PawsforThought reads in 2020

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PawsforThought reads in 2020

Editat: març 31, 2020, 8:17 am

Hi all.

I joined LT back in 2012 and have been a bit on-and-off both with my reading and with my presence on the site in the past few years, but I got some of my reading groove back in 2019 and even managed to reach 75 books - for the first time ever! Time will tell if I'll be able to repeat that feat in 2020.

I always try to fit my books into one of the TIOLI challenges, and even when my reading isn't going quite so well I at least check in and see what challenges are posted. The TIOLI is one of my favourite things about LT.

I'm going to keep up with my poetry reading this year and hopefully get a bit more read than in 2019. I did better than I thought I would but would like to improve my "score" this year.
Other than that I'm going to keep reading my beloved Golden Age mystery novels, mixed with various children's books, classics and whatever else strikes my fancy.

Editat: oct. 29, 2020, 6:42 pm

Books read in 2020:

Murder Must Advertise - Dorothy L. Sayers (1933. 248 pages)
Lord Tony's Wife - Emmuska Orczy (1917. 239 pages)
Spring Story - Jill Barklem (1980. 34 pages)
Summer Story - Jill Barklem (1980. 35 pages)
Autumn Story - Jill Barklem (1980. 34 pages)
Winter Story - Jill Barklem (1980. 35 pages)

Hercule Poirot's Christmas - Agatha Christie (1938. 235 pages)
Death at Victoria Dock - Kerry Greenwood (1992. 164 pages)
Kensuke's Kingdom - Michael Morpurgo (1999. 147 pages)
Danny the Champion of the World - Roald Dahl (1975. 233 pages)
The Nursing Home Murder - Ngaio Marsh (1935. 235 pages)
Middlemarch - George Eliot (1871-1872. 880 pages)
Elephants Can Remember - Agatha Christie (1972. 210 pages)
Katitzi och Swing - Katarina Taikon (1981. 99 pages)
The Beautiful and Damned (1922. 363 pages)

Landet utanför - Maria Gripe (1967. 223 pages)
Katitzi i ormgropen - Katarina Taikon (1981. 85 pages)
Ture Sventon i varuhuset - Åke Holmberg (1968. 121 pages)
Ture Sventon i Venedig - Åke Holmberg (1973. 94 pages)
Sagan om den lilla lilla gumman - Elsa Beskow (1897. 23 pages)
ABC-resan - Elsa Beskow (1945. 33 pages)
Olles skidfärd - Elsa Beskow (1907. 33 pages)
Hattstugan - Elsa Beskow (1930. 32 pages)
Tomtebobarnen - Elsa Beskow (1910. 40 pages)
Puttes äventyr i blåbärsskogen - Elsa Beskow (1901. 36 pages)
The Secret Staircase - Jill Barklem (1983. 36 pages)
The High Hills - Jill Barklem (1986. 36 pages)
Draken med de röda ögonen - Astrid Lindgren (1985. 29 pages)
Jag vill också gå i skolan - Astrid Lindgren (1951. 31 pages)
Resan till Landet Längesen (1923. 31 pages)
Jag vill inte gå och lägga mig - Astrid Lindgren (1947. 25 pages)

Five Run Away Together - Enid Blyton (1944. 250 pages)
Nils Karlsson-Pyssling: sagor - Astrid Lindgren (1949. 150 pages)
Katitzi rymmer - Katarina Taikon (1981. 62 pages)
Tant Grön, tant Brun och tant Gredelin - Elsa Beskow (1918. 35 pages)
Tant Bruns födelsedag - Elsa Beskow (1925. 23 pages)
Petter och Lotta på äventyr - Elsa Beskow (1929. 31 pages)
Sunnanäng - Astrid Lindgren (1959. 90 pages)
Farbror Blås nya båt - Elsa Beskow (1942. 33 pages)
Petters och Lottas jul - Elsa Beskow (1947. 34 pages)
Sessalätts äventyr - Elsa Beskow (1934. 16 pages)
Blomsterfesten i täppan - Elsa Beskow (1914. 31 pages)
Duktiga Annika - Elsa Beskow (1941. 12 pages)
Ocke, Nutta och Pillerill - Elsa Beskow (1939. 30 pages)
Lasse-liten i trädgården - Elsa Beskow (1920. 16 pages)
Glasblåsarns barn - Maria Gripe (1964. 161 pages)

Three Act Tragedy - Agatha Christie (1934. 181 pages)
The Leavenworth Case - Anna Katharine Green (1878. 331 pages)
The Time Machine - H. G. Wells (1895. 111 pages)

Dracula - Bram Stoker (1897. 560 pages)

Editat: oct. 29, 2020, 6:46 pm

The year's reading in covers.

Editat: abr. 14, 2020, 9:28 am

Poetry read in 2020:

#1: T. S. Eliot: Prufrock - 1917; Poems - 1920; The Waste Land; The Hollow Men; Ash-Wednesday; Ariel Poems; Unfinished Poems; Minor Poems; Choruses from 'The Rock' - 1934; Four Quartets; Occasional Verses
#2: Marianne Moore: Early Poems: 1907-1913; Little Magazines, 1915-1919; What Are Years; Predilections: Literary Essays; Like a Bulwark; O to Be a Dragon; Tell Me, Tell Me: Granite, Steel and Other Topics

des. 31, 2019, 5:22 am

And that's all!

des. 31, 2019, 5:48 am

Best wishes for 2020!

des. 31, 2019, 9:01 am

Another resolution is to keep up in 2020 with all my friends on LT. Happy New Year!

des. 31, 2019, 11:58 am

Happy new thread, Paws! Looking forward to keeping an eye on your reading.

des. 31, 2019, 12:42 pm

Happy New Thread, Paws. Dropped my star here.

And wishing you a good new year!

des. 31, 2019, 1:51 pm

Welcome back!

des. 31, 2019, 3:40 pm

Happy New Year Paws!

des. 31, 2019, 4:03 pm

Dropping my star. Best of luck getting your reading numbers in 2020!

des. 31, 2019, 5:56 pm

Happy reading in 2020, Paws!

des. 31, 2019, 9:16 pm

gen. 1, 2020, 11:15 am

Happy New Year.

gen. 1, 2020, 11:17 am

Happy New Year, Paws! Good to see you again.

gen. 1, 2020, 11:30 am

gen. 1, 2020, 1:00 pm

Happy New Year!

gen. 1, 2020, 3:19 pm

Hi Paws! Happy New Year and happy reading in 2020.

gen. 1, 2020, 3:20 pm

gen. 1, 2020, 3:24 pm

>18 banjo123: & >19 karenmarie: Thank you both!

gen. 1, 2020, 5:07 pm

Hello, Cousin Paws. My very best wishes to you for a really good New Year!

gen. 1, 2020, 7:29 pm

>22 Fourpawz2: *smile*

Hi Paws and Happy New Year! I'm hoping to read a bit more poetry in 2020 so I'm dropping off my star and will follow your progress on that goal, too.

gen. 1, 2020, 7:48 pm

>22 Fourpawz2: Hello cousin, and welcome to my thread!

>23 EBT1002: Hello Ellen, nice to see yo here. I'll make sure to check your threads for poetry updates, too.

gen. 2, 2020, 1:03 am

Happy New Year!

gen. 2, 2020, 10:10 am

gen. 4, 2020, 12:19 am

Happy New Year, Paws!

gen. 4, 2020, 5:14 am

gen. 5, 2020, 9:17 pm

Hope your reading year is stellar!

Editat: gen. 7, 2020, 12:41 am

Hi Paws!

gen. 7, 2020, 2:30 am

>29 thornton37814: I haven't really read much at all so far, but I'm hoping things'll improve now that I'm back at work after the holidays and things are back to normal (sort of).

>30 Kassilem: Hi! Thanks for stopping by.

gen. 15, 2020, 5:09 pm

Happy Normal!! ; )

gen. 21, 2020, 7:45 am

Hi Paws! Hope everything's going well for you.

gen. 22, 2020, 8:07 pm

Hi Paws, missing you out here.

gen. 22, 2020, 8:46 pm

A Belated Happy New Year, Paws!

gen. 24, 2020, 4:10 am

Hi everyone! Thanks for popping by and for the lovely messages. Sorry I haven't been around much.
This is always the toughest time of year for me reading-wise (I have no energy in winter) so I haven't read more than a few pages this month.
Then there's the on-going drama with my possibly getting let off from work (though thanks to bureaucracy that's unlikely to happen before the summer), plus some minor health stuff.
And yesterday I woke up with my thrid bout of wry neck in as many months. I need to do something about the underlying issues before it becomes a permanent problem.

I hope you're all doing well, and I hope I'll be back to more normal reading (and LT) levels soon.

gen. 24, 2020, 6:20 am

Thanks for the update and hang in there.

gen. 24, 2020, 6:40 am

Ah, I hope you'll manage to sort it all out. My energy is also less in winter, but staying inside means more reading for me. Sorry, that yours is down too much for doing that.

Good luck, and hoping to see you soon.

feb. 8, 2020, 8:35 am

>36 PawsforThought: Sending you good vibes!!

feb. 16, 2020, 3:55 pm

wish you a good new week

feb. 22, 2020, 11:35 am

Hope you are feeling much better, Paws.

I trust your February is going well.

març 6, 2020, 10:55 pm

I hope things are going better as we emerge into spring, Paws.

març 9, 2020, 6:36 pm

Hi everyone, and thank you for stopping by and leaving sweet messages here. I greatly appreciate it.
While my wry neck hasn't made a reappearance I haven't been doing too well mentally (I have issues with either SAD or bouts of depression, not sure which) and that has sucked a lot of energy out of me. I'm feeling a bit better, though haven't really managed to get back into reading - one chapter so far this month (better that zero in January and February).

I have indulged in some book-buying, though. The annual book sale is going on right now and apart from a collection of Edith Södergran's poetry (some of you might remember I read her works last year as part of my poetry project) I bought a bunch of cookbook - intending to eat a more plant-based diet and bake my own bread - and a book on Swedish flora. I'm quite pleased with my haul.

Still no news on the work front but I'm putting quite a bit of energy into actively looking for and applying for other jobs. No matter how things develop at my current job, I've decided I'm not staying. I'm looking for jobs in my old home town and really looking forward to living there again. Bigger place, less religious, more cultural and more in line with my political views. It'll be good.

març 9, 2020, 6:43 pm

>43 PawsforThought: Good luck with the job hunt! I know how difficult that can be. Sounds like you have a good plan, looking in your old home town.

Do not worry about the books - they will be patiently waiting for you when you get back to them :)

març 9, 2020, 7:01 pm

>43 PawsforThought: Sounds like good plans, Paws. Job hunting while you are depressed is extra difficult. So wishing you lots of luck and perseverance!

març 11, 2020, 7:22 am

>44 alcottacre: Thank you!

>45 EllaTim: Thank you, Ella!

març 12, 2020, 2:01 pm

Well, an update and some fun news.

I've applied for a few more jobs, all of whom I think sound genuinely interesting, but none of which I believe I'm the most qualified applicant for. Still, won't hurt to apply and I do believe I could do them even if I don't exactly fit the qualifications. I have a few more applications to send in tomorrow as well. I'm spending most of my time at work either looking through job advertisements and sending in applications.

On the home front, I got a book delivery today. Hurrah! I was looking through the book sale offers at one of the online shops and saw that they had no less than seven of the new (absolutely gorgeous) editions of Maria Gripe's books on sale - I couldn't not buy them. There are five or six more of her books published in these new editions and the rest are supposed to follow so I'll buy them all in time.
I also bought a couple of books for my nephew - Raymond Briggs' The Snowman, because he's snowman crazy, and Nussekudden, because not only is it a classic, but it's also set in my mum's home town - and you can recognise the town in the pictures.

Some pictures of my haul:

març 13, 2020, 11:42 am

Those covers are lovely.

Continued good wishes for all the applications. :)

març 13, 2020, 3:24 pm

Hi Cousin Paws! Yes, those Gripe covers are lovely. And good luck with the job hunt and your upcoming move. I'm sure you'll do fine.

març 13, 2020, 3:31 pm

>48 MickyFine: I love them so much.

And thanks. I sent another three in today - I don't think I'm qualified enough for more than one of them, but you never know - maybe the other applicants are less qualified than me?!

>49 Fourpawz2: Thank you for the well wishes. The covers are really modifications of the originals. The actual illustrations are the originals by Maria Gripe's husband Harald (he illustrated all her books), and then the fonts are new and the spines are cloth - very nice.

març 13, 2020, 3:45 pm

Hooray for the lovely book haul, Paws.

Few people who apply for positions precisely meet the requirements set out by the employer. I hope you will receive some interested nibbles and an invitation to interview, which is where they can properly evaluate your skills and suitability for not just the position but ability to fit into the company's culture as well. *sending positive thoughts and vibes your way*

març 14, 2020, 4:18 pm

>51 cameling: Hi Caroline, and thanks for stopping by.

Yeah, I've been telling myself that (when I'm not worrying about completely bombing and interview, that is). And I can't get a job I don't even apply for so I really have nothing to lose from applying, even if I don't fit the criteria. If I think it sounds like something I could do, with some initial help and backup from colleagues, then I apply.

març 15, 2020, 3:43 am

Hi Paws!

So glad you're putting the applications out there and I hope you get something good in your old home town.

març 15, 2020, 7:00 am

>53 karenmarie: Hi Karen, thanks for stopping by. And thanks for the support re: applications.

I am getting more and more excited about my eventual move (there's no date in sight, I need a job before I can up and move). Yesterday I was googling a shop that I didn't know if it was still running (it is) and I got a list of nearly all the shops in the whole town. So many interesting things. Multiple "ethnic foods" shop - including a massive world foods supermarket, organic shops where you can buy in bulk, music shops, all sorts of wonderful things. And there's the opera house, of course. I'm not an opera superfan but I do love classical music and ballet, and want to get more into opera so I'm going to check up on season tickets when I move.

març 15, 2020, 10:03 am

Sounds great, Cousin Paws! I'm getting a little jealous. My little city does not have any like opera in it.

març 15, 2020, 10:12 am

>55 Fourpawz2: It's a very cultural place, which suits me very well. They have a literary festival too (ongoing right now, though obviously there have been some cancellations)!

març 15, 2020, 10:23 am

>56 PawsforThought: - Okay - now I'm even more jealous. The last bookstore in my city closed and moved out of town probably 20 years ago and eventually shut down for good about 6 years ago. So, a literary festival in this place is likely never, ever, ever, ever going to happen. Sure hope you get that new job - whatever it may be, - soon, so that you can move and start enjoying all that it plainly has to offer.

març 15, 2020, 10:40 am

>57 Fourpawz2: Oh, how sad not to have a bookstore! Even in the town I live now we have one (a chain store). There used to be two, but that's how things go.

març 15, 2020, 10:52 am

There is a Barnes & Noble a town over, but it isn't the same as a nice independent book store with an old bookstore vibe. Keep expecting it to go out of business but am hoping it hangs on. My friends give me gift cards to it every now and again so I do visit it 4!or 5 times a year. Got one of those burning a hole in my pocket from last Christmas right now, but it's going to be a while longer before I want to be in a store setting.

març 15, 2020, 11:48 am

>59 Fourpawz2: Yeah, indies are always nicer, but they're so rare here. I don't think my current town's had a non-chain bookstore since the mid-90's.Understandable that you want to wait to spend your gift card - you'll just have to think a bit longer and harder about exactly what you're going to buy for it.
I'm not avoiding any shops yet - there's still no spread in my region so there's really no reason to become a hermit just yet.

març 15, 2020, 3:44 pm

In case someone who's self-isolating or staying put for some other reason is as big of a museum fan as I am and missing the experience, a tweet led me to an article with links to various museums online exhibits/virtuals tours.

There's the British Museum, the Guggenheim, the National Gallery of Art in Washington, Musée d'Orsay, the National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art in South Korea, the Pergamon Museum (a personal favourite), Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam, the Van Gogh Museum, the Paul J. Getty Museum, the Uffizi Gallery, Museu de Arte de São Paulo, the National Museum of Anthropology in Mexico and the Louvre.

There are also tons of other place to "visit": museums, castles, temples, churches and heritage sites. Check out this, this and this for a start.

And someone else recommended the live cams at the Monterey Bay Aquarium if you want to see some animals.

març 15, 2020, 4:12 pm

>43 PawsforThought: Sounds like you have a plan and I am sending you best wishes as you make it happen.

>47 PawsforThought: Hurray for new books!

>61 PawsforThought: Thanks for the cultural link. I favorited the post. : )

març 15, 2020, 5:30 pm

>62 Berly: Thanks for the well wishes, I'm absorbing all the nice words on LT like s sponge.

Glad you liked the links, I'm hoarding culture like the panicked people are hoarding toilet paper. I can live off freezer and pantry food items for a good couple of months and be just fine but the idea of not having cultural stimulation scares me.

març 15, 2020, 7:01 pm

Thanks for those links, Cousin. I will make use of them for sure. Just have to figure out where I want to go first.

març 16, 2020, 3:57 am

>64 Fourpawz2: Glad to hear they'll be used.

For opera lovers (or opera dilettantes) and classical music enthusiasts there are plenty of opera houses around the world sharing free streaming of performances (some already were).

There's the Metropolitan in New York, The Seattle Symphony, The Swedish Royal Opera, the Wiener Staatsoper, the Bayerische Staatsoper, the Berlin Philharminics and the Chamber Music Society.

març 16, 2020, 10:44 pm

Thanks for those two posts with links Paws! Much appreciated. I have favourited both of them.

març 17, 2020, 3:14 am

>66 EllaTim: Glad to hear it, Ella. Hope they provide some entertainment during quarantine.

març 17, 2020, 8:38 am

New info regarding work: the first and second years (16- and 17-year-olds) are to have online studies for the next month. The third years (18-year-olds) are to remain at school - third year is when you have the national tests and everything has to be finished before graduation. All staff are also to remain at school. So I'll be at work with basically nothing to do. Oh, well.

març 21, 2020, 9:22 am


Murder Must Advertise by Dorothy L. Sayers

After the suspicious death of Victor Dean at Pym's advertising agency, Lord Peter Wimsey goes undercover as a copywriter to figure out what happened and why. The death turns out to be connected to a massive cocaine smuggling operation and Lord Peter and his brother-in-law Inspector parker get a lot on the hands.

This is great, as is always the case with Sayers. Sadly, only a tiny little scene with Bunter, who is my favourite character.

març 21, 2020, 9:33 am

Happy Saturday, Cousin Paws!

Dorothy Sayers! I must dig out Book Number 2 and read it - it's lurking somewhere on my Kindle. I really enjoyed the first one. I think that another one would turn out to be a really good thing to read right about now.

Hope you are doing well this weekend.

març 21, 2020, 9:40 am

>70 Fourpawz2: Hi cousin!

Yes, I think Lord Peter is perfect reading for times like these.

I'm having a good weekend - went grocery shopping with my mum and we saw a gorgeous massive insect hotel at the shop that we're going to try to re-create and put somewhere near the summer house.
The weather is wonderful - perfect spring weather - so we're going to go for a nice long walk in the sunshine soon. I'm making an effort to really appreciate the small things, and spring sunshine after a long winter is a wonderful thing.

març 21, 2020, 10:44 am

I went on twitter, which is strangely becoming something of a haven full of people spreading good deeds and beauty and it's incredibly heart-warming to see. And I stumbled on a thread by the actor Samuel West, who has started recording himself reading poetry by request. I was actually just thinking yesterday that I would really love for someone to do that so it's been great to listen to him. One of the poem was by American poet Mary Oliver, who I was not previously acquainted with. It's a lovely poem, and I felt I wanted to share it with you.

Mary Oliver - Wild Geese

You do not have to be good.
You do not have to walk on your knees
for a hundred miles through the desert repenting.
You only have to let the soft animal of your body
love what it loves.
Tell me about despair, yours, and I will tell you mine.
Meanwhile the world goes on.
Meanwhile the sun and the clear pebbles of the rain
are moving across the landscapes,
over the prairies and the deep trees,
the mountains and the rivers.
Meanwhile the wild geese, high in the clean blue air,
are heading home again.
Whoever you are, no matter how lonely,
the world offers itself to your imagination,
calls to you like the wild geese, harsh and exciting -
over and over announcing your place
in the family of things.

I particularly loved the third sentence: You only have to let the soft animal of your body love what it loves. That is so beautiful.

març 21, 2020, 12:47 pm

>71 PawsforThought: - Okay - I have to ask - what is an insect hotel? Is it like an ant farm?

Twitter is now a place where people spread good deeds and beauty? Amazing. Hope they keep it up.

I've downloaded my Lord Peter book and aim to start sometime this afternoon.

març 21, 2020, 1:37 pm

>73 Fourpawz2: An insect hotel is a little house-shaped structure you place in your garden for solitary insects (bees, bumblebees, ladybugs, butterflies...) to move into. The "flats" are furnished with various materials for nesting.
Here's one:

Improving the situation for insects is something I've become quite passionate about. I've had "bumblebee baths" (for them to drink water from, not bathe in) out for years now, and I've bought some wild flower seed to sow when the snow and ice melts. And now the insect hotel.

Have fun with Lord Peter!

març 21, 2020, 2:25 pm

I just love that! What a wonderful idea.

Thanks. Going to start it after I do the dishes.

març 23, 2020, 10:11 am

I feel like I've been listening to Middlemarch for ages but I'm only about 1/7 of the way through. It's not a matter of not liking it - it's fine so far but time seems to run at a different pace when I listen. I think a lot of it has to do with the reading being a tad slow - I tried to switch to a higher speed but the app only allows for 0.75, 1.0 and 1.5 and 1.5 is too fast and the narrator sounds borderline clown-like. I wish I could do 1.25 - that would make the reading sound okay but not take forever.

març 23, 2020, 1:35 pm

I decided to be a bit productive at work today and brought a few pairs of holey socks and some yarn and spent a couple of hours darning (while listening to Middlemarch). I got three pairs done and will do another two (or three if I can find where the last pair have run off to) tomorrow. After that, it's cardigan mending.

març 24, 2020, 4:06 am

Some good news!

There was a baby Asian elephant calf born at Kolmården Zoo/Animal Park yesterday. Asian elephants are endangered and the elephants at Kolmården (who, as far as I know take VERY good care of their animals) are part of a project to save them from extinction. The parents of the newcomer were gifts from the King of Thailand to the King of Sweden and the Queen of Denmark respectively, and so the little one has been appropriately named Carl Gustav (after the King of Sweden).

març 26, 2020, 7:28 am

Awww - what a cutie!!

març 26, 2020, 8:04 am

Hi Paws.

Baby animal pictures make me smile. Yay for Carl Gustav.

març 26, 2020, 8:07 am

>79 Fourpawz2: He IS adorable!

>80 karenmarie: Baby animals make me feel better when thigns are tough, so I'm self-medicating against Corona-worries by looking at them.

març 26, 2020, 10:32 am

>72 PawsforThought: I have several collections by Mary Oliver, Paws, she speaks so directly to the reader.

Stay safe in these troubled times. xx

març 26, 2020, 10:46 am

>82 PaulCranswick: I've only read two of her poem, Paul but I like what I've read - I'll definitely keep an eye out for her when I continue my poetry reading.

Thank you for the well-wishes, you stay safe too.

març 26, 2020, 9:46 pm

>78 PawsforThought: So cute! All woolly, and he looks like he's smiling!
I find myself looking at animal movies on YouTube. There's a man there who plays Beethoven to elephants, love it.

març 27, 2020, 3:14 am

>78 PawsforThought: He's so adorable. Youtube is great for animal videos. I haen't seen the man playing Beethoven to elephants, will have to look it up when I get home.

març 27, 2020, 3:31 am

>78 PawsforThought: What a cutie and how nice to have a piece of good news for a change. : )

març 27, 2020, 4:01 am

>86 Berly: I think it's more important than ever to try to remind ourselves that there *are* still good news out there, even though almost everything we hear about is frightening.

març 29, 2020, 4:21 am


Lord Tony's Wife by Emmuska Orczy

Another installment in the Scarlet Pimpernel series, where Anthony Dewhurst falls in love with Yvonne de Kernogan but even though they hastily get married, dark forces manage to lure Yvonne away to France where death awaits.

These books are not masterpieces but they are fun to read and this is just the kind of romp I need right now.

març 31, 2020, 2:57 am


Spring Story by Jill Barklem

It's a beautiful spring day in Brambly Hedge, and it's also young Wilfred's birthday. All the mice that live in Brambly Hedge decide to have a surprise birthday picnic for Wilfred.

This is such a sweet and lovely story. I had heard of the Brambly Hedge series before but a thread on Twitter (about what books/media peoplea re turning to in these difficult times) piqued my interest. I've neve rread these books before but I'm so glad to make their acquaintance. I'm a sucker for detailed drawings of old-fashioned homes (particularly kitchens) and this book is fll of that, and lots of other quaint and cute pictures. This is just what I ned right now.

març 31, 2020, 5:03 am


Summer Story by Jill Barklem

Another visit to Brambly hedge, where we get to see the mill and the dairy, and we experience when they respective managers - Poppy and Dusty - get married.

So sweet, and while the story of the wedding is adorable and lovely, my favourite parts are the schematics of the mill and the dairy. Such incredible detail in the illustrations. Just wonderful.

març 31, 2020, 7:52 am


Autumn Story by Jill Barklem

It's harvest time and att the mice in Brambly Hedge are doing their part to make sure the stores are full for the coming winter months. But then Primrose Woodmouse goes missing.

This is just too sweet. In a good way. Not only is this as lovely as the previous books in the series, but it's also about harvesting and gathering foods - which I've always had a soft spot for. I think I might have been a squirrel or somethign in a previous life. The depictions of the food stores (and the food gathering) are wonderful.

març 31, 2020, 8:28 am


Winter Story by Jill Barklem

Winter has come and a thick snow has almost completely covered Brambly Hedge. The mice decide to do what is traditional when there's been a snowfall that big - to hold a Snow Ball.

Delightful as the other books, and I like the idea of roasting crabapples over an open fire to serve with punch.

març 31, 2020, 9:14 pm

What a wonderful series Paws. I love those drawings. Never heard of them before, but now I want them!

abr. 1, 2020, 2:15 am

>93 EllaTim: They're lovely, Ella, and I highly recommend them if you want something sweet and charming with very pretty and detailed illustrations - especially good in times like these. There are four more books in the series that I haven't read yet, but I'll get to them soon.

Editat: abr. 1, 2020, 1:35 pm


Hercule Poirot's Christmas by Agatha Christie

Simeon Lee is a rather vicious and mean old man that very few - if any - people like, including his own family. He decides to make all his children come and stay with him for Christmas, but things don't quite work out how he thought, because he ends up with his throat cut. Enter Hercule Poirot and his little grey cells.

Yes, I'm reading a Christmas mystery in April. I started reading it in November but my reading funk kicked in and I didn't get very far. I enjoyed reading this one, even though I disliked every single character in it - except perhaps poor old Tressilian. The ending was interesting, if a bit unlikely.

abr. 1, 2020, 1:39 pm


Death at Victoria Dock by Kerry Greenwood

Phryne Fisher has to deal with a murder (and her own near-death experience), Latvian anarchists and the disappearance of a young schoolgirl. She does it all with her usual flair , and with the help of her friends.

I love these books. The storylines in this book were some of my least favourite ones in the TV series, but I still really like the book.

abr. 2, 2020, 7:56 am

>94 PawsforThought: All libraries are closed here. I found the book, there's a Waterstones branch here in Amsterdam, but it's closed right now. I am promising myself a good book browsing tour there, when this Covid thing is over!

Can you still visit a library Paws?

abr. 2, 2020, 8:21 am

97 Yes, all libraries are still open here. Most things are still open.

Most of the Brambly Hedge books can be read on if you don't want to wait until the Covid lockdown is over.

abr. 2, 2020, 8:32 am

>98 PawsforThought: Oh, yes, that's an option I hadn't thought of! But I'm not going to cancel that book browsing tour, need something to look forward to. And we're saving money at the moment, no eating out, no holiday outings.

abr. 2, 2020, 8:46 am

>99 EllaTim: Yes, definitely keep the book browsing tour scheduled for when it's all over. I've promised myself quite the shopping frenzy when this all starts to wind down. While I can still go to the shops and such if I want to, I'm really only going to work and the grocery shop (and hoem) unless I've completely run out of something. So I'm also saving quite a bit. I look forward to spending some again - on companies that can really use the money.

abr. 2, 2020, 8:55 am

I am thinking of a holiday when the coronavirus furore has died down, Paws, and Sweden suggests itself. My love of Scandicrime books and a yearning for fresh air is making me consider it. Is Gotland a good place to visit for a holiday?

abr. 2, 2020, 9:22 am

>101 PaulCranswick: Oh, you'll be more than welcome to come to Sweden once all this horror is over with. Gotland is very popular in the summertime and would be an ideal place to visit - lots of culture, good beaches, all the stuff that attracts tourists. I'd avoid going there in the first week of July (week 27) because that's when the "political festival" Almedalsveckan takes over Visby (the main town on the island).
If you're a history nerd, there's also the Medieval week in early August.
I haven't been to Gotland since I was a child, but have many fond memories (it's extra good for young kids because Gotland is home to Pippi Longstocking's house).

abr. 2, 2020, 12:14 pm

>102 PawsforThought: It is funny because Gotland is the setting for the Anders Knutas series created by Mari Jungstedt which I very much enjoy and I created a picture of the place for myself from there which appeals to me (without all the murders of course!).

abr. 2, 2020, 1:00 pm

>103 PaulCranswick: Don't know it'll make you happy or sad to hear that the murder rate on Gotland is fairly low.

(If you want to read more books about murders on Gotland, there's the Maria Wern-series by Anna Jansson.)

abr. 2, 2020, 3:16 pm


Kensuke's Kingdom by Michael Morpurgo

Eleven-year-old Michael goes on a round-the-world sailing trip with his parents, but on the way north from Australia they encounter a raging storm and during the night, Michael falls overboard. He wakes up on a seemingly desert island.

This was the only one of Morpurgo's books that are available in my library region that I didn't read last year (during my Morpurgo binge) - because someone else had borrowed it and didn't return it in time. It's a lovely story, like so many of Morpurgo's are, and Michael's life on the island is great to read about.

abr. 5, 2020, 10:29 am


Danny the Champion of the World by Roald Dahl

Danny lives with his dad, who owns and runs a small petrol station, in a tiny traveller-type caravan. One night, Danny wakes up to find his dad has snuck out and when he returns, Danny learns a secret about his dad - he's a poacher.

Well, I never thought I'd be rooting for a poacher, but here we are. Mind you, the man who owns the land they try to poach pheasants from is a right ass. And the way they go about trying to lure the birds are very funny. This was a fun read - I wish I'd known about it earlier.

abr. 5, 2020, 3:15 pm

>106 PawsforThought: Dahl is a fun writer, isn't he?

abr. 5, 2020, 4:17 pm

>107 banjo123: I love him.

abr. 5, 2020, 10:44 pm

ope you have had a lovely, peaceful, safe and healthy weekend, Paws

abr. 6, 2020, 2:20 am

>109 PaulCranswick: Thanks, Paul. i've had a good weekend. The weather was nice so I went for a long walk and then sat out in the spring sunshine fora while, reading. And I've made a lot of headway with my jigsaw.

abr. 6, 2020, 7:14 am

>104 PawsforThought: I had a look to order something by Anna Jansson but they are currently out of print in English. I will have a look in the second hand trades when I can.

abr. 6, 2020, 9:00 am

>106 PawsforThought: That's one I haven't read and it sounds like fun.

Wasn't that spring sunshine nice? Glad you got to enjoy it. Do be careful though, we here are watching Sweden with some trepidation.

abr. 6, 2020, 9:03 am

>112 EllaTim: Why on Earth are you watching us with trepidation?

abr. 6, 2020, 9:30 am

>113 PawsforThought: Well, we hear bars are still open. Here we have a semi lockdown now. At first our government took the epidemic thing not seriously enough. They even allowed the Carnaval festival to go on, in the Southern provinces. When lots of cases started appearing and it became clear that it's more serious than a simple flu, measures were taken. But all later than they should have been taken. So now IC capacity is overflowing, and we haven't reached the top of the curve yet. From here it looks like Sweden is now not taking it seriously enough.

abr. 6, 2020, 9:41 am

>114 EllaTim: Sweden is taking this seriously, but Sweden works differently than other countries, and that seems to be difficult to understand for people not from here.
There's a limit on gathering, no more than 50 people and while restaurants can be open, they must make sure that there's no crowding and that people can maintain distances. All major events have been cancelled for the past month or so. Secondary and higher education have been doing distance-education for the past few weeks. Doing that with elementary schools is difficult at the least, and illegal at the most. You can't enforce a lockdown in Sweden because that would be illegal - it's against the constitution. And Sweden isn't having any more cases than other countries. Nor more serious cases.
Last I checked, Norwy had more cases than Sweden even though we have twice the population.
The only real problem Sweden has right now is spreading in elderly care homes - likely due to asympomatic carriers since visitors have been banned for a while. If we can get tests for the care home workers, that will help.

abr. 6, 2020, 9:49 am

>115 PawsforThought: Hi Paws. Sounds like we are doing things a bit similar.
It's just a scary situation, and that makes itself felt.

Big difference is that there is a limit on all gathering here, with funerals, weddings and church services as only exceptions. (Freedom of religion is in our constitution)
Restaurants and bars closed, a lot of stores closed, but supermarkets still open, and some other stores that have enough space. Sometimes people have to wait outside, for another customer to leave.
Secondary and higher education doing distance education, but primary schools closed as well. There was a lot of discussion about the necessity of that. And I expect it's one of the first things that will reopen, once it's possible.
Yes, a big problem here as well, elderly homes. So difficult to keep people there safe without proper testing available, and with a shortage of masks!

abr. 6, 2020, 10:01 am

>116 EllaTim: The lead word here is (as it always is) "freedom with responsibility". You are responsible for your own actions, and rather than being forced do do things, people are encouraged and asked. And it works, because Swedish people have a very high trust in institutions and government. The government doesn't want to close things down more than necessary, because that will have massive negative effects too. But man sectors have chose to close or cut down severaly (or having people work from home if possible - my workplace is doing that, but I can't really do my job from home). Most cinemas are closed, the big ski slopes are closed, sport stadiums are closed, no festivals or concerts are happening. All voluntary.

abr. 7, 2020, 9:22 am

>117 PawsforThought: It is a very good way to handle things of course. And it does compare to how things are done here. But it is essential that people take it seriously, and act responsibly! And most people do, or try to, at least. Sometimes things just don't work out right, because people haven't realised what would happen. And sometimes the police have been forced to close down so-called Corona parties. (Not often)

I am glad, no total lockdown means to me that we can still go to our allotment, we would have been forced to stay at home otherwise. And we don't have a garden, just a small and chilly balcony facing north-east.

abr. 7, 2020, 9:59 am

>118 EllaTim: Of course. It's a serious thing and should be taken seriously. I don't think I've ever heard of anyone here not taking it seriously (at least not in the past 4-6 weeks - at the beginning people were a bit more "meh" about it). But you can take things seriously and still not have make a big difference in your actual life. I take the bus to work, and because the secondary schools are online now there are maybe five other passengers on board. I work by myself in an otherwise almost completely empty building (again, because the school kids aren't here). Then take the bus home, maybe 7 other passengers. And then I'm home for the rest of the day. There's barely any difference between my days now and two months ago, because I don't do much "socializing" after work. Neither do most people I know - we're not very big on "being out" in Sweden - certainly not up north.
I go for a long walk on the weekend, and you do see other people, but meeting 10 other people on a walk that takes an hour isn't exactly crowded.

abr. 7, 2020, 10:36 am

Fascinating discussion about Sweden's handling of personal responsibility/government edict vs. other countries - Netherlands specifically, but pretty much the rest of the world, too.

abr. 8, 2020, 8:35 am


The Nursing Home Murder by Ngaio Marsh

Home Secretary Derek O'Callaghancollapses in pain during a cabinet meeting and is taken to a private hospital (the titular nursing home) for appendicitis surgery. The operation goes well but just as it's finished, Sir Derek dies. His wife insists there's somethign foul at play and the police start an investigation. But who could have done it and why?

This was an interesting story. It takes quite a while before it's determined that there even has been a murder and the investigation isn't an easy one. We get to meet Nigel Bathgate and Angela North again, which is nice, and I think Inspector Alleyn is a more interesting person in this book than the previous ones.
There is quite a bit of positive talk regardin eugenics and sterilization which is jarring to the mordern reader.

abr. 9, 2020, 4:21 pm


Middlemarch by George Eliot

In the small provincial town of Middlemarch lives a group of people whose lives are all interconnected and whose relationships with each other changes with time and as a result of their actions. There's Fred and Mary, who have been in love since childhood but can't marry because Fred has a tendency to get himself into debt. There's Dorothea, who marries a man she thinks will be good for her intellectual development but soon realises the marriages is a catastrophe. There's Rosamund, Fred's sister who has been spoilt all her life and sees her dream life come crashing when married life isn't what she thought it would be.

Phew. In my head I dubbed this book "The Never-Ending Story" because it's not only incredibly long, but also initially a very slow read. I've tried to read this at least three times before but never got into it enough to stick with it. But in these times I decided provincial English life in the late 1800s was exactly what I needed and I was right. Once you get to know the characters and really get into the storylines it's a great read.

abr. 12, 2020, 1:10 am

I wanted my message this year to be fairly universal in a time we all should be pulling together, whatever our beliefs. Happy Celebration, Happy Sunday, Paws.

abr. 12, 2020, 2:28 pm

>123 PaulCranswick: Thanks, Paul! I've had a good weekend with nice weather and doing fun projects with my dear mum (dad was there too, but not taking part as much). If it wasn't for the situation in the world I'd say things could hardly get better.

abr. 12, 2020, 5:26 pm

Happy Easter!

abr. 15, 2020, 4:56 pm


Elephants Can Remember by Agatha Christie

During a literary luncheon, Ariadne Oliver is sought out by a woman who wants her to figure out the details of the assumed murder-suicide of mrs Oliver's goddaughters parents. This leads mrs Oliver to seek out her old friend Hercule Poirot and together they dig through the memories and assumptions of the people who might know something about it all.

This was an interesting story, and probably my favourite appearance of Ariadne Oliver, who I haven't always loved. Her characterisation in this story is far better than in some of the others she's appeared in. And while I did manage to figure out how it would end, it was still very interesting.

abr. 16, 2020, 7:45 am

Hi Paws!

I think you missed me up, there at >120 karenmarie:.

I hope you're doing well.

abr. 16, 2020, 8:24 am

>127 karenmarie: Hi Karen.

I saw it but forgot to answer. Sorry.

I'm doing fine. Still working, thought there's really nothing to do at work since all the students are working from home and the teachers are on holiday this week and mostly WFH otherwise. I'm reading a lot at work, so there's that.
Covid cases have been in decline for about a week now, which is promising - hopefully it'll stay like that and this will be over in a not too distant future. There's been some sad news too - a very well-liked TV presenter died of covid yesterday. Also sad (though obviously not in the same league): my favourite clothing store have filed for bankrupcy because of the pandemic. I'm really hoping smething miraculous will happen and they make it through somehow.

abr. 17, 2020, 6:15 am


Katitzi och Swing (Katitzi and Swing) by Katarina Taikon

This is the secons book in the autobiographical book series about the Swedish Roma child Katarina "Katitzi" Taikon. We see katitzi and her family travel around the northern countryside trying to either find work in the woods or to set up their fairground. Life isn't easy for Roma people in the early 40s so the Taikons have their fair share of trials and tribulations.

I love this books series and I'm really glad to be re-reading the books. I read them when I was about Katitzi's age (9-ish) and they had a big impact on me and my view on human rights and how we treat people who are different from us.
In this book, the family is travelling around a part of the country where I have roots and family, which was fun - even though this book is set 80 years ago I can guess from the descriptions what places they went to.

abr. 25, 2020, 5:05 pm

© Light Art by Gerry Hofstetter / Foto Frank Schwarzbach

greetings from Switzerland (Sweden was one of the themes of the 19th April light show on the Matterhorn)

abr. 26, 2020, 9:13 am

>130 paulstalder: Aw, that's really lovely! Thank you!

abr. 26, 2020, 9:20 am


The Beautiful and Damned by F. Scott Fitzgerald

Anthony Patch is a young man who spends most of his time partying and enjoying himself or waiting for his grandfather to die so he can inherit the man's enormous fortune. He meets Gloria Gilbert and they fall in love, and set about spending a money they don't have yet on a lifestyle they're not willing to work for.

I really wanted to like this book, and initially thought I would, because the beginning of it reads like a satire, but eventually I grew very tired of the annoying main characters and the problems they brought upon themselves and at the end I didn't really care about what happened to them.

abr. 27, 2020, 8:27 pm

>132 PawsforThought: I can imagine from your description of the book, but it's always a pity when a book turns out such a disappointment! Hope your next one is more satisfying.

abr. 28, 2020, 2:07 am

>132 PawsforThought: I wasn't completely surprised to find I didn't enjoy this read, because I also disliked the only other full-length novel I've read by Fitzgerald (The Great Gatsby). But sometimes things work when you think they won't and I've read a couple of his short stories and liked them. I'll probably try another of his books at a later time (amybe third time's the charm?) but not for a while yet.

Editat: maig 12, 2020, 5:24 am


Landet utanför (The Land Beyond) by Maria Gripe

There once was two kingdoms with kings who were very different from each other. One day a discoverer comes to one of the kingdoms and claims he's found a land beyond the map. We get the same tale told two times - first the version the narrator is told as a child and then the one they learn when they are older and wiser.

This is a good book with an interesting storyline and interesting characters who aren't stereotypical, but when you've read her other books and know the level she can write at, it's not really up there. The repetitions in the two tales were a little boring and I couldn't quite recall where the two versions of the story diverged.

maig 14, 2020, 5:26 am


Katitzi i ormgropen (Katitzi in the snake pit) by Katarina Taikon

Katitzi is a little bit older but just and talkative, questioning and thoughtless as usual. Her sister Rosa has married and moved away and Katitzi and her other sister Lena miss her - especially since their stepmother is as horrid as usual.

These books are still good, and very honest in their portrayal of both the Roma people and the Swedish society at the time.

maig 18, 2020, 4:28 am


Ture Sventon i varuhuset (Ture Sventon in the department store) by Åke Holmberg

There has been a mysterious theft in the City department store - the nightwatchman saw a man on the second floor, chewing something, but when he and the guard dog reached the spot where he'd been seen there was no trace of him, and the dog couldn't catch a scent of him - even though watchdogs are known for being able to catch all scents. A fortune in jewellery and watches has been stolen, as well as several kilos of fancy chocolate. The next week the same thing happens, and after that the genious private detective Ture Sventon is called in.

I love these books. They're hilarious and witty and a ton of fun. I wish the publisher and the estate could come to terms so they can continue the republishing because they're worth being read.

maig 18, 2020, 3:37 pm


Ture Sventon i Venedig (Ture Sventon in Venice) by Åke Holmberg

A wall-climbing art thief known as a "spider" is on the loose in Venice and when one of the paintings in Oscar Pronto's dining room is stolen he starts to suspect his niece's fiancé, who has been wearing the same pattern trousers as the thief has been spotted in. Pronto has no choice but to call in the greatest of all detectives - Ture Sventon.

Another great one, and sadly the last of the Sventon books. It's not one of the beset Sventon books but it's a fine ending to the series - and we get to meet Mister Omar again, which is a treat as always.

maig 19, 2020, 8:33 pm

>138 PawsforThought: Those books sound like fun. Sorry this was the last one! (Somehow I am reminded of the Pink Panther movies)

maig 24, 2020, 11:32 am

Hi Paws!

>132 PawsforThought: I read Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby in college but have never been able to finish another book by him, even as recently as 2016 when I tried to read This Side of Paradise. I honestly feel that his work is overrated, although I have never read any of his short stories and they might be more to my liking. His wife Zelda was a much more interesting person than he was, IMO. I haven’t read a biography of her, but read Z: A Novel of Zelda Fitzgerald by Therese Anne Fowler, and was quite moved by it.

maig 24, 2020, 11:34 am

At this time of the end of Ramadan I want to give thanks for your friendship in this wonderful group, Paws.

Enjoy your Sunday.

maig 25, 2020, 2:15 am

>139 EllaTim: They *are* fun and they're definitely in the vein of the Pink Panther, but specifically written for children. And Ture Sventon is decidenly more competent than Inspector Clouseau - almost more competent than Poirot.

>140 karenmarie: Hi Karen! I'm starting to feel like you're right and Fitzgerald is overrated. I read The Great Gatsby about ten years ago (maybe more) and was thoroughly underwhelmed. Bored, frankly. I wanted that to be an unfortunate fluke (like I'm beginning to think Evelyn Waugh's Brideshead Revisited was as I hated that book but have liked others he wrote) but I think maybe it wasn't. I'm going to try some of Fitzgerald's short fiction, because at least The Curious Case of Benjamin Button made an incredible film.

And Zelda was absolutely fascinating. I have that biography, but haven't got around to reading it yet - I'm terrible when it comes to reading biographies and non-fiction.

>141 PaulCranswick: Aw, thank you Paul!

maig 25, 2020, 11:43 am

Z: A Novel of Zelda Fitzgerald is a novel, not a biography, although it is biographical in nature and has photos. It's very readable.

maig 26, 2020, 2:14 am

>143 karenmarie: Really? It was in the biography section when I bought it so I assumed.

maig 26, 2020, 7:06 am


Sagan om den lilla lilla gumman (The Tale of the Little Little Old Woman) by Elsa Beskow

This is the first book published by Elsa Beskow, one of the greatest children's authors (and illustrators) Sweden's ever had - and we've had a few. It's a very simple story about a little, little old woman who lives in a little, little cottege, and has a little, little chair in her little, little cottage and so on.

Editat: maig 26, 2020, 7:10 am


ABC-resan (The ABC Journey)by Elsa Beskow

This is an alphabet book where we get to follow Anna and Bo as they cycle out and have an adventurous day. I remember reading this book when I was in primary school and had just learnt to read. The last stanza about the lizard (Ö for ödla) is burned into my mind for ever.
The illustrations are sweet and incredibly well-done as always.

maig 26, 2020, 7:16 am


Olles skidfärd (Olle's Ski Trip) by Elsa Beskow

On his sixth birthday, Olle gets a pair of skis and is over the moon. While winter arrives late that year, when it does arrive it does so in style. The snow falls in droves and Olle can finally take his new skis out for a trip. He's so excited that he calls out a thank you to King Winter and to his surprise suddenly there's a man standing in front of his. It's Uncle Frost, who is going to take him for a visit to King Winter's castle.

This is a wonderful book with the most amazing illustrations. Lots of drawings from this story has been printed on homeware (mugs, plates, glasses, table cloths, curtains, etc.) and it's no wonder.

Editat: maig 26, 2020, 7:25 am


Hattstugan (The Children of Hat Cottage) by Elsa Beskow

On a small island in a small lake there lives a little woman with her three children - and the cottage they live in is made of an old hat. One day the mother has to row across the lake to their neighbour to buy yarn so she can make new clothes for the children. The children promise to be good and they really try their best but things go wrong and disaster strikes.

This is so adorable. Sure, there's time-typical gender stereotypes and there's talk of spanking children, which would never even be mentioned in modern-day Sweden (spanking has been illegal since the 70's) but it's such a cute little story with the sweetest illustrations.

maig 26, 2020, 7:30 am


Tomtebobarnen (Children of the Forest) by Elsa Beskow

In the forest lives a family of gnome-like little people and the four children of the family wear fly-agaric like round hats (very convenient when trying to hide from humans or predatory animals) and spend their days playing in the forest with their friends the squirrels, or getting to fly on the back of the old bat.

This is what forests look like in my mind. While it's a very fantasical tale, the images perfectly capures the way Swedish nature looks, and particularly dark Swedish forests.

maig 26, 2020, 7:32 am

Very nice looking books!

>145 PawsforThought: I bet this one is fun to read to a child. That lilla lilla makes for a nice cadence.

wishing you a good week ahead, Paws.

maig 26, 2020, 7:35 am


Puttes äventyr i blåbärsskogen (Peter in Blueberry Land) by Elsa Beskow

Putte (why he's called Peter in the English translation is beyond me - Putte is a nickname for Patrick) has decided to pick some blueberries and lingonberries for his mother's name day but even though he looks and looks he can't find any. But then a tiny blue-clad man appears in front of him, transforms Putte to a tiny size and brings him to Blueberry Land where he has a wonderful time.

I grew up picking berries as a normal part of late summer-early autumn and this book makes me long for August when the forests are full of berries and mushrooms (though I've never known blueberries and lingonberries to be ripe at the same time). As usual, the illustrations are superb.

maig 26, 2020, 7:37 am

>150 EllaTim: Hi Ella!

Elsa Beskow's books are wonderful - I highly recommend them.
Yeah, Sagan om den lilla, lilla gumman is a very common book to read aloud for children.

maig 26, 2020, 8:44 am

Elsa Bescow's books look good fun and they are certainly attractive.

maig 27, 2020, 5:18 am

>153 PaulCranswick: They are fun and absolutely gorgeous. Not always a lot of story but it doesn't really matter.

maig 27, 2020, 5:24 am


The Secret Staircase by Jill Barklem

It's time for Midwinter festivities at the Old Oak Palace and everyone is helping out with the preparations. Wilfred and Primrose are going to recite a poem and head up to the palace attic to practise and there they find a secret door leading to a secret staircase.

These books are so lovely and I'm absolutely enamoured with the illustrations. There are such details (like how they can make a winter garland out of just three holly leaves).

maig 27, 2020, 6:02 am


The High Hills by Jill Barklem

After reading about the great explorer Sir Hogweed Horehound, Wilfred is allowed to come along on a walk up to the high hills to deliver blankets to the voles who live there. Wilfred wants to look for gold like Sir Hogweed but then he gets stuck.

Another gem.

maig 27, 2020, 9:04 am

>144 PawsforThought: They put it in the wrong section. I’m glad you bought it and hope you enjoy it when you find the right time for it.

maig 29, 2020, 5:33 am


Draken med de röda ögonen (The dragon with red eyes) by Astrid Lindgren

One day when a girl and her younger brother hurry out to the pig house to look at the new born piglets, they find that the mama pig has also given birth to a small green dragon with red eyes. They look after the dragon until one day in autumn.

I know I've read this book, and recognise some of the illustrations but had no memory of the storyline itself. It's a sweet story, thought there isn't really much *of* a story.

Editat: maig 29, 2020, 3:19 pm


Jag vill också gå i skolan (I want to go to school too) by Astrid Lindgren

Lena is five years old and greatly envies her older brother who has just started school. She wants to go to school too, and one day her brother brings her along with him to spend a day in his class.

This is a very sweet story about siblings and the excitement and adventure of starting school.

Editat: maig 29, 2020, 3:28 pm


Resan till Landet Längesen (The journey to the land Long Ago) by Elsa Beskow

The siblings Kaj and Kajsa like to play with the old dead tree trunk near their house and imagine it to be a dragon. One day a mischievous gnome enchants the tree trunk and it becomes a dragon that flies off with the kids to a land far away where a princess is upset because the troll king has locked her beloved knight in a tower. Kaj and Kajsa decide to help out.

This is a sweet story that I'd never actually heard about before. It's obviously very dated, bu considering that it was written almost 100 years ago and a lot of the action takes place in the middle ages, it's not too bad (and it's even pointed out that girls back then got very little education and were mostly taught how to embroider).

maig 29, 2020, 5:06 pm

>158 PawsforThought: There is a book, Pigs Don't Fly but Dragons Do, which isn't related, not really....

Editat: maig 30, 2020, 1:49 pm

>161 quondame:...but they seem to have themes in common. Sounds like quite a fun book - a bit similar to The Black Cauldron.

maig 30, 2020, 5:05 pm

>162 PawsforThought: It has it's own magic, on a similar spectrum but Mary Brown's works are almost a genre to themselves, though only by an island in the flow, not quite independent.

juny 1, 2020, 2:40 am


Jag vill inte gå och lägga mig (I don't want to go to bed) by Astrid Lindgren

Lasse is five years old and always starts a fight at bedtime, because he doesn't want to go to bed. His elderly neighbour invites him over one day and lets him borrow her glasses that make him see all the little animals that also have to go to bed at night.

I think this would work pretty well with a child that has trouble going to bed at night (which is obviously the reason for it being written) but it's a cute story regardless.

juny 3, 2020, 5:40 pm


Five Run Away Together by Enid Blyton

The kids are finally on holiday at Kirrin again but what was supposed to be a lovely summer with camping on Kirrin Island turns sour when Aunt Fanny takes ill and has to go to the hospital and the new kitchen help and her family are dreadful and treat the kids horribly and even try to poison Timmy. So the kids come up with a plan to run away to Kirrin Island.

While these books can't be said to have a ton of depth they're fun and full of adventure. And there are SO MANY descriptions of the food they eat that I found myself quite hungry reading it.

juny 10, 2020, 10:13 am


Nils Karlsson-Pyssling: sagor (English title: Simon Small Moves In) by Astrid Lindgren

This is a collections of short tales from one of the greatest we've ever had. The first story is about the namesake of the collection - Nils Karlsson-Pyssling (pyssling means a teeny-tiny person similar to a pixie). Most of the stories in the collection are about tiny people or dolls that come to life.

This collection has some of my favourite Astrid Lindgren tales in it - including Nils Karlsson-Pyssling, Most Beloved Sister, and "There Are No Robbers in the Forest" - the last one terrified me as a child. They've all been made into TV-films which were a staple of my childhood (again, the last one terrified young me).

juny 11, 2020, 9:00 am

Love all the children's books Cousin Paws! Takes some imagination to come up with a pig who gives birth to a dragon.

I know that I read The Great Gatsby at some point in my school career but don't remember when. I was not a fan.

juny 11, 2020, 9:30 am

>167 Fourpawz2: Hi cousin! Nice to see you. Sorry I haven't been to your thread in a while, I've been terrible at visiting threads this year.

I'm loving the visits to my childhood favourite authors - it's just the kind of thing I need right now.

I'm glad to hear I'm not the only one who dislikes The Great Gatsby.

juny 11, 2020, 9:33 am

Hi Paws!

I'm into comfort reads right now, too, but for me it's Nero Wolfe mysteries by Rex Stout.

juny 11, 2020, 9:39 am

>169 karenmarie: Hi Karen! Mysteries are great comfort reads too - I haven't read any Rex Stout/Nero Wolfe but I have a pile of Agatha Christie, Dorothy L Sayers and Kerry Greenwood lined up for the summer. I've also checked out Donna Tartt's The Goldfinch.

juny 11, 2020, 1:15 pm

>168 PawsforThought: I've been just horrible about getting around to the threads. Glad I am not the only one.

Editat: juny 14, 2020, 5:12 pm


Katitzi rymmer (Katitzi runs away) by Katarina Taikon

Katitzi is finding life in the camp, with her stepmother beating her and Rosa gone, to be too much and decides to run away. She has her sights set on Uppsala, where her sort-of-grandmother lives in an elderly care home.

I remember being told, when I read these books as a child, that they were a romanticized view of Romani people and Romani life, but they really aren't. There's surprisingly frank about both good things and bad things and the "bad guys" are both Romani and non-Romani people.

juny 15, 2020, 7:06 am


Tant Grön, tant Brun och tant Gredelin (Auntie Green, Auntie Brown and Auntie Lavender) by Elsa Beskow

The three ladies Auntie Green, Auntie Brown and Auntie Lavender (those aren't their real names but they always dress in those colours, and their interests are connected to them too, so everyone calls them that) are out for a SUnday walk when their little dog decides to run off. During their search for him, they get into terrible trouble, and stumble upon a pair of siblings who help them.

I love these books, and they are as beautifully illustrated as all the other Beskow books. The aunties are icons in Swdish children's literature, and you can find them on home decor, mugs, stationary, etc. They have even been made into art in the Stockholm metro!
Obviously, because these books were written a hundred years ago, there are some very gender-stereotypical stuff, but it's not distracting.

juny 15, 2020, 7:10 am


Tant Bruns födelsedag (AUntie Brown's birthday) by Elsa Beskow

It's almost time for Auntie Brown's birthday, and Uncle Blue - who live across the street and does Petter and Lotta's schooling - ropes the kids into a birthday surprise. Auntie Green and Auntie Lavender also have birthday surprises lined ip but nothing quite goes to plan.

While there are certainly some things in this book that wouldn't be published in a book today (the children play "indians and pale-faces" and "eskimoes"), this is still a very sweet book about people trying really hard to make the birthday of someone they love a really great day.

juny 15, 2020, 7:13 am


Petter och Lotta på äventyr (Petter and Lotta's adventure) by Elsa Beskow

Petter and Lotta aren't old enough to come with the Aunties and Uncle Blue when they go to the fair, but in their effort to be kind to the woman who looked after them before they manage to get themselves both lost and found and at the fair.

juny 16, 2020, 8:30 am


Sunnanäng by Astrid Lindgren

This is another collections of shorter stories/novellas that might be less known to a wider audience. They all take place "a long time ago, in the time of poverty", aka before the 20th century. All of them also have a connections to death in some way, a couple are direct allegories of death whereas a couple are stories where someone is close to dying (or being trapped in the underworld) but manage to live on.

I was only familiar with the eponumous story and one other, though I can't say I remembered much about either. I do like these stories about death - Astrid Lindgren waas never afraid to tackle difficult subjects.

juny 17, 2020, 6:26 am


Farbror Blås nya båt (Uncle Blue's new boat) by Elsa Beskow

Uncle Blue has bought a new rowboat and he, the aunties and Petter and Lotta decide to row out to a small island and have a picnic. All goes well until Uncle Blue and the aunties have a post-dinner nap and Petter and Lotta decide to take the boat out by themselves.

These are still delightful.

Editat: juny 18, 2020, 4:53 am


Petters och Lottas jul (Petter's and Lotta's Christmas) by Elsa Beskow

The last of the Petter & Lotta books (and one of the last books Elsa Beskow wrote) is about Christmas, and the adventures that entails for the two children. The mystery of the Yule goat (Sweden used to have a Yule goat bringing presents instead of a Santa) is explored and the children make presents for the aunties and Uncle Blue.

This book has been very isntrumental in shaping the way I think about "traditional Christmases". The baking and other preparations, cutting a Christmas tree yourself and decorating it the day before Christmas with candles and red baubles, the Yule goat, etc. It's exactly how I imagine a traditional, somewhat old-fashioned Christmas. This, the Pettson book I re-read last year and some of Astrid Lindgren's hristmas stories are the ones that have most shaped my view of Christmas (other than my own family's traditions, of course). It's glorious.

Editat: juny 18, 2020, 4:11 pm


Sessalätts äventyr (Sessalätt's adventure) by Elsa Beskow

Princess Sessalätt goes out to the woods with her father the king and her little dog. But her dog sees a hare and sets off after it and Sessalätt goes to try and find him.

This is a sweet, very old-fashioned story. It's written in rhyming couplets, where the kids reading (or being read to) and supposed to come up with the rhyming word. It's quite fun, though there are a couple of places where it's not super-apparent what the rhyming word is supposed to be - a result of changing word use in changing times, I guess.

Editat: juny 18, 2020, 4:10 pm


Blomsterfesten i täppan (The flower feast in the garden patch) by Elsa Beskow

Lisa isn't allowed to go to the Midsummer celebrations on her own so instead grandma teels her to celebrate among the flowers. Lisa goes out into the flower patch and gets to witness the Midsummer flower feast with all the flowers and plants - the roses, the pansys, the beans and carrots and even the weeds - dandelions, nettle, and thistles.

There isn't much of a real storyline here, but the illustrations are phenomenal. This is Elsa Beskow's forte - the anthropomorphic plants. It's really wonderful to see.

Editat: juny 18, 2020, 4:09 pm


Duktiga Annika (Good girl Annika) by Elsa Beskow

Annika is such a good little girl who can do so much herself even though she's quite little. When she offers to watch the family cow to make sure it doesn't go through the hole in the fence to the nieghbour's clover field, she gets help from both animals and gnomes.

While the illustrations are as pretty as ever, this is probably the most "meh" of Neskow's books. Annika is such a good little girl that everyone wants to help her and everything always turns out good. She's a bore, frankly. But it was written in the 1940's (during the war, no less) so it's a product of its time, I guess.

Editat: juny 18, 2020, 4:08 pm


Ocke, Nutta och Pillerill (Ocke, Nutta and Pillerill) by Elsa Beskow

This is a tale of two acorn and a hazelnut (anthropomorphized, of course) who accidently get far away from their respectives mothers and go through quite an adventure trying to get home.

I wasn't expecting all that much from this (except lovely illustrations) but it's a rather sweet story. I don't think there are many other stories featuring nuts as main characters.

Editat: juny 18, 2020, 4:07 pm


Lasse-liten i trädgården (Little Lasse in the garden) by Elsa Beskow

It's harvest time and Lasse is playing with his ball, trying to throw it all the way up in the sky, but instead it goes up into a maple tree and further into the garden. When he goes to retrieve it, he gets to meet all the flowers, berries and fruit that are growing and just ready to be picked.

This is one of my favourite Beskows. There's not a ton of story, just lasse and his friend September walking through the garden and meeting its inhabitants, but the illustrations are so wonderful. I remember being very fond of Miss Yellow Plum and Miss Blue Plum as a child, but now I find myself very drawn to Mrs Cabbage.

juny 20, 2020, 10:06 am

Elsa Beskow seems to have quite the bibliography, Paws?

juny 22, 2020, 4:19 am

>184 PaulCranswick: Yeah, she had a long and fruitful career. Her first book was published in 1897 and she kept writing until her death in he early 1950's. Around 40 titles all in all, plus number of illustrations for other writers.

juny 22, 2020, 4:33 am


Glasblåsarns barn (The glassblower's children) by Maria Gripe

One of Maria Gripe's most famous novels ia the story about two poor children who are kidnapped at a local market and are forced to live in a castle where they have no memory of their life before kidnapping. It's also the story about their parents and how they deal with the kidnapping, and the kidnappers themselves. Plus the kind local witch and her raven familiar.

This book is one that's had a huge impact on my childhood and life. It's a terrifying novel (and the movie based on it is very scary too) to read as a child and very uncomfortable to read even as an adult. I read it a very long time ago and most remembered the kidnapping, a castle full of mirrors and broken glass, a witch, and a general feeling of unease. That's a fairly good description.

juny 30, 2020, 11:11 am

Just stopping by to wish you well, Paws.

Editat: jul. 1, 2020, 8:27 am

>176 PawsforThought: I've started reading The Brothers Lionheart by Astrid Lindgren, and was very impressed.

>182 PawsforThought: Here's one: Paulus en de Eikelmannetjes

There are acorn men in it, and chestnut men. Very nice illustrations. The little men fall apart easily, but they pick themselves up again.

>186 PawsforThought: It sounds good, and Yes, frightening I can imagine! Books can really make an impression on children can't they?

jul. 1, 2020, 6:43 pm

>187 PaulCranswick: Thank you, Paul!

>188 EllaTim: Thanks for popping by, Ella. The Brothers Lionheart is a gem - and a classic rea here.

I love that you knew of a book with both acorn men and chestnut men in it! Love it.

The Glassblower's Children is one of Gripe's very best books, and that's really saying something, since she's one of the best children's authors we've even had (and in my opinion, one of the best in the world). And yes, definitely made an impression.

jul. 5, 2020, 11:57 am

Wishing you a lovely Sunday, Paws.

jul. 9, 2020, 10:35 am

Hi Paws! I hope you’re doing well and staying safe.

>170 PawsforThought: I read The Goldfinch for book club in May of 2015. I really liked it and hope you do, too.

jul. 14, 2020, 5:10 am


Three Act Tragedy by Agatha Christie

Sir Charles Cartwright invites a group of people to dinner, but during the evening one of the guests drops dead. It’s believed to be natural causes but when the same thing happens again at another dinner, this time held by a friend of Cartwright’s it’s obvious that something is up.

This is a Poirot mystery with very little Poirot - he only really comes in at the end to clear everything up. It’s a decent story, with a bit of a twist, but it’s not one of the best.

jul. 16, 2020, 5:38 pm

>192 PawsforThought: - I felt the same way when I read that one, Cousin. Poirot hardly appears at all - don't know why Dame Agatha bothered. Not one of her best.

jul. 25, 2020, 5:47 pm


The Leavenworth Case by Anna Katharine Green

When Horatio Leavenworth is found murdered in his own home, evidence points to one of his two nieces, both of whom live with him and have been brought up as if they were his daughters. But which one really did it, and why?

This book started out really good, but went on a little too long. I'd never heard of the author before and was only introduced to this because the host of a podcast I follow has started a new, temporary podcast where she reads part of a classic mystery novel every day. This is the fourth of the mystery novels that have been read. I'm glad I read it, or had it read to me, but I'm not rushing to read more books by Green.

jul. 25, 2020, 5:56 pm


The Time Machine by H. G. Wells

A man is invited to an inventor friend of his, alongside a small group of other acquaintances, and to his astonishment the inventor presents a time machine. He tells the tale of how he has travelled into the future where humans have evolved into two different humanoid species - the Eloi and the Morlocks, and the future is not at all as bright as some might think.

This was an interesting read, thought I can't saw I particularly liked it. I'm not sure what it is about Wells' writing that doesn't quite "click" for me, but this is the second book of his I haven't really cared about.

ag. 8, 2020, 6:07 pm

>195 PawsforThought: With HG Wells I always thought the premise better than the execution. Probably The History of Mr. Polly is exempt from that criticism.

ag. 9, 2020, 6:37 am

>196 PaulCranswick: Yeah, that’s a good way of putting it. I always think Wells’s premises/outlines/ideas sound really interesting but then the actual writing doesn’t interest me. I really wanted to like his works. I haven’t read The History of Mr Polly, is it good?

ag. 11, 2020, 5:50 am

>195 PawsforThought: And he's probably the first one to write about a time machine? So you could say he invented the concept? I didn't like the book much either, I'm afraid.

How are you doing at the moment, Paws? Summer treating you well?

ag. 12, 2020, 2:00 am

>198 EllaTim: Hi Ella! Yeah, as far I know he was the first person to write about time travel. I will definitely give him props for inventiveness and having good ideas, I just think he should have worked more on the actual writing.

I'm doing okay, I just got back to work after my summer vacation. It's a little stressful (start of the school year always is, and now I also have to find a new job so that doesn't help), but otherwise good. We haven't had much of a summer; it was hot and sunny for a couple of weeks in June and since then it's been grey, cold and usually rainy. The sun returned this past weekend and I'm hoping it'll stay a little while.
My brother's family came up for a couple of weeks and it was so nice to finally get to see them again.

How are you, everything good? Sorry I haven't been around the threads.

ag. 12, 2020, 4:02 am

>199 PawsforThought: Hi Paws, sorry about the work stress. Hope you find that new job soonish.

We have had a lot of grey and rainy as well, but now we are having an unprecedented heatwave, not nice at all, except for the children swimming in the river.

Ah, very nice, your brother's family.

I haven't been on LT much as well, for some time, it happens, no need to say sorry, Paws.

Summer has been nice, with even a small vacation. Covid is interfering with options though. So we spent a lot of time at the allotment, nice to be able to get out of town, to a quieter space! And I have my stress as well, waiting for Marc's scan results.

ag. 12, 2020, 4:46 am

>200 EllaTim: I've heard about your heatwave. I'm feeling quite lucky that we're having normal summer temperatures right now (around 20 C) and don't have to suffer through a heatwave.

Nice to be able to spend time on the allotment - I've been in the garden quite a bit this summer. Have been able to harvest kale, sugar snap peas and spinach so far. The zucchini is almost done and I'm waiting for the marrow peas, beans and carrots.

Sorry to hear about stressing over Marc's scan results, I'm holding my thumbs for you that the results are good.

ag. 15, 2020, 1:22 pm

I read The Time Machine about four years ago, Cousin Paws, and did not care for either. Perhaps when it was first written it might have been thought entertaining because it was so unusual, but it's kind of a dud now. Have not been inspired to try anything else by Wells since.

I planted some heirloom cherry tomatoes this year - only my second year trying to grow something edible - and they've turned out quite well. I was counting them this morning and, including the three tomatoes that I've already eaten, the three plants have produced at least 63 cherry tomatoes. Hopefully there are more to come. I'm toying with the idea of a raised bed for next year.

ag. 15, 2020, 4:58 pm

>202 Fourpawz2: Hi cousin! Good to know I’m not the only one who has a hard time with Wells.

Wow, that’s quite the harvest of cherry tomatoes! We always grow tomatoes, but this summer hasn’t been tomato-friendly so I’m not counting on much harvesting. Everything else seems good, though.

ag. 15, 2020, 5:03 pm

>201 PawsforThought: Kale and sugar snap peas, and spinach, nice harvest Paws. It's so nice to harvest from your own garden, and everything seems to taste better, even the potatoes.

Thanks for the thumbs, results are still not in, I guess they (the people who look at scans) are all on holiday.

ag. 17, 2020, 5:57 am

>204 EllaTim: Yeah, I love having the garden, and I've been snacking on the sugar sna peas all week. I was in our summer house this weekend and we harvested tehre too - more peas, sugar snaps, spinach and kale, plus chard. Everything else is not done yet.
And then a trip to the woods and picking some raspberries (great berry year this year) and we found the first yellowfoot mushrooms of the year.

ag. 18, 2020, 7:40 pm

>205 PawsforThought: Sounds good Paws.

The yellow foot mushroom I had to look up. It's a threatened species with us. Trips to the woods looking for mushrooms, nice. And very tasty as well, of course.

ag. 25, 2020, 10:10 am

Hi Paws!

>194 PawsforThought: I recently read That Affair Next Door by Green, which is actually the 8th in the Ebenezer Gryce series but the first of the Amelia Butterworth series. It’s the first in the Library of Congress Classic Crime series and I was intrigued. It was good and wordy. Green was very popular and prolific in her time.

>195 PawsforThought: The movie of The Time Machine, which came out in 1960 gave me the only persistent nightmares of my life when I was 10. Mom and Dad let me watch it for some reason. *shudder*

Nice to have your brother and his family visit. How’s school going so far?

ag. 25, 2020, 10:24 am

S'ha suprimit aquest usuari en ser considerat brossa.

Editat: ag. 26, 2020, 4:46 am

>207 karenmarie: Hi Karen, nice to see you! Good to know that other books in the series are better - this one didn't intrigue me enough to seek out others but maybe in the future.

I can imagine the Time Machine movie being scary, especially at that age.

School has just started and it's very hectic, as always this time of year. It's frustrating when people can't be bothered to read information that has been posted and then complain about not knowing this, but otherwise it's fine. Still hunting for a new job, but in this economy it's not easy - I've applied for at least 60 jobs and not even got a single callback or interview.

set. 14, 2020, 2:57 pm

Hi Paws, yuck looking for a job, I'm not envying you.

And yes, reading is hard, I've met that too;-)

Hope your year is getting a bit less busy.

set. 14, 2020, 3:31 pm

>210 EllaTim: Hi Ella!

Yeah, it’s not something I enjoy doing and when this is over I hope I don’t have to do it again for a very long time.

I’m still very busy but it’s starting to Peter out now that we’re through the first month.

oct. 14, 2020, 10:23 am

Hi Paws!

I do hope you're doing okay. I'm sorry that 60+ job applications haven't yielded anything, but hope something's come up in the meantime.

Have you been able to get any good reading in?

oct. 14, 2020, 5:19 pm

>212 karenmarie: Hi Karen! Nice of you to drop by. I’m doing okay, but no news on the job front.

I haven’t done much reading, apart from a few pages of The Nine Tailors (that I really should get back to, because I like it), and listening to an audiobook of Dracula.

Hope you’re well.

oct. 17, 2020, 10:35 pm

>213 PawsforThought: I think listening to Dracula would scare the pants off of me!

Have a lovely Sunday.

How is Sweden coping with the pandemic nowadays?

oct. 18, 2020, 2:27 pm

>214 PaulCranswick: It’s not the most lively reading, fairly straight-forward, so not very scary at all. And I personally don’t think vampires are very scary.

We were doing really well for a while, but like many other places we’re seeing a resurgence - primarily cause by university students and other young people who don’t want to cut down on partying. It’s really frustrating. I’m really hoping the school I work in won’t have to switch to online teaching again like in the spring - it was hell for everyone involved.

oct. 29, 2020, 6:53 pm


Dracula by Bram Stoker

Well, finally. I’ve been listening to this on audiobook since August but only made it to the end tonight. In fairness, it’s a long book, but it’s mostly because reading hasn’t been a priority lately.

I’m glad I finished this though. It took me a little while to get into, but once I did I thoroughly enjoyed it. Last year I read the two other early vampire classics (Carmilla and The Vampyre) and was very unimpressed, but this one was different.sure, there are parts where you feel like shouting to the characters that “He’s a vampire, ffs!” but mostly it’s good. The ending it a little quick and thus slightly anti-climactic.
I’m really glad I’ve read it, and the timing for finishing couldn’t be better - spooky season and all.

oct. 29, 2020, 9:45 pm

Nice review. I hadn’t thought to listen to it, but I’d imagine that would be pretty cool.

oct. 30, 2020, 4:15 am

>217 drneutron: Podcaster Phoebe Judge (of Criminal) started a new podcast in the spring where she reads one chapter every day from an old (out of copyright) novel. It’s called “Phoebe Reads a Mystery”, but it’s not just mysteries. At the moment she’s reading The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes. It’s not quite expert level reading, but it’s good enough to keep me listening, and I’m picky with audiobooks.

oct. 30, 2020, 1:38 pm

Nice! I'll look it up.

nov. 1, 2020, 7:03 pm

>216 PawsforThought: Well timed read, Paws! I don't think the book is very scary, but I do vividly recall some scenes of the movie Nosferatu. Very Halloween atmospheric.

nov. 2, 2020, 1:16 pm

>220 EllaTim: I didn’t find it very scary to read, but it was at least more suspenseful than Carmilla and The Vampyre, neither of which has aged well and just feel silly and cliche today.
I’ve never seen Nosferatu. I probably should. I had been meaning to have a horror-filled October (books, movies and TV) similar to how I had a horror-filled summer last year, but I wasn’t really feeling it. This year is horror-filled enough, I guess.

nov. 8, 2020, 10:59 am

Hi Paws!

I hope you're still enjoying The Nine Tailors.

I'm doing better than yesterday at this time - being in the US and being a Democrat I was frazzled - but now with President Elect Biden and Vice President Elect Harris I'm feeling much better.

nov. 8, 2020, 11:42 am

>222 karenmarie: Hi Karen, thanks for stopping by.

I haven’t picked The Nine Tailors up again - I’ve had a hard time concentrating on reading so have listened to audiobooks and podcasts while knitting or doing jigsaws. Living in this world this year hasn’t been great for the nerves.

I’m so thrilled for you and everyone else in America! I was so worried you (and the rest of the world) would be stuck with the orange terror for another term and I don’t know what would have been left of the country by then. I teared up when I saw the news reports come in calling it for Biden. What a relief. Just having sane people with manners and a sense of respect is a huge win in itself.

nov. 16, 2020, 3:42 am

>223 PawsforThought: Hi Paws!

I find audiobooks a real help as well, and listening to them while you are knitting sounds really nice.

I was glad with the results of the American election too. The latest news I find worrying though.

nov. 16, 2020, 11:56 am

>224 EllaTim: Yes, the refusal to accept the results is worrying, and even more so that he is being supported by so many, both in the Republican Party and among the people.

nov. 17, 2020, 7:04 pm

>225 PawsforThought: What I found really stunning how he managed to twist the facts. Like looking into a mirror image, the Democrats are stealing the election! And you see his followers swallowing those 'alternative facts' like it's complete truth. I was flabbergasted and I find it scary.

nov. 28, 2020, 5:08 pm

Hi Cousin Paws! Hope you are doing well.

I don't understand those who are in thrall to that maniac. I don't know any personally; if I did I would want to talk to them to try and understand their thought process. However, I fear that not a lot of thought went into whatever it was that led them to believe that he is or ever was even remotely fit to be president. I keep hoping that they'll come around and get over it the way that one might get over an illness, but I am almost certain that is impossible. There are millions of them and I am afraid that it will be some time before the country is out of danger.

But at least we've got a bit of a respite and a chance to make things better, so I'll try to be happy about that.

nov. 28, 2020, 6:03 pm

>227 Fourpawz2: Hi Cousin, thanks for stopping by. I’m alright, despite everything. Next week is my last at my current job and I’m a bit anxious that I haven’t found another one yet, and there’s the stress over the second wave of this damn virus, but otherwise I’m good. Tomorrow is the first of advent and the start of the Christmas season, so I’m enjoying having a thoroughly clean-scrubbed home with the Christmas curtains up and the advent lights out. It’s a great time of year and I’m determined to enjoy it as much as I can, even if I can’t do it quite the same way as I usually do (no Christmas markets, no real-life Lucia celebrations, etc.)

I can’t get my head around the people who seem to have dedicated themselves to making the orange man child some sort of martyr. It is so obvious to the rest of us that he’s nothing but a greedy, lying crook and the fact that they can’t see that baffles me.
Anyway, he’s going out and I’ll be glad to see the back of him. It’ll be nice when we can once again have full conversations with people and not talk about either him or covid.

nov. 28, 2020, 9:35 pm

Hope the job situation resolves itself very soon. Been in that position myself after 2 layoffs and quitting once and I know the anxiety well. Fingers crossed for good news on the job front from you.

Christmas curtains - I never thought to have curtains dedicated to Christmas. I've got summer ones and winter ones, but nothing more specialized. I love curtains, which sounds a little weird.

I hope your Christmas season is enjoyable even without the usual events. It will be different next year.

It'll be great the first time a whole day's news cycle goes by and were are no stories about him. Can't wait.

des. 1, 2020, 11:45 am

Thank you for the fingers crossed.

No Christmas curtains? That’s standard here, you have regular curtains and Christmas ones. Not necessarily Santa’s and Christmas trees printed on them but something (I’d never let something like that into my home) but something that feels suitable to the season. The ones I have in the bedroom and just navy blue with silver stars on them so not very obviously Christmassy, but still. When I move I’m planning to buy linen curtains and just having a red ribbon or something at the bottom edge.

des. 1, 2020, 1:03 pm

>230 PawsforThought: - Navy blue with silver stars - I love that! And the linen ones with the red ribbon sound lovely too - understated, but definitely special. I think Christmas curtains should be a thing here. I agree Santa would be too much, but plainly there are lots of other possibilities. Something to plan for next year???

des. 1, 2020, 3:16 pm

>231 Fourpawz2: You’ll just have to start the trend with Christmas curtains!
I do prefer more understated things when it comes to decorating. I have very few figurines and other “overt” Christmas decorations, I mostly decorate with candles and very simple decor, plus fabrics.
I definitely have ideas in my head for Christmas next year. Hopefully we’ll be able to go shopping like normal in the not to distant future so I can look for things to work with.

des. 1, 2020, 4:30 pm

Christmas curtains? The only curtains I have in the house are doing duty as hanger padding in a rarely visited closet.

des. 1, 2020, 5:30 pm

>233 quondame: I’m learning all about how other people decorate (or don’t) their houses. Fascinating. It’s never even occurred to me that Christmas curtains wasn’t a thing everywhere.

des. 2, 2020, 7:18 am

>234 PawsforThought: And the other way round of course! But it's a fun thought. Do you remove them after Christmas? Or do they stay longer?

des. 2, 2020, 7:31 am

>235 EllaTim: They stay up until 13th of January (the 20th day after Christmas, which is the official end of the Christmas season). Same for all the other decorations (though there are a lot of people nowadays who put it away earlier because they've started decorating earlier and are tired of it - I'm old-fashioned and prefer to enjoy the after-Christmas coziness of it all).

There's a rhyme about the clearing away of Christmas decorations: tjugondedag Knut dansas julen ut ({on} twentieth day Knut, Christmas is danced out/away) (13th of January is Knut's name day).

des. 2, 2020, 2:34 pm

>236 PawsforThought: Ah, real Christmas curtains, not winter curtains! Yes, to after- Christmas coziness. I used to dislike December, because of it's greyness, and perpetual rain, but really doing Christmas things helps a lot. But then after December 6 you are supposed to get rid of Christmas stuff here. Making January into a dull and grey month, I like your solution better.

Like that rhyme as well, it does it's own dancing. Marc says there's a word for that, but we couldn't remember what it was.

des. 6, 2020, 9:19 am

>236 PawsforThought: I didn't know that, Paws.

des. 6, 2020, 11:19 am

>238 PaulCranswick: I doubt very many people from outside the Nordic countries know anything about it at all.

A link to the Wikipedia page about Knut’s day (January 13th), if anyone is interested in reading more about it:

des. 25, 2020, 6:05 am

Wishing you a Merry Christmas, Paws!

des. 25, 2020, 11:38 am

I hope you get some of those at least, Paws, as we all look forward to a better 2021.

des. 26, 2020, 9:19 am

Thank you Ella and Paul for the lovely Christmas wishes. I hope your holidays have been good and continue to be so, at least as good as can be in these circumstances.

I’m very lucky in that I got to have Christmas with my family (parents + brother, sis-in-law and nephew) like usual. I’m so glad. We’ve stuffed our faces, gone for walks in the not very Christmassy weather (too warm and barely any snow), and played with nephew’s Christmas toys.

des. 31, 2020, 10:24 pm

gen. 1, 2021, 12:17 am


As the year turns, friendship continues

gen. 1, 2021, 3:58 pm

My 2021 thread can be found here: