The Whistling Season by Ivan Doig

Posted by on Sep 30, 2016 in 2016, 4.5 stars, Book Review, Uncategorized | 0 comments

The Whistling Season by Ivan Doig
The Whistling Season by Ivan Doig

Genre: Fiction, Historical Fiction
Format: Trade Paperback
Publisher: Harcourt
Publication Date: 2006
Pages: 345
Source: Purchased

The Book:
From the publisher:

“Can’t cook but doesn’t bite.” So begins the newspaper ad offering the services of an “A-1 housekeeper, sound morals, exceptional disposition” that draws the attention of widower Oliver Milliron in the fall of 1909. That unforgettable season deposits the ever-whistling Rose Llewellyn and her font-of-knowledge brother, Morris Morgan, in Marias Coulee along with a stampede of homesteaders drawn by the promise of the Big Ditch—a gargantuan irrigation project intended to make the Montana prairie bloom. When the schoolmarm runs off with an itinerant preacher, Morris is pressed into service, setting the stage for the “several kinds of education”—none of them of the textbook variety—Morris and Rose will bring to Oliver, his three sons, and the rambunctious students in the region’s one-room schoolhouse. A paean to a way of life that has long since vanished.

My Thoughts:
This was my first book by Ivan Doig but it definitely won’t be my last. This is one of those gently told stories that drew me deep into a time and place.

1910 Montana where the farming is dry and the schoolhouses are one room. Told in flashback by Paul Milliorn it’s a wonderful story. It made me laugh, it choked me up a couple of times and it thoroughly entertained me with its many interesting characters.

It opens in the 1950’s when Paul is the State Superintendent of Schools he visits the home and school where he grew up. It jogs his memory back to when he was 13 years old. His widowed father of three boys hired a housekeeper based on an ad that started “Can’t cook but doesn’t bite.” When she arrives in with her brother the small Montana farming town, its schoolchildren and even their parents are about to be changed.

When Rose’s brother Morrie takes over the one room school his teaching methods are definitely not what folks are used to. The arrival of Halley’s comet is a backdrop to this coming of age story that is about Paul and his brothers but also about the entire town of Marias Coulee.

It’s not fast paced but it’s a story that will draw you in. it’s historical fiction with a bit of a mystery and a fabulous cast of characters.

4.5 stars Rating 4.5/5

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It’s Monday What Are You Reading #65

Posted by on Sep 26, 2016 in Blogging/Reading, What Are You Reading? | 3 comments

Monday What Are You Reading #65

It’s Monday What Are You Reading? is a weekly reading roundup is hosted by Kathryn at The Book Date.

This is technically a weekly meme but I don’t read fast enough to make that worthwhile so I post it every two or three weeks.

Finished in Print

The Whistling Season by Ivan Doig

The Whistling Season by Ivan Doig

This is my first time reading one of Doig’s books and I liked it quite a bit. It’s a gently told story set in 1910 Montana.


Continued in Print

Bloodline by Claudia Gray

Bloodline by Claudia Gray

This is the first time I’ve read a Star Wars related novel and I’m enjoying this one. It’s set in the Star Wars universe before the movie The Force Awakens.


Started on Audio

An Obvious Fact by Craig Johnson narrated by George Guidall

An Obvious Fact by Craig Johnson narrated by George Guidall

This is one of my favorite series and I definitely prefer the audio editions narrated by George Guidall. I held off starting a new audiobook when I finished my last one because I had pre-ordered this one and wanted to be able to start it right away as soon as it was available. This one is a very good entry in the series.

I’m looking forward to starting to watch the new season on Longmire on Netflix sometime this week. Tonight I’ll be going to Powell’s books to see Craig Johnson.

What are you reading?

Reviews since my last update:

Masked Ball at Broxley Manor by Rhys Bowen narrated by Katherine Kellgren

In the Kingdom of Ice by Hampton Sides

Chew Vol. 6: Space Cakes by John Layman

The Green Mill Murder by Kerry Greenwood narrated by Stephanie Daniel

What are you reading?

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Weekend Update – The Bookish Nostalgia September 2016 Edition

Posted by on Sep 25, 2016 in Blogging/Reading, Bookish Nostalgia, Weekend Update | 4 comments

Weekend Update

Bookish Nostalgia September 2016

I totally stole this idea from Kay at Kay’s Reading Life. Every month she looks back in her reading records to see what she was reading this month in past years. I decided that would be fun even though my reading spreadsheet doesn’t go back as far as Kay’s records do.

Bookish Nostalgia

I’ve only been tracking my reading since October 2003 but it’s still fun to take a look back occasionally. Anything before mid-2006 hasn’t been on my blog and some of those old reviews are frankly a little embarrassing at this point. I’ll link to my full reviews when I think are worth reading.

Sometimes my reaction is “I can’t believe I read that” and other times it’s “Oh I remember where I was when I read that one”. and occasionally it’s “I really want to read that again.”

The Tea Rose by Jennifer Donnelly
This was an excellent historical fiction book. I have the sequel but haven’t read it.

Darkly Dreaming Dexter by Jeff Lindsay
This was the book that inspired the Dexter TV series. It was wonderfully dark and twisted.

I finished up my alphabetical by author reading project.
Sky Burial by Xinran – this was a surprisingly good story.
Untimely Death by Fred and Jan Yager – this one was a huge disappointment.
Second Hand by Michael Zadoorian – was a real find. I thoroughly enjoyed this book.

Once I finished my alphabetical by author project I read one of my favorite book of all time
One Foot in Eden by Ron Rash is just an excellent book. If you haven’t read it, you should

Something Wicked This Way Comes by Ray Bradbury – I read this for the RIP challenge. It was a wonderfully spooky coming of age story.

The War of the Worlds by H.G Wells – I finally read this classic and it was just excellent.


Hope you’re having a great weekend!

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The Green Mill Murder by Kerry Greenwood – Audio Edition

Posted by on Sep 23, 2016 in 2016, 3.5 stars, Audio, Book Review, Kerry Greenwood | 1 comment

The Green Mill Murder by Kerry Greenwood narrated by Stephanie Daniel
The Green Mill Murder by Kerry Greenwood, Narrated by Stephanie Daniel

Genre: Crime Fiction
Series: #5 in the Phryne Fisher series
Publisher: Bolinda Audio
Publication Date: 1993 for the book, 2010 for this audio edition
Length: 6 hours, 19 minutes
Read by: Stephanie Daniel
Source: Purchased

The Book:
From the publisher:

Phryne Fisher is doing one of her favorite things -dancing at the Green Mill (Melbourne’s premier dance hall) to the music of Tintagel Stone’s Jazzmakers, the band who taught St Vitus how to dance. And she’s wearing a sparkling lobelia-coloured georgette dress. Nothing can flap the unflappable Phryne – especially on a dance floor with so many delectable partners. Nothing except death, that is. The dance competition is trailing into its last hours when suddenly, in the middle of “Bye Bye Blackbird” a figure slumps to the ground. No shot was heard. Phryne, conscious of how narrowly the missile missed her own bare shoulder, back, and dress, investigates. This leads her into the dark smoky jazz clubs of Fitzroy, into the arms of eloquent strangers, and finally into the sky, as she follows a complicated family tragedy of the great War and the damaged men who came back from ANZAC cove. Phryne flies her Gypsy Moth Rigel into the Australian Alps, where she meets a hermit with a dog called Lucky and a wombat living under his bunk….and risks her life on the love between brothers.

My Thoughts:
Phryne Fisher is quite unconventional for a private investigator in 1920’s Australia and she’s just a whole lot of fun. She’s wealthy enough to not care what people think of her and to be particular about the cases she takes.

This one was fun. It begins with a dance marathon that ends in a murder. Phryne is soon on a double missing persons case. One of the men was her partner at the dance club and the other is his long missing brother.

I was glad to have Phryne need to do some flying again. Her solo flight to the Australian Alps was a great part of the book. The murder mystery is more of a side story because the majority of the book involves her search for a shell shocked former soldier who does not want to be found.

The books are fairly short and they are fun break between longer or heavier books. Australia in the 1920’s is an interesting time and place.

I really enjoy Stephanie Daniel’s narration. She’s easy to listen to and her voice characterizations are distinct and consistent. She’s even called upon to do some singing in this book.

One of these days I’m going to watch the television series.

3.5 stars 3.5/5 for the book

3.5 stars 3.5/5 for the narration

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