Friday, January 25, 2008

"Booking Through Thursday"

What’s your favorite book that nobody else has heard of? You know, not Little Women or Huckleberry Finn, not the latest best-seller . . . whether they’ve read them or not, everybody “knows” those books. I’m talking about the best book that, when you tell people that you love it, they go, “Huh? Never heard of it?”
And, folks–Becca was nice enough to nominate Booking Through Thursday for a Blogger’s Choice Award–while you’re here, why don’t you head over and vote for us, too. Because, a vote for BTT is a vote for all of us who play each week!

The first little-known books that came to mind is a cozy-mystery series by Heron Carvic, the first of which is Picture Miss Seeton. Longtime readers may recall my mentioning this series in the past. The original five books feature a dear, charming lead character, the eponymous Miss Seeton. She is an art teacher who inherits a home in a tiny, English village of the sort that seems to attract murderers and eccentrics by the dozen. Ah, but Miss Seeton is more than a match for the evildoers in this village owing to her psychically-influenced artistic abilities. She simultaneously confounds and assists local policemen, Inspector Delphic and Bob Ranger, in solving and preventing murders and assorted mayhem while often skating on thin ice herself.
Many further adventures of Miss Seeton were written by Hamilton Carver after Heron Carvic's death, but the original books will do for me, and no others. These are not police procedurals, but merry books starring an endearing character backed up by other solid characters who complement and contrast Miss Seeton. These books are light reading, just the thing
for a short plane trip, a winter's afternoon or other time when you want to "munch" on some reading without feeling too full.
(submitted by Moon Rani)

Friday, January 18, 2008

"Booking Through Thursday"

"This week’s question is suggested by Puss Reboots:
How much do reviews (good and bad) affect your choice of reading? If you see a bad review of a book you wanted to read, do you still read it? If you see a good review of a book you’re sure you won’t like, do you change your mind and give the book a try?"

I use reviews as tools to help me decide what to read. But I don't allow the reviews to do all the work for me. Reviews are useful in learning the general plotlines in books. There are times when I thought I knew a book's topic but was completely wrong. I would rather find that out before getting the book. and wasting my time.
Even bad reviews are helpful. One reviewer may hate a book for all the reasons I would love it. Or a bad review might dampen my enthusiasm, it's true, and cause me to look elsewhere, but again that's helpful in not wasting my time.
Correspondingly a good review might make me consider reading a book that I would not pick up on my own, but only "might." Reviews can help me avoid or include books in my reading time.
Life is too short to read bad books.
(submitted by Moon Rani)

Sunday, January 13, 2008

My favorite winter reading

Winter, in the colder climes, brings the perfect opportunity to shutter oneself indoors with thick books and many cups of hot tea. Let the weather outside be frightful; the outside really is delightful when ensconced in a warm corner, surrounded by tea and books.
Yet my favorite winter reading comes from no book at all. It comes in paper, yes, and all in black ink on white pages, and it is nonfiction. What brings me the greatest joy in January is curling up with this year's newly-arrived garden catalogue.
I have only one catalogue, having summoned the strength to resist the siren call of the obscenely gorgeous color offerings from seed companies all over the country. My choice comes from This California company specializes in offering heirloom seeds and seeds for plants that are suitable for saving to plant next year. They teach biointensive gardening, getting the most from the least, one might say. The Bountiful Gardens people have taught and continue to teach people from all over the world how to get the best and greatest yields from small, formerly unsuitable spaces. They have countless success stories, too. The catalogue offers books, seeds, implements and much more.
I fell in love with gardening last year, although my efforts are somewhat limited. I pass glum and grey winter days by poring over the catalogue and fantasizing about what this year's warm seasons shall bring.
(submitted by Moon Rani)

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

Words for the new year

"New Year's Day: Now is the accepted time to make your regular annual good resolutions. Next week you can begin paving hell with them as usual." ~Mark Twain

"The merry year is born
Like the bright berry from the naked thorn."~Hartley Coleridge

"Year's end is neither an end nor a beginning but a going on, with all the wisdom that experience can instill in us." ~Hal Borland

"And ye, who have met with Adversity's blast,
And been bow'd to the earth by its fury;
To whom the Twelve Months, that have recently pass'd
Were as harsh as a prejudiced jury -
Still, fill to the Future! and join in our chime,
The regrets of remembrance to cozen,
And having obtained a New Trial of Time,
Shout in hopes of a kindlier dozen."~Thomas Hood
(submitted by Moon Rani)