Trying out new authors – at least new to me – has been the theme recently. The monthly visit of the library van means that this is painless and cost-free.

    The Mermaid Chair

by Sue Monk Kidd is an excellent read. Not least for its insightful philosophy into relationships. The story itself carries the reader along, then it all comes to a good conclusion. Requiring a bit more effort is,

    The Savage Garden

by Mark Mills. The Literary Review tells us that “Mills juggles the mysteries of three periods, switching between centuries with a conjurer’s skill….beautifully written.” Probably the kind of book that needs a second read. The third new author is Jodi Picoult. The book in question is

    The Pact

A breathtaking read. I shall certainly be looking for more of her titles.  

    The Pure Land

by Alan Spence is a real page-turner, it also gives a lot of background about the struggle of Japan moving from ancient nation to modern times – not forgetting Nagasaki and the atomic bomb. Well worth reading.

Non-fiction of the moment is the second of two books written by Terry Darlington, about travels with his wife Monica in their narrow boat.

    Narrow Dog to Carcassone


    Narrow Dog to Indian River

are full of interest and humour. The first trip is self-explanatory, the second is down the Eastern seaboard of the United States. The style takes a bit of getting used to, but it is extremely entertaining. I sent an email to the Darlingtons and received a jaunty reply. Apparently, Jim the dog did not have to do quarantine when their trip to the States ended. The pet passport scheme has made these things possible.

 I am still addicted to my usual bedtime reading, May Sarton’s journals. I just read them through (there are around six) – then start at the begininning again. Occasionally, I try some other diaries, but am always drawn back to Sarton for her blend of the everday and the esoteric.

Spiritual reading is the 2008 edition of Sacred Space. This is from the Jesuit Communication Centre, Ireland and gives a focus for readings and prayers for each day. Still a firm favourite.

New readers may wonder at my propensity to read five or six books at a time. I can o­nly say that it has been my habit for many years now. There is no trouble telling them apart or remembering the threads of plot etc., as they are all such different genres.

For education, I confess I enjoy  looking at personality types in Don Richard Riso’s book o­n Using the Enneagram for self-discovery, published by Auarian/Harper Collins. It is a 1987 book but never loses its relevance. I have started a short Open University Course on Writing Fiction which is proving interesting and much more taxing than I had expected. All good fun.

Lifestyle is something very much o­n my mind at the moment, so I have started to dip in to o­ne of the books o­n my “to read” shelf….. 7 Steps to the Simple LifeMaria Von Eyk McCain – published by Findhorn Press. And I am also re-reading her book Elderwoman.

Reading is, as you can see, a vital part of my life and pleasure. Thus I am pleased at the Harry Potter phenomenon. It is time to go back to the beginning and read them all over again – mainly so that I can keep up with the grandchildren. Same goes for

    Lord of the Rings

– there is an expert in the family. Doubt that I shall ever reach his standard!

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