Friday, August 1, 2014

The Big Read Update: July 2014 Books Read

The Great Northwest: The Story of a Land and Its People (nothing special)
The Great Wave: Gilded Age Misfits, Japanese Eccentrics, and the Opening of Old Japan (Christopher Benfey)  A well written account of fascinating people in a fascinating time.
Hedy's Folly: The Life and Breakthrough Inventions of Hedy Lamarr (Richard Rhodes)  Entertaining though rather slight.
The Green Treasury (Edwin Way Teale, editor) A collection of nature essays by various authors that went on too long and was too repetitive.
Hill Country Harvest (Hal Borland) Life on a Connecticut farm in the 1960s, well rendered.
In Search of England (Michael Wood) Focused on origins of national identity; started out well, then got a bit too dry.

The Long Farewell (Michael Innes) Classic British mystery.
The Crabtree Affair (Innes, ditto)
The Selected Works of T.S. Spivet (Reif Larsen) About a boy genius who views the world through his own mapmaking; a very unusual novel supplemented by maps/illustrations; eccentric and heartfelt.
We Didn't Mean to Go to Sea (Arthur Ransome) 1930s British children's adventure; a fourth re-read.
Fairs' Point (Melissa Scott) 4th in a fantasy series.
A Man Lay Dead (Ngaio Marsh) Classic British mystery revisited.
Mr. Churchill's Secretary (Susan MacNeal) Mystery set in 1940s London (by contemporary author) which had great promise but should have been much better; marred by anachronism and 21st-century attitudes.
Amy Falls Down (Jincy Willett) Bitingly funny novel about an aging novelist whose stagnant career is revitalized literally by accident, with lots of amusement at the expense of the publishing industry and the popular media.

The Big Read total so far for 2014 = 105
Number to beat for the record = 147


  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. Not about books but rather telling you that I'm dedicated to following your example: You can find my first blogspot post (which is essentially the LJ post I just did) here:

    1. Well...but...when I tried to access your blogspot blog, I received a "permission denied" notice saying your blog was accessible to invited readers only. Goodness, I had no idea you had such a select readership. And why, may I ask, are you posting on blogspot? Are you also planning to abandon LJ someday?

  3. I finally remembered to look at the Martha Grimes books I picked up at the library: The Old Wine Shades (never heard of it) and The Lamorna Wink (might have read previously). If you would like to borrow either when you visit - feel free!

  4. Thanks. I think those are both fairly late in the series. Still haven't started the first one yet! So not this year...maybe next year. I'm going to the Seattle Mystery Bookshop this coming weekend, hope to pick up some good stuff there.