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Chrissy

Chrissy's Reading In 2015

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That's one of the more famous Lord Peter Wimsey stories isn't it? Sounds great and right up my street being all vintagey and stuff. I've heard a few radio dramatisations but never read any of this series. They sound like the sort of reads I'd enjoy .. my purse is sorry to hear it but the rest of me is v happy :D

 

You've got off to a great start Chrissy! :)

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It feels like a great start Poppyshake, it really does. I do enjoy the Sayers' books, and it has been quite a few years since I read my way through them, so I am really enjoying doing this. I may make a detour or two en route though, just to shake it all up a bit.  :D

 

Vintage is a great word for the series I think, although I do consider Dorothy L Sayers pretty darned cool and modern in a lot of her writing, as her characters are defined by their well drawn personalities, their foibles and as much as their strengths and women are 'allowed' to be multi faceted beings. Having said that, the are occasions of 1920's language that talks of race, class and faith in terms that at the very least jar with one's sensibilities and beliefs. I guess these moments are at least not included to be deliberately controversial, but speak authentically of their time. 

 

I do recommend them, whether it's a vintage read or a decent crime read one is after.  :smile:

Edited by Chrissy

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Yes .. we have to take into account the times in which the books were written. It can be a bit uncomfortable but I'd rather read them as they were intended than have the PC mob turn them into something else. For a start it gives you more of an idea of what the current thinking was and how we've .. hopefully .. moved on.

 

Good idea to stick with something that's agreeing with you :) That's the way to nurture a healthy reading mojo :hug:

 

Is it best to start at the very beginning of this series ... or wouldn't it much matter do you think?

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I would suggest starting from the beginning. The regular characters develop across the books so it is nice to read that.  :smile:

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I would suggest starting from the beginning. The regular characters develop across the books so it is nice to read that.  :smile:

I'll do that then :)

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Good going Chrissy! It's great to have a series of books you just want to keep reading. I loved her books too and always thought Harriet was well ahead of time as far as being liberated and independent. She's also very intelligent :D

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3) Strong Poison by Dorothy L Sayers

 

A great story that introduces us to Harriet Vane, the woman who unwittingly captures Lord Peter's heart. 

 

Phillip Boyes has died from Arsenic poisoning. He was, until very recently, the boyfriend of Harriet Vane but she had ended their relationship through anger and feelings of humiliation. Was she angry enough to kill him? He had visited her just before being taken seriously ill. Who would benefit from his death if it wasn't at the hand of Harriet? The cousin who shared every bit of his last meal? His publisher? Or perhaps the devoted friends, certain of his genius leading to great returns? If Lord Peter is to save Miss Vane he must get to the bottom of events. 

 

This is a wonderful story that makes good use of the female characters, even Harriet herself who claims only a handful of scenes in the book. There are twists and turns throughout, and some terrific peripheral characters pretty much in every chapter. 

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4) Five Red Herrings by Dorothy L Sayers

 

Set in a community of resident and visiting artists in south west Scotland, a much loathed artist has been found dead. He has fallen out with so many it is tricky to work out who carried out the murder when so many had good motives. The holidaying Lord Peter gets himself involved in the action from its earliest stages, and is able to test his theories of who the murderer is alongside the local police.

 

This is probably my least favourite of the series, but only because of a couple of chapters that endlessly it seems give the reader the various theories of the assembled group as to who did what, and how. The title itself is a give away as to why this is the case is tricky, with five men having great motives and awkward alibis. 

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5) Finding Sky (+ Challenging Zed) by Joss Stirling

6) Stealing Phoenix by Joss Stirling

7) Seeking Crystal by Joss Stirling

8) Misty Falls by Joss Stirling

 

I thought I would jot a few words down that would pretty much cover all of the books I have read from Stirling's Savant series. I had bought the latest book, and decided to work my way through the series from the beginning just before I read the new one. I love the central premise of the books with the talents and connections. This idea being so captivating carries the stories along nicely, making them an enjoyable quick reading experience. 

 

They are each easily consumed YA books, I am not a fan of too much romance in my reading, but have found these aspects to be bearable in this series, as the romance bits tend to signal a resolution of sorts and lead onto or into action scenes where the newly formed / found relationship adds new aspects to the often action packed closing chapters. 

 

Finding Sky introduces us to the talented Benedict family and the world of Savants. Into this world enters Sky, with her shadowed and missing past. She sees the youngest Benedict, Zed as the school bad boy, but becomes inexplicably fascinated by him. Danger lurks nearby for the two when they finally get to know each other properly. Zed's talented family are targeted by an equally talented criminal family, who see Sky as an means of getting to them. 

 

Stealing Phoenix takes place in London where a Benedict brother finds himself the victim of a surprising thief. Without family since her mother died, Phoenix has learned not to trust and to keep her head down so as not to attract attention from anyone, especially those she lives with. Why and what has she been told to steal from this young man specifically?  

 

Seeking Crystal finds us with savant sisters living in Venice, one of whom considers herself to be a dud of sorts. When given the task of arranging a Hen Party, Crystal thinks she has made the the perfect sophisticated arrangements for her sister. So when she awakens on a Venetian island and discovers her fellow 'hens' are missing, there is a race against time to find them. 

 

Misty Falls allows the reader to taste the downside of savant life, when the talent of Misty makes her life often so very difficult, especially when she doesn't quite have the control over her talents as she (and her family) would hope. Someone is killing young savants, so the community are on high alert to keep their youngsters safe. The question is whether their talents will hep them in this or attract the wrong kind of attention.

 

I especially enjoyed Misty Falls because it delved deeper into the variety of savant talents and what they can mean for the bearer. Additionally it looked at the darker side of the savant experience from a conspiracy theories through familial acceptance. I am looking forward to further books. 

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9) We Were Liars by E Lockhart

 

Although I am pretty sure that this is a YA novel, I felt it was one of those books that just happens to have young adults in it, and can be read as a book outside YA fiction. It is a story that unfurls around the central character of Cadence Sinclair, the oldest grandchild in the the wealthy and often petty Sinclair family, and their annual summer trip to the family island. 

 

 The Guardian newspaper (UK) describes it as 

 

cool, bitter and brutal, this compelling short novel casts a dispassionate eye on the insular world of the American oligarchy

 

 

Without discussing the plot I think this just about sums it up. I had no clue as to what the story was about until I actually read it, which I think helped me enjoy it to it's fullest. You are compelled to read on as the hints and clues to what is going on and was going on are intriguing. It is beautifully written, being both descriptive and refreshing. 

 

And isn't the word Cadence wonderful as a name?  :D

 

ETA I had noted down a few of Cadence's description of her near aged cousins as I found them delightful;

 

 Mirren; Sugar, curiosity and rain.

Johnny; Bounce, effort and snark

Gat ; Contemplation and enthusiasm. Ambition and strong coffee. 

Edited by Chrissy

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Chrissy - when you need a break between the books that you are reading try this one from David Baldacci. I know you will like it. From Amazon

 

David Baldacci has made a name for himself crafting big, burly legal thrillers with larger-than-life plots. However, Wish You Well, set in his native Virginia, is a tale of hope and wonder and "something of a miracle" just itching to happen. This shift from contentious urbanites to homespun hill families may come as a surprise to some of Baldacci's fans--but they can rest assured: the author's sense of pacing and exuberant prose have made the leap as well.

 

The year is 1940. After a car accident kills 12-year-old Lou's and 7-year-old Oz's father and leaves their mother Amanda in a catatonic trance, the children find themselves sent from New York City to their great-grandmother Louisa's farm in Virginia. Louisa's hardscrabble existence comes as a profound shock to precocious Lou and her shy brother. Still struggling to absorb their abandonment, they enter gamely into a life that tests them at every turn--and offers unimaginable rewards. For Lou, who dreams of following in her father's literary footsteps, the misty, craggy Appalachians and the equally rugged individuals who make the mountains their home quickly become invested with an almost mythic significance:

They took metal cups from nails on the wall and dipped them in the water, and then sat outside and drank. Louisa picked up the green leaves of a mountain spurge growing next to the springhouse, which revealed beautiful purple blossoms completely hidden underneath. "One of God's little secrets," she explained. Lou sat there, cup cradled between her dimpled knees, watching and listening to her great-grandmother in the pleasant shade...

Edited by muggle not

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Thank you Muggle Not, that has gone straight to the top of my wish list (a.k.a will probably be bought soon list!).  :smile: I have not read any of his books, although I know he has a good reputation, so I look forward to this. 

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I've got Misty Falls on my Kindle, waiting for some time off work to indulge in a YA feast, so good to know the series is still going strong. :)  Did you know the sequel to Struck is out now?  It's called Stung and was released last week.  I'll probably add that to my YA binge when I get there too. :D

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Having enjoyed the others in the series, I think you will enjoy Misty Falls, it has one or two potential tangents that could be explored a little in one of the later books (I'm hoping for at least a few more, ending with a huge Benedict plus others party!) . Stung is on my wishlist, and I will keep an eye on the price, so as soon as it drops a little it will be mine!  :D

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Chrissy - when you need a break between the books that you are reading try this one from David Baldacci. I know you will like it. From Amazon

 

David Baldacci has made a name for himself crafting big, burly legal thrillers with larger-than-life plots. However, Wish You Well, set in his native Virginia, is a tale of hope and wonder and "something of a miracle" just itching to happen. This shift from contentious urbanites to homespun hill families may come as a surprise to some of Baldacci's fans--but they can rest assured: the author's sense of pacing and exuberant prose have made the leap as well.

 

 

 

I read this a number of years ago at Muggle's suggestion. I don't remember it well now, but I do know I enjoyed it very much. Muggle's recommendations have never let me down yet :)

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Having enjoyed the others in the series, I think you will enjoy Misty Falls, it has one or two potential tangents that could be explored a little in one of the later books (I'm hoping for at least a few more, ending with a huge Benedict plus others party!) . Stung is on my wishlist, and I will keep an eye on the price, so as soon as it drops a little it will be mine!  :D

 

I'm looking forward to both Misty Falls and Stung, but you're right, Stung is still a be pricy on the Kindle at the moment.  Will try to keep an eye on it too, to see when it drops down a bit. :)

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A double recommendation! A girl can't go wrong.  :smile:

I am anxious to see how well you like Wish You Well by David Baldacci. I think you will really enjoy the book.

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I found my last book, We Were Liars still stomping about my psyche, and did a rare thing for me and re read the last two thirds of the story again after a day. I'm glad I did as I found a greater depth to it reading it with the knowledge of how the story progresses. Good stuff indeed. 

 

10) Have His Carcase by Dorothy L Sayers

 

The continuing saga of Lord Peter Wimsey.  :smile: The story opens with Harriet Vane on a walking holiday. She stumbles upon a man lying upon a large rocky outcrop as the tide makes it's way inward. His throat has been cut!  :o  Keeping her head about her, and knowing she is too far from anywhere to get help, she takes photographs and makes note of all aspects of the body so as to assist any investigation. 

 

Upon hearing of Ms. Vane's involvement, Lord Peter makes his way to her (and the local police's) assistance. A lovely murder mystery, with some well drawn characters and a good plot. We also witness the developing relationship between Lord Peter and Harriet. 

 

11) The Sky Is Everywhere by Jandy Nelson

 

What a wonderful book this is! Beautifully written by Jandy Nelson, this tells the story of Lennie, as she fumbles her way through the profound grief brought about by the death of her sister. I chuckled and cried throughout the book, and even gasped at times with the ache caused by the beauty of the writing. When informed that she should talk about her loss, Lennie replies with

 

"I'd need a new alphabet, one made of falling, of tectonic plates, shifting, of the deep devouring dark."

 

Just how wow is that for a sentence? The language of grief defined by it's lack of appropriate language. 

 

The story is interspersed with poems, scrappy poignant poems scrawled on cupboard innards, on coffee cups, on sweet wrappers and music sheets. They move the story forward at times, but also, and perhaps more importantly add greater depth and flavour to Lennie's mindset and her relationship with those around her, including her late sister. 

Edited by Chrissy

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The Sky is Everywhere was one of my favourite reads last year. Jandy Nelson has a new book die out at the beginning of April that I am looking forward to, called I'll Give You The Sun.

 

From the author of The Sky Is Every­where, a radiant novel that will leave you laughing and crying - all at once. For fans of John Green, Gayle Forman and Lauren Oliver. Jude and her twin Noah were incredibly close - until a tragedy drove them apart, and now they are barely speaking. Then Jude meets a cocky, broken, beautiful boy as well as a captivating new mentor, both of whom may just need her as much as she needs them. What the twins don't realize is that each of them has only half the story and if they can just find their way back to one another, they have a chance to remake their world.

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I will definitely investigate her new book, thanks for the info Chalie.  :smile: Such a good but unusual read, but I can't think of a way of describing it without it sounding depressing and not believable. 

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12) Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher

 

Clay Jensen returns home from school to find a mysterious box with his name on it lying on his porch. Inside he discovers cassette tapes recorded by Hannah Baker - his classmate and crush - who committed suicide two weeks earlier.

 

On tape, Hannah explains that there are thirteen reasons why she decided to end her life. Clay is one of them. If he listens, he'll find out how he made the list. (from thirteenreasonswhy.com)

 

The book runs a duel narrative between Hannah speaking and explaining on the tapes, and the activities and thoughts of Clay as he listens to them. It is a moving story, Hannah is clearly troubled, yet her recordings are beautifully articulate, even when detailing events that show her in a foolish or derogatory light. You can see the snowball effect of the events leading up to her death, and at times want to shout to the book (or in my case, kindle) to not do the thing you know she is about to do.

 

Ain't the grown up ability to foresee consequences a marvellous thing? If only one could have it as a teenager. 

 

The two characters feel authentic, and I recognised my young teenage self in Hannah in many ways - without the destructive end I hasten to add. 

 

This is my third YA book that centres on a young an troubled teenage girl. This wasn't intentional, but in retrospect I think it was fortuitous for my reading psyche that I read the three around the same time. I noticed certain aspects in each that I found truly appealing, and that enabled me to relate that much better to the girl in each book. In We Were Liars, Cadence writes little fairy tales that express her growing dissatisfaction with her family. She also starts writing notes to herself in an effort to remember what took place at the time of her accident. In The Sky Is Everywhere Lennie is constantly writing, on any and every surface in a bid to express her grief to the universe. And with Thirteen Reasons Why the deep thinking of Hannah is not only verbally expressed through the tapes, but additionally through poetry. 

 

I think I should avoid teenage girls in text for a little while. I would hate to spoil my terrific run of great books with a dud!  :D

Edited by Chrissy

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What are "your" 3 next books to read. If not the next 3, what is your very next. :) You seem to be having a nice run of reading.

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Thanks Athena.  :smile:

 

I am thinking of a post apocalyptic Russia muggle not, with Metro 2033 by Dmitry Glukhovsky. I will dip into it later on today and see if it grabs me. If not I have a Jeffrey Deaver, a Neal Shusterman and a David Baldacci (the Wish You Well that you recommended) from which to choose.  :smile:

 

This should remove me far enough away from angst ridden teenage girls for a while!  :giggle2:

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