Lenore's Comments (member since Feb 23, 2012)

Lenore's comments from the Laurie R. King Virtual Book Club group.

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Apr 16, 2017 12:51AM

64419 Mary wrote: "I just read Kareem Abdul-Jabar's book, "Mycroft". I didn't know he had been an English and history major in college, in addition to being a stellar NBA basketball player. "Mycroft" is set when he w..."

I'm listening to it now and having a totally different reaction, a very disappointed one. (I actually asked for this as a birthday present and was really looking forward to it.) I find it unrealistic in many respects -- in fact, I find the whole plot far-fetched. Not recommending it for a group read.
Feb 16, 2017 11:46AM

64419 Erin wrote: "KarenB wrote: "So how is it that Jane is so free from prejudice? She is not taken aback at all when confronted with a house decorated in a decidedly foreign style, a child to whom she is to be gove..."

Actually, I thought Jane's freedom from prejudice quite logically grew out of her experiences growing up. I'm sure her very conventional aunt and the conventionally pious (if venal) Mr. Munt would have been highly suspicious of these dusky non-Christian foreigners, but these were people who treated Jane so abominably that she was unlikely to adopt their worldviews of anything. Where Jane does live more or less happily, after leaving them, is with prostitutes and other demi-mondaines, of whom the conventional would have disapproved, but they are good to Jane, which would reinforce her rejection of conventional prejudice. And then again, as we discussed when we were reading MURD, London has always had a multi-racial populace, especially to be found among the lower classes, such as those with whom Jane was living. So while the denizens of Highgate may have been something of a surprise to Jane, I think her experiences would have made her more likely to give them a chance.
Feb 16, 2017 11:01AM

64419 Erin wrote: "...So now I kind of wonder if Lyndsay wrote Jane Steele as a response to the things she didn't like in Jane Eyre? Like Laurie did with Califia's Daughters in response to The Handmaid's Tale. ..."

I didn't know that! Very interesting!
Feb 15, 2017 09:43PM

64419 Emily wrote: "OT, but in Busman's Honeymoon there are a couple of references to Jane Eyre's being married in grey alpaca - I was looking for that in my copy I couldn't find it. Did I miss it, or do I have the wr..."

I have now finished my re-read of Jane Eyre and I can safely say that I have no idea what the Dowager Duchess (or whoever it was) was talking about. Jane was to be married in a "pearl-colored robe" with a "vapoury veil." (Ch. XXV) That wedding, of course, did not take place. And Jane does not tell us what she wore when they finally married. And the word "alpaca" does not appear in the book.

And while we are on the subject of Jane Eyre, let me make a couple of other observations. Like Erin, upthread, I find I don't much care for Mr. Rochester. (Not to mention his failing to mention to her the fact that he was already married.) The whole lengthy charade of making Jane jealous with Blanche Ingram seemed to me pointless and cruel for the purpose of cruelty. And even if Blanche herself was a heartless money-grubber, it wasn't fair to use her in that way. (As Jane points out.) Further, once he declares his love for Jane, he is WAY too pre-occupied with worldly goods for her, like dressing a doll. No wonder his previous mistresses were disappointments; that was the kind of woman he was attracting by his behavior.

As for Mrs. Fairfax, she KNOWS Rochester is already married. (As apparently, do the other servants; there's a conversation about Grace Poole Jane overhears that she doesn't understand that, in which a charwoman asks of Leah, the maid, "Doesn't she [Jane] know?") I suppose she feels she will be sacked if she tells Jane, instead of making elliptical remarks about how men will say anything to get what they want, but it really speaks poorly of her that she keeps this secret once the marriage is announced.

So I like Jane Eyre rather less than I did when I first read it.
Feb 13, 2017 11:20PM

64419 Erin wrote: "What did everyone think about Mr. Thornfield's history and the Anglo-Sikh wars? Was an area of history that you were familiar with or was it a bit of an Easter Egg?


Total Easter Egg! I had never heard of any of this, and I was fascinated. I'm assuming Faye's account is more or less accurate.
Feb 06, 2017 02:51PM

64419 Merrily wrote: "... I think the reference to Jane's refusal of a fancy wedding gown may be in one of the letters at the beginning of the novel, where (perhaps) the Dowager Duchess is commenting on how wise it was of Harriet to let Peter give her nice things..."

Yes, Amazon's "Look inside" feature confirmed that. But when I tried to use that feature on Jane Eyre, to find a reference to "grey alpaca," zilch. I am re-reading Jane Eyre now. If I run across the phrase, I'll let people know.

BTW -- slightly different subject -- Rochester lives in Thornfield Hall. Jane Steele's love, the master of Highgate House, is Charles Thornfield. I guess that was another wink and nod at Jane Eyre, but somehow struck me as a misplaced parallel. Not sure why it annoys me so.
Feb 02, 2017 07:13PM

64419 Merrily wrote: " I don't think she's a sociopath because sociopaths supposedly have no true feelings of any kind, much less empathy. They have to mimic the feelings of normal people in order to "pass" in society. ..."

I think that's the textbook definition. I have The Sociopath Next Door on my nightstand and have been meaning to get started on it. (But there's SO much to read!) But it doesn't sound to me las though Jane fits what I know about the subject.
Feb 01, 2017 04:06PM

64419 Erin wrote: "Lenore wrote: "In point of fact, two of her "murders" were not murders at all. She pushed her cousin away and he slipped on the stones and fell to his death. Nothing intentional about it."

...She probably still would have ended up at the school with the terrible headmaster, right? "

Right! So I'm not at all sure it would have made a difference.
Feb 01, 2017 02:19PM

64419 Merrily wrote: "I have long wished for a "Reader, I murdered him" teeshirt!
I think this book is a great example of a heroine whom one expects to dislike and somehow, ends up understanding and even liking. Yes, m..."

In point of fact, two of her "murders" were not murders at all. She pushed her cousin away and he slipped on the stones and fell to his death. Nothing intentional about it. And the last one was a clear case of self-defense. The others definitely Had It Coming, especially given that there were no non-murderous alternatives available to avoid harm to Jane and her defenseless friends.

Like Emily, I feared that the "him" she murdered would be the master of Highgate, and was pleased to discover otherwise.

I thought this book got a slow start, but once we left the boarding school I thought it became a lot more interesting. And I enjoyed learning about Sikh culture (hopefully learning correct things).

Finally, I was amused by the explicit references to Jane Eyre. I felt this was like a nod and a wink from the character herself.
Chit Chat 2016 (19 new)
Jan 06, 2017 09:48AM

64419 It's already 2017, but I couldn't figure out how to start a 2017 Chit Chat thread and place it under "General," so ...

Today is January 6: both the birthday of Sherlock Holmes and the Feast of the Epiphany. Considering the effect that Holmes's pronouncements have on Watson and Lestrade (and sometimes even Russell), I ask, "Coincidence?" I think not.
64419 Pat wrote: "In the period before WW I women were unable to sit for degrees in Oxford-Cambridge (AKA "OxBridge") colleges so it would not have been possible to have a heterosexual couple of Egyptologists like t..."

I'm really curious. I knew that women could not sit for degrees at Oxford before 1920 (In BEEK, Russell says, "Women were not at that time admitted to the University proper, but the women’s colleges were good, and I was free to attend lectures elsewhere."), but many women's colleges were founded in the 19th century. Did these colleges issue certificates or do something else to mark the successful conclusion of study there? Could one have studied Egyptology (even without receiving a degree) through attendance at a women's college?
64419 Sabrina wrote: "...I should totally write a shapeshifter Sherlock Holmes series."

I would be first in line to read it!
Announcements (166 new)
Jan 04, 2017 12:17AM

64419 There's probably a better place to post this, but I can't think where, so ...

When we read Station Eleven, we read about what society might look like if 90 percent of the population were killed in a pandemic. Readers might be interested to know that that actually happened in parts of South America when diseases brought by Europeans ravaged the indigenous population. A very interesting (and not very long) article about this recently appeared in The New Yorker>: http://tinyurl.com/gofdpqg
Jan 03, 2017 11:23AM

64419 Merrily wrote: "...Russell who turned 117 today...."

I thought her birthday was yesterday, January 2. The first page of chapter 10 of MREG says January 2 was a Sunday and Russell prevailed upon her solicitors to come into the office despite the day to officiate at her receipt of her inheritance.

Or did you write this yesterday and it just landed on Goodreads today?
64419 Considering how many people on this list whose taste I respect love the series, I was surprised and disappointed to find that I really didn't like this book. I thought the character and actions of Amelia entirely improbable and unbelievable. I might have forgiven that if the mystery had been good. But -- trying very hard to express this without creating any spoilers -- from a very early meeting no more than a few chapters into the book, I could recognize not only the identity of the villain but also the motive, and later I knew right away how the significant apparition was accomplished. It all seemed amazingly predictable. And I have to tell you, I am not one of those who usually or even occasionally figures things out before the protagonist/detective. This might be the second or third time in a lifetime of mystery reading. So if I could figure it out, it really wasn't very mysterious.

In Robert Parker books, I often thought the mystery was nebbish but I loved the dialogue. I didn't feel this book even had that.
Announcements (166 new)
Dec 17, 2016 09:29AM

64419 Alice posted a link to a YouTube video about Sherlock Holmes on the Yahoo! "Letters of Mary" site that I think a lot of members of this community would enjoy: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9ofi3...
Dec 13, 2016 02:48PM

64419 Merrily wrote: "I think Russell might (in truth) amend that to say "in a perfect world" she and Holmes might be content to remain unmarried partners, but I suspect that in this world ( the contemporary world she lives in) she would acknowledge that marriage makes things a lot simpler for the pair. ..."

She explicitly acknowledged that. I can't give you a page number, because I'm looking at the Kindle edition of the stand-alone story, but she says
...having that piece of paper -- that otherwise meaningless piece of paper --would undoubtedly ease such matters as border crossings, hotel rooms, and claiming one another's body in the event of a fatal mishap.

Dec 12, 2016 02:00PM

64419 Merrily wrote: "Tonya wrote: "About to start the chapter about Mary's marriage. Can't wait to read this one"

It's fun, Tonya, and of all the various scenarios that fans have come up with for the wedding, this one..."

Actually, I have to admit that it seemed most unlikely and out of character to me. I really still think of them as having married sensibly in the Registrar's office, with just Mycroft and Watson and Mrs. Hudson in attendance.
Dec 11, 2016 03:23PM

64419 For some reason, I was prepared to dislike this book, perhaps because of the overly cutesy title. But now that I've finally gotten it from the library and read it, I find I liked it a lot.

I'm not blaming Georgie for her cluelessness. I know how to start a log fire in a fireplace or a campground, but I'll bet that if we took a poll, almost no one on this list would know how to start a coal(!) fire in a mansion fireplace, and if we were middle class (if that even existed in mid-1930s England) I think the result might have been the same.

The differences I see between Phryne and Georgie are that Phryne grew up poor and became rich; the exact opposite of Georgie, who grew up rich and became poor. So Phryne was forced to acquire practical knowledge early, whereas Georgie was actively prevented from acquiring practical knowledge. And Phyrne is genuinely adventurous, whereas Georgie is really seeking equilibrium but courageous about adventure if it will get her where she needs to go.

Not sure I think this particular book is great literature, but it was a fun read.
Nov 21, 2016 01:41PM

64419 Erin wrote: "...You should never re-light the pilot yourself! You should call the gas company and have a service rep come out for it. If you don't purge the gas line before relighting you could get a dangerous gas/air mix which could blow something up...."

Useful information, thanks! (I would be calling the gas company because I have no idea how to do anything with my pilot light, and I'm terrified of gas anyway.)
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