Just July

July was a nutty month. Lots of music: Phish three times, Warren Haynes at Tanglewood, Dead and Company twice, and Coldplay. (August is only Pearl Jam and Mieka Pauley.) We made it up to Monhegan for a week and down to CT twice. And! And. And, I moved a lot of rocks (don’t ask). For the books it was:

  • Milk in my Coffee by Eric Jerome Dickey
  • Disco for the Departed by Colin Cotterill
  • Cranford by Elizabeth Gaskell (AB)
  • The Last Battle by Ryan Cornelius
  • Sign of the Four by Arthur Conan Doyle
  • The Glass Palace by Amitav Ghosh
  • 8:55 to Baghdad by Andrew Eames

I think, once I got used to Dickey’s style, I grew to like Milk but my favorite by far was The Glass Palace by Amitav Ghosh. Is it a movie? Because if it isn’t, it should be. I said that in the review as well.

Full disclosure: I had Lost Upland on my list as well. I simply ran out of time and couldn’t get to it. I’m okay with seven books for the month.


Gaskell, Elizabeth. Cranford. Read by Davina Porter. Prince Frederick, MD: Recorded Books, 2008.

Reason read: Cranford takes place in a fictional town in England. In July England celebrates a day called Swan Upping. Swan Upping is the practice of catching mute swans and marking them. As I understand the tradition, any unmarked muted swan belongs to the Monarchy.

This is a weird little book. Picture a society made up mostly of women. In the fictional town of Cranford women run the show. If a new couple arrives in Cranford to settle down sooner or later the man of the house vanishes. This society simply doesn’t need a man…until Captain Brown and his two daughters arrive on the scene. There is no central plot as this was originally published as a satirical serial. However, the entire story is told first person through the eyes of a visitor and most of the story centers on one particular character, Miss Matty (Matilda).

Quotes that caught me, “Things that many would despise, and actions which it seemed scarcely worthwhile to perform, were all attended to in Cranford” (p 32),

Author fact: Mrs. Gasket publish the first biography of Charlotte Bronte.

Book trivia: Cranford was first published as a serial in 1851 and was edited by Charles Dickens.

BookLust Twist: from Book Lust To Go in the chapter called “The Maine Chance” (p 135), although Cranford doesn’t take place in Maine. Has nothing to do with Maine in any way, as a matter of fact. Pearl was just making a comparison, as usual.

July on Deck

July. Summertime. Lots of music (starting with you guessed it, Phish). Lots of running (hopefully all outdoors). Lots of travel, lots of play. Plenty of reading:

  • Milk in My Coffee by Eric Jerome Dickey (in honor of National Cow Appreciation Day on the 14th. I kid you not.)
  • Disco for the Departed by Colin Cotterill (#3 – to continue the series started in May in honor of Rocket Day)
  • The Last Battle by Cornelius Ryan (#3 – to continue the series started in June for D-Day)
  • Cranford (AB) by Elizabeth Gaskell (in honor of Swan Upping. If you don’t know about this day, check it out. It’s fascinating. Or you can wait for my review when I’ll explain the practice.)
  • Black Faces, White Faces by Jane Gardam (in honor of Gardam’s birth month)

As an aside, I have read the last two Cotterills in a day each, so I know I need to add at least one or two more books to the list. I’m off to the great unknown for vacation so when I get back I’ll probably have to revisit this list.

Also, I should note that I won another Early Review book from LibraryThing, but since its not here yet I won’t promise to read it. 😉