Tuesday, February 25, 2020

Reading Whlie Relocating 2

Here are the rest of the books I read in January as we were in the process of moving.

A Little Book of Japanese Contentments: Ikigai, Forest Bathing, Wabi-sabi, and More by Erin Nimmi Longhurst

A friend recently sent me this book and I loved it! It’s one I will pick up and dip into time and time again. The author is bi-cultural as her maternal family is Japanese and her paternal family is British. She lives in London and writes the blog Island Bell. I don’t read the blog as it’s not my kind of thing, but the book is lovely. It has sections on various ideas that are a part of Japanese culture, such as those listed in the subtitle and many more besides. These sections are interspersed with photos and artwork. I started the book on a day when I was in the new apartment for a night by myself--Bill had gone back to Killybegs to bring another load. It was the perfect book--I sat with a cup of tea and read about the traditions and enjoyed the art. Lovely moments!

Died in the Wool by Ngaio Marsh
I’ve been reading books that I knew I didn’t want to keep and got through many of them. Then we were packing up the remaining books to haul to the new apartment. I was deciding what to keep back and read, but decided that what I was really in the mood for was a mindless mystery, so I turned to my e-reader and picked up where I left off in the Roderick Alleyn series. Like the last one I read, this one is set in New Zealand during WWII and Alleyn is there to investigate possible spying. In this one, he is called in to find out what happened to Flossie Rubrick, whose body was found bound up in a bale of wool. Is one of the people in her home an enemy agent? To be honest, I’m not as keen on these last couple of novels in the series as in the ones that came before. As I think about it, I felt the same way about the last couple of Mrs Bradley mysteries I read several months ago. Those also took place in WWII and involved suspicions of espionage. I guess I’m just not into that kind of thing. Hopefully the next books in both series will better.

Nobody by Alice Oswald
This collection of poems was originally commissioned by Bernard Jacobson to accompany watercolours by William Tillyer.

The Blue Geranium and Other Stories by Agatha Christie (audiobook read by Joan Hickson)
I’ve loved Agatha Christie for 40+ years and Joan Hickson is THE Miss Marple. And I am a big fan of Miss Marple. So this was the perfect thing to listen to during a time when I was usually pretty tired by the end of the day and just wanted to sit around and listen to something.

The Emperor’s Children by Claire Messud
I didn’t know I still had this book, but found it amongst some of Bill’s books as we were packing them up to move. It’s chunky—almost 600 pages--but I figured I might as well see whether I liked it enough to haul it to the new place. Once I started, I was hooked pretty quickly and read on, finishing in enough time to pass it along. One less book to transport—yay! 

A Wreath for Rivera by Ngaio Marsh
The last week of January was pretty hectic as we finished the move. In addition to that, we had to spend some time in Donegal Town in the middle of the week so Bill could keep his dentist appointment, made before we even knew we would be moving. I knew there was a TV in the waiting room, but it is usually set to weird UK stations. Once it was one full of infomercial and I was left to wonder whether anyone in Ireland would actually call to some place in the UK to buy an inflatable king size mattress that could turn any room—even the kitchen or laundry alcove—into a spare bedroom. This time it was set to a normal channel, but I came prepared with my e-reader, so I was able to tune out the TV and continue the Roderick Alleyn series. In this book, bandmates are not getting along and egos are bruised. There are arguments about many things, including a stunt that is to be carried out at the next performance. Yes, you guessed it—the stunt goes awry and someone does not get to finish the set. Fortunately for everyone except the culprit, Inspector Alleyn was in the audience and could get to work immediately.

And now suddenly we're almost at the end of another month--this one has also been full of books! I hope there are some good ones on your book pile 😃


Vicki said...

A Little Book Of Japanese Contentments sounds really good. I listened to a similiar book, The Little Book of Hygge: The Danish Way to Live Well by Meik Wiking in 2017 and loved it!

I'm not a fan of WWII books but have read a few that I liked. I love Agatha Christie but don't read her often enough.

Brenda said...

Love love love Agatha Christie. The BLue Geranium is not one of her most famous, but I simply love it also. The film on Hulu or Netflix or Youtube...when the flowers on the wall turn blue...ikay...creepy...one of the most unusual...who can beat Christie? Glad you are moved and doing some reading.

Lowcarb team member said...

So many blogging friends read and enjoy Agatha Christie, I really must get round to reading a book of hers soon …

All the best Jan

Shari Burke said...

I've seen that hygge book in the e-book section of the library website, Vicki. There is also his follow-up in e-audiobook, which is about lykke.

Brenda--some of the adaptations are really good! I loved Joan Hickson as Miss Marple. The later ones, with Geraldine McEwan and Julia MacKenzie we good, but just a bit off. It was sort of like watching a Miss Marple-ish sort of show, especially in the episodes where they changed the story or inserted Miss Marple into stories where she doesn't appear in the books and stuff like that. I remember one paired Miss M and Tuppence Beresford.

I know a few people who don;t care for Christie Jan, but like you know many who really like her. She wrote a lot and through many decades, so her style changed a bit through the years and some books are better than others, as is true for all of us, no matter what we do, I guess. I love Miss Marple best. If you like short stories, her first appearance was in a collection of those called The Thirteen Problems (in the US, the title was The Tuesday Club Murders). Poirot is quite different than her, but still fun. His first appearance was in the novel, The Mysterious Affair at Styles. There's no reason you have to read them in order, though :-) The Murder of Roger Ackroyd is an early Poirot which caused quite a sensation when it cme out.

Brenda said...

I totally agree with the actress...although I continue to watch on Hulu...it is somewhat bothersome. I prefer the books anyway. Although the old THEN THERE WERE NONE...movie...whew...awesome...the variations of Murder on the Orient Express...I like the older ones...I always donate my books...nut do keep a couple in Florida to read when there at my son's. For someone who has not read much Christie, I tend to really love Miss Marple, but again, I also like Poirot...what a great great time a reader will have who has not read her yet...I always like Mary Higgins Clark because she writes in a similar way.

Lowcarb team member said...

Many thanks for your reply re Agatha Christie … appreciated.

All the best Jan

Joy said...

I'm part Danish and like the hygge stuff, lots on that. I also enjoy some of the mystique that comes with Japanese culture. Marie Kondo series was fun for that reason too.

I don't get to read enough anymore I really struggle with my eyes. I'm considering going back to the children's section and picking up a few classics and see how I get on. Good and interesting reviews, I think it's important to give feedback when we can 'this theme in these books is getting tired or isn't helpful to the plot' or whatever. I've had that sort of conversation with a prolific author at a conference and he asked me to his table he said it was 'refreshing to get another author's honest point of view'. He also mentioned that the publisher often 'demands these themes' as they think these things are pivotal to drive book sales.

Shari Burke said...

I'm sorry to hear about your eye problems, Joy. A friend of mine had a similar problem, in terms of finding it difficult to red physical books, but she got an e-reader, which allowed her to adjust the text and that has helped.

I can understand why the authors wrote the kinds of books they did at the time--it was during the war and that was probably what was taking up the most space in their minds. I'll have to read on and get to books written/published after the war to see if the authors go back to other themes, which I would probably enjoy more. :-)