WHAT I LIKE TO READ
The on-going challenge of reading excellent writing, locating new authors, finding inspiration for my own scribblings and making new friends and meeting people is what drives my book list.
This time last year I was in Ledbury for their Poetry Festival and amongst those 10 days I unearthed a gem. I had signed up for an-all-night-poetry event at Hellens Manor, Much Marcle, but in the evening there were two separate events with one entitled At Maldon. The story starts with an event in the year 991 when a rag-tag army of local Anglo-Saxons faced a marauding army of Vikings. J.O Morgan, the author, takes a piece of old writing where the beginning and ending had been 'mislaid' and adds his understanding to what could have been said. He made it so rhythmical, alliterative and sound so true as though he had been there all those years ago. And he recited it, all sixty pages! (ISBN 978-0-957-3266-5-1)
Following on from Ledbury was the Harrogate Crime Writers Festival and where you can indulge yourself in the world of crime books and rub shoulders with the writers and publishers. Here we encountered Mari Hannah and her four published books, The Murder Wall, Settled Blood, Deadly Deceit, and Monument to Murder. If you enjoy English crime stories then these are a 'must read' and to add to the list there is Killing for Keeps also.
I could include many other authors that I have met at Harrogate. Writers that I have bought their books, read, enjoyed and reviewed in my blog. (http://spanishjohnedwards-je.blogspot.com.) I had the pleasure of meeting J K Rowling and her crime stories written under the name of Robert Galbraith. Again stories set in England and to be enjoyed.
In January we were browsing in a book shop on Sanibel Island, Florida when I saw a book written by Jonathan Hayes. His first book, A Hard Death, involving cruelty, torture, sex of course, and plenty of deaths which was all set in the Everglades Natural Park. I think that it is an added extra to be able to have some personal knowledge or an idea, or at least, of the location or locations that are included in any story. For me, it seems to add to the enjoyment. I have reviewed all of the above books and they are all on my blog.
I also read more serious 'stuff' and this has included some of the stories in The Dubliners by James Joyce and I have dabbled in several others of similar ilk. Currently I am reading (slowly) The Rainbow by D H Lawrence and interspersed with small chunks of a factual account of the efforts of the Maquisands on the Vercors plateau (near Grenoble) attempting to resist the German occupiers from a book entitled The Cruel Victory by Paddy Ashdown.
History fascinates me and so with serious historical accounts I read a novel during the time of that reading. This was not the case with Hilary Mantel's two books Wolf Hall and Bring up the Bodies that demanded all of my attention, but worth it.
Recently I have read Mr Mercedes by Stephen King upon which I will write a review for my blog and I still have his later book The Revival to read next.
Having just returned from England The Sunday Times has given me some more to add to my list. There are diverse writings such as Medieval Graffiti by Dan Jones, Under Storms Wing which is about the love of Helen Thomas and her husband and prolific writer Edward Thomas, Closet Queens: Some 20th Century British Politicians by Michael Bloch and The Last English Poachers by Bob & Brian Tovey. It seems endless this list and if I add in my research on Herefordshire Gypsies then the list is bound to grow even more.
I also read wildlife magazines and those written on the environment and of course poems of friends and published authors.
John Edwards July 2015.