Saturday, December 5, 2020

November Books

 Hi everyone. Happy weekend. The latest predictions say we should have a good dumping of snow arriving this afternoon and through the night. I was hoping we could go a little bit longer before we turned white.  Yet a snowy Saturday afternoon  and evening will definitely make it a  good day to read (or bake cookies, nap or even watch some movies-smile)! 

I'm here today with my monthly book post. This is my to way to keep track of  what I've read or listened to, and if books are not your thing, don't feel bad clicking this post off.

November ended up being a great reading month for me. I recommend all these books, depending on your taste and mood.

 Here we go.

I started listening to The Women in White back at the end of October. If you are not familiar with this book, it was first published  in 1859 in serial format . It is a  non-detective mystery, or you could even say it is the Victorian style thriller (not exactly a thriller as we know them today.) This story introduces characters and follows them through several years. I loved the characters and story. There were the 2 half sisters, the art instructor, one of the sister's husband as well as an Italian count and his wife to name just some of the characters. Who were the ones up to no good?   There is a mysterious death and lots of suspense. I'm not going to say anymore, but these classic Victorian novels are definitely worth taking your time to get into, because once you do, the stories are certainly .quite interesting.

 I splurged and bought myself this craft technique book, Best of Both Worlds. It is another take on using botanicals to make printed images on paper. The technique is a bit different from the couple of books I already had (steaming over boiling for one), and the author's results are amazing.  I think the season of botanical printing is a bit past for me this year, but I am already excited to get started again in spring.

Mudlarking is what you call it when people search river bottoms for treasures. This book, Mudlarking, Lost and Found on the River Thames is full of discoveries and some histories of those discoveries. It's a  really fascinating story and almost like archeology . The book is broken down into  areas of London along the river.   The stories of the found objects were fascinating, and it is amazing how much history you can learn from pulling something out of the mud. It made me wish we had a river nearby that I could mudlark in. 

Miss Benson's Beetle was a charming and enjoyable read. It is a story about friendship, with a bit of adventure and intrigue, written in a rather touching and  almost sweet way. It is a great Covid book as it is uplifting! And the ending was unexpected also. I like how it was set in  post World War II years and  also how the personalities of the 2 main characters contrast. It was a quick and fairly easy read but good for these early dark days.

When I finished listening to The Woman In White, I moved onto listening to this book, The Vanishing Half. .
This is a book club book for me. My 3 friends I went hiking with last weekend and I decided we would read a book each month to chat about when we got together. I can't say we are any sort of formal book group, but even on our hike we could talk about about the story.  We are all part of the same actual book club that is NOT meeting now due to covid.  With no real bookclub going on, the 4 of us decided it would be fun to do a book just between us , and this was our book for November.
I listened to this one. It took me about 3 hours to start to connect with this book, mainly because of the voice and time it took to get into the story.  I am glad I stuck with it. The story begins with  twin sisters, and then evolves over time to include each sister's daughter. 

The Vanishing Half  is well written and had me wondering what was going to happen next. In this story the twin sisters separate for many years. They are both black, but very light skinned, and one of them ends up  moving into the white world and finds she can't "come out" as black once she's there. The story take place between the 1950s up until around 2000, and it got me thinking about how we look defining us or labeling who we are. 

I mentioned this cookbook to you a few T day posts back. 

I tried a couple of breads, and they have been yummy. And there is more I want to try, as there are some non-bread recipes here too. I think there might be some sourdough gingerbread in the near future.  The author has created some really interesting combinations, and as I was looking for some other ways to use my sourdough starter, this book is great.

After The Vanishing Half, I  moved onto listening to a couple of classic style British mysteries.  Murder at Melrose Court is a modern  story that is set in 1920's England.  The scene is Christmas at a country manor house.   It is a fairly light story, but even so, it has some "meat" to it, and the author keeps up the suspense right to the end.  

Then I listened to a story I had read eons ago.As you probably know,  Agatha Christie wrote some classic British mysteries. This one starred her most famous detective, Hercule Poirot.

This book was first published in 1923. Poirot is such a quirky detective, and Hastings, his friend, is a good sidekick.  I'd read it in my much younger days, when I read many of these detective stories. It was great to read/listen to this story again.  Time to pull a few more of her books off the shelf. I still have all my Agatha Christie paperbacks from my teenage years  ( and later years too) so that may be a good reading "project for 2021.

My last book for the month is Citadel,  that  I have recently begun. I haven't been reading too much since Thanksgiving as I've gotten hooked into rewatching earlier seasons of the Crown on Netflix. I'd hope to be more into this novel by this book post. Of course, when reading for pleasure one can read at no particular speed or deadline.
 Citadel is the third book in the Languedoc Trilogy by Kate Mosse. I read the first 2 books this summer . This one is set in World War Two in the southern France in the Carcassonne area, and so far it is as good as her first two, Labyrinth and Sepulchre. 

I'll talk more about in my next book post.

 I am always looking for any good suggestions. 

Enjoy the weekend!


Valerie-Jael said...

Yes, snowy weather is good for baking, reading, crafting.....Have fun. You've been reading some good books again. I added some nice books to my Kindle, I have plenty of reading time here. Have a great weekend, hugs, Valerie

CJ Kennedy said...

I am not looking forward to the dumping of snow predicted. Is it July, yet? I read the "Woman in White" in college when I took a class on the mystery novels as it was considered one of the first of the genre. Reading will be a good activity this afternoon once the snow starts falling. Stay warm and safe

Iris Flavia said...

I did bake cookies. And promptly my sweet tooth fell asleep. Pics tomorrow, Hubby takes them to work...
Uh-oh, the first book alone sounds tempting here! Do I.. I just scroll through, otherwise I end up with even more books! ;-)
Happy weekend to you!

kathyinozarks said...

Good morning, I enjoy going through your reading list. the Best of Both Worlds: Enhanced Botanical Printing sounds really good but I can't afford the price right now-searching around she is on facebook and she has published several books. Happy Saturday

Mae Travels said...

Your reading list is really great. I read "The Woman in White" long ago and your list of characters makes me realize I've forgotten it. Maybe I'll put it on my re-read list; my copy is in the attic. I read the Hercule Poirot book a few weeks ago, wanting to get back to Agatha Christie. It's amazing how those books have lasted nearly 100 years.

be safe and enjoy reading ... mae at

Bleubeard and Elizabeth said...

Jane Dunnewold is no India Flint, but this might be an interesting read.

I always love a good mystery, and I also read the Poirot story years ago.

I've been reading some political books along with loads of white papers. I'm a real geek. Thanks for sharing your reading list this month.

Anne (cornucopia) said...

Wow, I just finished reading Murder on the Links! My Mom had given it to me as a gift several years ago, before she passed. And I finally read it this week, because it made met think of her. She loved Agatha Christie mysteries, and I did too, because of her.

I also think I have a paperback copy of The Women in White, but it's probably put away right now.

I saw your forecast turning ugly. I'm getting lucky with just rain. I hope you don't get too much snow. :-(

Divers and Sundry said...

With a high today predicted to be 58 we certainly won't be getting snow lol

The Woman in White is wonderful! Definitely re-readable. Your other reads all sound like books I'd like ... (Well, except maybe the sourdough one, having had no luck with that in earlier baking attempts). I do so miss bookstore browsing! I've read some of the Poirot mysteries and enjoyed them.

Jeanie said...

I love your diverse selection. I'm so glad you liked Mudlarking. I thought it was fascinating. And I think I have Woman in White (or else Moonstone) at the cottage. I'll put it on the list for next summer. I love Agatha and I think I have ALL (or almost all) her books in paperback -- and I mean the paperbacks that cost 35 cents! Most were bought used. I was thinking I should read one a month to review them all! Your art and cook books look good, too!

Lowcarb team member said...

You have been reading some good books.

All the best Jan

craftytrog said...

A great selection of books Erika! Glad you're enjoying Citadel.
Alison xx