Sunday, November 17, 2013


The Expats by Chris Pavone, 2012. Had listened to it before but it was good light entertainment, like a spy movie. Not very challenging but engaging.

Finished Engleby, 2007, Sebastian Faulks and it was great. The reader, UK actor, Michael Maloney,
was such a good reader. Seen him in lots of UK dramas but never heard him read a book before. He was very good and the book is very good.

Peter Robinson Children of the Revolution. 2013. Good mystery, interesting plot. The murdered person and the investigator - Inspector Banks, are the same age, and also my age. We all get older.

Benjamin Black, Holy Orders, 2013. Another good Quirke mystery. The 6th, for pathologist and amateur detective Quirke. His drinking is a bit much though, and it's all a bit dark but he writes good mysteries. A good writer.

Just started to listen to Solo by William Boyd, 2013. It's James Bond, so pretty light. But it's read by Dominic West! What a treat. Don't have very high expectations for it.

Also just started Ian Rankin's latest book, 2013, and it's good. Saints of the Shadow Bible. Like his characters - have high expectations for this book and am sure he'll come through.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

great audiobook

Engleby by Sebastion Faulks, read by Michael Maloney, a UK actor. He's a great reader and it's a good book. Mike Engleby is an intriguing but scary character.

Monday, October 14, 2013

two really good novels and one awful mystery

Really liked All Over Creation by Ruth Ozeki, 2004. A novel that takes over, the characters are believable. Interesting plot too. A potato farm in Iowa is the main location, and the people living and not living there deal with everything that is wrong with global farming. She writes really well, this is a very good book.

I listened to half of Night Film, 2013, by Marisha Pessl. Sigh, Hate occult stuff, satan and all that. Very long and very tedious book going nowhere. I am not going to listen to the rest.

Really enjoyed Barbara Pym's Excellent Women. Very incisive, witty, good writing. Not sure when she wrote it, in the 50's I think. She's a very good writer.

Friday, October 4, 2013

some good books

Thoroughly enjoyed Rowling's new mystery, and did not expect to at all because the Harry Potter books are tedious and I never finished one of them. But this book is good. The Cuckoo's Calling, 2013. I liked the two main characters, thought the plot was pretty good. I hope she writes some more about the same characters.

The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry by Rachel Joyce, 2013 was good too. Great story, Harold goes on a quest and finds his life. He is a retired sales representative receives a letter from an old friend, Queenie, who informs him that she's dying from cancer. Harold scribbles a polite reply and heads to the mailbox at the end of the road and keeps going, for 600 km until he gets there, facing all the things that really happened in his life en route.

Unleashed by David Rosenfelt, 2013 was very mediocre. Kept listening to it becuase it was not too long, it's only saving grace. Maybe it was the reader but it was not a good book at all.

The Yellow Birds by Kevin Powers, 2013 is a great book. A very good writer, a war book, but worth the read. The Iraq war, he writes about Al Tafar located in the province of Nineveh in northwest Iraq where the men will do most of their fighting. This man can write.

The heart of the matter by Graham Greene, not sure when he wrote it. Another man who can write. Very perceptive observations of people - and relationships. Interesting book, I like it.

seating arrangments by Maggie Shipstead, 2013, is the name of a book i did not like at all and gave up before I got half way. Was not interested in a single character or the story.

Connie Willis' To Say Nothing of the Dog, did not finish either. she needs an editor, way too wordy and long, her books are, for me. Entertaining and likeable characters flitting about in time, but way too long.

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Books, a few good, several mediocre

This one was really good, well researched and interesting to read: Pukka's Promise: The Quest for Longer-Lived Dogs by Ted Kerasote, 2013. He goes to rendering plants, kill dog shelters, non-kill dog shelters, and researches food, toys, breeds, mutts, vets.... all kinds of things to do with dogs. Good writer.

Quit 3 books half way and am not sure I can remember any of their titles, sigh.

Did finish The Interestings 2013, by Meg Wolitzer, but cannot say that any of the characters were particularly interesting. Artsy, or people trying to be artsy or mooning over not being artsy. Quite a tedious lot. Not a badly written book, it's longish and I did go to the end but really, did not care what happened to any of them. Better title The Uninterestings.

Read a couple of mysteries by Susan Hill and liked them, her earlier and later detective stories. They were enjoyable, think I liked the latter one better. The Betrayal of Trust, 2012 and Various Haunts of Men, 2007, featureing the same detective, Simon Serrailler, who was not really that great. the other characters were though

Saturday, July 6, 2013


Just finished My Criminal World, 2013, by Henry Sutton. Entertaining mystery about a mystery writer and all the trials and tribulations of the trade. Not a great book but enjoyable to read.

Listening to Graham Greene book. Good story, interesting observations on people and behaviors. The Heart of the Matter. Don't know when he wrote it. Very perceptive writer.

In the car listening to a book by Sarah Vowell, read by the author. She uses other voices for the quotes, which is interesting. It is a non-fiction book about Hawaaii, about which I know nothing.... the Americanization of Hawaaii. Unfamiliar Fishes, 2012. I like the way she links the historical stuff she is talking about to the contemporary world in different ways. Interesting book.

Friday, July 5, 2013


Wendyknits KAL summer shawl, lots of errors. made from Knit Picks tonal sock yarn.

Kate Davies blanket, Rams and Yowes. Love the pattern and love working with Shetland wool.

Friday, June 28, 2013


Leaving Everything Most Loved, Maisie Dobb by Jacqueline Winspear, 2013. The latest Maisie Dobbs book is good, perfect car listening in that the story is easy to follow, the characters familiar. She has good plots with lots of interesting details about the class and roles of the characters, set in the 30s in London.

May We be Forgiven, A M Holmes. Good book, disasterous happenings to a pair of brothers, one a complete sociopath, the other living in his shadow. Have not yet finished it but will do so, not sure what is going to happen to either of them.

Really liked Ancient Light by John Banville, 2013. Such a good writer. Is there any difference between memory and invention is the question he is writing about. Main character is an aging actor, remembering his torrid affair with a friend's mother when he was 15. Good story. Good ending. Excellent writing.

Saturday, June 8, 2013


At Last by Edward st Aubyn, 2012. Great book, it's the final of a series about the same bunch of ghastly people from old money, he is such a good writer, sentences you want to read twice. And his main character Patrick, seems to have survived his dreadful childhood and addicted adulthood. There is hope for this survivor.

John le Carre, 2013, his latest book, a delicate truth is good. Thoughtful and believable and interesting. His final radio interview with Eleanor Wachtel is very good too.

Nick Harkaway Angelmaker, 2012. An entertaining tale, good but not great. Too long. Good car listening.

The Accidental Captives The Story of Seven Women Alone in Nazi Germany
By Gossage, Carolyn. Very interesting story about a group of Canadian women stuck in Germany during 1941 -1942 after their boat was sunk en route to Africa.

The Chosen Dead By Hall, M. R. (Book - 2013), another great Jenny Cooper mystery. Like this author with his flawed coroner and interesting plots.

Sunday, May 5, 2013

books, some good

Listened to the 3rd Alan Bradley book, A Red Herring Without Mustard 2011, and grew tired of it, think I have had enough of Favia. It's pretty good, but I've lost interest in her, the village, and the dead bodies. I stopped listening with 10 minutes to go, such was my lack of interest.

But, Kate Atkinson's new book, Life after Life, 2013 is good. Quite different from her other books, repeatedly jumping back in time to re-write the main character's story, but it's good and I will listen to every minute of it.

just about finished Michael Frayn's book of 2011, My Father's Fortune and like it very much.

and Phillipa Gregory's The Women of the Cousins' War, 2011, is very interesting. Women never written about in history, as if they did not even exist. "PHILIPPA GREGORY and her fellow historians describe the extraordinary lives of the heroines of the Cousins’ War books: Jacquetta, Duchess of Bedford; Elizabeth Woodville, wife of Edward IV; and Margaret Beaufort, mother of Henry VII. "

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

some good books

Whew, after complaining, it's good to like several books in a row.
First up, the latest M R Hall book feature the very-flawed coroner, Jenny Cooper, The Chosen Dead, 2013. He's a good mystery writer, interesting plot, characters you want to find out about. I hope he writes more.

Brain on Fire, My Month of Madness by Susannah Cahalan, 2012 is a good book. She tells of her experience of entering the land of illness and the slow climb out of it. Undiagnosed and misdiagnosed for some time, it's a scary tale. Well writtern.

In the middle of My Father's Fortune: A Life, 2010 by Michael Frayn and I like it. It's the story of his father's life. Lots of deafness in the family which they all completely ignored; sounds like a true British way of dealing with it. Never read any of his books but this one is interesting.

Saturday, March 23, 2013


Finished NW by Zadie Smith, 2012 as well as 419, 2012 by Will Smith. Both pretty good but same complaint about both books; story as a whole is disjointed as different parts are told and different characters developed and they are not very well connected together. One character's story would just get interesting and then dropped. Both books ended with things being connected together but not well. Grump, grump.

And then Hilary Mantel's Wolf Hall, 2011, groan. Another Booker winner I do not like. Started reading it a couple of years ago and gave up so thought I'd try listening to it. Got further but gave up just past half way. I could not attend to the story, it seemed to be going nowhere with characters talking to each other about nothing in particular. More grumping.

beautiful fibre

From Huckleberry Knits in Bellingham WA

and spun

Merino, cashmere, nylon 80 10 10

and a wool sweater found at VV, on seniors day. Thrifty shopping for life on a pension.....

Monday, March 4, 2013


Sweet Tooth, 2012 by Ian McEwan was good. Main character is employed by MI5 but it is not really a spy novel at all. Very interesting ending.

The Conversations: Walter Murch and the Art of Editing Film
by Michael Ondaatje, 2004. Very interesting book, a documentation of several coversations that Michael had with Walter Murch about sound, editing, movies, books, film, directing. Very readable and interesting to read about how movies and novels are put together.

In the middle of 419: A Novel by Will Feguson, 2012. It's good, a bit scattered as he jumps between story lines, but interesting.

Friday, January 25, 2013

Good books

Flight Behaviour by Barbara Kingsolver, 2012, is a very good book. Her first three books (Bean Trees, Pigs in Heaven, Animal Dreams) were so good and this one was up to snuff. Her other books have been o.k., but this one I really liked. Interesting plot, lots of biology, great characters handled deftly. Very likable main character.

Dominion by C J Sanson, 2012, was good too. Good storytelling, an alternate WW II story set in the UK.

Jeanette Winterston's autobiography, Why Be Happy When You Could Be Normal, 2012, is interesting too. She writes kind of bluntly, but her story is intriguing.

Finally getting back to Intolerable by Kamal Al-solaylee, 2012. It's very good. He writes well and his life is so interesting.