Watching Mr. Darcy & more {book reviews}

Watching Mr. Darcy & more {book reviews} introduces a series of book reviews which I hope you will find interesting. My favorite in this bunch is Lynn Austin’s Wonderland Creek, an absolute ‘must read’.


Death Comes to PemberleyDeath Comes to Pemberley by P.D. James
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

This is my copy, for which I paid two dollars at the library book sale.

I read Murder Comes to Pemberley because it is on my shelf, and I wanted to read P.D. James for comparison to others. Based on this book, I think Elizabeth George weaves a better story, but P.D. James is much more wholesome in the telling.

I am not a Jane Austen fan, nor am I a fan of the writings of that era. This book was more Jane Austen than it was mystery, and for that reason I did not care for it. I did not think her characterizations were sufficient for a new reader. I had trouble picturing the story in my mind, both the setting and the characters. Because of that it was difficult for me to follow. I suppose that if I had watched such stories in screen production I would not be lost.

I recommend the book for those who are fans of Jane Austen and the writings of that era. Otherwise, for people like me, not so much.

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Fresh from the Country Fresh from the Country by Miss Read
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Library copy.
Not your typical Miss Read read. Country girl takes her first teaching post in a crowded city school, with its accompanying challenges. Well written, but I miss the perspective of the Fairacre series, particularly the village pace of life.

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Wonderland CreekWonderland Creek by Lynn Austin
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Library copy.

Just love Lynn Austin’s writing. Less than 50 pages and I feel like I’m there, in the story. Awesome!

And it was awesome, all the way to the end! Characters are fabulous. The main character, from whose point of view the entire book is written (big plus in my book), Alice (in Wonderland – ha!), captures your heart from page one. You will find yourself reacting to her often. I can’t speak to the setting, having never been to Kentucky except on the Interstate.

The story keeps hopping from one exciting event to the next. Never a dull moment. The writing is wonderful, squeaky clean (of course), and multiple layers.

But the thing that separates Lynn’s writing from that of others (though there are a few authors who do so), is the strong line of faith in the story line. It is not just in the characters. It permeates the story, as it should all of life. It is not idealistic and church-y, but down-to-earth and practical faith. Miss Lillie is indeed a wise woman.

I highly recommend Wonderland Creek, and all of Lynn Austin’s books.

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The One One One Diet: The Simple 1:1:1 Formula for Fast and Sustained Weight LossThe One One One Diet: The Simple 1:1:1 Formula for Fast and Sustained Weight Loss by Rania Batayneh
My rating: 1 of 5 stars

Library copy, brand new. I found her on Twitter.

Just another plan for weight loss, that throws all other plans to the wind and guarantees success if you follow it. Very few rules, big promises of no counting, no denying oneself, you can eat any thing you want, yada, yada, yada.

It’s a simple plan. It’s marketable. It’s one of a dozen. Basically it’s a low-carb lifestyle with exercise. So, what’s new? If one is disciplined enough to eat sensibly as she suggests, one would not have a weight problem. I gave up and returned it without finishing it quite. Read most of the narrative, not the recipes and such.

Check it out. Let me know what you think. Any one of these plans would work if followed and stuck with, in my humble opinion.

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The Way of the World: A Story of Truth and Hope in an Age of ExtremismThe Way of the World: A Story of Truth and Hope in an Age of Extremism by Ron Suskind
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This is my copy of the book. Bought at the library book sale.

I wanted to read The Way of the World because I had read Suskind’s Hope in the Unseen and enjoyed it. This is not my typical read, nor is it his typical write. Overall, it is a great book. Suskind writes well and leaves the garbage out, even where it would fit. I appreciate his style.
The subject, while it is good to pull one’s head out of the sand on occasion in order to know what is actually happening in American politics (federal), is a difficult one. I read much of the book aloud (to myself) and in short portions, in order to get the sense of it. Some sections are much easier than others. Suskind’s use of different characters, at different places globally, yet connected to the big picture, is commendable. I’m not sure he could have made his point otherwise.

I really liked the cultural aspects of the book, I mean I learned from them, something I can take with me. I didn’t like what I learned about the Bush administration and the War in Iraq. Much of the goings on in the intelligence community was not new to me. Meaning I have read similar accounts in fictional books. Seriously!

I kept wondering where the book would end (I do that). I’ll leave that one hanging… Be sure to read the acknowledgments at the end of the book, particularly about his research assistant.

If you like to know what’s going on from different perspectives, historically (although I imagine much of the way of the world has not changed since 2008 when this was written), you will enjoy this book. I would recommend any thing by Suskind.

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8 thoughts on “Watching Mr. Darcy & more {book reviews}

  1. Barbara H. says:

    So far I haven’t read any of the novels about Pemberley or Jane Austen’s books – I guess they seem more like fan fiction to me. I do have a related title on my Kindle but can’t think of it just now.

    I’ve liked most of what I’ve read by Lynn Austin.

    I started one Miss Read book but couldn’t get into it. But I’ve only heard good things about them so should probably try again.


      • Barbara H. says:

        That’s a hard question – there are so many. 🙂 I usually read more fiction but this year I’ve probably read more non-fiction, at least more than is usual for me. Some favorites: Elisabeth Elliot, Isobel Kuhn, Rosalind Goforth, Amy Carmichael, Charles Dickens, Elizabeth Gaskell, Dee Henderson, Beverly Lewis…for a few. 🙂


      • thesilverofhisfining says:

        You are well read, Barbara. I love anything by or about Amy Carmichael. I can’t say I care for Dickens much, though I tried. That’s a great list of authors! I’ll have to try some of them. Thanks for sharing. What are you currently reading?


      • Barbara H. says:

        Gospel Meditations for the Hurting by Chris Anderson and Joe Tyrpak, How to Read Slowly by James W. Sire, Just Jane by Nancy Moser (a fictionalized account of Jane Austen’s life), and listening to The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes via audiobook.


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