Tangential, eclectic, avid listener... favorite book is the one currently in ear.
"Call The Midwife" was my favorite book of last year. Although the next two books both stand alone, I would strongly suggest reading it first. Shadows of the Workhouse focuses less on the work of the midwives, rather on the experiences of older neighbors, nuns and patients who either lived in or were strongly effected by the workhouse (poorhouses). You get a vivid insight to the system that damaged families and left many who were still alive in the 1950's scarred by their experiences. I really enjoyed this book: it is tender, humorous, heartbreaking and makes history real. I do genealogy and have found several family members who lived and died in the poorhouses, so it was very personal to me. There remains a James Herriot feel to the books which consists of multiple short stories flowing together around the theme. Sister Monica Joan continues to steal the show with her antics, the book is worth the credit to see her arrested and in court for stealing jewelry. I didn't realize this is now a popular series in Britain by the BBC, you can view it on Netflix.
"Call The Midwife" was my favorite book last year and I snatched up the last two in the series as quick as I found them. Although each book could stand alone, I still recommend reading it first. This book goes back to the actual midwifery work with real life experiences being shared much like Book 1. Deliveries are followed step by step, botched abortions, infanticide, tuberculosis, single mothers, didn't know was PG moms, hair-raising situations... and again its not for a young reader as real life is accurately portrayed. This book wraps up the work of the midwives, as the 60's brought birth control and the closing of East End "slums" and in the end Jenny shares what happened to all the main characters. If you loved CTM, you will love this. Just as a note the BBC has made it into a popular TV series that can be viewed on Netflix.