Cornish Feasts and Fesivals front coverA little round-up today (tonight) of a few smaller, lighter books I’ve been reading this week.  Sometimes you just need a little book or two, don’t you – plus the first one in this set of reviews I bought on my trip to London and had to start on the bus home from the station, as I’d not taken quite enough bookage with me to see me through the journeys to and from London! So it’s a bit of a mixed bag: a children’s book, a book about language and a book about Cornwall written by a friend …

Joan Aiken – “Black Hearts in Battersea”

(19 November 2016 – Any Amount of Books, Charing Cross Road)

I love Aiken, but apparently not enough to remember that this is the sequel to “The Wolves of Willoughby Chase”. But it was in the top of my rucksack full of books, so …

It’s a classic children’s adventure with plenty of peril and excitement for orphan Simon as he makes his way to London to study painting with an old friend, only to discover that he’s disappeared. Dukes, lowlifes and artists about and there’s a great comedy Frenchman, an excellent donkey, a kitten that is still OK at the end of the book and the beguiling urchin, Dido Twite. A great and masterful writer – I know there are some short stories out that I’m going to have to look out for.

Suzan St Maur – “English to English”

(1o October 2015)

An A-Z of British-American-British translations, bought to help my editing and particularly localisation (turning US English into UK English work). It’s pretty exhaustive and I wish I’d had it when I needed to know what a muscle car was. It’s also the most modern book of its kind, being published in 2012 (most are early 2000s) although it might have been overstretching it to include Australian and Canadian English as well. It’s laid out a little clumsily and appears to be in a series that’s written to a template – there were confusingly two sections about the author at the end, but it’s a workmanlike and decent resource.

Liz Woods – “Cornish Feasts and Festivals”

(September 2015 – from the author)

An absolutely charming little book in the Pocket Cornwall series, based on the blog of the same name and written by my dear friend, Liz. This has been hanging out on the Pile to the side of my TBR for a while, but what better time to dip into it than in a quiet bit of evening after a heavy work day?

Each little chapter has a piece about an (old, newer, extinct, still-going, continuous, revived, countryside, seafaring) festival tradition, taking us through the year in order, with a sweet illustration by Freya Laughton and a recipe for a linked dish, either a Cornish classic like Star-Gazy Pie or Saffron Buns or something made using Cornish ingredients, with a photograph taken, as the introduction carefully explains, just before the author devoured the food item in question.

Just lovely, and a great reminder of lovely Cornwall, too.

I’m still reading “Yeah Yeah Yeah” and that won’t be done by the end of the month (year??) but it’s v good. I’m also reading a book called “Lingo” about the languages of Europe which I’m not too sure about at the moment … And you?