Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Holy Crap! (Books, not SCROTUS Ranting)

I love this book.

I've been reading a lot lately (while staying away from any form of dystopian fiction while we are living it), and listening to a lot of audiobooks and finding gems on Kindle. I'm currently listening to Big Little Lies, and holy crap, I cannot turn it off. It is so dead-on perfect in so many small ways. The very real mommy frustrations with their kids as they navigate the minor things that can trigger tantrums, the "perfect" school weirdness, it's sooo good; funny and sad and mysterious, and the story is told in a combination of  after-the-fact interview snippets and the POV of the three women at the heart of it.  HBO is making it into a miniseries? I can totally see that working. But I'm weird and old school; I prefer to read (or listen to, I'm flexible) the writer's words before I see what Hollywood did with it. I love the Harry Potter movies, but the books are so much better, etc. I have Hidden Figures  on my shelf for next, because though I know I will love the movie because I've heard all the rave reviews, I want to read the book FIRST.

And I usually have a book or three out via Kindle Unlimited, and I found the start of what I hope will be an VERY long series:  A Quiet Life in the Country.  Lady Hardcastle and Florence Armstrong, her maid, are the best thing since Amelia Peabody picked up her parasol, but entirely different.  Their relationship is delightful - it's a partnership with an interesting backstory that is being revealed bit by bit in quick references to their adventures before Lady Hardcastle "retired".  Flo somehow picked up "a bit" of martial arts while they were making their way across Asia, after Lady Hardcastle's husband was murdered in India.  (Somewhere along the way, Flo got trained by some sort of martial arts master, but we aren't told that story yet.) The banter between the Lady and her maid is quick and funny, and the village doesn't know what to make of them, but the local constabulary is sharper and nicer than the stereotypical country bumblers and quickly figure out that these two newcomers are useful and not what they seem on the surface. By the second book (I'm halfway through it now, because yes, I do juggle multiple books at once, doesn't everyone?) the police are bringing her in on what might or might not be a new murder, after a total sonofabitch local farmer goes face down in his lunch on market day in the village.  Lots of people weren't sorry to see him dead, but they're all really nice people, and maybe it was natural causes because the lab reports for possible poisoning are taking forever and are of course unsophisticated (it's 1908, I think), but still, it has to be investigated, so the local cops sort of informally hand it off. Then there's a really pointless-seeming burglary at a sports club and they're asked to take a look at the crime scene, and I've just gotten past the seance where a visiting "Madame Whatever" spiritualist does a show for fun and somehow appears to have conjured a spectral man who accused a newcomer to the village of murder unrelated to the guy who did the faceplant in  his lunch.  And there's lots of baking and tea and gossip.

So. Much. Fun. Seriously, I'm loving them and can't wait for the third, due this summer.  I want at least twenty. (No pressure, Mr. Kinsey! But really, don't stop!)

Meanwhile, back in Trumpistan - we need to not let up on the focus on Russia. Yes, the memes and all the mockery are fun and needed and are keeping us sane, but the investigative journalism is hair-raising, which is why there's a full court press by the administration to de-legitimize the press, including that bullshit survey everyone is urging each other to take on Facebook.  Don't bother. I know it's fun to take stuff like that to screw with them, because the survey itself was so blatantly biased, but it's a distraction that will have zero impact on the future.  We need to keep our eyes on the ball, and the ball is Russia and the Republicans in Congress no longer caring about the debt, the deficit, and the Constitution.  Support the media sources that are digging into the story, our free press and the intelligence community are the best tools we have right now, and don't get distracted by the daily outrages.  There's bigger shoes about to drop.


Faith Miller said...

Currently reading Big Little Lies also - so much fun, and a welcome diversion! Liane Miriarty's other books are also worth looking into if you want to escape.

Caroline said...

I'm intrigued by the duo mystery series. And yes, the scary underbelly is surfacing and i want very much for middle america to get alarmed by this. Everyone else already is. And the intelligence community is frothing (correctly) at the mouth about it.

Anonymous said...

i rather accidentally found the lady hardcastle series and really enjoyed 'in the market for murder' ... i also bumbled accidentally onto 'big little lies'- definitely new authors on my 'go to'list- (i am happy to read ANYTHING to avoid having to come to grips with the circus our country is becoming- maybe now is the time to actually finish 'moby dick' or 'war and peace'!)

since you are enjoying the hardcastle series, i will recommend another recent find (not a new series, but new to me): the agatha raisin mysteries by mc beaton- offbeat characters, quirky personalities and situations,
and enough humor to make you smile-

read on-
barb in texas

Catherine said...

Barb, I'm immediately adding MC Beaton to my wish list. The Lady Hardcastle books have been like a brain vacation!