December 1997 ‘“ Homeland and other stories by Barbara Kingsolver. I made just a brief note at the time ‘œv. readable’. This is a book of short stories and I have to admit that at a distance of ten years I can’™t remember much about them. So, I’™ll just quote from the back cover:
‘œExtraordinarily fine. Barbara Kingsolver has a Chekovian tenderness towards her characters ‘¦ The title story is pure poetry.’ New York Times Book Review.
December 2002 ‘“ Lord of the Rings by J R R Tolkein. I first read the books when I was at Library School ‘“ everyone on my course was reading them. I’™ve read them several times since then and this time I read them again, prompted by the films. The films compared quite favourably with the books, although I think the Ents didn’™t live up to my expectations. Ian McKellen as Gandalf was just perfect.
December 2006 ‘“ Alias Grace by Margaret Atwood. I have read several Atwood books and I think this one is one of her best. It’™s based on the true story of the murder of Thomas Kinnear and his housekeeper in Canada in 1843. Grace and fellow servant James are found guilty of the murders. James was hanged and Grace imprisoned for life. The question, never answered to my satisfaction, all through the book is, was Grace guilty?
December 2007 ‘“ All Passion Spent by Vita Sackville-West. I haven’™t read any other books by Sackville-West and was pleased to find it most enjoyable with an awful lot packed into what seems on the face of it to be a novel where not much happens. It’™s a novel of opposites. For example old age and youth are contrasted in looking back over the life of Lady Slane, widowed at the age of 88. I’™ll be writing about this in more detail, after 15 December, as it’™s the chosen book for Cornflower’™s book group.