Sunday, May 9, 2021

Tuesday, April 27, 2021

Quote du jour/Christopher Bush

 I'm reading yet another old mystery by someone I had never heard of before, The Plumley Inheritance by Christopher Bush. I came upon this quote and thought how apt for the past year. 

"The vicar had retired at his usual hour. The day had told on him very much, and at his age it is the mental stress that tells."

I can see the "mental stress" very clearly on my own face. 

Wednesday, April 21, 2021

Grammy and Nana award winner! The Adults Are Talking - The Strokes LIVE NYE

This year I did something I hadn't done since I was a kid. I bought an album called The New Abnormal by The Strokes based on my love of one song, "The Adults Are Talking"! Every time it was on the radio, I stopped in my tracks, and thought that I just had to own it. Happily, I love every single song on the record. But this one, oh, is a perfect, perfect song to me. I love every note. The album has not left the turntable for weeks. When I heard it had won the Grammy award for Best Rock Album, I was so happy. The lyrics are a bit hard to understand, but honestly, I don't even care that much. It is that music and voice and instruments that I am wild about.


Wednesday, March 31, 2021

March books; and the Second World War

 15. The Black Cat Murders - book 2 in the Heathcliff Lennox series
by Karen Baugh Menuhin
mystery 2019
finished 3/5/21

16. The Splendid and the Vile
by Erik Larson
nonfiction 2020
finished 3/15/21

17. The Curse of Braeburn Castle - book 3 in the Heathcliff Lennox series
by Karen Baugh Menuhin
mystery 2019
finished 3/19/21

18. Inked Out - book 2 in the Snug Harbor series
by Karen MacInerney
mystery 2021
finished 3/23/21

Still loving the Menuhin books. I'm going to wait a bit to continue, and read some I already own on the Kindle, but I'll go back. Pure delight.

I enjoy two of Karen MacInerney's mystery series - The Gray Whale Inn, and this new one, Snug Harbor which is a bit of a spin-off. These are all books that ease my mind and soul. Nothing terrible happens to the main characters, there are mysteries, the settings are lovely, and always there are recipes. 

And now I come to one of the best books I've ever read, The Splendid and the Vile:A Saga of Churchill, Family, and Defiance During the Blitz. It is simply perfect. I've always said Seabiscuit by Laura Hillenbrand is the best book I've ever read, and now this new one by Erik Larson comes in second. He has taken one year, May 1940 through May 1941, and brought it to life. I learned a lot about both the English and the Germans during that time. By choosing to cover only a year, so very much could be covered about the people and life during that time. 
I also watched two television series on DVD during my time of reading. One is Goodnight Sweetheart about a man who time travels back and forth between the 1990s and the 1940s. I offered a quote du jour from it in January. It is one of my favorite, favorite television shows. 

Back in the early days of PBS, when we were kids in our early twenties, Tom and I watched an English television series called A Family At War (1970-1972). We were absolutely riveted for 52 episodes. I gave the DVD set to Tom when he retired. He hasn't watched yet, but I did this winter into spring (finishing last evening), and found it to be just as wonderful as I remembered. It deals with an extended family from 1938-1945. We went to England in 1971, and I actually looked up the phone number of one of the actresses I liked a lot in the show, Lesley Nunnerley. I've always regretted that I didn't call her and talk to her about what a great performance she gave! 

To continue with my World War II reading and television experience, I am now reading Citizens of London:The Americans Who Stood with Britain in Its Darkest, Finest Hour which a friend recommended years ago. And I am going to begin this evening watching four movies, made from 1942-1945, which I bought as a set called David Lean directs Noël Coward

Monday, March 29, 2021

Today's picture - Old bookmarks

Do you remember the early days of Amazon when they included bookmarks in the book orders? I still have two of them. I have a couple little drawers of special bookmarks and these are among them.

Thursday, March 11, 2021

March 2020

I had to look it up, but our presidential primary was on Tuesday, February 11, 2020. I remember being bowled over when I saw a few people at the voting place with gloves on. I don't think there were masks then. I couldn't believe people were so concerned about a "flu". I didn't think much about it again until March 12. We had been told that an old friend of ours was in hospice. We hadn't seen her for years. We drove over to the place, and were met at the door by someone saying we could not come in. She told us "our president" gave a speech last night that said nursing homes shouldn't let anyone in. Having not heard the speech, we were surprised. She said she would let us know when we could visit our friend, but that call never came. She died on the 29th. 

The next day, Friday the 13th, I had a haircut appointment. The woman and I talked about how exciting it was that the local high school boys were in the state playoff that night. By late afternoon it was announced that the game was cancelled. That's when I knew something much more serious was going on. All the schools closed. 

And thus began the year like no other.

Tuesday, March 9, 2021

February books

I began three new mystery series this month!

10. A Shot in the Dark - book 1 in the Mydworth mysteries
by Matthew Costello (with Neil Richards)
mystery 2019
finished 2/6/21

This is a new series set in the late 1920s. I completely enjoyed this story of an aristocratic Englishman, Sir Harry Mortimer and his Bronx-born wife, Kat. They have both been active in government service, and are now home in England. Happily for them, there are enough murders to keep them from getting bored. I like the main characters and I liked this story. I will read more and more of this series.

11. A Pint of Murder - book 1 in the Madoc and Janet Rhys series
by Alisa Craig 
mystery 1980
finished 2/20/21 

This was my first book by Charlotte MacLeod writing as Alisa Craig. It was a very sweet kind of book (if you don't mind a few murders!)in which the reader is introduced to Madoc Rhys, a royal Canadian mountie, and Janet Wadman. I enjoyed it and plan to read the other four books in the series. I've read a very few of MacLeod's books; one in the Peter Shandy series and one in the Kelling/Bittersohn series. I do like her, and am happy to be back in her company. 

12. The Old Woman Who Named Things
by Cynthia Rylant
illustrated by Kathryn Brown
children's picture book 1996
finished 2/22/21

I recently bought this book. I wrote about a library copy here on the blog. It was written 20 days before Margaret was rushed to the hospital. I wasn't such an old lady then as I feel like now. Hoping when the virus lessens, I will kind of find myself again. 

If you go back to read it, and read the comments, you'll see the first one was from Cait O'Connor. Her blog is still up, and the last entry is just so sad. I didn't leave a note, and I'm sorry about that. 

13. A Little Night Murder - book 2 in the Mydworth mysteries
by Matthew Costello (with Neil Richards)
mystery 2019
finished 2/24/21

I liked this one just as much as the first! 

14. Murder at Melrose Court - book 1 in the Heathcliff Lennox series
by Karen Baugh Menuhin
mystery 2018

finished 2/27/21 

I so enjoyed this book that I've since read the second, and am now on the third. If the author's name sounds familiar, her husband is the son of the late Yehudi Menuhin. She has a website here, and you can sign up for her reader's club which of course I did. In the first email, there is a link to get a short story about the main character, Heathcliff Lennox. He hates his first name. He fought in the First World War, and this is another series set in the 1920s. He has a dog, and soon has a cat as well both of whom he loves. He is quite eccentric, a loner, but pleasant enough to other people. He is a different character than I've read before. 

This month I don't have a favorite. I completely enjoyed every book. And I am still reading The Splendid and The Vile. Great, great book. We just gave a copy to a friend for his birthday.