Monday, December 17, 2018

2 non fictions and a novel

Alas, the Booker novel for this year. Forced myself to finish it, but it did not improve. Milkman, 2018, by Anna Burns. A little interesting to get an adolescent perspective of the Troubles, but a very tedious book. Glad it's over

Immigrant Montana 2018 by Amitava Kumar . Am quitting half way through this one. Very irritating book, author full of himself and not intriguing in the slightest.

Precious Cargo, 2016 by Craig Davidson. A great book, thank heavens. Very enjoyable book about Craig driving a special needs bus for a year in Calgary and the 5 kids he took back and forth.

Saturday, December 8, 2018

many mysteries

A need for escapism, read 4 of the China mystery series by Peter May. A good series, with interesting things to learn about China and good characters. I will read the remaining two of this series.
Firemaker. 2005

The Fourth Sacrifice
, 2007

The Killing Room, 2008

Snake head, 2009

he writes well, and I like the series.

Elly Griffiths new stand alone mystery is very good. The Stranger Diaries, 2018. Interesting characters, good plot. and a good dog :-)

Monday, October 8, 2018

3 good novels

Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine, 2018 by Gail Honeyman. Her first novel, very good Absorbing characters, and the tale is revealed slowly so very engaging story. Good book.

Transcription by Kate Atkinson, 2018. Main character is believable, interesting, jumps time periods, from 1940, to early 50s to 81. A sort of a spy novel but not really, more the story of Julie. Very good novel, love the way she follows Julie's train of thought, all the unsaid things.

The Tattooist of Auschwitz, 2018, by Heather Morris. Australian writer. Based on the true story of two Slovakian people, Lale and Gita, but the tale is Lale's. Really interesting book. The author and the son both write afterwords, also very interesting. She interviewed Lale for a long time before writing the book. Well worth reading

Saturday, September 15, 2018

so-so mystery, good novel, great non-fiction

The mystery, The Dark Lake by Sarah Bailey, 2018, Australian. Plot was fine, but protagonist was annoying - find people who need to withhold information or live in fantasy of boring affairs tedious. The mystery itself was fine. The ending was OK, thank goodness.

Good novel, by very good writer Miriam Toews, Women Talking, 2018, based on a dreadful story of drugged and abused Mennonite women living in Bolivia. The novel takes place after the fact, whew, and the women talking are interesting, funny, worth listening to.

Handywoman, 2018, by Kate Davies. Her story, her stroke, her steps to recovery, her knitting, her dog, her writing, her family. Very well written and interesting and thoughtful book. Self published.

Tuesday, August 28, 2018

some good books

Birds, Art, Life by Kyo Maclear, 2018. Non fiction, sort of an extended essay, on looking at the world of art and life whilst looking at birds as a beginner birder. Interesting book, thoughtful.

New mystery by james Oswald, No Time To Cry, 2018, with a new set of characters. He works another inoffensive entertaining ghost into the works as well. I don't usually like ghosts, but Oswald does them well. A good mystery, good new heroine, good plot. A promising beginning to a new series.

Three Things About Elsie, by Joanna Cannon, 2018. Good book, dementia captured in a unique way. Lovely characters and good story.

The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie, Muriel Spark, 1961. never read this book, and am glad to have now. An interesting take on a single woman, how critical the world is of single women, how much the same now

Wednesday, August 8, 2018

good mysteries

Clare Mackintosh, Let Me Lie, 2018. unexpected turns in the plot, a good mystery. good characters and a realistic ending.

The Intrusions, Stav Sherez. 2018. Have not read this author before, may go back and read the earlier books. Great ending to this mystery. Some realistic digital invasions of privacy portrayed.

Robert Goddard, Into the Blue. Read this years ago, and it's long winded but good story telling and was glad to re-read it.

Thirteen, 2018, Steve Cavanagh. Bit creepy, get tired of serial killer stories, but it's well done.

The Vanishing Box, Elly Griffiths, 2017, Book 4 of Magic Men series, very enjoyable, interesting characters.

two good memoirs

No One Tells You This by Glynnis Macnicol, 2018. She writes about her 40th year, dealing with expectations indoctrinated into women, and her real and complicated and very busy life. Well written and good to hear. Very good book.

They Left us Everything, by Plum Johnson, 2016. Also a very good book, she writes about going to deal with the family home after her mother dies. She expected it would take 6 weeks, and it took 16 months. Very heartfelt story of a family, a house, and dealing with what was left.

Thursday, August 2, 2018

4 good novels

The Mars Room by Rachel Kushner. 2018, Grim setting, a huge women's prison in California, and a tough tale of a young women's life there, and her life getting there. But a well written book, worth reading.

A Horse Walks into a Bar, David Grossman, 2018. Israeli writer translated, good writer. another rough story, a stand up comedian tells his story. Not too much humour to be found anywhere, but an interesting book

Re-read Micael Ondaatje's The English Patient. 1993 Good the second time around. Now to watch the movie again. Beautiful writing in patches.

Clock Dance, Anne Tyler, 2018. Was irritated with the main character for most of the book, for being so passive and not standing up for herself but the author redeems herself with the ending. Good characters, good book and thank god, a good ending.

Sunday, June 10, 2018

some very good mysteries

Philip Kerr's final book, very sad that he died. Greeks Bearing Gifts, 2018, has Bernie in Greece as an insurance adjuster. Still an investigator of deadly deeds. Love the humour in these books, and the well researched story they tell.
Very good book, sad there will be no more...

The latest Maisie Dobbs books is also good, and well researched. To Die but once by Jacqueline Winspear, 2018. An ambulance driver who had to drive around picking up dead young men who were learning how to jump out of airplanes! Suspect this was a real job. Good plot, well told story.

The Craftsman by Sharon |Bolton, 2018 is a good mystery as well. A bit of a creepy plot, but well written.

Monday, May 21, 2018

3 misable mysteries and one ok one

Three I didn't finish, one quit half way, the other near the end, the other never really got into...
First one, The Woman in the Woods, by John Connelly, 2018, get many stars on Amazon but it was way too long, way too boring, characters I don't care about and way too much ghostly unbelievable stuff. Happy to leave it half way.

Jo Nesbo's Macbeth, 2018, may be ok but I could not keep anyone straight. So stopped.

Third one was o.k., not badly written, but did not care what happened and was not interested in the characters. Sigh. Where It Hurts by Reed Farrell Coleman. 2017. It also has many stars on Amazon.

Whisky from Small Glasses
, 2015, by Scottish writer Denzin Meyrick was pretty good. May even read another one by him.

Monday, April 9, 2018

two good books

Finding Gobi, 2017, by Dion Leonard. very good non-fiction account of an ultra marathon runner and a spunky stray dog who find each other during a run on the Gobi desert.

The Italian Teacher by Tom Rachman, 2018. Good novel, good spikes at the art world, good characters. Very enjoyable read

Thursday, April 5, 2018

hitchhiker shawl

Martina Behm pattern, made from handspun tarhee plied with handspun and hand dyed silk, first attempt at dying silk.


Mish-mash of fibres from Leola at Cobble Hill. Fun to card and spin.


Gradient fibre from the UK, from HillTop Cloud, mix of 30% BFL, 15% Bamboo and 55% merino. Spun on the big wheel, Lendrum Saxony.

the first Carbeth

made from Kate's wool bought for another sweater that did not work. Very comfortable sweater and interesting design.

beginning blanket

Blanket using hand spun only ....round and round


Kate Davies design, using handspun wool with handspun hand dyed silk as one ply. Wool was Corriedale and Targhee and silk from Huckleberry Knits. Love the pattern.

Sunday, March 4, 2018

john lawton

Read 3 books by John Lawton
The latest in his Fred Troy series - #8 I think, Friends and Traitors, 2017. Very good writer and entertaining mysteries. Troy an interesting UK policeman at times, a spy at times, with his crazy Russian family in the background. Interesting historical info as well. Good spy books. Good sense of humour woven in to each book.

Found another couple of books by him, different characters but Troy plays a walk on role in each book.

Then we take Berlin, the first of the two. Joe Wilderness is the protagonist. "Cat burglar, card sharp, and Cockney wide boy, the last thing he wants is to get drafted. But in 1946 he finds himself in the Royal Air Force, facing a stretch in military prison" from

The Unfortunate Englishman, Joe Wilderness novel - the second one. Hope he keeps writing about both characters. The construction of the Berlin Wall plays role, interesting to read about.
Good books.

Tuesday, January 23, 2018

good non-fiction and mysteries

The Chalk Man by C. j. Tudor, 2018. Good mystery, don't think I've read anything else by this writer. Good main character, interesting plot.

Excellent book written by an ER doctor, set in Canada and Ethiopia, Life on the Ground Floor by James Maskalyk. 2017. He moves between the two ERs and his grandfathers house in Alberta and blurs them a bit - nothing is black and white. Issues in each situation. Good writer and good book. Hope he gets more awards for it.

Me Before You: A Novel
by JoJo Moyes. A tear-jerker but well written, the main character is likable. Little bit hard to belive she was so passive with her life prior to working for the quad she looks after, but other than that, ok. Issues of legal suicide are not easy to think about - not sure it should have ended the way it did but it certainly was inevitable from the beginning of the book. Good story teller.

Michael Connelly, Two kinds of Truth, 2017. Good mystery, well written. Harry Bosch in his dotage - good plot, good characters.

Started The Long Drop by Denise Mina but quit half way, just lost interest.