Travel

Literature Reviews

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 […]

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Literature Reviews

Karen Wynn Fonstad: The Atlas of Tolkien’s Middle-Earth

Blurb: “Find your way through every part of J.R.R. Tolkien’s great creation, from the Middle-earth of The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings to the undying lands of the West … The Atlas of Tolkien’s Middle-earth is an essential guide to the geography of Middle-earth, from its founding in the Elder Days – as […]

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Literature Reviews

J.R.R. Tolkien: The Lord of the Rings – Performed by Andy Serkis

In another online community, we recently talked about the new Andy Serkis Lord of the Rings recordings.  Well, it turns out that the pull of The Ring is still mighty strong, for however much it may have been destroyed in Mount Doom. I had barely gotten my hands on these audios and I found I […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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Literature Reviews

Vita Sackville-West: Selected Writings

An anthology giving a taste of every aspect of Sackville-West’s considerable oeuvre, from her memoirs and diaries, letters and travel writing to her literary criticism, her writing on gardening, her fiction (both longer works and short fiction), her poetry, and finally her reflection on animals (which she loved). I haven’t read the whole anthology yet […]

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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 […]

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Literature Reviews

Lindsey Davis: The Silver Pigs

Blurb: One fine day, A.D. 70, Sosia Camillina quite literally runs into Marcus Didius Falco on the steps of the Forum. It seems Sosia is on the run from a couple of street toughs, and after a quick and dirty rescue, P.I. Falco wants to know why. Falco finds out that Sosia, the niece of […]

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Literature Reviews

Nancy Spain: Death Goes on Skis

Blurb: Miriam Birdseye is daring, brilliant – and a long way from The Ivy. Our dashing heroine, a famous revue artist, takes to the slopes with her coterie of admirers. Champagne flows and wherever Miriam goes she leaves a trail of gossip in her wake. Fellow ski-resort guests include the celebrated Russian ex-ballerina, Natasha Nevkorina, […]

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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 […]

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Literature Reviews

J. Jefferson Farjeon: The Z Murders

Blurb: Richard Temperley arrives at Euston station early on a fogbound London morning. He takes refuge in a nearby hotel, along with a disagreeable fellow passenger who had snored his way through the train journey. But within minutes the other man has snored for the last time – he has been shot dead while sleeping […]

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Literature Reviews

Agatha Christie: Death in the Clouds

Blurb: From seat No. 9, Hercule Poirot was ideally placed to observe his fellow air passengers on the short flight from Paris to London. Over to his right sat a pretty young woman, clearly infatuated with the man opposite; ahead, in seat No. 13, sat a countess with a poorly concealed cocaine habit; across the […]

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Fun and Games Lifestyle

Festive Tasks: Travel

Festive Tasks Master Update Post HERE Task 1: If you could go anywhere in the world, name your top 3 locales, and tell us why if there’s a reason beyond just wanting to go. I suppose if I’m to nail it down to three, it would be (in no particular order) Machu Picchu, An African […]

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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 […]

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Cooking - Food - Drink Fun and Games Lifestyle

Festive Tasks: Door 17 – Holiday Food (Tasks 1 – 3)

Festive Tasks Master Update Post HERE As for the other squares where I’ve completed several tasks in a single post (Gifts, Holiday Shopping, and Correspondence), I’m dividing this into several pages, one per task.   Task 1: What’s your favorite seasonal drink? Can be alcoholic or virgin, complicated cocktails, festive punches / noggs or just […]

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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 […]

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Fun and Games Lifestyle Literature

Festive Tasks: Door 1, Task 4 – Walled in by Books

Master Update Post HERE   Task 4: Australia has the world’s longest fence, the dingo fence, which at 3,436 miles (5529.7 kilometres) beats the Great Wall of China. Using an average of 12 books / meter, or 4 books / foot as a guide, if you had to build a fence of your own to […]

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Cats Literature Reviews

June 2021 and Mid-Year Reading Recap

Sigh.  Well, I think posting a monthly (and even half-year) reading recap a full three weeks into the next month has to be some sort of record, even for me, but here we are.  And I admit that at this point I’d even been contemplating holding off another week so as to combine this with […]

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Literature Reviews

Gary Corby: The Ionia Sanction

The Ionia Sanction is the second book in Gary Corby’s mystery series set in the Athenian Republic of Pericles and the great philosophers, and I picked it as an introduction to the “actual” book I’d been planning to include in my Summer Games reading project — the series’s third book, which is set during the […]

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Literature Music Reviews

May 2021 Reading Recap

Still a lot of work on the back end of the blog, including on my “featured authors” pages (see the right column on the main Literature page and the introduction of my April 2021 recap post).  So, contrary to plans, still no new posts in my alphabet blogging series in May.  However, the time-consuming back end […]

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