New Music 07/2021 – Fanny Lumsden, Carpenters, Mozart

It’s been a while since I got some new music, but now I’ve discovered a sublime album from an Australian country singer-songwriter; one of the greatest female pop vocalists of all time; and a Greatest Hits collection from some Austrian guy.

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Snobs by Julian Fellowes – Book Review

Sometimes your pleasure of reading a book is greatly enhanced by the book just before it. Since my previous read didn’t offer much in the way of stylish or witty prose, I positively drank up this delicious, sharply observed novel of modern manners about the insular world of English upper classes and those anxious to gain a membership.

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The Cat of Kazan

One of my favourite cat-related pieces of art is this famous Russian “lubok” print from the 18th century, which may or may not be a satire of Peter the Great. I’ve loved it since childhood, but thanks to the Ye Olde Russian text I never realised that it is in fact a tad rude. It translates something like:

The Cat of Kazan, mind of Astrakhan, reason of Siberia,
he lived sweet, ate sweet, and farted sweet

N or M? by Agatha Christie – Book Review

n-or-mIt seems that, without really intending to, I’m reviewing Christie’s Tommy & Tuppence series in a reverse chronological order, with our pair of intrepid married sleuths getting younger and younger. This novel, set in the early years of World War II, sees T&T in their late forties. While their grown-up children are actively involved in the war, Tommy and Tuppence feel useless and mighty frustrated about the fact that their government considers them too old and unfit for work. Things change however when Tommy gets a visit from a secret agent, asking him to go down to a sleepy seaside hotel in order to uncover a dangerous network of fifth columnists.

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