Sunday, November 23, 2014

June Reading

30. Murder by Mocha - book 10 in the Coffeehouse Mysteries series
by Cleo Coyle
mystery 2011
finished 6/6/14

As you know, I adore Cleo Coyle's Coffeehouse mysteries, and even though this one was not a particular favorite just because the plot didn't interest me that much, I still enjoyed catching up with the characters who inhabit this series. And it holds a special place in my heart because three years ago, I won this book (you may read about that here) and owning it set me on my adventures with Clare Cosi, et al.

Alice Alfonsi and Marc Cerasini who co-write these books, are two of the most generous of authors. They have sent me a few other books since this one.

31. The New House
by Lettice Cooper
fiction 1936
finished 6/16/14

I so liked this book. It is slow, quiet, pensive. People really thinking about their lives. It is about one family - some of whom are moving to a new house. I've not read anything like it before. It is my third favorite Persephone book, after The Fortnight in September, and Greenery Street. The bookmark and endpapers are
taken from 'Rope and Dandelions', a block-printed velvet designed and printed by Margaret Calkins James for her new house, 'Hornbeams' in Hampstead Garden Suburb, in 1936.
There are money problems. There are doubts about the course a life has taken, and the choices made. There is much interior monologue which is so my 'cuppa' when it comes to literature. I am someone who thinks a lot, and I enjoy reading about others who do the same.

32. Kaaterskill Falls
by Allegra Goodman
fiction 1998
fourth reading
finished 6/22/14

Back in the days when I used to rent audiotapes through the mail I listened to this book a few times read perfectly by Suzanne Toren. When I saw it at a local used bookstore, I bought my own copy. It never fades in my appreciation. Each time I read it I feel like this is the way a book should be. It is set in the mid-seventies, which now seems almost like ancient times. I live in a community where the Hasidim from New York City spend some of the summer and so was especially interested in this story of Orthodox summer people and the locals in upstate New York. I love this book beyond words. 

33. The Namesake
by Jhumpa Lahiri
fiction 2003
second reading
library book
finished 6/29/14

This is a wonderful book. I also loved the movie. As with The New House and Kaaterskill Falls, this is a quiet book. I enjoyed this second reading fully as much as the first. The language is beautiful, the story compelling, the characters real and interesting.


  1. I have often seen Kaaterskill Falls on the bookshelf at used books stores and the library and wondered if I would like it. You have convinced me to try it! I also have a copy of The Namesake on my own shelf and think I may pull it down now. I, too, love "quiet" books and as the holiday season rush is starting it seems just what I need.

    1. It is a fascinating glimpse into a community many know little about. So well-written. Just love it. And The Namesake is really something special, too. I'll be interested to know if you like them.

  2. The Namesake is a favorite of mine too.

  3. I remember KFalls and I don't always remember fiction! And I read coffeehouse mysteries b/c of your recommendation and enjoy that series. It tickles me that you and I lead such different kinds of lives ... And you are closer to my daughter in age and stage of life .. And yet our taste in books seems quite similar! I love that somehow! So I'll hunt for ,the New House and the other one ASAP!

    1. That's how I feel about it, too. She is a good, good writer. The Coffeehouse mysteries are fun. My daughter reads them as well, and finds them just pure entertainment. There's another woman I know through an old internet friend who is your about your age, and she and I like the same books, too. I think it is just what you like. Email me if you read them, and tell me what you think.

  4. Kaatterskill Falls is a treasure that you told me about. You read so many interesting and quite different books that I don't hear about elsewhere. I love your blog, Nan. Thank you.

    1. How dear that you remembered me recommending it. Yeah, I don't read many of the well-known ones, do I?! And you saying you loved my blog absolutely made my day. Really and truly. It means so much to me. Thank you.

  5. Kaaterskill Falls is on my shelves thanks to your recommendation many years ago. I hope to read it in 2015.

  6. Thank you for listing this month, Nan, as you reminded me of Elizabeth Goudge - and I promptly found and bought Smokey-House, the tale of some children, some dogs, a donkey and a village full of smugglers! I have not read every one of hers, but I re-read Little White Horse about every 10 years...... I feel I must now go on and read some others and it's all down to you!

    1. I've read only a few, and those were years ago. I'm happy to have reminded you about her work.


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