Posted in Book Review, Books I have read, Five Star Reads

84 Charing Cross Road & The Duchess of Bloomsbury Street – Helene Hanff

Non-Fiction  5*'s
Non-Fiction
5*’s

I first heard about this book many months ago on the Blog:Musings From A Bookmammal and sold on the fact that this was an epistolary novel written by a booklover.

A delightful book, 84 Charing Cross Road is a book entirely made up of letters detailing the correspondence that spanned twenty years between Helene Hanff and the booksellers Messers Marks & Co.

Starting in 1949 Helene from New York, wrote to the booksellers requesting a list of books, having found their details in a newspaper and Frank Doel responds with his finds three weeks later. As the correspondence deepens Helene Hanff’s humour and kindness shine through and soon other members of staff and their families are also writing and receiving their own personal responses. Booklovers will enjoy tracking the non-fiction titles Helene demands with varying levels of urgency.

It has to be said not a great deal happens in this very slim tome but Helene Hanff manages to give the reader a little slice of social history, especially detailing the ongoing rationing in the early 1950’s. The writing style is what carries his book along.

In The Duchess of Bloomsbury Street the reader gets to hear all the details of her long-awaited trip to London which followed the publication of 84 Charing Cross Road. A delightful addition where the author is courted by both those she corresponded with and her newer fans. Written in the form of a journal of her stay her humour is even more pronounced.

I don’t think I’ve ever read a book quite like this one and I’d like to thank Bookmammal for the recommendation.

Posted in Weekly Posts

Friday Finds (May 16)

Friday Finds Hosted by Should be Reading

FRIDAY FINDS showcases the books you ‘found’ and added to your To Be Read (TBR) list… whether you found them online, or in a bookstore, or in the library — wherever! (they aren’t necessarily books you purchased).

So, come on — share with us your FRIDAY FINDS!

So this week somehow I have some new finds from NetGalley, they were requested some time ago (of course!)

Now That You’re Gone by Julie Corbin

Now That You're Gone

Blurb

When the body of Isla’s brother, an ex-Marine and private investigator, is pulled from the River Clyde, she is convinced he was murdered. When the coroner declares Dougie’s died of accidental drowning and rules out foul play, the police are happy to close the case. But Isla has other ideas.
Determined to find out what really happened the night Dougie died, and why he was even in Glasgow, she starts looking into his unsolved cases. What she finds will put her in grave danger and force her to question everything she thought she knew about those closest to her . . .Amazon

I also have a copy of The Winter Foundlings by Kate Rhodes. This is the third in the Alice Quentin series, this is actually two reads as I must read A Killing of Angels (the second in the series) too.

The Winter Foundlings
Blurb

The girl’s body lay on the steps of the Foundling Museum. She was dressed all in white, and tagged with the number 12.
Britain’s most prolific child killer, Louis Kinsella, murdered nine children before he was caught and locked away for life in Northwood high-security hospital. Now someone is carrying on his work. Four girls have disappeared in North London. Three are already dead…
Psychologist Alice Quentin is working at Northwood, hoping for space and time away from her hectic London life. But she’ll do anything to save a child’s life – even if it means sitting down with a charismatic, ruthless killer and putting herself in greater danger than ever before. Goodreads

I have acquired a copy of The Lie of You by Jane Lythell

The Lie of You

Blurb

To the outside world, Kathy is the very picture of a happy and fulfilled modern woman. She has a beautiful baby boy, a clever, handsome husband and a glamorous, high-powered job.
But not everybody is fooled. Her employee, Heja, knows the truth: the cracks in Kathy’s marriage, her self-doubt, her fear of failure at work. Heja is perfectly placed to destroy Kathy’s life. And if she succeeds, she can claim the one thing she wants most…Goodreads

and I have been lent a copy of 84 Charing Cross Road by Helene Hanff which my friend found (before me) at the book sale we went to a couple of weeks ago.

84 Charing Cross Road
Blurb

It all began with a letter inquiring about second-hand books, written by Helene Hanff in New York, and posted to a bookshop at 84, Charing Cross Road in London. As Helene’s sarcastic and witty letters are responded to by the stodgy and proper Frank Doel of 84, Charing Cross Road, a relationship blossoms into a warm and charming long-distance friendship lasting many years.

The same kind friend has also lent me a copy of Night Music by Jojo Moyes

Night Music

Blurb

The Spanish House is a hotch potch of designs, Georgian, Gothic and Moorish, as if whoever started it had simply got bored. It has long been known to locals as an architectural folly, and is now nearly derelict to boot.
When its reclusive owner dies intestate the Spanish House is left to his city-dwelling niece. For Isabel, recently widowed, the house is a potential lifeline – the only hope she has of providing for her two children without having to sell her most treasured possession. But for neighbour Matt McCarthy, the house is revenge – on the family who ruined his father. For his wife it’s the key to the perfect family life, while a struggling property developer sees in it a whole new future.
As desires clash and intertwine, lives and loves are demolished – and the Spanish House becomes a true folly indeed . . .Amazon

What have you found to read this week?