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. 

* Did you know there is a mystery for every mood?  I am never at a loss for the next book to read but I found this recommendation amusing because I have been following Don Winslow enthusiastically on Twitter and wondered if I should read one of his books.
The Border by Don Winslow
(I may be complacent but I am never apathetic!)

* If you don't like any of those moody mysteries, here are the Best Mysteries of 2020 from Kirkus, The Washington Post, The New York Times, The Virginian-Pilot, Publishers Weekly, and the Goodreads Choice Awards.  Two of my recent reviews, The Searcher and Long Bright River, turned up on several lists.  I think Long Bright River would be a great book group selection.
* The New York Times has a popular real estate feature, What You Get, aimed at making New Yorkers miserable with how little they get for their money!  An entry I came across today featured a 1940 colonial in Bennington, a 1925 clapboard house in Mankato and a 1938 home in Reading.  Julie Lasky at the NYT is on the ball (as my father used to say):
This property is in Lincoln Park, a neighborhood of Victorians and Craftsman-style homes that was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1995. It is about a mile southwest of downtown and the same distance northwest of Minnesota State University, Mankato. (Gustavus Adolphus College in the city of St. Peter is 13 miles north; Minneapolis is 80 miles northeast.) The childhood home of Maud Hart Lovelace, the author of the Betsy-Tacy children’s book series introduced in the 1940s, is three blocks away.
* Poet and recent Harvard graduate Amanda Gorman's post-Inauguration fame continues to grow. Penguin had already signed up two books and is planning a commemorative edition of her Inauguration open.  Today Penguin announced it plans to print one million copies each of all three of Gorman's upcoming books, which are due out later this year. This is great news for anyone who likes poetry and books (when I sold books for Penguin the only author I recall with such large print runs was Stephen King and I can't pretend I enjoyed them).  Now this glamorous young woman has signed a modeling contract with IMG!  It will be fun to follow her multi-faceted career.


Cath said...

I've heard that Sharon Penman is an amazing writer of historicals but have yet to read anything by her. So sad that she's passed away.

Lark said...

It's always sad when a favorite author dies.

Judith said...

Upon seeing your post, I couldn't help shouting, "Oh, no!" How I have loved the books of hers I've read, and how I will continue to read those I haven't. I just feel such a wrenching when a great author passes. Thanks for letting us know.

TracyK said...

I read that Sharon Kay Penman had died. I had only read The Queen's Man, a historical mystery, in 2020, but I know that many have loved her books. I would like to read her books about Eleanor of Equitaine.

I have been thinking about reading something by Don Winslow sometime soon, but don't have any of his books right now.

Lex @ Lexlingua said...

I didn't know about Penman's passing away! I've only ever read Sunne in Splendor before, should look up her other works too.

On a lighter note, agree with what you said about Stephen King. His books really do sell like hot cakes, though it's not the genre I read. I did read his book on writing though -- "On Writing" -- and I did admire him for being open about his struggle as a writer and his more practical tricks of the trade.

~ Lexlingua

Ruthiella said...

I'm sorry to hear about Ms. Penman. I've not read any of her books but I do like Historical Fiction and she is supposed to be one of the best.

I do want to read the Liz Moore book one of these days. I like those slow, psychological mysteries.

Your memory of savoring The Sunne in Splendor reminds me of earlier times when I read much less but maybe in some ways with more attention that I do now and I can very much place when I read them and how I acquired them.