Oregonreader: Back for 2021

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Oregonreader: Back for 2021

Ene 2, 3:02pm

We've been through a rough year but I'm feeling optimistic about 2021 and very grateful for my LT friends. Happy reading to all of you!

Ene 2, 3:03pm

Here's to a year deserving that optimism, for all of us.

Ene 2, 3:15pm

Welcome back!

Ene 2, 3:33pm

and happy reading to you, Jan!

Ene 2, 5:52pm

Welcome back and happy reading!

Ene 2, 6:48pm

Happy reading in 2021, Jan!

Editado: Ene 2, 6:48pm

ETA: Sorry, accidently posted twice.

Ene 3, 12:17am

And keep up with my friends here, Jan. Have a great 2021.

Ene 7, 11:34am

Happy 2021, Jan!

Ene 8, 8:51pm

Happy New Year, Jan. I hope 2021 is a good year!

Editado: Ene 15, 2:16pm

I've waited so long to get back here that I have a list of people to thank for stopping by. Judy, Jim, Rhonda, Lori, Anita, Paul and Beth. Thank you all so much!

2020 was so bad that there was a little spill over into my new year start. A family close to me all developed Covid. They are recovered now but the husband had a rough time of it. I always follow social distancing and am masked so I did not get the virus but it was a worry.

But here's to a great new year. I hope and expect that when Biden takes over, there will be rapid change.

Hoping for a great new year to all my LT friends.

Ene 15, 6:33pm

I mostly stay in my own office as do all of us in the library. Students who come in don't seem to care about the mask and social distancing, and we are not allowed to enforce it. I stay in my office where it is safe. If someone comes to the door, I grab my mask and put it on. If I go outside my office, I put on the mask, even if I'm not expecting to encounter anyone. You just never know.

Ene 21, 2:15pm

Lori, I'm glad you have an office to retreat to! I've also noticed the young don't wear masks as they should. It must be that youthful belief in their own immortality.

I have been submerging myself in mysteries. There are so many authors that would be excellent writers in any genre. I started with Peter Robinson whose Alan Banks series drew me in.

1. Strange Affair
2. Watching the Dark
3. When the Music's Over
4. Children of the Revolution

Ene 21, 3:53pm

Some more mystery reading.

5. Sparkling Cyanide by Agatha Christie I actually found one of her books that I hadn't read. Probably because it isn't a Poirot or Marple mystery. But I think it is one of her better ones. Six people and an empty chair around a table where a murder had occurred a year before. Christie devotes a chapter to each person and gives a lot of details about their lives.

6. Blood Promise by Mark Prior Part of the Hugo Marsten series. Marsten is ex FBI and currently the head of security at the American Embassy in Paris. I love the settings in Paris, especially in Montmart, where my husband and I lived for a few months. Good plotting and interesting characters.

7. The Book Artist by Mark Prior Another good mystery involving the art world in Paris.

Ene 21, 4:04pm

>13 Oregonreader: I am re-reading the Alan Banks, Jan, as comfort reads. Trying not to read them all in a very short time, as I did the first time.

Ene 21, 10:35pm

Looks like you are off to a good start with all the mysteries. I've been reading quite a few too. I need to hit some other fiction genres soon though! I'm reading an ARC at the moment, but I think the one I'll pick up when I finish it is historical fiction.

Ene 22, 11:52am

I need to get back to the Mark Prior books, Jan. I really liked the first one, but I thought the second one was gory, so I put the series on pause. How are the subsequent ones?

Ene 22, 2:39pm

Hi Beth, It was The Crypt Thief that I was uncomfortable with, I don't remember the number, and didn't think I would read any more. But I tried the next one and it was good so I've read on. I really do enjoy them. Most mysteries, except the Cozy ones, have some gory descriptions, but it's the creepy villains that I can't handle. Thanks for stopping by.

Ene 22, 4:14pm

Some reading from January.

8. The Pull of the Stars by Emma Donoghue This is the first book of hers that I've read and I was really impressed. Set in Dublin during the 1918 influenza epidemic, three women are drawn together. A nurse working in the room for pregnant women with the virus, a doctor who is wanted by the British for IRA activities, and a young woman from a nearby orphan's center who comes to volunteer. Donoghue goes into great detail about how babies were delivered during that time.

9 and 10. Two more from Mark Pryor. The Sorbonne Affair and The Paris Librarian.

11. The Corpse at Crystal Palace by Carola Dunn Part of the Daisy Dalrymple series. Light but fun.

Ene 24, 2:21pm

Hi Jan! I love Emma Donaghue, and want to read Pull of the Stars; but not sure about the pandemic theme right now.

Ene 24, 11:19pm

Rhonda, Donaghue was new to me but I plan to read more of her books.

12. The Inland Sea by Sam Clark This was an ERC. The inland sea is a part of Lake Champlain. The body of a man who has disappeared 18 years before and is presumed dead is found, having recently died from a gunshot wound. The chief detective must not only find the killer but figure out where this man has been during the missing years. I enjoyed the book although the author included way too much detail, including maps, of the inland sea. I felt most readers really didn't need that much information. Much of the book is procedural, describing how the rural police team approached solving the crime. I found this interesting. It is well plotted. The ending moves quickly and is nicely resolved.

Ene 25, 12:47pm

Hi, Jan. Your review of The Inland Sea is interesting, but the touchstone points to a James Fennimore Cooper novel! Clark's book is in the catalog.

Ene 26, 8:33am

>21 Oregonreader: I often wish we had maps in books, but that one does sound interesting.

Ene 26, 10:46pm

>19 Oregonreader: Very topical too. I am surprised this one didn't do better in the Giller Prize.

Ene 26, 11:18pm

I'm not sure how I missed your thread until now, Jan, but I'm happy to add my star.

All your mysteries make me a little envious. I have a Deborah Crombie that I haven't read, and I love her!

Ene 27, 4:51pm

>22 ffortsa: Judy, I think I've gotten out of the habit of looking at Touchstones. I never even noticed!

>23 thornton37814: I like maps too, Lori. I think they are especially helpful with mysteries. You might like this one.

>24 PaulCranswick: Paul, It was very topical, touching on the pandemic and the war. Donoghue also mentions popular ideas that people held to ward off the flu which reminded me of our rumors of bleach and chloroquinican (sp?) to avoid Covid. I just got another of her books, The Sealed Letter from the library. I'm looking forward to that.

> 25. Peggy, I've been trying to broaden my reading a bit but I am a mystery lover. I just got the latest Crombie book A Bitter Feast from my daughter. She has read them all and said this is one of her favorites so I'm anxious to read it.

I've been working with my Cairn Terrier, Bobby, to get down the stairs. He lost his sight last summer with detached retinas in both eyes. He has adjusted well to moving around the house but he struggles with the stairs. I think it's more a question of confidence as he's developed a good system for going down safely. So I stand at the bottom and cheer him on!

Ene 28, 2:07pm

Thanks Jan. I think The Crypt Thief was the one that stopped me. I did enjoy the first one, and I loved the setting, so I will move on to # 3 in the series.

Editado: Ene 28, 11:56pm

I hope you like the next Hugo Marsten, Beth.

Here's one of the latest mysteries I've read.

13. Moonflower Murders by Anthony Horowitz I've been waiting awhile for this one. It was on a long hold list at the library. The roots of the murder in this one lay in his last novel, Magpie Murders. Although I had read it, I'm not sure a reader needs to because so much of it was explained. One of Horowitz's strengths is in writing interesting characters and fleshing them out. This was no exception. My biggest problem with the book was the inclusion of a novella which was supposed to hold the key to solving the crime. It didn't help me and was really a distraction. Horowitz attempted an amazing feat in working two other books into this one but I'm not sure it worked.

Ene 30, 1:37pm

14. The Sympathizer by Viet Thanh Nguyen I loved reading this book. I can understand why it won the Pulitzer. Through the eyes of a half-French, half-Vietnamese double agent, Nguyen looks at American culture from a different point of view and describes both the communists and western Vietnamese with sympathy for both. I was especially taken with the refugees resettled in California and their understanding of American life. The characters were very well drawn.

15. Hercule Poirot's Christmas by Agatha Christie I picked this up in December and just got around to reading it. This one has a special twist at the end I didn't see coming.

Ene 30, 5:57pm

16. A Bitter Feast by Deborah Crombie I've really enjoyed this series and always look forward to the next one. This one did not disappoint. I think it may be my favorite. DS Duncan Kincaid and his wife, DI Gemma James, are guests at a country house along with their children. Their relaxing time is cut short by a car accident and murder. Crombie populates the story with interesting people and I was drawn in to all their stories. Highly recommended.

17. The Sealed Letter by Emma Donohue This is based on a scandalous divorce case in London in 1864. Two old friends, Helen, married to a high Naval officer, and, Fido, spinster, a leader in the women's rights movement, meet after a seven year absence. Fido is drawn into Helen's affairs with disastrous results. Interesting psychology between the two.

Ene 31, 5:40pm

Wow, Jan, lots of good reading!

And I love the story about your dog and the stairs. So sweet.

Ene 31, 8:02pm

>30 Oregonreader: It's been a long time since she came out with A Bitter Feast. I keep hoping we'll see a title and release date for the next installment, but I've seen nothing.

Ene 31, 8:13pm

>19 Oregonreader: Jan, The Pull of the Stars is sitting on the tbr list for awhile. Your excelled review is pulling me to read the book SOON!

Feb 2, 2:31pm

>31 banjo123: Rhonda, Thanks for stopping by. I have been reading at a faster pace than usual. It's what keeps me going during the isolation. I've been a widow for 16 years so I'm somewhat used to being alone but not to this degree. Thank goodness for zoom!

>32 thornton37814: Lori, I didn't realize it has been out so long. My daughter is a big fan and I rely on her to pass them on to me. I can't wait for the next one.

>33 Whisper1: Linda, I think you would love this book. It deals with grim historical times but is also very uplifting and very well written.

Feb 3, 5:04pm

18. The Philosophical Detective by Bruce Hartman I hardly know where to start with this one. Nick is graduate student in Comparative Literature at Ipswich University near Harvard. He is asked to pick up a visiting professor from the airport. This turns out to be Jorge Luis Borges. Thus begins a year long relationship between the two as they attempt to solve several extraordinary murders. I can do no better than this quote, "they attempt the equally baffling conundrums of literature and philosophy, including Zeno's paradoxes, the mind/body problem, and the mysteries of destiny, personal identity and artistic creation." Borges refers to Zeno, Spinoza, De Quincy, Aristotle and others as though the reader is aware of their work. I think it does help if the reader has some familiarity with philosophy but it's still a puzzling book. I was puzzled by much of the book but actually really enjoyed it. It definitely gives reason for thought.

Feb 3, 5:41pm

>35 Oregonreader: Welp, that’s one for the ol’ wishlist!

Feb 3, 8:55pm

>35 Oregonreader: That sounds interesting.

I have The Sealed Letter and have been wondering about it. It's not one of Donoghue's that I hear about.

I love the Crombie series. I wonder when a new one is coming...

Feb 7, 3:56pm

>36 drneutron: Jim, I think the author intended this as a tribute to Borges and the book reflects his Magical Realism in solving crimes. A strange combination.

>37 BLBera: I'd have to say, Beth, that The Sealed Letter was not as good as Pull of the Stars. I found it hard to like the main characters. I'm now reading Akin and in my opinion, it's a better book. I look forward to reading more of hers.

Feb 16, 4:36pm

Between dealing with a snow and ice storm and trying to get a covid vaccine appointment, I've been very preoccupied. But I was successful with both and can now look at more pleasant tasks.

19. An Artist of the Floating World by Kazuo Ishiguro This book, while beautifully written, was a mystery to me. Set in postwar Japan, Ono is a very respected artist who is struggling to understand the new Japan. What puzzled me the most was that Ono feels great guilt for his behavior during the war because he felt his art was influential in supporting it. Yet, later his daughter tells him he was just an artist and had no effect on what was happening at that time. I think if I had more knowledge of postwar Japan, I might understand the politics of the time and how an artist could have played a role in it. This is a very interesting novel.

20. The Norths Meet Murder by Frances and Richard Lockridge I think I read about this series on the Mystery thread. I remembered a TV series, Mr. and Mrs. North, from the 50's. Yes, that's how old I am! This is the first of the series and reminded me of old movies. The very sophisticated husband and the ditzy yet charming wife. The smart talking detective and his thug of an assistant. But as I got into it, the detective became the main character and the plotting was very interesting with lots of characters and leads. I ended up enjoying it.

21. Akin by Emma Donoghue Noah Selvaggio is a widower and retired chemistry professor living in New York. He was born in Nice and he decides to return to France and the places he remembers. Just as he is preparing to leave, he is informed that he has a 10 year old nephew who is homeless and has no where else to go. The book describes their developing relationship in a wonderful way. I really enjoy Donoghue's writing.

Feb 18, 12:34pm

As I always expect, you've been doing a lot of good reading, Jan! I can't catch up, but you remind me of how much I enjoy D. Crombie, and I have two to read. Good news! I'll also confess that *Sealed Letter* is the only Donoghue that I've read, and I wasn't particularly impressed. I'll try again because I do have another one.
Thanks for the prod!
Have you been vaccinated? I was skimming to catch up and may have missed it! Hope so. Take care in any case.

Ayer, 3:24pm

A belated thanks for stopping by, Peggy. I have a lot in RL going on. I did get my first vaccine and go back for the second in three weeks. I was relieved to get it. I haven't been getting enough exercise due to bad weather so I'm thrilled that a friend is giving me her recumbant exercise bike tomorrow. My son and son-in-law are picking it up. I'm so grateful to have them. I hope your Mama is doing better and has gotten her second shot.