Sunday, October 18, 2020


 Francine Prose. READING LIKE A WRITER: A Guide For People Who Love Books And For Those Who Want To Write Them. HarperCollins, 2006.

Wonderful. Lived up to my expectations. Especially the chapter on Chekhov. 

Tuesday, October 13, 2020


 Louise Penny. ALL the DEVILS ARE HERE. Minotaur, 2020.

My Thanksgiving Weekend gift to myself. The Gamache family goes to Paris. Wonderful. 


 Meredith Egan. TIDE'S END. Amity, 2019.

Taylor tries to get it together. Second in the Just Living series. 

Sunday, September 13, 2020


 Jeffrey Archer. BEST KEPT SECRET. Audio book. 

Audio book was a gift. My first audio book, and my first Jeffrey Archer. Technically, listening was a problem on the PC because the CD kept repeating and I was not sure when the chapter ended. Worked much better on the laptop. The readers were good. The man sounding obnoxiously posh. The female I think the younger woman from Silent Witness, Emelia Fox? 

Story combines family history, politics, and international intrigue, with an ending you have to get to. 

Not sure if I will get into the audio habit. Would work well if driving long distances. Otherwise, as with radio, sometimes my attention wanders when listening, and that's not good, especially for a mystery. 


 John Buchan. The THIRTY-NINE STEPS. Penguin, 1915.

Found a slim paperback of this thriller at the Rotary Book Sale, outdoors, a couple of weeks ago. Have never seen the films. Enjoyed the action-packed adventure, from London to Scotland to Kent along the Thames. First person voice of Richard Hannay. With commentary about spying, and political unrest in "the Balkans" and German subterfuge leading to the Great War. 

Checked out too info about John Buchan as I knew he had been Governor General of Canada. That Tweedsmuir Park is named for him. That he was Scots, had written several novels, after a career that took him to Africa and the Boer War. Was PATH OF A KING his, that we read in high school? I am surprised to learn that he had shepherded Canada through the abdication crisis, and the year George VI actually became the "King of Canada". That he died while in office, after a head injury caused by a fall after a stroke. A state funeral in Canada, February, 1940. 

I cannot find the exact cover image on my Penguin Classics copy but I like these two. Both show Hannay hiding out in the hills of Scotland, and the importance of train travel and airplane surveillance to the plot. Who knew? 1915. 

Saturday, September 5, 2020


 John Steinbeck. CANNERY ROW. Bantam, 1945. 

Beautiful, lyrical, down-and-outers in Monterey. I can see the outline of Cat and the cat house. Lee Chong, and the boys in the Palace Flophouse. 

This book documents the life of homeless people in California probably during the Depression. Some live inside abandoned sewer pipes. Some squat in an empty building. Some accept employment if it is available while others seem to scavenge for just enough work to keep them in the necessities. The stronger characters, like Doc who runs a live specimen supply service, and Lee who runs a store, help others out without seeming to enable dependence. 

Each time I read or re-read Steinbeck, I am impressed by how much I enjoy his keen-eyed lyrical prose. 


 Katerena Vermette. The Break. Anansi, 2016.

Re-reading this book for the U of M book club. Like it even more now that I look more closely. The ghost of Raine leading off, then switching to Kookum for the last section. The family with similar looks, habits, experiences. The absent fathers. The gangs. The Metis cop. The break in the case, when we break free of assumptions. 



 Francine Prose. READING LIKE A WRITER: A Guide For People Who Love Books And For Those Who Want To Write Them . HarperCollins, 2006. Wonder...