Books Read in March 2024
Bitter Tea and Mystery
by TracyK
21h ago
Even though I am getting my summary of reading for March 2024 out very late, I am happy because I have actually written reviews for six of the nine books I read. For me that is very good. And I enjoyed almost all of the books. So March was a good reading month.  Of the fiction books I read this month, six were published between 2007 and 2020. Only two were published before 1960. That is a big change in the direction of my reading. I read too many exceptional books to pick a favorite for the month but I am glad I reread another book by Rex Stout. And I am in the middle of a book of thre ..read more
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Classics Club Spin #37, April 2024
Bitter Tea and Mystery
by TracyK
3d ago
The latest Classics Club Spin has been announced. To join in, I choose twenty books from my classics list. On Sunday, 21st April, 2024, the Classics Club will post a number from 1 through 20. The goal is to read whatever book falls under that number on my Spin List by Sunday, 2nd June, 2024. So, here is my list of 20 books for the spin... Patricia Highsmith – The Talented Mr.Ripley (1955) Shirley Jackson – We Have Always Lived in the Castle (1962) Madeleine L'Engle – A Wrinkle in Time (1962) William Shakespeare – Much Ado About Nothing (1598) Mary Shelley – Frankenstein (1818) John Stein ..read more
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The #1937Club: They Found Him Dead by Georgette Heyer
Bitter Tea and Mystery
by TracyK
5d ago
I read They Found Him Dead by Georgette Heyer for the 1937 Club hosted by Simon at Stuck in a Book and Karen at Kaggsy's Bookish Ramblings. And isn't this a lovely image for the club? They Found Him Dead begins with a large gathering of family and friends at the home of Silas Kane and his mother, Emily Kane. The occasion is Silas Kane's 60th birthday celebration. With most of the main cast introduced at the beginning, it is difficult to figure out the relationships. But that is part of the fun.  And there are some very interesting characters in this family. The next day the body of one ..read more
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Short Story Wednesday: "Disguise for Murder" by Rex Stout
Bitter Tea and Mystery
by TracyK
6d ago
  Rex Stout's "Disguise for Murder" is an 80-page story in the Nero Wolfe series. It is one of three stories in Curtains for Three, published in 1950.  The introduction to the book describes the contents as three novelettes, although I think 80 pages is more like a novella. No matter, it is an entertaining story. It was first published in The American Magazine, September 1950, as "The Twisted Scarf".  As usual, Archie Goodwin narrates the story. Some semi-regular characters are included: Saul Panzer, a free lance detective; Fritz, the cook; and Inspector Cramer of the NYC police ..read more
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Plot It Yourself: Rex Stout
Bitter Tea and Mystery
by TracyK
1w ago
I had not planned to review this book, but then I realized that this is a bookish book, with the plot revolving around authors, publishers, and accusations of plagiarism. Rex Stout gets to poke some fun at publishers, authors, and even himself in this book. Rex Stout wrote 33 novels and 41 novellas about the private detective Nero Wolfe and his assistant, Archie Goodwin. The series began in 1934, with Fer-de-lance, and the last book in the series, A Family Affair, was published in 1975, shortly before Stout's death. I have read all of the novels and the shorter works several times over the yea ..read more
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Two Brief Reviews
Bitter Tea and Mystery
by TracyK
1w ago
I read these books in March. Both were good books and very different stories. Each was challenging to read at times, and both were well worth the effort. My Name is Lucy Barton by Elizabeth Strout The story is about a woman, Lucy Barton, who was in a hospital in New York City in the 1980s for many weeks due to complications following an appendectomy. Her husband doesn't visit her very often because they have two young daughters at home and he has a job. Her mother comes to sit with her for a few days when she is in the hospital and they have some strained conversations about the past. This le ..read more
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Your Republic is Calling You: Young-Ha Kim
Bitter Tea and Mystery
by TracyK
1w ago
  The story takes place over the course of one day in the life of Ki-Yong, a South Korean with a wife and teenage daughter. Except that he is really a North Korean spy who has been in Seoul, working as a film importer, over 20 years, and has now been recalled to North Korea. About 10 years into his assignment in South Korea, the man who had run his intelligence group was purged; after that they had heard nothing from anyone in North Korea. For 10 years he has led a normal life but now it has been upended in one email; although Ki-Yong immediately begins following plans for his exit from ..read more
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Six Degrees of Separation: From Lonely Planet's Best Ever Photography Tips to ....
Bitter Tea and Mystery
by TracyK
2w ago
  The Six Degrees of Separation meme is hosted by Kate at booksaremyfavoriteandbest. The idea behind the meme is to start with a book and use common points between two books to end up with links to six books, forming a chain. The common points may be obvious, like a word in the title or a shared theme, or more personal. Usually Kate provides the title of a book as the starting point, but for April's Six Degrees the instructions were to find a travel guide such as a Lonely Planet title or an Eyewitness title. So the first book in my Six Degrees chain will be Lonely Planet's Best Ever Phot ..read more
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Short Story Wednesday — Doctorow: Collected Stories
Bitter Tea and Mystery
by TracyK
2w ago
  My husband purchased Doctorow: Collected Stories at the 2023 Planned Parenthood Book Sale, and at his suggestion, I read some short stories from that collection, which is comprised of fifteen short stories written by E. L. Doctorow. Per the dust jacket, the stories were "selected, revised, and placed in order by the author himself shortly before he died in 2015." I read the first five stories in the book, plus a later story I was especially interested in. Of the six stories I read, I only really liked two of the stories, but I liked those a lot, so it was a worthwhile experience. The ..read more
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The Glass Hotel: Emily St. John Mandel
Bitter Tea and Mystery
by TracyK
3w ago
When I started reading The Glass Hotel, I thought that Paul Smith and his half-sister Vincent Smith would be the central characters. As the story opens, they are in high school. Paul resents Vincent because as a child she got to live with his father and her mother full time, whereas he only spent summers and every other Christmas with his father. He knows that is not Vincent's fault but he cannot let it go. They have a very troubled relationship. However, later it seems that Vincent and Paul are minor characters and the story revolves more around a very rich man, Jonathan Alkaitis, who Vince ..read more
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