I wish I could post smells on this blog, to give you all a whiff of the jasmine that is blooming in my back yard. It almost overwhelms me when I walk out onto my back deck. I know my friends on the east coast could use a little of the beginnings of spring we are experiencing here in Los Angeles...
I won't blame the spring-like blooming (though it could be my allergies...), but for some reason I haven't been in the mood to read anything heavy lately. I've been testing the heft of Wolf Hall before I dive in, and I think it might need a little leavening, so I used up the last of my holiday gift cards to buy a couple of other English books, but in a lighter vein.
The lovely Litlove recently posted about Gervase Phinn's The Other Side of the Dale, and it sounded interesting to me, because I almost always like stories about British country or village life, and because Litlove said it was a "delightful and soothing sort of book", soothing being something I look for when I'm not in the mood for heavy. Phinn was a school inspector in the Yorkshire Dales, so he's called (on the front cover) "the James Herriott of schools"--and since I have such fond memories of reading James Herriott's books when I was a child, this sounds like it's right up my alley.
Another lovely blogger, The Indextrious Reader, posted about an English novel called Henrietta's War: News from the Home Front 1939-1942, by Joyce Dennys, a re-issue done by the Bloomsbury Group, which sounded intriguing. It wasn't available until later in the month, so I picked out another of their reissues--one with a whimsical title: The Brontes Went to Woolworths, by Rachel Ferguson. It's about three sisters growing up in London in the 1930s, and that's about all I know about it, except that I like the purple cover, so I'll let you know if I actually like the book or not.
There are several other British books I've been meaning to get to, like Nick Hornby's Juliet, Naked, Muriel Spark's Loitering with Intent, and Penelope Fitzgerald's The Blue Flower. More for the list!
One more photo for you, of the view from our front balcony, at sunrise: