Thursday, May 6, 2021

The Narrowboat Summer by Anne Youngson - my first summer reading recommendation

Title: The Narrowboat Summer
Author: Anne Youngson
Publication: Flatiron Books, hardcover, 2020
Genre: Fiction
Setting: England
Description: Three women meet by chance and reassess their priorities in this novel about friendship and second chances.

Tuesday, May 4, 2021

The Academy Saga by CJ Daly - an intriguing series launch

Title: The Academy Saga, book 1
Author: CJ Daly
Publication: Trade paperback, 2019; also available in Kindle
Genre: YA series
Setting: Present-day New Mexico
Description: At barely 17, Kate Connolly is stuck in a trailer, raising her precocious younger brothers, with a father who was abusive even before her mother died several years ago.

Saturday, May 1, 2021

Six Degrees of Separation — from Beezus and Ramona to My Own Two Feet

It’s time for #6degrees, inspired by Kate at Books Are My Favourite and Best. We all start at the same place, add six books, and see where we end up. This month’s starting point is Beezus and Ramona, the first book in the Ramona series, by Beverly Cleary, who died on March 25, 2021 at 104.

Friday, April 30, 2021

Much Ado About Books by Samantha Young (bookstore wish fulfillment and more)

Title: Much Ado About You
Author: Samantha Young
Publication: Berkley, trade paperback, 2021
Genre: Chick Lit
Setting: Present-day Chicago and England
Description: Evie is humiliated and fed up with the dating scene in Chicago and equally infuriated by the sexism at work where she has done her boss’ job for years without credit or a promotion.

Wednesday, April 28, 2021

Sunday, April 25, 2021

Behold, Here's Poison by Georgette Heyer - for the 1936 Club

Title: Behold, Here’s Poison
Author: Georgette Heyer
Publication: Sourcebooks paperback, 2009 (originally published in 1936)
Genre: Mystery
Setting: 1930s England
This is a final review for 1936 Club, hosted by Simon from Stuck in a Book and Karen from Kaggsy’s Bookish Ramblings.

Description: Gregory Matthews is a tyrant who is disliked or feared by everyone in his household, which includes his sister Harriet, widowed sister-in-law Zoe, niece Stella, nephew Guy, and various servants.

Friday, April 23, 2021

The Hiding Place: A Mercy Carr Mystery by Paula Munier

Title: The Hiding Place: A Mercy Carr Mystery
Author: Paula Munier
Publication: Minotaur Books/St. Martin’s, hardcover, 2021
Genre: Suspense
Setting: Present-day Vermont
Description: After serving two tours in Afghanistan where her fiancé was killed, Mercy Carr left the Military Police and is recovering with her bomb-sniffing dog Elvis in Vermont where she grew up.

Wednesday, April 21, 2021

Revolt - and Virginia by Essie Summers

Title: Revolt – and Virginia
Author: Essie Summers (1912-1998)
Publication: Harlequin, paperback, 1970 (originally published 1969)
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Setting: New Zealand
Description: Virginia loves her job managing the advertising of a prominent family-owned department store in Dunedin until the owner’s son improperly snatches a kiss. Hello, Me Too movement!

Sunday, April 18, 2021

Ballet Shoes by Noel Streatfeild - who is your favorite Fossil?

Title: Ballet Shoes
Author: Noel Streatfeild
Illustrator: Richard Floethe
Publication: Random House, hardcover, 1937 (originally published in 1936)
Genre: Children’s fiction

The 1936 Club is hosted by Simon from Stuck in a Book and Karen from Kaggsy’s Bookish Ramblings.
Plot: Great Uncle Matthew (known as Gum) was a noted collector of fossils and lived in a large house on London’s Cromwell Road with his niece Sylvia, and her childhood nurse, Nana. One day he brings home an orphaned baby who Sylvia and Nana name Pauline. Soon there are two more, Petrova and Posy.  

Saturday, April 17, 2021

Drums Along the Mohawk by Walter D. Edmonds - for the 1936 Club

Title: Drums Along the Mohawk
Author: Walter D. Edmonds (1903-1998)
Publication: Little, Brown & Co., hardcover, 1936
Genre: Historical Fiction
Setting: Upstate New York, 1976-84

The 1936 Club is hosted by Simon from Stuck in a Book and Karen from Kaggsy’s Bookish Ramblings.
Description: When pioneering farmer Gilbert Martin sweeps 18-year-old Lana Borst off her feet and away from her family to help him settle his new farm in the Mohawk Valley, she anticipates a life of hard work and challenges but does not expect Indian warfare, violence, starvation, or Gil’s disappearance for endless periods of time when her husband is conscripted to the Revolutionary forces. She complains much less than I would! 

Thursday, April 15, 2021

Susannah of the Mounties by Muriel Dennison - for the 1936 Club

Title: Susannah of the Mounties
Author: Muriel Denison (1886–1954)
Foreword: Susan Tweedsmuir
Publication: Puffin paperback (originally published in 1936)
Genre: Juvenile historical fiction
Setting: 1890s Saskatchewan, Canada
The 1936 Club is hosted by Simon from Stuck in a Book and Karen from Kaggsy’s Bookish Ramblings.

Description: When Susannah’s artist father gets a big commission in India, her parents put her on a train in Montreal with a newly hired nanny to her uncle in Regina.

Wednesday, April 14, 2021

Death at the President's Lodging by Michael Innes - for the #1936 Club

Title: Death at the President’s Lodgings
Author: Michael Innes
Publication: Penguin paperback (originally published in 1936)
Genre: Mystery
Setting: 1930s England
This week Simon from Stuck in a Book and Karen from Kaggsy’s Bookish Ramblings are hosting the 1936 Club, where bloggers read and write about books published in a chosen year.

Description: In this series launch, Inspector John Appleby of Scotland Yard is summoned to Oxford for the difficult and delicate task of investigating the murder of the unpopular Josiah Umpleby, president of St Anthony's College.

Tuesday, April 13, 2021

The Story of Ferdinand by Munro Leaf - sitting quietly and smelling the flowers with the 1936 Club

Title: The Story of Ferdinand
Author: Munro Leaf (1905-1976)
Illustrator: Robert Lawson (1892-1957)
Publication: Viking Press, hardcover, 1936
Genre: Picture Book
Setting: Spain
This week Simon from Stuck in a Book and Karen from Kaggsy’s Bookish Ramblings are hosting the 1936 Club, where bloggers read and write about books published in a chosen year.

Description: Everyone knows the story of a bull who would rather smell flowers than engage in bullfights.

Monday, April 12, 2021

Cards on the Table by Agatha Christie - for the 1936 Club

Title: Cards on the Table: A Hercule Poirot Mystery
Author: Agatha Christie
Publication: Harper Collins, hardcover (originally published in 1936)
Genre: Mystery
Setting: 1930s London
This week Simon from Stuck in a Book and Karen from Kaggsy’s Bookish Ramblings are hosting the 1936 Club, where bloggers read and write about books published in a chosen year.

Description: At an exhibition of snuffboxes, which I am sure we all would have enjoyed, Hercule Poirot encounters the purring Mr. Shaitana, a rich man known for his lavish parties.

Saturday, April 10, 2021

Songbird by Karen Heenan - a visit to Henry VIII's court

Title: Songbird: The Tudor Court #1
Author: Karen Heenan
Publication: Trade paperback, 2019
Genre: Historical Fiction
Setting: 16th century England
Description: Life in Southwark is hard for Peter Davydd and his family. They lost their only son to the sweating sickness. His wife and daughters do washing and ironing for those who can afford it but barely make a living so he brings ten-year-old Bess to Greenwich Palace. Recognizing his child’s exceptional voice and Henry VIII’s love of music, Davydd sells his child to the king, freeing himself of a burdensome mouth to feed and also securing her the training she needs.

Wednesday, April 7, 2021

The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt

Title: The Goldfinch
Author: Donna Tartt
Publication: Little, Brown & Co., hardcover, 2013
Genre: Fiction
Setting: New York, Las Vegas, Amsterdam
Description: On their way to what will be an unpleasant school meeting about Theo’s bad attitude, he and his mother stop at the Met to visit a Dutch Masters exhibit.

Saturday, April 3, 2021

Six Degrees of Separation — from Shuggie Bain to Down the Rabbit Hole

It’s time for #6degrees, inspired by Kate at Books Are My Favourite and Best. We all start at the same place, add six books, and see where we end up.   This month’s starting point is Shuggie Bain by Douglas Stuart, which won the 2020 Booker Prize.

First Degree

Shuggie Bain
is about a boy and his alcoholic mother, living in poverty in public housing in Scotland. 

Tuesday, March 30, 2021

The Year at Maple Hill Farm by Alice and Martin Provensen - with particular attention to March

Title: The Year at Maple Farm
Authors: Alice and Martin Provensen
Publication: Atheneum, hardcover, 1978
Genre: Picture book
Description: This book chronicles a year on a farm, starting in January during the cold, grey days of winter, through spring and rebirth, the sense of change in the fall air, to the end of the year in December.

Saturday, March 27, 2021

A Snowfall of Silver by Laura Wood - coming of age in Earnest

Title: A Snowfall of Silver
Author: Laura Wood
Publication: Scholastic UK, paperback, 2020
Genre: YA
Setting: 1930s England
Description: Freya, the younger sister of Lou from A Sky Painted Gold, has always wanted to be an actress, so leaves Cornwall dramatically at 18, fortuitously meeting Kit McKay on the train to London.

Wednesday, March 24, 2021

Do Not Disturb by Claire Douglas – psychological suspense in Wales

Title: Do Not Disturb
Author: Claire Douglas
Publication: Harper Collins, hardcover, 2020
Genre: Suspense
Setting: Present-day Wales
Description: Kirsty Woodhouse and her husband Adrian had always talked about returning to her native Wales to open a guesthouse in the Brecon Beacons, but she accelerated the plan after what happened to Adrian in London.

Sunday, March 21, 2021

Mystery on the Isle of Skye by Phyllis A. Whitney

Title: Mystery on the Isle of Skye
Author: Phyllis Whitney
Illustrator: Ezra Jack Keats
Publication: The Westminster Press, hardcover, 1954
Genre: Juvenile Mystery
Setting: Scotland
Description: When a serious illness sends her beloved Grandmother MacLeod to the hospital, Cathy finds herself on the trip of a lifetime to the Isle of Skye with relatives she barely knows – her mother’s brother Jerry, his wife Lila, and two cousins, Don and Punch. Mrs. MacLeod came from Skye and, despite her illness, managed to organize a box of messages and surprises for Cathy to open periodically on her trip, which will help her explore her Scotch heritage and make friends with her cousins.

Friday, March 19, 2021

Death in the Grand Manor by Anne Morice - Reading the Theatre Month

Title: Death in the Grand Manor: Tessa Crichton #1
Author: Anne Morice
Publication: Dean Street Press, April 2021 (originally published in 1970)
Genre: Mystery series
Setting: 20th century England

Description: Actress Tessa Crichton, temporarily between engagements, accepts an invitation to spend a few weeks in the country with her cousin, Toby, and his daughter, Ellen, an observant 11-year-old, while Toby’s second wife Matilda, also an actress, is on tour with a new play. 

Tuesday, March 16, 2021

Thicker Than Water by Madeleine Polland - atmospheric suspense in Ireland

Title: Thicker Than Water
Author: Madeleine Polland (1918-2005)
Publication: Pyramid Books, paperback, 1966 (originally published in 1965)
Genre: Fiction/Suspense
Setting: Ireland
Description: When Veronica learns her grandmother, from whom she has been estranged since adolescence, is dying and has asked for her, she leaves London and heads to her deceased father’s childhood Irish home, Hollymount, on the border of Galway and Mayo.

Saturday, March 13, 2021

Noel Streatfeild's overlooked series about child actress Gemma Bow

Titles: Gemma, Gemma and Sisters
Author: Noel Streatfield
Publication: Dell Yearling, paperbacks (originally published in 1968)
Genre: Juvenile fiction/series
Setting: 20th century England
Description: Gemma is a child film star, daughter of actress Rowena Bow, but as she approaches adolescence there have been no parts for a while, which frightens her. When her mother is offered a part in America, Gemma is sent to live with cousins she has never met, 150 miles from London.

Thursday, March 11, 2021

Any Two Can Play by Elizabeth Cadell

Title: Any Two Can Play
Author: Elizabeth Cadell
Publication: William Morrow, hardcover, 1981
Genre: Fiction
Setting: 20th century England
Description: When Natalie hears her sister-in-law has abandoned both husband and toddler twins, she drops everything to head to Downing, the small town where her brother teaches music at a boarding school.

Tuesday, March 9, 2021

Black Banner Players, third in the Bannermere series by Geoffrey Trease

Title: Black Banner Players (Bannermere #3)
Author: Geoffrey Trease
Illustrations: Richard Kennedy
Foreword: Jocelyn Payne, Introduction: Sally Dore
Publication: Girls Gone By, trade paperback, 2005 (originally published in 1952)
Genre: Juvenile series
Setting: England, 1950s
Description: Bill Melbury and his friend Tim go to a grammar school that is too old-fashioned to allow the nearby girls’ high school, attended by Bill’s sister Sue and her friend Penny Morchard, to participate in its drama productions.

Saturday, March 6, 2021

Six Degrees of Separation - from Phosphorescence to Light a Single Candle

It’s time for #6degrees, inspired by Kate at Books Are My Favourite and Best. We all start at the same place, add six books, and see where we end up.   This month’s starting point is a book Kate really liked, Phosphorescence by an Australian writer Julia Baird, which has a gorgeous cover but has not yet been published in the US.  However, it did make me contemplate different meanings of the word light, which made me think about my favorite author, Elswyth Thane.

Wednesday, March 3, 2021

The Swish of the Curtain by Pamela Brown - a book that inspired Maggie Smith and Eileen Atkins

Title: The Swish of the Curtain 
Author: Pamela Brown (1924-1989) 
Publication: Pushkin Press, paperback, 2018 (originally published 1941) 
Genre: Children’s Fiction 
Setting: 20th century England
Description: Lynette and Jeremy Darwin and their friends next door, Sandra and pert nine-year-old Madelaine Fayne, are pleased when a new family with three children roughly their ages moves into the nearby Corner House.

Monday, March 1, 2021

The Rising of the Lark by Ann Moray - a coming of age story set in early 20th century Wales

Title: The Rising of the Lark 
Author: Ann Moray (1909–1981) 
Publication: William Morrow & Co., hardcover, 1964 
Genre: Historical Fiction 
Setting: Early 20th century Wales
Description: Catriona is just nine when this story begins. Orphaned very young, she was brought to Wales where her guardians installed her at a remote estate, under the supervision of an austere governess, Jane Withers.

Thursday, February 25, 2021

Chains by Laurie Halse Anderson - first in a trilogy set in Revolutionary-era New York

Title: Chains: Seeds of America #1
Author: Laurie Halse Anderson
Publication: Simon & Schuster, hardcover, 2008
Genre: Juvenile Historical Fiction
Setting: 18th-century New York
Description: Isabel (13) and her younger sister Ruth are slaves and orphans, having lost their mother a year earlier and their father, sold away from his family when Ruth was just a baby. 

Monday, February 22, 2021

The English Wife by Adrienne Chinn – historical fiction that begins in WWII England and leads to isolated Newfoundland

Title: The English Wife
Author: Adrienne Chinn
Publication: One More Chapter, trade paperback, 2020
Genre: Dual-timeline fiction
Setting: England and Newfoundland
Description: This is a story of two sisters living in Norwich during World War II and their descendants.  Ellie has always planned to marry her childhood friend George until she meets an outgoing Canadian soldier from Newfoundland.  Her sister Dottie disapproves because she doesn’t want Ellie to move away and her father disapproves because George is not Catholic, but Tom persuades her to tie the knot before he gets sent overseas.   

Friday, February 19, 2021

Chocolate Caramels for Anne Shirley

For the L.M. Montgomery Cooking Challenge, I decided to make Chocolate Caramels

But Anne could not eat. In vain she nibbled at the bread and butter and pecked at the crab-apple preserve out of the little scalloped glass dish by her plate. She did not really make any headway at all.

“You’re not eating anything,” said Marilla sharply, eying her as if it were a serious shortcoming. Anne sighed. 

“I can’t. I’m in the depths of despair. Can you eat when you are in the depths of despair?” 

Wednesday, February 17, 2021

The Thursday Murder Club by Richard Osman

Title: The Thursday Murder Club
Author: Richard Osman
Publication: Viking, hardcover, 2020
Genre: Mystery
Setting: Present-day England
Description: Four senior citizens at Coopers Chase, an upscale retirement community in England, meet on Thursdays to discuss unsolved police cases, and then they encounter a real murder . . .

Saturday, February 13, 2021

Be Mine

For Valentine's Day, I thought I’d look at the last ten books I read with 💙 in the title.  
You're wrong if you think they're all romances:

Hearts in Trim by Lavinia R. Davis (1954) – YA 
Jointly inheriting a book collection leads to romance between Serena “Squeak” Bruce and her high school classmate Cliff.  I have to say this is one of my favorite covers and it does make you immediately want to read the book.   Thank you to Phair who sent me this book from her own collection when I mentioned my mother enjoyed Davis growing up.  But why did those 50s heroines have such dreadful nicknames? Beany Malone, Dinny Gordon, Twink Elliott, and more . . .  

Wednesday, February 10, 2021

Saturday, February 6, 2021

Six Degrees of Separation - from Redhead By the Side of the Road to The Face on the Milk Carton

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 Redhead By the Side of the Road by Anne Tyler.  I have read one or two of Tyler’s books but not this one; however, it did start me thinking about redheaded protagonists.  Anne Shirley may be the most famous but I realized I had read about many others . . .

First Degree
To the Tiger in the Zoo, Madeline just said "Pooh, Pooh!"

Wednesday, February 3, 2021

WWW Wednesday

WWW Wednesday is hosted 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?

Right now I am reading Secret Places by Janice Elliott (1981), set during World War II, in which teenage Patience Mackenzie befriends Laura Meister, a refugee from Germany, who joins her girls' day school in England.  There is also a movie with Jenny Agutter in the cast; here is the beginning.

Monday, February 1, 2021

The Proper Place by O. Douglas

Title: The Proper Place
Author: O. Douglas aka Anna Buchan
Publication: Kindle, originally published 1926
Genre: Fiction
Setting: 1920s Scotland
Description: The Rutherfurds were an energetic and happy family not long ago: Sir Walter, a pillar of the neighborhood; his quiet but much-admired wife, Lady Jane; two splendid sons; daughter Nicole; and niece Barbara Burt, who has been part of the family since childhood.   However, Nicole’s brothers were killed in the war, and Sir Walter took their loss badly, faded away and died three months ago.  There is no longer enough money to support the ancestral estate so the lawyer has persuaded Lady Jane to sell and move somewhere smaller and more manageable.  As the story begins, the wife of a self-made prosperous businessman from Glasgow has come to inspect Rutherfurd with the idea of acquiring a country estate.  Mrs. Jackson is sure her husband will like it, and she is charmed by 24-year-old Nicole’s tour and friendly demeanor.  

Thursday, January 28, 2021

Five Things, including RIP to Sharon Kay Penman

* So sorry to hear of the death on January 22 of Sharon Kay Penman, one of my favorite historical fiction novelists.

My Bookshelf Traveling post for June 26th described how I found a copy of The Sunne in Splendor one summer when I had no books, no library card. and no money, and was instantly enthralled.  I have never read so slowly in my life as I tried to make the book last as long as possible!   I haven't read The Land Beyond the Sea yet but I will never forget it was the last book I purchased in March 2020 before the bookstores in Massachusetts closed for the pandemic (I definitely wanted to own it and like long books but 688 pages would have lasted some readers through the entire pandemic!).  I always hoped to meet Ms. Penman and am sorry not to have had the chance. 

Tuesday, January 26, 2021

Backwater War by Peggy Woodford - WWII in the Channel Islands

Title: Backwater War
Author: Peggy Woodford
Publication: Farrar, Straus & Giroux, hardcover, 1974
Genre: Juvenile Historical Fiction
Setting: Guernsey, Channel Islands, World War II
Description: German forces have occupied Guernsey, appropriating food and resources from the islanders who are British subjects.   Anna Hardy’s younger brother has been evacuated with most of the Island children but at 17 Anna refused to go, feeling she could not run away.   When the Germans requisition the Hardys’ house, Anna and her parents have just a few hours to pack clothing, food, and valuables and take refuge with a difficult aunt five miles away. 

Friday, January 22, 2021

Long Bright River by Liz Moore – a dark mystery about twisted sisters

Title: Long Bright River
Author: Liz Moore
Publication: Riverhead (Putnam), hardcover, 2020 
Genre: Mystery 
Description: Mickey Fitzpatrick is a Philadelphia policewoman who likes her job and whose only stress should be whether the babysitter for her 4-year-old son turns up on time. Yet, while they haven’t spoken for years, she worries constantly about her younger sister Kacey, a drug addict who turns to prostitution when she needs money for her addiction, right on Mickey’s neighborhood beat.

Wednesday, January 20, 2021

WWW Wednesday: January 20

WWW Wednesday is hosted 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?

My book group decided to read a book by John LeCarré (1931-2020) for our January meeting after several members expressed sorrow at his passing and enthusiasm for his body of work. Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy was chosen as both one of his best and one that would work as a standalone for those unfamiliar with him.  Normally, I like suspense and espionage fiction but I found this tedious and had not finished tonight when we met so I am still reading it.

Saturday, January 16, 2021

Such a Fun Age by Kiley Reid: when a grocery store visit goes viral - and why

Title: Such a Fun Age
Author: Kiley Reid
Publication: Putnam, hardcover, 2019
Genre: Fiction
Description: Nothing has gone exactly as planned since Alix and Peter Chamberlain moved to Philadelphia from Manhattan.  Peter does have a great job as a TV anchor but he misspoke on live TV, offending and angering some of his viewers.  Alix is worried her career and brand will suffer from being away from New York. However, she is pleased with Emira, the recent Temple grad, who has been babysitting the two little Chamberlain girls, which enables Alix to get work done. Late one night, during a crisis, she calls Emira and asks if she can distract Briar, the precocious toddler, by taking her out to a nearby gourmet food store. 

Monday, January 11, 2021

Favorite Reads of 2020

Like most of you, I read a lot of books in 2020, including many books I owned but had never read. I was relieved, however, when the libraries opened their doors for curbside pickup – by the time they did, I had 50 books on hold! I don’t read to achieve specific numbers, but I like to keep an eye on what I’m reading, so here are my top ten and the runners-up for this extremely long and stressful year: 

Suspense 

The Deepest Grave by Harry Bingham (2017). This is the sixth book about Fiona Griffiths, a police detective in Wales who is complaining when the book begins about how long it’s been since she had a murder to solve. She is thus thrilled to learn an archaeologist has been found murdered and decapitated, plunging Fiona into a complicated quest to find the criminal. Fiona’s erstwhile-criminal father, a fascinating character, plays a bigger role in this book than usual. I love this series and wish it had a bigger audience. Start with Book 1, Talking to the Dead. I keep lending my copy to people, which is dangerous. 

Saturday, January 9, 2021

Simon by Rosemary Sutcliff - a new-to-me and absorbing historical novel

Title: Simon 
Author: Rosemary Sutcliff (1920-92)
Illustrator: Richard Kennedy 
Publication: Oxford University Press, hardcover, 1959 (originally published 1953) 
Genre: Juvenile Historical Fiction
Description: It had never seemed of much importance during their boyhood that Simon Carey was for Parliament and his friend Amias Hannaford a Royalist. But when the Civil War between the parties broke out, and two years later they were old enough to take part in it, they found themselves on different sides.

Thursday, January 7, 2021

Betrayal at Ravenswick: A Fiona Figg mystery by Kelly Oliver

Title: Betrayal at Ravenswick
Author: Kelly Oliver
Publication: Historia, 2020, Trade Paper
Genre: Historical Fiction
Setting: England, 2017
Description:
What’s the best way to purge an unfaithful husband?

Become a spy for British Intelligence, of course.

Tuesday, January 5, 2021

Marsha On-Stage by Amelia Elizabeth Walden

Title: Marsha On-Stage
Author: Amelia Elizabeth Walden
Publication: William Morrow & Company, hardcover, 1952
Genre: YA fiction
Description: Lovely Marsha Blake, a senior at New Sharon High School in Connecticut, has always been acknowledged as the star of a talented drama department, led by Mrs. Graham, who studied at the American Academy (like Walden herself).  For years, Marsha and her older brother Ricky, now at college, had hoped to launch their own production at the local community theater, which closed ten years ago. 

Saturday, January 2, 2021

Six Degrees of Separation - from Hamnet to Something's Rotten in the State of Maryland

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 we end up. This month’s starting point is Hamnet by Maggie O’Farrell, a book about Shakespeare's son that has been widely recognized as one of the best books of 2020. I decided to buy it for my sister for Christmas and called the bookstore to ask them to hold it for me (“You want the book with the feather on the cover?” asked the guy on the phone dubiously). There wasn’t time to finish it before I had to mail it to New York (and it still didn’t get there for Christmas – boo!) but I liked what I read and am now on the reserve list at the library.