Kuhn’s first book, The Semester of our Discontent, is a cozy set in the English department of a college. Lila MacLean has just been hired and quickly stumbles on a murder. I loved the college setting and appreciated the inside view on departmental politics.
In the Bleak Midwinter. Spencer-Fleming has eight books going in this series. I am always thrilled to come onto a well-established series so I can just keep reading and reading. I liked the clash of worlds between her two main characters, Reverend Clare Fergusson, the new Rector of St Alban’s parish, and Russ Van Alstyne, the Chief of Police. This one kept me turning the pages.
Then I went and read Book 8. Whoops. Thanks to the vagaries of the library’s hold system (and my impatience), I missed five (or more?) years between In the Bleak Midwinter and Through the Evil Days.) This one had me spooked, and I lost a night’s sleep over Clare and Russ.
Don’t ask me why I read book 5 next. Once I realized I had skipped again, it was too late. Obviously, I like Spencer Fleming’s characters, plots and pacing and will keep reading the whole series… just maybe not in the right order. But the characters do grow, and their lives change significantly, so I would recommend learning from my mistake and reading them in the right order.
I picked up Wyatt North’s Saint Therese of Lisieux: A Model for Our Times as a kindle deal a few weeks back. It reads a little bit like a high school research paper, but the subject is such an interesting woman I kept going. I found the chapters on her family especially interesting.
Annie Dillard’s An American Childhood may be my favorite book of all time. Every time I read it, I plumb new depths. This time I sifted through her observations (that I had not paid any attention the first 10 times I read the book) on gender roles for teenagers in 1950. But it’s Dillard’s language that keeps me coming back, time after time. Highly recommended.