Category Archives: Distractions

Everything except reading. Miscellaneous and off-topic posts.

November 13

Hillbilly elegy: a memoir of a family and culture in crisis by V. D. Vance

  I chose this book for several reasons.  I am still trying to wrap my head around how Trump’s America sprang up. I only know the use of Hillbilly as a derogatory term for the people of the Appalachian Mountains. I am always interested in a story of people overcoming the odds to make a […]

November 10

Great Narrative Poems of the Nineteenth Century

I know I’m pushing the ball uphill to convince people to try narrative poetry, but let’s give it a shot! In the 19th Century, the way of showing you were a wordsmith on the modern pop hit level was to write long poems, with stories in them, about passionate people doing foolish things. Many them […]

November 07

101 dilemmas for the armchair philosopher : such as is it okay to lie about liking a gift? / Eric Chaline.

101 dilemmas for the armchair philosopher : such as is it okay to lie about liking a gift? The book to answer all your ethical/moral dilemmas and questions from ‘is it okay to lie about liking a gift’ to ‘why does murder carry a heavier penalty than attempted murder?’ and much, much more. An intriguing, […]

November 03

Nostalgic for Eighties crime, racism and sexism? Les Norton might be the hero you want.

The Les Norton books by Robert G. Barrett remind me of the early Bond novels, in that they are basically about a reactionary guy who can punch people who represent social change, and then have sex with their girlfriends. Those of you who are Bond fans may object: but in the movies he’s a lot […]

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 […]