Its been a good reading year so far, I’ve managed 11 books.
The Long Way to a Small Angry Planet. I just dont understand the hype for Becky Chambers books and writing. They are slow, dull, lacking in plot or excitement with characters ive forgotten by the time i next pick the book up.
Book that most surprised me
The Dry by Jane Harper. I had seen it around for a few months but thought its not for me. Then something made me try a chapter online and wow! I was blown away by how gripping it was.
My Brothers husband, a manga/graphic novel. It was okay but the artwork was not a patch on others ive read, one character in the book was so annoying I could barely read to the end and the plot was bitty and unconclusive.
Favourite new author to me
This has to be Jane Harper. I’ve read two of her three books this year and her writing has been a revelation to me. I have her third novel but have yet to read it.
UPDATE: I’ve now read all of Jane Harpers books and im itching for her to get writing her fourth.
Oh definitely Morgan from Birthday by Meredith Russo. I felt for him/her all throughout the book and just wanted to give them a big motherly hug. The character was well written and so interesting.
Favourite book of 2019 so far is…
Birthday by Meredith Russo. So moving and thought provoking. I admit it opened my eyes. Eric & Morgan were such well written and rounded out characters I couldnt help but love them and enjoyed every minute of their story.
Books i’m anticipating in the second half of 2019
David Mogo Godhunter by Suyi Davies Okungbowa (i’m kindly being sent a review copy of this)
This is how you lose the time war by Amal-el-Mohtar
The Last Astronaut by David Wellington
The Wanderers by Chuck Wendig
An Absolutely Remarkable Thing by Hank Green
I think 2019 is going to be an epic year for books
A recent purchase, this postcard of All Saints Church in Writtle was bought because of my large association to Writtle via the Bonnington and Brazier families on my Maternal side.
I was pleased however to find that the card had been sent too so i could have a nosy at the message.
It was sent to a Mrs Johncock of 103 Chapel Lane, Walton, Nr. Ipswich in Suffolk.
The message reads:
Dear, I am working 10 miles from town for a few days write so i have a letter weekend as I shall be back in town by Saturday. Sorry to hear the children are no better Bill
By the personal tone of the message I had a guess that Bill could be her husband and I think I was right.
William Frederick Johncock was born on 22nd February 1881 in Ipswich, Suffolk to Robert and Jane Johncock. He married Agnes Chennery in 1902 in Woodbridge, Suffolk.
He was a plasterer by trade rising to the rank of Master by the 1911 census. I guess in those days you went where the work was and if you didnt have any transport you’d have to stay locally to the job and away from home thus the wish for a letter. The children in question were two sons, William Frederick aged 2 and Arthur Stanley who would have been a baby. It must have been very tough for Agnes with two small poorly children and her husband absent so much with work.
Two more children were born after that; Sidney Robert in 1908 and a daughter, Ethel Agnes in 1910.
I went in search of him in the WW1 records and found him straight away. The address on the paperwork being the same as the postcard was a thrill to find. Its a bit faint but readable.
On one of his WW1 service papers Agnes and the children are listed as his next of kin which I think is great to see
He joined up on 26th January 1915 and was posted to the Royal Engineers as a sapper. He was ticked off a couple of times for returning late to his barracks after a day pass was granted him. Once in 1916 and then again in 1917. On the first occasion he was almost a day late! He received 3 days ‘confined to barracks for that’ and forfeited a days pay. I wonder what had kept him or if it had all got too much and he was thinking of going AWOL?
On 23rd April 1918 he was badly wounded by shrapnel to the head and face and after a period of almost a month was shipped back to the UK and spent 5 months in the Merryflats Hospital, Govan, Glasgow.
I cant find out exactly what it was for but he was awarded the Military Medal on 16th July 1918.
His injuries left him with constant headaches and dizzness and after being discharged from hospital he was posted to a Reserve battalion and then finally invalided out and demobbed in January 1919.
I find him 20 years later in the 1939 Register living in Felixstowe with Agnes and he’s still a plasterer.
He died in 1966 in Woodbridge, Suffolk aged 81. Its great to see that his injuries didnt stop him from having a long and hopefully happy life. Agnes died in 1973 aged almost 90, so they were a long living family.
If you have any connection to these people i’d love to hear from you so that the postcard can be returned to its righful owner.
It is beautiful, it is sweet, it is heartbreaking, it is hopeful
It draws you in, hugs you tight, grabs your heart, twists it around then leaves you thinking about the words and feelings for a long, long time.
That night Ingrid told Caitlin, I’ll go wherever you go. But by dawn Ingrid, and her promise, were gone. Ingrid’s suicide immobilizes Caitlin, leaving her unsure of her place in a new life she hardly recognizes. A life without the art, the laughter, the music, and the joy that she shared with her best friend…. But Ingrid left something behind. In words and drawings, Ingrid documented a painful farewell in her journal. Journeying through Ingrid’s final days, Caitlin fights back through unspeakable loss to find renewed hope.
Her writing is so beautiful, the words feel soft yet powerful and you cant help but love the character of Caitlin.
I also loved Taylor and Dylan and it was great to explore their connections to Caitlin too. Everytime I reached for the book I began to look forward to spending time with the characters and see where the story was going next. She has pitched the ending just right although I would love another book about this character and what shes doing now. If you read this Nina (highly unlikely) please update us!Given its themes I would like to think that all children should be given a copy of this book and that parents would benefit from reading it too. Ingrid’s story will stay with me for a very long time.
This is a top book of the year so far, and a solid 5 ***** read.