Two of my June reads, too much cricket.

June has meant that I have been spending a great deal of time watching the World Cup Cricket so my reading has taken a back seat.  I have still managed to read a few books.

Another library book but one I wished I had bought as it would have been good to be able to pass it on to my reading group.

If you had to pick five people to sum up your life, who would they be? If you were to raise a glass to each of them, what would you say? And what would you learn about yourself, when all is said and done?

“‘I’m here to remember – all that I have been and all that I will never be again.’

At the bar of a grand hotel in a small Irish town sits 84-year-old Maurice Hannigan. He’s alone, as usual -though tonight is anything but. Pull up a stool and charge your glass, because Maurice is finally ready to tell his story.

Over the course of this evening, he will raise five toasts to the five people who have meant the most to him. Through these stories – of unspoken joy and regret, a secret tragedy kept hidden, a fierce love that never found its voice – the life of one man will be powerfully and poignantly laid bare.”

Nothing more to say.  A truly wonderful book, particularly for those of us in our senior years.

This book was lent to me from one of my book group friends.  It is what I would call a joyous book even though it is set in a harrowing time and place.

“In 1922, Count Alexander Rostov is deemed an unrepentant aristocrat by a Bolshevik tribunal, and is sentenced to house arrest in the Metropol, a grand hotel across the street from the Kremlin. Rostov, an indomitable man of erudition and wit, has never worked a day in his life, and must now live in an attic room while some of the most tumultuous decades in Russian history are unfolding outside the hotel’s doors. Unexpectedly, his reduced circumstances provide him entry into a much larger world of emotional discovery.”

After finishing the book I thought it would make a wonderful movie, apparently others thought so too.

Period drama news and reviews, from the website Willow and Thatch, well worth a read of this article on A Gentleman in Moscow.

And a finish with this nifty little video.