The Good Soldier by Ford Madox Ford

The Good Soldier Ford Madox Ford“This is the saddest story I have ever heard.”

It has been a long, long time since a book has made me angry, yet A Good Soldier has managed to disturb my normally cheerful and placid demeanour.  It was part of a buddy read yet most of the participants dropped out after reading the beginning of the book.  Sadly, I persevered and I don’t think I’m the better for it.

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The Art of Loving ~ Is Love An Art?

The Sermon of Love

The Sermon of Love Jean Honore Fragonard
~ source Wikiart

And thus we begin our read-along of The Art of Loving, beginning with the first chapter: Is Love An Art?  In his Preface, Fromm cautions us not to expect easy instruction in the art of loving and, in fact, acquiring this art is a rare accomplishment because of our lack of qualities necessary to love.  However that does not mean we mustn’t try.

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The Art of Loving and On Friendship Read-Along

On Friendship How to Be a Friend Cicero

As I mentioned in my Books of Autumn post, after my C.S. The Four Loves read-along I’ve been interested in reading more books on the same subject with two in mind: The Art of Loving by Erich Fromm and On Friendship by Marcus Tullius Cicero. So with a little prodding (you know who you are, lol!) I’ve decided to host a read-along for both of them during the month of October.  It’s a little bit of short notice, I know, but The Art of Loving is a mere 120-ish pages and On Friendship is an essay, so please join in any time you can; if you can’t start on the 1st, it will be easy to catch up.

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A Shilling For Candles by Josephine Tey

A Shilling For Candles Book CoverA Shilling For Candles: “It was a little after seven on a summer morning, and William Potticary was taking his accustomed way over the short down grass of the clifftop.”

A woman is found drowned in the Channel near Westover, and questions abound as to the circumstances.  At first, her death is a suspected accident or suicide but when the police discover her torn fingernails and a black button torn from a man’s coat entangled in her hair, murder is apparent.  The woman is discovered to be Christine Clay, a famous actress, and Inspector Grant is soon called to investigate the case.

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The Return of the Native by Thomas Hardy

The Return of the Native Thomas HardyThe Return of the Native: “A Saturday afternoon in November was approaching the time of twilight, and the vast tract of unenclosed wild known as Egdon Heath embrowned itself moment by moment.”

Oh my, I was laughing after finishing this novel, which perhaps wasn’t the reaction that Hardy had envisioned.  But the drama!  The high drama!  I was beginning to wonder what other circumstance of fate (which actually didn’t seem like fate but a deliberate thwarting of anyone’s happiness) was going to occur to cause yet another catastrophe.  It was a medley of characters making the same mistakes over and over again and never learning one thing from them.

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The Murder of Roger Ackroyd by Agatha Christie

The Murder of Roger AckroydThe Murder of Roger Ackroyd: “Mrs. Ferrars died on the night of the 16th-17th September — a Thursday.”

Detective: Hercule Poirot

Published: June 1926

Length: 224 pages

Setting: the village of King’s Abbot (fictional)

 

 

After The Secret of Chimneys, Christie returned with another Hercule Poirot mystery (#3) and, ah yes, she certainly outdid herself with this novel, even improving over her masterful mystery plotting in The Mysterious Affair at Styles.  Our intrepid sleuth Hercule Poirot returns, but as a retired detective living in the village of King’s Abbot, unobtrusively growing vegetable marrows of which he is having a minimal success.  Dr. Sheppard and his sister Caroline live in the neighbouring house to Poirot: Caroline the village busybody, yet with a surprisingly sharp yet empathetic intellect, and the good doctor, a steadying personality and the voice of reason.

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The Four Loves Read-Along Week 4, Part 2, Charity

The Four Loves

 

As we reach the end of our The Four Loves Read-along, we have so far investigated Affection, Friendship and Romantic Love (the natural loves) but none of these loves are sufficient in and of themselves without another Love to support the feelings and keep them sweet.  Lewis now investigates Charity, or Agape (ἀγάπη).

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