Sunday, 20 November 2016

Tea and chat on a crisp wintery morning...

We were out yesterday running errands in the rain while the temperature dropped as the day went on.  I was looking out the car window at the trees and brush on the side of the roads and thought “These are November colours”.  Everything was yellowing and brown, tree branches were bare and the long grasses were the colour of wheat.  It was beautiful and mournful and brought on a sense of melancholy for the season’s passing.  Fall, in all its degrees of change, is my favourite season, and this month, too, is wonderful, but in a different way than the bright, fiery colours of October, when I feel youthful and energetic and want to walk the trails and appreciate the scenery for all its brief beauty.  The landscape now puts me in a more contemplative mood, where I’m prone to nostalgia and my thoughts turn inward.  It is the perfect kind of weather for reading “serious” books that are thought-provoking, the ones that make you ponder life’s many complexities and consider the human condition.

But this morning promises to be the beginning of a bright, crisp, early winter day - we even got our first dusting of snow!  

I’m spending so much time telling you about the weather and my reaction to it because I have no books to tell you about.  I know, it’s shocking, and my only excuse is that I was so busy hosting a Scholastic Book Fair at one of my schools (my most successful one yet!) that I was just too tired to read when I got home.  Also, one of the nights last week I held a Book Fair Family Event, so I didn’t even get home until after 7:30pm, which left no time for reading.  And one of my cats, Riley, has taken to snuggling with me when I sit down in my reading chair with my cup of tea after I get home from work, so I can’t really read then, either.  In fact, here he is right now!  (I’m typing with one hand, so please forgive any typos - they are entirely Riley’s fault!)

I’ve started reading The Green Road by Anne Enright in preparation for my next “friends” book club meeting in a week’s time, and so far I’m enjoying it, although it’s not wow-ing me like her earlier books did.  I’ll tell you more about it next week once I’ve finished the book.

Oh, I do have a book to tell you about, or rather, an audiobook.  I finished listening to Death of a Nightingale by Danish author Lene Kaaberbol.  This is the third book in the “Nina Borg” series, and tells the story of a Ukranian woman, Natasha Doroshenko, who escapes Danish police custody after being arrested on suspicion of murdering her fiancé.  She is trying to find her young daughter, Rina, who has been held in a refugee camp for the past two years.  Nina Borg is a nurse who works at the camp, and becomes involved in the hunt for Natasha, while also providing a safe haven for Rina, who appears to have become a target, likely as a lure to flush out Natasha.  But why are people looking for Natasha, and why is Rina at risk of being abducted?  As Nina uncovers more secrets, the story of Natasha’s past comes to light, and the clock ticks as the chase across the frozen Danish landscape speeds to its conclusion.  This book was confusing and difficult to follow.  I thought the plot was unnecessarily complex, and maybe it was just me, but I felt that it was kind of a ridiculous story.  I read the first book in this series a few years ago, The Boy in the Suitcase, which I recall enjoying quite a bit, but this one really did nothing for me.  Unfortunately, I didn’t realize this until I was halfway through, so I stuck it out and was thrilled to reach the end.  I just noticed that I have placed a hold at the library on the latest “Nina Borg” novel, A Considerate Killer - I guess I will leave it on hold and when it comes in for me, I can give it a try.  Maybe Death of a Nightingale was not one of her best books, and  A Considerate Killer will be better.

That’s all for today.  Get outside and enjoy the sun - but remember to bundle up!

Bye for now…
Julie

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