Weekly Reads – November 20, 2022

Welcome everyone! Are we ready for the craziness to come. For those of us in the US, the craziness starts on Thursday (or now–if you are like me and hosting Thanksgiving). We actually got a jump on it last night when we headed down for our town’s Holly Days and Christmas Tree Lighting. I can’t believe that we haven’t done this in the 15 years that we’ve lived in this town! Of course, our holiday activities tend to be dictated a bit by the weather, but I can’t imagine that it has rained on every Saturday before Thanksgiving for the last 15 years.

It was actually a fabulous time, and very well attended. I always worry that the kids have outgrown events like these, but they seemed to have a great time. Here are some pictures:

Once we got home, the kids wanted to keep the holiday spirit going, so we watched the new A Christmas Story Christmas movie on HBO–that’s the one set in 1973 with nearly all of the surviving original cast (except the mother–the original actress retired from the business and they recast her). I’ll admit I was a little apprehensive. I mean, it could have been horrible. Fortunately, it was actually quite sweet. Of course, you need to have really enjoyed the original film to enjoy this. If you haven’t seen it–or if you are not a fan–skip this sequel. But, if you can’t see a leg lamp without thinking, “FRA-GEE-LAY!”, check this out.

And now, onto the books!

As usual, I’m linking up with Kathryn at Book Date and her It’s Monday…What Are You Reading? blog hop.

Last week, I finished reading:

A Room Full of Bones (Ruth Galloway #4)by Elly Griffiths
Date finished: November 15, 2022
Rating: ⭐⭐⭐ / B

I think I can now say that Ruth Galloway has become a friend. While she may second-guess herself, I find her to be admirable. And smart. But, man, does she find her way into some interesting situations! Between her “relationship” with Nelson, and her unique mix of friends, there is never a dull moment.

I liked this installment in her story, although it did stand out in several ways. The Nelson/Ruth dynamic is minimized (for “reasons”), so Ruth is not involved in any actual crime-solving. Two different storylines are going on here, and they kind of-sort of come together at one point. I admit that I didn’t find it a satisfactory link, but it wasn’t a huge deal for me. I was more interested in the storyline involving Ruth, the case of cultural artifacts, and the Bishop, who may not have been what everyone expected.

This book also tiptoes into some supernatural areas which could have gone very wrong. However, the way Griffiths frames it, it makes sense (if you’ve read any of these books, you will know who is at the center of this).

Altogether, this was an enjoyable jaunt with Ruth, even if all the pieces didn’t fit together perfectly.

Six Against the Yard by The Detection Club
Date finished: November 20, 2022
Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐/A

If you are a genre reader, do you ever want to pull back the curtain and see how your favorite writers hone their craft? Here, the legendary Detection Club has allowed readers to do just that.

This collection features short stories by six Golden Age Detection members: Dorothy L. Sayers, Margery Allingham, Ronald Knox, Anthony Berkeley, Freeman Wills Croft, and Russell Thorndike. In these stories, the authors try to create an unsolvable crime. I should clarify that the intent to is to create a crime where the police could never find the culprit, not that the crimes are unsolvable by the readers, which is what I initially thought would be the case. A critique follows up each story by Superintendent G. W. Cornish, formerly of Scotland yard. In his reactions, he breaks apart each story, describes how Scotland Yard would handle it, and decides whether or not it is truly unsolvable.

I had never read any of these authors before (except for an unrelated essay at the end by Agatha Christie, another member of The Detection Club). I had only ever heard of Sayers and Allingham. Yet, I thoroughly enjoyed this collection and found it a great way to meet new-to-me authors. I found each story well-crafted and only felt a little let-down with the final story by Freeman Will Crofts. However, that may have been because its setup was too similar to another story earlier in the collection.

There are two other books from The Detection Club of this era, and I immediately added those to my TBR. I am planning to expand my reading into this era of literature and this gave me a chance to discover authors who are lesser known in the current day.

What I am reading now:

Yes, I’m directing you back to my YouTube update:

I think Lillie and I (and Chris) have found a good schedule for these videos, so I’m at 3 new videos a week. My other two videos this week are:

I’ve already scheduled my content for this week, which will feature a video about under the radar book (Tuesday) and another Lit Chat with Chris (Thursday). To check those out when the go live, you can visit my channel (and subscribe!) here.

10 thoughts on “Weekly Reads – November 20, 2022

  1. I think the last tree lighting we went to was in Austin in 2019. We had such a good time! I’m glad you and your family enjoyed your town’s celebration!

    Six Against the Yard sounds really good. I’ll have to look for it.

    I’m someone who sees the word “Fragile” and thinks “Fra GEE Lay” so I’m curious about the movie but we don’t have HBO. I’m sure we’ll catch it somewhere eventually.

    Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family!

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  2. With winter and Thanksgiving and Christmas going together it makes it so good. We have summer and it just doesn’t have the same vibe. Lucy Worsley’s book sounds good. Love the intro to the video! I liked little Fires Everywhere too, listened to it.

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  3. That looks like a neat holiday event. Love the Naughty list haha. We’re hosting Thanksgiving too so yes, let the craziness begin! Although I like it actually- better to host than to have to travel. 🙂

    That first book looks like a good mystery with just a touch of spookiness.

    How fun that you’re doing Youtube! I thought about doing something like that, but no way lol!

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  4. It’s starting to feel a little christmassy here, though it’s raining not snowing, but that’s England! We spotted our first decorated house yesterday and it was pretty chaotic in the sparkly supermarket aisles. We just managed to grab ourselves a box of mince pies!

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  5. This week our holiday season kicked off with The Christmas City of the North Parade. Naturally, it was an extremely cold evening, but the parade is also televised on one of our local stations. Band friends tell me they have good memories of the event. Also Bentleyville opened this week which is a huge walk-through lighting display. Since I don’t drive at night, I’ve never actually visited but the pictures are amazing. Come see my week here. Happy reading!

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About Melinda