The Read goes ever on and on...MrsLee 2017 part 2
This is a continuation of the topic The Read goes ever on and on...MrsLee 2017 part 1.
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Simply beginning a new thread from the older longer one.
4 books finished in April, although, I have listed 14 on my chart. So 10 were either rereads (8, of which several were children's books), or unfinished (2).
Ghost Story - audible
Have His Carcase - reread
The Travels of Marco Polo - only reading half-heartedly
The Silverado Squatters - reading at work when duties are light, they haven't been lately, so I may bring this one home.
Understanding Art: People, things and ideas
Hurray! Still following--more closely now, I hope, than I was able during the first quarter.
What are you getting out of the art book? That's a pretty big title.
"What? A play withal? I'll be an auditor; and an actor too, if I see reason"
*settles back to see what befalls, and who can spot both sources I'm channelling*
>2 Meredy: Nice to see you again! :)
The art book is very basic, I believe it may have been a textbook, but certainly meant for beginning art appreciation. I am enjoying it very much, being the beginner I am. It is helping me to know why a piece is pleasing to the eye and how to look at a work to see how the artist used color, light, brushstrokes, etc. to get the idea across which they were trying to express. It also explains a little about how art mediums and expressions have changed through the ages. Bonus: it is filled with many photos of art so the authors can explain what is going on and how the artist worked in each masterpiece. My husband is enjoying it too. A perfect read for our year of "Art exploration."
>4 hfglen: I have itchy fingers and want to use Google, but I will resist. Although I cannot say the source with any assurance, I will say that Shakespeare and Pratchett come to mind. Pratchett because of the word "auditor."
>3 pgmcc: I don't know where we stand on who has wounded who more with book bullets, but I do know that we give and get pretty evenly! Also, I have no confidence using the word "whom" or I might have used it in that previous sentence.
>5 MrsLee: As the victim of your shooting, I would be the "whom" in that context. :-)
I followed the bread crumbs to your new thread.
And I like art books, though I wish I had more talent.
>9 hfglen: Hmm, I know the play, and I know the character, but that is not helping me with the other word or author. Unless it is about hockey? I don't know many books about hockey. ;)
It's time I stopped being mean. The first time round is indeed Puck preparing to disrupt the "rude mechanicals" in A Midsummer Night's Dream. The second occurrence is precisely the same Puck, using precisely the same words, introducing himself to Dan and Una on almost the first page of Puck of Pook's Hill, which you can download for free from Project Gutenberg if you don't already have a copy.
>13 hfglen: Hmmm, if I have read Puck of Pook's Hill, it's been ages ago, must look it up. I have a collection of Rudyard Kipling stories, so maybe it is in there.
I'm meandering through Have His Carcase. Since I do remember "who dunnit" I tend to skim the red herrings.
There are some very pointed and insightful thoughts on independent women, and on men and how men perceive women, and how women think they should behave due to that perception. I'm hoping we've come a long way, baby, but sometimes I wonder.
I would never believe the conversation with Endicott the barber, if I hadn't met a man at work who has a memory just like that. The man I know used to be a bartender, among many other things and I think he could lend St. Peter a hand at recalling the details of the lives of every person he has known.
It is my theory that there are two types of readers. Those who read every word of the code breaking and indeed, try to work it out themselves, and those who skim it for good dialog bits and get to the end quickly to read what Peter and Harriet have deciphered. I am decidedly of the second type. I stuck with the code bit long enough to see how the code worked, then skimmed mercilessly.
Me too. (That is in being one of the second type in reading Have His Carcase.)
Same here. By this time, I know which parts of the Lord Peter books matter to me. This one is not one of my favourites. I really should go through my not favourite ones again to see whether I've grown into any of them.
>18 fuzzi: My life is too disorganized right now to do anything that focussed. It might be something to consider later in the year though.
>16 SylviaC: I find that even my "not favorites" have special bits in them I would not want to forsake. I'm going to have to pay attention and get these in hardcover, because my poor little paperbacks are falling to pieces.
>17 pgmcc: Yes, yes it is, if only because like a vampire, I am feeding off of your delight in reading them for the first time. Something I can never experience again.
>18 fuzzi: I am dipping in and out of my favorite mysteries and other books this year as comfort reads. I pushed too hard last year to read books I haven't read in a vain effort to lighten the load on my TBR shelves and I am coming to the realization that it will *never happen.
*see post in new books thread.
Anyone here read Death's Jest Book, or anything by Thomas Lovell Beddoes? I have not, and the selected quotes at the beginning of the chapters are not encouraging me to. What made Sayers connect it to her work? I mean other than the fact that he dwells on death a lot. Wait. Maybe that was all it was? I'm just trying to see the process of the author thinking as she reads something, "Hmm, this is full of great quotes, I think I'll write a book and use these at the beginning of the chapters."
Finished Have His Carcase. It was fun watching her poke at each method of detective writing throughout the story.
I'm trying to read the Lovelace and Babbage book I bought for my daughter. She gave me permission. Much of it is over my head, and I don't think I will be able to finish it before the 22nd when I am to deliver it to my girl, but it is enjoyable.
Having a hard time finding time to read again. Sigh. Balance. Is there ever balance?
ETA: While looking at Amazon for a good hardcover version of Have His Carcase, I saw this little bit of info which I did not know before: "The title is taken from William Cowper's translation of Book II of Homer's Iliad: "The vulture's maw / Shall have his carcase, and the dogs his bones."
>21 MrsLee: How very interesting. I had always thought of it as being an unkind translation of the legal Latin habeas corpus, but your version fits the story much better.
>22 hfglen: And yet, the issue of habeas corpus is brought up several times in the story I believe. I would not be surprised if it was a bit of both.
Today looks to be a quiet day at work, so I'm taking The Haunted Bookshop back with me to begin. Usually that means all Hell will break loose and I won't have a moment to read, but we shall see.
I've asked this on fb, and in the name that book group. Also putting it here.
I need help. This isn't going to leave me alone. I can't remember the name of the book or possibly it was a movie or a television series?
It involved poison in the spine of a book and a secret code for a perfect recipe for rubber I think and running across rooftops and a bookstore getting flooded and I think there was a Jewish element to it?
I don't think it was Doctor Who. It doesn't seem like Sherlock Holmes. Unless it was Mary Russell?* Or could it have been Flavia de Luce? I just can't remember but I remember enjoying the whole thing.
I've been assured it wasn't Mary Russell. Now I'm going to skim my reading threads to see if I can find it, but in my head, it smacks of the cinema.
It's a Miss Fisher mystery by Kerry Greenwood. Title is Raisins And Almonds.
>28 suitable1: Lol, I can usually sort those memory blocks out on my own, but for some reason, I could picture each of my favorite detectives or TV series people as the main characters in my memory and I couldn't trace it. Miss Fischer crossed my mind, since I binge watched her TV series, but she was no more prominent in my memory than Dr. Who or Sherlock. Also, the visuals were strong, but not the visuals of the actual characters, which is why I was confused as to whether it was book or cinema. I've yet to read the Miss Fischer mysteries, but they were great TV shows. Lush and eye appealing.
Yesterday I put aside for good (at least for now) Hercule Poirot's Casebook and The Thrilling Adventures of Lovelace and Babbage.
Poirot, well, I have read those stories before, but the book is so huge it is daunting and I haven't picked it up to actually read for months now. It just sits there by my chair staring at me and making me feel guilty.
Lovelace and Babbage, I'm taking that to my daughter this coming weekend and there is no way I can finish it before I go, so I got to a nice stopping place for me. I am not a maths girl. I am not a computer girl. Half of the techno-speak might as well have been Greek to me, so it took much more time than I was willing to give it at the moment to decipher. What I read, I liked, but again, time is short. So is my patience.
I am enjoying The Haunted Bookshop, in a sort of love-hate relationship. This is one of those books which has me writing in the margins in argument or wholehearted agreement with the author/characters. Also for definitions of the many words I have to look up, and in the back is a list of authors and books I want to pursue, or at least take a closer look at.
I am very happy that I finally have a use for the huge Reader's Encyclopedia which has been sitting by my chair since forever! Very helpful in looking up all the authors and works mentioned, since they are all older and included in it. :)
Mr. Mifflin; sometimes I want to high-five him, and other times I would like to slap him (but of course I wouldn't, I realize he is a product of his age when it comes to his ideas especially as regards women). The whole argument of which books have value and which do not grows tiresome to me. Also, I don't care for the idea of someone else deciding that for me. Happily, the author generally includes a character to give perspective.
The mystery in this book is the whole reason my head was spinning with that mystery plot above which I couldn't remember.
Haha here's a quote from The Haunted Bookshop about patrons in a used bookstore.
"They seemed normal enough from behind, but in their eyes, he detected the wild, peering glitter of the bibliomaniac."
>33 2wonderY: I had read enough of them to not feel completely at sea, but I wrote down six or more I would like to at least try to read. Happily, not all were "improvement" authors.
>31 pgmcc: You absolutely came to mind when I read that! There were even more descriptions of patrons of second-hand bookstores which had me laughing, but you will have to read them for yourself. Or have you read this one already?
Finished the above mentioned book today, and I am going to try Her Majesty's Occult Service, but at 550 pages, I will have to love it to complete it. It's not so much my reading genre, so we will see.
I'm taking The Physiology of Taste by Brillat-Savarin to work with me so I can start dipping into it. I'm anticipating great pleasure with this.
Hmm, April is turning out to be a month of DNF books. Four so far.
I am giving up On Her Majesty's Occult Service. I think if I had tackled this 10, or even 5 years ago I may have liked it very much, but I could tell by page 35 that it wasn't going to work for me. Way too much IT, computer, math, techie, speak, not to mention graffiti language. The main character has potential, but the overall tone is dark. It is described as a "horror" or "Lovecraftian" style, so that didn't surprise me. One of the author's inspirations is Neal Stephenson, which is also a clue for me, because I do not care for his writing, either. I have a feeling that many of my fellow Dragoneers would love this book, so you should probably try it if you haven't yet.
Instead, I picked up The Squire's Tale by Margaret Frazer, a known author who has never disappointed me. I need the balm for my soul.
Also, the pages I have read in The Physiology of Taste have delighted me so far. May have to bring that one home from work on the weekend. This week I need a good book at work because it is Rodeo week here and my bosses are heavily involved and committed. Also, mid-month is pretty light duty at work, so, reading time!
>37 Darth-Heather: Rodeo Week?
That's the week all the car enthusiasts take their Mustangs out and see if they can steer.
The Red Bluff Round-up. It's a very big deal here.
"Red Bluff drew national attention in 1988, when it hosted one of the seven Challenge of Champions match rides between 1987 World Bull Riding Champion Lane Frost and 1987 Bull of the Year Red Rock, a hometown bull from Growney Brothers who had bucked off all 311 riders who tried to ride him in his rodeo career."
My boss's brother used to raise bulls and travel all over western United States and into Canada to various rodeos with them. Their grandfather, I believe, was one of the founding members of the rodeo.
Me, I saw all the rodeos I wanted in my childhood, having grown up in the atmosphere, but never really taken to being a cowboy (only taken with a few cowboys, they can be charming).
>44 pgmcc: You are appreciated, but I didn't see your post until this afternoon. We were posting at the same time.
>44 pgmcc: Didn't say so here, but found your comment so good as to be repeatable in RL.
>44 pgmcc: i snickered quietly in my cubicle :) can't have too many cattle puns!
>48 Darth-Heather: said, "... can't have too many cattle puns!"
Truer words have seldom been uddered.
Hoof it folks, this is a lot of bull. ;)
Had two interesting interactions yesterday at work while reading The Physiology of Taste. One, with my hispanic coworker who has told me that reading is a waste of time. I asked him what a word in Spanish meant, because Google told me it meant "steering wheel" and the author said he used it to refer to anyone who ran an errand for him. My coworker said it meant "steering wheel." When I explained to him the age of the writing, and the sentence the word was used in (after he made some comments about why on earth would I read anything so OLD!), he told me it also meant "flyer" someone who ran around doing errands. So, cool, time changes the meaning of words. By the way, Brillat-Savarin was strongly of the opinion that the French language should not try to stay pure, as he was sure that would also cause it to die out.
Second encounter, a radio salesman wanted to know what I was reading, I told him a little about the book and he seemed very enthused, said he loved to read older books. Our conversation was interrupted at that point, but now I want to ask him which books he enjoys reading to find out if that was just "sales-speak" (never disagree with a customer), or if he really is a reader. :)
Also, had a customer come in yesterday with a huge bag of books which he traded for some of the books I had taken to work to give away. Encouraging!
>55 MrsLee: Start leaving free books in the glove compartments of cars your dealership sells. ;)
>38 pgmcc: "That's the week all the car enthusiasts take their Mustangs out and see if they can steer."
>55 MrsLee: Of course, one has to wonder if any Dragoneers would be cowed by the tone of the first sentence.
All the punsters should give themselves a pat on the head. Though on second thoughts best not.
>68 hfglen: Speaking of which, my husband wanted a new book in the bathroom to read, so I mentioned that R. L. Stevenson's journal of his time in Calistoga, CA might work well. He said it seemed an appropriate bathroom read because the title is The Silverado Squatters.
Really, my thread has no tone at all. Born in a barnyard.
I have nothing to contribute, but I am simultaneously amused whilst also shaking my head in disbelief.
(I wish JPB were still here for this one. I'm sure he would have a few terrible groaners of his own to add.)
I'm lowing this pun fest because really, it's hard to stop a stampede.
However, stepping in it again, my nephew was inspired by my disclosure of the above mentioned bathroom read to begin thinking up other "classics" which would be suitably named for a bathroom shelf of classics.
The House at Pooh Corner
Lord of the Flies - especially if said bathroom was an outhouse.
Moby Dick - one blushes
The Sound and the Fury - especially after certain meals
Les Miserables - we've all been there
Care to add any?
And, just to gently turn this thread back to its purpose, I was able to finish Ghost Story on my trip this weekend, and also Understanding Art, People Things, and Ideas. The art book segued beautifully into my visit to the Legion of Honor museum with the early Monet exhibit. I came away enchanted by The Magpie, which I love above and beyond all the water lily pictures Monet did. Of course all of it was lovely, interesting and inspiring, but that picture above all others made me gasp with its treatment of color in the snow and sky and the interaction of shadow and light. Love, love, love it, seeing it in all its huge glory was a gift, honor and privilege. Also, there were sculptures by Rodin, art through the ages, and some French chateau rooms restored with furniture, walls, floor and all. Pretty cool.
Began the next audio book of Queen of the Flowers by Kerry Greenwood, on the way home. Fun stuff.
>78 2wonderY: Thank you for that link in my thread, now I can revisit as needed. :)
Possibly tonight I will read begin to read Stardust, by Neil Gaiman. I've picked up The Travels of Marco Polo again, and so far my evenings have been too full of chores (trying to catch up from my lost weekend) to allow much reading.
Ah well, the chores are fun too. Last night involved a friend coming over to mark which irises she would like starts of, and of course she was invited to dinner, which was an Asian inspired cabbage salad and scallops gently, but quickly, sauteed in butter. My friend added lightly roasted asparagus wrapped with prosciutto. Lovely meal.
OH! OH! I started watching the TV series of Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell on Netflix with my daughter the other night. I love it! It was so hard to turn the TV off and go to sleep like a good girl. I may suspend my reading the next couple of nights to finish it.
The fairy dude is a bit over-played for evil rather than fey, but other than that, it is stunningly lovely.
>82 MrsLee: Oh noes. Now I have to decide if I can live with watching before reading on this one... Although I don't have a shortage of things to watch.
I'm having this same dilemma over The Night Manager. I've had the book for ages, but haven't read it. Recently I tried to, but wasn't in the right frame of mind and it didn't grab me. Bah.
>84 Bookmarque: Ah, that series is awesome. :o) I only have two episodes left to go. I have to admit I didn't even try to read the book. :o/
Good to hear. We've finished what we have of The Americans, House of Cards and The Patriot and need something new besides the latest Bosch. When it hits Amazon prime video we'll get it.
I really enjoyed The Night Manager as well. Didn't really think about there being a book, but for that kind of story I'm happy with the visual version. Especially since it stars Tom Hiddleston. :) Oh so visual.
>83 clamairy: I'm not sure what to tell you. I loved the book, but it was a long haul for me. Fiddly little footnotes that were as good or better than the story, things which seemed to be going nowhere suddenly tying into the tale. It was a world unto itself, but I have to say that the TV series is clearing up a lot of things and simplifying it in a good way. Still, I love the rabbit trails in the book as well. I really don't think the series would spoil the book for you, I think you would just feel that you are getting the extended version when you read the book.
>89 MrsLee: Thank you. I might give it a go, then.
And we are in complete agreement about Tom Hiddleston, BTW. Oh yes... :o)
>82 MrsLee: The way the TV version portrayed the Gentleman with the Thistledown Hair bugged the heck out of me...though I did like Jonathan and Arabella. But JS&MR is one of my top favorite books ever, so no TV version was going to get it right...
>92 jillmwo: I assume we probably all had the same conversation after watching the Thor movie - "Chris who? Nope, don't remember him. Let's talk about Loki..."
Plugging along on Marco Polo, and really enjoying the Brillat-Savarin book, but can't seem to pick up a fiction at the moment.
I started watching the "Escape to the Country Collection" on Netflix. A very subdued reality TV show about folks who want to move into the countryside of England. The show seeks out 3 homes for sale which fall marginally into their budget and wishes and takes them there to view them.
What this American girl loves about it is; they show a map of the county, they describe it both historically and geographically and with references to literature which featured that area, and they give a couple of little sideline stories about local people doing interesting things. Like the farmer building a barrow mound in his field to hold 2000 corpses, and the sausage business which has been operating for almost 500 years, and lace making and leather tanning using oak bark instead of commercial chemicals.
There isn't any of the fake drama of most reality shows, and there are a lot of lovely homes and countryside views. Relaxing.
Oh, that sounds lovely. A good thing to watch while pedalling away on the elliptical machine.
>98 MrsLee: Oh! That sounds perfect. Sadly, not available at my library. Must put daughter on to it. I think they have Netflix...
A productive weekend of rest, reading and chores. I made progress in both the Marco Polo and Brillat-Savarin books. These are very interesting, but do send me down so many rabbit trails with Google. I like that, but it makes for slow progress.
Started reading Children of War (if you are anywhere besides America), or if in America as I am The Children Return by Martin Walker. It grabbed me by the throat and pulled me in yesterday until I struggled to pull away at 10:00pm and go to bed. An hour later than usual, but it was worth it. I love the Bruno series.
>98 MrsLee: that sounds like a series I would love! But I think it would make me want to move to England.
Finished my audio, Queen of the Flowers by Kerry Greenwood. Phryne Fisher is always good for some naughty fun without being nauseatingly detailed in the bedroom scenes. I enjoyed this plot because the whole "Queen of the Flowers" parade thing was so very 1920s. My own grandmother was the "Orange Blossom" queen back in about 1918ish and we have pictures of her and her court.
It wasn't a beauty contest, the girls were chosen by the orange growers association although they were very nice looking girls, their grades and citizenship counted as well. The costumes were elaborate and it was fun to follow Phryne through the process and imagine that it was a bit similar to the event my grandmother was in. Hmm, I should find a picture of her and share it here, but that is complicated, so it will depend on my mood this weekend. I don't believe my grandmother had nearly the complications that Phryne had.
Also finished Children of War by Martin Walker. Aside from loving Bruno (although I would never get involved with him, even if I could, because the women he gets involved with seem to get deadly injuries, if not quite dead), it was an interesting story of integrating Muslims into a community and the pressures that terrorism put on those fragile relationships. A light exploration of it, to be sure, but Walker does go into some detail of the intricacies of the "Muslim" issues and backgrounds of various types of immigrants.
Began rereading The Black Mountain by Rex Stout. I love how easy I fall into the company of Wolfe and Archie.
My audiobook is The Woman Who Died a Lot by Jasper Fforde, book 7 in the Thursday Next series. I'm enjoying it, even though I don't think I've read any of these since about book 3.
I really should get back into that series. I think I read #2 & #3 too close together and then stopped. Have you read (or listened to) anything else of his?
>107 clamairy: I read the first in the nursery rhyme character series, but I think that is all. Listening to this book, it really is a type of humor which I need spaced out. Fun to think about the different scenarios he presents, but completely ridiculous. I like it in small bits though. :)
I finished The Black Mountain yesterday. Not sure what I will pick up today, but I want to make some progress in The Physiology of Taste and possibly Marco Polo's adventures. I'm supposed to be reading Stardust, it's by my chair, but hard to pick up for some reason. We shall see.
Finished The Silverado Squatters, interesting especially if you are familiar with the area of California, or particularly like memoirs of early settlements and can handle the attitudes of the day towards other folks and races. Stevenson writes beautifully of nature, and at times charmingly of human nature. I particularly enjoy the lightness of his humor.
>106 MrsLee: >107 clamairy: I read the first two Nursery Crimes books and liked the second better than the first. The idea of Jack facing up to being a Person of Dubious Reality was entertaining. I think the last of the Thursdays that I read was Thursday Next: First among Sequels, which I liked a lot. I'll be interested to hear your thoughts on The Woman Who Died a Lot.
>107 clamairy:, >108 MrsLee: > 110 I liked the Nursery Crimes books too, which surprised me because I'm not keen on mysteries. But they were fun and clever. He's supposed to be writing a third one, along with the sequel to Shades of grey (not the more famous 50 shades of grey!) but there's no sign of either.
Finished reading The Physiology of Taste by Jean Anthelme Brillat-Savarin. What a delightful book! I feel like I've been enjoying the company of the character Maurice Chevalier played in the movie Gigi. Had to be careful at work translating one of the Latin bits. Brillat-Savarin loved to play with words and there were several "nudge-nudge, wink-wink moments, such as this passage:
"A host of the Chaussée-d'Antin had an Arlesian sausage of heroic proportions presented at his table. "Please accept a slice of it," he urged the lady next to him. "Here is a piece of equipment which, I hope, implies a well-furnished establishment."
"It is truly enormous," the lady said, peering at it with lewd mischief, "What a pity that it does not resemble anything!"
Oh, and my quest for a truffle of my own to cook with has taken on new meaning! ;)
His wit and charm are on every page; most likely due to the fact that it was translated by M.F.K. Fisher. Her "Translator's Glosses" are every bit as charming and fun as the text. Written (or rather published) in 1825, he says very little about the Revolution which he lived through. He does have a few anecdotes from his time spent in America during his exile, and one remembrance in the "Varieties" section of his flight from France. For the most part though, this is a collection of his thoughts on food and health and good living. I was pretty amazed how the diet for health that The Professor promoted was very like our Paleo diet, and there are several recipes for what amounts to bone broth. Everything old is new again.
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