Book Reviews

Snapshot of December 2014

Day 1 of a new month and it’s time to take a snapshot of what I’m reading, listening to and watching.


I’ve been promising myself that I  would get around to reading Elizabeth  Gaskell’s Wives and Daughters this year ( it’s been on my TBR shelf for a few years). I was hoping for something with a similar focus on a social question as the only other novel of hers that I’ve read – North and South – but so far this is more a study of English provincial life just before the 1832 Reform Act.


Almost finished the audio version of Rebecca’s Tale by Sally Beauman in which multiple narrators turn detective to try to discover what happened to the character in Daphne du Maurier’s most famous work. Was the suicide verdict justified or was Rebecca murdered? And what happened to Mrs Danvers? To answer the questions our amateur detectives have to dig into Rebecca’s past. Its more enjoyable as an audio book for me then as a book to read.


I’m back in the USA which means I get another fix of Law and Order. I’ve no idea how many series of this were made but there seems to be an endless supply when you add the spin off Law and Order Special Victims Unit into the mixture.




What do you need to know about me? 1. I'm from Wales which is one of the countries in the UK and must never be confused with England. 2. My life has always revolved around the written and spoken word. I worked as a journalist for nine years then in international corporate communications 3. My tastes in books are eclectic. I love realism and hate science fiction and science fantasy. 4. I am trying to broaden my reading horizons geographically by reading more books in translation

15 thoughts on “Snapshot of December 2014

  • There are SOOOOOOO many series of L&O. I read a hilarious article saying you could probably pinpoint any moment in the last 20 years based on what was happening on L&O.

      • 24 apparently. Just looked at IMDB and the original series aired in 1990.

  • I quite enjoyed Wives and Daughters when I read it a few years back but like you I’m more interested in the social issues.

  • My mom is addicted to Law and Order. There are so many different spin offs and so many reruns you could nearly spend an entire day watching nothing but. Enjoy your fix!

    • I can see why you could become a fan. It’s interesting to me that in the uk we get a new series and it lasts for about four episodes where in USA a series can be a dozen or so episodes.

  • I remember loving Wives and Daughters will probably have to re-read one day.

  • Nordie

    Law and Order I think is up to series 21 (longest running crime drama) and has/had several offshoots, including Criminal Intent. I’ve never watched the UK version with Bradley Walsh, but hear it’s quite good

    • That explains why I always seem to find an episode of it when I’m visiting the USA but never come across an episode I’ve seen before.

  • As far as Gaskell goes, you might try Ruth if you’re looking for more of a social issues slant, although there the primary focus is gender rather than class. Or maybe Mary Barton? I haven’t gotten around to reading that one yet, but I know it deals heavily with (again) both class and gender. Regardless, I hope you end up liking Wives and Daughters! I really like what I’ve read of Gaskell (Sylvia’s Lovers is a personal favorite, although it’s not quite as well known).

    • Thanks for those suggestions. Mary Barton sounds good to me.


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