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Mary Ronan Drew
Spokane, WA, USA
I can read and knit simultaneously
Interests: knitting, gardening, wagner, reading, walking
Recent Activity
The first book I've bought in the new year, 2021, is about the problems we are having in America because of identity politics and why, indeed, we are suffering from identity politics at all. The author, Joshua Mitchell, teaches political... Continue reading
Posted Jan 5, 2021 at MarysLibrary
Gregor Demarkian gets a mysterious assignment. His priest, Timor, asks him to visit Bryn Mawr millionaire. This wealthy and eccentric man has shown Timor a suitcase filled with $100,000 and says it's his if he convinces the retired FBI agent... Continue reading
Posted Jan 4, 2021 at MarysLibrary
Godless: The Church of Liberalism, by Ann Coulter, was published about 15 years ago. Reading it now, in 2021, is a little like going home for a funeral and reminiscing with your siblings about grammar school. Names you haven't heard... Continue reading
Posted Jan 2, 2021 at MarysLibrary
The first book I've finished reading in 2021 is one of the best contemporary mysteries I've read in this millennium. It's Snow by John Banville, the winner of the Booker Prize for his 2005 novel, The Sea. This book begins... Continue reading
Posted Jan 1, 2021 at MarysLibrary
In browsing some of my favorite blogs this morning I came across this poem written by Robert Hillyer (1895-1961) and published in the June 28, 1947 issue of The Saturday Review “O that our living literature could be Our sustenance,... Continue reading
Posted Nov 16, 2020 at MarysLibrary
A N Wilson has written lots of biographies, the one of Darwin being particularly worthwhile. But so far I'm quite taken with this overview of Dickens and what other biographers have revealed about him. If you like Dickens' novels and... Continue reading
Posted Nov 13, 2020 at MarysLibrary
The Spokane Public Library has been closed for a while now because of the Chinese virus but like many restaurants they offer curbside pickup. So I've begun requesting books again. I wanted to read the new book about Henry Kissinger... Continue reading
Posted Aug 4, 2020 at MarysLibrary
For some time now I've been reading the oeuvre of Agatha Christie. Inspired by the Random Jottings blog, where Elaine has read through the books and also reviewed a biography of Christie, I have read the two series, Miss Marple... Continue reading
Posted Jul 29, 2020 at MarysLibrary
A few weeks ago the Economist listed a few books that their staff recommended if one wanted to read about the building crisis due to the Wuhan virus. One of them was Daniel Defoe's A Journal of the Plague Year.... Continue reading
Posted Jul 11, 2020 at MarysLibrary
I've long loved this poem by Stephen Vincent Benet, American Names. I have fallen in love with American names, The sharp names that never get fat, The snakeskin-titles of mining-claims, The plumed war-bonnet of Medicine Hat, Tucson and Deadwood and... Continue reading
Posted Jun 24, 2020 at MarysLibrary
I'm reading Andrew J Bacevich's American Conservatism a surprising book. It is a collection of essays about conservatism in America and it is enlightening. It helps me make sense of the positions some politicians and historians have taken. And it... Continue reading
Posted Jun 16, 2020 at MarysLibrary
Mitz is comfort reading for the last days of the lockdown when there is little left in the genre you haven't read and re-read. It's about a marmoset that Leonard and Virginia Wolfe adopted just before World War II. If... Continue reading
Posted Jun 10, 2020 at MarysLibrary
Recently one of my bookish on-line British friends mentioned, and not for the first time, her love when young of Enid Blyton books. This time I decided to find out what the fuss was all about and so I bought... Continue reading
Posted May 26, 2020 at MarysLibrary
In the last few weeks I've been reviewing the books I'v'e read over the years concerning viruses, epidemics, quarantines, and the history of plagues. The best? The must-read for those quarantined? Daniel Defoe's A Journal of the Plague Year (published... Continue reading
Posted May 21, 2020 at MarysLibrary
I am not tragically colored. There is no great sorrow dammed up in my soul, nor lurking behind my eyes. I do not mind at all. I do not belong to the sobbing school of Negrohood who hold that nature... Continue reading
Posted Mar 14, 2020 at MarysLibrary
The Mirror and the Light, the last volume in Hillary Mantel's Thomas Cromwell trilogy, arrived at 8:14 last night. I watched for it all day as I was finishing Bring Down the Bodies, the second book in the trilogy. having... Continue reading
Posted Mar 11, 2020 at MarysLibrary
This is a splendid biography/literary criticism of Shakespeare. I began seriously re-reading his work recently and Stephen Greenblatt's book enhances it all. Continue reading
Posted Mar 4, 2020 at MarysLibrary
If ever two were one, then surely we. If ever man were loved by wife, then thee; If ever wife was happy in a man, Compare with me ye women if you can. I prize thy love more than whole... Continue reading
Posted Feb 14, 2020 at MarysLibrary
The ALA's Newbery winner this year is New Kid by Jerry Craft. This medal is awarded "for the most outstanding contribution to children's literature." This is a graphic novel. The 2020 Caldecott Medal goes to "the most distinguished American picture... Continue reading
Posted Jan 27, 2020 at MarysLibrary
Posted Jan 16, 2020 at MarysLibrary
Slow Horses is splendid. Lined up behind it are The Crown Agent and The Secret Life of Books. Thank you for the recommendations.
Toggle Commented Jan 11, 2020 on Mick Herron at Cornflower Books
1 reply
Caroline Scott has written a thoughtful novel about the tragedy of World War I, at home and on the battlefield. The Poppy Wife is about three brothers. One is killed and one becomes dysfunctional because of what was then called... Continue reading
Posted Jan 11, 2020 at MarysLibrary
[Gertrude] Himmelfarb defended middle-class Victorian moralists against the charge of hypocrisy. While acknowledging that human beings always fall short of their ideals, she noted that reformers declined to patronize the poor by applying standards to them that they would not... Continue reading
Posted Jan 4, 2020 at MarysLibrary
I hope everyone gets lots of books from Santa. Here's a good one, a reprint of a 1958 mystery by Mary Kelly. Continue reading
Posted Dec 25, 2019 at MarysLibrary
Pass the sweet sherry . . .