April 24, 2014

Romance, Murder, and Wine (Three Short Reviews)

I'm embarrassed to admit how very little reading I've done in the last 10 days or so. I got food poisoning, and spent the better part of two whole days lying on the couch. The first day I listened to all of Persuasion on audiobook. The second day I watched 6 episodes of Once Upon a Time, and since then I've been firmly stuck in tv mode. 

On the plus side, I'm almost all caught up on Castle and OUAT (loving the Wicked Witch storyline!); but on the minus side, I'm getting rather far behind on books for review, oops. (Although: that LibriVox recording of Persuasion was pretty great! And I have been listening to another audiobook, but I have a longish story about that which I'm saving for my next #bookwormproblems post).

So, without further ado, I'm off to read a book! In the meantime, here are a couple of books I reviewed for Shelf Awareness recently(ish) that you might like.

The Swiss Affair

Emylia Hall's The Swiss Affair is part romance, part coming-of-age tale. Hadley Dunn hasn't had a very exciting life, but that all changes when the 19-year-old literature student decides to study abroad in Lausanne, Switzerland, for a year. Hadley is amazed by all she sees in Lausanne, and quickly comes to love the city for its physical beauty and its stories evocative of Hemingway's novels. She becomes close friends with Kristina, a Danish girl who lives next to her in the student housing, and thinks she might be falling in love with her tutor, Joel Wilson. (Read the rest here.)

The Mangle Street Murders

Well-researched and fun to read, M.R.C. Kasasian's The Mangle Street Murders is a deft blend of accuracy and frivolity, sure to please lovers of historical mysteries. March Middleton's father has died, so she moves to London to live with the godfather she's never met. It turns out, though, that her new guardian is none other than Sidney Grice, the most famous private detective in England. Rude, opinionated, but undeniably brilliant, Grice is caught up in the investigation of the murder of Mrs. Sarah Ashby within hours of Miss Middleton's arrival. (Read the rest here.)

Land and Wine

France is justifiably famous for its wines, and in Land and Wine Charles Frankel takes the reader on a geological journey to discover why the French landscape is perfect for growing grapes. Frankel focuses on the terroir--a word without an exact English translation that means the combination of geography, geology and microclimate of a specific small region. Terroir can change rapidly; even grapes grown a few dozen yards apart can produce very different wines. (Read the rest here.)

Do YOU read when you're sick? Or watch tv?