Posts Tagged ‘golden age’

14th December
2011
written by Steph

Guys, I am in the thick of it, dissertation-wise. I have been told on multiple occasions that the homestretch of one’s thesis is not for the faint-hearted, and I must agree one thousand percent. I keep trying to buoy my spirits by telling myself that everyone who gets a doctorate has to go through this fire walk at some point and that if it were easy, everyone would choose this path. I just have to keep getting up in the morning and pushing forward until finally this thing caves because I will not let this dissertation beat me. I don’t proudly proclaim the fact that I’ve actually been a grad student for seven years now, but given that that is the case, I certainly can’t back down now. I’ve invested too much of myself to let another six months of mind-breaking work conquer me, so come hell or high water, I will finish. And when I do, I shall rename this site “Dr. Steph & (Not Dr.) Tony Investigate!” OK, not really… Anyway, this is all to let you loyal readers know that I haven’t forgotten you even though this space has been dormant for quite a while now. I’ve just been so mentally taxed of late that it’s left me little breathing room for fun. I’m still reading, albeit less than I normally do, but the thought of writing about any of the books I’ve finished has seemed impossible. Until now. Rather than mope about and give in to my exhaustion, I’m going to push through the waves of fatigue so that I can share some of the books I’ve been reading, because really, don’t books make everything just a little bit better? (more…)
20th October
2009
written by Steph
Sing it with me: Start at the very beginning...

Sing it with me: Start at the very beginning...

When it comes to selecting our next reads, Tony and I are VERY different.  I suppose you could call me an intuitive reader – I get a strong sense of the type of book I would like to read next, and select a book I feel will best mesh with those feelings and desires.  Sometimes I want a sad book, other times a lighthearted one.  Sometimes I really want to challenge myself and slowly push my way through a tricky read, while other times I need something fun or straightforward.  For me, there is nothing worse than reading the right book at the wrong time.  For Tony, there is no such thing.  The right book is always the right book; he can make a mental list of the books he wants to read, and then steadfastly make his way through it in order with little concern for whether the tone of what he just read might complement or detract from his next read.  Perhaps it’s a function of having so many books, but sometimes the choices overwhelm me and I agonize over what to read next, but Tony can always happily pluck something from a pile and begin to read with a breezy sense of laissez faire.  I hate that! 😉 Anyway, my point is that for me, context is key, and I think Gaudy Night exemplifies this in a lot of interesting ways.  I was in the mood for something fun, and I haven’t read a fullblown mystery novel in a while, so I decided to give my first Sayers novel a whirl.  I can’t remember exactly where I first heard of her, but I do know that this particular novel is recommended in Nancy Pearl’s Book Lust and I also remember reading somewhere at some time that it is not necessary to read these novels in any specific order.  I’ve spoken before at length about how I’m particular about my detective fiction – I like novels from the Golden Age, and I really like my mysteries to be set in England – so really, Gaudy Night (which takes place at Oxford University in the 1930s) should have been just the ticket. (more…)
9th June
2009
written by Steph
AKA "The Not-Very-Well-Kept Secret Adversary"

AKA "The Not-Very-Well-Kept Secret Adversary"

Since 2009 is the year that I’m rediscovering my love affair with the mystery novel, I decided that I would like to reacquaint myself with the Queen of Mystery – Agatha Christie.  I read a bunch of her books when I was in middle school/highschool, but my memory for the titles I did read is absolute rubbish, so I figured it might be fun to start reading the books in the order they were published.  I haven’t made much headway in this personal challenge (challenge is perhaps the wrong word – long-term goal, is probably more apt), as The Secret Adversary is just Christie’s second book.  And as much as I love Dame Christie, it shows! Christie wrote  about several detectives, and The Secret Adversary is the novel in which she introduces her sleuthing duo, Tommy & Tuppence.  The basic premise is that the two longtime pals meet up in London following WWI, both down on their luck and swiftly running out of money.  Tuppence announces over tea (bizzarely and hilariously, in my opinion) that the only cure for it all is for them to become adventurers (?).  Following the meal, Tuppence is approached by a man who overheard her and says he might have just the ticket for her.  He wants her to go to Paris and pretend to be someone, but when he asks her her name, Tuppence throws out the name “Jane Finn” on a whim, which enrages the man, who asks how much of the scheme she already knows, and ultimately dismisses Tuppence from the office, telling her to come back the next day… only for him to have vanished upon her return!  And so Tuppence and Tommy wind up embroiled in a scheme to overthrow the British government – one that will succeed unless they can track down the real Jane Finn, who was given some national documents prior to the war that would be most damaging if they fell into the wrong hands.  Will these green sleuths be able to outwit one of the most elusive criminal masterminds to challenge the Empire, the sinister Mr. Brown?  And how is it that he always seems to be a step ahead of them? (more…)