So long, farewell…..

I’m afraid that the constraints on my time mean I have little time these days for book reviews. When I read something really good, I’m now going to put a small review straight onto Amazon, which is of course the best thing for all authors. I might occasionally put a review on my other blog too. I will leave this open for the books I have already reviewed in case its some help….. so, farewell, aufwiedersehen, adieu……..

This blog about my life and times in Austria continues!


Wish for a Pony by Monica Edwards

Ok, so it’s not an eBook!

Despite having my Kindle, when in the bath I read a proper book, don’t want the damp blowing it up.  A life long vice!  I recently ran out of new stuff and feeling in need of simple comfort I went back to the collection of pony books that travelled with me to Austria. I began reading when I was about 8, my brothers giving me my first book. In those days you could buy 8 books for a Pound!  I’d take off to Smiths in Winchester with me birthday money and come home with a heap. Jumble sales were also a great source. I wish I hadn’t had such a cull when I came here……….

This is my all time favourite book for ponies. Two pony mad girls with a long summer ahead, rescue a riding school horse and are rewarded with lots of riding. Then comes  a great storm and a rescued seaman provides a route for Tamsin to have her very own pony.  Set in the Romney marshes, I guess between the wars, it’s also an incidental account of life at that time, a seemingly much simpler than today, no Tv, no phones, but not a lot of money.   Tamsin is my favourite character and my daughter was to be named after her, but somehow it didn’t happen.  She has such integrity for a kid and of course when she finally gets her pony its an eye watering moment.  It’s very pony mad kids dream, and was mine.  I was lucky enough to have a pony when I was 13, and we had such fun with her until ‘boys’ stepped in.   My book itself tells a tale as it has chew marks on the cover from one of our puppies, and has my address wriitten in bright ink. To read it is to be a child again, in that safe, uncomplicated,  world where stuff comes true.

What’s your favourite book?

The Best way: El Camino de Santiago by Bill Walker Skywalker

The Best Way: El Camino de Santiago

I’ve met people who’ve done the Camino way and seen the film, so this was my first foray into reading about it – the ultimate in armchair tourism. This hugely readable book really spells out the realities of such a trip and I know now, it’s not for me!

Of course, being an Evangelical Christian, the idea of a Pilgimage is an anaethema to me.  Dave and I have often talked about doing a long walk and we’re a bit antisocial, so all those hoardes of pilgims, makes it seem like a trip to Tescos! We’ve met people on trips, and these fleeting friendships aren’t real life, your lives collide briefly and then you’re off on your own tangents.  I guess this is why it really annoys me when we have people to stay and they’re all over us before and during, then we never hear another word (or maybe it’s us!).  However, it does appeal to do a long walk which will necessarily have a goal, where God will be with us walking and talking with us in the cool of the day.

And I don’t like it hot, the thought of sleeping in those snorey hostels, the bed bugs, the obsession with getting a bed for the night would ruin it for me.  I’d happily sleep out but when it rains……but Austria has the Arnoweg, St Jakobsweg and we don’t need to go in the height of summer!

October’s book of the Month; War and Piste by Alex Thomas

War & Piste

How could I resist this book?  That it was written by someone genuinely in touch with Austria was clear from the early pages (e.g.Cheddar cheese smuggling), and the atmosphere of a buzzing ski resort sang from the pages.  Its one of the few books that I’ve ever had a real laugh aloud giggle with, as Alex builds the picture of life as a  ‘seasonaire’.  Her descriptions of skiing/snowboarding and the snow had me almost wishing I could ski too-and for those of you who know how that terrifies me, that’s no mean achievement.  The love story within is great, well crafted, with little hooks that show what’s coming but nevertheless a good twist.   Poppy going through the process of denial to self realisation is so well intertwined with the busy ski season that the book is rich in depth and progression. I personally would be poleaxed by such a job, such energy had I once a long time ago! Of course my reading is coloured by my living in Austria but even so this is  great chick lit on skis!