All too often, literary criticism conjures visions of dry dissertations of interminable length on dreary topics. Not so this time! Susan Hill, the inimitable author of “The Woman in Black”, inter alia, follows up “Howards End Is On The Landing” – her lovely, earlier study of books personally rediscovered and savoured years later – with an equally delightful series of similar ruminations, laid out by month in the form of a diary.

Interspersed with seasonal thoughts on matters ranging from hedgehogs to snowdrops to snipe, this is what used to be referred to as a “commonplace” book; but what a charmer it is! And the books themselves should prove pleasantly familiar throughout.

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