2021 Must Read Something During Lockdown books
by Diana Studer
- gardening for biodiversity
in Cape Town, South Africa
Happy sigh, fresh library books after lockdown!
Glasgow in the seventies. (We visited the Tenement House, so it's a little familiar) Detective Harry McCoy. 'Tartan noir'. Warning - gratuitous graphic violence - I skimmed those paragraphs.
|Jack & Bet|
Jack & Bet
The cover with models by Mel Four spelling out the story. Green silk evening dress. Passport to a different life in America. Elephant and Castle housing estate demolished - but, only built in 1974, they remember moving in to shiny new!
Kate Elizabeth RUSSELL
My dark Vanessa
She worked on this book for over 18 years.
It is dark (paedophile grooming) but, reading, I glimpse understanding WHY did she fall for his spiel??
A ladder to the sky
Berlin before and after the wall.
A book where every character is filled out, and holds your sympathy in turn. I will enjoy sinking into that again.
In the Suffolk fens which fill the book. Gothic thriller spanning 5 centuries of history and superstition.
Time opened up to read books from my mother
This book is mine, but bought for my mother's Cornish childhood.
Cornish Harvest, edited by Denys Val BAKER. Includes a folklore story by A. L. Rowse - my mother had his autobiography - a bitter and twisted man.
Good stories linger in the air like flower scents or autumn smoke, about the tongue like wine, about the touch like silk; and shift and struggle before the eyes like the ever-changing patterns and colours seen through a child's kaleidoscope - Frank BAKER The Green Steps
|My London born mother in 1937|
The Englishwoman's wardrobe - twenty-five Englishwomen talk about their clothes (1986)
I was surprised when my mother told me that after school she worked in a dress-shop - but, as she said, there was nothing else available. Fabric and textiles, I still have a hopeful pile that needs to be made up?!
Uncommon people - a study of England's Elite.
My mother preferred to read biography, social history, memoirs and letters - but I was shocked to discover that this is about eugenics. And now I can't ask...
V. M. FITZROY (Violet Mary 1907-1991)
Down to earth
About early / colonial gardens in Cape Town. Arderne Gardens still exist as an exotic arboretum. Apparently I can blame them in 1847 for the plague of Norfolk Island pines across our city?
Rereading the books I loved as a child, and loved again!
|Emma escaping |
Dorothy Ann LOVELL (the mystery of DAL)
The strange adventures of Emma.
Emma is a doll - but this book is timeless, as spellbinding as ever.
The Pomanders of Little Chipping
As a child I took 'Little Chipping' for an English village, but, it is Lillkoping translated from Swedish.
When I worked in the Central Library in Zurich I bought some books in German.
Only now do I come to read them.
|Heidi among Alpine meadow flowers|
In English, as a child, I read that again and again. Lost in a fantasy world among the flowers on an Alpine meadow. Fast forward to a Swiss husband, a SIL called Heidi, and we have walked alongside those Alpine meadows of flowers. Reading in German I was caught by the black vanilla orchid.
About Heidi, the author
|Gardens of China|
Die Gaerten Chinas.
Reading NON-fiction in German, which was a marathon of persistence, but interesting to read about the Chinese roots of what I thought of as 'Japanese' gardens. Our offset path a tiny homage to their zigzag paths along the lake shore.
An eclectic collection driven by Must Read Something During Lockdown,
chosen by my mother, our library or charity bookshops.
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Pictures by Diana Studer
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