BBC One’s series Sherlock has been my bane in the last few months since I started following it. Such a brilliantly written and acted show is pure delight to watch. It is a tribute to the makers that they have managed to turn their audience not only to their own vision but inspired many to turn to the original books again.
What’s an obsession without inspiration, eh? I may be too old to be a “fan” but I can put it to good use.
Arthur Conan Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes has arguably the most iconic silhouette in literary history. These are RI transfers of the outline and the others are show references that followers will easily identify.
What is Sherlock away from London? This is is lair, his home, his heartbeat.
And whatever he does to keep his London safe, whatever his part is wheen England needs him, whatever John thinks of his deductive skills, Sherlock never fails to remind us:
What have you been reading lately?
One of my great reading pleasures is to delve into good historical fiction. I’m not usually finicky about what I read in that genre; it’s all so fascinating and entertaining that sometimes I don’t even mind mediocrity. Not this time. It’s like I’ve discovered a voice so authentic that my experience of how a good book should be written is marred forever more.
The first thing to notice while reading fiction, especially period fiction, is how true the language rings. These two novels are set about 200 years apart and Morgan brings out the language evolution so vividly that I could absolutely picture the setting, the city, the time. From the way a character would speak based on their upbringing to the milkwoman on the street, each dialect is refreshingly distinct and true to form.
The setting: Pestilent, crowded Elizabethan London in Shakespeare is evoked as strongly as the desolate rural moor of the Bronté sisters in Charlotte and Emily through artfully descriptive prose that sets the mood of the novels brilliantly. Who knew that the lives of these geniuses were so wonderfully distraught. Not wonderfully as in delightedly, but in the way that Morgan perceives them to be. Admittedly though, Emily Bronté must have had to battle some demons to be able to produce a work of such powerful creepiness as Wuthering Heights, and Morgan, understanding the peril of giving in to an almost-madness, brings it out in his novel with outstanding pizzazz. The time period is firmly ensconced throughout: women then weren’t expected to be authors, let alone morbid ones like the Bronté sisters.
Can you tell I loved the books? If you’re looking to read fiction a bit removed from the usual fare, something that pulls you in even when you’d rather just crash into bed after a long day, give Jude Morgan a try. He may surprise you yet.
*Note: Jude Morgan is a pseudonym for Tim Wilson. I was even more amazed at this info tidbit. For a man to so accurately capture a woman’s inner turmoil in his work is amazing to me. One can only aspire to such great a talent!
Confections of a Closet Master Baker, by Gesine Bullock-PradoFirst things first. This book could’ve gotten more checkouts from the library with a better cover. A baking memoir DESERVES something scrumptious or at least pretty on the cover, doesn’t it? How else are you going to know that there are some precious recipes in the book?
Second, the author is Sandra Bullock’s sister. Yes, the star. I get how it must be really annoying for her to never be known as anything but, but when you’re trying to sell books, every little publicity corner counts. And this fact ain’t little. Imagine how many more people would be picking out your book over others when they see your celebrity sister’s name on the cover. You have made it clear enough throughout the book that you’re more than “Sandy’s” little sister, but at least get the audience there so they may read it for themselves, no?
That said, Gesine Bullock-Prado’s culinary memoir outlining her journey from a H-town executive to a small-town Vermont baker is thoroughly entertaining. (I have to admit: even after she’s explained how to pronounce her name in the pages, I’m not saying it right. What’s a hard-G?!) It totally comes across how painfully shy, to the point of rude, Gesine is (I have one of those offpsrings too), and how baking is her soul career. There is no escaping her mom-fixation, even well into adulthood, so much so that sometimes this book reads like an ode to her mama with a few recipes thrown in.
About the recipes, though, some have been described so well that I want to get in the kitchen and crank up my oven right away. (With baking season upon us, who knows, I very well may.) The ones for Golden Eggs (a simple vanilla cake), Focaccia and Apple Pie are particularly beguiling. (I will keep you updated if I ever get to making these.)
If you’re looking for a food memoir to read or bake from, this book might be a good bet. Just don’t judge it by its cover.