My Commonplace Book: April 2022

A selection of words and pictures to represent April’s reading:

commonplace book
noun
a book into which notable extracts from other works are copied for personal use.

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Could it be each fate is not ordained, but random? No masterful design, but patched together with mere moments. That we were victims or victors of chance, nothing more?

The Trial of Lotta Rae by Siobhan MacGowan (2022)

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It’s the way of the world, though unfair, and I hope one day women will have more agency to make decisions, especially about issues that affect them. Men control our lives, though I believe this should not be so. We should not be married off at the convenience of our fathers, brothers and uncles.

The Stone Rose by Carol McGrath (2022)

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Replica of the Batavia

The world can think you’re all wrong when one person thinks you’re just right.

The Night Ship by Jess Kidd (2022)

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He did not think: This must come to an end in time. A circle had no beginning or end; it existed. He did not allow thought to enter the hours that he waited for her, laved in memory of her presence. He seldom left the apartment in those days. In the outside world there was time; in time, there was impatience. Better to remain within the dream.”

In a Lonely Place by Dorothy B Hughes (1947)

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“You’ve never been in a scrape yet but what it came about by accident. The thing is, no one else has these accidents.”

The Toll-Gate by Georgette Heyer (1954)

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The Silchester eagle which inspired Rosemary Sutcliff

“We do not understand. And when the time comes that we begin to understand your world, too often we lose the understanding of our own.”

The Eagle of the Ninth by Rosemary Sutcliff (1954)

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We talked of literature, of the novels we had read, of Shakespeare and Milton, and I recognised that books sparked the same joy in him that they did in me, for reading is an expression of fondness for life. It is love of life in the shape of words, not words in the shape of a life.

Winchelsea by Alex Preston (2022)

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An entire wall is covered by three towering bookshelves, packed with volumes. It’s an awe-inspiring library, though another saying of Voltaire’s dances maliciously in my mind: “The more I read, the more I acquire, the more certain I am that I know nothing.”

The Fugitive Colours by Nancy Bilyeau (2022)

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Brunhilde, Queen of Austrasia by Mary Evans

Some historians have viewed these letters as evidence of Brunhild’s fierce maternal instincts; others insist the emotion expressed in them was manufactured for politically expedient ends. It is most likely that both are true. Can a person ever completely divorce her genuine emotions from socially and politically useful ones?

The Dark Queens by Shelley Puhak (2022)

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Lady almoners like Mrs Sinclair had spent their days engaged in a simple, if brutal, sorting of humanity. The indigent and destitute were the business of the Poor Laws and the workhouses. The wealthy had to be sniffed out and sent packing to their own doctors and their own bank accounts. The middling layer, thick and worried, were sent to provident societies, workers’ benefit unions or the right charity for their complaint. ‘The aim, Helen,’ Mrs Sinclair used to say, ‘is to end each month with no ill untreated and no bill unpaid.’

In Place of Fear by Catriona McPherson (2022)

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Favourite books read in April:

In a Lonely Place, The Fugitive Colours, The Eagle of the Ninth, The Trial of Lotta Rae and In Place of Fear. Yes, it’s been a good month – I loved all of these and can’t leave any of them out!

Authors read for the first time in April:

Siobhan MacGowan, Shelley Puhak, Alex Preston, Catriona McPherson

Countries visited in my April reading:

Australia, England, Scotland, US, France

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Reading notes: This month I managed to read my Classics Club Spin book and two books for 1954 Club, as well as continuing to work through the titles on my NetGalley shelf. I don’t have many plans for May, but I will try to take part in Ali’s Daphne du Maurier Reading Week and I’ll probably read the May selection for Read Christie 2022, which is The Murder on the Links.

How was your April? What are you hoping to read in May?

My Commonplace Book: March 2022

A selection of words and pictures to represent March’s reading:

commonplace book
noun
a book into which notable extracts from other works are copied for personal use.

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For as long as she could remember she had been obsessed with the ocean. It was the beating heart of many of the books she read, bringing people together or tearing them apart. The world was just a myriad of people in different places and only the sea could decide whether they would find each other in the end or not…

The Sunken Road by Ciaran McMenamin (2021)

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What use dwelling on it? Nought could be changed of the past, except his opinion of it. It was not only our beginning that made us, but what came after.

Privilege by Guinevere Glasfurd (2022)

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But she’d learned, occasionally to her cost, more often to her benefit, that no matter how well you hid yourself from life, life – pesky business that it was – had a way of tracking you down.

The Dark by Sharon Bolton (2022)

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Engraving by Hendrik Hondius showing three people affected by the dancing plague.

‘Know this: fear is a weak hold. It will not bind. That is what you never understood.’

The Dance Tree by Kiran Millwood Hargrave (2022)

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Long ago Eve had discovered that the small amenities and sensualities of life are more comforting in a crisis than any philosophy. She was fond of saying that there was no tragedy in this world that could not be softened a little by a hot bath, a cup of strong coffee, and a good cigarette, while a couple of cocktails and a well-cooked dinner would mend a broken heart.

Who’s Calling? by Helen McCloy (1942)

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‘You cannot take the measure of a man when things are working well,’ said Wilde, as though it were a truth I ought to know. ‘It’s only when the plan goes badly wrong and everything is broken that you’ll see what he is made of – if he breaks, too, or builds something from the pieces that remain.’

The Vanished Days by Susanna Kearsley (2022)

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My training and my habits of thought are those of a scientist. No scientist is worthy of the name if he is content to build up a hypothesis on simple intuition or guesswork. When he has definite evidence , even if the final proof is lacking, he may venture to put forward a theory, in order that others may be able to check, establish or disprove his contention.

Scarweather by Anthony Rolls (1934)

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Woodland at Hardcastle Crags, West Yorkshire

I cast about for the right words. ‘I suppose I wonder what employment could be more interesting than training a child’s mind.’ Now I had his attention, and went on self-consciously. ‘My principal says that the material on which nurses work is more precious than canvas, more exquisite than marble, and more valuable to the world than both of those things. It’s about the shaping of people into good human beings.’

Mrs England by Stacey Halls (2021)

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How can a day, an hour, a minute change a life so completely? Why can these clocks not be made to run backward and take him to the day before, to the life he had supposed he would have? That, he thinks, would be a worthwhile pursuit for a clockmaker, not simply to mark off time as it passes, but to tame the beast, to make it run this way and that; to make time man’s servant, not man its ever more obedient slave.

The Second Sight of Zachary Cloudesley by Sean Lusk (2022)

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“No man owns his own life,” he said. “Part of you is always in someone else’s hands.”

Go Tell the Bees That I am Gone by Diana Gabaldon (2021)

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“I may,” said Poirot in a completely unconvinced tone, “be wrong.”

Morton smiled. “But that doesn’t often happen to you?”

“No. Though I will admit – yes, I am forced to admit – that it has happened to me.”

“I must say I’m glad to hear it! To be always right must be sometimes monotonous.”

“I do not find it so,” Poirot assured him.

After the Funeral by Agatha Christie (1953)

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Favourite books read in March:

The Dark, After the Funeral and Mrs England

Places visited in my March reading:

England, France, USA, Ireland, Turkey, Scotland

Authors read for the first time in March:

Ciaran McMenamin, Anthony Rolls, Sean Lusk

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Reading notes: I enjoyed my March reading and was pleased that I found time to read something for both Reading Ireland Month (The Sunken Road) and Reading Wales Month (Scarweather), as well as returning to the Read Christie 2022 challenge with a book that I loved, After the Funeral. I haven’t managed to review everything I’ve read, but some of those books haven’t been published yet and I’ll be posting my reviews nearer to the publication dates.

In April, I’m looking forward to 1954 Club and have two or three possibilities lined up for that – and of course, I still need to read my book for the recent Classics Club Spin, In a Lonely Place.

How was your March? Do you have any reading plans for April?

My Commonplace Book: February 2022

A selection of words and pictures to represent February’s reading:

commonplace book
noun
a book into which notable extracts from other works are copied for personal use.

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There are few people so obstinate as the man who half thinks he is wrong.

Somebody at the Door by Raymond Postgate (1943)

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Yet it seems to me that most people, in most situations where the best means to proceed is unclear, will favour a careful, restrained approach over wild impulsive action based on an assumption that all of one’s darkest suspicions are the unvarnished truth. How often does a person shrug off the most bizarre events as mere coincidence, or happenstance, or good or ill fortune, without giving any serious consideration to a deeper meaning, or a deliberate design, or sinister intent? So it was for me.

The House of Footsteps by Mathew West (2022)

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Portrait of Edwin Booth by John Singer Sargent, 1890

Is that what real acting is, that moment you stop pretending? And if so, can a person ever be sure, even offstage, even in the parlour of his own house, that he isn’t simply acting a part? All the world’s a stage etc, etc. You don’t have to be the son of a Shakespearean actor to have such thoughts. Everyone has them.

Booth by Karen Joy Fowler (2022)

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I squeezed my eyes shut before I could stop myself. I have always been free, I reminded myself. I have always been free. I knew now that slavery was nothing to be ashamed of, that being born free meant I was lucky, not special, but horror was still my gut reaction.

Theatre of Marvels by Lianne Dillsworth (2022)

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Camellia reticulata

Everything was believed except the truth.

The Lady of the Camellias by Alexandre Dumas, fils (1848)

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‘There will never be the neat ending you crave, Betty; we cannot go back to how things were, only forward to how things could be. Else why have we suffered so much?’

The Rebel Daughter by Miranda Malins (2022)

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We fret and sweat over the choices that seem certain to tip the balance of our fortunes, but in truth it’s not the crossroads of our lives that determine their lengths. It is the unseen thorn which poisons our finger, the forgotten key we turn back for, the single careless step.

Traitor in the Ice by KJ Maitland (2022)

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“A dream, your father states, is like a poem. It invents and reinvents its own language. It’s lyrical, ambiguous. And most importantly, it never quite gets to the point.”

Death and the Conjuror by Tom Mead (2022)

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Electra and Orestes, from an 1897 Stories from the Greek Tragedians, by Alfred Church

Since my return from Aulis, I had thought the world empty of surprise. To be surprised, you had to have a belief that the world would always follow its rhythms and patterns as it had always done.

Elektra by Jennifer Saint (2022)

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It was one thing to challenge a legend. It was quite another to challenge reality.

The Reindeer Hunters by Lars Mytting (2022)

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Favourite books read in February:

Booth and Death and the Conjuror

Authors read for the first time in February:

Mathew West, Karen Joy Fowler, Lianne Dillsworth, Alexandre Dumas fils, Tom Mead

Places visited in my February reading:

England, USA, Ireland, France, Greece, Norway

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Reading notes: I’ve continued working through the books on my NetGalley shelf and am up to date with the ones being published in March and April now (reviews to follow nearer publication dates). I also managed to fit in a book for the Classics Club Dare and a book from the British Library Crime Classics series, although I decided not to take part in the Read Christie challenge this month as the February book was Death on the Nile, which I’ve already read.

In March, I’m hoping to take part in Reading Ireland Month at 746 Books and Reading Wales Month at Book Jotter, read at least one or two books from the Walter Scott Prize longlist ahead of the shortlist announcement in April, and possibly join in with the next Read Christie book, which is After the Funeral.

How was your February? Do you have any reading plans for March?

My Commonplace Book: January 2022

A selection of words and pictures to represent January’s reading:

commonplace book
noun
a book into which notable extracts from other works are copied for personal use.

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But I could not look back at a road untravelled. However blind I had been, I had to set my sights on the path ahead, and go now where it led.

The Leviathan by Rosie Andrews (2022)

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One always thinks one would like never to struggle again. Only lately have I come to see how essential it is.

The Key in the Lock by Beth Underdown (2022)

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He always instructs Cecco and Tommaso to tell stories with their pictures but to leave something as a mystery, something hidden. It is more enticing, more delightful, when a secret is concealed. The viewer must bring part of themselves to the painting.

I, Mona Lisa by Natasha Solomons (2022)

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The people in your head are safe; he knows that now, he understands. It doesn’t matter how hard it is to keep them there; it’s just a thing that must be done. You lock a door on them; no-one can hurt them. And nor can they hurt you.

The Silver Wolf by JC Harvey (2022)

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Steve, there’s no such thing as TIME. There’s only history, legend, memory and nostalgia. Time is a CONCEPT, not a dimension. You can’t stop it, you can’t travel through it, you can’t turn it back. It’s NOW. Here and now.

The Twyford Code by Janice Hallett (2022)

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The future cannot blame the present, just as the present cannot blame the past. The hope is always here, always alive, but only your fierce caring can fan it into a fire to warm the world.

Silver on the Tree by Susan Cooper (1977)

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Erasmus visiting the children of Henry VII accompanied by Joan Vaux

‘You’ve stayed out very late, Joan’ he complained. ‘I presume you’ve been with those damned birds.’

Chilled by the sharp wind blowing off the river I hurried to warm myself at the fire and it was Lizzie who responded. ‘The ravens seem very restless, Father. Mother Joan says something untoward has disturbed them.’

‘Oh?’ My husband raised a sceptical eyebrow. ‘Is ravenish the latest of your many languages, Joan?’

The Queen’s Lady by Joanna Hickson (2022)

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‘What a terrible mess we can make of our lives. There should be angel police to stop us at these dangerous moments, but there don’t seem to be. So all we’re left with, my precious son, is whether we can forgive, be forgiven, and keep trying our best.’

A Terrible Kindness by Jo Browning Wroe (2022)

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Silence is the only real thing we can lay hold of in this world of passing dreams. Time is a shadow that will vanish with the twilight of humanity; but Silence is a part of the eternal. All things that are true and lasting have been taught to men’s hearts by Silence.

Diary of a Pilgrimage by Jerome K. Jerome (1891)

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Walking is a great sedative and the peace and solidity of an old city at night tends to make personal affairs, however terrible, seem small beside such an ancient tranquillity.

Black Plumes by Margery Allingham (1940)

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Jacques de Vaucanson’s automata – The Flute Player, The Tambourine Player, and Digesting Duck

It was safer that way – to shut yourself off from other humans in the hope that they couldn’t hurt you. But what kind of life would that be? As lonely and cold as a convent cell, or as one of her father’s metal creatures.

The Clockwork Girl by Anna Mazzola (2022)

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‘I’m not making this up,’ I said.

‘I know you’re not. But that doesn’t mean that you really saw what you think you saw. I mean, the Northern Lights. They’re not really a big curtain flapping about in the sky, they just look like that. Shadows. Electricity. You agree with that, don’t you? Things aren’t always visible, things aren’t always what they seem.’

Shadow Girls by Carol Birch (2022)

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‘Ivan Matveich, my dear – so you’re alive!’ stammered Elena Ivanovna.

‘Alive and well,’ said Ivan Matveich, ‘and by the grace of the Almighty, swallowed without the least injury. My only anxiety is what view my superiors will take of this episode – for having obtained a permit for travel abroad, I have ended up in a crocodile, which was far from clever.’

A Bad Business by Fyodor Dostoevsky (2021)
(Quote from The Crocodile – 1865)

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“Why do these things always happen to you?” she demanded plaintively. “Why does no one gag me and bind me hand and foot?”

“You wouldn’t like it if they did,” I assured her. “To tell you the truth, I’m not nearly so keen on having adventures myself as I was. A little of that sort of thing goes a long way.”

The Man in the Brown Suit by Agatha Christie (1924)

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Favourite books read in January:

Silver on the Tree, The Clockwork Girl, The Man in the Brown Suit and The Twyford Code

Authors read for the first time in January:

Rosie Andrews, JC Harvey, Janice Hallett, Jo Browning Wroe

Places visited in my January reading:

England, France, Germany, Wales, Italy, Russia, South Africa

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Reading notes: This has been a great start to the year for me, with fourteen books read including four that I particularly enjoyed. I also wanted to read more books this year set in countries other than my own, so I’m off to a good start with that too, having visited seven different countries in my January reading.

I had (and still have) a lot of books on my NetGalley shelf with upcoming publication dates, so I decided to make an effort to get ahead with those this month. I’m now nearly up to date with most of the books due in February or March and will be posting my reviews nearer to publication.

How was your January reading?

My Commonplace Book: December 2021

For the last time this year…

A selection of words and pictures to represent December’s reading:

commonplace book
noun
a book into which notable extracts from other works are copied for personal use.

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One thousand years. Two thousand. In time. Maybe it was the way to do things, not to worry about the now, to wait for time to take care of things. What if the measure of time was one thousand, two thousand years? In time everything was all right.

Ride the Pink Horse by Dorothy B. Hughes (1946)

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Robert Dudley, Earl of Leicester, c. 1564

Robert’s father had said that life was like storming a castle with many rooms. To be successful you needed not guns, but the right keys. If you could open the doors, you could go in, and up, up, up, until the battlements were scaled.

None But Elizabeth by Rhoda Edwards (1982)

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She seemed ringed with air in which there was no colour, only a sense of colour; of the white walls and the green trees and grass, the dots of nuns wearing their black winter habits and a blue whiteness that was the air itself. She felt her own heart beating, a suffocation in her head and she thought suddenly that if she were one of the eagles flying in the gulf, she would feel like this, seeing on tilted wings the colours of earth and snows and sky. However she soared and struggled, the gulf pressed down on her and she gained not an inch on the mountain.

Black Narcissus by Rumer Godden (1939)

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I stitched my love into this quilt, sewn it neatly, proud and true.
Though you have gone, I must live on, and this will hold me close to you.

The Forgotten Seamstress by Liz Trenow (2013)

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Silhouette of Cassandra Austen (1773-1845), sister of Jane Austen

And she decided that other families must be one of life’s most unfathomable mysteries. It was no use sitting as an outsider and even trying to fathom them. One could have no idea of what it must be like to be there, on the inside. She would share that thought later in her letter to Jane.

Miss Austen by Gill Hornby (2020)

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It was so hard to get an idea of people you had never seen. You had to rely on other people’s judgment, and Emily had never yet acknowledged that any other person’s judgment was superior to her own. Other people’s impressions were no good to you. They might be just as true as yours but you couldn’t act on them. You couldn’t, as it were, use another person’s angle of attack.

The Sittaford Mystery by Agatha Christie (1931)

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Favourite books read in December:

Ride the Pink Horse and The Sittaford Mystery

Authors read for the first time in December:

Rumer Godden, Liz Trenow, Gill Hornby

Places visited in my December reading:

New Mexico, India, England

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Happy New Year!

My Commonplace Book: November 2021

A selection of words and pictures to represent November’s reading:

commonplace book
noun
a book into which notable extracts from other works are copied for personal use.

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He wanted to know in order to get closer to the group, to become part of it. Not that the group meant anything! It was merely an order of things, a life within life, almost a town within the town, a certain way of thinking and feeling, a tiny handful of humans who, as some planets do in the sky, followed their own mysterious orbit heedless of the great universal order.

The Strangers in the House by Georges Simenon (1940)

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Liam would say no good ever came of blame. The national curse, he called it. Always the pointing finger, the excuse. He’d rather find solutions.

Fallen by Lia Mills (2014)

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The only known contemporary portrait of Perkin Warbeck, pretender to the English throne

“Whatever his birth,” shrugged the cardinal, “he has his dreams. And dreams, your grace, make dangerous enemies. Swords cannot slay them nor torture exorcise them.”

A Princely Knave by Philip Lindsay (1956)

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And he thought to himself: What a start! Things always turn out differently from what you expect. What you think is going to be hard is often easy, and something you don’t even think about turns out to be difficult.

Nightmare in Berlin by Hans Fallada (1947)

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One of the things I have come to know most surely in my work is that the belief system acquired in childhood is never fully escaped; it may submerge itself for a while, but it always returns in times of need to lay claim to the soul it shaped.

The Secret Keeper by Kate Morton (2012)

~

“The Signing of Peace in the Hall of Mirrors” by William Orpen

“Self-determination isn’t just some abstract political notion, intended for the masses. Each of us must decide whom she will be, what we want for ourselves.”

The Ambassador’s Daughter by Pam Jenoff (2013)

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I didn’t believe myself to be so cowardly, but it was impossible to reason with these people, and it could never have ended well. Nothing is more frightening in this world than ignorance and stupidity.

The Village of Eight Graves by Seishi Yokomizo (1949)

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Sakura petals fall before they’ve withered, like the samurai who were destined to die young. Why do we neglect to revel in life when it can end at any moment? We are so often blessed, but fail to see it. The sakura remind us to pay attention.

I am the Mask Maker by Rhiannon Lewis (2021)

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Penelope by Franklin Simmons (1896), marble

He told me once that everyone had a hidden door, which was the way into the heart, and that it was a point of honour with him to be able to find the handles to those doors. For the heart was both key and lock, and he who could master the hearts of men and learn their secrets was well on the way to mastering the Fates and controlling the thread of his own destiny.

The Penelopiad by Margaret Atwood (2005)

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Something peculiar happens when you set out to recount the past…It is as though the memory is a series of interconnecting rooms, each leading to the next, less-visited one, if only you’ll try the door.

The Girl in the Photograph by Kate Riordan (2015)

~

“I hope,” he said, “that you are not feeling the worse for the shock. To be at close quarters with what is undoubtedly murder must be a great strain on anyone who has not come in contact with such a thing before.”

Modesty forbade Miss Marple to reply that she was, by now, quite at home with murder. She merely said that life in St. Mary Mead was not quite so sheltered as outside people believed.

They Do It with Mirrors by Agatha Christie (1952)

~

Favourite books read in November:

The Secret Keeper and I am the Mask Maker

Authors read for the first time in November:

Lia Mills, Pam Jenoff, Kate Riordan

Places visited in my November reading:

France, Ireland, England, Germany, Australia, Japan, Italy, Wales, Ancient Greece

My Commonplace Book: October 2021 – and rounding up R.I.P. XVI

A selection of words and pictures to represent October’s reading:

commonplace book
noun
a book into which notable extracts from other works are copied for personal use.

~

Ah, happiness courts the light so we deem the world is gay. But misery hides aloof so we deem that misery there is none.

I Would Prefer Not To by Herman Melville (2021)

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‘Oh, with the link of kindness between master and man quite gone, I begin to see that Hardy is right after all. The vote is all that can give us a voice among these men of wealth and power. They treat the poor like mere machines, left to rust when no longer of use. What kind of life is that? Independence, Laurence, and a dignified freedom. That is what all men seek.’

Black Drop by Leonora Nattrass (2021)

~

Flag of the Isle of Man

It was a warm dusk and people were strolling along the vast promenade enjoying it. The holiday season had started and the town was full of visitors. It all looked very pleasant. Horse-trams clopping along the asphalt, happy crowds milling about, singing popular hits, the sea in front, blue, placid, with the tide out, and behind, the gentle hills of Man, sweeping smoothly down to the waterfront.

Death of a Tin God by George Bellairs (1961)

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‘You refused to align yourself with Sir John and the Royalist cause, and you treat the rural poor for free. Milady hopes that means you’re on the side of Parliament and the people.’

Jayne gave a surprised laugh. ‘Then I’ll disappoint her as badly as I disappointed her brother. I support men and women who seek an end to division, not those who look to make it worse.’

The Swift and the Harrier by Minette Walters (2021)

~

Have less to do with the demands of the world. This world is but a thoroughfare and full of woe, and when we depart from this place, we take nothing with us but our deeds, good or ill, that will be remembered after us. No man knows how soon God will call him and therefore it is good for every creature to be ready.

The Royal Game by Anne O’Brien (2021)

~

It’s a curious moment, when a problem that has troubled you so much suddenly starts to make sense.

A Fatal Crossing by Tom Hindle (2022)

~

Traditional nutcrackers

When she danced, she flew on gossamer wings that lifted her away from the dragging weight of her family’s expectations. Enticed her with a glimpse of an alternate path to the one she was obligated to tread. When she danced, she had a voice. And nothing was more fearsome than a silent future.

Midnight in Everwood by MA Kuzniar (2021)

~

“It often seems to me that’s all detective work is, wiping out your false starts and beginning again.”

“Yes, it is very true, that. And it is just what some people will not do. They conceive a certain theory, and everything has to fit into that theory. If one little fact will not fit it, they throw it aside. But it is always the facts that will not fit in that are significant.”

Death on the Nile by Agatha Christie (1937)

~

Dreams, Lily decided, played a part in almost everything. They could turn the past into the future. They could send you forth on a path you had once thought of but never dared to take – until now, in the tangled mathematics of your brain, dreams can sometimes lay before you equations which are perfect and correct.

Lily by Rose Tremain (2021)

~

Happiness often seems a thing of the past, understood only when it is gone.

Castle Barebane by Joan Aiken (1976)

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Favourite books read in October:

Castle Barebane and A Fatal Crossing

Authors read for the first time in October:

Leonora Nattrass, Joan Aiken, Herman Melville, MA Kuzniar, Tom Hindle

Places visited in my October reading:

England, France, Isle of Man, USA, Scotland, Egypt, the Atlantic Ocean

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Have you read any of these books? What are you planning to read in November?

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The end of October also means the end of this year’s R.I.P. XVI event, which involved reading dark and atmospheric books between 1st September and 31st October. Here’s what I managed to read:

1. Carmilla by Sheridan Le Fanu
2. The Mummy Case by Elizabeth Peters
3. Crooked House by Agatha Christie
4. The Grey King by Susan Cooper
5. Death of a Tin God by George Bellairs
6. Castle Barebane by Joan Aiken
7. Black Drop by Leonora Nattrass
8. Death on the Nile by Agatha Christie

I’m happy with my R.I.P. reading this year, although I didn’t have time for all of the books on my original list. Some will now have to be winter reads instead of autumn ones!

Did you take part in R.I.P. XVI? How did you do?