Skip to main content

2012 Reading

January:
1. They Knew Mr. Knight, by Dorothy Whipple *****
2. Nella Last's War, by Nella Last ****1/2
3. Q's Legacy, by Helene Hanff ****
4. That Lady, by Kate O'Brien ***1/2
5. Consequences, by EM Delafield ****1/2
6. Tun-Huang, by Yasushi Inoue ***
7. The Strangers in the House, by Georges Simenon ****1/2
8. A Month in the Country, by JL Carr ***1/2

February:
2. The Bell, by Iris Murdoch *****
3. The Dark Tide, by Vera Brittain ***1/2
4. The Elements of Style, by Strunk and White *****
5. Mandoa, Mandoa! by Winifred Holtby ***1/2
6. Memento Mori, by Muriel Spark ****
7. A House in the Country, by Jocelyn Playfair ***1/2
8. The Legacy, by Katherine Webb ****
9. An Unsuitable Attachment, by Barbara Pym ****1/2
10. Great Granny Webster, by Caroline Blackwood ****

March:
1. Lots of Candles, Plenty of Cake, by Anna Quindlen ****
2. The Weather in the Streets, by Rosamond Lehmann ***
3. The Vet's Daughter, by Barbara Comyns *****
4. Hotel du Lac, by Anita Brookner ****
5. The Children Who Lived in a Barn, by Eleanor Graham ***1/2
6. Rule Britannia, by Daphne Du Maurier ****
7. Together and Apart, by Margaret Kennedy ****1/2
8. Original Letters From India, by Eliza Fay ****
9. Complications, by Atul Gawande ****

April:
1. The Uninvited Guests, by Sadie Jones *
2. The Medical Detectives, by Berton Rouche ****
3. Wait for Me! by Deborah Devonshire ****1/2
4. Midsummer Night in the Workhouse, by Diana Athill ****
5. Shadow of the Moon, by MM Kaye *****
6. Territorial Rights, by Muriel Spark *****
7. Aiding and Abetting, by Muriel Spark ****1/2
8. Joy in the Morning, by Betty Smith ****
9. The Unseen, by Katherine Webb ***1/2
10. The Infernal World of Branwell Bronte, by Daphne Du Maurier ****

May:
1. Elizabeth I, by Margaret George ****
2. The Kings' Mistresses, by Elizabeth Goldsmith ****
3. Angel, by Elizabeth Taylor *****
4. Bring up the Bodies, by Hilary Mantel *****
5. Our Spoons Came From Woolworths, by Barbara Comyns ***
6. China to Me, by Emily Hahn ****
7. Mrs. Robinson's Disgrace, by Kate Summerscale ****
8. Peking Picnic, by Ann Bridge ****1/2
9. The Cause, by Cynthia Harrod-Eagles ***1/2
10. The Moonspinners, by Mary Stewart ****1/2
11. Doreen, by Barbara Noble *****
12. Mrs. Tim Carries On, by DE Stevenson *****

June:
1. Have His Carcase, by Dorothy Sayers ****
2. The Prince of Mist, by Carlos Ruiz Zafon ***
3. The New York Stories of Elizabeth Hardwick ***
4. Morality Play, by Barry Unsworth **1/2
5. The Shuttle, by Frances Hodgson Burnett ****1/2
6. Zoe, by Geraldine Jewsbury ***
7. Villette, by Charlotte Bronte *****
8. The Roaring Nineties, by Katharine Susannah Prichard ****1/2

July:
1. The Queen's Vow, by CW Gortner **
2. BUtterfield 8, by John O'Hara ****
3. Memoirs of Montparnasse, by John Glassco ****
4. The Way Things Are, by EM Delafield ****1/2
5. The Fortnight in September, by RC Sherriff ****
6. Little Boy Lost, by Marghanita Laski ***1/2
7. A Few Green Leaves, by Barbara Pym ****
8. Better: A Surgeon's Notes on Performance, by Atul Gawande ****1/2
9. The Ordeal of Elizabeth Marsh, by Linda Colley ***1/2
10. Winter Sonata, by Dorothy Edwards****

August:
1. My Brilliant Career, by Miles Franklin***1/2
2. Bobbin' Up, by Dorothy Hewett****
3. Luminous Isle, by Elliott Bliss****1/2
4. Elizabeth and her German Garden, by Elizabeth von Arnim***
5. Mary O'Grady, by Mary Lavin****
6. Young Entry, by Molly Keane****
7. The Lost Traveller, by Antonia White****1/2

September:
1. The Customs of the Country, by Edith Wharton*****
2. The Flight of the Falcon, by Daphne Du Maurier****
3. No Surrender, by Constance Maud****
4. Cider with Rosie, by Laurie Lee****
5. An Interrupted Life: The Diaries and Letters of Etty Hillesum 1941-43*****
6. Less than Angels, by Barbara Pym****1/2
7. The Glimpses of the Moon, by Edith Wharton****

October:
1. Harold the King, by Helen Hollick****
2. The Checklist Manifesto, by Atul Gawande****
3. On the Night of the Seventh Moon, by Victoria Holt****
4. Stiff, by Mary Roach****1/2
5. Herself Surprised, by Joyce Cary****
6. Washington Square, by Henry James****1/2
7. Minnie's Room, by Mollie Panter-Downes****1/2
8. Women Against Men, by Storm Jameson****
9. The Constant Nymph, by Margaret Kennedy**

November:
1. Miss Buncle Married, by DE Stevenson****1/2
2. A Favourite of the Gods, by Sybille Bedford****
3. Gaudy Night, by Dorothy Sayers*****
4. The World is Not Enough, by Zoe Oldenbourg***
5. Away, by Jane Urquhart****
6. The Judge, by Rebecca West**1/2


December:
1. Some Everyday Folk and Dawn, by Miles Franklin****
2. Farewell Leicester Square, by Betty Miller****
3. The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat, by Oliver Sacks****
4. Wigs on the Green, by Nancy Mitford***1/2
5. Hindoo Holiday, by JR Ackerley***1/2
6. Westwood, by Stella Gibbons*****
7. Miss Hargreaves, by Frank Baker***1/2

Popular posts from this blog

Review: Forever Amber, by Kathleen Winsor

Forever Amber takes place in the 1660s, immediately follwing Charles II's ("the Merry Monarch") return of the Stuarts to the English throne. The book features Amber St. Claire, a young woman who starts out as a sixteen-year-old country girl, naieve to the workings of the world. She immediately meets Bruce Carlton, a dashing young Cavalier, with whom she has a passionate love affair in choppy intervals throughout the book. They have two children together, but Bruce won't marry her for the reason he tells his friend Lord Almsbury: that Amber just isn't the kind of woman one marries.

Upon following Bruce to London, he goes to Virginia, leaving her to fend for herself. What follows is a series of affairs and four marriages, with Bruce coming back from America now and then. Amber's marriages are imprudent: her first husband is a gambler, her second is an old dotard, her third locks her up in the house for days and won't let her out; and the last is a fop who a…

Review: This Rough Magic, by Mary Stewart

Pages: 254Original date of publication: 1964My edition: 1964 (William Morrow)Why I decided to read: it was 90 degrees outside at the time and I decided it was time to read another book by a favorite authorHow I acquired my copy: from Susanna Kearsley, December 2009Sometimes, whether or not I decide to read a book depends on the weather. Mary Stewart’s books are best read on either very hot or very cold days; and since it was 90 degrees out one weekend a couple of weeks ago, I decided that this one would be perfect. And it was.This Rough Magic takes its title from The Tempest, a play from which this novel takes off. Lucy Waring is a struggling actress who comes to visit her sister on Corfu. One of her neighbors is a renowned actor who’s taken a bit of a sabbatical and his son, a musician with whom Lucy comes to blows at first. This Rough Magic is vintage Mary Stewart, with a murder or two, a mystery, romance, suspense, and lots of magic thrown in. Lucy is your typical Mary Stewart hero…

Review: Joy in the Morning, by Betty Smith

Pages: 294
Original date of publication: 1963
My edition: 2010 (Harper Perennial)
Why I decided to read:
How I acquired my copy: Barnes and Noble, Phoenix, January 2011


A Tree Grows in Brooklyn is one of my all-time favorite books and I’ve read it, oh, half a dozen times, so I was interested to see how Joy in the Morning would compare.

Set in the late 1920s, Joy in the Morning begins when Annie, aged 18, comes to a small Midwestern college town where her fiancée, Carl, is in law school. The novel opens with their marriage in the county courthouse, and follows the couple through their first year or so of marriage. It’s a struggle, because Carl and Annie are basically children themselves, for all the ways in which Carl tries to appear more adult-like.

Annie is endearing; she’s ignorant but a voracious reader, reading everything from Babbitt to War and Peace. Betty Smith’s novels are pretty autobiographical; Joy in the Morning is (unofficially) a kind of sequel to A Tree Grows in Brooklyn—cert…