Musings From A Bookmammal

WWW Wednesday–7/2/14


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To participate in this weekly meme hosted by Miz B, simply answer these three questions:


Maeve's TImesI’ve mentioned in several previous posts about how much I love Maeve Binchy’s novels, and how sad I was when she passed away a few years ago. Imagine my delight when I learned that a new Binchy book will be published in October 2014—and I was even more excited when I received an ARC! Maeve’s Times: In Her Own Words is a collection of nearly 100 columns that were originally published in The Irish Times, starting in the 1960s and continuing through 2011. Presented in chronological order, these pieces offer a whole new glimpse into Binchy’s writing style. I had no idea that she had been a columnist at all, and I devoured this book over a couple of marathon reading sessions last weekend. The topics range from humorous slices of life, to character sketches, to news reporting, to controversial opinion pieces. The only thing that tripped me up a bit was the very frequent use of Irish slang and terminology, which I don’t recall encountering too much in her novels. However, this makes total sense in that her columns were most likely intended exclusively for  local Irish readers, while she must have known that her novels would find an international audience. I loved this book, and am so glad that her fans will soon have the chance to experience a new side of this beloved author!



Hidden HistoryI’m a huge American history fan—especially books about the Presidents and their families. The Hidden White House: Harry Truman and the Reconstruction of America’s Most Famous Residence by Robert Klara covers a period of presidential history that’s pretty much unknown. In 1948 it was discovered that the White House was in dire need of repair—in fact, most of the architects called in to assess the situation were surprised that the building hadn’t already collapsed. As a result, the White House was essentially gutted and completely rebuilt over the next several years—with only the outer shell remaining. This book tells the story of how it happened. The history geek in me is really enjoying this book so far!


 As usual, I have absolutely no idea!

How about you? What are you reading these days? Please share!

Author: bookmammal

I love books, reading, writing, cooking, eating, reading while eating, and sharing thoughts about all of the above–plus a bit more! I usually post about topics relating to books and literacy during the week, and then participate in a variety of non-bookish memes on the weekend. Please feel free to join in! Some random things about me– –I have multiple bookshelves in every room of my home except the bathroom. They’re all filled to bursting. They help to make my house my home. –I have two cats who I love dearly, but who I definitely do NOT dress in human clothing. Ever. –I’ve never had a cavity. –I make a mean spaghetti sauce. –I’m a newcomer to yoga and I love it. –My day is not complete without a little chocolate.

21 thoughts on “WWW Wednesday–7/2/14

  1. So glad your history geek is being satisfied. I’m feeling stuck in a reading rut, but I did post my WWW progress here…

    • Yeah–reading ruts aren’t fun. Right now I’m in the opposite boat–I’ve got so many library books stacked up with due-dates that I can’t read them fast enough! The only good thing about reading ruts is that they never last forever. . .

  2. I just finished the Hobbit (this series is a re-read, long overdue) , “The Bitter Truth” by Charles Todd (it’s an okay book but not a reread, and John Grisham’s The Client. I usually have three books or so running concurrently, and sometimes they all end almost at the same time.
    I’m currently about half way through The Fellowship of the Ring (first book in the Tolkien Trilogy), am slowly plowing through Gogol’s “Deal Souls” (why I do not know), and trying to finish up Sue Grafton’s “L is for Lawless”.

    Obviously my next book will be the second Tolkien book, and possibly “Pasttime” by Robert Parker. The nice thing about having a sick stash, there is always one more. =)

    Alena, the best cure for stuck in a rut is to go somewhere where the books are really cheap enough to buy in batches, (church booksales, thriftstores, etc.) and do just that. A book that has an interesting cover, or one you always wanted to read but…for a buck, you dont have to love it. and you can always give it away.

    • I’m usually reading more than one book at a time as well!
      I used to love Sue Grafton’s books–I think I got up to about “N” before I finally stopped. And–I totally agree with your reading rut advice–sales are a great place to discover hidden book treasures that will move you out of a rut!

      • I love her characters, but what sets my teeth on edge is the overuse of the personal pronoun; “I walked to my car, closed my umbrella, got in, put my key in the ignition and drove away from my house. ” argggggh

  3. I’m enjoying Little Mercies at the moment. It’s quite intense though. I’m glad you’re enjoying your books.

  4. I used to read a lot of Maeve Binchy when I was younger!! I’m reading a fantasy right now, The Goblin Emperor, which is really good! I’m on holiday so have several books I want to dive into soon! 🙂

  5. Both of these look really great! The Hidden White House especially appeals to my inner history geek!

    • Hidden White House is so interesting so far–it’s really amazing that no one was seriously injured before the renovations were done–that place was an architectural disaster just waiting to happen!

  6. I just finished reading The Queen of the Tearling and loved it despite its problems. I am now reading Bad Luck and Trouble – a Jack Reacher book by Lee Child.

  7. both look great!
    If you’re interested in Paris, here’s your reading
    Invitation to PARIS IN JULY at my post =)

  8. Ok, you’ve got me interested!! `The Hidden White House` looks awesome. I just added it to my TBR list…Thanks 🙂

    My WWW is here:

    • If you’re a history geek like I am, Hidden White House is really good! Not sure it would appeal as much to someone who isn’t really into American History or architecture, though.

  9. I just discovered Jack Reacher about a year ago and yes, he’s great fun to read. I always check the thrift store book shelves for his books, not everyone appreciates Lee Child. thank heaven.

  10. The Maeve Binchy collection and the Hidden White House both sound fascinating. I hadn’t heard of either before. Thanks!

  11. I had no idea about the White House ever being in such a state of disrepair! I might have to splurge and get that one, as I’m a big American history fan, too!

    Here is my WWW:

    • I had known about the renovation, but had no idea how dangerous the situation really was. It’s also interesting to learn how they ended up solving all of the structural issues. Again–if you’re not a history or architecture fan, I’m not sure how interesting the book would be–but I’m pretty fascinated! 🙂

  12. I’ve got to get my hands on that Binchy book!

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