Tuesday, November 22, 2022

My October 2022 Reads

I read several entertaining books for the 1929 Club but the novel that most captured my interest last month was Tomorrow, and Tomorrow, and Tomorrow by Gabrielle Zevin. It is a mesmerizing story of friendship and collaboration spanning three decades, starting when the two protagonists meet in a hospital as teenagers, then reconnect when attending college in Cambridge and starting a venture together. As I was listening to the audio, I found myself telling everyone I encountered about this book, which I picked up because of Nancy Pearl’s recommendation.
Historical Fiction

Shrines of Gaiety by Kate Atkinson (2022). Set in 1920s London amidst nightclub life in Soho, Atkinson’s new book includes her usual intersecting stories, all leading to Nellie Coker, a self-made entrepreneur who operates several popular but shady nightclubs.
Beauvallet by Georgette Heyer (1929). Heyer is best known for her historical romances set in early 19th century Regency England. This is more of a rollicking adventure set in Elizabethan England and the language is sometimes forsoothy but I highly recommend. My review.

Lessons in Chemistry by Bonnie Garmus (2022). Not tragedy and not comedy but a quirky and fascinating novel about a woman scientist in the 1950s. My book group really enjoyed this and it was just named Barnes & Noble’s best fiction book of the year. My review.

Another View by Rosamunde Pilcher (1968) (audio). A young woman returns to Cornwall to housekeep for her artist father who has never been around for her, and he promptly leaves for America. This heroine was too much of a doormat for me. Not Pilcher’s best.

Clothes-Pegs by Susan Scarlett (aka Noel Streatfeild). A Cinderella story about the eldest daughter of a very typical Streafeild family.  I look forward to reading more of her adult fiction during Liz's Dean Street Press December Challenge. My review.
Riders of the Wind (1926), Cloth of Gold by Elswyth Thane (1929). Alexandra, daughter of a famous explorer, is married to a tedious museum curator but when Blaise Dorin describes his proposed expedition to India to find a legendary golden robe, she leaves everything behind to go with him.  Not Thane's best. My review.

Tomorrow, and Tomorrow, and Tomorrow by Gabrielle Zevin (2022). Sam and Sadie, who first meet in a hospital as preteens, reconnect in college and begin an amazing partnership that begins in Cambridge and takes them back to Los Angeles.  Here is the NYT review.


The Poisoned Chocolates Case by Anthony Berkeley (1929). A group of armchair detectives and writers are determined to solve a recent murder that has stumped Scotland Yard. My review.

The Word is Murder by Anthony Horowitz (2017). Author Horowitz himself teams up with police detective Daniel Hawthorne to investigate the death of a woman murdered after planning her own funeral. My review.   

Fatal by John Lescroart (2017) (audio). Kate’s sudden obsession with a man she met at a dinner party sets in motion a deadly series of events in this standalone suspense novel.
Speedy Death by Gladys Mitchell (1929). This is the first of Mitchell’s mysteries featuring her eccentric sleuth Mrs. Bradley. I liked the house party setting but did not find the story very compelling.  My review.

Fool Errant by Patricia Wentworth (1929). Hugo Ross is desperate for a job so he accepts the position of secretary to a prominent inventor despite being warned against it. But when he realizes he’s being drawn into a dangerous plot, it is time to consult Benbow Smith. My review.

Heroes Are Human by Bob Delaney (2022). The legendary NBA referee Bob Delaney, an experienced figure in the field of post-traumatic stress, addresses medical professionals and front-line caregivers to tell them they are not alone. My review.


Greenwitch by Susan Cooper (1974). In the third book of the series, the Drew children from Over Sea, Under Stone must work with Will from The Dark is Rising to find the stolen grail.  This is part of a group read with AnnaBookBel.  My review.
Hitty: Her First Hundred Years by Rachel Field (1929). A sturdy wooden doll made of ash, Hitty has incredible adventures, winding up in a New York antique store. My review.

The Lucky Ones by Linda Williams Jackson (2022). An African-American boy in 1960s Mississippi begins to see education as a path to a better future, thanks to a teacher dedicated to a poor, rural community. My review.
The Fortunate Few by Tim Kennemore (1981). Teenage Jodie Bell is a professional gymnast, determined to excel and also to promote herself, regardless of the cost to others.


Evelyn Finds Herself by Josephine Elder (1929) (reread). A sensitive teen grows apart from her best friend and has to muster her wits in this school story. My review.
You, Maybe: The Profound Asymmetry of Love in High School by Rachel Vail (2006). Josie is independent and fierce, flirting or making out with boys, but remaining self-sufficient until high school golden boy Carson Gold notices her. Her collapse into pathetic lovesickness was really depressing, causing me to really dislike this book.


Cath said...

'Forsoothy'. LOL! Love it but yeah, know what you mean.

Made a note of Tomorrow and Tomorrow and Tomorrow and definitely plan to read Lessons in Chemistry at some stage. Think we saw that in Fowey and I wish I'd bought it now. I bought The Second Sight of Zachary Cloudesley by Sean Lusk in my local bookshop on the spur of the moment (nice cover) and then it was positively reviewed on the BBC's book show so hoping that might've been a good investment. It's being hyped quite a lot over here so we'll see. They also talked about The Long Song by Andrea Levy which sounded good so I bought that too. Lost cause...

TracyK said...

Several books here I want to read when I can: Hitty: Her First Hundred Years; Fool Errant; Speedy Death; something by Anthony Berkeley; Lessons in Chemistry; and Shrines of Gaiety. Maybe Tomorrow and Tomorrow and Tomorrow. I will have to look into that more.

CLM said...

I was unimpressed by Gladys Mitchell and Speedy Death. If there weren't so many other Golden Age mysteries worth trying, I would send you my copy, Tracy.

The Zachary Cloudsley book looks good, Cath, and has an intriguing cover. It might be a good choice for my book group when it gets into paperback. I'll be interested to see what you think. Lessons in Chemistry was a real page turner but not something you need to own. I bet your library has it.

TracyK said...

Constance, your reply reminded me to go check which Gladys Mitchell books I have in ebook editions, and Speedy Death is one of them, so if I get the urge, I have it on hand to read.

I don't keep track of which books I have on Kindle very well, so it is always a pleasant surprise to find a book there already.