Seasons

As the New Year of 2018 approached, I picked up an old used book, "A Week in Winter by Maeve Binchy" and I thought wouldn't it be fun to read a book for each season. I promptly went out and found books for spring, summer, and autumn, a particular talent of mine is finding and buying books.

That thought became a habit and I found myself doing category arcs of books with titles themed around birds, body parts, weather conditions...and by that time I was hooked on reading this way...and the seeds for this website were sown.

Here in 2022 I find myself drawn to taking another round of the Seasons...hoping to make this an annual category.

A Week In Winter by Maeve Binchy

 I picked up this book because I love Maeve Binchy and hadn’t read any of her books in about 20 years. I have a thing for English writers--I have a thing for all things English. But here's the weird thing-- while Im reading a book like this I fall in love with the idea of scrubbed pine tables and carbolic acid cleaners, gardening in the rain, puttering around in old cars and old clothes the older the better. Cleaning and scrubbing and order. A hard core work ethic.

Wintering by Katherine May

2022

A book I wanted to like way more than I actually did, because I myself identify totally with the concept of wintering and in these past few years I think a lot of others feel the same. If I am judging this correctly...this book was written while the author was have a dark moment of the soul and I think it shows in the choppiness of the writing. She starts down many pathways and then diverts away never quite giving resolution or a finish to any of the storylines she starts...

Wolf Winter by Cecilia Ekbäck

The cold depths of Sweden in 1717, blizzards, murders, evil priests, wolves, and a meddling newcomer make for a frigid read best done curled up in a blanket with a cup of something warm by your side. No spoilers but I am glad that the ending is as gray as the subject matter.

The Winter Soldier by Daniel Mason

This novel follows a young Viennese medical student to the Eastern front during the winter of WWI in 1914. Even though he has minimal experience (ok basically none) there is already a severe shortage of trained medical personnel. He becomes the single doctor in a freezing, partially destroyed and deserted church that is serving as a field hospital. One nurse and a few orderlies. 

This book is one of the best books that I have read this year- a fantastic depiction of the ravages andthe travesties that was WWI. I will put this on my forever shelf and no doubt read it again. First though I am sharing it with friends. I will definitely read more from this author.

Spring's Promises by A. E. Howe

Larry Macklin #13

I got used to reading about Larry and the gang once a month for the last year. I miss him now that the series continues as a seasonal event--so only four outings this year. Then we move on to the holidays. I really like this series and now Larry and Cara finally get married. Hope they enjoy their honeymoon--and that Larry doesn't get roped into a case.

Spring House by Mary Ellen Taylor

A very good read but I probably would have enjoyed it more if I had read the prior book (Winter Cottage) but that being said it was easy enough to read as a stand alone. It had a lot that I love, a multi generational story that sprang back and forth in time, house restoration, and the epistolatory style (this time in the form of a stash of old hidden letters). If I remember next winter--Winter Cottage here I come.

Spring Fever by Mary Kay Andrews

2022

Another romance that I struggled reading but only because I am a woman who lives and loves a solo life--mistress of my own domain--for the most part anyway. It just distresses me to see women protrayed as "needing a man" to complete them and then always falling for the ''bad boy". All that aside I did enjoy reading this book...it was an interesting look into the South.

Cicada Spring by Christian Galacar

The only book not set in England. I had trouble locating a book with Spring in the title. It involved sexual abuse, minors, and people taking justice into their own hands. It was an okay read if a little thin and far fetched.

The End of Summer by Rosamunde Pilcher

2022

I am steadily making my way through my stack of aging and crumbly paperback books. A couple of decades ago I really loved this author but I just don't connect with her stories the way I once did which makes me sad.

A Fine Summer's Day by Charles Todd

The English theme continues. This book is part of a very popular detective series that follows the casework of Ian Rutledge. I hate reading out of order and this book was deep into the series. I decided to read it anyway as luck would have it the book was out of sequence itself. The other novels follow Ian after he came back shell-shocked and haunted from the first World War, this one however, imagines his life as an inspector before the war. I really liked it and have gone back and started the series at the beginning.

 

Summer Island by Kristin Hannah

2023 has turned out to be a lot. In times of stress I read a lot BUT I don't retain a lot...it has been that kind of a year to put it mildly.

I'm guessing that Ms. Hannah has grown in to her skills as a writer. I have read a few of her more recent books and really enjoyed them. This book was written in 2001. Maybe it was cutting edge when first written but to my eyes the story telling went down an overly used pathway. I will stick to this author's more recent books.

Falling by Elizabeth Jane Howard

2023 has turned out to be a lot. In times of stress I read a lot BUT I don't retain a lot...it has been that kind of a year to put it mildly.

Back in the day I had read Ms. Howard's Cazalet Chronicles set in England during WWII--a series I really enjoyed. I decided to delve back into her offerings. This was a very good book and she is a very good writer. I especially admired the way she wrote the character of Henry Kent, as she cleverly got me to become sympathetic to Henry in spite of knowing he was up to no good. Looking forward to going back and reading more from this author.

A Fall Of Marigolds by Susan Meissner

Loved this book. A book that switches back and forth in time. September 1911 and September 2011. Ellis Island, The Triangle Shirtwaist Fire, and the collapse fo the World Trade Center towers. A book that has all the elements that make for well spent reading time.

Quartet in Autumn by Barbara Pym

A very English writer, not as concerned with cleanliness, this book was about the lives of four co-workers nearing retirement, it was a little dark, but I liked it. I would like to read more of her books.

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Hi! I'm Debbie. Here at Categorically Well-Read I give an extra layer to the reading life. Learn more about me, check out my current category of books, submit your own suggestion, or check out my latest post.