The Time Machine by H. G. Wells

The Time Machine by H. G. Wells

Apparently I had no idea what The Time Machine was about, aside from the obvious of course. The Time Traveler has invented a machine that can go into the past or travel into the future, but of course his friends, who he has dinner with weekly, don't believe him. However, the next week, he shows up late to his own dinner party looking ragged and disheveled and tells his friends an incredible story of traveling into the distant future. There he discovers two bizarre races—the ethereal Eloi and the subterranean Morlocks—who not only symbolize the duality of human nature, but offer a terrifying portrait of the men of tomorrow as well.  He also tells of going even farther and seeing the dying planet. On the one hand, it's an interesting exploration of class and societal evolution. It's the first story to popularize time travel and the image of the dying earth, not the one of the Eloi and Morlocks, but of the...
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The Scarlet Pimpernel by Baroness Emmuska Orczy

The Scarlet Pimpernel by Baroness Emmuska Orczy

https://twitter.com/carolsnotebook/status/992475284963233793 I don't usually notice who narrates the audiobooks I pick up, especially those from the library, so I didn't realize Ralph Cosham was the narrator of The Scarlet Pimpernel, until he said "Armand," and then I was like "oh, yeah." His narration here was as good as I remembered. He does a wonderful job with both the British and French characters. The Scarlet Pimpernel is just a fun adventure/romance story. The Scarlet Pimpernel is one of the first heroes with a secret identity, kind of like Batman. Sir Percy Blakeney is an English dandy, concerned with dressing well, being amusing, but not incredible bright. That's just a disguise he's cultivated to cover his secret identity as the Scarlet Pimpernel, the leader of a group of daring Englishmen who rescue French nobility headed toward the guillotine. But his wife doesn't know about his secret - and ends up putting him in grave danger. But I'm sure it's not spoiling anything to say that...
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The Innocents Abroad by Mark Twain

The Innocents Abroad by Mark Twain

In 1866, Mark Twain was a travelling correspondent for the San Francisco Daily Alta California and he convince them in early 1967, to provide $1250 to pay his fare on the Quaker City tour of Europe and the Middle East. Throughout the five-month trip, Twain sent 51 letters to the Alta for which he was paid an addiationa $1200. The paper published between August 2, 1867 and January 8, 1868 under the running heading: "The Holy Land Excursion. Letter from 'Mark Twain.' Special Travelling Correspondent of the Alta." These letters, together with seven printed in two New York papers, became the basis for Innocents Abroad, written during the first half of 1868. First, you have to see the route this trip took. It looks like such an amazing trip and hits most of the spots I would love to see one day. I don't think I would want to visit with Twain though. While he is funny in a snarky way and full of historical tidbits, he's...
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Enter a Murderer by Ngaio Marsh

Enter a Murderer by Ngaio Marsh

I do love a good vintage mystery and in Enter a Murderer, Marsh takes us behind the scenes in a theater, which she does so well. In addition to a mystery writer, she was a theater director and knew the habits of everyone from actresses to stage managers to dressers. Our Inspector Alleyn is attending a performance of a play with his friend from the first in the series, Nigel Bathgate. During the play, one of the characters kills another, but this time the gun goes off for real, leaving an actor dead. The play does go on, as they say, but after the curtain closes, Alleyn, is immediately called up and begins his investigation. Once again, Bathgate is Alleyn's Watson. Fox has a bigger part here, I'm glad to see. I'm hoping by the next one he's the permanent sidekick. I like Bathgate, I just like Fox more. Here, Bathgate is kind of stuck between a rock and hard place. He...
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A Man Lay Dead by Ngaio Marsh

A Man Lay Dead by Ngaio Marsh

Marsh's Inspector Alleyn series is one of my favorites, but I've been reading it all out of order. I finally got around to picking up the first in the series. While obviously don't think this is a series that needs to be read in order, it was nice to read this first introduction to Alleyn. A Man Lay Dead is a country house mystery and we have seven suspects, the host, his niece and five guests. Actually a couple more than that, because you have to count the servants, especially the missing butler. As always, Marsh is good with giving us clues and red herrings, even if the actual "how" the murderer did it was a bit far-fetched.This time around there's a side plot involving the dreaded Bolsheviks that really shows the era of the book. Alleyn's personality is not quite cemented yet, but this is the first. One of the guests, Nigel Bathgate, a journalist, becomes his assistant. He's kind of...
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A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle

A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle

A Wrinkle in Time was a re-read for me, but I read it first back when I was like 10 or so and remembered absolutely nothing about it. I've been seeing the commercials for the new Disney movie too, but they're not really a good representation of the book. Meg is a smart kid, but has trouble fitting in at school. Everyone thinks Charles Wallace, her little brother is dumb, but really he knows so much more than anyone. Calvin is a popular kid in school who never feels like he fits in, but he fakes "normal" well enough. The three of them go on a mission to save Meg's dad, a scientist who went missing, with the help of a trio of beings, Mrs Whatsit, Mrs Who, and Mrs Which. This is a middle school book that deals with physics and religion, belief and identity, but it does so lightly. It's a fantasy/sci-fi story and the three kids have been thrust into...
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