What book are you reading right now?

I enjoy this writer’s oeuvre, in particular the China-based novels.

This one has an interesting premise, being set in a year 2051 independent Scotland, suffering, along with the rest of the world, from global warming. It’s still a murder mystery and has the seemingly obligatory trope of a detective with a dysfunctional family and a drinking problem.* It’s developing nicely and I’m looking forward to a satisfying read.

steve

  • Is there some law or ancient charter that says no detective can be happily married?
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Nick and Nora Charles.

And yes, I’m a Peter May fan.

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Yep they’re all dysfunctional middle aged men who seem to love jazz on vinyl and broken relationships. :grin:

The only saving grace is most have a dog.

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Paul Temple was very happily married, Agatha Christie’s Tommy and Tupperware, I struggle beyond that.

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By Timothy you are right.

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True, but they were 20th century characters. This decade’s are much more downbeat, even more so than the Chandler and Hammett anti heroes.

I wonder what this miserablism says about the 21st century?

steve

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What about May’s China novels (of which I’ve read the first five)? The two principals have a decidedly tempestuous relationship, but I wouldn’t call it unhappy.

The start of Furst’s saga. 1934 Bulgaria then after Moscow training we are off to Catalonia and at the wrong end of a Stalin purge.

They are very dark moody novels The atmosphere reminiscent of early Hollywood noirs. Not much normal family life around thank goodness. I have a whole Avenue of that to watch.:rofl:

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I’ve read the first three and don’t disagree. An exception that proves the rule maybe?

steve

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I would say the key is that they work together. Same for Nick and Nora Charles and Tommy and Tuppence. Another from the last century is Peter Wimsey (who marries Harriet Vane near the end of the series. A better one is Peter Pascoe.

Also Thomas Lynley is happily married

  • spoiler alert -

until the author has his wife murdered.

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Yes, and his wife, Steve, was awfully brave, for a girl.

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I hadn’t realised she was called Louise Temple and Steve was a pen-name.

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Ah! Learn something every day on here!

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Delivered today! I’ll give myself a few years to unravel it, probably my final linguistic challenge. I suspect the daunting mutations may be the dragon. A nice paperback translated by Adam Pearce with illustrations by Melin Babur. It has been a big seller for the publisher and credit to the Tolkien Estate for permitting it.

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Fully sanctioned by George Orwell’s estate. This is a version of 1984 but written from the perspective of Winston Smith’s fling Julia - there wasn’t much from a woman’s perspective in the original. In this version, where Winston and Julia meet, the author has used exactly the same dialogue that Orwell used. Really clever and well done

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The New York Times did a countdown this week of the 100 best books of the 21st Century, based on lists provided by “literary luminaries.”That kind of polling is going to (and did) result in almost entirely mainstream titles, but I thought the choices were quite good overall (but not the order).

No. 1 was “My Brilliant Friend,” which I liked a lot (leading to my reading of the rest of the tetralogy) , but it would not have been in my top 10 (although the tetralogy as a whole would have been). I haven’t read No. 2, “The Warmth of Other Suns,” but “Wolf Hall” was No. 3, and that would not have made my top 25.

If F1 racing had more personalities like this guy and Senna, I might bother following the sport:

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DI Rory Alleyn happily married to Troy in the Ngaio Marsh series.

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True, but I seem to remember it took some time.

steve

Now reading…

Padraig has a new book of poetry being released in January 2025 from ‘Copper Canyon Press’ in January 2025 and I am unfamiliar with his work and came across this book at a local shop.

Enjoyed the book with contains a section of 31 ‘collects.’ Padraig describes these as “The idea is that you might pray one prayer every day of the month. You can scratch them out, replace words, write your own. They’re all collects, a little fivefold form of prayer that is—for me—as important as the form of sonnet.”

The hope is that you can turn to a prayer with the story of your life, and in the little emptiness you create there, hear something, discern something, feel something that’s connecting you to other things seeking out connection with you."

For those who already have a practice daily meditation, contemplation, mindfulness or prayer may enjoy the book.

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