Servant of the Secret Fire

Random thoughts on books and life in the reality-based community

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Location: New York, United States

The name I've chosen comes from "Lord of the Rings," when Gandalf faces down the Balrog in the Mines of Moria. My Hebrew name is Esther (which is related to the word for "hidden" or "secret") Serafina (which means "burning"). This seems appropriate because although I don't usually put myself forward, I do care very passionately about a lot of things. Maybe through these blogs I can share some of these passions, as well as less weighty ideas and opinions, with others.

Friday, March 28, 2008

Apologies (yet again)

I notice that I've gotten a few more hits, maybe due to my signing up with, which I recommend highly, by the way, so if you're not from there, head on over and check it out! Anyway, I obviously have been neglecting this blog, since the last post is from Memorial Day of last year. Please do check back, though. I would really like to start working on it again. I may not talk much about politics, since I am so sick of this presidential race and just wish it were over, but maybe I can get in a few book reviews, at least. Here are some books that I'm working on now - sorry, people - most of them are from the library! :)

The Lost Memoirs of Jane Austen by Syrie James. Purports to tell the story of Jane Austen's one true love, blah blah blah, but so far I'm positively impressed with it.

Oscar Wilde and a Death of No Importance by Gyles Brandreth. The first in a projected 9-book series of mysteries featuring Oscar Wilde. I like that about the guy - that he's mapped out his series in advance and isn't going to be going on for longer than he should as some authors do. I'm more than halfway through this one - appears to catch the flavor of the period and Wilde's speech and character very well.

Murder in Volume 2 by Elizabeth Daly. A reprint of a 1940s mystery by "Agatha Christie's favorite mystery writer," featuring a gentleman scholar/amateur detective named Henry Gamadge. I'm almost done with this and am enjoying it very much - haven't guessed who the killer is yet.

White as Snow by Tanith Lee. A retelling of "Snow White."

On Royalty by Jeremy Paxman. A rather quirky look (by an American) at the various aspects of being royal. Interesting, although I've caught the guy in at least one ghastly historical error, when he suggests that Ivan the Terrible (tsar of Russia) was suspected of murdering Don Carlos, the heir to the Spanish throne. Ouch! I think he means Philip II of Spain, though Ivan did kill his own son so that may be the cause of the confusion, but it still hurt the author's credibility with me.

I also have Mademoiselle Boleyn by Robin Maxwell from the library but haven't started it yet. It's supposed to cover Anne Boleyn's early life, and I've enjoyed her other books that I've read, so I'm looking forward to this one. And no, I haven't seen the movie version of The Other Boleyn Girl yet, although I would like to.