Ooof. It’s been a struggle keeping my psychological head above water for the past few weeks. I finished hardly any books in November (the same was true in October). In December I chose some shorter or familiar books, and so was able to complete a total of five. What’s not included here is the selection of poems – Mary Oliver and Wendell Berry – that also helped get me through.
I have no photos to include here because my computer tends to crash every time I open my photos library. I only have 49,608 photos.
The American handed Leamas another cup of coffee and said, “Why don’t you go back and sleep? We can ring you if he shows up.”
Leamas said nothing, just stared through the window of the checkpoint, along the empty street.
Book 2 – did not finish this one
124 was spiteful. Full of a baby’s venom.
The party is his mother’s idea. Bart’s birthday is October 31, which is one of the three worst birthdays a person can have, along with Christmas and September 11.
Sydney struck Phryne Fisher, quite literally, in the face.
The hottest day of the summer so far was drawing to a close and a drowsy silence lay over the large, square houses of Privet Drive.
We slept in what had once been the gymnasium.
“Ada! Get back from that window!” Mam’s voice, shouting. Mam’s arm, grabbing mine, yanking me so I toppled off my chair and fell hard to the floor.
“I regret exceedingly —” said M. Hercule Poirot. He was interrupted. Not rudely interrupted. The interruption was suave, dexterous, persuasive rather than contradictory.
The titles and authors revealed:
The Spy Who Came in from the Cold: A George Smiley Novel, by John le Carré © 1963.
Read for book club. I found it terribly depressing. How could a book that takes place mostly in East Germany be anything else? The interesting thing, though, is that it was written just two years after the Berlin Wall went up. The Wall is an integral part of the plot.
Book 2 – did not finish this one
Beloved, by Toni Morrison © 1987.
This book began in such a fascinating way – as a ghost story, and a house with a personality. But on the advice of book club, I abandoned reading it. The writing is great. Extraordinary, in fact. Perhaps I will be able to take up this book again at a later time.
Winter Solstice by Elin Hilderbrand. © 2017
For book club; I led the discussion, mostly because I felt unequal to the task of volunteering to lead the discussion for our January book, Great Expectations. Ms. Hilderbrand is touted as the Queen of the Summer Novel. While this novel takes place during the winter, it seems to have the qualities (mostly not positive ones, in my opinion), of a good beach read. In our defense, we picked this book because we wanted a light read.
Death Before Wicket, by Kerry Greenwood. © 2008 (Phryne Fisher Mysteries Book 10).
I did not know that this would involve so much discussion of cricket (the sport). Also includes racy scenes, kidnapping, and tarot card readings. All of this takes place at a university. The "Sydney" in the quote of the first lines is not a person, but the city in Australia.
Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, by J.K. Rowling, Mary GrandPré. © 2003.
My favorite of the Harry Potter series. Ah, the familiar characters, and the known plot were a solace. Harry’s detentions with Professor Umbridge were suitably evil. The Room of Requirement is the best idea ever.
The Handmaid’s Tale, by Margaret Atwood. © 1985.
I first read this shortly after it was published. The only reason I re-read it now is because I think I might want to read the recently-published sequel. The writing is excellent. The society described is more plausible today than it seemed to me in 1985.
The War that Saved My Life by Kimberly Brubaker Bradley. © 2015.
Children’s lit – takes place in Britain in WWII. Newbery Honor Book. A good story.
The Adventure of the Christmas Pudding, by Agatha Christie. A Hercule Poirot mystery. © 1960.
A very short, rather predictable story, but five chapters of Hercule Poirot spending Christmas holiday in Britain was just the ticket for recent days.
For my picks of my favorite reads during 2019, click here.