Tuesday, April 7, 2009

A Tree And Some Books

Richard came in the house from one of his yard wanderings and announced that we had a Grancy Graybeard. My response was something along the lines of, "Do whut?" which is Southern for "Please repeat what you said but this time put it into a context that I can understand." He then told me it's a tree. That's the first time I ever heard of a Grancy Graybeard. I've led a sheltered life. Here's a picture of the flowers.
You can see where the "graybeard" part of the name comes from.
Careless in Red (by Elizabeth George) was an excellent book. She writes very well. Because her novels are so long, I'm usually a little bereft when the story is finished and I always hope the next book is coming out soon. I learned a lot about surfing and cliff-climbing in Cornwall; apparently they do a lot of that there. She also mentioned a few towns that I have visited. The story revolves around the death of a young climber, and it does get complicated. George ties up all the loose ends nicely, except for one: whether or not Thomas Lynley will return to work at New Scotland Yard. (If you want to know why he left, you should read With No One As Witness.) I expect that to get sorted out in her next novel.
Speaking of long books, when I was in my early 30s and working at the marine science library in Charleston, we had a precocious fifteen-year-old student worker. She was a freshman at the College of Charleston. When I mentioned one day that I wrote my name in my books on the page that corresponded with my age, she, without even taking a breath, said, "I guess you don't read too many short book any more." I suppose I could have been insulted, but her response was so quick and so funny, I just had to laugh.
When I finished Careless in Red, I started Dewey: The Small-Town Library Cat Who Touched the World, by Vicki Myron and Bret Witter. I had been waffling over whether or not to buy this book, but I was saved from my quandary by my mother-in-law. Someone had given her the book as a gift, so she loaned it to me with instructions to pass it on to my sister-in-law. I read the whole thing on Saturday. It's 288 pages of not only the story of Dewey, but also part autobiography, part history of Spencer, Iowa, and an ode to libraries. Dewey lived to be nineteen years old, and when I got to the end of the book I had tears running down my face. I knew I would before I started the book. There was nothing about Dewey I didn't like. It held my interest throughout. I would recommend it.
Now I've started Hard Row, by Margaret Maron, another of my favorite authors. It's one of her Deborah Knott series. The body on the floor turns out to be two legs in a roadside ditch. I don't think I've ever run across anything like that in a mystery before. Hard Row won't take nearly as long to read as Careless in Red did, so I'll be able to find out soon whose legs were in the ditch.
Theresa (of Knitting Nonpareil) sent me a website today that is very interesting. It's called Literature Map -- The Tourist Map of Literature. It's sort of a reader's advisory site: you enter the name of an author and it shows you an array of other authors you might like as well. You can click on one of the other authors in the array, and get a whole 'nother group of authors. Try it out.
Okay, I've caught you up on my reading choices. Go home and read.


Bridget said...

I really like the Inspector Lynley mysteries, but I am way behind in the series. As a matter of fact, I'm not even sure which one I read last ...

Genie said...

Thanks for the Literature Map website -- very cool.

Theresa said...

Oh that Theresa, surfing the net instead of working. As usual. So, did you have a reading hangover yesterday??


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