Checking On Gentle Spectrums

I can’t believe I have had my birthday only two weeks ago and now we have reached December!  Even though RIEDEL Fascination groups go until January 31, with review page links open longer so folks can take their time catching-up on things like this;  there is much to do.  I wrote all four of my update posts October 3rd and rolled each out a little at a time.  There are almost no comments so I’d better e-mail members as planned to tell you the posts have been here, inviting conversation!  For my overall subscribers, there is much more I want to blog about and I will, when reading group posts are attended to.

First up:  I am sorry to not have had the financial resources to do a halfway activity and prize but as it turned out, this year was the leanest membership-wise, thus it would not have been feasible to hand out prizes if only one or two of those sparse people participated.  If I roll out my new group pages by this month, that ought to generate many more guests and participation will be way up as a natural course;  by the odds simply being higher.  Because we are so few and also considering those finances, one end-of-year draw will cover all four groups.  I hope that’s all right.  If I get at least 20 in each group I will resume a separate prize for each.

Up until now, I have kindly put everyone’s names in the bowl, whether I heard from them or not.  It was a way to encourage quieter folks to consider activities worthwhile and to inspire them to rejoin at least.  However it is best to ensure folks are interested.  If you are keen on a second-hand book of your choice, offered with several other nice selections (plant seeds, my own greeting cards, a few CDs, my own photo prints….) please e-mail me:  “Put me in the year-end draw”!  My address switched from Hotmail to RIEDELFascination[at]Gmail[dot]com because it was a hair-puller on slow-speed telephone internet.  Suddenly having to switch e-addresses meant it was no easy feat to gather your names and prepare a notification message from a new location but I believe I have everyone’s contacts ready to go.  I thought you might find these posts in the interim and left notice at the Goodreads group.

It is a shame the comment boxes were mysteriously missing from the review pages, which contributed to the feeling that things were quiet.  For those who need to submit a list of books read for each of our groups, who do not have review links:  please use the comment boxes the sign-up pages for each, or these update posts for each.  Discussions and inquiries can occur on any group page like this too.  While blogspot is fickle for non-blogspot users, I visited many of your reviews at Goodreads.  Whenever I could, I did more than click the “like button” but commented;  which I hope you enjoyed.  Comments mean the world to me because I work hard at everything I write.  That is why I can never just roll out a post.  Each one is an endavour for me.  Non book-related musings are coming soon!

Okay:  people who do not review can submit a list of titles on any matching group blog page or post.
Anyone wanting in on the end-of-year prize draw should e-mail me.
Any posts that got missed, related to books or not, certainly invite comments perpetually!

Last piece of business:  if anyone, in this group or not, has ideas for new Gentle Spectrums subjects:  now is the time to share them.  I need to find a new logo, implement the 10 subjects, and see if any of my software works on windows 7.  I switched from XP and the same software I got used to won’t function on this operating system.  Likely Nero will work.  Now:  here is that update I had ready at the start of October!  It might feel like a year-end chat instead of the interim update it is but I will leave it as I wrote it, instead of pouring over it.  Here we go!


I think it was last year that I started refreshing our categories, despite enjoying the endless possibilities derived from plants and other early themes.  Only a new member posed a question about “Couples, Pairing”.  I meant for it to be as broad a theme as any other but it was awkward to describe.  Are you finding material for it?  If you can’t find much, it’s alright to skip any category you need to.  We are about the pleasure of sharing whatever you read, never feeling sheepish about not getting to something.  That’s why our year-end reward is for everyone:  because there is no such thing as not finishing and because joining any of these groups is all it takes to make me happy.  :)

Do you have favourites?  Have you been surprised to find content easier to fulfill in particular categories than you expected?  I didn’t think I would have much for “Music”, “Fashion”, or “Photography” and I thought I would have to rely on secondary words to get around them.  To my surprise I ended up with books containing “Beethoven”,”Violin”, and “Didgeridoo” in their titles!  In “Literature” I surpassed my expectations by coming up with such direct examples as “Library” and “Languages”.  I imagine everyone is doing well with “Fashion”.

I am thrilled, like I have been in preceding years, that you are continuing to add content to categories you have already fulfilled once.  That’s the other reason I eliminated rules about reaching any specified quantity:  so everyone is a finisher but especially, so that you keep on counting!  When we’re through our quiet year, I will increase the chitchat and game-playing occasions.  We don’t want you to finish a minimum and disappear.

If you have struggled with any category please let me know.  Here is a clarification that will be helpful.  For the following themes, a directly related word does not need to squeeze into a title:  “Music”, “Photography”, “Canadian”.  If you read a photography book, it’s all right to submit any title it might have.  The same goes for music and Canadiana, which can for example, be simply authored by musicians or Canadians.  Does this remove a hurdle?

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

A Winter Birthday Reflection!

Happy November and in three days’ time:  happy birthday to me, Carolyn!
This year 2016 has been good.  Legends like Doris Roberts (who isn’t mentioned enough), David Bowie, Glen Fry, and Leonard Cohen have departed but personally:  like a summer without last year’s horrendous racket from neighbours, has been a gift and relief.  Mom is healing from last year’s bypass surgery.  I met my infant nephew last month, visiting from Ontario.  Our weather was extraordinary all year.  A good early spring, plentiful berries and garden produce (our thyme, coriander, and a few carrots still need to be picked), and regular rain.  In a forest, that is a Godsend.  With a town in Alberta flattened by a forest fire, the way Slave Lake was a few years before and a friend mentioning that North Carolina, USA is in danger;  every rainfall made me relieved, never grumbling.  Winter is ushering in without snow and with only a few nights of frost all this way into November!

Freezing means a temperature dipping below 0 Celcius;  the minimum threshhold before sensitive plants would freeze.  To keep our beautiful beaming plants living longer, my spouse & I bring hanging pots and flower boxes inside and cover sections of our flowerbeds with plants that are still going with this sporadic assistance.  It has worked again this year and for those who can guess the triumph of what this means:  we have living hanging plants and flowerbeds, during November in southern Manitoba!  I love them and it makes me smile.  We put the hanging pots and flowerboxes back out and uncover those dear flowerbeds, when the forecast indicates it won’t freeze for two nights in a row.  Since I love helping everything live as long as it can and the brightness of our flowers and landscape lift my soul, we will repeat this sunset work until winter has arrived to the point of there being no more temperatures above 0 Celcius even in the day.

Most have finished growing and are showing the flower petals they still have.  I used to wonder what it would be like to live somewhere that doesn’t take cold breaks for a few months;  to see how long flowers and garden plants would keep on going if there was no cold.  Since last year we have received the blessing of getting a good look at what that’s like and I am happy about that!  Many are fniished but some do seem to keep on propelling themselves in the absence of impediments.  This might be my last warm day, so I am enjoying it and giving everything a good drink of water.  We will be above 0 Celcius all through this week but those degrees are smaller and low overnight temperatures more frequent.  We will enjoy the flowerbeds as long as we can, which are additionally protected by the warmth of our house and library building.  If you know me at all:  you bet our hanging baskets and flower boxes will come into the house and library.

I am having birthday visitors this Saturday and Sunday so I will arrange them neatly if they are inside on those days.  I should share something else that is remarkable and special:  there is a flock of Goldfinches that arrived last week and which is still flitting around!  If our region’s winter birds, like the Pine Grosbeaks, arrive;  it will be a great rarity for these birds to meet!  The first snow fell after my birthday at midnight, on November 18th itself last year.  Let’s see if this is my first non-Caribbean birthday without snow.

To cherish my birth month inside home as well, I am reading books I am enthralled to choose.  I give many genres a chance including classics but November is my dear month, a time to treat myself to the kind of writing I love best.  I also love making CDs of uptempo, fun music that create a lively atmosphere for visiting friends…  or just dancing around for exercise at home!  I don’t make time to walk but dancing, we can do.  Britney Spears and Garbage have new albums and my two-year party downloading project has led me to great new artists.  Films I am looking forward to seeing in the city are Tom Hanks’s “Inferno” and Eddie Redmayne’s “Fantastic Beasts And Where To Find Them”.

I am excited to see which albums and blu-rays Ron wraps for my Friday birthday and Christmas!  Sometimes he labels presents from our cats, even those no longer here;  which is poignant by allowing them to still feel near through our special events.  I thought it would be fun to share this personal update.  I would love to hear from all of you:  what you think of our dedicated gardening and birdwatching, or things you treasure as winter nears.  Happy winter from a November girl!

Posted in Animals Or Pets, Canadian, Gardening / Plants / Flowers | Tagged , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Checking On My Kind Of Mystery

I hope fellow Canadians had a happy Thanksgiving!  Today is what we and perhaps the Americans too, call “gate night”.  Pranksters, at least in the city, used to throw eggs and be mischievous, so this was a day to be watchful.  Happy Hallowe’en tomorrow!  Country children tend to go elsewhere but we have candy ready in case our few rural children come by.  We decorate, play the right music, and love the Hallowe’en theme in TV shows too.  “The Big Bang Theory” didn’t go that route this year and “Modern Family” focused on heart rather than spookiness but we always enjoy their contribution.  I hadn’t seen “The Simpsons” in a couple of years but Ron & I tuned in for their five-hundredth episode and that show always does Hallowe’en up big.

We grow gardens, so starting today:  it is our lovely pumpkins’ time to be on display and shine!  We aren’t going to carve this year:  they look lovely as-is.  We wouldn’t want to waste a scrap anyway.  When they are through showing how pretty they are, I do some of my best cooking and baking with pumpkin!  Ask me for recipes making Pumpkin Curry Soup, Pumpkin Loaf, and occasionally Pumpkin Cookies.  Hehehe.  My reading turns to eerie and mysterious topics – if it wasn’t there already!
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~


This was my most frequented group but “Gentle Spectrums” caught up.  Mystery queens Bev, Sue, Erin and others make me smile by keeping the review page humming all of the time.  I watch all of your entries coming in and love it!  There are a lot of specialized mystery groups on the internet, so I was pleased to come up with something broad and easy but which offers a different spin.  My theme incorporates everything you read connected with mystery;  not just novels!  It has come in handy, I am happy to continue observing.  I see links to author biographies and “how to write” books.  At a sale, I came across a book about Agatha Christie’s cover art.  That book would have no where else to go, barring highly general “non-fiction” themes.  No matter how many challenges pop up pertaining to mystery, I am glad to be one stop for all types to join me.

Congratulations to Bev for digesting 100!  I am at 78 mysteries because I branch out to a nice variety.  Is everyone reading as many as they usually do?  I am on par but children’s literature is helping me fill the 150 quota I have targeted again this year!  {GRIN}

I am eccentric about release order, which is what keeps us at book sales.  We can’t read what we own until we score a series’s predecessors.  Do you find yourself stuck with a stockpile you can’t read because it belongs further downa series?  Ron & I have travelled out of town for a few good charity sales!  No matter if they are standalone works, like Canada’s wonderful Simone St. James, or whether an author produces various series.  I like reading older books first.

With Agatha Christie, who published nearly all of her work before my time, I am having fun reading each book as it was released, as if I were a part of those decades’ reading audiences who were anticipating them.  I avoid noting which series each belongs to and like the surprise of reuniting with Hercule Poirot etc.  My spouse, Ron told me yesterday that “Murder On The Orient Express” is being remade into a current movie and I gasped.  I can’t see it until I’ve reached that point  in Agatha’s publishing career and I recall that it is quite a distance away!  If I don’t watch it as a new release, so be it.  I’m only concerned with being front in  line for Star Trek, Harry Potter, Star Wars, or Tom Hanks’s “Da Vinci Code” films.  “Inferno”, here we come!

I am happy the mysteries I have delved into has checked-marked a lot of boxes. I have read new ouevres I loved and dispensed with some I disliked. Of particular note is getting around to names that long sat on our bookshelves. We collect used books in bulk but of  course, with a personal library vast enough to need its own building, we take years to select one from any author. It isn’t unheard of to own books 20 years before I get to them; half my age! Part of the delay is not owning volumes that precede what Ron & I have.

I focused on rectifying bits & pieces, enabling me to read more of our collection.  You know when you buy a book on sale and find it is volume 5?  I prioritized several first volumes and found them.  I will no longer buy a newly-discovered item unless it is volume 1 either.  Another rewarding experience was to persevere with less-tantalizing novels; volumes purchased on sale around ten years ago, when I did not know adult mysteries were moulded into series.  They were chosen as novels that looked interesting. Having rechecked my Patricia Cornwell pieces, she did not appear to be my cup of tea. I’m not into police fiction. To my surprise, I enjoyed her writing!  I am adverse to some of the subjects but good writing wins half the battle for my appreciation. It is not the long-running “Kay Scarpetta” series that I favoured but rather, Patricia’s trilogy.  How do you select your reading?

Something else I am taking delight in, is reading some new purchases soon after bringing them home.  Our home is so full, we need to read whichever book we fancy next and keep going.  It doesn’t matter if each selection is fresh from a store or if its presence has etched a groove in its spot.  Review freebies must save money, if there are any publishers who send physical books to Canadians who stick to the real thing.  However I like the way I am reading with utter freedom. New releases are an unusual treat.  I have tackled all angles lately.  Have you been surprised by authors you braced yourself to get over with?

This has been a year steering away from “cozy mysteries”. There are authors I love who fall under that label but I lose my taste for this watered-down offshoot of grown-up standard mysteries, the more I read the standard mystery. I am 43. If a sex scene is written-in, I don’t want it hinted at: portray the scene!  How many times can we stand the “found a body, I have to be the one to solve the case” formula?  The more I turn to beautiful writing and complex stories and mysteries, the less I can stomach trivial plots and settings.  I have to laugh because when I greatly enjoy a novel billed as “a cozy”, I usually consider it “Too good to be a cozy”!

On my to-do list is a look at old authors like Ellery Queen, Patricia Wentworth, and Ngaio Marsh.  I did not like Margery Allingham’s nor Dorothy Sayers’s first but will revisit them.  Goodness knows I collected a boatload of their work.  Having grown up on gothic mysteries, I joke with Ron that anything beginning in the 1970s used to be on the new side for me!  I love knowing current authors as well.  Quirky, serious, old, new:  my literary trail is complete.  That’s my update!  How have your goals shaped up?

Posted in Book / Novel / Literature, Spirits / Ghosts / Haunted, Tradition / Legend | Tagged , , , , | 3 Comments

Checking On Ethereal!

Hello, at the beginning of October!  I am checking on Ethereal reading.  Because we run from February, I didn’t rush with the first post.  Suddenly, summer was here.  You must have vacationed and preferred the outdoors, isn’t that right?  We are Canadian prairie gardeners who savour our produce and constantly-blooming flowers!  I checked WordPress and Goodreads daily for comments, questions, or chat from all my dear subscribers.  I reply to activity that pops up.

Thanks to e-mails from Sue and Bev about not seeing comment boxes among the review pages, I belatedly discovered there are none!  I don’t know why that technical omission occurred.  If it hampered conversation, I am sorry.  There are comment boxes in the original challenge posts.  I wrote general articles that welcomed discussion:  about gardening and properly identifying the “cozy mystery”.  My articles and goings-on are open to all.

I am sorry I could not do a mid-year prize activity.  Because it’s a hard financial year and we are only about five per group:  would you mind if I held one year-end draw for all four reading challenges?  It so happens many are in my other groups.  Now:  a summary!


This group is dear because there used to be no place for all paranormal, spiritual, and mystical flavour.  There used to be none geared for adults, nor catering to ghosts.  I made a place for all magical, fantasy, and mystical content. More people need to hear about us.  I am eager to browse book possibilities in this category but don’t know if anyone besides me has used this group’s review page yet.  If you haven’t linked-up so far, I look forward to it.  If you are a non-reviewer who needs someplace to list your titles, the original sign-up post is fine.  I’ll see if the missing comment boxes can be reversed.  There is ample time to discuss our themes in more detail but I owed a catch-up summary.

The special news in this category, which I blogged about months previously, is that a decades-long search for exciting ghost literature is requited!  Since I became an adult I found non-cozy, non-horror ghost stories nearly non-existent, with a 30 year-old protagonist.  One part of the solution is that I do need to peek into the horror label to find these treats, which are not horrific but indeed the magical spiritual encounters I have sought.  The other answer is that too many authors really did think the fun stuff belonged to “young adults” but many more authors our sating our hunger for grown-up material of our favourite kind.  Wendy Webb, Karen White, and Mary Ellen Taylor are excellent.

My new favourite is Amanda Stevens!  Used copies of her graveyard architect series cannot go on sale fast enough!  Do you know of her?  They are the perfect books:  everything I have sought in adult mysteries!  Her heroine explores mysterious puzzles more than chasing a criminal, which is precisely MY KIND OF MYSTERY!  They ooze enchantment and suspense from the first page and are five-star calibre.  I love them so much (and they go on sale so slowly) that I tried to space out the two I obtained…  only to discover a mere two or three months went between them!  I found a standalone novel at a charity sale, called “The Doll-Maker” and wonder how little time will stretch before I open that story.  Who are your five-star authors?

The most surprising update is that last week, I reencountered a workplace friend who cherished knowing me years ago and hadn’t forgotten me either!  She was determined to be an authoress when I knew her and has succeeded. When sharing my relief that authors of grown-up ghost literature are beginning to emerge, she revealed that she is such a writer and has such a book slated for publication this January!  Keep your eye on J.H. Moncrieff!  I could not be happier to end that drought.  Today I find probably thirty titles from which to choose.  Next month, I hope to receive Amazon Canada gift certificates for my birthday!  :)

If you would like to reach me via e-mail, please be advised of a change:  RIEDELFascination[at]gmail[dot]com.

I feel gratitude, pleasure, and camaraderie for all of you reading this blog and commenting on my reviews.  Thank you for sharing a wonderful outlet of expression and acquainting me.  To my WordPress peers not involved in literature:  I will post general articles soon!

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

Checking On Celtic Coasts!

Hello at the beginning of October!  It is time to check on the participants of my challenge quartet.  Because we run from February, I didn’t rush with the first post in the spring.  I thought I’d give folks a few months with their reading material but before I knew it, it was summer.  Then I thought people must be on vacation or focusing on the outdoors.  We are definitely gardeners and prairie Canadians who savour greenery and the heat.  Now that we are picking most of our produce but still blessed with constantly-blooming flowers….  it seems a surprise to find ourselves in the tenth month of the year!

Please know I have checked WordPress and Goodreads daily for comments, questions, or chat from participants and all of my dear subscribers.  I reply to any activity that pops up.  Thanks to e-mails from Sue and Bev about not seeing a comment box among the four review pages, I belatedly discovered that there are none!  I don’t know why that technical omission occurred nor how to fix it.  If that hampered conversation I am sorry.  There are comment boxes in the original challenge posts and I wrote a few general articles that welcomed discussion:  for example about gardening and properly identifying the “cozy mystery”.  I don’t label my articles as challenge discussions because we are so few that if the majority don’t jump in on them or other activities, no one does.  My general subscribers would think they didn’t qualify for the discussion so I leave my articles and activities open to all.  Let’s see if we reel in more members this winter.

Finances are tough this year, so I am sorry I could not do a mid-year prize activity as I had hoped.  I found participation low even the years in which more people had joined but again, this is something that a burst in numbers would eliminate.  Because it’s a hard-up year financially and we are also only about five per group:  would you mind if I held one year-end draw for all four reading challenges?  If that would disappoint you, please speak up but it so happens that many of you are in more than one group.  Now:  a short summary!


This is a new group I was excited to unveil this year and I am happy that a couple of new people came aboard and loyal returning challengers were thrilled with it too.  There is often a Scottish one going by one hostess or another but we needed something to cover all the Celtic countries.  Coincidentally I finally have fiction set in Wales, pleased it has somewhere to go.  I probably have as much Irish material as I do Scottish and am overdue to treat myself to Maeve Binchy again.  Having lost her recently at only my Mom’s age, I savour her with reverence.  She is my rarity;  general fiction without belonging to the paranormal or mystery.

For our reading challenges:  do you prefer that I set target levels, or do you like them open and unlimited?  I removed them, except where I had already created fun diagrams, because I don’t want a scenario in which a member laments that they “didn’t finish”.  Our groups are creative places to share everything you DO finish!  :-)  How are you enjoying this new outlet?  Is it steering you towards Celtic authors and settings?  I always read something Celtic but have checked-off several new names this year.

It was a shame to dislike the first Ellis Peters novel but perhaps she grew less wordy in the next novel?  I have gathered a plethora of them!  I need to take the second Marion C. Beaton plunge.  I loathed “Death Of A Gossip” but was reassured her others are far, far better.  Thank goodness.  I’ll rip off that band-aid soon.  I also have a ton of her two series, even first-edition hardcovers.  Egads!

Three positive surprises were:  “Secrets Of The Lighthouse” by Santa Montefiore, “The Ghost & Mrs. Muir” by Josephine Aimee Campbell Leslie, and “Jewels Of The Sun” by Nora Roberts, surprisingly.  I don’t read romance!  It was the paranormal elements of all three that drew me.  Santa’s and Nora’s highly enjoyable stories depict Ireland and the late Josephine Aimee Campbell Leslie is Irish.  I seem to be tripping over an abundance of new Celtic-oriented authors and I am enjoying these journeys.

If you would like to reach me via e-mail, please be advised of a change:  RIEDELFascination[at]gmail[dot]com.

I feel gratitude, pleasure, and camaraderie for all of you in my groups, reading this blog, and commenting on my reviews.  Thank you for giving me a wonderful outlet of expression and for acquainting you.  To my WordPress peers not involved in literature:  I will post general articles soon!

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

About gardening, from Manitoba!

Hello from the sunny spring of Manitoba!  How are you?

I enjoy thinking my readers are likely gardening now as Ron & I are.  To share a little about that with you:  we live in what is called “Hardiness Zone 3”.  It is a frost date scale that I’m unsure growers in tropical countries pay attention to:  do they?  The larger the digit, the warmer your region, thus we sit near the bottom.  However that has nothing to do with profusion of growth.  It is green all around us, trees nearly finished leafing, grass and dandelions already in their glory and perennial flowers and plants already flourishing.  Our last, telling bird arrivals have returned home too:  gold finches, hummingbirds, and Baltimore orioles.  When they are with us, by gosh:  it is summer!  I can thank Orioles at our window, for the last exceptionally beautiful photographs of our cat Love, with his brother Conan.

We can grow anything from spring to summer;  even through autumn, to a late winter arrival, as “annual plants”.  Soil affects pickier plants but is of little issue because standard soil can certainly be added and the right moisture maintained:  consistently moist, or dry and well-drained.  Our natural environment is prairie forestland and marshland, with semi clay and sand;  quite neutral and easy for garden plants.  The only vegetables, fruits, herbs, and flowers we could not grow would be those requiring longer growth spans than Manitoba’s period of warm weather has.  Otherwise the hardiness zone chart is for telling us that certain flowers and plants which might re-grow each year in other lands (hence “perennial”), are seasonal, annual beauties for us.

It also suggests when we might begin sowing.  If you consult this chart, you’ll see that these details come down to a region’s last frost date.  Ours is May 25th and has only just passed two days ago.  However this year has yielded an early, very warm spring for us, so we said “what the heck” and got started!  I am ecstatic that we are done all four of the food gardens we plant and are also finished planting three of our five flowerbeds!  There is a “flower hill” Ron & I created in our east field meeting the forest, which we switched to perennial flowers last year.  I already have the pleasure of seeing them rise but have soil to add, a little more weeding to do, an annual flowers to sprinkle on it.  Then there is a fresh, special, different tableau every year.

Lastly, I am half-finished the profusion of hanging baskets and flowerboxes I lavish upon both of our small dwellings;  our main house and our library / workshop a few steps away.  In Canada, there is an essential campaign urging people who haven’t so far grown a forest of flowers like we do, to do so now in order to restore our population of bees.  Food doesn’t grow without them and I imagine the United States should or does have a similar campaign.  If you can grow or put a few flowers out even in pots, this is the year to help North American bees surge.  I have found that sunflowers attract them like nobody’s business but all flowers get visited.

The one downside to my homeland, which has no dangerous reptiles, amphibians, or insects and receives no warm weather wind storms except a highly rare tornado, is our frost.  I am prepared to let my plants dry up and rest if winter is here for good.  A great grief and frustration is that I have seen half of November continue without snow cover but a few nights of frost can spoil things:  brief dips below 0 degrees Celsius.  These are a danger in September, even if the daytime highs are well above zero for a couple more months.  Can we whisk hanging plants inside and cover the outdoor gardens with blankets;  the food ones at least that are still growing?  You bet:  with everything we have!  Sheets, quilts, towels….  I have even grabbed pillowcases, hand towels and facecloths to fill gaps in.  Of course, they shouldn’t go more than about three days without peeking at the sun so if it is safe, or if it has been that long:  I uncover all of them.  If overnight frost is a threat, we protect our plants again.

I don’t excuse anyone or anything perishing before their time if there is anything I can do about it!  You certainly saw that when we were anguished to lose our four year-old white kitty, “Love”, on July 31, 2014.  I will be very sorry to acknowledge that I have missed him for two years.  But his remains are well-honoured and you can guess how.  Perhaps we might even grin about it:  flowers!  To honour our gorgeous cat, one of our sons and to make his resting place the least sad possible, we have made a flowerbed of it too.  At least 100 Marigolds bloomed upon it last year, which is special because it is his young Mother’s name.  He also has an orange Sister named Petal, so a token of her is always present too.  His Brother, Conan O’Brien is also, obviously orange!  Not least is his twin sister Angel Petunia, a white tabby like Love.  How our pure orange Marigold had two white children, I don’t know.

Our two elder kitties are happy and well.  McCartney Hendrix is fifteen years-old, until he welcomes his birthday next month and Spirit Penny is eleven until July.  Me?  I am forty-three years-old and about to pick up my first prescription glasses!  It is only small print reading that has gotten away from me:  this still amounts to excellent vision, doesn’t it?  It is alien to me and the optometrist I consulted was neither sensitive, reassuring, nor clearly informative the way I needed.  However I have heard that vision can literally be corrected and restored.  I think the function of glasses is not merely a magnifying glass to boost what you see.  I think they make sure that our vision strength does not dip anymore and might indeed restore what you had;  even if I have additionally heard that this does not pan out for everyone.

June will be special doubly:  for McCartney and Father’s day and because it will mark a full year of survival since Mom had bypass surgery!  She thought that she would live many years longer if she got through this year and she is doing that.  My parents had a very nice Mother’s day here, with our vegetarian home-cooked food and our vista of spring.  I believe that we are going to be treated to a year in which our plants will not perish without all the time they need to grow and bloom.  It had been my dream to see all of them finish growing and we succeeded last October and November, with a late winter and our blankets against cold nights.  This year we have an exceptionally good head start.  I will sign off to finish those flower baskets and boxes, hoping you enjoy my update and wishing all of you a joyous spring!

A post about this year’s four reading groups will be coming.  I enjoy sharing our progress and reassuring members we remain active.  On a separate subject:  I express sad condolences to the numerous citizens of Fort McMurray, Alberta for losing their homes to an awful forest fire!  I pray your entire families of people and animals are safe but personal possessions and sanctuaries are no small things.  I imagine plants are the last things on your minds.  If seeds were wanted, my prairie cousins need only ask.  Caddy Lake and Westhawk Lake, Manitoba:  I am sorry you were threatened by a serious and frightfully close fire.  I am glad to hear your homes, cottages, and you are safe.  Prayers, healing, and relief to all of our rattled Canadians.

Do you garden?  I started with apartment plants.  My parents gardened, which they are reprising shortly.  Mom’s living room is full of plants and we exchange.  We kept African violet shoots for at least thirty years, from her Mother!  I will write again to converse about what we are growing.  Food prices are a concern, thus we are glad we circumvent that for at least half of each year and share our produce with family.  Yours sincerely, Carolyn.


*  I am eager to get this new post out but will add pictures soon.  Early bird visitors, please return to view them.  :)

Posted in Canadian, Cats, Gardening / Plants / Flowers | Tagged , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Definition Of The Broad “Cozy Genre”.

My blog celebrates its fifth anniversary!  Please enjoy the kitty photographs I share relating to the formation of RIEDEL Fascination.  My blog’s foremost purpose is to furnish a writer with a public place to write and invite conversations.  One of my first articles was an essay on the gothic mystery;  the standalone dominant fiction genre from the 1940s to 1990, replaced by “cozy mystery series”, in terms of mass-production.  Thankfully there are still “standard” and “gothic mysteries“.  I recommend starting with that article because it covers a lot of ground on the path today’s genre has taken, of which readers are likely unaware.

The natural segue leads me to an essay on “the cozy mystery”, in which my readership is as unpredicable as my bowling.  I am among the throngs owning these career-themed products, however I am not often enamoured by their quality.  I propose that “the cozy mystery” is derived of two types.  First, let’s settle the vagueness of its core!  I have never seen a more mislabelled genre, with authors like Agatha Christie lumped into it who do not belong, (not the Hercule Poirot suite) and any mystery with a pretty cover painted with the same brush.  A genre is defined by content.  I strongly recommend that we forget “Wikipedia” and the commonly-quoted “cozy” website, in favour of a fundamental definition we readers and reviewers agree upon!  If this core criteria matches your gauge of these books, we could clarify its definition once and for all and quote *this article*.

WHITTLED DOWN TO BASICS:  “cozy” refers to mysteries that aren’t gory or violent.  If they contain a murder (a crime is not necessary, nor synonymous with a mystery), we do not witness it.  A character encounters the aftermath.  Sexuality, unfortunately for adult readers, is watered-down and hinted at more than it is demonstrated.  This genre comes in the form of series that highlight a career:  a psychic, book collector, baker….  Plots are normally simple.  The usual blueprint is a body and a protagonist who does not rely on police to discover why.

Tone is as light as plot singularity.  Few of these series generate suspense;  these novels aren’t scary.  To the contrary they are pervaded by jocularity.  These things comprise the skeletal definition of a “cozy mystery”.  I loathe this diminutive term but imagine this title is going to stick.  I add lastly that novels of a “Nancy Drew” and “Hardy Boys” nature do not belong, with a youth demographic.  “Cozy mysteries” are for all intents and purposes, an adult genre.

SECONDARILY:  I have observed an expanded trait, submitted separately from the basic definition.  In the majority of cases, unfortunately there is also a spareness of quality.  There are exceptions I treasure and then hesitate to put in this category!  However the fact is, “cozy mysteries” do not tend to be the domain of the masterful writer.  This is why an avalanche of these novels tumbles forth every week, including the endless appearance of new authors;  or re-named ones who abound with ideas for yet another series.  If you can think of a new career theme, like a florist, and contrive a reason why an ordinary person would discover a corpse and enlist themselves to investigate its presence:  you have yourself “a cozy mystery”.  Quality writing, fascinating dialogue, brilliant plotting seldom factor into these carbon-copied productions and readers know that.  They simply love to knit, for example and are in it for the hobby.  If we possess the discernment between a masterful author and a trundled-out story, there is nothing wrong with that.

My favourite authors, in this genre, exemplify a gratefully-appreciated pallet of exceptions!  JULIET BLACKWELL pens a witch series containing the most creative mystery of all:  stories that do not feature a crime!  Some characters were villainous for other reasons;  dilemmas of a paranormal nature for instance.  Canada’s LYN HAMILTON too, did not always depict crimes and even when they occurred, her premises focused on archaeological legend and mystique.  In subject matter, Canada’s CHARLOTTE MACLEOD is admittedly as “cozy” as it gets.  It is her creative situations and literary skill that set her apart.  She is one of those authors with such an elevated calibre of eloquence;  it dawns on us that our vocabularies aren’t as vast!  Her way with words enthralls me by itself.  I get very pissed off if anyone automatically dismisses an author’s writing as “fluff”, because a lighter atmosphere places their premise under this heading.  Writing talent needs to be considered with open eyes, on an author by author basis.  CHARLOTTE’s writing is exceptional.  JULIET’s subject matter can be dark.  Neither of them are “fluff”.

For this reason, it has occurred to me that “the cozy genre” comes in two forms.
An author or series might receive this categorization because their mysteries aren’t very complex, their subject matter indeed light, and writing prowess not very high.  It is another “found a body” mystery, with a career backdrop slid into place, like a hastily-changed theatre production.  Same scenario, different coffee shop, right!?

ALTERNATIVELY, we have seen that it is possible for a superb author, with more compelling subject matter, to fit this genre because sexuality, gore, and violence are toned-down.

When there is a skilful author, heavy subject matter, and impressive plot complexity:  I call it a “STANDARS MYSTERY“.  Depending on its style and not necessarily age, it might also be defined:  a “CLASSIC MYSTERY“.  This is where I feel Agatha Christie’s “Hercule Poirot” series belongs.  The detective’s personality might be amusing and infinitely familiar to us but Agatha’s vocabulary was astounding.  Her plots wove in unprecedented directions, some of the situations gruesome, and characters have perished on-stage.  This series should most certainly not be called “light” or “simple”.  Does this make better sense, after defining genres at the bare bones level?

I caution against this mistake with pretty covers.  A cute cover does not equal “a cozy mystery”.  CLEA SIMON is a stark example because her chief topic is cats:  a loveable topic to me without question.  Her subject matter however, is too dark for this label.  The opener of one series contained a a threat of sexual assault.  Her character was also in danger of ingesting drugs at a night club.  This novel discussed the mistaken stigma of hoarding and execution of stray animals was threatened!  THERE IS NOT ONE “COZY” THING ABOUT ANY OF THIS.  Unfortunately, most people would categorize Clea’s series this way.

There is the fundamental definition of this genre and its two forks:  quality authorship with light subject matter, or simple writing altogether.  I hope I have guided readers on how to gauge content on an author by author basis.  “Cozy” writing cannot automatically be called “fluff”, no more than all series with eyecatching covers can be compounded into this genre.  Please always consider that there are “gothic“, “standard“, and “classic” mysteries too.

For fun:  which series or authors have you found mislabelled?  DAVID HANDLER is another.  The crime backgrounds are horrible and dialogue is adult.  JASMINE GALENORN’S ghost mysteries are dark and sexuality, hardcore.  Not our usual tea shop owner!

All of my reviews are in the menu called “Mine“, above.  If we have read the same books, I would love to see your reviews.  Mystery and other readers are certainly invited to my four groups:  like My Kind Of Mystery!

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A subject that has prompted me to a post is something I noticed on the Oscar awards show.  I seldom watch.  Sad, dreary films that tend to win are no more what I watch than what I read.  I understand dismal emotions are tough portrayals worth recognizing.  Fun, fantastical films that spark imaginations in a happier way, like the upcoming “Ghostbusters III”, don’t get on the bill.  I watched this time because my spouse was.

I was pleased for the lovely woman JENNY BEAVAN, winning her second Oscar thirty years apart, as BEST COSTUME DESIGNER of the year.  She was responsible for the “Mad Max:  Fury Road” costumes.  Dystopia isn’t my thing but I applaud her.  I see articles about disapproving of her casual outfit but that is not what I am speaking of.  Her acceptance was nice, at a reasonable length.  In closing she very briefly and respectfully added, as I remember:  “I think “Mad Max” is prophetic because what it depicts could happen.  We need to take care of our world to make sure that doesn’t ever happen“.  How many of you observed the same thing I am relating?

What was rude and appalling is that the instant JENNY BEAVAN politely, briefly said she had one thing to add and was clearly closing a reasonable speech:  the Academy awards personnel blared music!  Goodness, she wasn’t saying anything convtraversial and she only proceeded for one more very polite and important sentence!  There was no soapbox, it wasn’t about politics, it is the nicest, gentlest cautionary remark about the environment I have ever seen.  If only everyone were so brief and calm on this subject.  People are ruffled about “Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy” getting cut off by the Academy, which was inappropriate too.  Good on you for speaking up, Ms. Chinoy!  Nobody appears to be talking about the same happening to JENNY BEAVAN at her brief addendum;  therefore I am writing about it.

A remark arose that was more appalling than the Academy’s rude, unnenecessary censorship attempt.  Thankfully I did hear JENNY BEAVAN.  Joy Behar of “The View”, did not.  She declared:  “Leonardo DiCaprio was the only one who said anything of substance”.  I could have slapped Joy Behar.  The same woman who snubbed nurses for representing themselves with stethescopes, only to find this is part of their equipment.  I dislike “The View”, since Rosie O’Donnell’s departure for a family crisis.  I channel-flipped on February 29, after I show I did watch, had closed.

I was appalled that Leonardo DiCaprio’s longer acceptance speech was not curtailed.  He launched into more assertive climate change cautions and warnings.  Please know my objection has nothing to do with his win.  It was a Canadian story that his film told.  Additionally, he spoke on a subject I support:  safeguarding our environment.  My question is, why did the Academy solely approve hearing from him?  I am certain Leonardo would agree and would like his peer to be heard as well.  He plodded on less gently than JENNY BEAVAN, at greater length, and possibly made the point less well than she did.  But it is not Leonardo DiCaprio the Academy interrupted by blaring music over him.  Why not?  Because he is a larger celebrity?  Was the music-blarer touchy early in the show and lax when it was nearly ended?  This was appalling.  Joy Behar is obviously one who missed the costume designer’s well-meaning message.

JENNY BEAVAN said it first.  Simply, amiably, calmly, respectfully:  “Mad Max” has the capacity for being prophetic, so let’s take care of our world.  I applaud this two-time Oscar-winning woman.  Did you catch her nice message through the censor attempt, as I was glad to?  Why do you think that rude moment has gotten missed?  How many of you managed to hear and appreciate what she had to say?

Jenny Beavan's Award 2016

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RIEDEL Fascination’s Anniversary!

Five and a half years ago, Ron & I moved to this country town because our apartment complex would stop accepting pets after renovating.  Our cats, McCartney (15 today) and Spirit (11 today) are our lives, our sons.  Promising to help animals more when I had a house:  I welcomed young, pregnant Marigold as a foster one month in.  Her children – and ours – were born four days later:  ANGEL, LOVE (gone a year from heart failure), PETAL, and CONAN.  They are the loves of our lives, five years old now and Marigold, six.  Two metamorphosed into the happiest family of seven kitties I have ever known and I miss our seventh dearly.

Love on March 3, 2014.

As soon as our kittens were born, I told the shelter they needn’t bother enlisting me to foster.  I would keep all of them (and spay all of them of course) right here, where the infants were born.  Even Marigold had never entered the shelter but had been driven to a meeting place and given to me after being checked by a veterinarian.  I would reinburse that check-up fee and not one of them would ever see a cage.  To my shock and stress, instead of leaping at six instant homes;  the shelter was reluctant to wipe our family from their “to cage” list.  They were never officially with the shelter, could stay together, which is exceptionally rare;  and no one would love them more than Ron & I.  But because we believe in giving them air and exercise outside, this city shelter fought me.

For two months we had no one over, nor hung photographs in our new home, because we needed desperately to convince these stubborn people we would cherish our cats.  I had always wanted a blog.  I am a writer.  Five years ago, today, I suddenly had something very important to talk about and unload from my soul.  Even though I run reading groups, RIEDEL Fascination was always meant for any subject that matters to me.  My first article was published five years ago on this day, February 11, 2010!  I discussed the sinister feeling, that well-intentioned rules could have deprived five cats from the world’s best Father and Mother, had we not put our feet down and fought.  They have the right to go outside:  supervised, in daylight.



Winter Feline Parade

Familar? A portion of this extraordinary memory became my RIEDEL Fascination banner!  For the first time, I am showing you our whole photograph, today!


On the “Ellen DeGeneres Show” today, she ran a humorous segment with videos about how dogs allegedly welcome their people with more enthusiasm than cats.  She did not have a video of all of the faces that greet Ron in the window:  EVERY DAY THAT HE ARRIVES HOME from work.  By the time he opens the door, they are standing upon a ledge, couch edge, and on the floor at his feet.  Those at eye level reach up with arms to hug him, tap him with a paw, and meow at him eye to eye.  Not all cats are aloof.  Our babies have always been excited to show their love for us and are very tactile and chatty.

My New Family, Sept 2010

I love to chat too.  Every time you leave me a comment, even better than pressing the “like button”;  I feel like it is a present and I am thrilled!  I want to be read, I want to start conversations, I am very glad to know you.  So to you, subscribed to me and everyone who ever reads my words:  thank you!  I share my blog’s fifth anniversary with you today.  May our words keep flowing and be reciprocated!  Yours gratefully in central Canada, Carolyn.

Carolyn & The Four, Nov-20-2010

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My winners in 2015!

I announced this news in my tiny Goodreads sister group but it is time my blog had a nice post about the outcome of my 2015 reading group draws. I look forward to having comments recorded for posterity, as I always do. Here are my groups’ winners of 2015! I hope all of these folks return this year. The good Lord knows we need them, this dry membership year. ;) Congratulations to all of three of these guests.

The winner of Gentle Spectrums is KRISTI!  She lives close to Canada, in Illinois, USA.  Her blog is called “Books And Needlepoint”.  It is lovely that Kristi belonged to two of my 2015 challenges.  She is finializing her choices from among my prize lists.  I am pleased and curious about her selection of a previously banned but highly-awarded Manitoba classic:  “A Jest Of God” by our own Margaret Laurence.

The winner of My Kind Of Mystery is KARI!  Her blog is “Know It Not So Much” and she has been in at least two of my groups since I started, which means a great deal.  She let me choose her prizes, with a little guidance.  They left Manitoba just ahead of a blizzard.  LOL!  I am sure the treats will love living with her technologically-sound family in California, USA.

The winner of Ethereal is LuAnn!  She belonged to all three of my 2015 groups, with her blog “Back Porchervations”.  She is a home school Mom in Kentucky, USA.  She won an unusual prize.  For 2015, a sweet person I acquainted from Malaysia offered her talents for that group’s gift.  LuAnn had a choice of a numerology or tarot reading, from Hazellie!  It will be fun to hear what she picked and how she enjoyed it.

Thank you, Hazellie, for having joined ETHEREAL 2015.  I hope you return to Canada.  Offering us this prize along with your membership, was a boon to our group and generous of you.

My Kind Of Mystery 2015

Honourable mention goes to Neeru!  A warm and enthusiastic player from India, who has been in all three of my reading themes, she identified this mystery book that was our logo!  It is:  “The Black Dudley Murder” by Margery Allingham in 1929!  This gave Neeru an extra entry into our year-end prize.  Well done.  :)  Neither of us liked the book but what a colourful, enchanting, moody cover.  Please do browse our book reviews, for previous years and our new sessions.  My menus are at the top of this blog.

This year’s new MY KIND OF MYSTERY logo is very whimsical.  I would be thrilled and impressed with anyone who solves it.  We could use many more participants in the 2016 session, which now comprises a quartet of themes.  Let’s cheer our winners and wish this year’s participants a fun time.  :)

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Non Fiction And Translation

I need to refresh my skills but one thin blogosphere friends might not know about me, is that I am an accomplished linguist.  I don’t merely mean with animals.  :)  Languages are something I have always taken to with ease.  As a tiny child, I was already enthralled to make friends of other cultures.  The rare time Ron & I travel, it is our pleasure to honour host countries by doing our best to use their language.  We don’t do everything the Romans do though.  ;)  We request vegetarian food!

Pertaining to Canada, a good portion of my reading has turned to non-fiction.  Michael J. Fox’s memoirs are a must;  exceedingly well-written with a vocabulary surpassing mine visibly and hilariously engaging all at once.  I love details about Canada, be it history or autobiographies of authors, like Margaret Laurence.  A special favourite are true ghost records from individualized regions of our country.

For the third time, I’m linking my non-fiction and translation reading material with these groups.  This year:  I seriously urge Jen to visit my post and grace it with a comment from her, being hostess and all!  I don’t conside challenges without prizes a waste, if I have the pleasure of the hostess reading my contributions.  :-)  Check back for the literature I add to both places.


Just A Beginner 01-03  ~  A Conversationalist 04-06
Carolyn Is Trilingual 07-09  ~  A Top Linguist! 10-12

I will reach “Conversationalist” level for certain.  Let’s see how many more translated works I read.  A few might be in their originating languages.  :)


The LLama’s Secret”  Argentina Palacios, Charles Reasoner  1993
The Bear Who Stole The Chinook And Other Stories”  Frances Fraser, Lewis Parker  1959
The Riddle Monster”  Lisl Weil  1981
A Ghost, A Witch, And A Goblin”  Rosalind Fry, Lalavihari De  1970
The Moon Lady”  Amy Tan, Gretchen Shields  1992


Dilettante 01-05  ~  Seeker 11-15
Explorer 06-10  ~  Master 16-20

I see I have already cleaned up the “Dilettante” level.  There will be many more.


(1)  “Lucky Man”  Michael J. Fox  2002
(2)  “The Kids Canadian Bird Book”  Pamela Hickman, Heather Collins  1995
(3)  “Let’s Go! The Story Of Getting From There To Here”  Lizann Flatt, Scot Ritchie  2007
(4)  “Eyes Of An Angel, Spirit Guides, Reality Of Love”  Paul Elder  2005
(5)  “Andrew Goes Fishing In Manitoba”  Carol & Kristin Szuminsky, Jack Brown  2008
(6)  “Throw Your Tooth On The Roof”  Selby B. Beeler, G. Brian Karas  1998
(7)  “The Hills Is Lonely”  Lillian Beckwith  1959
(8)  “What Makes My Cat Purr?”  Ann Tompert  1965
(9)  “The Mousehole Cat”  Antonia Barber, Nicola Bayley  1990
(10)  “The Divali Story”  Anita Ganeri, Carole Gray  2003

(11)  “Always Looking Up”  Michael J. Fox  2009
(12)  “The Cabot Trail”  Warren Gordon  1997
(13)  “Common Ground”  Justin Trudeau  2014
(14)  “The Glass Castle”  Sharon E. McKay  2002
(15)  “Bathroom Book Of Canadian Trivia”  Angela C. Murphy  2005
(16)  “The Other Side And Back”  Syvlia Browne  1999
(17)  “The LLama’s Secret”  Argentina Palacios, Charles Reasoner  1993
(18)  “Niagara”  Tanya Lloyd  2000
(19)  “Beethoven Lives Upstairs”  Barbara Nichol, Scott Cameron  1989
(20)  “The Bear Who Stole The Chinook And Other Stories”  Frances Fraser, Lewis Parker  1959

(21)  “Zin Zin Zin! A Violin”  Lloyd Moss, Marjorie Priceman  1995
(22)  “In Praise Of Cats, An Anthology”  Dorothy Foster, Alan Daniel  1974
(23)  “A Ghost, A Witch, And A Goblin”  Rosalind Fry, Lalavihari De  1970
(24)  “Tiktala”  Margaret Shaw-MacKinnon, Laszlo Gal  1996
(25)  “When The Ghost Screams”  Leslie Rule  2006
(26) “Baby Animals”  Stephanie Longfoot  2004
(27)  “A Funny Thing Happened On The Way To The Future”  Michael J. Fox  2010
(28)  “Overshadows:  An Investigation”  Richard Palmisano  2003
(29) “Shaku Of Wondrous Grace”  Henry Kojima, Art Miki, Sylvia Jansen  2007
(30) “The Cat Who Came For Christmas”  Cleveland Amory  1987

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7 Continents & Africa

7 Continents 2016

It a my pleasure to meet Dorothee, whom I look forward to knowing.  She started as a strongly-connected hostess, answering comments.  I read that she is a cancer survivor;  awful for anyone of any age.  It is special for me that she is German.  Thar is one country of my heritage I have not seen.  Even though I speak and read the language mildly, I feel there’s something magical about befriending a German, in the country.  It is as if German friends bring a stronger piece of heritage to me.

A very happy benefit is, as a third generation Canadian RIEDEL:  I will get a break from misspellings and mispronunciations of my name!  In German-speaking countries, it is common;  the opposite of my constantly-correcting experience here!  Go on, English-speaking friends:  guess how these six little letters are supposed to be pronounced.  The goal of 7 Continents is easy on the surface:  only 7 books from each continent, with permission to replace the seldom lived-in Antartica.  That can be a book in which there is travel between any continents.

My rule is that I always draw my literature from our library.  With about 3,000 unread books here at our home – I have not counted – I can fulfill any requirements.  I will see if something connects with Antarctica.  Dorothee’s twist, to challenge us, is that authors be from the continents.  That’s a little trickier than selecting any old book depicting a country but I can do it and will keep adding literature that applies!  It is my way to keep surpassing limits all year, with whatever I find.  Please revisit my post to see the list I build.

Mystery Of The Strange Traveler”  Phyllis A. Whitney  1949  JAPAN
Shaku Of Wondrous Grace”  Art Miki, Henry Kojima, Sylvia Jansen  2007  JAPAN
The Divali Story”  Anita Ganeri, Carole Gray  2003  INDIA

Tiktala”  Margaret Shaw-MacKinnon, Laszlo Gal  1996  CANADA
Always Looking Up”  Michael J. Fox  2009  CANADA
An Inquiry Into Love And Death”  Simone St. James  2013  CANADA

The Bassumtyte Treasure”  Jane Louise Curry  1978  UNITED STATES
Escape From Mr. Lemoncello’s Library”  Chris Grabenstein  2013  UNITED STATES
The Kingdom”  Amanda Stevens  2012  UNITED STATES

Jack’s Basket”  Alison Catley  1987  ENGLAND
The Mousehole Cat”  Antonia Barber, Nicola Bayley  1990  ENGLAND
Property Of A Lady”  Sarah Rayne  2011  SCOTLAND

The Midnight Side”  Natasha Mostert  2000  SOUTH AFRICA
Season Of The Witch”  Natasha Mostert  2007  SOUTH AFRICA
Zoom Upstream”  Tim Wynne-Jones, Eric Beddows  1992  EGYPT

The Forgotten Garden”  Kate Morton  2008  AUSTRALIA
Human Croquet”  Kate Atkinson  1997  AUSTRALIA
The Ghost Writer”  John Harwood  2004  AUSTRALIA
Mansion Of Menace”  Caroline Farr (Richard Wilkes-Hunter)  1976  AUSTRALIA

The LLama’s Secret”  Argentina Palacios, Charles Reasoner  1993  PANAMÁ
Throw Your Tooth On The Roof”  Selby B. Beeler, G. Brian Karas  1998

The Etruscan Chimera”  Lyn Hamilton  2002  CANADA, IRELAND, ITALY
Gatekeepers”  Robert Liparulo  2008  TRANSCONTINENTAL & TIME TRAVEL
The Reef”  Nora Roberts  1998  PACIFIC & WIDESPREAD TRAVEL
A Funny Thing Happened On The Way To The Future”  Michael J. Fox  2010
The Forgotten Door”  Alexander Key  1965  ANOTHER PLANET to United States.


Kinna is a lovely, popular advocate of African and women’s literature, in Ghana.  I am rejoining her a second time, in eagerness to exceed the four books I contributed last year.  She asks for five books pertaining to Africa, with a request that three be written by Africans and not merely depicted there.  That is her twist that challenges me but drawing literature from our home library, I can do it!

Below, I will build a list of everything about Africa that I read in 2016.  It is always my intention to keep on reading beyond minimum instructions.  I must have other African-born authors but will read more by Natasha if need be.  It is handy that Margaret, from my province, lived in Africa with her husband for a few years.  Between the two, we have Kinna’s African-born literary content.

The Midnight Side”  Natasha Mostert  2000  SOUTH AFRICA
Season Of The Witch”  Natasha Mostert  2007  SOUTH AFRICA
The Mummy Case”  Elizabeth Peters  1985  EGYPT
Zoom Upstream”  Tim Wynne-Jones, Eric Beddows  1992  EGYPT
The Curse Of The Blue Figurine”  John Bellairs  1983  NUBIA

I achieved two books by African-born authoress Natasha Mostert.  Two stories are located in Egypt.  John Bellairs’s American adventure features a Kush figurine called an “ushabti”.  That makes five, baby!  C’est un fait accompli.

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