Gentle Spectrums 2017 Summary


I have not forgotten about my read group quartet!  I have been preoccupied not knowing where our kitty has been for 3 months.  They are sons and daughters to us.  Conan O’Brien is named after a comedian for good reason;  is intelligent and loving too.  A good outcome, home with us safe, is the only one we’ll take.  He should be back now that it has snowed.  We are certain he has been on a voluntary exploration of our forest, with me away so much that week.  Everyone supporting us in this, with enocouraging stories or prayers, has helped.  Next to my cherished family, reading is another kind of joy and balm.  I have kept it up and it’s time for an update.



All of our review pages are alphabetized by the author’s last name.  Bookcovers decorating each linky button show an author in those letter range, for extra clarification.  I’ll delete misfiled ones in February;  sooner if I see the switch has been made.



Are you guessing this year’s “My Kind Of Mystery” logo?  No matter which group you’re in, there’s an extra name in the bowl for our year-end prize draw (or just play for fun).  I’ll give you a whole batch of hints, since it is October and include a cheatsheet that will serve you well.  To let me know you are trying this, ask for more hinting in the comments if you come up dry and chat about it. If you hit upon the answer, e-mail me so that others can play along.  It costs nothing to guess, right or wrong, so try whether you’re sure or not.  RIEDELFascination(at)Gmail(dot)com.

The author of our unnamed msytery logo is:  a male, Canadian, who recently passed away.  “Recently” does not just mean a year.  The fourth clue is that I have read a lot by this gentleman.

Your instinct might be to poke around on Goodreads but the shelf combinations are numerous.  The cheatsheet to always consider is to use my review menus, here at the top of my blog!  It’s an easy scan of authors alphabeticall.  You’ll see how much I’ve read by authors in one glance.  Another cheatsheet is that I seldom read male authors.  That makes my general review tab manageable enough, called “Mine“.  However the knowledge that you can use my “Canadian” review tab makes this a piece of cake.

Then, you sleuths will investigate which authors are with us.  Next, try to find this particular version of the cover, to name the book.  If you need further hints to narrow any of this down, comment away!



Because joining numbers were low, which I will change by putting out our 2018 shingle earlier, you know I am drawing one prize for all four groups.  If we build up to 20 per group, I’ll feel comfortable soliciting prize donators and have at least four draws.  The odd person just wants to play.  Please shoot me an e-mail confirming you want your name in the bowl for our year-end draw, or not.  It will be a second-hand book or other gift option, from me and encompasses all of my guests internationally.  :)

I’d like to draw early and avoid a rise in shipping costs that Canada Post rolls out.  I’ll send a Christmas card with that mail.  :)  Please be reassured you have until January 31 to finish and I keep the review buttons open a few months longer than that.  I’m determined that other hostesses start their challenges February 1st because January is when folks have time to browse and update blogs.  As always, you can count your reading from January to December if you want.  You merely needn’t fill things in over Christmas.



The comment forms are working.  I don’t know if their absence last year has us quiet.  Share anything you like:  about yourself pesonally, as the Lord knows I do, or anything noteworthy.  Authors you were keen to try, discoveries or comfortable favourites?  Acquisitions you were excited to find, for those like me who covet paper copies?


There were famous series I didn’t like as much as I thought I would.  Numerous famous authors I have at last tried:  Margaret Frazer, Alexander McCall Smith, Margery Allingham, P.D. James, Mary Stewart, Josephine Tey.  However I might well like their second novels better.  I am all over the map with old and new authors and a lot more non-fiction, cat books, and animal communication textbooks than I get to normally.  Many I have owned all along and charity sales always yield special discoveries.  Ron & I must browse eight of them a year.  One place had several gothic mysteries, a rare find.

I feel great about getting to a lot of series openers.  I need to know I like the large number of series pieces together over decades.  Well, not many decades:  I’m only forty-four….  until November 18th!  :)  Almost always, I validate collecting them and am reassured that I will read them.  I have a sell pile for books I am not keeping.  To narrow down having series pieces that are missing earlier volumes, I now only buy the next ones I need.  Or I don’t try new series or authors unless what I’m seeing is the first volume.  No more being stuck with #10 because of a deal and needing its prequels.

Being elated about acquisitions is a frequent blessing.  Some friends and family gift them to me, a thrill.  I always find touching children’s books and got a few books from my Mom I’ve heard about for years, like “The Incredible Journey”, 1960.  You know I read for reinforcing our faith, in how well our Conan O’Brien is doing in the woods.  That author concurred that pet cats hide, survive, and travel with ease.

Did you surprise yourselves among any categories?

I’m glad we don’t set a quantity and that we add as many suitable books as we have time to read.  I am surprised I have read so few for “Colour Palette”:  only these so far.  Paulette & Brenda’s work is special and I’m glad I finally know it is a beloved, modern Canadian classic.  I was thrilled in a different way, to have and read Phyllis’ first adult mystery;  this childhood favourite who published from 40 to 97 and who lived until 104.  I always feel encouraged that she didn’t start until she was 40 and still surpassed 100 oeuvres.

The Red Carnelian”  Phyllis A. Whitney  1943
Bones On Black Spruce Mountain”  David Budbill  1978
Franklin In The Dark”  Paulette Bourgeois, Brenda Clark  1986
The Scent Of Lilacs”  Carolyn Wilson  1966

I am not getting to “Music” as much as I thought I would but have read an uncharacteristic sum of art books, which is not one of our categories this time.  I am glad about it because I am not a visual artist and am pleased to grow educated about weaker topics.  The way “Gentle Spectrums” works, nice and broadly, there’s a good chance most books fit somewhere.  “Traditions” were modest but those I contributed fit nicely.  As you notice, it’s fine if your book title doesn’t spell it out exactly, if books are very much about your theme.

Celebrating Earth Day”  Janet MacDonnell, Diana Magnuson  1994
Aunt Dimity Takes A Holiday”  Nancy Atherton  2003
A Northern Nativity”  William Kurelek  1976
Boo To You, Winnie The Pooh”  Bruce Talkington  1996
A Pussycat’s Christmas”  Margaret Wiseman Brown  1949

I thought I would have many more for “The Sky” but brought some very good ones:  the second grouping below.

Escape From Big Muddy”  Eric Wilson  1997  (“Big Muddy” is a tornado in Saskatchewan)
A Wind In The Door”  Margaret L’Engle  1973
Candlenight”  Phil Rickman  1991
Buenas Noches, Luna”  Margaret Wiseman Brown  1947


Would you like personal categories?

We have been matching our categorizies to book titles and soemtimes to their contents.  The way people can make-up personal associations is endless and can be arbitrary, like “Read something from a library”.  I almost always own my books, so that leaves me out, except there’s no way to reflect I’m following an inapplicable category genuinely.  There are personal categories that work for everyone and which are meaningful.  If you would enjoy them, I can add one or two.  If you have ideas for more of our book themes, or have favourites you would like to reprise, I’m very pleased to add your input.



The three novels I want most are:  the third “Tradd Street” volume by Karen White, “Strangers On Montague Street“, the second “Alfred Hitchcock & The Three Investigators” by Robert A. Arthur “The Mystery Of The Stuttering Parrot” (priority, with the graveyard cover), and the third “Pennyfoot Hotel” by Kate Kingsbury, “Service For Two” (priority).  If you find these, let’s trade!  Karen’s is available new, in softcover but I collected the prequels in hardcover want it at far less than $20.00.  I also happen to need Louise Penny’s “The Murder StoneA Rule Against Murder” and Margaret Maron’s “Southern Discomfort” but am sure they can be bought easily.  If I can help you find anything, send your lists!


This year’s logo is my own photograph, from Oak Hammock Marsh, Manitoba in 2006.  I felt you would enjoy the beautiful, peaceful, bright scene.  I hope Canadians had a happy Thanksgiving.  Ron & I ate our garden food.  We will be grateful forever when Conan O’Brien is home.  I wish everyone a happy Hallowe’en!  We only get a few children trick-or-treating to us in our country community but I’ll bet no other children get to choose books with candy.  Afterward, welcome to my birthday month!  :)


About RIEDEL Fascination

I cherish animals, plants, reading, music and free spirituality. I welcome you for articles, literary activities, and interaction! Surrounding ourselves with good people is a delight. I occasionally review at The Book Depository.
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6 Responses to Gentle Spectrums 2017 Summary

  1. Shonna says:

    I too don’t have a lot in the Colour Palette, only two so far. In the topics, I’m still missing one for Clothing or Fashion, so must go through my shelves looking for something good.
    I think you’ve chosen some interesting categories for your Challenge, and I like trying to find books that match. I like to read pretty broadly, since as a librarian I help people find all different kinds of books, and it helps me to know what different authors write like.
    I also find that it opens me up to enjoyment of authors and books that I hadn’t expected to enjoy as much as I did.
    My preferences run to mysteries, literary fiction, narrative history (especially micro-histories), and essay collections.
    Regarding your question about personal categories, I agree that some people may not use libraries, while others may use libraries exclusively, so parameters indicating source of book may be problematic. Perhaps something indicating how long an item has been on a “to read” list might be a way to go if you want to include something of this nature.

    • Hello Shonna! I hope you received my eager, joyous letter from my dial-up e-mail account. I wrote it the day your generous box of treats arrived and did not hesitate to express how thrilled I am about every piece. It seems some people have trouble with that e-address until they’ve written to me there, as if your address needs to get used to my odd one or something. Check your junk box or I can re-send.

      Are you in the prize bowl this time around? I hope you guess the mystery logo anyway. I expect to issue another hint when people have pinpointed the author, which you’ll find easy. I’m glad you love shopping your shelves and perhaps the library, for books meeting my parameters. I do love being creative and broadly-encompassing so that it’s fun, rather than a niggling stretch. You bet, if I add a personalized category, it will also be more gratifying than arbitrary. I’m not a fan of “pick the next book you see”, etc.

      It’s true, I prefer owning books, even if I don’t elect to keep some of them. I’m sure it derives from my collecting/questing character but it must contribute, that I haven’t had convenient access to a library since I was about 12. I didn’t care to go downtown, the local one had silly hours. My favourite books poured over from my school library, I regret not knowing because it has become tough to get “Alfred Hitchcock & The Three Investigators”. So second-hand shops and birthday presents it is. If I were near a library like you, though, how easy to borrow books I’m unsure I’ll like. We’re lucky to have your expertise and access as a source!

      • I did not get your email. I searched back and can’t see it at all.
        You can leave me out of the prize bowl this year. I have an abundance of books just waiting for me lately.
        I’m glad to help in any way I can. Giving readers advice is one of my passions.
        I’ll email you tomorrow and see if that works to get our talks going again.

      • I tried clarifying last year that the prizes are not just books. In fact all the cheaper to mail if someone chooses anything but books. I have a prize page! Plant seeds, 3 or 4 from my own greeting card collection….

  2. J.G. says:

    I am so sorry about your kitty, and hope he has returned by now. Is it possible he’s adopted a second family? I’ve heard they can be quite resourceful when the need arises. My 3 are all safely indoors and I certainly sympathize with your worry. Reading can be so soothing at such times. Sending continued good thoughts for a happy ending.

  3. There is a love with our very cherished son that we don’t doubt: home is us for Conan. None in our cat family has had the desire to venture out of our property. But one unusual week this July, they could hardly go out. There’s no way he would perish around here in a sunny afternoon. The unusual confinement instigated the desire for a trip we hear some cats take. I know you mean sheltering with someone, until he feels it is safe or warmer to proceed home. We think so. The puzzle is why people haven’t acted on his tattoo or posters. He may be fed out-of-doors or among several cats, not interacting up close. Or well-meaning but clueless people have him in. He might have to extricate himself when he’s ready, or the people will become aware we are looking, or they will know to let him out when it’s warm. Conan will make it clear. Waiting is hard but support like yours continues to boost us these four months. Thank you for adding your protection and prayer that we will be reunited! I will announce it when that relieved day occurs.

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