Today I’m delighted to welcome children’s author James Steptowe. His ‘Porridge & Cream’ read is The Two Farms by Mary E Pearce.
“It is a book I first read in 2018 on my honeymoon in Italy. My wife (who is Italian) and I asked our wedding guests to buy us a book that was special to them for a present. A close friend of mine from university gave us The Two Farms. He told us he had had to search hard for it as it was not in print anymore and inside, he left us a note saying, “the story in this book is very simplistic, but the sentiment behind it has a lot of meaning – love is the source of happiness”. We loved the thought he had put into it, so we packed it in our bag for our honeymoon. When I started reading it, I could not stop. It is not a long book and I think I read it in a day, on the beach, under the scorching Italian sun. The story is simple; predictable even, but so captivating and the description of the English countryside is enchanting.
“I now live in Italy and it is the book I go to when I just want to read a lovely story. It is the book I go to when I want to be reminded of the rolling English countryside (particularly poignant and powerful in these strange times we are living in). And it is the book I go to when I want to read without stopping. The review on the front of my copy from a reviewer called James Herriot says, “Sheer Country Magic” and frankly I could not agree more with Mr Herriot.”
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James is a children’s book author and teacher originally from Essex, but now living in Italy. In May 2019 he published his debut book, Raid of the Ratskull Rodents, while living in Horsforth, Yorkshire. Chase for the Championship, a football story for girls and boys, followed in 2020. He has lived in Italy since January 2020 with his wife, daughter, cat and two chickens, and currently teaches at a bilingual school just outside Monza. When not teaching or writing, he loves hiking, reading a good book and spending time with his family.
James’s latest book
A football story for girls and boys, formatted and written for struggling or reluctant readers. Sarah Saunders, striker for Lingerfield FC, and Yonis Ganim, goalkeeper for SLS United, are locked in a tight battle for their under-eleven championship title. Only 1 point separates their teams at the midway point in the season. However, as the chase for the championship heats up, both Sarah and Yonis realise there are much more important things in life than just football…
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What is a ‘Porridge & Cream’ book? It’s the book you turn to when you need a familiar read, when you are tired, ill, or out-of-sorts, where you know the story and love it. Where reading it is like slipping on your oldest, scruffiest slippers after walking for miles. Where does the name ‘Porridge & Cream’ come from? Cat Deerborn is a character in Susan Hill’s ‘Simon Serrailler’ detective series. Cat is a hard-worked GP, a widow with two children and she struggles from day-to-day. One night, after a particularly difficult day, she needs something familiar to read. From her bookshelf she selects ‘Love in A Cold Climate’ by Nancy Mitford. Do you have a favourite read which you return to again and again? If so, please send me a message.
Discover the ‘Porridge & Cream’ books of these authors:-
Alex Marchant’s choice is ‘Over Sea, Under Stone’ by Susan Cooper
Kelly Clayton chooses ‘Naked in Death’ by JD Robb
‘The Wind in the Willows’ by Kenneth Grahame is chosen by Rob V Biggs
And if you’d like to tweet a link to THIS post, here’s my suggested tweet:
Why does @JamesSteptowe re-read THE TWO FARMS by Mary E Pearce #books https://wp.me/p5gEM4-57m via @SandraDanby