Wednesday, January 26, 2022

Calendar of Crime - January / The Nine Tailors

For my January book. I chose 4. - the New Year's category. The Nine Tailors by Dorothy L. Sayers begins with Lord Peter Wimsey and his manservant Bunter going off the wintry road into a ditch.They walk until they come to Fenchurch St. Paul.

It was past four o'clock and New Year's Eve; the snow that had fallen all day gave back a glimmering greyness to a sky like lead.

I bought a lovely used copy years ago. I have been meaning to read it in January, prompted to do so by Gladys Taber whose housemate Jill read it every year in that month. From Stillmeadow Sampler:

Jill, of course, reads Dorothy L. Sayers' The Nine Tailors again, although she almost knows it by heart now.

And from Stillmeadow and Sugarbridge, concerning which one book to take to a tropical island:

Jill would take Dorothy L. Sayers' The Nine Tailors and just reread it every few days.

I enjoyed the small parts of the book which focused on a dotty vicar and his long-suffering and much-loved wife. However, I simply cannot say that I liked the book. The main subject is campanology, which is bell-ringing. Sayers is clearly very knowledgeable on the subject, but this reader could not understand it at all! I felt like I was reading an unknown language. And the locale was so dismal and depressing that I couldn't stand being there, even if in the pages of a book! The villagers for the most part seemed as miserable as the locale.

I watched The Nine Tailors many years ago, and my memory of it is that I just didn't get what was going on. I felt sure that if I read the book, all would become clear. But, no. The book is well-thought of, and highly praised, but I  cannot add my voice to the throng.

Sunday, January 23, 2022

Quote du jour / Vita Sackville-West

 "The shortest day has passed, and whatever nastiness of weather we may look forward to in January and February, at least we notice that the days are getting longer.  Minute by minute they lengthen out.  It takes some weeks before we become aware of the change.  It is imperceptible even as the growth of a child, as you watch it day by day, until the moment comes when with a start of delighted surprise we realize that we can stay out of doors in a twilight lasting for another quarter of a precious hour."

Vita Sackville-West 
Here she is at Sissinghurst in 1960

This is so true! Every day it is lighter longer. Tom keeps a weather journal, and says we are gaining about two minutes of daylight per day. The night doesn't come boom! now. There is a real twilight time. And as of January 19 at 9:39 pm, one third of winter is past.

Thursday, January 13, 2022

Dean Street Press - free Kindle books

 I have mentioned the wonderful Dean Street Press before, but I don't think I told you that they offer a "free Kindle e-book of the week". Isn't that the most marvelous thing!

You may go here to see what is offered each week. I am delighted to have just gotten the 2016 biography of Noel Coward!

Addendum: I read about 120 pages, and while it was pleasant enough, I must say I got a little bored and quit.

Wednesday, January 12, 2022

As Time Goes By

 I saw on instagram that the first episode of As Time Goes By premiered on January 12, 1992. 30 years!! I can hardly believe it. My children turned 10 and 7 that year. 

I decided I would start watching it all over again beginning tonight. I own the boxed set, and have watched many times. I have a note that the last time was 2017. 

Long time readers will remember Mrs Bale making many appearances, and I am thinking she might again this year. She has her own letter topic on the sidebar, with 80 entries!

Sunday, January 9, 2022

Today's poem by Susan Moorhead

Back in 2016, I posted two poems by Susan Moorhead, a woman I "met" via blogging. She no longer writes her blog but it is still up so you may visit here. I have remained in touch with her via instagram. This poem is from her 2021 book.

                                                                      Common Wonders

In a dark time, when I became lost, the feelings
for everyone I had loved and for everything that once
held meaning left. Light of any kind was missing
down at the bottom amid the skeleton fish and nameless
things. I stayed lost until some lift of grace willed me 
back. When I returned, it was the smallest of things

that held my hand. The play of colors in a quilt, flavor
of a neighbor's offering of soup and bread. Green outside
the windows. The first thrashing thunderstorm, lightning
brash in the sky. The quilt wrapped around me. I felt
the rhythm of the hours, clockwork steady, as I stumbled

back from grief where time does not exist. People want
to find a lesson in everything, but what is the takeaway
of sorrow? I could say it was the resilience of my heart,
the will to rise that carried me, but no. It was the small
wonders revealed, moment after moment. Every bird flying,

each slowly whirling cloud, the scatters of light spilling
through tree branches, the hush in the yard as evening fell.
Noticing these small graces allowed the terrible rift in me
to mend. One evening, reading to my child, I heard tenderness
in my voice replace the rote dutiful tone that grief had
assigned me. I felt the ache of love return, common, wonderful.

Sunday, January 2, 2022

2022 Book Facts

January - 7

by women 6
by men 1

print - 2
Kindle - 5

years - 
1930s - 2
1950s - 1
1960s - 1
1970s - 1
2000-2009 1
2010-2019 - 1

genres - 
fiction - 3
nonfiction - 1
mystery - 3

Tom's 2022 Reads

January - 3

1. Reykjavik Nights - a prequel to the Erlendur series
by Arnaldur Indridason
translated from the Icelandic by Victoria Crabb
mystery 2012
finished 1/9/22

2. WBCN and the American Revolution
How a Radio Station Defined Politics, Counterculture, and Rock and Roll
by Bill Lichtenstein
nonfiction 2021
finished 1/18/22

3. The Long Haul
by Finn Murphy
nonfiction 2017
finished 1/29/22

March - 1

4. The Smoke Hunter
by Jacquelyn Bensob
fiction 2016
finished 3/29/22

May -1

5. The Cold Dish - book 1 in the Longmire series
by Craig Johnson
mystery 2005
finished 5/4/22

August - 1

6. Have His Carcase - book 8 in the Peter Wimsey series
by Dorothy L. Sayers
mystery 1932
finished 8/18/22

September - 1

7. Dixie Lullaby
A Story of Music, Race, and New Beginnings in a New South
by Mark Kemp
nonfiction 2004
finished 9/28/22

Books Read in 2022

 January - 7

1. The Woods in Winter
by Stella Gibbons
fiction 1970
finished 1/2/22

2. The Crime at the 'Noah's Ark'
by Molly Thynne
mystery 1931
finished 1/15/22

3. The House on the Cliff
by D.E. Stevenson
fiction 1966
finished 1/21/22

4. The Nine Tailors - book 11 in the Lord Peter Wimsey series 
by Dorothy Leigh Sayers
mystery 1934
finished 1/24/22

5. I Still Dream About You
by Fannie Flagg
fiction 2010
library book
finished 1/26/22

6. The Tender Bar
by J.R. Moehringer
nonfiction 2005
finished 1/30/22

7. 4.50 From Paddington - book 7 in the Miss Marple series
by Agatha Christie
mystery 1957
finished 1/31/22

February - 4*

8, Displacement
by Kiku Hughes
graphic novel 2020
finished 2/8/22

9. The Murder on the Enriqueta
by Molly Thynne
mystery 1929
finished 2/9/22

10. Dead in the Morning - book 1 in Patrick Grant series
by Margaret Yorke
mystery 1970
finished 2/13/22

11. The Draycott Murder Mystery*
by Molly Thynne
mystery 1928
read in 2021 after May 19, but didn't write it down, so am
counting it here

March - 5

12. The Cape Cod Mystery - book 1 in the Asey Mayo series
by Phoebe Atwood Taylor
mystery 1931
finished 3/3/2022

13. Somebody I used to know
by Wendy Mitchell
nonfiction 2018
finished 3/3/22

14. Beginning with a Bash - book 1 in the Leonidas Witherall series 
by Alice Tilton (a pen name for this series of Phoebe Atwood Taylor)
mystery 1937
finished 3/15/22

15. What I wish people knew about dementia
by Wendy Mitchell
nonfiction 2022
finished 3/19/22

16. Heads You Lose - book 1 in the Inspector Cockrill series
by Christianna Brand
mystery 1941
finished 3/24/22

April - 4

17. Provence,1970
M.F.K. Fisher,
Julia Child,
James Beard,
and The Reinvention of American Taste
by Luke Barr
nonfiction 2013
finished 4/8/22

18. The Unexpected Mrs. Pollifax - book 1 in the Mrs. Pollifax series
by Dorothy Gilman
mystery 1966
finished 4/10/22

19. Susan Settles Down
by Molly Clavering (as B. Mollett)
fiction 1936
finished 4/18/22

20. Miracles on Maple Hill
by Virginia Sorenson
children's fiction 1956
finished 4/22/22

May - 2

21. Break from Nuala - book 10 in the Inspector De Silva series
by Harriet Steel
mystery 2022
finished 5/2/22

22. France Is A Feast
The Photographic Journey of Paul And Julia Child
by Alex Prud'Homme and Katie Pratt
nonfiction 2017
finished 5/16/22

June - 4

23. A Bird in the Hand - book 1 in the George and Molly Palmer-Jones series
by Ann Cleeves
mystery 1986
finished 6/3/22

24. Pastoral
by Nevil Shute
fiction 1944
finished 6/7/22

25. Lord James Harrington and the New Year's Eve Mystery - book 11 in the Lord James Harrington
series by Lynn Florkiewicz
mystery 2021
finished 6/15/22

26. French Braid
by Anne Tyler
fiction 2022
library book
finished 6/16/22

July - 6

27. The Winter Mystery - book 1 in the Lord James Harrington series 
by Lynn Florkiewicz
mystery 2013
finished 7/1/22

28. The Joy and Light Bus Company - book 22 in the No 1 Ladies' Detective agency series
by Alexander McCall Smith
mystery 2021
library book
finished 7/13/22

29. The Children of Green Knowe - book 1 in the Green Knowe series
by Lucy M. Boston
children's fiction 1954
ILL library book
finished 7/16/22

30. The Adventurous Chef: Alexis Soyer
by Ann Arnold
children's picture book 2002
finished 7/16/22

31. The Way to Sattin Shore
by Philippa Pearce
children's fiction 1983
finished 7/20/22

32. A Sunlit Weapon - book 17 in the Maisie Dobbs series
by Jacqueline Winspear
mystery 2022
library book
finished 7/22/22

August - 4

33. Cross of Snow
A Life of Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
by Nicholas Basbanes
nonfiction 2020
finished 8/5/22

34. The Arrivals
by Meg Mitchell Moore
fiction 2011
finished 9/7/22

35. The Penguin Pool Murder - book 1 in the Hildegard Withers series
by Stuart Palmer
mystery 1931
finished 8/21/22

36. Murder on the Blackboard - book 3 in the Hildegard Withers series
by Stuart Palmer
mystery 1932
finished 8/29/22

September - 

37. Murder on Wheels - book 2 in the Hildegard Withers series
by Stuart Palmer
mystery 1932
finished 9/8/22

38. My Family and Other Animals
by Gerald Durrell
nonfiction 1956
finished 9/15/22

39. The Puzzle of the Pepper Tree - book 4 in the Hildegard Withers series
by Stuart Palmer
mystery 1933
finished 9/18/22

40. The Milliner's Hat Mystery - book 7 in the Inspector Richardson series
by Basil Thomson
mystery 1937
finished 9/26/22