This & That

I wanted to post last night but just as I was sitting down at my computer to do some blog visiting and writing I heard a knock at our door and surprise, I have family in town! So exciting to see my two cousins who I haven’t seen in about eight months. I knew they were coming but wasn’t sure of the timing. I did have to go to work today but now it’s the weekend and we can catch up on chatting and shopping.

Originally I was going to do a post on a bunch of ARCs that have been arriving but then the news broke about Gabriel Garcia Marquez. He is one of my favorite authors and one of literature’s greats. I think I’ve often mentioned that Love In the Time of Cholera is one of my all-time favorite books, which I’ve read a couple of times and you know me I don’t do a lot of re-reads, but I also have another favorite GGM book, Strange Pilgrims.

A bit of an odd choice for me as I don’t gravitate to short stories but this collection I first heard of during a reading I went to at a Border’s Bookstore. It was a reading about favorite love stories and poems and one person chose Sleeping Beauty and the Airplane from this collection. I fell in love and promptly had to get the book.

Here’s the opening to the story:

“She was beautiful and lithe, with soft skin the color of bread and eyes like green almonds, and she had straight black hair that reached to her shoulders, and an aura of antiquity that could just as well have been Indonesian as Andean. She was dressed with subtle taste: a lynx jacket, a raw silk blouse with very delicate flowers, natural linen trousers, and shoes with a narrow stripe the color of bougainvillea.”

What wonderful imagery right? Anyway, if you haven’t read this collection, I highly recommend it. I still have several of his books that I have not read yet so maybe it’s time to pick one up.

Anyway, I hope you all have a wonderful weekend and Easter Greetings to you!

Book Group

Tuesday was my mystery book group night and we discussed Arctic Chill by Arnaldur Indridasson. This didn’t turn out to be a group favorite but we had a good discussion and overall I did like it.

I’ve read quite a lot of Scandinavian crime fiction and it seems that most are quite dark. Don’t get me wrong, this wasn’t a cozy mystery but the murder was not some horrific, over-the-top grizzly scene. It actually was just more sad than I guess the whole feel of the book was more melancholy. Anyway, I’ll try to do a quick summary of the book and tell you more about it soon.

We also chose books for the upcoming months and next up is The Strange Fate of Kitty Easton by Elizabeth Speller. I’m really looking forward to this book as I read the first book a couple of years ago and totally enjoyed it.

The next couple of books are Chourmo by Jean-Claude Izzo the second book in his Marseille trilogy. We read the first one, Total Chaos last year and it ended up being one of my favorites of the year so the expectations for this book are high.

So not only do I have exciting book group reads coming up but also one of my book group friends loaned me the latest Elly Griffiths’, The Outcast Dead, which I promptly started last night and I recently bought Natural Causes by James Oswald which is the first in a series introducing Detective Inspector McLean.

Oh I just love a good mystery, don’t you?

From the Library

As I mentioned in yesterday’s post, I broke my library ban. Woo-hoo! It didn’t last very long but as I wasn’t making a dent in my TBR piles, which is what I was hoping for, why not go back to the library right?

Plus, I really wanted to find an audiobook to listen to when I go for walks around the neighborhood or am on the treadmill. Sometimes music is what I need to get motivated to move so I’m not listening to an audiobook exclusively but for the first time I’m actually enjoying the experience of audiobooks. I can’t say that I capture all that happens but maybe I just need more practice!

So of course a trip to the library after a library ban is lifted means checking out a couple of books.

For my audiobook choice I went with The Dying Hours by Mark Billingham. I’m always on the lookout for British crime/police procedurals and I can’t recall hearing about this series before so I was excited to find it. Detective Inspector Tom Thorne has been recently demoted after stepping out of line once too often, and struggling to adjust when he becomes convinced that a spate of suicides among the elderly in London is something more sinister.

Mind of Winter by Laura Kasischke. According to Kirkus Reviews the story chronicles the ramblings of a woman snowed in with her adopted daughter on Christmas Day. Samantha recently reviewed this one and it sounds like a good thriller.

October by Zoe Wicomb. Abandoned by her partner in Scotland, where she has been living for 25 years, Mercia returns to her homeland of South Africa to find her family overwhelmed by alcoholism and secrets. I’ve only read one other South African writer and that is Jim Coetzee so I welcome the opportunity to read another.

Very excited to have new books. Let’s see if my reading picks up a bit so I can get to these before they are due back at the library! What about you, what have you checked out recently?