Archives for category: For 12 and upwards

Image result for henry cecil crime booksImage result for henry cecil crime books

Published by Michael Joseph 1967

This is now out of print, however, you will find copies of Henry Cecil’s books in book fairs and they are always a joy to read.

On the whole they are renditions of court cases and cover different aspects of law, and its due processes. This one I recently bought at the National Book Fair in Bloomsbury (very near Russell Square) which is run every second Sunday of the month. It is well worth visiting and has often quite an eclectic selection of books for sale – some antiquarian, others just second hand. The Henry Cecil books, can’t be said to be of any value – this one was priced at £5.00 – but they are a superb collection of very good stories, with a legal theme.

Henry Cecil was a judge – who was called to the bar in 1923 and became a judge in 1967 and used his experiences as the basis for many of his books.

This one, bought last month, is the story of a cross-examination. The woman named Anne is accused of adultery and it details the questions and her answers whilst they try to ascertain whether she actually did spend the night with Mr Amberley, or not.

It starts with her being asked the following.

‘Mrs Preston,’ asked Charles Coventry, Q.C., the petitioner’s counsel, as his first question in cross-examination, ‘you say you have never committed adultery with my client’s husband, Mr Amberley. May I ask why not?’

From there the questions are wide ranging, the legal niceties are explained and the position of Mrs Preston’s defence by the end of the book become rather tenuous.

The characters are drawn from their responses and questions – and as always I particularly enjoyed the astute, sometimes acerbic comments of the judge…

The books remind me of John Mortimer’s Rumpole of the Bailey titles, however, I feel the English of Henry Cecil’s books gives them the edge – though I do enjoy Rumpole’s exploits too!

I had a few of Henry Cecil books, and stupidly gave them away to someone who was thinking of ‘going into law’ – and so sadly I don’t have them any more. I may go back to building my collection again.

Non Fiction titles include Brief to Counsel (1958) / Not Such an Ass (1961) / Tipping the Scales (1964) / Know About English Law (1965) / A Matter of Speculation: the Case of Lord Cochrane (1965) / The English Judge (1970) / Just Within the Law (1975) (autobiography)

He wrote around 25 fiction titles – too, of which A Woman Named Anne is (obviously) just one.

There have been various editions of his books, however, I have to admit to enjoying the original books, with their rather lovely dust jackets – a sample of which (taken from the Internet) I have used to illustrate this blog.

 

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Published by Piccadilly Press.

I am very pleased to say that my  new-ish colleague Amabel found the copy of this that I was reading…so I can now revisit my post about this. If she continues to find books I have lost, she will become an invaluable member of staff.

It is a beautifully complex book – with spikes of darkness. Several character’s perspectives are followed. There are the children (in particular one), who are sacrificed. A witch, who I am glad to say isn’t what you might expect. A carpenter, a mother bereft from loss. Babies. Paper birds, a swamp monster, a dragon and, perhaps my favourite character of all, a crow. Oh, I nearly forgot – there is a heroine and a hero too. It is as I suspected, marvellous.

I mentioned in my previous post about this that I have an affinity with witches. Last night I lay in bed, and basked in the light of the moon… I am just beginning to wonder.

Small phrases (and descriptive passages) are like decorative jewels:

Each lie they told fell from their lips and scattered on the ground, tinkling and glittering like broken glass.

“Caw,” said the crow. “I am the most excellent of crows,” the crow meant.

“Caw,” the crow whispered, abashed.

A blur of petulant green…

One day as she sat on the floor in the middle of her cell, cross-legged. She had chanced upon a handful of feathers left behind by a swallow who had decided to make her nest on the narrow windowsill of the cell, before a falcon had decided to make the swallow a snack.

“Caw,” said the crow, but what he meant was any number of unrepeatable things. “Language!” Luna admonished. “And anyway, I don’t believe I like your tone.

“What have you gotten yourself into? the shadows seemed to say, tutting and harrumphing.

Originally published in the USA, so is written in American. Piccadilly Press haven’t translated the odd Americanism which dot the book.

With thanks to Amabel – that useful new part-timer in Waterstones Finchley Road O2.

 

Published by Piccadilly Press

I have to say I’m pretty annoyed. I found a copy of this book at work today, started to read it – knew I wanted to take it home, and lost it. I know this is going to be a good one. I spent around half an hour searching after I should have left this evening. In the end, I had to order myself a fresh copy. Which I will, no doubt, devour when it comes in.

This is one of those I’m certain about, before I have got very far. Its about a witch. Not a nice witch either. At the very beginning you are told how she makes the land unhealthy…that an older brother was sacrificed…

I will continue this post, once I have finished it. In the mean while go out and find a copy and read it.

I have an affinity with witches. I am supposed to have two in my ancestry. Its a useful thing to remember when the world turns obnoxious…

Image result for coyote summer thebo

Published by Oxford University Press

The story of a troubled, young, rich and indulged teenager uprooted from her secure and comfortable life in London and left in the wilds of Kansas on her aunt’s farm. This is a moving, brilliantly written superb tale of growing up, responsibilities and taking on the challenges of disappointment, whilst working towards something important. Life on a Kansas farm is far harder, both physically and mentally than she expects and she is driven to continue her love of dancing out in the wilds, in private, with just a coyote looking on. Dancers should definitely read this…

It is a wonderful book, something for the Summer holidays and one to disappear into – I think it is better than her first book, Dreaming the Bear which is always a very good sign – and something that really pleases me too, it has the right ending – buy it.

On searching the Internet for photographs of the cover, it seems there was a film also called Coyote Summer, released in 1996

This looks to be a better story – I haven’t seen the film though!

This is the film of the book.

Read the book, then go and see the film.

Both are emotional rollercoasters – both are extraordinary.

I feel that Patrick Ness & J A Bayona actually produced a film that honoured the book.

Strangely, the book also honours the film; but you do need to read it before you go and see it.

I cried when reading the book.

I cried, I think, almost throughout the film.

Not to be missed.

Read the book as soon as you can and try and get into the cinema with as few people in it as possible – I had five people at my showing at 17.50 in the early evening.

I don’t believe we disturbed one another.

A film that shows the power of anger and grief in such a way is a powerful vehicle.

Perhaps it was because this was a little close to me, that I found myself so involved, but, that said, I haven’t spoken to anyone else who hasn’t been affected by this film.

It is a pity that with all the sadness in the world that can’t be helped, that people continue to treat others in the way they do –

we should remember this…we are all people after all, and all feel and care, one way or another…

 

 

Published by Pushkin Press –

Once again a superb book published by Pushkin Press.

This is a book for all those cat lovers out there – those who know cats as felines / cats, not as ‘kitties’ or any other derogatory and disrespectful term… These cats mean business.

Set in India in the heart of old Delhi – it is atmospheric and superbly crafted. Three main types of cats live in the area – indoor cats, most of whom never go out, the Wildings a group of felines living with respect for each other, their prey and other species around them and another group the Ferals – enclosed in a shuttered house who’s Big Foot is coming to the end of its life…They are not respectful. They kill for pleasure and enjoy any torment that they can cause in the process.

This is not a cat book for those of a delicate nature. It is a beautifully observed extraordinary volume. There is life and death in this book – beautifully described and detailed…

As to characters – each is distinctive and as different as you might wish from a book that isn’t about cats – some cruel, some wise, and the kittens, almost mindlessly falling and tumbling though life and the dangers that are set against them.

It is marvellous.

There is a note in the back which states that the story continues in a volume called The One Hundred Names of Darkness. Which I will be ordering, of course, as soon as I return to work tomorrow. I hope and trust it will be as good. Looking on the computer – there is a note that states this title won’t be available till November. Irritating, but I expect I will survive.

My only complaint – and it is a severe one, is that Nilanjana Roy, lives in India, which I suppose is reasonable, considering the setting of this book. It does mean though that it is unlikely I will ever meet her and she probably won’t come and ‘do’ an event in Waterstones. Which is a great pity. I have been told though, that I can have a single title table for this – and will organise this as soon as the weekend is over.