FF: Spared By Bad Luck

Late Bloomer

Sometimes what seems like bad luck turns out to be not so bad.  This week, as we enjoy our richly blossoming catalpa tree, I’m appreciating the irony.  Normally, our catalpa begins blooming early in the second week in May.  However, the cooler temperatures (which have played havoc with my schedule for growing tomatoes from seed and other things) meant that the tree was just beginning to flower when we were hammered by hail storms last Saturday and Sunday.  (See this week’s WW for pictures.)  So, that was bad luck that turned out to be good…  Or something like that.

For those of you unfamiliar with this column, the Friday Fragments lists what I’ve read over the past week.  Most of the time I don’t include details of either short fiction (unless part of a book-length collection) or magazines.  The Fragments are not meant to be a recommendation list.  If you’re interested in a not-at-all-inclusive recommendation list, you can look on my website under Neat Stuff.

Once again, this is not a book review column.  It’s just a list with, maybe, a bit of description or a few opinions tossed in.  And it’s also a great place to tell me what you’re reading.  I love seeing the tapestry of what people choose.


Boundaries of Infinity by Lois McMaster Bujold.  Audiobook.  A collection of short stories (some quite long), filling in key events between the novels.

Princess Holy Aura by Ryk E. Spoor.

In Progress:

Diplomatic Immunity by Lois McMaster Bujold.  Audiobook.  Miles has a very difficult incident to unravel, especially as no one seems to want to tell him the whole story about anything.

My Brother’s Keeper by Tim Powers.  Nope.  You haven’t read this, because it isn’t out yet.  I have an advanced copy.  Powers moves the secret history of various literary figures to embrace the Bronte sisters and their very difficult brother.  So far, creepy and engrossing.  If you like this sort of thing, you might want to try his novel The Stress of Her Regard.


The new Smithsonian


6 Responses to “FF: Spared By Bad Luck”

  1. Beverly Martin Says:

    I finished Galaxias by Stephen Baxter. It had several bad reviews on Goodreads. I don’t think they were deserved. The story starts with our sun going out. Who, what, where, and why make up the rest of the plot. It is true there was a lot of talking rather than showing, but it didn’t bother me.

  2. Jerry R. House Says:

    I loved catalpa trees as a kid. The one in the front yard was big enough for a good treehouse (until a big wind whipped up and scattered some of my, er, adult publications around the yard). Aside from that teenage trauma, catalpas provide beauty, shade and lots sizeable catalpa worms (catapillars) for fishing.

  3. Alan Robson Says:

    I’ve definitely got to read that Tim Powers book when it comes out. The Brontes lived in a village called Haworth which is very close to where my family lived. I’ve visited Haworth many times.

    The parsonage, where the family lived, is now a museum full of Bronte memorabilia. There are display cases containg models wearing the sisters’ clothes. I was astonished to see how tiny the ladies were.

    There is a bookshop in Haworth village (specialising in Bronte books of course). It has a notice in the window which says:

    “This shop used to be a pharmacy. This is where Branwell Bronte would come to buy his opium.”

    I lived in a village called Southowram, just a few miles from Haworth. Southowram has an imposing building called Law Hill House. Emily Bronte moved there in 1837 when she was nineteen years old, to take up a post as schoolmistress. She lived there for almost a year before returning to Haworth. By all accounts she had quite a miserable time at Law Hill House and she was very glad to return home.

    Any idea when the Tim Powers book will be published?


    • janelindskold Says:

      September 2023, same time as my House of Rough Diamonds. So far, I’m really liking it, and the setting is the village of Haworth. Not sure where he’s taking it, but so far I’m engrossed.

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