In the High Peaks

Sunday, January 13, 2019

A Reading Update on a Frigid Winter Night

We've had a most extraordinary high pressure system sitting over us that has given us day after day after day of cloudless blue skies and very cold temperatures. The bitter cold is just fine so long as the sun shines so brilliantly. So unusual for us to have three days in a row of no clouds with more purely sunny days to come, supposedly.

I have been enjoying my reading tremendously since the first of the year.
As I mentioned, I am long overdue for a write-up of the fascinating 1945 play by Daphne du Maurier, The Years Between.
Late this afternoon I finished a reread of Frankenstein, by Mary Shelley, first beloved by me when I was 21 years of age, 44 winters ago. I'm reading it for the Back to the Classics Challenge.  I will be writing about it soon as well, I very much liked it again, though I can now see why I fell head over heels in love with it when I first read it. How fascinating to see yourself via a book you loved at a much younger age! And let's remember, Mary Shelley started writing this book at age 17 and finished it at age 19.

And this week I finished a book for the TBR Challenge--Sue Grafton's Kinsey Milhone mystery, O is for Outlaw. Kinsey is now 36 years of age, as opposed to the 32 years she was at the beginning of the series. She is even more irreverent and takes more risks, in fact many more nail-biting risks than she did at a younger age. Whew! It was fun, but I'll admit that it was fun solely because of Kinsey and who she is. The plot was good enough, but not compelling without the Kinsey dynamite in the mix.

Now I'm on to the fourth Maisie Dobbs mystery, The Messenger of the Truth. This I've borrowed from the NYPL Simply E e-book program, and I'm not reading it for any  challenge.

I have some reviews to post. I must not allow myself to fall too far behind with those. Eeks.


  1. My SIL (in Washington County, NY) had the same observation about the weather today... beautiful blue skies and bright sunshine, though she glossed over the part about frigid temperatures! I hope it continues for both of you.
    I've never read Frankenstein, but really must one of these days. Just started The Grand Hotel for the Back to the Classics challenge in the translation category. Also still working my way through the new RBG biography. It's wonderfully comprehensive, but very long. Hope to finish this week.

    1. Hi JoAnn,
      I think you'll find much to interest you with Frankenstein. It is really a fine novel--exciting, too.
      On Sunday, I downloaded the new RBG bio via Audible, but I've been reading and haven't turned to knitting in several days. I wish I could listen to RBG in the car, but the audio on my devices are just not loud enough to hear well while driving. There must be a fix for this.

    2. Judith - There might be a fix if your car's audio system has bluetooth... that would allow your device's sound to come through the car's speakers. In our older car, I had a cord that physically connected my phone to the audio system. Going back even further (to the dark ages, lol) I used to burn my audible audiobooks onto CD and physically load them into the CD player! That was time consuming, but worth it because I spent so much time in the car back then.

    3. Joann,
      Thank you so much for the ideas.
      My car is a 2009 model, so I'm going to investigate the other options--I'm sure there is some way that I can do this. Burning audible audiobooks onto CDs! I didn't know that was possible, but how interesting. Yes, I will snoop these ideas out.

  2. Two things, first I had absolutely no idea that Mary Shelley wrote Frankenstein at such a young age. Secondly, I also didn't realise that you and I are exactly the same age. How nice.

    How do you find the Maisie Dobbs books? I assume you like them or you wouldn't be on book 4, LOL. I read the first one years ago, wasn't overwhelmed and didn't read any more. But here's the thing, everyone I know who reads them, loves them. I'm wondering if I need to revisit that first book, I know I didn't hate it, just felt a bit so-so about it. Might be worth a try.

    1. Hi Cath,
      How nice indeed! to find out that we're the same age. Thanks for letting me know.
      You know, the Maisie Dobbs books are more contemplative, more probing of the human psyche, and perhaps less sparks and lightning, I think. I love that quality. And I so loved the third book in the series--Pardonable Lies, which grapples with Maisie's own unresolved grief and trauma. I love this series because of its sensitivities in dealing with the personal problems of the people Maisie helps. Maisie is a bit of a psychologist, actually. The action is slower moving, I will say, but the content appeals to me.

    2. OK, you and someone on Twitter have convinced me to get that first Maisie Dobbs book out of the library and reread with a view to reading on. It would not be the first time this has happened to me with a series (I've just returned to Susan Hill's Simon Serrailler series in the same manner) and I like to think I'm open-minded enough to give anything a second chance.

    3. Hi Cath,
      I didn't realize that Susan Hill had written a series--I've only just begun to read her work. Will check out the Simon S. series.
      I'll admit that the Maisie Dobbs series is very different from many PI series. And it is that difference that I so appreciate, but I realize that it may not be to everyone's taste. Do let me know how you get on.

  3. Judith, it's very cold for us as well - 13 at 8 a.m. but, as I to;d the hub we should be grateful we haven't had any below zero days yet. Snow for the weekend I think.

    I picked up A, B, C of the Grafton books at a bookstall recently - I never read any. Sad that she has now passed on.

    Stay warm and happy reading.

    1. Hi Diane,
      I do hope you're feeling much better.
      And I have been hearing about the possibility of snow for Saturday. We could definitely use the snow up here. Just as long as it's not as wet as concrete!
      It is sad about Sue Grafton because she so wanted to write a "Z" book, but wasn't given the chance to do it. I think you will get a big kick out of Kinsey Milhone.