I have realised I will not get time to write reviews on the backlog of books I’ve read in the last six months. The 200 word review idea should have helped, but it still needed time I rarely have. So here are extra short reviews of everything I’ve got stacked in the ‘to be reviewed’ pile…
In London’s By-Ways by Walter Jerrold, illustrated by E W Haslehust
Found in a charity shop, this is a pre-WW2 book that rambles around inner London. The text is OK, if prone to overlong sentences, but I bought it for the delightful colour illustrations by Haslehust.
- The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold
It’s great to read a contemporary American novel that has a proper ending, although the penultimate chapter seems out of kilter with the world created in the rest of the book.
- The Pride of the Peacock/Mistress of Mellyn by Victoria Holt
Two enjoyable romantic romps, of which Mistress of Mellyn was the better. It benefitted from the Cornish setting with its hints of Daphne Du Maurier and Winston Graham.
- Rivers of London/Moon Over Soho by Ben Aaronovitch
I really want to do these two books justice with a proper review. Magical police procedurals with a heavy dose of London pyschogeography, jokes and no nice reset switches. The end of Rivers of London is proper nasty. Really, just go and buy them now.
- Call the Midwife/Shadows of the Workhouse/Farewell to the East End by Jennifer Worth
Sticking with London, I read these over Easter. There’s an occasional reactionary tone that can be a jolt if you’ve seen the jolly Sunday night TV adaptation. But Shadows of the Workhouse left me in floods of tears at some of what happened to toddlers before the Welfare State existed.
Also, now they are reviewed I can sort them into the donate/shelve piles and move them off my dresser.