I will say right off that I love Flavia de Luce! Alan Bradley really makes her come to life, and she is beyond entertaining to me.
Flavia's latest adveI will say right off that I love Flavia de Luce! Alan Bradley really makes her come to life, and she is beyond entertaining to me.
Flavia's latest adventure has her trying to determine who killed the organist at St. Tancred's church. A lot is going on, as it is the 5ooth anniversary of the death of the saint, and they are planning to open his tomb. But Flavia's investigation leads to her some shocking and macabre discoveries related to St. Tancred, the church graveyard, and some other residents of Bishop's Lacey. At the same time, Buckshaw, the beloved de Luce family home, is being put up for sale!
This was an enjoyable read, and though it doesn't fit into my Summer Book Bingo, it's another book that helped to keep my mind occupied and pleased during a hard time in my personal life. And the last line in the book is not just a real surprise, but could be a major game-changer for the de Luce family!...more
This book was not what I was expecting - no, it was much better!
When the book opens, Jo McKenzie is trying to keep her two young sons entertained untiThis book was not what I was expecting - no, it was much better!
When the book opens, Jo McKenzie is trying to keep her two young sons entertained until the moving trucks arrive to move them from London to a beachside town about an hour away, where her grandmother lives, and where Jo will take over the wool shop, since her Gran is ready to retire. Jo is a former BBC television producer who has since become a stay-at-home mom. When her husband Nick (who still works for the BBC) returned from a trip, and told her he was in love with someone else, her life was turned upside down. But that same evening, when Nick left the house, he was killed in a fatal car accident. Jo's Gran wants to help her get back on her feet, and Jo is looking forward to a fresh start.
At first, things seem iffy. The remaining woman working in the wool shop, Elsie, is a long-timer, who doesn't like change, and resents Jo's ideas and to some degree, even her presence. But things move along. Jo relies on her best friend Ellen, a new anchor at the BBC, for support and sanity.
As things move along, Jo and her boys feel more and more at home, and begin making friends through school and through the Stitch and Bitch evenings at the shop. When a major movie star who is pregnant stops in the shop to escape the paparazzi, she and Jo begin a friendship, and Jo even teachers her to knit.
OK, that is the basic plot, but this book has much more. There is humor, feelings that actual people have, and even many of the supporting characters are so well done, they seem to be real people. This book is like meeting new friends and hearing all their stories, warts and all. I was impressed with this book, and feel that it would appeal to non-knitters as well.
This book is not saccharine, and Jo's main interest in life is not romance. There are shades of romance, and maybe something big down the road, but it's not one of those I-hope-I-can-find-a-new-man stories....more
I should start by saying that I was already inclined towards liking this book, as I am a fan of Al Franken's and have been for years. I listened the aI should start by saying that I was already inclined towards liking this book, as I am a fan of Al Franken's and have been for years. I listened the audiobook version, which made it even better, with his intonations and asides.
Also, the title - I'm sorry but every time I think of it, I laugh.
This book is really very good. He starts from the beginning, truly - when he was a kid, growing up in Minnesota, going to elementary and high school there, etc. Coming from a regular family who were close and happy - and originally Republican! Then there are the college years, the Franken and Davis years, the SNL years, and finally becoming a U.S. Senator.
I like that he did not take, and still does not take, being a Senator for granted, and feels strongly that he is still responsible to his constituents in a personal way. He is disgusted with the way things have become in our country, and in the halls of Washington, and finds Trump to be a terrible and dangerous person (as do I). He is appalled that Trump appears to have no interest in learning what he needs to know, and much of the book is about everything that Franken needed to know - and often learned the hard way - once he decided to run for the Senate.
There are many wonderful quotes here, and a lot of them are from the late Paul Wellstone, whose seat Franken eventually filled in the Senate. Two of my very favorite quotes are:
"We all do better when we all do better."
"It's hard to pull yourself up by the bootstraps when you don't have boots in the first place."
Yes, this is a good book. Interesting, really funny, and very thoughtful. As I said, I liked Al Franken before, but this book only increased my admiration for him.
This books fills my Summer Book Bingo square "Audiobook read by the author."...more
I started this book yesterday, and decided today to give up.
It's about an American-born detective working in Italy, investigating the murder of an anI started this book yesterday, and decided today to give up.
It's about an American-born detective working in Italy, investigating the murder of an animal-rights activist. I stopped reading because the main suspect early in the book is a person running dog fights, and the main character doesn't like dogs. All of which would be upsetting enough to me, but today is the day we have to take our oldest kitty to the vet for the last time, and I just couldn't read the book any more. Since I didn't feel invested in any of the characters, it's not that big of a deal.
I am however, counting this for my Summer Book Bingo square, "Debut."
Maybe some day I'll give it another try, but right now it's not happening....more
A quick, holiday-themed mystery that I read over the long holiday weekend. Bernie and Libby are catering a re-enactment of a local event that may or mA quick, holiday-themed mystery that I read over the long holiday weekend. Bernie and Libby are catering a re-enactment of a local event that may or may not have actually happened in their town during colonial times. When the local man-about-town is killed by a musket to the face, they undertake an investigation to clear Libby's boyfriend Marvin, who was in charge of picking things up and delivering them to the re-enactment site.
There are a lot of red herrings, and the final resolution was more complex than usual. But it was a fun holiday read....more
On New Year's Eve 1937, two young girls are celebrating as best they can given their humble circumstances when a young man named Tinker Grey comes intOn New Year's Eve 1937, two young girls are celebrating as best they can given their humble circumstances when a young man named Tinker Grey comes into the same jazz bar and sits down at the table next to theirs. Thus begins the story of Katey, Eve, Tinker, and those around them, primarily taking place during 1938. Told from Katey's viewpoint, this book evokes the time, place, and characters in a way that almost makes you feel you were there.
As the book begins, Katey is a member of the secretarial pool at a large law firm, and by the time it ends, she is working on a new magazine at Conde Nast. In between, there are different friends, different affairs, and some shocking occurrences, all involving her circle of acquaintances.
I enjoyed this book because it didn't hesitate to make the characters flawed. It had humor and sadness that were identifiable, and it also illustrated how some friendships never die while others are extremely brief. The time period is also an interesting one, as it takes place when the U.S. was slowly coming out of the Depression, and things were starting to look up.
Another thing I enjoyed were the descriptions of New York during that time, when it was a place containing the dreams of so many from somewhere else.
This book will fill the square on my Summer Book Bingo card for "Told in the first person."...more