Reading New England Round-Up: September 2016

Reading New England

Reading New England

It’s with some sadness that I announce that for now I’ll no longer be doing a monthly Link Love post. I enjoyed it, but it was very time-consuming — so I’m going to try using my time in a different way and see how that feels. Maybe I’ll change my mind before too long!

I’m going to try to be more active with posting links on my Facebook and Twitter accounts, so please follow me there if you like.

For the remainder of this year, I will still plan to do a round-up of posts for the Reading New England challenge every month or so. With four months of the challenge to go, I’m glad to see that some readers are sticking with it and getting through the various categories. However, even if you read only one book, you are welcome to participate. Don’t feel it’s too late!

796px-MountHight
Mt. Hight in the White Mountains (photo by Ken Gallagher, via Wikimedia)

Here’s what I’ve seen recently:

  • Penni of Penni’s Perceptions was a little disappointed in Orange Is the New Black, set in a Connecticut prison, but she would still like to check out the popular show. She found a more compelling read in The Secrets of Midwives, a novel set in Rhode Island that explores mother-daughter relationships.
  • From Other Side of the Sun, we learned of three books about walking the Appalachian trail, including its sections in Maine, New Hampshire, and Vermont.
  • Laurie of Relevant Obscurity delved into a couple of Massachusetts classics: The Blithedale Romance, based on an ill-fated utopian experiment, and Looking Backward, which imagines a utopian society with some interesting but not entirely satisfying results.
  • Continuing with the Massachusetts classics, Stephanie of Adventures of a Bibliophile conquered the giant Moby-Dick, and followed it up with a picture book chaser: Make Way for Ducklings.
  • At Monica’s Bookish Life, American Bloomsbury was a fascinating nonfiction read for those interested in the Transcendentalists and their period.
  • Getting a bit less serious, Clock and Dagger was another fun cozy mystery reviewed by Carstairs Considers. He also enjoyed Whispers from Beyond the Veil, a historical mystery set in Maine that centers on the Victorian craze for spiritualism.
  • The Munich Girl is set partly in New Hampshire and partly in Nazi Germany, juxtaposing a present-day story with that of the infamous Eva Braun. Chris of Calmgrove found it a remarkable piece of writing. He also ventured to Massachusetts with the intrepid Dido Twite, in Nightbirds on Nantucket. And don’t miss his map-laden tour of Dido’s travels!
  • Finally, from Lark Writes we learn of a historical mystery set in Gilded Age Newport, appropriately titled A Gilded Grave.

 

Not posted for the challenge, but of related interest:

  • From Books as Food, a couple of newly opened or forthcoming art exhibitions featuring Childe Hassam and William Merritt Chase. I really hope I can manage to visit these.
  • Bay State Reader’s Advisory offers three mini-reviews of New England mysteries, helpful if you’re looking for something to read for the SF/mystery category.
  • Bibliophile by the Sea came up with a useful list of great books set in New England. How many have you read?
  • This is an old post, but I was so delighted to find it: from Staircase Wit, a visit to the real-life location of Maida’s Little Island!
  • New England on a Budget offers a list of great independent bookstores in Massachusetts. I’ve been to half of them, but the rest are calling me now.

 

As usual, thank you all for your interest and participation. It’s been a great year so far.

Link Love: July 2016

Review of the Month

LittleParisBookshop

This month, I had to pick a review that simply made me laugh: Jenny’s hilarious tear-down of The Little Paris Bookshop at Shelf Love. There’s no accounting for taste, as this has been an international bestseller with some rave reviews — but I think I’m going to trust Jenny’s opinion and stay far away.

Otherwise, here’s what I gathered this month — a pleasant miscellany for you to enjoy, I hope.

Reading New England

  • From Adventures of a Bibliophile, a review that might inspire me to finally read Walden.
  • At Relevant Obscurity, reading Little Women for the first time as an adult sparked some thoughtful commentary.
  • Penni of Penni’s Perceptions was enthralled by Jodi Picoult’s Nineteen Minutes, making me feel I really need to read something by this New Hampshire author.
  • Avid Series Reader reviewed two books that sound like perfect vacation reading: The Martha’s Vineyard mystery A Deadly Vineyard Holiday, and Newport, an intriguing historical mystery set in Rhode Island.
  • With his review of Presumed Puzzled, Carstairs Considers introduced me to another mystery series set in Connecticut. And he loved the start of a new series set in Vermont, Toasting Up Trouble.
  • WildMoo Books shared a review of Disappearance at Devils Rock, “a creepy novel that calls to mind the Puritan mythology of the devil living in the wilderness of New England’s forests.”
  • From Kissin’ Blue Karen, a Connecticut-based thriller that deals with memory and trauma, All Is Not Forgotten.

 

Blogging Matters

 

Adventures Abroad

  • Jean of Howling Frog Books did a fabulous multi-part summary of her trip to the UK, but my favorite installment was this one about visiting the Manor at Hemingford Grey (the real house behind the Green Knowe books by Lucy Boston).
  • An interactive map of Hidden Iceland has some surprises in store.
  • Spend the night in a historic Welsh library for some sweet literary dreams.
  • Closer to home, how a writer’s reading formed her love of New England.
  • A New England landmark is Edith Wharton’s home in Lenox, The Mount. Thanks to Bibliophile by the Sea for lovely pictures.

 

Bookish History

 

Image of the Month

HedgehogsWhat are these hedgehogs doing?
Visit the British Library blog to find out.

Shared in the Sunday Post hosted by Caffeinated Book Reviewer

Link Love: June 2016

Review of the Month

shuttle

Thanks to Books and Chocolate for an insightful review of a vintage novel, The Shuttle by Frances Hodgson Burnett. I’ve been meaning to read this for a long time, and now I’m even more excited about it — sounds like a perfect summer read.

And I’d also like to thank those who continue to participate in the Reading New England Challenge. If I’ve missed any of your reviews, don’t hesitate to let me know — and be sure to use the State Post and Genre Post linkups, now back after technical difficulties briefly took them down. Here’s what I came across this month, along with other posts and articles that caught my eye.

Reading New England

 

Literary Locations

 

Blogging Questions

 

Lovely Lists

  • There are so many interesting lists for the 20 Books of Summer challenge floating around, but this one from Consumed by Ink has some exceptionally unusual and fascinating sounding titles on it.
  • It’s great to know that Scott of Furrowed Middlebrow is working on publishing some forgotten classics, but in the meantime he has some splendid suggestions for some other old favorites that are now back in print.
  • For a different take on the TBR list, Annabel’s House of Books is showcasing hers in color-coordinated chunks. Here’s the luscious-looking Indigo selection.

 

Image of the Month

GAN1
Fairy tale illustration by the Swedish artist GAN, found here.

Shared in the Sunday Post hosted by Caffeinated Book Reviewer

Link Love: May 2016

MeasuringWorld

Review of the Month

I’ve had Daniel Kehlmann’s Measuring the World on my radar for some time now, but three reviews in one week (from Lizzy’s Literary Life, My Book Strings and Consumed by Ink) have convinced me that I really should read it soon. It sounds like a brilliant fictional treatment of a fascinating period in history and science. Let me know if you have read or reviewed it as well.

This was the week of  Armchair BEA (Book Expo America), which I took part in for the third time. Next year, I have my eye on attending the real BEA if it comes back to New York, but in the meantime the virtual conference is a fun substitute! Among the many posts I enjoyed were: First Day Impressions (from Tif Sweeney), Breaking Down Book Covers (from Sarah’s Book Shelves), and Surviving Fictional Worlds (from Meaghan Walsh Gerard). What were your favorites?

Here are other links that caught my eye, starting with this month’s round-up of Reading New England posts (watch out, there are a lot of them):

Reading New England

  • At Relevant Obscurity, The Country of the Pointed Firs left Laurie “longing to know more, not only of the characters, but of the author herself.”
  • Daniela Ark’s blog offers a review of the “entertaining, action driven” fantasy Fury’s Kiss, the first in a series.
  • Penni from Penni’s Perceptions found a fun comedy to read in the play Almost, Maine. And she came up with another winner in the historical novel A Hundred Summers, set in a Rhode Island seaside community. Not content to rest on her laurels, she read a third book, Midwives by Vermont author Chris Bohjalian, and gave it five stars.
  • TJ of My Book Strings read several children’s books together with her kids. It’s always great to see some reactions from real kid readers.
  • “I love a good apocalyptic dystopian,” says Kissin’ Blue Karen, and The Fireman provided her with just that.
  • Lark of Lark Writes… was sorry she couldn’t count Nobody’s Secret as her Massachusetts book (because she already had one), but says it would a great choice for that category. Lark DID count a Connecticut book, The Inheritance, for the challenge, calling it “a pretty entertaining read.”
  • Stephanie of Adventures of a Bibliophile was not bowled over by the classic play Our Town, but she might give it another chance someday.
  • At Carstairs Considers, Carstairs was delighted with All Murders Final! – a Massachusetts-based entry in the “Garage Sale Mystery” series.

 

Year of Charlotte and William

 

Language Matters

 

Real and Fictional Real Estate

 

Image of the Month

grand_tour

 

Shared in the Sunday Post hosted by Caffeinated Book Reviewer

Link Love: April 2016

MachineStops

Review of the Month

Brian of Babbling Books highlighted a fascinating-sounding story by E.M. Forster that veers into science fiction territory, giving some astonishing insights into the future (i.e. now). Be sure to read the comments, too.

This month, I’m moving Reading New England reviews into this monthly link summary for easier reference. Thank you all again for your participation! And remember, everyone, it’s not too late to sign up.

Reading New England

  • Avid Series reader found Death of a Turkey to be a worthwhile cozy mystery set in small-town New England.
  • Carstairs Considers was won over by a Massachusetts historical mystery, Delivering the Truth.
  • Anastacia had mixed feelings about a Stephen King novel set in Maine, The Long Walk.
  • At Monica’s Bookish Life, thoughts about another Maine book, Olive Kitteridge. (Monica would like to have seen more of Olive — I agree!)
  • A Good Stopping Point wants us all to know about a neglected Maine classic, Spoonhandle by Ruth Moore.

 

Bookish Travel

 

Creative Collections

  • The Quince Tree offers a lovely Spring reading list. What would you add?
  • A beautiful collection of words and images on the theme of Tulips comes from Beyond Eden Rock.
  • Fourth Street Review came up with a “six degrees of separation” chain based on A Prayer for Owen Meany.

 

Good Questions

 

Image of the Month

quiz a map c13471 39
A nineteenth century spoof map of the land of Matrimony, from the British Museum.

 

Shared in the Sunday Post hosted by Caffeinated Book Reviewer

Link Love: March 2016

BronteFieryHeart

Review of the Month

Jenny’s review of Claire Harman’s new biography Charlotte Bronte: A Fiery Heart hilariously gives us the five “Bronte-est” things that happened within its pages. For a more serious assessment of the same book, see this review from Gudrun’s Tights. And if you can’t get enough of this crazy family, there’s…

More Brontemania

 

Bookish Travel

 

Behind the Books

 

Image of the Month

Photograph by Fay Godwin of Top Withens, believed to be the original “Wuthering Heights” – found here

 

Shared in the Sunday Post hosted by Caffeinated Book Reviewer

Link Love: February 2016

WarPeace

Review of the Month

At Literary Ramblings, a truly epic review of War and Peace (both the book and the miniseries) has gotten me even more excited to take the plunge into that sea of words myself. And I have to give honorable mention to Majoring in Literature, for summing up Eugene Onegin in “one really terrible sonnet.” (Actually, it was pretty impressive!)

Here are some of the other interesting links and lists that I’ve come across lately:

Great Minds

 

List Love

 

Tips for Book Clubs

 

Good Questions

 

Look Again

 

Image of the Month

CaucusRace
Monica Edinger’s illustration of the Caucus Race from Alice in Wonderland, used by permission of the artist. Click here for more information.

Shared in the Sunday Post hosted by Caffeinated Book Reviewer

Link Love: January 2016

the-song-collector

Review of the Month: The Song Collector

This month I was intrigued by a review at The Captive Reader that expresses appreciation for seeing an author come through with the best she is capable of, even after some not-so-successful attempts. I hadn’t heard of Natasha Solomons but I’ll definitely be seeking her out now.

Here are more of my favorite posts and articles from this month:

Food for Thought

 

Getting Visual

List Love

From Page to Stage (and screen)

 

Image of the Month

(c) Birmingham Museums and Art Gallery; Supplied by The Public Catalogue Foundation
(c) Birmingham Museums and Art Gallery; Supplied by The Public Catalogue Foundation – Source

An Audience in Athens during ‘Agamemnon’ – William Blake Richmond (1884)

Shared in the Sunday Post hosted by Caffeinated Book Reviewer

Link Love: December 2015

the-swerve

Review of the month: The Swerve

This month, I’m highlighting a book about religious and intellectual history that looks awfully relevant in light of today’s cultural strife. Thanks to Tales from the Reading Room for bringing it to my attention.

Elsewhere this month:

Behind the Books

 

Don’t Miss These

 

Let’s Discuss

 

Image of the Month

LiteraryCards
Literary Christmas Cards, found here

Shared in the Sunday Post hosted by Caffeinated Book Reviewer

Link Love: November 2015

 

The-Middle-WindowReview of the Month: The Middle Window

My favorite review this month had to be the one in which Simon of Stuck in a Book fought his “natural aversion to historical fiction” to find at least partial pleasure in a novel most readers — even fans of the author — detest. I love it when our reading expectations are turned upside down!

More of my favorite posts and articles this month:

Halloween Fun

 

List Love

 

Food for Thought

  • Girl With Her Head in a Book points out some of the painful questions that can arise around books and friends. What if you don’t love your friend’s favorite book — or vice versa?
  • Reading and Race: On Slavery and Fiction shares some honest reflections from a white reader, through The Millions
  • A teaching observation prompts some thoughts about how we all experience being observed in life, at Dolce Bellezza
  • At the Bookwyrm’s Hoard, musings about the cost of books and reading speed; are we making the most of our “entertainment hours”?

 

Getting Visual

 

Image of the Month

SmithBedtimeReading in Bed by Jessie Wilcox Smith, found here

Shared in the Sunday Post hosted by Caffeinated Book Reviewer