Sunday, September 7, 2014

April Reading

Hmm, I wonder why I am just now getting to post about the books I read in April.  Could it be that on May 6 our grandson, Campbell Walker was born, and also that day Margaret went back to work and we began taking care of Hazel Nina three, and then four days a week?! I'm going to try and post as often as I can, and get these monthly book notes up to date. Then I plan to visit my blogging friends, and catch up with all your lives. 

These book notes are not going to be anything brilliant, believe me! 



17. Miracles on Maple Hill
by Virginia Sorenson
illustrated by Beth and Joe Krush
middle grade fiction 1956
library book
finished 4/6/14

I wrote about this in a separate post here









18. The Whistling Season
by Ivan Doig
fiction 2006
library book
Kindle
finished 4/8/14

I tend to not read literature about the western US in the early days. I’ve just never had much interest in cowboys and bars and brawls. But I decided to give this a try, and I was thrilled from the first pages. I loved this book. It isn’t about any of those three things I mentioned. It is about a very rural place in Montana during the time before the first World War.  A man’s wife has died and he is just barely holding things together, trying to raise his three boys. It is told by one of the sons, about fifty years later. The reader learns about life in those days, and particularly the school system. I hung on every word. The language is poetic, the story fresh, and the characters so familiar and yet unusual at the same time. I’ve never read anything like it.  




19. Weeds Find a Way
Words by Cindy Jenson-Elliott
Pictures by Carolyn Fisher
children's book 2014
finished 4/10/14

I wrote about this here.








20. Leave It To Psmith
by PG Wodehouse
fiction 1923
Kindle
finished 4/21/14

I’ve read most (all?) the Jeeves & Wooster stories, and some of the Blandings stories but I hadn’t read any Psmith. The ‘P’ is an affectation added to make him stand out from the other plain Smiths in the world. It is, of course, silent, but in my brain I always call him ‘P - smith.’ I found this a bit more of a serious, straightforward sort of tale (well, as serious as PGW can get!), and really enjoyed it. It is the last of the four Psmith books. I actually chose it because it is part of the Blandings series, and I'm trying to read them all in order. I've said it before - one really could spend one's reading life just reading Mr. Wodehouse. If I had a second lifetime I might do just that. Even his lesser works are better than most writers' 'great' books. Telling the plot to this book, or any Wodehouse, would take a week, so suffice it to say, I loved every minute of the time I spent within the pages of Leave It To Psmith.




21. Nest
by Jorey Hurley
children's book 2014
finished 4/21/14

I wrote about this wonderful book here.










22. Blandings Castle and Elsewhere
by PG Wodehouse
short stories 1935
Kindle

finished 4/29/14

As the title implies, some of these stories are set at Blandings, and others are not. The Blandings tales come chronologically between Leave It To Psmith and Summer Lightening. There are a few Mulliner tales, and one standalone about a favorite character, Bobbie Wickham. I love Lord Emsworth of Blandings, and wish Wodehouse had written even more about him. He is a perfectly drawn English eccentric. I have a book of the Mulliner stories called The World of Mr. Mulliner, and though I've read a few of them, I keep thinking I'll do as PGW himself suggests in the preface:
A word of warning. As regards the medium dose for an adult, I would recommend, as I did in my Preface to "The World Of Jeeves," not more than two or perhaps three stories a day, taken at breakfast or before retiring. Don't try to read the whole book straight through just so as to say you've done it. Nervous people and invalids of course be guided by their doctor's advice.
I've got the book out, and intend to do as PGW says!

11 comments:

  1. I understand how the time flies and how you are just now posting about April. I've spent the past few weekends writing reviews (and I use that term loosely!) for books I read several months ago. I've been away from my blog for over a month now, but I think I'm ready to return. I've missed posting, but I've also enjoyed my free weekends to sit and relax on the porch or deck. I'm sure you've been having a wonderful time taking care of Hazel Nina. How wonderful to have her (and her parents) living so close!

    I've been meaning to read that book by Ivan Doig. As I recall, my mom really enjoyed it, too. I have a few of his earlier works in my stacks, but none have called out to me. Time to give him a try!

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    1. And replying to your note on November 25! It is wonderful having them 5 minutes away! I am not surprised your mum liked it. She and I are so alike in reading tastes!

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  2. A very interesting mix of reading in April! "The Whistling Season" sounds like something I'd enjoy, too, and of course you just have to love Wodehouse. I can't believe it is really decades since I last read any by him! I am sure I'll find plenty for my kindle on Amazon, which is where I shall be headed after my reading-round in blogland.

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  3. Nan, I love Wodehouse and, in fact, I'm about to embark on a couple of short stories/essays by him. Galahad of Blandings Castle is one of my favourite characters. I don't think any other author makes me laugh as much as PG does.

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    1. And I love Emsworth! Such a wonderful, wonderful writer. Thanks for telling me you like him!

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  4. I had a very brief time in my life where I was listening to audiobooks while commuting and that's when I heard Doig's The Whistling Season and I loved it. I loved the dynamics of the kids in the one-room schoolhouse. I now own the book and will have to re-read it from the page someday.

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    1. I also listened to audiobooks for a few years. Loved them but gave up with cds. I couldn't control where I was like I could with tapes.

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  5. I actually have wondered if you had time at all to read these days. Would certainly understand if you did not. (I knew you were reading children's books to Hazel and Campbell and think (hope) I commented how lovely that is. Following PG's advice seems like a great idea for now when you are babysitting -- a couple stories to get your day off to a smile (or end it). I had a friend once who was on a mission to collect (used) copies of all of Wodehouse's works ... of course back in the days before Kindle etc.

    You cannot go wrong reading Ivan Doig. One of my favorites.

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    1. Mostly at bedtime! I never did follow through with the Mulliner. Maybe someday!

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    2. Oh, and I'm not at all surprised you love Doig. You should email me with other ideas!

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