Bookflurries: Bookchat: Ports in a Storm and Books that Begin with P and Q
Welcome to bookchat where you can talk about anything...books, plays, essays, and books on tape. You don’t have to be reading a book to come in, sit down, and chat with us.
The cure for boredom is curiosity. There is no cure for curiosity.
When I think of books, I think of their life-giving properties. I like all kinds of books. I like the ones that make me question and go looking for answers. I like the ones that lift my spirits and help me to know I am not alone. I like the ones that make me laugh and ones that make me cry because I learn more about what it means to be human.
But sometimes, when life throws storms at me, I like to have a safe harbor for a bit and rather than have my mind stretched, I want some comfort. Then I turn to the kind of books sometimes called fluff. Often the books have a character or set of characters that I have been reading about for years in one book of the series after another. I feel that I know them. There will not be big surprises where a main character is killed off. I will be concerned about the characters, but I will not have to mourn.
I know, for example, that Alexander McCall Smith’s Precious Ramotswe of the No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency will solve a problem that is part of the detective agency’s job and also a problem that is plaguing a family member or friend. It may take a while and there may be side trips while she tries to save her old white van, but I can enjoy the story as if I am in a sanctuary. I do learn about new things, but there is still a sense of peace as I learn. People have sometimes called the stories slow, but I call them vivid. Precious will pick up things and look at them so carefully and show us what she sees. What she sees and shares is Botswana.
In the world of Michelle Sagara’s series The Chronicles of Elantra, I can watch people who respect each other solve problems that are truly earthshaking in their world, but it is such strange fantasy that it doesn’t impinge on my own world. Kaylin is a refreshing character who doesn’t do well with authority figures. She is bold and vulnerable and has a secret she doesn’t want revealed. In fact, she is not entirely human. She is a threat and could have been killed for it. The ones who saved her and nurtured her are interesting characters in their own right.
I used to re-read Ellis Peter’s Cadfael books when I was not feeling well. Cadfael, often found in his garden, was a monk who had lived in the world for many years before choosing the Benedictines. His friendship with the sheriff is important to me in a world where Stephen and Maud are fighting and England is at war. There is a sense of love and closure in the stories. Cadfael often learns something about himself in the story, too. Because Shrewsbury is close to Wales, his homeland, he often travels there. He is tough, but he is kind and wise. I seek his warmth. I wrap it around me like a shawl.
When I was a child, it was the Oz stories that were a comfort. Dorothy went up against the Gnome King and won. The trees had lunch pails growing from them. With a little of the right powder, a sofa could fly. They were the Harry Potter stories of my day, but no one but the bad witch died.
Perhaps what I am seeking in such stories is the sense of teamwork where people who are friends act to solve a problem. The settings are interesting and add to the pleasure of the read. They are my port in a storm.
What books do you like to curl up on the couch with or slump down in the big chair and enjoy when there is a storm?
The Letter P
Pagan Holiday by Tony Perrottet
Pain and Possibility by Gabrielle Lusser Rico
Passages by Gail Sheehy
Passenger to Teheran by Vita Sackville-West
"But, for my part, I would not forgo the memory of an Egyptian dawn, and the flight of herons across the morning moon."
Paula by Isabel Allende
Peace Like a River by Leif Enger
The Pearl by John Steinbeck
Peony in Love by Lisa See
Perfect Prince by Ann Wroe
Personal History by Katherine Graham
Persuasion by Jane Austen
The Phantom of the Opera musical composed by Andrew Lloyd Webber, based on the novel The Phantom of the Opera by Gaston Leroux.
Piano Tuner by Daniel Mason
Pickpocket’s Tale by Karen Schwabach (Our DKos author, Sensible Shoes)
What I have said before:
It is a children’s book and I enjoyed it. I could see the very careful research and learning about New York City in the 1730’s.
It is a very poignant story and on page 165, considering what Molly had been through at the age of 8, this was extra sad, but rang true:
Molly chanced a look. She felt her stomach churn, and she had to run out of the kitchen again. That was a sure sign that she wasn’t meant to grow up decent, Molly thought. Everyone else was trying to help Christy which was a mitzvah, and Molly couldn’t even stand to look at her.
Making the family learn to eat potatoes.
Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde
Pieces from Berlin by Michael Pye
Pied Piper by Neville Shute
Pilgrim at Tinker Creek by Annie Dillard
Pilgrim's Progress by John Bunyan
The Pilot’s Wife by Anita Shreve
Pirate of Exquisite Mind bio of William Dampier by Diana and Michael Preston
Plain Song by Kent Haruf
Playing Botticelli by Liza Nelson
Plum Island by Nelson DeMille
Poet and the Murderer by Simon Warrall
Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man by James Joyce
Power and the Glory by Graham Greene
A Prayer for Owen Meany by John Irving
Pride of Chanur and sequels by C. J. Cherryh
Kif Strike Back
Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
Pride, Prejudice and Jasmin Field by Melissa Nathan
Prime of Miss Jean Brodie by Muriel Spark
Prince Borghese’s Trail or Peking to Paris: 10,000 Miles over Two Continents, Four Deserts and the Roof of the World in the Peking to Paris Motor Challenge by Genevieve Obert
Prince of Marshes by Rory Stewart
Prince of Tides by Pat Conroy
Princess Academy by Shannon Hale
Princess Bride by William Goldman
Princess Diaries by Meg Cabot
Prince Valiant Vol. I (1937, 1938) by Hal Foster
Private Patient by P. D. James
Prize Winner of Defiance, Ohio by Terry Ryan
Prodigal Summer by Barbara Kingsolver
Promises to Keep by Joe Biden
Prophecy of the Stones by Flavia Bujor
Protest Singer: An Intimate Portrait of Pete Seeger by Alec Wilkinson
Psychohistorical Crisis by Donald Kingsbury
Purple Hibiscus by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie (Nigeria)
The Letter Q
Quantum World by Kenneth Ford
Quattocento by James McKean
Queen of the Mist by Joan Murray
Queen of the South by Perez-Reverte
Queen of the Underworld by Gail Godwin
Quiet as a Nun by Antonia Fraser
Quite a Year for Plums by Bailey White
Diaries of the week
Write On! Revise this.
Thursday Classical Music Blogging OPUS 21: Post your favorite MARCH music day!
Nurse Kelley Sez: Shop the Updated Kos Katalogue!
This is traditional!
Arlo Guthrie/Alice's Restaurant
regular part one
NOTE: plf515 has book talk on Wednesday mornings early. Watch for extra editions on Sundays!
sarahnity’s list of DKos authors