Saturday, November 2, 2019

Booking Right Along...

with the next segment of October's reading list after the first instalment yesterday.
A Nun in the Closet by Dorothy Gilman
I found this small paperback in the local charity shop. I recognised the author’s name from reading about mystery writers from the past, but I’d never read any of her work. She wrote the Mrs Pollifax series and I have a vague memory of being taken to see a movie based on the character when I was a child, although I have no memory of the movie itself. In any case, this book, published in 1975, is not a Mrs Pollifax novel. The story revolves around a house in upstate NY, bequeathed to a convent of cloistered nuns in Pennsylvania. The convent has fallen onto hard times, so there is hope that this surprise will be a happy one for them. They choose Sister John to go to the house, scope out the situation, take inventory, etc. She chooses Sister Hyacinthe, a skilled herbalist, to accompany her, so off they go. Upon arrival, they discover that they have no water in the house, so they find the well. To their surprise, they find a suitcase of cash in the well. Back at the house, they discover a wounded man in an upstairs closet. He has been shot and is badly injured. They decide to help him, but whe strange people start showing up and asking strange questions, they decide that to protect him, he should be in disguise as Sister Ursula. There is a community of hippies camping nearby who are helping migrant workers. The sisters become friends with them and as the chaos ensues, they all help each other.
Some facets of the book were fairly predictable, but it was still a fun read. It was quite funny. I would definitely read more books by this author. I brought it with me when we went away for a few days because it was small and light. I also knew I wasn't going to keep it, so I could read it and leave it for someone else to read. It turned out to be the perfect sort of reading for the situation. I also brought my e-reader, but I like to have a ‘real’ book with me just in case.

 Death of a Dancing Footman by Ngaio Marsh

After I finished the book above, I turned to my e-reader and picked up where I’d left off a few months ago with Roderick Alleyn, Ngaio Marsh’s detective. This is Book 11 in the series and was just as good as the previous 10. This one takes place at the beginning of WWII, which is part of the plot in a peripheral sort of way. Alleyn does not even make an appearance until just over halfway through the book.

Jonathan Royal is bored. He decides to attempt what he sees as a bit of performance art by inviting a group of people to his country home for a weekend party. Some of these people are old friends of his and a few are acquaintances. Most of them know each other to varying degrees and they all have reason to dislike (or worse) others in the party. Royal also invites a playwright friend of his, telling him to come one day earlier than the others. When he arrives, he is told what the game is. Needless to say, this whole idea was a bad one and things do not go as planned. Hatreds come out into the open just as the snow starts falling and there is no way to get out.  

 The Adventure of the Christmas Pudding and Other Stories by Agatha Christie
This is a collection of short stories, all of which feature Hercule Poirot, with the exception of the final story, which is a Miss Marple. The intro says it’s a Christmas collection, but only the first story has anything to do with Christmas. Still, it’s a nice little selection of stories.

Dog Poems by the World’s Best Poets
I was scrolling through the ‘new to library’ category in the e-book section of the library website and came across this. I borrowed it and enjoyed it. Our last dog died almost 10 1/2 years ago and we spent a decade simply assuming that we would rescue another dog one day. Then in the spring, I realised that I did not want to do that, for various reasons. Bill and I talked about this and discovered we were in agreement. We still love dogs, but do not want to have the responsibilities and obligations that come with having a dog at this point in our lives. It was interesting to me how freeing it felt to look at this issue in a conscious way and move on. As for the poems, some were funny, some were sad. All in all, it's a nice collection.

I've started listening to a few 'booktubers' in addition to the various bookish podcasts I subscribe to. The focus of the episodes I've listened to so far has been Victorian literature, much of which I collect on my e-reader from Project Gutenberg. After listening to this episode last night, I went and found a copy of Gloriana, or, The Revolution of 1900, which I'd never heard of, and put it on the device. Now if I could only find a place offering more hours in a day so I could download a few and devote them to reading! 

However you choose to spend your day, I hope it's a good one!

cross stitch on scrap of window screen (screens aren't a thing here, so I can't use it as 'canvas' anymore)


Vicki said...

They all sound good but dog lover in me is begging me to find a copy of Dog Poems.

Shari Burke said...

The e-book section of the library website is like the charity shops when it comes to finding stuff I'd never heard of, so wouldn't be able to search for--that's how I found the dog poems :-)