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review 2017-11-03 18:04
When We Were Very Young (Pooh Original Edition) - A. A. Milne  
When We Were Very Young (Pooh Original Edition) - A. A. Milne

I'm not sure what it says about me that I don't really like any poetry written in the last fifty years. But it is no doubt some kind of meaningful that I have always loved Milne.


Now I read it and think about a soldier coming back from WWI and choosing to immerse himself in domestic life, writing about and for children, and I feel tremendous pity for all those poor bastards, both the ones who made it back and the ones who didn't. I'm totally down with writing poetry and imagining the real lives of stuffed animals, and really looking very closely at a child too young to go to school. Everyone always says to parents "those years fly by so fast" which is true, but not helpful. It doesn't actually clear your life of any of the other things you have to do so that you can really soak in it. It doesn't give you a minute more of sleep in those years when you are chronically deprived. It certainly doesn't buy you an hour out of work to do something pleasant with a child. You go, Milne. I'm sorry that your use of his name and likeness wrecked Christopher Robin's life, but what are you going to do? Everyone's life sucks somehow. At least something good came of it. That's enough.

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text 2017-11-02 02:22
October reading: epilogue
Distillery Cats: Profiles in Courage of the World's Most Spirited Mousers - Brad Thomas Parsons
Sherlock Holmes: The Definitive Collection - Arthur Conan Doyle,Stephen Fry
Wildfire - Ilona Andrews
The Last Alchemist in Paris: & Other Curious Tales from Chemistry - Lars Ohrstrom
Murder on the Orient Express - Agatha Christie
The Red House Mystery - A.A. Milne
The Informed Gardener Blooms Again - Linda Chalker-Scott
Unmentionable: The Victorian Lady's Guide to Sex, Marriage, and Manners - Therese Oneill

This is going to be one of those super short, 1 paragraph, epilogues you sometimes miss completely, because it's November and October reading was soooo 2 days ago.


I read 24 books. 

2 of them were 5 star reads

6 of them were 4.5 star reads (which is odd, but ::shrug::)


Everything else was good.  Nothing below 3 stars*, which means I didn't waste any money on the books I read in October.  That's a win.


* Although there was This Side of Murder by Anna Lee Huber, which was excellently written, and a good story, but totally spat hairballs in the romance department.

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review 2017-10-22 04:15
The Red House Mystery
The Red House Mystery - A.A. Milne

Before there was Winnie-the-Pooh, Christopher Robins, Eeyore and Piglet, there was murder most foul.  Before there was murder most foul, there was a stint as editor of Punch, a British weekly magazine of humour and satire published until 2002.


Now I don't see a huge influence of the murder most foul at the house on Pooh corner, but Punch definitely left its mark on The Red House Mystery.  A.A. Milne set out to write a traditional mystery following all the 'rules' of fair play, and he took the plotting very seriously, but that did not keep him from planting his tongue firmly in his cheek while he wrote the story.  It's alive with small jokes aimed at Holmes and Watson, mysteries in general, and at the characters themselves.


As such, it's a great mystery - heaps of fun to read, if sometimes it felt a tad long.  I thought to only give it four stars for this reason, but I'm giving it the benefit of the doubt for two reasons:  I read this while flat out with hideous, unrelenting back pain, and I read the introduction.  The former might be more obvious than the latter, but Milne was very careful in his introduction, to state his desire to play fair and make sure the reader had all the same clues as the amateur detective.  So I might have over-focused on recognising the clues instead of enjoying the ride.


Not that it did me an ounce of good.  By the time the denouement arrived I had no idea who did it or why.  I can't say the ending was a massive ::gasp:: shock, but it was definitely not anti-climatic.


I wouldn't' suggest for a moment that the world could have done with less Winnie-the-Pooh, but it is a shame that Milne didn't write more than this one murder mystery.  I can't help but wonder if this was his first effort, what future bafflement, wonder and entertainment he might have achieved with a bit more practice.


(For the Golden Age of Crime bingo, this could be used for Singleton, or Birth of the Golden Age of Crime)

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review 2017-10-06 01:37
Still loving this crossover
ROM vs. Transformers: Shining Armor #3 - John Barber,Christos Gage,Alex Milne

I'm not sure I want this to be wrapped up in just four issues: I can see the benefit in a sustained storyline over four issues.   There's no risk of dragging this out, but damn, I'm just having so much fun with a Cybertronian Solstar Knight that I don't really want this to end...

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text 2017-09-19 23:23
Classic Crime Club?
Death of an Airman - Christopher St. John Sprigg
The Red House Mystery - A.A. Milne
The Tiger in the Smoke - Margery Allingham
Resorting to Murder: Holiday Mysteries: A British Library Crime Classic (British Library Crime Classics) - Martin Edwards
Ask A Policeman - Dorothy L. Sayers,Gladys Mitchell,Detection Club,Anthony Berkeley,John Rhode,Milward Kennedy,Helen de Guerry Simpson

I'm considering starting a classic crime book club. We have a number of mystery/crime readers here on booklikes, and I'm wondering if there is enough interest to do a monthly book club?




One book per month, chosen by the club members;

Published between 1900 and 1960

Starting in October


Is anyone interested?

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