Quo Vadis: “It was close to noon before Petronius came awake, feeling as drained and listless and detached as always.”
Quo Vadis was part of the read-along hosted by Nick at One Catholic Life and, thanks to him, I’ve finally finished this book that I’ve long been meaning to read. It was truly fascinating to be completely immersed in the Roman Empire under Nero, and Sienkiewicz did an outstanding job of describing it’s grandeur and excesses, it’s beauty and cruelty, in a way that remains with the reader long after he is finished the novel. Perhaps it’s not surprising that Quo Vadis helped Sienkiewicz win the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1905.
The Classics Club Spin #27 winning number is:
Number VI !
Which means that I’ll be reading ….
And the lucky Spin number is:
Tevye 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.
My top ten winter books. Ah, well, how could I resist this topic? How could I pass up a chance to list all the books I want to read before the end of December and others as well? I can’t. So here I go ….
Christmas 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.
I was reading some of Bookstooge’s crazy enlightening posts today and one of his questions to me in the comment section made me realize that I haven’t posted here for ages. So I decided it was time to post something, even though I have no reviews to offer. So here goes …
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.
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
The 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: