July's reading list, with bonus Guide Dog Puppies

I finally managed to finish reading Her Privates We, by Frederic Manning. I don't want to review this one here in much detail, but I will say that I struggled with it. A lot of the conversation is written in local accents which are (as of this year) 100 years old!

I did find it interesting that the description of being at war was more realistic than in other novels, where they skim over the boring parts. It makes it clear in Her Privates We that war isn't a four year stretch of not leaving the trenches, instead Manning has his characters in the trenches, then out again, marching between different towns and villages, drinking in estaminets, bedding down in tents, making friends, and, in one case, deserting.

Whilst it made for hard going, I think I appreciated the dull, none-exciting parts of the narrative more for the realism that they offered than a Holywood-ised non-stop action version would have been.

Certainly, in the centenary year of the outbreak of WWI, this book is worth a read to see just what it was really like for the squaddies in the trenches.

I only gave this one 3 stars, mainly due to how hard going I found it, but I am likely to go back and upgrade it to a four later on.

This also filled in the H gap in my alphabet challenge, and as I had already read the I book, that moves me onto J.

So, for July, I need to read;
  • The Scarlet Lion, Elizabeth Chadwick (for my Historical Book CLub)
  • The Magpies, Mark Edwards (for my online general book club)
  • The Silkworm, Robert Galbraith (before I meet the author at the Crime Writing Festival)
  • Dark Side of the River, Brian Formby (for my local book club - we read anything, but this happens to be by a local author!)
  • and an as yet undecided novel, with a title starting with the letter J.
Quite a list! On top of getting through my reading list, we are still mid-way through the selling and buying a house process (complicated stuff, our solicitor is being utterly awesome, and really taking a lot of the strain off us though!) and there's the little matter of the International Crime Writing Festival in a little over a week's time! About which, I am becoming positively giddy with excitement! 

Now, we don't have any more walking excursions planned for this month, yet... but there is a walking festival in North Wales (which is about half an hour by car from here) at the end of August that we would quite like to go to!

And Finally:

A friend and colleague of mine, breeds dogs for the Guide Dogs Association, and in return for me sending him boxes of newspapers from time to time, he sends me photos of each litter of beautiful guide dog puppies... here's his latest batch, who all leave home to go into Guide Dog training tomorrow...

For more information about Guide Dogs for the Blind, or to support this amazing charity, please visit their website, http://www.guidedogs.org.uk


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