VivienneR reads the Language of Flowers

Forum2022 Category Challenge

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VivienneR reads the Language of Flowers

1VivienneR
Bearbeitet: Jan. 14, 7:22pm

 

This will be my 9th year at the Category Challenge and where I feel most at home on LibraryThing. I’m retired and live with my husband in the south east corner of British Columbia where we enjoy hot summers and snowy winters. I’m fortunate that my son and daughter-in-law live nearby, our only family in Canada. As I’ve mentioned often, I am originally from Northern Ireland and like to keep up with Irish authors.

This year my categories come from the language of flowers. I’m also doing a Queen Elizabeth II challenge for her Platinum Jubilee celebrating her 70 year reign in 2022 where I aim to read one book by a British author published in each year of her reign. If I manage to get halfway this year I’ll be happy.

2VivienneR
Bearbeitet: Heute, 1:56pm

Currently reading:

   

Recently read:

              

3VivienneR
Bearbeitet: Heute, 2:03pm


QEII Platinum Jubilee
Lily of the Valley is said to be Queen Elizabeth’s favourite flower - Up first is my plan to read a book by a British author published in each year of her reign, with a different author each year. I hope to get at least half read this year.

Double-dipping: Because this will probably be a high volume category, I will allow any of these titles to be used in CATs, KITs or Bingo if they happen to fit.

1952 Excellent Women by Barbara Pym
1953
1954
1955
1956 Five on a Secret Trail by Enid Blyton
1957 Ten Pollitt Place by C. H. B. Kitchin
1958
1959 My Friends the Miss Boyds by Jane Duncan
1960
1961 Thunderball by Ian Fleming
1962 The Mirror Crack'd From Side To Side by Agatha Christie
1963
1964
1965
1966
1967
1968
1969
1970
1971
1972
1973 Father Christmas by Raymond Briggs
1974
1975
1976
1977
1978
1979
1980
1981
1982
1983
1984
1985
1986
1987
1988
1989
1990
1991
1992
1993
1994
1995
1996
1997
1998
1999
2000
2001
2002
2003
2004
2005
2006
2007
2008 When Will There Be Good News by Kate Atkinson
2009
2010
2011
2012
2013
2014
2015
2016 Real Tigers by Mick Herron
2017
2018
2019
2020
2021
2022

4VivienneR
Bearbeitet: Jan. 14, 3:13pm


Familiar faces
Blue Hyacinths mean constancy - I’ve always loved these little Grape Hyacinths that pop up every year no matter how much they are disrupted in the fall clean up. Some of my favourite authors will appear here.

  • All My Puny Sorrows by Miriam Toews
  • 5VivienneR
    Bearbeitet: Jan. 14, 3:13pm


    Fresh faces
    Daffodils say new beginnings - for new-to-me authors.

    6VivienneR
    Bearbeitet: Jan. 14, 3:14pm


    On the shelf since…
    Bluebells mean kindness - this is my attempt to be kind to those books that have been collecting dust.

    7VivienneR
    Bearbeitet: Jan. 14, 3:14pm


    Arrivals
    Anemone is for anticipation - for the books that have recently arrived on my shelves.

  • The Case of the Bizarre Bouquets by Nancy Springer
  • 8VivienneR
    Bearbeitet: Jan. 14, 3:14pm


    Departures
    Sweet Pea indicates departure - here I’ll be departing from UK, US, and Canadian settings for travel to other countries.

    9VivienneR
    Bearbeitet: Jan. 14, 3:14pm


    Series
    Clover means think of me - a reminder to keep up with some of the series I’ve been following.

    10VivienneR
    Bearbeitet: Jan. 14, 3:14pm


    Big books
    Orchid says abundance - for books with more than 500 pages or too big to read in bed.

    11VivienneR
    Bearbeitet: Jan. 14, 3:15pm


    RandomKIT
    Gerbera means cheerfulness - perfect for my favourite KIT.

    January - Home sweet home: Ten Pollitt Place by C. H. B. Kitchin

    12VivienneR
    Bearbeitet: Jan. 14, 3:15pm


    MysteryKIT
    Daisy means innocence - and we know there is always an innocent party in a mystery.

    January - series: Death of a Nurse by M.C. Beaton

    13VivienneR
    Bearbeitet: Heute, 12:53am


    AlphaKIT
    Bouvardia indicates Zest for life - used to find all the letters especially the tricky X and Z. A tenuous link I know…

    January R & H: Midnight Fugue by Reginald Hill
    January R & H: Real Tigers by Mick Herron

    14VivienneR
    Bearbeitet: Jan. 14, 3:15pm


    CATs
    Forget-me-not is for remembrance - I will try to remember CATs here, maybe not every month, but the ones that catch my fancy.

    15VivienneR
    Bearbeitet: Jan. 16, 4:57pm


    BingoDOG
    Gardenia for good luck - an absolute necessity for playing Bingo!



    1. When Will There Be Good News by Kate Atkinson
    2.
    3. Excellent Women by Barbara Pym
    4.
    5.
    6.
    7. Five on a Secret Trail by Enid Blyton
    8.
    9.
    10.
    11.
    12.
    13.
    14. The Holdout by Graham Moore
    15.
    16.
    17.
    18.
    19.
    20.
    21.
    22.
    23.
    24.
    25.

    16VivienneR
    Nov. 24, 2021, 4:44pm

    Welcome!

    17Helenliz
    Nov. 24, 2021, 5:09pm

    Fabulous theme and pictures. My favourite of your flowers is the bluebells, and especially as the picture is the native species, not the Spanish type. It's hard not to smile at a gerbera though, they match their trait extremely well.
    Good luck with your 70 years challenge, I look forward to seeing what you read - and maybe stealing a few ideas!

    18majkia
    Nov. 24, 2021, 6:11pm

    lovely theme and great pics! Good luck!

    19VivienneR
    Nov. 24, 2021, 6:14pm

    >17 Helenliz: Thank you, Helen! I love bluebells too, they remind me of going for walks in the country with my mum when I was a kid. I still remember the scent.

    I'm still working on choosing books for the QEII category and trying to use books I own, without doubling up on authors.

    20VivienneR
    Nov. 24, 2021, 6:18pm

    >18 majkia: Thank you, Jean!

    21Tess_W
    Nov. 24, 2021, 7:07pm

    Beautiful, Vivienne!

    22NinieB
    Nov. 24, 2021, 10:13pm

    Vivienne, you've done a great job with a beautiful theme. I'm looking forward to seeing your choices this year.

    23dudes22
    Bearbeitet: Nov. 24, 2021, 11:06pm

    Love your challenge! I used flowers a few years ago and you've chosen some great ones to match your categories. I'm looking forward to your QE II category too.

    24MissWatson
    Nov. 25, 2021, 3:10am

    It's a wonderful theme, Vivienne! I'll be following along eagerly, especially for the QEII challenge, that is such a marvellous idea.

    25marell
    Nov. 25, 2021, 8:20am

    Vivienne, I don’t think I’ve ever seen such lovely flower photos. I’ll be keeping an especially close eye on your Departures and Series categories. Happy reading in 2022.

    26hailelib
    Nov. 25, 2021, 11:51am

    Wonderful flower pictures. And I liked the cartoons at the top.

    27VivienneR
    Nov. 25, 2021, 1:03pm

    >21 Tess_W:
    >22 NinieB:
    >23 dudes22:
    >24 MissWatson:
    >25 marell:
    >26 hailelib:

    Thank you all. I'm really looking forward to a new challenge, a new year, and sharing our reading.

    28DeltaQueen50
    Nov. 25, 2021, 1:05pm

    Fantastic theme and pictures! I love the idea of your QEII challenge - what a fun idea. I am setting a star here and look forward to following along with you in 2022.

    29Jackie_K
    Nov. 25, 2021, 1:43pm

    What a lovely theme! I've starred your thread, and no doubt will pick up some BBs from here throughout the year.

    30VivienneR
    Nov. 25, 2021, 2:46pm

    >28 DeltaQueen50: Thanks, Judy! I'm having fun planning my challenge.
    >29 Jackie_K: Thank you, Jackie! Those BBs go in both directions.

    31pamelad
    Nov. 25, 2021, 3:49pm

    I'm looking forward to seeing what pops up in your Queen Elizabeth challenge and predicting some cross pollination in 2022. Happy reading!

    32VivienneR
    Nov. 25, 2021, 5:13pm

    >31 pamelad: "cross pollination" - I like that! 😀

    33beebeereads
    Nov. 26, 2021, 3:54pm

    This is a beautiful and thoughtful set up. I look forward to following along!

    34VivienneR
    Nov. 26, 2021, 4:16pm

    >33 beebeereads: Thank you, I'll look forward to sharing our reading experiences.

    35clue
    Bearbeitet: Nov. 26, 2021, 8:47pm

    I love flowers, all of them have their special beauty. Those blue hyacinths, known to me as grape hyacinths, are tough little guys. I've had them pop up in my beds for years and I've never planted one!

    I look forward to following you again and hope you enjoy your new reading year.

    36dudes22
    Nov. 27, 2021, 7:26am

    My daughter-in-law gave me The Language of Flowers by Odessa Begay for my birthday and I loved it so much, I'm giving it to 3 people who like to garden for Christmas. It has some great illustrations.

    37VivienneR
    Nov. 27, 2021, 3:48pm

    >35 clue: I've had the same experience with grape hyacinths. Even if I turn over the flower beds, they pop up somewhere else, even in the lawn. I've never planted one either but with that kind of success I'm considering it.

    >36 dudes22: What a lovely gift! I always enjoy books that I can browse through and enjoy the illustrations - especially anything to do with gardens.

    38thornton37814
    Dez. 4, 2021, 3:30pm

    Your flower garden is lovely! I hope it is filled with good reads in 2022!

    39VivienneR
    Dez. 4, 2021, 6:32pm

    Thank you, Lori! I'm looking forward to 2022.

    40mstrust
    Dez. 8, 2021, 5:10pm

    Good luck in 2022! I'm looking forward to your Queen's reading list, and the little forget-me-nots are adorable!

    41rabbitprincess
    Dez. 8, 2021, 5:46pm

    This challenge makes me think of Enola Holmes! The language of flowers is a theme in the series (the books, anyway). Have a great 2022!

    42VivienneR
    Dez. 8, 2021, 8:56pm

    >40 mstrust: Thank you, Jennifer. It's been a job trying to find books for the Queen's category among the books I own, looks like I'll have to get a few from the library. I loved the pic of the forget-me-nots too.

    >41 rabbitprincess: I still haven't got around to reading Enola Holmes but will definitely check that out. I see one in the series is titled The Case of the Bizarre Bouquets that sounds like a must for my challenge. I've enjoyed the Rowan Hood series.

    43kac522
    Dez. 10, 2021, 12:56pm

    Gorgeous pictures! I have The Language of Flowers by Vanessa Diffenbaugh on the TBR shelf; this is giving me incentive to bump it up, especially as we get in the depths of winter.

    Love the QEII challenge--Lily of the Valley is my favorite flower, too. And your first book Excellent Women by Barbara Pym is one of my favorites.

    Dropping a star and wishing you a bouquet of wonderful reading this year.

    44VivienneR
    Dez. 10, 2021, 3:27pm

    >43 kac522: Thank you, Kathy! Since I decided on this theme I've come across a number of books about the language of flowers.

    I've enjoyed other Barbara Pym books but haven't read Excellent Women. I'm looking forward to it. Our mail has been delayed because of the flooding that cut off Vancouver so the copy I ordered hasn't arrived. Looks like I'll have to borrow the library copy.

    Lily of the Valley is a beautiful flower, one of my favourites too even though I've never been able to grow any.

    I'm looking forward to sharing our reading in the new year.

    45kac522
    Dez. 10, 2021, 6:17pm

    >44 VivienneR: I think I'm going to add Excellent Women to my re-read list for 2022...I also loved Quartet in Autumn and No Fond Return of Love and want to re-read those. Ahh, too many books....

    46VivienneR
    Dez. 11, 2021, 12:06am

    >45 kac522: Good idea to revisit a book you enjoyed. I'm often torn - why reread a book when there are so many still to read for the first time, but my "to read again" shelf continues to expand.

    47lowelibrary
    Dez. 15, 2021, 11:31pm

    Good luck with your 2022 reading.

    48mstrust
    Dez. 16, 2021, 12:40pm

    I haven't read every book by Pym, but a few. Excellent Women has been my favorite so far.

    49VivienneR
    Dez. 16, 2021, 2:12pm

    >47 lowelibrary: Thank you, April.

    >48 mstrust: That's good to hear, Jennifer. Thanks for that. That popularity might be the reason I've had a lot of trouble laying my hands on a copy, from any source. I was delighted to get a package delivered today and ripped it open only to find it was not Pym but a Christmas gift from my husband. Surpri-ise!

    50Crazymamie
    Dez. 24, 2021, 8:52am

    Lovely images! Looking forward to following your reading in 2022.

    51VivienneR
    Dez. 24, 2021, 1:41pm

    >50 Crazymamie: Thank you, Mamie. I'm ready and looking forward to the New Year reading.

    52mnleona
    Dez. 27, 2021, 11:11am

    Wonderful pictures.

    53VivienneR
    Dez. 27, 2021, 2:24pm

    >52 mnleona: Thank you, Leona.

    54mstrust
    Dez. 31, 2021, 11:28am

    55VivienneR
    Jan. 1, 12:00am

    >54 mstrust: Thank you, Jennifer. And the same wishes to you. As the card says "may you enjoy 365 days of good health" - and good reading!

    56AlisonY
    Jan. 2, 6:32am

    Happy New Year, Vivienne! I'm a sucker for flowers - love your new thread theme. Look forward to following along in 2022.

    57BLBera
    Jan. 2, 12:21pm

    Happy New Year, Vivienne. I love your theme. I look forward to following along in 2022.

    58Chrischi_HH
    Jan. 2, 1:03pm

    Happy New Year, Vivienne! A beautiful selection of flowers. I especially like the clover picture, because at first I thought it was something bigger and was then pleasantly surprised. Enjoy your reading!

    59VivienneR
    Jan. 2, 7:48pm

    >56 AlisonY: I'm a sucker for flowers too, Alison! I have more categories than I'll be able to handle because I couldn't resist the flowers.

    >57 BLBera: Thank you, Beth! And Happy New Year to you too. I'll be expecting BBs as usual from you in 2022.

    >58 Chrischi_HH: Thank you! I really like clover so had to use them somewhere. Happy reading in 2022.

    60VivienneR
    Jan. 2, 8:01pm



    category: QEII Platinum Jubilee (1952) & Bingo 3

    Excellent Women by Barbara Pym

    Fortunately Mildred Lathbury understands what is expected of a single clergyman's daughter in 1950s Britain, still recovering from war and shortages. Still, the unwanted requests for help come from all sides, and Mildred cheerfully obliges. As one of those "excellent women" who do the everyday work of the church: the flower arrangements, organizing jumble sales, polishing the brasses, sitting on committees, and making gallons of tea, Mildred is a woman who can be relied on to handle anything. This was a charming story, true to life for the era, highly entertaining and filled with fabulous characters. My favourite Barbara Pym novel that I've read so far.



    category: QEII Platinum Jubilee (1961)

    Thunderball by Ian Fleming

    With frequent cringingly sexist passages, this was evidently written long before the style was abandoned and while it was still expected of Bond. Enjoyable to some extent, but probably would have been better read during the Bond era in the 1960s. This was the last of a box set that I received as a gift a couple of years ago, and not one of Fleming's best although the novels are generally a step up and of more substance than the movies.

    61thornton37814
    Jan. 3, 11:41am

    >60 VivienneR: I must get to the Pym book this year! It's on my TBR list.

    62AlisonY
    Jan. 3, 12:14pm

    I have a strange relationship with Pym books - I nostalgically think I enjoy them after the fact much more than I actually did at the time.

    63Nickelini
    Jan. 3, 1:59pm

    Great themes! Happy New Year

    64VivienneR
    Jan. 3, 3:25pm

    >61 thornton37814: You will enjoy it, Lori!

    >62 AlisonY: I feel a little like that too, but I enjoyed this one more than others. Her writing reminds me of Muriel Spark, whose books I like better.

    >63 Nickelini: Thank you, and Happy New Year to you too. Are you getting lots of snow. We've had a record snowfall and still coming down. The ski hills will love it.

    65VivienneR
    Jan. 3, 3:31pm



    category: AlphaKIT

    Midnight Fugue by Reginald Hill

    A story that takes place all in one day at a time when Dalziel is about to return to work following his convalescence when he was blown up by a terrorist bomb (in a previous book). Still a bit muddle-headed, he was visiting a church to confirm that it is Sunday and enjoying a Bach Fugue when he is approached by a woman. The music reference crops up often in the story and Dalziel's knowledge of Bach surprises and annoys the supercilious Pascoe. Maybe Pascoe thought Andy was on the scrap heap and he was in charge, only to have his ambition thwarted again. Hill has created a mystery with a clever plot combining musical allusion and humour. I've never been a fan of Pascoe, but Dalziel, even with his earthy language, is one of my favourite fictional characters.

    66Nickelini
    Bearbeitet: Jan. 3, 3:52pm

    >64 VivienneR: Are you getting lots of snow. We've had a record snowfall and still coming down. The ski hills will love it.

    We HAVE had a lot of snow, and very cold (for us), but it started raining 2 days ago and washed a lot away. Currently it's just before 1 in the afternoon, the clouds are low, it's very dark, and pouring rain. Ugh! But it's supposed to turn to snow this afternoon and tomorrow is supposed to be rain-snow-rain-snow, which is always super fun

    Are you close to Fernie? I sometimes watch a young dad's YouTube channel about skiing in Fernie. A recent video had his kids unable to ski because the powder was so deep. It went up to the forehead of his 3 year old. Adorable, and he also had some amazing footage of the adults skiing powder up to their hips. I've retired my skiis, but I still like to watch

    67NanaCC
    Jan. 3, 4:03pm

    >65 VivienneR: Happy New Year, Vivienne! I love your theme. The flowers are lovely.

    Well, you’ve already managed to put a new to me series on my wishlist. I’ve never read anything by Reginald Hill. And I do like Barbara Pym. Excellent Women is already on my wishlist, and I had forgotten about it. I’ll look forward to it.

    68mstrust
    Jan. 3, 5:32pm

    I'm glad you like the Pym as much as I did!

    69VivienneR
    Bearbeitet: Jan. 3, 6:43pm

    >66 Nickelini: Fernie is in the general area, I borrow books from their library sometimes although I haven't been in it. I was on the board of the Kootenay Library Federation so visited most libraries in the area.

    Our snow would cover a three-year-old! This is the most we have had in one snowfall since we've lived here. And we're to get more every day this week. I'm just dreading the snow plough coming past because he leaves a mountainous berm behind the car, the hardest stuff to clear. Luckily we have nice neighbours with machines that will handle it! Rain and snow mixed Ugh!

    >67 NanaCC: And Happy New Year to you too. I can't believe you haven't tried Reginald Hill. I guess you didn't watch the Dalziel and Pascoe series on tv. Warren Clarke stars as Dalziel. Dalziel is an old school detective with an earthy Yorkshire style of speech, Pascoe is priggish and has been known to quote Latin phrases to the boss. I hope you try the series. And don't forget Excellent Women, you will enjoy it.

    >68 mstrust: Pym was excellent. I love her vivid characters. It reminded me of my first flat where I was shocked to find I shared a bathroom, with two "excellent women" straight out of Pym's book. One was terrified of burglars so would bolt the front door in the evening. Then when I got home to find myself locked out she wouldn't answer the doorbell "in case it was a burglar".

    70clue
    Jan. 3, 7:59pm

    >60 VivienneR: I read most, if not all of Barbara Pym long ago and obviously enjoyed them. They certainly had different covers than you show here. I hadn't seen the updated ones and I think it's a good idea because younger readers might respond better to them than the ones I had.

    71VivienneR
    Jan. 3, 8:58pm

    >70 clue: I was quite disappointed at the cover of my copy. The old covers are the ones I like best. I agree, the new covers might be more appealing to younger readers.

    72Tess_W
    Jan. 3, 9:02pm

    Never read nor never heard of Barbara Pym! I guess I need to find a Pym novel!

    73VivienneR
    Jan. 3, 9:29pm

    >72 Tess_W: Yes, you must find a Pym novel, Tess. In Excellent Women she portrayed the post-war period in the UK very well, especially for women.

    74mathgirl40
    Jan. 3, 10:44pm

    >60 VivienneR: Taking a BB for Excellent Women, as I'm hoping to fill out my 1001 Books category this year. The 1001 list has so many challenging and/or depressing books on it that it's nice to find a charming and entertaining book for a change.

    75PaulCranswick
    Jan. 4, 5:14am



    Happy New Year, Vivienne. x

    76hailelib
    Jan. 4, 8:41am

    >60 VivienneR:

    I might try Excellent Women as well.

    77VivienneR
    Jan. 4, 3:06pm

    >74 mathgirl40: Glad I was able to help you fill out your 1001 Books category. I agree, a run of glum books is difficult, especially at this time of year.

    >75 PaulCranswick: Thank you, Paul! Wise advice! Best wishes for a happy, healthy New Year!

    >76 hailelib: Good choice, I hope you enjoy it.

    78VivienneR
    Bearbeitet: Jan. 5, 12:56am



    My Friends the Miss Boyds by Jane Duncan

    category: QEII Platinum Jubilee (1959)

    Written in the first person by eight-year-old Janet Sandison (known also by the name of the croft, Reachfar) this story is set in Scotland in 1918 when her world is beginning to change. Also a social history of manners and local customs, it describes a charming childhood where Janet is expected to "Do As She Is Told" but with solicitude and sensitivity. Granny is boss, except when Grandfather chooses make a decision, reminding me of my own beloved grandparents. The Miss Boyds were six sisters who came to the village from the town and were protected by the Reachfars. Although there are dark sections, the story is for the most part sweet and will tug at the heartstrings.

    79VivienneR
    Jan. 5, 1:46am



    category: QEII Platinum Jubilee (1973)

    Father Christmas by Raymond Briggs

    This was the Father Christmas from my childhood: a normal, if slightly rotund, grandfatherly type. In the UK he was (maybe still is) not generally known as Santa Claus but as Father Christmas or even Daddy Christmas by little children. Briggs has given him a home typical of the 1930s or thereabouts with an outside loo, stables for the deer, and an OXO tin for his sandwiches. He has my admiration because he tends to the animals first, making sure they are warm and well-fed. He may have been a bit grumpy when he wakened on Christmas Eve but who wouldn't when they have a big job to do in the worst weather. At heart though, he is a sun-worshipper and dreams of holidays in tropical locations. I've had this book for many years and it will always be one of my favourites. The illustrations are a delight.





    80Nickelini
    Jan. 5, 1:57am

    >79 VivienneR: That's so lovely!

    Thanks for sharing. I only know The Snowman, which I love. Also the film version, the music is enchanting: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5A3THighARU

    I love the European takes on Christmas! We never did the typical Canadian Christmas, with the standard Santa and all, because my family didn't do that, and neither did my Italian husband's.

    81VivienneR
    Jan. 5, 2:25pm

    >80 Nickelini: Glad you liked it! And thank you for The Snowman link.

    Father Christmas might entertain a youngster but it will mainly be appreciated by grown-ups, especially those of British origin.

    Briggs is also the author of When the Wind Blows, a darkly funny graphic novel about an older couple who are following government advice on how to prepare for an imminent nuclear holocaust. I've seen the play on stage and it's so sad while the humour gets embarrassed laughs from the audience. I see some people on LT have it tagged as a children's book which it most definitely is not.

    82Crazymamie
    Jan. 5, 3:33pm

    >79 VivienneR: That is so charming - I love the illustrations.

    >81 VivienneR: You have made me curious about When the Wind Blows.

    83Jackie_K
    Jan. 5, 3:53pm

    >79 VivienneR: Growing up he was always 'Father Christmas', it's only since having a child in Scotland that I discover that they almost never say 'Father Christmas' here, it's all 'Santa'. When my parents asked my daughter about Father Christmas a couple of years ago, I had to tell her they meant Santa before she knew what they were talking about!

    84VivienneR
    Bearbeitet: Jan. 5, 9:49pm

    >82 Crazymamie: I love the illustrations too! I can look at the details for ages. His cat and dog are very eloquent. I wondered if When the Wind Blows had been made into a movie, and yes, there is a movie dated 1986, directed by Jimmy T. Murakami. With Peggy Ashcroft, John Mills, Robin Houston, James Russell.

    ETA: I love the familiar red OXO tin that he carries his sandwiches in. OXO were foil-wrapped, strong beef-flavoured cubes. My mother used to stir one into a mug of hot water to make a hot drink, especially if there was colds and flu about. The tin they came in were the perfect size for sandwiches. I don't know if they are still available. Strangely I came across mention of them in Ghosts of Everest, the climbers used them for nutrition value.

    >83 Jackie_K: Isn't that odd that in Scotland he is Santa. After living in Canada for so long I don't know what he's called in Northern Ireland nowadays. What a shame to lose the name though, 'Father Christmas' is so descriptive.

    85clue
    Bearbeitet: Jan. 5, 9:45pm

    >78 VivienneR: I've tried to read this twice and didn't get very far into it either time. I didn't want to clear it from the shelf though so I'll try it again. I don't even know why I didn't like it!

    86VivienneR
    Jan. 5, 9:52pm

    >84 VivienneR: It sort of drones on a bit. When she left to deliver eggs and butter to the Miss Boyds it was many pages before she arrived. And the Scottish dialect is throughout, which might bother some people if unaccustomed to it. There is some tragedy in it though, which I didn't expect.

    87Tess_W
    Jan. 6, 6:39am

    >79 VivienneR: Great illustrations!

    OXO still produces foil wrapped bouillon cubes.

    88Crazymamie
    Jan. 6, 11:21am

    >84 VivienneR: Okay, I loved the trivia about the OXO tins! I ended up ordering both When the Wind Blows and Father Christmas, so nicely done.

    89MissBrangwen
    Jan. 6, 1:19pm

    >79 VivienneR: That is so cute! Thank you for sharing. I love Christmas traditions and was interested in reading about the different names for Father Christmas in the different regions.

    90VivienneR
    Jan. 6, 2:55pm

    >87 Tess_W: Thanks, Tess. Oh, that's interesting. I haven't seen them for many, many years but then I've been vegetarian for 40 years so probably wouldn't notice them.

    >88 Crazymamie: I know you will enjoy them, Mamie!

    >89 MissBrangwen: Glad you enjoyed that bit of Christmas tradition, Mirjam.

    91VivienneR
    Bearbeitet: Jan. 9, 2:58pm



    category: QEII Platinum Jubilee 2008

    When Will There Be Good News by Kate Atkinson

    When a mother and two of her children were murdered, a third child, six-year-old Joanna, witnessed the slaughter and got away. Now an adult she employs sixteen-year-old Reggie as a nanny. When Joanna disappears Reggie is suspicious, but the husband denies there is anything wrong. However, Reggie, in keeping with her devotion to Joanna, keeps up the search with the help of her new acquaintance, Jackson Brodie. As with all of Atkinson's stories, the plot has many threads that she is able to unravel and bring back together in a page-turner with a resounding and satisfying conclusion. This is the third in the excellent Jackson Brodie series.

    edited to correct date

    92Caroline_McElwee
    Jan. 9, 7:26am

    Aha, tracked you down Vivienne. What a beautiful thread. I shall enjoy keeping up with your reading.

    93Crazymamie
    Bearbeitet: Jan. 9, 7:43am

    >91 VivienneR: I absolutely adore that series!

    94Tess_W
    Jan. 9, 9:11am

    >91 VivienneR: Sounds like a great book. Do you have to read number 1 & 2 before this one?

    95Helenliz
    Jan. 9, 12:07pm

    >91 VivienneR: I'm slightly confused, how does that fit 1980 for the QEII challenge?

    96VivienneR
    Jan. 9, 2:59pm

    >92 Caroline_McElwee: Good to see you drop by, Caroline. Looking forward to sharing reading experiences again this year.

    >93 Crazymamie: Me too! This was the first of my re-reading the series. I hope to get to more soon.

    >94 Tess_W: I read them out of sequence the first time around and it didn't seem to matter much. I watched the tv series too, with Jason Isaacs, so they were really mixed up for me.

    >95 Helenliz: Aaargh! Thank you, Helen! I have no idea where 1980 came from, should have been 2008. I have a list of potential titles and it's in the right place there so brain slippage is my only excuse.

    97NanaCC
    Jan. 10, 1:48pm

    >91 VivienneR: I’ve read all five of the books in this series, Vivienne, and enjoyed them all. I enjoyed the tv series, although I’m not sure that it really follows the books completely.

    98VivienneR
    Jan. 10, 5:46pm

    >97 NanaCC: I loved them all too, Colleen. I can rely on anything Kate Atkinson writes. Back to the first one with my next re-read, Case Histories.

    99VivienneR
    Jan. 10, 8:57pm



    category: blue hyacinth - familiar faces

    All My Puny Sorrows by Miriam Toews

    Toews writing is wonderful. She can take the most distressing topic and inject it with just enough sensitive humour that transforms it into a realistic story. I've enjoyed all the books I've read by Toews, and in passing, learned a lot about Mennonites.

    100Nickelini
    Bearbeitet: Jan. 10, 10:41pm

    >99 VivienneR: Oh, that's an interesting cover that I've never come across. I LOVED All My Puny Sorrows, which I read this past September. I haven't loved everything I've read by her, but she's definitely one of my top favourites. But then I'm also from a Mennonite background, although more liberal and more mainstream than hers (and she comes from sort of mid-range of the Mennonite spectrum, where it can get way crazy and sort of Amish)

    101VivienneR
    Jan. 10, 11:56pm

    >100 Nickelini: As I read I was thinking of the five stars you gave it, but I have to admit this wasn't one of my favourites. They are The Flying Troutmans and A Complicated Kindness. It was the topic that I didn't care for as much this time. But no matter what she writes I love her style. I usually pass up any book related to religion but Toews grabbed me with the first one I read (A Complicated Kindness).

    I love the cover.

    102pamelad
    Bearbeitet: Jan. 11, 12:19am

    >101 VivienneR: I've never come across Toews, so am adding The Flying Troutmans to the wish list because it looks to be the least religious. Until >100 Nickelini: I had confused Mennonites with Maronites.

    103Nickelini
    Jan. 11, 12:28am

    >101 VivienneR: Oh, okay . . . I thought The Flying Troutmans was interesting but didn't do great things for me. A Complicated Kindness I did love (5 stars), but that's because (it's an excellent book and) the protagonist has the same surname as me (only time in a novel I've read), and also I bought it at a bookstore right after it was released (and I'd heard about it) and I was reading it out loud to my family and laughing in the car on the way back to the hotel . . . how often do you buy a book and do that? (Also, my husband is Italian, and my kids were kids, so no one got what I was laughing about AT ALL).

    Did you think All My Puny Sorrows was about religion? Did I miss that because I get way too much religious stuff in my life (I'm addicted to hearing recovering from religion horror stories, I admit)? I found the religion in this kinda just an aside to the rest of what was going on. But I admit I'm probably off balance there, due to all the religious trauma stories I hear all the time. I did find the religion in The Testaments, which I just finished, pretty much as far as an author can expect to push it, but it was about the level I find on social media these days.

    104Nickelini
    Bearbeitet: Jan. 11, 12:42am

    >102 pamelad: . . . looking up Maronites . . . thinking it's some cult of Mary? (And prepared to be way wrong)

    Oh yeah, WRONG! I'm sure I've heard of them, but apparently there are 40,000 sects of Christianity, and Maronites are from Lebanon, Syria and Armenia, and I know Christians that immigrated from all of those areas, so I'll have to ask them if they are Maronites next time I see them. Wikipedia says there are just over 1 million Maronites. . . . . Mennonites are entirely different, coming out of the Reformation in 1500s Europe, and today number 1.5 million. Mennonites fragment easier than a stale sugar cookie, so if you know one Mennonite, she is probably not like the other millions out there.

    105VivienneR
    Bearbeitet: Jan. 11, 12:35am

    >102 pamelad: Great! And although Toews' books have Mennonite religion as a background, she is very witty, which takes the story to a different level.

    ETA A Boy of Good Breeding was my first book when I fell in love with Toews.

    106pamelad
    Bearbeitet: Jan. 11, 12:38am

    >104 Nickelini: There's a Maronite Catholic church a couple of kilometres away from where I live. It's Lebanese. I think there are Maronite Catholics in Middle Eastern countries other than Lebanon, as well. I don't think we have Mennonites in Australia, hence my confusion.

    >105 VivienneR: I'll put it on the list too.

    107VivienneR
    Jan. 11, 12:45am

    >103 Nickelini: Great story about buying a book and reading it to the family! When I read a special excerpt to my husband I can hear his eyes rolling in his head (even if I can't see them).

    No, it wasn't about religion but most of the time (not always) if it is in the background then I won't "get" the finer nuances of the story.

    108Nickelini
    Jan. 11, 12:51am

    >105 VivienneR: I don't think we have Mennonites in Australia, hence my confusion.

    You're probably right. I've never heard of it, anyway, and it has to do with immigration patterns, which are complicated. The period when Mennonites were escaping horrors in Europe were not the time when Australia was a destination for them. My mom has an uncle that couldn't come to Canada because he was missing an arm, but he went to Paraguay.

    109Nickelini
    Jan. 11, 12:54am

    >107 VivienneR: No, it wasn't about religion but most of the time (not always) if it is in the background then I won't "get" the finer nuances of the story.

    Ah, yes. I'm going to send it to my 25 year old daughter and see what she thinks.

    I certainly had cousins who would say weird religious things, so I always like to see that it wasn't just my family

    110MissBrangwen
    Jan. 11, 2:47pm

    >91 VivienneR: I bought this on a trip a few years ago without knowing that it was part of a series, and then didn't read it because I wanted to read the first two volumes first. Good to know that it is possible to read them without any previous knowledge, although I might still wait until I have read 1 & 2.

    111VivienneR
    Jan. 12, 4:29pm

    >110 MissBrangwen: I believe this was my first Jackson Brodie book purchase too! After reading it I quickly acquired and read more and it didn't bother me that they were out of order.

    112VivienneR
    Bearbeitet: Jan. 12, 4:36pm



    category: QEII Platinum Jubilee 1957 & RandomKIT January

    Ten Pollitt Place by C. H. B. Kitchin

    A forgotten story out of print for a long time and deservedly brought back by Valancourt Books gives an account of the residents of the posh apartment house at Ten Pollitt Place. The building and neighbourhood was based on Kitchin's own neighbourhood at 23 Montpelier Street (where, coincidentally Thomas Hardy lived in 1870) and is described well enough that it may be recognized by locals. Harrod's appears as Garrow's department store where Dorothy Fawley shops and has lunch. Justin Bray, a less than successful author, resembles Kitchin enough that he could be seen as a self portrait. Hugo, a disabled teenager with an odd crush on the dustman, predicts that someone in the house will die within the year. The dated chapter headings work as a countdown through a dismal Christmas to a dramatic turn at the end of the year. There is much to ponder over in this ostensibly simple story that reveals more complexity as it progresses. Kitchin is better known for detective novels, which is what drew me to his work, but this muted story is my favourite of what I've read so far.

    I love the cover beautifully illustrated by Val Biro.

    113pamelad
    Jan. 12, 4:41pm

    >112 VivienneR: I've read three of Kitchin's crime novels and your review definitely makes me want to read this book, so I'm adding it to the wish list to join Birthday Party.

    114VivienneR
    Jan. 12, 8:03pm

    >113 pamelad: I'm so glad! Kitchin is one of those authors that I plan to re-read at some point. He made me think while I was reading this one. I'll watch for your opinions.

    115VivienneR
    Jan. 12, 9:37pm



    category: MysteryKIT series

    Death of a Nurse by M.C. Beaton

    Hamish has a date with a beautiful nurse, a no-show whose body is later found at the bottom of a cliff. As usual Hamish runs his own investigation parallel to the official one and succeeds - in avoiding promotion. Not surprisingly Priscilla's latest beau is another disastrous choice. She definitely needs some guidance in this area. This is another variation of the usual plot line loved by Beaton's fans. Sonsie, Macbeth's beloved wildcat, makes a contribution to the story, and Sally is introduced.

    116VivienneR
    Bearbeitet: Jan. 14, 7:25pm

    I finished two short books:



    category: QEII Platinum Jubilee - Lily of the valley (1956)

    Five on a Secret Trail by Enid Blyton

    A good adventure tale for children. The era, untroubled by security issues, is obvious in a story where parents allow kids to go camping alone. They also appeared to have minimal equipment. As a kid I loved these stories but as an adult this one makes me a tad anxious.



    category: Arrivals - anemone

    The Case of the Bizarre Bouquets by Nancy Springer

    Dr Watson is missing and Enola Holmes, Sherlock's young sister, has taken on the investigation. Her ability with disguises is excellent, and she has an extensive knowledge of the language of flowers that helps solve the case. This was my first of this series and I really enjoyed the character and the story.

    Thanks to rabbitprincess for a recommendation chosen to fit my category theme.

    117NanaCC
    Jan. 15, 1:55pm

    >115 VivienneR: I’ve never read any of these, Vivienne. I’ll have to rectify that.

    118AlisonY
    Jan. 16, 4:06pm

    The Kitchin book sounds fabulous - noting that one.

    119VivienneR
    Jan. 16, 4:23pm

    >118 AlisonY: The best of Kitchin's books is that they are available as free downloads. They are reminiscent of Margery Allingham's style.

    120VivienneR
    Jan. 16, 4:54pm



    category: BINGO gardenia - book club read

    The Holdout by Graham Moore

    Maya was the holdout who convinced the other eleven jurors that the accused was not guilty. Ten years later, she is now a lawyer and has been invited to a reunion of the jury members where Rick, one of the jury, plans to present new evidence to show the accused was guilty. I love legal thrillers and courtroom scenes so Moore's novel was a big draw for me but it was difficult to develop enthusiasm for this convoluted plot and unlikeable characters. The author is a screenwriter, which may have contributed to the loss of focus in print.

    Spoiler warning for Christie fans: Moore identifies some of Christie's murderers.

    Because I don't belong to a bookclub I chose a Book of the Month Club selection for this square.

    121BLBera
    Jan. 17, 12:12pm

    I didn't know there was a book series with Enola Holmes. I watched the Netflix film and loved it. Was it based on these books, do you know?

    I loved All My Puny Sorrows. I thought the sisters' relationship and the depression were sensitively and beautifully portrayed. That one stuck with me for a long time. I have enjoyed each of Toews novels that I've read. I'm looking forward to A Complicated Kindness, one I haven't read yet.

    122VivienneR
    Jan. 17, 3:01pm

    >121 BLBera: I know very little about the author or series, Beth. I've never been a follower of Sherlock Holmes, and know nothing of his family. I was hit by a BB with a book from the Rowan Hood series also by Nancy Springer that I enjoyed. The title The Case of the Bizarre Bouquet fits my theme perfectly but I liked it so much that I'll dip into the series again.

    Isn't Miriam Toews a wonderful writer. A Complicated Kindness is one of my favourites.

    123Nickelini
    Jan. 17, 7:23pm

    >121 BLBera:, >122 VivienneR: A Complicated Kindness is my favourite, maybe because the protagonist has the same surname as me. Only time I've read that.

    124VivienneR
    Heute, 12:55am



    categories: QEII Platinum Jubilee - Lily of the valley (2016) & AlphaKIT

    Real Tigers by Mick Herron

    This is my current favourite series. Herron's writing is terrific, and he neatly provides literary sections, usually openings and endings, while the text is filled with black humour and a sly complex plot. Slough House, ruled by Jackson Lamb, is where MI5 agents end up when they screw up an op. And although Lamb is personally repellent, he is my favourite character. In this episode, his assistant is kidnapped in a "tiger attack", an attack that is not what it seems, which could result in the end of Slough House or even MI5 itself, under Home Secretary Boris Judd. The ransom is intel to be stolen from Regent's Park, MI5 headquarters, an almost impossible task given their unbreakable security, a place filled with failures who just haven't been caught yet, so they can still wield big sticks.

    The only copy available in my library system was in audio format and the narrator was humdrum, a tad disappointing. I believe print works better for Herron.

    125VivienneR
    Heute, 2:13am

    >123 Nickelini: That must have been fun to see your name in print! I haven't come across the name anywhere else.

    126VivienneR
    Heute, 2:04pm



    category: QEII Platinum Jubilee - Lily of the valley (1962)

    The Mirror Crack'd From Side To Side by Agatha Christie

    This turned out to be a more complex than I remembered from my reading many years ago. While it is a typically baffling plot that required the unique abilities of Miss Marple to solve, the origin was a sad true story based on actress Gene Tierney.

    It was comforting to see Miss Marple welcome a new era with its many changes including cheerful daily help instead of her faithful parlourmaid, and Gossington Hall renovations fit for a movie star resident. I enjoyed the "Lady of Shalott" connection.