Welcome to another Tuesday Potpourri, in which we celebrate bookish events, from Tuesday/First Chapter/Intros, hosted by Bibliophile by the Sea; to Teaser Tuesdays hosted by Should Be Reading.

Today I’m spotlighting an ARC from Amazon Vine:  The Death of Bees, by Lisa O’Donnell.


Intro: (Prologue)

Eugene Doyle, Born 19 June 1972.  Died 17 December 2010, aged thirty-eight.

Isabel Ann Macdonald.  Born 24 May 1974.  Died 18 December 2010, aged thirty-six.

Today is Christmas Eve.  Today is my birthday.  Today I am fifteen.  Today I buried my parents in the backyard.

Neither of them were beloved.


Teaser:  Nelly smiles at me, a knowing look in her eye.  We will never tell this stranger where Izzy is.  We are keeping our secret and we are keeping it from everyone.  p. 113


Blurb:  Hazlehurst housing estate, Glasgow, Christmas Eve 2010. Fifteen-year-old Marnie and her little sister Nelly have just finished burying their parents in the back garden. Only Marnie and Nelly know how they got there. Lennie, the old guy next door, has taken a sudden interest in his two young neighbours and is keeping a close eye on them. He soon realises that the girls are all alone, and need his help — or does he need theirs?

As the year ends and another begins, the sisters’ friends, their neighbours, and the authorities — not to mention the local drug dealer, who’s been sniffing around for their father — gradually start to ask questions. And as one lie leads to another, darker secrets about Marnie’s family come to light, making things even more complicated.

Written with fierce sympathy and beautiful precision, The Death of Bees is an enchanting and grimly comic tale of three lost souls who, unable to answer for themselves, can answer only for each other.


What do you think?  Ghoulish?  Strange?  I know I’m definitely curious….


Welcome to another Tuesday celebrating bookish events, from Tuesday/First Chapter/Intros, hosted by Bibliophile by the Sea; and Teaser Tuesdays hosted by Should Be Reading.

Just grab your book and share the opening lines; then find another excerpt that “teases” the reader.

My feature today is The Redgraves, by Donald Spoto (an ARC).

Description on Amazon:  The dramatic, poignant and revealing saga of the Redgraves, one of history’s greatest families of actors.

For more than a century, the Redgraves have defined theater and film while captivating the public eye. Their history is a rich tapestry of singu­larly talented individuals whose influence is felt to this day, yet their story has never before been told. In The Redgraves, bestselling biographer Donald Spoto draws on his close personal relationships with the family and includes both his interviews and un­precedented personal access to them. The result is a groundbreaking account of this extraordinary clan and their circle, including such luminaries as Elizabeth Taylor, Katharine Hepburn, and Sir Laurence Olivier.

The story began in 1907 with the marriage of actress Daisy Scudamore to matinee idol Roy Red­grave and the birth in 1908 of their son, Michael, who became a famous stage actor and movie star. Michael’s family and wild social circle knew that for decades he was insistently bisexual, notwithstanding his marriage to Rachel Kempson, one of England’s most glamorous and admired actresses.

Their daughter Vanessa, a great and revered per­former, is the only British actress ever to win Oscar, Emmy, Tony, Cannes, Golden Globe, and Screen Actors Guild Awards—achievements that have been paralleled by a profound humanitarian commitment even as she tackled difficult and controversial roles.

Vanessa’s sister, Lynn Redgrave, led a triumphant and complex life in her own way, too. From her per­formance in the movie Georgy Girl to her prizewin­ning play about her father and her Oscar-nominated performance in Gods and Monsters, Lynn established herself as a very different Redgrave.

Corin Redgrave, their brother, was known for his acclaimed performances onstage and screen—and he was a tireless and outspoken political radical.

The family tradition of distinction continues with the careers of Joely Richardson and Jemma Red­grave and reached a high point in the life and career of Vanessa’s daughter, Natasha Richardson, who earned a Tony Award for her role as Sally Bowles in the revival of Cabaret. Natasha’s sudden death after a skiing les­son in 2009 shocked and saddened admirers of her work and graceful spirit.

The product of more than thirty years of research, The Redgraves recounts the epic saga of a family that has extended the possibilities for actors on stage, screen, and television in Britain, America, and around the world.


Intro:  During the cold afternoon of Friday, March  20, 1908—in a modest, poorly heated room above a newspaper shop on Horfield Road, in Bristol, England—a twenty-three-year-old actress named Daisy Scudamore Redgrave gave birth to a plump, blond-haired boy.  After the newborn’s first cries, a woman who had helped during the delivery asked if Daisy had chosen a name for the baby.  “Mother looked across the street and saw St. Michael’s Church,” said Michael Redgrave years later.  Daisy’s notebook confirms the choice of name she had made without consulting her husband, an actor who was then in London, a hundred miles away.  Recently, he had been absent much of the time.


Teaser:  That autumn of 1951, they were extremely discreet, and usually Michael invited Rachel to accompany them to a restaurant or social event to silence any wagging tongues.  (p. 157)


Sounds intriguing to me…what do you think?