Sunday, October 31, 2021

The Love-Child by Edith Olivier

Title: The Love-Child
Author: Edith Olivier
Publication: The Richards Press, hardcover, 1927
Genre: Fiction
Setting: 20th century England
Description: Lonely after her mother dies, Agatha recognizes she wasn’t much happier when her mother was alive and thinks back, remembering the childhood fun she had with an imaginary friend, Clarissa, until her governess shamed her out of harmless fancies.

Friday, October 29, 2021

Green Emeralds for the King: A Civil War Story by Constance Savery

Title: Emeralds for the King (American title)
Author: Constance Savery
Illustrator: Victor Dowling
Publication: Longmans, Green & Co., hardcover, 1945
Genre: Juvenile historical fiction
Setting: 17th century England
Description: Austin “Tosty” Farringdon, barely 13, is woken one night and told he can serve his king by finding lost treasure at his deceased father’s home, Yanburgh Manor.

Wednesday, October 27, 2021

Friday, October 22, 2021

The Snowy Day by Ezra Jack Keats and Tell Me Another Story

Do you remember the first time someone read The Snowy Day to you? You probably recall the cover, particularly. I think my mother and I checked it out of the Brighton branch of the Boston Public Library before I could read but I also remember it from school. For those who don’t know, author and illustrator Ezra Jack Keats changed children’s books in 1962 by writing this picture book about an African American child and putting him unmistakably on the cover. The book beautifully captures a small child’s joy playing in the snow and the imagination that makes it fun.

Wednesday, October 20, 2021

A Flicker in the Dark by Stacy Willingham

Title: A Flicker in the Dark
Author: Stacy Willingham
Publication: Minotaur, hardcover, January 2022
Genre: Suspense
Setting: 21st century Louisiana
Description: Chloe rebuilt her life after the terrible time twenty years ago when her father was revealed to be a serial killer, which destroyed her family and caused her mother to fall apart.

Sunday, October 17, 2021

Home to Roost by Andrew Garve #1976Club

Title: Home to Roost
Author: Andrew Garve
Publication: Thomas Y. Crowell & Co., hardcover, 1976
Genre: Mystery
Setting: 20th century England
Description: This is an understated mystery narrated by Walter Haines, who surprises himself by becoming a bestselling author.

Saturday, October 16, 2021

YA Fiction for the #1976Club

I found two unread YA novels for the 1976 Club, hosted by StuckinaBook and Kaggsy’s Bookish Ramblings.
Mystery of the Emerald Buddha by Betty Cavanna (1976)
Cavanna’s writing career extended from 1943-1987 and although she is best known for her teen romance/coming of age fiction (sometimes called malt shop books), she wrote several mysteries under this name and more as Betsy Allen. She lived in nearby Concord, Massachusetts with her second husband but I was amazed to read in her obituary that she spent her last years in Vézelay, France, from which I just returned!

Thursday, October 14, 2021

A String in the Harp by Nancy Bond #1976Club

Title: A String in the Harp
Author: Nancy Bond
Publication: Atheneum, hardcover, 1976
Genre: Juvenile fantasy
Setting: Wales
This review is for the #1976Club, hosted by StuckinaBook and Kaggsy’s Bookish Ramblings, in which bloggers are invited to read and review books that were published in a chosen year.

Description: Fifteen-year-old Jen Morgan lost her mother nearly a year ago and her family has not recovered. In the fall, her father brought her younger siblings, Peter and Becky, with him from Western Massachusetts to Wales where he will teach for a year at the University of Aberystwyth, hoping the change of scene will help everyone cope.

Tuesday, October 12, 2021

A Stranger in the Mirror by Sidney Sheldon – a #1976Club mistake

Title: A Stranger in the Mirror
Author: Sidney Sheldon
Publication: William Morrow, hardcover, 1976
Genre: Fiction
Description: Sheldon creates a collision course between two externally attractive and internally vile people whose yearning for acclaim and revenge takes them to Hollywood and the tragic price they pay for their ambition.

Monday, October 11, 2021

Power of Three by Diana Wynne Jones #1976Club

Title: Power of Three
Author: Diana Wynne Jones (1934-2011)
Publication: Greenwillow, hardcover, 2003 (originally published in 1976)
Genre: Juvenile fantasy
This review is for the #1976Club, hosted by StuckinaBook and Kaggsy’s Bookish Ramblings, in which bloggers are invited to read and review books that were published that year.

Description: A generation ago, Adara’s brother killed a defenseless Dorig for his intricate gold collar, unleashing a terrible curse.

Saturday, October 9, 2021

September 2021 Reads

I got a lot of reading done in September considering I was away for more than two weeks. This may be why my suitcase hasn’t made it back up the attic and the lawn needs to be mowed!


Royal Summons by Elizabeth Cadell – American Ellen Berg travels to her mother’s childhood home in England where she has to come to terms with the imperious aunt who drove her mother away.

Thursday, October 7, 2021

Yours Cheerfully, a sequel to Dear Mrs. Bird

Title: Yours Cheerfully
Author: AJ Pearce
Publication: Scribner, hardcover, 2021
Genre: Historical fiction
Setting: WWII London
Description: Yours Cheerfully begins where Dear Mrs. Bird left off, with the staff of Women’s Friend reorganizing after the departure of Henrietta Bird, who clashed with our heroine, Emmy Lake.

Wednesday, October 6, 2021

WWW Wednesday – October 6, 2021

WWW Wednesday is hosted by Taking on a World of Words.  She has a brand new baby so I cannot imagine how she finds time to read and blog!

The Three Ws are:

What are you currently reading?

What did you recently finish reading?

What do you think you’ll read next?
I just started Anthem by Deborah Wiles, a YA novel set during the Vietnam War which I am reading for the de Grummond Book Group.  The heroine is searching for her missing brother whose draft card just arrived.

Monday, October 4, 2021

The Last Thing He Told Me by Laura Dave - a stepmother in jeopardy

Title: The Last Thing He Told Me
Author: Laura Dave
Publication: Simon & Schuster, hardcover, 2021
Genre: Fiction/Suspense
Setting: Present-day California and Texas
Description: Owen is gone. Hannah Hall, an artist who uses wood as her medium, met him a year earlier when the owner of the tech firm he works at bought some of her work.

Saturday, October 2, 2021

Six Degrees of Separation — from The Lottery to Citizens: A Chronicle of the French Revolution

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 well-known short story called The Lottery by Shirley Jackson, which I read in July for a discussion with several lawyers and the judge for whom we clerked.

Friday, October 1, 2021

France 2021, Day 14, Paris

Early breakfast included delicious French toast, a chocolate croissant, fruit, and English Breakfast tea.  To our surprise, Earl Grey is considered the tea of choice in France, so we were happy that on the Buri it was easy to get our preferred flavor.  What a shame to leave and return to an empty refrigerator!
Last glimpse of Lyon at night with the Basilica lit up in the distance
Our taxi was not only early but also came all the way down near the gangplank, instead of waiting up by the street. It was lightly raining as we drove to the Lyon Part Dieu train station.