August Winter/Summer Reading

astrokath

I finished a reread of The Sunne in Splendour by Sharon Penman. I loved the story just as much as the first time through, and it has meant I have pulled out Richard III by David Baldwin to have a non fiction version.

I also finished The New Girl, the latest by Daniel Silva, and am happy to report it is a good addition to Gabriel Allon's adventures.

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msmeow

I'm reading The Lost Book of the Grail by Charlie Lovett, and I'm enjoying it so far. Someone here mentioned it in the July reading thread and I thought it sounded interesting.

Donna

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reader_in_transit

Reading an unusual book: Firmin by Sam Savage. Firmin is a rat who was born on the shredded pages "of the world's most unread masterpiece" (Finnegans Wake) in a bookstore in Boston on Nov 9, 1960. As he nibbles at the books, he learns to read.

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socks

I read City of Thieves (older book) by David Benioff and liked it so much I got another older one of his, 25th Hour. So far I like it (p. 28).

(Maybe I mentioned this, but I also just finished Island of the Sea Women by Lisa See. Excellent.)

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carolyn_ky

Socks, have you kept up with Lisa See? I liked her first books and then not so much (the same with Amy Tan). How does Island of the Sea stack up with her other books?

I have just read The Chilbury Ladies' Choir and really liked it. It is set in a small village on the coast of Kent in 1940 at the beginning of the Nazi bombings and is written as entries in different characters' diaries or journals. It includes good, bad, rich, poor, old, and young people, and the basis of the story is that the vicar closes the choir when the men leave for the war, but a female song leader intervenes and gives the women a voice not only in the only ladies' choir to that date but voices of their own in other areas as well.

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socks

Carolyn, I think I’ve read 2 others of hers—Gold Mountain and Hummingbird Lane. Can’t remember Gold Mountain because it was so long ago. I liked Hummingbird but it seemed long; hiwever, I am a slow reader. I don’t remember liking either as much as I like Island of.... There is a lot going on in the book. I’ll check out Chilbury.

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donnamira

I finished The Feather Thief in time for my visit with the friend who gave me the book (YAY!), but I must say that I couldn't drum up much sympathy for the viewpoint of the fly-tying community and their obsession with exotic feathers from endangered species.

Based on a review in the local paper, I put Helen Hoang's The Bride Test on hold at the library. It came in on Tuesday, and I read the book the following day. As you can see, it goes pretty fast. But that may be because I skimmed through most of the steamy scenes (and there were a lot of them!). A cute & funny romance abounding with miscues and misunderstandings that made me laugh out loud a few times, but I could have done with a little less attention on their sex lives.


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carolyn_ky

I'm reading The Sentence Is Murder, Anthony Horowitz's new book and the second in his ex-detective Daniel Hawthorne stories. He is such a good story teller, as he continues to get everything wrong until the very end.

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annpanagain

I recently viewed "The Favourite" on DVD and remembered reading a book about Abigail Masham about sixty years ago. I can't find any reference to it anywhere though.

I can't say that I liked the story but the costumes and sets were splendid.


I am still getting over bronchitis and not feeling like reading anything taxing so I grabbed a Relationships-stickered book from the New Books shelf when my cleaner kindly drove me to the library. It is called "Her Husband's Mistake" by Sheila O'Flanagan. It sounded like a lunchtime TV movie but turns out to be less melodramatic than the title suggests! Nice big print and I am enjoying it. Irish writers do gossipy books so very well!

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woodnymph2_gw

I am just finishing up a real page-turner: "The Paris Architect" by Charles Dufoure. It is set in France under the Occupation, during the Vichy Regime. I don't want to give away the plot, but it concerns many French Gentiles who bravely hid Jewish families at this time.

The only disconcerting thing about this novel, to me, was the author's usage of 21 st century idiomatic expressions and curses, which would have been unknown in the France of the 1940's. (e.g. "he really blew his chances", etc.)

Dufoure is a talented writer with a gift for pacing and plot, but I think it would have been helpful to have used a proof-reader/editor who would have pointed out inappropriate usages of post-modern terminologies.

Annpan, I saw the film "The Favorite" and absolutely hated it. I wonder if Queen Anne was truly so repulsive in actuality....

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annpanagain

Woodnymph, that kind of writing is a turnoff for me and I sometimes don't get beyond the first page, I am so irritated!

Possibly Queen Anne was like that, after 17 pregnancies her hormones would be all over the place and having sore legs as well would try anyone's temper!

I watched the movie with the description and subtitles feature on, which was interesting in pointing out some things I might have missed. I don't recall however an explanation for the "Mrs Morley and Mrs. Freeman" part. I knew that it was something that Anne and Sarah called each other to be informal but it should have been pointed out.

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vee_new

I didn't find the character of Queen Anne in The Favourite in any way repulsive. As Annpan says she had lost 17 children, also she had been married to a very boring Prince and was surrounded by self-seekers and hangers-on. What with gout, ulcers and dropsie even for a Queen life couldn't have been much fun. I suppose her ladies-in-waiting offered her some small way of escape . . . and luckily for us she was the last of the Stuarts, with their mad ideas of 'Divine Right of Kings' and no ability to take a middle-path in negotiations.

And Yorgos Lanthimos is a most unusual director much more interested in camera angles and wide lenses than any 'story-line' or the possible truth therein.

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annpanagain

I haven't seen any other Lanthimos' movies but I was impressed with his perception of space. Some of those rooms in palaces are indeed huge and awe inspiring in their grandeur.

House agents here say "Space is Luxury" and the European palaces I have visited have luxury in spades!

As I had the DVD, I was able to access the interesting doco about the work behind the movie. These behind-the-scenes docos are as interesting to me as the actual movie.

I have always been thankful that I took some drama classes because it taught me to look at the production of a show and also that I was not cut out to be an actor!

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friedag

Last month Vee put me onto two books, 97 Orchard: An Edible History of Five Immigrant Families in One New York Tenement by Jane Ziegelman and The Language of Birds by Jill Dawson. In one of those odd circumstances of one book leading to another, the above mentioned books flowed right into The Axeman of New Orleans: The True Story by Miriam C. Davis. Why did that happen? Here's how:

One of the families in 97 Orchard came from Palermo, Sicily. The other place most Sicilian immigrants entered the U.S. (beginning in about 1870) was New Orleans. The Sicilians settled in what came to be called "Little Palermo" just outside Vieux Carre (the French Quarter). They were hard workers and very frugal. After a few years of saving their money, many of them bought or rented properties and started their own grocery businesses, eventually putting small stores on as many street corners as they could across the city and spreading to other parishes.

Beginning in 1910, a rash of attacks on these grocers by a cleaver- or axe-wielding perpetrator severely maimed several of these grocerymen and sometimes their wives. Then in 1911 the first murder occurred. The attacks and murders continued sporadically until 1920. The New Orleans police thought at first they were dealing with cases of vendetta that the unfortunate Sicilians had brought with them from Sicily. These were the years of "The Black Hand", a protection racket extorting money from Sicilians and other immigrants, primarily from southern Italy. Occasionally those attacked were French or German. The murders were never solved, but the legend of the Axeman's Jazz grew after a letter was published in The Times-Picayune, ostensibly from the axeman himself, saying that he would not attack any house where he could hear jazz music being played. The letter was a hoax, but that didn't stop the legend!

Okay, that's the connection to one book. What about the other? The Language of Birds is a novel 'inspired' by the unsolved disappearance of Lord Lucan after he murdered his children's nanny, mistaking her for his estranged wife. In my opinion, the novel adds barely anything to the 'legend' of Lord Lucan. But that was not the author's intent. She wanted to make a larger statement, I think, about the British class system as it was into the 1970s, up until the time of the murder and after, and how soon the victim was 'forgotten'. Or as the book jacket says: . . . then as now, women's voices all too often went unheard.

Vee, I can't remember if you had read Dawson's novel yet when we last spoke about the Lord Lucan affair. I said I would tell you what I think of the book. I think it's peculiar! That's all, for now. I won't say more because I don't want to put anyone off the book by what I might say.

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vee_new

Frieda, an interesting 'take' on the Language of Birds which I just rather took at 'face value' although I had to check some of the 'true' facts to see how far they agreed with what was written by Dawson. For eg I didn't know if she and her nanny friend really went up to stay in Scotland with the family where they became more aware of their 'position' in the household ie in their time-off they ate and lived with the other servants 'below stairs'. It of course didn't alter the events still to come but painted a picture of a caring father towards his children.

Re victims being too quickly forgotten. I was reminded of this when reading in yesterday's paper that Amanda Knox (accused of the murder of English student Meredith Kurtcher (sp) in Italy some years ago) is again in the news for trying to crowd-fund her wedding, only for it to be discovered that she married in secret last November!

At the time of the various trials and so-called investigations by the police very little was made of the murdered girl and the suffering of her family. It was ALL about Knox and her then boy-friend.

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friedag

Vee, for the life of me I can't figure out why people are still so interested in Amanda Knox. I've always thought there's something more than a bit off about her personality and character, whether or not she really had anything to do with the killing of her English housemate, Meredith Kercher. Italy has certainly had its share of bungled investigations and corrupt shenanigans in their system of 'justice'. It just goes to show that all the modern technological advances in crime investigations can still be screwed up. One book about Italian crime that I find very interesting is The Monster of Florence by Douglas Preston and Mario Spezi. Do you have any recommendations of books or articles about the Meredith Kercher case?

I feel rather guilty for finding some of these crimes so danged fascinating.

However, I'm obviously not in a minority. True crime books are immensely popular and they supply many a novelist with fodder for fictionalizing stories. Well, anything can be turned into a novel. Some of the best writers have done so. A list of them could be 'a book' in itself.

That's the problem I have with The Language of Birds. I prefer nonfiction (or the nearest thing to it) accounts of classic crimes. Some readers actually prefer the fiction accounts, it seems.

I am currently reading The Phantom Killer: Unlocking the Mystery of the Texarkana Serial Murders by James Presley, otherwise known as The Moonlight Murders and the Lovers' Lane Murders of 1946. This case still holds great fascination for some Americans. It has been written about and filmed many times, including the famous "The Town That Dreaded Sundown." The 'facts' have been mythologized to the extent that it is probably responsible for many urban legends with stiff moralizing messages: Lovers' lanes are dangerous! Not to mention what is done in cars parked in secluded places is sinful. How embarrassing it would be to victims who live through an attack or to the families of those who die.

What are some UK versions? I know there are some infamous ones that I can't think of right now. They can be any place on Earth.

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vee_new

Frieda, I am not into those true-crime books fact or semi-fiction and only picked up The Language of Birds as it was recommended in the w/end section of the Telegraph. Dawson has apparently written a couple of other books using 'true' events as her starting point.

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woodnymph2_gw

Frieda, for whatever it's worth, I did read the autobiographical account by Amanda Knox when it came out. I was appalled by the cruelties of the Italian "judicial" system. I never had thought Amanda had gotten fair treatment, and that a part of that was a vendetta against Americans. After seeing Knox interviewed extensively on television and after reading her book, I am convinced she was innocent of that murder. Also a motive was missing, in my opinion.

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msmeow

Last month Sheri posted about reading The Lost Book of the Grail by Charlie Lovett. I just finished it yesterday and I loved it! Sometimes I don't care for books that jump back and forth in time, but I really enjoyed the way he wove the past and present together with the descriptions of the areas in the cathedral. Thanks for the mention, Sheri!

Now I've started Bog Child which Woodnymph mentioned last month. I haven't gotten far yet; I'm struggling a bit with the Irish vernacular.

Donna

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friedag

"I am not into those true-crime books fact or semi-fiction . . ."

Vee, even historical true crime, such as that mentioned by Astrokath in her lead-in post: Richard III by David Baldwin? I think about all the novels (and a very famous play) inspired by King Richard, the bad uncle. For a while a lot of writers wanted to refute that old notion of Richard's sinister reputation, including Tey's The Daughter of Time and Penman's The Sunne in Splendour, also mentioned by Astrokath. The story makes for some really good novels, I think. Still, I prefer the attempts of piecing together the 'true' history. Btw, I've ordered Baldwin's historical account that probably contains some speculative material along with the updated corroboration of finding Richard's bones under a car park. What do you think about it, Kath?

There are many other historical true crime books that continue to intrigue me, such as that of the case of Amy Robsart, first wife of Robert Dudley, which might not have been a crime at all.

Then there's The Suspicions of Mr Whicher by Kate Summerscale. Did you watch the TV series based on this? I haven't. Perhaps I should.

Oh yes, I just thought of Death at the Priory . . . Is there any novel that can possibly make sense out of this muddled Victorian mess?

The above are just a small sampling of the true crimes I still like to puzzle over. If I'm not mistaken, I remember discussing at least a couple of these with you before.

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vee_new

Frieda, yes I have read the Tey book but nothing by Penman. The trouble with those quasi fact/fiction things is knowing where truth stops and conjecture begins.

In the case of Whicher it seems that he really did get to the truth . . . I felt the TV series was heavily padded . . .

Are we going to see/read the same with Ms Knox? Will people in the future be more impressed with TV interviews, trial by so-called biased anti-US countries (watch out America that might soon be most of the world!) in determining what really took place?

And interestingly . .. it is STILL about misunderstood Knox and not the victim . . .


June 2019 The Story Goes On


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yoyobon_gw

Currently enjoying My American Dream by Lidia Bastianich .

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woodnymph2_gw

Donna, I, too, struggled a bit with the Irish vernacular at first. However as the narrative continued, I found the "translations" were gradually forthcoming. I hope you like the novel as much as I did.

There was no DNA evidence to convict A. Knox and no motive. She did make an error in accusing the wrong man. However, she has more than paid for her errors of judgement in her youth by now. She suffered greatly in the Italian prison. I read her story and I believe her innocence. I am weary of hearing about "rich Americans." I am under the impression that A. Knox comes from a modest middle-class background. I found both Guardian articles written in a tone of bias.

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friedag

It does appear that The Guardian (UK) has a fixation on Amanda Knox compared with any interest given to the victim, Meredith Kercher. Of course, that organization is hardly alone in its shallowness. It's par for the course, I suspect, the world over. The appellation 'Foxy Knoxy' is more memorable. And sex sells. Hang the truth and fairness.

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astrokath

Freida, I am still reading Baldwin's book.

Sharon Penman is one historical novelist who tries to stick to the facts as known. Obviously, quite a lot of it has to be made up - there is no record of the date of birth of Richard III's son Edward, for instance. But she tells when she has moved things, usually dates, to suit the story, and which characters are fictional and which historical.

FWIW, having read Tey and Penman, I am a firm believer that Richard acted out of good conscience and the threat of the Woodvilles, and that the boys were probably killed, like Becket, by someone who thought they were doing him a favour. Penman puts the guilt on Buckingham, saying 'if Richard had the opportunity but no motive, and Henry VII had motive but no opportunity, Buckingham had both."

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vee_new

I posted yesterday (my time) about my latest reads but it has disappeared! So trying again!

I have come belatedly to E M Foster's A Passage to India which I suppose is now considered a 'classic'.

I wonder how popular it is today as the old British Raj is long-gone plus the complications of the many forms of religious diversity, the snobbishness, the place of women in that society, the caste system, all making everyday life for any incomer or visitor so difficult to understand or accept. All these aspects of life in the India of the 1920's make for a difficult-to-appreciate read.

For a complete change of pace I read The Risk of Darkness by Susan Hill. The third? in her series of psychological thrillers. My goodness, how many mentally damaged people can live in one small English cathedral city? Hill writes so well that despite her subject matter one feels compelled to read to the bitter end.

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socks

Little Fires Everywhere. Just started it, easy reading.

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yoyobon_gw

Bury Your Dead by Louise Penny.

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msmeow

Bon, that's the one set in Quebec, right? I really, really liked that one!

Donna

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kathy_t

It's interesting that we Louise Penny fans have different preferences among her books. Bury Your Dead was one of my least favorite so far. I couldn't muster up much interest in the historical backstory about the grave of Champlain. But I did enjoy the mystery that Jean-Guy was dispatched to solve back in good old Three Pines.

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yoyobon_gw

Donna.. All the Gamache stories are set in Quebec usually in the little village of Three Pines :0) I prefer to read her books in order because they seem to build on each other.

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msmeow

Bon, I meant Quebec City. :)

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carolyn_ky

Like Kathy, that was my least favorite Penny book. I also prefer Three Pines.

My Amazon shipment of Heidi Grows Up and Heidi's Children arrived, and I read Grows Up this afternoon. It's not as good as Heidi, but I enjoyed it anyway. Evidently I didn't read these two as many times as I did Heidi. I didn't really remember too much of this one.

I also read The Abbot's Agreement earlier this week. It is by Mel Starr, whose books I am not familiar with, but there is a string of them set in medieval England. I'm a glutton for the period and thoroughly enjoyed this one even though it is sadly out of sequence. I'll be requesting more of them.

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annpanagain

Carolyn, I have just finished "The Chilbury Ladies' Choir". It wasn't quite what I expected but interesting. I think the author has researched well but still hasn't quite got everything right for that time, the early 1940s.

Women referred to a pregnancy as "expecting" or "being in the family way." I was corrected by a friend of my aunt and told it was common to call myself pregnant, in the 1960s!

Also I doubt that the hop -pickers would be around as early as May. Some of the diary entries didn't feel normal either.

I read that Jennifer Ryan is thinking of a follow up book as readers are interested in how her characters get on. I don't think I care that much!

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reader_in_transit

Finished reading Firmin by Sam Savage. By turns bizarre and moving, hilarious and sad. Firmin is a rat who is born and makes his home in a bookstore in old Scollay Square in Boston. He reads all the books in the shop, and becomes quite the intellectual. For food, he goes across the street to the Rialto theater, which stays open around the clock, and shows X-rated films after midnight, "when the citizenry and its censors were tucked in bed". There--obviously before midnight--he becomes acquainted with Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers, among others (at times, he imagines himself as Fred, and is in love with Ginger).

His neighborhood--and his life--are threatened by the planned destruction of Scollay Square to erect goverment buildings (an actual event).

If you are able to suspend disbelief, it is an imaginative novel of how the love of books can save and ruin a life at the same time.

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carolyn_ky

Ann, my daughter liked the Chilbury book enough to order the second one, which she has loaned to me. It is called The Spies of Shilling Lane and features Mrs. Braithwaite who is learning to be human as she searches for her daughter in London. It really doesn't deal with the village ladies except that they throw her out of the WVS after her husband has divorced her, saying she represents immorality even though it was he who was having an affair. So far, I'm liking Chilbury better.

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annpanagain

Carolyn, I rarely read books set in WW2. It wasn't always a good time for me, so I have too many bad recollections! I think it is probably best to read books where one isn't too familiar with the subject or location. Little errors can be so irritating!

I don't like to give a bad review of a book that someone has enjoyed though. If I don't like a book, I go to Goodreads and look up the comments with just a couple of stars and share my annoyance there, agreeing with their complaints!

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annpanagain

Carolyn, the local library is getting The Spies of Shilling Lane so I have requested it because I like to give a debut writer a second chance! I would have missed out on some good books if I had not.

There is news that the Chilbury Ladies might be a TV series. Perhaps it will be different to the style of the book by not having the characters write letters and diary entries but have the scenes acted out. Letter writing on screen can be tricky, as in Pride and Prejudice. That long letter from Mr. Darcy and Elizabeth reading it, is one example.

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indygo

Has anyone read the Remembrance of Earth's Past Trilogy by Cixin Liu? (Also referred to as the Three Body Problem trilogy.) I haven't read science fiction in years, but the vision of the universe in these books was really interesting--both terrifying and beautiful. There's a lot of physics, most of which I understood only well enough to keep up with the plot (which is a roller coaster!) but I've been thinking a lot about the insights into sociology and government and gender and cosmology.


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woodnymph2_gw

Carolyn, I recall reading Heidi over and over as a child and being moved to tears. I agree that the latter Heidi books are not as good. Were they written by the same author, J. Spryi?

Reader, I will have to look for the Firmin book. I lived in Boston and remember the "old" Scollay square before it was torn down.

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reader_in_transit

Woodnymph,

A scene towards the end of the book is inspired by a true event that happened at Brattle Book Shop in old Scollay Square (Skibby would probably have been first on line for that....) If you read the book, let me know what you think of it.

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woodnymph2_gw

I remember the Brattle Book Shop, too. I will let you know what I think if I find the book.

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donnamira

Woodnymph, the Heidi 'sequels' were NOT written by Spyri, although they are based on some of her short stories and notes, IIRC. They were supposedly written by her 'translator' Charles Tritten, but showed up at the publisher in such a mess that the editor went to Margaret Sutton (the author of the Judy Bolton girls' series), and asked her to clean them up, which resulted in almost a rewrite. Authorial credit is given to Tritten only, though. One of those trivia items that is known among the Judy Bolton fans.

My mother had these 2 Heidi sequels that I read before we finally got a copy of the original Heidi. I bought copies for myself from Sutton's daughter when she sold off some of her mother's library. I always enjoyed them, although they are not as good as the original Heidi, which I remember being more complex and layered than these sequels.

indygo, the Liu Three-Body Problem books are on my to-be-read list, which unfortunately gets longer everyday! The first of the trilogy was on an old Science Fiction/Fantasy "Must-Read" list that I ran across a few years ago, that I've been slowly working my way through, and I haven't gotten to Liu's book yet.


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skibby (zone 4 Vermont)

RIT - Firmin is on my list and they have a copy in my Library. (rather surprising since it is an older book). Looking forward to it. Is it any wonder that my TBR pile only gets bigger?

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carolyn_ky

Ann, the Shilling Lane book is not written as letters, but you may want to skip it because it is set during the Blitz. While it doesn't have too much description for me, it may have for you. I wouldn't want it to cause you any distress or sleepless nights.

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annpanagain

Carolyn, thank you for the advice. If it gets distressing, I will stop reading.

The strange thing is that I didn't feel too much upset during the actual war. It was part of life and the adults kept their worries to themselves a lot.

I think it was the moves from the various homes that I found distressing at the time. We went from the South coast to live with maternal grandparents in a small town near London because of possible invasion when I was about four. Then back again when I was seven from that comfortable home to a shared house on the coast again because of the rocket bombing.

The threat of invasion was over but the rockets were even more deadly.

I had to change schools and leave friends and familiar surroundings behind. All very unsettling for a small child.

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astrokath

I too loved Heidi as a child, and used to pretend to be her, drinking milk from a bowl and taking a candle to bed :)

I finished an ARC of Mark Billingham's latest, Their Little Secret, which has a truly nasty pair of baddies.

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msmeow

I finished Bog Child by Siobhan Dowd. I thought the writing was good, but the story was, to me, mostly sad and depressing.

I just started the latest Amos Decker story, Redemption.

Donna

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vee_new

Donna, I read Bog Child a little while ago and wonder if people in the US understood the significance of the story (sad as you say but so true of those disturbed times) where a father is willing for his son to starve himself to death while in prison as a protest against not being treated as a political prisoner or, on a lighter note that condoms, or any sort of contraceptive device where banned in the Irish republic so had to be smuggled over the border. Even people visiting would have their luggage searched and these 'items' might be confiscated.

I am often surprised that so many people from the US claim Irish heritage but seem to have little understanding, other than 'folk-tales' about the recent sorry events of that country.

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carolyn_ky

Out of library books, this afternoon I started to re-read Lamb in His Bosom by Caroline Miller. It is a very old paperback copy of a Pulitzer Prize book written in 1933. I remember it as being quite good but nothing much else about it. I probably read it first in the early 1960s. It is set in pioneer rural Georgia, and some of the terminology and speech patterns take me back to my childhood. One example is the use of toucheous, which means cross or fractious as a tired child or in this case a moody woman might be. I can remember my grandmother using the word.

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vee_new

Have just finished a gentle read The Heart of the Garden by Helene Wiggin. She has written about a place she must know well, somewhere in the English Midlands, near the cathedral city of Lichfield in Staffordshire. Her story traces the development of a garden and the women who tended it over the centuries from the nine hundreds to the present day. Anyone knowledgeable about horticulture might find it interesting.

I have now made a start on Bettany's Book by Thomas Keneally. At the moment it is pretty hard going not only the very small print but the wordiness of it.

I wonder if any Australian RP'ers have enjoyed it?

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skibby (zone 4 Vermont)

I can't remember if I already mentioned this one, Flipped by Wendelin Van Draanen. This is a "first love" story by two tweens/teens each telling the same story with very different interpretations of the events. It's fun and funny and doesn't get bogged down with too many lessons. A delightful Young Adult book suitable for anyone. The movie is a treat as well, and mirrors the book completely. Next was Almost Midnight - Paul Doiron, the newest Mike Bowditch book. Twisty and tight - suspenseful. I'm so glad because his last book was rather disappointing to me. I don't know what's next. Plenty to chose from.

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annpanagain

Vee, no, I don't read that kind of book! At present I am borrowing books from the Retirement Village library and they have mainly Relationship ones. What with feeling a bit wobbly still after the bronchitis and the foul weather, it is handier to pop in there rather than catch a bus to my local Public one.

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vee_new

Annpan, I hope you feel better soon. Bronchitis can certainly 'take it out' of you. Keep warm!

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annpanagain

Vee, thanks. I do improve when the sun shines but the weather is so patchy at present. It is Winter after all. At least I haven't had snow here yet, although it has fallen down South in this State and a lot over East of the country.

Australia's Sunny Climes? Huh! Not always.

That wasn't stated in the emigration material...

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msmeow

Ann and Kath, I saw a video yesterday of a troop of kangaroos bounding around in the snow. It was really neat!

Donna

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yoyobon_gw

I'm reading Bury Your Dead .

For those of you who love the Louise Penny Gamache Series, check out this website . I wish I lived a bit closer and could visit the Brome' Lake Bookstore. I want a Vive Gamache mug !

http://www.gamacheseries.com/the-nature-of-the-beast-real-place/

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carolyn_ky

I enjoyed the article about the bookstore except for " . . . with a little wood stove and a MANTLE above . . ." That is such a pet peeve of mine. Why, oh why, is it so hard for people to know the difference between a shelf and a garment?

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yoyobon_gw

Just brought that error to their attention in a comment.

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kathy_t

This morning I finished reading Eventide by Kent Haruf, one of my favorite authors. This book picks up and carries forward the story of Raymond and Harold McPheron, the old bachelor brothers introduced in the novel, Plainsong. And like other Haruf novels, several stories of various other citizens of Holt, Colorado are woven together throughout the novel. This is my fourth Haruf novel, and I suspect I will pick up another of his now and then. I really enjoy them.

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maxmom96

As I remember, Kent Haruf died last year. Eventide was his last book. I too enjoyed his writing.

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kathy_t

Maxmom - Yes, I was sad to hear of his death.

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woodnymph2_gw

I'm trying to get into "Dutch Girl", the biography of late actress Audrey Hepburn. I'm finding it a bit slow going, mostly due to style and organization by the author. Audrey nearly starved to death as a girl when the Nazis invaded Holland and was troubled all her life by stomach issues related to early sufferings. Both her parents were Nazi sympathizers in the early war years. Despite her years of acting, she stated that all she ever really wanted to do was to dance ballet.

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astrokath

Donna, there was a very cold snap across the southeastern part of Australia, and those areas which usually get some snow got quite a lot. I think the kangaroos must have been mostly surprised, though.

I finished Sweet Sorrow by David Nicholls, who wrote One Day. It struck me as a very British novel, and quite enjoyable, but I suspect I won't remember much about it in six months.

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reader_in_transit

Reading The Sea Garden by Marcia Willett, about a cast of characters in Devon.

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kathy_t

I'm currently doing a fast re-read of Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens because I am hosting our book club discussion of it next Tuesday. I'm noting food references as I skim along because it's always fun to make the book club snacks tie in with the book. (Can't always be done.) I found a passage when Kya was out of food for several days and subsisted on Crisco spread on soda crackers. Hey, that would be easy!

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skibby (zone 4 Vermont)

Maxmom - I believe Haruf wrote another before his death - Our Souls at Night. A lovely read. Highly recommend.

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kathy_t

Skibby and Maxmom - I agree, Our Souls at Night is indeed a lovely book.

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yoyobon_gw

Kathy......how about boiled crawdads !

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kathy_t

Yoyo - I would LOVE to do that, but my book group has already collectively said, "You're not going to try to make us eat crawdads, are you?" Then eating stories ensued. I seem to be the only one of the group who likes them. We're midwestern, you know.

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msmeow

I finished Redemption by David Baldacci, his latest Amos Decker novel. I really enjoyed it, even though the body count was pretty high by the end.

Today I'm starting The Beautiful Mystery by Louise Penny.

Donna

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yoyobon_gw

Donna, are you reading her books in order ?

I just finished Bury Your Dead and enjoyed it very much. However, I do agree with the reader who noted that she didn't care for the Champlain story line .

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yoyobon_gw

Kathy, here's a recipe from the UK for Crayfish Chowder.....and the big red crayfish ( aka crawdad) garnish hanging over the edge of the bowl adds a certain je ne sais quoi . Wouldn't your book club just squeal with delight.....or horror :0)

https://www.bbc.co.uk/food/recipes/crayfish_chowder_28530

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vee_new

There you go yoyo, an eg of the Hairy Bikers as mentioned in The Game. I have never heard of anyone eating chowder over here, nor do I know where crayfish can be purchased!

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kathy_t

Interesting recipe, Yoyo! And interesting comments, Vee! I'm still thinking.

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woodnymph2_gw

Kathy, how about grits?

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kathy_t

I have been thinking about grits. Perhaps I could smash up mussels in them like Kya does in the book.

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yoyobon_gw

" COVER THE BUTTER ! " ( my favorite expression of utter disgust .....and by the way, I did read the book by the same title and rather enjoyed it ! )

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msmeow

Bon, yes I am reading them in order. I really liked Bury Your Dead but I liked the next one, A Trick of the Light even more. :)

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yoyobon_gw

Donna, I'm moving on to A Trick Of The Light after I finish reading Lidia Bastianich's My Dream Of America. I am finding it very interesting. I never realized the plight of the Italians in Istria after WW2 when they were taken over by Communist Yugoslavia. Her family made a harrowing escape to seek asylum in Italy and had to spend two years in a refugee camp before finally immigrating to America. It's a fascinating and nicely written memoir.

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kathy_t

Yoyobon - I don't know how your "hungry-bookworm" post appeared above my answer to Woodnymph's grits suggestion. Honestly, it was not there at the time I responded to Woodnymph. Anyway - I was not aware of that site - so thanks. I'm going to explore it further. The shrimp and pimiento cheese grits dish sounds devine, but the blackberry cobbler is the thing that caught my eye. That would work better for book club. Since our tradition is to have our treat for the end of the evening, it would not do for me to serve something that should be served hot. Can't be fussing in the kitchen and leave those book group ladies to their own devices in my living room.

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skibby (zone 4 Vermont)

I'm currently reading Whittington - by Alan Armstrong. This is a YA fiction story that was recommended by Lemonhead some years back. She was absolutely right in her praises. It's the story of Whittington the cat who is a descendant of Dick Whittington's cat. Nicely done with great characters. If you don't care for talking animals this may not be for you but I'm loving it.

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maxmom96

Thanks Skibby. You're right. So sorry he's not around to share his lovely writing with us.

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yoyobon_gw

Has anyone read Under The Influence by Joyce Maynard?

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reader_in_transit

Finished The Sea Garden, an AGA saga by Marcia Willett, about a cast of characters in Devon. At the center is a young woman, Jess, who is invited to stay in a cottage by an older woman, Kate. The connection between them is that Jess won an art award established to honor Kate's late husband. The usual domestic dramas ensue, to which a little mystery is added and solved in due course.


I had never read anything by this author previously. A couple of things struck me as odd:


--none of the women work or have a career, even though the novel takes place in modern times (there are cell phones and computers).


--people are invited to stay at other people's houses (while the host or hostess is living there too) at the drop of a hat, and not just for a couple of nights, but to live there for a while. And we are not talking here of close friends, but mere acquaintances. Is this a common practice in real life?

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vee_new

Reader, I have read a couple of books by Marcia Willett and although the stories are pleasant enough and there are 'nice' descriptions of the Devon and the Cornish country and seaside I have found very little happens. The main characters are usually comfortably off, good looking men with attractive wives etc. Everyone has a reliable cleaner/daily woman (we don't call them housekeepers over here unless they are in charge of a mansion/castle eg Mrs Danvers)

Maybe in Ms Willett's world people do invite acquaintances to stay for long periods. Perhaps she herself has a large house and plenty of 'help' but I don't feel it would be normal. I think she writes very much within her 'comfort zone', which might included women who don't need to go out to work

Did you notice how many cups of tea and or coffee were made, poured, consumed in each chapter, or how many pieces of bread were toasted for breakfast?

Despite all that her books do describe a certain Englishness . . .

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msmeow

Reader, I know a woman who often houses people she doesn't know at all. People will call and say, "I'm a cousin of your son-in-law's brother's friend So-and-so and I'm going to be in Orlando for a week. Can I stay with you?" and she says yes, every time. I can't imagine doing that!

Donna

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woodnymph2_gw

The comments re Marcia Willett's book reminded me so much of my impressions of all the Rosamund Pilcher books I used to read. I got tired of them because the lives were too perfect. Everyone was rich, had servants, lived in gorgeous surroundings. All the men were handsome and romantic; all the women beautiful and refined. I happen to like a good dose of reality once in a while! I stopped reading Pilcher years ago.

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yoyobon_gw

Donna, um....no. That definitely wouldn't happen at my door ! I cannot imagine housing somebody who knows somebody who knows me. As the french say " Friends and family begin to stink after three days . " and that doesn't begin to address strangers. That whole scenario is pregnant with problems .

I don't even like being a guest at a Bed & Breakfast . We stayed at one where we felt like teenagers coming home to disgruntled parents. The hosts actually waited up for us and then muttered something about not realizing we'd be that late ( it was around 11:00 pm) ! At another in Nantucket we had the misfortune of being below a guy and his female friend who were having quite the "happy time" all night long ! In Virginia we stayed at a B&B where the owners had a roaming cat who had free range of the kitchen. We passed on the complimentary breakfast :0) ( Kathy ?? want to chime in !? )

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kathy_t

You bet I do, Yoyobon. I can fall for a cat as fast as anyone else, but I always think about some of the cleanest people I know who think nothing of allowing their cat to walk on their kitchen counter. I want to say, "Hey, do you know where those little feet have been? They probably still have bits of litter between their toes." Instead, I make a mental note not to accept a dinner invitation.

I probably just lost any chance of being invited to dinner at many of your houses!

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yoyobon_gw

You would be happy at my table Kathy :0)))

I recently went to an older woman's home ( she was infirmed and a group went to visit and bring a lunch) and a pizza was brought in to serve. They'd set it up on an island in the kitchen with drinks etc. The minute the box was opened we made our plates then sat at the table. Here it comes......later on, as we were in the living room visiting I happened to glance into the kitchen and her cat was up on the island WALKING IN THE PIZZA BOX licking the leftover pizza. Nope, nope, nope. Cover the butter! Ack !

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annpanagain

I have found hospitality with strangers in Australia, where things are more casual than in the UK. My own mother couldn't put me up when I visited! No guest room!

In Australia, I have been bedded down on a sofa when arriving late to drop off someone's relative and woke to find a man, presumably my host, calmly eating breakfast at the nearby table. He saw me sitting up and told me to help myself to tea and toast!


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reader_in_transit

Vee,


"Did you notice how many cups of tea and or coffee were made, poured, consumed in each chapter, or how many pieces of bread were toasted for breakfast?"


Yes! But that didn't take me by surprise as it was like that in the Cazalet Chronicles. In one of those books, Archie prepares tea for him and someone else past midnight! And when Gary Oldman accepted the Oscar in 2018, he ended his speech by telling his very elderly mother (presumably watching in Britain), "put the kettle on, I'm bringing Oscar with me". Thus, I expect British people to be drinking tea at all hours... but your comment still made me laugh (grin).


"I think she writes very much within her 'comfort zone', which might included women who don't need to go out to work".


In this book, of the older generation, there was one household that was wealthy, the rest sounded upper to mid-middle class, and there was a household where money was tight. Of the younger generation, there was only one guy making lots of money, the rest were struggling or just okay. And still, except for Jess, who went to art school, none of the women had trained to do anything, let alone gone to college, which it's hard to believe, especially regarding the younger women.


"Despite all that her books do describe a certain Englishness . . . "


I grasp rather intangibly what you mean, but could you elaborate a little?

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vee_new

reader, re tea drinking. It is certainly true that in many UK households the kettle is always 'on' for boiling water to make a cuppa but I found in the Willett books so much is made of the making/drinking of either tea or coffee, which in no way carried the story forward. I don't think I have read The Sea Garden . . OK I might have as her story lines are very similar . . . but your description of the characters 'way of life' resonates slightly with me.

I had to look up Ms Willett and found her to be a similar age to me and guess she had a middle class background. And this can make for difficulties between the English and Americans because from what I understand 'class' in the US is based on earning capacity while here it is much more nuanced not necessarily in a good way. It was all mixed up with background, education, your place in society what Victorians would have called knowing ones place where you happily fitted in. Much of it has luckily gone now but I think MW writes from the p.o.v of someone still living the '50's.

You mention women and their careers/education. Back in the day both MW's and mine (I left school in '63) very few women went to university, only the very brightest and often when they left they landed up either teaching or in office jobs. Almost none of them entered the professions, so there were very few female Dr's, lawyers, scientists etc. The other job-route for girls who had taken exams (O and A level usually between 16 -18 years) at school might be teacher training, nursing, office jobs after secretarial training and so on. So much more narrow than today. Mostly after marriage women gave up work to bring up children/wait on their husbands etc.

Of course things are SO different today. Apparently there are more women training in medicine than men, all the professions welcome(?) females and they have no worries about organising child-care . . . but they still come home after a hard day at the coal-face and do 75% of the housework!

This might answer some of your questions . . . but do ask if you need more clarity!


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vee_new

yoyo and Kathy, I have had a similar experience when invited to afternoon tea by an older 'arty' friend. We ate in her sitting room and I offered to carry some plates back into the kitchen to find the dog on the table munching the various left-over cakes and sandwiches. We also have friends who happily allow their dogs to not only sleep in their bedrooms but also IN their beds . . . and not just their dogs but the dogs of friends who they are looking after for a few days.

Do these folk not understand basic hygiene? Unless they have trained their pets to bathe/wash every day and use toilet paper, rather than their tongues, however much they love the animals, there is a limit.

I feel strongly on this point as several years ago the 10 year old daughter of friends lost the sight in one eye and almost in the other through sharing her bed with the family dog, a rescued stray, who had never been wormed. It was allowed to lick her face and caused the parasite to travel to the back of her eyeball where it ate through the optic nerve. Apparently this problem isn't uncommon but people seem unaware of the dangers.

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annpanagain

Vee, oh dear! I have always been used to the idea of the pet dog sleeping on the bed!

It started with seeing my grandmother having hers with her at night for company while my granddad did a night shift at Smithfield Meat Market during WW2. She was a very fussy and houseproud woman and never thought it was unhygienic.

My children grew up with a dog as almost a sibling and you would be horrified at the thought of my husband and myself sleeping with a couple of deerhounds and an occasional cat bunking in with us but it seemed normal! Although a bit crowded even with a Queen-sized bed.

When my husband was taken off in an ambulance to the hospice, the current pet jumped in with him and when one "ambo" objected, the other said, it was all right, adding that he had had people in a worse state get in!

Naturally we kept our pets wormed vaccinated and groomed. The deerhounds were show dogs. My husband might roll his eyes at what I paid for a hairstyle but never blinked at the cost of the dog's beauty treatment!

As for tea drinking, I do that all day, often humming the song I recall from years ago "I like a nice cup of tea" I can't remember who sang that but I can hear her cut-glass tones!

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yoyobon_gw

Vee.....dogs in bed.....there have been many studies done which seem to show it to be calming for both owner and dog . I would only hope that the problem of ticks was considered. Most responsible owners either have their dogs treated or give them pills to prevent ticks from thriving on them. However, such things are not available for owners.

I am hyper sensitive regarding ticks and tick borne diseases because in this area we have an epidemic of Lyme disease. I was bitten by two ticks this summer ( first time in my life ) and unfortunately got Lyme from them and had to be treated. Now it is apparently a " fingers crossed, wait and see " game for the rest of my life hoping that it will not resurface as a debilitating autoimmune response and cause damage. Lovely.

Owning pets puts you in danger of them carrying ticks into the home . It is very discouraging.

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vee_new

yoyo, until recently ticks were not much of a problem over here but recently there have been outbreaks of Lyme in southern areas. The difficulty is that Dr's are so unfamiliar with it that the correct treatment is often not given.

Here dogs that are not properly looked after a more liable to catch fleas. Our neighbours who keep too many cats are not bothered that these animals suffer from unwanted guests although the husband will 'groom' them, usually on the living room carpet! I tend to keep well away . . . my excuse is that cats make me wheeze . . . which is true. How do the cats know this? They always come up to me and rub themselves against my legs.

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vee_new

For Annpan, this version is by Binny Hale (rather before my time) but probably the one you remember.

I Like a Nice Cup of Tea . . .

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yoyobon_gw

Vee...I love the idea of a nice cup of tea and when I read the British authors it always sounds so inviting and bracing. I am afraid what passes for tea in the US is a pale comparison. Tell me how to make a proper " nice cup of tea" ;0)

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vee_new

yoyo, do you remember many years ago we had a thread on that very subject?

Tea making is simple. Let us assume you have decent/good quality tea leaves or bags.

Boil fresh water (ie not water that has been sitting in the kettle for ages). While it is boiling heat the teapot with some of the heating-up kettle water. Just before it has 'comes to the boil' remove the water from the pot, add the leaves/tea bags and pour on the still boiling water. Stir the pot and allow it to rest, brew . . . or mash . . . as they say in the North, for a couple of minutes then pour it out into your best Spode, Wedgwood or Coalport china, or just into your favourite mug. Add milk or lemon and/or sugar and drink. It's quite OK to add the milk first.

The most important thing to remember is that when the water hits the tea it must still be boiling. Once it has gone off the boil the tea never tastes the same.

Is it possible to buy good quality tea in the US that doesn't break the bank?

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yoyobon_gw

Vee....thanks ! Yes, we can buy good quality loose tea or in bags . I will remember the point about boiling water.

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annpanagain

Some US books I have read mention microwaving the water for tea. Do not do that!

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annpanagain

Vee, no, I don't think that Binnie Hale is the singer I recall. Her recording was done in a deliberately common voice for a musical apparently. I seem to remember a more "refained" version!

More like Joyce Grenfell.

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annpanagain

Back to tea-making. Agatha Christie mentions boiling water for tea properly in a couple of her books. It could be a problem to decide if the water was really boiling and when the "Whistling kettle" which had a gadget on the spout that whistled when the water was boiling, went onto the market, it was a housewife's dream to own one!

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woodnymph2_gw

We in America are able to finally find several brands of excellent teas. I happen to like mine really strong.

On the topic of animal intrusion: I used to be a pet/house sitter for a couple in the VA countryside. They collected cats --- adopted several "feral" cats that they continued to feed. I will never forget being awoken at night by a parade of house cats traversing the stove tops in their kitchen. Evidently, this was a favored feline game/routine in that household....

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yoyobon_gw

Cats inhabit a parallel universe that doesn't include socializing with humans :0)

Just my opinion !

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annpanagain

Yoyo, depends on the cat! We had Siamese and they like humans. One always used to interact a lot with my husband, climbing onto his knees to face him when he got home from work and my husband would ask him how his day had been...and got a talkative response!

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yoyobon_gw

Perhaps they are Zen-like genes :0)

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msmeow

Our current pair of cats are very cuddly, and are not afraid of strangers. Both traits are very unusual! :)

I finished The Beautiful Mystery by Louise Penny. I liked it, but liked the two previous ones better. I'm finding the farther I go in the series the more I want to immediately start the next book to find out what will happen next. LP books always have a wait list at my library so I'm forced to wait. :)

I've just started Enigma by Catherine Coulter.

Donna

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Rosefolly

Indygo, I have read the Three Body Problem trilogy. I enjoyed it very much. It was challenging reading as I have no physics background at all, but I enjoyed exploring the ideas. One caveat was that I did not warm up to the primary female character in the middle book, too much a goddess on a pedestal, but otherwise, his female characters were varied and interesting.

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vee_new

A Good Man in Africa was the first novel by William Boyd and tells the story of the First Secretary in the British Embassy in a West African recently independent country (probably an amalgam of Nigeria and Ghana, where Boyd had grown up) Morgan is the complete anti-hero. He seems to hate his job, his work colleagues and the country. He is expected to arrange a visit from a Minor Royal, keep his 'local' girlfriend hidden from disapproving view, oil the wheels of the local big-wig who is trying to blackmail him . . . in all totally shambolic. I don't think he would have lasted five minutes as a real diplomat.

I shall pass the book on to a friend who grew up in Nigeria as they might appreciate the humour and how difficult it was/is to understand the African way of doing anything.

By contrast Fat Man on a Bicycle is a gentle ride North to South, from Dieppe the port on the English Channel, to Sete on the Mediterranean taking in the rural French countryside, by Tom Vernon. I used to listen to his talks on the BBC back in the late 70's-80's. By cycling he is able to take in the scenery, especially the wild flowers and meet the local people. He uses his visits to various hotels and restaurants to compare French and English cooking. Thankfully things have much improved over here in the last forty years and UK chefs can hold their own against many European countries . . . an, some of us may say, not a moment too soon.

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msmeow

I finished Enigma by Catherine Coulter today while knitting a baby blanket, which I also finished. The book was good, if you can overlook her sometimes weird character names (Chief Harbinger) and poor editing (Clover Bottom Creek Road becomes Bottom Clover Creek Road).

The copy I was waiting for of How the Light Gets In by Louise Penny became available today, but I already had The Night Strangers by Chris Bohjalian so I think I’ll read that next.

Donna

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kathy_t

You are a fast reader, Donna!

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vee_new

OK Donna, how do you read and knit at the same time?

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yoyobon_gw

Vee......I can knit an uncomplicated straight knitting while reading but find that it isn't as relaxing as doing either singularly. ( it has to be a hardcover that will stay open on my lap or propped on my lap. ) I also have been known to read while I walk, as long as it is on a flat surface like a paved trail or inside hallway. I would do that when I was teaching, when I had a free period.

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msmeow

Vee, I'm like Bon. I can knit and read at the same time as long as the knitting is a simple pattern.

Donna

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vee_new

My goodness, hats off to you both! I need total concentration to knit even the most simple row of stitches.

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msmeow

Vee, this is the blanket I was knitting. It’s an easy pattern knitted from corner to corner. It has holes worked around the edges but they were hard to see with this yarn so I wove narrow ribbon through them.

Donna



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vee_new

Thanks Donna. It's difficult to see what the pattern is from the photo or how big it is. Is it one where you increase at the start and finish of each row and then decrease when you have reached the half-way point?

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msmeow

This pattern has increases and decreases only at the beginning of each row. My goal was to use up this yarn, so I started decreasing when I got halfway through the yarn. :) It ended up being smaller than the pattern, about 30" square. I'm planning to donate it to Project Linus.

Donna

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lemonhead101

I knitted quite a bit during high school (when I should have been studying a bit more), and had fun, but haven't done it much since then. Kudos to those of you who can knit and read at the same time...

I'm in the middle of "The Emperor of All Maladies" by Siddhartha Mukherjee, an oncologist. Subtitled "A Biography of Cancer", it's a blow-by-blow examination of the history of cancer (the illness) and how it's been approached and treated over the years.

I am finding it absolutely fascinating and although it's quite technical in parts, it's a good read. Mukherjee deserves accolades for making such a large and unwieldy topic such as this much more approachable (and well written along the way).

The book has been awarded zillions of prizes, all of which it deserves. Definitely one of the best reads I've had this year so far.

Other than that, I'm just starting the university semester where I'm trying to teach 60 undergrads about grammar. Good job I'm a word nerd. :-)

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msmeow

Lemonhead, it seems like university it a bit late to start teaching grammar... :D

Donna

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annpanagain

Donna, no, I am 82 and still trying to get the hang of it!

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vee_new

Annpan, I've a few years to go until I reach 82 but have managed quite well without worrying about grammar . . .

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annpanagain

Vee, I mostly worry when I am posting here as you are all so impressively educated!

Otherwise I go along with what comes out of my mouth. Due to BBC listening when I was growing up, that is usually quite good. Well, I think so, anyway!

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lemonhead101

Ha. You're right. Uni is a little late to be covering grammar, but you'd be surprised... A LOT of my class are not confident in their writing for any number of reasons, and so I usually end up going over commas et al. throughout the class as a "reminder"... :-)

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vee_new

I have been listening to a BBC adaptation of Edna O'Brien's Country Girls, the first one of a trilogy where we meet Cait and Baba growing up in a West of Ireland village in the 1950's. The book was banned in Ireland for being obscene and copies were burnt by the Church.

From the descriptions of living with a brutal drunken father, to school with cold, sanctimonious nuns and then escape to Dublin where the girls meet endless undesirable men it proved to be rather a 'sad listen' but of course, very true of its time and setting . . . and easy to see why the macho Irish 'authorities' didn't enjoy the attention it gained.

Below is a link to a rather wordy review of all three books which are in no way obscene. I believe O'Brien is no longer considered a pariah for telling the truth about the state of women's lives in Ireland.


Country Girls

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yoyobon_gw

Lemonhead.....remind them that commas can save lives !

"Let's eat, Grandma ."

"Let's eat Grandma."

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msmeow

I finished The Night Strangers by Chris Bohjalian. It was a dark and creepy story and I’m glad it’s done! This is the third book I’ve read by him and they were very different stories and very different styles.

Now back to Louise Penny.

Donna

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woodnymph2_gw

I just tried to post (unsuccessfully) a new thread for September. Not sure why it did not take. Anyway, we on the southern coast are waiting out the approach of a major hurricane....

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yoyobon_gw

Stay safe. It looks like Wednesday landfall ? Hopefully it will weaken considerably before coming in.

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yoyobon_gw

I'm trying to like The Curious Charms of Arthur Pepper but so far it seems like a silly, shallow premise. Perhaps I've spent too much time in Three Pines and have become accustomed to really good writing. I am tempted to return.

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