Monday, January 12, 2015

New Year's Reading List 2015

It's been five years since I last shared my Christmas Reading List (it doesn't seem like I've been blogging for that long!).  So Peter and I thought we would share what delightful texts we are looking forward to reading this year...

David's Choices
This book, a birthday present from my mother, has been on my to read list for the past couple of years. Now that we are starting to get some harvest from the orchard, vineyard, and elderflower hedge,  we are looking at recipes for turning the harvest into a nice tipple.

This book was given to me by a colleague who said he found it in a bookshop when he was browsing and couldn't put it down. He thought it might be my sort of book, and it is. Any lover of English literature will find this delightful.

Appealing to both the gardener and the dipsomaniac in me, this book takes a whimsical look at the botany behind some of the world's most popular drinks.

A fan of Debretts guides, this book was given to me as a gift after preaching at a London church one Sunday. I have enjoyed flicking through it's pages over the years, but have decided to dust it off and read it again cover to cover.

As a big fan of the Tottering-by-Gently strips from Country Life, when Annie Tempest released  a commemorative book of the first 20 years of her cartoon strips I happily snapped one up. The sort of book great for a coffee table or killing a little bit of time.

Peter's Choices
Peter and I are both fans of Alan Bennett. It was Peter who introduced his work to me. Peter saw the stage show of The History Boys when it was on in the West End, but I have only seen the movie, which was very good. Peter has decided he wants to go back and read the book again.

He also wants to re-read some of Auden's poetry. I discovered Auden after seeing Four Weddings and a Funeral with John Hannah's tear-jerking rendition of "Stop all the clocks" at Gareth's funeral. It is still one of my favourite poems. I also love this rhyming couplet from Auden's poem "The more loving one":

If equal affection cannot be,
Let the more loving one be me.

Peter recently saw the film adaptation of The Hundred-Foot Journey and so wants to read the novel. There are strong themes in the work which resound deeply with Peter's background growing up in a Guest House.

Susan Hill is a prolific writer, and her novel In the Springtime of the Year is one that Peter remembers reading as a student. It was considered to be one of the set texts for pastoral studies by one of his tutors, Bishop Jack Nicholls.

Fit for a Bishop is a jolly romp, which Peter was given to read many years ago by a parishioner, Connie. It contains extravagant recipes, and an introduction which delightfully describes the gardening antics of a priest's house keeper.


  1. Of your list, I have only read/seen three:
    The Hundred-Foot Journey and
    The History Boys (loved it!!!!).

    Of the unfamiliar ones you recommend, please send me a copy of Debretts Guide for the Modern Gentleman for our next wedding anniversary :) The title is almost a contradiction in terms.

    1. Yes Hels, Sadly younger people tend not to have been taught or care about manners and etiquette, which serve as society's daily lubrication.
      Chivalry isn't dead completely, it just followed wherever being lady-like did. I realised this when I opened a door for a woman (for she was not a lady) who then proceeded to berate me for thinking her incapable of performing the task herself!

  2. Have you read John Harris' "No Voice from the Hall" stories from a country house snooper. One of my favorites.


    1. No I haven't. I shall make enquiries with intrigue. Hopefully another gem to add to the library.


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