Sunday, January 17, 2021

Quote du jour - Goodnight Sweetheart

 I've just started watching my DVDs of Goodnight Sweetheart - third time I will have seen it, I think. 

A woman in 1940 lights up a cigarette. A man who has time-traveled from the 1990s says it is "very bad for your health." 

She says, "Everyone knows they're good for your nerves. And there is no point worrying about a cough carrying you off when a bomb could land on you any second."

Saturday, January 16, 2021

2021 Book Facts

 Just a collecting post.

2021 Book Facts

January - 

Friday, January 15, 2021

It was a year ago today...

...that we picked up the kittens. 

And you can see them now in the blog header! We are so thankful for Gemma and Maisy!

Wednesday, January 13, 2021

The Reading Room on instagram


If you are on instagram, you might be interested in this reading group! To find her, just type into the search 


I've read that one of the books is The Boy, The Mole, The Fox and The Horse by Charles Mackesy. 

Sunday, January 10, 2021

2020 Book Facts

 2020 was my year of discovery! I discovered several new writers, and raced through their work.

Harriette Ashbrook. Who has heard of her? Yeah, I thought not. Well, she writes a terrific series starring the younger brother of the Manhattan District Attorney. As is the case with so many fictional second sons, this man lives a very different life from his successful sibling. Spike Tracy is a bon vivant, a boulevardier as Bertie Wooster is. He is also a brilliant detective, who sometimes sits unnoticed while noticing everything and everyone. I really like him. She wrote seven books starring Spike and I loved each one. She has another series as Susannah Shane with Christopher Saxe as the detective, but just one of the books is available. She lived to be only 47, and it is very hard to find much information about her. I did find a blog piece here

E.C.R Lorac, whose real name was Edith Caroline Rivett, is much more famous, yet was unknown to me. I began reading her work last year, and am still going strong. Not all is available, but I read what I can. You may read more about her here

A more modern writer I discovered only to find out she had died in April 2020 is Sheila Connolly. It made me so sad for her, and for her myriad readers. There is a very nice tribute here, in which the series I read, one right after the other, is featured.

I only have two posts about the 1920s here and here, but I've had quite a great year reading. I read seven books published then, and one about Hadley Richardson. You will read in the first link that we had planned to visit her grave in Tamworth, New Hampshire but that went the way of so many things in the year of the virus. It will be one of the first outings when this thing finally ends! I've also kept on a special shelf all the books I have that were published in or are about the decade and hope to continue each year reading more. 

I hardly ever write about one book that was my favorite or the best, but for 2020 it is easy. Electric Eden by Rob Young. I have owned this book for a very long time, and decided I would read it with my breakfast every day instead of a magazine, and then I began reading it other times of the day as well, and then there were times I couldn't put it down, though it took me two months and twelve days to read! And I bought four books that were referenced: News From Nowhere by William Morris, A Shropshire Lad by A.E. Houseman, The Celtic Twilight by W.B. Yeats, and The Owl Service by Alan Garner. I also bought a vinyl version of an album I had bought on iTunes years ago, Vashti Bunyan's Diamond Day. There was much stopping and looking up all kinds of music and musicians. You Tube was a tremendous place to find most everything. I felt like I was in college again, really studying and really learning. 

I loved reading some James Herriot books, some of which I had read a long time ago. And Galsworthy's Forsyte Saga was so excellent. I can't praise those books enough.

And I am delighted that I read 17 print books this year. 

I read a few books published in 2020. The 2020s have begun! 

Without further ado, as they say, here are my stats for the past year. And, note to self - this year do these stats each month instead of tallying at the end of a year.

In 2020, I read 70 books. 

3 Children's fiction

11 Fiction

2 Graphic nonfiction

41 Mystery

13 Nonfiction

53 Kindle 

17 Print 

22 by men

48 by women

By the years:

1 - 1900-1909

7 - 1920s

6 - 1930s

5 - 1940s

4 - 1950s

3 - 1970s

4 - 1980s

4 - 1990s

3 - 2000-2009

26 - 2010-2019

7 - 2020s

I'm not bothering to count rereads or library books anymore. I hardly read any of the latter, and the rereads are so few that it doesn't matter to me how many there are.

Tom's 2021 Reads

 Only a collecting post

Saturday, January 2, 2021

Books Read in 2021


1. The Purple Onion Mystery (aka Murder on Friday) - book 7, and last, in the Spike Tracy series 

by Harriette Ashbrook

mystery 1941


finished 1/2/21

2. The Theft of the Iron Dogs aka Murderer's Mistake - book 28 in the Robert Macdonald series

by E.C.R Lorac

mystery 1946


finished 1/10/21

3. The Railway Children

by Edith Nesbitt

children's fiction serialized in The London Magazine 1905, published as a book in 1906


finished 1/14/21

4. The Owl Service

by Alan Garner

children's fiction 1967


finished 1/16/21

Friday, January 1, 2021

Quote du jour/John Lennon

 "... happy new year. Let's hope it's a good one, without any fear."

John Lennon (1940-1980)