Tuesday, November 13, 2018

Tuesday Twaddle

As often happens when I take a break (but not always -- I would have taken a break anyway, this past couple of weeks, because I was running out of books to write about), I was away on vacation part of  the time I've been away from blogging. I'm still recovering, having slept very badly since we returned. Plus, I think the shock of going from the 80s to the 30s (seriously, it's 37° out there, folks!) has given me a very mild cold.

Recent arrivals (left to right, top to bottom):

  • Cupidity by Patricia Wood - gift from the author
  • Lolly Willowes by Sylvia Townsend Warner - purchased
  • The Mezzanine by Nicholson Baker - purchased
  • The Wedding of Zein by Tayeb Salih - purchased
  • A Duke Changes Everything by Christy Carlyle - Unsolicited from Avon Books
  • The Truth Pixie by Matt Haig - purchased

There are some marvelous covers in this batch so I chose to show them off but they'd also make an oddly short stack because most of those purchases are thin books. The Mezzanine and The Wedding of Zein are for next year's challenge to find Perfect Little Books (link leads to a post about some Perfect Little Books I've read in the past). I got recommendations from friends on Facebook and placed an order (at least one more is coming, maybe 2) to get me started in January, since 2019 will be here in no time. I'm open to more suggestions. I want to find books that are around or under 200 pages, paced well, have strongly-written characters and plots with fantastic writing.

Cupidity by Patricia Wood was handed to me by the author when I asked her if that book, her second published book, was only available electronically. I started reading Cupidity while I was away but then it began to rain and I never did find the time to open it back up. Pat is the author of one of my all-time favorite books since I started my blog, Lottery. I've been to Hawaii and missed Pat by *this much* twice. This time, we were staying near her, again, and I managed to get in touch. She kindly invited us to hang out with her and her husband, introduced me to the Peach-Pear flavor of La Croix sparkling water (I will be haunting the stores till I find some) and we talked and talked. I also was excited to meet her gorgeous kitty, whose name I'm not sure I can spell. He's a sweetheart. I've just abandoned a book so I may go ahead and sneak in a reading of Cupidity. I'd only read 3 pages of Cupidity when the rain began but I was already appreciating Pat's sense of humor.

Lolly Willowes was recommended as a perfect fall read by another favorite author, Lissa Evans. I ordered it from Book Depository because I liked what I assume is its British cover -- the American one did nothing for me, but this one has a cat on it. Well, who could pass up a great cat cover?

And, The Truth Pixie is by Matt Haig, yet another favorite. I've only loved 2 out of 4 of the children's books I've read by Haig, but he manages to insert surprising bits of wisdom into all of his books, so I felt compelled to give this new children's book a go.

Books finished since last Malarkey:

  • Monstrous Devices by Damien Love
  • Marilla of Green Gables by Sarah McCoy
  • The Truth Pixie by Matt Haig

Currently reading:

  • D-Day: The WWII Invasion That Changed History by Deborah Hopkinson
  • The Third Level by Jack Finney (short stories)

I was reading a third book -- the one I mentioned that I would need to return to review on the 15th, before leaving: The Splendor Before the Dark by Margaret George -- but it ended up being a DNF. I'll still write about it on the tour date because I think it's worth mentioning why it didn't work for me but probably will for plenty of other people. Also, it's a tour book so I kind of have to say something, don't I?

Posts since last Malarkey:

In other news:

I'm not generally a fan of beachy locations (I'm a mountain girl) but, wow, that was one relaxing vacation. It was a work trip for Huzzybuns, so I was free to sit on the lanai and read, visit with my author friend, shop, walk in the sand, etc. I loved the freedom to just spend the day doing whatever I felt like. I finished Marilla of Green Gables on a day that I just felt like reading. Part of my reading time was spent by the pool and part on the lanai and I did some sink laundry when I needed to take breaks. The seafood in Hawaii is amazing, too, so I had fun eating out.

I've just watched two more Hallmark Channel movies and I'm finding it surprising how much they reuse the same actors. I found myself comparing how convincing they were in their opposing roles, today, as 3 out of 4 of the love interests were repeat actors. I liked all 3 better in their first roles, which may mean it's just hard for me to switch gears. I found myself thinking, "He's a wealthy man with warm memories he's revisiting, not a small-town innkeeper!" Having said that, I liked 2 of the actors in their new roles, once I managed to turn off thoughts of their old parts.

Christmas in Homestead is about an actress and a mayor/innkeeper who fall for each other, similar to a Notting Hill type of storyline but without the quirky ensemble cast. Jessica is filming a Christmas story in Homestead, Iowa. She's recently broken up with her actor boyfriend and is planning to go to Fiji with a friend of hers for Christmas, since her presence at home is such a disruption (paparazzi follows her around). Her former boyfriend just happens to be playing her love interest in the movie she's filming.

Matt is the mayor of Homestead, a widower with a 10-year-old daughter who is a fan of Jessica's fantasy/action films. The two stars and the director are staying at the inn Matt and his sister inherited when their parents retired. He's never seen Jessica's films and isn't star-struck at all, but as they get to know each other, an attraction grows between them. Can they make the actor/small-town-guy relationship work? Or will her former boyfriend convince her to return to him? There's almost a secondary romance but not quite. It's more of a male/female friendship but it's cute.

The actor who plays Matt was also William Darcy in Christmas at Pemberley, which I loved, but I think I'd like him in any role. Jessica played an artist in The Art of Us. She's gorgeous enough to play an actress who must convince us she's a star who is followed around by photographers, but I liked the storyline of the other movie a bit better, although pieces of it made little question marks float over my head.

A Royal Christmas came on because I didn't switch off the Hallmark Channel fast enough and who am I to fight fate? I decided to go ahead and watch it.

Emily is a seamstress who has been dating Leo for a year. Leo is planning on spending Christmas with her family, but then he's called home and is forced to confess that he's the prince of a small nation near the South of France. He invites Emily to go with him.

Jane Seymour plays Queen Isadora, a prim and proper monarch who expects her son to marry a duchess named Natasha, who both has the proper background and has known him from childhood. The queen is dismayed at the casual manners of the American girl Leopold has brought home with him. Emily knows nothing about dinner etiquette, is a lowly commoner, and she likes to hang out with the downstairs help. Can she dissuade Leo from his plans to propose and get him back together with Natasha?

A Royal Christmas is predictable in every way, which is fine. I didn't care and I had to reach for the tissues, in the end. I thought Lacey Chabert was much more convincing in her other role (one of those innkeeper/busy businesswoman pairings) in which I saw her, but the prince was a bit Prince William-like in his features and I found him very believable. Jane Seymour was fun as the bitter queen. I am so loving this new channel. It's like comfort food . . . incredibly relaxing to watch gentle romance movies.

©2018 Nancy Horner. All rights reserved. If you are reading this post at a site other than Bookfoolery or its RSS feed, you are reading a stolen feed. Email bookfoolery@gmail.com for written permission to reproduce text or photos.

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