the second time (I mean the third time--did I express this properly?)

I have finished reading all of Linda Gillard's books with immense pleasure--all so good and all different. THEN I am going to finally tackle Proust after dodging him for all my long life.


...and thank you Julie F. for alerting me to "Shadow of the Night" available here in the USA tomorrow, on Kindle.


I just read "The Chaperone" by Laura Moriarty, and I loved it to the point where I want to stop people in the street and tell them about it. Moriarty recreates a time period (several, actually) and interesting, nuanced characters, some historical, some original, and then weaves a fascinating story around and through them all. I had begun to question whether "fictionalized biographies" worked for me, having read "The Paris Wife," and just felt that it was potentially unfair to too many of the people involved, but "The Chaperone" somehow avoided that trap completely. It is an original and fascinating answer to the story of how people made their lives work when social mores were crystal clear and privacy was both much more necessary and expected than today. A wonderful book.

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