Georgette Heyer is considered one of the earliest modern romance writers. While I've read some of her romances, I tend to like her country house mysteries. They are cozy, which is not my normal mystery-sub-genre love, but it works.
I have no idea why PBS doesn't make a whole masterpiece mystery about them. I guess licensing won't allow it. Or perhaps there's some other reason I'm missing.
So, I picked this book up because it reminded me of another book I enjoyed which was How the Irish Saved Civilization (by a different author, Thomas Cahill I think?). It's the theme of a culture, usually through diaspora, sharing literature/philosophy/art, etc.
With the Irish book, the argument is that because Irish monasteries housed writing and not gold, they were often repositories of knowledge lost by other European countries during the Medieval ages. Only through the diaspora and inclusion of Ireland (usually via British invasion) was this knowledge dispersed. Granted, it wasn't like the Middle East, Asia, Africa, or the Americas were wandering around clueless...they also had a strong literary tradition of all this stuff, but still.
This book is more on Philosophy and Education that was passed through Scottish diaspora. I took a lot of philosophy courses in college, so this wasn't totally new to me, but I think it can be a bit dry if that's an uninteresting subject. I thought it was really interesting but I'm a huge nerd. The Scottish diaspora was in tandem with the Highland clearances and with the British Empire "colonizing" the world. Colonizing or you know...invading.
NPR did an interview with Arthur Herman, which I managed to embed. I love NPR.
Herman was a coordinator of the Smithsonian's Western Heritage Program. He now a senior fellow at a Think Tank called the Hudson Institute. Think tanks can be full of brilliant people or morons. The Hudson Institute is a conservative think tank that writes semi-interesting reports and blows smoke up conservative men's assholes. So... the norm I suppose. No, seriously, look at who they give awards to and then tell me I'm wrong because I am not.
I live and work around politicians. They need a lot of smoke blowing. A small, select few need to be put in a padded room. We don't have to name names. We all know who.
I was pretty excited to begin this book. I love books about art crime (Mostly the gentleman thief variety). Art and antiquities crime is a huge international black market. Truly harrowing to think about.
Adam Worth was a master criminal, known for his frauds and deceptions, but also for stealing a painting of Georgianna Cavendish (Duchess of something) by Thomas Gainsborough. There are run-ins with the Pinkertons (before they became totally union busting jerkfaces), safe cracking, crimes across Europe and America.
Adam Worth is also the supposed inspiration for Moriarity in the Sherlock Holmes books. Allegedly. Ben Macintyre does talk about this in one of the chapters, so fun to read about it.
Chasing Trouble by Anne Stuart
Anne Stuart is probably one of my favorite authors. I tend to go to her when I get in a book slump (the Ice and Fire series usually). She bounces around different sub-genres in the romance genre, so she's done romantic-suspense, gothics, historical, contemporaries, etc. This one follows a bit of noir bent (in the sense that it plays with it).
I found this one in my local used bookstore, but some of her older releases can be rough to find! Sometimes she releases a kindle version, so that's been great. She has a lot of books out...like a lot. She's a reader's dream come true. I've seen this likened to Catspaw, and I can see it. It's a bit zanier than that one to me, but I get it!
Ooo, we're getting into my favorite subject matter in nonfiction---artsy farsty stuff. LOVE it. I'll read anything with art theft, art forgery, and art history. Endless fascinated. I took a lot of classes in art history and humanities in college (way back when), so this book wasn't filled with all new information for me. I loved re-exploring it though.
Alexander Lee focuses on the Renaissance period and touches on the money and power that moved the art to its greatest zenith for the time. Michelangelo, Brunelleschi, and Raphael were just a few of the artists that were patronized by the wealthy and powerful (like the Popes, the Medicis, the royal families of Europe, etc.) that were in constant power struggles with each other and within their own ranks. It's truly fascinating...even if you don't like art.
Samantha Irby has a really eye-catching cover design for her books. I picked up another one because there was a cat on the cover (it was bright yellow I think?).
She's an award-winning essayist that really knows how to land a story. I tend to remember and think about her stories way after I've shut the book. I mean, they aren't all deep and serious, but I wasn't expecting to really have them stay with me like they have. Plus, there's a lot of funny moments.
Yearbook by Seth rogan
I read this through my library. I've become a bit overcome with their digital options and I have a huge wish list. I think I really create more digital clutter (is this the right term) than I should. I'm a big library fan regardless...I've tried a bunch of authors I wouldn't have normally, and I've found a few new favorites that I enjoy.
I'm not sure I'm 100% getting all of Rogan's comedy but I like some of his stuff. I like more of his later projects. Seth doesn't care about that of course; he's doing just fine without my wishy-washy movie watching habit. I figured I'd get on the hold list for his book at the library, and it finally hit my number.
Please excuse my photos. I took them from my kindle...to send to a friend because we talked about one of his stories in here for about a day...and then I realized I still had them, so I put them here. I should have made an effort to get better photos but eh.
October 04th, 2021
I have such a book hangover (is this the right term?) over the last book I read. I basically just need a little bread to recover. The book that did me in was Madame Fourcade's Secret War about one of the leaders of the French Resistance. She survived the war, but many of her comrades did not. It was very, very good but it was absolutely a gut punch of read for me.
I'm going to work on some re-readings and see if I can get back to it. Maybe a lot of happy endings only romance type books? Or maybe some comic books? I own two of Mindy Kaling's books.
I have not read any part of this series (the Phryne Fisher series) in order. I have some on my kindle (with the 1920s illustration type covers), some paperback (with the TV tie in covers, which I actually like) and one audiobook.
I'll be honest, some of the books I like quite well and some I don't love as much. I suppose it's because I started the TV series first so I'm quite in love with the actors portrayals. The books are different with the characterization and storylines. For instance, the romances that Miss Fisher has are vastly different and Dot's whole personality is different. The mysteries are much more fleshed out in the books, which can be thrilling. This particular book has some interesting sub-plots that don't make it into the TV show.
Also of note, Greenwood has done so much research into food, clothing, and lifestyle. At times, it veers into the cozy-extra detailed that I despise but overall, I enjoy Greenwood's writing and style.
This book takes place in Queenscliff, while Miss Fisher is on vacation with her family. There's a murder, missing gold, a movie shoot plagued with problems, a hair snatcher, and a group of surrealists.
I actually took a lot of detailed notes for this book, which is nice because it's been awhile since I read it. I've already read a few books since then, so it's not as fresh in my mind. I had not heard of this story, this woman, or this book. For some reason, I assumed there was a mafia connection (there isn't...that's another case).
There are black and white photos in the book. I have a photo of them, the photos are on the same paper as the print. Sometimes there's a glossy insert but this isn't the case here.
The book is split into several sections, which makes it easy to split into short bursts if you find it gruesome. The author, Glenn Puit, interviewed Brookey Lee West in 2003. Puit has written other books, including two on cases I'm familiar with (the Kathy Valentine poisoning was one) and two I'm not.
Quickie Book Reviews-Romance
I had a horrible migraine...not sure why to be honest but I went a bit ham since there wasn't much to do and read. A lot. I have a few cozy mysteries out from the library so I read those. I just don't like most cozy mysteries so it was more of a struggle than I wish. I just desperately want to love cozy mysteries.
The migraine I had messed up my sleep schedule and pulling an all-nighter gives me another migraine. So, I tend to slowly get back by staying up in increments. I woke up at 11 PM and I'm going to try and stay awake until 5 PM (with the help of a lot of coffee). I'll be more in line after today. Unfortunately, this hurricane (while far away from me) is messing up the barometric pressure enough that I'm super congested. Hurricane season is NOT my friend.
Migraine life suuuucks.
I have done a lot of cleaning and book reading. I also discovered that my library lets me check out as many magazines as I want and it doesn't count against my "limit." So...I checked out every trashy gossipy magazine as possible. I'm about to be totally up to date on all sorts of drama. I love it!
Ah, I think hurricane season is totally starting. Well, I mean, it picks up around this time. Tropical Wave/Storm Fred flamed out and went away. Not that it would have really gotten to me to do any damage but sometimes we get some rain if they're strong enough. I mostly only panic if they're coming up the coast towards me.
Anyways, this book was quite fun. Catherine Ryan Howard is a new author to me but I really enjoyed this book. I picked it up because I saw the Edgar Sticker (it's been removed on that book). I tend to really enjoy Edgar Awards and Edgar Nominees. I also liked that the paperback that I picked up is taller than normal, I don't know why but it felt like it fit well within my hands.
Wildfire by Anne Stuart
Anne Stuart is such an "instant buy" author for me. Even the books she writes that I don't adore are solid 3 or 3.5 stars. That's pretty amazing.
Her "Fire" series is a spin-off from her "Ice" series. While the Ice Series is set in the UK as a home-base, the Fire series is based in America. Specifically in New Orleans, Louisiana. This is the third book in the series and introduces two new characters, both tangentially related to the infamous Committee, the shadow spy agency.
I have read a lot of 'ugh' books recently. UGH books. Books I did NOT like. It's been a struggle.
I did read the newest Janet Evanovich and while it's not quite like the earlier books (and there's still an annoying love triangle), it seemed less phoned in. I'm still not rushing out to buy her books but I'll pick the next up from the library.
I read this book a few weeks ago. It was a spur of the moment library book based totally on the cover. It's not my normal type of book to be fair, as it has some horror elements. It's really delightful. Well, horror infused delight? I read it all in one sitting because I was hooked.
Lucky Caller by Emma Mills
I have a feeling this hurricane season is going to be not fun. Mostly because that tiny little tropical storm (well, it did kill people, so not tiny) Claudette took me out for a week. I still have a twitchy eye from the migraine. UGH!
Anyways, I didn't get a lot of reading done this week because of it but I'm back in the saddle. I managed to get most of my mail sorted and my desk is a little more clear.
Let's get to the book! I think Emma Mills is one of those authors that I just enjoy. I discovered her through a book subscription and then kept up with her output. Lucky Caller is the last book I read from her. She (or the publisher) has changed the artwork cover, which is very annoying mid series but since her books are stand alone - I can deal with it. It is sad how they don't match (since the others do). Her old books were re-released with new covers so that's nice. For other people.
This is a YA contemporary romance, set in a large high school in the States. It features two friends who had drifted apart end up in the same group in their elective class.