Thursday, December 31, 2020

Leith and Friends by Clare Mallory - my favorite school story of 2020

Title: Leith and Friends
Author: Clare Mallory
Publication: Girls Gone By, paperback, 2011 (originally published by Oxford University Press, 1950)
Genre: Girls’ School Story
Description: When the Leith family moves to Woodbury (somewhere in England’s Home Counties, according to the GGB edition) for her father’s new job, 14-year-old Leith Rossiter joins the Lower Fifth at a large girls’ high school.  Knowing how shy she is, Dr. Rossiter tells her to “swim with the tide” until she knows her new classmates, and “make the effort to be friendly and to join in their activities.”

Monday, December 28, 2020

Tied Up in Tinsel by Ngaio Marsh

Title: Tied up in Tinsel
Author: Ngaio Marsh
Publication: Aeonian Press, hardcover, 1976 (originally published 1972)
Genre: Mystery/series
Description: Noted artist Agatha Troy (known to all simply as Troy) has come to Hilary Bill-Tasman’s remote country estate just before Christmas to paint his portrait. Hilary chatters as she paints him about his unconventional upbringing by his maternal relatives, Colonel and Mrs. Forrester. He also reveals his humble origins, describing how his father and courtesy-uncle Bert Smith began with a mere cart in London and grew their business to become a vast antiques enterprise. Hilary has become wealthy and bought back the family’s Tudor estate on the moors which had fallen into disrepair. Hilary reveals to Troy that in order to staff Halberds, which he is expensively restoring, he has hired five former inmates of the nearby prison, who served their time for murder and now need gainful employment. 

Sunday, December 27, 2020

Bookshelf Traveling - December 27, 2020

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 may be the last one – I haven’t run out of bookcases but I think Katrina and I may have run out of steam. Today I am looking at a bookcase in my home office which includes some old and new titles. During the pandemic, however, I have mostly worked in the dining room where the Christmas tree is.

Thursday, December 24, 2020

Death at Wentwater Court by Carola Dunn

Title: Death at Wentwater Court (Daisy Dalrymple #1)
Author: Carola Dunn
Publication: Minotaur paperback, 2015 (originally published in 1994)
Genre: Mystery

Description: Like many young Englishwomen, the Honorable Daisy Dalrymple lost the man she loved in World War I.  She also lost her brother so the ancestral home now belongs to a cousin.  Not wanting to be the poor relation on sufferance, Daisy is trying to make a living as a writer. After successfully pitching a series of articles on stately homes to a magazine, she heads to her first assignment at Wentwater Court where she finds a household on edge – followed by murder!  When Scotland Yard is called in, Daisy’s photographic skill and observations of the family are invaluable to the handsome chief inspector trying to solve the mystery without offending the aristocracy.

Tuesday, December 22, 2020

The Juvenile Novels of World War II by Desmond Taylor

Title: The Juvenile Novels of World War II
Author: Desmond Taylor
Publication: Greenwood Press, hardcover, 1994
Genre: Nonfiction/Reference
Description: World War II significantly impacted the lives of children who grew up during that time. From the start of World War II to the present day, many novels have been written on this subject for children and young adults, and these novels typically depict the impact of the war on the lives of young people.

Sunday, December 20, 2020

Bookshelf Traveling - December 20, 2020

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. Today I am looking at a bookcase in my bedroom which includes some really random titles along with some mystery authors I like.

Friday, December 18, 2020

My Year in Books 2020

Inspired by Margaret at Books Please, I used titles from some of the books I have read this year to complete the following sentences. The links take you to my reviews.

My Year in Books 2020

In high school I was: Fifteen       

People might be surprised by: Fighting Words

Wednesday, December 16, 2020

Monday, December 14, 2020

Virtual Advent Calendar - A Memory from Duke

Thank you to Sprite Writes for including me in the Virtual Advent Tour she has hosted for six years (you can visit her site daily for links to the day's post).  For those who don’t know, Advent is a liturgical season leading up to Christmas which includes the four preceding Sundays.  Today I want to share an Advent tradition I enjoyed the two years I was in graduate school at Duke. 

Saturday, December 12, 2020

Bookshelf Traveling with the Aiken Sisters - December 12

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.  Last time I displayed a shelf that holds my juvenile hardcover Joan Aikens, so today we are going downstairs to a shelf that is shared by Joan and her sister Jane Aiken Hodge, another favorite. 

Thursday, December 10, 2020

Black Narcissus by Rumer Godden - inspired to read in advance of the new miniseries

Title: Black Narcissus
Author: Rumer Godden
Publication: Little, Brown & Co., hardcover, 1939
Genre: Fiction

Description: A small group of Anglican nuns sets off to open a school in the Palace of Mopu in the Himalayan mountains, near Darjeeling, India.  Sister Clodagh is appointed the leader of the group, although her superior has doubts and advises Sister Clodagh to remember she “is the servant of all” if she wants to be a successful manager.   Sister Clodagh is more worried about the suitability of the property donated by an Indian General but refuses to admit her misgivings, especially when her authority is challenged by the youngest nun, Sister Ruth.

Tuesday, December 8, 2020

RIP Karen Killilea

Millions of readers read about the Killilea family of Westchester, New York, a loving Catholic family inspired by their daughter Karen who was born with cerebral palsy.   Karen was several months premature and weighed under two pounds, so no one thought she would survive but her parents were determined to get their child the medical care she needed.  They fought ferociously for medical care and to have her lead a normal life despite her disability. 

Saturday, December 5, 2020

Six Degrees of Separation - from Are You There, God? It's Me, Margaret to Winter Shadows

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 Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret by Judy Blume (1970), which I read like every girl of my generation although I wouldn’t say I loved it as so many did.  However, it definitely filled a need then and now; in addition, I bet you didn’t know that Judy Blume is a big Betsy-Tacy fan!  

Wednesday, December 2, 2020

WWW Wednesday: December 2, 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 Words.

The Three Ws are:

What are you currently reading?

What did you recently finish reading?

What do you think you’ll read next?

I am currently reading The Oaken Heart by Margery Allingham (1904-66), better known for her classic Golden Age mysteries featuring detective Albert Campion.