February - Aquarius & Amethyst

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February - Aquarius & Amethyst

1Familyhistorian
Jan 18, 12:19 am

Signs of the Zodiac don’t follow our months of the year exactly but much of February lies within the sign of Aquarius. The birthstone for this month is Amethyst. So in keeping with the month, reads should incorporate the colour purple or letting go of the past to move into the future. This could involve historical space travel or tales of innovations or explorations that moved on from known places or ways of doing things.

Possible reads

Hidden Figures – Margot Lee Shetterly
The Armor of Light – Ken Follett
The Color Purple – Alice Walker

2MissBrangwen
Jan 18, 3:46 am

Would something connected to water also be ok? I thought so because of Aquarius.

3Tanya-dogearedcopy
Jan 18, 11:10 am

I’ve got Apollo in the Age of Aquarius (by Neil M. Maher) stacked for this one! It’s about the Apollo space program in the 1960s. It cuts a little into my idea of “history” a little bit as it covers a period when I was alive, albeit very young but it’s too perfect a book for this prompt to pass up!

4DeltaQueen50
Jan 18, 2:49 pm

Taking the theme literally, I have a book entitled Escape of the Amethyst by Lucas Phillips. It is the true story of how a British frigate escaped from the Yangtze River after being fired up by the Communists in 1949.

5Familyhistorian
Jan 18, 7:51 pm

>2 MissBrangwen: Aquarius is the sign of the water bearer so water should be okay.

6Familyhistorian
Editado: Jan 18, 7:53 pm

>3 Tanya-dogearedcopy: The '60s and '70s are considered history now. Hard for those of use who lived through those eras to wrap our head around, I know.

7Familyhistorian
Jan 18, 7:55 pm

>4 DeltaQueen50: Ooh, good one Judy. Nice to have a book that fits the theme so well on hand.

8CurrerBell
Jan 19, 9:44 am

For space travel, I'd been planning an it's-been-fifty-years-ago reread of C.S. Lewis's classic The Space Trilogy (Out of the Silent Planet, Perelandra, and That Hideous Strength in a three-fer volume). Does that qualify?

And I was also just thinking, for the color purple ... I've been meaning for ages to get to The Color Purple.

9Familyhistorian
Jan 20, 1:05 am

>8 CurrerBell: That sounds like historic space travel, so yes!

10Tess_W
Jan 20, 7:18 pm

I have requested Good Morning, Midnight from the the library in hopes that it will fit here. It is the story of when everything goes "black", as far as the air waves. There is a manned spaceship trying to return from Jupiter, not sure they will make it back. Very lightly it could connect with Aquarius (the stars) and with new or different ways of doing things, as the spaceship has no instructions for returning to earth.

11Familyhistorian
Jan 20, 8:16 pm

>10 Tess_W: Sounds good, Tess.

12MissWatson
Jan 21, 5:17 am

On my TBR there's Die Purpurlinie (The Purple Line) which is about the famous portrait of Gabrielle d'Estrées and one of her sisters. No idea what else happens in it...

13Familyhistorian
Jan 21, 12:59 pm

>12 MissWatson: It fits the purple aspect of the theme. It will be interesting to find out what it is about.

14JayneCM
Jan 21, 9:08 pm

>10 Tess_W: I enjoyed that one.

15JayneCM
Jan 21, 9:52 pm

I am going to read Without Precedent by Owen Zupp, the story of Australia's first Purple Heart recipient.

16Tess_W
Jan 21, 10:00 pm

17Familyhistorian
Jan 22, 12:47 am

>15 JayneCM: Ooh, good one!

18mnleona
Jan 24, 9:40 am

>6 Familyhistorian: Wow! I had my kids in 50s and 60s.

19Familyhistorian
Jan 24, 1:58 pm

>18 mnleona: Mind boggling isn't it?

20cindydavid4
Editado: Jan 27, 11:05 pm

Im not catholic, but this title intrigues me, tho I doubt it will have much to do with aquarius Becoming a Nun in the Age of Aquarius by helen reynolds

lighthouse bay looks interesting; water of course, and two woman hoping to move from the past to the future

21Familyhistorian
Jan 27, 11:25 pm

>20 cindydavid4: Looks interesting. I hope it lives up to expectations or exceeds them.

22MissBrangwen
Jan 28, 3:25 am

>5 Familyhistorian: Thanks!

I hope to read Der tote Rittmeister by Elsa Dix, the second in a series of historical crime novels set on the island of Norderney.

23cindydavid4
Editado: Jan 28, 9:25 am

>21 Familyhistorian: well thanks me too! Becoming a nun in the age of aquarius is on kindle,so I snatched it up. guess Ill start with that and move on to lighthoue

24cindydavid4
Jan 28, 8:17 pm

really enjoying the nun in the age of aquarius. Its probably targeted to younger readers, because she mentions and explains events in the 50s and 60s that played a big part of her life, but her writing is good so I dont mind a little refresher course. Interesting info on Vatican II which I really didn't know about beyond surface. I didnt realize how little the girls in the convent heard about this, or any news on the outside. Just getting to where she is going to the convent for her first year. anyway expecting this to be a quick read, and glad I picked it despite my reservations

25Familyhistorian
Jan 28, 8:59 pm

>24 cindydavid4: One of the books I borrowed for this challenge was for younger readers too. So I think that Perkin's Perfect Purple will be a quick read as well. Enjoy your book!

26cindydavid4
Editado: Jan 29, 6:48 pm

so,funny I picked this book up jokingly thinking it was going to be a hoot to read, but lo and behold, I finished my book over a day and night and am so surprised by it. the author is a good writer who does not go overboard with language but keeps her story understandable, and interesting. She covers her days as pestulant and novice to a convent when she was 17. she started the book due to a invitation she received for the 50th reunion for the sisters in her group. She covers what their day to day was like, and busted many myths about them. I think what I liked most was her discussion of Vatican II which made a big impact on all sisters around the world. Pope Paul was trying to reform the church and made new rules to allow the sisters to be more a part of the new world. I knew some of this but didnt realize the ramification to those in convents. Funny the church had these meetings inviting every one in the hierchy, except for the sisters that the rules would affect. Much of her Aquarious talk was in how the societical changes at the time were pushing for more changes in the church. I apppreciated the footnotes, glossary and bibliography. Id give this little book 5 stars, and just may use it for this months non fiction challenge 'womans work' definitly recommend it to anyone interested

27Familyhistorian
Jan 30, 12:53 am

>26 cindydavid4: I had to look up the dates for Vatican II which, in keeping with the age of Aquarius, was in the early 1960s. I can remember it as a time of change in the Catholic church (not my church but I lived in Quebec). How typical that they didn't invite the sisters to be a part of the meetings - indicative of the treatment of women at the time, though.

28dianelouise100
Fev 1, 7:11 am

This discussion has reminded me of In this House of Brede by Rumer Godden. It deals with a woman, who at the height of a successful career, moves into a different life entirely when she becomes a nun. I’ve had this on my TBR for a long time, maybe I’ll get to it this month. May not finish though, it’s a brick. Thanks for the prompt, Cindy.

29Familyhistorian
Fev 1, 11:44 pm

There was nothing in my personal library that fit this month’s theme so I borrowed two books both of which fit into the topic through their titles about purple. The first one was Perkins Perfect Purple: How a Boy Created Color with Chemistry. It was about a young chemist’s discovery of how to make colour from coal tar which he found through experimentation. It was nicely illustrated and an interesting history.

30Tanya-dogearedcopy
Fev 2, 2:22 am

I finished listening to Apollo in the Age of Aquarius (by Neil M. Maher; narrated by L.J. Ganser)— a non-fiction book about NASA’s space program in the 1960s and in context with the social movements of the time. In the introduction, the author states that the book shows how the Apollo program worked in synergy with the Civil Rights, women’s rights and environmental movements. Instead of “synergy” though, Maher demonstrates how NASA functioned in spite of and in opposition to those movements and only caving in under political and financial pressure to address those concerns. By its own stated metric, the book failed to prove its point, instead demonstrating how NASA exacerbated social and cultural divisions. Overall, it’s an informative but awkwardly written book that inevitably leaves the reader disappointed with arguably one of the US’s greatest achievements.

31cindydavid4
Fev 2, 10:13 am

interesting that such an interesting title of a book belies what really happened. such a shame

32Familyhistorian
Fev 2, 2:49 pm

>30 Tanya-dogearedcopy: Looks like a history that needs a critical eye to read. Strange that an editor or other interested party didn't realize that it didn't prove its point.

33Tanya-dogearedcopy
Fev 2, 5:29 pm

>31 cindydavid4: >32 Familyhistorian: I waited a couple days after having listened, going back through the introduction, looking up “synergy”— thinking maybe I misunderstood the material. But no, the whole introduction didn’t match up with the body of the work.

34scunliffe
Fev 5, 1:52 pm

On the purple theme, I just finished Emperor of Rome by Mary Beard. Not her usual narrative style. Instead she takes two centuries worth of imperial Roman autocracy and by featuring different aspects across the span of those years, and paints a pretty good picture of what it was like to rule as, and be ruled by, Roman emperors.

35Familyhistorian
Fev 6, 12:43 am

>34 scunliffe: I like Mary Beard's books but think ones in narrative style would be easier to read. I just picked up her Twelve Caesars: Images of Power from the Ancient World to the Modern, with the amount of time that she covers, I doubt that it will be in narrative form either.

36PocheFamily
Editado: Fev 12, 10:45 am

Finally decided on Hidden Figures by Margot Lee Shetterley, as suggested. Was able to get an audio book version through Libby - and within the first ~hour of listening heard a phrase distinctly: how aviation and engineering was "women's work" (a nice double-credit for anyone also doing the Women's Work February Non-Fiction challenge). And I think this book is going to challenge a lot of my understanding of African American women's contributions to history, let alone the immense contribution these women had to the space program, so I'm super excited about this read! Thank you Familyhistorian for recommending in the top post!

37EGBERTINA
Fev 10, 1:29 pm

>36 PocheFamily: "women's work" -

My aunt and my great grandmother worked on Boeing B-29s. The family drove across country to work there. My 16 year old aunt would stand on the aircraft and huge sheets of metal were thrown/slid through the air and she would catch them. She quit when the metal sheets were made heavier. It became too dangerous.

38LibraryCin
Fev 10, 3:26 pm

>2 MissBrangwen: >5 Familyhistorian: Wondered the same. Thanks for asking! (I hadn't realized I hadn't come back to the thread before the month started!) Glad this will work. :-)

39LibraryCin
Fev 10, 3:27 pm

I chose something related to water.

The Lighthouse Keeper's Daughter / Hazel Gaynor
3.5 stars

Unmarried and pregnant, Matilda is 19-years old in 1938 when she is sent across the ocean to live with a distant relative in Rhode Island, Harriet, who watches the lighthouse there.

One hundred years earlier, in England, a storm washed up survivors of a shipwreck, including Sarah. Sarah’s two young children died in the wreck. Grace Darling is the lighthouse keeper’s daughter who saw the survivors still in the water, so she and her dad went to help them. Grace become a local hero after this. (And apparently, Grace Darling was a real person.)

Matilda has a book on keeping lighthouses that she brings with her. The inscription includes one from Grace to Sarah and Sarah to (a different) Matilda.

I listened to the audio and it was good. I did lose focus at times, but I think I caught the main happenings in the book. Harriet also kept secrets and it took time for her to open up to Matilda. I liked her, though she did seem “gruff” at times. I liked all the characters, really. The women were pretty tough and self-sufficient – or certainly tried/wanted to be as much as they could in their time periods. There were a lot of characters, though, and there were times that it took me a bit to figure out which time frame and character’s POV I was listening to. It did say when the POV changed, but since I know my mind wandered some plus putting away the audio and picking it up later sometimes made it a bit tricky.

40LibraryCin
Fev 10, 10:44 pm

Also a slight water "theme" in this one.

The Lake of Dreams / Kim Edwards
3.25 stars

Lucy has been living abroad for a number of years, but when her mother is injured and in hospital, she decides to come home. Her partner, Yoshi, will join her later. Lucy’s family has had some quarrels (particularly her father (died a while back) and his brother/Lucy’s uncle Art), mostly over the family business and inheritance. Now, her brother is working for Art, and her mom is considering selling the house and land to Art. The land sits on an ecologically sensitive lake that Art wants to develop.

While Lucy is helping clean out the house, she comes across some paperwork that mentions Rose. It sounds like Rose is someone in the family, but Lucy has never heard of her, so she does some research to try to find out who Rose was. And uncovers other secrets along the way.

Through the first 2/3 or so of the book, I would have rated it 3 stars (ok), but I increased it just a touch, as I got much more interested in the last 1/3. I did skim parts of the first of the book, so I did miss a few things. I liked that Lucy went back to Yoshi, rather than falling in love (again) with Keegan. So many novels would go the other way. I think I liked it because the author made sure that the reader could see how much Lucy still loves and misses Yoshi via their conversations, whereas so many other books wouldn’t go into that. I also liked the ecological slant to the story (though that wasn’t explored in a lot of detail, but it still appealed to me).

41Familyhistorian
Fev 10, 11:46 pm

>36 PocheFamily: I hope you enjoy it!

42Familyhistorian
Fev 10, 11:47 pm

>37 EGBERTINA: It sounds pretty dangerous from the get go!

43Familyhistorian
Fev 10, 11:51 pm

>39 LibraryCin: I read The Lighthouse Keeper's Daughter and I think that was an easier why to get through the novel. It's hard to keep track when there are different POV's and timelines and I think it would be doubly hard in audio.

44Familyhistorian
Fev 10, 11:53 pm

>40 LibraryCin: The Lake of Dreams sounds like an interesting one.

45LibraryCin
Fev 11, 12:43 pm

>43 Familyhistorian: Agreed. I probably would have liked it more in print (or ebook).

>44 Familyhistorian: Hope you like it if you decide to give it a try! It's a book club book for me, so we'll be discussing in about a week and a half.

46PocheFamily
Fev 12, 10:48 am

>37 EGBERTINA: Holey schmoley! And yet what an amazing time and experience to have lived. I bet every time you see one of those 'birds' you feel the connection to your family's history. Very cool, thanks for sharing!

47DeltaQueen50
Fev 12, 6:57 pm

I have completed my read of Escape of the Amethyst by C.E. Lucas Phillips. It was a little dry when it came to the ship's detailed description and the politics of the day, but there were a couple of exciting events that were very interesting to read about.

48LibraryCin
Fev 12, 10:44 pm

Apparently I am all about the water this month - this was not planned, not this many books, anyway.

What Strange Paradise / Omar El Akkad
4 stars

Amir is a 9-year old Syrian boy who survives a shipwreck. Everyone else to be seen has washed up on shore, dead. He is on an island, but doesn’t know where he is, nor does he understand the language. When two men see him and point and shout, Amir gets scared and runs. He runs into Vanna, 15-years old and though they are unable to communicate verbally, she hides him.

The story then shifts to “Before”, which brings us up to date on how Amir got where he is. We go back and forth between Amir’s before and “After”. Much of after is told from Vanna’s POV, but occasionally we switch to the POV of a colonial who is dead set on finding Amir, the little boy who ran away.

Given that it’s (primarily) from a 9-year old’s POV, it took a bit to figure out what was going on through much of the story. I am still not sure I understand the ending. But it was a “good” (powerful) story, even so.

49Familyhistorian
Fev 13, 12:17 am

>47 DeltaQueen50: From the title it sounds like the exiting events would outweigh the other more tedious part of the narrative. Kudos for staying with it, Judy.

50Familyhistorian
Fev 13, 12:18 am

>48 LibraryCin: Sounds like another interesting one!

51MissBrangwen
Fev 18, 8:12 am

I read Der tote Rittmeister (The Dead Cavalry Captain) by Elsa Dix which is set on the island of Norderney in 1913 and features water - beach scenes, boat rides, swimming, ocean gazing etc. I am thus counting it for Aquarius.

52Familyhistorian
Fev 19, 12:19 am

>51 MissBrangwen: I wouldn't have thought of water when reading the title, but, with all those watery links it definitely fits the theme.

53MissWatson
Fev 19, 10:46 am

I have finished Die Purpurlinie, which was really odd. A scholar in literature studies bored with his career gets intrigued by a picture of Gabrielle d'Estrées and wants to find out who painted it, why, and how this is connected to her love affair with King Henri IV. The author takes a very long time to explain his title (The purple line), which refers to the fact that she would have been the first in a dynastic royal line (hence the purple, which is a royal colour) if Henri had married her and legitimised their children.
I knew most of the basic facts of the ongoing politics from Heinrich Mann's epic novel, but the author found something that Mann couldn't have known (letters from the Medici agent in Paris to the court in Florence covering the crucial year 1599 are still waiting in the Medici Archive for someone to decipher and publish them, at the time Fleischhauer wrote this book).

54PocheFamily
Fev 19, 12:39 pm

>1 Familyhistorian: I read Hidden Figures: The American Dream and the Untold Story of the Black Women Mathematicians Who Helped Win the Space Race, as suggested, for this challenge. I enjoyed learning the history of these lives and careers. While recognizing the difficulty in researching lives which are less well-documented (for example, in this case less documented than the Apollo mission astronauts), some of the details covered didn't tie directly into the central thesis, or perhaps a little too exhaustively researched. These women were highly energetic (seriously?! The list of accomplishments is mind boggling), and explaining all this through the lens of their backgrounds was interesting, but lists of accomplishments are less impressive than explaining HOW their mutual support and developing support network grew despite the roadblocks placed in their way. Also, as a listener I confused a couple of the ladies: their lives intersected and that was well described but I could sometimes lose track of which groundbreaker was being discussed. I wish I'd read the printed word! But I will definitely seek out the movie and hope that sorts me out properly.

Thank you for listing this book as an option - I enjoy these challenges because they get me to read books I might not pick up on my own. Who knew mathematicians could be so fabulous?! (We all should! The logic and organization in their lives could lead to nothing else!)

P.S. Loved the MLKjr quote about LT Uhura! I'd never heard the story before about his encouragement of the actress to stay in the TV series when she was thinking of leaving it. He told Ms. Nichols that her character on the show placed black people in the future, as equals, and that the role placed her in a command position, something African Americans of that era were struggling to achieve in reality. Always my favorite ST original series female character (beautiful AND smart!), now I love her that much more!!

55Familyhistorian
Fev 19, 1:10 pm

>53 MissWatson: That sounds like interesting history and one of the many things that purple is noted for, that of a symbol of royalty.

56Familyhistorian
Fev 19, 1:14 pm

>54 PocheFamily: I really like the story which I first saw as a film and it definitely had tie ins to the space race. It was a good boost for black empowerment and female empowerment that it was so well received when both the movie and the book came out.

57LibraryCin
Fev 19, 1:38 pm

More water - or lack of it!

Not a Drop to Drink / Mindy McGinnis
3.75 stars

There is not much water left in the world. 16-year old Lynn lives with her mother in a rural area and they have been able to protect their source of water. Lynn has been very sheltered during her life and has never really known much about the real world or any other people, but she does know they have a neighbour her mother has helped a little bit. Just before her mother decides it’s time for them to leave, she is killed. Now, Lynn is on her own. Lynn has been taught how to protect their home and pond, but she and her mother knew there were people not far away, based on the smoke from their fire.

I listened to the audio and it took a little bit before I was fully paying attention, but it got better and better as the story moved along, I thought. I actually didn’t like Lynn much at first, but she learned and changed.

58Tess_W
Fev 20, 8:23 am

>57 LibraryCin: I read that a few years ago and liked it also. Agree the book got better as it progressed.

59john257hopper
Fev 20, 9:04 am

>57 LibraryCin: Sounds intriguing, now on my wishlist.

60dianelouise100
Fev 20, 1:25 pm

The Age of Aquarius was an age of spiritual growth, and In this House of Brede by Rumer Godden fits this prompt well. Philippa Talbot, a middle-aged, highly successful civil servant in England, feels called to relinquish her way of life to become a nun. The novel is the story of her life in Brede Abbey, a Benedictine abbey in the south of England. The monastery as a place for spiritual growth and Philippa’s development in her vocation, in the company of many other sisters, is the theme of the novel. Vatican II occurs toward the end of the story, providing a lovely foreshadowing of the climax of Philippa’s journey. Strongly recommended.

61john257hopper
Fev 20, 3:58 pm

I decided to go literal for this one and read The Purple Cloud by M P Shiel. This is a post apocalyptic novel published in 1900 but feels quite modern in a lot of aspects. Adam Jeffson is the sole survivor of an early expedition to the North Pole. As he returns from the polar extremities he encounters large numbers of dead fish and animals, followed by shiploads of dead mariners, and a smell of peaches and almonds. He gradually realises that almost every living animal is dead, both on sea, in (or from the) air, and on land. When he reaches London and is able to check newspapers, he realises that all living things have been wiped out by a purple cloud arising east of New Zealand and then proceeding at a pace of about 100 miles a day westwards. Panic ensued as people stampeded westwards to try to escape.

This is a horrific and chilling explanation, but after this the novel somewhat lost its way for me. Basically for months and then years he wanders around the world looking for survivors and there are endless descriptions of piles of bodies in streets, buildings, down mines (to try to escape the poison cloud) and so on. He shows symptoms of a growing dislocation and megalomania. He starts to use his engineering skills to, highly implausibly, burn and destroy whole cities, and build himself an opulent palace in Greece. Eventually he finds one other survivor, but cannot decide on his attitude towards her and treats her horribly, though in time this changes. It is implied at the end that they are basically a new Adam and Eve.

This novel had many strengths as an early post-apocalyptic story, but the wanderings around the world were just too long and drawn out and affected the pace of the narrative, and the final encounter with the other survivor does not come across as realistic.

62Familyhistorian
Fev 20, 7:18 pm

>57 LibraryCin: That sounds like an interesting take on the water theme.

63Familyhistorian
Fev 20, 7:20 pm

>60 dianelouise100: Nice way to get into the spiritual side of this months reading prompt.

64Familyhistorian
Fev 20, 7:26 pm

>61 john257hopper: It must have been interesting to see such a modern theme played out in a novel written so far in the past. The idea of a purple cloud reminds me of the affects of volcanic eruptions when their emissions end up affecting weather as they are carried over the world by winds and clouds.

65Familyhistorian
Fev 20, 7:27 pm

When looking for library books with a link to purple, I came across the intriguingly titled Mary Astor’s Purple Diary. The author and illustrator happened upon newspapers covering the sex scandal of 1936 involving the Hollywood star, Mary Astor. One of the prime pieces of evidence alluded to in the trial was her intimate diary which covered her exploits outside of marriage. It was a fascinating account and the illustrations added another layer.

66CurrerBell
Editado: Fev 20, 11:50 pm

I've finished up C.S. Lewis's The Space Trilogy – three-in-one of Out of the Silent Planet, Perelandra, and That Hideous Strength. I picked this one because of the interplanetary travel in the first two novels (to Malecandra, Mars, in Silent Planet; to Perelandra, Venus, in Perelandra). This was one of these after-half-a-century rereads for me and I really didn't care for it today any more than I remember caring for it a half-century ago. Silent Planet 2½**, Perelandra 1½*, and Hideous Strength 3*** (and that's generous, especially for the first two).

Interestingly, though, and leaving out the interplanetary travel issue (in case that doesn't count since it's fictional), we've also got water in Perelandra – Perelandra/Venus is an almost entirely aqueous planet with the two "Adam and Eve" characters living and sleeping on floating islands and forbidden to fall asleep on the fixed, stationary island (though they can make daytime visits) in a "forbidden fruit" test.

I'm really not a Lewis fan to begin with; I'm a Middle Earther (sharing Tolkien's distaste for allegory), not a Narnian. I do have some other Lewis books to reread (a lot of readers think Til We Have Faces, a retelling of Cupid and Psyche, is his best novel); and I also have The C. S. Lewis Signature Classics, that eight-in-one collection of his religious tracts (although it doesn't include his Reflections on the Psalms, probably my first interest among his religious tracts). I'll probably get around to these (never yet read, except for The Screwtape Letters) somewhere down the road this year, especially since the eight-in-one will qualify as a Big Fat Book (as The Space Trilogy likewise does).

One interesting side-note. That Hideous Strength includes some "Easter egg" references to J.R.R. Tolkien, Charles Williams, and Owen Barfield, all confrères of Lewis among the Inklings.

Lewis was a great literary historian of the High Middle Ages (The Romance of the Rose) and the Renaissance (English Literature in the Sixteenth Century Excluding Drama in the Oxford History of English Literature series). He's also particularly important for his argument that the Renaissance wasn't some sudden burst of "new knowledge" but was an evolutionary outgrowth of the High Middle Ages. But as a creative writer he just doesn't cut it – and that includes Narnia, although Screwtape, for which a reread is also due, is admittedly clever.

One other book that, surprisingly, hasn't been mentioned on this thread is Abraham Verghese's The Covenant of Water. It's another Big Fat Book, and I'm not sure I'll have time to get to it this month, but I'll likely read it for next month's theme, which it also fits.

And Lewis's That Hideous Strength (Merlin and Mr. Fisher-King) will fit the third quarter's Arthurian theme, for anyone who cares.

67LibraryCin
Fev 20, 11:47 pm

>59 john257hopper: Hope you like it. There is a sequel, not sure if there will be more beyond that, but I will definitely be continuing!

68john257hopper
Fev 21, 5:42 am

>64 Familyhistorian: yes, this purple cloud was caused by a volcanic eruption in the story.

69MissBrangwen
Fev 21, 1:33 pm

>66 CurrerBell: I read your post with interest. Thank you for sharing your thoughts!
I am currently rereading the Narnia books - they were my favorite books as a young teenager before I read The Hobbit for the first time and became a Tolkienist :-)
I am enjoying the Narnia books for the nostalgia, but my reaction would probably have been a bit different had I read them now for the first time. I haven't read anything else by C.S. Lewis, but hope to do it one day, even if only for the Inklings connection.

70Familyhistorian
Fev 21, 8:39 pm

>66 CurrerBell: An interesting and informative post and it looks like your reading was ambitious for this month's theme.

71kac522
Fev 22, 1:32 am

I finished a re-read of Treasure Island by R L Stevenson (1883)--lots of water here. I really enjoyed this re-read, which I did mostly on audiobook (read by Michael Page) and some on physical book. The first time I read this tale about 7 years ago, I wasn't as impressed but I think the audio narration this time enhanced my enjoyment quite a bit.

72Familyhistorian
Fev 22, 8:03 pm

>71 kac522: Such a classic and watery too!