In the High Peaks

Tuesday, November 3, 2020

Election Day Night and Reading is Comfort Plus!

I retired to my reading comfort nook at an earlier than usual hour today. It seemed the only thing to do on this Election Day. We've had two bouts of snow, the last being last night, and I enjoyed hiking with Sandy on our trails this morning, though she was terribly disappointed that the snow had buried all scents of interest to the canine mind. And I mean very, very disappointed!

In the midst of everything I've been reading Rodham by Curtis Sittenfeld, and I recommend it highly, even though it is not the masterpiece that I considered American Wife to be. I have 65 pages left out of 417 pages. Still, Rodham is enormously interesting to women of our mutual age and era. DO read it, and I can assure you it will not be a waste of your time. So grateful a friend urged me to read it.

I have finished listening to The Nine: Inside the Secret World of the Supreme Court (2007) by Jeffrey Toobin, and it was a revelation. I learned so much, and it has only piqued my interest to read more and more about the COURT and its Supreme Justices. Listened on audio, the narration was magnificent, so I highly recommend it.

Ah! And on the lighter side, where would I be this time of year without a dip into a few Christmas-themed novels? I have been very choosy this year after a few literary disasters last Christmas 2019. However, I am pleased to say that I'm thoroughly enjoying Sarah Morgan's One More for Christmas (2020), particularly considering I couldn't even finish her 2019 offering Christmas Sisters last year. The latter was just so tedious.   

Another Christmas Novel Disaster in 2020: I returned One Charmed Christmas by Sheila Roberts in early October. It was so terribly bad, I could not endure it, though its reviews and description had sounded positive.

I do have loads of other Christmas novels lined up, and I will report immediately if I find a good one.

And, do you know, I have the acclaimed historical novel Hamnet (about Shakespeare's family) by Maggie O'Farrell on loan for 11 more days, but as much as  I'd like to read it at some point, I've got other reads I feel I must get to this year first.  So I'm postponing Hamnet, though I hope to get to it in early 2021. 

My goals: Read The Thursday Murder Club (for sure), The Turncoat by Siegfried Lenz, just recently translated from German into English, and The Secrets We Kept by Lara Prescott, which is about Boris Pasternak and Olga, who was his inspiration for Lara in Dr. Zhivago. Must read that. (4.2 on Goodreads).

Tomorrow I have to do a HUGE food shopping, but then I just want to retire to my reading nook in these difficult days, though of course I'll be walking and hiking with Sandy (and sometimes Ken).







  1. We're watching with bated breath over here. I woke at six this morning and instead of going back to sleep I popped downstairs to see what was going on. 'Neck and neck' was the answer so I went back to bed none the wiser.

    I should be reading The Thursday Murder Club too but the copy I ordered from Amazon 2 weeks ago has not turned up. *Sigh*

    I have four Christmas books to read too. A Cornish Christmas by Lily Graham, Crimson Snow edited by Martin Edwards (that might be more 'winter' than Christmas), A Christmas Feast and other Stories by Katie Fforde and The Christmas Train by David Baldacci. Whether any of these are any good I have no idea. I know I have several on my Kindle too.

    You take care, Judith, and try to stay sane.

    1. Thank you, Cath, for your good wishes. The votes for Biden seem to be rallying today, but it's so stressful that I had to go to my knitting and reading bunker early today. (I did, though, take a very long hike with Sandy first.)
      We've got very slow mail going on here as well. I subscribe to The Knitter (UK), and issues usually arrive after one month of UK publication. This September issue is now nearly three weeks late. And my other knitting magazine, Interweave Knits (US), has gone AWOL as well. I do love my knitting magazines! They're so calming, and so reflective of an earlier era.
      I will check up on A Cornish Christmas, for sure. Crimson Snow I have, which is a collection of short stories, most of which I haven't read yet. I own The Christmas Train but haven't read it, though it was on the bestseller list back when it was published. And Katie Fforde I don't know, and I'll investigate that as well.
      Which ones do you have on your Kindle?
      I will recommend to you Elin Hilderbrand's Winter series set on Nantucket Island off the coast of Massachusetts. LOVED IT. I think the first novel in the series is Winter Street, but doublecheck that. I believe you would love it and gobble it up. If only all Christmas-themed series were this good...alas. (Five books in the series, as I recall), with the first three being the best.

    2. Various Christmas titles on my Kindle include, Portrait of a Murderer by Anne Meredith, Starry Night by Debbie Macomber, Christmas Ghost Stories by Stewart King, White Christmas by Emma Lee-Potter, A Winter Beneath the Stars (may not be Christmas but I like the author's work) by Jo Thomas, Snowflake Over Holly Cove by Lucy Coleman and yes... Winter Street by Elin Hilderbrand. I also ordered a paperback edition of that for a Christmas present for a friend so we can read it together so thank you for the rec.

  2. Thanks for reminding me to get to some Christmas mysteries soon. This year and this month have discombobulated me and I was wondering where I will fit in Christmas reading. Right now I am reading Escape Velocity by Susan Wolfe. Surprising how many books have that title, including a collection of essays and fiction by Charles Portis. Also reading my third book of the year about the 1918 influenza pandemic, one of my husband's book.

    1. Hi Tracy,
      Yes! Discombobulated is the word for how I feel this fall.
      Which book about the 1918 pandemic would you recommend, by the way?
      And, I just had this thought. Have you ever read any books in the Maisie Dobbs series? She's a private investigator in the post WW1 era in England. Very different kind of stuff, because she is also a sort of psychologist, which comes to play in many of her cases.