Finished Reading: A Dublin Student Doctor

Again, it took awhile

Good Sunday morning to all you patient and longsuffering readers out there. It seems again, for the third time in a row, for I’ve now only read three whole books this year so far, that I’ve taken a very long time to finish a book. This one from a series that I’ve taken a liking to for last several years, Patrick Taylor’s Irish Country Villiage series, The Dublin Student Doctor about the beginnings and origin story of the redoubtable Fingal Flagherty O’Reilly, everyone’s favorite GP of Ballybuckelbo.

I’ve now read seven of the series and the people, places and feel of the country of Ireland in the 1960s, and in this book the 1930s and early 1940s, is very much grown on me. Even to the point of having a pint of The Black Stuff and pulling out my Peterson on occasion… as the feeling of commaraderie may strike me. The Wiley O’Reilly definitely has a way of making his point to you thru Taylor’s writing skill, and the country folk of the Village feel more like family with every page.

This one turns from the old doctors past, back from the present predicament of Donal Donnelly, who having crashed his motorbike coming home from the races where he won a ton of betting money, now needs surgery to relieve brain swelling from a fractured skull. Don’t worry, if you’re a betting man too then you’ll know how it ends. O’Reilly takes the opportunity of waiting to see how it turns out with Donal to turn back the pages of time to when he was still studying for medical practice.

We get to meet his mates, his future love Kitty and learn a good bit of the backstory that made him both the doctor and the man he became. I enjoyed the story and the reading as I always do with Patrick Taylor and this series. I’m looking forward to the next trip to the Irish Country Villiage I’ll take, Fingal O’Reilly Irish Doctor, having finished An Irish Country Wedding earlier.

However… mom’s books await as well.

My next books with be Robert Crichton’s 1966 novel The Secret of Santa Vittoria. He only wrote two novels and this was his first. Mom always wanted me to read it and it’ll be the next on the list. From what she said and what I’ve read so far, it seems like a Caper kind of book set in WW2 Italy. Kind of Peter Mayle meets Hogan’s Heroes. A small village tucked into the mountains of Italy doing what they can to resist and keep their unique identity during the Nazi occupation.

Either way you slice it, you’re in for a wild ride and an enjoyable diversionary treat if you decide to pick these books off the shelf. So… what are you reading these days?


Currently Reading: An Irish Country Christmas

Saved by the Girls of Christmas

I just finished How Mrs Claus Saved Christmas by Jeff Guinn today. I know. That was quick, but it really was an enjoyable story set in 1600s England during the English Civil War when parliament overthrew King Charles and gave power to the Puritans who eventually outlawed celebrations of Christmas. The story follows Layla, Mrs Claus, as she escapes London and becomes one of the leaders of planned peaceful protest at Canterbury. You’ll have to read the book yourself to find out what happened. It’s a very fitting sequel to Guinn’s first Christmas tale The Autobiography of Santa Claus. I think I actually enjoyed this one more though. I’ll be looking forward to re-reading these two books next holiday season as well.

Now on to Ireland

But until then, next up on this Christmas reading list is An Irish Country Christmas by Patrick Taylor. I’ve read this before but just started again this afternoon. It’s the third in the Irish Country Village series of, at least as of this year, fifteen books. I have them all, and all but two now in hardback which I love. I’ve not read them all yet, only five… or is it six?

A great Holiday Escape

But I’m looking forward to spending the next week reentering the world of Ballybuckelbo, the quaint and small fictional village between Kinnegar and Bangor that these books are set it. I wonder if anyone else out there has read them? If you haven’t, you really should give it a good go. You can start in any of the books and be just fine. Although they are chronologically placed within the series, they do great as stand alone stories as well. Why not pick one up today? You’ll be glad you did.

What are you reading? Will you be reading only Christmas books this month? Why not have a go and share.


Currently Reading: How Mrs Claus Saved Christmas

The Original Wonder Woman

Having just finished The Autobiography of Santa Clause by Jeff Guinn that I read last year, a fantasy trip through history and historical persons that “helped” him along the way on his mission of giving, I now start his follow up book that I picked up at the local library sale this last year, How Mrs Claus Saved Christmas. I’m really looking forward to digging into this one. I’m planning on making it a yearly read just like The Autobiography of Santa.

I’ve got a good problem to report as well. I’ve just picked up a hardcover copy of An Irish Country Christmas by Patrick Taylor at the local Half Price Books store. I already have it in softback, but I’m trying to get all the books in the series in hardcover. I have them all now, but with this edition, or should I say addition, I now have only two that are still soft. I just love the series, the writing and the escape to 1960s small village Ireland.

My problem? I’m starting to have more Christmas books on my shelf than I can “yearly read” every December. I may have to start in November next year. 🙂 After Mrs Claus, the plan is to finish this month and season out by re-reading An Irish Country Christmas.

What are you reading? Will you be reading only Christmas books this month? Why not have a go and share.


Sunday Reading at Barnes and Noble

Im so excited!!! The newest installment of the Irish Country Village series by Patrick Taylor is out, An Irish Country Family. I have most of the rest of the series at home. Looking forward to digging into this one later next year.

Also picked up Sapiens by Yuval Noah Harari. I may try to fit this one into my Non-Fiction November reading after I finish Krakatoa. I’m just past the 200pg point on that 400+ page book by Simon Winchester. Should be done by the end of this weekend.

Or I may just pick something I already have on the shelf. But for now, Sunday afternoon, I’m digging into both as I sip iced green tea.

Happy reading. -mike