Welcome to The Once Lost Wanderer. The name is derived from two poems: Amazing Grace by reformed slave trader John Newton, and All That is Gold Does Not Glitter by J.R.R. Tolkien.

Sunday, October 15, 2017

The Resident Patient by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

A Sherlock Holmes short story

The Resident Patient is part of The Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes collection.

Holmes and Watson take a leisurely stroll about London, vicinity Baker Street.

For three hours we strolled about together, watching the kaleidoscope of life as it ebbs and flows through Fleet Street and Stand. ~ narrative provided by Dr. Watson of course

They return to find a troubled young doctor and a mysterious case of revenge, murder, poetic justice and the simple false conclusions of the police, all set right by Holmes extraordinary powers of observation and deduction. There is no arrest, as the guilty parties, including the seeming victim are brought to justice beyond the power human principalities.

I liked this a bit more than some other Sherlock Holmes adventures I’ve read. Sometimes, Holmes’ deductions are a bit too perfect – meaning, yes things might be interpreted as he deduces, but they could also be interpreted otherwise. The author makes it all work out perfectly and Holmes is brilliant, but for me it is often a bit of a stretch. In this case however, Holmes’ deductions seem a bit less presumptuous.


Thursday, September 28, 2017

Recap of Novels 81-90

Average rating of novels 81-90 - 3.6 out of 5 Stars

81. ★★★★½       Vanity Fair     by William Makepeace Thackeray
82. ★★                  The Golden Bowl     by Henry James
83. ★★★½           The Portrait of a Lady     by Henry James
84. ★★★              Tristram Shandy     by Laurence Sterne
85. ★★★½           A Handful of Dust     by Evelyn Waugh
86. ★★★★          All the King’s Men     by Robert Penn Warren
★★★★          The Picture of Dorian Gray     by Oscar Wilde
★★                  The Good Soldier     by Ford Maddox Ford
89. ★★★★          The Bridge of San Luis Rey     by Thornton Wilder
90. ★★★★★      The Chronicles of Narnia     by C.S. Lewis

Favorite: The Chronicles of Narnia: The Last Battle
Honorable Mention: Vanity Fair

Least Favorite: The Good Soldier

Best Hero/Heroine: This gives me a bit of a dilemma. I feel I should say Aslan from The Chronicles of Narnia, since he is allegorical to Jesus Christ. On the other hand, I feel “hero” is insufficient for Christ who is incomparable, so I’m just going to say other than Aslan….best hero/Heroine is William Dobbin from Vanity Fair, even though the novel is subtitled: A Novel without a Hero. Honorable mention to Reepicheep from The Chronicles of Narnia.

Best Villain: The White Witch from The Chronicles of Narnia.

Most interesting/Complex character: Toss up: Jack Burden from All the King’s Men or Rebecca (Becky) Sharp from Vanity Fair.

Best Quotation: I chuckled over it from time to time for the whole rest of the day. Because it does look very funny, you know, to see a black and white cow land on its back in the middle of a stream. It is so just exactly what one doesn’t expect of a cow. ~ John Dowell from The Good Soldier

Best Subtitle: Vanity Fair: A Novel without a Hero (though I disagree with the subtitle)

Saturday, September 23, 2017

The Finally Fall Book Tag

The Finally Fall Book Tag was created by Booktuber Tall Tales, but I saw it first at Dwell in Possibility.

I haven’t participated in many tags recently, but this one – being a bit different – appealed to me, and as Sheldon Cooper says, “What’s life without whimsy?!”

I don't really like to tag others...but feel free to join. Leave a comment with link and I'll be sure to read and comment on your Fall Book list.

1. In fall, the air is crisp and clear: name a book with a vivid setting!
The key here is “vivid” because The Sheltering Sky by Paul Bowles in not evocative of fall, or crisp and clear air, but the author does a marvelous job of describing the harsh and unforgiving beauty of Saharan Africa.

2. Nature is beautiful… but also dying: name a book that is beautifully written, but also deals with a heavy topic like loss or grief.
I just recently finished The Bridge of San Luis Ray by Thornton Wilder, that is about a tragic event, and yet Wilder uses his beautiful prose to deliver a message of hope and grace.

3. Fall is back to school season: share a non-fiction book that taught you something new.
The Mighty Fitz: This Sinking of the Edmund Fitzgerald is about a tale many of us know from Gordon Lightfoot’s haunting song The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald. The author, Michael Schumacher fills in the gaps and corrects a few of the inaccuracies of the song (perfectly admissible creative license…I LOVE Lightfoot’s ballad.)

4. In order to keep warm, it’s good to spend some time with the people we love: name a fictional family/household/friend-group that you’d like to be a part of.
I’m quite happy with my own family, but I’d love to be better acquainted with the Finch family of To Kill a Mockingbird.

5. The colourful leaves are piling up on the ground: show us a pile of fall-colored spines!
One of my more colorful shelves:

6. Fall is the perfect time for some storytelling by the fireside: share a book wherein somebody is telling a story.
Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein would be a good fall fireside tale…in fact, I think that is exactly how it came to be.
7. The nights are getting darker: share a dark, creepy read.
The Trial by Franz Kafka

8. The days are getting colder: name a short, heartwarming read that could warm up somebody’s cold and rainy day.
Nothing as short and heartwarming – and beautiful, as The Little Prince.

9. Fall (luckily, it’s my favourite season) returns every year: name an old favourite that you’d like to return to soon.
This has to be The Hobbit + The Lord of the Rings. I never read LOTR without first reading The Hobbit and I reread both every 10 years or so.

10. Fall is the perfect time for cozy reading nights: share your favourite cozy reading “accessories”!

Comfy chair in my library, glass of Malbec, sometimes some cheese, Pandora playing movie soundtracks.