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Tiffin's 4th for 2012

This is a continuation of the topic Tiffin's 3rd for 2012.

This topic was continued by Tiffin's 5th for 2012.

75 Books Challenge for 2012

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Edited: Aug 27, 2012, 11:39am Top

Ornamental grasses & Rudbeckia in the garden, late Summer

Edited: Nov 18, 2012, 9:16pm Top

Although I am hesitant to evaluate books, when I do, this is what it means:
0-1.5* = disgusting use of a perfectly good tree
2-2.5** = meh, don't bother
2.75 = somewhere between meh and ok
3-3.5*** = quite creditable and not a waste of time, liked it
3.75 = just a scritch more of *something* and it would have been really good
4-4.5**** = a really, really good read, enjoyed it thoroughly, would recommend it happily, wish I'd written it
5***** = knocked my socks off, blew me in to the next stratosphere, turned me into a molten puddle, sheer perfection and no you can't borrow it, this one stays right here


1. The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern 4.75 stars
2. Persuasion by Jane Austen 4.5 stars {reread}
3. The Rose Garden by Susanna Kearsley 2.75 stars
4. The Tiger's Wife by Téa Obreht 4.5 stars
5. The Eliza Stories specifically "Eliza" by Barry Pain 3 stars
6. As Good as God, as Clever as the Devil; The Impossible Life of Mary Benson by Rodney Bolt 4.5 stars
7. The Unquiet Bones by Mel Starr 2.95 stars
8. A Corpse at St. Andrew's Chapel by Mel Starr 2.95 stars
9. A Trail of Ink by Mel Starr 2.95 stars
10. Madame de Pompadour by Nancy Mitford 4 stars
11. High Rising by Angela Thirkell

12. The Return of the King by J.R.R. Tolkien 5 stars {reread}
13. The Quiet Gentleman by George Heyer 3 stars
14. The Talisman Ring by Georgette Heyer 2.75 stars
15. Winter Heart by Margaret Frazer 1 star
16: A Double Affair by Angela Thirkell 3.5 stars
17. Mrs. Ames by E.F. Benson 3.5 stars
18. Part of the Furniture by Mary Wesley 4 stars
19. The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield 4 stars
20. Palladian by Elizabeth Taylor 3.5 stars
21. A Duty to the Dead by Charles Todd 3.5 stars
22. The Gabriel Hounds by Mary Stewart 3 stars
23. Airs Above the Ground by Mary Stewart 2.75 stars
24. Another Self by James Lees-Milne 3 stars
25. Mansfield Park by Jane Austen 4.5 stars {reread}

MARCH 2012
26. Thirty-three Teeth by Colin Cotterill 4 stars
27. The Coroner's Lunch by Colin Cotterill 4 stars
28. Disco for the Departed by Colin Cotterill 3.5 stars
29. Anarchy and Old Dogs by Colin Cotterill 4 stars
30. Curse of the Pogo Stick by Colin Cotterill 3 stars
31: Red Bird, Poems by Mary Oliver 4.5 stars
32. A View of the Harbour by Elizabeth Taylor 4.5 stars
33. The Merry Misogynist by Colin Cotterill 3.5 stars
34. Evidence by Mary Oliver
35. The New Moon with the Old by Dodie Smith 4 stars

APRIL 2012
36. A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness 3.5 stars
37. A Place of Secrets: A Novel by Rachel Hore 3.75 stars
38. The Buddha in the Attic by Julie Otsuka 4 stars
39. Elegy for Eddie by Jacqueline Winspear 3.75 stars
40. Gone West by Carola Dunn 3 stars

MAY 2012 - gardening season so things dwindle down until the dog days of summer hit and it's too hot to slave & toil outside
41. The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller 4.5 stars
42. Why I Wake Early by Mary Oliver 4.5 stars

JUNE 2012
43: Bring Up the Bodies by Hilary Mantel 5 stars
44. A is for Alibi by Sue Grafton 3 stars
45. Buckingham Palace Gardens by Anne Perry 2.95 stars
46. 1222 by Anne Holt 3.5 stars
47. F is for Fugitive by Sue Grafton 2.75 stars
48. Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking by Susan Cain 4.25 stars
49. Road to Valor: A True Story of World War II Italy, the Nazis, and the Cyclist who Inspired a Nation by Aili and Andres McConnon

JULY 2012
50. Blood Ties Book I of the Castings Trilogy by Pamela Freeman
51. Deep Water Book II of the Castings Trilogy by Pamela Freeman
52. Full Circle Book III of the Castings Trilogy by Pamela Freeman
53. Manna from Heaven by Carola Dunn 3.25 stars
54. A Colourful Death by Carola Dunn 3.25 stars
55. Scotched by Liss MacCrimmon 2.95 stars
56. Grendel by John Gardner 4.5 stars
57. Look Back With Love by Dodie Smith 4 scant stars

58. Death of a Kingfisher by M.C. Beaton
59. Beastly Things by Donna Leon
60. The Missing Will by Michael Wharton
61. The Shape of Water by Andrea Camilleri - the 1st Inspector Montalbano Mystery
62. The Terra-cotta Dog by Andrea Camilleri - the 2nd Inspector Montalbano Mystery
63. The Snack Thief by Andrea Camilleri - the 3rd Inspector Montalbano Mystery
64. Foreign Bodies by Cynthia Ozick
65. Voice of the Violin by Andrea Camilleri - the 4th Inspector Montalbano Mystery

66. Excursion to Tindari by Andrea Camilleri - the 5th Inspector Montalbano Mystery
67. The Smell of the Night by Andrea Camilleri - the 6th Inspector Montalbano Mystery
68. The Sound of a Wild Snail Eating by Elisabeth Tova Bailey 4.5 stars
69. The Garden in the Clouds by Antony Woodward 4.5 stars
70. Rounding the Mark by Andrea Camilleri - the 7th Inspector Montalbano Mystery
71. Shadow of Night by Deborah Harkness 3.75 stars
72. The Patience of the Spider by Andrea Camilleri - the 8th Inspector Montalbano Mystery

1. Slightly Foxed, Winter 2011
2. Slightly Foxed, Spring 2012
3. Slightly Foxed, Winter 2008 (I'm ordering back copies to have the entire collection)
4. Slightly Foxed, Summer 2012

Edited: Aug 25, 2012, 2:44pm Top

Time for a new thread but darn, how to change that title?
ETA: I've looked for directions for changing a topic title and failing to find them, have sent up a flare to LT admin folks for help.

Edited: Aug 25, 2012, 3:40pm Top

Tui, when you use the continuation feature it automatically puts in the previous title. You can change it then, but once you post your first message, I think it's locked in. I know it will drive you crazy, but we'll be fine!

ETA: I saw you were curious how many books were in the Montalbano series. It looks like there are 23? If you go to the book's page, near the top you'll see an indicator that it's part of a series, and #1 in that series. Click on the series and you'll get to this page where you can see them all:

Just noticed some in the list are in Italian, 15 are in English.

Edited: Aug 25, 2012, 3:39pm Top

Thanks, Laura. That's what I was afraid of....this will bug me, you know! hahaha

Aug 25, 2012, 3:41pm Top

Aak! cross-posted! I added useful info to #3.

Aug 25, 2012, 4:08pm Top

There are 14 that have been translated into English and I believe four more that haven't been.. Some of the titles on the series page are omnibuses or compilations.

Aug 25, 2012, 8:53pm Top

Hope your back improves quickly.

Glad you enjoyed that post. I really went off on a tear.

LOTS and LOTs of Welsh Quakers from back when, they settled the Philadelphia area -- so it's littered with Bryn Mawr, Radnor, Gladwyne, and the like...... Welsh place names ring the city.

Here's a whole article about it from Wikiland:
welsh quakers

Aug 26, 2012, 8:53am Top

62. The Terra-cotta Dog by Andrea Camilleri

What a good storyteller! Camilleri has me interested the whole way through, intermingling several story lines and creating very memorable characters. His Inspector Montalbano reads poetry and Faulkner, for Pete's sake!

Two of these books in two days. That should tell you something. One more in the house: onward!

Aug 26, 2012, 11:19am Top

Ha ha ha, Tui! Now I've gotten you hooked as easily as I got hooked!

Aug 26, 2012, 11:31am Top

Rebecca, I even had to make a cold pasta salad for supper last night! oh yeah, these are good!

Aug 26, 2012, 8:27pm Top

I have the first Camilleri novel set to read in September. Everyone has said such great things about the series that I'm looking forward to it.

Edited: Oct 24, 2012, 9:53am Top

The Shape of Water — 2002 (La forma dell’acqua — 1994)
The Terracotta Dog — 2002 (Il cane di terracotta — 1996)
The Snack Thief — 2003 (Il ladro di merendine — 1996)
The Voice of the Violin — 2003 (La voce del violino — 1997)
Excursion to Tindari — 2005 (La gita a Tindari — 2000)
The Scent of the Night — 2005 (L’odore della notte — 2001)
Rounding the Mark — 2006 (Il giro di boa — 2003)

reading: The Patience of the Spider — 2007 (La pazienza del ragno — 2004)

tbr: The Paper Moon — 2008 (La luna di carta — 2005)
trb: August Heat — 2009 (La vampa d'agosto — 2006)
tbr: The Wings of the Sphinx — 2009 (Le ali della sfinge — 2006)
tbr: The Track of Sand — 2010 (La pista di sabbia — 2007)
tbr: The Potters Field — 2011 (Il campo del vasaio — 2008)
tbr: The Age of Doubt — 2012 (L'età del dubbio — 2008)

Personal list, so I know where I am and in what order to read them.

Aug 26, 2012, 8:34pm Top

Hi Lori, Rebecca was right, they are addictive! I've just finished the 3rd, in as many days, and have a frantic order for the next four sent off to Amazon. They aren't available through our library.

Aug 26, 2012, 8:46pm Top

63. The Snack Thief by Andrea Camilleri

More orgasmic food experiences for Inspector Montalbano but also dangerous games being played by big players. I don't see myself getting sick of these, so I ordered the next four in the series. They won't be here until mid-September so I'd better read some of the ones gathering dust around here on the TBR shelves.

Aug 26, 2012, 8:54pm Top

I actually own that 3rd one, but I haven't read it. I've also got number 9 that I picked up somewhere. Our library has some of them as e-book or audiobook only, but they have 1-8; I have 9; they have 11 & 13, so that only leaves 10, 12, and 14 for me to have to find.

Aug 26, 2012, 10:48pm Top

I should have thought of checking a 2nd hand shop for them.

Aug 27, 2012, 8:24am Top

Your list is so helpful -- we've read a smattering of them and want to read more!

Aug 27, 2012, 11:42am Top

Jeremy the Wonderful fixed the thread title for me. These LT folk are superb!

Aug 27, 2012, 11:58am Top

Glad you're having so much fun with the Inspector Montalbano series, Tui! They've been made into tv movies in Italy, and subtitled versions are now available in the U.S. and I assume Canada. The ones I've seen are really good, too.

Aug 27, 2012, 9:00pm Top

I wonder if they're available on Netflix? Thanks for the heads up, Joe.

Aug 28, 2012, 6:34am Top

>19 tiffin:: Wow, I thought title-changing required an act of God, or sale of one's firstborn, or something. They are indeed superb!

Edited: Aug 28, 2012, 10:09am Top

#21 No. I checked. Netflix has the first four on its site, but lists their availability as "unknown." You can buy some of them from Amazon, but they're a little pricey so I haven't done it.

Edited: Aug 28, 2012, 10:10am Top

Hmmm maybe we could buy a set and pass them around. I'm game! I was just talking about them to my spousal unit.

The other thing is to all bug Netflix simultaneously to GET WITH THE PROGRAM!!! That could work.

Edited: Aug 28, 2012, 10:11am Top

>22 lauralkeet:: no, an Act of Jeremy. I asked with my best manners but didn't expect any results, as I knew it was a trivial request compared to what they must have to do to keep the site running and healthy. I sure wouldn't abuse the privilege and will be very careful next time.

>23 rebeccanyc:: thanks, Rebecca. I won't be buying them either. I've had a slightly expensive run of books this month *gulp*--being shut in during a heatwave is not a good thing for my credit card.

>24 sibyx:: ETA: pestering Netflix is free. I'm heavily into free at the moment.

Aug 28, 2012, 10:17am Top

Hi, Tui. I agree! FREE is good, very good!
Kudos to Jeremy the Wonderful!

Aug 28, 2012, 10:23am Top

Peggy, it's funny, but every autumn I come over all parsimonious, to use Pooh's phraseology. I make homemade spaghetti sauce to get through the winter. I stock the larder and the freezer. I mend things, stockpile sock yarn. It's stamped on my biology the same way squirrels make nests and take stores of nuts up into them, or bears prepare their dens. When we have a winter like the last one, where it barely snows, I feel somewhat disappointed.

Aug 28, 2012, 11:09am Top

#25 How do you pester Neflix? I have LOTS of movies in the part of my queue where the list the unavailable titles and only one has ever become available.

Aug 28, 2012, 11:41am Top

I don't know that one either (pestering Netflix). I can see all of us searching for it - they probably keep track of what people are looking for. But maybe there's more that can be done?

Aug 28, 2012, 11:41am Top

I obviously have some kind of personality defect. I read the first Camillieri, and while I quite liked it, haven't been inspired enough to forge ahead with the others as yet, more than a year later. I'm completely out of step with everyone else on this! It's not that I disliked or had qualms - not at all. Just that I didn't respond to their charm by telling myself I have to devour the rest pronto. Et bien...

Aug 28, 2012, 11:54am Top

Well, Suz, chacun à son goût and all that, right? For me, it's the simple fact that Camilleri tells a cracking good story and I do love me a good story, especially one which features a foodie (even though I probably wouldn't eat half of what he does--squid ink pasta, for example).

Aug 28, 2012, 1:57pm Top

The first Camilleri is waiting for me at the library!

I don't know if bugging Netflix works, as it isn't up to them when these things become available. If the movie or series hasn't been released, they can't get it. They may have some influence on the process, and it sure couldn't hurt to make your interest known to them.

Aug 28, 2012, 2:35pm Top

For what it's worth, they are available in the U.S. on, e.g., Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_ss_i_1_10?url=search-alias%3Dmovies-tv&fie....

Aug 28, 2012, 2:36pm Top

The first four Montalbanos have been released, at least to the extent that Amazon is selling them. It's my impression that when something hasn't been released, Netflix doesn't even know that it exists (as opposed to saying it's unavailable), because I've searched for movies and come up completely empty-handed.

Aug 28, 2012, 4:38pm Top

Well, I just tested Netflix this way...I searched it for "The Words", a movie that hasn't even been released to theaters yet. You can add it to your "SAVE" queue on Netflix. When you do that it notes "Availability unknown". I tried it with The Bourne Legacy, which is currently playing in theaters, but not released to DVD or Blu-Ray, and the same thing happens. I've tried to think of something I'd like to see that is older, but not released, and of course my brain won't help me out with that. The only thing that comes to mind are Seasons 5 through 12 of the NYPD Blue TV series. They are available to download from Amazon, but have not been released on DVD, and as far as Netflix is concerned, they don't exist, because you cannot add them to your "SAVE" list.

Aug 28, 2012, 5:31pm Top

As far as I've ever been able to figure, there is no way to communicate with Netflix directly about shows or movies you'd like to see available (I have poked the site fairly extensively in the past, and just went over there again to see if anything's changed--it hasn't). The FAQ is silent on this issue, and the "Contact Us" link only gives you forms for specific problems. There is a phone number you can call, and it might be interesting to see what response one got if one called it and asked about availability. But I'm guessing it wouldn't get you far. I've noticed that since NF raised their prices last and offered the "streaming only" option, the number of reviews on the site which say only some variation of "I love this show/movie; make it instant, come ON" has sky-rocketed. (Useless, even if anyone is listening; Netflix does not control when/if licensing will be available for particular shows/movies). As far as I can see, this strategy is basically yelling into the wind and does nothing but make it impossible for people to find real reviews of the shows they are looking for.

Edited: Aug 28, 2012, 7:24pm Top

I have talked to them on several occasions when I had a problem with a CD and they are very nice -- I asked one time about the African Queen and the guy said that they couldn't have it, some studios hang on to some stuff for no good reason. I'm guessing that Amazon has some exclusive on the Camillieri? A year ago the Jackson Brodie was not available, bingo, now it is. You could buy it for a little while but N-flix didn't have it. It would be great to know more about how that company works. Hmmmm I might scope it out a bit.

I found several articles along this theme:
making us wait

They're all so greedy! They want to see if they can coax more of us to buy the DVD. I can't really get it, since they get a cut of the action - not as big a one, per DVD - and I will say - I have purchased DVD's more than once AFTER watching something on Netflix and realizing how much I love it. In short, they are dopes. What else is new?

Aug 28, 2012, 7:21pm Top

Geesh, you guys...I don't even know how to turn Netflix on on the tv, let alone investigate and scope.
Tui, the northern luddite

Edited: Aug 28, 2012, 7:29pm Top

You only need the right thingamadoober* to hook up yr. laptop/computer to yr. TV or you can just stream right on yr. computer........ that just involves choosing 'instant'. Even I can do both of these things. The second issue is good sound. - That is a bit more trouble, hooking up speakers. That I let others do..... but probably I could even learn that with a bit of guidance....

It's a pretty ordinary one, not something exotic. One side goes in the computer the other into the back of the teev unless you have a rilly old one, then forget it.

Aug 29, 2012, 9:31am Top

I still do Netflix the old fashioned way, with the DVDs. Of course, I hang on to mine for months before I watch them, so they make a ton of money off of me, but my sweetie, who's on the same plan, goes through his fast, so I guess it evens out. When they went to separate pricing for streaming and DVDs, I ditched the streaming because we never did it. I'm sure it's in my future, but my future isn't here yet.

Re the Camilleris, I can't believe there's enough of a market for them that Amazon or Netlix is ever going to make a lot of money from them, but I've certainly gotten more obscure things from Netflix over the years.

Aug 29, 2012, 10:39am Top

Lucy, I have the "right thingamadoober": Himself. He is an audiophile, builder of speakers, tweaker of all things electronic, and mastermind behind our whole tv/audio system. It leaves my mind blissfully free to contemplate other things.

Edited: Aug 29, 2012, 2:49pm Top

64. Foreign Bodies by Cynthia Ozick

If Cynthia Ozick set out to write a story with characters about whom we can barely care and, in some cases, barely stand, she has succeeded. Don't get me wrong, her writing is lovely and even beautiful at times. But her people: gack. The back blurb says the book is "Raucous, funny, ferocious, and tragic." (Philadelphia Enquirer) "Raucous", no. "funny", barely. "Ferocious", a bit of a stretch, except in the case of Lilli. "tragic", yes, but I doubt if we'd agree on the reasons why so.

Did I mention that I don't like the people in this book? Number One on the list is Marvin Nachtigall, an ambitious, whiney, egocentric, manipulative, emotional blackmailing, controlling, drama queen sonofabitch. And he's pathetic to boot. Marvin's two offspring end up fleeing the continent to get away from him. His poor wife isn't as fortunate, her mind snapping after years of living with him so she ends up in a nursing home painting with her own excrement. His sister, Bea Nightingale (she anglicised their name) has no contact with him until he pulls her into his force field with some kind of family zapper ray (I couldn't understand why she didn't tell him to take a hike). Throw in a dysfunctional ex husband, a shyster "doctor", a tragic escapee from the horror of Romania, and you have most of the cast.

As for the story itself, well, what can you expect from people like this? Joy, nope. Love, nope. Redemption, barely. Kindness, perhaps but of a very obscure branch of the word. Inspiration, none. So I'm left with wondering why on earth she wrote it and why I kept reading it to the end. If Marvin had embraced his Jewishness and stopped trying to be an upper crust Bostonian, would he have been a different man? I don't know and I really don't care. It might be someone's good book because the writing really is fine, but it isn't mine. And I have read James, whose style this was supposed to be emulating.

I won't post this because it's too grumpy. Pah.

Edited: Aug 29, 2012, 2:56pm Top

I'm glad you did post it. You might notice I've no Ozick in my library (well, only if you look and why would you) but the reason is I've never FINISHED an Ozick. A case of critical acclaim vs. a true reading public? Have I ever met anyone who 'loves' her work? I don't think so.

Aug 29, 2012, 6:07pm Top

Thanks, Lucy. I should have said posted it in public reviews. I don't think I'm ever going to read another Ozick. In fact, I'm going to get rid of this one, somehow or other. Maybe off a bridge...

Aug 29, 2012, 6:38pm Top

Wow, quite a reaction to Cynthia Ozick's work. I have never read anything by her to my knowledge, and it sounds as though I can continue to live without reading her books!

Aug 29, 2012, 6:58pm Top

Hi Stasia--someone else might love it. But it isn't what I want to read. Too much hopelessness in it.

Aug 29, 2012, 9:24pm Top

Wow! I'm steering clear of that one for sure!

Aug 29, 2012, 9:48pm Top

Yes, I think I'll cross Ozick off my "Oughta" list too. Thanks to you, Tui, I have the first 3 Camillieri's out of the library. When I went to pick up the first one, which was on hold, I checked the shelves and found 2 and 3 sitting there...so what else could I do? I've heard this series well-praised before, but I don't remember anyone noting how big a part food played in them. That may have been the final persuasion I needed to give them a go. Now excuse me, while I hie me to a comfy spot to begin.

Aug 29, 2012, 9:58pm Top

Hope you like them, Linda.
Laura, the Ozick wasn't just noir, it was mean and angry. Life's too short.

Aug 29, 2012, 10:39pm Top

Wow, Tui! I didn't think *F Bodies* sucked quite that bad. I didn't love it by any means, and the homage to James was really far-fetched, but even so, I'm not completely sorry that I read it. As you say, "chacun à" and also "de gustibus." (Oh! And I never say "sucked.") Another Oh! Netflix is off my radar. Too bad for me.

Aug 29, 2012, 11:01pm Top

>42 tiffin: loving the grumpy book review! Why not I say? Go with what you really feel about it. hehe

Edited: Aug 30, 2012, 11:45am Top

Peggy, it wasn't that it 'sucked' per se. She does write beautifully, full marks for that, which is probably why I kept reading. No, it was her people. Was it that she somehow stood between them and her reader, with something angry and mean about how she wrote them? Spiteful, that's the word. Henry James, for all his quiet and ruthless observations, nevertheless allowed his characters to be fully themselves without getting in the way himself.

Or perhaps--second thoughts here--I dislike the Marvin personality type so much that my reaction is all my own, not the fault of her writing.

I notice that other reviewers give her 4 or 4.5 stars. Non est disputandum.

Thanks, Megan! Maybe I shouldn't write reviews with a bad head...

Aug 30, 2012, 6:57am Top

"Maybe I shouldn't write reviews with a bad head..." O contrary....those are sometimes the best, because you don't try to soften your perceptions with misplaced kindness. Don't apologize for that review -- it's honest and helpful.

Aug 30, 2012, 7:39am Top

>53 laytonwoman3rd:: I agree! And I see no reason not to post it in the reviews. Critical reviews are a public service!

Edited: Aug 30, 2012, 11:46am Top

Thanks, Linda and Laura. I suppose if someone was curious enough after reading a snarly review, they could check the book out themselves, so I don't feel that 'putting it out there' would be a problem that way. No, it's just that I like to keep my snarkiness more under wraps and less public. Maybe Ozick and I share an active dislike of the Marvins of the world, so perhaps we have that in common. She decided to write about a Marvin but I sure don't want to read about him.

ETA: moving right along! Enough of Foreign Bodies.

Aug 30, 2012, 1:14pm Top

I have enjoyed Ozick's essays, but this novel left me completely cold. Utterly and completely cold. I love unlikeable characters -- they can be fun to read about and form the basis of fab novels. But unconvincing to the mix and my response is "and you want me to care about this story because ?????"

Very clever writing, but I felt I was being told to appreciate something that simply wasn't a good yarn.

I think I'm going to get a Roku for my upstairs living room, and use it to stream Amazon content, Netflix, etc. My office TV has the cable. My neighbor says he can rig it up so it's wirelessly connected. *grin*

Re TV -- I think there sometimes are battles between Amazon and Netflix as to who has the rights to what. That will affect what becomes available.

Aug 30, 2012, 1:20pm Top

I feel vindicated! *arm pump* Thanks, Suz.

Aug 30, 2012, 4:46pm Top

I gave Foreign Bodies 3½ stars, because it was a well written novel. If I could rate the pathetic characters, I'd collectively give them ½ star.

Aug 30, 2012, 6:06pm Top

That's it exactly, Darryl.

Aug 30, 2012, 10:52pm Top

Note from Amazon saying 4 more Camilleris have been shipped. Oh please get here by tomorrow, so I'll have them for the long weekend! Now there's a lad who can tell a good story.

Aug 31, 2012, 7:36am Top

And it's not just the story -- I love the characters and the food best.

Aug 31, 2012, 9:22am Top

Ditto. Great cast of characters, and I wish I could join him for those meals he has.

Aug 31, 2012, 12:23pm Top

Four more Camilleris have just arrived at the door: sound the sackbuts, gong the gongs, toot the kazoos! I'm going to have a splendid long weekend.

Aug 31, 2012, 1:06pm Top

Buon viaggio!

Aug 31, 2012, 2:00pm Top

>63 tiffin:: woo hoo!

Aug 31, 2012, 3:02pm Top

Yay for the Camilleri books arriving so quickly!! Have a great weekend with them. I'm up to the one after The Voice of The Violin.

Aug 31, 2012, 3:30pm Top


Aug 31, 2012, 3:42pm Top

Got to get a ticket for the Camilleri wagon! Enjoy!

Sep 3, 2012, 9:57am Top

#42 must have been a icky book if you want to drop it off a bridge ...

Hi Tui!

Sep 3, 2012, 10:54am Top

Hi Chelle! I'd never actually do that; I'd give it to the 2nd hand bookshop first. ;)

65: Voice of the Violin by Andrea Camilleri

There was sadness in this one, with the victim dying because someone else had ruined their own life through bad choices. Montalbano battles politics within the policing system. Things aren't smooth with Livia. Oh dear.

Sep 4, 2012, 1:17pm Top

A funny thought: I have 10 books left to reach 75 and there are 10 Camilleris left I haven't read. I could finish out the count just reading those! hahahahaha

Sep 4, 2012, 1:58pm Top

What's holding you back? Go for it!

Sep 4, 2012, 2:16pm Top

>71 tiffin:: hey why not?

Sep 4, 2012, 2:19pm Top


Sep 4, 2012, 6:17pm Top

Lucy, I poissonally laughed, myself poissonally.

There are one or two others lying around here that I would like to read--including the one about gardening in Wales which just landed in, dat's why!

Sep 4, 2012, 7:02pm Top

>71 tiffin: the gods have spoken :)

Sep 4, 2012, 7:12pm Top

I still have not managed to read even the first Camilerri book - which I happen to own - let alone all the rest of them. I had better get going!

Sep 4, 2012, 9:23pm Top

If you read that one, Stasia, you'll be hooked. Just sayin'!

Sep 4, 2012, 10:40pm Top

You can read it in about 17 minutes, Stasia.

Sep 4, 2012, 10:47pm Top

>76 Ireadthereforeiam:: Megan, you mean like the Coke bottle falling from the airplane?
>77 alcottacre:: they should come with a warning lable, Stasia: addictive!
>78 rebeccanyc:: hah!
>79 laytonwoman3rd:: Hah! again

Sep 5, 2012, 12:12pm Top

This user has been removed as spam.

Edited: Sep 5, 2012, 9:32pm Top

66. Excursion to Tindari by Andrea Camilleri

Old Mafia vs. New Mafia, Gordian knots and an ancient olive tree which speaks to Montalbano.

Edited: Sep 6, 2012, 10:00am Top

67. The Smell of the Night by Andrea Camilleri

Reading one of these a day! I am enchanted by Camilleri's characters. I like these people, their passionate affair with food, their canniness. I even find myself liking their Sicily and wanting to see it one day.

Linda, this one had a heavy nod to Faulkner in it. Wonder why they didn't title it "The Scent of the Night" in English, however.

ETA: only one more left on hand in the house....

Sep 6, 2012, 10:16am Top

Loving seeing you racing through these, Tui! Just order the rest of them!

Sep 6, 2012, 10:17am Top

Rebecca, your lips to Amazon's ear!

Sep 6, 2012, 11:30am Top

Go Tui! I'm loving it.

Sep 6, 2012, 11:32am Top

#84....or "An Odor of Verbena"? I'm worried now that I'll get to a point where the later books in the series aren't available through the library. I may end up buying some of them too. We were in two used bookshops yesterday, but time was short, and bookshopping was not the primary purpose of our outing, so I didn't scour the shelves...only saw the first Montalbano available in my cursory browse. Hubby says we may go to a "real" bookstore today. I wonder if I'll succumb...

Sep 6, 2012, 3:33pm Top

Montalbano is even affecting my cooking: made a ton of pesto to freeze this afternoon, out of the last of my basil, and made some tubs of stewed tomatoes to freeze as soup or curry bases. Spaghetti sauce made on the weekend for the year. I can't do squid ink pasta, however.

Sep 6, 2012, 11:34pm Top

Reading The Garden in the Clouds by Antony Woodward. Delightful so far.

Sep 7, 2012, 11:43pm Top

Just held my nose, jumped, and ordered all the remaining Camilleris. Rilly.

Sep 8, 2012, 8:48am Top

You did good, Tui!

Sep 8, 2012, 10:03am Top

Now how hard wazzat?

Of course waiting for them to show up in the mail box. Torment.

Sep 8, 2012, 10:25am Top

The Garden in the Clouds is wonderful (man, Woodward can write!), and I have one more Camilleri to read, so I'm hoping it bridges the gap until they get here. If not, the TBR shelves are groaning.

Sep 17, 2012, 12:19am Top

....not long to go for the magic 75....
You are churning through the books lately.
2 Camilleri's down 8 to go?

Sep 17, 2012, 8:48am Top

The Garden in the Clouds sounds wonderful. Into the BlackHole it goes!

Sep 17, 2012, 12:21pm Top

Esme the town crier and erstwhile guard dog just barked furiously at the door when the UPS man came, barking "The Camilleris are here, the Camilleris are here! Just put that box down and get off my deck." So he did. And they are. 7 of 'em. Life is not only good but rich and joyful at the moment.

Sep 17, 2012, 12:30pm Top

I read the last page of The Snack Thief last night, and got up out of bed to go find The Voice of the Violin and began it immediately, even though it was already time for lights out! I am intrigued by the Author's Note at the end of Snack Thief, which includes "The novel is dedicated to Flem. He liked stories like this." The only Flem I know of is Faulkner's Flem Snopes, and if that's who he means, I'm befuzzled. But maybe he had a friend with that unfortunate name, or it's short for "Fleming"...

Sep 17, 2012, 12:57pm Top

hahahaha I confess to having done the exact same thing, Linda! It's such a complete little world he describes. I don't know if I would want to live there but I sure do love 'reading' there.

Oct 3, 2012, 11:44am Top

Tui missing reliving the delights of Montalba with you; hope to see you posting again very soon.

Oct 3, 2012, 11:46am Top

Thanks, Paul: garden clean-up time, plus making a quilt for my 92 year old mother, so only reading Slightly Foxed articles these days. I'll pick up soon, promise!

Edited: Oct 3, 2012, 11:35pm Top

68. The Sound of a Wild Snail Eating by Elisabeth Tova Bailey

Kindle book
Why I read it: Sibyx/Lucy wrote a review that made it sound really interesting

When Elisabeth Bailey was laid low by a pathogen which left her unable to sit up, walk, or care for herself, her previously fully experienced world shrank to that of a bed in a care home.
A particular mutation, "unmasked" by a particular pathogen, may result in a mitochondrial error, which can then cause metabolic disease. // In my case, the pathogen may have been the virus that was spreading through the small European town I visited. Or it may have been something in the hotel water I drank one night. There was also the sick surgeon next to me on my flight home, though by then I had already succumbed to strange and severe symptoms. Fifteen years into my illness, I would learn about tick-borne encephalitis (TBE), a member of the Flaviviridae family, which includes West Nile virus.
She doesn't state conclusively what it was that nearly killed her but it was likely TBE, given the devastation to her body, even though it was years before the medical world understood it. However, she does not indulge in great moaning descriptions of how sick she is. She just states, quietly and factually, what her life had become as a result.

A wise friend brought her a snail in a pot of wild violets. This small companion provided her with entertainment through the long days and nights of wakeful pain and inactivity, giving her a focus outside of herself and her illness. At first she thought 'why a snail' but as she became tuned to its habits and ways, eventually moving it into a larger terrarium, her fascination with it grew. In one of those long nights, she was able to hear it eating, hence the title. She began to research the science of snails, a fascinating creature about which I knew little. Sample: they have over 300 teeth in rings in their mouths, which are replaced as the front row wears out. Their favourite food is a mushroom. And I won't spoil it for you should you decide to read this rather lovely book but their sex lives are amazing!

I toted this book around with me on my visits to various medical appointments (of which there are sometimes too many in my life between my aged mother and myself), taking tremendous comfort from the story of Elisabeth and her snail. That, and I learned something new about a cohabitor of the planet.

Edited: Oct 4, 2012, 11:14am Top

69. The Garden in the Clouds by Antony Woodward

Harper Press paperback
No. of pages: 294
Why I read it: two LT friends, kiwidoc and Caroline_McElwee read and recommended it. I trust their reviews implicitly.

This is a book for gardeners but also for dreamers. Antony Woodward, a writer for Tatler and Country Life, as well as of Propellerhead, wanted out of London in the worst way. He wanted to live in the Welsh mountains with peace and quiet, space and solitude. So he and his wife began the long process of looking for their dream farm (in the middle of the foot-and-mouth disease outbreak), finally finding Tair-Ffynnon in the Brecon Beacons National Park. Despite accusations of madness, he single-mindedly pursued this property until fate smiled and it was his.

With lovely humour ranging between that perfect English dryness and a touch of slapstick, he tells the tale of settling in to this old stone house while trying to become a genuine man of the land. The local characters are a delight, whether teaching him bee keeping or the art of setting a hedgerow. His constant battle with the sheep becomes all out war as Antony decides to make it into the Yellow Book, that famous gardening book of England: gardeners open their gardens once a year to fundraise for charity but to get in to this book, you have to be either really good or have a garden with very unusual features. Antony decided to go for one of the highest gardens in England while not knowing very much about gardening. Now it must be noted that he took this very seriously, working hard to create water features, stone walls, proper gates, etc. He even moved a railway car on to his property at great effort and damage to neighbours' properties, to refurbish it as his writing studio.

I don't think one has to be a gardener to appreciate this lovely book but as I am one, it amplified the experience for me. There were times when I groaned out loud or snorted in disbelief or felt murder wouldn't be out of line. Reading it out loud to Himself failed to elicit a similar response so I think he was reaching me on the level of gardening kinship. Or perhaps it's that when it comes to gardening, being a diehard romantic and dreamer has to be in there somewhere.

Oct 3, 2012, 9:59pm Top

You've sold me. Onto the wishlist and the I WANT THIS FOR CHRISTMAS section of my wl.

Oct 3, 2012, 10:27pm Top

I want Camilleri AND *Garden it Clouds*. Thanks, Tui.

Oct 4, 2012, 7:03am Top

So, you HAVE been reading...and reading well too. I like the sound of Garden in the Clouds.

Oct 4, 2012, 8:54am Top

Nice review of The Sound of a Wild Snail Eating, Tui. I have it on my Kindle, and I'll probably read it sometime early next year.

Oct 4, 2012, 4:32pm Top

Darryl, I think you might like it. How's that for a qualified recommendation?

Well I owed you for the snail, Lucy.

Peggy, go for 'em!

Yes, Linda, I have but very peripatetically (my, I like that word). I have an ER book I must get at but I've been so busy DOING these days that I only read at bedtime and you know what that can be like.

Oct 4, 2012, 4:35pm Top

Congratulations on reading 69 books thus far Tui.

Edited: Oct 4, 2012, 4:37pm Top

Hi Linda! So good to see you oot and aboot. I hope you are doing well these days? ETA: oh, and thank you!

Oct 5, 2012, 10:46am Top

>107 tiffin: LOL! That's basically the same recommendation as LT:

LibraryThing thinks you probably will like The Sound of a Wild Snail Eating (prediction confidence: very high)

Edited: Oct 7, 2012, 11:17pm Top

It was Canadian Thanksgiving weekend here. We drove to my father-in-law's house (four hours away) but drove through the back roads of the countryside near here en route so we that could pick up apple cider donuts for him at the old mill in Tyrone and see the leaves, which were at their glorious best. After doing some have-to stuff with our espresso machine in Toronto, we took a jog up into Mennonite country to a town called St. Jacob's, which I hadn't seen since I was a kid. I was a bit saddened to see it had become yuppified and very Toronto shopping-ish but there were some good spots: I bought an authentic corn broom at the old blacksmith's place where a couple still make brooms the old way. Fascinating! They also had Harry Potter type brooms and I was sorely tempted! We got a wonderful walking staff for our one lad who is having knee surgery this Tuesday. Found a Mennonite quilting shop selling Kaffe Fassett fat quarters, to my delight. Drove through rich farmland seeing an occasional field of pumpkins, many apple and honey stands. Very comforting.

Yesterday we went to the Farmer's market where my fil lives and went nuts getting homemade perogies from the Polish perogy lady and sauerkraut from the Mennonites, along with fantastic bread from a lovely young couple, and apple dumplings from a woman who looked like her cheeks were apples. I felt grateful and thankful much of the weekend for the abundance of the harvest and the good food we have at hand. Hope everyone else had a lovely weekend.

Oct 7, 2012, 11:21pm Top

Your drive sounds lovely. You paint wonderful images.

Oct 8, 2012, 7:30am Top

That sounds like an absolutely perfect way to spend Thanksgiving, Tui. We celebrate it too late, and it's usually cold and dreary, if not downright treacherous with the weather in NE PA.

Oct 8, 2012, 7:33am Top

tiffin: It sounds as if we had similar weekends - Tomm, Charlie and I drove round to an apple orchard, a local cheese maker and a pumpkin farm and had a lovely time looking at the beautiful foliage. We even had some cider doughnuts! I'm glad you had a good weekend, too!

Oct 8, 2012, 7:56am Top

#68: I downloaded that book to my Nook a while back but still have not managed to read it. Thanks for the reminder to do so, Tui!

Oct 8, 2012, 9:43am Top

Tiffin, it sounds like you had a lovely excursion.

Oct 8, 2012, 9:46am Top

Your drive does sound lovely. My (Montreal) sister went through a mad pash for Kaffe Fassett - for awhile she would go on about his stuff (we both do needlepoint) and I had no idea what she was talking about......

Oct 8, 2012, 4:18pm Top

Sounds like an absolutely gorgeous weekend :)

Drove through rich farmland seeing an occasional field of pumpkins, many apple and honey stands.

I love that image :)

Oct 8, 2012, 4:32pm Top

>112 Whisper1:: Hi Linda/Whisp, I'm always so glad to see you dropping by.
>113 laytonwoman3rd:: It was beautiful, Linda, complete with wild clouds in the sky and bursts of sun coming through followed by light spatters of rain, with a good wind. Just a great autumn day.
>114 scaifea:: well whaddya know, Amber! It was a good weekend.
>115 alcottacre:: Stasia, there are interesting characters and an excellent plot but none of it is too challenging, so it makes lovely escape reading if you need a breather from studying.
>116 thornton37814:: usually we just roar right through to the fil's on the 401, so it's a boring lousy drive but these side excursions made it fun!
>117 sibyx:: I have loved his stuff since his knitting days, right through his needlepoint adventures and now his fabrics, Lucy. Just beautiful and creative things from the man.
>118 lunacat:: Jenny, it makes me feel so happy when there is a good harvest and there are signs of it everywhere. I love seeing those things and am really grateful.

Oct 8, 2012, 4:55pm Top

>111 tiffin: but drove through the back roads of the countryside near here en route so we that could pick up apple cider donuts for him
I love going the long way to stop for interesting local delicacies.

Oct 9, 2012, 5:24am Top

That was a lovely description of your Thanksgiving weekend, but please tell me what is a cider donut? (I'm a Brit so I'd say doughnut!)

Oct 9, 2012, 7:01am Top

I'll sort of elbow in and say it's more or less any donut you eat while drinking cider, but the 'real' cider donut is quite plain, no extras, just good old-fashioned lardy donut. Most years I indulge once, it's kinda hard in Vermont when everywhere you go during October everyone has 'cider and donuts' on display or up for grabs......

Oct 9, 2012, 7:27am Top

Cider donuts are very popular around here at this time of year. Even the chain donut shops feature them. And usually, I think they actually have cider or applesauce in the dough. You can see how they're made at one of our local cider mills here. We now return this thread to its rightful owner!

Edited: Oct 9, 2012, 7:55am Top

#122 Like a coffee Danish means any Danish pastry eaten with coffee. I think doughnuts are best plain, too.

Edited: Oct 9, 2012, 9:21am Top

>120 Ireadthereforeiam:: Megan, me too!
>121 CDVicarage:: I usually spell it doughnut, because I'm Canadian, but maybe I have become bilingual. A cider doughnut is plain with apple cider in the dough, in these parts, and a sprinkling of regular sugar on the outside. The mill is still a working sawmill but it also has an apple press for cider. However, in recent years the government in its infinite wisdom has sought to prevent these old mills from pressing apples for cider because of health concerns. It's ridiculous.
>122 sibyx:: I don't indulge at all! Too greasy for me.
>123 laytonwoman3rd:: I love discussions, so nae bother at all.
>124 CDVicarage:: except these have the cider IN them. I agree re doughnuts being best when plain, although a dusting of cinnamon is lovely.

Oct 9, 2012, 9:59am Top

That would make sense - to put a bit of applesauce or cider in the dough, but you can't really taste it.

Oct 9, 2012, 7:29pm Top

Sounds like you had a great Thanksgiving weekend!
I adore St Jacobs! Nate and I went there on one of our first day trips together. Such nice stuff

Oct 10, 2012, 4:05am Top

Belated Happy Thanksgiving! That sounds like a lovely weekend.

Oct 11, 2012, 11:15am Top

Lovely description of your weekend, Tui!

In the US both spellings, doughnuts and donuts, are commonly used:

Oct 11, 2012, 11:27am Top

Hi, Tui! Sounds like a memorable weekend! I don't know cider doughnuts; I may eat one Krispy Kreme a year if I can get it hot, and then I'm in fat heaven. I had to google Kaffe Fasset too, and I'm happy to see that that is an addiction I can forgo!

Oct 11, 2012, 5:22pm Top

What a tease you are, Darryl, with those pictures!

Oct 12, 2012, 8:40am Top

#13 Indeed...and I have to pass the Krispy Kreme shop every morning on the way to work, unless I'm being leisurely and take the back way over the mountain. When that light is on, watch out, because I have to drive with my eyes shut 'til I've passed it by!

Oct 12, 2012, 10:16am Top

Hot Krispy Kreme doughnuts are a menace. There is one roughly a mile from where I live, but fortunately I don't pass by it nearly as often as I used to. I'm surprised at how many KK stores there are in London, but I have yet to see one that sports the famed "Hot Now" display.

Oct 12, 2012, 10:34am Top

hmmm not something we have up here in store form (that I know of), although kids used to do doughnut sales to fund raise for schools and they got them for those events somehow. This is pretty much Timmy Ho country up here (Tim Horton's).

Hi Chelle, how's Nova Scotia treating you?
Hi Genny, thanks for stopping by.
Darryl, I swear my blood sugar just soared looking at those pics. Those are death in a box for me.
Linda, whole new slant on "she'll be coming around the mountain when she comes, when she comes": she'll be driving with her eyes closed when she comes. Gack! KK's in London? No, no, a proper cream tea, please and thanks, with scones and strawberry jam!

Oct 12, 2012, 12:17pm Top

Linda I'm surprised you still have Krispy Kreme in your parts. I thought their northward expansion had failed (my sole evidence being the closing of the only store in my area I was aware of).

Oct 12, 2012, 2:59pm Top

#135 There are three KK stores in the Scranton/Clarks Summit area, and two of them have been here a long time. We like our fried dough around here.

Oct 13, 2012, 8:30am Top

>134 tiffin: Are "death in a box" doughnuts better or worse than "heart attack on bread" bacon butties?

There are more KK stores in central London (5) than there are metropolitan Atlanta (2). And there are more McDonald's, Burger King and Pizza Hut "restaurants" and Starbucks coffee shops than you can shake a stick at. I'm so glad that we are exporting the best in American cuisine to the UK.

>135 lauralkeet: There are at least three KKs in Bucks County & NE Philadelphia that have closed that I'm aware of, including the one near Oxford Valley Mall that was close to my parents' house, but there still are a couple of stores in these areas.

Oct 13, 2012, 11:09am Top

>136 laytonwoman3rd:: We like our fried dough around here. Ha!
That reminds me ... when I was in high school I worked at Wendy's (a fast-food hamburger restaurant for those unfamiliar). I worked a lot of closing shifts, and towards the end of the night we'd get a bit silly. One of the guys taught us all how to make "doughnuts": take a hamburger bun, scrunch it up in a ball shape, toss it in the deep fat fryer, remove when it's nicely browned, and roll in sugar. Mmmmm ... not bad, actually.

Oct 17, 2012, 9:59am Top

Oh ow oh ow, this is the sound of my cholesterol clogging my veins just reading that.

Oct 17, 2012, 10:13am Top

I know, Lucy! As a triple bypass survivor, I wanted to run back to those young doofuses and say "no no no don't do it!".

Oct 17, 2012, 10:26am Top

>139 sibyx:, 140: well don't worry, I don't do that anymore. I can't speak for the guys though :)

Oct 17, 2012, 10:28am Top

I didn't mean you were a doofus, Laura, I meant that young lad who thought it up in the first place.

Oct 17, 2012, 1:14pm Top

>142 tiffin:: oh I dunno, I had my doofus moments at that age.

Oct 17, 2012, 11:08pm Top

hmmm, Ive never been able to get into doughnuts. They (I cant believe I am about to say this) seem too sweet and fatty, the combination overwhelms me.

Oct 18, 2012, 10:13am Top

Plus, one should never eat doughnuts at work as explained in that great old Joe South hit, "Doughnut Make You Wannna Go Home."
On the other hand, whenever I feel like I need a fast makeover, Doughnut Make My Brown Eyes Blue. It wears off in about 24 hours or so.

Oct 18, 2012, 10:33am Top

Megan, you've obviously never had a hot KK - too sweet for sure, but a melting sweetness.
You all remind me of my mother's experience with every doctor, nurse, tech, and even housekeeping person in the heart unit at Duke. (Mama had a successful heart valve repair.) We live in soul food (which = fried in lard) country with a home-cooking/barbecue place called Fuller's. Every time somebody heard Mama's response to "Where are you from?" the immediate reaction was, "Oh yes. Fuller's."
(Here you go!)

Oct 18, 2012, 12:14pm Top

I agree with Peggy; a hot Krispy Kreme doughnut is sheer bliss.

Edited: Oct 18, 2012, 12:33pm Top

I'm not a big fan of doughnuts either, Megan. Or any high fat product, actually. But dark chocolate, oh yes.
Peggy, that's a cute story about your Mom. My problems are inherited rather than dietary but also from years of high stress from my job and being very sedentary for 8+ hours a day in front of a computer. So wonderful to be retired and free of that chain to the desk!

Oct 19, 2012, 6:28pm Top

I've no idea how a KK doughnut compares with what I buy from the supermarket in the UK, on those occasions when I forget my diet and need a sugar and carb hit! But I love the smell of hot fresh doughnuts coming from market stalls, and I think they probably taste best eaten on a cold day when you are out wandering round the market and need a little something hot and sweet to tide you over.

Mind you, when I think of the Dutch name for doughnuts, I think twice about eating any more. 'Oliebollen' = oil-balls! The traditional fare in the Netherlands on New Year's Eve, washed down with coffee and champagne.

Oct 20, 2012, 7:55am Top

#149 Don't they sell KK doughnuts in Tesco's where you are - they certainly do here? I have to admit that I don't like them at all - I think they taste like solidified sugar somehow - all the dough element seems to be missing completely. I've had a fair few - where I used to work people used to bring them in quite regularly when they first arrived in the UK, and they were always so pleased with themselves and so excited that they'd got some Krispy Kreme doughnuts that it always seemed really rude to refuse. But I'd never buy any by choice.

Oct 20, 2012, 11:49am Top

In actual KK doughnut shops you can buy them very fresh and hot, and then they live up to the hype. Once they are boxed and sent to supermarkets they become something else entirely!

Oct 20, 2012, 12:26pm Top

I'm laughing because Darryl has oyster po'boys happening over on his thread as he visits New Orleans and we have doughnuts going on here.

Genny, "oliebollen"/oil balls is just perfect! I'm going to think of them that way from now on.

Oct 20, 2012, 12:45pm Top

#151 In actual KK doughnut shops you can buy them very fresh and hot, and then they live up to the hype. I looked on their website and they have got one of those in a shopping centre that I go to occasionally - maybe I should give a hot one a try before dismissing them completely!

Oct 20, 2012, 2:24pm Top

I agree that they are very tasty when hot, but if you watch them coming out of the vat of oil, all drippy, as you can do in many of the shops, it might make you think twice!

Edited: Oct 22, 2012, 8:05am Top

My car makes an automatic turn if that "Hot" sign is lit! It's a good thing it's an hour to the closest one.

Oct 22, 2012, 11:40am Top

70. Rounding the Mark by Andrea Camilleri

I don't know how Camilleri can write such gritty stuff about horrible things and still make me feel enchanted by Montalbano and his crew. Is there such a thing as a Sicilian cosy? Never in a million years would I eat the stuff that Montalbano waxes poetic over but Camilleri makes me melt along with him as he's stuffing some awful squid mixture in his mouth. A newspaper reporter giving the Inspector the inside scoop on the most horrific of child trafficking while dressed as and smelling like an iris, while worrying about his Mama? And dear Catarella providing the link that sets Montalbano's brain in motion to solve the crime? I poissonally myself poissonally can't wait to read the next one. Rilly.

Oct 22, 2012, 12:18pm Top

Ha ha ha!

Oct 22, 2012, 12:54pm Top

>156 tiffin: Is there such a thing as a Sicilian cosy? Love it! This may be the best review of a Montalbano book I've read, Tui. If you post it, I will thumb. Catarella's a hoot, and I can't resist Montalbano's meals either, even when they're out of my edible zone. The series is irresistible to me, too.

Oct 22, 2012, 12:55pm Top

Well thanks, you two! You made my day.

Edited: Oct 24, 2012, 12:06pm Top

I just read another great review (of Blindness) over on Ilana's thread and now this one on Montalbano. yes yes yes. He makes me want to eat squid too. And then I think..... whoa. But that's masterful writing, indeed.

Oct 24, 2012, 8:49pm Top

Funny, I have no problem at all envisaging eating any of Montalbano's meals. Is it just the squid (or the squid ink) that doesn't appeal? I agree, the range of seafood he eats is rather wider than I'm used to, but it all sounds delicious to me! It is a wonderfully well written series, I agree.

Back to doughnuts, and in answer to Rhian at #50, I don't know if my local Tesco stocks them as I don't usually shop there. But I've just had a look at pictures of KK doughnuts and I see they are those glazed, sugar-coated type which to me looks excessively sweet (though when I do go on a doughnut binge I buy the basic jam-filled variety which are I guess equally sugar-high). I don't see how those glazed ones would work if they are still hot, though - wouldn't the glaze just melt or run off?

Does anyone write as powerfully about (any variety of) doughnuts as Camilleri writes about Sicilian squid dishes?

Oct 24, 2012, 9:39pm Top

Genny, I could eat the fish dishes as well. Yes, it's the squid and squid ink ones which are off-putting. Food is such a sensual pleasure for Montalbano--indeed, any Italian I've ever known!

I'm really not much of a doughnut person. Trying to think of what sweet of that ilk that I would find irresistible...can't come up with one. Stick some dark chocolate in front of me, however, and I'm doomed.

Oct 25, 2012, 7:16am Top

I'd have to go back and reread, but I think there have been one or two other meals that didn't appeal. I KNOW I don't like squid, btw, having et it. I'll eat mussels and I'll eat clams and I'll eat the occasional scallop too, but I don't love them, ever. I do like oysters, but there's no logic to taste.

I love the idea of a detective with a thing for doughnuts - but I can't think of anyone who's mined that angle yet. (Can one mine an angle??? oh well, it's early.)

Oct 25, 2012, 7:56am Top

Clearly, you need to read some Robert B. Parker, Lucy. His Spenser is a doughnut-lover. So is his Jesse Stone, but he's technically a "cop" (chief of police in a small town), so maybe that doesn't count.

Oct 25, 2012, 9:20am Top

I got Camilleri #1 just because of you, Tui, but it's having to wait its turn. I gobble down calamari as presented at our local Italian restaurant, but I'm not sure how I'd feel about a whole arm or ink or anything bigger than a bite. (And I haven't scampered to F'ville to buy a hot KK. Certainly, I won't buy them boxed either.)

Oct 25, 2012, 10:33am Top

KK donuts are too sweet for me. I do have a donut story though.

For several years my daughter and I were both having music lessons the same night, same house - she with the husband, whistle, me on the harp, wife. It was 'across the bridge' from Philly in New Jersey, not that that matters, but on the way home I would always stop to buy cheap NJ gas and there was a Dunkin Donuts right there so we got into the habit of going in and buying one donut each. Well, we always had the same person serving us, a woman in her twenties, really friendly and nice. She would always say, 'That's All??" as if we were the weirdest people ever and we would say, "Yup." One day when we got into the car we found three donuts. So we gave one to my husband when we got home. We thanked her the next week. And gradually the number in the bag climbed higher and higher, up to six and sometimes seven or eight. Finally my daughter said, "I don't think we can go there any more, either we'll explode or she'll get herself in trouble." So we did stop. But we would get in the car and my daughter would open the bag and start counting and we would get completely hysterical.

Oct 25, 2012, 10:45am Top

Lucy, you probably had that poor musician gestalt about you and she was trying to help you out! What a dear story.

Oct 25, 2012, 12:55pm Top

that's a great story Lucy!!

Nov 1, 2012, 10:34pm Top

71. Shadow of Night by Deborah Harkness

Library copy
No. of pages: 584
Why I read it: it's book two of the "All Souls" trilogy, with good scholarly work in it as well as a lot of fun

Diana and Matthew de Claremont have gone back in time to Shakespeare's England to try to discover a book of secrets that will help them to discover why daemons are going mad, vampires are no longer able to create new vampires and fewer new witches are being born in the 20th century. As a specialist in Elizabethan England, historian Deborah Harkness writes a good tale with none of the sloppy historical details that usually drive me mad in these kinds of books. Looking forward to the third and concluding book.

Nov 1, 2012, 10:51pm Top

72. The Patience of the Spider by Andrea Camilleri

Penguin paperback
No. of pages: 244
Why I read it: because I MUST

I didn't enjoy this one as well as some of the others. Wasn't that fond of the plot line, and Livia and Montalbano were arguing too much. Onward!

Nov 2, 2012, 11:42am Top

Oh dear, Patience of the Spider is my next one, when I get hold of a copy. I hope I like it better...

Nov 2, 2012, 12:10pm Top

Genny, as my dear late Dad once said about single malt Scottish whisky, "there are no bad ones, but some are better than others".

Nov 2, 2012, 1:42pm Top

I'm one book behind - I'm not enjoying The Smell of the Night as much as the last couple but it's still good. I have The Patience of the spider out of the library at the moment too - it's fun that we're at around the same book in the series.

Nov 2, 2012, 2:39pm Top

#172 True, about the whisky too!

Nov 2, 2012, 8:29pm Top

>173 cushlareads:: Cush, I just veered off in another direction for a bit. Also have an ER book review I must do but first have to read the book, which I suspect isn't my cuppa. Duty calls and all that.
>174 gennyt:: especially in a church with no heating, Genny!

Nov 2, 2012, 10:23pm Top

I'm #26 on the hold list for Shadow of Night at our library--but there are 43 copies in the system, so I am hopeful I'll get it sometime this month! Good to hear it is good.

Nov 2, 2012, 10:30pm Top

Tui, no wonder the Harnesses seem so well-researched to you! Look at The Jewel House!!

Nov 3, 2012, 12:07am Top

The tyranny of ER books (ha ha)... there are none available for New Zealand which is a mixed blessing. I had a couple while in Switzerland - one was great, the other dire, and I really don't like pressure on me to read certain things at specified times. I hope your book turns out to be great!

Nov 10, 2012, 8:52am Top

Just checking in - you've been very quiet. Reading, I hope and other things keeping you busy in a good way.

Nov 18, 2012, 9:01pm Top

I hope this works: a list copied from DoveGrey Reader's blog, of Women in War readings. I felt this was an important list to have.

On Radji Beach by Ian W. Shaw
Resistance of the Heart: Intermarriage and the Rosenstrasse Protest in Nazi Germany by Nathan A. Stoltzfus.
Bullwinkel:the true story of Vivian Bullwinkel by Norman Manners.
50 years of Silence by Jan Ruff-O'Herne:
The Women Who Wrote the War by Nancy Caldwell Sorel
On The Other Side: Letters To My Children From Germany 1940-46 by Mathilde Wolfe-Monckeberg.
Corsets to Camouflage, Women in War by Kate Adie
Testament of Youth by Vera Brittain
To War With Whitaker: The Wartime Diaries of the Countess of Ranfurly 1939-1945
Resistance by Agnes Humbert
Nella Last's War by Suzie Fleming
The Night Watch by Sarah Waters
Sophie's Choice by William Styron.
The Reader by Bernard Schlink
Life Class / Toby's Room / Ghost Road by Pat Barker
Human Voices by Penelope Fitzgerald
The World Their Wilderness by Rose Macauley
An English Woman-Sergeant in the Serbian Army by Flora Sandes,
Carve her Name with Pride by R J Minney,
When the Children came Home; Stories of Wartime Evacuees by Julie Summers.
The Gift Horse - Report of a Life, the memoirs of Hildegarde Neff
Kitchen Fugue by Sheila Kaye-Smith
Wartime Women ~ A Mass Observation anthology
Not So Quiet by Helen Zenna Smith
A Desert in Bohemia by Jill Paton Walsh
Women's Barracks by Tereska Torrès
Diary of a Nursing Sister on the Western Front 1914-1915 by Kate Luard
Unknown Warriors by Kate Luard
Colour Scheme by Ngaio Marsh -
The Widow and her Hero by Thomas Keneally
A Whispered Name by William Brodrick
A Time to Love / Dangerous Spring / The Ark / Rowan Farm / The Long Way Home by Margot Benary
The Girl Who Fell from the Sky by Simon Mawer
Charlotte Gray by Sebastian Faulks
Resistance by Owen Shears
Moon Tiger by Penelope Lively
Small Island by Andrea Levy
At Mrs Lippincote's by Elizabeth Taylor
Suite Francaise by Irene Nemirovsky
The Legacy / A Town Like Alice / The Chequer Board / Pastoral / Pied Pipe by Nevil Shute
The Balkan Trilogy by Olivia Manning
The Spy Who Loved - The Secrets and Lives of Christine Granville, Britain's First Female Special Agent of the Second World War by Clare Mulley
Train to Nowhere by Anita Leslie
Flowers of the Field by Sarah Harrison
Peace by Richard Bausch.
The English Air by D.E.Stevenson
Mrs. Tim Carries On by D.E.Stevenson
Spring Magic by D.E.Stevenson
The Two Mrs. Abbotts by D.E.Stevenson
Listening Valley by D.E.Stevenson
The Four Graces by D.E.Stevenson
Amberwell by D.E.Stevenson
Sarah Morris Remembers by D.E.Stevenson
One of Ours by Willa Cather
The Forbidden Zone by Mary Borden
Rilla of Ingleside by L.M.Montgomery
Little Boy Lost by Marghanita Laski
Manja by Anna Gmeyner
Few Eggs and No Oranges by Vere Hodgson
Castles Burning: A Child's Life in War by Magda Dene
The Past is Myself / The Road Ahead by Christabel Bielenburg
The Return of the Soldier by Rebecca West.
Elsie and Mairi Go To War: Two Extraordinary Women on the Western Front by Dr Diane Atkinson
A Fine of 200 Francs by Elsa Triolet
A Woman In Berlin by Anon
Sand in My Shoes: Wartime Diaries of a WAAF by Joan Rice
She Goes to War by Edith Pargeter
Bombers and Mash - The Domestic Front 1939-1945 by Raynes Minns
Millions Like Us by Virginia Nicholson
Bad Faith by Carmen Callil
A Train in Winter by Caroline Moorhead
War on the Margins by Libby Cone

Scars Upon My Heart / Chaos of the Night (poetry by women)
Wave Me Goodbye / Hearts Undefeated - Stories & Women's Writing of the Second World War

Childrens novels by Robert Westall, Michelle Magorian, Susan Cooper & Nina Bawden

Nov 19, 2012, 7:20am Top

What an excellent list, Tui. Thanks for posting it.

Nov 19, 2012, 8:25am Top

Yes- -great list and more for my book wishlist!

Nov 19, 2012, 9:25am Top

Thank you for that list, Tui! I've now put Wartime Women on my wishlist and bookmarked the comment. I can't wait to get to the other Mass Observation anthology that I have since I enjoyed Our Hidden Lives so much.

Nov 19, 2012, 9:45am Top

She asked her readers for suggestions and compiled the list; I went down and added the links. Didn't check them for accuracy so I hope they are ok.

Nov 19, 2012, 10:30am Top

>180 tiffin: Good to encounter another dovegrey fan here. Reading her is an essential part of my day.

Nov 19, 2012, 10:45am Top

Aw, that's lovely, TK. I'm definitely a fan but not really a follower, as it's hit and miss when I drop in...more during the winter when the garden is sleeping.

Nov 19, 2012, 7:05pm Top

Thanks for the list. A title I didn't see on it, and one I really enjoyed some 25 years ago, is Gone to Soldiers by Marge Piercy. And of course The Siege by Helen Dunmore too. I could probably think of some more.

Nov 19, 2012, 9:28pm Top

I was thinking I should start a group called "LISTS', where people could post lists like this. I wonder if LT has a List spot somewhere?

Nov 19, 2012, 10:20pm Top

Actually, there IS a list feature: Lists

It would be wonderful to create a "Women in War" list (if one doesn't exist yet), starting with dovegreyreader's books ... Let me know if you want to do this, want help doing it, or would like me to just do it and report back when finished :)

Nov 19, 2012, 11:43pm Top

Yes please, Laura--you know what a tech dolt I am.

Nov 20, 2012, 7:24am Top

Wow, that's a kind of chaotic feature, Laura! How do you find lists that would interest you?

Nov 20, 2012, 7:35am Top

I didn't know about that lists feature, either. But I agree with Rebecca...I don't see how you'd use it very practically. It's like my junk drawer---lots of stuff in there that MIGHT be useful, if you could find it.

Nov 20, 2012, 8:19am Top

That is a terrific list - I'm a bit shocked that I have read so few of them.

Jogging off to look at these lists.

Nov 20, 2012, 8:45am Top

>191 rebeccanyc:, 192: it's a beta feature, so it's a bit disorganized. I agree it's difficult to find things. Once you've created or contributed to a list, you can find "your" lists via your profile, in the statistics section.

Nov 20, 2012, 9:18am Top

Oh no, chaotic and disorganized....junk drawer....this means I'd never use it.

Nov 20, 2012, 10:38am Top

Well, here it is anyway: Women in War List.
There were two works on dovegreyreader's list that I couldn't find:
The Legacy, by Nevil Shute
Train to Nowhere ~ Anita Leslie

Her list also references children's novels by specific authors but without titles I couldn't add them.

Nov 20, 2012, 10:44am Top

Thanks, Laura. That looks fairly straightforward!

Nov 20, 2012, 3:29pm Top

I'm a little baffled by the reordering component of this Lists feature. If I go to the Women in War list and add two books to my list, I can drag/drop them to reorder. However, I can't get that reordering to stick. When I navigate away and come back, they're in the order in which I added them.

Is this just broken or am I missing something?

Nov 20, 2012, 4:28pm Top

#196 Laura, at some point A Town Like Alice was published in the U.S. as The Legacy.

Nov 20, 2012, 9:36pm Top

>198 TadAD:: I'm not sure Tad. I just edited the list to make it a numbered list (it was unnumbered before). Does that make a difference?

>199 laytonwoman3rd:: thanks Linda!

Nov 21, 2012, 7:10am Top

>200 lauralkeet:: I tried both settings and it doesn't seem to make a difference. There are a couple of other little oddities as well...I guess the feature has a ways to go, yet, before becoming live.

This topic was continued by Tiffin's 5th for 2012.

Group: 75 Books Challenge for 2012

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