Monday, 8 February 2010

The Bookworm Reviews


Sitting around snuffling, I have been able to catch up reading


This one was great - one of my pupils told me it was his current 'home reader', and I remembered I had a copy in a boxed set of Morpurgo Novels. It is, like all MM stuff beautifully written [see more here] . Set on the Isles of Scilly in 1914, it tells the story of two children learning about friendship and prejudice. I polished it off in an evening, and look forward to chatting about it to my pupil this week.

Then I re-read "The Getting Of Wisdom" by Henry Handel Richardson.

hh richardson HHR is a stern looking lady! the website of the HHR Society [here] gives biographical details of this Australian, who married a Brit, and wrote a novel set in her own Alma Mater, the Presbyterian Ladies College in Melbourne at the end of the last century.

The story is about Laura, the eldest daughter of a widow, who is sent to boarding school, and her experiences there.

Apparently the PLC were not happy when HHR returned to Melbourne years later, as a successful author, to research for her autobiography - she didn't present the school in a very good light!

My copy has a preface by Germaine Greer, and was the first ever Virago publication I owned [according to my note in the front I bought it in 1981]. It is a clever book, and has some good descriptions of the life of Australian girls and women. But it is not a terribly cheerful book - why do teenage girls have to be so nasty to each other? and why was there no character in the entire book who seemed genuinely pleasant and caring? However I think this is probably a more realistic book about boarding school life than the Malory Towers ones churned out by Enid Blyton!

Finally, another historical murder mystery

murder on london bridge I picked this one up on the 'new books' shelf at the library. I hadn't come across 'Thomas Chaloner' Adventures before.

TC lives in Restoration London, and is a spy working for the Earl of Clarendon. I enjoyed this one, and will look out for more of this series.

The writing was not quite as good as CJ Sansom - but a good read nonetheless.

My cold is heaps better - so back to work tomorrow - and that will curtail the "reading for pleasure" for a bit!


  1. so glad you are eeling so much better, but tske care all the same.

  2. Thanks for the reviews--all the books sound like good reading.

    I'm glad you're better. May this be the last cold of the season!


  3. Why the Whales Came sounds fantastic. I'm so glad that you are feeling better, Angela!

  4. It would seem that the new book on boarding school you are reading may be "more realistic" than Enid Blyton's Malory Towers' series. However, since I grew up on Enid Blyton's books as a child, I am glad to inform you that I have published a book on Enid Blyton, titled, The Famous Five: A Personal Anecdotage (
    Stephen Isabirye


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