callmemadam (callmemadam) wrote,

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October books

The Future Homemakers of America, Laurie Graham. Behind the times as usual, I’ve only just read this book, first published in 2001. I seem to remember Laurie Graham, years ago, contributing humorous little items to Woman’s Hour. She’s come a long way, because I loved this book. It starts on a US Air Force base in Norfolk, in 1952, where a group of wives (that literally defines the women at that time), all friends, meet their first real Englishwoman when they gather to watch the train carrying the body of King George VI pass by. Culture shock ensues. Everyone eventually leaves the base but the women keep in touch, one particular event during their stay having long-running and unforeseen consequences. The passage of the years is marked, rather oddly, by the printing of newspaper headlines of the time; the Coronation, the assassination of Kennedy etc. Once I’d got over my initial irritation at the narrative voice, I was really hooked. This is funny, sad, funny again. There is also quite a lot about planes, for those who like that sort of thing.
Mustn’t Grumble, Terry Wogan. OK, I fess up, I simply dote on Terry. Having heard the Today programme from 6.00 I am only too happy to switch over to hear a Paul Simon song and some laughing at the kind of pompous nonsense all too prevalent on the other side.
Quayle of the Yard, Paul Trent, 1935. How could I resist such a title? I’d never heard of Paul Trent but looking at the list of titles in the front of the book, I see he must have been a popular writer in his day. Unfortunately, this is one of the very worst detective stories I have ever read, and it’s going straight back to the charity shop it came from.
Danger Point, Patricia Wentworth. I didn’t care for this one as Miss Silver plays so little part in it. No real detection.
The Lost Art of Keeping Secrets, Eva Rice. again. In spite of my criticisms I know I will read it again.
Rainbow Valley, L M Montgomery
Rilla of Ingleside, L M Montgomery
Bleak House, Charles Dickens. Goodnesss knows how often I've read it before but this time it saved my life, or at least my sanity.
The Railway Children, E Nesbit. Read this again after watching the film (again). The film is another life saver for me.
The Gum Thief, Douglas Coupland. Very clever. Microserfs is still my favourite.
31 Songs, Nick Hornby. I don’t share all his musical tastes (have never got the point of Springsteen, for instance)but what a good book. How many people can write so intelligently and with such love about pop music?
The Blue Castle, L M Montgomery. Not my favourite though I know many people love it. I may have given up LMM for a while. We'll see.

In other news, my sister is still staying with me and has now progressed through Jo of the Chalet School and Princess. I think we may have a convert here. How many visits to get through the lot, though?
Tags: books, chalet school, comfort, laurie graham
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