Tuesday, February 28, 2017

winter reading list

A stupidly short list...again. I don't seem to be able to read even a 200 page book without incurring a dollar or more in fines. My first excuse is that I have been gobsmacked by the election, the inauguration, and Trump's first three weeks in office. My second excuse is that it is spring here and I've been busy in the yard cutting back all the dead foliage from the deep freeze and getting the ground ready for another 4' x 12' raised bed and planting blueberries and a satsuma and potatoes and tomatoes and shoveling dirt and well, it's spring.

Blue Shoes And Happiness by Alexander McCall Smith – number 7 in the series. Mma Ramotswe and Mma Makutsi suddenly have more work than they can attend to...a pervasive feeling of fear at a game preserve, a nurse who suspects the doctor she is working for of recording false blood pressure readings, and an assistant cook who fears she will lose her job because her boss is being blackmailed...so Mma Ramotswe presses Mr. Polopetsi in service to more or less success. Mma Makutsi fears she has soured her fiancĂ© on their engagement after she confesses to being a modern lady ie a feminist when he fails to show up for dinner on his scheduled night.

Trigger Warning - short fictions and disturbances by Neil Gaiman - Another collection of short stories that took me far too long to read but not because of the book. Gaiman starts out with a long introduction about the phrase 'trigger warning', you know, that thing we are supposed to say so as to prevent some fainting violet from feeling bad about something we are getting ready to talk about to which I say, grow up buttercup. Just because you had a bad experience about something does not mean that you should be shielded for the rest of your life from remembering it or hearing other people talking about something similar. We have become a nation of pansies. Anyway, none of that has anything to do with this collection of stories and I'm sort of at a loss to understand why he titled the book that. Next, after the introduction, is some commentary on each story, the where, when, and why of how it came to be written which I found somewhat interesting. And then finally the stories of which the author says, "many of these stories end badly for at least one of the people in them. Consider yourself warned."

The Good Husband Of Zebra Drive by Andrew McCall Smith – number 8 in the series...Mma Ramotswe has been asked to investigate 3 mysterious deaths at the hospital, Mma Makutsi decides she doesn't need to work now that she is engaged to a rich man and quits and then almost immediately regrets her decision, and Mr. Matekoni interviews a prospective client while the detective agency is short handed and asks to be able to investigate the case.

Progeny by Tosca Lee – the Progeny are the descendants of the most famous serial killer of all time, the 'Blood Countess' of Hungary, Elizabeth Bathory, in the late 1500s. Richer than the crown and a protestant, she was accused of torturing and murdering hundreds of servant peasant girls. The crown eventually locked her up and confiscated her lands and money but the peasants did not get justice so the families of the slain girls formed the Scions dedicated to wiping out the Bathory line. Now, modern day, Audra Ellison (because the Progeny do not raise their own children in an effort to keep them hidden), a direct descendent from Elizabeth who is the most powerful Progeny of them all (they have powers of persuasion sort of like the 'Force' those are not the droids you seek) has wiped her memory in an effort to keep some secret she has discovered safe from both the Progeny and the Scions (who also have a power, they can absorb the memories of the Progeny they slay and thereby learn the whereabouts of more Progeny). It's a good story as she relearns, on the run, everything she has forgotten because those that were hunting her were not fooled by her memory wipe and her faked death and her Scion hunter/boyfriend and are hot on her heels. Like I said, I enjoyed the read up until the end when I learned that this is not a stand alone novel. There is at least one sequel.


  1. I listened to the audio version of the Neil Gaiman book and was a bit disappointed.
    I also listened to the audio versions of both of those Alexander McCall Smith books and loved them both. The narration of those audio books are lovely and his writing is just a joy to me.

  2. You are busy in the garden. Glad you can leave the citrus out. I have had such trouble getting through books of late. The last one, The Museum of Extraordinary Things by Alice Hoffman, I have decided to stop reading. I am 3/4 through the book, but just don't want to finish it, so I'm not going to. A Man Called Ove, one I just started last night, hopefully will be better.

  3. I haven't read anything in ages, but recently I've started reading one of my late mother's favorites, "The Good Earth" by Pearl S. Buck.

  4. I have slowed a lot too, I blame cabin fever.I only get two instead of three at a time.

  5. Between the oldies and goodies I must re-read, the NYT reading list and what my blog friends recommend, I may never emerge.

  6. I really liked Trigger Warning. The introduction at the beginning and before each tale was one of my favorite things. Oh, and "Feminine Endings" was definitely my favorite story of the bunch. I think I will give Progeny a go...


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