What are you reading the week of February 8, 2020?
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Walnut Tree by Charles Todd
(a Bess Crawford Mystery/England & France, WWI/nursing corps)
I also finished The Grandest Ride by Tom Brownold this morning. Next month my sisters and I are taking our first Sister Trip and riding the mules in Grand Canyon! After over a year of planning it's starting to seem real. Hopefully it doesn't snow...
Jane and Prudence are friends. Jane is the wife of a clergyman and they have just moved to a new parish. While Jane is adjusting to her new parish, Prudence, a single woman who works for a living is encouraged by Jane to settle down and perhaps marry. She is introduced to Fabian, a neighbor who has issues of his own but there is another man that Pru is attracted to. Written in 1953 but it has some surprisingly modern thoughts on relationships. Not my favorite book but it was an interesting and fast read.
I'm still having trouble reading....one of those slumps. I did read Patricia Cornwell's first novel, Post Mortem, for about the fifth time. Mostly I'm reading little selections from Lonely Planet Morocco as I'm spending two weeks there at the end of May/beginning of June.
Then I read J.R.R. Tolkien's Mr. Bliss narrated by Sir Derek Jacobi. With a reading time of just under forty-five minutes, I'm not sure if it's a long short story or a short novelette. In any case, I found it thoroughly charming and delightful. Can't think why I never read it before.
After supper I returned to a book I started several weeks ago, The Identity Man by Andrew Klavan. It's a thriller. As you can see, I'm pretty restless.
The Irish Girl: A Novel (Deverill Chronicles trilogy Book 1) by Santa Montefiore
(Kitty, Celia, Bridie/Ireland in early 1900s/Castle Deverill/folklore)
Honolulu – Alan Brennert
From the book jacket: The rich, unforgettable story of a young "picture bride" who journeys to Hawai'i in 1914 in search of a better life. Instead of the affluent young husband and chance at an education that she has been promised, she is quickly married off to a poor, embittered laborer who takes his frustrations out on his new wife. Renaming herself Jin, she makes her own way in this strange land, finding both opportunity and prejudice. With the help of three of her fellow picture brides, Jin prospers along with her adopted city, now growing from a small territorial capital into the great multicultural city it is today.
I loved Brennert’s Molokai’i and wanted to love this one as well. My husband actually read the book a few years ago and thought it was good, but I just had never gotten around to it. A long travel journey prompted me to bring it along and I was glad that I did.
Regret / Jin is a marvelous character. She starts out a shy, subservient girl and grows throughout the novel into a strong woman. Yes, she still fills the traditional role of wife and mother, but she refuses to be held down by societal expectations. She finds a way to succeed and thrive, while still upholding the traditional ways she finds so hard to discard.
I’ve visited Hawaii several times and could picture many of the settings depicted in the novel, despite the vast differences in today’s Honolulu from that of 1914. I was fascinated by the history lesson and the glimpse into life during that time period. I also really appreciated the author’s note at the end, where he comments on the “real-life” May Thompson and how W. Sommerset Maugham used her life experiences in one of his novels.
* “The Working Press Reports F.D.R.’s Death” from A Treasury of Great Reporting: "Literature Under Pressure" from the Sixteenth Century to Our Own Time edited by Louis L. Snyder
* “Cure, Don’t Prosecute” by Peter T. White from Magazine Digest - August 1949 edited by Murray Simmons
* “On Sawing Wood” from Leaves in the Wind by Alpha of the Plow (a.k.a. A. G. Gardiner)
* “Texas is the Enemy” from The Union Reader edited by Richard B. Harwell
* “Passage to Puerto Eden” from Tierra del Fuego by Francisco Coloane
* “Pochahontas and What Befell Her” by J. Pennington from The Mentor, November, 1924 edited by W. D. Moffat
I've now started a re-read of The Hamlet, the first novel of William Faulkner's "Snopes Family" trilogy, as the beginning of my relatively quick read through of all three books. I never have read the second or third.
American Dirt (Oprah's Book Club): A Novel
by Jeanine Cummins
I am a big fan of Malcolm Gladwell and this book did not disappoint me. Gladwell discusses the differences in how people communicate and what can go wrong when our communication styles don’t match. I thought the chapter on the arrest of Sandra Bland quite disheartening and definitely a case of miscommunication.
Mindfulness for Chocolate Lovers: A Lighthearted Way to Stress Less and Savor More Each Day
by Diane R. Gehart
edit - apparently it was first published in 1939 it has been revised and updated in 1991 to include impact of tv. would ilke to read that..
I lived in the metro Chicago area for a year during high school. My parents and I frequently went there on weekends. In 2009 and '13, I went to the American Library Assoc. (ALA) Annual Conference in Chicago. It was great to revisit. Having been to the city enhanced my reading pleasure of the novel.