I often have more than one book on the go at once. Depending on my mood and mental state, I will choose one or the other each night. At other times, I am drawn deeply into a book and must, must read it without pause. At times, to slow down my eagerness to know how a book ends, I will read the last chapter to stop the anxiety and slow down the reading process. It has never worried me knowing how a book ends, if it is a good read!
These are the books I am currently juggling. I am afraid I am not a great reader of fiction, though I have been drawn to fiction of the nineteen thirties and forties in recent months. I know – a librarian who doesn’t like fiction. I blame my undergraduate degree – to much analysis and deconstruction!
Lives Like Loaded Guns: Emily Dickinson and Her Family’s Feuds by Lyndall Gordon
Emily Dickinson is regarded as one of the greatest poets of all time, but she has come to us as an odd and helpless woman living a life of self imposed seclusion. Lyndall Gordon sees instead a volcanic character living on her own terms and with a steely confidence in her own talent; a woman whose family feuded over a hothouse of adultery and devastating betrayal and a woman who had her own secret. After her death the fight for possession of Emily and her poetry became the feud s focus.
Mistress of the Monarchy: The Life of Katherine Swynford, Duchess of Lancaster by Alison Weir
The life and times of the remarkable woman who was mistress and eventually the wife of John of Gaunt, duke of Lancaster, third son of the charismatic and accomplished king of England, Edward III. Through John and Katherine Swynford (1350–1403) descended centuries of British sovereigns, including Queen Elizabeth II.
A HOUSE IN THE HIGH HILLS by Selina Scott
At the peak of her fast-paced career as a news presenter and interviewer Selina Scott bought a house in the Tramuntana hills of Mallorca. It was a dilapidated old farmhouse without even mains electricity or water, but the beauty and peace of the surroundings promised an idyllic escape from her high-pressure job and unwelcome tabloid attention
Corvus: A Life with Birds by Esther Woolfson
Esther Woolfson’s daughter rescued Chicken, a fledgling rook sixteen years ago. Amazed by their intelligence and personalities, Woolfson became fascinated by corvids. Chicken, Spike the magpie, and, most recently, Ziki the Crow, have formed sibling relationships with Woolfson’s daughters and with each other; cached food in her kitchen wall and laid eggs in her living room; called to her at dawn, and perched companionably on her knee of an evening; and taught her more than she ever expected about birds and about human beings.
Merry Hall by Beverley Nichols
An unusual gardening book that discusses flowers and gardens in a non-fictional novel format, telling the story of a deserted garden that is transformed into a paradise