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About Viccie

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    reading, writing, wine, dawdling around
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  1. Rest in Peace

    Peter Mayle. Lots of people liked to pour scorn on him but when A Year in Provence came out the early 90's it was a breath of fresh air and very funny too. He never matched it but still stands up as a light, affectionate, amusing read.
  2. A Gentleman in Moscow

    I did a search to see if a post had been written about it and came up with nothing!
  3. A Gentleman in Moscow

    In 1922 Count Alexander Rostov is convicted of being an unrepentant aristocrat by a Bolshevik tribunal but is saved from execution due to a poem which he wrote before the war which has a lot of meaning for the revolutionaries. Instead he is sentenced to house arrest in the luxurious Metropole hotel where he has been living and warned that if he ever sets foot ouside it he will be shot immediately. The count is urbane and witty, a survivor who doesn't waste time on mourning what's lost but gets with living. Even though he is ordered out of his luxurious suite to a small attic room he gets on with it and he also has the knack of getting on with people - apart from those who dislike him on principle for being an aristocrat. The book is firmly based on the count and the microcosm of the world within a luxury hotel and the great upheavals that happened in Russia during the 20's, 30's and up to the mid 1950's when the novel ends are basically only touched on as far as they concern the inhabitants of the hotel in one way or the other. It's a witty and whimsical novel, some might feel a touch too whimsical in places, but always a gentle and entertaining read. It's not faced paced but instead is one of those books you're always glad to pick up and read. I thoroughly enojyed it.
  4. The Reservoir Tapes

    I thought that Reservoir 13 had been put on my wish list after reading you review of it, but it wasn't there. It is now. This looks really interesting too.
  5. what is everyone doing?

    Love that, Meg!
  6. Glad you enjoyed it! All her Lacey Flint books are good, best to read them in order though. Awakening and Blood Harvest are stand alones and excellent too. Her first, Sacrifice, was very readable but she hadn't got quite into her stride.
  7. Book Chain

    Narrow Dog to Carcassone - Terry Darlington
  8. I'm not trying to be contentious here but a thread on one of my Facebook groups got me thinking. There was a discussion on how many books we'd read last year and one person claimed to have read 207, over 150 of them are audio books. I don't count audio books as reading. I love them but they're different to reading print. If I'm reading print I can really only concentrate on that, though stirring risotto with one hand and holding my book with the other is quite feasible as is simple knitting and reading but listening to audio books almost always involves doing something else at the same time. Driving, food prep; light cleaning, ironing. It's not the same. Plus audio books are usually abridged too. My facebook contact said rahter indignantly that of course audio was the same as reading, it's just being read to as opposed to reading. But doesn't that make them different?
  9. This was a Christmas present and is great fun to read. Kate Young is a cookery writers and has interpreted recipes from her favourite books (albeit with a considerable amount of licence, for instance the Famous Five have Steak and Ale pie when, as she admits, it's more like they'd have had Pork Pie) so there's marmelade from Paddington, Spanakopita from Middlesex, Chocolatl from Northern Lights and Chicken casserole from Excellent Women by Barbara Pym. I can't say that any of the recipes strike me as ones I'm yearning to make but there are several which I'll give a try and I'm planning to give my book club a properly literary lunch when it's my turn to have them to lunch: possibly stuffed aubergines from Love in the Time of Cholera, Spanakopita and Potato and Wild Garlicsalad from Meg Roscoff's The Way We Are Nowfollowed by Black Ice Cream from the banquet served up by Cruella de Vil in 101 Dalmatians.
  10. The passengers on a balloon flight witness a murder. Soon all of them are dead, except for one woman. She's seen the murderer and he has seen her and he's in pusuit... I'm glad to say that after the disappointments of Little Black Lies and the rather lame Daisy in Chains Sharon Bolton is back on form. While this isn't quite as good as her Lacey Flint books and is a bit over descriptive in places it's an excellent, pacey page turner.
  11. I just bought/borrowed/received...

    I got an Amazon gift voucher too. Bought myself a Spanish cook book, Les Parisiennes by Ann Sebba and The Riviera Set by Mary Lovell.
  12. Happy 2018

    Happy New Year to all!
  13. what is everyone doing?

    I feel for you Momac!
  14. Book Lists 2018

    1. Coffin Road - Peter May ***1/2 2.A Gentleman in Moscow - Amor Towles **** 3. The Riviera Set - Mary S Lovell