I have never written a blog before, this will be my first, but I read so many interesting blogs that I thought I would like to give it a try. Mostly I read blogs about books, because I am interested in books so I think my blog will mostly be about books….maybe.
One reason to begin this blog is because I read a lot of books, and outside the shelves in my house, I do not have any record of what I have read. I can peruse the shelves and be reminded, but I am beginning to realize my memory is fallible and details of books are escaping me the more I read. I do not want to write to ruin books for anyone else, if I am lucky enough to have a blog someone beside myself reads, but I do want to celebrate the good books I read and share them with others.
Another reason to have a blog is to engage in exchange with others who love books and want to talk about them as well. I also realize I am going to have to be a lot more interesting if I want anyone to read this….maybe my parents will, but I would like to be interesting enough to entice some other book lovers to comment and maybe read something I have discussed. Since becoming a librarian, I have also found myself reading more about books and writing and find myself more and more intrigued by writing. Maybe this is a way to get myself to write consistently then write more widely as well.
I have been reading a series by Deanna Raybourn featuring amateur sleuth Lady Julia Grey and Nicholas Brisbane, professional sleuth and man of mystery. I have read the first two, Silent in the Grave and Silent in the Sanctuary and enjoyed them a great deal. Lady Julia is of course a woman ahead of her Victorian times. The dialogue is snappy and the plot moves quickly. I do not like mysteries in which there is no chance the reader can figure it out, but on the other hand I do not like when the mystery is so transparent I have it figured out by the second or third chapter. So far this series fits nicely between the two. Sometimes I find when I read a mystery series that the author uses the same devices throughout and by the fourth or fifth book it becomes too easy to figure out, that is when I take the lot down to the used book store to look for something more challenging. Another element to love about Lady Julia and Brisbane is the well-written romantic tension. It is clear something will happen between them, but what? and when? The delay is as tantalizing for the reader as it must be for them. There is a third book in this series called Silent on the Moor, then another book that begins what appears to be a second trilogy beginning with Dark Road to Darjeeling. So far these books are engaging, enjoyable, but not so taxing on the brain as to be inappropriate before trying to sleep.
You will find I am a fan of the somewhat genteel British sleuth, like Thomas and Charlotte Pitt, and William Monk from Anne Perry, Jane Austen from Stephanie Barron, Mary Russell from Laurie King, Ellie Haskell from Dorothy Cannell, and now Charles Lenox from Charles Finch. Add to this list Isabel Dalhousie from Alexander McCall Smith, though she is Scottish. I like my mysteries intriguing and good exercise for the brain, but not too gory or bloody, usually. (I did read The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, which was a good story, but more graphic than I usually prefer, I continued though to The Girl who Played with Fire and The Girl who Kicked the Hornt's Nest and found them much more entertaining and less disturbing than the first book.) Outside of sleuths from the UK, I am fond of Stephanie Plum from Janet Evanovich, (being a native Jersey girl myself), Karen Pelletier from Joanne Dobson, and one of my all-time favorites is Kate Fansler from Amanda Cross (pseudonym of Carolyn Heilbrun who committed suicide in 2003). Newly discovered are another Brit, Israel Armstrong, bookmobile librarian, from Ian Sansom and 11 year old Flavia de Luce from Alan Bradley. I keep thinking of more, I also like Molly Murphy and Lady Georgiana both from Rhys Bowen. Lord Charles and Kate Sheridan from Robin Paige are good as well. If you know anything about any of these mystery series you can see the pattern.
Last night I read Scumble by Ingrid Law who also wrote Savvy, which was a Newbery Honor Book in 2009. Scumble is not really a sequel, but it does mention the characters from Savvy. In Scumble, Ledge, who has just turned 13, the age when your savvy appears, is left at his uncle’s house for the summer in order to learn from older cousins, his uncle, and his grandfather, how to scumble his savvy so he can go home and back to school without accidentally destroying anything.
It seems I have filled my first post with talk of mysteries and two children's books, a bit mixed but that is the way I read; hopping from one genre to another depending on my mood and whims.
Whew, I feel a sense of accomplishment now that I am ready to post this....here goes!