Nature – Gardens – Environment

Literature Reviews Uncategorized

J.R.R. Tolkien: The Hobbit – Performed by Andy Serkis

Like its magnificent sequel, The Hobbit is, I think, many things to many people: the first exposition of the universe that would become Middle-earth; prelude to The Lord of the Rings; a bite-sized visit to Middle-earth whenever you don’t feel up to the full blow of the War of the Ring(s); one of the most […]

Read More
Literature Reviews

Q1 / 2022 Reading Recap

Well, as it turned out 2022 began as 2021 had ended — all work and no play, albeit with the addition of a hospital detour to boot.  (Nothing serious, just way more painful and, all told, protracted, than it had any right to be.)  So I’m back to posting one summary post for the first […]

Read More
Literature Reviews

Virginia Woolf: Orlando

As I said elsewhere, given the fact that Virginia Woolf was a 2021 (M)DWS author in residence, too, as part of my exploration of the life and work of Vita Sackville-West’s life and work I decided to circle back to Woolf; or rather, to the link between the two writers, which far exceeds their almost […]

Read More
Literature Reviews

Vita Sackville-West: Seducers in Ecuador & The Heir

Two novellas from 1922 (The Heir) and 1924 (Seducers in Ecuador) that both deal with transformative experiences — and I suppose that is why they are typically published together –; however, in tone and setting they couldn’t be any more different. Seducers in Ecuador was the first piece of fiction writing by Vita Sackville-West published […]

Read More
Lifestyle Literature

Vita Sackville-West, Knole and Sissinghurst

Coming to the end of the first quarter of the year, one of the (M)DWS authors in residence was Vita Sackville-West — I’m sorry I didn’t manage to squeeze in more books by James Baldwin too, but I have every intention of making up for that during the rest of the year. Anyway, I’m glad […]

Read More
Literature Reviews

Agatha Christie: Come, Tell Me How You Live

Blurb: Agatha Christie’s personal memoirs about her travels to Syria and Iraq in the 1930s with her archaeologist husband Max Mallowan, where she worked on the digs and wrote some of her most evocative novels. Think you know Agatha Christie? Think again! To the world she was Agatha Christie, legendary author of bestselling whodunits. But […]

Read More
Literature Reviews

William Kamkwamba, Bryan Mealer: The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind

Blurb: When William Kamkwamba was just 14 years old, his family told him that he must leave school and come home to work on the farm – they could no longer afford his fees. This is his story of how he found a way to make a difference, how he brought light to his family […]

Read More
Literature Reviews

Michael McGarrity: Tularosa

Blurb: Michael McGarrity packs his powerful mystery with Southwestern lore and breathtaking action. In a wicked conspiracy reaching across the Mexican border, Tularosa pits a jaded ex-cop against tight-lipped Army personnel, hired thugs, and smooth-talking outlaws. Forced into retirement by a crippling gunshot wound, Santa Fe policeman Kevin Kerney seeks solitude on a small New […]

Read More
Fun and Games Literature Reviews

Agatha Christie: Murder on the Orient Express

Festive Tasks Master Update Post HERE Festive Tasks, Door 20 — Travel: Read a book that involves the main character travelling, or a story involving pilgrims on a journey of faith, be it personal, or religious. (For example: Eat, Pray, Love would be about a woman on a journey of self realisation.)   The Appointment […]

Read More
Fun and Games Literature Reviews

Ngaio Marsh: Death and the Dancing Footman

Festive Tasks Master Update Post HERE Festive Tasks, Door 15 — Correspondence: Read a book that includes a billionaire, a villain, or some other character who is especially smug or pretentious.   This isn’t strictly a Christmas mystery — the holiday never gets an express mention — but it has all the trappings of a […]

Read More
Fun and Games Literature Reviews

Donna Andrews: The Twelve Jays of Christmas

Master Update Post HERE   Festive Tasks, Door 4 – Decorating: Read a book that has an object that can be used as a Christmas decoration on the cover. I started reading Donna Andrews’s Meg Langslow books a few years ago, with a Christmas book as it happened, and and this point returning to her […]

Read More
Fun and Games Literature Reviews

Martha Gellhorn: Travels with Myself and Another

  Festive Tasks Master Update Post HERE   Festive Tasks Door 10 – Peace, Book: Read a book in which the ending of a conflict is a major theme. Gellhorn is a sharp observer and she has a way with words — I’d just wish she’d liked people and, for that matter, the places she […]

Read More
BookLikes Imports Fun and Games Linked Items Literature Reviews

Ngaio Marsh: Death and the Dancing Footman

24 Festive Tasks: Door 1 – Día de los Muertos / All Saints’ Day, Book: Reread a favorite book by a deceased author or from a finished series, or read a book set in Mexico or a book that either has a primarily black and white cover or all the colors (ROYGBIV) on the cover, […]

Read More
Fun and Games Literature Reviews

Ngaio Marsh: Five Assorted Roderick Alleyn Mysteries

A five-volume foray into Ngaio Marsh’s Roderick Alleyn series: next to Agatha Christie’s, Dorothy Sayers’s, Margery Allingham’s and Patricia Wentworth’s one of the major Great Detective series of the Golden Age; taken together, these five writers are unquestionably the era’s “Queens of Crime.”  (I own print versions of all of Marsh’s novels, too, and pulled […]

Read More