Gail’s BFB

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Gail’s BFB

1bohemima
Redigerat: dec 5, 2020, 9:10am

1. The Mirror and the Light Hilary Mantel
784 pages
2. The Bertrams Anthony Trollope
632 pages
3. Mr. Scarborough’s Family Anthony Trollope
542 pages
4. Wolf Hall Hilary Mantel
560 pages
5. The Invention of Murder Judith Flanders
570 pages
6. Castle Richmond Anthony Trollope
500 pages
7. Middlemarch George Eliot
853 pages
8. The Doomsday Book Connie Willis
794 pages
9. Great Expectaions Charles Dickens
544 pages

2connie53
apr 28, 2020, 11:28am

Welcome to the BFBers, Gail.

3MissWatson
apr 29, 2020, 5:06am

Welcome! That is an impressive list!

4bohemima
apr 29, 2020, 8:06am

>2 connie53: Thank you, Connie! I just discovered this whole group by accident.

>3 MissWatson: Thank you! I’m working on another one, but I’ve got several books going at once, so it may be a while before I finish.

5johnsimpson
apr 29, 2020, 4:44pm

Hi Gail my dear, welcome to the group, i didn't think you read large books or I would have invited you at the start of the year dear friend.

6bohemima
maj 1, 2020, 12:14pm

>5 johnsimpson:
Hi, John! I read nearly any kind of book, honestly. This year I’ve gotten off to a really good start, but that will probably slow down for a couple of weeks very soon.

And then I’ll be back on track.

7bohemima
jun 3, 2020, 10:43am

Finally got enough concentration going to finish a long book.

The Invention of Murder is fairly scholarly in that the author did extensive research (which she documents) and explores the subject in depth.

The first section kind of dragged, but after that things really got going. There are a lot of fascinating insights into how Victorian culture worked, how the class system pervaded everything, and the important influence of the press.

8bohemima
jul 7, 2020, 4:54pm

After a beautiful huge jump-off, I seem to have slowed down considerably. Several of the books I’ve read have just missed the 500-page mark.

But I have three going right now: two Anthony Trollope’s and a reread of Middlemarch. I *hope* to have them completed by July 31.

Maybe. We’ll see.

9bohemima
jul 29, 2020, 5:23pm

Finally(!) finished Castle Richmond, one of my Trollope reads.

Haven’t even started Middlemarch! slacker that I am. It’s *supposed* to be my first read of the coming month. And the other Trollope that I started. Maybe.

10bohemima
Redigerat: jul 30, 2020, 11:31am

So, Castle Richmond.

It’s kind of a standard Trollope romance: “too poor to marry, must find a solution” sort of tale. But on to this regular plot scaffold Trollope adds the Irish famine.

The romance part is okay, if thin. I know, 500 pages of thin, right? But it is thin. The famine part...oh dear. While he describes some of the individual horrors vividly, and some of the characters (of course all the main characters are from the upper class) do as much as they can, Trollope’s overall handling of the famine is at best weak and at worst both nonsensical and unaware. He somehow tries to put the responsibility for the famine on God. While he doesn’t say that famine victims are so lazy and shiftless that they deserve their fate, his “explanation” is just completely lame.

I don’t read Trollope for the plots; I read him for interesting characters, for the Victorian ambience, for his intimate and gossipy style, and sometimes for a bit of social criticism. While I did enjoy reading this one, it certainly isn’t a favorite.

If you’re ever interested in reading this, I highly recommend the Group Read led by Lyzard. Her background knowledge of the era, its history, social circumstances, and other literature of the time, is invaluable.

11bohemima
jul 30, 2020, 11:33am

Plans:

Middlemarch, The Claverings, and Americanah. I’d like to finish the Eliot in August and the other two by September 30.

12bohemima
dec 5, 2020, 9:04am

Hah to the above.

I did read Middlemarch but stalled on both the others.

However, I did read Great Expectations by Charles Dickens. First I listened to the most amazing audiobook ever, in my somewhat limited experience. Then I reread the paper book.

And loved it, all over again.

13bohemima
dec 5, 2020, 9:12am

Ah. I skipped one. Doomsday Book by Connie Willis.
An alternately compelling and frustrating book, with a stupendous last sentence.