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text 2018-10-19 17:46
Reading progress update: I've read 20%. Flavia is on top form
Speaking from Among the Bones - Alan Bradley

The first dead body has already been found but I have the feeling that there are more to come.


Favourite Flavia quotes so far 


The opening sentences:


"Blood dripped from the neck of the severed head and fell in a drizzle of red raindrops, clotting into a ruby pool upon the black and white tiles. The face wore a grimace of surprise, as if the man died in the middle of a scream."


Then a burst of joy at the start of chapter three:


"It was one of those glorious days in March when the air was so fresh that you worshipped every whiff of it; that each breath of the intoxicating stuff created new universes in your lungs and brain you were certain were about to explode with sheer joy; one of those blustery days of scudding clouds and piddling showers and gum boots and wind-blown brollies that made you know you were truly alive."


And finally, some reflections while feeling slighted by her sister:


"Whenever I'm a little blue I think about cyanide, whose colour so perfectly reflects my mood."



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text 2018-10-19 11:30
My last two books for Halloween Bingo
Z For Zachariah - Robert C. O'Brien
Speaking from Among the Bones - Alan Bradley

I have to more books left to complete my Halloween Bingo card and, in my usual undisciplined way, I've changed both of them.


I've abandoned "The Last Children Of Tokyo" for my Doomsday square as it had become a chore rather than a pleasure and gone back to my original choice of "Z For Zachariah". I've listened to less than an hour and I'm already hooked by the story of the competent, cautious and deeply isolated girl.


I never got to start "Smart" for my Baker Street Irregulars square. My eyes aren't working so well just now and a printed text is harder work than I want. So I've started m fifth visit with young Flavia De Luce and I'm already 20% in and smiling.

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review 2018-10-13 23:01
The Weed that Strings the Hangman's Bag by Alan Bradley (audiobook)
The Weed That Strings the Hangman's Bag - Alan Bradley,Jayne Entwistle

Series: Flavia de Luce #2


This was a solid installment of the Flavia de Luce series. I like Flavia, but I sometimes find her chemistry digressions a bit dull. The narrator managed to capture Flavia's enthusiasm for poisons quite well and overall I thought was a good choice. Honestly, Flavia can be quite a beastly child at times though, like when she pulled the stunt with the chocolates.


I read this audiobook for the Terror in a Small Town square (since Flavia investigates a suspicious death in her small village) for the 2018 Halloween Bingo.



Previous updates:

19 %

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text 2018-10-11 13:42
"I Am Half-Sick Of Shadows - Flavia De Luce #4" by Alan Bradley
I Am Half-Sick of Shadows - Alan Bradley

My fourth visit to Flavia De Luce found her posh but impoverished family preparing for Christmas by allowing their home to be used to film a movie, starring two of Britain's brightest acting stars.


As this is a Flavia De Luce novel, it's clear that Flavia will discover at least one dead body without having to leave her isolated little village. As it's a Christmas special, it's also clear that the plot will be as plausible as "Miracle on 34th Street". As it's an Alan Bradley novel, it's clear the writing and the characterisation will ferry your imagination into a world that feels true even if it doesn't always seem real.


In this visit I got a spectacular winter snowstorm, an insight into Aunt Felicity's murky wartime activities, a scene from Romeo and Juliet performed in Buckshaw's shabby splendour, a gruesome murder and rooftop fight to the death as well as learning about the chemistry of fireworks and more ways of producing poisons at home.


I make these visits in order to meet Flavia, who has captured my heart, In this book her energy is only exceeded by her curiosity as she tries to solve a murder, prove whether or not Santa Claus exists, reak revenge (real and imaginary) on her sisters and garnish scraps of approval and affection from the people she loves.


The reason I visit Flavia is best demonstrated in "I Am Half-sick Of Shadows" by the way she treats Dogger, the manservant at the Flavia's palatial but decaying home. Dogger suffers from fits of the terrors, a legacy from his experiences in a Japanese-run prisoner of war camp. One of these fits overtakes him when he is alone with Flavia. Flavia, eleven-year-old Flavia, eases him out of his attack, banishing his ghosts and giving him his dignity by letting him recover while she looks out at the pre-Christmas snow, reflecting aloud on the billions of oxygen and hydrogen atoms it takes to make the "stiff water" of a snowflake, continuing her monologue until he slips into sleep.


These moments of compassion and companionship fleck the narrative of these books with bright points of poetry that make me wish I knew Flavia and that, if I did, I would be one of the people with the insight to see her for who she really is rather than dismissing her as just another precocious girl.


I know Flavia is a fictional character, but still... fictional characters like her are what make fiction worth reading.


cozy mystery Mike Finn Halloween Bingo Card-014I read "I Am Half-sick Of Shadows" for the Cozy Mystery square of Halloween Bingo. I think it's the perfect archetype of that concept.

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text 2018-10-10 04:01
Reading progress update: I've read 19%.
The Weed That Strings the Hangman's Bag - Alan Bradley,Jayne Entwistle

I didn't really read the description of this before starting (it's the second book in the series), but assuming something happens that Flavia decides to investigate, would this book count toward the Terror in a Small Town square? Flavia does live in a village out in the country, after all.

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