This is the July What We’re Reading. This month though, we’ve decided to shake it up a bit and call it “What Wenches Recommend.” This could be anything from books to food to places to visit or anything you like. So once you’ve seen a few of our favourite things this month, let us know your recommendations too!
First up, an old favourite from Pat:
I've not had a lot of good luck with books this month, but found a complete collection of the Jeeves and Wooster series with Hugh Laurie and Stephen Fry. We'd not seen all of them so really enjoyed catching up on missed episodes. If you haven't read the original P.G.Wodehouse stories, give some of them a try first so you can see how beautifully they carry out these characters!
What do I recommend this month? Weird Al! Weird Al Yankovic's "Word Crimes," from his new album, is hilarious and grammatically correct. It's a fast, clever parody of Robin Thicke's "Blurred Lines" that briskly straightens out some common internet grammar catastrophes.
Okay, now here’s the deal
I’ll try to educate ya
Gonna familiarize you
With the nomenclature …
Click here for a great chuckle. https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCshnCkfV7U6DqR4IHbQbI7Q
This is both clever and very funny! Meanwhile Cara/Andrea has a soothing recommendation:
My recommendation for the month is the aromatherapy oils from Neal’s Yard. I first discovered this wonderful shop on a research trip to London during my poking around Covent Garden and Bow Street. They make fabulous organic skin and wellness products, and I fell in love with their essentail oil scents. Aromatherapy may sound too New Age touchy-feely to some of you, and I confess, I’m usually pretty down to earth. But in times of stress, I do find that the candle that heats the scent warmer and the fragrance itself are real tension chasers. (And as I’m in the middle of moving this week, I definitely need a calming influence—other than a double martini, ha, ha, ha.) They have a number of blends, including ones for Optimism, Focus and Vitality, as well as the standard oils like Eucalyptus, Rosemary and Lavender. I use them for writing too, and find they create a really nice ambiance in my workroom . . . Hmm, must ask them to come up with a blend called Inspiration. Or maybe Jane Austen! http://www.nealsyardremedies.com/
Best of luck with the house move, Andrea!
Anne here: My recommendation is for the books of Susanna Kearsley. Wench Nicola first recommended them to me, for which I'm very grateful. I read The Winter Sea first, and have bought and read all her others since then. Her stories weave the past and present together in a magical, intriguing way that I always enjoy and admire. Some are time slip, others take threads from the past to shed light on the present. There's almost always a mystery, and a hint of romance. Her treatment of landscape reminds me a little of Mary Stewart's elegance.
The latest Susanna Kearsley I've read is Named of the Dragon. It's set in Wales, a gently intriguing story. The mystery aspect of the story is a little less mystical than usual, but still very enjoyable. A friend of mine who routinely drives long distances for her work, recently listened to Susanna Kearsley's The Rose Garden on audio as she drove, and is now in search of all the rest.
Wench note: We’re thrilled that Honorary Word Wench Susanna won the RITA for best paranormal book last week for The Firebird and we are hoping she will be coming back to the Word Wenches as our guest soon!
Mary Jo is recommending a new take on another old favourite:
Lord Peter Wimsey is the hero of Dorothy Sayers' famous Golden Age mystery series. Known as the "thinking woman's hero," Lord Peter is a prototype of the gentleman detective, and several of the books include his developing relationship with brainy detective novelist Harriet Vane. Most of the stories are set in between the wars and have a wonderful sense of '30's Britain. But–and here comes the heresy–I love the continuation of the series written by Jill Paton Walsh at least as much. She has the right voice and sensibility, but she writes in a lighter, more contemporary style.
Her stories move Peter and Harriet forward through WWII and beyond, and when I learned that a new one, The Late Scholar, was out, I jumped on it. Peter has been landed with the inherited position of Visitor at a (fictional) Oxford college, St. Severin's. Naturally, there has been an unexpected death. <G> I lived in Oxford for two years, so I love stories set there. (This includes the television mystery series, Lewis.) But even more, I love the continuing story of deep love and trust that is Peter and Harriet's marriage. They are truly equal partners, and if that's anachronistic for the time period–I don't care!
I want to recommend a programme that's running on the BBC radio about the run up to WW I. It's on for
5 mins a day, covering that day in 1914, with material from the time. With our awareness of what's to come, it's poignant and astonishing, because hardly anyone seemed to see disaster approaching.
The week's posts are collected into an omnibus. This is the link to the first one.
My father (pictured) fought in the Great War, as they called it. Yes, he was oldish when I was born! So very many men died, changing nations forever, but he came home and lived until the 1970s.
And finally from me:
A recommendation for the guacamole I tasted in San Antonio. I LOVE guacamole and have never eaten a finer one than I had for lunch one day last week in a restaurant on the Riverwalk. If I hadn’t been in company I would have guzzled the entire bowl on my own. They made it fresh at our table and when I asked about the ingredients they gave me two tips: use orange juice instead of lemon juice and roast your cherry tomatoes first rather than including them raw. I’m giving it a try this week!
Whilst on the subject, I’d also like to recommend a bit of San Antonio history. We did a spot of sightseeing and visited The Alamo, The Spanish Governor’s Palace and the historic King William district of the city. The architecture in the historic district was fascinating and the Villa Finale (pictured) was a gracious and elegant house. It was wonderful to be able to explore!
Over to you – Which books, places, food or other things have you enjoyed this month? Any recommendations?