Sunday (Evening) Post

Here we are again at Sunday evening?  Where did the time get to? I was so busy this week, I met myself coming and going, but did MAKE some time for books and things “bookish.”

What I finished reading this week:  The Train to Crystal City by Jan Jarboe Russell.  This was “due” for my Third Tuesday Book Club at the local library, and I finished it just in time–literally (in the original sense of the word).  As I baked a cake for our wonderful head librarian’s retirement party at the book club meeting, I read the last couple of chapters of the book Tues. morning. (That’s cutting it too close!) Also I finished a cozy mystery which I reviewed here last post–a most refreshing “escape” read. I finished the first two chapters of Acts in time for this morning’s job of subbing for our Sunday School teacher.  It took a lot of digging and thinking and reading commentaries and comments from the writer of our student quarterly, so quite a bit of reading was involved. ( Another “close one.” I finished the “finishing touches” (pun intended) on the lesson last night around 9:30 pm.)

What I am reading now: I am still reading on The True American by Anad Giridharadas, which is really a good read, but “something” ( a library book due, a TV show, a movie on  the computer that was just too tempting,…) keeps popping up, and I know I can keep this one until Thanksgiving or later if necessary (It is on loan from a friend).I am also reading or am reading and looking at two articles in Image, a local (Brazoria County) magazine by a woman who was once my eighth grade student and is now a free lance writer.  Both are on local museums (both in small towns).  She also took the pictures for the articles which are as well done as the articles themselves.As usual, I am reading the Sunday edition of The Houston Chronicle, my usual Sunday afternoon pastime.  Ok, so today I’ve only gotten as far as the comics! I’ve been cooking for the coming week.

What I am starting right now: Three library books, including The Thoughtful Dresser,and The Little Prince,which is the November book club “assignment.”  I have seen the film and read the book ages ago, but the prospect of a discussion prompts a re-read.

What I am watching:  The Big Bang (caught up to date) and the 9:00 hour of the Today Show on NBC which is called “Trending Today” and I tape faithfully so I won’t “miss anything.” (caught up to date). What I have given up on: The Good Life.  I feel I gave it a fair try but found myself “doing other things” while supposedly watching.

Two movies: Into the Woods, which was a “happy accident” and a great movie with a marvelous cast, wonderful songs and superb acting.  The movie I intended to see, A Walk in the Woods, with Robert Redford and Nick Nolte (and Emma Thompson!) I finished today after lunch.  It did not follow the book by Bill Bryson, but in all fairness, it did say, “adapted from the book” and Bryson was in on the planning of the film.  It was good, but I kept reminding myself, “That was a Hollywood touch.”  However, I thoroughly enjoyed the film as a stand alone.

What I intended:  I intended to participate in the Dewey’s 24 Hour Marathon, but life caught up with me and overwhelmed me instead.  I did visit Debbie Nance’s hosting hour yesterday from 2-3 and eavesdropped on blogging friends who have become as close as really flesh and blood friends because of their clever comments and kind commitment to follow my blog.

Thank you, all of you, who have stopped in this evening (even if you are stopping in Tues. or later! Ha!) Please continue to stay in touch, and thanks for all the hours of “happy reading time” well invested in reading your posts, reviews, pass-alongs, and musings.

Rae

ANOTHER COZY MYSTERY: A WEE MURDER IN MY SHOP by Fran Stewart

I love being in on the first of a series, and this book is the first in “A Scotshop Mystery Series”.  The heroine/amateur sleuth, Peggy, is a protagonist I want to follow through many adventures solving murders.

At first, I kept thinking, when are we going to find a dead body? as Peggy goes on a buying trip to Scotland to purchase authentic scotch tartan kilts, scarves, and ties for her wee shop, the Scotshop, in the states.  Her trip is as much an escape (from  finding her “almost fiancee” in her bed with her best friend) as it is her annually scheduled buying trip.

Staying at the bed and breakfast she always uses, owned by Mr. and Mrs. Sinclair, the elderly grandparent-like proprietors who don’t ask nosy questions nor for explanations for her low spirits, the three go on a hike to enjoy the Scottish air and countryside.  This is where Peggy meets Macbeth Donleavy Freusach Finlay Macearachar MacPheidiran of Clan Farquharson, who claims his friends call him “Mock-bey-ath” or at least that’s what it sounds like to Peggy.  He is one brawny, handsome Scotsman; unfortunately he has been dead since the thirteen hundreds.  Only Peggy can see him because she has purchased in a wee shop (which she mysteriously is unable to re-locate) a shawl that belonged to Macbeth’s true love, Peigi.  With the assistance of the author’s creative spellings, one can hear the accents and drawn out syllables which are part of our hero’s charm (who is ONE of the book’s heroes and “love interests”; the other is the investigating Captain  Harper, new to the local police force and very much alive.)

It is when the Scotsman and Peggy return to the States that they finally (page 89!) find the dead body–Mason, Peggy’s ex (in more ways than one, now) boyfriend…in her shop! (Have you ever noticed that in cozy mysteries, the person who ends up dead is always someone you love to hate?)

This mystery is funny, has a cast of characters you care about, and the solution to the murder is totally unpredictable (but not out of “left field”). There are so many funny moments explaining printed books,  why things are called certain words when it doesn’t make any sense at all, automobiles, etc. to Macbeth, whom by now Peggy refers to by a pet name “Dirk” in honor of the  huge dagger he carries in his sock/sheath under his kilt (yes, the innuendo is there–one of many clever, sophisticated ones).

The author is a quirky, original, fluid writer who keeps the reader WANTING to read further, not just to solve the murder, but to enjoy the next little cleverly phrased statement or twist in the plot.

I highly recommend this book and the coming series.

SUNDAY (EVENING) POST

The PWR Reading Marathon (W-Sun.  morning) and Rae’s Reading Race Sunday afternoon was a success and was the quarterly get together for the PWR’s.  It was hard to schedule a time when all could meet, and interestingly enough, one member of the group who could not attend said, “October is such a busy month.” With November (Thanksgiving) and December (Christmas) holidays coming up, we could not postpone the “event” any longer. (We were already overdue to meet.)

There were six in attendance and enough food to feed twelve or more, but we “made the best of it” by making returns to the food table.  Most of the guests brought books for Rae’s Little Free Library with promises of even more.  We piled all the books together, and some left with as many as four books to add to their TBR stacks. It was an informal, informative and down-right good time.

Personally, between Wednesday and Sunday, I whittled down my TBR stack as follows:

Started and Finished The Improbable Theory of Ana and Zak, a young adult novel, reviewed on this blog Sunday morning.

Started and almost finished a delightful cozy mystery, A Wee Murder in My Shop, which my husband’s cousin who is my  book buddy ,sent me.  It will be reviewed soon.

I had to work on something serious, so I managed (in between serious housecleaning and baking for the “party”) to read 24 pages of Train to Crystal City, my Third Tuesday Book Club assignment (due Tuesday–Yikes!) and 41 pages of The True American:Murder and Mayhem in Texas —a loan from a friend who should be getting antsy about its return, but he isn’t because he is a good, patient friend.

I find marathons a helpful way to whittle down that TBR stack and get reading done that wouldn’t have happened without a concentrated effort.  Dewey’s 24 Marathon is coming up next weekend, and I hope to participate in that. I am determined to MAKE TIME for reading, and marathons can make that happen.

What I’m reading now:  The three books mentioned above; the two non-fiction and the cozy mystery

What I’m looking forward to reading next: The Thoughtful Dresser: The Act of Adornment, the Pleasures of Shopping, and Why Clothes Matter   I checked it out from the Alvin Library, and I sure hope it automatically renews!

It’s been a happy week for reading, and although this week promises to be busy (handing back mid-term papers), I hope I can MAKE TIME FOR READING.