Monday, October 29, 2012

October 29: Frankenstorm, Frankenmonth. . .

Well, I'm back after a wild stretch of time, time dominated by the preparations for Andy's dad's service, which happened in MA on Saturday. We stayed with his aunt and uncle and had a wonderful time, but two weekends away (we went to see Lyle at Skidmore the weekend before) left me frayed and exhausted, so I took today off and did a lot of putzy school stuff, food shopping, lowkey house stuff, and fought off the cold that arrived with a vengeance. Hurricane Sandy, plus various other fronts, are converging tonight, so it's a crazy weather stretch as well. On the bright side: I have a lot of books to blog!

The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel: A NovelThe Best Exotic Marigold Hotel: A Novel by Deborah Moggach
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

Well, I was suspicious when I noticed that the book's name had been changed to take advantage of the movie, but I loved the movie, so I went for the audiobook anyway. The reader was great, but the book is not--most of the characters are unlikeable, the plot. . . well, actually, when I think about it, the characters really are the start and finish of it--they're almost completely lacking appeal. I wonder what caught the movie makers' attention and made them decide to turn this flat and unprepossessing book into such a wonderful movie?
The characters' crudeness becomes the writer's as well, and. . . well. I'd suggest skipping this experience. Go see the movie and leave it at that!

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Touch Not the CatTouch Not the Cat by Mary Stewart
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I loved this book, partly because it reminds me of my childhood reading with my sister! I had to get it through interlibrary loan for the Cornflower Book Group, and I read it very quickly and with great pleasure. Mary Stewart is one of the oldies and goodies: this novel does show some of the supernatural themes she develops in her later works, but her deft characterization, vivid description, and fast-moving plotting remain strong and enjoyable. I realized, also, that I had very little memory of the story, which made reading the whole novel an extra pleasure.

For fans of Agatha Christie and Ngaio Marsh, Mary Stewart stands right there in line--with her mysteries at least. Fondly recommended!

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My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Vintage Christie, and vintage cozy. Great readers. . .  highly recommended. What a pleasure! 

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