Sidmouth Herald monthly book review

Read a book a month urges Herald’s book reviewer Sophie King

ARE you one of those people who only reads on holiday? If so, why not set yourself a mid-year new resolution to read at least one book a month even when you’re back in the office.

Reading is a habit – but a great one! Try setting aside 15 minutes every day even if it means taking your book into the bath for a bit of peace and quiet. Meanwhile, here are some book ideas to get you going.

A Matter of Degree by Colin M Andrews. Published by Troubador. �7.99

This is a debut novel by a former teacher who now lives near Crediton. It’s also a nostalgic, highly readable story of two young men at teacher training college in mid-Wales during the seventies. Rob, a farmer’s son from Devon is trying to get better acquainted with the fairer sex while his friend Jake just can’t resist getting into a scrape or two. Add a dash of Morris dancing and you’re in for a lively read.

You may also want to watch:

One Day by David Nicholls. Published by Hodder & Stoughton. �7.99

Even if you plan to see the film, it’s worth reading the book. My copy was stolen by my grown up children and then by an aunt – which goes to show that it will tug heart strings of all ages. Why? Because it makes us wonder what would have happened to our own lives if we hadn’t missed out on our first love. Have your tissues and old address book at the ready.

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When God was a Rabbit by Sarah Winman. Published by Headline, �7.99. This is a darkly comic novel, set in England during the sixties and seventies and moving on to New York both before and after 9/11. The story revolves around the heroine Ellie and her brother Joe – not to mention her rather odd friend Jenny Penny. Life isn’t easy for any of them but somehow they come through. Why the quirky, rather irreverent, title? Well it made you read this, didn’t it?

Nosh for Students: A Fun Student Cookbook by Joy May. Published by Intrade. �6.99

If you’ve got a teenager heading for uni shortly, this will definitely come in useful. Packed with ideas on how to make quick, easy nutritious meals, it might help to line your offspring’s stomach before he/she hits the bar. Great title, don’t you think?

GOLDEN OLDIE. Every month, I’m going to suggest a classic that you might have read before or just not got round to picking up. This month, it’s The Good Earth, written by Pearl S. Buck. It’s about life in China before the revolution and it made me cry! Its simple moral message, entwined with the strength and failings of warm, all-too believable human beings, is a poignant lesson even in today’s world.

For details of my own books, visit or your local bookshop.

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