It's Monday! What Are You Reading?

This weekly meme is hosted by Kathryn at The Book Date.

Definitely not a good reading week for me. I only managed to finish one book and that was a short one, though the end is in sight for two of the other books I am currently reading (A Civil Contract and The Flight of the Heron). If I'd put a little more effort into my reading I would have finished these two as well, but hot weather, air conditioning, lack of sleep and my brain do not go well together.

Last week's book, Too Few for Drums by R.F. Delderfield, is a quick read (212 pages) and very different from the family sagas this author is famous for. It is a great tale of a young man totally unprepared for command who is stranded behind enemy lines with a small band of men and his attempts to get them all to safety, helped by his seasoned Sergeant and a Welsh camp-follower.

I'm also re-discovering E.V. Timms, an Australian author famous for his romantic historical series set in colonial Australia, The Great South Land Saga. I didn't realise that the book I read by this author years ago was actually the third of a twelve book series. The first book, Forever to Remain was published in 1948. I also have the next two books in my reading pile courtesy of the library. An interesting fact about this series is that E.V. Timms died before he could finish the eleventh book. His wife went on to finish it. She also wrote the twelfth and final book of the series.

What I hope to read next hasn't changed from last week. I'm still eager to read Napoleon's Last Island but I'm not in the mood for lengthy books at the moment. So this one will have to wait, as will The Lake House by Kate Morton and Now Face to Face by Karleen Koen.

What I Read Last Week

Too Few For Drums by R.F. Delderfield

After the British victory at Busaco during the Peninsula campaigns of the Napoleonic Wars, Ensign Keith Graham finds himself cut off from the army, along with a sergeant and seven privates. This ill-assorted, tattered band is joined by a Welsh campfollower, Gwyneth and she and Sergeant Fox help nineteen-year-old Graham achieve both manhood and leadership. Struggling through strange, often hostile country, with insufficient food and sometimes mutinous men, his one aim is to reach the coast and, hopefully, safety ...

What I'm Reading Today

The Flight of the Heron by D.K. Broster

1745. When Bonnie Prince Charlie lands in Scotland, the mountains and glens of the Highlands ring to the pipes and drums of the clans who flock to his banner. Charged with excitement, heroism and romance, this stirring tragic adventure that is the unforgettable story of the 'King Over the Water', has never been better told.

A Civil Contract by Georgette Heyer

Adam Deveril, the new Viscount Lynton and a hero at Salamanca, returns from the Peninsula War to find his family on the brink of ruin and the broad acres of his ancestral home mortgaged to the hilt. It is Lord Oversley, father of Adam's first love, who tactfully introduces him to Mr Jonathan Chaleigh, a City man of apparently unlimited wealth with no social ambitions for himself, but with his eyes firmly fixed on a suitable match for his one and only daughter.

Forever to Remain by E.V.Timms

In 1831 the London Lass sets sail for Australia, the Great South Land, with a shipload of settlers eager to start new lives in a new land. Among them is the elegant and beautiful Eleanor, travelling to Australia's hot, dry sun for the sake of her sick brother's fading health. And, seeking the adventure and challenge of the young colony, there is Simon, Eleanor's childhood sweetheart, whom she once jilted but can never forget. Reunited by chance, both are alarmed by this turn of events but they are still attracted to one another - as all on board can see, especially the brutal Captain Lush, who desires the lovely Eleanor for himself; and the vivacious young Penelope, who is determined to win Simon's heart before the end of the voyage ...

What I Hope to Read Next

Napoleon's Last Island by Tom Keneally

When Tom Keneally discovered by chance at the National Gallery of Victoria that Betsy Balcombe, a young girl living on St Helena while the Emperor Napoleon was exiled there, had become the Emperor's ‘intimate friend and annoyer', and had then emigrated with her family to Australia, he was impelled to begin another extraordinary novel, exploring the intersection between the ordinary people of the world and those we deem exceptional.
Betsy Balcombe moved as a child with her family to St Helena, ‘that high mid-Atlantic rock of exile'. Ten years later her family befriended, served and were ruined by their relationship with Napoleon. To redeem their fortunes William Balcombe, Betsy's father, betrayed the Emperor and accepted a job as the colonial treasurer of New South Wales, taking his family with him. After enduring a profound tragedy on the voyage out, and never quite recovering from the results of his association with Napoleon, William's life deteriorated; however, his family struggled and survived in Australia.
Tom Keneally recreates Betsy's friendship with The Great Ogre, her enmities and alliances with his court, and her dramatic coming of age during her years with them on the island. With his ability for bringing historical stories to life in the most brilliant and surprising ways, Keneally vividly shares this remarkable tale and the beginning of an Australian dynasty.


  1. Too Few for Drums looks like an interesting read. Have a great week :)

    1. I found it interesting because the camp-follower would have made an excellent officer had she been a man. An unusual novel for its time.

  2. I loved The Lake House...hope you enjoy it, even though you are waiting. It is worth the wait.

    Thanks for sharing your books, and have a great holiday season. Here are MY WEEKLY UPDATES

    1. I keep looking at The Lake House. Hopefully I'll be in the mood to read it soon.

  3. I have seen the hot temps in Australia and can understand not feeling like reading in such heat. The bush fires are shocking.
    The Timms author sounds really interesting, I guess his wife would have known all about them by the time she came to write the end books. Interesting! Have a great Christmas.

    1. The last few days have been much cooler, thank goodness.
      Hopefully I'll manage to read the whole series by E.V. Timms. I wonder if I'll be able to pick the change in writing style for the last two books.

  4. Lots of historical books.

    Thanks for sharing, and Merry Christmas!!

    ENJOY your week.

    Silver's Reviews
    My It's Monday, What Are You Reading