afternoon tea, chocolates, D. E. Stevenson, Kate Beaufoy, Kate Thompson, light reading, Lois McMaster Bujold
That’s me. Lately I have been showered with gifts. Some I gave myself, to be sure. Some arrived in parcels from far-off places, sent by wonderful friends. And some came from the Long-Suffering Husband.
A cup of tea, a novel by Kate Thompson, a biscuit is all it takes to make me happy. So this haul of goodies ought to hold me in raptures for the near future…
Everyone tells me that The Martian (both book and film) is excellent. It sounds like Robinson Crusoe in space. I love Crusoe, and also its children’s literature counterpart, The Swiss Family Robinson. Irish authoress Kate Thompson writes superior chick lit and now (as Kate Beaufoy) historical fiction. Lately I have been working my way through her oeuvre and that of one of her literary forebears, D. E. Stevenson, who wrote funny and moving light fiction in the 1930s and 40s. Finally there is Lois McMaster Bujold, whose science fiction is particularly appealing to women, dealing as it does with matters of gender, class and romantic entanglement. I have the feeling that Bujold is a Jane Austen fan. Her “Vorkosigan” series is not to be missed. One of my all-time favorite SF books is the first book in the series, Shards of Honor (1986). It tells the story of Cordelia, a scientist on an astronomical survey who gets marooned on a strange planet with Captain Aral Vorkosigan, a moody and magnificent alpha male. He’s from an aristocratic patriarchal culture, and she’s from a planet of equality where all genders and pairings are accepted…
As I was savoring the prospect of all these fun reads, a mysterious parcel arrived.
Postscript: The lavender shortbread is good. Very, very good.
Hehe, I think I know where the parcel of sweets came from. The Montezuma chocolate gives it away. I only know one person who has given that brand to me before… Tuck in and enjoy your reading fest!
Hehe, you might very well think that, but I couldn’t possibly comment (more chortling) except that it’s someone we both know 🙂
That’s all I need to know. Confirmed. She’s a dear!!
She certainly is 🙂
I think you would enjoy my most favorite author, Dorothy Dunnett, if you aren’t already familiar with her. She was a Scottish historian who wrote two series of historical fiction (among some other titles ) that in my opinion cannot be surpassed for beauty of writing, erudition, characters, historical accuracy, and complexity of plot. The Lymond Chronicles, her first series, is my favorite by far. It starts in the mid 1500s when Mary Queen of Scots is a young child in France. I have read the series many times over the years and discover new layers every time. (There are three DD Companion books written later by others that are available to help readers with the many quotes/poems/songs in other languages, historical facts and characters and other complexities.) The sad thing is that over the years I have recommended the series to many friends and none have been able to get very far along in them. The good thing is that I have finally (! ) found fellow Dunnett enthusiasts around the world on FB and have joined a (re)reading group, which has given me a lot of pleasure and previously undiscovered insight into the books as we move forward. If you are interested, check out DD on Pinterest, where there are a lot of good links to articles etc. about her and her works. Two good articles are NPR’s “All the Writers You Love Probably Love Dorothy Dunnett,” and Tor’s “Five Things Epic Fantasy Writers Could Learn from Dorothy Dunnett.” Having found the CH Yahoo! Group, your blog, and the DD FB pages, I am lately feeling very rich, indeed.
Oh yes, I have read quite a few of hers, both the Lymond and the Nicholas de Fleury books. I agree that Dunnett is something special. The depth of historical detail is difficult even for educated people to compass, but it is great fun to try. I like a book with that kind of cultural depth (another example is Patrick O’Brien’s Aubrey/Maturin novels of the British navy in the Napoleonic Wars). Thanks for the tips on the articles. The Tor article in particular sounds fascinating! No doubt they think George R. R. Martin has something to learn from her, and I would agree.
i love your tea set! 🙂 and hubby has excellent taste in chocolate, what a lovely selection that is! reminds me of the cute as a button posh and utterly romantic (as in very sweet flowery box) of hand picked chocolates my old boss from the brewery company got me when i left that job. Together with 2 beautiful white and blush rose tea cups. He was a very very fine gentleman (young of age) and that was a massive surprise. The fact that he knew i liked those kinds of chocolates and had gone to the trouble of going out and buying some, a lovely gesture.
Thanks for the book recommendations! Definitely sounds like things i need to pikc up for warming winter reads 🙂
Looks so very cosy makes me want to snuggle up on sofa with a book 🙂
First a repeat of that ballet triple though tonight 🙂 Another kind of winter warmer….
What a sweet gesture from your gentlemanly boss! I love stories like that. And he actually included teacups–I can’t imagine an American man doing that. Maybe a coffee mug full of chocolates 🙂
My stoneware dishes are a pattern called “Desert Rose” which we got for our wedding. I’m still using them after 25 years because they never break, LOL. I chose the pattern specifically for the teapot!! This pattern also has the shape of teacup that I like best.
they are nice, i love the look of those elegant cups but round here impractical as tea would go cold before you even drink it 😦 I need to take a snap of the 2 handpainted china mugs, i love them and use them, Sunday or so 🙂
He is a lovely man, wonder what he is up to at the moment as he was doing various things. He was also the one who encouraged me to change jobs and do more things. Seems in some people one good trait brings many more 🙂 We’re lucky to encounter a few in our lives 🙂
Chocolate and good books… ah, life sounds good! 🙂
The little things 🙂
Sylvie G said:
You are a privileged woman Linnet 🙂
It’s true, Sylvie! 🙂
*Tries to figure out how to turn those chox into her screen saver…*
Hehe. With all the colors and shapes, they remind me of Christopher Elbow chocolates: http://www.elbowchocolates.com/our-chocolates
Oooooooooooooooh…. I WANT THEM ALL!
Ahrgh – they’ve lumbered me with some cookie (or should I say “bonbon”?) and now every website I visit blasts me with an Elbow choc ad! This is YOUR evil doing!!!!!
I wouldn’t mind being blasted with Elbow ads. If you’ve gotta be blasted, there are worse things…
Well, that’s exactly the problem. I know how to get rid of it… but I don’t want to…! 😉
Now, how come I don’t have a Ciarán Hinds cookie, or even a Richard Armitage cookie blasting me with images of them? Tempting, yet calorie-free 🙂
Lisa @ cheergerm said:
What a lovely selection of gifties LM, I am glad that you also enjoy some light reading. Enjoy your haul.
Thank you Lisa, I am loving it all!
thanx 4 the SF suggestions. i’ve “started reading” again, what with this “retirement thing” imminent. and …
SEA DOG Dark Chocolate? (send me some ! )
I’ve not tasted it yet, but it sounds amazing–lime and sea salt!