Books read in March:
How to Knit a Heart Back Home by Rachael Herron. (Really, this should have been on last month’s list, but somehow I missed it.) The quick review is that I enjoyed this, her second book. The longer review is over at KnittingScholar, as is an interview with Rachael herself.
Oathbound by Mercedes Lackey.
Oathbreakers by Mercedes Lackey.
Oathblood by Mercedes Lackey.
My Brother Michael by Mary Stewart.
Rose Cottage by Mary Stewart.
This Rough Magic by Mary Stewart
Stormy Petrel by Mary Stewart. Every now and again, I just itch to read Mary Stewart. Her books are gentle little mysteries with exotic locales, wonderful food, and a brave heroine with a bold hero and they are just delightful. No scientific, CSI-style crime solving here, just heroines stumbling across mysteries (often murders but not always, usually while on vacation or visiting relatives). They’re just such atmospheric books, they are delightful. I usually can’t read more than a few in a row, though.
The Big One by David Kinney. The story of the Martha’s Vineyard Striped Bass and Bluefish Derby, one of the biggest fishing events on the atlantic seaboard, and something of a religious experience for fisherman from the island and off.
One of Our Thursdays is Missing by Jasper Fforde. The newest Thursday Next book, which should tell you almost all you need to know. Creative, unique, wacky, interesting, full of puns and nonsense. This takes place almost entirely in the book world, where books get “built,” and the heroine is the fictional Thursday Next. As in, she’s the main character of the book written about the “real” Thursday Next, who happens to be missing. Confused? You’ll fit right in.
The Case of the Missing Marquess: An Enola Holmes Mystery
The Case of the Left-Handed Lady: An Enola Holmes Mystery
The Case of the Bizarre Bouquets: An Enola Holmes Mystery
The Case of the Peculiar Pink Fan: An Enola Holmes Mystery
The Case of the Cryptic Crinoline: An Enola Holmes Mystery
The Case of the Gypsy Goodbye: An Enola Holmes Mystery by Nancy Springer. So what if I just read this entire series two months ago and felt the urge to read them again. You have a problem with that? They’re delightful!
His Last Bow by Arthur Conan Doyle. The next-to-last collection of Sherlock Holmes stories. (Yes, with this title you’d think it would be the last, but his audience was insatiable and Doyle regretted ever having created the character in the first place. Lucky for all of us he did.)
The Last Lion: Visions of Glory 1874-1932. (Biography of Winston Churchill, Volume 1) by William Manchester
The Last Lion: Alone 1932-1940 (Biography of Winston Churchill, Volume 2) by William Manchester. These are the first two volumes of a projected three-volume set biography of Winston Churchill and they are amazingly good. Huge (one is almost 900 pages, the other almost 700). And, sadly … there’s no volume 3. Yet. The author died several years ago and the 3rd volume was supposed to be almost complete and is being finished … but the manuscript still isn’t done. According to Twitter (because yes, the new author responded to a random tweet of mine when I mourned the lack of III), the manuscript should be done sometime in 2011, so the book should be out in 2012, but … we’ll see. Meanwhile, these were amazingly good.
King’s Speech by Mark Logue and Peter Conrad. Yes, it’s a movie tie-in book. Yes, that means it’s not as good as the movie, but it’s interesting enough. Based on Lionel Logue’s diaries and other memorabilia, it tells the relationship between him and King George VI.
Sheepish by Catherine Friend. I hate to tell you about a book that’s not out yet, but … I got an advance copy to review and I can just tell you that all of you will LOVE this book about a woman who ends up on a sheep farm and falls in love with all things wool. It’s lovely, and it’s due out in May.
My Life in France by Julia Child. Something I’d been curious since seeing the “Julie and Julia” movie (which was SO much better than the book it was based on, I thought). This is Julia Child’s memoir of her life in France … duh. Like you couldn’t figure that out. What makes it wonderful, though, is her sheer enthusiasm throughout. It’s a wonderful read about her whole-hearted embrace of everything French in particular, and everything Food in general. Even things I really don’t want to eat sounded wonderful, and she made me long to hop the next flight to Paris.
Troubled Waters by Sharon Shinn. Beginning with the death of her banished father, Zoe is pulled back to the capital city to wed the King … except, she doesn’t. She slips away instead to find out what she wants for herself and along the way finds that she has more power than she imagined. This is a fantasy, and Shinn is a long-time favorite author, and I am always in awe of her world-building. I like Zoe’s story, but I like almost as much the PLACE, the culture Shinn invented for her. Lovely.
Howl’s Moving Castle by Diana Wynne Jones.
Archer’s Goon by Diana Wynne Jones. I’ve loved Diana Wynne Jones for years and years—since my best friend gave me a copy of “Charmed Life” for my birthday when I was in middle school, and I’ve adored her ever since. (The author that is, as well as my best friend.) I kept checking her books out of the library until my late 20s when I finally started buying them instead, and I’ve gotten every book she’s written, and loved almost all of them (and liked the ones I didn’t adore). Well, she died on March 26th, which makes me so sad, because her writing was completely unique—as was she. (Read this tribute from Neil Gaiman. Or from Emma Bull. Not to mention Robin McKinley here and here. Not to mention this post from last summer.) I’ve been revisiting some of her books out of respect, and loving them (and her) just as much as ever.
Mr. Adam’s Last Crusade: John Quincy Adams’s Extraordinary Post-Presidential Life in Congress by Joseph Wheelan. What a wonderful book. Did you know that John Quincy Adams, AFTER his Presidential term was over, served as a representative to the House in Congress for the next 17 years, until he died at age 80? And that he was pretty much wonderful at it? What a remarkable man, and such an enjoyable book.
Knitting Knee Highs by Barb Brown. Review here at Knitting Scholar.
Knitgrrl Guide to Professional Knitwear Design by Shannon Okey. Review here at Knitting Scholar.
The Nervous New Owner’s Guide to Angora Rabbits by Suzie Sugrue. Review here at Knitting Scholar. (And we won’t make too much of a fuss that she used one of my photos of Jessica’s Stitches in the book, right?)
Spinning Around by Jeannine Bakriges. Review here at Knitting Scholar.