Themis-Athena’s Reviews

Fun and Games Literature Reviews

Susanna Gregory: A Killer in Winter

24 Festive Tasks: Door 3 – Saturnalia, Book: The god Saturn has a planet named after him: Read any work of science fiction that takes place in space, or a nonfiction science / popular science book.  Or read a book revolving around a large party, ball, or festival, or a story where roles are reversed, […]

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Literature Reviews

Arthur Conan Doyle: Round the Fire Stories

This is a group of stories originally published individually in Strand Magazine (and other magazines), and in book form first in 1908. A subset of seven stories were recently republished under the title Tales for a Winter’s Night, and I think overall the editors of the republication did pick the stronger bits of the lot. […]

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Fun and Games Literature

Arthur Conan Doyle: “The Leather Funnel” and “The Brown Hand” (from “Round the Fire Stories”)

24 Festive Tasks: Door 9 – Calan Gaeaf, Book: Read any of your planned Halloween Bingo books that you didn’t end up reading after all, involving witches, hags, or various types of witchcraft; or read a book with ivy or roses on the cover, or where a character’s name / the title of book is […]

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Literature Reviews

Arthur Conan Doyle: Tales for a Winter’s Night

This is a group of stories originally published individually in Strand Magazine (and other magazines), and in book form, together with nine other tales, first as as a 1908 collection named Round the Fire Stories.  Conan Doyle’s preface reads: “In a previous volume, ‘The Green Flag,’ I have assembled a number of my stories which […]

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Fun and Games Literature Reviews

Paul Doherty: The Nightingale Gallery

24 Festive Tasks: Door 2 – Guy Fawkes Night, Book: Read a book set in the UK, a political thriller, a book involving any monarchy or revolution, a book about arson or related to fires and burning, or a book that is self-published.   As my book for Guy Fawkes Night I’m claiming the one […]

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Fun and Games Literature Reviews

Deborah Crombie: Dreaming of the Bones

24 Festive Tasks: Door 4 – Japanese Culture Day, Book: Read a book that is set in Japan or featuring Japanese characters; or read a graphic novel or a book set in a school or academic setting.   I’m claiming the audiobook I listened to yesterday and the day before, Deborah Crombie’s Dreaming of the […]

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Fun and Games Linked Items Literature Reviews

Book Characters Turning Over a New Leaf

24 Festive Tasks: Door 4 – Japanese Culture Day, Task 2: Japanese Culture Day was first held in 1948, to commemorate the announcement of the country’s post-war constitution on November 3, 1946, which was to make a new start for Japan.  Which book did you read this year where someone was searching for or starting […]

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Cats Cooking - Food - Drink Fun and Games Literature Reviews

Battle of the Books Goes Feline: Mrs. Beeton’s Book of Household Management vs. Leo Tolstoy’s War and Peace

24 Festive Tasks: Door 20 – Festivus, Bonus Task #2: Battle of the Books: pick two books off your shelf (randomly or with purpose); in a fair fight, which book would come out on top?  The fight can be based on the merits of the books themselves, their writing, or full-on mano a mano between […]

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Fun and Games Literature Reviews

Ian Rankin: A Song for the Dark Times

24 Festive Tasks: Door 5 – Bon Om Touk, Book: Read a book that has the moon, or an ocean, river, lake, or other body of water (larger than a puddle) on the cover, read a manga, or read a book set anywhere in Asia.   As my book for this square, I’m claiming Ian […]

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Fun and Games Literature Reviews

The Medieval Murderers: The Deadliest Sin

24 Festive Tasks: Door 6 – St. Nicholas’ Day / Sinterklaas, Book: Read a story involving children or a young adult book, or set in the Middle Ages, or a book whose cover is primarily orange (for the Dutch House of Orange) or red (for St. Nick’s robes / cloak), or a book with oranges, […]

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Fun and Games Literature Reviews

Julian Symons: The Progress of a Crime

24 Festive Tasks: Door 11 – International Children’s Day, Book: Read a middle grade book (any genre), a book written by an author under 18 years old at the time of publication, or a book prominently featuring a child, juvenile, or young adult character.   I had been planning to use Julian Symons’s “Progress of […]

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Fun and Games Literature Reviews

Paul Doherty: Bloodstone

24 Festive Tasks: Door 18 – Thanksgiving, Book: Read a book with an autumnal cover, set in New England, where a turkey shows up in the story, with a turkey or pumpkin on the cover, or with the theme of coming together to help a community or family in need.   As my book for […]

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Fun and Games Literature Reviews

Agatha Christie: Murder on the Orient Express (Kenneth Branagh audio)

24 Festive Tasks: Door 17 – Veterans’ / Armistice Day, Book: Read a book with active military or veteran characters, about or set during WWI or WWII, or with poppies on the cover.   In honor of Sean Connery, who played Colonel Arbuthnot in the 1974 all-star adaptation of this book, I decided to revisit […]

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Fun and Games Literature Reviews

Dorothy L. Sayers: The Lost Tools of Learning

24 Festive Tasks: Door 12 – World Philosophy Day, Book: Read a book about philosophy or a philosopher, or a how-to book about changing your life in a significant way or suggesting a particular lifestyle (Hygge, Marie Kobo, etc.).   My pick for this holiday was Dorothy L. Sayers’s 1947 Oxford lecture The Lost Tools of […]

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Fun and Games Literature Reviews

Josephine Tey: Brat Farrar (Reread)

24 Festive Tasks: Door 16 – Melbourne Cup Day, Book: Read a book by an Australian author, set in Australia, or a book that involves horses.   As my book for this holiday, today I revisited Josephine Tey’s “Brat Farrar” (thanks to Lillelara for the nudge) — and still liked it every bit as much […]

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Fun and Games Literature Reviews

Ruth Rendell: A Judgement in Stone – Epitaph

24 Festive Tasks: Door 15 – Día de los Muertos, Task 1: Create an epitaph for the worst book you read in 2020.   Ruth Rendell, A Judgement in Stone:   From my “DNF” post: “”Illiterate” (read: dyslexic) working class home help kills her well-meaning but utterly clueless upper class employers.  The end.  (And because it’s […]

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Fun and Games Literature Reviews

Brother Cadfael: An Ideal Teacher

24 Festive Tasks: Door 14 – Diwali, Task 2: Goddess Lakshmi in her eightfold form is referred to as the Ashta-Lakshmi.  Vidya-Lakshmi is the 7th of her 8 forms.  “Vidya” means knowledge as well as education, not just degrees or diplomas from the university, but real all-round education.  Thus, this form of Goddess Lakshmi is […]

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Fun and Games Literature Reviews

Agatha Christie: Death on the Nile (Kenneth Branagh audio)

24 Festive Tasks: Door 22 – Kwanzaa, Book: Read a book written by an author of African, African American or Caribbean descent or a book set in Africa or the Caribbean, or whose cover is primarily red, green or black, or with crops of the earth or a native African animal on the cover (lion, […]

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Fun and Games Literature Reviews

Isabel Allende: Cuentos de Eva Luna (The Stories of Eva Luna)

24 Festive Tasks: Door 13 – International Day for Tolerance, Task 2: Name a redeeming trait of a book that you DNF’d this year.     This is an easy one for me this year: One of the relatively few books I DNF’d in 2020 was Isabel Allende’s Stories of Eva Luna.  And there’s nothing […]

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Fun and Games Literature Reviews

Ellery Queen: Calamity Town

24 Festive Tasks: Door 14 – Diwali, Book: Read a book about a homecoming or set in India or with Indian characters.   Murder and other mischief follows on the foot of a young man’s return to his home town, to marry (after all) the girl he’d jilted at the altar a few years before. […]

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