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Herschelian

Herschelian

Joined March 2018

review
Herschelian
The Salt Path | Raynor Winn
Pickpick

So many friends urged me to read this. I found the way that Ray and Moth were transformed by this challenging walk was very moving. Mind you, I became increasingly worried that the pair of them would develop scurvy as their food seemed to lack vitamin C! Well worth reading.

review
Herschelian
Girl of the Limberlost | Gene Stratton-Porter
Pickpick

Re-read this after 64 years - what a wonderful book.

review
Herschelian
Panpan

Picked this up at the local library as I love Vanity Fair by Thackery, and thought a modern retelling would be good. Sadly disappointed. The book is a cheap fluffy read with nothing to recommend it, oh hang on there are one or two witty remarks. But on the whole it was so shallow you couldn‘t drown in it if you tried. Such a good idea, and yet so disappointing, don‘t waste your time.

review
Herschelian
Panpan

Picked this up at the local library as I love Vanity Fair by Thackery, and thought a modern retelling would be good. Sadly disappointed. The book is a cheap fluffy read with nothing to recommend it, oh hang on there are one or two witty remarks. But on the whole it was so shallow you couldn‘t drown in it if you tried. Such a good idea, and yet so disappointing, don‘t waste your time.

review
Herschelian
Pickpick

After 1949 China became a Republic, everything stayed the same for a while, as the craziness of the Cultural Revolution began many of the wealthy and the middle classes left .Then the border got sealed and getting out was very difficult. This the story of one family and their attempts to leave. The father was all ready in HK and though there were four of them they were only granted 3 temporary exit permits. The 9 yr old daughter was left behind.

review
Herschelian
The Silent Patient | Alex Michaelides
Mehso-so

I was disappointed in this book.
So many people had recommended it, but it never fulfilled its expectations. Told,in the main, by Theo who is a forensic psychotherapist, iit‘s about a young woman who is in a private psychiatric unit becas in the seven years since she killed her husband she has not spoken. Theo works with her to try to persuade her to start speaking.Will he succeed and the discover why she committed murder?

review
Herschelian
Mehso-so

Thought I would really enjoy this, disappointed to find it a bit predictable and stiff. Characters rather old fashioned. Finished it but only just.

review
Herschelian
The Last Road Trip | Gareth Crocker
Mehso-so

So many people in my SA online book group RAGBL enjoyed this, so I decided to give it a go. The premise was good, four ageing friends take a road trip across South Africa and rediscover their lives. I found it too schmaltzy and sweet for my taste. ⭐️⭐️

review
Herschelian
The Cost of Living | Rachel Ward
Pickpick

A quirky tale set in a very large supermarket in the UK. Bea works on checkout, and Ant is a new and gormless employee. When a colleague is murdered, this unlikely duo band together to catch the killer. Paints an accurate picture of what life is like for many in Britain today.

review
Herschelian
The Real-Town Murders | Adam Roberts
Bailedbailed

This book was recommended to me by someone who knows I like crime fiction. It is about a PI in the near future, when most work is done by robots, ‘sims‘ and myrmidions. Humans spend their lives in the ‘Shine‘ a virtual reality world; she is contracted to solve a murder when the contract is abruptly ended.
The was so much complicated sci-fi stuff as to how the communicated, none of it very clear and at times downright unbelievable. Gave up on it.

Herschelian For the sake of fairness, I must add that my husband just read it and thought it very good! Each to their own. 14mo
5 likes1 stack add1 comment
review
Herschelian
Mehso-so

A young Singaporean Chinese woman who has been educated and lives in the USA, as her marriage has failed she goes back to Singapore where she becomes involved in the management of the family‘s Soy Sauce business. There is some interesting stuff in the book about how soy sauce is made, and about the different expectations of the older and younger generations, but she is so self absorbed and selfish I couldn‘t stand her. Nearly DNF.

review
Herschelian
Death Notice | Zhou Haohui
Pickpick

Because I live in Beijing I read a lot of Chinese fiction (in translation). Death Notice by Zhou Haohui is a cracking read, specially if you enjoy crime fiction. A police procedural where an elite squad is trying to track down a serial killer in the city of Chengdu. I was hooked from the 1st page. The author is very popular here in China. Looking forward to more of his books being translated. Highly recommended!

Weaponxgirl This sounds great! 1y
3 likes1 stack add1 comment
review
Herschelian
A Paris Apartment | Michelle Gable
Mehso-so

This book was chosen by my book group. The concept was good and there were some fascinating facts about Victor Hugo‘s family, the artist Boldini and the life of a demimondaine in Paris of the late 1800s, but the link with the modern story seemed clumsy and over long . Finished it but wasn‘t really engaged.

review
Herschelian
Seductions of Rice: A Cookbook | Naomi Duguid, Jeffrey Alford
Pickpick

If you ever eat rice, and who doesn‘t, then this is a book you should read. Wonderfully researched, containing a wealth of information about the grain which is the major food staple for more than half of the world‘s people. Did you know that rice is grown on every continent but Antarctica? And there are 100s of varieties. Lots of great recipes from around the world. 10*

4 likes1 stack add
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Herschelian
The Queen's Gambit | Walter Tevis
Pickpick

The Queen‘s Gambit is a classic opening move when playing chess, and the perfect title for this book which is about Beth who is orphaned aged 8 and placed in a children‘s home. There she learns to play chess, and it becomes her obsession. It becomes apparent she is a prodigy, and the reader follows how she advances in the arcane world of competitive chess whilst growing up.
Whether you play chess or not, this is a great read. Highly recommend it.

blurb
Herschelian
Untitled | Unknown

Newish to Litsy and haven‘t figured out how to add pictures to posts or reviews - can one of you clever Littens guide me? Thanks!

Herschelian Thanks!!! 2y
LiterRohde When posting, you should see an add image button. (edited) 2y
See All 7 Comments
LiterRohde Also, when posting comments or posts, if you want to make sure someone specific is notified of your comment or post, put their handle somewhere in the post or comment. You do not have to do this if someone is the owner of the post you are commenting on. For example, I do not have to use your handle when commenting here because it is your post. You need to use my handle, @LiterRohde, in order to make sure I know you replied. Whew. Did I make sense? (edited) 2y
Libby1 I was going to put you in touch with @RaimeyGallant ! She is the Queen of the Litsy Welcome Wagon! Glad you‘re here and hope you‘re enjoying Litsy. ❤️📚❤️ 2y
RaimeyGallant There are Litsy tips linked in my bio and Litsy how-to videos linked in @chelleo's. :) Hope this helps! (edited) 2y
5 likes7 comments
review
Herschelian
Modern Lovers | Emma Straub
Mehso-so

I had to push myself to finish the book. There was nothing inherently bad about it, I just disliked all the major characters for one reason or another. Such shallow people. Angry with myself for not having applied the 100 page rule. Others may see it differently.

Ruthiella I wasn‘t a huge fan of her book The Vacationers so I steered clear of this one because it seemed more of the same.🤔 2y
4 likes1 comment
review
Herschelian
Carpet Weaver of Isfahan | Shmuel Peretz
Pickpick

A thriller that starts very quietly, but slowly builds up pace as you become more and more engrossed in this fascinating tale which involves Persian carpets, PTSD, and duplicity. The action moves from Israel to Canada and then deep into Iran, a country that is hostile to most aspects of Western life. Dangers lie waiting in every direction, can love and cunning save the situation.......A great read, highly recommended.

review
Herschelian
The Wife: A Novel | Meg Wolitzer
Pickpick

I read this book right to the end despite the fact I disliked both protagonists. Joan was a student with a gift for writing at an all girl college in the USA. She and her married Professor embarked on an affair which ended in marriage and children. Over the years her husbands fame as an author grows.culminating with him winning a prestigious writing prize. I had worked out the true situation early in the book. He dies, she keeps their secret
.

4 likes1 stack add
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Herschelian
Butter: A Rich History | Elaine Khosrova
Pickpick

Having read this, I will never take butter for granted ever again. Butter, as a substance and as a food is a triumph of human ingenuity: for some years during the 70s and 80s butter was demonised as being bad for us - it never was! But as with all delicious foodstuffs it must be consumed in moderation. This book gives a comprehensive history of how butter came to be, and the role it has played in many societies. Lots of recipes included.

review
Herschelian
Pickpick

Baijiu is THE traditional alcohol of China; as far as I know, this the first English language guide to the many varieties of Baijiu available in China. Page by page distillery profiles; cocktail recipes as well as much about the etiquette and culture pertaining to this national drink. I bought this book to learn more about it, but have to admit that I can‘t stand the stuff; give me a gin & tonic any day!

review
Herschelian
Pickpick

I am fan of Mahdur Jaffrey as an actress, and an even bigger fan of her as a food writer; I have all her cookbooks, and have watched her cooking on TV; so I was delighted to read this memoir of her childhood,growing up in a large upper class Indian family in Delhi before WW2. You can really get a feeling for the place, the time and the atmosphere as she describes her growing love for food and cooking. Bonus is lots of excellent recipes.

review
Herschelian
Pickpick

The subtitle ‘A History of How We Cook and Eat‘ sums up this fascinating book. I love books about commodities and about the background histories of things we use, eat and wear. Bee Wilson has written a really enjoyable story, a pleasure to read.

review
Herschelian
Sunburn | Laura Lippman
Pickpick

At first I was not very taken with the book, but the various characters link and interlink, all with secrets to hide. Trying to work out who is telling even partial truths becomes more and more difficult. At the heart of the book is a love story between a PI and the woman he is investigating who has a complex past. An enjoyable and unpredictable read.

review
Herschelian
Pickpick

I found this a sad depressing read. A highly educated young Indian woman marries Marxist University Professor, instead of the marriage of love she expects he immediately starts abusing her mentally and physically, cutting her off from the world, raping and beating her. She endures it for 4 months before finding the inner strength to leave him. Based on the authors own experience of the brutality women still suffer in modern India.

review
Herschelian
Killing Karoline | Sara-Jayne King
post image
Pickpick

One of the 17 books I brought back from SA last month. Karol Inez was the baby born of an affair between her married white mother and black father in SA when sex between the races was illegal. At 6 weeks old her mum took her Britain and she was immediately adopted by a white family. Her mother returned to SA and told everyone she had died. Sara Jane as she was now called grew up and wanted to know her identity, it took her some time to find it.

Herschelian I hate predictive text! It should have read Karolina (edited) 2y
LiterRohde You can always go back and edit. I really like that about Litsy. 2y
5 likes2 comments
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Herschelian
Midnight Blue | Simone van der Vlugt
Pickpick

Book is translated from Dutch; a good if rather light plot; never the less absolutely fascinating about the development of ‘Delft Blue‘ China in the mid-1600s which swept Europe before the secret of making porcelain was discovered. Also fascinating about how people reacted to the dangers of the plague in those days. Very interesting to read. An easy book which most readers will enjoy.

review
Herschelian
The Wax Fruit Trilogy | Guy McCrone
Pickpick

Fantastic family saga as they rise from obscurity to great wealth, mirroring the growth of Glasgow from a quiet city in Scotland to its becoming one of the great powerhouses of British Empire. Highly recommended.

RaimeyGallant Interesting! 2y
Louise Welcome to Litsy, Jo! 💕 2y
6 likes3 comments
review
Herschelian
Pleasing Mr. Pepys | Deborah Swift
Pickpick

Really good historical novel featuring Deb, serving maid in the household of Samuel Pepys the reknowned diarist. Lots of action as England is still adjusting to realities of life post civil war. Spies are everywhere, and Deb is caught up in it all whilst trying to fend off the amorous advances of her employer (who is the Harvey Weinstein of those days!). Terrific depiction of what daily life in Restoration London was like. Highly recommended.

review
Herschelian
Mehso-so

Great plot, but way too long, Despite all the twists and turns I had worked out many of the interlocking mysteries and figured out the likely ending. I struggled to make myself finish it. Translated from the French edition, it needed some serious editing.

review
Herschelian
Pickpick

Apartheid was a political ideology based on twisted and racist logic. Not only was the whole nation scarred by it, but it allowed twisted thinking to become the norm for many individuals. This well written, extremely evocative book shows how apartheid insidiously corrupted families, relationships and even childhood. A must read book to help understand what South Africa was like during that dark time.

review
Herschelian
Pickpick

If you are at all interested in how to communicate in a clear, unambiguous way this book is one you should read. Witty and informative, Harold Evans, one of the great British journalists of modern times explains how clarity in writing makes such an important difference as to how a reader understands the news. Great book.

2 likes2 stack adds
review
Herschelian
Pickpick

This is a marvellous book, crammed full of fascinating facts about every spice you‘ve ever heard of, and many you haven‘t. I have spent several hours dipping in and out of it amazed at some of the history behind spices that seem relatively commonplace today.
It is however NOT a cookbook, but I think most people who love cooking would enjoy it.

review
Herschelian
Pickpick

Absolutely brilliant cook book featuring ‘side‘ dishes. Some so delicious you don‘t really want a ‘main‘ dish. Lots of excellent advice as to what goes with/complements what, how long it takes to prepare/cook, and whether it uses hob or oven. How did I live without this book. PS his website is also excellent.

DebinHawaii Welcome to Litsy!! 🎉📚👍Hope you are enjoying it here! 2y
2 likes1 comment