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Books I have read from my Summer Reading List

To date, I have read two books from my reading list. But I have also dropped one. 

After trawling through  the foreword for On The Road, Jack Kerouac, my desire to read the book disappeared although it is an American Classic. I dropped it from my reading lists. To replace it, I picked Death Comes to Pemberley by PD James. I might go back to it sometime in the future, the far future. I love the idea of pairing a modern crime writer with Jane Austen style and looking forward to it. 

This is my original reading list amended to include the replacement.    
A Room with a View EM Forster
On the Road Jack Kerouac 
Replaced by Death Comes to Pemberley. 
Next Person you Meet in Heaven Mitch Albom

Ghost Light Joseph O’Connor
Cheerful Weather for the Wedding Julia Strachey
The Return of Mr Campion: 13 collected stories Margery Allingham
Mr Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore Robin Sloan
Confessions of a Conjuror Derren Brown
The Unpleasantness at Baskerville Hall Chris Dolley
Death at Hungerford Stairs J C Briggs


the next person
the next person you meet in heaven

Mitch Albom

I read and enjoyed The Five People you Meet Heaven fifteen years ago, not long after its release. An unknown narrator relates the story of Eddy and his death. The character meets people who teach him about connections to other lives, sacrifice, forgiveness, love transcending death, and redemption. I came to this sequel with anticipation as well as trepidation, after all, the premise must be the same – someone dies and their story unfolds in ‘heaven’.  

This sequel features one of the characters from the original book, Annie, the child Eddy saved from the crashing carousel, and begins about thirty years after the events of the original. I was told that the woman dies and read that she spent her last day getting married – with fourteen hours left to live, Annie took her wedding vows.  The knowledge of the event raised the suspense and, from that point, the passage of time is counted down in hours until one hour remained. Even though I expected the death, the tension built while I waited to learn how it happened before going off into heaven to join her and meet the other characters uncovering her history and life experiences. 

The book followed the familiar path of the original and themes of the original but it contained twists and insights and wasn’t boring. I recommend it. 

Death at Hungerford Stairs
Death at Hungerford Stairs

J  C Briggs

A Victorian crime novel featuring Charles Dickens working with Inspector Jones to solve the mysteries intrigued me. 

The writer did a great job depicting the poverty,  hopelessness and unpleasantness of Victorian London contrasting with the carefree life of the rich. The character names were a homage to Dickens with such monikers as Twiss, Poll, Scamp and Fikey. 

It was a great story with lots of interesting and believable characters with a good plot so I could not guess the perpetrator. 

If you enjoy historical crime stories, I recommend this book. The author has written three in the series, this is the second and I intend to read the third. 

Hope your summer is full of writing and reading. Have a great time.  

Published inWriting


  1. Two, already? Looks like I’ve got some catching up to do. These both sound interesting, and so does the earlier Albom novel you mention having already read. The list of books I’m looking out for keeps getting longer and longer!

    I’m with you on the Kerouac. I’ve tried to read him several times and never got more than a few pages in. However, there was a good dramatisation of it on Radio 4 last year (I think), so I’m counting having listened to that as meaning I can tick him off my list.

    • Lynda Kirby Lynda Kirby

      I like that idea, Cath. I didn’t hear it, so it’s still on my list.

      • Cath Cath

        I’ll look forward to hearing what you make of it – at some point in the future.

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