Day: November 29, 2017

Literature Reviews

Georgette Heyer: Death in the Stocks

Georgette Heyer’s books are hit and miss for me; this was definitely the most “miss” of the miss books to date.  It’s got a nicely-drawn atmospheric beginning, but that doesn’t last  for more than a few pages, and I didn’t take to any of the characters; certainly not the “bright young things” and “good old […]

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Women Writers Bingo: Tentative Reading List

  OK, this is basically an extract from my bookshelves (both TBR and read — “read” where I’ve already read other books by the same author and am interested in further exploring her work), with the addition of some more or less iconic women authors who have so far escaped my notice.  This ought to […]

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Literature Reviews

Chris Bohjalian: The Sandcastle Girls

Not an entirely bad book, but boy, this could have been so much more. Ostensibly, it deals with the Armenian genocide perpetrated by Turkey in the middle of WWI.  What we really get is — at least chiefly — the love story of an American volunteer nurse trainee who has accompanied her father on a […]

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Literature Reviews

Patrick O’Brian: The Final, Unfinished Voyage of Jack Aubrey

I love O’Brian’s Aubrey / Maturin series and raced through the whole 20 books at breakneck speed earlier this year, but by God, this particular  publication (I won’t even call it a “book”, because it isn’t) has to be one of the most blatant exercises in the exploitation of an author’s literary legacy under the […]

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Literature Reviews

Robin Whiteman & Rob Talbot: Brother Cadfael’s Herb Garden / Robin Whiteman: The Cadfael Companion

Shared five-star honors for two simply gorgeously illustrated coffee table books full of facts and knowledge about medieval monastery life (Benedictine and otherwise), the healing arts of the medieval monks, and the plants they used.  Must-reads not only for fans of Ellis Peters’s Brother Cadfael series but for anyone interested in the Middle Ages, monastic […]

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Literature Reviews

Gregory Doran & Antony Sher: Woza Shakespeare — Titus Andronicus in South Africa

Man, what a trip.  Titus Andronicus is not, and never will be my favorite play by William Shakespeare, but having read this book, I’d give anything to be able to watch a recording of this particular production. In the 1980s (when Apartheid was still in full swing) Gregory Doran (later: Artistic Director of the Royal […]

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Literature Reviews

Jennifer Worth: Call the Midwife

Yes, I know, I know, I’m late to the party and there’s been a whole TV series at this point.  And I’m sure the TV adaptation (which I’ve yet to watch) brings across the stories and the characters very nicely.  But there’s both an unflinching straightforwardness and a genuine warmth to the original literary version […]

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2017: Favorite and Least Favorite Books of the Year

16 Tasks of the Festive Season: Square 10 – Pancha Ganapti – and Square 12 – Festivus Tasks for Pancha Ganapati: Post about your 5 favourite books this year and why you appreciated them so much. Tasks for Festivus: […] –OR– Perform the Airing of Grievances: name 5 books you’ve read this year that have […]

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Literature Reviews

Martin Edwards: The Golden Age of Murder

The early history of the Detection Club, told by its current president and first archivist.  Martin’s knowledge of both Golden Age detective fiction and the lives of its writers is downright encyclopedic, and he tells a multi-faceted story very compellingly.  At times I had the feeling that he was taking his own conjecture a bit […]

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Literature Reviews

Jackie Bennett & Andrew Lawson: Shakespeare’s Gardens

A lavishly illustrated coffee table book-sized guide to the gardens Shakespeare knew (or might have known) both in Stratford / Warwickshire and in London, as well as an introduction to the gardens of the five Shakespeare-related houses in and around Stratford, with an introductory chapter on Tudor gardening in general.  The find of several great […]

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