Readerly Rambles: 07/24/2013


I had resolved to properly review all my books read in lovely, interesting, lengthy posts. Then I realized that I never actually reviewed and was actually dreading blogging. Now I’m back to my brief readerly rambling and hopefully that will satisfy my desire to talk about books with my dread at making everything a “school assignment.”

What I read: I’ve been in a bit of a reading funk lately (more on the later) and I think reading a really great novel is partly to blame. A few weeks ago I finished Lynn Shepard’s The Solitary HouseAn homage to Charles Dickens’s Bleak HouseThe Solitary House is a deftly constructed murder mystery and it is filled to bursting with Victorian literature and culture references, places, and people. I devoured this book. 

I’m really glad I picked it up. I had almost decided not to read The Solitary House because I was worried it wouldn’t do justice to Bleak House. Boy was I wrong. Tulkinghorn sulks and schemes, Lady Dedlock is bored, murder and betrayal are afoot, and detectives know more then they let on. I cannot write much about this novel because there is one helluva plot twist that will make any lover of Victorian literature squeal with recognition and delight. I cannot wait to read more Shepard and I really have this excellent book to blame for my recent reading ennui; nothing else could compete!

What I ditched: The Heat of the Day by Elizabeth Bowen. I love Elizabeth Bowen, but I have to read her at the right time. I’ll put this one back on the shelf for another day.

What I’m reading: I started reading The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman. I was going to save this one for vacation, but it was all over the internet and I really didn’t want to have the plot spoiled. Classic Gaiman it is hauntingly beautiful and frightening. 

What’s up next: I plan on plunging into some more classics when I conclude Gaiman. Right now I’m thinking some Emile Zola is in order. It might be time to start the The Fortune of the Rougons.



  1. I’m glad you loved The Solitary house (or Tom-All-Alones) as it is called over here. I recently went to a brilliant author talk by Lynn Shepherd – and having read and loved A Treacherous Likeness too I can’t wait for more.

    1. I, too, cannot wait to read A Treacherous Likeness. I was surprised by the number of poor reviews on GoodReads. I felt those people didn’t understand the things they were complaining about (coincidences, stock characters, long descriptions) were intentional and evocative of Victorian literature.

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