Elizabeth: Is it over yet?

No, this post isn’t about the pandemic.

I recently read The Crow Trap by Ann Cleeves.  For those not familiar with the title, it is the first book in the “critically-acclaimed series of crime novels set in Northumberland” featuring Detective Inspector Vera Stanhope and the basis for the British crime drama series Vera.  I watched a few episodes of Vera not that long ago when they popped up on my local public television station and enjoyed them, so when The Crow Trap showed up as an e-book daily deal the other day, I thought I’d give it a try.

According to UKs Dead Good Books,

“Vera Stanhope, an overweight, middle-aged woman who looks more like a bag lady than a detective, was born out of Ann Cleeves’ frustration with central female characters who were young, fit and beautiful. At times bad-tempered and shambolic, Vera is also witty and authoritative – a truly three-dimensional character who is believable and relatable.”

I’m not sure about the believable and relatable part, but I’ll leave that for another time.

My main thought as I progressed partway through the story was, “how long is this book?” Continue reading

Elizabeth: What Have You Been Reading – Classic Edition

CarpeLibrumIf you’ve ever read Stephen King’s On Writing – part memoir, part writing advice, and completely entertaining – then you’ve seen this piece of advice:

“If you want to be a writer, you must do two things above all others:  read a lot and write a lot.”

So this week we’re taking a break from talking about writing and publishing to talk about reading.  Conveniently, I’ve spent the last two weeks doing little else besides reading and talking about books.  Since I’m currently studying Victorian sensation and detective fiction, my reading selections have had a distinct “blast from the past” flavour.

So, here are the last three books I read: Continue reading

Elizabeth: What Have You Read Wednesday?

CarpeLibrumI’ve read a variety of writing craft books and rules of writing by various authors and one thing they all seem to agree on is that reading is critical in order to be a good writer.

In her “Rules for Writing” post, it is Australian writer Hannah Kent’s number one rule.

To be a good writer you must, first and foremost, be a good reader. How else will you learn what to do? Read as much as possible, as often as possible, and if you read something you like, or something that makes you laugh, or something that moves you in a strange, ineffable way, ask why.” ~ Hannah Kent

In her “Twelve ‘Classic’ Women Writer’s post last month Kat expressed her plan to read some of the classics this year. My goal is just to get my to-be-read pile down to a manageable size before it topples over and hurts someone. Continue reading