Monday, October 30, 2023

Just Another Missing Person by Gillian McAllister

Title: Just Another Missing Person
Author: Gillian McAllister
Narrators: Joanne Froggatt, Justin Avoth, Kerry Wotton
Publication: Harper, audiobook, 2023
Genre: Suspense
Setting: Portishead, near Bristol, UK
Description: Julia Day is a Detective Chief Inspector who loves her job and is good at it, although her dedication has caused stress with her husband and daughter, Genevieve. When she is called into work from a family dinner because Olivia Johnson has been reported missing, Julia is especially concerned because this is the second young woman who has disappeared in a year – and the first case was never solved.

Saturday, October 28, 2023

The Soulmate by Sally Hepworth - psychological suspense from Down Under

Title: The Soulmate
Author: Sally Hepworth
Narrators: Barrie Kreinik, Jessica Douglas-Henry
Publication: Macmillan, audio, 2023
Genre: Suspense
Setting: Present-day Australia
Description: Pippa and Gabe Gerard bought their dream house, several hours from Melbourne, on the coast and planned to live there happily with their young daughters. They did not realize the cliffs behind their house are a popular place for would-be suicides until it was too late.

Thursday, October 26, 2023

Murder on the Orient Express by Agatha Christie #ReadChristie23

Title: Murder on the Orient Express
Author: Agatha Christie
Publication: William Morrow, trade paperback, originally published in 1934
Genre: Mystery
Description: Hercule Poirot has been in Syria, investigating a military scandal for an old acquaintance, and is eager to return home. On the train to Stamboul/Istanbul, he encounters a retired British colonel from India and a young woman working as a governess. All three transfer to the Orient Express in Stamboul, heading to France.

Tuesday, October 24, 2023

Tea Is So Intoxicating by Mary Essex

Title: Tea Is So Intoxicating
Author: Mary Essex
Preface: Alison Bailey Afterword: Simon Thomas
Publication: British Library Women Writers series, trade paper, originally published in 1950
Genre: Fiction
Setting: 1950s England
Description: Germayne left her dull husband Digby, as well as their spoiled daughter and uncomfortable house in Streatham, for a retired Naval Officer, David Tomkins. He seemed a livelier option at the time but, instead, she has found herself married for the second time to a man who cannot admit he is wrong.

Sunday, October 22, 2023

The Nonesuch by Georgette Heyer, for the #1962Club

Title: The Nonesuch
Author: Georgette Heyer
Publication: E.P. Dutton & Co., hardcover, 1962
Genre: Historical Romance
Setting: 19th century England
Description: Local society in the village of Oversett, North Yorkshire, is excited to hear that Sir Waldo Hawkridge, a dashing and wealthy member of the ton, has inherited Broom Hall and has come to see it with his amiable young cousin, Lord Lindeth. Tiffany Wield, a lovely heiress of 17 longing to enter London society, is determined to captivate them both.

Friday, October 20, 2023

Witch of the Glens by Sally Watson #1962Club

Title: Witch of the Glens
Author: Sally Watson
Publication: Viking, hardcover, 1962
Genre: Juvenile Historical Fiction
Setting: 17th century Scotland
This week Simon from Stuck in a Book and Karen from Kaggsy’s Bookish Ramblings are hosting the 1962 Club, and I finally found an American author to feature.

Description: At 17, Kelpie is a spirited young woman who knows only the life of a gypsy, traveling throughout Scotland with abusive Old Mina and Bogle.

Wednesday, October 18, 2023

Fletchers End by D.E. Stevenson #1962Club

Title: Fletchers End
Author: D.E. Stevenson
Publication: Ace Books, paperback, originally published in 1962
Genre: Fiction
Setting: 20th century Britain
my copy is a bit garish!
I read Fletchers End for the 1962 Club, which Simon from Stuck in a Book and Karen from Kaggsy’s Bookish Ramblings are hosting this week.

Monday, October 16, 2023

Mine for Keeps by Jean Little #1962Club

Title: Mine for Keeps
Author: Jean Little (1932-2020)
Publication: Little, Brown & Co., hardcover, 1962
Genre: Juvenile Fiction
Setting: 20th century Ontario
This week, Simon from Stuck in a Book and Karen from Kaggsy’s Bookish Ramblings are hosting the 1962 Club, where bloggers read and write about books published in a chosen year.

Sunday, October 15, 2023

Visiting Tulsa

The Cities for Financial Empowerment holds two convenings each year for member cities to share best practices to help low-income residents build assets, and this fall's was held in Tulsa, Oklahoma’s second-largest city (population 409,000). Most of the meetings were held at the BMX Hall of Fame and we stayed at a Hyatt, which had the most helpful staff of any hotel I’ve been at in years. In the evenings, we had a chance to see some interesting parts of the city.

Friday, October 13, 2023

Looking forward to the 1962 Club

Twice each year, Simon from Stuck in a Book and Karen from Kaggsy’s Bookish Ramblings host a readalong celebration of books published in a carefully chosen year and it starts on Monday. At first, I didn’t think 1962 was such a great year, although I have quite a few friends born that year. What about books? Here are a few I have already reviewed:

Wednesday, October 11, 2023

My September 2023 Reads

I covered a lot of genres in September and my favorite books this month were Tom Lake by Ann Patchett, The White Lady by Jacqueline Winspear, memoirs by Drew Faust and Mabel Esther Allan, and a contemporary romance with a mature heroine and a theater background called Flirting with Fire by Jane Porter. Have you read any of these? What’s on your October horizon?

Monday, October 9, 2023

Bel Lamington by D.E. Stevenson

Title: Bel Lamington
Author: D.E. Stevenson
Publication: Holt, Rinehart and Winston, hardcover, 1961
Genre: Fiction
Setting: Great Britain
Description: After Bel’s aunt dies, she is on her own and leaves Sussex for a tiny flat in London and a secretarial job at an import/export firm. She finds it interesting but is lonely and the other office staff resent that her industry is recognized when she is promoted to work for a young partner, Ellis Brownlee.

Saturday, October 7, 2023

Six Degrees of Separation – from I Capture the Castle to White House Autumn

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 I Capture the Castle by Dodie Smith (1948) which I read for the first time twenty-six years ago and have already used in a #6degrees. It’s about two sisters who live with their eccentric father and stepmother in a decrepit castle. They spend most of their time trying to improve their finances but yearn for excitement. 
Surely anyone who has read this book remembers the first sentence: “I write this sitting in the kitchen sink. . . .”

Thursday, October 5, 2023

The Lost Library by Rebecca Stead and Wendy Mass

Title: The Lost Library
Author: Rebecca Stead and Wendy Mass
Publication: Feiwel and Friends, hardcover, 2023
Genre: Juvenile Mystery
Setting: Smalltown, USA
Description: When a Little Free Library mysteriously appears in Martinsville, with a warm-hearted but worried guardian cat, fifth graders Evan and his friend Rafe are intrigued. The handwritten sign says, “Take a book, leave a book. Or both.”

Tuesday, October 3, 2023

Necessary Trouble: Growing Up at Midcentury by Drew Gilpin Faust

Title: Necessary Trouble: Growing Up at Midcentury
Author: Drew Gilpin Faust
Publication: Farrar Straus & Giroux, hardcover, 2023
Genre: Nonfiction/Memoir
Once upon a time, there was a little girl. Her official name was Catharine, but she never used it. Her father, though from a wealthy Ivy League background, wanted only to breed horses, so that was what he did. The girl grew up in rural, segregated Virginia in the fifties, reading Nancy Drew and pony books, riding horses, raising steers with the 4H Club, attending a small country school.

Would you be surprised to learn that she would become the president of Harvard?