Paddington at Large (Michael Bond)
Paddington Takes the Air (“)
Thursday Rides Again (“)
(Enid Blyton) River of Adventure
I love children’s fiction, and had great fun re-reading one of my all-time favorite authors, Michael Bond, creator of the incomparable Paddington Bear. Paddington is a master of getting into and out of sticky situations with gusto. Bond also penned two books about a mouse named Thursday – I tried the second (having found it in a used bookstore), “Thursday Rides Again”, and while mildly entertaining, it lacked the charm of the Paddington books. Enid Blyton was also a childhood favorite who doesn’t hold up well on adult re-reads, yet I occasionally enjoy revisiting her low-key tales of very British children engaging in unlikely adventures.
A Red Herring without Mustard (Alan Bradley)
Death at Wentwater Court (Carola Dunn)
An Uninvited Ghost (E.J. Copperman)
The Alpine Advocate (Mary Daheim)
The Alpine Betrayal) (“)
One of Our Thursdays Is Missing (Jasper Fforde)
“A Red Herring without Mustard” is the third in Bradley’s novels featuring 11-year-old crime solver Flavia de Luce (written for adults) in 1950s
. Some find the extremely intelligent, emotionally isolated, chemistry (and poison) obsessed Flavia improbable, but I love her delightfully skewed outlook and her humor, and tend to think of her as a budding Sherlock Holmes. “Death at Wentwater Court” is the first (of many) in Dunn’s series set in 1920s Britain featuring aristocratic sleuth Daisy Dalrymple who is charming and fun to follow around. “The Alpine” series by Daheim features small-time newspaper owner Emma Lord in present-day Washington state; Emma is an engaging narrator who juggles family, work, and romance while giving the sheriff a bit of crime-solving help. “An Uninvited Ghost” is the second is Copperman’s unusual mysteries where guest-house owner Alison Kerby has two ghosts to help her find clues to the killers. (The first is “Night of the Living Deed” and both are great fun.) Britain
Jasper Fforde’s latest entry in his “Thursday Next” series delves deeply into his wacky invention, the BookWorld, where fiction seems more real than the RealWorld. In this outing, the “written” Thursday Next travels both worlds to find out what happened to the “real” Thursday. More about clever ideas than anything else, Fforde’s creations are entertaining enough to keep me going.
Journey Into Summer (Edwin Way Teale)
Teale was a naturalist who traveled around
with his wife Nellie on a series of seasonal adventures in the 1950s/60s, covering some 20,000 miles each season (there are two more, for Spring and Winter). Teale writes in a very companionable way about the landscapes, animals (with a focus on birds and insects), plants, and the people they meet along the way who have close ties to nature. You know you are in for a treat with chapter titles like “Walking Down a River”, “Night of the Falling Stars”, and “ America Badlands by Moonlight.” Life moves at a slower, more observant pace with the Teales, and it is a pleasure to journey with them.
The Winter Garden Mystery (second Daisy Dalrymple book)
Wandering Through Winter (another Teale season)
Eternal Echoes: Celtic Reflections on Our Yearning to Belong (John O’Donohue)
What are you reading?