Open House by Jane Christmas

Light Hearted And Fun

Open House by Jane Christmas is a most entertaining look at moving house, renovating and exploring reasons as to why the author is a serial renovator.

Jane Christmas has lived in thirty two houses. She is a Canadian now living in Bristol. Apparently Canadians move regularly in contrast with the British who are move adverse. The say opposites attract. The Husband, who is British and doesn’t like either moving or renovating, has been uprooted from London to Bristol via Brixham! The result is very amusing as the reader looks in but the tension is palpable.

I loved Jane Christmas’ style of writing. She was warm, friendly, honest and open. It felt like reading a letter from a dear friend.

The reader gets an intimate glimpse into the author’s life. We hear about her being raped (the subject of a previous book) in 1983 which has forever defined her life since then.

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Stories Of Hope by Heather Morris

Wow… Inspiring

Stories Of Hope by Heather Morris is a powerful read about the importance of listening to others when they are talking.

Heather Morris wrote The Tattooist Of Auschwitz and also Cilka’s Journey, both of which I have read and are excellent. Within this book Heather Morris talks about her experiences of listening to Lale as he talked about Auschwitz. It was important to listen well and not ask questions that would interrupt his flow.

Many survivors of the concentration camps do not talk about their experiences, especially within their families. Their stories need to be told in tribute to both the survivors and the six million innocents who died.

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The Yorkshire Vet by Peter Wright

Charming And Welcoming

The Yorkshire Vet: In The Footsteps Of Herriot by Peter Wright is a wonderful accompaniment to the television series The Yorkshire Vet. I have been a fan of the show since the beginning, loving the wit and charm of Peter Wright and getting to know the various locals – my favourites being Steve and Jean Green.

This book perfectly captures the essence of Peter Wright with his straight forward speaking and the many tales of his life down the years.

It is fascinating to hear of Peter Wright’s time under Alf Wight (the real James Herriot).

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In The Garden Of Beasts by Erik Larson


In The Garden Of Beasts by Erik Larson is a fascinating yet horrifying account of American ambassador to Berlin, William Dodd, after his appointment in summer of 1933.

 The book charts the rise of Hitler and the Nazi party. Hitler is described by Dodd’s daughter as “a clown who looked like Charlie Chaplin… could not imagine him lasting very long or being taken very seriously.” How very wrong she proved to be.

William Dodd thought Hitler, Goring and Himmler were all unsuitable for their posts. He disliked them all. Unfortunately a reign of terror was just beginning.

The atmosphere of fear grew over the years. It is ironic that people could be prosecuted for mistreatment of animals, even going to prison, but human life was not seen as so precious.

We see how Von Pappen believed Hitler could be controlled like a puppet and so handed Hitler power on a plate. As history shows, this spectacularly backfired.

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