Keeping me from doing too much is sort of a full-time occupation it turns out. Thank goodness for the online reservations at the library, Ravelry, online bookstores, and Netflix. Between the four, I am finding enough diversions to entice me to put my feet up and take a break.
I’ve been able to read the latest Laura Joh Rowland Sano Mystery, The Fire Kimono, which I found fascinating. This mystery series is set in feudal Japan, about a samurai who has little in the way of connections and family but rises up the ranks by his sheer ingenuity and ability to solve crimes. Rowland does a masterful job of setting the time and place so as the reader you truly feel as if you are in 16th century Edo. The Fire Kimono revolves around an old arson case, which is actually a subject I know a lot about, having worked on a lot of arson cases in my previous work life, so that only added to my reading involvement. Rowland also recently published a mystery using Charlotte Bronte as the protagonist, which I am still reading. I can’t say I am diving into this one as quickly as I have the Sano stories, but I trust Rowland, so I am not giving up yet. What is intriguing is that her voice is so different between the two books. That is what intrigues me the most.
I think my slow pace with Rowland’s book is tempered by the fact that I’ve also read the 2nd book in Deanna Raybourn Lady Julia series, Silent in the Sanctuary. Raybourn just nails the Victorian period and her books are peopled with characters. And when I say characters, think CHARACTERS. Try Silent in the Grave and give this series a read. These are the sort of books writers pass around to other writers like some sort of initiation into a secret club. They are really well-written, and most importantly, entertaining.
I’ve also been reading any Georgette Heyer I can get my hands on–at least the ones I haven’t read before. I’ve gone through The Nonesuch and Devil’s Cub. Interestingly, Devil’s Cub is the only sequel she ever wrote, and I have to say that is a good thing. I don’t think sequels were her thing. I know a lot of Heyer fan adore Devil’s Cub, but I have to say it wasn’t one of my favorites. The Nonesuch was a light-hearted story, but also had more sexual tension than her usual fare. Usually when I recommend Heyer to friends, I suggest starting with The Grand Sophy or Fredricka, which are both great fun. My personal favorite is The Foundling. The Toll-Gate is next in the queue, and I always open her books hoping to find another gem.
But then again, don’t we all, every time we open a book, sort of cross our fingers that this will be the read?
Between books, I’ve been watching movies, and I have to say the one that I’ve enjoyed the most is Lost in Austen. If you haven’t seen this, watch it. It is freakin’ hilarious. It is the story of Amanda Price who spends way too much time reading Pride & Predjuice and then one night finds herself tossed into the story, replacing Elizabeth Bennett in the narrative. The more Miss Price tries to make sure everything works out according to the plot, the more she messes up the storyline. If you loved watching Colin Firth come out of the pond at Pemberly, watch this movie if only for that scene. If you’ve seen this movie, you’ll know exactly what I mean.
What have you been reading or watching of late for diversions?