Reading in March 2020

reader_in_transit

Carolyn, here is the March 2020 reading thread. Thanks for reminding us it is a new month.


I finished Passarola Rising by Azhar Abidi. Two Brazilian brothers living in Lisbon in the 1700's take to the skies on the "Passarola", a flying ship the older brother designed and built. They have many adventures--and hardships--in the next several years, particularly exploring the North Pole. Told in a nostalgic voice by the younger brother when he is old, and is remembering those days of his youth.

SaveComment89Like1
Comments (89)
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
merryworld

Picking up A Well Behaved Woman by Theresa Anne Fowler today at the library. Reading it for book club even though I'm not going to be able to make it this month. It's described on Amazon as, "The riveting novel of iron-willed Alva Vanderbilt and her illustrious family as they rule Gilded-Age New York." One of our members I spoke to recently already finished it and loved it, so I'm looking forward to reading it. I have a replica of one of the tea mugs from the set of china Alva had made that says "Votes for Women" that I picked up on a visit to Newport many years ago.


1 Like Save    
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
carolyn_ky

I'm reading Agent Running in the Field by John Le Carre. I loved his Smiley books but lots of the others not so much. This one and the one just previous, I like a lot.

Thanks for the thread, RIT.

1 Like Save    
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
woodnymph2_gw

I've been recovering from the influenza so wanted some comfort reading. I returned to Three Pines in Quebec to re-read Louise Penny's "The Kingdom of the Blind." I had forgotten how "dark" themed some of her novels are.

Save    
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
donnamira

I finally finished the book I've been reading for the last several weeks about Greenland. Next up is The Lost Book of Adana Moreau, by Michael Zapata, which got a good review in the Washington Post a month ago. It sounded so interesting (parallel storylines, a lost manuscript, invented SF classic novels, and physics) that I put the book on hold at the library, and it finally came in.

Save    
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
annpanagain

In view of the hoarding of toilet rolls due to the coronavirus shortage scares, some people are not able to buy any. The shelves in supermarkets are bare. They have notices of limits for when they do have stocks.

A local library has (tongue in cheek) shown a pix of almost emptied library shelves with a notice stating that there is a limit of books per customer and any returned with pages missing will incur a fine!

I remember the days of outdoor plumbing in the country, with a nail holding cut up newspaper on a string. I don't think this would be suitable with modern plumbing though!

Save    
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
vee_new

Annpan, I am surprised that the library is allowing books to be borrowed by possible 'sufferers' as they might have to be fumigated when returned.

The BBC were reporting that soap, loo rolls and hand-sanitizer solutions are being stolen from public places . . . even hospitals. And that if we were to scroll through 'google' we would find thousands of adverts and so-called 'advice' for this virus; 99% of them fake and/or useless.

What a world we live in!

Save    
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
annpanagain

Vee, I don't think the libraries know if someone is a sufferer and so far we haven't had many cases that I am aware of. I usually prefer to read one of my own books at bedtime as otherwise I have to wash my hands if I have been reading a library book and I don't want to get up again if I am nicely dozing off.

A couple of children bought a load of toilet rolls with their pocket money and put them in a billy-cart which they took round to a retirement village to donate to residents who might need one! Not so bad a world after all...

5 Likes Save    
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
msmeow

Ann, that’s sweet! We have a community handbell choir that rehearses at a retirement/assisted living place. They were told on Monday to clear out their stuff by Wed. because the facility was going on quarantine. No c-virus in Orlando that I’ve heard of - I guess the facility is just being over cautious.

Donna

Save    
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
woodnymph2_gw

If the corona virus can cling to pages of library books, what about letters? If so, bad news for those of us who are inveterate letter writers.....

1 Like Save    
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
carolyn_ky

Someone posted on another forum I read that in her city in Washington state, people had cleaned out the supply shelves of toilet paper, paper towels, and hand sanitizer and were selling them out of the trunks of their cars at exorbitant prices. It's nice to see Ann's post to offset the tales of greed.

1 Like Save    
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
masgar14

vee , I'm ashamed to say , that also in Italy , soap, loo rolls and hand-sanitizer solutions are being stolen from public places . . . even hospitals. The strange things is they stole these kind of items, but they attend crowded places, They went form county to county Until yesterday. Now a lot small cities are quarantinied, and you can't leave your county without permission.

1 Like Save    
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
annpanagain

There is a thriving business opportunity for Chinese people who send our Australian 'top of the range' baby milk formula to China after an adulterated milk powder scandal there and babies died. Now they are including T/P and hand sanitizer as their factories are shut at present.

It is quite legal but makes for shortages here.

Save    
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
vee_new

Strange how these 'world crises' brings out both the best and the worst in us.

Save    
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
msmeow

I finished Country Plot by Cynthia Harrod-Eagles late last night (and today I'm paying for staying up too late!) and I enjoyed it very much. It was nice to read a light story with no murders for a change. :)

That said, I just started the newest Virgil Flowers book by John Sandford, Bloody Genius. There was already a murder on page two!

Donna

1 Like Save    
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
yoyobon_gw

Britt-Marie Was Here .......what an odd character she is !

Save    
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
sheri_z6

I finished a goofy but enjoyable urban fantasy by K.F. Breene titled, Magical Midlife Madness. It looks like the start of a series, featuring a divorced 40-something heroine who discovers she has magical powers. It ticks all the usual boxes -- hunky shape shifting love interest, magical creatures she never knew existed, magic kept a secret from the "Dicks and Janes" who live in the same town and suspect nothing, a magical turf war brewing that she must fix even though she has no idea what she's doing. It was fun, and ordinarily it wouldn't have impressed me enough to write much about it, but the author had some terrific lines in the book about how women are treated in American society, particularly women over 40. She also included a spot-on lecture on how much damage is done when men in positions of leadership call the boys in their charge "ladies" when the boys struggle or fail at something.

I'm also down to the last two Gaslight Mysteries by Victoria Thompson. These have been such enjoyable historical mysteries, and I've actually learned quite a bit about 1890s New York. There's a new one coming out in April, Murder on Pleasant Avenue, and I'm already on the library request list.

For my IRL book group we're reading Such A Fun Age by Kiley Reid, and I'm looking forward to starting that next. I'm hoping we can still meet next week. So far no one is sick (knock wood and fingers crossed) and I'm hoping it stays that way.

1 Like Save    
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
yoyobon_gw

Britt-Marie reminds me somewhat of Eleanor Oliphant in that they are both slightly broken women and we learn , bit by bit, why they are that way.

Save    
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Rosefolly

Sheri, the Midlife Madness book sounds like fun. I read the Innkeeper series you suggested, so I think I'll give this one a try, too. I'm in the mood for light reading.

I'm not sure whether I will go to my next book club group or not. We have out annual trip coming up in June, a visit to Sedona, Arizona. I have tickets but whether or not I will want to get on a plane is an open question. The situation could look a lot better or a lot worse by then.

1 Like Save    
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
reader_in_transit

Years ago, in a library book sale, I found a book by Laurie Colwin. Even though I had never heard of her, I bought it and enjoyed it (Happy All the Time). I decided to trace the rest of her books in secondhand bookstores or library sales. In a visit to Powell's Books in Portland (self-proclaimed the largest independent bookstore in the world) I found two of them, and later found a couple more in King's Books in Tacoma. Since she died in 1992 (at age 43, how sad), I am reading one every couple of years, to make them last.

From this stash, I just began reading Another Marvelous Thing, a slim volume of 8 connected stories about "a love affair, a marriage and the birth of a baby" (this is from the back cover).

Save    
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
reader_in_transit

Hey, where is Skibby? When I wrote above "Years ago, in a library book sale..." I thought of her, and then realized we haven't seen her here in a while (since shortly after the children's book discussion, started by Skibby, when Donnamira delighted and enlightened us about the topic). I hope she is okay.

Save    
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
merryworld

Reader_in_transit I read Laurie Colwin's cookbook Home Cooking (also picked up at the library book sale) when I was a young Mom and made my first loaf of bread from it. I didn't know she wrote other books. I'll look for them at the library. I love Powell's and try to get there whenever we visit family in Oregon.

A friend just recommended a YA historical fiction author to me: Ruta Sepetys. He's a middle aged guy with sophisticated reading taste, so I was surprised by how enthusiastically he was praising her books. Has anyone else read anything by this author?

Save    
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
masgar14

Just
finished “Handmaid’s tale” by Margaret
Atwood, what a powerful novel and story, in a speculative way.

Already bought the trilogy. But since I come from some “high” and demanding literature,
Donna Tartt, Ian McEwan, Julian Barnes and historical essay,”Medieval Europe”
Now I need a break, something easier but compelling to read. Astrokat, I seem
to remember, spoke well about “Fatherland” (what if Hitler had won?) and I
understood there is also an espionage story.
So “Fatherland “ by Robert Harris will be my next
reading

1 Like Save    
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
woodnymph2_gw

I'm enjoying "My Family and Other Animals" by Gerald Durrell. It is so refreshing to read of his boyhood adventures on the Greek Island of Corfu. (what I would not give now for an escape to such a magical place, given the threat of the Corona Virus hanging over all our heads). Some cases here in SC and we are hoping and praying that the College will stay open.

Save    
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
astrokath

I finished The Land Beyond the Sea by Sharon Penman, and enjoyed it. It is set in Outremer in the 1170s when the King of Jerusalem was Baldwin the Leper, a young and very competent young man who ruled well despite his illness. It's a time I knew little about, and since Penman is meticulous in her research, I enjoyed learning some new things.

I've followed that tome with another, and have started Mantel's The Mirror and the Light. So far, so good - I'm really loving the writing, even though I know the outcome won't be good.

Save    
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
vee_new

Kath, Mantel has been on TV over here talking about this latest book. As I managed to get through her first two I plan to borrow a copy (not from the library as the wait will be for ages) but from a friend who has access to big heavy tomes.

I enjoyed looking at Tudor England from the old perspective of Thomas Cromwell bad man to Thomas More good man and Saint.

Save    
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Marlorena-z8 England-

...just to say, re Mantel's 'The Mirror and the Light'... I have been alerted to this from another forum, but apparently there is a scam going on... if you get an email telling you there is an updated version of this on kindle from Amazon, then don't click on it, as it's not from Amazon.

...just for your information... I have no other details...

Save    
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
vee_new

Thanks for bringing this up Marlorena. Not quite the same thing but we have had trouble with Amazon Prime recently . . . and found ourselves signed-up with no knowledge of how this happened.

1 Like Save    
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
annpanagain

Vee, I have requested the DVD of Sanditon from my library although you didn't give it 5 stars, I recall. I had forgotten about it until I saw an ad in a DVD catalogue. I don't know when interesting shows and books come out as I don't buy newspapers or magazines. A Very English Scandal is being broadcast late at night and I found that the library had it so I don't have to wait for the next two episodes.

BTW, my book's blank endpapers are safe! The local chemist got a shipment of 16 pack toilet rolls and I was able to grab one. They are like "hen's teeth" now!

1 Like Save    
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
vee_new

annpan, as long as you don't confuse Sanditon with Jane Austen it will be fine!

And A Very English Scandal is wickedly great fun . . . about the true events when the leader of the Liberal Party Jeremy Thorpe (played very convincingly by Hugh Grant) tired to arrange for the 'disappearance' of his male lover . . .

Re blank endpaper . . . we are planning to rely on stinging nettles.

Save    
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
annpanagain

Vee, funny you should mention stinging nettles. A current affairs program showed the kindest plants to use and they weren't listed!

My GD was able to get a very large pack of rolls to share around. The manufacturers are only making large packs at present and it is a triumph to find one. You won't remember the wartime and the treasuring of almost unobtainable items, I suppose?

My aunt got a couple of big tins of tropical fruit salad from the US and it was used for my birthday party. Originally only one tin was opened but the wonder of the children and hopefully proffered bowls for 'seconds' soon caused the opening of the other tin, which the adults were going to have on Sunday!

Save    
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
msmeow

I finished Bloody Genius by John Sandford today, and I thoroughly enjoyed it! It’s one of the Virgil Flowers series.

I will have more time to read now. Yesterday all full time central office staff were cut to 24 hours a week through May 31. The hotel business in Orlando is taking a huge hit.

Donna

Save    
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
reader_in_transit

Our library system closed yesterday for a month, in the ongoing effort to slow down the contagion. They announced the closure on Thursday evening, after the library had closed for the day.

I was able to leave work early and get to my local branch before closing time, thinking of checking out 2 books. Parking spots were hard to come by in the underground parking. Inside it looked like the library was going to close for a year: there were more people than I have ever seen at that branch, many of them with children (it defeated the purpose of closing the libraries to slow the contagion. True, it was only one day, but still... I tried to breathe as less as possible and got out of there pretty quickly).

It was the literary version of panic buying: many people had brought bags to carry multiple items, many were checking out 10-15 books. The children's books area looked like the shelves at Costco, there were about 30 books left (out of the hundreds they usually have). I expected that would be the area that would be wiped clean, as kids are going to be home, but it surpassed my expectations.

One of the books I wanted was gone, so I checked out only 1 book. I'll definitely will work my way through my to-be-read piles.

Save    
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
astrokath

Vee, the way Mantel portrayed Cromwell is one of the reasons I like the books so much. He is a very intelligent person making the most of his skills. I particularly liked the way she shows him with his family.

Save    
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
annpanagain

I intend to get the paperback as soon as I can brave the checkout queues at Big W. A relative went shopping today and waited 40 mins. at Woollies.

I think I shall fall back on my TBR pile for a while!

Save    
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
msmeow

I was talking to my sister yesterday and she mentioned that she had the Mantel book you’ve been discussing. I also enjoy books set in that time so will have to give her a try!

I’m reading Shamed by Linda Castillo. It’s set in a small town in Ohio. An Amish woman has been murdered and her five year old granddaughter kidnapped.

Donna

Save    
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
yoyobon_gw

These are currently on their way (free) from Paperbackswap.com from my wish list on that site :

The Sugar Queen by Sarah Addison Allen

It All Comes Back To You by Beth Duke

The Gown: A Novel Of A Royal Wedding by Jennifer Robson

Save    
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
iamkathy

Being holed up recently (not due to the coronavirus) finished two what I consider classic books:


On the Road by Jack Kerouac and The Adventures of Augie March by Saul Bellow. I had started both a while back and lost interest, then got back to them and had a better appreciation for their value in literature after letting them soak in. I have been having this recently where I can't get into a book until further in and this happened with both of these selections. Glad I can check these two off my TBR pile.

Save    
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
erasmus_gw

I'm reading about five different books about clematis. I have them in my car and read them obsessively when I'm waiting in line in my car to pick up my grandsons at elementary school and middle school. It is a wonder to find out about the many different forms of the blooms and the differences in how they grow.

Also am rereading Lorna Doone. I first read it when I was a kid. It's a very romantic story and very long. The language is archaic but gets familiar after awhile. It was a book that went into shaping me, I think, when I was young. Probably made me more of a romantic with a taste for romantic landscapes.

Save    
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
sheri_z6

Our library is also closing for two weeks starting on Monday. On Friday afternoon I got an email saying the second-to-last Gaslight Mystery that I'd requested was in. So on Saturday morning I made a quick library run. There was plenty of parking and no crowds at all, so it was a win all around. The grocery store across the street was another story, of course.

My IRL book group has been postponed until May so I'll wait to read Such a Fun Age. I'm planning to finish the library books I have out and then dive into the TBR pile. I have plenty to read, but as I have no self-control whatsoever I also ordered a few additional books from Amazon. I had stumbled across a recent "looking for witch-y books" thread on the Modern Mrs. Darcy/What Should I Read Next instagram, and it was all too tempting. I'm a huge fan of the All Souls Trilogy by Deborah Harkness, and readers were recommending books that were on par with that trilogy. From that list I have four additional books on order.

Save    
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
yoyobon_gw

Sheri.....I wonder if you'd like this one : Great Mischief by Josephine Pinckney

Timothy Partridge was an apothecary of Charleston who had a secret passion for the dark Satanic arts, and a mind obsessed with the problem of Good and Evil. He knew the ingredients of witches' brews, and had been brought up on legends of zombies and werewolves. So it would hardly be surprising if he were ridden by a hag, and scarcely more unusual for him to visit the Adversary's court. It seems that hags, especially blue-eyed hags, can be very attractive companions for lonely bachelors. When one of them looks over your garden wall on a summer's day, it is only natural to invite her in. Or so at least Timothy thought. That was just a part of the experience which changed the little man's life. And when the earthquake came to Charleston, and the ground yawned and belched forth fire at his feet, how was Timothy to know that it was not the Judgement Day? In this most engaging and provocative of novels, Josephine Pinckney plays a theme that may be taken either as fantasy or as gentle psychological realism. (less)

Save    
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
yoyobon_gw

Has anyone else read The Uninvited Guests by Sadie Jones ? I found a copy at the free books shelf at our library and couldn't put it down. What an odd tale!

“The opening pages read like an episode of Downton Abbey…But Jones has something more uncanny in mind, and when the party is interrupted by survivors of a nearby train wreck, the comedy of manners turns downright surreal…Jones’s effervescent writing keeps the course steady-even as her characters shed their civilized veneers.” — Ellen Shapiro, People magazine (four star review)

A grand old manor house deep in the English countryside will open its doors to reveal the story of an unexpectedly dramatic day in the life of one eccentric, rather dysfunctional, and entirely unforgettable family. Set in the early years of the twentieth century, award-winning author Sadie Jones’s The Uninvited Guests is, in the words of Jacqueline Winspear, the New York Times bestselling author of the Maisie Dobbs mysteries A Lesson in Secrets and Elegy for Eddie, “a sinister tragi-comedy of errors, in which the dark underbelly of human nature is revealed in true Shakespearean fashion.”

Save    
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
sheri_z6

Yoyobon, sounds intriguing! Recommendations are always appreciated, I'll see what I can do to find it second hand. I was surprised to find quite a few copies on Amazon, but I'm going to add it to my wish list for now.

Save    
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
kathy_t

Yoyobon - and I am intrigued by The Uninvited Guests. My library has 5 copies. It might just elbow it's way to the front of my TBR list. I'll let you know.

Save    
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
woodnymph2_gw

Our public library will be closing for 2 weeks and there is no bookmobile delivery due to the pandemic. Luckily , there is a small library in my building, donated by residents. Also, thus far, the college library remains open, where I am today.

There is going to be a huge impact on the tourist industry here in downtown Charleston due to the spread of the Corona Virus.

Josephine Pinckney was mentioned above. She is the quintessential writer of old Charlestonian families of back in the day. Lots of eccentric characters in her work and a vanished way of life depicted therein.

Save    
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
msmeow

I finished Shamed by Linda Castillo, and I enjoyed it very much. It’s part of the Kate Burkholder series. Kate is the police chief in Painters Mill, OH, and she was raised Amish. I’ll read more by this author.

Donna

Save    
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
reader_in_transit

Finished reading Another Marvelous Thing by Laurie Colwin, 8 connected short stories about a love affair, a marriage and the birth of a baby. It was published in 1986.

The love affair is between 2 very different persons: an old-fashioned retired older man, who is married to an interior decorator and terrific cook, falls for a younger woman, Billie. She is a sloppy dresser, hates to cook, and is married to a man her age, who is perfect for her. The older man is tender, the younger woman almost caustic in most interactions with him. But underneath the banter, she is in love with him.

These stories were originally published individually in different magazines over several years, so when put together in a book, it is inevitable that some details are repeated. But if you make allowance for that, it is enjoyable, if only because the writing is quite good. There is nothing sappy or melodramatic about it.

The story about the the birth of a baby is tender and realistic.

I found curious that back in the 80's, short stories were published in magazines in which today you would not expect to find good literature: two appeared in Cosmopolitan, and one in Playboy. Which, to an extent, validates the old claim by some men that they read this last magazine "for the articles" (mischievous grin).

This reminded me of an old interview with A. E. Hotchner I heard recently (interviewed by Terry Gross in Fresh Air, NPR. He died in mid-February, and T. Gross replayed the interview). Hotchner wrote the biography Papa Hemingway. In the interview he said he met Hemingway in 1948, when he asked Hemingway to write an article for Cosmopolitan. Immediately after saying that, he felt the need to clarify that "back then" many magazines that are now fluff, published articles by distinguished authors. Obviously, Laurie Colwin was one of them.

Save    
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
reader_in_transit

Merryworld,

Sorry, I should have replied sooner to your comment below on March 11:

"Reader_in_transit I read Laurie Colwin's cookbook Home Cooking (also picked up at the library book sale) when I was a young Mom and made my first loaf of bread from it. I didn't know she wrote other books. I'll look for them at the library. I love Powell's and try to get there whenever we visit family in Oregon.

A friend just recommended a YA historical fiction author to me: Ruta Sepetys. He's a middle aged guy with sophisticated reading taste, so I was surprised by how enthusiastically he was praising her books. Has anyone else read anything by this author?"

In addition to Home Cooking and More Home Cooking, Laurie Colwin wrote 8 books: five novels and three collections of short stories. I liked Happy All the Time better than Another Marvelous Thing, though this last one is good too. If you read any of the non cooking books, I'd love to hear your opinion.

Re: Ruta Sepetys. I first heard of this author about a month ago, when visiting the website of a bookstore. Her book, Fountains of Silence, was featured in their monthly list. Intrigued, I checked what other readers in our public library website were saying about it, and most people liked the book. Again, if you read anything by her, let us know.

Save    
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
msmeow

LOL, Merryworld - those are the same men that say they go to Hooters because they love the food! :)

Save    
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
katmarie2014

For the past two months I have been reading the Inspector Gamache series by Louise Penny in between 'required' reading for book clubs. I know a lot of you like the series, and I confess I tried to read it about a year ago and it just didn't click with me. Someone at the library told me to pick any one of the series to try as the library
didn't have any of the first few available, and that was the problem. It was too late in the series and I had no familiarity with the characters. This time since the first one is not owned by the library I started with the second. I enjoyed the story, but it took reading the next one to really hook me. Now that I have a familiarity with the characters, place, and writing style I think I could easily read one out of order. My biggest problem is the food descriptions. I get hungry reading about what they are eating!

Save    
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
sheri_z6

I'm a big fan of HGTV's Home Town and was surprised to discover hosts Erin and Ben Napier had written a book. It's called Make Something Good Today and is a memoir of their childhoods, how they met, their desire to revitalize their hometown of Laurel, Mississippi, and how they wound up on TV. It was surprisingly well-written and I saw no indication of a ghostwriter. Erin Napier has a very artistic way with words and I enjoyed reading this.

I also finished the newest Mercy Thompson series book by Patricia Briggs, Smoke Bitten. It was a solid entry in the series (urban fantasy) and sets up what I imagine the next book will focus on nicely.

Save    
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
carolyn_ky

I am evidently missing a link to download library books to my Kindle. With my old desktop PC, I could do it; but now they just download to my new laptop. That meant that on my recent trip to Florida, I had to read what I already had on the Kindle. I read Sleep Tight by Rachel Abbott, which was good; The Burglar Who Liked to Quote Kipling by Lawrence Block, which was average; and have started The Wind in the Willows, which I have never read before.

Since I've been home, I've been unpacking, doing laundry, washing my hands, and starting the massive project of labeling and putting into date order all my trip photo albums. That wouldn't be such a long job except that I am going through them and looking at all the photos, quite enjoyable because I've forgotten a lot of them and it's almost like making the trip again.

All that to say I haven't read much. At least I'm home now and can read library books from the laptop,

Save    
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
vee_new

Carolyn I'm surprised you have never read W in the W before but am sure you will enjoy it all the more coming to it with a 'mature' understanding!

Save    
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
kathy_t

I haven't read The Wind in the Willows either. Should I?

Save    
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
vee_new

Kathy, if you don't mind stories where humans are replaced by animals and that it was written in the High Edwardian period you should enjoy it. Having been brought up on the 'river bank' (in my case the River Avon at Stratford) I was familiar with water rats; messing about it boats was what my family did . . for generations they have owned a boat-yard there. I always enjoyed the pompous Toad and there are some wonderfully lyrical passages . .. I love the ones where the timid Mole finds himself back near his old home and the young field mice sing Christmas carols . .. I know it sounds very twee . . . but!

Save    
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
msmeow

I'm another one who has not read Wind in the Willows (or don't remember it if I did).

I am reading The 19th Christmas by James Patterson & Maxine Paetro. It's one of the Women's Murder Club series. It's an e-book due in a few hours so I won't be able to finish it until another virtual copy becomes available.

Thank goodness for being able to download e-books from the library! Otherwise I'd have to re-read the "real" books we have at the house. We don't have that many and most I've read more than once already (except for DH's Tom Clancy books and I'm not really interested in those).

Donna

Save    
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
reader_in_transit

If you guys are going to read The Wind in the Willows, and illustrations make a difference to you, try to get the version illustrated by Inga Moore. I haven't read this book either, but I browsed this version at the library a few months ago, and her illustrations of the countryside and the characters are excellent and quite atmospheric, you feel you are on the riverbank.

Save    
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
yoyobon_gw

Just started Glass Houses by Louise Penny.

After barely tolerating the end of Britt - Marie blah, blah, blah I could not wait to go back to Three Pines !

Save    
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
carolyn_ky

Kathy, yes I recommend that you read Wind in the Willows. I am finding it delightful and really regret that I didn't know about it to read to my daughter when she was little. We read almost every night until she was ten or so. She liked TV so much I was afraid she wasn't going to like to read for herself, but she is a dedicated reader now (although she is addicted to HGTV.)

Save    
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Rosefolly

I read and enjoyed Magical Midlife Madness, the book Sheri enjoyed. I did, too. Light but fun. I'll read the next one when it shows up.

1 Like Save    
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
kathy_t

Carolyn - I'll definitely keep it in mind.

Yoyobon - Reporting back about The Uninvited Guests. I tried to like it, but I stopped on page 80 this afternoon because I just was not enjoying it. I had high hopes, but alas they did not pan out.

Save    
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
masgar14

I’m reading “Oryx and Crake” by Margaret Atwood. Mankind was toying with genetical researches, the idea was to implant new cells in animals in order to obtain new organs to implant in human bodies Something went wrong and a plague wiped out humanity. One of the survival is , so called snowman, because of his skin colour. There are also a few children, coming no one knows from. Snowfall thinks he’ll be the last man on earth- The novel is structured in this way, one is about Snowfall living in the wild and his thoughts, the following one is about when him was a kid living with his parents , both of them scientists. His name’s Jim. He remembers those time , he remembers there was something strange in his parents relationship, even stranger the way his parents broke up, his mother run away, and her escape wasn’t easy because every place was controlled accurately, there were already troubles. Snowfall needs answers and he embarks in a long journey in order to find them.


Save     Thanked by reader_in_transit
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
yoyobon_gw

ALERT **** Today at 2pm EDT on FB Louise Penny is having a live chat !

Facebook.com/LouisePennyAuthor

Save    
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
sheri_z6

I'm another who has not read Wind in the Willows, though I have a copy (Helen Ward illustrations). I've just started The Garden of Small Beginnings by Abbi Waxman, but W in the W has moved into the active TBR pile.

Save    
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
skibby (zone 4 Vermont)

I just read The Garden of Small Beginnings too sheri. Fun! Also read another by her- The Bookish Life of Nina Hill. Like that too. My interlibrary loan request for her third book - Other People's Houses has been suspended as most other Library services have been. I'll have that to look forward to at some point. I also loved Wind in the Willows which I read for the first time when I was in my 40's. Also the sequel The Willows in Winter.

1 Like Save    
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
vee_new

The Illustrator of Wind in the Willows we in the UK are most familiar with is Ernest Shepard. He also did the drawings for the Winnie-the Pooh stories. His life-like work makes those Disney cartoons appear crude and over simple.


Ernest Shepard

Save    
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
vee_new

Old photo of Great Grandfather on the landing stage at the boat yard (wearing the bowler hat) In the background is the old theatre that burnt down in the 1920's. My father on his way home from school rushed inside to save the leading lady but came out with only a clothes horse.



2 Likes Save    
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
yoyobon_gw

What a wonderful photo.

Save    
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
vee_new

Have just finished Hild by Nicola Griffith; a mammoth undertaking.

Laceyvail recommended it a while back. I must admit I found it very difficult to keep all the character and events together, partly because so many of the Anglo-Saxon, British, Scots, Pict, Gael, Frisian names are so unpronounceable/readable. In the end I gave up on worrying about who was who and how they were related to each other or who had been or was about to be killed in battle and concentrated on the 'edges' of the story.

Griffith's has a wonderful eye for nature and scenery and details the everyday life of the women weaving, cooking, herb-growing, healing, giving birth, while the men went hunting, fighting, sitting about boasting and getting drunk . . .

She has had to 'invent' a story of Hild's early life so makes her a 'seer' ie. someone who has visions, and is therefore feared by many at the Court of Edwin, the overlord/petty king of the NE of the land. Hild lived in a time of what we now call pagan beliefs and Griffiths illustrates the growth of Christianity from Rome still mixed with the beliefs of the old gods.

The book comes with a sketchy rather vague map of Britain in the 7th century using the Roman, Anglo Saxon place names plus a family tree which is of little use as the possible 'real' characters had been dead for several hundred years so were hardly mentioned in the text.

At the end there is a glossary of words that may have been in use at the time so looking up yffings, wealh, undern, scop, arawn, nithing, seax . .. (I could go on) became time-consuming.

But . . . I did get to the end and thank laveyvail for making the author known to me and hope I don't have a £££ fine when eventually I am able to return it to the library.

Save    
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
sheri_z6

Skibby, I'd read The Bookish Life of Nina Hill a few months ago and enjoyed it very much. I didn't make the connection to The Garden of Small Beginnings until you pointed it out - no wonder I like it! She has such a great sense of humor, and it's so nice to read about gardening as the days s-l-o-w-l-y get warmer and brighter.

Vee, that photo is fabulous! I hope your library will do as ours did: they've waived all late fines until the quarantine is over and they re-open.

1 Like Save    
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
lemonhead101

I've been reading although not as much as I would be doing during the slow time. For some reason, work is expecting me to actually, you know, "work" during this time at home so there's not as much free time as I had thought. Seriously, I've been busy going to virtual workshops all week to learn more about the software needed to take all my university classes online for my students. There is a lot to know!

A book blogger who I follow was hosting a "Read Ireland" month for this month, so wanting to support that effort, I've been reading Irish authors: William Trevor, Maive Binchy, Molly Keane... It's been rather fun to have the focused project but now I'm ready to have some free-flowing reading.

Did finish up a non-Irish read: some old essays from Sir David Attenborough published in the early 1960s when he traveled to Madagascar, central Africa and Tongo collecting animals and learning cultural traditions of the local people. He's such a wonderful writer and although these were written more than 50 years ago, there is none of the offensive descriptions of other people (i.e. non-white) that is typically quite common in writing of that era. Plus - lots of animals descriptions. Total fun.

Now I'm reading a NYT cultural critic's long-form essay (in a book form) on the life of Michael Jackson (the singer). It's fascinating seeing the different lenses that this critic reviews the singer, most of which I have never considered before. Not the easiest book in the world to read, but worth the effort.

And our libraries are still open but now doing curbside service for its clients. How cool is that?

Save    
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
carolyn_ky

I finished Wind in the Willows and thoroughly enjoyed it. I would have finished it sooner except for my project of labeling and dating my trip photo albums (and looking at all the photos which slowed me down a bit but was almost like taking the trips again) and beginning to weed the flower garden during the warm weather we have been having--sunny, even. I'd almost forgotten sun!

1 Like Save    
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Rosefolly

For me making trip albums is valuable. I like to send them off to one of the photobook services to have them printed up. As time goes on, I start to forget the details and pleasures of the trips.

Reviewing the pictures to make the albums brings the details all back. The same is true for leafing through the photobooks once they are done.

We have canceled all our travel plans for the next six months or so. I think I'll leaf through some old photobooks any number of times this summer, whenever I get the travel urge. I am hoping I can travel by October. My 50 year class reunion is coming up, and I did plan to go. Well, we'll see.

Save    
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
sheri_z6

Rosefolly, we're in similar situations. The DH and I had a trip to Italy planned for June that had been in the works for nearly a year ... and we've spent the past two weeks dismantling it :( We are determined to get there eventually, I guess it will just take a year or two before things are back to normal vis a vis overseas travel. In the meantime, like everyone else, we won't be going far. My 40th high school reunion is coming up in November, and I hope I can at least get to that.

My IRL book group has decided to meet in April via either Zoom or FaceTime. I'm so grateful to be able to see our friends and family virtually. In the past week we've had dinner with my DD and her significant other, enjoyed cocktail hour with four of our oldest friends, and attended a funeral service via Zoom for another dear friend's mother. Having this connectivity makes everything so much better.

I started Wind in the Willows yesterday and I cannot figure out how I never managed to read this before now. It's just charming.

1 Like Save    
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Rosefolly

Sheri, our trip was to Portugal and Spain, a combination riverboat cruise, hike and (for Tom) bicycling. These are not places either you or we would want to be right now. We'll do it, or something like it, next year.

My IRL book club is also meeting by Zoom next week. I must confess that I did not read this month's book The Overstory. Both my book clubs have selected it, and I just didn't want to read it!. Something about it just repels me. Add this in to my determined stream of very light reading and it didn't stand a chance. However. I am supposed to be taking notes on our sessions so I'll put in my virtual appearance.

I read The Wind in the Willows a number of years ago. Somehow it did not engage my fancy. For the most part I do not enjoy books with animal characters standing in for people, although as a child I loved my father reading us Uncle Wiggly stories.




Save    
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
msmeow

I’m reading 1st to Die by James Patterson. My previous book was The 19th Christmas. After reading it I decided to go back and read the beginning of the Women’s Murder Club series. I have 1, 2 and 3 checked out but I think I’ll read something in between for a little break.

Donna

Save    
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
sloedjinn

Wind in the Willows is one of my very favorite books ever and I re-read it every couple of years just for the comfort of it. I prefer the Rackham illustrations but only because that was the version we had growing up.

I also just finished re-reading one of my other favorite books, True Grit by Charles Portis. Also, since I was in a mood for westerns, I read a western fantasy called “Bulletproof Witch”. I forget the author but it was a cheapie kindle book.

Does anyone else love a mixed genre novel? Western plus fantasy is my current favorite. I also just read the wonderful “Dread Nation” by Justina Ireland which is a western steampunk with zombies.

Save    
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
sheri_z6

Rosefolly, I think you chose wisely by not reading The Overstory. It's an unusual and beautiful (and really long) book, but not necessarily a happy or uplifting one. Definitely worth a read someday, but certainly not now!

I just finished Decorating a Room of One's Own by Susan Harlan. Subtitled "Conversations on Interior Design with Miss Havisham, Jane Eyre, Victor Frankenstein, Elizabeth Bennet, Ishmael, and Other Literary Notables" it's fairly amusing, very snarky and sarcastic, and was fun to dip in and out of. It was a Christmas gift and I discovered it languishing at the bottom of my bedside table TBR pile with just one chapter to go, so I knocked it off last night.

Save    
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
carolyn_ky

I'm reading The Dead Place by Stephen Booth. It's a mystery series set in Derbyshire with a young detective, who is the son of a famous detective father now deceased, and his boss, a snarky woman who is not from the area and resents his local knowledge.

Save    
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
vee_new

sloedjinn 'western steampunk with zombies' is probably a step too far for me although I do make a conscience effort to mix the genres of books I read. Hence I have now gone from Hild in Anglo-Saxon Britain to One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest by Ken Kesey. I must be the only person never to have seen the film, just snippets on TV, so I don't know how the two compare.

Can anyone tell me what they think please?

Save    
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
annpanagain

Vee, that makes two of us! There are so few films that interest me. When I was a teenager I went about four nights a week. I only got to see TV programs at weekends when I went to my parents home. Were the films more to my taste in the Fifties or was I less fussy? I seem to recall seeing musicals and historical blockbusters.

Save    
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
vee_new

annpan. we have a newish TV channel here called 'Talking Pictures' which seem to have been started by a family running it from their 'front-room'! All oldie flicks, many of them B pictures, information films from WWII etc and some 'classics'. It is 'free' to view but we do have to put up with advert breaks.

For US RP'ers you may not know that the BBC is advert free. But we do have to pay an annual 'licence fee' for TV, but not radio.

Save    
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
annpanagain

Vee, we don't pay a TV licence fee. It was charged a long time ago, got dropped and although there was some talk of a renewal, it never happened.

The ABC is ad-free excepting for in-house ads for their merch. However the programs are, to me, fairly bland and we get good ones some time later than they were made. If at all! There has to be a proportion of Aus content too.Usually dramas and docos.

1 Like Save    
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
yoyobon_gw

Sheri.........Miss Haversham's decor style....hmmm......where would I find enough cobwebs to get that effect !?

1 Like Save    
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
vee_new

And how about adding a Miss Haversham school of wedding catering, themed around mouldy sandwiches and ancient wedding cake. Rats and mice provided at no extra charge.

1 Like Save    
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
msmeow

Vee, we pay big bucks for cable TV and it has plenty of ads! It’s very annoying, since many of the ads are to tell us how wonderful the cable TV company is.

I also have not seen Cuckoos Nest.

I finished 1st to Die by James Patterson and enjoyed it so much that I started right in on 2nd Chance.

Donna

1 Like Save    
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
annpanagain

That Decorating book sounds amusing. I shall try to borrow a copy when the library opens again. (Sigh!)

Save    
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
yoyobon_gw

I just ordered Five French Hens by Judith Leigh. It has great reviews.



When 73 year old Jen announces that she is going to marry Eddie, a man she met just a few months previously on a beach on Boxing Day, her four best friends from aqua aerobics are flabbergasted.

The wedding is booked and, when the groom decides to have a stag trip to Las Vegas, the ladies arrange a hen party to beat all others -a week in the city of love, Paris.

From misadventures at the Louvre, outrageous Parisian cabarets, to drinking champage with dashing a millionaire at the casino, Paris lives up to all their hopes and dreams. But a week can change everything, and the women that come home have very different dreams from the ones who got on the plane just days ago.

Funny, fearless and with a joie de vivre that reminds you to live every day like it’s your last, Judy Leigh has once again written the perfect feel-good novel for all fans of Cathy Hopkins, Dawn French and Fiona Gibson.


Save    
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
carolyn_ky

I read an Aline Templeton's Cold in the Earth, a D.I. Marjory Fleming mystery, today. Yes, pretty much all day.

1 Like Save    
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
merryworld

I am very much enjoying The Ballad of the Whiskey Robber: A True Story of Bank Heists, Ice Hockey, Transylvanian Pelt Smuggling, Moonlighting Detectives and Broken Hearts by Julian Rubinstein. It is non-fiction and takes place in Hungary and Romania at the time of the break up of the Soviet Union. Lots of interesting history, characters and so far, a great tale.

Save    
Browse Gardening and Landscaping Stories on Houzz See all Stories
For Pros Remodeling and Design Pros Expect a Strong Business Year in 2020
Most pros expect growth despite rising labor and material costs, the 2020 U.S. Houzz State of the Industry report shows
Full Story
Pritzker Prize Winners 2 Irish Women Win the 2020 Pritzker Architecture Prize
Dublin architects Yvonne Farrell and Shelley McNamara are known for rational buildings that focus on function and place
Full Story
Events Design Calendar: Feb. 24–March 16, 2012
Visit David Stark's pop-up Wood Shop, the Philadelphia International Flower Show and more
Full Story
MW Construction performs all types of construction from design-build to general contracting to construction... Read More
Premier Floors Inc. is a general contractor offering remodeling and construction services. As a top contractor,... Read More