Saturday, December 27, 2014

Good book

All My Puny Sorrows by Miriam Toews, 2014. Excellent book. Heartbreaking book but she tells the story of a sister steam rolling to suicide with great insight and humour. Hard to get it out of my head. Loved the part about a friend's old dog, Shadow, who can no longer run. So the friend runs around to different parts of the yard while the dog sits and wags her tail on the porch. "Running for Shadow" she calls it. Brave book.

Good mysteries by Sharon Bolton, 4 of them. Just started the 3rd book. Intriguing protanganist, Lacey Flint, and unpredictable plots.
Now you see me

Dead Scared

Like This, Forever

Also, really enjoyed My Life In Middlemarch by Rebecca Mead. Good book, interesting thoughts about the characters and people now.

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

irritating book, good bokks

The Paying Guests, by Sarah Waters, 2014. Gave up half way through, after 10 hours of listening. Not a character that I was interested in or cared if bad things were going to happen. Way too long, way to aimless. Happy to have left it behind.

Really liking February, by Lisa Moore, will finish this one.

And started another interesting book, with lots of information about elephants woven into it. Leaving Time by Jodi Picoult, 2014. Am looking forward to continuing with this book.

Saturday, November 8, 2014


Finished the final book of the Cazalet series by Elizabeth Jane Howard and really liked it. All Change written quite awhile later than the other 4 books. Sad to leave all those characters behind but she does wrap things up for them all.

Adrian McKinty, Sean Duffy series of 4 books is good. Mysteries set near Belfast in the early 1980's - not about the battles but they are ever present in each book.
Just finished the third book and have to wait for the 4th book which has not yet been published. Good plots, good characters.

Thursday, October 23, 2014


A mystery that was forgettable. Maybe it was the voices of one of the readers but I think it was the book. The Farm, set in Sweden and London. Fell asleep for the most important final 45 minutes and have no desire to replay it and find out what happened. By Tom Rob Smith, 2014. It gets rave reviews, which I don't understand.

Abattoir Blues by Peter Robinson was very good. 2014, his latest DCI Alan Banks book. Makes one want to become a vegetarian though.

in the middle of The Cold Cold Ground by Adrian McKinty and like it. Good mystery writer, interesting setting historically and physically. Nov. 2013

Also started February by Lisa Moore and like it so far.

Am in the middle of My Life in Middlemarch by Rebecca Mead, 2014 but had to go back and read Middlemarch itself, so I'm in the middle of that too. Like both.

some knitting

Never get around to posting knitting. A few recent things.
Socks - love the yarn - from catterpillargreen yarns in Victoria. Love the colours and there is cashmere mixed in the with merino and nylon.

and hats, from handspun. The completed hat is mostlyl merino with a bit of BFL, it's my first attempt at cable plying and I liked it, for a hat. Pattern is Barley by tin can knits

next is a hat in progress made from Huckleberry Knits, BLF and silk. Lovely mixture of fibres, fun to spin and it was Navaho plyed. I like the weight of this 3 ply and like knitting with it. Pattern is Wurm

Sunday, September 28, 2014

The Secret Place, 2014, by Tana French. Very good mystery, set in an Irish boarding school for girls. It's more a novel about friendship and what it can mean, than a murder mystery although there is a dead body. Written from the girls perspective and the detectives perspective.

Neil Gaiman, The Ocean at the End of the Lane, 2012. Listened to Gaiman reading this himself. Interesting fanatasy with likable characters and a few nice cats.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

a thriller and a mystery

Dear Daughter, 2014, by elizabeth Little. Interesting plot, Jane Jenkins was accused and convicted of her mother's brutal murder ten years prior to the story starting, when she is released on a technical detail. So we go and find out who really murdered Mum. Entertaining car listening book.

I am Pilgrim, 2014, by Terry Hayes, another first book by an auther as is dear daughter....He is a good story teller. It was too long, should have been edited more but his diversions were usually interesting. Good characters and interesting plot. Also a good car listening book.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

two good novels, two good mysteries

Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie's 2005 Purple Hibiscus, her first novel. Very good writer, just as good as Americannah and Half a Yellow Sun. The narrator Kambili Achike is a 15-year-old Nigerian girl growing up in sheltered privilege in a country ravaged by political strife and personal struggle. She builds the novel slowly, with great characters.

Mourning Ruby, 2005, by Helen Dunmore. Didn't like the built in other novel, think it's an irritating technique, but other than that, the book is good. Sad story but it has a good ending.

Two mysteries by Lesly Thomson, same character as the protaganist.

The Detective's Daughter 2013, and Ghost Girl, 2014. She runs a cleaning business, Clean Slate, and is very organized but is dragged into her father's old unsolved cases, happily.

Saturday, August 16, 2014

james oswald - scottish mysteries

Started the 4th of the series, and have been enjoying them. His characters are interesting, mysteries a bit gorry but not too bad and there's a bit of ghostly presence but it is not too much.

Grumpy Bob is a great name for a character. James Oswald is an interesting person, has a 350 acre livestock farm in North East Fife, where he raises pedigree Highland Cattle and New Zealand Romney Sheep. James Oswald web site

Saturday, July 12, 2014

good novels

Elizabeth Jane Howard.
Just finished the 4th book in the Cazalet series and thought it was the last one and was very sad to have it end, but maybe there is one more.

There is one more, oh good news! Really enjoy reading about these characters. She's a good writer.

Also just finished The Budda in the Attic by Julie Otsuka, 2012
Interesting book; told from many people's point of view but it works. It is very short, but good. The lives of Japanese women sold as wives to Americans.

All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr, 2014. Lovely book, about a blind French girl and a German boy whose paths collide in occupied France as both try to survive the devastation of World War II. Very thoughtfully written.

We Are Completely Beside Ourselves by Karen Joy Fowler, 2014. good book, questioning our use and abuse of animals, particularly one chimp who was raised in a family until things fell apart. Well written.

Saturday, June 7, 2014


A capital crime, Laura Wilson, is the third in the DI Stratton series, set in London in 1950. They are good books, good characters, good plots.

Silesian Station by David Downing, 2008. The second in a series, set in Germany as WWII is about to start. Hero is an English journalist who ends up working undercover for the Russians, the British, the Americans and feigns to be working for the Germans too. Interesting perspective on the war, good mystery, good characters.

Craig Johnson Another Man's Moccasins: A Walt Longmire Mystery. 2009. Second one I read and they are very enjoyable. Different from Longmire on TV but well written.

Barbara Pym The Sweet Dove Died, published long after she wrote it. Ruthless author! She has no mercy and writes so well. Very interesting characters, and none that one would like very much at all.

Struggling with Joseph Boyden's new book, the Orenda, 2014. I liked his other two books very much, but this one seems to not be going anywhere. Half way through, not sure if I will finish it.

Thursday, April 24, 2014

good mystery, so-so mystery,

Half of a Yellow Sun, by Chimamanda Ngoi Adichie, 2007. A great novel, really interesting. She is such a good writer. I knew nothing about the Biafra war, and this book tells the story of two twin sisters and the people in their lives. Excellent book.

So-so mystery, wish I had not finished it, by Laura Lippman. 2012 And When She Was Good. Story tedious, characters insipid. Sigh

But, Robert Harris' new mystery was very good; An Officer and a Spy, 2012. Wry sense of humour, the story of the Dreyfus Affair, about which I knew nothing. Set in 1895 in Paris, it is a good spy novel and his hero, Picquart, is thoroughly likable.

Half way through my first Craig Johnson book, The Dark Horse, 2009 and am enjoying it a lot. Like his humour and story telling.

Saturday, March 8, 2014

good books

Skippy Dies by Paul Murray, 2011. Young Irish writer, tells a sad and funny story about how Skippy dies, at his boarding school near Dublin. Good writer. Even though Skippy dies right at the beginning of the book, you want to read to the very end. Last part is the best.

The Highest Tide by Jim Lynch, 2006. Interesting book, not the greatest novel but the main character, Miles O'Malley is full of interesting facts about the inter-tidal zone where he lives: on Puget Sound. Entertaining and worth reading.

The Silent Wife by A.S.A. Harrison, 2013 is pretty spooky. She may be silent but I bet she is going to be deadly, this wife. Almost finished it so am not sure what is going to happen but something is. This is a pychological thiller about a marriage falling apart and it's well done.

Old Filth by Jane Gardam, 2005. Very good book, Old Filth is quite a character. It jumps around in time a lot, as we get to know him. It is the story of Sir Edward Feathers, a noted jurist based in Hong Kong. His nickname - "Old Filth" "Filth" stands for "Failed In London, Try HongKong". He retired to Sussex, and builds to the end, which was unexpected.

Gold Digger by Frances Fyfield, 2012. A child/thief marries up to a dieing art collector. A mystery unfolds, as the family tries to get the valuables. interesting characters.

Elizabeth Jane Howard. The Light Years, 1960s sometime.... set in 1937 the three Cazelet brothers gather their respective families and head for the family manse in the heart of Sussex for their annual summer holiday. The first of her Cazalet books. Good reading.

The Elephant Whisperer by Lawrence Anthony, 2012. Just started but it's going to be an interesting read about a group of wayward and badly behaved elephants who are getting their last chance on this author's reserve in South Africa.

Sunday, January 12, 2014

good books

Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, 2013 is a really good book. Interesting to hear a Nigerian person's perspective on the US, and the UK and on Nigeria. Two main characters are really convincing. Really liked this book and want to read more by her. Liked the blog posts that were part of the story.

Am half way through The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt and am enjoying it a lot. Interesting story about Theo, lost boy, with his stolen painting. It's long but it does not feel too long. Well written, interesting characters. The painting is by Dutch master Carel Fabritius, and Theo's traumatic life begins on the day he acquires it.

Listened to about a third of Elizabeth George's new mystery and gave up; Just One Evil Act, 2013. Way too long and not interesting enough to keep going. Why doesn't she get an editor?

Also quit half way through Devoured by D E Meredith, although I may go back to it. Just not interested in histroical mystery right now.

Am nearly finished The Lost Carving by David Esterly, 2013. Very well written book about carving, about Gibbons, about working on the restoration after the disastrous fire at Henry VIII’s Hampton Court Palace which burnt some of the Gibbon's carving. The book meanders off into philisphical and literary and artistic thoughts (Esterley's area of study) but it is good.