Tuesday 7 May 2024

A bit of catching up

 It's several weeks since I posted, I did mean to post again sooner but, as I'm sure you'll understand, with the loss of my husband and the funeral last week, I felt like I was existing in a strange kind of limboland. The funeral, I felt, went well and was a nice celebration of his life. We cried but also laughed, and I did enjoy catching up with family and friends afterwards. What was also nice is that these days funerals can be live-streamed so those who couldn't make it were able to attend that way. Technology has its faults but there are occasions when it's a wonderful thing.

This won't be a very long post as I'm doing it on my Kindle Fire. My computer decided it didn't want to speak to my monitor any more and it seems it's the pc not the monitor and my family computer boffins say there's no easy fix (one could but hope). I now have to decide what to do and as I can prevaricate for England I've warned folk not to hold their breath...

So, books. I read seven in April.

26. Silent Creed by Alex Kava. Book two of her Ryder Creed series. It was 'excellent ' but the theme of secret laboratories doing uncontrolled experiments I found quite alarming.

27. Agatha Christie: A Very Elusive Woman by Lucy Worsley. This was a superb biography on the world's most famous crime writer. A lot of interesting comments and reflections from the author. Highly recommend!

28. Murder in Tuscany by T.A. Williams. Murder at a writing retreat for erotic fiction writers, the narrator did not know it was such before he arrived. Huge fun and I loved the dog.

29. How to Find Love in a Bookshop by Veronica Henry. Father who has been running a bookshop in The Cotswolds dies and his daughter comes home to take it on and save it. Nice cast of characters. I enjoyed this light read.

30. The Murderer's Ape by Jakob Wegelius, translated by Peter Graves (hopefully not a Mission Impossible!) YA fantasy type yarn about a gorilla, Sally Jones, who is a ship's engineer. When the captain is accused of murder and locked up, she sets about trying to prove he didn't do it.  A bit overlong I thought but nonetheless a decent, unusual read. 

31. Ranger Confidential by Andrea Lankford. I think this is another one that Lark is responsible for. LOL! Fascinating look at the lives of American NP rangers and what they have to deal with on a regular basis. Sobering.

32. No Life for a Lady by Hannah Dolby. Hugely fun yarn about Violet, a young woman whose mother disappeared ten years ago and how she sets out to hire a private detective to find her. Great fun and I've already preordered book two which I think is out in early June.

So that was my reading month. A good lot of escapism, gentle reads and interesting non-fiction. Since then I've DNFed one book, a BLCC vintage crime story, The Port of London Murders by Josephine Bell, because it was thoroughly unpleasant. I'm now reading these three:

All interesting and entertaining, which is all I'm asking of a book at the moment. I hope you're all keeping well and finding lots of good books to read this Spring.


Sue in Suffolk said...

Haven't read any of your list this time, but I did finish The Port of London Murders but can't remember a thing about it!

6 years this weekend since my husband died - doesn't seem possible.

Just keep keeping on is the way I'm still getting through the days weeks and months and years.

Jeane said...

It's good to hear from you again. Glad to hear things are going relatively well. Comfort reads are, well, so comforting. I've been wanting to read Ranger Confidential, and those ones you have in hand right now look really good too!

Cath said...

Sue: The Port of London was just too harsh for me, I can't seem to cope with a lot of angst and nastiness at the moment.

Yes, 'just keep keeping on' is something I realised would probably be the way forward. I can see that six years would not seem possible, it's about six weeks for me and that seems crazy too. I can hardly credit that my life could change so radically in that short space of time.

Cath said...

Jeane: Thank you. Comfort reads are not always what I want but they are at the moment it seems. Ranger Confidential was an eye-opening book. I had no idea people acted so stupid or irresponsibly in your NPs. Mind you, they're no better in ours.

Margot Kinberg said...

I'm glad to hear that the funeral was meaningful and that you had friends and family to stand by you at this time, Cath. I continue to think of you and wish you peace and comfort as you go along.

As to your list, I've been wanting to read the Worsley, and I'm glad you've reminded me of it. I want to read the Williams, too; it sounds like a lovely read for when you're ready for something fun.

Lark@LarkWrites said...

I'm glad the funeral went well. It's always good to share memories like that. For me, there's always a bit of an emotional letdown once the funeral is done. Know you are very much in my thoughts and prayers right now! Wishing you a good week.

Cath said...

Margot: Thank you, that's so kind of you.

The AC biography by Lucy Worsley was so much more than I expected, lots of interesting comment and analysis. I thought it might just be a rehash of her autobiography but it wasn't at all. The T.A. Williams was really a great deal of fun and the Tuscany setting didn't harm!

Cath said...

Lark: Thank you. I've been busy since the funeral so no letdown until today when it was suddenly very quiet and I didn't really know what to do with myself. It's so kind of you to remember me in your prayers. I've been bowled over by people's kindness.

Yvonne @ Fiction Books Reviews said...

A real mix of genres this time around, but reading what you fancy, when it catches your eye, sounds like the best thing to do going forward for a while.

The good news for me, is that only one of your featured titles has made it on to my reading list and that is 'How To Find Love In A Bookshop' by Veronica Henry. I have a few of her books on my shelves as physical copies, as my MIL went through a spell of reading them, although I have yet to check any of them out for myself to see how I enjoy her style of writing.

Healing and getting back into your stride is going to take time and you have to do it at your own pace and in the best way for you. I'm a good listener if you ever want to direct mail or message me on X. I am always willing to share my mobile number with you too!

Take care :)

DesLily said...

You had stated "no calls and no mentions"... so I followed what you wanted and needed. I love you and am saddened for you for the lose of Peter. Sure wish I could hug you .. I don't come on every day like I used to..so I hope you are doing ok. ❤❤❤❤❤❤❤❤❤

Vallypee said...

Goodness, Cath, you’ve read a lot! I’ve noted the names of a few for future reference. Hoping you’ve had a good birthday even though it must still be hard. Sending hugs. 🤗🤗🤗

Sam said...

Good to see you back and posting a bit, Cath, despite how much more difficult that must be on a tablet (I don't even try that anymore, so your patience, I think, is commendable). lol

"The Murderer's Ape" title jumped right out at me, but it doesn't sound as if it turned out to be all that exceptional. Still, I think I'd like to try that one. And now you seem to be off on a nonfiction round of books, a nice change of focus.

I suspect it will take you a long time to settle into a modified rhythm, Cath, especially now that the funeral is behind you and you have so much more time on your hands. Always thinking about you, and looking forward to hearing from you. Do take care of yourself.

Cath said...

Yvonne: Just reading what I fancy is about all I can manage at the moment and it doesn't include any book that's too stressful, full of angst or nastiness. That will change I'm sure but it will take time.

I'm glad only one book made onto your tbr shelf. LOL How to Find Love in Bookshop is worthy of it though as it was well written and enjoyable. I think you will like it.

Thank you for such kind words, Yvonne, I appreciate it more than I can say. I do enjoy our chats on Twitter IM. xxxx

Cath said...

Pat: Lovely to see you here, I know you don't get online as much as you used to. Yes, I'm doing ok but it's slow going, one day at a time. The family have been brilliant and so many others really kind. Sending you a big *hug*. ❤❤❤

Cath said...

Val: Yes, I read more than I realised in April, retreated into books on quiet evenings I think.

Yes thanks, I did have a nice birthday despite the difficult circumstances. The family have been wonderfully supportive, being here but also allowing me some space.

Cath said...

Sam: Thanks... yes doing a blog post on a tablet is not for the faint-hearted! Very laborious but I wanted to do it so just cracked on. I'm planning to get myself a new laptop, I've got the grandkids on to helping me choose one, so we'll see what they come up with!

The Murderer's Ape is likely to be the most unusual book I read this year. I think being a YA book it lacked a bit of depth but I'm glad I read it and have no hesitation in recommending it to you to read. I'd be interested to hear what you think of it.

Yes, it's actually the extra time on my hands which is proving difficult. I feel cut adrift somehow. Peter and his health issues were the focus of my attention for so long - over 20 years as regards his health - and now I no longer have to deal with that I've lost focus somehow. I'm sure this is very common after the death of a spouse and I will get used to it but it will take time I suspect. Thanks for your kind words, much appreciated.

Kathy's Corner said...

Hi Cath, I am glad to see you posting again and that the funeral for your husband remembered the good times and that you got to reconnect with family and friends.

Two books stand out for me. Murder At Tuscany sounds very funny and Ranger Confidential interests me because what is it like to work at a National Park?

TracyK said...

Cath, I am glad to hear that the funeral went well and was a good experience for you.

I am impressed that you published a post up using your tablet, that would be difficult for me. All of the books you read sound like good reading and I will check them out. I am sure I will get that biography of Christie eventually. Her life was very interesting.

I want to get Guilty Creatures, and I love that cover.

Cath said...

Kathy: Thank you so much.

Ranger Confidential was a real eye-opener for me. I had no idea that some people act like idiots in wild places and endanger their own lives with such gay abandon. The book is really worth a read.

Cath said...

Tracy: Thank you. Everyone I've spoken to said we hit the right note and that's really gratifying.

I wanted to post something so that you all knew I hadn't dropped off the face of the Earth, but yes, it was very laborious creating a post on my KF! I have now ordered a new laptop, due to be delivered on Wednesday. It'll take me a while to get used to it I'm sure but I'm hoping to be back posting properly soon.

Susan said...

I'm glad your husband's funeral went well and provided some closure. I do love that funerals can be live streamed. Technology like that really is a miracle, especially when it brings people together.

FINDING LOVE IN A BOOKSHOP sounds cute. I'll have to check that one out.

CLM said...

I am glad the funeral went well. It is hard to do all the planning and turn off the worry once it actually begins but seeing family and friends is very important, even if enjoy is not the right word.

I just finished the first Alex Kava/Ryder book at your suggestion - bought it for my sister's birthday next month as she has become quite a dog fanatic.

Bad news about the computer but maybe someone in the family has upgraded recently or has a second hand dealer they recommend? We were extremely annoyed with my mother who went out and bought a new one without discussing with us. My sister had been holding onto an old Mac, just waiting for the right opportunity to give it to her so she could avoid Windows.