October 24, 2017

What I'm reading (2)

I've been obsessed with the Shetland series on Netflix lately so I decided to read a bit of Scottish mystery.  Unfortunately my library only carried one volume of Ann Cleaves mysteries so I have to wait for the rest.  While I was grumbling and prowling the aisles I came across Peter May's Lewis Trilogy.

If you are ready for the raw openness of the Shetland Islands and for the page turning type of mystery that leaves you wishing at two in the morning that you had gotten the next one in the series out of the library so that you could start it right away these three are for you.

Like so many of the British detective series these days, these three follow a broken detective as he tries to work his way through murders old and new in his home territory.

They are really worth the read and the caffeine needed to stay up to three in the morning reading!

Peter May author of the Lewis Trilogy

What I'm reading (1)

I tend to read fiction in spurts.  For the last three weeks I've read four novels, three old and one relatively new.  I'll start with the new one,  My Sister's Bones by Nuala Ellwood.

This is a wonderful, modern psychological thriller.  It is an essential read for those who want to understand those war correspondents who go time and time again into the fray in Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan and then come home in shreds sharing the PTSD that the soldiers who serve there also carry.  It also is a cautionary tale about family dynamics.

I highly recommend it.  It is at once hard and beautiful and haunting.

August 12, 2017

Sweet and Swift and Summery

So my monthly book choice for August (where, you say, are May, June, and July - pfft) is a 2 hour or less read called Lost Cat: A True Story of Love, Desperation, and GPS Technology by Caroline Paul.

This is an awfully sweet little book with wonderful illustrations by Caroline's partner (who doesn't necessarily like cats).  It tells of Caroline's journey (obsession?) with her cats Fibula and Tibia.  Ahem.

If I take too long to describe it I will have expended all the time it takes to read it, although savoring it is a different matter.  Just read and enjoy it as a light Summer breeze emanates from between it's covers.  (If you need a review:  From the jacket by Maira Kalman: "The writing and drawings are funny. Nutty.  Heartwarming.  Smart. Loopy.  Full of Love.")

May 8, 2017

April's books (wherein all planning goes awry)

The best laid plans...

Ah well, here are April's two books: one fiction, one non-fiction.

I'm not an anxious person per say but I do tend to overthink things.  I have variously been diagnosed as ADD, "on the spectrum" and a "highly sensitive person.  So when I saw Born Anxious by Daniel Keating I was at first not exactly ready to read it. 

When I read a review, however, and a snippet of it online I wanted to read it to see if some of my childhood trauma's explained some of diagnoses in my latter years. 
Spot on.  He'd read my mind. This is a learned discussion of how early stress leads subconsciously to what we are now and how to try to compensate for it.  He doesn't say that you need years of Freudian analysis (though someone to help you through couldn't be bad) he gives suggestions and an interesting diagnosis that I had never heard of before, Stress-Dysregulated Adults (SDR) where the body has been under stress for so long it has sustained physiological as well as psychological changes. These physiological changes contribute to the rise of metabolic disorders like diabetes, cardiovascular disease, sleep disorders and depression.
This book isn't an easy read if you want to get something out of it (I suggest you savor it) but it was well worth my time.
Now for the fiction book, Sarah's Key by Tatiana De Rosnay. 
I came to this one by the back door.  That is to say I was looking for a movie to watch on a gloomy evening and found this and since Kristen Scott Thomas is on my favorites list and I had already watched a French film with her (this film was in French also, she is fluent in the language) and also since I am writing a novel of the holocaust, I figured this would work.  I loved the film and loved the book even more.
This is not to say the film was not as good as the book but there are things that can be expressed better in print and that can be shaped and backgrounded better in a book.
A modern day American living journalist in Paris is about to be moved into the family apartment by her husband.  That apartment sends her on a journey to find the previous owners of the flat and into revelations that will change both her life and that of many other people.  It is also a cautionary tale about how people tend to bury the past selectively and what happens when it is unearthed.
Loved both the movie and the book.
Well lets see how long now it takes me to write the next two reviews.

February 1, 2017

Two Books a Month - January Edition

That was a New Year's resolution.  Score for January.  Two books got from the library and tossed (I'm too old to read books that don't grab me in the first two chapters).  Two other books got and read fully (as below).  My ratings will be on a 1 to 10 scale.

My fiction selection is the, I dunno know, 13th, 14th or 15 in the Merrily Watkins series of slightly paranormal mysteries.  Rickman's dense prose always gives me a master class in description.  9 of 10.

This one took me three separate renewals to complete.  It was beautiful and spiritually informative.  Not for the spiritually disinclined.  Will read it again and again.  9 of 10

You ask yourself, "Will she ever rate something a 10?"  Well, we'll see.

January 1, 2017

Happy New Year!

I know it will not be happy for everyone.  There will be challenges, discovery, disappointment and despair as well as joy and forgiveness.  But that is what every year is, isn't it?

I woke up this morning singing five hundred twenty five thousand six hundred minutes from "Rent."  I knew right away I wasn't singing about last year as there were an extra 1440 minutes last year.  I knew I was thinking about the future.

I walked long and hard in the mild day and ended up finding a shiny penny, heads up.

I have never been sure if omens are real or just the things we use to prop ourselves up but since there is no harm in this omen I will accept it gratefully and try to place everything in perspective as it happens. 

I have chosen a motto for the year. 

It is one I will continually test and wonder if the philosophy of it will stick.