Tuesday, 14 July 2015

Reading my books - Diary of a Provincial Lady and A Village Deception

In January I shared with you my project to actually get on this year and read my books.  Since then I have been fairly romping along with six books now read this year and one book listened to!  That is a massive increase on last year when I think that I only read two books all year.

I have selected my next six books which I will share with you at the end of this post.  They are now in a pile on my bedside table waiting for my attention and I have also started to listen to my next book too.  At this rate, in about 20 years the shelves will be bare.  Assuming that I don't buy any more books, which is highly unlikely!!

I have two reviews to share with you this time.  If you are interested in my other book reviews you can click the pictures in the sidebar and you will find the reviews.

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I decided that I needed to have a "treat" book at the end of my first selection to urge me on.  My choice was Diary of a Provincial Lady by E M Delafield.  Many of you said that you hoped that I would really enjoy it because you had enjoyed reading it.

Well, I have, in the interests of honesty to declare that I knew that I would enjoy it because when it arrived I dipped into it and knew instantly that it had my heart!  I loved this book!!!  The others that I have read so far this year are in the pile waiting to go to the charity shop or have already been given away.  Diary of a Provincial Lady is not leaving the house though.  Ever.  In fact, it is going to live, for now at least, in my bedside drawer so that I can dip in and out of it as I wish.  I loved it that much!!!

The book is written as a diary and covers about a 12 month period in the life of the Provincial Lady.  Having done some looking into the author I understand that the book is loosely based on her own life and you can tell that from reading it.  For example the main character writes for a publication called Time and Tide and I understand that the real E M Delafield wrote for that very publication herself.


I imagine that bloggers love this book so much because it is, in a way, a series of blog posts about ordinary life and the trials and tribulations that the lady goes through.  The difficulties of dealing with children, financial woes, trying to get her potted bulbs to grow so that she can compete with Lady Boxe who grows beautiful potted bulbs.  Her son wishes to win a goat at the local village show, friends come to stay, she does a little travelling, all the time she compares herself to everyone else and feels that she isn't good enough.  See.  Just like bloggers!

In a way there is no real story, but it is the story of one woman's life and what she gets up to.  It is told in a hilarious way that made me laugh so often.

So, would I recommend this book?  Well, I think that it is obvious that I would!  I would recommend it to anyone.  Adult or teenage child alike.  It is all good clean fun and is guaranteed to make you smile.

Definitely one to add to your list if you haven't already read it!!  I will be reading this again - as I already said!

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The second review that I have is for A Village Deception by Rebecca Shaw.  I didn't actually read this book, I listened to it.  Our Kindle will act as a sort of talking book.  It isn't the same as a real talking book, because there is no expression in the voice, but if you are driving or something, or, as I do, have a lot of books to get through, it is a good way to listen to books that you have already downloaded.  You can download audio books to a Kindle as well I believe, but I haven't done that so cannot comment.


A Village Deception is the 15th book in the Turnham Malpas series of books written by Rebecca Shaw.  I have read all of the previous books so I knew who the characters were and the stories that had gone before, but you could quite easily read it as a stand alone book, as you could do with any of the others.  The characters are all explained at the start of the book, and there is a map of the village of Turnham Malpas so that you can see who lives where and so on.

I started reading these books some years ago when I had worked my way through all of the Miss Read books and was looking for another village based series.  If you like Miss Read, you will like these books too, and even if you don't know Miss Read you will like these.  The Turnham Malpas books are set firmly in the here and now.  There are all of the travails of modern life to contend with, the internet and everything else that we do here and now, but still with that village setting and feel.

Rebecca Shaw also writes another series of books about a village called Barleybridge and again if you like those you will like the Turnham Malpas books.

You will have gathered that I also liked this book!

The story this time centres around a man called Harry who just appears in the village one day.  He appears to be a lovely man who settles down quickly to village life and is liked by all.  Harry finds a job, makes friends, falls in love and gets on with life.

Events then take a dramatic turn, all is not perhaps as it has seemed to be.  Who though is the person behind these events.  Could it really be Harry, or is it someone else?  There are several contenders.

A Village Deception is not a detective book, or a thriller, but the story does take twists and turns in unexpected ways and at the end of the book it sets up for the next one which will be bring more interesting things to come.  In fact I think that two more books have now been published in the series - more for me to catch up on!

Again I would recommend this book to adults and teens.  It is the sort of book that is easy to sit and just read because you have got into it, and is also the sort of book you could read before bed a little at a time and still remember what is going on.

Another recommendation!

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So, on with the next six books!  Well, seven actually, because I am also listening to another book, Elizabeth and her German Garden, by Elizabeth Von Armin.  I will let you know how I get on with it.

These are the next six choices!


As I have explained before, I have large piles of Agatha Christie books that were given to me and also Danielle Steel books, which is why they always feature as I am keen to get them read.  I have seen TV adaptations of Evil under the sun by Agatha Christie so I am interested to read this and see how the story compares.  The two Danielle Steels will no doubt be fairly light reading.  Bridget Jones Mad about the boy is the continuation of the previous Bridget Jones books which I have read so I am intrigued to see how this compares with the previous books.  Dancing in the Dark by Maureen Lee is an unknown quantity for me as I don't think I have read any books by her before.  It was another book that was given to me.  It won Romantic Novel of the Year so we will see!

My treat at the end of these five books is The Home Maker by Dorothy Canfield Fisher.  I haven't yet dipped into this one.  It is a novel, about life at home, so that should suit me down to the ground shouldn't it!

So that is my next selection!

I better go and get on with reading my books!!

Amy

p.s. Sorry, no chance for comments or replies right now.  You understand why!  I am reading though, it just takes soooooo long for my computer to put comments through!

34 comments:

  1. Hi Amy,
    I enjoy seeing your book choices very much. Have you ever read any books by Rosamunde Pilcher? I can particularly recommend The Shell Seekers. An all-time favourite although it is years since I read it. Have a look at the reviews on Amazon too.
    http://www.amazon.co.uk/Shell-Seekers-Rosamunde-Pilcher-ebook/dp/B003N9BK7C/ref=la_B000APW30K_1_2?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1436854514&sr=1-2

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  2. Morning Amy, I really enjoyed Diary of a Provincial Lady it's one of my favourites as you say it does read a little like a blog. I really enjoyed Miss Read books too, I have them all so I shall search out the Rebecca Shaw books x

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  3. Hi Amy
    I have an old as yet unread copy of Diary of a Provincial Lady on my book shelf, having read your enthusiastic review it has jumped to the top of my reading to do list!
    Sue X

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  4. It's good to get recommendations about books I haven't heard about before. When I finish my pile, I'll know where to come for some suggestions. Happy reading. x

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  5. I must be in the minority of those that haven't read Diary of a Provincial Lady, I intend to get hold of a copy as soon as possible. Some great choices on your list.

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  6. Always good to get book recommendations- I've read several in recent months that have come from fellow bloggers, some brilliant ones among them, so thank you for taking the time to post about these. xx

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  7. Diary of a Provincial Lady was on Radio 4 as Book at Bedtime last December, wonderful dead-pan delivery by Claire Skinner. No longer available on iplayer I'm sorry to say. But Elizabeth and her German Garden was last week's Book at Bedtime and is still available to listen to. This book was a favourite of Barbara Pym, British novelist 1913-1980 and author of six novels published in her lifetime and several posthumously. Jane and Prudence was the first novel I chose from the adult library when I was about 11 years old and I never looked back. I think you might like her novels too. If you like listening to books do check out the Radio 4 website. With Book of the Week and the Woman's Hour Dramatisation there's sure to be something to listen to. Lately I've enjoyed Simon Armitage and Julian Barnes both reading their latest books. Rumpole with Benedict Cumberbatch is back on Friday afternoons too. Enjoy your reading Amy. Blogging is a nice diversion but you can't beat a well-crafted novel. If you do decide to explore BP make sure you start with her novels published in the 1950s, the later ones can be quite a bit darker.

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  8. Diary of a PL is a work of genius and I absolutely loved it. Likewise The Home Maker – brilliant. Persephone Books are a fairly recent discovery (thanks to Mrs Ford) and I'd happily go away for a year and read them all. Enjoy your reading Amy.

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  9. I loved Diary of a PL , my copy is not a Persephone and has other bits in too, written later - wartime and abroad.
    I loved the Homemaker too. haven't read your other choices except Christie which I read years ago and should read again one day

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  10. Well done on making progress through your books. I haven't read ' The Diary of a Provincial Lady' yet, but my daughter has the book so I'll borrow it from her. It sounds like a great read.

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  11. Glad you are reading again and wish you'd pass it on to me. Over the last couple of years I've read very little. I have one on the go at the moment, Dewey by Vicki Myron which is lovely and I did read earlier this year The Yorkshire Shepherdess by Amanda Owen, which was so interesting, but other than that not much. Once we' ve unpacked my paperbacks, I'll be able to find what I've not read and start getting back into it. Take care.

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  12. Wonderful!! I love to read and sometimes don't find a good book!! but with your post !!! this is great!! I will check for them!!
    Thank you,
    Have a good day,
    Miss xx

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  13. Hello Amy

    I love reading your book reviews, and have to admit I have not read of heard of the Diary of a Provincial Lady,
    but intend getting hold of a copy to read it. I've read a lot of Rebecca Shaw novels and love them. Thank you for your next choice of books, they look very interesting.

    luv
    irene
    xxxx

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  14. Thanks Amy, I shall look out for Diary of a Provincial Lady, it sounds great :)

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  15. It sounds like you really enjoyed those books. I haven't read any of the new ones on your pile so I shall look forward to the reviews and hearing what you think of them.

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  16. I love Diary of a Provincial Lady and have read it several times.

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  17. Amy - you must check out "Provincial Daughter" written by RM Dashwood, EM Delafield's real-life daughter, it's similar to Diary of a PL and very good! xx

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  18. I too have managed to read a little more this year, I think it does us good to move away from the computer and have a little reading time, I do also fancy listening to a audio book which I have never done. Hope you are well and feeling a little better with life X
    Amanda xx

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  19. Thank you for the reviews, but not my sort of books (I'm a murder/mystery/thriller sort of girl!!). I have tried listening to books, but my attention wanders!! I am fortunate that I can read for an hour every morning after breakfast (but I do get up at 6.20 Monday to Friday!), so I get through a lot of books, both on my Kindle, and real paper backs, mostly from charity shops.

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  20. The Homemaker is very good. It was my first Persephone book ever! And how lovely to see the delicate grey covers on blogs again.... they were the flavour of the month a while ago, and then seemed to go quiet.

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  21. Hi Amy, I love your book reviews! They sound really interesting and I think I would really enjoy the first one! If you are interested, I know a great blog where you can post your book reviews: http://springtimeinmagnolia.blogspot.com/ Enjoy your time reading! xo Karen

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  22. I've been thinking of heading to my local library soon - haven't done it since I used to go with my mum before she went into the care home last year - and will look for the Diary of a PL when I'm there. Thanks for the recommendation! :o)

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  23. Amy, those definitely look like summer reads!

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  24. The first book sounds intriquing, I will have to look for it at the library. :-) Another great book is The Light Between Oceans by M.L. Stedman. Will stay with you long after you read it. Have tissues nearby... but worth reading. Have a great night!

    Blessings,
    Jill

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  25. How lucky you are to have time to read books. The Homemaker sounds like something I'd really enjoy reading.

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  26. I like the sound of both of them, I loved the Miss Read books! Happy reading with the next lot :) xx

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  27. I loved Diary of a Provincial Lady too. A gentle book.

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  28. I love Maureen Lee as a writer - I've read all her books - I hope you enjoy the one you've chosen!

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  29. I'll have to get a copy of Diary of a Provincial Lady as you gave it such a glowing review.

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  30. I love having a nose at what other people are reading (yes, I'm that annoying person next to you on the train, peering over your shoulder!). I was sure I'd read Diary of a Provincial Lady but your review isn't ringing any bells so maybe not. Must re-read Evil Under the Sun, it's one of my favourites.

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  31. Both of these sound really good Amy. I love to hear your take on them. The first one really sounds fun to me and similar to a fun book I read several years back called Paris in Love: A Memoir by Eloisa James about moving and living in Paris with her family for a time and is just blog posts put together in a book. Lots of humor and so fun to get insight into Paris life.

    Great idea about listening to the books too! I have so much reading to catch up on too. ::sigh::

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  32. I love Rebecca Shaw and her Turnham Malpas books, Jimbo is my fav. I have lost where I am up to though with the series since I gave them all to charity when we moved. I also love Maureen Lee and Dancing in the Dark is great! X

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  33. I loved Diary of a Provincial Lady, it made me chuckle quite a lot. I've read one or two of the Turnham Malpas novels but have lost track now of those I've read and those I haven't. I have read most of the Barleybridge books - they are very light and gentle books just right for an afternoon in the garden in the summer. Same with the Prior's Ford books by Eve Houston (I think) can't remember as I think she also writes as something similar. At the moment I'm reading the latest Masie Dobbs novel by Jacqueline Winspear and I've just finished Emma by Alexandeer McCall Smith one of the first three books in The Austen Project where modern writers update the original novels. I loved Sense and Sensibility by Joanna Trollope and the McCall Smith one was great too. Have yet to read Mansfield Park by Val McDermid:)

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  34. Amy, it's been many years since I read Diary of a Provincial Lady. Now you have me wanting to read it again, and I don't seem to have it now. Probably loaned it out and never got it back. Other books I've enjoyed recently that you might like are the two novels by Pauline Wiles, the first one being Saving Saffron Sweeting.

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