Roundabout: A Year in the Life of Little Common
Philip Elms' new book on everyday happenings in the village is proving a big hit. Sales of Roundabout - A Year in the Life of Little Common reached 136 within a month of release. The book logs at least one event for every day of 2017 from the traumatic to the trivial. Copies are still available at Little Common Post Office at the special launch price of £9.99.

Book reviews and readers' recommendations


Although the Library doesn't provide its own reviews or recommendations of books or authors, some of our readers do (see below), and there are several websites that are devoted to the subject. A Google search will give you the links to a number of them. Here are a few:

   Lovereading UK

   The Bookbag

   Goodreads

   Amazon's list of Most Popular Authors

  
Also, of course, most newspapers have regular book review sections.

And our readers recommend...

We welcome your 'Good read' recommendations of books you have enjoyed. These may help other readers choose when they may be wondering what to read next. All recommendations will be displayed anonymously below. Please email them to us via the contact page. 

Please indicate the author, title and in which of the following categories the book fits: Romance, Crime/Thriller, Historical, General fiction, Non-fiction' Give a brief summary of why you like it.

Recommendations received from readers

1. Crime novels by Donna Leon. They all concern a resourceful police inspector, Commissario Guido Brunetti, and his team in Venice and, apart from the police work involved, give a revealing insight into Venetian life and politics in Italy, including the widespread corruption.

2. The 'Jack Reacher' crime/thriller novels by Lee Child. They concern an unconventional ex-military policeman uncovering crime and corruption in the US. For me, their strength is in the clear writing , the good plots and characters, all well described. They make one want to read to the last page.

3. The medical crime thrillers by Tess Gerritsen. The medical details are extremely authentic, mainly because of the author's medical background and experience. Again they are clearly written and characterised.

4. Historical novels by Julian Stockwin about a naval officer in the Napoleonic wars. Comparable in some ways to the Jack Aubrey novels of Patrick O'Brian, also very good, I like them as much and sometimes more. They cover the naval career of a young Surrey man, press-ganged into the Navy and his subsequent rise through the ranks to Admiral, taking part in some of the great events of the time. Highly recommended.

5. The Shardlake series by C.J. Sansom. With over well over two million copies in print, this historical crime series takes the reader into Tudor life with realism, good story lines and many unforgettable characters. As he brings the sights and sounds of Tudor times to life with masterful depth Sansom provides a masterclass in suspense.

6. Novels by Victoria Hislop are highly readable and informative. Amongst others 'The Island' and 'The Thread' cover episodes in 20th century Greek history, 'The Sunrise' is about Cyprus in the 1970s, 'The Return' takes place in the Spanish Civil War.

7. Ken Follett has written nearly 30 books - thrillers, spy novels and historical, all very readable. Among the most well-known are the books about Kingsbridge, a village in the middle ages The first of these is about the building of a cathedral, the others are sequels about the village inhabitants and their descendants, including living through the Black Death and the last in Elizabethan times. Highly enjoyable. The books are called 'The Pillars of the Earth', 'World Without End'. A third, 'The Column of Fire' was published in 2017.

8. The series of 20 or so books by John Grisham, mainly about crime and associated legal consequences in the Southern United States are some of the best reads I have had. Several have been made into films - The Firm, The Pelican Brief to name but a few.  They are all clear and lucidly written. Well worth a try.

9. I was introduced to Stella Rimington by a friend. Close Call and Present Danger are two titles I have read recently and I would recommend them to anyone who likes "Spooks"stories. You'll find them in Crime and Adventure. They are stories about MI5 agents who foil plots to attack the Middle East or cause disruption in Northern Ireland. They keep you wanting to read the next chapter and there is an underlying story about the characters so they may be better read in sequence, Although I read them out of sequence it did not affect the impact of the story.

10. 'Last Train from Berlin'
by Howard K.Smith, an American press correspondent, is a remarkable book about his life in Germany in the 1930s and the first few years of the Second World War. He depicts what it was like for the ordinary German population as the Nazis established and hardened their hold. In particular his description of the change of mood from great optimism to profound despair following the invasion of Russia in 1941, is very revealing. There is not much about the war itself or the horrors of the regime  but it shows how easily a population suffering from the effects of the First War could so easily be captured by an extremist organisation promising hope and a bright future - a promise that soon turned to ashes.

11. Louise Penny. Her books are in the crime section and the ones I have been reading are the Chief Inspector Gamache series. They are set in the Quebec area of Canada and the detective is very clever in the way he engages everyone to make their contributions. They are quite a gentle read (a bit like Miss Marple) the books have a back story but you can read them out of sequence. I am enjoying them very much.















"Reading gives us someplace to go when we have to stay where we are." Mason Cooley

     

  
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