Monday, March 9, 2015

February Reading

5. Bee-bim Bop 
by Linda Sue Park
illustrated by Ho Baek Lee
children's book 2005
finished 2/2/15

I wrote about this here.

6. The Bachelors of Broken Hill - book 14 in the Inspector Napoleon Bonaparte series
by Arthur Upfield
mystery 1950
finished 2/3/15

The Widows of Broome (January Reading) and The Bachelors of Broken Hill are a little set. They differ from the preceding books and are alike to one another. They both involve deeply disturbing psychological cases for Bony to solve. We learn of some very weird people along the way. They are much more like modern mysteries which, to my mind, sometimes offer a few too many details that I don’t need swimming around in my mind. But still both are excellent chapters in the Bony books.

7. The Clue of the New Shoe - book 15 in the Inspector Napoleon Bonaparte series
by Arthur Upfield
mystery 1951
finished 2/9/15

The Clue of the New Shoe brought Bony out of the town into a more rural, less populated environment. This time he is along the sea investigating a body found buried in a lighthouse wall. Australia is so varied in landscape, and each book shows the reader something new. I really wish I had the time to write a single book report on each book. 

8. Belle Prater's Boy - book 1 in the Belle Prater series
by Ruth White
young adult fiction 1996
finished 2/13/15

9. The Search for Belle Prater - book 2 in the Belle Prater series
by Ruth White
young adult fiction 2005
finished 2/14/15

I don't know how I missed these two books. Exceptional writing and stories. They are set in 1950s Virginia. There is a wonderful sense of family love, and a good sense of society in those days.

10. Howards End is on the Landing 
by Susan Hill
nonfiction 2009
finished 2/14/15

I wrote about this here.

11. Somewhere Safe with Somebody Good - book 10 in the Mitford series
by Jan Karon
fiction 2014
finished 2/18/15

I am so very happy Jan Karon is going on with this series. It was such a treat to catch up with the Mitford folks. All my old friends were there at different stages and situations of their lives. The author has said there’s another one coming along. She also said that Father Tim will be alive as long as she is writing. Very reassuring for this reader. I will read this series as long as the books are written. These are real people with real troubles, and with real joys.

12. Cocaine Blues - book 1 in the Phryne Fisher series
by Kerry Greenwood
mystery 1989
finished 2/22/15

I’ve been reading about this series on blogs for a long time. I’ve watched a few of the televised programs called Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries, which are on Netflix Instant. So finally I read the first in the series, and I liked it so much that I’ve already bought the second one. Phryne has her own web page here so you may read all about her. I really liked the characters in the Melbourne Australia of the 1920s. You know about my new found fascination with Australia from reading the Napoleon Bonaparte series by Arthur Upfield, and this is a great addition to my ‘education’ on this topic.

13. The Vanishing Houseboat - book 2 in the Penny Parker series
by Mildred A. Wirt
middle grade mystery 1939
finished 2/24/15

I’m surprised at how much I enjoy these books for young teens back in the 1930s. They are exceedingly well-written with good use of grammar and language. The plots are intriguing, and the characters not at all one-dimensional. I wrote a little bit about the other two I’ve read here. As I said then, I am so impressed with the trust her father puts in her - he expects her to do the right thing, and she does. And when something unexpected happens, he understands. It is very good parent/child relationship. Much kindness and generosity is shown. Penny is a good role model.


  1. I'm so glad that you're enjoying these various series that you've found. Such fun to be pleased with the books you've read. I have not watched the Phyrne Fisher series, but have it in my Netflix queue. I'm told by the daughter that I would like them. ;-)

  2. Hi Nan,
    I've never heard of the Ruth White books but will look for them as I love the YA books of the 50s. It must be so much fun for you to be reading children's literature, this time thinking about books you'll be reading your grandchildren as they grow up.

    I did love the latest Karon book, so glad that she took Tim and Cynthia back to Mitford. And I have my own list begun from Howard's End is on the Landing, and feel a little better that I'm not the only one not having finished Portrait of a Lady, yet. Bought the two volumes of it before Christmas, read a chapter or two every week or so, lay it aside and don't know why as it's absolutely gorgeous writing. Maybe because the darn book weighs so much and my hands get tired of holding it?

    1. The Belle Prater books weren't written in the 50s but are about life then. Really, really excellent. I don't plan to ever read PoaL!

  3. Oh, you remind me that it's been a couple of years (possibly more) since I read Howards End is on the Landing so I must reread it this year for the third time. And... oh joy!.. because I'm reading more slowly this year we are once again on a par. I too had read 13 books by the end of February. All is well with the world. :-)

  4. Now that I've discovered Susan Hill's mysteries, I am anxious to get a copy of Howard's End on the Landing. And, although I didn't love the later books in the Mitford series, I'm tempted to revisit Fr. Tim and Cynthia and see how everyone is doing. :)

    Love the new pictures of your kiddos!

  5. The Belle Prater books, Jan Karon and The Vanishing Houseboat all look like books I'd enjoy very much, too. I have done a quick Amazon search for them but not (yet) downloaded or ordered any. While searching, though, a recommendation popped up which I think could be something for you as well: "Swallowdale" by Arthur Ransome. It is listed as a "Vintage Childrens Classic".

  6. Thanks for all these mini-reviews.

    I'm reading a good mystery now - The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie - about an 11 year old girl who's a chemistry genius and is determined to solve a murder before the local police does (they mystery is set in England not long after World War II). It's humorous and enjoyable and sometimes poignant (the dynamics between the girl and her father especially).

  7. Several good recommendations in these, especially the Belle Prater books since I grew up in 1950s Virginia and the Kerry Greenwood series. Penny Parker looks like something I would have loved as a kid. I just finished Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children, but haven't gotten the sequel yet. I think this book might be something my nephew would enjoy.

  8. I'm so sorry that I haven't been by to see what you've been up to!! Love the grandchildren....congrats! I'm sure they bring so much joy to your lives!!! My reading has slooooowed way down but I do enjoy seeing the books that you've been spending time with!!


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