Wednesday, March 22, 2023

WWW Wednesday – March 22

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?

Currently Reading
Sometimes a perfectly good book will be sitting there, patiently waiting to be chosen, and it’s the reminder from the library that it is due and cannot be renewed that finally moves it to the top of the TBR pile.

Monday, March 20, 2023

Heart and Soul by Maeve Binchy #ReadingIreland2023

Title: Heart and Soul
Author: Maeve Binchy
Narrator: Sile Bermingham
Publication: Random House, Audio, 2008
Genre: Fiction
Setting: Ireland
Description: Dr. Clara Casey had been hoping for a different job but instead finds herself managing a new Heart Clinic attached to St. Brigid’s Hospital in Dublin. She has plenty of stress at home dealing with two high-maintenance daughters and the husband she kicked out for cheating years ago, so puts all her energy into the clinic.

Saturday, March 18, 2023

The Moving Finger by Agatha Christie #ReadChristie23

Title: The Moving Finger
Author: Agatha Christie
Publication: William Morrow, paperback, originally published in 1943
Genre: Mystery/series
Setting: 20th century England
Description: Jerry Burton’s recovery, after crashing his plane, is slow, so when his doctor recommends recuperating in the country, Jerry and his younger sister Joanna, rent a house for six months in the small village of Little Furze, Lymstock.

Wednesday, March 15, 2023

Blitzcat by Robert Westall - historical fiction about an intrepid cat during WWII

Title: Blitzcat
Author: Robert Westall
Publication: Scholastic, hardcover, 1989
Genre: YA Historical Fiction
Setting: WWII Britain
Description: A black cat, named after Lord Gort, pines for her owner when he joins the RAF, and resents the new baby Geoff’s wife, Florrie Wensley, fusses over instead of her. Sensing strongly that Geoff is somewhere, she sets off to find him.

Monday, March 13, 2023

Out of the Rain by Elizabeth Cadell

Title: Out of the Rain
Author: Elizabeth Cadell
Publication: William Morrow, hardcover, 1987
Genre: Fiction
Setting: Late 20th-century Britain
Description: Edward Netherford is a quiet London lawyer who inherited some difficult clients from his father and is forced to go to Yorkshire in an attempt to retrieve some paintings they inherited.

Sunday, March 12, 2023

Dean Street Press

Very sorry to learn of the unexpected death of Rupert Heath, a British literary agent who founded Dean Street Press, bringing many gems back into print.  Several years ago, he added the Furrowed Middlebrow imprint, which I have also greatly enjoyed.   I had hoped to meet Rupert for a drink when I was in London last June but the timing did not work.  Here is a link to the obituary written by his sister in the Bookseller.  Scott at Furrowed Middlebrow has also written about Rupert.

I know Rupert greatly enjoyed Dean Street December, hosted by Liz at Adventures in Reading, Running, and Working from Home, and I am glad she made time to organize that at such a busy time of year.

I enjoyed my correspondence with Rupert and his comments on my reviews.  This is a loss to all readers. My sympathy to his family and coworkers.

Saturday, March 11, 2023

Wednesday, March 8, 2023

Haunted Ground by Erin Hart #ReadingIreland2023

Title: Haunted Ground
Author: Erin Hart
Publication: Scribner, hardcover, 2003
Genre: Mystery
Setting: Present-day Ireland
Description: When farmers cutting turf in a peat bog uncover a well-preserved woman’s body, the pathologist refers it to Cormac Maguire, an archeologist at University College Dublin and Dr. Nora Gavin in the anatomy department at Trinity College Medical School.

Monday, March 6, 2023

My February 2023 Reads

It is rare to read two books in the same month that you know will make your "Favorites list" at the end of the year but I thought these two historical novels were exceptional; I recommend both.

Historical Fiction

Saturday, March 4, 2023

Six Degrees of Separation – from Passages to House of Sand and Fog

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 Passages by Gail Sheehy, which was a huge self-help book in its day.
However, even when I worked in publishing and had to sell such books, I didn’t have much patience with them. The only one I ever found convincing was:

Thursday, March 2, 2023

The Winter Guest by W.C. Ryan #ReadingIreland2023

Title: The Winter Guest
Author: W.C. Ryan
Publication: Arcade Publishing, hardcover, 2022
Genre: Historical Mystery
Setting: Ireland, 1921
Description: After an ordinary evening of cards and conversation, Maud Prendeville, Lord Kilcolgan’s daughter, and two companions are killed in an IRA ambush, yards from her home in the Irish countryside.

Wednesday, March 1, 2023

WWW Wednesday - March 1

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?

Monday, February 27, 2023

Happy Landings: Emilie Loring’s Life, Writing, and Wisdom by Patti Bender

Title: Happy Landings: Emilie Loring’s Life, Writing, and Wisdom
Author: Patti Bender
Publication: City Point Press, hardcover, 2023
Genre: Biography/Literary Criticism
Setting: Massachusetts and Maine
Patti Bender has created a biography of Boston-born writer Emilie Loring that is part labor of love and part interpretive narrative, describing a life story that was rich in friendship, idealism, and dedication to family – all of which were revealed in her books.

Thursday, February 23, 2023

Partners in Crime by Agatha Christie #ReadChristie23

Title: Partners in Crime
Author: Agatha Christie
Publication: Dell, paperback, originally published in 1929
Genre: Mystery
Description: Tommy and Tuppence Beresford, first encountered when they were single in The Secret Adversary, are now happily married but Tuppence is bored. Fortunately, Tommy’s boss asks them to go undercover and pretend to be Mr. Blunt and his secretary of the Theodore Blunt International Detective Agency.

Tuesday, February 21, 2023

The Girl With the Silver Eyes by Willo Davis Roberts

Title: The Girl With the Silver Eyes
Author: Willo Davis Roberts (1928-2004)
Publication: Scholastic, paperback, originally published in 1980
Genre: Juvenile fiction
Setting: A mid-20th century midwestern city
Description: Until recently, Katie lived with her grandmother who was unnerved by Katie’s ability to move things using her mind. Katie knows she is different and she learned the word for what she can do – telekinesis – but she doesn’t understand why people fear and talk about her.

Saturday, February 18, 2023

The Whalebone Theatre by Joanna Quinn – historical fiction set between the wars

Title: The Whalebone Theatre
Author: Joanna Quinn
Publication: Knopf, hardcover, 2022
Genre: Historical England
Setting: 20th century Britain and France
Description: Cristabel Seagrave, a neglected orphan, grows up between the wars in a Dorset manor house, with half-sister Flossie and cousin Digby who follow her on every adventure. When a 7-foot whale is beached nearby, the children are fascinated, as is a larger-than-life Russian artist who appears at the same time with his family and becomes part of the Seagraves’ lives.

Monday, February 13, 2023

Widows of the Ice: The Women That Scott’s Antarctic Expedition Left Behind by Anne Fletcher

Title: Widows of the Ice: The Women That Scott’s Antarctic Expedition Left Behind
Author: Anne Fletcher
Publication: Amberley Publishing, hardcover, 2022
Genre: History
Setting: Britain and Antarctica
Description: British Naval Officer Robert Falcon Scott led two expeditions to the Antarctic: the Discovery expedition of 1901–1904 and the Terra Nova expedition of 1910–1913, from which he did not return.

Friday, February 10, 2023

My January 2023 Reads

Not as much variety in my reading last month as usual.  My favorite book was The Man Who Died Twice by Richard Osman, second in a mystery series set in an upscale retirement community in Britain.

YA Historical Fiction
Salt to the Sea by Ruta Sepetys (2016). Three young people, thrown together by fate in East Prussia at the end of WWII, are among the thousands of refugees are on a desperate trek to reach the Wilhelm Gustloff, a ship that is evacuating civilians from the Russian army.

Monday, February 6, 2023

Horse by Geraldine Brooks

Title: Horse
Author: Geraldine Brooks
Publication: Viking, hardcover, 2022
Genre: Historical Fiction
Setting: 19th, 20th, and 21st century United (or not so) States
Description: Brooks tells the fascinating story of the little-known but legendary racehorse, Lexington, by imagining his enslaved groom/trainer, along with the real-life artists of the era who specialized in equine portraits, a 20th-century art dealer, and two contemporary characters who meet in DC and puzzle out the history together.

Saturday, February 4, 2023

Six Degrees of Separation – from Trust to The Big Killing

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 Trust by Hernan Diaz, which my book group read and I reviewed last month.

Thursday, February 2, 2023

Alias Emma by Ava Glass: a breakneck chase across London

Title: Alias Emma
Author: Ava Glass
Publication: Bantam Books, hardcover, 2022
Genre: Suspense
Setting: Present-day London
Description: Emma Makepeace (that’s not her real name) is a newly trained spy when she is relieved from tedious undercover work in a tee shirt store and given a major assignment – bringing the doctor son of two important Russian defectors into protective custody.

Wednesday, February 1, 2023

Smouldering Fire by D.E. Stevenson

Title: Smouldering Fire
Author: D.E. Stevenson
Publication: Furrowed Middlebrow/Dean Street Press, paperback, originally published 1935
Genre: Fiction
Setting: Scotland
Description: The life of a Scottish Laird is not as idyllic as it used to be, even in D.E. Stevenson land. Iain MacAslan loves Ardfalloch so much that, in order to pay the bills, he forces himself to lease it to a rich businessman for the hunting season.

Sunday, January 29, 2023

The Listening Eye: A Miss Silver Mystery by Patricia Wentworth

Title: The Listening Eye: A Miss Silver Mystery
Author: Patricia Wentworth
Publication: Warner, paperback, originally published in 1955
Genre: Mystery/Series
Setting: 20th century England
Description: Paulina Paine goes to an art gallery to see a painting done of her by David Moray, who rents her attic as his studio. The painting is called The Listener, reflecting the thoughtful look when she compensates for her loss of hearing by using other senses.

Friday, January 27, 2023

A Burns Night Supper

Robert Burns, the poet born in Scotland in 1759, is probably best known for these verses:

O my Luve is like a red, red rose
That’s newly sprung in June;
O my Luve is like the melody
That’s sweetly played in tune.

So fair art thou, my bonnie lass,
So deep in luve am I;
And I will luve thee still, my dear,
Till a’ the seas gang dry.

Wednesday, January 25, 2023

WWW Wednesday – January 25

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?
Dr. Livingstone, I presume?

Monday, January 23, 2023

Sad Cypress by Agatha Christie #ReadChristie23

Title: Sad Cypress
Author: Agatha Christie
Publication: Berkley, paperback, originally published in 1940
Genre: Mystery/Series
Setting: Great Britain
Description: Elinor Carlisle and Roderick Welman met as children, visiting her Aunt Laura, who was married to his uncle Henry. They are engaged and expect either or both will inherit Laura Welman’s fortune.

Saturday, January 21, 2023

Killers of a Certain Age by Deanna Raybourn

Title: Killers of a Certain Age
Author: Deanna Raybourn
Publication: Penguin, audio, 2022
Narrators: Jane Oppenheimer, Christina Delaine
Genre: Suspense
Setting: Present day
Description: Billie, Mary Alice, Helen, and Natalie have been friends and colleagues since their 20s when they first joined a secret organization called “The Museum” and were trained as assassins.

Thursday, January 19, 2023

My December 2022 Reads

This month was noteworthy for finishing a group read of Susan Cooper, joining Liz Dexter's Dean Street December, and reading the new Lacey Flint mystery by Sharon Bolton, which caused me to go back to the beginning of the series, plus listen to her recent standalone, The Split.

Tuesday, January 17, 2023

The Labyrinth Makers by Anthony Price

Title: The Labyrinth Makers
Author: Anthony Price (1928-2019)
Publication: Weidenfeld & Nicolson, paperback, 2010 (originally published in 1970)
Genre: Mystery
Setting: 20th century Britain
Description: David Audley is a historian for Britain’s Ministry of Defense whose research expertise is the Middle East, when he is woken up by the telephone in the middle of the night, summoned to a 6 am meeting in London, and told to dress for a funeral.

Saturday, January 14, 2023

My Life in Books - 2022

I borrowed this meme from AnnaBookbel, but I have done a few similar versions in the past.

Using only books you read in 2022, answer these prompts. Try not to repeat a book title (links in the titles will take you to my reviews where they exist).

In high school, I was: The Woman in the Library (Sulari Gentill)

Thursday, January 12, 2023

Trust by Hernan Diaz

Title: Trust
Author: Hernan Diaz
Publication: Riverhead, hardcover, 2022
Genre: Historical Fiction
Setting: New York and Europe
Description: Benjamin and Helen Rask are a prominent Manhattan couple in the 1920s. He is an eccentric but successful Wall Street investor whose family made its money from tobacco. Helen is from a well-born Albany family and is interested in philanthropy. Neither is very comfortable with people, including each other.

Saturday, January 7, 2023

Six Degrees of Separation – from Beach Read to Winter Cottage

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 Beach Read by Emily Henry. I haven’t read that but I did recently finish Book Lovers by the same author.  

Wednesday, January 4, 2023

Favorite Reads of 2022

Here are my favorite books from the past year:

Best Nonfiction Read of the Year: Dead Wake: The Last Crossing of the Lusitania by Erik Larson (2015) (audio read by talented Scott Brick). I was mesmerized listening to the audio of the Lusitania’s last and tragic voyage in 1915. Larson weaves together stories about the passengers and crew, bringing them all to life.

Monday, January 2, 2023

Silver on the Tree: The Dark is Rising by Susan Cooper

Title: Silver on the Tree: The Dark is Rising #5
Author: Susan Cooper
Publication: Scholastic, paperback, originally published in 1977
Genre: Juvenile fantasy/series
Setting: Wales
Description: Will Stanton, the main protagonist of The Dark is Rising sequence, is fishing with two of his brothers on Midsummer’s Eve when he realizes “that a part of his life which had been sleeping was broad awake once more.”