Saturday, July 11, 2020

Bookshelf Traveling to India - July 11

Time for another round of Bookshelf Traveling in Insane Times which is being hosted by Judith at Reader in the Wilderness.   The idea is to share one of your neglected bookshelves or perhaps a new pile of books. 
Judith mentioned M.M. Kaye’s mysteries recently and that sent me to my India bookshelf. In the early days of HBO, coverage included Wimbledon and my family subscribed because we were big tennis fans.  HBO also aired its first miniseries, The Far Pavilions, based on Kaye’s 1978 novel and starring Ben Cross, Amy Irving, and Omar Sharif (when I checked the cast, I saw there is talk of a remake). The cinematography would have made it worth watching even if the story and acting hadn’t been very compelling!  The next day I went to the library to get a copy of the book, set in the 19th century Raj about a young Englishman born in India but raised in England; when he returns to India as an officer he falls in love with an Indian princess and struggles with cultural divides.  Kaye also wrote a well-reviewed three-book memoir, beginning with The Sun in the Morning (1990) about her childhood in India.  One critic wrote, "No romance in the novels of M.M. Kaye... could equal her love for India."   Shadow of the Moon, one of her other historicals, is just as good or better than The Far Pavilions, however.

Saturday, July 4, 2020

Six Degrees of Separation: from What I Loved to the Joys of Love

It’s time for #6degrees, inspired by Kate at Books Are My Favourite and Best. We all start at the same place as other readers, add six books, and see where one ends up.   This month’s starting point is What I Loved by Siri Hustvedt (2018).  It is written from the point of view of Leo Hertzberg, an art historian living in New York and focuses on themes of love and loss, so I decided to do likewise.

Friday, July 3, 2020

Bookshelf Traveling - July 3

Time for another round of Bookshelf Traveling in Insane Times which is being hosted by Judith at Reader in the Wilderness.   The idea is to share one of your neglected bookshelves or perhaps a new pile of books.   And hooray for a vacation day because that means lots of time for reading!
Someone in my Betsy-Tacy discussion group mentioned Elizabeth Janet Gray the other day, which sent me straight to this shelf.  Gray is one of many authors I came to through my mother.  Gray was a distinguished writer of children's and adult books and is best known for Adam of the Road, which won the Newbery Medal in 1943 and was illustrated by Robert Lawson (the only person to have ever won both a Newbery Award and a Caldecott Medal).  Set in the 13th century, it is the story of Adam’s life with his minstrel father and how Adam copes when they are separated, learning how to survive on the road alone through a series of adventures.   Perhaps I can inspire my youngest nephew to read it this summer.

Tuesday, June 30, 2020

Betsy and Tacy Go Downtown, Chapter 11

Chapter 11, Mrs. Poppy’s Party

Preparing for Christmas is big in the Ray household and there are many secrets in the mix.  Everyone is waiting to see Margaret’s face when she gets a talking doll on Christmas morning.  In addition to her new English bob, she has big eyes in a serious face.  The long black lashes seemed not so much to shade them as to make them bigger and brighter (foreshadowing!).  The Rays trim the tree on Christmas Eve just like my family.   Betsy hangs her new red ball.  They add strings of popcorn and cranberries.  Finally, the candles are lighted.  Bits of live flame danced all over the tree, and it’s a Christmas miracle that the house doesn’t burn down.  They read Dickens’ A Christmas Carol.
The next day there are stockings and gifts and the first appearance of joke presents.  Betsy got one of her own much-chewed pencils “With Sympathy from William Shakespeare.”  Betsy receives a copy of Little Men.  It is a happy day, and there is no post-Christmas letdown because the following day is Mrs. Poppy’s party.

Friday, June 26, 2020

Bookshelf Traveling - June 26

Time for another round of Bookshelf Traveling in Insane Times which is hosted by Judith at Reader in the Wilderness.   The idea is to share one of your neglected bookshelves or perhaps a new pile of books. 

Tuesday, June 23, 2020

The Bookwanderers (Pages and Co. #1) - imagine if you could wander into your favorite book

Title: The Bookwanderers (Pages and Co. #1)
Author:  Anna James
Publication: Philomel Books, hardcover, 2019
Genre: Middle-Grade Fiction/Fantasy/Series
Plot: Eleven-year-old Tilly Pages has taken refuge in the books at her grandparents’ bookstore since the loss of her mother. But when her favorite characters “wander” into the shop, Tilly learns she can follow them into their stories and her adventures begin. Can she use Bookwandering to solve the mystery of her mother’s disappearance?

Sunday, June 21, 2020

Betsy and Tacy Go Downtown, Chapter 10

Chapter 10, Christmas Shopping

Wondering about her story, Flossie’s Accident (which I keep wanting to call Flossie’s Head – I think that must be how it has been colloquially discussed over the years), Betsy asks her father how long it takes a letter to go to Philadelphia.   He says two or three days.   Except that Betsy waits and waits and The Ladies Home Journal does not send her $100.  Julia is curious about who Betsy knows in Philadelphia.  As an older sister, I know that feeling of wondering what on earth your sibling is up to now!

“The King of Spain maybe,” said her father.  He was teasing.  For when Betsy, Tacy and Tib were only ten years old and didn’t know any better, they had written a letter to the King of Spain.  They had received an answer, too.

Saturday, June 20, 2020

Bookshelf Traveling - June 20

Time for another round of Bookshelf Traveling in Insane Times which is being hosted by Judith at Reader in the Wilderness.   The idea is to share one of your neglected bookshelves or perhaps a new pile of books.  Yes, I have hundreds of unread books in this house but hearing some of my library holds were ready made me do a little jig!
 
I was so excited to drive to Newton for Library-to-go curbside pickup yesterday!  In addition, as I drove past a small library in a nearby town, I saw a rack of books they had put outside, presumably as discards to compensate for not having their curbside pickup up and running. Naturally, I stopped to investigate! I helped myself to copies of An Old-Fashioned Girl (one of my favorite Alcotts) and an entertaining YA I read several years ago called The Only Thing Worse Than Me is You (a retelling of Much Ado About Nothing) which I think my nieces would enjoy.