WWW Wednesday 9/10/19

IMG_1384-0WWW Wednesday is currently hosted by Sam at Taking on a World of Words.  Each week there are three questions:

What are you currently reading?
What did you recently finish reading?
What do you think you’ll read next?

I missed Wednesday; almost made Thursday and now it’s Friday Saturday.  Ah well.  The answers are the same today as they would have been yesterday and the day before.

What are you currently reading?  I have the usual cluster of titles on the go…

 

I seem quite incapable of reading one book at a time.  Is this indicative of our collective my inability to focus on anything for very long, I ask myself?

starlingsThe Starlings and Other Stories, edited by Ann Cleeve was an impulse buy inspired by Fictionophile’s Cover Love series which on that occasion had the theme ‘flocks of birds’.  I generally do lust after the covers she finds and occasionally some have found their way onto the wish list but I don’t think I’ve ever jumped straight in as I did here.  But birds are particularly evocative and perhaps the name ‘Ann Cleeves’ as editor was the clincher, though overall I think it was this misty time of year and the premise behind the anthology which really caught me.  There are twelve stories, each written by a crime writer and each inspired by an atmospheric black and white photograph of rural Wales.  I’m not quite half way through but I’m finding it fascinating on so many levels.  It’s a great choice for RIP XIV; it’s an opportunity to sample a range of crime writers and I’m having a spirited debate with myself as I finish each tale on whether I would have interpreted the photographs in the same way.  (I’m also adding several new names to my list of authors to try *sigh*)

What did you recently finish reading? Oh, The Brutal Telling by Louise Penny.  And it was brutal.  It was also for me the best of the series so far.  There was a roller coaster of responses as I read through the book.  The murder came almost immediately which doesn’t always happen – that was good.  But certain themes resembled the previous book: strained father-son relationships, a known resident of Three Pines under suspicion – that was less good.  And just as I began to feel quite grumpy, the book turned and up I went again.

gamacheThe murder occurs after dark, just as summer gives way to autumn, just as the nights are drawing in.  The pages are well sprinkled with the usual lush descriptions of the changing countryside, the weather, the food, the residents’ everyday comings and goings and a new wardrobe for Rosa, the duck.  This book is almost entirely set in Three Pines and its surrounds, with a brief and fascinating visit to the Queen Charlotte Islands off British Columbia.  There is some Canadian history in this tale and reference to Canadian art which I found very interesting.

I felt like a fish on a line, being gently played in and out as Louise Penny slowly reeled me in, or perhaps it was more like trying to find a way through the overgrown trails in the woods in which the murdered Hermit’s cabin was hidden – many twists and turns, false trails and dead ends.  I should have been prepared for the denoument when it came.  I was not.

I found I was rationing myself with this book; I didn’t want to gulp it down in large chunks; I didn’t want it to end.   This, even though there will be another one along, ready and waiting around Christmas which is set at the Winter Carnival.  Can’t wait!

nightWhat do you think you’ll read next? I’m going to find it hard to turn away from dark, autumnal reads and I think that the next book I pick up when some of the current batch are finished will be Night Waking by Sarah Moss.  I have been planning to read this for so long.  It was one of the casualties from my Fifteen (downgraded from twenty) Books of Summer list and that may prove to be a good thing as I think it will be far more suited to this time of year.  This book is set on a desolate Hebridean island and the dual storyline, set 200 years apart sounds dark, linked by the discovery of a baby’s skeleton.  If it comes anywhere close to Signs for Lost Children in terms of quality I shall be in for a treat.

 

46 thoughts on “WWW Wednesday 9/10/19”

    1. ‘Fraid so. Generally, different books are read at different times of day or for different purposes. That doesn’t help does it! I have tried reverting to reading one book at a time but I can’t get on with it these days. I think of the various books like watching more than one tv series at a time – we keep multiple programmes on our heads quite easily and sometimes enjoy the breaks and the waits between episodes. Though these days most people binge on box sets so maybe that doesn’t help either. Each to her own I suppose!

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        1. I can tell that you squeeze value out of every waking moment 🙂 I’m somewhat hindered these days, courtesy of CFS – which I tend to avoid mentioning because it’s taking me a while to ‘own it’ and because it’s a boring thing to harp on about. (I initially wrote ‘tiresome’ and thought better of it!) But it does present more reading opportunities 🙂

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          1. I didn’t realise. You poor thing. I gather from two friends who have this that you will establish a rhythm that you can accommodate, and that this will make things easier. Good luck. Meanwhile, I OUGHT to be reading more, as I have knee degeneration, and my doctor says I am doing myself no favours by not resting more. *sigh*.

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          2. Thank you 😊 Yes, I have a rhythm which works well enough provided there are no unanticipated or necessary changes and life can’t work that way. There’s a cost to most of what I do these days – trips back to parents and children carry a minimum two-week post trip penalty 😖 But what can you do? 🤷 I’m much luckier than most so I’m not complaining. And hey – more reading time!

            As for your knee problems… I have even more regard for those hikes you undertake knowing what lies beneath 🙂

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  1. I love books where you actually don’t want to read it because you simply don’t want them to end – a rare find but the sign of an excellent book! I’ll have to add The Brutal Telling to my TBR as it sounds like my cuppa tea. Great round-up!
    Have a lovely weekend, snuggle up & happy reading 😊
    Caz xx

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  2. I too have SO many books going at once. I want to have something to read for whatever mood/feeling I’m in. When I’m excessively tired, I read children’s literature. It’s lovely, sweet, and peaceful. I tend to read nonfiction and my Bible, poetry in the morning when I’m fresh. Afternoons are more for adult fiction or whenever my brain needs some deep feeding. I have heard so much about Louise Penny, but have yet to try any of them. I want to check her out…I’m a bit leery of anything remotely creepy/horror-like, though. I am reading Frankenstein right now though, but it hasn’t been at all what I thought it would be.

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    1. Yes, I’m just like you, Amy – different books serve different purposes, some are better read at certain times of day, some I read daily over a period of months others are gobbled up in days. Louise Penny’s books are not creepy/horror (so far at least) although I would say that this one is the darkest to date. Neither are they blood and gore fests. I don’t wish to read anything in those categories. They are almost ‘cosy crime’ really but they work for me principally because they are essentially about the good in human nature. That’s wrapped neatly within the parcel of the crime itself and the lovely surroundings and the characters. Easy reads but with nuggets that make me think 🙂

      (I agree with you about Frankenstein. I avoided it for years and then found it wasn’t at all as I imagined. I’m finding the same with Jekyll and Hyde which I just finished this morning.)

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  3. I don’t care much for short stories but I feel I should read this collection from Ann Cleeves just to be patriotic! Louise Penny already has a new book lined up. I wonder how much longer she can keep Gamache in play.

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    1. I’m not a big fan of short stories either, Karen, and I can’t say that this collection is top drawer. But it’s entertaining me and I like the stimulus of the images. And thus far, Ann Cleeve’s story has been one of the weakest for me.

      Another new Gamache book! At this rate I shall never catch up but that’s fine by me. It’s just a struggle avoiding spoilers!

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  4. I wish I could read more than one novel at a time, but I can’t manage it. I feel guilty about not finishing the first before starting a second, then can’t remember the plot of either. The only exception is reading (by which I really mean) looking at the pictures of a cookbook…

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    1. I can’t remember when I started reading more than one at a time, Rose, but now I can’t read just one! Cookbooks are another matter. I love drooling over cookery books…. not literally you understand 🤦‍♀️😂

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    1. I can’t remember the last time I had just a single book on the go, Derrick. There is a limit – times when I know I must finish some before picking up anymore. So usually somewhere between 3 and 6 at any one time. The current 6 will indeed be 3 by the end of the day. Will I begin another one, I wonder? Your guess is as good as mine!

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    1. Excellent news re the Louise Penny books! I went through them the other day looking to match book with season and it does work. I think I’ll catch up in a couple of years which suits me nicely. She’ll have written a couple more by then I hope!

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  5. 6 books at the same time!! I normally manage 2-3 in different formats (audio, e-book, physical copy). Good to hear that the Louise Penny series is still improving, that is quite impressive! I am looking forward to get started on the first one. If I really love a series, I have been known to binge listen, which is both time-consuming and expensive. So not sure what to hope for regarding this series…

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    1. Mine are in different formats too, though I didn’t include the audio books so that’s two more! 🤦‍♀️ And next week a couple of Pigeonhole reads begin….. 😂 I’m slightly scared that the Penny series will not be for you. The first book is good and gives a good flavour, but is not the best. Still best to begin there though. Fingers crossed you enjoy it 🙂

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      1. Haha, I love it! I would probably find it confusing with so many books at a time. Also, it would take me even longer to finish one book, and I would probably have to reread certain sections to remind myself of what was going on the last time, I read that particular book.

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    1. I’m glad I’m not alone in this, Andrea 🙂 I’ve gone on so long about Louise Penny’s series and I know a few people are going to try it. I fear it might be an anticlimax after all this but I hope not. Fingers crossed you enjoy it. The first book is not the strongest either in style or plot but it’s best to begin at the beginning and it will certainly give you a flavour. Nice easy read whilst it’s raining outside!

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  6. I am usually reading somewhere between 10 and 25 books at once; it’s 20 at the moment. Like you, I have something for every mood and for every time of day. A Kindle book for reading over lunches; library books that are good for taking on the cross trainer; a few books that remain at the bedside; and then piles of alternating fiction and nonfiction that stay by my reading armchair for various sessions during the day. I think people who read multiple books at a time get more read overall. If you get a bit bored of one book, instead of getting up and doing something else you can turn to another book!

    I have yet to try any Louise Penny, though I keep meaning to. You’re one of several blogger friends who keep recommending her. I’m told one can skip the first two books and go straight to the third, which is better? Night Waking was my first from Sarah Moss, and I’ve gone on to read all her books. She’s terrific! (NW probably deserves a reread, though, as it’s the one I rated lowest.)

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    1. I’m not sure I could juggle quite as many as you, Rebecca, but yes we pick and choose for similar reasons and I’m sure I read more this way. There are some books which merit slow reading or reading in small mouthfuls either because of their richness or because they’re long and occasionally because they’re tedious – or require effort – yet I do want to read them. And others which can be gobbled down quickly and easily with no loss of enjoyment. I’m sounding like a book gourmand!

      I’m very glad to have your endorsement re Sarah Moss – Signs for Lost Children was a standout read for me. She seems very underrated on the literary scene, perhaps just in terms of attention received. The Gamache series is better read in order I think, though I agree that the books get better after the first two. Book 3 has a secondary plot concerning Gamache and his past and it’s helpful to know more of him before meeting that. So I’d would recommend going from the start – they’re easy and quick to read. And fun. He’s a wonderful character!

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    1. It’s costly to buy new but I got a secondhand copy cheaply. I can’t say that I recommend although I’m glad that I’m reading it. I hope to post a fuller review of it before the month is out.

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  7. These all sound great! One day I will try Louise Penny… one day! But the Sarah Moss one appeals most – sounds delightfully dark and a Hebridean setting is always a bonus. I’ll be waiting to hear what you think of it…

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