Tuesday, July 29, 2014


Yes, yes, slackest blogger IN THE WORLD.

Time for some housekeeping:

(Nancy's terrible tap-dancing summons a 50 foot demonic cat. Only kidding.)

  • I've just read 48 Nancy Drew books in a row. I think there is probably a future blog post in there somewhere. There are a scant handful of references to pineapples in these books, so I think you'll escape more pineapples for a bit. But isn't that a great cover?

  • I've put together a post of pictures for Paris in July over on my other blog skiourophilia. Hint: Paris is actually a synonym for "cake" in my world.

  • I'm adding this book to my informal "Wow, who thought that was a good name for a book?" list.

  • Even though I am the slackest blogger in the world, this has not stopped me starting another blog where I can collect all the lovely quotations about food and eating from the books I read and which I would otherwise forget: so, introducing reading feeding.

  • I feel a particularly naughty blogger as I was given such a nice surprise by Barb of the oh-so-tempting-I-want-to-read-everything-she-reads-and-am-so-a-stalker leaves and pages blog, who has nominated me for the Very Inspiring Blogger Award. Thank you very much Barb! The rules are:
Thank and link to the person who nominated you.
List the rules and display the award.
Share seven facts about yourself.
Nominate 15 other amazing blogs and comment on their posts
 to let them know they have been nominated.
Optional: display the award logo on your blog 
and follow the blogger who nominated you.


1. So far this year I have bought 10 egg coddlers on ebay. I may have a problem. But I can stop anytime... maybe at 12? 

2. I love Arnold Schwarzenegger films.

3. I can whistle really well. Tunefully. Annoyingly. Painfully. Endlessly.

4. Related to 3., all cats have a song of their own to which they will respond. I agree that this may not necessary be a fact, but I have (fact) spent a lot of time testing this theory. George [left] adores 'Hey, Big Spender'. I think I've finally nailed Roger [right] down to the William Tell overture. I wonder what the neighbours think?


5. I live with these two cats.

6. I enjoy eating in posh restaurants by myself. It's like a naughty secret enjoyment. (I love to share a great food experience too. I'm not weird, just comfortable with my own company. And single.) Sometimes it actually helps not to have anyone's eye to catch when your amuse-bouche is served in a cigar box. One of the great joys of food is how silly it can be.

(This was at Cutler & Co in Melbourne: crispy thin pastry rolls
 filled with a cheese curd and with 'ash' (olive tapenade) at one end 
and white balsamic jelly at the other.)

7. I spent Christmas Day 2012 on the Great Wall of China.

(Obviously I forgot to dress like Santa and carry a Christmas tree, 
but I think the very red nose proves that it is Christmas.)

And 15 other amazing blogs? Well, this is tricky, as every single name I thought of has been nominated already, so I am going to cheat here and just list 15, and you, dear reader, should go and check them out. Go on!

Bloggers who inspire me: Danielle at A Work in Progress; Anbolyn at Gudrun's Tights; Lyn at I Prefer Reading; Simon at Stuck in a Book; Brona at Brona's Books; Ali at Heavenali; Hayley at Desperate Reader; Teresa & Jenny at Shelf Love; Thomas at My Porch (I'm also infatuated by his home renovation blog); Lisa at TBR 313 (who was kind enough to mention my in her own VIB post); Tamara at Thyme for Tea (co-organiser of Paris in July); Moira at Clothes in Books; Jane at Fleur in her WorldKaggsy's Bookish Ramblings; and Bernadette at Reactions to Reading. I could go on and on and not only with book blogs (I note that I have 178 book blogs in my reader and 627 subscriptions in all. I need to get out more.) 

And, again, thank you Barb for your kind nomination!


  1. Oh, I can't wait for the Nancy Drew post. I was disappointed when I tried to re-read one a few years ago - the magic had definitely worn off.

    Thanks for including me on your VIB list as well - I was quite miffed that Barb had already bagged you - while still grateful that she nominated me :)

    I have to nerve myself sometimes to eat in restaurants by myself. My favorite Indian place looks a bit askance at single diners (even at lunch!).

    1. Thanks, Lisa! I often have to nerve myself to enter the restaurant, but once I've made the commitment, I'm there to stay!

      I've found the Nancy Drews vary in quality -- the early ones which have been very clumsily edited down from the first editions are sometimes nonsensical in their plot leaps. But then their eccentricities can then also seem less forced compared to the rather more formulaic later ones which can read a bit like someone copied a load of cultural and travel info from Encyclopaedia Britannica!

  2. The Great Wall of China! That's so cool!! And thank you for including me too - most kind! As for the 10 egg coddles - looking at the amount of vintage Pyrex I have knocking about, I think you have no kind of problem at all..... ;)

    1. Pleasure, Kaggsy! Oh, I wish I could collect Pyrex, but it really is out of my reach in Australia both in price and - more practically - in space terms. You could post some pics... (hint, hint!).

  3. My Nancy Drew obsession caused my father to forbid me to bring another one home from the weekly library trip unless I read something "more worthwhile." It was a win/win situation for me.

    I love your facts!

    1. Thanks, Jenclair! I think your father was very sensible in that regard, but I do think that genre has an undeservedly bad name, as - particularly the second half of the series (the old series, I mean) - are packed full of details about countries, cultures, travel, customs, etc. I distinctly remember being absolutely fascinated by these bits of the books, almost more so than the often slight mysteries.

  4. I cannot wait for the Nancy Drew post! And you have Johnny Grunelle books -- I love the illustrations (pretty good title, too!). But I especially loved the photos of your two cats which remind me of both Stimpy (orange and white) and Gypsy (sweet orange boy) -- I miss them both. I'll have to figure out Lizzie's song!

    1. As I see from your posts, you have a lot of musical influences around you, Jeanie, so I imagine you'll get Lizzie's song eventually -- they tend to like ones with big tonal jumps, I find. A friend's cat (now, sadly, in a better place) loved Camptown Races/Ladies, which has the right sort of jumpy style.

  5. Replies
    1. There should be one for 'laziest blogger' - then I'd be in every week... ;-) Thanks Col!

  6. How nice that we shared our nominations from Barb, and I loved reading your facts. And yes: Food in Books! It was the blog that needed to happen. Can I send you any good descriptions I find?

    1. Thank you! Oooh, please do send juicy morsels! The more the merrier. Groaning tables, etc. ;-)

  7. Oh gosh! I could write the world's longest response to your post and all of these comments. But I will keep it short and sweet. :-) You're VERY welcome. You bring me immense pleasure. Even though your comment up above (tap-dancing Nancy) made me swallow my early morning first-sip-of-tea all wrong. My dear, I almost died! ;-)

    Such amazing bloggers, all of you (the collective you) and I am so very honoured to be on the fringes of this creative group. My own posts feel very mild and tame compared to some of what I'm reading elsewhere.

    Food in books - I can see this will be another must-read, along with Moira's lovely clothes in books blog. Marvelous!

    Cats & music - we have an elderly cat with strong feelings regarding music. She sits on the piano bench and critiques our playing, and is not above nipping an elbow or jumping up on the keyboard to stare balefully into one's face when one ventures into the lower registers. Otherwise she seems to enjoy it. The others are oblivious. Same cat hates harmonica playing - she once jumped onto my son's lap and bit his cheek quite firmly when he persisted in continuing his hee-hawing after she warned him that it was hurting her sensitive ears. He was teasing her; she retaliated. Honestly one of the funniest things I ever saw - he was about 10-ish and well able to figure out consequences, and it was by way of being a disciplinary thing by this very bossy matriarchal cat. (See, I've digressed immensely from topic - this isn't about special songs at all, which is rather fascinating and something I must try out. We do have special voices for each cat; they do tend to inspire crooning, don't they?)

    Off topic - will try to hunt down your lost comments over on my blog - I *hate* that they're being screened out. Though some do come through. Very curious.

    Onward & upward!


    1. Thank you, Barb! I am glad that I am not the only person providing hours of personalised entertainment to cats. (Speaking of which - there was a lovely post on the NYT about this: http://opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com/2014/08/01/a-man-and-his-cat/?_php=true&_type=blogs&_r=0) We had a biter - but that was flutes and recorders setting her off (quite understandable). We are a nice community of book bloggers, I think -- and I think our eccentricities (even if mine is being too lazy to post much rather than a really good eccentricity like finding neglected books we MUST read) are part of the charm.

  8. You're a good commenter though so I think that influences the 'slack blogger' status :)

    I'm kind of reeling at the 48 Nancy Drew books, even a great series and even short books, that's pretty awesome. And I love that your cats respond to different songs - how did you manage it?

    1. Thanks Charlie - I suspect I might also write more if I read less blogs, but I certainly wouldn't be so entertained or find so many books I want to read! I suspect the Nancy Drew thing is a sort of perverse reading slump which actually will end up being quite productive. Re the cats: you have to keep trying. Go for tunes with big tonal jumps! And a bit of bird trilling on high notes for added dramatic impact. ;-)

  9. 48 Nancy Drew's in a row. Definitely time for a blog post!

    1. I'm *so* slack, yet my brain is now stuffed full of useless facts: what is Mr Drew's favourite type of pie?, for instance. I need to apply myself. [Answer: lemon meringue]


{READ IN 2018}

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  • 26. The Grave's a Fine & Private Place - Alan Bradley
  • 25. This is What Happened - Mick Herron
  • 24. London Rules - Mick Herron
  • 23. The Third Eye - Ethel Lina White
  • 22. Thrice the Brindled Cat Hath Mewed - Alan Bradley
  • 21. As Chimney Sweepers Come to Dust - Alan Bradley
  • 20. The Dead in Their Vaulted Arches - Alan Bradley
  • 19. Speaking from Among the Bones - Alan Bradley
  • 18. Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine - Gail Honeyman
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  • 13. Portrait of a Murderer - Anthony Gilbert
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{READ IN 2017}

  • 134. Third Crime Lucky - Anthony Gilbert
  • 133. Death Takes a Wife - Anthony Gilbert
  • 132. Death Against the Clock - Anthony Gilbert
  • 131. Give Death a Name - Anthony Gilbert
  • 130. Riddle of a Lady - Anthony Gilbert
  • 129. And Death Came Too - Anthony Gilbert
  • 128. Snake in the Grass - Anthony Gilbert
  • 127. Footsteps Behind Me - Anthony Gilbert
  • 126. Miss Pinnegar Disappears - Anthony Gilbert
  • 125. Lady-Killer - Anthony Gilbert
  • 124. A Nice Cup of Tea - Anthony Gilbert
  • 123. Die in the Dark - Anthony Gilbert
  • 122. Death in the Wrong Room - Anthony Gilbert
  • 121. The Spinster's Secret - Anthony Gilbert
  • 120. Lift up the Lid - Anthony Gilbert
  • 119. Don't Open the Door - Anthony Gilbert
  • 118. The Black Stage - Anthony Gilbert
  • 117. A Spy for Mr Crook - Anthony Gilbert
  • 116. The Scarlet Button - Anthony Gilbert
  • 115. He Came by Night - Anthony Gilbert
  • 114. Something Nasty in the Woodshed - Anthony Gilbert
  • 113. Death in the Blackout - Anthony Gilbert
  • 112. The Woman in Red - Anthony Gilbert
  • 111. The Vanishing Corpse - Anthony Gilbert
  • 110. London Crimes - Martin Edwards (ed.)
  • 109. The Midnight Line - Anthony Gilbert
  • 108. The Clock in the Hatbox - Anthony Gilbert
  • 107. Dear Dead Woman - Anthony Gilbert
  • 106. The Bell of Death - Anthony Gilbert
  • 105. Treason in my Breast - Anthony Gilbert
  • 104. Murder has no Tongue - Anthony Gilbert
  • 103. The Man who Wasn't There - Anthony Gilbert
  • 102. Murder by Experts - Anthony Gilbert
  • 101. The Perfect Murder Case - Christopher Bush
  • 100. The Plumley Inheritance - Christopher Bush
  • 99. Spy - Bernard Newman
  • 98. Cargo of Eagles - Margery Allingham & Philip Youngman Carter
  • 97. The Mind Readers - Margery Allingham
  • 96. The China Governess - Margery Allingham
  • 95. Hide My Eyes - Margery Allingham
  • 94. The Beckoning Lady - Margery Allingham
  • 93. The Tiger in the Smoke - Margery Allingham
  • 92. More Work for the Undertaker - Margery Allingham
  • 91. Coroner's Pidgin - Margery Allingham
  • 90. Traitor's Purse - Margery Allingham
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  • 88. The Case of the Late Pig - Margery Allingham
  • 87. Dancers in Mourning - Margery Allingham
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  • 85. Death of a Ghost - Margery Allingham
  • 84. Sweet Danger - Margery Allingham
  • 83. Police at the Funeral - Margery Allingham
  • 82. Look to the Lady - Margery Allingham
  • 81. Mystery Mile - Margery Allingham
  • 80. The Crime at Black Dudley - Margery Allingham
  • 79. The White Cottage Mystery - Margery Allingham
  • 78. Murder Underground - Mavis Doriel Hay
  • 77. No Man's Land - David Baldacci
  • 76. The Escape - David Baldacci
  • 75. The Forgotten - David Baldacci
  • 74. Zero Day - David Baldacci
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  • 72. The Case is Closed - Patricia Wentworth
  • 71. The Watersplash - Patricia Wentworth
  • 70. Lonesome Road - Patricia Wentworth
  • 69. The Listening Eye - Patricia Wentworth
  • 68. Through the Wall - Patricia Wentworth
  • 67. Out of the Past - Patricia Wentworth
  • 66. Mistress - Amanda Quick
  • 65. The Black Widow - Daniel Silva
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  • 63. The Poet - Michael Connelly
  • 62. The Visitor - Lee Child
  • 61. No Middle Name: The Complete Collected Jack Reacher Stories - Lee Child
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  • 60. The Queen's Accomplice - Susan Elia MacNeal
  • 59. Mrs Roosevelt's Confidante - Susan Elia MacNeal
  • 58. The PM's Secret Agent - Susan Elia MacNeal
  • 57. His Majesty's Hope - Susan Elia MacNeal
  • 56. Princess Elizabeth's Spy - Susan Elia MacNeal
  • 55. Mr Churchill's Secretary - Susan Elia MacNeal
  • 54. A Lesson in Secrets - Jacqueline Winspear
  • 53. Hit & Run - Lawrence Block
  • 52. Hit Parade - Lawrence Block
  • 51. Hit List - Lawrence Block
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  • 48. Dark is the Clue - E. R. Punshon
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  • 45. The Attending Truth - E. R. Punshon
  • 44. The Golden Dagger - E. R. Punshon
  • 43. The Secret Search - E. R. Punshon
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  • 39. Slow Horses - Mick Herron
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  • 37. So Many Doors - E. R. Punshon
  • 36. The Girl with All the Gifts - M. R. Carey
  • 35. A Scream in Soho - John G. Brandon
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  • 33. The Milliner's Hat Mystery - Basil Thomson
  • 32. Who Killed Stella Pomeroy? - Basil Thomson
  • 31. The Dartmoor Enigma - Basil Thomson
  • 30. The Case of the Dead Diplomat - Basil Thomson
  • 29. The Case of Naomi Clynes - Basil Thomson
  • 28. Richardson Scores Again - Basil Thomson
  • 27. A Deadly Thaw - Sarah Ward
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  • 25. The Great Impersonation - E. Phillips Oppenheim
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  • 22. The Ministry of Fear - Graham Greene
  • 21. The Draycott Murder Mystery - Molly Thynne
  • 20. The Murder on the Enriqueta - Molly Thynne
  • 19. The Nowhere Man - Gregg Hurwitz
  • 18. He Dies and Makes No Sign - Molly Thynne
  • 17. Death in the Dentist's Chair - Molly Thynne
  • 16. The Crime at the 'Noah's Ark' - Molly Thynne
  • 15. Harriet the Spy - Louise Fitzhugh
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  • 7. A Murder Unmentioned - Sulari Gentill
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