Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Sunday, October 18, 2015

One good book, one not-so-hot

Start with the one I didn't like, or at least I didn't like most of the characters and thought the plot was tedious - Jonathan Franzen's newest novel, Purity, 2015. He writes well, but who cares? Sigh. I thought this page was brilliant:

César, the new aide, was supposed to have been at Charles’s at six to give him a bath, PT, and a hot dinner. It was now eight-thirty. The trouble with Charles was that he didn’t like having aides but didn’t dislike it so much that he forbade Leila to employ them and oversee them. As a result, she did a lot of work for little thanks.

Striding down the concourse, she called Tom’s home number and was shunted straight to voice mail. Next she called the agency.

“People Who Need People, this is Emma,” said a girl who sounded about twelve.

“This is Leila Helou and I want to know why César isn’t at Charles Blenheim’s.”

“Oh hi, Mrs. Blenheim,” Emma said cheerfully. “César should have been there at six.”

“I’m aware of that. But he was not there at six. He’s still not there.”

“OK, no problem. I’ll see if we can find out where he is.”

“‘No problem’? It is a problem! And this is not the first time.”

“Sorry about that. I’ll find out where he is. It’s really no problem.”

“Please stop saying ‘no problem’ when we have a problem.”

“We’re a little shorthanded tonight. One sec … Oh, I see what happened. César had to fill in for another aide who got sick. He should be getting to Mr. Blenheim’s pretty soon.”

The agency couldn’t foresee a staff shortage? Thought it was OK to send someone three hours late and not notify them? Made a practice of pulling aides off scheduled visits and sending them to other clients? Didn’t even train its desk personnel to apologize?

Leila knew better than to ask these questions. She was halfway into the city when Emma called back. “OK, so, unfortunately it looks like César won’t be able to get away. But we do have someone else we can send out. She can’t do lifting, but she can help Mr. Blenheim with other things and keep him company.”

“Mr. Blenheim doesn’t need company. Mr. Blenheim only needs lifting.”

“OK, no problem. Let me reach out to César again.”

“Just forget the whole thing. Send a male aide out at nine tomorrow morning, and never mention the name César to me again. Can you do that for me? Is it no problem?”

but the rest of the book was really not good.

An interesting book though, was Quiet The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking. Non fiction book about introverts and extroverts. Interesting research and well written. Susan Cain wrote it, 2013.

Tuesday, September 15, 2015


River of Smoke: Book 2 Of The Ibis Trilogy, 2012. Amitav Ghosh is a good story teller. Enjoyed this book and am looking forward to part 3. Interesting to read about Hong Kong and Canton historically and the poppy wars.

Interesting autobiography of Oliver Sacks, 2015, On the Move. Makes me want to read his books again. Strange life, the obsession with weight lifting and motorcyles unexpected.

Some lighter reading, another Craig Johnson book, Longmire. Different from the TV show but enjoyable. The basic characters are the same. Books are good, book 2, Death without company.

Some even lighter reading, dragons and things, not the usual fare but I liked James Oswald's mysteries so much I tried them, and they are good. Such nice dragons, such dreadful people! Dreamwalker: The Ballad of Sir Benfro Book One (The Ballad of Sir Benfro Series) and The Rose Cord: The Ballad of Sir Benfro Book Two

A very good book, about the dreadful Huntington's disease, by Lisa Genova, Inside the O'Briens, 2015. Very well written book. After thorough research on Huntingtons, she gets inside their lives and creates a very readable novel.

Saturday, July 11, 2015


Darkness darkness, 2015, by John Harvey. Thoroughly enjoying this Charlie Resnick mystery. It's been a long time since I've read one by him. Charlie retired but back at work, with one old cat and lots of jazz.

Also, the first Craig Johnson The Cold Dish, is very enjoyable. Good reader for these books.

Friday, June 26, 2015

good books

The Children Act by Ian Mcewan, 2014. Very good writer... none of the characters are very likable but they are believable. Story is pretty grim. Obvioulsy well researched, the role of a judge in the kind of cases she deals with. Good book.

Finished Richard Flanagan's The Narrow Road to the Deep North. Very good book, very hard to keep going through the POW camp, but worth it. No black nor white, war is insane and leaves horrendous scars.

Tried to find a light mystery to read after these, but Adrian McKinty's Michael Forsythe books are full of gore! Am not going to continue with them. Dead I Well May Be

So have started another heavy going book, Where all Light Tends to Go, by David Joy, 2015. Another great writer - southern US. Suspect it's not going to end well for his criminal characters.

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

tough to read books

Finished John Valiant's novel, The Jaguar's Children, 2015. It's very good but so hard to read because the transient Mexican's are soldered into a water truck and stuck there for the whole book. It's such a relief when the main character tells all his stories about what happened before that truck but you don't find out til the very end what happens. Well written book, timely issues; genetically modified corn, corrupt govennments, poverty, bad government laws, criminals.

Started the Booker winner by Richard Flanagan, The Narrow Road to the Deep North, 2014. Hard to take as well, as prisoners are abused and killed building the impossible Burma railway. Good writing, will probably keep going.

Really liked Helen Macdonald's H is for Hawk, 2015. It is truely about Mabel the hawk but about so much more. Intersting to learn about goshawks historically and now in the UK, well researched. But more interesting to read about how the training of Mabel helped Helen recover.

Sunday, May 24, 2015

Falkland fibre, from Campell River fibre fest

Love the colours and am really loving spinning long draw.

Saturday, May 9, 2015

hat I like

free pattern from Shetland Wool Week 2015,

Finished reading the four mysteries that Damien Boyd has written so far. Like the dog, and that they never forget him.

His characters are good and there is no idiotic conflicts between the bosses and the detectives. Liked all four of them. As the Crow Flies, Head in the Sand, Kickback, Swansong.

Really liked Elly Griffith's latest, The Ghost Fields, May 2015. Interesting reading about Norfolk and like the characters a lot.

Just started Kate Atkinson's new book, A God in Ruins, 2015. Like it so far. She's jumping all over in time with familiar characters but it's working.

Sunday, April 26, 2015

C P Snow and a crow

Listening to a 10 part BBC radio production of Strangers and Brothers by C. P. Snow (books I read 40 years agao) and it is really good. It was made in 2003. Great acting, not sure how they reduce each book into an hour but it's working.

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Saturday, April 18, 2015

Books, good novel, mediocre novel, good mysteries

Just finished the latest Adrian McKinty, Sean Duffy detective in Belfast in 1985. The fourth in this series, still like them. Gun Street Girl: A Detective Sean Duffy Novel 2015

Read a novel too, A Spool of Blue Thread by Anne Tyler. 2015. So-so. did not dislike it but it was not great.

Dear Thief, 2014 by Samantha Harvey. Good book, interesting way of writing - as a long letter to a friend. Betrayal and forgiveness. Intriguing read.

In the middle of a good mystery, new to me author, looks like I started with book #4. Swan Song by Damien Boyd. Good so far

fun knitting, a pig and two bunnies

from excellent pattern, bunny in a dotted dress

Sunday, March 1, 2015

the orenda and some mysteries

Joseph Boyden's latest book, 2014, The Orenda. good book but hard to take, the detailed and gruesome descriptions of torture were over the top. Had to switch to the radio while listening to the book in the car a few times. it was a bit long, too much blood and guts, and very sad. Liked his other two books so much better.

Finished the Lewis Triology, 3 sequential mysteries set on or near Lewis Island, western Scotland. Good books, enjoyed them all. 3.The Chessmen, 1. The Blackhouse and 2. The Lewis Man. Written within the past few years. Good characters, interesting plots and very interesting to read about the islands. Had to go look them up on a map.

Another Scottish writter, James Oswald, the 5th in his series, Prayer for the Dead, inspector McLean, 2015. Good mystery, the series holds up well. Like his main character.

Monday, January 19, 2015

odd novel, good non-fiction and good mystery

10 04 by Ben Lerner, 2014. It is sort of plotless, but the thoughts and meanderings of the main character are intereseting nonetheless. Liked the book, not sure why. A good writer, his off-topic diversions are always interesting. Must find his other book.

Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail by Cheryl Strayed, 2012. Interesting book, she writes about her months on the trail, but jumps back to her life to try to figure it out. She's one tough person. A very interesting and thoughtful book. I liked it.

A Dark and Twisted Tide: Lacey Flint Series, Book 4, S J Bolton mystery, 2013. Good mystery. Like her characters and the plots are very convoluted and entertaining. Lacey Flint continues to get herself into all kinds of trouble, and barely gets out of it.