Latest books I’ve been reading

Hello! No, I have not fallen off of the face of the earth, I only feel as though I have. Josh and I took a road trip to Illinois where we visited family and friends. It was fun: the visiting, the traveling…I especially enjoyed reading ghost stories by M.R. James to Josh as we were driving through corn fields at night and the road was foggy (Aaaaahhhhh! It’s Malachai!)

We got home last week and promptly became sick. No it wasn’t CoVid or any flu virus. I know the flu. The flu makes me feel as though I’m going to die, or wish I was dead. I didn’t feel that bad, but I did have a really bad upper respiratory congestion and was knocked out of commission for all of last week. Today is the first time I’ve felt like doing anything other than laying down and sleeping.

I’ve read quite a bit, but I’m too tired to make long reviews so here’s the skinny on the last few things I’ve been reading:

Superb biography of King Edward Longshanks. If all you know of him is the brilliant performance rendered by Patrick McGoohan in Braveheart, then you will certainly enjoy reading about the colorful life of King Edward I as well as the surrounding history of Medieval England.

The Long Suffering of Frederic Chopin - CHEST

Chopin: The Man and His Music by James Huneker

My rating: 3 of 5 stars


A fairly flowery account of the life of Chopin. He does not go in chronological order, but rather according to subject. It starts with his life in Poland, then his love life with George Sand, then an analysis of his music and others viewpoints, including audience members and other composers.

Informative, but written in an archaic style which I found a bit boring.



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Great Ghost Stories: 101 Terrifying Tales by Stefan R. Dziemianowicz

My rating: 3 of 5 stars


Pretty good anthology and mix of known and unknown authors and ghost stories. They largely date from the 19th and early 20th centuries, which is fine, because that’s my favorite time period.

I got this pretty cheap at Barnes and Noble, probably because these stories are all public domain and B and N probably just paid to have them printed. I will say that there are a number of typos and might have benefited from a more fastidious editor.

Still, a large collection of cozy night reads.



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Then there’s one of my all time favorite authors, William Sydney Porter, better known as O. Henry. For my money he has the greatest mastery of the American dialect of the late 19th, early 20th centuries. Partly because of his versatility. He writes of life in New York City, the South, where he hales from, the West and finally, South America, where he ran to after embezzling money from a bank he once worked at. A complicated man and perhaps not a paragon of morality, but his stories are so funny and there’s always the unexpected ending.

14 thoughts on “Latest books I’ve been reading

  1. i’ve got a lot of Porter also, the Works in 2 volumes, i think… Lovecraft was a big influence when i was a teen and somewhat later; too scary, now… i’ll be interested in what you think of Bradbury altho if i recall you said you didn’t like him once… reading ghost stories at nite! that must have been eery beyond description!

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    1. Hi mudpuddle! The large O Henry book is mine and the Two Volume set is Josh’s. It was interesting how many duplicate copies of books we acquired in our library after we got married.

      I have read Lovecraft on Josh’s recommendation, but I’m with you,..way too dark and scary.

      I like some Bradbury. That book was an impulse buy at a local used bookstore. It was in such mint condition for five bucks, who could resist? I haven’t read all of it yet, but I will.

      As for the cornfields at night and the fog and M.R. James. It was definitely not a time for the car to break down.

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  2. Sharon, I hope you feel better and get well soon!

    I need to read O Henry at some point, since I love short stories. From childhood, I’m familiar with The Gift of the Magi, a very sweet story of his.

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    1. I’m doing better. Still tired. Still coughing a little. Josh is a bit worse off than me. I think we’re not as bad as we’ve been with other flues. I’m ready to get back to work. I hate being holed up in the house for so long.

      How are you all?

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      1. we’re fine… suffering the attributes of old age as usual, but happy in our more-or-less isolation…

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    1. it’s just getting hot, the plague i mean… even in our remote area there are more people that have caught it than in the original attack, so, yes it’s bad and getting worse. the insanity is here too: anti-mask demonstrators along the hiways yelling with signs… it’s beginning to feel like Armageddon… be safe; we’re holed up mostly away from others and always wear our masks… i don’t understand why people think disease is a political issue… crazy…

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  3. Sharon hope you are getting better. Sounds like you and Josh had fun traveling. Ghost stories are always entertaining. Our little rural area has once again become a danger zone for Covid. Nursing homes are shutting down again even though the residents are vaccinated. We are living in crazy times for sure. Take care and get well soon. Hugs!

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    1. Hi Debbie!

      Thank you Debbie. We are slowly getting better. Just occasionally coughing and tired. I’m surprised a rural area would be dangerous. Surely there aren’t that many people around.

      Take care and blessings!

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