Posts

Showing posts from April, 2018

Book beginnings on Fridays and The Friday 56

Image
Friday again and I don't know where this week went. I am now in Sweden and have finally organised most of the things I brought with me. I just squeezed in the books in the already overfull book cases. I just have to read some books fast in order to make space. Yes, I don't save all the books anymore. Mostly the non-fiction and some fiction that I really love. I just started Catherine Cookson's Kate Hannigan's Girl  and will use that for the beginning and page 56 this week. It was a long time since I read Cookson, and got inspired when I read the biography by Cliff Goodwin; To be a lady: Story of Catherine Cookson   (my review under link). Book beginnings on Fridays hosted by Rose City Reader "Annie stood gripping her bicycle and staring wide-eyed at the tall, auburn-haired boy leaning nonchalantly across his saddle. 'What did Cathleen Davidson tell you?' she asked." The Friday 56 hosted by Freda's Voice "He stared at her. Her

New Audio Books

Image
In a few days I will go to Sweden. It is, more or less, a 12 hour drive. Normally, I listen to music, but lately I have tried to listen to audio books. With music your mind can drift without a problem, but with an audio book? No! That is a little bit my problem when driving and I don't use my ear plugs. On the other hand, it is probably just a matter of getting used to. It definitely helps to smooth the journey. For the time being I am listening to Mythos  by Stephen Fry, and he is also narrating it. This is the first audio book, where I really enjoy listening. The stories are great, each one is not so long, so very suitable to listen to when you do it in small doses. Furthermore, Stephen Fry is an excellent narrator and I have to laugh loudly sometimes. I really enjoy this book. A new way of looking at the Greek myths. Review will follow once I have finished. I have a little bit over six hours to listen, which will take me half way to Sweden.

4 x Allison Brennan

Image
When it comes to detective novels, Allison Brennan is one of my favourites. I follow two of her series; Lucy Kincaid and Max Revere. They are different in crimes, but both series are excellent. Lucy Kincaid is a FBI agent and is solving big crimes like trafficking, serial killers etc. She has a troubled past which still afflicts her, but also makes her determined to put the bad guys and gals behind bars. She is part of a big family, as is her husband Sean Rogan. The family works in different kind of crime preventing/solving areas, have a lot of money and can do a little bit like they like. Well connected in society and in the FBI. Max Revere, also with a troubled past (how come all detectives have a troubled past?) coming from a rich family and, due to the fact her mother left her/disappeared when she was ten, has committed her life to solve cold cases. She is a reporter and has her own crime show on TV. Both women are strong, but vulnerable at the same time. I really enjoy b

The Empty Family by Colm Tóibín

Image
"I imagined lamplight, shadows, soft voices, clothes put away, the low sound of late news on the radio. And I thought as I crossed the bridge at Baggot Street to face the last stretch of my own journey home that no matter what I had done, I had not done that." A sample of the wonderful writings of Tóibín. The Empty Family, is a short story collection on the family theme, which is a theme he mostly uses. Colm Tóibín seems to have so many different versions of what a family is. Here we find a unique set of characters and their various family relationships. So diverse, so different and so touching. Family relations are, as we know, not always the easiest kind of relationships. Tóibín manages to takes us along the various routes that can be called family ties and it is fascinating. His language is poetic and it is like you are on a river in a small boat that carries you with a slow current. The stories cover love between man and woman and man and man. Not only the feeling

Bookmark Monday

Image
Joining Guiltless Reading for another Bookmark Monday. Being on a trip, visiting houses, castles and museums I mostly manage to find some bookmarks. I showed you two last week connected to Bussy-Rabutin . This week it is time for a more famous person, Voltaire. Having read Candide  for my litcourse, I was eager to visit houses where he had lived. Unfortunately, I was unlucky in both places. During the last years of his life he lived in Ferney, just on the border to Switzerland. They even renamed the town to Ferney-Voltaire (which is the name today) after him. The castle is under renovating since 2015 and will only open this summer. We could walk around the garden though. It is a beautiful, small (to be a castle) with a lovely view over the surroundings. Who would not enjoy living here? The small shop was full of Voltaire memorabilia and I bought two bookmarks. The other home of Voltaire is situated in the Délice area of Geneva. We were here mid-day but the museum only opens

Book Beginnings on Fridays and The Friday 56

Image
I have packed most of my books, so difficult to find something of this meme. I recently finished The Mistresses of Cliveden  by Nathalie Livingstone. A fascinating story of a house with mostly women owning it. It was built for a woman in the first place. The Duke of Buckingham built it for his mistress Anna Maria in the 17th century. From there it was enlarged and hosted different families. Book beginning hosted by Rose City Reader "In the thin light of a January morning, the Duke of Buckingham galloped towards Barn Elms, the appointed site for the duel he had so long awaited." The Friday 56 hosted by Freda's Voice "The most convenient way to travel from London to Cliveden in 1671 was by boat along the River Thames." I am fascinated by old houses, castles and manor houses, and this book gives you not just the story of the house, but also the story of the fascinating people who inhabited it.

The Art of Vanishing, A Memoir of Wanderlust by Laura Smith

Image
How easy is it to vanish without a trace? Well, it happens all the time as Claire says in the beginning of the time travelling series Outlander. This also happened to Barbara Newhall Follett, a free spirit, who walked out of her flat one evening, never to be seen again. When Laura Smith's wedding day was nearing she felt a little bit of panic. Was it possible to be married and still feel free? Luckily, her husband was a kindred spirit, and instead of settling down near their families, they went travelling for a year or two, before they came back to settle, temporarily, in New York. She was finishing her studies and was looking for a theme for her thesis. Someone mention Barbara Newhall Follett and she was hooked. Barbara was a very special child. Her parents taught her to read, write and use a typewriter before she was six years old. She wrote her first novel at 11 and enlisted as a deck hand on a boat heading for the China seas when she was 15. She was the first woman to h

The pleasure of classics

Image
There has not been that many reviews here lately. I have been busy with my studies and also in the process of moving. However, I have read quite a lot, and especially classics. Here are a few thoughts around them. Diary of a Nobody by George and Weedon Grossmith This is in a way a hilarious book. Mr Nobody, Charles Pooter, decides to write a diary of his life. Nothing much happens. He relates to everyday life, work, house, wife, son and the social life (not that much) that they entertain. It does not sound very exciting, but it is a satire of middle class life in England in the 19th century, and as such great fun. The brothers were actors, illustrators and writers. When we discussed this book in the Brontë Reading Group references were made to Three Men in a Boat. The same kind of understated humour. I really enjoyed this book. The Death of Ivan Ilych by Leo Tolstoy One of the great Russian authors. This is a short novel, written in the realism of the time. Tolstoj was a mas

Bookmark Monday

Image
It has been rather quiet here on the blog, the reason being, that I have been on a tour in France and Switzerland. On our way to visit friends in Zürich, we decided to take a few days and drive via Champagne and Bourgogne in France, to do wine tasting and sightseeing. I had some literary visits planned, but unfortunately, most of the houses I wanted to visit did not open until 1 April. They will have to wait for another time. The good thing about travelling is that I can collect yet a few bookmarks, which will be revealed during the next three Mondays. I start with two bookmarks from Chateau de Bussy-Rabutin which we visited. Very interesting castle and owner, Comte de Bussy, or as he was called Bussy-Rabutin. The castle is located in the Cote-d'Or department of Bourgogne, in eastern France. We just happened to pass by and stopped to investigate. The castle was founded in the 12th century and rebuilt in the 14th century, and the galleries (beautiful) were added in the 1520

Mount TBR 2018 - first check point

Image
The first three months have passed very quickly. I am quite pleased with the number of books I have read so far. Bev at  My Reader's Block  invites us to share our efforts in climbing the world mountains, and, our TBR shelves. I have read 13 books from my shelves and that means I have reached Pike's Peak and am looking out over the beautiful surroundings from 4.302 meters (or 14.115 ft). Yay! Furthermore, it takes me 200 meters (or 657 ft) up Mont Blanc! Very suitable since we were not far away from that mountain during our Easter holiday. I need 23 more book to reach the top. That will be my aim for next check point. My aim for the year is Mt Ararat and 48 books. I think I am doing well so far. Over to Bev's questions: A. Favourite cover so far is from Andrea Camilleri's  The Hunting Season .  Absolutely wonderful. B. Who has been your favourite character so far? And tell us why, if you like. It has to be "Girl in Rose" the last love of Haydn. Pr