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  • Writer's pictureThe Bossy Bookworm

Three Books I'm Reading Now, 2/19/24 Edition

The Books I'm Reading Now

I'm reading Hanna Pylväinen's The End of Drum-Time, about a community in the Arctic Circle in the mid-nineteenth century; I'm listening to Joanna Quinn's story of an English manor and its various inhabitants, The Whalebone Theatre; and I'm listening to the first in Jacqueline Winspear's Maisie Dobbs series.

What are you reading these days, bookworms?


01 The End of Drum-Time by Hanna Pylväinen

In Hanna Pylväinen's The End of Drum-Time, it's 1851 in the Arctic Circle, and a small community of reindeer herders, a minister's family and his flock of followers, and a local shop owner whose greatest profit comes from liquor are all trying to get through the winter.

In their remote location in the Scandinavian tundra, they're each carving out lives shaped by the unforgiving snow and cold. The old ways and new ways push against each other, as do the Finn, Lapp, Sámi, Swedish, and Russian influences of the region.

I'm reading The End of Drum-Time as my March book club book. For more cold-setting stories, check out my Greedy Reading List Six Books with Cold, Wintry Settings to Read by the Fire.


02 The Whalebone Theatre by Joanna Quinn

The war and all its deprivations seem relentless, but for Cristabel, there is a strange and guilty thrill running through it, for it is exactly this thinning of the ordinary that allows the unordinary through.

Joanna Quinn's debut is a doorstop of a book at 558 pages, and the story sweeps through time from the 1920s to World War II, tracking the lives within a community of family and friends on a secluded English estate, Chilcombe Manor.

Quinn traces the lives of the unflappable orphan Cristabel Seagrave, her stepsister Flossie, and her cousin Digby, as well as their inept parents and parental figures, the influential and unpredictable artists that flock to Chilcombe, and the servants who make possible the family's privileged life of decadence, boredom, and flashes of thrill.

I'm listening to The Whalebone Theatre as an audiobook.


03 Maisie Dobbs (Maisie Dobbs #1) by Jacqueline Winspear

Maisie Dobbs begins Winspear's series as a thirteen-year-old servant in a Belgravia mansion, taken in and trained after the death of her beloved mother.

But her sharp intelligence and intense curiosity are evident to Lady Rowan and a family friend, Dr. Maurice Blanche, who begin to train her for greater things than being a housemaid.

She trains as a psychologist, with a wartime interlude as a nurse, before turning her keen eye for detail and for noticing things to becoming an investigator.

I'm listening to Jacqueline Winspear's Maisie Dobbs as an audiobook.


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