All Things Wise and Wonderful

 

 

Had my doubts when picking this up such along time after reading the others however I loved it; gentleness coupled with reserved mode of story-telling had me in its grips right from the get-go. The inclusion of RAF training and the birth of his son in this volume were absolutely lovely.

4* – All Creatures Great and Small (1972)
4* – All Things Bright and Beautiful (1973)

4* – All Things Wise and Wonderful (1977)
4* – The Lord God Made Them All (1981)
4* – James Herriot’s Dog Stories (1986)

Bad Boy by Peter Robinson

 

Description: Banks’ old neighbour Juliet Doyle comes to tell him that found a gun, wrapped up, in her daughter Erin’s bedroom. Helen leads a raid on the house, resulting in Erin’s father Peter being tasered and ending up in hospital. Consequently Annie is asked to head an investigation into Helen’s decision. Erin tells the police she was given a parcel, unaware that it contained a gun, by older boy-friend Jaff Kitson. The gun was used to kill DJ Richard Martin and Banks makes a connection with villainous local businessman Al Jenkins. However Jenkins tells him that he sacked Kitson before the murder. A further interview with Erin reveals that Banks’ daughter Tracy has left town with Kitson – and she has told him that her father is a policeman.

Suspenseful episode. Two Smith and Wessons, and one and a half heart-attack inducing tasers.

3* Gallows View (Inspector Banks, #1)
3* A Dedicated Man (Inspector Banks, #2)
3* A Necessary End (Inspector Banks, #3)
TR The Hanging Valley (Inspector Banks, #4)
TR Past Reason Hated (Inspector Banks, #5)
3* Wednesday’s Child (Inspector Banks, #6)
3* Dry Bones That Dream (Inspector Banks, #7)
3* Innocent Graves (Inspector Banks, #8)
TR Blood At The Root (Inspector Banks, #9)
TR In A Dry Season (Inspector Banks, #10)
3* Cold Is The Grave (Inspector Banks, #11)
4* Aftermath (Inspector Banks, #12)
TR Close To Home (Inspector Banks, #13)
3* Playing With Fire (Inspector Banks, #14)
3* Strange Affair (Inspector Banks, #15)
3* Piece Of My Heart (Inspector Banks, #16)
3* Friend Of The Devil (Inspector Banks, #17)
TR All The Colours Of Darkness (Inspector Banks, #18)
3.5* Bad Boy (Inspector Banks, #19)

Piece Of My Heart by Peter Robinson

bookshelves: published-2006, mystery-thriller, britain-england, e-book, summer-2014, film-only, series, music, yorkshire

Read from August 17 to 18, 2014

 

Description: The body of journalist Matt Barber, found in a chalet deep within the hills of a remote village, connect Banks to the death of John Gaunt, a guitarist for a band known as ‘The Crystal Kiss’, who died during the 1980s. His band-mate, and best friend, Martin Hareford, was sent to prison on the grounds of manslaughter, serving five years for Gaunt’s death. Banks finds himself not only investigating Matt Barber’s death, but re-opening the Gaunt case in order to identify the potential cover-up which is threatening to hide the truth behind Barber’s death. As he finds himself raking over bad memories for those involved, DI Morton finds herself suspicious of Barber’s father Jack, who was the investigating officer in the Gaunt case, who extracted a confession from Martin Hareford. However, when the files reveal the confession has disappeared, DI Morton suspects that Jack has more to do with his son’s death than he is letting on.

3* Gallows View (Inspector Banks, #1)
3* A Dedicated Man (Inspector Banks, #2)
3* A Necessary End (Inspector Banks, #3)
TR The Hanging Valley (Inspector Banks, #4)
TR Past Reason Hated (Inspector Banks, #5)
3* Wednesday’s Child (Inspector Banks, #6)
3* Dry Bones That Dream (Inspector Banks, #7)
3* Innocent Graves (Inspector Banks, #8)
TR Blood At The Root (Inspector Banks, #9)
TR In A Dry Season (Inspector Banks, #10)
3* Cold Is The Grave (Inspector Banks, #11)
4* Aftermath (Inspector Banks, #12)
TR Close To Home (Inspector Banks, #13)
3* Playing With Fire (Inspector Banks, #14)
3* Strange Affair (Inspector Banks, #15)
3* Piece Of My Heart (Inspector Banks, #16)
3* Friend Of The Devil (Inspector Banks, #17)
TR All The Colours Of Darkness (Inspector Banks, #18)
TR Bad Boy (Inspector Banks, #19)

In Search of Staszewski by Kenneth Fedzin

bookshelves: e-book, net-galley, published-2014, nonfiction, holocaust-genocide, wwii, biography, poland, history, families, yorkshire, ukraine, true-grime, totalitarian, slavic, rid-the-world-of-tyrants, ouch, gulp, gangsters, execution, casual-violence

Read from May 02 to 03, 2014


Netgalley and Troubador Publishing Ltd/Matador

Description: “However horrible the past may have been, forgetting it would make the future even worse.”
International Historical-Enlightenment Human Rights and Humanitarian Society Memorial, Moscow.

Set around the time of the 1863 Uprising and World War II, In Search of Staszewski is a powerful and moving real life account of a Polish family’s six-year ordeal and fight for survival under Soviet Oppression.

Focusing on a family that were victims of Tsarist Russia’s oppression, the book also investigates Stalin’s brutal regime and the dreaded Gulag system where, in addition to millions of Russian citizens, hundreds of thousands of innocent Poles died as a result. Some survived and escaped the Soviet ‘paradise’, going on to fight courageously alongside allied forces during World War II.

Investigated and told by the son of a survivor, who only learned the truth after the sudden death of his father, two strands of detailed investigation are woven into an emotional journey of discovery, uncovering the shocking details his father was so reluctant to speak about. In Search of Staszewski is not only the story of a fight for survival by four generations of one family, but also of a people’s struggle to preserve their cultural and national identity in the face of powerful neighbours.

Inspired by authors such as Norman Davies, Orlando Figes, and Pulitzer Prize winner Anne Applebaum,In Search of Staszewski uncovers the truth surrounding a little known and largely untold episode of World War II history that will surprise and shock fans of historical and biographical non-fiction works.

Dedication: In memory of my father, Jan Fedzin

Extract from the preface: The terrible human suffering perpetrated on six million Jews in the Nazi concentration camps during the Second World War is well documented and well understood throughout the world. This chapter of history has been covered in great depth by historians, students and film makers. However, the suffering of an estimated 1.7 million people ‘unfortunate’ enough to be forcibly removed by the Soviets from their homes in Poland to labour camps in Siberia during World War Two is not so well known.

This opens with a young lad riding on the crossbar of his father’s bike and the setting is the Heavy Wool manufacturing town of Dewsbury, Yorkshire.

This Fedzin family history is unravelled with such a quiet and modest tone it reminded me of the horrors behind the opening track of Amused to Death: Ballad for Bill Hubbard. As each page rolls past the horrors escalate and makes for a gruelling read; I think that using the dead bodies to fuel the locomotive on its way to Archangel will stay with me forever. And what about those Ukrainian Nationalists, that too was a horrible eye-opener.

It would be an insult to all those who were murdered, maimed or disposessed but especially to Kenneth Fedzin and his family, to trivialise this book with a rating. Thank you for sharing, Mr Fedzin.

Monument to the Fallen in the East

Kolyma Highway. Gold fields were discovered far from the port of Magadan in a region inhabited only by nomads

The Golden Kolyma. The adjective “golden” in the painting’s title is derived from the larch tree, which is ubiquitous in the region

The Chelbania gold mine in Kolyma, 1943. CREDIT: Tomasz Kizny

Kolyma Summer. The most difficult to reach gold deposits were in the extreme climate of the Indigirka permafrost regions.

See more of Getman’s work in Art of the Gulag

The Valley: A Hundred Years in the Life of a Family by Richard Benson

bookshelves: spring-2014, britain-england, fradio, nonfiction, published-2014, radio-4, yorkshire, families

Recommended for: BBC Radio Listeners
Read from April 26 to May 02, 2014

 

R4 BOTW

http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b041vvvh

Description: Abridged from Richard Benson’s epic family saga The Valley, the focus of this Book of the Week is on the story of the author’s grandmother – Winnie Hollingworth (1909 – 2002) – and her life in the mining villages of the Dearne Valley in South Yorkshire.

This remarkable social history draws on years of research, interviews and anecdote which chart generations of carousing and banter, tears and fights all set against the background of a close-knit community where almost everybody worked either in the mines or the mills.

Richard Benson’s first book, THE FARM which related the story of his own parents and brother and their livelihood in the Yorkshire Wolds was described as ‘ an extraordinary mixture of hardness and tenderness, wit and slog.. wonderful ‘ Ronald Blythe author of Akenfield. It went on to be a no.1 bestseller.

This new book is a powerful and moving achievement – it follows Winnie from her first romantic encounter: ‘her heart beating hard and fast down in her whalebone and elastic’ to her final years sitting in the lounge of a long rubber-tiled room with high-backed chairs around the walls.. ‘ where ‘the residents either roost mutely or chat while their eyes search the room for a younger person who might play the piano for them.’

Read by Richard Stacey
Producer: Jill Waters
Abridged and directed by Jill Waters
A Waters Company production for BBC Radio 4.

Ep. 1 : Miner, Walter Parkin brings his wife Annie to the Dearne Valley; at the age of fourteen their daughter Winnie goes into service, but her father’s unpredictable temper exacerbated by war injuries, does not make her life easy.

Ep. 2: On a summer evening in 1929 Winnie goes to her first dance at the Miners’ Welfare Hall.

Ep. 3: Winnie’s pregnancy, the catalyst for her marriage turns out to be a false alarm, but when she becomes pregnant again, she and Harry decide they can just about afford to move into their own home.

Ep. 4: Life in the Dearne changes with the outbreak of the Second World War. Harry continues to develop his musical and entertaining career, with more nights out on the circuit.

Ep. 5: Children become adults, and Winnie and Harry grow frail, but there are still surprises in store.

Lots of hanging out the family dirty laundry going on in this one, however it is a lulling slice of Yorkshire family life set over a century of change.

The theme tune is It’s a Lovely Day Tomorrow- Jack Payne