As Fred has said, this will probably be the last SoS from some of us because of Christmas at the end of the week. Just a bit busy…
Let’s start with a broader shot.
My reading supply is now beginning to deplete as we move close to birthdays and Christmas (heavens, don’t SAY that word!) and I live in hope of a gifted book voucher. It’s the greatest thrill to choose something special from one’s favourite bookshops so I hope one or two family members might stumble across this post. 😉
Please note that as in the past, I will never reveal a plot. That’s an undertaking I make for the author’s sake and for future readers’ enjoyment. Where’s the fun in reading the book when the plot has been deliberately revealed by someone else?
Currently, I’m reading Juliet Marillier’s A Dance with Fate in print. The second in her Warrior Bards series and set deep in Celtic Britain, as usual she builds a completely believable historical world interlaced with the world of the fey. Nothing jars in Marillier’s work. This story leaped out in the first violent chapter and continues to race at pace through a haunting world. She is my favourite historical fantasy writer par excellence.
On Kindle, I have just finished My name is Eva by Susan Goldring. It was… interesting. A story that moved between the contemporary life of aged Evelyn, through her memories to her involvement in World War II. It’s a light read, even though revenge is a key motivation in the story. If I have any criticism, it’s merely that the end came rapidly, perhaps a little too quickly without tying up loose ends with a couple of the characters. But it’s a negligible criticism.
I’m now reading Push Not the River on Kindle, Book One of The Poland Trilogy by James Conroyd Martin. I didn’t seek this book out; it found me in an ad online. It seemed something I might like and so I swiftly added it to my Kindle library. Set in eighteenth century Poland, I’ve only read four pages, but I already like the character renditions. I know nothing of Polish history and look forward to being informed as well as entertained.
And finally, on audio, I’m listening to Santa Montefiore’s Secrets of the Lighthouse. Why did I choose this? I quite like Montefiore books. They’re light contemporary literature and perfect for the car in these tumultuous times.
I also have a thing for lighthouses and coastal stories. The fact that this is set in enigmatic and beautiful Connemara is grist to my mill.
The audio voice, Susan Ridell, is super for the plethora of female Irish voices, but I find she voices Ellen, the female protagonist, just a little too lightly – as if Ellen is an incredibly naïve thirteen, not in her thirties and running from life. I also find complaint with her voicing of male Irish characters – they’re all gravelly, rough and similar, making it hard to differentiate between them in audio. And I’m a lover of the male Irish voice!
I find I prefer men creating believable female voices than women creating male voices in audio and will choose carefully in the future.
But I’m enjoying the story greatly, particularly the character of the very much present late wife of the anti-hero. The Connemara setting is magnificent and I suspect we’re in for a supernatural and rip-roaring confrontation not very far down the track! ‘Nuff said on that one!
But can I just add that I finished Pullmans’ The Secret Commonwealth last week and can’t WAIT for the next book. WHAT A SERIES!!!!
I also finished Wolf of Wessex in audio and was blown away at Harffy’s departure from The Bernicia Chronicles. This writer has it in spades!
And on Kindle, I finished City of God by SJA Turney, the third in The Knights Templar series. Impeccably researched as always and acting out in one of my favourite historical settings – Constantinople. It’s a setting I’ve used myself a few times!
What I enjoy about this series is that the protagonist, Arnau, is not just a fighting man but a thinking man. That to me, is the difference between a flat, ill-nuanced character and a three-dimensional character. I look forward to more in this series.
And that’s it from my little library for the moment. I hope your reading is as rewarding as mine.
Unless one has crawled under a stone this year and stayed there for the last 8 months, it would be almost impossible to be unaware of a total global shakeup.
In the beginning of 2020 in my own case, an epidemic (at the time) was something happening far away. I remember sitting on the beach and between swims with friends, we chatted about what we would do if Covid-19 arrived in our own little state of Tasmania (Australia). We decided we’d retreat to exactly the place we were at, for however long it took.
As the rest of the world faces ongoing battles with Covid 19, it’s easy to feel a degree of guilt that we are enjoying a certain amount of freedom and no reported cases in my little island state of Tasmania. That said, we also feel a profound sense of gratitude that we have clear air – in so many ways.
The state’s Cape Grim is reputed to have the cleanest air in the world…
And of course, we’re one of the southern bases servicing Antarctica, so we get a puff of clear air from the south very often! This week, after a week where we thought spring had arrived early, with blossoms and bulbs popping out everywhere, the snow is falling on Kunyani/Mt.Wellington and the Met forecasts snow down to 100 metres which just about puts it in the farmyard, certainly in the higher hills. Everyone’s very excited because we don’t get low-lying snow often and even tomorrow, they say the snowline will melt back swiftly to higher elevations.
So we wait impatiently for that brief blanket of white.
I’m a bit sick of myself at the moment – I’m having a bit of an injury-prone Covid-isolation! But then all who know me would say that’s because I go at most things like a bull at a gate.
C’est la vie! It just means I can’t walk as far and as fast and that I’m more of a couch potato (which I have to say I hate!) which means a chance to continue on writing Reliquary and that’s fine because the story is ratcheting up.
As we approach Christmas, I tried to explain to a friend today why Christmas is a secondary thing for our family. That summer is actually the extraordinary and much anticipated time of the year. I think I failed to make any impression at all! So I’ll try and explain here …
I’m back in the Matchbox Garden away from the coast as I prepare for further eye surgery on Tuesday, so had a trip to the nursery, bought a few things and had a little bit of a plantathon… not that one really gets a sweat-up in the Matchbox, unlike my Northern Hemisphere friends who are sweltering!
Today I offer up a bit of a mish-mash of pics because in all honesty, there’s only so much to see in a garden that’s tiny.
In town for ten days or so, it’s been possible to check on the progressions of the Matchbox Garden. Walking around it takes a whole ten minutes. 🙂 But love and care of same can take as long as a piece of string. I’m sure gardeners out there know what I mean. For example, one of my new auriculas is struggling and as its a new cultivar from a breeder-friend, I am hoping it will survive. Hope comes with necessary research and so the piece of string has no end…
Anyway, here’s my Six on Saturday and the fact is that I could have put more in as spring is starting to push up from beneath the soil. There’s only about 40+ days till spring and less than 100 to daylight saving!!!!