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Search tags: 20th-century-contemporary-britllit
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text 2016-12-19 01:53
So, since I went book gift shopping for my friend anyway ...

... and because my TBR clearly still has room for expansion ...

 

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review 2016-12-13 22:29
The Twelve Tasks of the Festive Season -- Task the First: The Winter Wonderland; and Task the Seventh: The Christmas
Dylan Thomas Reads a Child's Christmas in Wales and Five Poems/Cd - Dylan Thomas
The Nightingale Before Christmas (Meg Langslow Mysteries) - Donna Andrews

Task the First:
– Read a book that is set in a snowy place.

 

Dylan Thomas: A Child's Christmas in Wales

 

Thomas's lyrical memoirs of his childhood Christmas experience, read by himself ... truly magical.  One of the books (or CDs) that I revisit every single holiday season.

 

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

 

Task the Seventh:
– Read a book set during the Christmas holiday season. 

 

Donna Andrews: The Nightingale Before Christmas

 

The year before last's entry in Donna Andrews's Meg Lanslow series: An uninhabited  Caerphilly house has been turned into a show house for the local interior designers' pre-Christmas competition, which Meg has agreed to organize (her own mother being one of the contestants, and Meg's involvement as an organizer having been the price for their own house not to be used as the scene of competition) -- as a result of which Meg is having to constantly mediate between the contestants, who keep going at each others' throats hammer and tongs and are, as a whole, more unruly than a bag of wriggling kittens.  It doesn't particularly help, either, that there's a student hanging around the place doing research for an article on the competition that she's writing for the local university newspaper, that moreover, packages containing the contestants' orders of items needed in their decorative arrangements keep disappearing, and that at last someone even takes to vandalizing the house and some of the half-arranged rooms, with merely a few days to go to Christmas (and to the advent of the judges).  When the most unpopular of the contestants -- whom the others also hold responsible for the disappearance of their packages and for the vandalization of their rooms -- is found murdered, there doesn't seem a shortage of suspects ... except that every single one of the other designers seems to have a credible alibi.

 

A more than solid, tremendously enjoyable entry in the series ... having read Duck the Halls just before Christmas last year, I'm seriously tempted to hunt down all of Andrews's holiday books and read them, one at a time, before Christmas each year!  She truly has a knack for combining a hilarious storyline with fully-rounded characters (however unusual), a homely and comfortably-feeling small-town setting and a lot of warmth, humor, and common sense.  Highly recommended!

 

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

 

Task the Seventh:
– Grab your camera and set up a Christmas bookstagram-style scene with favorite holiday reads, objects or decorations. Possibly also a cat. Post it for everyone to enjoy!

 

Well, the cat preferred to watch the setup from atop the half-empty box of Christmas decorations instead of being part of the picture, but anyway ... here we go!  (And yes, that's a real candle again. :) )

 


 

 

 

 

Snow Globes: Reads
Bells: Activities

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url 2016-08-03 18:00
Judith Barrow: Today with Tony Riches
Owen: Book One of the Tudor Trilogy - Tony Riches
Jasper: Book Two of The Tudor Trilogy - Tony Riches

Introducing the authors who will be appearing at the Tenby Book Fair (part of the Tenby Arts Festival) in Tenby, South Pembrokshire, Wales, on September 24, 2016 (the festival runs through October 1).  Rats, now I really wish I could travel this year ...

 

Anyway, great interview!

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review 2015-09-09 00:35
Shedding It
Fifty Sheds of Grey: A Parody - C.T. Grey

 

 

 

No comment necessary -- just sit back and enjoy!

 

YouTube Trailer:

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text 2015-07-20 17:00
The Wedding Tag
Lydia Cassatt Reading the Morning Paper - Harriet Scott Chessman
The Small Fortune of Dorothea Q - Sharon Maas
Wolf Hall - Hilary Mantel
Lamentation - C.J. Sansom
In the Woods - Tana French
Birds Without Wings - Louis de Bernières
The Complete Sherlock Holmes - Arthur Conan Doyle
Pride and Prejudice (Penguin Classics) - Vivien Jones,Tony Tanner,Claire Lamont,Jane Austen
Gaudy Night - Dorothy L. Sayers

The Reader who Lives a Thousand Lives recently created this tag in celebration of a friend's wedding and invited all those who want to join in.  Alright, I'll play:

 

 

The Wedding Dress:

A book that was either simple and elegant
or breathtakingly over the top.

Harriet Scott Chessman: Lydia Cassatt Reading the Morning Paper

"Simple and elegant" is actually a pretty good description for this lovely novella about the relationship between impressionist painter Mary Cassatt and her sister Lydia, set in late 19th century Paris; told from Lydia's point of view and based on five beautiful portraits of Lydia painted by Mary, images of all of which are included in the book.

 

 

The Wedding Cake:

A book that was so scrumptious you just ate it up.

Sharon Maas: The Small Fortune of Dorothea Q.

Set partly in Guayana and partly in London, a beautifully written multi-generational tale of love, forgiveness, and three women coming of age and fighting to define their place in life.  Oh, and a valuable stamp.

My review.

 

 

 

 

The Wedding Party:

A book with amazing characters that you fell in love with.

Hilary Mantel: Wolf Hall

Damn that woman -- Ms. Mantel -- for turning one of those people whom I'd always happily pigeonholed as one of history's great villains into one of my new favorite characters.  The whole vast canvas of Tudor London and the Tudor court really comes alive in her writing, but Cromwell himself is the unquestionable standout. 

 

Love sequel, Bring up the Bodies, as well ... and I can see the as-yet unpublished third book of the trilogy, The Mirror and the Light, as a hot contender for the First Dance category even now.

 

 

The Wedding Reception:

A book that left you with a major hangover.

C.J. Sansom: Lamentation

That ending!! How dare you leave me hanging in the air like that over the fate of my favorite character, Mr. Sansom?

 

 

 

 

 

Runner-up:

 

Tana French: In the Woods

All those books about other Dublin Murder Squad detectives are fine and good, but c'mon, Ms. French --

when are we going to see Ryan and Maddox back together

(spoiler show)

?

 

 

 

 

 

The First Dance:

A book that was so beautiful you cried.

Louis de Bernières: Birds Without Wings

Major lump-in-throat time.  Two friends, one Greek and one Turkish, coming of age in a mixed-ethnic village in early 20th century Turkey, and ripped apart by the world events that are sweeping through their village and tearing it to shreds.  Not an easy book, but absolutely gorgeous writing.

 

Also a hot contender for the Best Man category.

 

 

The Maid of Honor or The Best Man:

A book with two amazing friends.

 

Arthur Conan Doyle: Sherlock Holmes (complete canon).

The iconic literary friendship to end all literary friendships.

 

 

The Bride and Groom:

A couple that you can't get enough of.

Elizabeth Bennet and Fitzwilliam Darcy forever.

 

Runners-up:

 

Harriet Vane and Lord Peter Wimsey

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