books

August Tea and a Book: A Gluttony of Gothic Mysteries

Quick take: After weeks of "comfort" reading (see more here), I had a sudden and powerful appetite for spooky Gothic. These four novels were just what I was craving, and I DEVOURED them in a matter of days. (Many thanks to Myra and Melissa for recommendations!)...

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Literary Walks: Dorothy Sayers’ Oxford

If you know me at all, you know I love Oxford. You also might recall that I adore the mysteries of Dorothy L. Sayers. While in Oxford this summer I was determined to put together my own literary walk to celebrate Sayers' Gaudy Night and its two main characters,...

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Literary Walks: Lyme Regis

Dear reader, I meant to offer a "Tea and a Book" recommendation for June, but there was just too much to do in preparation for travel. I will try again later this month. In the meantime I thought I'd start a new feature on the blog -- "Literary Walks." I love to...

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A Tour of Washington DC Indie Bookstores

I've made a resolution since returning from Brooklyn--when joining my husband on business trips I will endeavor to research, patronize, and publicize my favorite independent bookstores. (In case you missed it, you'll find some wonderful Brooklyn options in this post.)...

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A tour of Brooklyn Bookstores

In the second post of my "Brooklyn travel trilogy" I'm featuring Brooklyn indie bookstores. Books are Magic is located in Cobble Hill on the corner of Smith and Butler. It is owned by author Emma Straub and her husband, Michael Fusco-Straub. I love this from the...

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Friday Flashback: Reading Gaskell’s North & South

This post is a continuation of my Friday Favorites post on North & South (2004) and perhaps will only be interesting to those who are already fans of the mini-series. (Or maybe it will inspire potential new fans? One can hope.) In 2006 I read the novel and had...

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Ballet Fangirling

This past Saturday we saw the OKC Ballet Company's production of La Sylphide! Principals Miki Kawamura and Alvin Tovstogray / Photo by Shevaun Williams The evening was particularly special because it was Miki Kawamura's final performance. Though she has retired from...

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Friday Flashback — a new “mini-series”

I'm introducing a new feature here on the blog in which I revisit my oldest blog posts from the archaic platform known as Livejournal. (Shout out if you started the whole blogging thing on LJ. I know you're out there! Do you ever miss those days?) Not so long ago, I...

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Favorite books read in 2018

I read 54 novels in 2018, five of them re-reads (which I count because my memory is terrible and subsequent readings still manage to surprise and delight). Last year I was determined to raise my overall count and I managed to do that by 6 books! Here are my favorites...

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Tea and Books for Christmas

I come to you with tidings of tea and holiday reads! For young (and young-at-heart) readers: Christmas with the Savages, by Mary Clive: Seen through the eyes of a prim little eight-year-old, and based on real events and people, this novel perfectly recaptures a...

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Geeked on Gothic

It's mid-September and each day we draw closer to the season of ghosts, ghouls, and witches (not to mention sugar hangovers). I must confess, however, that I wrote this post not just to celebrate the season. I'm also hoping for a particular sort of redemption. Over...

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September Tea and a Book: Dear Mrs. Bird

Quick take: I was in the mood for something light and quirky, and Dear Mrs. Bird by A.J. Pearce fit the bill perfectly. Goodreads synopsis: London, 1940. Emmeline Lake is Doing Her Bit for the war effort, volunteering as a telephone operator with the Auxiliary Fire...

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August Tea and a Book: Manderley Forever

I recently finished Tatiana de Rosnay's Manderley Forever, a carefully researched and annotated biography of Daphne du Maurier that reads like a novel. Some of you might remember my scathing reaction to Rebecca back in 2012. In short, I despised the unnamed heroine of...

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Celebrating new web design with a GIVEAWAY

This past fall I decided to update the look of my website. As always I wanted something Gothic and a bit creepy, but I also yearned for warmth and color. Again and again I came back to this image: It struck me as both bleak and beautiful. Moreover it reminded me of...

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