Vulpes Libris

A collective of bibliophiles talking about books. Book Fox (vulpes libris): small bibliovorous mammal of overactive imagination and uncommonly large bookshop expenses. Habitat: anywhere the rustle of pages can be heard.

What We Read on Our Summer Vacation

As you know, the Foxes were on summer break for the month of August, but even though we were doing other activities, being Book Foxes, of course we didn’t leave books behind. As we returned to the Den, happily chattering, we thought we’d share some of what we read and ask you, our readers, to chime in with what you enjoyed over the summer.
rob-roy-cover Kate read Rob Roy by Sir Walter Scott. “Because (1) I was going to be in Scotland for 10 days, (2) I’ve never read it and feel guilty because someone at a Scottish funeral once told me that I’d enjoy it, and (3) I have a copy that I’d forgotten about. It was …. slow. Well, Scott always is slow, but once I got used to that and changed down a few gears, I found to my amazement that it’s a rip-roaring thriller with betrayal, Gothic family secrets (a secret priest, ghosts in the castle library), legal tussles, hints about the 1715 Rebellion to come, some fine set-piece bickering between redcoats and clansmen, and two stonking good female characters, Diana Vernon the Gothic New Woman, and Helen Macgregor who will hang a traitor before breakfast without blinking. It was great fun, and now I see why one of my distant Scottish relatives told me I’d enjoy it. Clan blood runs thick.”
Lisa chimed in,”I read The Woman Next Door by Cass Green, a beautifully crafted psychological thriller about two neighbours whose friendship is rekindled in a rather strange manner after a gruesome crime is committed.”
And then Hilary, “Well, my holiday reading this year started off with Bookfox Lisa’s terrific surfing trilogy Blue – Air – Ride – and I’ve already joined Moira and Eve in raving about it here. sidney-chambersThe rest of the time I spent with a book that probably couldn’t be a greater contrast – James Runcie’s latest volume of the Grantchester Mysteries, Sidney Chambers and the Dangers of Temptation. This is the fourth volume, and we are racing through the decades towards the planned end point at the beginning of the 80s. Sidney is now 46 and The Venerable Sidney Chambers, Archdeacon of Ely. He’s less of a clerical dreamboat, but still a magnet for crime, even the move away from Grantchester has not parted him from his partner in detection Inspector Geordie Keating. All the usual cast of characters is there (bar the original dog Dickens), including the Sidney’s wife Hildegard, and the one that we were all rooting for who got away, Amanda. These crime stories, mysteries and dilemmas are very much tuned to the times, which is the era of my (and the author’s) youth. They are quietly and thoughtfully explored. This is gentle, period mystery – the Grantchester Mysteries run quiet but deep.
seven-days-cover Finally, Jackie admitted that she read a lot of cozy mysteries this summer.”But,” she hurried to say, “also a few nonfiction art books. One of which was Seven Days in the Art World by Sarah Thornton, which explored various parts of the contemporary art scene; such as galleries, art fairs, magazines and prizes. It introduced me to a lot of modern artists that I was unfamiliar with and I’d go online to see their works. My favorite was Tomma Abts, who won the Turner Prize in the UK a few years ago with her richly colored geometric works.”
Now we’d like to hear from those on the other side of the screen, our readers. What were some of your favorite books this summer?

2 comments on “What We Read on Our Summer Vacation

  1. jillaurellia
    September 14, 2016

    No love for the cozy mysteries? I would like to hear about them!

  2. Jackie
    September 15, 2016

    Oh, there is definitely a love for cozy mysteries, they just seem fluffy sometimes. I’ll be posting about a few of my favorites in a couple weeks. Watch this space!

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  • (The header image is from Aesop's Fables, illustrated by Francis Barlow (1666), and appears courtesy of the Digital and Multimedia Center at the Michigan State University Libraries.)
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