Books, Recountings

recountings: georgette heyer and how to run a drug cartel

I’ve been reading a steady stream of factual books. This is shocking, for my reading habits generally are ‘fiction with a sparse, tiny, weeny smattering of factual’.

But no. Not this month. Nor last month. I’ve been reading books and they’ve all been off my factual shelf.

(Quite literally. I have a shelf dedicated to factual books. It’s at eye level. I haven’t necessarily read them all, but they do make me feel intelligent.)

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Georgette Heyer: Biography of a Bestseller

by Jennifer Kloester.

I wouldn’t say that I loved this book – I’ve even removed a star, for I like to re-award stars after a little thought marination.

I liked to learn of Georgette’s personal life because I’m a stalker even though what I read was a tad depressing.

Why I Didn’t Love This Biography:

  • There was a heavy focus on bills, and the need to pay them. Georgette was the family bread-winner and she had to write to keep her family’s head above water. It was a little depressing to be constantly reading about them – and it must have been even more so to have this heavy burden.
  • Her letters were one-sided. We only really read her letters to people and though I love the woman’s work, constantly reading of her very. strong. will and so very self-deprecating nature was a little … overwhelming?
  • I don’t think we’d have got on. I know. It’s an enormously sad fact, but I rather think I’d be diving under the sofa or out of the window if she was coming. She sounded like a strong character who I’d rather admire from a distance. A great distance.
  • Rather unconventional, she seems. (Like Yoda, I speak.) Her relationship with her husband was a meeting of minds and hearts, but quite passionless. And for me, I find this rather dispiriting. She wrote such wonderful novels, and I’d like to think she had a complete Happy Ever After.

She once said that she was to be found in her work. I think I’ll enjoy finding her there, rather than in her biography.

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Narconomics: How To Run A Drug Cartel

by Tom Wainwright

This book. This book. I couldn’t put it down. I came home from work, found this had arrived, picked it up, and gobbled the whole thing down in one afternoon/evening.

It. is. so. interesting.

I’m not entirely sure how Wainwright does it, but once I’d finished reading this book, I felt that I’d completed a course in:

  • business studies
  • economics
  • criminology
  • how to run a drug cartel
  • how to destroy a drug cartel

and found it all fascinating. Every bit of it. This is quite astounding for business and economics are not two words that bring much excitement to mind.

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oh yes. I just love the thought of business studies

He is one of the luckiest journalists alive just to have survived his research,‘ says the Washington Times in the first page blurb. And he is.

But honestly, if you want to be informed about the war on drugs, on how it could be more effective, on how the drug cartels work and how their franchising is a bit like McDonald’s (for realz!) I’d highly recommend this book.

It’s the best one I’ve read this year.

Happy reading!

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Books, Characters, podcast

podcast // a more realistic ever after

This episode is late because a) I decided to reread A Civil Contract and b) I have a bad habit of playing chicken with deadlines.

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She’s not a beauty, he’s not a rake. She’s in love with him, he’s in love with someone else. What on earth will happen? [A Civil Contract by Georgette Heyer]

goodreads // podcast site

Books

i have excellent pronunciation

WordPress tells me that it and I have been friends for three years. Before that, I was aquantinces with blogger and I feel as though it would probably be more appropriate to talk about the differences between the two platforms. BUT! That’s not what tonight’s post is about …

My friends, I am quite delighted to announce that I am officially launching a podcast show. (Series. Season? Wut iz de lingo?)ofwordsandbookspodcover

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It is creatively called of words and books (because I thought ‘i blame myshelf’ could sound negative and my brain, though begged, refused to give up anything that was a) better, b) not taken up or c) wasn’t a level 1 bad, awful, no-good pun.) It will be:

  • a weekly podcast – a new episode either Monday or Tuesday
  • full of book chats – I love talking about books and want to talk with you about them. The written word is brilliant. The spoken word is too. With this blog and this podcast? Best of both worlds.
  • have a few interesting pronunciations.
  • be (hopefully) increasing in quality with every episode.

The first episode is entitled How Do You Reform a Rake? and should show up in a nice media box beneath this paragraph. If it doesn’t … WordPress? After three years? This is how you repay me?!

 

[Edit: The box refuses to show. I have begged youtube for aid. Aid has been granted.]

Fear not, it shall not all be rehashed blog posts. I have authors and books aplenty that I want to share with you. The Rose Garden Husband is next week’s book, and after that I intend to persuade you that A Civil Contract by Georgette Heyer is one of the best things since tea was invented.

The future is bright and bookish, my friends!

my podcasting site // post i used as inspiration // this episode

Books, Characters, Recountings

The Coolest Dude to Ever Dude

If you’ve hung around my blog long enough, you may have noticed that I quite like Georgette Heyer’s books. (If you haven’t noticed, I give you the evidence of: How do you reform a rake? Deathbeds and [plenty of] Adventure, and A Dash of Heyer.)

Ah-hem. Moving on. The time has come to discuss one of her side-characters. He’s long been a favourite of mine. I have decided to share him with you.

311165It is my firm opinion that Lord Legerwood – found in Cotillion – is the best thing since sliced bread, second-hand book shops and a hundred bars of white chocolate.

book summary // to set the scene

Kitty Charing can inherit a fortune from her irascible great-uncle Matthew when she marries one of her cousins. Kitty is not wholly averse, if the right nephew proposes. Unfortunately, Kitty has set her heart on Jack Westruther, a confirmed rake.

To make him jealous and to see a little more of the world, Kitty convinces cousin Freddy Standen to pose as her fiance. In London with his family, she hopes to render the elusive Jack madly jealous.

New friends embroil her in their romantic troubles, sprinkling witty banter with Parisian phrases. Her French cousin, Camille, a professional gambler, has won the heart of Olivia, in turn the object of Jack’s dishonorable intentions. Doltish cousin Lord Dolphinton has fallen for a merchant’s daughter in conflict with his mother. Kitty herself wonders who is really right for her.

Freddy is not known for his initiative, nor for his intelligence. His father – Lord Legerwood – is aware of this. His father is awesome. What follows is a beautiful journey in a blossoming father-son relationship.

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bear with me and lemme show you

‘I shall have to hatch a scheme or other,’ [Freddy] decided.

‘Do you think you will?’ enquired Lord Legerwood, regarding him with a fascinated eye.

Slowly, over the course of the book (and with far too few scenes for my liking) Lord Legerwood’s attitude towards his son changes.

‘Offended you, sir?’ asked Freddy intelligently.

‘Not at all. How came such an idea as that into your head?’

‘Notice more than you think,’ said Freddy, with simple pride. ‘Never call me Frederick except when I’ve vexed you.’

‘Almost you encourage me to look forward to a brilliant career for you!’ said his lordship, impressed.

He realises that his son has:georgetteheyerbooks

‘… depths hitherto unsuspected by me, my dear boy.’

Freddy has a sister, Meg by name, who is quite flighty.

‘Oblige me, Freddy, by telling me if Jack Westruther is often to be found in Berkeley Square?’

Freddy’s brow darkened. ‘Too dashed often, for my taste. No need for you to trouble yourself though. Keeping my eye on Meg!’

Lord Legerwood, sustaining yet another shock, said faintly: ‘You are?’

‘To be sure I am. What’s more, got my own notion of what’s in the wind.’ He nodded portentously, but added: ‘Don’t mean to say anything about that: not my affair! Trouble is – beginning to think he’s too damned loose in the haft!’

‘I have thought that any time these past seven years,’ said Lord Legerwood.

‘You have?’ said Freddy, regarding him with affectionate pride. ‘Always say you’re the downiest man I know, sir! Up to every rig and row in town!’

‘Freddy, you unman me!’ said his father, profoundly moved.

I could harp on about Freddy or the Twist of Pure Wonderousness that can be found in this novel. But I won’t. I will restrain myself. Because this post is dedicated to Lord Legerwood. An epic father. The Coolest Dude to Ever Dude.

I wish to commission someone to:

  1. create a time machine
  2. beseech Georgette Heyer to write a book for Lord Legerwood. (Scenes of him getting pleasantly surprised by his children, his wife or even a multitude of wildlife would be brilliant.)

Thank you and good night.

// if the quotations haven’t convinced you that Lord Legerwood IS the Coolest Dude to Ever Dude, I would suggest checking the book out right here //

Books, Recountings

Recountings: A Dash of Heyer

12045307Do you know what I feel like? Cosying up to a nice Georgette Heyer book. I’ve been rereading ‘The Corinthian‘. I brought it to work to read in my lunch break. (I’m not paid to read Georgette Heyer’s books, though wouldn’t that be glorious?!).

And of course I laughed. Or rather, muffled a laugh (I’m learning).

The plot is as follows – Sir Richard is expected to marry a cold woman who does not love him and is marrying him for his purse, rather than his heart. The night before he is expected to ask for her hand, he drowns his sorrows in gambling and alcohol (personally, I like to drown mine in tea). On the way home, he notices someone climbing out of a window.

His fate is sealed.

“No use it, it still seems devilish odd to me. Females don’t drop out of windows.”

“Well, I didn’t drop out precisely. I climbed out, because I was escaping from my relations.”

“I’ve often wanted to escape from mine, but I’ve never thought of climbing out of a window.”

Pen Creed is running away – but let her explain in her own words:

“Because,” said Miss Creed mournfully, “I am cursed with a large fortune!”

Sir Richard halted in the middle of the road. “Cursed with a large fortune?” he repeated.

“Yes, indeed. You see, my father had no other children, and I believe I am most fabulously wealthy, besides having a house in Somerset, which they won’t let me live in. When he died I had to live with Aunt Almeria. I was only twelve years old, you see. And now she is persecuting me to marry my cousin Frederick. So I ran away.”

“The man with a face like a fish?”

“Yes.”

“You did quite right,” said Sir Richard.

Hijinks ensue, but then don’t they always with Heyer? There’s a stolen necklace, cutthroats, overturned coaches and assumed identities.

“Tutor? I thought you said he was your cousin?”

“My dear Cedric, do try not to be so hidebound!” begged Sir Richard. “I have figured as a tutor, a trustee, and a cousin.”

I would gallop on to spend an evening with Sylvester or A Civil Contract or Devil’s Cub, but there’s writing to be done. Oh well. I’d better pop The Corinthian back on its shelf.