Top Ten Tuesday: Minor Characters I Love

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1. Tristan Farnon

Whether its creating the image of a driver-less car, howling back at a Labrador coming out of anesthesia or magically waking up and shaking a bottle of something to prove he wasn’t sleeping, slacker little brother Tristan Farnon is my all-time favorite minor character. The haze of Woodbine smoke emanating from behind the newspaper, the delight in bell ringers’ and Licensed Victullars’ outings, to prank calls about Clancy “womatting” he is just plain fun. That he has an eye for the ladies and a greater taste for the bottle than for studying for parasitology is all to our luck.

2. Tofu and 3. Cyril

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Tofu is little Bertie’s friend at the Steiner School whose mother may or may not have starved to death as a vegan. Tofu is streetwise and speaks his mind. I especially loved it when Tofu announced he was going to make lots of Tablet–a Scottish sweet like fudge and Bertie had, as always, to suffer with his mother’s version of what he should do for their class sale. Cyril is the artist Angus’ dog with the gold tooth. Cyril has his own adventures. Both are awesome minor characters.

4. Will Benteen

 

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A cracker–they knew this as surely as they new the little military school cadet they buried had been a planter’s son, Will stays on at Tara where he landed with exhaustion at the end of the war. A peg leg doesn’t stop him. In the end, to stay at Tara, he marries the nasty O’Hara sister, Suellen (no mistake that you likely started to read this as “sullen”). He was cut out of the movie, but there is a scene of a peg legged soldier with Melanie’s baby, Beau, that is supposedly Will.  He has a much larger role in the book.

5. Charlie

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Ever the apprentice, never the mechanic, Charlie eventually tries a new role. It’s his ongoing antagonism of M’Makutzi that keeps and his girl-chasing that always lands him in hot water. But under it all, Charlie has a heart of gold.

6. Miss Gooch

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After Beau’s death, Mame decides to write her memoirs and hires a ghost writer, Brian, and a secretary, Miss Agnes Gooch. The very ordinary Miss Gooch lives in Kew Gardens with Mumsie and Edna, but finally loosens up on New Year’s Eve after Mame comes down with a deadly cold and sends her to a party in her stead. Unforgettable.

 

 

 

Of course we all know who my all-time favorite is…..

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Downton’s Sir Anthony Strallan

 

 

Top Ten Tuesday is held at the blog The Broke and the Bookish.

 

 

 

Top 10 Tuesday: Ten Books I Liked More or Less Than Other People

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Topic:Ten Books I Loved Less/More Than I Thought I Would (recently or all time) — or you could do something like books I liked more/less than everyone else.

Books I Liked LESS

wild

I do not understand the women who rave about this idiotic book. Heroin is cool? Sex with strangers? Honestly??? I threw it back and  won’t even link to it any more.

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Too many modern characters. I threw it back.

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Not only does a man “unzip” his trousers before there were zippers in trousers, but we are then treated to a description of his erstwhile member. ICK. I loved Ann Hood until this dog. But I will give her next book a try.

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Cause this cover just says “incest” to no one ever…… UGH.

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Two evenings of my life I’ll never get back.  And a two-hour retreat discussion that didn’t even make it to my performance review!! I stayed awake. I contributed politely. That deserved a mention.

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From my most popular Goodreads.com Review: “ Gave up on this mess of a book–didn’t finish it. Chapter 1 reads like she watched the movie the “Right Stuff” and that’s about it. It is written in that trendy, annoying new, “sassy”/hip/disrespectful tone that is starting to ruin non-fiction reading. Like aging Valley Girl does Master’s thesis. …The women themselves ARE interesting, just the style of writing that grates. Astro-everything is really wearing me down. The story itself IS interesting. But it’s like Jr. High School history with a hip teacher who practices his stand-up routine. Enough with the glib-non-humor and just TELL THE DAMN STORY already. Sadly the tone continues and the “depth” is sadly lacking…

OK. THEN.

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There were some parts of this one that I liked. I got tired of the fly-over mentality about the Midwest, the Southern accents in freakin’ IOWA, the constant screed against Christians and religion, the ridiculous idea of being shocked that people in IOWA, not Manhattan drive cars everywhere….oiy, I could go on and on. Another of my most popular Goodreads.com reviews. But, I’d be very willing to give this author another try–there were good things in here. I gave it 2 stars.

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I gave this turkey 3 stars because, let’s be honest, he can really write and deserves every award he’s one. I was just so not into this story. It was depressing. It was weird. It just wasn’t for me at all.

Books I Liked MORE

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I found the crass, superior way in which Will walked away from the girl was just so typical of his true “type.” I liked it. No, it wasn’t Me Before You –that was too sweet and wonderful. But this was a good book.  After You.

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I really, really liked this one. But then, I haven’t finished the Harry Potter books, don’t know which Hogwarts House I belong too and don’t have the Quiddich World Cup on my Bucket List (It’s fine if you do–I do love the early HP books, just couldn’t get thru the last ones). This shows that JK Rowling can think about something other than wizards and muggles. The movie was even “ok.” Book was better–of course. The Casual Vacancy

You can read about a  few more books I liked or disliked more than others here.

See all of this week’s lists at  Top Ten Tuesday.  Play along and post your ow nlist See the rules and topics at The Broke and The Bookish.

Top Ten Books I Wish Had (More/Less) X In Them

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More of Their Home Life

 

 

What’s not to like about a man who almost always refers to his wife with respect as Madame Gamache? And, get this! She’s a librarian! More please of Madame and her husband. Their exchanges are glittering. Their home life so like I imagined mine would be long-ago when I thought of being married, before reality crept in. And, Monk! No spoilers for those who haven’t read these. But every stage of his home life is fascinating. More, please!

More of the Story–i.e. a Sequel

 

 

These are just three of the books I’d like sequels to–I wrote an entire Top Ten Tuesday post on this topic–click here to read it.

I so want Hilary McKay to write the “grown up” story of the Casson’s marriage. Darling Bill has such a fascinating life. Eve is so patient. I want to know this marriage from both sides! I want this so badly I’ve sent her a direct Twitter message to beg!

 

More Food–as in real recipes!

 

 

The food page for the Chief Inspector Gamache series is really sad. Gabri’s food is so amazing–as is Madame’s. I want to taste it. Where for instance is that cauliflower and Stilton soup with date and pear relish?? And that wedding cake in City Baker’s Guide! Bring it on, baby! I want real recipes!

 

Sorry, I couldn’t come up with the full 10 today!

 

Do you enjoy lists like this? Then join in Top Ten Tuesday each week at the Broke and the Bookish–where you can check out all of this week’s lists.

 

Top Ten Tuesday: Coffee Table Books I Want to Own

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Over at The Broke and The Bookish, they slated “Visuals” for this week. Well, what can be more visual than a beautiful coffee table book full of lush photographs or beautiful works of art. Here are the twelve I’d most like to own. Yes, twelve–you get two bonus books. Like Ginzu knives on late-night tv ads only beautiful. Links are  below the whole collage of photos.

 

 

The Top Ten

Great Houses

Scotland Castles and Clans

Exuberant Calalog of Dreams

Curated House

Gentleman’s Farm

de Laszlo

Caillebotte

Library

Audubon

Drawing Room

Two Bonus Books

Worth

Gilded New York

 

Why not post your own Top Ten today or next Tuesday? It’s simple. The topics are all listed at The Broke and The Bookish. You can see all of this week’s Top Ten Tuesday lists here.

Top Ten Tuesday: 10 Books I Remember Noting About (but Have Read)

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Today’s Top  Ten Tuesday is a Freebie Week! I’ve kept a reading log, on and off, for most of my adult life. I have several of these still, so I know I did actually read these titles! I just can’t tell you anything about them.

 

 

Some of these were read in desperation in the Peace Corps (1989–1991)–back before there was t.v. in the region and when a trip to the library took a bus or mini bus and miles of walking. Others were read before I was ready for them. Some were just read and, well, not memorable.

 

 

Do you enjoy this sort of book list? Join the fun of Top Ten Tuesday each week at the Broke and the Bookish.

Top Ten Tuesday: Books I Meant to Read in 2016

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Every year there are great-sounding books that just slip thru the cracks. No time. Not available at the library. Arrives at the library at the same time as too many others. Whatever. Here are a few of the titles I meant to read in 2016.

Short Stories

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Since before there were Reading Challenges, I’ve tried to make myself read a wide variety of materials. Short stories are my nemisis. To me they’re either too long or too short. I prefer regular book length stories, aka novels. This is my next short story collection–whenever I get to it. A Manual for Cleaning Women: Selected Stories by Lucia Berlin.

 

 

 

 

Fiction

 

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I’ve loved the other two books by Backman that I’ve read so I really intended to get to this one as well in 2016.

My Grandmother Asked Me To Tell You She’s Sorry by Fredrik Backman.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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I actually had this in my hands, but didn’t get to listen to it in time–there are other people waiting on it. So, I slipped it in the book drop this morning. I request it again. I loved The Snow Child  [you can read my review here] so was very anxious to get to this one. I misread the due date or I’d have listened to it first thing.

To The Bright Edge of the World by Eowyn Ivey

 

 

 

 

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This one I’m very excited about. I really want to make time for it. A Gentleman in Moscow by Amor Towles.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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I’ve read so much on the Royal Family that the new show the Crown was disappointing. I’m holding my breath on the new Victoria which is why I put off reading this.

Victoria by Daisy Goodwin.

 

 

 

 

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I’m not much for Christian novels, unless they are written by Jody Hedlund or Lynn Austin. This year Jody Hedlund released a novel about the author or the hymn “Amazing Grace.” I so want to read it as well as another of hers that I’ve not gotten to about Martin Luther–Luther and Katrina.

 

Non-Fiction

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It’s too important to be informed. The international refugee crisis–that in Europe and elsewhere is screaming for our attention. I will be reading this one in 2017.

Seeking Refuge: On the Shores of the Global Refugee Crisis.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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I had this and started it, but I was too slow and there were people waiting. I’d like to get this in audio.

Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City by Matthew Desmond.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Then there is the stack of books I bought in 2016 and haven’t even opened……..

 

 

See all of this week’s great Top Ten Tuesday lists at the Broke and the Bookish.

 

 

 

 

 

Top Ten Tuesday: 10 Books I’d Like Santa to Leave Me

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Just a friendly reminder: I made no money if you click. The links are for your convenience only.

 

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This one I just discussed (again) in a post last week. Defying the Nazis: The Sharp’s War

 

 

 

 

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I found this one today in an excellent Book Riot post on small press books of the year. Can’t wait to read it. So much about this story appeals to me, not the least of which is the location: Mozambique. I lived “next door” in Malawi. The First Wife: A Tale of Polygamy by Pauline Chizinane.

 

 

 

 

persiaI love cookbooks. I love to cook, love to read about food–especially food from other cultures. Before the internet and Pinterest, I loved to check out exotic cookbooks from the library and try interesting dishes–at least those for which I could find the ingredients. Now I have one of Cincinnati’s treasures, Jungle Jim’s, right on my way home. Each year I try a few new exotic dishes thanks to having this store so close by. I’ve read several memoirs and novels set in the cultures covered by this book as well, so it would be even more meaningful. Taste of Persia by Naomi Duguid.

 

 

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This morning’s look at the New York Times book reviews introduced me to a new crime series that sounds well worth it. Hopefully I can find it on audio for my commute. Series fiction is a Godsend for long commutes. Plaid and Plagiarism by Molly MacRae.

 

 

 

 

 

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I also hope this one is out in audio. I love the sound of nearly all of it! The Bookseller’s Tale by Ann Swinfen

 

 

 

 

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I usually read at least one nature or natural history book per year. This fits the bill perfectly. A Buzz in the Meadow: The Natural History of a French Farm by Dave Goulson.

 

 

 

 

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This one has been on my t0-read list since it was published. Time to finally read it I think. The Hare With Amber Eyes by Edmund de  Waal.

 

 

 

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This one will be tricky–it isn’t out until February! Still, notice of pre-order would be a super gift! I was a Russian and East European Studies major. This year there are several new books out for the Russian Revolution’s Centenary. Lots of good history to re-enjoy. Caught in the Revolution by Helen Rappaport.

 

 

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I recently read a book about expatriate life in Iceland, so Greenland is a natural next read.This Cold Heaven: Seven Seasons in Greenland by Gretel Ehlrich

 

 

 

 

 

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Finally, I really would like to find a lovely, hardbound copy of Tolkein’s Letters From Father Christmas, which I reviewed late last week in this post.

 

Stop by The Broke and the Bookish and check out all of this week’s Top Ten Tuesday posts! Our, better yet, join in and post your own list!

Top Ten Tuesday: New To Me Authors in 2016

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I was surprised at home many new authors I had read this year. Some are already going to be on-going favorites.

dumplin

Julie Murphy

Book review

ferret

Emily Humphreys

Book review

snowchild

Eowyn Ivey

Book review

arthurpepper

Phaedra Patrick

Book review

studyincharlotte

Brittany Cavallaro

Book review

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Jeffrey Archer

Book review

mosquitoland

David Arnold

Book review

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Heather W. Petty

Book review

Graeme Simsion

Book review one, Book review two

See all the Top Ten Tuesday lists at

The Broke and The Bookish

Top Ten Tuesday: Holiday Freebie

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10 Holiday Essentials at My House

Movies

The Bishop’s Wife    Christmas With the Kranks (Or the book Skipping Christmas) A Charlie Brown Christmas and A Garfield Christmas –among many others.

Books

 

This book was my paternal grandmothers and is signed by her father. The story, Christmas in the Mousehole is my personal reading tradition. My Dad read it to me each year. I still love it. I love the simple Christmas it presents and love the memory of my Dad in the re-reading.

 

Music

 

Handle’s Messiah is a must–but, ironically, I’ve never gone to hear it live!  I have Christmas music on in my office all day. My office does special live Christmas music where a very talented staff member sings and plays and students join him or replace him when he is needed elsewhere. It’s wonderful.

 

 

One contemporary Christmas collection I’ve been loving already this year is the complete GLEE Christmas treasury. I especially love the haunting Island of Misfit Toys. We loved the show at my house (though we had to binge watch it on dvd from the library).

 

 

I must play this relentlessly. It reminds me of my maternal grandparents who loved his show and drank Old Fashions, letting the 3 grandkids have the booze-soaked fruit! This was made cooler by my grandfather’s habit of pocketing the swizzle sticks from his airline drinks. We loved those things.

 

 

Goodies

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This desert IS Christmas to my family. Since 1978 we’ve not varied the choice, though my Mom has changed the booze in it. Today it is made with Bailey’s Irish Cream. Here’s the recipe.

 

Decor

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Source note: Possibly Williams Sonoma, but Pinterset link here.

 

Plaid is my signature color. Plaid, or tartan if you  wish, though there is a difference, is my Christmas color scheme–if I had one, that is. My Christmas decorations are pretty sad any more. I’d hoped to replace a lot this year, but life got in the way. Meanwhile, feast on this GORGEOUS Christmas tablescape by blogger Everyday Living. So much to love here! The plaid on the table, the red walls, the cute plates and adorable place card holders–everything! Sadly, my little eat-in kitchen can’t hold all that. But, soon, I’ll post my tablescape. It is a debut this year.

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Source: Everyday Living

 I love all the amazing details here. Click the source link above to see all the amazing views of this fabulous holiday table.

 

 

 What’s on your holiday freebie list? Do you enjoy lists like this? Join the fun at Top 10 Tuesday, hosted by The Broke and The Bookish.

Top Ten Tuesday: Movies I Love

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I decided to skip the obvious one–Gone With the Wind.  I did a whole week of posts on Cary Grant a while back  in which I discussed 4 of his movies. so I excluded all of his fabulous comedies, too. There are not in any way a complete list, nor are they “My 10 Favorites in order.” Just 10 movies I love.

 

Here then is  a selection–as broad as possible–of my favorite movies.

 

 

All of these are available on Amazon–most can be rented and streamed there as well.

 

 

Join the fun of Top Ten Thursdayread the rules here at The Broke and the Bookish.

 

 

Ok–a favorite moment from Gone With the Wind