Wednesday, September 30, 2020

Just a Few Words

It is extremely clear that Google does not want Blogger to continue. It is clear that this platform is very primitive. It's not user-friendly, and they rolled out this monstrosity of a platform with no guidance available. So I will be ditching it. Not today.

On another note, I LOVED my trip to Barnes & Noble in Saratoga Springs. Yes, 50+ miles away, but worth it. My first bookstore visit since November 2019. There is a great market nearby, so it makes the trip worth it. I enjoyed browsing around, but what I bought, actually, were a number of magazines, rather than books. So nice! 

In Reading: I simply loved The Darkest Evening by Anne Cleeves, the 9th Vera Stanhope mystery. I thrilled to it. It was exactly what I wanted to read. Ken is loving it now.

I am nearing the end of Monogamy by Sue Miller, published in early September. Extraordinary writing, and of all the books I've read of hers, this one cuts closest to the flesh. Extremely nuanced family relationships, equally nuanced dialogue and internal dialogue.  If I had read a review, I never would have read it. BUT I am so glad that I picked it up, not knowing what was to follow, and being surprised over and over again. So good to have a novel from Miller--she is at least a decade older than I, so I'm not sure how many novels we'll see from her in the future.

Also reading Mexican Gothic--marvelously gothic, creepy, and edgy.

18 comments:

  1. Yes, I wonder if you're right that Google really doesn't want Blogger to continue. Everything is centred elsewhere these days, Instagram, Whatsap and more. Blogging is seen as archaic I suspect. I've managed two posts with the new interface and I mean 'managed', neither are as I want them to be and I ended up exasperated. Posts that would normally take me half an hour took an hour and a half and it's time I do not have at the moment. I'm busy with garden produce and filling freezers for the winter. That's normal for me, Covid has just given it an added urgency. In fact we've just taken delivery of an extra freezer so overwhelmed am I with tomatoes. No one is allowed to visit without they go home with cooked tomatoes or ratatouille. LOL Our grandson went back to school a month ago, now they have Covid in his school so I'm not sure how long it will be before we can see my daughter's little family again.

    Anyway. Enough bad news. I'm pleased that books are your refuge, they are mine too. Your trip to the book shop and market sounded lovely! You know, we watch Vera avidly but I've never read any of the books. I must think about that. I'm still merrily shoving books on to my Kindle. Two P.D. James this week, I've read all of her early output but not these two later ones. Mexican Gothic sounds very interesting!

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    1. Oh, gosh, Cath--Which two later ones of my fave P.D. James have you put on to your Kindle? I have read all of the later ones and frankly would like to read everything all over again (at some point). As you would say, I LOVED them to bits!
      Mexican Gothic is very, very interesting! The author is Silvia Moreno-Garcia. It was a summertime hit here, and it's simply a wonderful twist to have a "Mexican" twist on gothic suspense!! It's set in the early 1950s. Has had excellent reviews--and no wonder.
      Our schools here are seeing the same sorts of problems. So chaotic for the students and teachers alike, not to know where things are heading and what will happen. How I remember my days in the classroom, and frankly I don't think I could have coped very well with the terrible uncertainty, and trying to keep 11-year-olds "socially distanced." Sigh.
      I'm so glad you've had a great tomato year. It will be a blessing come January. But loads of work, no question.
      We have had a terrible shortage of canned pumpkin, so central to autumn recipes. I managed to acquire 6 cans via Amazon, via a supplier in Florida. Six cans, and I want to bake loads of pumpkin muffins (my fave). Also I need to bake some for neighbors, especially the neighbors who made a 3.5 mile trail system which I love. They are a marvelously young couple, with so much energy. Sigh.
      So nice to hear from you, and please never feel you are giving too much so-called "bad news." I always love your news, however it is.

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    2. Well now, P.D. James. Back when Roy Marsden was playing Adam Dalgleish (and I had a huge crush on him) I read as many of that series as were around. What I realised recently was she has written more since and those I haven't read. So I downloaded The Murder Room and The Private Patient, but looking at the list on Fantastic Fiction there may be as many as six that I haven't read. After that I popped to the library site and reserved three other books by James. An Unsuitable Job for a Woman (I've not read either of her CG books), Innocent Blood (a standalone) and Time to Be in Earnest an autobiographical work. So it looks like I'm going to have an autumn P.D. James-fest. LOL

      I'll keep an eye our for Mexican Gothic.

      Yes, horrendous for schools and unis at the moment. I feel for teachers and kids alike. And Ruth, our grand-daughter is now in a proper lockdown area again as South Wales is a hot-spot once again. Luckily, she seems to be coping well. We do Google Duo with her every now and then and those are always fun calls. Last time she'd died her shoulder length hair bright pink. LOL

      Really sorry to hear of your shortage of canned pumpkin. Are the pumpkin farmers not growing enough this year? And I love the sound of the 3.5 trail you walk, I can just imagine the woods. Are you in The Great North Woods?

      Thank you for saying I can arrive with any news I like. It is much appreciated. To be honest we really are doing ok but times are tricky and sometimes it gets to you. Peter has just moved on to insulin for his diabetes, he previously controlled it with diet. I'm sure he'll be fine but there's always that underlying concern about a new stage in life. And I'm a born worrier.

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    3. Well, I can totally understand why you worry. I worry about Ken as well, and much of the problem is that we don't have control over what is happening, the changes that takes place as our husbands (and we ourselves) change. I have to push Ken to take care of himself and I'm not successful, lots of times.
      Last season's pumpkin got hoarded and purchased out. This season's pumpkin is just coming in, so as long as people don't hoard, maybe the pumpkin will be around for a while.
      I loved The Private Patient and The Murder House. I also loved The Lighthouse, which is another later James novel. Delicious!!! I really loved Time to Be in Earnest and I've read the others you mention as well. I have just one or two Dalgliesh novels that I haven't read. I definitely need to read them again. But so many new books come out, and how to find the time?
      I know what you mean about the concern for a new stage in life. It is troubling to contemplate, really, at least for me. So I really don't think that if you are concerned, it's because you are a worrier.

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  2. Sounds like your road trip was worth the 50 mile drive Judith. I agree Blogger is the pits now, each post leads to a new frustration but, I plan to keep at it as long as I can stand it. I want to read Monogomy. I would try the audio but, I do not like when authors read their own books - it rarely works out well.

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    1. Hi Diane,
      The bookstore trip was SO worth it! I will plan another in about ten days' time, I think.
      I read Monogamy very slowly--no more than 40 pages a day. It worked for me. There is so much to process while reading. So much.
      I know what you mean about authors reading their works. Frankly, I've seen authors do a stupendous job of it, but lots of times, with memoirs, FALL FLAT. I can't imagine they're having Sue Miller read this book. How can she be up to it? She is a lot older than us.

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  3. How wonderful to go to a bookstore again. Sounds like your reading has been going well. I will get to the Vera book someday. I am pretty sure they don't have to be read in order but I will probably stick with reading them that way.

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    1. Hi Tracy,
      I totally understand the desire to read the books in order. But I'm so glad I read this one when I did. Ken is nearing the end of #9 now and loving it.
      Did you ever read Julia Spencer-Fleming's novels, set in the foothills of the Adirondacks in New York? It is a marvelous series. THOSE I religiously read in order. Her latest was 7 years in coming, due to the death of her husband. I do very highly recommend that series, and can't recall if you have tried it.

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    2. Judith, I have read 3 of the books in Julia Spencer-Fleming's series, the first three of course. So that leaves me six more to read? I will be coming back to the series, and I do have the 4th one on my shelves.

      This is my husband's birthday weekend and we are cooking for him and he is picking movies to watch every night. Also doing takeout food tonight. I have to get busy with fall gardening. We will still have plenty of warm days for the next two months, but it could start raining in November.

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  4. Believe me, I know how you feel about Blogger. I quit blogging four years ago because all of a sudden, things were different (http://planetjoan.blogspot.com). I hope you have more perseverance than I did. I enjoy your blog.

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    1. Thanks so much, Joan. So you are not blogging now? I can understand, though I hate the thought of losing a keen reader due to platform problems. Do weigh in here with your thoughts. I'm so pleased you enjoy this blog. Thank you.

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  5. I do hope you carry on blogging! I also have The Darkest Evening, but haven't started it yet. I love the Vera books, so glad you loved it.

    I still haven't been to the library or a bookshop and the area where I live (the North East) has tighter restrictions I think it'll be a while before I do.

    And now I've heard that Trump has tested positive - what can I say other than I'm not surprised. Keep safe Judith!

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    1. Hi Margaret,
      Yes! I will not stop blogging because I enjoy writing about books and even more than that, I love the book blogging community.
      Yes, Trump has paid a stiff price for his disregard of medical advice, and so have many of his staff and those in Republican politics (His campaign manager, the head of the Republican Party, several Republican senators all have it now). And to think that Trump mocked and slammed Joe Biden in the debate for wearing a mask in public! He is a very stupid man, which is obvious, because he has lost millions of dollars on every enterprise he's ever undertaken.
      Do you live in Northumberland, by any chance?? I was thinking you might live in Vera Stanhope's neck of the woods. I've got to read more of that series.

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  6. I hope that you manage to sort things out blog wise somehow. Last week we actually travelled further than Edinburgh for the first time this year,driving through where Margaret lives, but not stopping! Going on to a safer area. It was nice to get a change of scene. I'm glued to CNN now, how crazy and evil is Trump?!

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    1. Thanks for the good wishes re: blogging, Katrina.
      Now I'm dying to know where you went on your travel jog. Will try to tune in to your blog to find out.
      Trump is stupider and much more eviler than is humanly possible. It gets worse and worse, and I don't see it getting better, if I allow myself to be realistic.

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  7. Glad you made it to B&N - it's good therapy just to browse and see what catches the eye.

    Happy fall!

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    1. Hi Jane,
      You're right--It is downright excellent therapy. I will be planning a return visit very soon!

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  8. Oh, I thought the opposite of the new Blogger interface. What do you hate about it?
    I am very curious about Mexican Gothic and look forward to your review. :)

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