Howard’s End Is on the Landing

Today some children in our neighbeorhood are have a little driveway sale of toys and books. I don’t think I need to go buy more books, and all the children we know are getting rid of the same toys these boys are selling! But it made me think of the books we have in our house, and the ones we read and don’t read.

Susan Hill is an English author, most recently noted for her Simon Serrailler detective novels. He is an educated and sympathetic protagonist, one you do want to follow into the next book. These, like others in such a series, should be read in order for the aforementioned character development! Here they are:

The Various Haunts of Men (2004)
The Pure in Heart (2005)
The Risk of Darkness (2006)
The Vows of Silence (2008)
The Shadows in the Street (2010)
The Betrayal of Trust (2011)
A Question of Identity (2012)
The Soul of Discretion (2014)

But Susan Hill writes much more than detective fiction. In fact, these novels are a later genre for her. She is famous for her ghost stories, especially The Woman in Black, which is required for the secondary school certificate examinations in the UK. She also writes children’s books, and has won many awards and been short-listed for the Booker Prize. And a couple years ago she started her own publishing company, Long Barn (and Little Barn) Press.

One book of hers that caught my attention a few years ago is Howard’s Is on the Landing: A Year of Reading from Home. She determined one day, when she found a book she had been looking for in a pile on the landing, that she would spend one year only reading books already in her home. It’s a lovely book, and a wonderful exploration of books she’s loved (and not loved so much) over the years. I was totally intrigued by this process, and briefly considered trying it myself. I just might do that one of these years!

She has a sequel to Howard’s End Is on the Landing coming out in October, Jacob’s Room Is Full of Books. I’ll look forward to reading this edition as well.

You can learn more about Susan Hill at


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