Correspondence with Jennifer Worth

Call the Midwife is a well known BBC TV series in the UK, well known enough that a few people from other countries might recognise it too! The first series followed the real life events of Jenny Lee as a midwife working from a nunnery in the slums of post-WWII Britain. Heart-wrenching and memory-inducing for those who had lived through these times, she received many letters from readers.

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It was quite interesting to read these letters, to learn little tit-bits more about life during this time. However, I didn’t enjoy this book overall. It felt like I was invading people’s privacy, to be reading their letters to an author. I’m not sure whether the publishing house tried to track each individual down to get their permission.

I also had been expecting to fall into the book like I have with Worth’s memoirs and was sadly disappointed. This was an interesting but slow read and at many points I did consider DNFing it and just putting it on my read shelf. But I wanted to push through, and so I did.

If you’d like a complete collection of the Call the Midwife books then this is obviously one to pick up, and it is relatively interesting, however, it’s not a book I would recommend because of reading enjoyment and I won’t be picking it up again. I have one more of Worth’s memoirs to read and I’m far more anticipatory for that.

Learning about the Buried City

Pompei. Something I have been interested in for as long as I can remember. I have a bit of history with Vesuvius myself, hence why I pick up so many books about the area. This one is a little different though.

Despite everything I’ve read over the years, I did actually learn a decent amount of new stuff in this book, so unless you’re an academic who studies/d Pompei then I’d recommend it for new info! Even if you do know all the facts, the illustrations are really unique.

Over the top of various pictures from the current sites excavated at Pompei there are plastic sheets within this spiral bound book. These have printed on them computer generated reconstructive drawings of how the location would have looked prior to the eruption. These images are fascinating. They are done so well and really do breath life into each of the ruins which seem so desolate and long abandoned.

This is a book I am so glad that I finally read and that I’m very glad I picked up all those years ago!

Do you read about Pompei? Do you enjoy learning about Ancient Rome?

Learning how to handle Ancient Roman slaves


I picked this book up years ago, probably in 2016. I’ve only just gotten around to it which is ridiculous, as I knew from the second that I picked it up in the shop that I would love it. This is the work of a lot of research by Jerry Toner, who has looked at the different practices across the times of the Roman Empire and written about them as Marcus Sidoneous Flax, an imaginary Roman slave owner who gives you advice on how to control your possessions. Jerry interrupts at the end of every section to talk about these bits of advice from a modern mindset.


This is incredibly interesting if you at all are interested in how slaves were treated in Ancient Rome, how they could become freedmen, and how they got into that situation. It’s a very quick read and I really enjoyed it throughout. I love the concept and the approach that Toner took to this book, which I think is really unique and I’d love to see it used for more historical situations to bring them into the modern mindset.

I definitely recommend this and I’d love to know if any more of you have read this!

One you need to read

I’d wanted to read this book for a while, but for some reason never picked it up full price. When I saw it in the charity shop however, I knew that I just had to get it. I ended up reading it on the hottest day on record here in the UK (that’ll date this) and I was visiting distant family at the time, so I got to sit next to their little paddling pool and become completely absorbed in this book. I gave it 5/5*.

I will say from the get go that I didn’t “enjoy” this book. And that is a compliment to Colson Whitehead. This book is covers a horrible but unavoidable section of the history of the US, the forcible capture, transportation and slavery of black Africans on plantations. This is a very real part of history, however, this book is a fictionalised version of events. These events all most likely happened, not exactly as depicted in the book but they occurred and they were and are atrocities.

I was immediately absorbed into this life, the fear that is present and the attempt at living as normal, at getting through this atrocious treatment. As a Brit, we’re not taught about this part of history in school, or at least we weren’t when I was there, but through my own reading I knew about the time. However, this book made me feel it, it specified events, it brought them to a very personal and one-to-one level, and trust me this will shake you to your core. Even if you’re American and you’ve been taught about this part of your history in school (hopefully) I still recommend picking this book up as it will make you see the events from a human perspective, rather than an impartial historian.

Possibly the worst part about all this is that events like the ones in this book still happen today, some people are still just as racist, and legal equality only happened in the 60’s (although depending on State that varies a lot and also doesn’t take into account how black American’s are still treated to this day). This isn’t long lost history. This is still happening.

And that is why you need to read this book.