I’ve been tracking my reading on the internet since approximately 2013 more or less continuously, and if you look on my sidebar, you will find 8 pages that are titled Book List with a designated year.
On occasional Thursdays I will use a random number generator to point me to three books from the lists (leaving out 2021), and then I’ll post about them – what I remember (if anything), whether I would recommend them – probably not, if I don’t remember anything about them – and if they have stuck with me in the years since I read them.
2015, Book 161:
by Madeleine L'Engle
Series: Time Quintet #4
Publication Date: September 1, 1986
Genre: classic, fantasy, YA
Project: throwback thursday
Some things have to be believed to be seen.
Sandy and Dennys have always been the normal, run-of-the-mill ones in the extraodinary Murry family. They garden, make an occasional A in school, and play baseball. Nothing especially interesting has happened to the twins until they accidentally interrupt their father's experiment.
Then the two boys are thrown across time and space. They find themselves alone in the desert, where, if they believe in unicorns, they can find unicorns, and whether they believe or not, mammoths and manticores will find them.
The twins are rescued by Japheth, a man from the nearby oasis, but before he can bring them to safety, Dennys gets lost. Each boy is quickly embroiled in the conflicts of this time and place, whose populations includes winged seraphim, a few stray mythic beasts, perilous and beautiful nephilim, and small, long lived humans who consider Sandy and Dennys giants. The boys find they have more to do in the oasis than simply getting themselves home--they have to reunite an estranged father and son, but it won't be easy, especially when the son is named Noah and he's about to start building a boat in the desert.
A few years ago, I started a Madeleine L’Engle project. I planned to read all of her books – I got somewhat sidetracked, but I did manage to read the entire Kairos series (the Murry family novels) and all of her Austin series, as well as a few others. This one was probably the weirdest of all of them, and that is definitely saying something. In Many Waters, the twins – who are typically depicted as the most “normal” of the Murry kids – disrupt time and end up in the Old Testament, during the Flood. Yeah, that flood – the one that involves Noah. I’m not sure if it was my least favorite of L’Engle’s books, but it definitely competes. If you are interested in a L’Engle YA, read either A Wrinkle in Time or A Ring of Endless Light. Do not read this one until you’ve read at least four or five of her other books first.
2019, Book 72:
by Mary Stewart
Publication Date: April 28, 1976
Genre: gothic romance, magical realism, romance, suspense
Project: throwback thursday
After the tragic death of her father, Bryony Ashley returns from abroad to find that his estate is to become the responsibility of her cousin Emory. Ashley Court with its load of debt is no longer her worry. But there is something odd about her father's sudden death . . . Bryony has inherited the Ashley 'Sight' and so has one of the Ashleys. Since childhood the two have communicated through thought patterns, though Bryony has no idea of his identity. Now she is determined to find him. But danger as well as romance wait for her in the old moated house, with its tragic memories . . .
This book was so problematic for me, and yet I still really liked it. What I remember about it is that the main heroine was named Bryony and there was some bizarre telepathy thing. In addition, Bryony referred to her cousin, with whom she can communicate telepathically, as “lover.” I loathe word “lover” and cousin-love doesn’t work for me at all. Given that those were the main points of the book, along with the suspense because someone is trying to kill Bryony, of course, I would have expected to hate it. But, Mary Stewart is such an exceptional writer, that I still enjoyed it. So, if you want a book that will carry you gently away, with evocative prose, to crumbling manors where beautiful young women who communicate telepathically with their cousin-lovers are being stalked by a would-be murderer (who may also be the cousin-lover), this book is for you.
2018, Book 124:
by Patricia Wentworth
Series: Miss Silver #4
Publication Date: January 1, 1941
Project: throwback thursday
His first wife died suddenly—and his wealthy new bride may be about to meet a similar fate . . .
Former schoolteacher Miss Maud Silver is on her way back to London when, with a violent shudder of the train, a young woman is thrust into her compartment. She’s beautiful, well dressed, newly married, and wealthy—a lethal combination.
In a state of shock, Lisle Jerningham explains that she fled her home in a hurry after overhearing a sinister conversation. Her new husband’s first wife died in an apparent accident, and the resultant infusion of cash saved his family home. Now, he’s broke again—and attempting to engineer a second convenient mishap. Miss Silver is unsure whether the drama is real or a figment of Lisle’s imagination—but if this frightened young lady is a target for murder, the killer will have to deal with the governess-turned-sleuth first.
I have read a lot of the Miss Silver books. I remember NOTHING about the plot of this book, so my rating is basically based on the fact that my baseline enjoyment of Miss Silver is 3 stars, except for Grey Mask, which I hated.