February--Hearts and Maybe a Few Flowers

carolyn_kyFebruary 1, 2014

I stayed up until 12:30 this morning finishing Through the Evil Days. I adore Julia Spencer-Fleming! Claire and Russ had a lot of hard trouble in this one. (Hard trouble is a family saying initiated by a small niece who told her mother that Auntie [me] had hard trouble fixing her hair in dog ears once when she spent the night with me.)

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yoyobon_gw

"fixing her hair in dog ears" ??
Is that like pig tails?

    Bookmark   February 2, 2014 at 8:07AM
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woodnymph2_gw

I finished my re-read of Thos. Cahill's "Mysteries of the Middle Ages." Now, I am re-reading "How the Irish Saved Civilization" because I like his style. I hope to read all his work, eventually.

Meanwhile, my heavy reading load continues for my class on Gothic Art & Architecture.

    Bookmark   February 2, 2014 at 10:21AM
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veer

This is really about January's reading.
The Maiden's Trip by Emma Smith. At the outbreak of WW11 Smith joined a group of women/girls who 'manned' the canal boats taking supplies between factories and docks; hard, dangerous and filthy work. Rather than write a long bio/memoir of each journey she put the most interesting events into this one 'story.' Very entertaining.
Number Two son bought Knave of Spades by Alan Titchmarsh for his Father, so I am reading it on his behalf.
AT is a popular 'TV Gardener' and his book details his early life in Yorkshire, work in the local 'Parks Department' and a place to study at the prestigious Royal Botanic Gardens at Kew, followed by journalism and TV. A very light and undemanding read.
The Diary of a Provincial Lady by E M Delafield was a lucky find. While visiting a craft sale held in a damp and gloomy church, I came across a pew on which was a pile of (very) second-hand books. I paid a few pence for this 'three-in-one' which has a long and earnest forward by a feminist (my copy was published by Virago) who takes all EMD's comments at face value and fails to appreciate her humour.
I have just finished the second part A Provincial Lady in America where she writes about a book tour of 1932 and her experiences of US hospitality (good) . . . and her children's hopes that she meets some gangsters.
If you enjoyed Jan Struther's Mrs Miniver this would appeal to you . .. it is much more amusing . . . in a very understated English way.
I'm also slowly but with great enjoyment reading Dear Life by Alice Monroe.

    Bookmark   February 2, 2014 at 12:20PM
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carolyn_ky

Now I am reading Cry in the Night by Carolyn Hart. It is more of a Mary Stewart adventure-type book than her lighthearted Death on Demand series and has started out quite good.

Yoyobon, dog ears are like two pony tails, one behind each ear like pigtails, but not braided. I couldn't get them to stay up and be perky; they drooped for me. My mother could French braid, another skill I never mastered.

    Bookmark   February 2, 2014 at 3:00PM
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sherwood38

Vee, I loved The Diary of a Provincial Lady, kept on my bookshelves for years, but must have donated it when I needed to make room for more books.

I just finished The Orphan Choir by Sophie Hannah, she has become one of my favorite authors, but I honestly cannot recommend this spooky book which was more reminiscent of a Dean Koontz style.

I have barely started the 2nd book in the Ruins of Mars trilogy, this one entitled Waking Titans.

Pat

    Bookmark   February 2, 2014 at 4:48PM
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yoyobon_gw

Carolyn,

Of course !
Just never heard them referred to as "dog ears" :0)

I think you have to have a lot of manual dexterity to make french braids....since you're constantly adding to an existing braid while keeping everything tight and in place.

Whew !!

It's one of those looks that is great if done well and like someone took a weedwacker to your head if done poorly !

    Bookmark   February 2, 2014 at 5:28PM
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netla

I started reading the latest Terry Pratchett Discworld novel, Raising Steam. I got it for Christmas, but haven't been in a hurry to read it because I don't particularly like the lead character.

    Bookmark   February 3, 2014 at 4:47AM
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timallan

I recently read The Sign of Four, the second Arthur Conan Doyle in his Sherlock Holmes series. I really enjoyed it. Can't believe I waited so long to read Sherlock Holmes.

I also just read Christopher Golden's ghost novel Snowblind, which was published only last month. My preoccupation with winter likely influenced my choice on this one. The plot of Golden's book is a bit like Peter Straub's Ghost Story, one of my all-time favorite horror/ghost novels. Snowblind concerns a small New England town which is struck by a blizzard. People in the town hunker down in their homes, but those who go outside notice weird voices and sinister shadowy figures in the snow. Several people die violently and inexplicably, or disappear completely, during the storm. After the storm passes, the survivors go on with their lives as best they can. Twelve years pass uneasily. Shortly after a second blizzard is forecast, several townspeople start acting strangely, almost as if they are possessed. A young woman receives a phone call from her father, who died in the storm. As the snow begins to fall, the townspeople hear the voices and see the figures of those killed in the previous blizzard.

Snowblind was perhaps not a great work of literature, but parts of the story really gave me the creeps. I was also intrigued about how the book handled the themes of loss, and the different ways in which people handle grief.

    Bookmark   February 4, 2014 at 12:06AM
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lemonhead101

I have been reading titles, but nothing great for a while. I was ploughing my way through a YA novel but tbh, it didn't catch my attention and when I realized that I'd been reading the same book for more than a week, that's a sign to put it down... So I did.

In between, I'm reading a collection of travel essays called Strange Stones by Peter Hessler. I love his stuff for the most part. And then also reading Stoner by John Williams which is quietly lovely.

And then happened to pick up Jerome K. Jerome's Diary of a Pilgrimage which is hilarious in places and then thoughtfully serious in others. (Mostly funny though.) If you liked Three Men in a Boat et al., you'll enjoy this one and it's on Project Gutenberg.

It's snowing here right now. It was 75 the other day, and now the high temp for the day will be mid-20's with bits of snow. Weird.

    Bookmark   February 4, 2014 at 9:38AM
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veer

I've recently bought a copy and started The Great Gatsby a book I suppose I should have read years ago. Much shorter than expected, the first third of the book seems to be taken up with an Introduction and the last several pages are 'notes'.
Did any of you see the recent film and would it make a good 'follow-up' to the book, or did it stray too far from the story?

Liz, surely the sudden changes in temps and your very cold weather can't be doing much good to the human constitution, to say nothing of damage to vegetation etc.
Here we are being battered by severe storms, high winds and rain. It has been much the same since mid December with many unfortunate people in the low-lying parts of Somerset, about thirty or so miles from us 'as the crow flies' being flooded since early January and having to travel by boat and put up with their houses inundated with raw sewage. At least things are not as bad here and we still have electricity.

Here is a link that might be useful: Floods end of Jan. More rain since then

    Bookmark   February 5, 2014 at 1:07PM
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sheriz6

Vee, I saw some of those weather reports online this morning, I hope you are away from the worst of it!

I am currently in the middle of The Thinking Woman's Guide to Real Magic by Emily Croy Barker. It's a wonderful romp of a fairytale featuring a hapless American graduate student who is flung first into Faerie and then into an entirely different world which includes magicians, wizards, and the like. She has to make her way through this unfamiliar territory while trying to find her way back to present day New Jersey. I'm finding it a tiny bit uneven (some storylines meander a bit for no apparent reason, but perhaps they'll gel in the end), but it's engrossing and thoroughly entertaining. I can't wait to see how the story wraps up. A perfect book for a very snowy day.

    Bookmark   February 5, 2014 at 4:35PM
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rouan

I'm still working on the nonfiction books I picked up a week or so ago. Currently I'm reading Agatha Christie: The Grand Tour, edited by her grandson Mathew Prichard. It's in her words, with her letters transcribed for easier reading and using her photos from the trip. I've read biographies of AC but this brings her more to life.

    Bookmark   February 5, 2014 at 5:46PM
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woodnymph2_gw

Vee, I recently saw the latest film re "The Great Gatsby" and thought it very well done, the best of the "re-makes." I recommend it to you.

I saw the high waves crashing on the shores of the southern UK on the TV news today, and was gobsmacked. I hope the bad weather subsides and that you will have a glorious English spring....

    Bookmark   February 6, 2014 at 10:18AM
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sheriz6

I finished The Thinking Woman's Guide to Real Magic by Emily Croy Barker. It was a terrific story, my only complaint is that it ended rather abruptly -- I felt like there should have been another chapter, at least, to wrap things up. However, after some googling around, I discovered the author has a sequel in the works, which means a long wait for the next installment, but I'm happy there is going to be one. This book does still work as a stand-alone.

I also learned that the third book in the All Souls trilogy (A Discovery of Witches, Shadow of Night) by Deborah Harkness is finally coming out this summer -- The Book of Life is due out July 15, and I can't wait! I love her books, and would recommend them to anyone who likes literary fantasy.

Not sure what's next, but it will definitely be from the TBR pile.

    Bookmark   February 6, 2014 at 1:44PM
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rouan

I seem to be on a reading rampage for a change. Today I finished two books; the first one was Flora and Ulysses by Kate DiCamillo and the second one a nonfiction book called Fairyland: a Memoir of my Father by Alysia Abbott.

Flora and Ulysses was a quick read, fun and charming. I can see why it won the Newbery award. Fairyland was totally different. As the title says, it's a memoir of the author's father, who was bisexual and died of AIDS in 1992. She tells how her parents met and got married and how, after her mother died in a car accident when she was a toddler, her father moved the two of them to San Francisco and raised her as a single, gay man. It was interesting but now I need to read something on the lighter side.

    Bookmark   February 8, 2014 at 10:57PM
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kathy_t

Like Lemonhead, I'm reading Strange Stones by Peter Hessler at the moment. I'm finding that my interest in these previously published pieces from The New Yorker varies greatly. I really enjoyed the ones about the Chinese rat restaurants and The Great Wall, but could barely make myself finish the one about "dirty politics." The fourth one, which is about his former student's life and career in government-supported city of Shenzhen, was "just okay" in my opinion. I'm hoping the rest will be entertaining and informative like the first two.

    Bookmark   February 9, 2014 at 3:46PM
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woodnymph2_gw

I've just finished Amanda Knox's memoir "Waiting to be Heard." I found it quite well-written and convincing. If for no other reason, read it to be informed of the Italian judicial system and the corruption therein, and thus appreciate our own Anglo-Saxon courts and their traditions. It is a great pity that so many who followed her case succumbed to the inaccurate and exaggerated tabloid news. There were so many errors in the investigation from day one and they just accumulated. I've always believed her to be innocent.

Now, I am re-reading Albert Camus' classic: "The Stranger."

    Bookmark   February 10, 2014 at 9:42AM
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reader_in_transit

Got from the library Blackberry Winter by local author Sarah Jio. It's not my kind of book, but I thought I'd enjoy the local references. Not so. When I finish it, I will elaborate on that point.

    Bookmark   February 12, 2014 at 9:52PM
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lemonhead101

Finished up Stoner. Then read a quick read of Diary of a Pilgrimage by Jerome K. Jerome (as of Three Men in a Boat fame). Funny, good, but a bit mixed up as to what it wanted to be -- a funny travelogue? A contemplation of religion? It was as though he couldn't make up his mind which track to follow or, if to follow both of them, how to do it smoothly.

And now picked up a Ruth Rendell, as I need a mystery to cleanse the palate. :-)

This post was edited by lemonhead101 on Thu, Feb 13, 14 at 13:31

    Bookmark   February 13, 2014 at 9:47AM
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Campanula UK Z8

Did you enjoy Stoner, Lemonhead? Halfway through and trying not to cave in with another Sci-Fi blitz. Just finished On the Steel Breeze (Alastair Reynolds) and annoyed to find he has also succumbed to the trilogy curse. Why are SF authors unable to keep to one volume anymore?

Dithering whether to buy Kim Stanley Robinson's Shaman (because it all sounds a bit Clan of the Cavebear....ish).

Re-reading a Year of Wonders - bought a copy for my daughter - a lovely little book by Geraldine Brookes following the village of Eyam which famously declared itself quarantined during a bubonic plague outbreak. Despite the grim content, a gently uplifting book (and perfect for a wet february).

    Bookmark   February 13, 2014 at 5:23PM
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junek-2009

Reading and very much enjoying "Disgrace" by J.M. Cortzee, this novel is the winner of the 1999 Booker Prize,
a very powerful read.

    Bookmark   February 13, 2014 at 7:24PM
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lemonhead101

Campanula - Yes, I did enjoy Stoner. I also learned that it was a book that begs you to sit down and just read it in several long chunks of time. I found that it wasn't really a book that lent itself to small reading time - but once I dedicated some uninterrupted time to it, I fell into the story...

It grows on you -- like fungus. :-)

    Bookmark   February 14, 2014 at 11:02AM
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lemonhead101

Now on to "Fraulein Schmidt and Mr. Anstruther" by Elizabeth von Arnim. It's riveting and epistolary - what more could you want?

(I found a free e-copy on girlebooks if anyone was curious. This is a fab source for female writers from the last... )

Here is a link that might be useful: Girlebooks

    Bookmark   February 14, 2014 at 11:05AM
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carolyn_ky

After reading several books from my "someday" list of series offerings just for fun, I have started on Pat Conroy's new book, The Death of Santini. I read with dread because I really, really dislike family dysfunction; but he writes so well. I have read most of his books but not the first two that are fiction but deal with his relationship with his father. In the foreword of this one, he promises that after this he is through with writing about his parents. It is not a fiction book, and it is dreadful; but it's fascinating, as well.

    Bookmark   February 14, 2014 at 5:18PM
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sherwood38

I finished a Lisa Scottoline mystery over the weekend, so for a change of pace I am now reading The Rock by Bob Mayer which is a sort of sci-fi novel. Mayer has written all genres and I enjoyed his series on Area 51-interesting reads.

Pat

    Bookmark   February 17, 2014 at 3:58PM
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janalyn

In the past couple of weeks I have read:
-Stephen King's The Dead Zone. I came across it while looking for books written in the years Liz needs to complete for that reading project. It has been a while since I have read anything by King but I enjoyed this one. It is one of his earlier novels and not quite so wordy as some of his later work. Interesting plot and moral questions.
-Archangel by Sharon Shinn. Someone recommended her as a fantasy writer and she is good but it was not special. She seems to write in series which puts me off so I am not sure if I will pick up the novel following this one. Probably not.
-Lexicon - have a post up on this one.
-In the Realm of Hungry Ghosts by Gabor Mate M.D. This is nonfiction book which my daughter gave me after she spent some time working in a rehab center. Like any major city, we have an area that the mentally ill and drug addicted congregate. Here it is called the Downtown Eastside. Many of them beg for handouts and I am trying to figure out what the moral thing to do is - give them money, food or pass them by? How do we solve this issue? From the back cover "Countering prevailing notions of addiction as either a genetic disease or in individual moral failure, Dr. Gabor Mate presents an eloquent case that addiction - all addiction - is in fact a case of human development gone askew."
It is really interesting though I got bogged down in the medical terminology in the middle. My daughter just told me just to skip that part so I will be resuming this one to read what his conclusions are.
-Before I Go To Sleep by S.j. Watson This is a thriller, an easy read but rather disturbing. The story is about a 47 year old woman named Christine who suffered an accident 20 years before that resulted in amnesia. The type that causes a memory loss that has her waking up each morning without any idea of the previous 20 years. While I was reading it, I was quite sure that it was going to be picked up by a movie studio and that appears to be the case.
February by Lisa Moore. This is a book club choice written by a Canadian author and although fiction, it is based on what happened to a family after an oil rig sank off the coast of Newfoundland in 1982. She is a good writer, and writes poignantly about grief. I read 2/3 of it then gave up as, well, it just got rather boring.

    Bookmark   February 17, 2014 at 5:12PM
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timallan

I am currently reading Boris Pasternak's Doctor Zhivago, a nod to both the Winter Olympics, and our generally relentless, brutal winter. It is such a beautiful book, though dense and slow-going. I still don't really understand all the fuss about the character of Lara, who just pops in from time to time. I vaguely remember seeing the movie as a child, and thinking Geraldine Chaplin (Tonia) was one of the most beautiful people I had ever seen. Tonia (the character) in the book is not entirely sympathetic. Still, there so many wonderful details of day-to-day life in Russia during its tumultuous history. I love reading the book, I just wish it wasn't taking so long.

    Bookmark   February 18, 2014 at 11:28PM
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veer

Never being one to turn down a freebie I took advantages of our paper, the Daily Telegraph's giving away Penguin paperbacks which had to be collected from our local newsagents. I already had Cranford and Persuasion but picked up R L Stevenson's Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde, The Secret Agent by Joseph Conrad and The Five Orange Pips & Other Cases by Conan Doyle.
To buy all five would have cost about ã30. Now I have no excuse to not read some more 'classics'.

    Bookmark   February 19, 2014 at 2:53PM
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annpan

Vee, I wish we had freebies here like I used to get in the UK papers. I flew to Ireland with one and collected all kinds of goodies from the catalogues. My local paper sometimes has competitions to win cars etc but I don't drive so don't bother!

    Bookmark   February 19, 2014 at 7:17PM
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woodnymph2_gw

I've just finished re-reading Helen Waddell's "Peter Abelard." It is an amazingly sympathetic fictional rendering of the actual medieval lovers, Heloise and Abelard. It's not the sort of book one "enjoys", although it is beautifully written and enlightens one about the medieval mindset during the age of the schools at Chartres and Paris. Waddell was quite a scholar of the "Carmina Burana" and the wandering goliards and their poetry.

    Bookmark   February 20, 2014 at 9:36AM
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annpan

I am reading "The Mystery of Mercy Close" by Marian Keyes. It is another one of the Walsh family stories. I started this series reading "Anybody Out There" and when I read the first one "Watermelon" was glad I started later in the series as I didn't like it at all and probably wouldn't have read any more!
I was like that with the Ladies No 1 series too.
Perhaps authors should start with a second book? :-)
Vee, I have just started the "Death Comes to Pemberley" TV series. What did you think of Lizzie? Not wearing a bonnet outdoors either! It seems to be a habit with TV and films to leave them off her.

    Bookmark   February 21, 2014 at 10:23AM
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sherwood38

The library came through with 3 new releases. Hard Going in the Bill Slider series by Cynthia Harrod-Eagles was a good but quick read.
I have barely started Hunting Shadows the new Insp Ian Rutledge by Charles Todd.

Once that one is finished I will start Conquest which is a new Si-Fi novel by John Connolly. I am curious to read this one as it is a departure from his usual writings.

Pat

    Bookmark   February 21, 2014 at 1:49PM
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reader_in_transit

Finished Blackberry Winter by Sarah Jio, just to not let it unfinished before returning it to the library. It has a good storyline: a 3 year old boy disappears during a snowstorm in the 1930' and a present-day journalist tries to solve the mystery, while her marriage is faltering after losing a baby. Unfortunately, the plot is about the only thing good about the novel. It is too predictable and there are too many coincidences, some of which are unnecessary. In this age, when information is just 2-3 clicks away, the journalist hardly has to dig for the information she is looking for: it practically lands on her hands by all these far-fetched coincidences.

The characters in the 1930 story are stereotypes, and the present day ones do not behave like real people. A drifting marriage is saved with just a few words at the end. Just like that.

Now, this is nitpicking, but I found phony that page after page the main character takes taxis in downtown Seattle for places that are a 10-min walk away. And the ferry times are wrong, both going and coming to Bainbridge Island. There are no sailings at the times mentioned, and there have not been for the almost 9 yrs that I've lived here. Some authors wear out the reader with too many details to prove they did their research, but that is not a problem in this novel.

    Bookmark   February 21, 2014 at 2:14PM
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barbara3

I've just finished Christmas Mourning by Margaret Maron and Pagan Spring by G.M. Malliet, both good mysteries. They were a nice change from And the Mountains Echoed by Khalid Hosseini - quite a serious and challenging read.

    Bookmark   February 21, 2014 at 4:27PM
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lemonhead101

Just finished up Fraulein Schmidt and Mr. Anstruther by Elizabeth von Arnim. What a perfect reading experience that was. von Arnim has crafted a great epistolary read here, and if you enjoyed her other work (e.g. Enchanted April or Elizabeth and her German Garden etc.), you'll like this. It was a treat and when I reached the last page, I heaved a sigh as it couldn't have ended in a more satisfying way. Just loved it.

Quotes I liked:
I cannot tell you how much life surprises me. I never get used to it. I never get tired of pondering, and watching and wondering. The way in which eternal truths lurk upon one's path... peep out from every apparently dull corner, sit among stones...if we choose to open our eyes and look, and our ears to listen - how extraordinary it is. Can one be bored in a world so wonderful?
...the delight of having a fresh day every morning before you, a fresh long day, bare and empty, to be filled as you pass along it with nothing but clean and noble hours. You must forgive this exuberance. The sun has got into my veins and turned everything golden..."

Aren't those just lovely thoughts?

    Bookmark   February 21, 2014 at 4:59PM
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reader_in_transit

Lovely thoughts indeed. What a love for life Elizabeth von Armin had. I have 3 pages of quotes from Elizabeth and her German Garden and The Solitary Summer. These two are from this last book:

"Oh, my dear Thoreau", I murmur sometimes, overcome by the fierce heat of the little path at noonday and the persistence of the flies, "did you have flies at Walden to exasperate you? And what became of your philosophy then?"

What a blessing is to love books. Everybody must love something, and I know of no objects of love that give such substantial and unfailing returns as books and a garden.

I have added Fraulein Schmidt and Mr Anstruther to the books by her that I must read.

    Bookmark   February 22, 2014 at 12:49PM
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sheriz6

I just finished Mr. Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore by Robin Sloan. I loved it. It was a bit like Ready Player One, but for 16th century encrypted books rather than video games (if you've read both, I hope that makes sense). Definitely a niche sort of book, but absolutely my cuppa tea.

Lemonhead, Fraulein Schmidt and Mr. Anstruther sounds delightful, I enjoyed Enchanted April and would like to read more by her. Reader in Transit, FYI, you can download it free on Amazon for the kindle.

Here is a link that might be useful: Fraulein Schimdt and Mr. Anstruther

    Bookmark   February 23, 2014 at 7:15PM
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veer

Annpan, re Death Comes to Pemberley and lack of a suitable bonnet for LIzzie . . . I have often noticed that while many of these 'costume dramas' take great pains to get the full get-up correct they miss out on something like that. Often Victorian films are shown where the male characters while 'taking the air' on a Sunday afternoon are in 'shirt-sleeve-order (as they say in the military) when in 'real time' they would have been wearing coats/jackets, stiff collars, ties, caps, bowlers etc. even on a boiling hot day. Even the relatively modern drama Call the Midwife shows, in the background, couples arm-in-arm strolling the narrow East End Streets in brightly coloured clothes. Neither bright nor 'arm-in-arm' would have gone together there and then. ;-)

    Bookmark   February 24, 2014 at 4:45AM
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annpan

Vee, I have watched the first episode of "Death comes to Pemberley" and the thing that struck me is that Lizzie doesn't seem right somehow. She looks more like an harassed housewife rather than the indulged lady of a great house.
It isn't only the costumes that aren't worn quite correctly, as you say, it is also the wrong manners that grate!
I sometimes think "No, they wouldn't do that" during shows. It irks me and puts me off.

    Bookmark   February 24, 2014 at 6:40AM
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veer

Ann, I know what you mean she certainly was very 'hands on' with the very few staff she had around her . .. I suppose the BBC can't afford all the extras necessary to make up a full household. And she spent far more time with her children than would have been the case in those days.
A 5 day series has just started on Radio 4 The Mysterious Death of Jane Austen. Already sounding very unlikely with Miss Austen "Call me Jane" and the governess "Do read me the latest chapter of your novel" possibly having a Sapphic relationship . . . or maybe the heavy breathing was caused by an energetic run along the sand.

Here is a link that might be useful: Listen Here

    Bookmark   February 24, 2014 at 7:18AM
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annpan

I wouldn't want anyone here to feel offended about what I want to say... but I dislike scriptwriters who alter a story to add lesbian overtones. I have noticed this in a couple of Agatha Christie TV episodes.
There are dramatisations of lesbian books and so one knows what the subject matter is going to be and can choose whether it is something to watch.
Having a well-loved story changed is annoying!

    Bookmark   February 25, 2014 at 6:25AM
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lemonhead101

RIT - loved your selection of EvonA quotes... I think you would enjoy the Fraulein book... (And yes, it's on Project Gutenberg and also Girlebooks - another free book place to read on-line.)

I've been struggling trying to find a classic that I can keep with and enjoy... So far, I've tried "The Longest Journey" by E. M. Forster several times but I must admit defeat with that, much as it pains me as I usually like Forster's books. The search continues...

I'm also working on improving my writing professionally speaking, so I've picked up a book by Lee Gutkind, the "godfather of creative nonfiction" which is a collection of award-winning nonfiction articles and am trying to be more of a discerning reader to learn how to write such articles. I've been wanting to do some more writing at work, and have read over and over that to learn good writing, one should do good reading. Taking that to heart. :-)

And just finished up a short and beautifully produced nonfiction read called "Plain and Simple" by Sue Bender, Bender is an artist and a therapist who went to live side-by-side with a couple of Amish families to learn more about their life and culture. In doing so, she learned more about herself (sort of thing). I first read it about ten years and it really seemed to resonate with me then. This read not so much, but that's the gamble with something you reread. Not a bad read, but not as en pointe as I had taken it earlier. (Different time of life, one supposes.)

I'm also reading a non-fiction called "The Secrets of the Middle-Aged Brain" by Barbara Stauch - fascinating science/medical writing. I'll chat more about it when I'm done, but I think some of you may like this.

Here is a link that might be useful: What is creative nonfiction?

    Bookmark   February 25, 2014 at 4:00PM
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annpan

Vee, I finished "Death Comes to Pemberley" and then felt free to check on reviews and also comments from Radio Times readers. One I could have written myself about the casting of Lizzie!
I have an advantage in not having seen many of the cast previously so wasn't thinking of them in previous roles, a deterrent to enjoyment for some viewers.
I read Simon Brett's new Fethering mystery "The Strangling on the Stage" which was about a group of amdram players. We discussed this pastime on another thread recently. Very apt!

    Bookmark   February 28, 2014 at 1:09AM
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sherwood38

I haven't read much by James Lee Burke, but did finish Light of the World this week and found it very violent-it seemed like every character committed very violent acts.

I am now reading, well actually barely started The Counterfeit Spy the new book by Alex Berenson in his John Wells series, I really enjoy this series. This one is a library book and since I never take them out of the house, I am reading Deadly Deceit on my kindle-one of the Mari Hannah English mysteries when I have appointments-like yesterday and again today!

Pat

    Bookmark   February 28, 2014 at 11:53AM
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donnamira

I read Help for the Haunted by John Searles yesterday; I'm not sure if it was a comment here or a review in the Washington Post that led me to place a hold on it at the library, but after several weeks, it finally came in, and I read it in one day! A combination ghost/murder mystery that kept me guessing until the very end. The story is told in 1st person by 14-y/o Sylvie, beginning with her parents' murder, then moving back and forth between her memories of the past leading up to the murder and the events afterward. Nicely crafted and spooky. And it's set in Dundalk MD, not too far from where i live.

    Bookmark   February 28, 2014 at 9:04PM
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