Oregonreader: Back for 2021

Discussão75 Books Challenge for 2021

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Oregonreader: Back for 2021

Jan 2, 3:02pm

We've been through a rough year but I'm feeling optimistic about 2021 and very grateful for my LT friends. Happy reading to all of you!

Jan 2, 3:03pm

Here's to a year deserving that optimism, for all of us.

Jan 2, 3:15pm

Welcome back!

Jan 2, 3:33pm

and happy reading to you, Jan!

Jan 2, 5:52pm

Welcome back and happy reading!

Jan 2, 6:48pm

Happy reading in 2021, Jan!

Editado: Jan 2, 6:48pm

ETA: Sorry, accidently posted twice.

Jan 3, 12:17am

And keep up with my friends here, Jan. Have a great 2021.

Jan 7, 11:34am

Happy 2021, Jan!

Jan 8, 8:51pm

Happy New Year, Jan. I hope 2021 is a good year!

Editado: Jan 15, 2:16pm

I've waited so long to get back here that I have a list of people to thank for stopping by. Judy, Jim, Rhonda, Lori, Anita, Paul and Beth. Thank you all so much!

2020 was so bad that there was a little spill over into my new year start. A family close to me all developed Covid. They are recovered now but the husband had a rough time of it. I always follow social distancing and am masked so I did not get the virus but it was a worry.

But here's to a great new year. I hope and expect that when Biden takes over, there will be rapid change.

Hoping for a great new year to all my LT friends.

Jan 15, 6:33pm

I mostly stay in my own office as do all of us in the library. Students who come in don't seem to care about the mask and social distancing, and we are not allowed to enforce it. I stay in my office where it is safe. If someone comes to the door, I grab my mask and put it on. If I go outside my office, I put on the mask, even if I'm not expecting to encounter anyone. You just never know.

Jan 21, 2:15pm

Lori, I'm glad you have an office to retreat to! I've also noticed the young don't wear masks as they should. It must be that youthful belief in their own immortality.

I have been submerging myself in mysteries. There are so many authors that would be excellent writers in any genre. I started with Peter Robinson whose Alan Banks series drew me in.

1. Strange Affair
2. Watching the Dark
3. When the Music's Over
4. Children of the Revolution

Jan 21, 3:53pm

Some more mystery reading.

5. Sparkling Cyanide by Agatha Christie I actually found one of her books that I hadn't read. Probably because it isn't a Poirot or Marple mystery. But I think it is one of her better ones. Six people and an empty chair around a table where a murder had occurred a year before. Christie devotes a chapter to each person and gives a lot of details about their lives.

6. Blood Promise by Mark Prior Part of the Hugo Marsten series. Marsten is ex FBI and currently the head of security at the American Embassy in Paris. I love the settings in Paris, especially in Montmart, where my husband and I lived for a few months. Good plotting and interesting characters.

7. The Book Artist by Mark Prior Another good mystery involving the art world in Paris.

Jan 21, 4:04pm

>13 Oregonreader: I am re-reading the Alan Banks, Jan, as comfort reads. Trying not to read them all in a very short time, as I did the first time.

Jan 21, 10:35pm

Looks like you are off to a good start with all the mysteries. I've been reading quite a few too. I need to hit some other fiction genres soon though! I'm reading an ARC at the moment, but I think the one I'll pick up when I finish it is historical fiction.

Jan 22, 11:52am

I need to get back to the Mark Prior books, Jan. I really liked the first one, but I thought the second one was gory, so I put the series on pause. How are the subsequent ones?

Jan 22, 2:39pm

Hi Beth, It was The Crypt Thief that I was uncomfortable with, I don't remember the number, and didn't think I would read any more. But I tried the next one and it was good so I've read on. I really do enjoy them. Most mysteries, except the Cozy ones, have some gory descriptions, but it's the creepy villains that I can't handle. Thanks for stopping by.

Jan 22, 4:14pm

Some reading from January.

8. The Pull of the Stars by Emma Donoghue This is the first book of hers that I've read and I was really impressed. Set in Dublin during the 1918 influenza epidemic, three women are drawn together. A nurse working in the room for pregnant women with the virus, a doctor who is wanted by the British for IRA activities, and a young woman from a nearby orphan's center who comes to volunteer. Donoghue goes into great detail about how babies were delivered during that time.

9 and 10. Two more from Mark Pryor. The Sorbonne Affair and The Paris Librarian.

11. The Corpse at Crystal Palace by Carola Dunn Part of the Daisy Dalrymple series. Light but fun.

Jan 24, 2:21pm

Hi Jan! I love Emma Donaghue, and want to read Pull of the Stars; but not sure about the pandemic theme right now.

Jan 24, 11:19pm

Rhonda, Donaghue was new to me but I plan to read more of her books.

12. The Inland Sea by Sam Clark This was an ERC. The inland sea is a part of Lake Champlain. The body of a man who has disappeared 18 years before and is presumed dead is found, having recently died from a gunshot wound. The chief detective must not only find the killer but figure out where this man has been during the missing years. I enjoyed the book although the author included way too much detail, including maps, of the inland sea. I felt most readers really didn't need that much information. Much of the book is procedural, describing how the rural police team approached solving the crime. I found this interesting. It is well plotted. The ending moves quickly and is nicely resolved.

Jan 25, 12:47pm

Hi, Jan. Your review of The Inland Sea is interesting, but the touchstone points to a James Fennimore Cooper novel! Clark's book is in the catalog.

Jan 26, 8:33am

>21 Oregonreader: I often wish we had maps in books, but that one does sound interesting.

Jan 26, 10:46pm

>19 Oregonreader: Very topical too. I am surprised this one didn't do better in the Giller Prize.

Jan 26, 11:18pm

I'm not sure how I missed your thread until now, Jan, but I'm happy to add my star.

All your mysteries make me a little envious. I have a Deborah Crombie that I haven't read, and I love her!

Jan 27, 4:51pm

>22 ffortsa: Judy, I think I've gotten out of the habit of looking at Touchstones. I never even noticed!

>23 thornton37814: I like maps too, Lori. I think they are especially helpful with mysteries. You might like this one.

>24 PaulCranswick: Paul, It was very topical, touching on the pandemic and the war. Donoghue also mentions popular ideas that people held to ward off the flu which reminded me of our rumors of bleach and chloroquinican (sp?) to avoid Covid. I just got another of her books, The Sealed Letter from the library. I'm looking forward to that.

> 25. Peggy, I've been trying to broaden my reading a bit but I am a mystery lover. I just got the latest Crombie book A Bitter Feast from my daughter. She has read them all and said this is one of her favorites so I'm anxious to read it.

I've been working with my Cairn Terrier, Bobby, to get down the stairs. He lost his sight last summer with detached retinas in both eyes. He has adjusted well to moving around the house but he struggles with the stairs. I think it's more a question of confidence as he's developed a good system for going down safely. So I stand at the bottom and cheer him on!

Jan 28, 2:07pm

Thanks Jan. I think The Crypt Thief was the one that stopped me. I did enjoy the first one, and I loved the setting, so I will move on to # 3 in the series.

Editado: Jan 28, 11:56pm

I hope you like the next Hugo Marsten, Beth.

Here's one of the latest mysteries I've read.

13. Moonflower Murders by Anthony Horowitz I've been waiting awhile for this one. It was on a long hold list at the library. The roots of the murder in this one lay in his last novel, Magpie Murders. Although I had read it, I'm not sure a reader needs to because so much of it was explained. One of Horowitz's strengths is in writing interesting characters and fleshing them out. This was no exception. My biggest problem with the book was the inclusion of a novella which was supposed to hold the key to solving the crime. It didn't help me and was really a distraction. Horowitz attempted an amazing feat in working two other books into this one but I'm not sure it worked.

Jan 30, 1:37pm

14. The Sympathizer by Viet Thanh Nguyen I loved reading this book. I can understand why it won the Pulitzer. Through the eyes of a half-French, half-Vietnamese double agent, Nguyen looks at American culture from a different point of view and describes both the communists and western Vietnamese with sympathy for both. I was especially taken with the refugees resettled in California and their understanding of American life. The characters were very well drawn.

15. Hercule Poirot's Christmas by Agatha Christie I picked this up in December and just got around to reading it. This one has a special twist at the end I didn't see coming.

Jan 30, 5:57pm

16. A Bitter Feast by Deborah Crombie I've really enjoyed this series and always look forward to the next one. This one did not disappoint. I think it may be my favorite. DS Duncan Kincaid and his wife, DI Gemma James, are guests at a country house along with their children. Their relaxing time is cut short by a car accident and murder. Crombie populates the story with interesting people and I was drawn in to all their stories. Highly recommended.

17. The Sealed Letter by Emma Donohue This is based on a scandalous divorce case in London in 1864. Two old friends, Helen, married to a high Naval officer, and, Fido, spinster, a leader in the women's rights movement, meet after a seven year absence. Fido is drawn into Helen's affairs with disastrous results. Interesting psychology between the two.

Jan 31, 5:40pm

Wow, Jan, lots of good reading!

And I love the story about your dog and the stairs. So sweet.

Jan 31, 8:02pm

>30 Oregonreader: It's been a long time since she came out with A Bitter Feast. I keep hoping we'll see a title and release date for the next installment, but I've seen nothing.

Jan 31, 8:13pm

>19 Oregonreader: Jan, The Pull of the Stars is sitting on the tbr list for awhile. Your excelled review is pulling me to read the book SOON!

Fev 2, 2:31pm

>31 banjo123: Rhonda, Thanks for stopping by. I have been reading at a faster pace than usual. It's what keeps me going during the isolation. I've been a widow for 16 years so I'm somewhat used to being alone but not to this degree. Thank goodness for zoom!

>32 thornton37814: Lori, I didn't realize it has been out so long. My daughter is a big fan and I rely on her to pass them on to me. I can't wait for the next one.

>33 Whisper1: Linda, I think you would love this book. It deals with grim historical times but is also very uplifting and very well written.

Fev 3, 5:04pm

18. The Philosophical Detective by Bruce Hartman I hardly know where to start with this one. Nick is graduate student in Comparative Literature at Ipswich University near Harvard. He is asked to pick up a visiting professor from the airport. This turns out to be Jorge Luis Borges. Thus begins a year long relationship between the two as they attempt to solve several extraordinary murders. I can do no better than this quote, "they attempt the equally baffling conundrums of literature and philosophy, including Zeno's paradoxes, the mind/body problem, and the mysteries of destiny, personal identity and artistic creation." Borges refers to Zeno, Spinoza, De Quincy, Aristotle and others as though the reader is aware of their work. I think it does help if the reader has some familiarity with philosophy but it's still a puzzling book. I was puzzled by much of the book but actually really enjoyed it. It definitely gives reason for thought.

Fev 3, 5:41pm

>35 Oregonreader: Welp, that’s one for the ol’ wishlist!

Fev 3, 8:55pm

>35 Oregonreader: That sounds interesting.

I have The Sealed Letter and have been wondering about it. It's not one of Donoghue's that I hear about.

I love the Crombie series. I wonder when a new one is coming...

Fev 7, 3:56pm

>36 drneutron: Jim, I think the author intended this as a tribute to Borges and the book reflects his Magical Realism in solving crimes. A strange combination.

>37 BLBera: I'd have to say, Beth, that The Sealed Letter was not as good as Pull of the Stars. I found it hard to like the main characters. I'm now reading Akin and in my opinion, it's a better book. I look forward to reading more of hers.

Fev 16, 4:36pm

Between dealing with a snow and ice storm and trying to get a covid vaccine appointment, I've been very preoccupied. But I was successful with both and can now look at more pleasant tasks.

19. An Artist of the Floating World by Kazuo Ishiguro This book, while beautifully written, was a mystery to me. Set in postwar Japan, Ono is a very respected artist who is struggling to understand the new Japan. What puzzled me the most was that Ono feels great guilt for his behavior during the war because he felt his art was influential in supporting it. Yet, later his daughter tells him he was just an artist and had no effect on what was happening at that time. I think if I had more knowledge of postwar Japan, I might understand the politics of the time and how an artist could have played a role in it. This is a very interesting novel.

20. The Norths Meet Murder by Frances and Richard Lockridge I think I read about this series on the Mystery thread. I remembered a TV series, Mr. and Mrs. North, from the 50's. Yes, that's how old I am! This is the first of the series and reminded me of old movies. The very sophisticated husband and the ditzy yet charming wife. The smart talking detective and his thug of an assistant. But as I got into it, the detective became the main character and the plotting was very interesting with lots of characters and leads. I ended up enjoying it.

21. Akin by Emma Donoghue Noah Selvaggio is a widower and retired chemistry professor living in New York. He was born in Nice and he decides to return to France and the places he remembers. Just as he is preparing to leave, he is informed that he has a 10 year old nephew who is homeless and has no where else to go. The book describes their developing relationship in a wonderful way. I really enjoy Donoghue's writing.

Fev 18, 12:34pm

As I always expect, you've been doing a lot of good reading, Jan! I can't catch up, but you remind me of how much I enjoy D. Crombie, and I have two to read. Good news! I'll also confess that *Sealed Letter* is the only Donoghue that I've read, and I wasn't particularly impressed. I'll try again because I do have another one.
Thanks for the prod!
Have you been vaccinated? I was skimming to catch up and may have missed it! Hope so. Take care in any case.

Fev 28, 3:24pm

A belated thanks for stopping by, Peggy. I have a lot in RL going on. I did get my first vaccine and go back for the second in three weeks. I was relieved to get it. I haven't been getting enough exercise due to bad weather so I'm thrilled that a friend is giving me her recumbant exercise bike tomorrow. My son and son-in-law are picking it up. I'm so grateful to have them. I hope your Mama is doing better and has gotten her second shot.

Mar 2, 2:35pm

Hi Jan - I think Akin is my favorite Donoghue so far. I found it very heart warming.

I loved most of The Pull of the Stars but was unsatisfied by the ending.

Editado: Mar 11, 1:15am

I haven't been able to visit here for awhile. While out in my yard, I fell and hit my head on a sharp rock. Luckily, neighbors saw me and came to help. I ended up with a mild concussion and a cracked rib. I've had trouble concentrating for reading and focusing but I am getting better.

Beth, sorry to take so long to get back to you. I agree with you about Akin and I'll be reading another of hers soon.
I hope you are well.

Mar 11, 8:11am

Oh no! I'm sorry you had a spill, as my mom would say! Here's hoping your recovery is smooth and swift and that you get your reading focus back soon!

Mar 13, 10:19am


Mar 13, 6:04pm

Oh no! So sorry about the fall and the concussion. Take care.

Mar 16, 7:20pm

Amber, Judy, and Rhonda, thanks so much for the good wishes. I am continuing to mend and I'm back to reading again. The rib is going to take more time to heal. I've heard from friends to expect several more weeks for a complete recovery.

Amber, I visited your site and saw that you are reading The Iliad in Greek. I am reading it in Robert Fagles translation. I envy you your understanding of Greek.

Mar 16, 7:28pm

Here's some reading I was doing before my fall.

22. Careless Love by Peter Robinson In his last several books, Robinson has been weaving two separate investigations together, uncovering links, and bringing both to a solid ending. I like this one.

23. Lord Peter by Dorothy L. Sayers I pulled this off my shelves. I must have read it before at some point but only a couple of stories seemed familiar. This book contains 21 short stories and Sayers must be one of the most inventive plot developers ever to write. Lord Peter solves them all. Loved the book.

Mar 16, 7:53pm

24. You Belong Here Now by Dianna Rostad This was an ERC. Set in 1925, three orphans are put on the Orphan Train in New York and sent to Montana looking for foster parents. Historically, what the children found were farmers who wanted to work them to death. In this story, the oldest boy sees what is happening and, he decides to jump off the train and find his own way. The younger boy and little girl follow him. As they work to survive, the story describes how their relationships grow. They are found by a farming family whose members have mixed reactions to them. It is a wonderful story of how families and communities grow.

25. A Thousand Ships by Natalie Haynes I heard the author interviewed on NPR and was immediately interested. She is a classicist who looked at the Iliad and how it focused on men and that the women were really left out of the story with few descriptions of how they felt, reacted, and dealt with the effects of war. Haynes set out to retell the story from the women's point of view. She did change the sequence of events in order to better describe the women's stories,
such as telling of Chryseis and Briseis kidnapping much later in the story. An academic would quarrel with some of it, I'm sure, but for the less critical reader, it is very well done.

This book led me to a rereading of the The Iliad. I found a great translation by Robert Fagles. This is a reread but I hadn't read it since college, some 50 years ago, so if feels new!

Mar 17, 10:28am

>49 Oregonreader: The group I'm part of that reads epic poetry aloud has read both the Iliad and the Odyssey in the Fagles translation and found them easy to read, although some here prefer the Lombardi. Now we've embarked on his translation of the Aeneid.

Mar 17, 12:22pm

>47 Oregonreader: Ha! I honestly haven't pick up the Greek version of the Iliad on months now. I may eventually get back to it, though, and I have read through it in Greek before, of course. Fagles is a good, solid translation (although Lombardi is the gold standard these days).

Mar 17, 3:28pm

>50 ffortsa: Judy, being part of a group that reads epic poetry sounds fabulous. Do you struggle with pronunciation like I do? The nice thing about reading silently is that I can make a stab at it and let it go!

>51 scaifea: Amber, It's good to hear that Fagles is a considered a good translation. I've found it very readable. I hadn't heard of Lombardi so I'll look for his book at the library for comparison.

Mar 18, 7:39am

Sorry for the typo; it's Stanley Lombardo, which will hopefully make him easier to find!

(If you ever have questions about pronunciation, I'd be happy to help!)

Mar 18, 4:44pm

Amber, thanks for the typo correction. It definitely helps. And thanks also for the offer of help!

Mar 19, 11:52am

>52 Oregonreader: We muddle through the pronunciations, which are annotated in the back of the book anyway. Most of us can read clearly and with enough accurate meaning to limit annoyance. And then we discuss, along with our leader, who knows more about this than we do. But it's sometimes really fun. When Odysseus tries to deceive Athena and she nails him on it, we all giggled.

Mar 19, 12:40pm

Jan - I'm so sorry to hear about your fall. I hope you are recovering well.

Mar 30, 1:17am

Thanks, Beth. I am well on the mend. I'm busy right now getting my bathroom retiled and safety features added, like a grab bar. Even though I'm not doing the physical work, it is hard work choosing the tile I want, etc. I'll be excited when it's done.

Mar 30, 1:42pm

26. In Search of a Homeland by Penelope Lively. This is a retelling of the story of Aeneas in the Aeneid. It's target audience is older children or YA and is told clearly with Lively's usual beautiful prose. I was not familiar with the story of Aeneas leaving Troy after it fell to the Greeks and then traveling to Italy to found the city of Rome. His ships had to pass many of the same dangers that Ulysses faced on this way home. The illustrations were not as exceptional as I had hoped.

Editado: Mar 30, 2:10pm

Such a lot going on, Jan! I wrote to you about your fall on my thread, so I won't repeat it here except to say that I'm sorry. Even being careful isn't fool-proof although it should be!

I too wish I could read Greek and envy Amber. I made it through the baby Greek class that seminaries use for Koine (or New Testament Greek) with their first year students, but it's long gone. On the other hand, I was surprised to find how much I love and adore Vergil and The Aeneid both in Latin and in translation.

Mar 31, 8:57pm

Hope all is well, Jan and that you are recuperating after your fall.

Abr 12, 6:20pm

Peggy, I was never taught Latin in school so I am impressed with anyone who knows either Latin or Greek. I'm still learning Spanish on Duolingo and I'm surprised that I'm making progress. I'm only on it a few minutes a day but it seems to be sinking in.

Paul, I have recovered from my fall, thank goodness. Right now I'm going through another kind of pain, that of remodeling! I'm having new tile installed in both bathrooms and even picking out the tile I want is a challenged. So much to choose from. The installation will begin in two weeks and I hope everything goes on schedule. I'm planning to shower at my daughters house during the week or so it will take. Fortunately, she lives near by.

I just watched the movie The Trial of the Chicago Seven. It brought back so many memories for me. I was in my twenties then and involved in the war protest in San Francisco. For those like me who lament that things never seem to change, this was a reminder that they do, although slowly. Political trials at that time were never televised and we had to rely on sketches printed in newspapers of the people involved . Because it wasn't public, outrageous injustices took place. Thank goodness things are more transparent now and we can see what actually occurs, the good and the ugly. Great film.

Abr 12, 6:58pm

I'm still reading The Iliad but it will be months before I finish. But here's a couple I have finished.

26. Many Rivers to Cross by Peter Robinson Another of Robinson's mysteries that blend two stories together. I always enjoy his books.

27. West With Giraffes by Lynda Rutledge Thanks to Linda (Whisper) for this one. It is a charming story based on a true event. In 1939, the San Diego Zoo bought two giraffes to be shipped from Africa to Southern California. Their ship arrived in New York just as the biggest hurricane in their history reached the shore. This story follows a young man, fleeing the dust bowl of the Texas Panhandle and unsuccessfully searching for a cousin. He comes across the truck which will carry the giraffes to California and determines to follow them to a better life. The relationship of the young man and the older handler in charge of the giraffe's care is the heart of the book. I really enjoyed it.

Abr 13, 11:08pm

Jan, we have something else in common! I've been doing Italian on DuoLingo (never expect to use it, but I always wanted to know it) for the past 155 days. Like you, I don't do more than 2 or 3 lessons a day and don't study away from the computer. Also like you, I'm actually learning a lot even when both DL and my poor brain frustrate me. My accent is laughable, and I have to work hard to put a sentence together that is even close to right, but the passive vocabulary builds, and I'm about ready to tackle a short story in a parallel Italian/English book that I have. Whooopeeee!

Oh my goodness! 1968! I remember it well.

Abr 14, 2:42pm

Peggy, it is amazing that studying for such a small amount of time can have results. I'm not ready to tackle a short story yet but soon. My accent is not too bad but Spanish is an easy one, I think. I've noticed I have more trouble understanding the woman's voice than the man's. Do you notice a difference?

Editado: Abr 16, 12:59am

28. Moon Tiger by Penelope Lively. I picked this up and then remembered I had read it several years ago. But her language drew me in again. Loved it again.

29. Death Comes to London by Catherine Lloyd. I learned about this from Reba's thread. I've found another series to enjoy! Two sisters, daughters of a country vicar, come to London for the season. Murder ensues with lots of wonderful characters and plot twists.

Abr 15, 9:29pm

>65 Oregonreader: I love Penelope Lively! I also enjoy the Catherien Lloyd series. I think I have the next ebook; I should get back to the series.

With remodeling, you have to focus on the outcome; it's such a pain while it is going on.

Abr 15, 11:21pm

>64 Oregonreader: I'm equally frustrated by both voices, Jan. They totally swallow articles so that I can't tell the difference between "il" and "un," for example, unless I listen to the slow version. Having no context drives me nuts. I ate up the stories the first two weeks I was learning, and there don't seem to be any more. Other frustrations abound, including authoritative discussion from people who have no idea what they're talking about. BUT!! It's free, and I'm learning more that I ever thought I would. I wish I had time to tackle something completely different like Russian or Japanese.

Read on, my friend. I also enjoy Lively a LOT! and wish you patience as you endure the remodeling.

Abr 16, 5:35pm

>67 LizzieD: I admit I use the slow version at times, too. The speakers swallow the first word of the sentence too often. I think it would be really tough to learn a language that has a different alphabet.

My 13 year old grandson watched a movie in Korean with subtitles. He fell in love with the language and is studying it on another program. He is making amazing progress. I think his young brain helps!

Abr 17, 2:05pm

30. The Portable Veblen by Elizabeth McKenzie A friend was reading this and I thought it was the collected writings of Thorsten Veblen, who invented the phrase Conspicuous Consumption. Out of curiosity, I ordered it from the library. I was wrong. Boy, was I wrong! This is a novel about a young woman named Veblen who is obsessed with squirrels. The focus of the book is Veblen's interactions with people and squirrels and her interior dialog. This works if you are interested and care about the character. I didn't and couldn't finish the book. It got some good reviews so maybe it's just me.

31. The Liar in the Library by Simon Brett I had read references to Brett on LT and, loving mysteries, I'm always looking for new series. A successful author comes to a small English town to deliver a lecture. Two women friends attended the talk. The ensuing mystery is very good and I was swept up in it. I'll be reading more of Brett.

Abr 23, 1:44pm

Hi Jan! Glad you are recovered from your fall. And good luck with the remodeling. we have some work that needs to be done around the house as well, and I am dreading it.

Editado: Maio 5, 5:25pm

A very belated thank you for stopping by, Rhonda. I hope that things go well with the work around your house. My experience is that things move slowly!

I have been doing some binge reading.

32. Death Comes to Kurland Hall by Catherine Lloyd I enjoyed the characters in this series and the plots were interesting enough to keep me reading.

33. Death Comes to the Fair
34. Death Comes to the School
35. Death Comes to the Nursery

Editado: Maio 15, 3:50pm

I have been having computer problems, one of which was my inability to post here. It seems to have just cured itself. Let's hope it lasts!

Editado: Maio 15, 4:02pm

36. The House of Spirits by Isabelle Allende I don't know why it has taken me so long to read this. I've read several of her other books really and really enjoyed her language, even in translation. This was no exception. I find that she weaves the aspects of mystical realism so naturally in her character development that I accept it quite readily.

37. The Private World of Georgette Heyer by Jane Aiken Hodge I spotted a discussion on Peggy's thread about this book and Jennifer Kloester's book on Austen. Being a complete Heyer fan, having read every one of her books at least once and most many times, I determined to read both biographies. I found this book on my shelves so this came first. If you are familiar with her work, you will enjoy this description of her life as she wrote each book.

Maio 19, 9:25pm

38. Human Voices by Penelope Fitzgerald During WWII, the BBC broadcast news to the public to give them information and warnings of what was happening. This novel tells the story of the men and women who produced these broadcasts. From political jockeying for promotions to the private lives of the women who worked there, Fitzgerald makes it come to life.

39. So We Read On by Maureen Corrigan Corrigan teaches literature at Georgetown and is the chief critic in residence. She presents the case here that The Great Gatsby is one of the greatest novels of the twentieth century. She presents a compelling case and prompted me to reread it. I especially agreed with her that Gatsby is generally assigned to high school students who are too young to understand it.

40. First Comes Marriage by Mary Balogh Total fluff but fun to read.

Maio 19, 11:51pm

Such varied reading, Jan!!! It's a pleasure to see it. I'll recommend another Penelope Fitzgerald to you - The Knox Brothers, a biography that consumed me while I was reading. Look at it and see what you think!

I have put my Kloester *Heyer* down for the moment, but I look forward to picking it up again, and I do want to try the J.A. Hodge. She's so good every other way.

Maio 20, 5:22pm

Hi Jan - Some great reading here. Human Voices is one of my favorites, and I loved So We Read On when I read it earlier this year.

I do want to read the Heyer bios as well, even though I can't claim to have read all of Heyer's books!

I read The House of Spirits long ago and keep meaning to reread it.

I have also enjoyed the Lloyd series although I think I liked the first two the best. Still, I'll continue on with it.

Maio 24, 2:12pm

>76 BLBera: Jim has read So We Read On and agrees that it's a good read. And he LOVES TGG. I'll look for his copy.

Maio 28, 12:41pm

Thank you all for stopping by. It's always lovely to see I've had visitors.

>75 LizzieD: Peggy, I'm adding The Knox Brothers to my TBR list. I still have to pick up a copy of the Kloester book. I've been using my library much more and hopefully they'll have a copy.

>76 BLBera: Beth, I think you'll enjoy the Hodge bio even if you've only read a couple of her books. It's always interesting to read of the struggles a writer has to get noticed and then work with an editor and publisher.

>77 ffortsa: Judy, I was surprised at how readable So We Read On was. She's a good writer. I hope you enjoy it as much as Jim and I did! It's nice to hear from you.

Editado: Maio 28, 12:59pm

41. Butcher's Crossing by John Williams I can't remember where I read of this book but it was referred to as a classic. Then I learned it was about buffalo skinners and a young man who dropped out of Harvard and headed out west searching for who he was and what he wanted. Visions of millions of buffalo killed for their skins made me question whether I could read it. But Williams does not focus so much on details of the slaughter but on the men who chose this life. In my opinion, it is exceptionally well written.

42. An Elderly Lady Is Up To No Good by Helene Tursten This is translated from Swedish and the title sounds like it might be a literal translation of a Swedish phrase! The lady is an 88 year old woman who has a unique way of dealing with people who cause her problems. She removes them. At first I loved the black humor but as the book progressed, I began to feel uncomfortable with the lady's lack of feeling. But it was an interesting read and well written.

43. The Darcy Connection by Elizabeth Aston This is the first book I've read of the new genre "Post Pride and Prejudice". This one is concerned with the daughters of Mr. Collins and his wife, Charlotte. I found this very fun to read but of course, completely predictable.

Maio 31, 8:34am

If you liked So We Read On, you might also enjoy Leave Me Alone I'm Reading. I would love to hang out with Corrigan.

Jun 2, 10:44pm

Beth, I'm adding that to my TBR list. I know what you mean about hanging out with Corrigan. Some novelists seem like they would be knowledgeable and fun. I feel that way about Christopher Fowler and Penelope Lively. On the other hand, to me Margaret Atwood seems like she would be rather serious and not much fun.

Jun 4, 12:59am

My oldest granddaughter, Emma, is graduating from high school and we are busy with all the festivities around it. We are very proud of her. She was on the debate team, editor of the school newspaper (digital these days), and receiving top marks.

It was a real shock to me to learn what colleges cost these days. She applied to several private schools but then discovered that the cost was $70,000 to $90,000 per year. She was accepted, but even with generous scholarships, we could not afford them. So she is going to Southern Oregon University in Ashland. One nice perk is that she gets free tickets to the Shakespeare Festival. She is interested in forensic psychology. I'm sure it will work out fine for her.

Sadly, the Portland Trail Blazers are out of the play-offs now. Not so unusual for them, I'm afraid.

Jun 5, 7:05pm

Congratulations to your granddaughter! Ashland is a fun town, and I think SOU has a good criminal justice program.

Bummer about the Trailblazers, we went to the last play-off game, so got to have our hearts broken in person.

Jun 12, 4:33pm

It was a bummer for Trailblazer fans. I have a lot of sympathy for Lilliard. He is spending his prime years with a team that can't measure up to support him. I envy you seeing the game in person, even though it was a tragedy. I'm wondering who the next coach will be.

I hope you are having a good weekend.

Jun 12, 5:07pm

44. Still Waters by Viveca Sten This is the first book in the Sandhamn mystery series. Set in a small island town in Sweden, police detective, Thomas Andreasson tackles two murders. There are two more books in the series and I'll definitely be reading those.

45. Band of Sisters by Lauren Willig Set in WWI, this is based on a group of Smith graduate women who joined a group to go to war torn France and help the residents restore some kind of life after the German. They were incredibly brave to live in such tough conditions and dedicate themselves to helping the villagers. I really enjoyed this one.

46. The Good Turn by Dervla McTiernan Set in the area around Galway, Det. Cormac Reilly fights big crime and police corruption. This seems to be the last in a series and contains references to what happened in earlier books. I won't go back to read those but this book stands alone just fine.

47. Madam, Will You Talk? by Mary Stewart I had read this many years ago and it has held up very well. Set in a resort in the south of France, a young English woman, gets caught up in the mystery surrounding a young boy she met. Stewart is a very good writer, and even though the plot was somewhat predictable, it is still fun to read.

Jun 28, 8:55pm

I returned from a family wedding in southern California to enter a heat wave. It is about 115 degrees here and my flowers are frying. I had it on an automatic watering system but they are in the sun quite a bit and the blossoms have burned. Thank goodness I have air conditioning so I'm surviving but I worry about a power outage because so much electricity is being used. This is the new future here in the Northwest.

Jun 29, 6:02pm

Some more reading in this heat.

48. Dark Matter by Philip Kerr I expected this to be more of a historical novel that gave insight into Sir Isaac Newton's history and personality. I was disappointed. It is fairly well written and others might enjoy it more than I did.

49. The Other Daughter by Lauren Willig Rachel learns the identity of her father after her mother's sudden death. She pursues meeting her father who is a wealthy and influential man who is hard to get to meet. With the help of the ex-fiance of her half-sister, she sets up a plan to create a false identity to make her way into his family. I didn't find the denoument very satisfying. This was not one of Willig's best.

Jul 1, 10:55am

>86 Oregonreader: Oh boy. I've been in touch with my cousin in North Portland - she has minimal air conditioning, and claims she likes the heat, but 115F is too hot. So glad you have air conditioning. Maybe if we have this kind of aberration in the climate, more people will wake up to the need to do something about how we are destroying the earth.

I just read Ursula Le Guin's The Dispossessed, and one of the little didactic asides comes from the 'Terra' ambassador to the fictional planet, who says that our earth has been destroyed by our greed, and only half a billion people now live difficult lives there on a very hot planet. This was written, I think, in the early 70s, when it was not the most concerning topic it is today.

Stay cool! I hope the grid holds. We are enjoying a little break in our own hot weather here, which will last about a week. I'm deeply worried about August in NYC.

Jul 3, 6:40pm

I'm sorry to hear about your heat wave. I hope it passes quickly. Too bad about your flowers.

Jul 7, 6:16pm

>88 ffortsa: Judy, Thanks for the tip about The Dispossessed I have never read any Ursula LeGuin but I remember my husband was a big fan. This book sounds like one I should try. Very prescient. It has cooled off here for now but the news today said more super hot weather is ahead. I hope your cousin gets some more A/C!

>89 BLBera: Beth, thanks for stopping by. I love to open up my thread to find visitors. We are getting prepared for more intense heat. Apparently, this is the new norm. I was on a plane flight recently and overheard a man behind me telling his seat mate that "We don't have climate change in Texas'. It was all I could do to not to jump up to explain the facts to him!

Jul 7, 6:23pm

50. Detective Inspector Huss by Helene Tursten. This is the first I've read in this series. Huss is a Swedish detective investigating a murder in an extremely wealthy, powerful family. Even though I'm reading this in translation, I was impressed with the language and descriptions. Very well written and plotted. I'm planning to read more.

51. A Pocket Full of Rye by Agatha Christie During our heat wave, I found it easier to concentrate on the familiar. This book fit the bill.

52. The Tuesday Club Murder Another tried and true I turned to.

Jul 7, 6:28pm

53. Still Waters by Viveca Sten This is the first of the Sandhamn mysteries and the first I've read of Sten's. It features police detective Thomas Andreasson who is called to investigate a series of murders that seem connected. He must first find the connection and then the murderer. Very enjoyable.

Jul 10, 11:21am

Ah, you're reading a lot of the mystery series that I'm reading. I like the Sten and the Tursten.

book #52 above goes to the wrong link. And is it Tuesday or Thursday? I've just gotten the latter from the library.

Jul 10, 11:54am

I haven't read anything by Tursten, but it sounds like something I would like, Jan. I hope things are cooler now.

Jul 11, 12:33am

>93 ffortsa: Judy, the titles are confusing. #52 is by Agatha Christie. It's a series of short stories. I am just finishing The Thursday Club Murders and really loving it. I think you will too.

>94 BLBera: Beth, it has cooled off somewhat but they say more super hot days are coming. The Tursten novels are translated from Swedish but the street and town names are left as is. I can't imagine a harder language to learn. Some of the words look to be 20 letters long! I do try to pronounce them with disastrous results, for which I apologize to any Swedish speaker!

Jul 21, 3:54pm

I have been reading a lot of mysteries recently. Probably because my life is hectic at the moment and they are a great escape. My 91 year old sister has been moved to an assisted living residence and, because of her dementia, she is happy one day and threatening to walk away the next. I'm making my second trip to California to help her daughter get her settled in. So this is a quick catch up.

54. The Thursday Murder Club by Richard Osman I had heard so many good things about this book and it was all justified. The club is composed of four residents of a retirement complex who meet once a week to "solve" cold cases. Then a murder occurs close at hand. The plot is clever and the characters are full of humor. I really loved this book.

55. The French Widow by Mark Pryor This is another Hugo Marsten and one of the better ones. Hugo runs afoul of a powerful, wealthy family, members of the French aristocracy. It's a case of no good deed goes unpunished. He rescues bystanders in a park from injury or death, then becomes the target of a media conspiracy theory.

Jul 25, 2:51pm

Mysteries are good when life is hectic, Jan. Sorry to hear about your sister; I hope she does settle in.

Jul 30, 3:11pm

Thanks, Beth. Things are looking better. I made two trips to San Jose in three weeks and I'm recovering my energy. But it was worth it. She is settling in and is much happier. I was one of four sisters and two are dead. She is very precious to me.

Catching up on my reading:

55. The Innkeepers of Ivy Hill by Julie Klassen
56. The Ladies of Ivy Cottage by Julie Klasssen

These are two novels in a series of three, set in 1802. It follows the lives of several members of a small village, all "in trade". One runs a coaching inn, another a lending library, and a group of independent women who meet weekly to help each other. It is an interesting plot and a look at a level of class at that time that we don't often read about. The books were a little slow for me but otherwise, I enjoyed them. At some point, I'll read the third in the series.

57. The Postscript Murders by Elly Griffiths This is the first book by Griffiths that I've read beyond the Ruth Galloway series. It was well written and I enjoyed this one very much. What distracted me was that the plot follows so closely to The Thursday Murder Club in the set up, although the characters and plot are very different. Also a difference was that Osman's book contained a lot of humor while this one is much grittier. I recommend them both.

Jul 30, 6:31pm

>96 Oregonreader: Sorry to hear about your sister, and glad she is settling in. My mother also went through that, but it wasn't until she ended up in the nursing home wing that she settled down. Strangely, she fought all the restrictions of the memory care unit but fit right in to nursing care. I hope your niece finds the care team supportive of both her mother and her.

Jul 31, 11:16pm

Thanks, Judy. My sister is fine for right now but at some point will have to go into memory care. We've got our fingers crossed that it won't be soon. I think any change will be a challenge for her.

Jul 31, 11:47pm

Peace to you and your sister, Jan. All the cliches about ageing turn out to be true. It isn't for sissies!

Ago 5, 1:16pm

You are so right, Peggy! I've already apologized in advance to my children for my behavior in extreme old age. :)

58. Sunflower Sisters by Martha Hall Kelly This story takes place in New York City and Maryland during the Civil War. It is based on the lives of the Woolsey sisters, part of an abolitionist family in New York. Kelly creates a Southern slave owner, Ann-May, whose husband is fighting for the North and whose brother is fighting for the South. Jemma is a slave owned by Ann-May and a large part of the book follows Jemma's character. The novel looks at the layers of human behavior during that time, especially in a border state like Maryland. The book is a little slow in parts but the interesting characters make up for it.

Editado: Ago 28, 12:37am

My life is slowing down a bit and I hope to spend more time here. Here's some reading I've done.

59. A Winter Away and
60. The Native Heath by Elizabeth Fair Both are set in a small English village and follows the lives and concerns of the citizens. I've seen her compared to Angela Thirkell but she looks at her characters with a more discerning eye and should probably be compared to Trollope.

61. Closed Circles by Viveca Sten This is the second book in the Sandhamn murders series. I love the characters and the setting in a Swedish island town. I'll definitely finish this series. I was surprised to learn that Swedes put sour milk in everything, from coffee to cereal. I've got to check that out.

Ago 28, 3:28pm

62. Out of Darkness, Shining Light by Petina Gappah This is a fictional story of the last days of Dr. David Livingston and the journey to carry his body across Africa to be returned to England. This journey was initiated and completed by his native staff and followers. The story is narrated by Halima, the doctor's cook, and Jacob Wainwright, his secretary. Gappah chose an interesting point of view in having these two relate the story. She compares Livingston's Christian teachings and many of his actions, such as buying slaves to serve as "wives" to the men traveling with him and how the Africans there viewed him. Very enjoyable.

Ago 30, 7:41pm

I've started my annual watching of the Lord of the Rings trilogy. I tend to think of it as one movie so I'll say it's in my top five of all time. I've read the books a couple of times but now I seem to be drawn to the movie. Tonight I'll settle in with a bowl of popcorn and watch The Two Towers.

63. Guiltless by Viveca Sten While this one involves Det. Thomas Andreasson and his best friend, Nora Linde, solving a murder in Sandhamn, it also includes much about the changing personal lives of the two. I liked learning more about them. I'm assuming this is the last of the Sandhamn series as this one seemed to wrap it up.

64. The Eustace Diamonds by Anthony Trollope While Trollope can be very wordy, what he has to say here is humorous and witty. He tells us up front that Lizzie Eustace is a liar, manipulator, and a thoroughly unlikeable young woman. Much like Becky Sharpe. But the story of her antics and the sad effect she has on others is very readable.

I'm waiting for my oldest grandson to come to walk Bobby. Andrew is turning 14 and entering the eight grade this week. The daily walks will stop as Andrew returns to school. Bobby will really miss him. He gets so excited when Andrew shows up. I can walk him too but he gets to walk much longer with Bobby.

Ago 31, 2:08pm

>105 Oregonreader: I really did appreciate the movies more than the LotR books, which could be tedious at time. The settings and characters are quite indelible, aren't they/

Set 5, 3:05pm

Hi Jan - The Gappah book sounds interesting. Onto the list it goes. I hope all is well with you.

Set 8, 12:50pm

>106 ffortsa: Judy, I've always felt that books were better than the movies made from them but this is a huge exception. Having watched them a number of times, I find that I find new things every time.

>107 BLBera: I think you'll like it, Beth. I'm busy getting a new roof and then solar panels installed. With the change in our weather from climate change (drought, more sun), it should be a good decision.

Thanks to you both for stopping by.

Set 11, 8:06am

Solar panels sound great, Jan. Is is a complicated process?

Set 12, 2:18pm

Hi Beth, I'm getting mine installed through a program from the Feds and my local utility. There was an involved process to determine if my roof could hold the weight, how much sun I get, etc. Not much work for me, mostly waiting. It's a great program which will help me and help the utility in its goal of zero carbon at some point. I think this is the first program I have ever qualified for!

I'm flying high today. The UO Ducks beat Ohio State! I'm a huge fan. I retired from the U of Oregon and my son went there so I'm green and gold all the way!

Set 13, 1:47pm

Surprisingly cool weather today. A good day for staying inside, although my dog Bobby is not convinced!

65. Miss Benson's Beetle by Rachel Joyce I wish I could remember who to thank for mentioning this book. I really enjoyed it. This is the second book I've read by Joyce and liked them both very much. Set in London right after WWII, Miss Benson is struggling to get by on a meager teacher's salary and suddenly quits, setting off on the big adventure of her life in New Caledonia. The story is told with great humor but also poignant situations.

66. Death and the Dancing Footman by Ngaio Marsh I pulled this from my shelf. Inspector Alleyn solves another murder at a country house party. I always enjoy these.

67. A Civil Contract by Georgette Heyer Another comfort reread. This is probably my favorite of Heyers books. Set in a time when many sons inherit an estate that is on the verge of bankruptcy and choose to marry an heiress whose family is wealthy from trade, the novel looks with great insight on how one couple deals with the problems that result.

Now off to walk Bobby.

Set 18, 12:51am

A bit of rain is expected this weekend which is a welcome respite from our drought. Although, I'll be standing in the rain tomorrow watching my granddaughter, 8 year old Grace, play soccer. I'll have to drag my raincoat out from the back of the closet!
A bit more reading I've done.

68. The Music Shop by Rachel Joyce I had looked forward to this book as I've read two of her other novels that I really enjoyed. But this one was a bit of a disappointment. Frank owns a music store that only sells vinyl records and he despises CDs. He has a magical gift of seeing what music a customer likes/needs and introducing them to it. The novel alternates chapters recounting his childhood and his struggles as an adult. I really didn't care for the magical element. I think I've read too many others like it.

Set 18, 7:10pm

Hi Jan - I will have to check to see if we have solar programs here.

I love Marsh and Heyer. Miss Benson's Beetle sounds good as well; I'll add that one to my WL.