December 4th, 2011

book and cup

#118 His Last Bow - Sir Arthur Conan Doyle (1917)

A dense yellow fog descends upon London. Tricksters, thieves and murderers stalk their prey undetected. Lawlessness abounds but it is no match for the penetrating mind of Sherlock Holmes as he investigates the strangest of cases. A woman receives a gruesome package - two human ears in a box. A vital government secret is threatened with exposure. Miss Brenda Tregennis is found scared to death - could she really have died from fright alone? And when the stability of the country is threatend, Holmes' unrivalled talents are called upon once again ...

There are times when only certain types of books will do, when one is feeling in need of some consoling literary friend. At such times I often reach for Agatha Christie, although another old and comforting literary companion is Conan Doyle's Sherlock Holmes.

This fairly slight volume contains eight fascinating Holmes stories, each of them a fairly decent length, utterly perfect to curl up with on a chilly December evening. I adore the character of Holmes, it matches exactly the mood that Doyle creates so perfectly in each story. The tension and fear that lies beneath a rarefied Englishness, the dense fogs that swirl outside the windows of Baker Street, while a great mind is figuring out the unfathomable. In my personal favourite 'The Adventure of the Devil's Foot' Holmes and Watson find themselves in a tiny Cornish village, where a woman has been apparently terrified to death, and two o her brothers left raving mad. In the final title story, a tale not narrated by Watson, the two old friends are brought back together some time after Holmes' retirement, it is August 1914. Although rather different in tome to the preceding stories it is a nice quiet finale.
Dead Dog Cat

(no subject)

Along with the rest of the fun, yesterday, I read an ebook.

This was Osprey Men-at-Arms #261: 18th Century Highlanders, a book about the origins of the famous British Scottish Highlands regiments. Moderately interesting, it's key purpose is as a resource for a gamer who is painting miniatures for some reenactment tabletop. Not a bad item.
Dead Dog Cat

(no subject)

While struggling with logging in, I read another ebook, Osprey Men-at-Arms #77: Flags of the Napoleonic Wars (1): Colours, Standards and Guidons of France and her Allies. Aside from documenting the panoply, this book has no bearing on history. It's only there so that someone building a miniatures army of the era would have what he needs to make up flags for his troops. I learned little from this book, but it's clearly a good resource for a person who wants this specific data.

Books 21-24

Title: Hunger Games
Author: Suzanne Collins
Themes/Topics: Young Adult, Big Brother, Independence

I had heard a lot of people raving about Hunger Games and finally decided to see what all the fuss about and I am ECSTATIC that I did.  One of my favorite novels is 1982 so I find anything with Big Brother themes to be intriguing.  Although this is Young Adult, the content is deep and arresting.  It reminds me of Harry Potter in the best possible way because you root for the good guys and can't wait to see what's next.

Title: Catching Fire
Author: Suzanne Collins
Themes/Topics: Young Adult, Big Brother, Independence

I waited to read this book because it was on reserve at the library: that was terrible because I couldn't wait for it after the first. I wasn't disappointed by this one either.  Collins did a great job of continuing to flush out the characters and paint a clear vision of her world.  It is action-filled, exciting, and compelling.  Can't wait to read the last in the trilogy!

Title: Hurry Less Worry Less
Author: Judy Christie
Themes/Topics: Self-Help, Christian

This was a book club read, not my usual fair, but I was pleasantly surprised by it.  It was neat to read because the author is local, and the friend of a friend, so that's a fun fact.  All of the scripture quotes weren't my cup of tea, but I found a lot of the tips she gave to be useful.  I took notes throughout the reading and intend to go back to them.  If you are looking for a little inspiration to slow down and reclaim your life and goals, I highly recommend this read.

Title: The Sisters Brother
Author: Patrick Dewitt
Themes/Topics: Western, Family, Dark Comedy

I came across an article about the best books of the year, and this one was on it so I added it to my list.  It was pretty good, very funny.  I don't read a lot in the western genre, so it was something different for me, and I definitely enjoyed it.  Dewitt pulls you in to a story, filled with twists and entertaining the whole way through.