Category Archives: Distractions

Everything except reading. Miscellaneous and off-topic posts.

October 20

Cranford by Elizabeth Gaskell

Elizabeth Gaskell wrote comedies of manners, and the material for Cranford was originally serialized. This means that each chapter is self-contained, much like a short story, and so the book has clear stopping points for light reading. Gaskell also had a side line in ghost stories. She and Dickens even collaborated on a mosaic novel. […]

When in Rome by Nicky Pellegrino

When in Rome by Nicky Pellegrino This wonderful story set in Rome by Nicky Pelligrino is enjoyable reading.  I loved the descriptive writing of the streets of Rome. The fountains, the squares, the coffee bars and ice cream parlours. This story of a woman, Seraphina, who was brought up in Rome with her three sisters […]

The Villa Girls by Nicky Pellegrino

  This book of The Villa Girls is wonderful and a joy to read.  Nicky Pellegrino writes about life, beautiful landscapes and gardens, olive trees and celebrations.  The story involves four girls who become life-long friends and take their holidays together. Rosie is alone in the world without a family and much of the story […]

October 19

Black Horizon by James Grippando

Posted by Neen Black Horizon by James Grippando The explosion of an oil rig in Cuban waters and the resultant devastating oil spill sends attorney Jack Swyteck and his FBI agent bride, Andie, home early from their honeymoon, when Jack is asked to represent a woman whose husband was killed on the rig and Andie is […]

October 18

Enemy of the Good by Matthew Palmer

Posted by Neen Enemy of the Good by Matthew Palmer Kate Hollister is a US Foreign Service officer recently assigned to Kyrgyzstan at a time when relations between the two countries are complicated. The US is attempting to negotiate a controversial agreement with President Eraliev to build a massive airbase and significantly expand America’s presence in the […]

October 17

He Said/She Said by Erin Kelly

Posted by Neen He Said/She Said by Erin Kelly Kit and Laura once saved a mentally unstable young woman from a rapist, and also testified to ensure a conviction and prison sentence for the perpetrator. But Beth’s initial gratitude towards them later escalated into terrifyingly obsessive behaviour that forced Kit and Laura to disappear and […]

October 13

How to have a good day by Caroline Webb

How we spend our days is how we spend our lives, so why not try to make working nicer? Caroline Webb’s book on the psychology of workplace contentment is appealing, because many writers in this field come from a spiritual direction, offering vapid affirmations. Webb is more practical. Webb tries, with far great rigor than is usual, […]

October 06

Acerbic cosy murder

One of the wonderful things about the sudden boom in audiobooks is that series which have previously filled little literary niches can find a new audience. MC Beaton’s Agatha Raisin stories have been made into BBC Radio plays, which are available through one of our audiobook suppliers, and into single-narrator readings, which are available through […]

September 29

The bravest, handsomest man in Napoleon’s army. Only his modesty prevents him from telling you so.

Sir Arthur Conan Doyle is best known for his sleuth, Sherlock Holmes, but he has another hero. A dashing hero. A man unmatched with the blade. A man of unparalleled attraction to the ladies. A man whose modesty is unsurpassed. Brigadier Etienne Gerard! Brigadier Gerard is tremendously conceited. That’s his charm. He may be brave, […]

September 22

Can you write a comedy where all of the characters are toffee-nosed Nazis? Nancy Mitford gives it a go.

Well, that was unexpected… Nancy Mitford was an English satirist during the interwar years, who wrote comedies of manners. She’s best known today for Love in a Cold Climate, which mentally I always tangle with Cold Comfort Farm by Stella Gibbons, so I was bound to be surprised. I went into Wigs on the Green […]