Thursday, January 2, 2020

The End of the End

We went to pick up a few groceries this afternoon. Single use plastic bags aren't really a thing here--there is a 22 cent tax per bag, so people are good about bringing their own, bringing the trolley out to their car and directly loading the loose items into the boot, or taking one of the boxes that are available at the end of the till. We wheel the trolley out to the picnic table and pack our backpacks. Today as we were doing this, a man rushed up to us and said, 'You're on foot?' We said we were and he told us he would be happy to bring us where we needed to go. I thanked him and said we were good and we were just going down the road. He asked if we were sure a couple of times. Bill said yes, we do this all the time. This is not the first time someone has seen us and offered us a ride--such nice, friendly people.

Here are the last few books I read in 2019.
 The Blood Doctor by Barbara Vine (Ruth Rendell)
Martin Nanther is a biographer working on a project about his great-grandfather, who was a doctor to Queen Victoria. Henry Nanther specialised in haemophilia and was obsessed with the blood. As Martin uncovers more, he becomes increasingly disturbed by what he is discovering about the lengths to which his ancestor went to learn more. The story moves between what Martin is learning about his ancestors, haemophilia, and the ideas of a previous time and the present (1999-2000). The underlying theme of both parts of the story is genetic inheritance.

The Great Poets: Emily Dickinson (audiobook read by Teresa Gallagher)
This was pleasant to listen to, as the reader was excellent.

 Resistance by Val McDermid
I found this in the e-audiobook section of the library website, but I don’t know if it was ever an actual book. This was a radio drama. It was good, even though the dialogue seemed a bit clunky in spots. I’m not familiar with the author’s work other than this so I don’t know how this compares. The story itself seemed quite plausible. Here’s how it was described on the library website:

It’s the Summer Solstice weekend, and 150,000 people have descended on a farm in the North East of England for an open-air music festival. Reporting on the event is journalist Zoe Meadows, who files her copy from a food van run by her friends Sam and Lisa.

When some of Sam’s customers get sick, it looks like food poisoning, and it’s exacerbated by the mud, rain and inadequate sanitary facilities. It’s assumed to be a 24-hour thing, until people get home and discover strange skin lesions, which ulcerate and turn septic. More people start getting ill – and dying.
What looked like a minor bug is clearly much more serious: a mystery illness that’s spreading fast and seems resistant to all antibiotics. Zoe teams up with Sam to track the outbreak to its source; meanwhile, can a cure be found before the disease becomes a pandemic?

 The Lake House by Kate Morton
This was a really good book, even though one particular aspect of the ending seemed a bit too cute. It kept me turning the pages and was a good way to end my reading year. I picked the book up in a charity shop and it’s on the pile to be re-donated.  

I've got two on the go at the moment--a novel and a non-fiction book, both of which are going to be passed along when I'm done with them. I've got the first Jeeves book (in audio format) downloaded as well, but haven't started it yet. I'm not sure whether I'll like that or not, but I will soon find out!


Vicki said...

The all sound good, especially The Lake House. I've joined some reading challenges for this year and have been looking for books for them. I think I'll stop with the ones I've found and when I need more I'll look for one depending on which challenge I want to read for next.

Shari Burke said...

That sounds like a good idea--keep some room open for happy surprises! :-) The Lake House was really good. It was an interesting mix of genres. There was a mystery element, a bit of detective fiction with the outcast cop, a family saga, and historical fiction all rolled into one book.

Laurie Graves said...

So very nice to offer you a ride.

Shari Burke said...

It was nice. We were taken aback because he just was suddenly there--LOL. We didn't have much stuff and it's only 1/2 mile, so we walked. We had a box, which he didn't know was empty, so he probably thought we had more to carry than we did. :-)