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Sunday, October 19, 2014

The Cuckoo's Calling by Robert Galbraith (read 10/4 to 10/7)

This is a detective story by Robert Galbraith, or better known as J.K. Rowling.  Coroman Strike is a private investigator in London, who has just taken on a temp secretary he can't afford.  Robin is newly engaged and working yet secret dream job with Strike, much to her fianc├ęs disapproval. Just as Robin is hired, John Bristow hires Strike to investigate the death of his sister Lulu Landry, a supermodel whom supposedly committed suicide 3 months earlier.  Strike is reluctant to take the case as he police have already determined the case suicide not homicide.  But as time goes on Strike is glad he took the case, and has a chance to catch up he killer, not without invaluable help from Robin.
This was an amazing novel, it kept me engaged and enthralled.  I read this over three days on vacation, every spare moment was devoted to this story.  The writing was wonderful, more grown up than Harry Potter, but still such a easy read that really attests to Rowling's writing style.  And unlike most mysteries, I was wrong, I had the wrong person pegged for the killer, and was truthfully shocked not only by who but why.  Rowling really pulled a fast one on me.

Anne of Avonlea (Green Gables #2) by L.M. Montgomery (Read 8/24 to 9/7)

This is the second book in the Anne of Green Gables series.  It picks up the fall after the first book ends.  Anne is about to start her first term teaching at the Avonlea school, although she will still continue her studies at home with Gilbert, who is teaching at the nearby White Sands School. Marilla's third cousin dies and she takes in her two children while their uncle is out of the country.  The children are Davy and Dora, a set of twins as opposite as day and night.  They are initially meant to stay only a short time, but the twins' uncle postpones his return to collect the twins and then eventually dies.  This book follows Anne from the age of 16 to 18, during the two years that she teaches at Avonlea school.  The book soon introduces Anne's new and problematic neighbor, Mr. Harrison, and his foul-mouthed parrot.  Some of Anne's new pupils, such as Paul Irving, an American boy living with his grandmother in Avonlea while his widower father works in the States. He delights Anne with his imagination and whimsical ways, which are reminiscent of Anne's in her childhood.   This book sees Anne maturing slightly, even though she still cannot avoid getting into a number of her familiar scrapes that we all know and love Anne for.
I still love Anne, and I love Avonlea, being older than when I first read this book I'm able to relate to the maturity that a girl grows into, without loosing her sense of fun.  I'm sad there IAS not more of Gilbert in this book, and I relate to Anne's feeling of being left behind NY all her engaged friends.  But she still maintains her imagination and her joyfulness no matter what.

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Anne of Green Gables (Green Gables #1) by L.M. Montgomery (Read 8/11-8/24)

Another BOTM selection, and one of my all time favorites,  In fact this was my favorite book before I discovered The Hobbit.
I still have my original book I got from my Mom, which she got when she was 9.  My version was published in 1944,  and according to the front there were only 4 books in the series at that time, now there are 8, the last published in1939.  It is considered the "deluxe" version because it has a cloth cover and 8 illustrations by Elizabeth R. Withington.   It is still one of my most cherished and loved books, it holds a place of honor on my bookshelf.
Anne Shirley is an 11 year old orphan that is adopted by Marilla and Matt Cuthbert (elderly brother and sister), and from the start there are mistakes and hi jinx.  Marilla really has no idea what to do with a  child, and shy Mathew just wants to spend time with the girl.  Anne meets her bosom best friend, Diana, and her arch rival Gilbert.  The book is set in the early 1900's on Prince Edward Island in Canada, in a small made up town of Avonlea. (Fun fact: the house Montgomery based Green Gables on was her neighbors, and it is located in Cavendish, Prince Edward Island)  It was published in 1908, so I can only assume that the setting is about that time  Being set in a simpler time, the story is simple at heart.  A girl and how she grows into a woman and brings love and light to all of those around her.  There is no technology, no cyber bullying, no television or radio even to be a distraction and a hindrance.  Anne's entertainment is her books, and of course her imagination.
Anne is such a fun and great character, a true kindred spirit to myself.  I have always felt a connection with her character, so full of imagination and hope and a general goodwill towards here fellow human beings.  She really makes Green Gables a lively home, rather than a lovely house.  In fact while reading this book, I realized that I had bought my own version of Green Gables, my new house is cream with green trim and cherry trees in the backyard.  I'm afraid to go to much into the plot, because I will give away all the fun things that are to discover in this book.  The way Montgomery writes is so straightforward and enthralling, that you can't help to love the characters, even the Pryes. All I can say, is read this book if you want to escape to a simpler world, where the golden rule still applied and honesty was the highest valued trait of them all.