taelle: (Default)
Reading: Twelve Drummers Drumming by C. C. Dennison, looks like a readable mystery, though the protagonist priest's background seems a bit too much - twice orphaned! mother a Eurovision winner! former stage magician! with last name Christmas!

Also: Autobiography of Aleksandra Berezina. A very strange person, a wannabe artist and author of Greek-style epigrams; a notable scholar of Ancient Greek liked her epigrams so much that he took it upon himself to edit and publish her memoir after her death. Early 20th century in Saint Petersburg, extremely vivid and picturesque description, weird and a bit off-putting personality - I was not surprised to learn that she ended up almost a vagrant.

Finished: Moscow and Moscovites by V. Gilyarovsky - Moscow about 150 years ago by a then-famous reporter who knew everything and everybody. Very readable.

To-read: who knows? I think I have another Dennison...

* * *

Dec. 4th, 2014 09:04 pm
taelle: (Default)
As always, Thursday totally counts as Wednesday, so.

I recently read three mysteries by Catriona McPherson - liked them a lot, need to get more. I think in all three the murder was less of a mystery than the surrounding circumstances - which are VERY twisty; people aren't dead when they are announced to be, aren't children of their supposed parents, etc. Basically, I was genuinely interested in knowing how it would end. They're a bit strange to me character-wise because of Dandy the detective (especially Dandy's marriage) - okay, I am an emotionally cool person myself, but. Why on earth did she marry Hugh? Also, Alec, despite there being a lot about him in the first novel, doesn't quite come alive to me. Oh well.

I now have a Smartphone which makes it much easier to read Kindle books, so I left alone the ones I began on my reader and went to start several of my old and new Kindle buys. Fran Pickering's Cherry Blossom Murder is a murder mystery about Takarazuka - how could I not? I haven't read enough to say whether I like it, though - I also started Duke of Snow and Apples by Elizabeth Vail, a Regency fantasy with a mysterious footman, and a book about cleaning and housekeeping by Kondo Marie - I love books about cleaning and creating order, they're very soothing for me.
taelle: (books)
Have read:

The Body in the Fjord, one of Catherine Hall Page's Faith Fairchild mysteries - this one featuring mostly her friend Pix Miller and Pix's mother, travelling in Norway and trying to find a girl who has disappeared. Left me wanting to go to Norway and to eat a lot of Norway foods.

A Charm of Magpies by K.J. Charles, a m/m romance/urban fantasy series set in AU Victoriana with magic. Very nice, plotty and readable.

The Goblin Emperor by Katherine Addison - loved it for a lot of reasons, including characters I would have liked to meet and background suggestions of culture (really loved the party with talking about philology and embroidery).

Am reading:

The Emperor's Agent by Jo Graham, much recommended - not sure what I think yet (I'm about 40 pages in). I am wary of 1st person books, but I have not felt like throwing it away by now.

Edo Culture by Nishiyama Matsunosuke - a collection of writings about urban culture in 17-19th century Japan, a lot of interesting stuff (especially about cooking and restaurants).

LTI - Lingua Tertii Imperii by Victor Klemperer, a collection of notes on the language of the Nazi Germany interspersed with diary entries of the author, a Jew who was not sent to camps because of his 'Aryan' wife. With lots of predictably horrible details - I read about camps, but many details of everyday humiliations and terror for not-imprisoned Jews were news to me. The most horrifying, though, are the moments where he describes his former colleagues becoming Nazi. Also, this is all rather frightening in connection with our current situation.

Two Caskets, Made of Turquoise and Jade, by Alexander Sekackii - the author states he's only a translator from Chinese, and this book is a collection of crib notes for medieval Chinese officials taking exams. An interesting approach to parables, sort of giving two to four versions of answers to set problems - that is, ways of seeing every parable from different sides.

Am going to read:

Don't know, but I am thinking about October Daye books by Seanan McGuire
taelle: (books)
It's reading Wednesday, isn't it? Well, the last book I finished was Queen of the Flowers by Kerry Greenwood, I am now reading Death by Water by Kerry Greenwood, and for once I know what I am going to read next - Murder in the Dark by Kerry Greenwood. Yes, I am having a very Phryne Fisher winter holidays, and it helped me to stay sane.
taelle: (Default)
 ... on Thursday.

Finished reading: Emma Lathen's Sweet and Low. Those mysteries work rather nicely as comfort reading for some reason. And I never remember who's the killer anyway.

Reading now: Emma Lathen's Ashes to Ashes.

Will read next: either the stuff I haven't finished since last Wednesday, or the rest of Lathen paperbacks I have. We'll see.

* * *

Nov. 18th, 2012 03:36 am
taelle: (crafty)
It's a funny thing that makes us enjoy it when book/film characters like the same things we do (I assume I am not the only one in this). Like, books about people who like to read (and read the same kind of books). ... I have yet to see a book where someone cross-stitched, though - except for Monica Ferris's mysteries, but that's just cheating for my purposes, of course in cosy mysteries set in specific settings you can find people doing _anything_...

* * *

Nov. 26th, 2011 01:29 am
taelle: (books)
I am rereading Miss Pym Disposes, and liking it very much, but also wondering just how unreliable an observer Miss Pym is. Maybe it's that I don't like her much, but she sounds to me as someone far too enamoured of her own conclusions. I wonder how wrong she'll continue to be (I think she's wrong about Mary Innes's character as evidenced by her family)... but I was never too good at deducing clues in mysteries.

Also, I keep wondering just when is the novel taking place. Before or after Second World War? I mean, if it's the forties, there should be traces and remembrances of war... Is the style of life more suitable for the thirties?

* * *

Jul. 1st, 2010 02:02 am
taelle: (reading)
I'm always trying mystery novels with various unusual settings, but I think this mystery set in a Bible study group I've just started might be a bit too unusual for me. Or a bit too much propaganda. I mean, if semi-random person at work would invite me to her Bible study group, I'd certainly think her nuts and try to cut our conversation short. And do people really read Scripture during their lunch breaks? I can't believe anyone sane would do that, and can't believe colleagues wouldn't start avoiding him or her. These people seem more alien than characters in Van Gulik's or Rowland's mysteries.

* * *

Jun. 29th, 2010 07:39 pm
taelle: (Default)
I am probably a deeply weird person, belonging to one culture but knowing enough of a different one to be able to get jokes and allusions and stuff. But I feel even weirder when I seem to get more of another culture than someone belonging to it.

I'm reading a mystery, and a character in 1997 says how she went to an old people's home to visit a hundred-year-old lady.

"She might not know you,” said Betsy. “You know how old people get confused about modern events but remember old ones clearly? Well, Dorothy is losing old stuff, too. She said that her son never went to Omaha and was both shot and drowned by a Dutchman.”

I mean, I got what Dorothy meant at once; perhaps the writer made Betsy a bit too stupid for plot reasons? Or do I just know history better than an average USAian?


taelle: (Default)

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