Tevye The Dairyman and Motl The Cantor’s Son by Sholem Aleichem

Tevye The DairymanTevye the Dairyman: “In honor of my dear, beloved friend Reb Sholem Aleichem, may God grant you health and prosperity together with your wife and children, and may you have great fulfillment whatever you do and wherever you go.  Amen. Selah!”

Actually, I read this book for Cirtnecce’s Classic Club Spin, choosing to join her to check off a book on my own Classics Club list.  I was expecting a light, enjoyable read and Aleichem lived up to my expectations, with a lively and appealing look in at a Jewish-Russian family and their lives and struggles told through the narration of Tevye, the father.  Tevye is an honest and pious Dairyman who strives to make a living for himself, his wife, Golde and his seven beautiful daughters.  But children who are not good children (in Tevye’s eyes), can be challenging at the least, and a poor dairyman’s life is not always easy.  Tevye will tell his stories and you can’t help but listen.

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Christmas at Thompson Hall by Anthony Trollope

Christmas StoriesChristmas at Thompson Hall

Those of you who have read Anthony Trollope’s novels know that he is a master of the art of character creation.  Each of the people who populate his novels have distinct personalities that bring them alive to the reader and draw them into his world.  With a short story, however, I wondered if Trollope’s fine skills would hold up using a smaller palette.  And so I began to read Christmas at Thompson Hall with a somewhat apprehensive curiosity.

 

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The Mystery of the Blue Train by Agatha Christie

The Mystery of the Blue Train: “It was close on midnight when a man crossed the Place de la Concorde.”

 

Detective: Hercule Poirot

Published: March 1928 (9th published book)

Length: 317 pages

Setting: St. Mary Mead, England; Nice, France

 

 

Coming off the terribly constructed, overdramatized plot of The Big Four, I was very hesitant to continue my chronological Christie reads, but continue I have with The Mystery of The Blue Train.  Fortunately, Christie redeemed herself somewhat in my eyes and I did quite enjoy this mystery.

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July and August ~ of Wild Roses, Ferris Wheels and Delightful Doings …

Wild Roses

Well, I couldn’t find the initial quotes I chose for this month so I came up with two others

I only deepen the wound of the world when I neglect to give thanks for the heavy perfume of wild roses in early July and the song of crickets on summer humid nights and the rivers that run and the stars that rise and the rain that falls and all the good things that a good God gives.Ann Voskamp

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The Big Four by Agatha Christie

The Big Four Agatha ChristieThe Big Four: “I have met people who enjoy a channel crossing; men who can sit calmly in their deck chairs and, on arrival, wait until the boat is moored, then gather their belongings together without fuss and disembark.”

Detective: Hercule Poirot

Published: January 1927

Length: 282 pages

Setting: London, Southampton, Devon, Surrey, Paris, Hatton Chase (fictional), Worcestershire, Belgium, South Tyrol (Italy)

Returning from Argentina after an 18-month absence, Hasting finds his old friend, Detective Hercule Poirot ready to depart for South American himself. He has been summoned by a client, Abe Ryland, who is a powerful man and in urgent need of his services.  But when Poirot finds a dishevelled, emaciated man in his bedroom with no clue as to how he got there, his departure is delayed.  As the man mutters Poirot’s name, while writing the number 4, Hastings speculates on a crime syndicate named The Big Four, whereupon the man reveals the possible players:

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The Phoenix and the Turtle by William Shakespeare

The Phoenix and the Turtle

I drew The Phoenix and the Turtle, a poem by William Shakespeare, for my Deal Me In Challenge, and after reading it, I’m so confused.  Fortunately, I pulled up an article on it which said it is one of the more confusing poems in English literature, so I feel a little better.  But only a little.  Let’s see what I can discover about it ……

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