Tuesday, July 22, 2014

What's On Your Nightstand (July)

The folks at 5 Minutes For Books host What’s On Your Nightstand? the fourth Tuesday of each month in which we can share about the books we have been reading and/or plan to read.

I finished six of the books I mentioned in June for What's On Your Nightstand. Reviews of The Princess of Celle, The Birth of Britain, Earth Awakens, The Dog Who Could Fly, and Mission at Nuremberg will be posted in August. You'll have to wait a few months more for my review of Is He Popenjoy? by Anthony Trollope.

The first two come from my TBR pile. I've started both of these. 

Victoria Victorious. Jean Plaidy. 1985. Three Rivers Press. 564 pages. [Source: Bought]
IF MY COUSIN CHARLOTTE HAD NOT DIED SO TRAGICALLY—AND her baby with her—I should never have been born and there would never have been a Queen Victoria. I suppose there is a big element of chance in everybody's life, but I always thought this was especially so in mine. But for that sad event, over which the whole nation mourned, my father would have gone on living in respectable sin—if sin can ever be respectable—with Madame St. Laurent, who had been his companion for twenty-five years; my mother would have stayed in Leiningen, though she might have married someone else, for although she was a widow with two children, she was only thirty-one years old and therefore of an age to bear more children. And I should never have been born.

In Search of England. H.V. Morton. 1927/2007. Da Capo Press. 304 pages. [Source: Bought]
This, then, is my adventure. Now I will go, with spring before me and the road calling me out into England. It does not matter where I go, for it is all England. I will see what lies off the beaten track. I will, as the mood takes me, go into famous towns and unknown hamlets. I will shake up the dust of kings and abbots; I will bring the knights and the cavaliers back to the roads, and once in a while, I will hear the thunder of old quarrels at earthwork and church door. If I become weary of dream and legend I will just sit and watch the ducks on a village pond, or take the horses to water: I will talk with lords and cottagers, tramps, gipsies, and dogs; I will, in fact, do anything that comes into my head as suddenly and light-heartedly as I will accept anything, and everything, that comes my way in rain or sun along the road.
I've started a lovely mystery by Margery Allingham for the Vintage Mystery challenge. It had me at hello! I love great beginnings!

Dancers in Mourning. Margery Allingham. 1937. 337 pages. [Source: Bought]
When Mr. William Faraday sat down to write his memoirs after fifty-eight years of blameless inactivity he found the work of inscribing the history of his life almost as tedious as living it had been and so, possessing a natural invention coupled with a gift for locating the easier path, he began to prevaricate a little upon the second page, working up to downright lying on the sixth and subsequent folios.
The book appeared at eighteen-and-sixpence, with frontispiece, in nineteen thirty-four and would have passed into the limbo of the remainder lists with thousands of its prototypes had not the quality of one of the wilder anecdotes in the chapters dealing with an India the author had never seen earned it a place in the news columns of a Sunday paper.
This paragraph called the memoirs to the attention of a critic who had not permitted his eminence to impair his appreciation of the absurd, and in the review which he afterwards wrote he pointed out that the work was pure fiction, not to say fantasy, and was incidentally one of the funniest books of the decade.
The public agreed with the critic and at the age of sixty-one William Faraday, author of Memoirs of an Old Buffer (republished at seven-and-six, seventy-fourth thousand), found himself a literary figure.
I've got quite a few library books I need to read including:

Unbroken. Laura Hillenbrand. 2010. Random House. 473 pages. [Source: Library]

All he could see, in every direction, was water. It was June 23, 1943. Somewhere on the endless expanse of the Pacific Ocean, Army Air Forces bombardier and Olympic runner Louie Zamperini lay across a small raft, drifting westward. Slumped alongside him was a sergeant, one of his plane's gunners. On a separate raft, tethered to the first, lay another crewman, a gash zigzagging across his forehead. Their bodies, burned by the sun and stained yellow from the raft dye, had winnowed down to skeletons. Sharks glided in lazy loops around them, dragging their backs along the rafts, waiting. 
The Lost. Sarah Beth Durst. 2014. Harlequin. 352 pages. [Source: Library]
For the first hundred miles, I see only the road and my knuckles, skin tight across the bones, like my mother's hands, as I clutch the steering wheel. 

 Kiss of Deception. Mary E. Pearson. 2014.  Henry Holt. 496 pages. [Source: Library]

Today was the day a thousand dreams would die and a single dream would be born.

© 2014 Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews


Carrie 10:45 AM  

In Search of England. I'm going to need to get a hold of a copy for myself......

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