SHOP PRODUCTS
Houzz Logo Print
siobhan_1

In like a lion - March reading

J C
9 years ago

Hello all, I need to visit more often!

Just finished H is for Hawk by Helen Macdonald. It has been a long time since I enjoyed a memoir as much as this one. For some reason I identified strongly with Ms. Macdonald; perhaps because she explores essential truths and experiences that we all have at some point in our lives. Beautifully written, flowing seamlessly from her own experience training a hawk and the circumstances that led to this, and the story of T.H. White. I love books that tie together two or more stories in this way. A real treasure.

Comments (91)

  • netla
    8 years ago

    I gave up on Journey to Portugal. There is only so much that beautiful (but eventually repetitive) descriptions of trees in autumn colours, buildings and landscapes can do to rescue a boring narrative, especially when the author insist on referring to himself in the third person ("the traveller").

    I'm making a push to finish A Short History of Nearly Everything by Bill Bryson. After that, I'll probably reread some of Terry Pratchett's books.

    I am also listening to an audio book of Dickens' Bleak House, read by

    Sean Barrett (as the omniscient narrator) and Teresa Gallagher (as Esther Summerson). I think the use of two readers is a good way to separate the two threads of the narrative and I am enjoying the story much more than I did when I had it as set reading for English 19th century literature.


  • vee_new
    8 years ago

    Netla, have you watched the BBC production of
    Bleak House with Gillian Anderson as Lady Dedlock? An excellent series.



    Bleak House


  • Related Discussions

    Sowing with the March Lion...

    Q

    Comments (6)
    No! It was sunny and in the 30s yesterday, so I reckon we'll all be expecting nasty weather come the 31st. This morning, though, I found a few German chamomile and catnip sprouts struggling up through the mud in the front beds. How they managed it I have no idea, since only about the top inch or so of ground is thawed. Also, I still have a fair amount of this German chamomile seed if anyone would like some. Ultra-hardy garden chives, too. It's 45F already this morning, so maybe I'll find a crocus tomorrow!
    ...See More

    March: in like a lamb or lion?

    Q

    Comments (16)
    Our weather here has been pretty bad. We got a huge storm with 51 cm of snowfall in one day last week. From what I'm seeing on the weather network, we will continue to have cold weather with below average temperatures. Also, following Marcia's theory of Good Friday, it's going to be colder than average here! I wonder if spring will ever come. As I look outside, all I can see is white. We must have 2 feet of snow out there and in some areas where the plows have been, the snow is up to the crown of the tree in my front yard. I am a little jealous of the people in Alberta who have had seasonably mild temperatures. My friend in Red Deer has been using her cold frame to acclimate her plants for the last week or so.
    ...See More

    March is coming in like a lion...

    Q

    Comments (30)
    Thanks Susan and Chris. I can have 2 monster repeat roses with thousands of thorns for the 2 towers, I left enough room for a pickup truck to go by in case I need the mulch for the backyard. I can't start with bands though, can't wait for another 3+ years, kinda in the hurry. Right now I have Sally Holmes (3rd yr bare root) , Phyllis Bide (2nd yr band), Peggy Martin (3rd yr band), around a pair tower, winter die back on the first two roses, and Peggy Martin won't grow tall.......the 3rd tower has Coal Dawn (3rd year bare root), Laguna (2nd yr bare root), and 1 tiny baby New Dawn (rooted last summer). I will give Fields of the Wood and Orfeo a try in a diff spot this summer if I can find them, I can always set up more towers later when they're bigger.
    ...See More

    March arrived like a lamb but now a lion

    Q

    Comments (34)
    Our power was just restored after 23 hours. The house was COLD....39 degrees INSIDE temperature. I wore my long johns under my pajamas and many blankets piled high and still shivered all night. We got 20 inches of snow and wind so fierce that limbs were snapping off trees and an entire tree landed on the power lines down the road and started a huge fire....hence why we had no power. Cable and internet was out even longer. I am just now getting online and DH is still snowblowing and digging out. We have a generator but because we don't have a garage it is kept on our porch (can't run them indoors) and it wouldn't start. I am taking a nice hot bubble bath tonight!
    ...See More
  • cacocobird
    8 years ago

    I recently finished Not My Father's Son by Alan Cumming. Wonderful book -- it is great that he succeeded after such a horrible childhood.


  • carolyn_ky
    8 years ago

    I have FINISHED Middlemarch! I had it on my e-reader, with the length given as 928 pages. However, at 600-something pages about ten chapters were repeated, so that gave me a 100-page skip. I did like the second half of the book much better than the first and have decided that its inclusion on Susan Hill's best book list is not as unusual as I thought at the beginning. I have to say that reading the first third of the book in September and then finishing it in March may have detracted from it a bit, but the last half is definitely the best.


  • annpanagain
    8 years ago

    Sheri, have you been able to get the "Love in a Cold Climate" DVD?
    I watched the first couple of episodes and enjoyed it very much. Lots of the conversation from the book is included but not always spoken by the original person, I think!
    I notice that the "cut glass" voices of the period have been toned down to suit modern ears. As Royalty have modulated their speech now, this is quite understandable as the correct way would be a turn-off!
    I shall get the first and third books but have just picked up my requested new Simon Brett mystery "The Tomb in Turkey". He usually writes about Sussex UK where I spent my childhood from the end of the Second World War so the location is a change.


  • netla
    8 years ago

    Vee, I saw the first couple of episodes of Bleak House when it was shown on TV here, but missed out on the rest. Liked it, but haven't (yet) made any effort to see the rest.


  • annpanagain
    8 years ago

    Sheri, I got confused! There are only two episodes on the DVD, about 1.20 minutes each.

  • dedtired
    8 years ago

    Vee, just catching up here Thank you for the links to We're Walking in the Air. I have never heard that song before. I guess it is not well known here in the US. I was not familiar with Briggs or any of his works until I found Ethel & Ernest. In fact, there was only one copy of the book on all of our county libraries. I bet they had to dust it off for me.


  • sheri_z6
    8 years ago

    Annpan, I have not seen the DVD yet, but I noticed there are two versions, one done in 1980 with Judy Dench (love her!) and another done in 2001 with Alan Bates and Rosamund Pike. Which did you see? This will be one of those DVDs my DH would rather chew his own arm off than watch, so I probably won't get to it for a while, but it is in my Netflix queue.


  • vee_new
    8 years ago
    last modified: 8 years ago

    Sheri, the 1980 version is the one I know, taken at a gentle pace so most of the story and characters are gradually developed. It doesn't seem too 'dated' except that the men's hair is too long (for the 1930's) and as annpan says the accents of the Upper Crusts are not over-the-top, especially as these days nearly everyone speaks Estuary English, even on the BBC!

    And talking about accents. One of the main broadcasters from the BBC radio's 'Today Programme' who used to be the Washington Correspondent, played a clip of himself interviewing someone on US TV and explaining how he was mortified to see that subtitles had been added. He said it must have been because people in Kansas were so unfamiliar with an English accent, to which a US 'guest' on the prog. said most Americans regarded the United Kingdom as some sort of 'off-shore' territory of the US . . . ;-) . . . well, we were amused . . . even at breakfast time.

  • carolyn_ky
    8 years ago

    I started <i>Edge of Eternity</i>, the last of the trilogy by Ken Follett, today and must confess that I have pretty much forgotten the first two books. He always starts right into the story, though, and I have enjoyed the few chapters that I've read so far.


  • carolyn_ky
    8 years ago

    Okay, how are you all getting your titles to print in italics?


  • sheri_z6
    8 years ago

    Vee, the 1980 one is the one in my Netflix queue, I will look forward to seeing it eventually.

    I can't imagine not understanding a standard British TV accent (what's the term? Received Pronunciation?). But I have heard English and Scots accents on TV that I would definitely need subtitles to decode. Guess it's a matter of degrees.


  • reader_in_transit
    8 years ago
    last modified: 8 years ago


    Carolyn,

    Below the dialogue/dialog box, there are the symbols for italics: I

    and bold: B.

    You highlight the word you want in italics or bold and then you click on I or B.

    Do you see them in your computer? If so, give it a try.


  • carolyn_ky
    8 years ago

    Edge of Eternity Ha! Got it, reader_in_transit, thanks. (I remember overlooking the obvious on high school tests, too.)


  • friedag
    8 years ago

    Carolyn, don't feel that you are alone in "overlooking the obvious." I did, too, and it's something I've done pretty much my whole reading life. I was told by an expert (there I did it!) that it's because I don't read word after word and every word on a page or screen. I read in blocks and tend to ignore things that seem extraneous at first glance.

    I've been reading George Orwell's Diaries, edited by Peter Davison and with an Introduction by the late Christopher Hitchens and published in the U.S. only a month before Hitchens's death in December 2011. These diaries by Orwell remind me that it's not really the content of people's diaries that matters as much as who wrote them. Orwell was not forthcoming about much of anything except what he planted in his gardens, how many eggs his hens laid, and what the weather was like. I would like to have read his thoughts about more intimate things, such as his and his wife Eileen's adoption of their son and then about Eileen's death less than a year later. But Orwell was not a reflective sort of diarist -- certainly not about personal things. He did cover some personal events in some of his essays, including the shame he experienced for wetting his bed in adolescence. A lot of Orwell's writing was autobiographical, to be sure, but, as far as I can make out, he never attempted a full-fledged autobiography.

    I would like to read a good biography of George Orwell. Does anyone have a recommendation?

    In the meantime I am now reading Christopher Hitchens's Why Orwell Matters, published in 2002.

    I recently reread Down and Out in Paris and London and The Road to Wigan Pier. I want to reread Homage to Catalonia and Burmese Days. I'm even thinking of rereading Animal Farm and Nineteen Eighty-Four which I once swore I would never do because I loathe allegories and dystopian novels. However, I said that nearly fifty years ago. Now I have the right to change my mind. :-)

  • annpanagain
    8 years ago

    I have the DVD with Alan Bates. I must see if I can access the Judy Dench one. I read up on production notes for this one and the actresses said they were played tapes of Nancy Mitford to get the "voices" but they still didn't sound to me as "cut glass" and authentic as I remember from the upper class people I came into contact with. They would say, e.g. "ged orf" when they were saying "get off"!
    This casting is excellent with a wonderful realising of the characters. Do try to get it.
    Men can be so difficult about watching shows, I know. I had to drag my protesting husband to see "10" and he laughed himself sick and brought reprimands from other members of the audience.
    BTW my grandfather nearly got thrown out of a cinema for immoderately laughing at Charlie Chaplin, so the story goes!

  • vee_new
    8 years ago

    Frieda, below is a very long article about George Orwell . . . and Christopher Hitchens gets more than a mention . . . after reading it you probably wont need to find a biography. ;-)
    George Orwell



  • netla
    8 years ago

    I finished A Short History of Nearly Everything. Enjoyed it. I also reread The Carpet People by Terry Pratchett, and read The Prince of Mist by Carlos Ruiz Zafón. This last one is a rather good YA horror novel about a teenage boy whose family moves to a small town where he quickly discovers a deep and terrifying mystery.

    I read a chapter of Cry of the Kalahari by Mark & Delia Owens last night and it looks like it's my kind of book. It's about their 7-year stay in the Kalahari, studying wildlife.


  • Rosefolly
    8 years ago
    last modified: 8 years ago

    I just finished reading a book that fascinated me so much I feel compelled to share my excitement. It is called The Just City and it is written by science fiction writer Jo Walton. Now science fiction can be written for the sheer adventure of it, and there is nothing wrong with that. But the real reason for SF is to explore What If.

    In this novel, Walton explores what would happen if someone tried to set up Plato's Just City of Philosopher Kings. The particular someone happens to be the Greek goddess Athene. She collects people from throughout time, a few adults to manage things and 10,000 ten year old slave children to be the future citizens of the city. And that is just the start!

    The book just sizzled with ideas leaping off the page. Personalities are well realized and conflict develops early and builds. It's been a long time since I read a book that engaged me so fully. I absolutely loved it.

  • friedag
    8 years ago

    Vee, thanks for the link to the London Review of Books article by Terry Eagleton. Since it's a review of all three biographies that came out for the 2003 centennial of Orwell's birth, that explains the length. Eagleton's style is quite something -- he made me laugh although I don't usually think of Orwell as a subject of mirth. Do you think Eagleton was being tongue-in-cheek, just a bit?

    I checked to see if Amazon in the U.S. had any of the three bios. They are all available, but I couldn't make up my mind which of the two appreciative, complimentary-to-Orwell books sounded better. The reviewers were cooler toward D. J. Taylor's Orwell: The Life but I get the feeling that Gordon Bowker's George Orwell might be a bit too admiring of its subject. Well, there's no way of telling which is the more objective writer, so I ordered both books. While at it -- what the heck, go whole hog -- I ordered what Eagleton terms as the 'hatchet job' Orwell: The Life and Times by Scott Lucas. It's good to be balanced in one's synoptic reading, after all. ;-)

    What's the opinion of Orwell in the UK nowadays? Is he admired for more than just Animal Farm and Nineteen Eight-Four? Or has he been rammed down pupils' throats by unoriginal teachers making them dissect the texts of those two particular books?

    Something that Hitchens pointed out about Orwell that makes me wish I could confront some of my teachers all these years later (I can't because most of them are no doubt dead and the rest are probably senile): Orwell was indifferent about the U.S. and Americans. He liked a few American writers, e.g. Jack London, Mark Twain, and Henry Miller. Eagleton was incredulous about Orwell thinking Miller was a good writer, but I suspect Orwell admired Miller's cojones and his energy.

    For all Orwell's claims that his sympathies were with the proles, he couldn't help himself in observing when proletarians were of 'superior type', by which he usually meant that their accents had been 'improved'. Do you think he would've adapted and mimicked Estuary English with the fascination that he had for Cockney, when he didn't forget and reverted to Etonian influence?

  • vee_new
    8 years ago

    Frieda, you ask if Orwell's work is taught at (High) School level. I must say that apart from Animal Farm I don't know if it is . . . and here I must admit I really don't know what would be on the Eng Lit syllabus these days, it was so wishy-washy back in the day when we did endless Austen, Brontes, Hardy etc.
    I somehow doubt that he is in fashion. The old 'between the wars' fascination with Socialism/Communism that helped define a generation of upper-middle class Oxford/Cambridge undergraduates, many who joined the Spanish Civil War and a few who went on to become spies for 'the other side' has largely given way to a cynical disenchantment with politics among the young. They probably feel with some justification that the UK 'parties' are so similar, that politicians have little connection with everyday life, vote as they are told and are faceless men (and a very few women) in suits.
    I liked the comment of Orwell failure was his forte!
    As you will know from your time here it is still difficult to leave the 'class' from which you started out; not so much a matter of money as in the US, more a case of just 'being' and going 'down' is much harder than going 'up'; for when you beg to be accepted by the new 'group' they will mistrust you . .. and your accent will be a giveaway. ;-)


  • woodnymph2_gw
    8 years ago

    About accents, in the US, I think the southern accent used to be looked down upon and southerners were often tarred with a broad brush as "crackers" or rednecks, especially by those from New England. Open your mouth and at once assumptions were made about your background if you had a Dixie accent. Thankfully, that seems to be changing rapidly, as the US becomes more multi-cultural. And southern cuisine is VERY much in vogue, these days. In contrast, I recall an older generation of New Englanders who had a distinctly plummy accent, with almost a Oxbridge lilt to it. If you watch old American movies from the 20's, 30's and 40's, you will hear this distinct speech, particularly if the film is set in NYC or in New England. Now that generation has died out, and I've not heard it in years.


  • vee_new
    8 years ago

    Mary, the same could be said for our family when we moved here in 1980. In our case it was partly because we spoke standard English (ie Received Pronunciation) not in anyway 'posh' but the sort that doesn't hint at where we might have come from. The locals were not rude but held us at arm's length for several years as we were not 'one of them' ie Foresters . . . from the Forest of Dean . . . As more 'outsiders' have gradually moved into the area and as we learn about the people, who married who, who lived in which house and their ancestry even unto the fifth generation etc we feel more part of the community, but we must always 'know our place'.
    Is this the same in rural ares of other countries?


  • carolyn_ky
    8 years ago

    Vee, I was amused at a comment by my very kind mother when one of the churches in our extremely small community got into some minor squabble and a solution was proposed by a man who was a member but an "in-comer." Mama said, quite indignantly, "I don't know why he thought he should say anything. After all, he has only lived here about 20 years."


  • friedag
    8 years ago
    last modified: 8 years ago

    Mary, is the plummy accent you referred to the one used by, for instance, Bette Davis and Katharine Hepburn. At least they came by their accents naturally as they were born and brought up in New England, but other actors such as William Powell (from Pittsburgh, PA) and Myrna Loy (born in Montana and raised in Montana and southern California) learned their New England-style accents, I suppose because that accent was considered more sophisticated. Maybe so back then, but it sure sounds dated now.

    Vee, since I left Iowa at nineteen, I haven't lived in one place long enough to even try to blend with the locals. The best I can do is not stick out too obviously. In England, not being English actually worked to my advantage, I think. Once people heard my American accent, the English either dismissed me entirely (good, because they weren't the types I wanted to know anyway) or they judged me less harshly than they did their own. I have to admit that I think the English preoccupation with pigeonholing people into their social class is one of the least attractive aspects of English culture. I've heard that it has got better in England in the last thirty or so years but is still not extinct...and probably won't ever be because of human nature, no matter what nationality.

  • annpanagain
    8 years ago

    Friedag, I noticed the same thing when we went to live and work in England, being from Australia. My husband was accepted by all classes as a Colonial. He mixed with a lot of British, including Royalty, being a journalist and a Freemason. As I had a slight accent from living in Australia for thirty years, most people didn't realise that I was actually English.
    We were regarded as Unclassified, excuse the pun!


  • netla
    8 years ago

    Vee, Friedag and Ann, I find your discussion of accents very interesting. I learned to speak English with an somewhat posh British accent and when I bother to use it I can pass for a native speaker.

    While visiting England many years ago I learned the hard way that when you have a slightly posh, native-sounding accent, people expect certain behaviour from you, e.g. a thorough knowledge of when to say 'please' and 'thank you', knowing how to queue in the English manner, and so on. Now, when I visit Britain, I speak with a touch of my native Icelandic accent and I find people are much more forgiving when I forget to say 'please' or get in the wrong queue.

    Vee, my parents moved to a small fishing village in the north of Iceland in the mid-seventies. My father was local, and it still took 20 years before my mother felt she was fully accepted as a member of the community. I was six when we moved there and I never felt like I belonged there, although my younger brother does consider himself a native and loves the place.

  • annpanagain
    8 years ago

    It is not only other people that need to feel you are a local! I mentioned the name of a flower to my husband which only grows in certain areas of Western Australia. "How did you know about that?" he asked in amazement.
    "Well, I have lived here for twenty years, you know!"


  • woodnymph2_gw
    8 years ago

    frieda, yes, definitely, as you mentioned the accents of Kate Hepburn and others. I had an elderly cousin in New England who had exactly the same sort of "plummy" pseudo-English accent. She lived in the Berkshires and had gone to upper crust private schools. In sharp contrast to that accent was the Boston accent which I heard in the 60's when I lived there spoken by the working class. Really there were 2 different classes and 2 different accents in Boston at that time.


    I do think it is usually difficult for an urban person to be accepted by the locals in rural parts of the US and in small towns. And a lot of it is the difference in accents.

    We do have a caste system in the US, although not quite so pronounced perhaps as in England. It exists mostly on the Eastern seaboard. But increasingly those lines of distinction are being blurred as the younger generation is coming into its own.

  • Rosefolly
    8 years ago

    While we in the USA have less of an inherited caste system than some other countries, I wonder if that might not be changing. I hear that the barriers to social mobility are becoming more difficult to overcome. If that is truly the case, and if things do not change, then we might develop a caste system over the next few generations. We'll know in 40 or 50 years. May I live long enough to find out for myself!

  • annpanagain
    8 years ago
    last modified: 8 years ago

    Kath might disagree but I think that any class system in Australia would be based on money mainly. This can get blurred by mutual interests to some degree, like sports.
    However, I was amused to notice some years ago that as I travelled up several flights of escalator stairs at a race meeting, the ground level men were dressed in casual wear, on the next level men wore man-made material off-the-peg suits and on the top level the suits were of well cut wool.
    All the women were attractively dressed in race wear but had probably got them from differently priced department stores and boutiques..

  • annpanagain
    8 years ago

    I have been begging Simon Brett for a new Mrs. Pargeter mystery and he has just emailed to say that he has "Mrs. Pargeter's Principle" coming out at the end of April. Yay!!
    I had written to tell him how much I enjoyed "The Tomb in Turkey" and of my amusement that he has moved his characters to drinking Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc, a New Zealand wine which is a favourite of mine! As he usually writes about my home county Sussex or West Sussex as it is designated now, I have an extra dimension of enjoyment reading his mysteries.


  • annpanagain
    8 years ago

    I feel like I am hogging this thread!
    Sheri, I borrowed a huge thick library book with all the Nancy Mitford novels so was able to read both "The Pursuit of Love" and "Don't tell Alfred" but in such small eye-straining print that I am returning it with the other novels unread.
    Although I agree with Vee that the last one isn't so good, it does have some amusing characters and moments when I had to laugh. Also it was interesting to find out what happened to some of the other characters from the previous books. What a soap opera that could have been if Mitford had written one!


  • sheri_z6
    8 years ago

    Annpan, I'm looking forward to getting to Don't Tell Alfred. We've had a lot of work done on our house recently and my books have been boxed up for months ... the last of the new bookshelves were painted yesterday and I can't wait to pull everything out again. I think a re-read of my Nancy Mitford is definitely in the cards. I have a copy of Hons and Rebels by Jessica Mitford, too. The only good thing about having the books out of sight for so long is that I've nearly forgotten what was in the original TBR pile so it will be like Christmas when I get those boxes open :)


  • carolyn_ky
    8 years ago

    Yes, Sheri, like Christmas spent with old friends!


  • bigdogstwo
    8 years ago

    Carolyn, First of all, THANK YOU for taking the time to mention a few novels set in Switzerland. I will admit to not being fond of AJ Cronin, and will further admit to tossing Hotel Du Lac across the room. That leaves two others to try! Secondly, a hearty congratulations for finishing Middlemarch. For some reason, that novel has always been beyond me. It is not the length for I have read many other books above 1000 pages. But for some reason, Middlemarch just always wore me down. So I admire anyone who is able to close the back cover and say, "Finis.".

    Frieda, accents are fascinating. I live in the mid-Atlantic region of the USA. Solidly "Yankee" territory. When by chance I speak to someone from the South, the invariably complain that I speak too quickly. And for my part, I always wish I could rush them along. So sometimes, it is not just the way we speak, but the speed of speech as well.

    I tossed Sundance across the room and into the charity sale box after the author felt somehow compelled to detail the death of a horse. I thought, "If he can write such a thing which adds nothing to the story, I certainly feel no need to continue." Poof... in the box. Life is too short.

    Now reading The Buried Giant by Kazuo Ishiguro which enthralled me at Sentence One. "You would have searched a long time for the sort of winding lane or tranquil meadow for which England later became celebrated." Bumped into people all through Costco as I tried to read my way to the check-out.

    Also reading, for book club, Where Memories Lie by Deborah Crombie. Only three chapters in, seems to be going in a hundred directions at once. But I think others here at RP mentioned this author years ago so I am reading on.


    PAM


  • annpanagain
    8 years ago

    Pam, I don't like reading about animals being hurt, lost or dying. I have dumped one author because she had a puppy run over so I don't trust her any more. I also skipped to the end of a book to make sure a lost dog turned up!
    I read for enjoyment not to be made unhappy. If, as Jane Austen says, a writer dwells on misery, I don't want to know about them!


  • sherwood38
    8 years ago

    I am a Deborah Crombie fan and have caught up with all the books in the series and am waiting (impatiently) for another one.

    I have a couple of library and am currently reading The Wolf in Winter by John Connolly, I have been on the holds/wait list for this one for months.

    I am still working my way through the J.P. Beaumont series by J.A. Jance and am trying to space the time between I start another book as I am nearing the end of the series and don't want them to end even though I want to know what happens to "Beau" next.

    Pat

  • merryworld
    8 years ago

    Woodnymph, here's a great video of two Boston Brahmins debating literature at the Boston Atheneum. You really don't hear this accent around Boston much anymore, though the more well known Southie accent of the pahk the cah variety like Ben Afleck is still quite prominent. The accents of the NPR Car Talk guys is also very Boston.

    Two Boston Brahmins


  • vee_new
    8 years ago
    last modified: 8 years ago

    merry, the chap on the right could almost pass as English!

    A couple of books I just finished:
    Two Feet Four Paws by Spud Talbot-Ponsonby (a 'she' despite the odd name) who, with her dog, walked round the coast of England/Scotland/Wales starting and finishing at Tower Bridge in London. She covered about 4500 miles and raised money for a homeless people's charity as she went. Using family and friends as 'back up' she slept/ate in a 'mobile home' and took about ten months to complete the journey. Not a great piece of literature but it gives a good account of the odd people she met, the terrible weather conditions she faced and the sheer determination that helped her overcome aching limbs and exhaustion.
    I had earlier read her later book Small Steps with Paws and Hooves about a trek through Scotland she undertook with her toddler strapped onto a horse and the same dog. This journey was made after a diagnosis and treatment for cancer, which sadly did for her soon afterwards when the disease spread to her lungs and brain. It seems the walking even while having chemo gave her something to cling to.

    On quite a different note . . . I picked up a paperback The Edge of Nowhere by Elizabeth George. Probably a mistake as it turned out to be a 'teen read'. I suppose I learnt how US young people speak/behave, or maybe how Ms George thinks they do. I doubt that the average young person would have stuck with this book for long as, although the premise was 'promising' with a girl who can 'hear' people's thoughts, the plot rambled all over an island in the Pacific NW (where EG lives in 'real life) each road, highway, lane was described in detail, what house was near what store/school/church etc. A map could have been provided to save reading-time. I kept going to the end only to discover it is the first book of three and I don't care enough about the heroine to read the rest.
    Question. Do US teenagers of both sexes refer to girls as 'chicks'? Somehow it seems dated. And does everyone live on fast-food and endless 'snacks'? I wont ask about drugs as most of these teens seemed to be 'high' from snorting, sniffing, swallowing illegal substances.

  • woodnymph2_gw
    8 years ago

    Vee, I'm around younger folk a lot and I've never ever heard anyone refer to anyone else as a "chick." (But then, I live on the East coast.). The teens I know are getting away from fast food and are now more into eating salads, and healthy choices, such as "wraps". They do snack a lot, however, and drink lattes constantly!


  • reader_in_transit
    8 years ago

    Vee,

    Oh, my, Elizabeth George lives on Whidbey Island?!

    When you mentioned above that she lives on an island on the Pacific Northwest, I checked the book on her website, and saw it takes place on Whidbey Island. I go there 3-5 times a year. IMO, the whole Pacific Northwest is beautiful, but Whidbey Island is a notch above. I wonder if the roads and places correspond to reality.

  • carolyn_ky
    8 years ago

    I have read both of Ms. George's Whidbey Island books and liked them. The third isn't out yet. I agree about the PNW being beautiful but haven't been to the Island.


  • annpanagain
    8 years ago

    I have just finished the latest Hamish Macbeth mystery "Death of a Liar" and think the series is running out of steam. I have noticed in the last few books that they are getting rather "bitty" with a main mystery and a lot of small sub plots to flesh out the book. Time to marry him off and end it, IMHO!


  • carolyn_ky
    8 years ago

    I think so, too, Annpan. I actually liked Death of a Liar better than the past two or three books, but all the bones of Hamish's story are beyond the burial point.


  • vee_new
    8 years ago

    I just picked up an old paper back that is part of my 'buy-em-cheap' pile them high but forget to read them collection.
    The Orchard on Fire by Shena MacKay. The descriptions of everyday life took me back to my childhood in the '50's and MacKay writes some lyrical passages but . . . much in the way many of you don't like to read about kittens/puppies etc being mistreated, so I am not at ease with scenes of what we call DOM's (Dirty Old Men) fondling and behaving inappropriately with little girls. One could sense the fear of the story's nine year old child in not being able to tell anyone as her parents think the DOM is a charming gentleman and encourage her to visit his house. This fog of mistrust hangs over a peaceful country setting.


  • vee_new
    8 years ago

    Just picked up from the library Ali Smith's How to be Both better late than never. :-)


  • annpanagain
    8 years ago

    After waiting for months for the library to get me "Murder at the Brightwell" which received glowing reviews, I have to say sadly that I am disappointed with it!
    Although the heroine is supposed to be an upper class English woman, she and other characters speak and think in US-English. I was going to give it up after a few chapters but picked it up again in the middle of a sleepless night but did it make me sleepy? No! I was itching for an editing pencil too much!
    The Thirties background is well researched but the author doesn't quite get the "Englishness" right.

  • bigdogstwo
    8 years ago

    Finished the Deborah Crombie book entitled Where Memories Lie. I liked it very much an found that I could not figure out the "who dunnit" right away, which is always nice. However, 2 little items: This was a book club choice and 1) I am not sure this book will lead to a multi-faceted discussion and 2) I very much dislike reading a book in a series in the wrong order. I will, however, check the library and hopefully begin at the beginning of the series.

    PAM

Sponsored
Craftsman Construction
Average rating: 5 out of 5 stars25 Reviews
Loudoun County's Trusted Home Builder 3x Best of Houzz Award Winner
Best of Houzz 2024: The results are in!