Saturday, 16 January 2021

Village School

If you've been reading my blog for a while, you'll know that back in 2015 I set myself the challenge of reading all of Agatha Christie's murder/mystery books in chronological order. That challenge came to an end during 2020 so I've been looking out for another little reading challenge to set myself since. I've heard a lot of people mention the Miss Read books, some have recommended them to me and said they thought I'd enjoy them, so I decided to include the first book from the Fairacre series, Village School, on my Christmas wish list and Mick obliged. There it was, wrapped in beautiful Christmas paper, waiting for me underneath the Christmas tree on Christmas morning.

"Fairacre is a pretty village of cottages, church and school - and at the heart of the school is its headmistress, Miss Read.

We meet the young school children with their scraped knees, rosy faces and inevitable mischief. Through the author's discerning eye, we meet the inhabitants of Fairacre and learn of their trials and tribulations, their hopes and dreams.

Miss Read takes us through the school year, beginning with the Christmas term, when the bitterly cold weather challenges the school's ancient heating system, right through to the hot summer day when school is over for another year.

Full of Miss Read's fine humour and astute observations, Village School is an intriguing glimpse into a forgotten world and has become a true classic."

What can I say, I loved it. Not only did I enjoy reading it but I've now found my next reading challenge. There are, I believe, twenty books in the Fairacre series and thirteen books in the Thrush Green series. I shall tackle these first but there are other standalone books too. I averaged one Agatha Christie book a month, in between reading other books, so if I continue at this rate, it should take me just short of three years to complete the two main series of books before I decide if I shall continue with the other books which were written by Miss Read.

Miss Read was the pseudonym of Dora Jessie Saint MBE, an English novelist and schoolmistress who was born in 1913. Her pseudonym was derived from the maiden name of her mother. Her two main series of novels were written between 1955 and 1996 when she retired and in 1998 she was made a Member of the Order of the British Empire for her services to literature. She died in 2012.

I'm hoping that I can get hold of all of the books, it does look as though some of them aren't available to buy new any longer so it will be a case of whether I can get hold of them second hand as the library seem only to stock the odd one or two. I've already ordered the next two in the series from Ebay, fingers crossed I can get the rest.

23 comments:

  1. Always brilliant to have a new reading challenge, I get 6 books chosen for my from our local library, and I'm enjoying new authors. With so much reading time, you might be able to read more books this year.

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  2. The front cover of the book reminds me of my infants school in 1960. They sound great, I love the,era she writes in,just like the Call the Midwife books. I hope you manage to get them all.

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  3. I'm glad you have found your next reading challenge Jo, they sound like lovely books it must be like stepping into another world, I hope you manage to find them all. x

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  4. They are all lovely books. I read them as they came out after starting work in the library in 1971 and found the village school was exactly the same as my primary school in the early 60's. I gradually collected them all from charity shops over a period of about 5 years and they have just been packed into a box to take with me to read again sometime.
    Hope you can find them, one lot were republished as Penguin Paperback Books (orange spines)with lovely covers

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  5. Sounds like a challenge you'll enjoy, Jo. I hope you find all the books. :o)

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  6. Amazon has quite a few of the Miss Read books in its ekindle store... little pricey... but decided I wanted to reread the first one!!

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  7. A goo challenge & they sound like a lovely series & I have heard of the & am not sure if many years ago I may have read one or two of her books. Enjoy, stay safe & huggles.

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  8. They sound like something I might enjoy as they are very much my era. The front cover reminds me very much of my own primary school too :)

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  9. I read quite a few of the Miss Read books, I must look out for some more as I did enjoy them.

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  10. Miss Read, such gentle stories. Make sure you have a cup of tea (in a real tea cup and saucer) and a few custard creams at your sie when you read.

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  11. What fun! I'm reading my way through the Thrush Green series in order. I'm reading the Kindle versions so I always have my book with me. I've read many of the Fairacre books but never in order.
    I love reading about the simple life in the English countryside and compare it to my life on the Nebraska prairie.

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  12. Sounds like a good series to read. I'm going to have to check our library when it opens back up to see if they have them.

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  13. Why haven't I heard about this series? So glad you reviewed it, Jo. I got Village School free for Kindle from Amazon and they seem to have the rest of them. I know its not the same as holding a book in your hand, but at least I get to read them. Hope you find them all. And thanks for the review. P.x

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  14. What a great challenge, I hope you manage to get them all.

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  15. I've not read any of the Miss Read books - sound interesting.

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  16. Good luck with your quest, it would be very annoying if you couldn't get hold of one or two, especially when you're enjoying them so much.

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  17. Good to see that you've found another series to read. Happy reading. xx

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  18. Good luck with your latest reading challenge, should keep you busy for a while.

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  19. glad you've got a new reading challenge, they sound like a good tread,

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  20. You could try World of Books as they sell used books, it would be a shame if you couldn't find them all.
    They sound really interesting but I mustn't buy any books!
    xx

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  21. I often think that I wish that I had written down all the finny thinks that happened when I was teaching. Once when visiting a school to do an afternoon course with the teachers a young pupil looked at my laptop case and asked, "Are you a laptop dancer like my mummy?"

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  22. I have read many other bloggers have enjoyed the 'Miss Read' books.
    I do hope you will be able to get the copies you need.
    Happy reading :)

    All the best Jan

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  23. That's a great new challenge. I do hope you find them all.xxx

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