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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.

1 Challenge Books 003

I have been thinking again that I should explain what Bookflurries-Bookchat is in case there are new viewers or just because it has been a long time since I thought about it, too.  Basically, it is a place to chat about what we are reading or hoping to read and to get ideas about books to put on our wish list to find in libraries or bookstores.

I don’t just talk about books, but also mention poems, plays, and favorite quotations.
Pretty much everything comes up in comments.  The reason I choose a theme is to get a discussion going.  It also means that someone who is not reading a book right now may still have something to say about the theme.

I like to explore ideas about why we read, what kind of book works for us, what new books are out, and how we decide which one we will read next.  

I read all kinds of books both fiction and non-fiction and I read several at the same time.  I like the idea of stretching myself to read books that I might not pick up if it were not for my readers enticing me into trying new things.  I looked over my list of books and I was surprised how many books I have read that readers have suggested.  

It is good for me to get out of my comfort zone or rut and meet new authors and try new series and travel in new countries.

Some books set my hair on fire and that is good, too.

Many times I choose my theme and diary from books that I am currently reading.  A word or phrase will pop into my mind and I will go with that and expound on it.  I like questions.  I like to question things and that is where discussion comes in with my great readers and posters.  How much you all have taught me.  Thank you!!!

My theme, tonight, Puzzles and Dreams, has to do with the kinds of books I enjoy.  I like to figure out what is happening and there are mysteries in all kinds of books besides traditional mystery stories.   What characters are dreaming up or dreaming of doing is also something I like to read about in both fiction and non-fiction.  I generally do not enjoy stories where a character is treading water and has no hope of ever having a dream or trying to change or move forward.  I love journeys.

I like it when my mind is so engaged in the story that I don’t know what time it is in the real world.  Luckily for me, there are many writers who can draw me in and keep me interested.  I generally don’t analyze or critique books: I live them.

I read (or gulped down) the new book, How the Light Gets In, featuring Chief Inspector Gamache by Louise Penny.  I believe the books in the series should be read in order because there is an arc to the story that makes each book more powerful than it would be as a stand alone.   It also makes it hard to talk about the story without spoiling it so I will be very careful.

Louise Penny has a symbol in the story that repeats in the first few chapters about cracks.  The title of her story is from a Leonard Cohen song called “Anthem”.  

Ring the bells that still can ring,
Forget your perfect offering,
There’s a crack in everything.
That’s how the light gets in.
The introduction was a puzzle right off the bat because of the poem and I was intrigued as I saw the use of the cracks in the first pages.  Aha!  A big puzzle is offered up to my eager mind.  There are two deaths.  I ask myself, “Are they related? What do they have to do with cracks?”  

The story arc continues in this book in which seriously evil people are lurking and trying to destroy the Sûreté du Québec and Gamache.  It is his character as a solid good man that is holding the destruction back and he is tired.  So, another puzzle.  Who is behind this and what will that entity do in this story, not only to Inspector Gamache and his department, but to the others who are trying to discover the source of the evil?  Gamache is outnumbered.  The team who worked for him has been systematically dismantled and only Isabelle Lacoste is left.

But the dream!  Ah, I had just mourned the other day that the village of Three Pines had not appeared in the last book and here it is back again.  My blood pressure dropped fifty points as another character experienced its charms and when Gamache drove in I eagerly followed him around.  It is a dream village that is hidden south of Montreal and it is hard to find.  When people do find it, they like to stay.  So do I.

It is winter again, nearly Christmas, and it is snowing.  The children of the village are playing hockey on the pond until it grows dark.  Myrna is in her bookstore, Clara is in her home with her paintings, Gabri and Olivier are in their comfortable B&B and their Bistro where everyone gathers; and yes, the poet, Ruth, who is sitting on the bench as usual is still bitter, but her duck Rosa has come home!  And I have come home, too.  I am sorry.  It is just that simple and that profound.

    Still Life
    A Fatal Grace
    The Cruelest Month
    A Rule Against Murder
    The Brutal Telling
    Bury Your Dead
    A Trick of the Light
    The Beautiful Mystery
    How the Light Gets In

Besides traveling to Canada, I also traveled to Laos.  Readers here recommended Colin Cotterill’s books with Dr. Siri Paiboun.  I started with the first one, The Coroner’s Lunch, so that I could learn about the main character from the beginning and understand him better.  It is a good thing that I did this.  

The first puzzle is how will Dr. Paiboun survive in a country where he must have monthly sessions called “burden-sharing tutorials” in which Comrade Siri is told that at the next one they will have to discuss his attitude.

Also Siri has dreams.  

Pgs. 9, 10

Siri’s dream world had always been bizarre…

Although he stopped being scared, he never did gain control of them.  He couldn’t keep out unwanted visitors, for one thing.  There were a lot of strangers loitering in his dreams with little or no intention of entertaining him.  They lurked, laid about, idled, as if Siri’s head was a waiting room.  He often felt as if his was just a backstage to someone else’s dreams.

But the most peculiar visitors to his subconscious were the dead…

He was somehow able to know the feelings and personalities of the departed…He could have conversations with the competed whole, and get a feeling of the essence of what that person had been in real life.

The puzzle begins for Siri and for me when a man comes to his dream and sits in a vinyl chair in his room and leaves a wet ring from his bottle of whisky on Siri’s coffee table.


pg. 124

It was clear that he was getting close to an answer, close enough to make one side or the other nervous.  He just hoped he could work it all out before they managed to do away with him.  How frustrating it would be to spend eternity in the afterlife with an unsolved puzzle.
In Black Count by Reiss, Napoleon has come into General Dumas’ life for good and evil.  The General who is called Mr. Humanity meets his nemesis.   When even a general of Dumas’ stature and worth could be called to Paris during the madness and risk being guillotined, when reports on his campaigns are sent back by watchers, life is uncertain, to say the least.  

Pgs. 205-206

The author found a letter written to Napoleon and signed by twenty-members of the 20th Dragoon Regiment praising Dumas, but…

When Napoleon sent his January battle report to the Directory, he praised every other officer involved in ending the Siege of Manuta.  General Dumas’s name was not mentioned once.
A bit later after another Dumas triumph Napoleon seemed to forgive him and sent a good report to Paris along with hailing him as “the Horatius Cocles of the Tyrol” which name referred to Dumas ever after.

The puzzle of the book is how the two men will relate to each other in the future pages and I already know the result.  It will be hard to watch it happen.  

What puzzles and dreams are you finding in the books you are reading or have read in the past?  Do some books leave the puzzles unsolved?  Is that annoying?

Has a book kept you up late, recently?

What dreams of traveling or learning have been caused by books you have read?  Have you actually followed your dream?  

I know that after I read Michener’s Iberia, I forced hubby to go to Europe with me for eight weeks in 1972.  I have always been glad we followed that dream when we were young and could walk long distances and climb stairs.

May your dreams come true and your puzzles be solved.

Speaking of dreams…this was a good diary!

E-book publishing on your own
by winifred3

Diaries of the Week:

Write On! a timeline of writing
by SensibleShoes

Monday Murder Mystery: Elmore Leonard RIP
by Susan from 29

Contemporary Fiction Views: A DNF week
by bookgirl

Austin's Pride Parade, AIDS Walk Austin & Dining for Life
by anotherdemocrat

Robert Fuller says:

Chapter 22, of The Rowan Tree is up:

Rowan finally faces the consequences of the life choices he made.

There is a little over 2 weeks to go for the current Goodreads Giveaway for a free copy of The Rowan Tree in paperback:

The audiobook is also now available at:


NOTE: plf515 has book talk on Wednesday mornings early

Originally posted to Readers and Book Lovers on Wed Sep 04, 2013 at 05:00 PM PDT.

Also republished by Progressive Friends of the Library Newsletter.


As summer officially slips away, what good thing do you enjoy in the early autumn?

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