Dread & Read Book Summary 2018

My turnout was passable, the first time I tried Jane’s interesting reading theme.  I finished and reviewed 150 books for myself, with plenty I was less keen about.  It so happens I targeted two of the three I estimated, dismissing one as not for me.  However Jane knows I write thorough write-ups and keep trucking.  I follow through.  Let’s see if I challenge other books I highlighted.  I am more keen to this year.

~

(A)  “Sense And Sensibility  Jane Austen  1811

I feel if I am to be a serious authoress, I should read Jane Austen.  I have collected most of them.  There are millions of editions at those bargain places I riffle.  I am all ready to go.  But I have worried enjoyment might be hampered in a “women not treated properly” manner, being so old.  She has been described as a romance writer, which is not my cup of tea but is also billed as a must-read of all time, the queen of excellence.  I like beginning with the first.  Maybe I’ll find humour or other surprises.  Maybe I’ll be intoxicated by the writing.  With me, that is possible;  something I admire most.  If I love the writing, the subject almost never matters.  If all of this is not incentive enough:  I have visited her house in Bath;  the entryway!  I figured I shouldn’t tour upstairs if I hadn’t read her yet.  If I can afford to return to England, up I go!

*  I am keen read this in 2018!  In November, my birthday month, I had my fill and treated myself to the kinds of literature I love best!  I am ready to try this classic authoress.  I believe it is a smart educational excursion as a writer.

 

**  November 12, 2018:  **  I did it!  I read it right when starting 2018 and what’s more, I loved it!  I am still a little automatically leery of big name classic authors, outside my favourite mystery fiction genre.  Will I find 1800s books old-fashioned, unpleasantly injust towards women or animals, or unrelatable?  These thoughts have me bracing myself for the most famous “Pride And Prejudice” and putting it on Jane’s list for next year.  However now, I am armed with the knowledge that I liked one output of Jane Austen’s work.  I feel very satisfied and accomplished about reading her first novel.  Hurray!
https://www.amazon.ca/review/R2D2VW91OBW08O/ref=cm_rv_eml_rv0_rv

~

(B)  “One Corpse Too Many  Ellis Peters  1979

This is another case of gathering a long series but not falling in love with the character or premise.  I hesitate to step forward over the writing.  I cannot stand the adjective “gently” more than once.  I had trouble reading “A Morbid Taste For Bones” and acquired about 20 of this lady’s books.  Let’s hope this second book is better.

*  I will read this in 2018.  There should be no more reluctance about reading this series after the first page.  It is my hope the Ellis tamped down weak, overdone descriptions and gets right to the chase and her interesting aspects.  I am sure I will like other mysteries a lot more too.  The first was a slow trip to Wales.

**  November 12, 2018:  **  Believe it or not, I did it!  I tried Ellis Peters, with her writing style I don’t quite like, and survived far better than I imagined!  She DID improve this time around and I thought the novel was pretty good, too!  Far more interesting than the first, in narration and in action.  I was more afraid to revisit a series novel I knew I had not liked than of English classics, so this is an especially gratifying and triumphant accomplishment, Jane!  Trepidation still exists for her third, “Monk’s Hood”, because one is unsure if she would slip back into lazy excess of narration, or if the improved editing will perseve.  Perhaps if I like the next volume as well, I will be cured of dreading Ellis (who is Edith Pargeter).

~

(C)  “The Tin Flute  Gabrielle Roy  1945

I read Gabrielle Roy’s first short story collection, presented as ficiton but autobiographical.  She is from my home city.  I already love her graceful, expressive writing;  a genuine writer who is unparalleled!  Why dread her first début, award-garnering oeuvre?  I saw the original, French film in school, “Bonheur D’Occasion” and it was depressing.  Curriculums are comprised of things we wouldn’t choose;  not as children.  Most school material can’t be appreciated until we’re grown-up.  I had an extra cultural layer.  I attended French schools since grade 4.  Yes indeed, I speak and read more than two languages.  :)  Winnipeg’s own Gabrielle Roy was a must.

I will read this, this month, perhaps when I finish my present book!  It works with a translated challenged for the Canadian reading group.

**  November 12, 2018:  **  I have a proud report here too, Jane!  I made it through this dreary poverty story that I have had an aversion to since school days!  I was an immersion student and know French arts can get depressing and dramatic;  even if they are known for “Joie De Vivre”, Can-Can dancing, romance, and high fashion (“haute couture”).  The contents of this story that was groundbreaking for French Canadian literature, were the poorest situation I have ever imagined in a first world country.  Their fortune, with a sick child in addition to finances, was grim.  It received a modest rating but I had no troubling sticking with it, rooting for everyone, and appreciating conversation points that are new considerations for me.  People were so poor, that war offered a life-saving income?  Thought-provoking is a compliment and Gabrielle authored this in real time.  The awards are well-merited.
https://www.amazon.ca/review/R1MWWBP305UGU2/ref=cm_rv_eml_rv0_rv

~

(D)  “Surfacing  Margaret Atwood  1972

I always thought “The Handmaid’s Tale” sounded too abusive and injust for me to tolerate;  so much that I am selling the new paperback I have owned for years.  I understand there is no need to read unpleasant that I know I cannot abide.  After last year’s success making a television show out of it, the violent clips confirm my impression.  I tried Margaret’s first novel, “The Edible Woman” and gave it three stars.  It was peculiar and abstract but there was enough resonance and levity to read through the story.  I worried about the shelf of her books I have owned for years and whether or not any of them would approach my cup of tea.  Since “Surfacing” is from my birth year and is all about rugged nature;  daring to try it brought a triple-incentive.

**  November 12, 2018:  **  I am pleased to have pushed myself above an addition, fourth dreaded book!  Here is some irony.  The one I thought I might like, with a natural forest and lake setting and the sound of a mystery to it, is one of the books I have least liked in my life.  It got one star and good-riddance, into my selling bin.
https://www.amazon.ca/review/R2GHN8PHYBHVVR/ref=cm_rv_eml_rv0_rv

~

I appreciate the gift of three sweetener goodies and feel that they merit the best effort I can make.  So I feel good about conquering as many books that generated trepidation, as I can.  If there are more, I will add them.  There are plenty to conquer on a list per year!

JANE’S SWEETENER TREATS!
“Eat, Drink, And Be Buried”  Kate Kingsbury
That and / or 3 picks from your book giveaway list.  You know I love the ones about water’s metaphysics.
With a thank-you and appreciation, Carolyn.

Advertisements
Posted in Book / Novel / Literature, Canadian, Film / TV / Entertainment, Language / Grammar / Writing | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Reading Naturally, Summary 2018

I rejoined “Reading Naturally” with pleasure and it merits a fresh page of updates, since we have arrived all the way to my birth month:  November!  Jane is generous, inclusive of Canadians, which I know as her first year’s winner!  Our natural world and universe having a great deal to do with the spirit of all of us, fits right in with my long-standing “Ethereal“, which she joins.

Jane is an eager, gratifying hostess, taking interest in what we contribute.  She is very engaged and appreciative in a way I hope my guests feel, because this is my aim.  With smaller groups and a longtime one, she establishes a nice community to which I am thrilled to belong.  Any of her themes are well worth joining but I especially value sharing fellow animal and nature advocacy.  Everyone knows our cats are our precious children.

I will read to new year’s eve and add anything that fits this theme amply.  I am finished, with at least three books in each!  I met every item except the Orion book;  a specific niche.  I have one beautiful book about octopus that I won from Jane but want to savour it another time.

I have many new books and continue working on my inaugural list.  Even though no size is set, I made sure every category comprises full books, alongside tiny tot ones that fit the subjects nicely.  Please return to see my explanations of my selections in these categories.  Most of my reviews are ready.  :-)  Sincerely, Birthday Girl, Carolyn!

 

Exposed to nature:  1-3 books
Engaged with nature:  4-6 books
Immersed in nature:  7+ books.

 

(01)  ANIMAL ADVOCACY, ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION.

I love reading short educational spotlights about Canadian history, places, and people and buy a wide variety of them.  I acquire knowledge in easy sips that I retain.  Other than docking marks for focusing on dreary stories and these also sounding repetitive;  the understanding I gleamed of how our police were formed, is valuable.  Indeed, our Mounties helped found Canada, herself, by making it liveable through establishment of common sense laws and building protected outposts.  They comprise as well, companion and working horses.

I doubt anyone doesn’t know Beatrix Potter as the conservationist, unusually-varied animal person, and nature artist that she was.  Her books result from tried and true experience painting animals, plants, and fungus;  which made her an expert in mychology.

Although warped religious aspects poor continuity struck my disapproval, Kevin Donovan’s independent book about saving animals from peril was appreciated by me.

The Mounties:  Tales Of Adventure And Danger In The Early Days
Elle Andra-Warner  2004
“The Tale Of Ginger And Pickles”  Beatrix Potter  1909
Billy And His Friends Rescue Betsy Bear”  Kevin Donovan  1996

~

(02)  OUTDOOR ACTIVITY ON A COVER.

The Hardy Boys series, started by Canadian ghostwriter Leslie McFarlane, can be counted on for athleticism and animal and humanitarian protection.  Extreme adventurous pursuits take place on land in all seasons and on lakes;  with never-ending camping, hiking, climbing, wood-trekking, and cave-exploring.

I didn’t feel Emily Toll had her stride with unrolling a mystery and putting this novel’s focus where it belongs.  The natural locations are its special highlight:  vineyards and even a forest of the amazing redwood trees.

A kid’s book my brothers & I have had for years that I did not know was exceptionally good and forward-thinking:  I loved Little Audrey’s story more than a look at the cover would have me guess.  When a girl is declined use of a telescope, she and a friend, with some help from her Dad, invent a creative way to convince a boy of their intelligence!

A picture book for the youngest of youth age groups, I admired that it was set in an unusual place, on a one-of-a-kind tourist experience.  The white pass rides between the Canadian Yukon Territory and Alaska, a northern territory of the United States.  Bernd & Susan Richter retired in the latter.

The Mystery Of Cabin Island”  Leslie McFarlane  1929
Murder Will Travel”  Emily Toll  2002
Little Audrey And The Moon Lady”  Harvey Cartoon Studios  1960
When Grandma And Grandpa Rode The White Pass Train”  Bernd & Susan Richter  1988

~

(03)  ANIMALS.

These are self-explanatory.  While my own precious cat has been missing, I need to read books like the two here.  Any good, positive, and happy facts and testimonies of cats being returned home after a year and being resilient!

Here are some special notes I would like to make, about why the four children’s books are a must.  Wendy Frood Auger’s & Les Drew’s book is a new discovery that will surely become one of Canada’s classics.  It is impressively uplifting, emotional, and representative of our activities in many seasons.

Pamela Conn Beall’s & Susan Hagen Nipp’s story is notable for being a songbook, that is additionally well set-up for performance as a play.  My favourite part about it, that touched me the most, is that each infant or youngster animal asked its Mother why they do specific things.  Their answers are sweet and beautiful, even though they are commonplace and practical.

Caroline Stellings’s sparklingly-illustrated book is a fresh new gem in Canadian children’s literature.  It depicts the history of fortunecookie-making, via Gypsy, the cat, who needs to create a new way of employment for herself, after San Francisco’s stickler new mayor makes a law, against paying for fortunetelling.

Anyone would be surprised at the education level of Jane Yolen’s & Mark Teague’s simply-told board book story.  You might not notice that standard or made-up dinosaur shapes are not dashed off but astoundingly:  are accurate drawings of how each dinosaur species looks!  What’s more, this board book becomes useful to grown-ups, when you spot their actual scientific names in a corner of the portraits!

Great Cat Stories:  Inspirational Tales About Exceptional Cats
Roxanne Willems Snopek  2004
Cat Miracles:  Inspiring True Tales Of Remarkable Felines
Brag Steiger & Sherry Hansen Steiger  2003
10 Drowsy Dinosaurs”  Wendy Frood Auger & Les Drew  2010
Over In The Meadow (A Musical Story / Play)
Pamela Conn Beall & Susan Hagen Nipp  1987
Gypsy’s Fortune”  Caroline Stellings  2014
How Do Dinosaurs Count To Ten?”  Jane Yolen & Mark Teague  2004

~

(04)  OUTDOORSY HEROINES AND HEROES.

This is self-explanatory too but I want to emphasize that Margaret Atwood’s story is an outdoor mentality at the extreme.  The protagonist psychologically snapped after having enough of overbearing companions and flees them by momentarily throwing off human-made things.

Elizabeth Peters’s most famous Amelia Peabody character, everyone knows, works with her archaeologist husband in late 1800s Egypt.  I favour her modern heroine, the impressive and much more relatable Vicky Bliss.  She is a doctor of archaeology in the 1970s and 1980s and evades villains too, in terrain all over the world.

Carole Nelson Douglas’s début mystery was not very good but one protagonist narrative is of a Las Vegas street cat, fashioned after her boy in real life.

I am a new fan of Martha Grimes.  Each mystery takes place in different English country and both men working on them leap in to all manners of adventures and exertion;  intellectually and bodily.  The policeman makes himself memorable by expressing a love for snow, whenever he can spend time in it.  Martha ought to write a Canadian visit!

Surfacing”  Margaret Atwood  1972
The Lion In The Valley”  Elizabeth Peters  1986
Street Of Five Moons”  Elizabeth Peters  1978
Catnap”  Carole Nelson Douglas  1992
The Old Fox Deceiv’d”  Martha Grimes  1982

~

(05)  CURRENT ISSUE:  climate change, biodiversity.

This is where I valued making an explanation particularly.  You would not know by any of these covers, nor by their respective genres (coming of age youth, standard adult mystery, and gothic mystery), that they entail admirably serious focuses on biodiversity.  Phyllis A. Whitney’s original hardcover was not of a brooding child but of the wholly forestral experience it is about!  Furthermore, a class of kids trying to get along, study how artificial lakes achieve water conservation.

Our great Howard Engel who features detective cases around Niagara Falls and Ste. Catherine’s, surprised me by tackling the illegal disposal of hazardous waste!  With the concern for the world’s environment risen since 1990, the aspects of this case would receive an exponentially more irate reaction.

Velda Johnston puts a lot of work into gothic mystery personages and her settings, which are throughly-developed and impressively realistic.  In short, her novels are not trite;  even though romance is the surface sideline of this genre.  In this one, an enterprising captain’s son establishes a sugar planation on a French Caribbean island and plans a sugary refinery counterpart for his American town.  Do you see?  You wouldn’t expect any of this content from these bookcovers!  I am thrilled to achieve this specialized category so abundantly.

Nobody Likes Trina”  Phyllis A. Whitney  1972
Dead And Buried”  Howard Engel  1990
The Late Mrs. Fonsell”  Velda Johnston  1972

~

(06)  WATER.

The sweet-looking Scuffy of my childhood suite of books is self-explanatory.  These mysteries by Anne Perry, Simon Brett, and Jo Dereske are started or resolved in various water bodies:  London’s sewer system, a river alongside a retirement home, and a lake.  As usual, Nora Roberts set her drama alongside an ocean.

Bluegate Fields”  Anne Perry  1984
A Nice Class Of Corpse”  Simon Brett  1992
Daring To Dream”  Nora Roberts  1996
Miss Zukas And The Library Murders”  Jo Dereske  1994
Scuffy The Tugboat”  Tibor Gergely & Gertrude Crampton  1972

~

(07)  NEW:  published 2015 onward.

Jane & I chatted about the difficulty of this category, which is why she accommodates what is new for us.  I am a physical book reader buying primarily second-hand.  These three are unusually new for my home stock, two and three years-old.

Ghost Gifts”  Laura Spinella  2016
In A Dark, Dark Wood”  Ruth Ware  2015
“The Other Side Of Midnight”  Simone St. James  2015

~

(08) DYSTOPIA-FLAVOURED:  emphasizing consequences.

A Canadian classic, based on history:  I did not expect to love Hugh MacLennan’s literature landscsape changer to the degree that I did.  Fictional post war lovers show us starkly, how serious the Halifax explosion was.  A foreign ship carelessly ran into a parked WWI amunition ship at Halifax’s port.  Hugh lived through it as a boy.  The explosion and fires destroyed half the city glass shattered in many towns at a distance.  Then, with people dashing for shelter;  unfortunately, a blizzard hit.

Gabrielle Roy was not only an adult in WWII but wrote her own literature landscape changer two years after it ended.  Her perspective was very current and astute.  At that time, there were Montréalers who were so poor;  signing up as soldiers brought an income superior to what many had, to families!

The great spy authoress, Dorothy Gilman, took us farther back in history and I gained more insight than I expected, into Boston’s defeat of the British.  Her protagonist is a boy, kidnapped from England into indentured servitude.  The city was affected by battle and the king cutting off supply ships.

Past obsession and crimes were built vididly into Sarah Rayne’s mild horror mystery.  Buildings of torture erected when the law excused favoured figures, stain a town decades into the future.  It also affects the socio-economic state of villagers who have become elderly.

Barometer Rising”  Hugh MacLennan  1941
The Tin Flute”  Gabrielle Roy  1947
Bells Of Freedom”  Dorothy Gilman  1963
The Silence”  Sarah Rayne  2013

~

(09)  EXTREME ELEMENT:  sailing, mountain-climbing.

The Secret Treasure Of Oak Island”  D’Arcy O’Connor  2004
The Mystery Of The Lost Lemon Mine”  Ron Stewart  1993
Extreme Canadian Weather”  Joan Dixon  2005
Little Lost Lamb”  Margaret Wise Brown (Golden MacDonald) & Leonard Weisgard  1945

~

(10)  SEASONS.

Manitoba Stories”  Joan Parr  1981
The Brutal Telling”  Louise Penny  2009
A Killing Spring”  Gail Bowen  1996
Arthur’s Hallowe’en”  Marc Brown  1982
Franklin’s Hallowe’en”  Paulette Bourgeois & Brenda Clark  1996

~

(11)  PLANTS.

I note that Louise Penny’s enthralling mystery takes place at a forest resort but what’s more, the resolution incorporates ants and sugar.  Mignon Warner’s town medium makes special jam and tea brews.  Thomas Kinkade was a prolific cottage, landsape, and garden painter;  even if they looked the same.  Ellis Peters’s medieval Benedictine monk really cuts the mustard of this category!  He is their monastery’s herbalist and gardener!

The Murder Stone”  Louise Penny  2008
A Medium For Murder”  Mignon Warner  1976
“The Garden Of Friendship”  Thomas Kinkade  2000
“One Corpse Too Many”  Ellis Peters  1979

~

(12)  WILDERNESS LOCALE.

I would like to emphasize that Lillian Beckwith’s and Constance Walker’s stories in particular, imbue enchantingly region specific wilderness.  The ocean along the Hebrides Islands characterizes Lillian’s autobiographic episodes and dangerous moors in Wales contribute to Constance’s mystery.  Of course, Jane Austen whisks us into horseriding countryside.  Elizabeth George takes her police team around farmland and old monasteries, beside a wilderness retreat.

Sense And Sensibility”  Jane Austen  1811
The Sea For Breakfast”  Lillian Beckwith  1961
The Shimmering Stones Of Winter’s Light”  Constance Walker  1991
A Great Deliverance”  Elizabeth George  1988

~

(13)  SPIRITUAL:  emphasizing connection.

Haunted”  Ophelia Julien  2012
Ghosts Of Government House”  Judith Silverthorne  2011
“The Strangers On Montagu Street”  Karen White  2011
Arrow Book Of Ghost Stories”  Nora Kramer & George Wilde  1960
Mysterious Brockville”  Nancy Wickwire Fraser  2000
A Ghost In The House”  Betty Ren Wright  1991
“Adventures Of A Psychic”  Sylvia Browne & Antoinette May  1990

~

(14)  SKILLS.

There is a lot of new content for me to adopt into my favourite literature this year!  Victoria Holt’s gothic mystery heroine is an accomplished equestrian teacher and Victoria Thompson’s heroine is an early 1900s widwife.  Rhys Bowen’s Welsh policeman is an accomplished hiker and mountaineer, like many of his small town by practicality.

My other two books require less succinct descriptions.  The Father in Robert Westall’s novel is a historic architecht, restoring a monastary discovered to be older than the extior revealed.  This is woodland and a variety of masonry, cooking, and outdoor skills arise.

Cancer Care Manitoba has worked towards a cure since 1930!  This is a wonderful, keepsake artbook about their most memorable fundraiser, that I saw and on occasion, continue to see personally.  Amateur and professional artists of Winnipeg painted majestic, permanent polar bear statues for company donors!  It brought together mould-making artisans, transportation and storage experts, visual artists, fundraisers, an array of local industries.  Their efforts connected with the medical, scientific, and administrative experts in cancer curing and care.

The Bears Of Broadway”  Cancer Care Manitoba  2005
Mistress Of Mellyn”  Victoria Holt  1960
Murder On Astor Place”  Victoria Thompson  1999
Evans Above”  Rhys Bowen  1997
Ghost Abbey”  Robert Westall  1988

~

(15)  ADVOCACY:  SPEAKING UP FOR NATURE.

Loving local memories, creations, and artwork again:  Carol & Kristin Szuminsky are a daughter and Mother, authoring beautiful self-published books with Kristin’s artist and convervationist Father, Jack Brown.  I seldom visit Oak Hammock Marsh because it is at a distance and takes time to explore but I remember and value every visit dearly.  It is one of Manitoba’s very important nature and ecology preserves.  It is a children’s book but none fits better.

David Handler is one of few men writers I enjoy and I am a fan of his interracial mystery-solving series couple.  The strong, fit policewoman is a cat-rescuer and her film critic boyfriend resides in a lakeland gated community.  In this mystery in particular, they fight to keep it natural and quiet.

Larry Weinberg’s book has another cover that does not give credence to the fantastically sympathetic dual timeline adventure;  bolstered with impeccably-researched Civil War history.  It pertains to humanitarianism the most but the whole face of the United States, people and land, altered drastically at this time.  There is a tremendous love and respect for horses throughout as well, if this theme required more of that aspect.

The Hot Pink Farmhouse”  David Handler  2002
Ghost Hotel”  Larry Weinberg  1994
“Penny Visits Oak Hammock Marsh”  Carol & Kristin Szuminsky & Jack Brown  2008

~

(16)  BIOGRAPHY, MEMOIR OF AN ENVIRONMENTALIST.

Jean Little is a Canadian born in Taiwan, with missionary parents.  This biography of her Mom’s, also born to missionary parents, shows how she and her husband got into it.  The protagonist’s own parents often acclimatized to foreign countries but also had re-establish themselves with relatives, in Canadian towns or farms.  Jean, legally blind, became an advocate for education about blindness and guide dogs.

Peter J. Peters emigrated to Manitoba as a child from wartime Russia and was extremely well-known in our agriculture and berry-picking industry.  He happened to be a self-published poet, with autobiographical pieces and poems in each of his books.  I don’t like his prose but love the heart about our home turf.

The most self-explanatory name there is on natural, animal, humanitarian, and spiritual subjects:  Jesus!  This energizing, all-inclusive spiritual discussion, accompanies a documentary Janet & Richard Bock filmed called “The Lost Years”.  It shares documented historical facts that the average populace doesn’t know, or strive to know:  the gospel book was edited down.  It was done to the advantage of Constantinople’s religious leanings in 325 AD;  made worse by ruining the invaluable Library Of Alexandria in 389 AD.  There are no arguments and every portion is very respectfully, impartially presented.  There is also a lovely personal element:  their experiences looking for records in India, of Jesus’s omitted life activities from ages 13 to 30.  All of the natural landscapes explored in India are vividly brought to mind and sacred places and experiences related with wonderment.

His Banner Over Me”  Jean Little  1995
Driftwood And Other Poems”  P.J. Peters  1978
“The Jesus Mystery (Of Lost Years And Unknown Travels)”  Janet Bock  1980

~

(17)  ORION OR OTHER AWARD-WINNING LITERATURE.

This is a section I skip because I’m not an award-winning or classic reader.  However, I did not recall the amended definition.  If nature-related books garnering other awards work, I can finish this category as well.  However the ones I have read that fit, serve any other category better.

~

Posted in Animal Rights, Animals Or Pets, Book / Novel / Literature, Canadian, Cats, Spirits / Ghosts / Haunted | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Are you an earnest listener?

We made two of our closest friends seventeen years ago.  Yes, I have a strong memory for dates, personal moments, the stories of novels and films….  details generally.  The only aspect at which I am less strong is memorizing a list string, which demonstrates that a different brain neuron works with those.  As evidenced by board game trivia, I ace retrieving memories.  If I have ever absorbed it, I can get it out, with patience and a prompt!  Therefore when this wonderful friend seemed to have a habit of laughing off her inability to retain information “for old age”, it made me angry.

I have never abided a defeatest attitude, the impossibility of making some contributions and possessing some control.  Age 43 recently, was as far as I could go to avert reading glasses but by gum, age is not an automatic declarer of brain and body health!  I pointed out to her a couple of years ago, that I am older than she was when we met.  I am glad she has not made that distasteful joke again.  In her case:  an intelligent, educated, successful, and loveable woman….  attention span is the key!  I need to alert her about this because it has grown hard to have a conversation.

She is one of those folks you might have encountered, who drops the person speaking to her for whomever walks by.  Not “Excuse me, I’d like to catch them before they leave” but dropping me and turning to them!  How can she remember a thing, if she tunes into the room instead of the person facing her?  Every subsequent shiny object is more interesting than her present focal point.

It doesn’t work to be like my Dad, so geared-up about what he wants to say, that he can’t be paying attention.  People who break in as soon as your sentence ends (which would be a step up with my dear friend!) are a sure sign.  They say they heard you but barge on, closing the conversation you offered.  Being good, invested listeners is the first step to memory strength.  My philosophy is that we all win, if we are most interested in what the other person has to share!  Make emotional exclamations, validate feelings, pose questions to show earnest interest.  It’s a shame my folks bicker to speak and that we need to firmly clear sentence space.

My beloved spouse is a unique case in its own way, less frustrating if it didn’t require a daily effort to overcome.  Instead of listening to my simple queries and answering the plain words, he inexplicably drums up an interpretation of what he thinks I want.

Gadgets must go when we are visiting!  Phone calls, e-mails, voice mails, text messages are for keeping in touch with someone who isn’t in your house.  Don’t answer phones or messages when you are in someone’s house!  Enjoy the person in front of you.  It is impossible to engage yourself fully and concentrate sufficiently well.  Even if you ignore messages but have gadgets on and can hear or see what’s incoming.  It serves nothing but to make you curious about what the message is.  The moment your guest or host leaves the room, most people can’t contain their curiousity.  The beauty of visiting someone’s home is that when your host steps away, you absorb their atmosphere, their life!  Make friends with their pets, gaze at their portraits and art objects.  When is the last time you perused anyone’s shelves of books, music, or movies?

Leave calls and messages for home, or emergencies!  It goes without saying that parents with young children necessitate a gadget tuned in.  We are discussing the need to establish conversation and visiting etiquette, especially in the era of people’s answering machines and e-mail being hauled with them.  It used to be that you checked your internet and answering machine when you got home, or asked to check-in remotely on a long visit.  We dearly need to preserve the “catch up at home” mentality and manners!

Ron & I got so aggitated about our land line disturbing us, when we were enjoying cats on our laps and other lovely couples moments, that we keep it unplugged.  I favour the unobtrusiveness of e-mail.  People can leave you messages at any time and you set aside time to check it when it’s convenient.  My parents who don’t have the internet, can leave a voicemail on my cell phone, which only has emergency minutes.  It sits in a drawer unless I go out.  If I hear it, I answer and look for voicemails every few hours.  I am not interrupted, nor apprehensive about being disturbed.

My reading, writing, and special home time is wholly invested.  Ron leaves his emergency cell phone on the counter.  His Mom and mine occasionally call.  We don’t watch movies and listen to CDs often enough and savour that.  Because I am focused, if I see a film or television scene again, I know the dialogue by heart.  It feels splendid when we occasionally read books together on the same couch.  I treasure all of these moments.

Posted in Manners / Etiquette, Public Issues, technology | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Birth Year Reading 2018

I rejoined J.G. for her most well-known group too, making me a member of all three!  It is my pleasure.  I was a prize-winner from her collection, which thrills me and delivered good news when I needed it.  I have several books ready and plan to read at least three.

Note that I work entirely with books we already own, in abundance in our home.  I don’t shop for 1972 literature.  The purpose of reading challenges is to enjoy books we own, with fun themes and relaxed scavenger hunts for sharing them.

I suggest that finding books in our birth year is amply specific.  J.G. allows switching to a relative’s birth year if we don’t have literature in ours.  It follows that securing even small books in our own, answers the mission accurately.  I have been retrieving more voluminous books from my collection, to guarantee fulfilling the wonderful prize criteria, in the meantime.

Here are the ones I have on hand!  Please visit for replies to comments, that I assure you are immediate and for review links added.  All of my reviews can be found in an alphabetized menu atop my blog.

 

Surfacing”  Margaret Atwood  1972
The Late Mrs. Fonsell”  Velda Johnston  1972
Nobody Likes Trina”  Phyllis A. Whitney  1972
“Uncle Robert’s Secret”  Wylly Folk St. John  1972
Scuffy The Tugboat”  Tibor Gergely  1972

“The Seventh Sinner”  Elizabeth Peters  1972
I will not likely read this one because it is well into a series I have not started.

– – – – – – – – – –

I would be thrilled for “Dread & Read” treats to be books I liked in your collection.  The one about handwriting and water ones.  I ran out of the gate in 2018 and finished two impressive entries already!  Sincerely, Carolyn.

Posted in Book / Novel / Literature | Tagged , , , , , , | 2 Comments

My blog’s seventh anniversary!

My blog spends a lot of time on the subject of literature and the four related groups I run but the original purpose remains, that it is my place to write:  publically.  As a matter of fact it is my RIEDEL Fascination anniversary, the day when I posted something fretting my mind and was glad to have this forum for pouring it out.  I had decided to give a home to four kittens and their Mom, born of a youngster I willingly fostered.  I will let you read about, as I do every February, how the prudent intentions of a shelter’s policy broke down, into a propostrous fight to keep them from a shelter they had never seen.

They are the lights of our lives.  Now seven years old and their little Mother eight, one is missing.  Please know that your prayers and “my cat came back after so many months” stories, encourage us tremendously.  I know our joint request, faith, and positive energy have kept Conan safe!  I know it IS also ensuring the outcome that he is reunited with us at home this spring!  May someone notice his tattoo, local or internet alerts, or free him to walk home when it is safe this spring.  He is the baby against my cheek and baby Love is the white boy upon my shoulder.

Conan is the orange sweetheart, in between his white sister, Angel and brother, LovePetal is our orange girl at the left of her Mom, Marigold.  If my youngest children of seven cats are seven, I guess that is the anniversary of my blog!

In honesty, I have not had the shower of comments I hoped, which did not improve with hosting reaching challenges.  I am working towards inviting participatory people, to keep on visiting long-time peers as much as it is feasible with dial-up internet, and am writing more of the plain articles my original subscribers like.  Silent or not, thank you for staying with me.  I love books but like writing about a lot more than that.  Today, I am.  It works out that if I keep up with my book groups, it frees me to talk of other goings-on and things.

I have not hesitated to share the most personal concerns of my life and were grateful for the few who stepped up to give a comforting hand about them;  sometines non-subscribed strangers.  Three years ago, one of those cherished kittens suddenly died at four years-old and I absolutely had to have my WordPress blog, to grieve and reach out to you.  We are healed from Love’s passing now and when we have his brother, Conan home safely, that is all that matters.  We will be the happiest we have been in those three years.  We can’t do anything but remember Love.  We can and have very determinedly been working towards bringing Conan home!

As an author-in-progress, this is a place to learn and make connections.  I want readership and publicity when I triumph at finishing a piece of work.  However I am too, a girl who likes making friends and who wants to share.  This community, also associated with Goodreads, means a lot to me personally.  I guess I am a real writer, if life’s difficulties raise the urging to write my feelings and thoughts out!  In honour of my anniversary:  here is a post just about me, with my endeared thanks to all of you!  Especially folks finds this spot of mine for the first time, which is finally drawing many more of you:  welcome and thank you, genuinely!

I am going to host some special features, likely just for fun, that are for everyone who stops by and is interested.  Please stay tuned:  my festivities are called “Show Your Seasons” and “Show Me Your Stash”!  I am a gardener, nature lover, amateur photographer, and music-lover too and there is a lot of mutual interest in those passions.  Interacting with you, from my rural home and despite slow speed internet, is one of my dearest pleasures.  Life is for sharing with loved-ones and friends who are close and for telling people at a further distance about it!  Wouldn’t you agree?  :)  Yours Truly, Carolyn and family.

Do you recognize this?  I am showing the full picture, from which my blog’s banner is a part!

 

Posted in Animals Or Pets, Cats, Public Issues | Tagged , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

Carolyn’s Gentle Spectrums 2018!

 

Here are the books I finish and foresee reading, for my theme, Gentle Spectrums 2018!  This is the review page with everyone’s links to have fun browsing (when I make it).  Here are my books for my group last year.  Please join all of my themes.
https://cmriedel.wordpress.com/headquarters-2018/

I am excited about brainstorming a lot of great new topics and beneficial ways to expand the ones we are reprising.  I hope everyone is as pleased with them as I am.  This logo is not my photograph, like the gorgeous Manitoba marsh vista last year but I hope everyone derives peace and happy thoughts from its beauty.  I really like it.

Please visit for review links as I finish.  Below them are drafts I make of books that fit, which I have queued.  My selections go by my moods and I constantly score fresh book bargains, which is important when one reads nearly all physical literature.  However I normally read the ones I list for myself soon.  Goodness knows we are blessed with good stock.
– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

 

(01)  LIMITLESS PALETTE
Also: colourful, colour, bright, light, iridescent, iridescence, dark, shade, hue, spectrum, rainbow, prism.

Bluegate Fields”  Anne Perry  1984

(02)  TREASURE OR HIGH ADVENTURE

The Secret Treasure Of Oak Island”  D’Arcy O’Connor  2004
The Mystery Of The Lost Lemon Mine”  Ron Stewart  1993

(03)  TOYS OR HOBBIES
One could call nearly anything a toy or hobby, so let’s make these well-established toys and hobbies.

(04)  HEALTHFULNESS
Happy feelings, drink, food, exercise, medicine, energy: you decide!

(05)  ANIMALS
I always include birds, fish, and insects. I love them all.

(06)  NATURAL ENVIRONMENT

(07)  THE ARTS

The Tin Flute” Gabrielle Roy  1945

(08)  FASHION & FURNISHINGS
We needn’t stop at sewing and knitting.  We can expand to curtains, doilies, linen, and quilts!

(09)  CANADIAN

The Murder Stone”  Louise Penny  2008

(10)  HISTORY

“Sense And Sensibility”  Jane Austen  1811

(11)  THIRD TIME CHARM?

Poirot Investigates”  Agatha Christie  1924
I disliked this third Hercule Poirot novel!  I liked the character before and after a break, am sure of liking him anew.  I think it is especially the short story format that brought low regard.  I am not a short story fan and there were poor standards in the attempt to apply these ones as “you solve the mystery” exercises.

Posted in Book / Novel / Literature | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Carolyn’s My Kind Of Mystery

 

My reading groups are started for the year, this very month!  Here is my own post, where I will keep track of my mystery reading, further to this group’s review page!  I hope you will visit both to see how we do.  This post comprises a list of books in this genre I am conteplating this year.  Atop, with links as I review them, is my sequenced list of what I have finished reading.

It isn’t all fiction.  My theme includes everything, including mysteries of real life like the two below, about Oak Island and the Lemon Mine.  Please enjoy and spread the word so others discover this happy group.

Here is what I read last year.
https://cmriedel.wordpress.com/2017/02/01/carolyns-mykindofmystery2017/
Join all four my my relaxed, easy reading themes!
https://cmriedel.wordpress.com/headquarters-2018/

 

~ READ ~
The Murder Stone”  Louise Penny  2008
Poirot Investigates”  Agatha Christie  1924
The Secret Treasure Of Oak Island”  D’Arcy O’Connor  2004
The Mystery Of The Lost Lemon Mine”  Ron Stewart  1993

 

PROPOSED ~
“Death At Buckingham Palace”  C.C. Benison  1996
“Cirak’s Daughter”  Charlotte MacLeod  1982
“The Missing Madonna”  Sister Carol Anne O’Marie  1988
“The Old Fox Deceiv’d”  Martha Grimes  1982
“Grey Mask”  Patricia Wentworth  1928
“Mystery Mile”  Margery Allingham  1930
“The House On The Roof”  Mignon G. Eberhart  1934
“A Dry Spell”  Susie Moloney  1997
“The League Of Frightened Men”  Rex Stout  1935
“Death At The President’s Lodging”  Michael Innes  1936
“Mystery Of The Black Diamonds”  Phyllis A. Whitney  1954
“Secret Of The Samurai Sword”  Phyllis A. Whitney  1958
“Cast, In Order Of Disappearance”  Simon Brett  1975
“A Nice Class Of Corpse”  Simon Brett  1986
“The Body On The Beach”  Simon Brett  2000
“The Street Of The Five Moons”  Elizabeth Peters  1978
“Secret Of The Tiger’s Eye”  Phyllis A. Whitney  1961
“Mystery Of The Angry Idol”  Phyllis A. Whitney  1965
“Secret Of The Spotted Shell”  Phyllis A. Whitney  1967
“Secret Of Goblin Glen”  Phyllis A. Whitney  1968
“The Mystery Of The Crimson Ghost”  Phyllis A. Whitney  1969
“Secret Of The Missing Footprint”  Phyllis A. Whitney  1970
“The Vanishing Scarecrow”  Phyllis A. Whitney  1971
“Mystery Of The Scowling Boy”  Phyllis A. Whitney  1973
“Secret Of The Stone Face”  Phyllis A. Whitney  1977
“The Mysterium”  Eric McCormack  1992
“The Trickster”  Muriel Gray  1994

Posted in Book / Novel / Literature | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Carolyn’s Celtic Coasts 2018!

 

It is my pleasure to reprise my newest theme, for its third year:  Celtic Coasts 2018!
I love Irish and Scottish places, authors, lore, and have been learning more about Wales.  I am first to give Welsh-related literature somewhere to go in reaching challenges!  A few of my novels at home are finally sampling it.

I would love to visit Ireland, loved Scotland wholeheartedly, and our 2010 vacation schedule had us reluctantly drive past Wales. Reading about places you know and increasing knowledge about places and cultrues through books, has us enjoying them as subjects and settings increasingly.  Like most Canadians, I am very multicultured and two Celtic countries comprise a large part of that.

I am in the mood to renew my Celtic reading with refreshed vigour.  Favourites in whom I haven’t indugled for awhile, like Maeve Binchy and Lillian Beckwith, are going to be rejoined and there is no shortage of new Celtic authors and plots that I come across.  Like all of my reading themes, we have the stock at home to ably fulfill all of them for years, with what we have on hand.  This is the literature I matched with Celtic Coasts last year.
https://cmriedel.wordpress.com/2017/02/02/carolyns-celtic-coasts-2017/

 

Here is what I propose to give a whirl this year.  The more I think on it, the more authors, sequels, and books come to mind!  Please visit again to see the links of books I finish and the review page too, is always available to browse.

“Bluegate Fields”  Anne Perry  1984
“The Sea For Breakfast”  Lillian Beckwith  1961
“Bridge Of Friendship”  Mabel Esther Allan  1975
“Central Line”  Maeve Binchy  1978
“Victoria Line”  Maeve Binchy  1980
“Echoes”  Maeve Binchy  1985
“The Silence”  Sarah Rayne  2013
“Death At The President’s Lodging”  Michael Innes  1936
“Into The Fire”  Jodi McIsaac  2013
“The Trickster”  Muriel Gray  1994

Posted in Book / Novel / Literature, Tradition / Legend | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Dread & Read 2018!

I am back for 2018!  I pray the same about our cat.  We kept our babies in too much, while I helped my parents move.  Praying we see him again is the meaning of dread but we are sure he wintered with someone:  wisely.  We know he wants to be home.  Safe is better!  All discomfort will stop as soon as Conan is home.  See him here!  I didn’t recall he is with me in my “About Me” webpage.  It is a boost to see his beautiful face.

Also to stay calm in full white winter, I am a member of all of Jane’s groups.  It is a pleasure that she began joining mine last year as well.  Looking forward to the day soon, when all there is is minor dread:  here is Jane’s literary theme!  Choose three or more books we are unsure we would like, or which we are unenthused to try for various reasons.

I am a fiction fan, the mystical and “Ethereal” above all, which extends to non-fiction.  (I created a theme with that name).  Secondly, I love mysterious mystery;  the rare, creative kind, in which crime is not the focus.  (That is why I created another of my groups, “My Kind Of Mystery“).  Therefore no matter how award-winning or famous;  big names like Jane Austen and the Brontë trio might be (in my own Manitoba, Gabrielle Roy);  general or historical fiction is not my fare.  Not without a great ghost story or mysterious mystery in it

I am a writer working on being an authoress.  I am reading some of these greats to properly educate and enrich myself for my craft.  I have loved Gabrielle Roy’s short stories but her first novel, despite garnering accolades to the moon and back, is my most dreaded.  I was a French immersion pupil and saw the film in school.  I have long hesitated because I know “Bonheur D’Occasion” is heavy.  But going in knowiong that, let’s see if I can enjoy something about the writing or characters.  A lot of war-type movies hit theatres, so this novel that brougt attention to Canadian literature in 1945 and after it was translated into “The Tin Flute” in 1947, must have merit.

Jane Austen is a writer’s must but especially, because I visited just inside this lady’s house, in 2010!  If I do well with her, I will be geared up for “Wuthering Heights” by Emily Brontë.  I think it is deemed a gothic.  That atmosphere *is* my forté.  Authors I am going to give a second try are Kate Collins and Ellis Peters.  I did not dig their first novels.  I enjoyed Kate’s, after pushing myself to the 60% mark.  That is not praise but far better, than detesting Ellis’s writing style wholly.  Second novels are often better.  I hope the same of Ontario’s popular Alan Bradley.  I joined the many who couldn’t stand his insolent child sleuth, Flavia DeLuce but I had bought the second hardcover with the first, at a charity sale.

Bottom of the barrel, maybe I will hunker down and revisit Gabriel García Márquez, by reading a full novel.  “One-Hundred Years Of Solitude” won’t be any more depressing than the short stories and to my pleasant surprise, some scrutiny of the synopsis hints at mystical contents.  I am prepared to like this better than I imagined too.  So there we are:  I plan to read three of these!

Kate Atkinson is a new author I have read before and I enjoyed “Human Croquet”.  I had it behind a shelf, actually, for years.  What brought it forward is a friend’s gift of her recent novel, “Life After Life”.  This one seems more up my alley but being a person who likes to follow literature and music releases in order, I sought out “Behind The Scenes At The Museum”.  It is an award-winner and will probably pan out to be fun.  However Kate writes with a stream of consciousness style that can be like following an especially energetic rabbit hither and thither;  with an “out there” style and perception.  We can’t guess where it will go and it is verbose.  Pages above 450 are more numerous than my norm as it is.  So I’ll add this to my list this year, not as dread but as uncertainty and minor hesitancy.

The Tin Flute(“Bonheur D’Occasion”)  Gabrielle Roy  1945
“Sense And Sensibility”  Jane Austen  1811
“Slay It With Flowers”  Kate Collins  2005
“Wuthering Heights”  Charlotte Brontë  1847
“Behind The Scenes At The Museum”  Kate Atkinson  1995
“One Corpse Too Many”  Ellis Peters  1979
“The Weed That Strings The Hangman’s Bag”  Alan Bradley  2010
“One-Hundred Years Of Solitude”  Gabriel García Márquez  1967

I will establish “sweetener” treats later.  I need to see what Jane has travelling to me in the mail!  Happy new year 2018, everyone!
– – – – – – – – – – – –

Update, January 29.
Before Jane has visited this opening post, I have finished a Canadian classic on my list, probably the book pushed back the longest.  I am happy to discover that I like it much more than I thought I would and that after the first few chapters, it becomes a very readable story!  See my review in my list.  Other books, which I am uncertain I will like, have occurred to me that could easily be added.

Update, February 13.
While awaiting the warm welecome benediction from my dear hostess, I feel triumphant to declare my first Jane Austen work finished this morning!  I liked it enough for four stars, too!  I said when Ron & I were in Bath, England, that we ought go on the tour of her entire house, without having read something of hers.  If we go to Europe anew, I should be pleased to view her home entirely.

Posted in Book / Novel / Literature | Tagged , , , , , | 2 Comments

Reading Naturally 2018!

 

Exposed to nature:  1-3 books
Engaged with nature:  4-6 books
Immersed in nature:  7+ books.

 

It is my sincere pleasure to rejoin Jane’s new nature reading group for the second time.  I am partial to fiction, which fits herein as well.  What works out to suit me especially is that when I do read about real, educational things, it is almost always animal, plant, or spirit-related.  Further to that, my spouse, Ron & I are gardeners, flower-growers, and animal rights defenders.  We pray that our cat who has been missing, all children to us:  will be safely home this spring.  His name is Conan and he ranks highly as one of the lights of our life.  We thank everyone for their prayers.

It has been a long wait for this son and the results of all three of Jane’s groups cheered me up, right when I needed it.  I won this new reading challenge in its premiere and prizes in her two others, as well as in a Canadian group!  I ask for signs from time to time, to maintain our certainty that Conan is all right and reuniting with us soon and I receive them.  Winning in four groups, the news told to me the same day, is quite a positive sign to be sure.   Books about intuitive communication and plainer, factual ones about how well cats survive and travel, sustained me too!  All this fit into Jane’s group.

Receiving Jane’s and the other mail will be happy days too.  I can’t wait to see what she sends me.  I know what some of them are but the rest of her mail will be greeted by me with the thrill of anticipation and suspense.  Just so you know Jane, I answered all of my blog comments the same day and you must have had my e-mail.  I do hope we pick up those conversations, further to the subject of books.

I hope you got my update that, given time to tally:  I saw that I hit all of your topics except the Orion one!  I had a dystopian one after all.  I am glad you are giving us time to finish you agree with the ease of running from February 1st.  I am reeling from too much to do in November and December;  with still one review page to make for my 2018 quartet.  I know you will join at least two of them:  lovely to have you as my guest too!  See my blog menu at the top.

Here is what I propose to read this year.  Two books are already finished!  I make sure a book fits each category, then pile more into the best matches as they come along.  In my own “Gentle Spectrums” 2018, I have a “Healthfulness” category!  I am looking forward to this and earning verbal and mailed rewards makes an activity particularly worthwhile.  My readers know I go to a lot of effort in my write-ups and motivation to strive higher.  A hostess who reads these write-ups is gift #1.  The chance to push ourselves to win prizes, internationally, is gift #2.  I am very definitely aiming for the maximum.  Happy nature reading!

~~~~~~~~~

****  Please enjoy my November summary, here!  ****

November 11, 2018:  Our Conan is not home yet but for months, we have had a few heartening tips!  We are widening our searching resources and narrowing the location and timeframe of the cat we believe is him;  safe and well!

~~~~~~~~~

 

(01)  Written by a giant in animal advocacy, environment protection.

(02)  Outdoors activity or gear on the cover.

(03)  ANIMAL-RELATED

(04)  OUTDOORSY HEROINE.

(05)  Current Issue: climate change, biodiversity.

(06)  Water-related.

(07)  New:  published 2015 upward.

(08)  Dystopia-flavoured: emphasizing consequences.

(09)  Extreme element:  sailing, mountain climbing.

(10)  Season-related.

(11)  Plant-related.

(12)  Set in a wilderness locale.

(13)  Spiritual:  emphasizing connection.

(14)  Skills-related.

(15)  Advocacy-related: speaking up for nature.

(16)  Biography, memoir of an environmentalist.

(17)  An Orion award-winner.

Posted in Animal Rights, Animals Or Pets, Book / Novel / Literature, Canadian, Cats, Spirits / Ghosts / Haunted | Tagged , , , , , | 2 Comments

Carolyn’s “Ethereal” 2018!

 

Happy new year 2018!  Soon:  happy St. Valentine’s day too!  My groups are raring to go for February 1.  For those who like to tally their reading from January to December, without the rush of having to tidy everything up until the following January:  sign-up at the link in my logo, and get started!  This is a very flexible theme for the spiritual, paranormal, metaphysical, and magical:  everything from real concepts, to fantasy fiction.

This was the 2017 review page, which addttionally lists what I read last year.
https://cmriedel.wordpress.com/2017/02/01/carolyns-ethereal-2017/

Here are books from our home, that I think I will read this year.  When I have finished them, I will link reviews to this personal progress post.  Please do come back and visit.  I anticipate inspiring conversations in this group.

“The Missing Madonna”  Sister Carol Anne O’Marie  1988
“Shattered Silk”  Juliet Blackwell  2016
“Timescape”  Robert Liparulo  2009
“Into The Fire”  Jodi McIsaac  2013
“Owls In The Family”  Farley Mowat  1961
“The Darkest Road”  Guy Gavriel Kay  1986
“A Dry Spell”  Susie Moloney  1997
“The Mysterium”  Eric McCormack  1992
“The Dragon & The Dry Goods Princess”  David Arnason  1991
“More Strawberries, Reflections In Fiction”  Joseph S. Banel  1990

Posted in Book / Novel / Literature | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Dread & Read Update.

Jane’s group is for diving into books we were uncertain we would like!  I joined her nature and birth date themes too.  Those are easy to update at my original posts.  This theme entails explanations.  Most of what I read is a 300-page investment of time.  I read at night and unless I am swept away at a gallop, I read in a few sips;  2 to 3 nights.  If I finish three of these, I will be happy.  J.G. offers prizes and this forum, for me to dig in.


~

(1)  “Death Of A Cad”  Marion C. Beaton  1987

Marion Chesney Beaton is a very popular authoress, whom I collected vastly, including first editions.  I treasured Scotland with my spouse in 2009 and maintain a love for the Celtic countries.  It is the reason I created “Celtic Coasts“.   When I finally read “Death Of A Gossip“, I loathed it!  I try to find the good.  I loathed it like I seldom loathe other books, in every aspect.  My review tactfully itemized. them   I waited two years to try this second book, which took even more trouble to obtain that the first.

The update is that I glanced 24 pages into “Death Of A Cad” and still couldn’t bear the writing or external characters.  They dominate the first chapters, so even though I still have no skepticism about falling in love with village constable Hamish Macbeth and his case-solving talent;  I can’t bear wading through the other garbage.  People arguing, the stereotypical aristocratic snobs, Marion still did not quickly introduce the atmosphere of a mystery….  I sighed at the 30 books I must own by this author, flipped a few later pages, and decided the best use of my time is to sell the Hamish series unread.

I *am* willing to try the first Agatha Raisin series.  I am worried the writing style I loathe, of pointless description and brawling characters, might be present nonetheless.  However I will not dismiss a whole other series.  In order to afford the sometimes 200 books Ron & I score in a year, I do a lot of collecting before I try them.  I have seldom disliked, to the point of not wishing to read any more, my selections.  I have done well since last year, reading a suite of first volumes.  I like what I am collecting.  I don’t believe in not finishing, so I glanced through this novel’s first several pages as an audit.  I do not consider this a “Did not finish”.  Please mark this:  “Confirmed that is is not for me“!
~

(02)  “The Roman Hat Mystery”  Ellery Queen  1929

Mysterious premises are too few, even though they should be easier to drum up!  A hidden room or floor, a code, a diary, an artifact or treasure, someone’s past or heritage, a quest…  This was a bore to get through and indulgent.  Here is another rare case of putting a whole bunch of books by an author out for sale, unread.  These New York detectives as stereotyped as they could be, in the crime genre I like least.  I expected that of a pioneer in this genre.  I have nothing against old times.  I love a plethora of literature predating me;  grew up on gothic mysteries!  I flock to those kinds of oldies.

  The men writing these crime cases exemplify the worst of what I dislike.  People are berated and handled roughly by police.  Richard Queen, the senior, grabbed by the neck a manservent”, who lived with them since age 19!  I recoiled.  The denouement had to do with the stain” of having a small amount of black heritage.  This, I excuse for popular opinion of the time.  None of the rest is exusable, ever.  There are always people who know what is right.  https://www.amazon.ca/review/R2QHUJ74EZDXZK/ref=cm_rv_eml_rv0_rv
~

(03)  “Body Of Evidence”  Patricia Cornwall 1991

Her first novel and that of this long Kay Scarpetta series, “Postmortem”, was violent and disturbing.  Kathy Reichs was so much worse, I decided to give Patricia another try.  With Kathy’s first novel, I barely avoided something I do not do;  not finish a book.  She is another author I am selling without reading anything more.  I peeked at her next introduction and the topic is even more horrific;  a well of slain villagers.  I fortunately started with Patricia’s less popular trilogy.  I liked “Hornet’s Next” much better and loved her writing.  It was the main reason I endured “Postmortem” and thought I would continue.

Thankfully sexual assault does not pertain to the story.  “Body Of Evidence” much more traditionally focused on case-solving.  Although the murder was unfortunately brutal, the book’s tone wasn’t depressing.  I was surprised to find Kay moaning about a lost love that occurred long ago when she is independent and respected today but the suspicion of a love interest lent a personal angle that made the threads of this case matter.  The police inspector is becoming a friend and we even travel to Florida, which we discover is her home.  I think the book was brisker and brighter because we only see one hasty part of an autopsy and seldom enter her workplace.  The whole book was about her being a sleuth and Frank Marino helping;  with a series of small leads that grow into excellent detecting.  I will continue this series I have almost entirely bought!  https://www.amazon.ca/review/R3HWM53P9TI0VB/ref=cm_rv_eml_rv0_rv
~

Update, January 5, 2018
Even though I targeted three novels for this theme and named others potentially, I got to 150 books this year.  I was less keen about some, pushing myself with a good quantity of literature overall that I didn’t name.  There was no failure and I tackled three that I named.  I dismissed one assuredly and read the other two in earnest.  I loved one enough that I enjoy both of Patricia Cornwell’s series.  That its background is not only police but an autopsy team is saying something, when I am no fan of crime mysteries!  I am bolstered for Jane’s new year, glad she has this unique forum for reporting about books we were unsure we would like and giving them a chance.
~

  Jane requests treat ideas.  Who wouldn’t be delighted!  Mine are bizarre, modest, and fun.

*  I would love to locate “Service For Two” by Kate Kingsbury!  However, I have seen Jane’s giveaways, as a winner this new year 2018!  After choosing one, I have my eye on Masaru Emoto’s revelations about water, the oldest one first and Kitty Burns Florey’s information about handwriting.

*  I love flowers!  Whether in pots, or outside everywhere;  I love seeds.  I offer seeds as one of my prize choices.  I have ample Marigolds, cosmoses, bachelor’s buttons, and regular “tall” sunflowers.  The giant “Grey Stripe” and other varieties would be lovely and anything not named.  I can’t seem to find Poached Egg Plants this year.  Thank you!  This is generous and fun!

Posted in Book / Novel / Literature, Gardening / Plants / Flowers, Language / Grammar / Writing | Tagged , , , , , | 4 Comments