1001 Books (Boxall)

Lifestyle Literature Movies Music Reviews

February and March 2021: Reading Recap

Well, go figure.  The first quarter of 2021 is already behind us, never mind that I’m still having to remind myself on occasion to write “2021” instead of “2020” … (and we’re even a week into April already, but let that go). Anyway, since I never got around to doing a “February in review” post, […]

Read More
Literature Reviews

Toni Morrison: Sula

I’d been planning to pair this book with Tsitsi Dangarembga’s Nervous Conditions, as an exercise in comparing an African American and an African coming of age story, but Nervous Conditions never materialized in my mailbox, so I’m going to have to postpone that reading experience to a later date.  Which, perhaps, isn’t such a bad […]

Read More
Literature Reviews

Gabriel García Márquez: El coronel no tiene quien le escriba (No One Writes to the Colonel, and Other Stories)

García Márquez’s writing, by and large, works better for me in his novels than in his short stories, and that turned out to be true in connection with this particular collection, too; even though its titular first entry is almost of novella-length: But this is a story where little moves — quite literally — and […]

Read More
Literature Reviews

Agatha Christie: The Murder of Roger Ackroyd

Well, talk about a book that you really cannot discuss without sticking spoiler warnings onto it right, left and center!  Christie was initially raked over the coals for its solution — and while her fellow mystery authors stoutly stood by her, it strikes me that it actually does break at least one of [Ronald] Knox’s […]

Read More
Literature Movies Reviews

Graham Greene: The Third Man (and The Fallen Idol)

If you’re coming to this book from having watched the movie starring Orson Welles, Joseph Cotton, Alida Valli and Trevor Howard (as you arguably should — Greene wrote the novella as a preliminary exercise for the screenplay), probably the first thing that is going to stand out to you is the changed perspective:  Whereas the […]

Read More
Literature Reviews

Margaret Atwood: The Robber Bride

Margaret Atwood: The Robber Bride Double sigh.  After the disappointment of Anne Tyler’s take on Shakespeare’s The Taming of the Shrew I was in serious need of a pick-me-up, and after having enjoyed two other works of this sort by Margaret Atwood — as I said in my review of Tyler’s book, I really liked […]

Read More
Literature Reviews

Zora Neale Hurston: Their Eyes Were Watching God

Sandwiched between two personal accounts by modern-day black American leaders — Kamala Harris’s The Truths We Hold and Barack Obama’s A Promised Land –, as my January book for this year’s (Mostly) Dead Writers Society Literary Birthday challenge, I went back to a fictional account set in Jim Crow America: the story of Jeanie Crawford, […]

Read More
Literature Reviews

Alexandre Dumas: Les trois mousquetaires (The Three Musketeers)

Look, here’s the deal: If you’ve formed your idea of this tale based on its numerous movie adaptations, and / or if you are expecting a saga of gloriously heroic derring-do, swashbuckling and romance, be warned: You’ll be sorely disappointed; maybe you’ll even end up hating the book, because what Dumas actually wrote has almost […]

Read More
Literature Reviews

January 2021 Reading Wrap-Up

I only finished eleven books in January, which isn’t a lot by my standards as of the last couple of years, even taking into account that two of the books were decidedly on the long side (all the more as I balanced out the two long books by two extremely short ones).  But I decided […]

Read More
Fun and Games Literature

Posthumous Nobel Prize in Chemistry for Sherlock Holmes

24 Festive Tasks: Door 7 – International Human Rights Day, Task 1: Nominate a (fictional) character from one of the books you read this year for a Nobel Prize – regardless which one – or for a similarly important prize (e.g., the Fields Medal for mathematics) and write a brief laudation explaining your nomination.   […]

Read More
Fun and Games Literature

Favorite Rainy Day Reads

24 Festive Tasks: Door 5 – Bon Om Touk, Bonus Task: List / tell us about your favorite rainy day reads. I suppose it only takes one look at my list of read books this year to determine my favorite rainy day books, as 2020 was essentially one extended rainy day: Golden Age mysteries and […]

Read More
Fun and Games Lifestyle Literature Movies

Classic Christmas Mystery Movie Binge

24 Festive Tasks: Door 21 – Christmas, Bonus Task #2: Watch a favorite Christmas movie. I binge-watched three of my annual favorite Christmas movies last night — Hercule Poirot’s Christmas, The Theft of the Royal Ruby (aka The Christmas Pudding), both starring David Suchet, and the Sherlock Holmes episode The Blue Carbuncle, starring Jeremy Brett and David Burke.   […]

Read More
Fun and Games Literature

Favorite Fictional Societies and Ingredients of a Well-Functioning Real Society

24 Festive Tasks: Door 3 – Saturnalia, Task 2: Saturnalia was originally a celebration in remembrance of the “Golden Age” of Graeco-Roman mythology, ruled over by Saturn (Kronos in Greek), and during which humanity existed in a utopian state of innocence, living off nature’s bounty without having to work. Name a book describing / set […]

Read More
Fun and Games Literature

A Henpecked Husband’s Revenge

24 Festive Tasks: Door 3 – Saturnalia, Task 1: According to imperial Roman sources, the Saturnalicius princeps (“Ruler of the Saturnalia”) ruled as master of ceremonies during the holiday.  His role was possibly a satire on that of the emperor; and he has been compared to the medieval Lord of Misrule at the Feast of […]

Read More
Fun and Games Literature

A Short Book List for Jonathan Harker

24 Festive Tasks: Door 6 – St. Nicholas’ Day / Sinterklaas, Task 1: Create a book wish list for one of your favorite book characters, or pick 3 books for that character to receive from St. Nick. Here’s a list of books that Jonathan Harker might have found useful before embarking on his trip to […]

Read More
Cats Cooking - Food - Drink Fun and Games Lifestyle 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 […]

Read More
Fun and Games Literature

Quotes and Poppies for Veterans’ / Armistice Day

24 Festive Tasks: Door 17 – Veterans’ / Armistice Day, Task 1: Post a quote or a piece of poetry about the ravages of war. Here are three quotes from E.M. Remarque’s All Quiet on the Western Front: “Comrade, I did not want to kill you. . . . But you were only an idea […]

Read More
Fun and Games Literature

The New “Pride and Prejudice” Edition, and Other Lockdown Book Haul Entries

24 Festive Tasks: Door 18 – Thanksgiving, Task 1: Be thankful for yourself and treat yourself to a new book – post a picture of it.  (This can be a library book.) Although being in temporary lockdown for the second time this year doesn’t exactly prove conducive to my reading (nor did most of this […]

Read More
Fun and Games Literature Reviews

Wilkie Collins: The Woman in White

Thank God for writers like Wilkie Collins, who always provide(s) me with enough options to fill at least one horror-related Halloween Bingo square without having to reach for a spell card … and still read something generally classified as “horror” (or “gothic”) without actually being scared out of my wits and unable to sleep afterwards.  […]

Read More
Fun and Games Literature

The Halloween Creatures Book Tag

Rules: Answer all prompts. Answer honestly. Tag 1-13 people. Link back to this post. ( For me it was SnoopyDoo!) Remember to credit the creator. (Anthony @ Keep Reading Forward)< Have fun!   Witch A Magical Character or Book Terry Pratchett’s witches, particularly Granny Weatherwax. And DEATH (preferably in his Hogfather incarnation). No contest.   […]

Read More