Partisans by Alistair MacLean

This is a book mainly set in The Balkans in the middle of World War II. Three Yugoslavs set out from Rome to warn The Partisans about the German battle plan that will soon be launched against them. They are accompanied by a number of strange people who are not what they seem. In fact,Continue reading “Partisans by Alistair MacLean”

Metroland by Julian Barnes

This is Julian Barnes’s first book and it’s in three parts. The first and third sections are set in Metroland – a strip of suburbia in outer London – in 1963 and 1977 respectively. The middle section is set in Paris in 1968. The first section chronicles the development of a friendship between Christopher andContinue reading “Metroland by Julian Barnes”

Diary of a Nobody by George and Weedon Grossmith

The original text for this book first appeared in Punch magazine but was turned into a book and published in 1892. Weedon Grossmith drew the illustrations that illuminate this book. This is the diary of Mr Charles Pooter who takes himself too seriously and is rather self-important. He has a habit of having small accidentsContinue reading “Diary of a Nobody by George and Weedon Grossmith”

Pigs have Wings by PG Wodehouse

I really do appreciate the Blandings Castle books of PG Wodehouse. The characters are larger than life and magnificent in their individual traits. Here both of the pigs vying for the Silver medal at the Fat Pigs event at the local agricultural show are stolen at different times but are returned in the nick ofContinue reading “Pigs have Wings by PG Wodehouse”

Marshlands by Andre Gide

This is autofiction, a form of fictionalized autobiography. Autofiction combines two mutually inconsistent narrative forms, namely autobiography and fiction. The protagonist of Marshlands is a writer who is writing a book called Marshlands about a reclusive character who lives in a tower and can fish out of his windows. The narrator or protagonist is someoneContinue reading “Marshlands by Andre Gide”

Our Cats in Amsterdam – Part 7

Our room is a lovely blue colour with sunlight coming through a window high on the wall, so we must be in a cellar somewhere. Four beds, two in a bunk bed, and two separate, round beds are present. There are two litter trays at opposite ends of the room, along with a large, roundContinue reading “Our Cats in Amsterdam – Part 7”

Our Cats in Amsterdam – Part 6

As the train speeds up from Lille, the sun comes out, and it looks lovely outside. “It looks lovely outside, Gemma,” I say, trying to engage her in conversation. “I’m reading, Frederick,” she replies, “about state sponsored oppression in the Middle East. Did you enjoy your early lunch?” “I did,” I reply. “I’ve saved halfContinue reading “Our Cats in Amsterdam – Part 6”

Our Cats in Amsterdam – Part 5

At about 7pm, Mrs Elkins arrives with two cat carriers, two toys, and what looks like an overnight bag. The black cat carriers are rather luxurious and lined with material. There is a small window in the door but otherwise we can easily keep out of sight and maintain our undercover operation. The toys areContinue reading “Our Cats in Amsterdam – Part 5”

Our Cats in Amsterdam – Part 4

By the time I wake up, John and Mary have already left for the airport. I walk around the house looking at how neat and tidy they’ve left everything. They did a lot of washing yesterday including their bed sheets and our cat blankets, so that Gemma and I would have clean bedding for theContinue reading “Our Cats in Amsterdam – Part 4”

Cold Comfort Farm by Stella Gibbons

This just might be the best fiction book I read in 2022. It’s utterly brilliant and yet I can’t work out why. In a way, it doesn’t matter. It combines a heroine who has wisdom in dealing with people beyond her years together with a cast of support characters who might live quite close toContinue reading “Cold Comfort Farm by Stella Gibbons”