Friday, April 3, 2020

Mysteries, Short Stories, Work in Translation, and Poems: The Last of the March Books

I've mentioned before how much I love mysteries--from the Golden Age Queens of Crime to various cosy mysteries. I read across a fairly wide range of book types. I read both fiction and nonfiction. But there are times when I want a cosy or a Golden Age mystery to read. It's a kind of comfort reading, I suppose. So you can imagine my joy when Bill was listening to the radio one evening and I heard a woman being interviewed about her new podcast, Shedunnit. I immediately searched for it, found it, and started listening. I love it! I've mentioned it here before, but thought now might be a good tim to link to it again, given the current situation. You can subscribe in the podcast apps or listen from the web page.

Another one I love and have also mentioned before is A Good Read on BBC Radio 4. This one is about all kinds of books. Each episode has two guests with host Harriet Gilbert and the three of them choose a book they consider a good read and they discuss each book in turn. I quite enjoy listening to this, because the discussions are interesting and the books are quite varied. It is on hiatus for a couple of months at the moment (it runs 8 weeks on and 8 weeks off) but from the page at the link, you can click on the podcast link and see a list of episodes that can be downloaded. You should also be able to listen from the page if you don't want to download. Note that the list also contains episodes from Open Book--they are listed together as the Books and Authors podcast in the apps. Open Book is also a good one, with different kinds of interviews and discussions..

And now, here are the rest of the books I read last month.

Night at the Vulcan by Ngaio Marsh
I felt like some more mystery, so I turned to my e-reader and tapped on book 16 of the Roderick Alleyn series. It was a pleasant way to spend an afternoon. It’s opening night at the Vulcan Theatre. In spite of all the drama that goes on between the actors backstage, the show must go on. However, not all involved will be around for the next performance. Alleyn and his team are called in to get to the bottom of things.

Wing by Matthew Francis
poetry collection with a nature theme

Professor Su Jing’an in His Later Years by Dong Jun translated from Chinese by Sid Gulinck
This e-book was new to the library and it sounded good, so I borrowed it. It was a bit weird, but I liked it! This is the blurb from the library site:
‘Professor Su Jing’an is a respected academic and a man of habit. He follows his routine to the tick of the clocks in his study and nothing can stop him from having his afternoon coffee. Nothing that is, but old age. When a young academic caretaker is sent to look after Su Jing’an, he is barely the man everyone remembers. Questioning his identity, Professor Su questions all of us – who are we, and where do we belong?’

Spinsters in Jeopardy By Ngaio Marsh
This is the 17th book in the Inspector Alleyn series. I thought it was one of the better ones I’ve read so far. Alleyn is asked to go to France to assist the French police bust a strange crime gang. He is to infiltrate their compound and get information, as many of the people involved are British. This compound happens to be near where a distant relative of his wife lives. This relative was unknown to Troy (Alleyn’s wife) until letters started arriving. These were pretty boring letters, containing lots of information about bus routes and schedules. Puzzling as this was, when Alleyn suggests that Troy and their 6-year-old son accompany him to France, where he will work and they will have a holiday and also meet this relative, she agrees. They meet with a bizarre situation on the train, which alters the plans a bit, so they improvise. What is going on at the compound? Who is this relative? What did both Alleyn and Troy really see from the train window? And will Miss Truebody survive?

Cat Poems by The World’s Best Poets
Several months ago, I found a collection of dog poems available in the e-book section of the library website. I borrowed it and enjoyed it a lot. So when I saw that now they also have a cat poem collection, I quickly borrowed it. It was equally enjoyable—some funny, some sad.

Lord Arthur Savile’s Crime and Other Stories by Oscar Wilde audiobook read by Derek Jacobi
I mostly enjoyed this collection of 8 stories. I’m glad I borrowed the audiobook, because I think I liked listening to it more than I would’ve liked reading it. There were a couple of stories that seemed to drag on and on, but the rest were witty and I found myself laughing at his observations and portrayals of society. The reader was good and added a lot to the experience.

I Want! I Want! by Vicki Feaver
The library has gotten some new poetry e-books added to the collection lately and this is one of them. The poems are autobiographical and taken together, gave the impression of memoir. The poet was born during WWII in the UK and describes various scenes from her childhood, young adulthood, middle age and elderhood. In one short poem, for example, she talks about a photograph taken on V-E day and how she was wearing her nice blue dress, but was the only one not smiling. I liked this collection a lot.

Stay safe!


Vicki said...

I haven't listened to my podcasts in a while. I really like All The Books, Literary Friction, and Open Book.

Shari Burke said...

I've not heard of the first two, so I'll look them up. Thanks!

Lowcarb team member said...

Seeing Ngaio Marsh in your list, I suddenly thought - it's a good few years since I read one of her books.

Stay safe and well.

All the best Jan

JFM/Jan said...

You have varied reading materials Shari.
Thank you for taking time to share with us.
I am always looking for new and different subjects to read 📑📒📓📕