Friday, 15 December 2017

Quick Lit December 2017

Linking up with Modern Mrs Darcy for short reviews of our current reading.

It must be the stress of Thanksgiving and Christmas creeping up on me (and other little things, like mice falling from my ceiling) that drove me to comfort reading this month.

The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo
I dip in and out of this book frequently. Those who describe Kondo as some sort of decluttering nazi probably haven't read her book. Yes, I like it for the reassuring message that I can get my life into some sort of order, but I'm also enthralled by the peek into Japanese culture, and by the memoir of an introvert woven into its pages, lit by little sparks of understated humour. I would have re-read her other book, Spark Joy, but, after searching for a while, I remembered I'd let my husband send it off to Decluttr [sic] in a tidying fit. Queue irony.

Miss Marple: The Complete  Short Stories by Agatha Christie
Christie is in the limelight again, with a lavish remake of the Murder on the Orient Express moviewhich reminded me that I've only read one Christie novel in my life, and it was so long ago, I can't even remember what it was. A short story collection worked well for Thanksgiving travels. These are mostly literal armchair mysteries, where guests share crime stories that are solved by - well, you know who.

Mr Rochester by Sarah Shoemaker
After the emotional trauma of reading The Buried Giant, I needed a story with a guaranteed happy ending, and the ebook price overcame my resolve to avoid buying new books. Modelled on the structure of Charlotte Bronte's novel, this tells the life story of Edward Fairfax Rochester. And yes, you get that famous four-word sentence at the end! I've had a literary crush on Mr. Rochester since I was fourteen, and this novel did not disappoint.

Mr. Putter and Tabby Pour the Tea by Cynthia Rylant
Even my toddler got the comfort treatment this month. The Mr. Putter books, if you don't already know, are sweet stories about an old man and his pet cat. They are intended as beginning chapter books, but the simple sentences and repetition make them lovely read-alouds for toddlers as well.

And since we're part way through Advent:

Advent and Christmas Wisdom from G.K. Chesterton
I've used this book for many years and am still not tired of it. Ligouri Press publishes several books in this series, for both Advent/Christmas and Lent/Easter. Each focuses on a well-known Christian writer, and the daily readings consist of a quote, related Scripture, prayer and suggested action. Everything you need for observance and reflection on the season(s) in one little book. I'm on board with the call to canonize Chesterton - Battersea needs its own saint.

We Were There by Eve Bunting
It's the eve of the Nativity, and nature's unloved creatures - the scorpion, toad, spider, cockroach, snake and rat, obey the pull to traverse the desert to that stable. Brings a lump to my throat almost every time.

Merry Christmas, Yule, Saturnalia, Hanukkah, or whatever you celebrate this time of year, and may 2018 be full of good books.