osprey_archer: (books)
[personal profile] osprey_archer
What I’ve Just Finished Reading

”But you mustn’t say what you wished,” said Mr. Grant. “You don’t get it if you do.”

“Don’t you?” said Mrs. Brandon. “What did
you wish?”

“I can’t tell you,” said Mr. Grant; and truly; for his incoherent and jumbled wish had been entirely a prayer to be allowed to die some violent and heroic death while saving Mrs. Brandon from something or somebody, to have her holding his chill hand, and perhaps letting her cheek rest for a moment against his as his gallant spirit fled, all with a kind of unspoken understanding that he should not be really hurt and should somehow go on living very comfortably in spite of being heroically dead.


Angela Thirkell’s The Brandons is a joy and a delight if you like 1930s British novels in the vein of D. E. Stevenson’s Miss Buncle’s Book or Stella Gibbons’ Nightingale Wood. It is perhaps less accessible than either of those two novels - I found myself stumbling repeatedly on who was who in the ever-growing cast of characters - but the passages about the exigencies of calf love, or the gruesome interest that people take in an impending death, are well-observed and very funny.

Two more books down in the Unread Book Club! I finished Scott O’Dell’s Sarah Bishop, which changes from a tale of historical fiction into a “surviving in the semi-wilderness” story like a darker “my whole family is dead” version of My Side of the Mountain. This is one of my favorite kinds of stories, so this caused a certain amount of seal-clapping. Yes, Sarah Bishop! You move into that cave and smoke fish for the winter and built your very own dugout canoe!

And also Natalie Kinsey-Warnock’s The Night the Bells Rang, which is, eh. Pretty mediocre. I kept thinking of other books that did the same thing better: Nekomah Creek for growing up & dealing with bullies, Miracles of Maple Hill for sugaring-off in Vermont (and if we take Vermont out of it, Little House in the Big Woods has an excellent sugaring-off too), Rascal for the end of World War I in small-town America.

What I’m Reading Now

Hannah Arendt’s The Origins of Totalitarianism, which is super dense. It’s so dense I’m not sure I’m going to read it, which is sad when I’ve had it on hold so long at the library, but it’s just exhausting.

I’ve also started Miriam Bat-Ami’s Two Suns in the Sky, which I won as an honorable mention prize from Cricket Magazine in my youth and did not read because I was cranky about only being an honorable mention.

What I Plan to Read Next

I have begun the happy business of contemplating what I ought to take along to read on my road trip! My musings have grown so long that I am going to make them a separate post.

In the meantime, I am also musing about what book I ought to read for my next bedtime story, as I have just about exhausted my stock of Miss Read books. I meant to move on to James Herriot, but upon reflection that’s really too similar, both cozy English countryside quasi-memoirs, and perhaps I ought to read something quite different as a palate cleanser first. But what?

I’ve been contemplating a reread of A Wrinkle in Time. Perhaps this is my chance.

Date: 2017-06-21 12:19 pm (UTC)
asakiyume: (Em reading)
From: [personal profile] asakiyume
That quote is excellent--high fives, Angela Thirkell: I've imagined just exactly that sort of scene! And I laughed out loud at your cheer for Sarah Bishop.

Date: 2017-06-21 12:31 pm (UTC)
sovay: (Claude Rains)
From: [personal profile] sovay
for his incoherent and jumbled wish had been entirely a prayer to be allowed to die some violent and heroic death while saving Mrs. Brandon from something or somebody, to have her holding his chill hand, and perhaps letting her cheek rest for a moment against his as his gallant spirit fled, all with a kind of unspoken understanding that he should not be really hurt and should somehow go on living very comfortably in spite of being heroically dead.

That's magnificent.

Date: 2017-06-21 01:19 pm (UTC)
evelyn_b: (ishmael)
From: [personal profile] evelyn_b
Based solely on that passage you quoted, I think I would like The Brandons, though I'm not too well-acquainted with the version of 1930s Britain where people aren't being murdered constantly at house parties.

Except for James Herriot! No one ever gets murdered in the Low-Key Country Vet Adventures! Well, they might; I don't know for sure. I can 1000% recommend the TV show as the coziest thing ever created. I've never read the books, but they're probably similar.

Trap yourself in a car with Dorothy Sayers! This is a good idea (or maybe not).

Date: 2017-06-21 02:45 pm (UTC)
evelyn_b: (Default)
From: [personal profile] evelyn_b
Must be nice!

I have read a bit of James Herriot and seen a bit of the TV show and can attest that they are basically 100% the same

That's good news! I can get one of the books to keep on hand in case I need a megadose of coziness, but can't access the TV show. <3

Date: 2017-06-21 07:42 pm (UTC)
lost_spook: (Northanger reading)
From: [personal profile] lost_spook
which I won as an honorable mention prize from Cricket Magazine in my youth and did not read because I was cranky about only being an honorable mention.

Is this cricket as in the sport that goes on for days with tea breaks and bird-spotting or something else? Were you bowled out, or...? (I am just being nosy on the internet.)

Also: obv. you were robbed!

The Angela Thirkell does sound pretty great, actually. I think I always got her confused with Joanna Trollope, which did her few favours in my head. I'm not sure why exactly.
Edited Date: 2017-06-21 07:43 pm (UTC)

Date: 2017-07-03 11:28 am (UTC)
ladyherenya: (Default)
From: [personal profile] ladyherenya
I'm glad you were able to read an Angela Thirkell! Does your library have any others?

I haven't read Nightingale Wood - but I'm assuming from the company you mentioned it in, that I probably should.

Date: 2017-07-05 02:20 pm (UTC)
ladyherenya: (Default)
From: [personal profile] ladyherenya
I think Thirkell wrote a book or two every year until she died. A level of prolific-ness not everyone can manage, that's for sure.

Less ludicrously madcap doesn't necessarily sound like a bad thing! I think I found the ludicrousness of Cold Comfort Farm both entertaining and something that prevented me from being more emotionally attached to the story.

Profile

osprey_archer: (Default)
osprey_archer

July 2017

S M T W T F S
       1
2 34 5 6 78
910 11 12 13 14 15
1617 18 19202122
2324 2526272829
3031     

Most Popular Tags

Style Credit

Expand Cut Tags

No cut tags
Page generated Jul. 26th, 2017 02:46 am
Powered by Dreamwidth Studios