Books 2020

Books Read

RA Read aloud
SR Shared reading

The Pastor of Kilsyth: the life and times of William Hamilton Burns: Islay Burns-January 2020 
3* The excerpts of WH Burns' diaries were well worth reading. His son's heave Victorian prose less so.
The Periodic Table Book: Tom Jackson-January 2020 SR
5* Attractive format and loads of facts about elements.
The Gospel Comes with a House key: Rosaria Butterfield-January 2020
2* I wanted to like this book more. I agree that hospitality is a Biblical command but although this was assumed, in the book, Rosaria didn't go back to the Scriptures which support this and what they mean. It also seemed to involve many stories from Rosaria's own life. I know nothing of Durham, NC but despite changing names, the stories must be easily identifiable to anyone local. It might have been more useful to engage with the long history of Christian hospitality.
Personally, I found the details of Rosaria's life as a homeschooling Mum fascinating but, on balance, I'm not sure they add to the book.
Wulfgar and the Vikings: Christina Eastwood-February 2020
4* See review
Emily Fox-Seton The Makings of a Marchioness and the Methods of Lady Walderhurst Frances Hodgson Burnett-February 2020
3* This was a bit of light relaxation at the end of a half term. Perhaps, the most telling point about this novel is the difficult role of a poor but well connected woman in early Edwardian society. Rather spoilt by some racist overtones.
Mystery of the Roman Ransom Henry Winterfeld-March 2020 SR
4* A fun children's mystery set in Roman times.
A  tree grows in Brooklyn-Betty Smith-March 2020
4* A gritty tale of life in Brooklyn in the early twentieth century.
A London Sparrow: The story of Gladys Aylward Phyllis Thompson-March 2020 RA
4* Unforgettable story of a maverick parlour maid and how she was used by God.
Then Morris Gleitzman March 2020 RA
3* My son liked this book but I found the constant references to praying to Richmal Crompton, yes-I did write that, rather trying. Faces the sad reality of World War Two in Poland.
Now Morris Gleitzman March 2020 RA
4* 70 years after Now and Then. Story of resilience in the face of Australian bushfires. I enjoyed the depicting of the older Felix.
Oliver Twist Charles Dickens April 2020
3* A reread of a classic. It is anti-Semitic ,even if Dickens denied this, and the plot is completely implausible but the sarcasm and the exposure of the plight of the Victorian poor makes this book still worth reading.
Evangelicalism Divided Iain Murray April 2020
4* At the beginning, this book was going to get 5* but whilst the content is important and worthy of reading, the word count could have been reduced by about 50%.
Black Beauty Anna Sewell April 2020
5* A happy reread.
The man in the Brown Suit Agatha Christie April 2020
4* I didn't guess!
Murder on the Links Agatha Christie May 2020
3* Slightly fantastic plot.
The King's Service Deborah Alcock May 2020
3* Easy to read book about the Thirty Years War but this book would benefit from a historical note. Sadly, the ending didn't fit well with history.
Morning Time Handbook Cindy Rollins May 2020
4* We have had a morning time for years although not as long as the ones that Cindy describes. Whilst I wouldn't do everything in the same way, this book is a useful resource and would be particularly helpful for anyone beginning a morning time.
Peril at End House  Agatha Christie May 2020
3* Convoluted plot which threw glory on no one.
Henry V-A Shakespeare Story Andrew Matthews and Tony Ross June 2020 Shared reading
3* Oversimplification but fulfils its purpose.
The Story of the Middle Ages Christine Miller June 2020 RA
5* Fascinating introduction to the Middle Ages, particularly in England and France which we have read a chapter per day from September until now. This book includes plenty of background, in fact, the first few chapters are about the Romans and Gauls. Sadly, the binding on this book isn't great and it has needed a fair few repairs on the way! Otherwise, highly recommended.
King of the Cannibals: The Story of John G Paton Jim Cromarty June 2020 RA
4* I don't think the title is appropriate or accurate but otherwise this is an engaging biography of John Paton.
My Family and Other Animals June 2020 Gerald Durrell RA
3* In the interests of honesty, we didn't read the last two chapters as we were reading an old copy and discovered pages were missing! This is definitely a read aloud as the language needs some editing. However, the book has a vibrant description of nature on Corfu.
Murder is Easy Agatha Christie June 2020
3* One of my children is enjoying Agatha Christie, at present, so I am joining in as it is more interesting to discuss the stories. This, as usual, had an ending that I didn't guess.

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