Sunday, November 29, 2020

Bookshelf Traveling - November 29

Time for another round of Bookshelf Traveling in Insane Times which was created by Judith at Reader in the Wilderness and is currently hosted by Katrina at Pining for the West. This is a shelf in my guest room where most of the children’s books live and contains three favorite British authors: Ruth M. Arthur, Elfrida Vipont, and Joan Aiken.

Friday, November 27, 2020

The Searcher - slow paced suspense from Tana French

Title: The Searcher
Author: Tana French
Publication: Viking, hardcover, 2020
Genre: Suspense
Description: When Cal Hooper decides to get away from it all – the senseless violence of 25 years as a Chicago policeman, a bad divorce, a daughter who has moved to Seattle and barely speaks to him, he buys a run-down cottage in a small village on the west side of Ireland anticipating that fixing it up will keep him busy for years.

Tuesday, November 24, 2020

The Marrying Kind by Elizabeth Cadell

Title: The Marrying Kind
Author: Elizabeth Cadell
Publication: William Morrow, hardcover, 1980
Genre: Fiction

US edition
Description: Laura and Jess Seton are sisters in their 20s who had an unconventional upbringing but remain very close.  Laura has chosen to stay in Crossford, the small and sometimes inaccessible town they mostly grew up in, while Jess prefers, London, 60 miles to the north, where she has dabbled in many careers – and apparently quite a few men as well.  When the story begins, Jess is concerned their charming artist father Claude may have embroiled himself in some kind of shady predicament with a painting, and visits Laura to warn her that  Finch Falconer who bought the Setons’ original home nearby is also involved.

Saturday, November 21, 2020

Bookshelf Traveling - November 21

Time for another round of Bookshelf Traveling in Insane Times which was created by Judith at Reader in the Wilderness and is currently hosted by Katrina at Pining for the West

This is another bookshelf from my living room.  On the left are several books by Jodi Picoult. For those who have not read her, she writes contemporary fiction with themes that seem torn from current headlines: suicide pacts, school shootings, manipulative talk show hosts.  Most readers either love them or hate them; I am more in the middle as I used to enjoy them a lot but now find some are very readable and some are just tedious. 
Back before she was a bestselling author, I picked up one of her books my then company had published – I think it was Picture Perfect, which is about domestic abuse.  I found it extremely readable but very disturbing.  Books on this topic are not uncommon now but I think this one was the first I had read (I seem to recall And the Ladies of the Club includes this theme too but I don’t recall exactly when I read that).  Publishers sometimes give up on an author they can’t break even on, and it took Picoult several publishers and quite a few books before she became a bestseller with My Sister’s Keeper.  Two of these are autographed so I can’t discard them, can I? But I might need space on this shelf!  

Wednesday, November 18, 2020

WWW Wednesday: November 18, 2020

It’s Wednesday, so it’s time to take a look at what I’ve read, what I’m reading, and what I’m planning on reading.  This was inspired by Taking on a World of Books.

The Three Ws are:

What are you currently reading?

What did you recently finish reading?

What do you think you’ll read next?

Monday, November 16, 2020

The Gypsy Bridle - on a Colorado ranch with Lenora Mattingly Weber

Title: The Gypsy Bridle
Author: Lenora Mattingly Weber
Illustrator: Kurt Wiese
Publication: Little, Brown, and Company, hardcover, 1930
Genre: Juvenile Historical Fiction
Description: Set around the turn of the 20th century, this is a family story of Mary Kettering and the Hash Knife ranch in Colorado by the author of the popular Beany Malone books.  It begins on her 16th birthday and in true Weber tradition there are so many crises that Mary barely gets a calm moment.  Her mother died long ago and Mary and her 14-year-old brother Emerson were brought up by their father, Paw Kettering, and the cowboys on the ranch.   Paw is suffering from snow blindness from caring for his newly purchased Hampshire sheep after a late winter blizzard.  When the doctors insist he go to the hospital or risk losing his vision, Mary is in charge.  She’d like to take advantage of the $10 her Aunt Amelia sends for new clothes and trip east to meet relatives but instead gives it to her father for medicine for his precious sheep and poison for the neighbors’ gopher problem.

Friday, November 13, 2020

Bookshelf Traveling - Friday the 13th of November

Time for another round of Bookshelf Traveling in Insane Times which was created by Judith at Reader in the Wilderness and is currently hosted by Katrina at Pining for the West.   This is another shelf in my living room and it reveals a mixture of mysteries and lighthearted English fiction.  It is one of five tall bookcases and I need a stool to reach the top shelf.  Maybe that is why some of these are unread!

Mary Elgin (1917-1965) was a British writer of just three books that are known but is considered the closest thing to Mary Stewart. Her books are contemporary gothics with humor and charm, set in the Scottish Highlands.  In Highland Masquerade (1965), teenaged Aillie Rannoch put a curse on the man who drove her father to suicide, and then fled her Highland home - swearing never to return.  Ten years later, driven by disturbing memories of the past, Aillie returns to Glenshael disguised as a dowdy secretary, seeking revenge.  If you come across an Elgin paperback at a used bookstore, grab it!

Saturday, November 7, 2020

Six Degrees of Separation - From Good Girl, Bad Girl to A Chelsea Concerto

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 you end up.   This month’s starting point is whatever book you last read.   I just finished Good Girl, Bad Girl by Michael Robotham (2019), an Australian author who lives in Sydney, although the story is set in Nottingham (shades of Robin Hood).  This is a very suspenseful novel about a psychologist with a past of his own, caught between a girl who needs to be saved, Evie, a teen without a past, and Jodie, a girl who needs justice. I can't wait to read more by this author (although I did guess whodunnit)!

Wednesday, November 4, 2020

The Patriots: Alexander Hamilton, Thomas Jefferson, John Adams and the Making of America by Winston Groom

Title: The Patriots: Alexander Hamilton, Thomas Jefferson, John Adams, and the Making of America
Author: Winston Groom
Publication: National Geographic, hardcover, 2020
Genre: History
Description: When the Revolutionary War ended in victory, there remained a stupendous problem: establishing a workable democratic government in the vast, newly created country. . .

Monday, November 2, 2020

'Twas the Night Before the Election

 Please take a minute to read my brother's article in America Magazine:

As Vernon Dahmer used to tell my father, "If you can't vote, you don't count."

If you don't bother to vote, what does that say about you?