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It's the Valentine's reading thread!

Lily Fairbairn

Feb 12, 3:52pm

Post #1 of 6 (167 views)
It's the Valentine's reading thread! Can't Post

Heart A very happy Valentine's Day to you all, with lots of love and chocolate Tongue

This week I read the first book in a new series by an old friend, Kaitlyn Dunnett: Crime and Punctuation. This is very pleasant cozy about an older woman (Yay! An older woman!) returning to her idyllic home town in New York state, where she hopes to make a living doing free-lance editing. This apparently mild-mannered job throws her into a murder mystery, which she helps to solve with her knowledge of punctuation. Seriously. It's a very clever plot twist.

I did have the same problem with this that I have with almost any amateur-sleuth mystery, how the police keep telling the protagonist to stay away from the investigation but she keeps investigating anyway. But this is a staple of the genre---you just have to grin and bear it.

I'm listening to Very Good, Jeeves, a collection of short stories by P.G. Wodehouse starring the inimitable Bertie and Jeeves. The stories are light as gossamer and make just about as much sense, but the language is so playful and clever I don't mind. I always see---and in this case, hear---Hugh Laurie as Bertie and Stephen Fry as Jeeves.

What have you been reading?

Where now the horse and the rider? Where is the horn that was blowing?
Where is the helm and the hauberk, and the bright hair flowing?
Where is the hand on the harpstring, and the red fire glowing?
Where is the spring and the harvest and the tall corn growing?
They have passed like rain on the mountain, like a wind in the meadow;
The days have gone down in the West behind the hills into shadow....


Feb 13, 4:42pm

Post #2 of 6 (111 views)
You trigged the history geek in me--Dorothy Thompson [In reply to] Can't Post

Writing, editing, central New York, an independent woman, murder--I just read a few months ago about Dorothy Thompson, the first foreign correspondent expelled by Nazi Germany, and a remarkable woman in many ways, given that not only was she a reporter in Berlin in the 1930s in a male-dominated profession, but she was respected and much-read by the public. Seriously, in the 1930s?

The article title is a bit misleading, because she was initially dismissive of Hitler after interviewing him (because he was nuts, of course), but later she wrote about what a danger he was, which was why she was expelled. I think she ought to be more of a household word like Marie Curie in the sciences as women pioneers in professions go.

Tol Eressea

Feb 14, 2:21pm

Post #3 of 6 (86 views)
Two Ann Cleeves [In reply to] Can't Post

I have looked and looked for Ann Cleeves books for years and all of a sudden they started showing up in my local bookstore, but oh my they are expensive, probably because they are imported rather than reprinted here. (I have found that Stephen Booth books are the same, but a little easier to find). I am a great fan of the Vera Stanhope and Jimmy Perez TV shows, so I splurged on two: The Seagull (Vera), and Raven Black (Jimmy), and very much enjoyed both. Somehow I had expected them to be drier than they were. I'm keeping my eye on a couple more and expect to pick them up soon.

"There are some things that it is better to begin than to refuse, even though the end may be dark."


Feb 14, 3:03pm

Post #4 of 6 (85 views)
I loved her Shetland books [In reply to] Can't Post

but the Vera series was not so well-written, I found. One case where the dramatization fixes a lot of the author's mistakes (Cleeves keeps telling us what people are thinking without showing us why they think it, but an actor can do a lot to make that work).

I am a dreamer of words, of written words. I think I am reading; a word stops me. I leave the page. The syllables of the words begin to move around The words take on other meanings as if they had the right to be young.

-- Gaston Bachelard

* * * * * * * * * *

NARF and member of Deplorable Cultus since 1967


Feb 14, 3:09pm

Post #5 of 6 (85 views)
Finished "Desert Queen" [In reply to] Can't Post

Gertrude Bell would probably be Prime Minister if she lived today. Brilliant, arrogant, yet able to charm pretty much anyone if she decided they were worth her time. Living when she did, although she battered down a lot of doors and accomplished great things, ultimately she comes across as constantly running from a great void in her own heart.

I'm now reading a book on resilience, as in how to foster it in yourself. Being a caretaker for my increasingly failing dad, I need more of that right now.

I am a dreamer of words, of written words. I think I am reading; a word stops me. I leave the page. The syllables of the words begin to move around The words take on other meanings as if they had the right to be young.

-- Gaston Bachelard

* * * * * * * * * *

NARF and member of Deplorable Cultus since 1967

Old Toby
Grey Havens

Feb 16, 4:13am

Post #6 of 6 (61 views)
Ann Cleeves' Shetland [In reply to] Can't Post

I read all the Cleeves' Shetland books and loved them. I even fell in love with the TV series, even though Jimmy Perez isn't at all as described or as I pictured him (thanks to the good acting of lead Douglas Henshall). It was my favorite murder mystery series until I read the Canadian mystery series by Louise Penny (there are currently 14 books in her series, the first titled "Still Life".). Her characters are so colorful and alive! Chief Inspector Armand Gamache and his second in command Jean-Luc Beauvoir are memorable. And the character of the aggravating, insulting lush Ruth Zardo and her duck Rosa, well.....indescribable! Penny knows how to mix in some humor too.

What I love about both Cleeves' Shetland series and Penny's Gamache series is how much they immerse you in the culture of the places and the special character of the peoples. Good reading, both!

"Age is always advancing and I'm fairly sure it's up to no good." Harry Dresden (Jim Butcher)

(This post was edited by Old Toby on Feb 16, 4:16am)


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