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gertrude

May 2018

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At the Library



For the last few days I’ve been feeling desperate for new reading matter, in spite of having several TBR books around the place. My recent visits to the library have left me with a frustratingly empty book bag so yesterday I ventured further afield and came back with this little haul.

For a while now I’ve been wondering if it’s really possible for Laurie R King to have written successful books about a married Sherlock Holmes. Now’s my chance to find out by reading The Language of Bees. I loved Salmon Fishing in the Yemen and have read a couple more of Paul Torday’s books, so into the bag went More Than You Can Say. Silly me, I found I’d already read St Mungo’s Robin but had failed to recognise the cover, so that’s a wasted loan.

Reading the blurb for Shirley Jackson’s The Haunting of Hill House I now wonder if I dare read it. I already know the story of Saplings so well I could probably write a synopsis, yet I’ve never actually read the book; something I’m about to remedy. Another Persephone book, this time one I’d never heard of: Doreen by Barbara Noble. Not a promising title, is it? Finally, I’ve already started Miss Hargreaves by Frank Baker. So far I find her to be a monster.
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I found Miss Hargreaves rather a creepy read. The VG keeps telling me to read Paul Torday, so I'll be interested to hear your thoughts, given our similar tastes.
A comedy or a horror story? It can't make up its mind, IMO.

Do give Paul Torday a go. For one thing, he started writing novels late-ish in life, with a lot of quite different experience behind him.
I'm feeling rather the same (do I dare to read it?) about the The Suspicions of Mr Whicher, which I've just bought for £1 from a "swap" bookshop - that is, i can get half my money off another book, if i decide not to read it/keep it
There has been so much stuff (including an admittedly fictitious version) about this event - and I've got a special interest in that a family member knew Constance Kent. I've always thought of it all as long long ago, and have only just realized that I was over a year old when she died - but i do wonder how useful it is to read such things, and whether I'm guilty of rather unpleasant motivation
I found that a very interesting if horrifying book. I can't imagine what the television adaptation is like and think I probably won't watch it.
That I definitely won't do. I'm now clear that the reason that iIdecided to buy it was that it seems to deal with what happened to the brother whom Conxtance was almost certainly protecting. I'm still not clear whether this is yet another fictitious version or whether the research is genuine this time?
I read Doreen recently and loved it. The title doesn't do the book justice.

And I thought that Miss Hargreaves was a monster, too.
Oh good, that's encouraging!

She isn't improving so far.
My opinion of Miss Hargreaves is a little milder, I just thought she was a bl**dy nuisance.

I think we are supposed to like her, though.
The author supposed wrong, then.

(Anonymous)

I must re-read Saplings. Beautifully written but oh so sad. Nicola@vintagereads
I'm on Saplings now and I can hardly put it down, even though I know awful things are going to happen. It must be her best adult novel?

(Anonymous)

I've just finished The Whicharts, which was interesting in that it foreshadows Ballet Shoes - but Saplings is a far better read. Seem to recall getting quite bored and irritated by Miss Hargreaves.
Just finished Saplings. I'd far rather read Ballet Shoes!
I found Miss Hargreaves very unsatisfactory.

(Anonymous)

Well, do try the Shirley Jackson - it's brilliant. I'm also on a roll of not-very-satisfying books; not so bad that they have to be abandoned, but not particularly enjoyable either.