Historical Fiction

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

Robert van Gulik (transl.) & Anonymous: Celebrated Cases of Judge Dee (Dee Gong An)

This was “technically” a reread, but as unlike Robert van Gulik’s series of mysteries that were inspired by this book, I had not actually revisited the original novel itself in a minor eternity, almost all of it felt as fresh and new as if I had been reading it for the very first time. Although […]

Read More
Literature Reviews

Philip Gooden: The Salisbury Manuscript

After the double disappointment of Anne Tyler’s Vinegar Girl and (especially / even more so) Margaret Atwood’s The Robber Bride, I felt in need of crawling into some warm, cozy and comforting place and curling up there, and in book terms that usually means taking recourse to a mystery — in this instance, the first […]

Read More
Literature Reviews

The Medieval Murderers: Sword of Shame

Following on from my successful foray into Philip Gooden’s — relatively — new series, I decided to conclude the month of March with a revisit of one of the Medieval Murderers‘ round robins; the second book from the series, Sword of Shame.  In its entirety, this book is fairly average for the series — well-researched […]

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
Blog Literature

2020 in Facts and Figures

I already posted my main 2020 in Review and Looking Ahead to 2021 posts a while ago — only on my new blog (separate post to come) –, but I held back on my 2020 reading statistics until the year was well and truly over.  And for all my good intentions when posting my mid-year […]

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 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, […]

Read More
Fun and Games Literature Reviews

Michael Jecks: The Mad Monk of Gidleigh

24 Festive Tasks: Door 8 – St. Lucia’s Day, Book: Read a book set in Scandinavia / Northern Europe, by a Northern European / Nordic author, with a predominantly white cover (or white with red lettering), newly released in November or December of this year, or set in the candle-lit world (i.e., before the discovery […]

Read More
Fun and Games Literature

Ellis Peters: The Raven in the Foregate

24 Festive Tasks: Door 13 – International Day for Tolerance, Book: Read a book about tolerance, or outside your comfort zone, set in Paris (seat of UNESCO), by or about a Nobel Peace Prize winner, or about a protagonist (fictional or nonfictional) who has a reputation as a peacemaker.   Earlier this month I reread […]

Read More
Fun and Games Literature

Looking Ahead to 2021

Since I posted my 2020 Year in Review post yesterday, I figured I might as well go ahead and follow up with the preview post for next year — again, taking the relevant “Festive Tasks” items as my cues.  So, without further ado:   24 Festive Tasks: Door 19 – Hanukkah, Task 1: Time to […]

Read More
Cats Fun and Games Lifestyle Literature Reviews

2020: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

We’re still a month away from the end of the year, but my reading will probably consist mainly of Christmas books in December, and I hope and pray that life won’t come up and throw anything else at me in the final month of the year, either.  So I might as well post my “Year […]

Read More
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 […]

Read More
Cats Fun and Games Lifestyle Literature

Reading by Flashlight … with Feline Accompaniment

24 Festive Tasks: Door 19 – Hanukkah, Task 2: Read by flashlight or candlelight.  Post a picture. Reading by flashlight was the plan for last night — but I had barely gotten comfortable with Paul Doherty’s first Friar Athelstan mystery … … when Charlie showed up, sat down on my book and made it clear […]

Read More
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 […]

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 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, […]

Read More
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 […]

Read More