Another excellent, engrossing murder mystery by Deborah Crombie. The plot is interesting and complicated, with all sorts of intertwined aspects that kAnother excellent, engrossing murder mystery by Deborah Crombie. The plot is interesting and complicated, with all sorts of intertwined aspects that kept me guessing until the end. As usual, she blends in the personal life of the detectives, and I continue to enjoy the way she does this.
I have been reading her novels out of order, and I'm beginning to feel that that is a mistake, as there is a very clear story arc with Duncan Kincaid and Gemma James that progresses from one to the next. So I may go back to fill in the gaps and then start reading in order from this point....more
The Shipping News is neither the writing style nor subject matter that I normally read or enjoy. Despite that fact, I was drawn into the story and chaThe Shipping News is neither the writing style nor subject matter that I normally read or enjoy. Despite that fact, I was drawn into the story and characters. Proulx excellently portrays everyday life and complicated, interesting people in small-town Newfoundland, drawing a quiet story of love, family, and meaning. There is a wry humor to her writing and her characters really jump off the page. My only minor issue is that her style of writing descriptions with incomplete sentences got tiresome -- I found that it actually made it take more work to read and parse. Also, in the middle I found myself getting a little bored with the story, but I pushed through and became more engaged towards the end....more
Better Than Before is Gretchen Rubin's lucid analysis of how people form (and break) habits. I enjoyed the book and found it helpful. She has clearlyBetter Than Before is Gretchen Rubin's lucid analysis of how people form (and break) habits. I enjoyed the book and found it helpful. She has clearly done an immense amount of reading and observation on the subject, and boils it down into a clear, organized description of the things that impact habit formation. I particularly appreciated her emphasis that there are a variety of factors and what works for one person may not work for another. Her tips and suggestions are practical and she provides a lot of anecdotal examples from her own life as well as other people. I like the way that she undertook research for the book not only by reading and observing, but by actively trying to form new habits in her own life and evaluate the ones she already had.
Several of her tips resonated with me own experiences of forming or breaking habits, both intentionally and unintentionally. I have a particular new habit I would like to form and I am definitely keeping her ideas in mind -- while also paying attention to her strong emphasis on "know thyself" (or, as she puts it for herself, "Be Gretchen").
I do have a couple minor criticisms. I found it very difficult to place myself in one of the four "tendencies" that she describes (upholder, questioner, obliger, and rebel -- they describe how you tend to respond to expectations placed on you by others or yourself), and the quiz at the end was not much help. I would have appreciated a more in-depth quiz or more details on how to figure out which one I am! My other criticism is that there was more of a focus on habits around food, exercise, and sleep than I was expecting. I understand that those are areas that a lot of people struggle with, but they are not the things I am interested in focusing on in my life right now. I would have appreciated more examples of other types of habits....more
The third Emily book has many of the characteristics I love about L.M. Montgomery's writing -- beautiful descriptions, insight into human behavior, syThe third Emily book has many of the characteristics I love about L.M. Montgomery's writing -- beautiful descriptions, insight into human behavior, sympathy for sensitive souls, etc. However, on this read through, I also found it a little stressful and I got somewhat annoyed at the characters acting in ways that seemed foolish. Like the third Anne book, during the entire thing you know that two people are in love with each other, but through silly misunderstandings and pride they keep mis-communicating and take the entire book to figure it out. Of course, that's the whole point of the novel, so I'm not sure why it annoyed me -- maybe I was just not quite in the right mood for it. In any case, it is still a delightful book over all, and of course everything works out in the end....more
A reread of a delightful story by one of my favorite authors. I relate very much to Emily and almost like this series better than the Anne series. ThiA reread of a delightful story by one of my favorite authors. I relate very much to Emily and almost like this series better than the Anne series. This book really shows off Montgomery at her best, with beautiful descriptive passages, funny scenes, insights into small town life, and a deep understanding of the inner needs and desires of a sensitive teenage girl....more