Den här diskussionen är en fortsättning på: PAUL C'S SECOND HOME - PART 12

Den här diskussionen fortsatte här: PAUL C'S SECOND HOME - PART 14

Diskutera75 Books Challenge for 2021

Bara medlemmar i LibraryThing kan skriva.


Redigerat: jun 1, 2:06am


The Count of Monte Cristo

Probably my biggest single project this month in that I will get round to knocking this one off finally.

Redigerat: jun 1, 12:51am


Another of my favourite British poets is the cynical Philip Larkin. Since my favourite of his poems is famously expletive ridden, I will choose this simple little missive.

Redigerat: jun 19, 6:18pm

Reading Record First Quarter


1. Plague 99 by Jean Ure (1989) 218 pp
2. Tom Brown's Schooldays by Thomas Hughes (1857) 309 pp
3. A Lear of the Steppes by Ivan Turgenev (1870) 117 pp
4. A Fall from the Sky by Ian Serraillier (1966) 78 pp
5. The Overnight Kidnapper by Andrea Camilleri (2015) 262 pp
6. Dove on the Waters by Maurice Shadbolt (1996) 198 pp
7. A Portable Paradise by Roger Robinson (2019) 81 pp
8. The Other End of the Line by Andrea Camilleri (2016) 293 pp
9. The Nickel Boys by Colson Whitehead (2019) 208 pp
10. Swallows and Amazons by Arthur Ransome (1930) 501 pp
11. Carrie's War by Nina Bawden (1973) 211 pp
12. Shuggie Bain by Douglas Stuart (2020) 430 pp
13. Judge Savage by Tim Parks (2003) 442 pp
14. The Mirror Crack'd from Side to Side by Agatha Christie (1962) 280 pp
15. Charlotte Sometimes by Penelope Farmer (1969) 227 pp
16. Jazz by Toni Morrison (1992) 229 pp
17. A Question of Upbringing by Anthony Powell (1951) 230 pp

4,313 pages.


18. Junk by Melvyn Burgess (1996) 278 pp
19. The Great Fire by Monica Dickens (1970) 64 pp
20. At Bertram's Hotel by Agatha Christie (1965) 265 pp
21. A Room of Own's Own by Virginia Woolf (1929) 153 pp
22. Bury the Dead by Peter Carter (1987) 374 pp
23. Rivers of London by Ben Aaronovitch (2011) 390 pp
24. Around the World in 80 Days by Jules Verne (1873) 242 pp
25. Woods, etc. by Alice Oswald (2005) 56 pp
26. Did You Ever Have a Family by Bill Clegg (2015) 293 pp
27. A Burning by Megha Majumdar (2020) 289 pp
28. Moon Over Soho by Ben Aaronovitch (2011) 373 pp
29. What is History? by Edward Hallett Carr (1961) 156 pp
30. A Buyer's Market by Anthony Powell (1951) 278 pp

3,211 pages


31. The Return : Fathers, Sons and the Land in Between by Hisham Matar (2016) 239 pp
32. The Hammer of the Scots by Jean Plaidy (1978) 417 pp
33. Bright Dead Things by Ada Limon (2015) 101 pp
34. Some Experiences of an Irish RM by Somerville & Ross (1899) 223 pp
35. The Age of Improvement 1783-1867 by Asa Briggs (1959) 523 pp
36. Cranford by Elizabeth Gaskell (1853) 203 pp

1,706 pages

Redigerat: jun 19, 6:19pm

Reading Record Second Quarter


37. Love Story, With Murders by Harry Bingham (2013) 439 pp
38. Moth Smoke by Mohsin Hamid (2000) 270 pp
39. Diary of a Murderer by Kim Young-Ha (2013) 200 pp
40. Life of Pi by Yann Martel (2001) 428 pp
41. Blue Horses by Mary Oliver (2014) 79 pp
42. Notes from Underground by Fyodor Dostoevsky (1864) 160 pp
43. The Curious Case of Dassoukine's Trousers by Fouad Laroui (2012) 134 pp
44. The Strange Death of Fiona Griffiths by Harry Bingham (2014) 457 pp
45. Arid Dreams by Duanwad Pimwana (2019) 244 pp
46. Figures in a Landscape by Barry England (1968) 208 pp
47. Echoland by Per Petterson (1989) 132 pp
48. Year of the Monkey by Patti Smith (2019) 205 pp

2,956 pages


49. The Camomile Lawn by Mary Wesley (1984) 330 pp
50. I Choose to Live by Sabine Dardenne (2004) 210 pp
51. Three Poems by Hannah Sullivan (2018) 71 pp

611 pages (maybe my worst ever performance!)


52. Still Waters by Viveca Sten (2008) 434 pp
53. Half a Life by VS Naipaul (2001) 211 pp
54. Season of Migration to the North by Tayeb Salih (1969) 169 pp
55. A Bell for Adano by John Hersey (1944) 269 pp
56. Hamnet by Maggie O'Farrell (2020) 370 pp
57. Springtime in a Broken Mirror by Mario Benedetti (1982) 181 pp
58. My Country : A Syrian Memoir by Kassim Eid (2018) 194 pp
59. Vita Nova by Louise Gluck (1999) 51 pp
60. The God Child by Nana Oforiatta Ayim (2019) 241 pp
61. Man's Search for Meaning by Viktor E. Frankl (1946) 154 pp
62. Mr Norris Changes Trains by Christopher Isherwood (1935) 230 pp
63. Mr Rosenblum Dreams in English by Natasha Solomons (2010) 355 pp

Redigerat: jun 1, 3:17am

Current Reading

Redigerat: jun 19, 6:30pm


1 British Author Challenge - set this year by Amanda in the 75er Group

2 1001 Book First Edition - Ongoing

3 Booker Challenge - Read all the Booker winners; I may get close to completing that in 2021

4 Nobel Winners - Read all the Nobel Winners

5 Pulitzer Winners - Read all the Pulitzer fiction winners

6 Around the World Challenge - Read a book from an author born in or with parents from all countries - I reset this challenge in October 2020.

7 Queen Victoria Challenge - Read a book from every year of Queen Victoria's reign (1837-1901) with no repeat authors. Started December 2020

8 Queen Betty Challenge - Read a book from every year of Queen Elizabeth II reign (1952-2021) - British authors only and no repeats.

9 Dance to the Music of Time - One a month all year.

10. The 52 Book Club Challenge - A book a week from these selected categories

11. A Dent in the TBR - I have approaching 5,000 books in my TBR so I must read some of the 250 books I have bought in 2020 that end the current year unread.

12. Poetry - My first love in many ways and I am still something of a scribbler of lines to this day.

13. American Author Challenge - Linda came up trumps.

14. Series Pairs - I will choose one favourite series and read the next two books in that particular series I have slightly fallen behind with.

15 Great British History Writers - One classic work per month from a great British historian.

16 New Fantasy Series - I may take a couple of months over each so six may be the most I manage this year.

Redigerat: jun 19, 6:31pm


January: Children's Classics 9 READ

February: LGBT+ History Month 2 READ

March: Vaseem Khan & Eleanor Hibbert 1 READ

April: Love is in the Air 1 READ

May: V. S. Naipaul & Na'ima B. Robert 1 READ

June: The Victorian Era (1837-1901) 1 READ

July: Don't judge a book by its movie 6 READ

August: Bernard Cornwell & Helen Oyeyemi

September: She Blinded Me with Science

October: Narrative Poetry 1 read

November: Tade Thompson & Elizabeth Taylor

December: Awards & Honors 2 READ

Wildcard: Books off your shelves 9 READ


Redigerat: jun 19, 6:32pm


Please see:

January : Keep it in the Family :
February : Ethan Canin
March : Roxane Gay
April : Makers of Music : Year of the Monkey by Patti Smith

Redigerat: jun 19, 6:33pm

Personal Reading Challenge: Every winner of the Booker Prize since its inception in 1969

1969: P. H. Newby, Something to Answer For - READ
1970: Bernice Rubens, The Elected Member
1970: J. G. Farrell, Troubles (awarded in 2010 as the Lost Man Booker Prize) - READ
1971: V. S. Naipaul, In a Free State
1972: John Berger, G.
1973: J. G. Farrell, The Siege of Krishnapur - READ
1974: Nadine Gordimer, The Conservationist ... and Stanley Middleton, Holiday - READ
1975: Ruth Prawer Jhabvala, Heat and Dust - READ
1976: David Storey, Saville - READ
1977: Paul Scott, Staying On - READ
1978: Iris Murdoch, The Sea, The Sea
1979: Penelope Fitzgerald, Offshore - READ
1980: William Golding, Rites of Passage - READ
1981: Salman Rushdie, Midnight's Children - READ
1982: Thomas Keneally, Schindler's Ark - READ
1983: J. M. Coetzee, Life & Times of Michael K
1984: Anita Brookner, Hotel du Lac - READ
1985: Keri Hulme, The Bone People
1986: Kingsley Amis, The Old Devils - READ
1987: Penelope Lively, Moon Tiger - READ
1988: Peter Carey, Oscar and Lucinda
1989: Kazuo Ishiguro, The Remains of the Day
1990: A. S. Byatt, Possession: A Romance - READ
1991: Ben Okri, The Famished Road
1992: Michael Ondaatje, The English Patient ... and Barry Unsworth, Sacred Hunger - READ
1993: Roddy Doyle, Paddy Clarke Ha Ha Ha
1994: James Kelman, How late it was, how late
1995: Pat Barker, The Ghost Road
1996: Graham Swift, Last Orders - READ
1997: Arundhati Roy, The God of Small Things READ
1998: Ian McEwan, Amsterdam - READ
1999: J. M. Coetzee, Disgrace - READ
2000: Margaret Atwood, The Blind Assassin
2001: Peter Carey, True History of the Kelly Gang - READ
2002: Yann Martel, Life of Pi READ
2003: DBC Pierre, Vernon God Little
2004: Alan Hollinghurst, The Line of Beauty
2005: John Banville, The Sea - READ
2006: Kiran Desai, The Inheritance of Loss
2007: Anne Enright, The Gathering - READ
2008: Aravind Adiga, The White Tiger - READ
2009: Hilary Mantel, Wolf Hall - READ
2010: Howard Jacobson, The Finkler Question
2011: Julian Barnes, The Sense of an Ending - READ
2012: Hilary Mantel, Bring Up the Bodies - READ
2013: Eleanor Catton, The Luminaries
2014: Richard Flanagan, The Narrow Road to the Deep North - READ
2015: Marlon James, A Brief History of Seven Killings - READ
2016: Paul Beatty, The Sellout - READ
2017: George Saunders, Lincoln in the Bardo
2018: Anna Burns, Milkman
2019: Margaret Atwood, The Testaments, and Bernardine Evaristo, Girl, Woman, Other
2020: Douglas Stuart, Shuggie Bain READ JAN 21


Redigerat: jun 19, 6:34pm

Pulitzer Winners

As with the Bookers, I want to eventually read all the Pulitzer winners (for fiction at least) and have most of the recent ones on the shelves at least. Current status.


1918 HIS FAMILY - Ernest Poole
1921 THE AGE OF INNOCENCE - Edith Wharton
1922 ALICE ADAMS - Booth Tarkington
1923 ONE OF OURS - Willa Cather
1924 THE ABLE MCLAUGHLINS - Margaret Wilson
1925 SO BIG - Edna Ferber
1926 ARROWSMITH - Sinclair Lewis (Declined)
1927 EARLY AUTUMN - Louis Bromfield
1928 THE BRIDGE OF SAN LUIS REY - Thornton Wilder
1929 SCARLET SISTER MARY - Julia Peterkin
1930 LAUGHING BOY - Oliver Lafarge ON SHELVES
1931 YEARS OF GRACE - Margaret Ayer Barnes
1932 THE GOOD EARTH - Pearl Buck
1933 THE STORE - Thomas Sigismund Stribling
1934 LAMB IN HIS BOSOM - Caroline Miller
1935 NOW IN NOVEMBER - Josephine Winslow Johnson
1936 HONEY IN THE HORN - Harold L Davis
1937 GONE WITH THE WIND - Margaret Mitchell ON SHELVES
1938 THE LATE GEORGE APLEY - John Phillips Marquand
1939 THE YEARLING - Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings
1940 THE GRAPES OF WRATH - John Steinbeck
1942 IN THIS OUR LIFE - Ellen Glasgow
1943 DRAGON'S TEETH - Upton Sinclair
1944 JOURNEY IN THE DARK - Martin Flavin
1945 A BELL FOR ADANO - John Hersey
1947 ALL THE KING'S MEN - Robert Penn Warren ON SHELVES
1948 TALES OF THE SOUTH PACIFIC - James Michener
1949 GUARD OF HONOR - James Gould Cozzens
1950 THE WAY WEST - A.B. Guthrie
1951 THE TOWN - Conrad Richter
1952 THE CAINE MUTINY - Herman Wouk
1953 THE OLD MAN AND THE SEA - Ernest Hemingway
1955 A FABLE - William Faulkner
1956 ANDERSONVILLE - McKinlay Kantor
1960 ADVISE AND CONSENT - Allen Drury
1962 THE EDGE OF SADNESS - Edwin O'Connor
1963 THE REIVERS - William Faulkner
1965 THE KEEPERS OF THE HOUSE - Shirley Ann Grau
1967 THE FIXER - Bernard Malamud
1972 ANGLE OF REPOSE - Wallace Stegner ON SHELVES
1976 HUMBOLDT'S GIFT - Saul Bellow
1978 ELBOW ROOM - James Alan McPherson
1982 RABBIT IS RICH - John Updike
1984 IRONWEED - William Kennedy ON SHELVES
1987 A SUMMONS TO MEMPHIS - Peter Taylor
1988 BELOVED - Toni Morrison - ON SHELVES
1991 RABBIT AT REST - John Updike
1992 A THOUSAND ACRES - Jane Smiley
1994 THE SHIPPING NEWS - E Annie Proulx
1997 MARTIN DRESSLER - Steven Millhauser ON SHELVES
1999 THE HOURS - Michael Cunningham ON SHELVES
2002 EMPIRE FALLS - Richard Russo ON SHELVES
2003 MIDDLESEX - Jeffrey Eugenides ON SHELVES
2005 GILEAD - Marilynne Robinson ON SHELVES
2006 MARCH - Geraldine Brooks
2007 THE ROAD - Cormac McCarthy
2010 TINKERS - Paul Harding
2018 LESS - Andrew Sean Greer ON SHELVES
2019 THE OVERSTORY - Richard Powers ON SHELVES
2020 THE NICKEL BOYS - Colson Whitehead



Redigerat: jun 19, 6:38pm


Update on my Nobel Prize Winning Reading:
1901 Sully Prudhomme
1902 Theodor Mommsen
1903 Bjørnstjerne Bjørnson
1904 Frédéric Mistral and José Echegaray y Eizaquirre
1905 Henryk Sienkiewicz
1906 Giosuè Carducci
1907 Rudyard Kipling - READ
1908 Rudolf Christoph Eucken
1909 Selma Lagerlöf
1910 Paul Heyse --
1911 Count Maurice Maeterlinck
1912 Gerhart Hauptmann
1913 Rabindranath Tagore - READ
1915 Romain Rolland
1916 Verner von Heidenstam
1917 Karl Adolph Gjellerup and Henrik Pontoppidan
1919 Carl Spitteler
1920 Knut Hamsun - READ
1921 Anatole France - READ
1922 Jacinto Benavente
1923 William Butler Yeats - READ
1924 Wladyslaw Reymont
1925 George Bernard Shaw - READ
1926 Grazia Deledda - READ
1927 Henri Bergson
1928 Sigrid Undset
1929 Thomas Mann - READ
1930 Sinclair Lewis - READ
1931 Erik Axel Karlfeldt
1932 John Galsworthy - READ
1933 Ivan Alekseyevich Bunin - READ
1934 Luigi Pirandello - READ
1936 Eugene O'Neill - READ
1937 Roger Martin du Gard
1938 Pearl S. Buck - READ
1939 Frans Eemil Sillanpää
1944 Johannes Vilhelm Jensen
1945 Gabriela Mistral
1946 Hermann Hesse - READ
1947 André Gide - READ
1948 T.S. Elliot - READ
1949 William Faulkner - READ
1950 Bertrand Russell - READ
1951 Pär Lagerkvist - READ
1952 François Mauriac - READ
1953 Sir Winston Churchill - READ
1954 Ernest Hemingway - READ
1955 Halldór Laxness - READ
1956 Juan Ramón Jiménez
1957 Albert Camus - READ
1958 Boris Pasternak (declined the prize) - READ
1959 Salvatore Quasimodo
1960 Saint-John Perse
1961 Ivo Andric - READ
1962 John Steinbeck - READ
1963 Giorgos Seferis
1964 Jean-Paul Sartre (declined the prize) - READ
1965 Michail Sholokhov
1966 Shmuel Yosef Agnon and Nelly Sachs - READ
1967 Miguel Ángel Asturias
1968 Yasunari Kawabata - READ
1969 Samuel Beckett - READ
1970 Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn - READ
1971 Pablo Neruda - READ
1972 Heinrich Böll - READ
1973 Patrick White
1974 Eyvind Johnson and Harry Martinson
1975 Eugenio Montale
1976 Saul Bellow - READ
1977 Vincente Aleixandre
1978 Isaac Bashevis Singer - READ
1979 Odysseas Elytis - READ
1980 Czeslaw Milosz - READ
1981 Elias Canetti
1982 Gabriel Garciá Márquez - READ
1983 William Golding - READ
1984 Jaroslav Seifert - READ
1985 Claude Simon - READ
1986 Akinwande Ouwoe Soyinka
1987 Joseph Brodsky - READ
1988 Naguib Mahfouz - READ
1989 Camilo José Cela - READ
1990 Octavio Paz
1991 Nadine Gordimer - READ
1992 Derek Walcott - READ
1993 Toni Morrison - READ
1994 Kenzaburo Oe - READ
1995 Seamus Heaney - READ
1996 Wislawa Szymborska - READ
1997 Dario Fo - READ
1998 José Saramago - READ
1999 Günter Grass
2000 Gao Xingjian
2001 Vidiadhar Surjprasad Naipaul - READ
2002 Imre Kertész - READ
2003 John Maxwell Coetzee - READ
2004 Elfriede Jelinek - READ
2005 Harold Pinter - READ
2006 Orhan Pamuk - READ
2007 Doris Lessing - READ
2008 J.M.G. Le Clézio
2009 Herta Müller - READ
2010 Mario Vargas Llosa - READ
2011 Tomas Tranströmer - READ
2012 Mo Yan
2013 Alice Munro - READ
2014 Patrick Modiano - READ
2015 Svetlana Alexievich - READ
2016 Bob Dylan - READ
2017 Kazuo Ishiguro - READ
2018 Olga Tokarczuk - READ
2019 Peter Handke - READ
2020 Louise Gluck - READ


Redigerat: jun 19, 6:39pm


Around the world in books challenge. I want to see how many countries I can cover without limiting myself to a specific deadline.

From 1 October 2020

1. United Kingdom - The Ways of the World by Robert Goddard EUROPE
2. Ireland - The Importance of Being Earnest by Oscar Wilde EUROPE
3. Lithuania - Selected and Last Poems by Czeslaw Milosz EUROPE
4. Netherlands - The Ditch by Herman Koch EUROPE
5. Armenia - The Double Bind by Chris Bohjalian ASIA PACIFIC
6. Zimbabwe - This Mournable Body by Tsitsi Dangarembga AFRICA
7. United States - Averno by Louise Gluck AMERICA
8. Australia - Taller When Prone by Les Murray ASIA PACIFIC
9. France - Class Trip by Emmanuel Carrere EUROPE
10. Russia - The Three Sisters by Anton Chekhov EUROPE
11. Denmark - Fear and Trembling by Soren Kierkegaard EUROPE
12. Democratic Republic of Congo - Tram 83 by Fiston Mwanze Mujila AFRICA
13. Canada - I Heard the Owl Call My Name by Margaret Craven AMERICA
14. Italy - The Overnight Kidnapper by Andrea Camilleri EUROPE
15. New Zealand - Dove on the Waters by Maurice Shadbolt ASIA PACIFIC
16. India - A Burning by Megha Majumdar ASIA PACIFIC
17. Libya - The Return by Hisham Matar AFRICA
18. Pakistan - Moth Smoke by Mohsin Hamid ASIA PACIFIC
19. South Korea - Diary of a Murderer by Kim Young-Ha ASIA PACIFIC
20. Morocco - The Curious Case of Dassoukine's Trousers by Fouad Laroui AFRICA
21. Thailand - Arid Dreams by Duanwad Pimwana ASIA PACIFIC
22. Norway - Echoland by Per Petterson EUROPE
23. Belgium - I Choose to Live by Sabine Dardenne EUROPE
24. Sweden - Still Waters by Viveca Sten EUROPE
25. Trinidad - Half a Life by VS Naipaul AMERICAS
26. Sudan - Season of Migration to the North by Tayeb Salih AFRICA
27. Uruguay - Springtime in a Broken Mirror by Mario Benedetti AMERICAS
28. Syria - My Country : A Syrian Memoir by Kassem Eid ASIA PACIFIC
29. Ghana - The God Child by Nana Oforiatta Ayim AFRICA
30. Austria - Man's Search for Meaning by Viktor E Frankl

Create Your Own Visited Countries Map

Redigerat: jun 19, 6:41pm

Regarding my Victorian Era Challenge which I started this month with the aim of completing it by the end of 2021. 64 years. 64 books. 64 authors.

From Dec 2020

1843 FEAR AND TREMBLING by Kierkegaard
1850 PENDENNIS by Thackeray
1870 A LEAR OF THE STEPPES by Turgenev
1899 SOME EXPERIENCES OF AN IRISH RM by Somerville & Ross
1900 THREE SISTERS by Chekhov


Redigerat: jun 19, 6:42pm


From December 2020 70 Years 70 Books 70 Different British Authors

1952 A Buyer's Market by Anthony Powell
1959 The Age of Improvement by Asa Briggs
1961 What is History? by EH Carr
1962 The Mirror Crack'd From Side to Side by Agatha Christie
1966 A Fall from the Sky by Ian Serraillier
1968 Figures in a Landscape by Barry England
1969 Charlotte Sometimes by Penelope Framer
1970 The Great Fire by Monica Dickens
1973 Carrie's War by Nina Bawden
1978 The Hammer of the Scots by Jean Plaidy
1984 The Camomile Lawn by Mary Wesley
1987 Bury the Dead by Peter Carter
1989 Plague 99 by Jean Ure
1996 Junk by Melvyn Burgess
2001 Half a Life by VS Naipaul
2003 Judge Savage by Tim Parks
2005 Woods, etc. by Alice Oswald
2010 Mr Rosenblum Dreams in English by Natasha Solomons
2011 Rivers of London by Ben Aaronovitch
2013 A Delicate Truth by John Le Carre
2014 The Strange Death of Fiona Griffiths by Harry Bingham
2018 Three Poems by Hannah Sullivan
2019 A Portable Paradise by Roger Robinson
2020 Shuggie Bain by Douglas Stuart


Redigerat: jun 19, 6:45pm


Based on this challenge suggested by Katie & Chelle

Week 1 : Set in a school : Tom Brown's Schooldays by Hughes Read 2 Jan 2021
Week 2 : Legal profession : Judge Savage by Tim Parks Read 28 Jan 2021
Week 3 : Dual timeline : Charlotte Sometimes by Penelope Farmer Read 29 Jan 2021
Week 4 : Deceased author : Jazz by Toni Morrison READ 30 Jan 2021
Week 5 : Published by Penguin : Junk by Melvyn Burgess READ 3 Feb 2021
Week 6 : Male Family Member : Rivers of London by Ben Aaronovitch READ 12 Feb 2021
Week 7 : 1 Published Work : A Burning by Megha Majumdar READ 19 Feb 2021
Week 8 : Dewey 900 Class : What is History? by EH Carr READ 28 February
Week 9 : Set in a Mediterranean Country : The Return by Hisham Matar READ 5 MAR 2021
Week 10 : Book with discussion questions : Love Story, With Murders by Harry Bingham READ 2 APR
Week 11 : Relating to fire : Moth Smoke by Mohsin Hamid READ 4 APR
Week 12 : Title Starting with D : Diary of a Murderer by Kim Young-Ha READ 6 APR
Week 13 : Includes an Exotic Animal : Life of Pi by Yann Martel READ 11 April
Week 14 : Written by an author over 65 : Blue Horses by Mary Oliver READ 14 April
Week 15 : Book Mentioned in a book : Notes from Underground by Fyodor Dostoevsky READ 15 April
Week 16 : Set before 17th Century : Hamnet by Maggie O'Farrell READ 5 June
Week 17 : Character on the run : Figures in a Landscape by Barry England READ 26 April
Week 18 : Author with 9 letter surname : Springtime in a Broken Mirror by Mario Benedetti READ 6 JUNE
Week 19 : Book with a deckled edge :
Week 20 : Became a TV series :
Week 21 : Book by Kristin Hannah :
Week 22 : A Family Saga : Mr Rosenblum Dreams in English by Natasha Solomons READ 14 JUN
Week 23 : Surprising Ending : Still Waters by Viveca Sten READ 2 JUN
Week 24 : Book to be read in schools : Man's Search for Meaning by Viktor E Frankl READ
Week 25 : Multiple POVs :
Week 26 : Author of Colour : The God Child by Nana Oforiatta Ayim READ 8 JUN

Redigerat: jun 19, 6:49pm

Six New (for me) Fantasy Series to go at:

I will concentrate on one series every two months

N.K. JEMISIN - The Inheritance Trilogy

TAD WILLIAMS - Memory, Sorrow and Thorn

C.J. CHERRYH - Chanur Saga

GENE WOLFE - The Book of the New Sun

DAVID EDDINGS - The Belgariad


Redigerat: jun 19, 6:51pm


As if I don't have enough challenges! I want to polish up on my reading and re-reading of the British historians who either inspired me as a student or who I have since come to greatly admire

The French Revolution by Thomas CARLYLE 1837
The Age of Improvement by Asa BRIGGS 1959 READ MAR 21
The History of England by Thomas Babington MACAULAY 1848
The Making of the English Working Class by EP THOMPSON 1963
Fifteen Decisive Battles by EDWARD CREASEY 1851
What is History? by EH CARR 1961 READ FEB 21
The Course of German History by AJP TAYLOR 1945
The American Future by Simon SCHAMA 2009
The Face of Battle by John KEEGAN 1976
The King's Peace by CV WEDGWOOD 1955
The Age of Revolution by ERIC HOBSBAWM 1962

Redigerat: jun 19, 6:50pm


January : Andrea Camilleri - MONTALBANO DONE
February : Agatha Christie - MISS MARPLE DONE
March : Ben Aaronovitch - PETER GRANT DONE
April : Harry Bingham - FIONA GRIFFITHS DONE

Redigerat: jun 19, 6:53pm


Last year I added 300 books but read 50 of them. In addition I have another 4,500 plus on the TBR.
The challenge is not to make the situation of my TBR worse.
So I must read or remove from my wider TBR more than I acquire this year and I will gauge this against last years "new" TBR and any future incomings. Therefore the older TBRs don't count against this challenge.

The figure at the start of the year is 250 books and this number must be smaller by December 31. These are the 250 books:

1 Stay with Me Adebayo
2 American War Akkad
3 The Catholic School Albinati
4 The Unwomanly Face of War Alexievich
5 Saltwater Andrews
6 Big Sky Atkinson
7 At the Jerusalem Bailey
8 The Body Lies Baker
9 The Lost Memory of Skin Banks
10 Remembered Battle-Felton
11 Springtime in a Broken Mirror Benedetti READ JUN 21
12 A Crime in the Neighborhood Berne
13 Stand By Me Berry
14 Love Story, With Murders Bingham READ APR 21
15 This Thing of Darkness Bingham
16 The Sandcastle Girls Bohjalian
17 The Ascent of Rum Doodle Bowman
18 Clade Bradley
19 The Snow Ball Brophy
20 Paladin of Souls Bujold
21 Parable of the Sower Butler
22 The Adventures of China Iron Camara
23 The Overnight Kidnapper Camilleri READ JAN 21
24 The Other End of the Line Camilleri READ JAN 21
25 Lord of all the Dead Cercas
26 Uncle Vanya Checkov
27 The Cherry Orchard Checkov
28 Blue Moon Child
29 Trust Exercise Choi
30 The Night Tiger Choo
31 The Mirror Crack'd From Side to Side Christie READ JAN 21
32 At Bertram's Hotel Christie READ FEB 21
33 The Water Dancer Coates
34 The New Wilderness Cook
35 Hopscotch Cortazar
36 The Illumination of Ursula Flight Crowhurst
37 Deviation D'Eramo
38 Boy Swallows Universe Dalton
39 The Girl with the Louding Voice Dare
40 The Rose of Tibet Davidson
41 Dhalgren Delany
42 The Butterfly Girl Denfeld
43 Vernon Subutex 1 Despentes
44 Postcolonial Love Poem Diaz
45 Childhood Ditlevsen
46 Youth Ditlevsen
47 Dependency Ditlevsen
48 Burnt Sugar Doshi
49 Frenchman's Creek Du Maurier D
50 Trilby Du Maurier G
51 Sincerity Duffy
52 Sumarine Dunthorne
53 The Narrow Land Dwyer-Hickey
54 Why I'm No Longer Talking to White People About Race Eddo-Lodge
55 Axiom's End Ellis
56 Figures in a Landscape England READ APR 21
57 Englander
58 Shadow Tag Erdrich
59 The Carpet Makers Eschbach
60 The Emperor's Babe Evaristo
61 Small Country Faye
62 To Rise Again at a Decent Hour Ferris
63 At Freddie's Fitzgerald
64 The Guest List Foley
65 Man's Search for Meaning Frankl READ JUN 21
66 Love in No Man's Land Ga
67 Norse Mythology Gaiman
68 The Spare Room Garner
69 The Kites Gary
70 Gun Island Ghosh
71 Vita Nova Gluck READ JUN 21
72 Trafalgar Gorodischer
73 Potiki Grace
74 Killers of the Flower Moon Grann
75 The Last Banquet Grimwood
76 Guapa Haddad
77 The Porpoise Haddon
78 Late in the Day Hadley
79 The Final Bet Hamdouchi
80 The Parisian Hammad
81 Nightingale Hannah
82 Coastliners Harris J
83 The Truths We Hold Harris K
84 Conclave Harris R
85 The Second Sleep Harris R
86 Tales of the Tikongs Hau'ofa
87 A Thousand Ships Haynes
88 The River Heller
89 Dead Lions Herron
90 Real Tigers Herron
91 War and Turpentine Hertmans
92 A Political History of the World Holslag
93 Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine Honeyman
94 The Light Years Howard
95 Promise Me You'll Shoot Yourself Huber
96 A High Wind in Jamaica Hughes
97 Ape and Essence Huxley
98 Me John
99 Nightblind Jonasson
100 Black Out Jonasson
101 How to be an Anti-Rascist Kendi
102 Death is Hard Work Khalifa
103 Darius the Great is Not Okay Khorram
104 Himself Kidd
105 Diary of a Murderer Kim READ APR 21
106 Dance of the Jacakranda Kimani
107 The Bridge Konigsberg
108 Who They Was Krauze
109 The Mars Room Kushner
110 The Princesse de Cleves La Fayette
111 The Other Americans Lalami
112 The Curious Case of Dassoukine's Trousers Laroui READ APR 21
113 Fish Can Sing Laxness
114 Agent Running in the Field Le Carre
115 Pachinko Lee
116 The Turncoat Lenz
117 The Topeka School Lerner
118 Caging Skies Leunens
119 The Fifth Risk Lewis
120 The Three-Body Problem Liu
121 Lost Children Archive Luiselli
122 Black Moses Mabanckou
123 Blue Ticket Mackintosh
124 A Burning Majumdar READ FEB 21
125 The Mirror and the Light Mantel
126 Original Spin Marks
127 Deep River Marlantes
128 The Return Matar READ MAR 21
129 The Island Matute
130 Hame McAfee
131 Apeirogon McCann
132 Underland McFarlane
133 Hurricane Season Melchor
134 The Shadow King Mengiste
135 The Human Swarm Moffett
136 She Would Be King Moore
137 The Starless Sea Morgenstern
138 Poetry by Heart Motion
139 A Fairly Honourable Defeat Murdoch
140 The Stories of Vladimir Nabokov Nabokov
141 The Warlow Experiment Nathan
142 The Left-Handed Booksellers of London Nix
143 Born a Crime Noah
144 The Private Joys of Nnenna Maloney Nzelu
145 Girl O'Brien
146 After You'd Gone O'Farrell
147 Henry, Himself O'Nan
148 Inland Obreht
149 Weather Offill
150 Dept. of Speculation Offill
151 Stag's Leap Olds
152 Blue Horses Oliver READ APR 21
153 Felicity Oliver
154 Will Olyslaegers
155 Woods, etc Oswald READ FEB 21
156 Night Theatre Paralkar
157 The Damascus Road Parini
158 Empress of the East Peirce
159 The Street Petry
160 Disappearing Earth Phillips
161 Arid Dreams Pimwana READ APR 21
162 Peterloo : Witness to a Massacre Polyp
163 Lanny Porter
164 The Women at Hitler's Table Postorino
165 A Question of Upbringing Powell A READ JAN 21
166 A Buyer's Market Powell A READ FEB 21
167 The Acceptance World Powell A
168 The Interrogative Mood Powell P
169 Rough Magic Prior-Palmer
170 The Alice Network Quinn
171 Where the Red Fern Grows Rawls
172 Such a Fun Age Reid
173 Selected Poems 1950-2012 Rich
174 The Discomfort of Evening Rijneveld
175 Jack Robinson
176 The Years of Rice and Salt Robinson K
177 A Portable Paradise Robinson R READ JAN 21
178 The Fall of the Ottomans Rogan
179 Normal People Rooney
180 Conversations with Friends Rooney
181 Alone Time Rosenbloom
182 Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone Rowling
183 The Watch Roy-Bhattacharya
184 The Five Rubenhold
185 Contact Sagan
186 The Hunters Salter
187 The Seventh Cross Seghers
188 Will Self
189 Moses Ascending Selvon
190 The Dove on the Water Shadbolt READ JAN 21
191 10 Minutes 38 Seconds in This Strange World Shafak
192 In Arabian Nights Shah
193 The Caliph's House Shah
194 Mrs Warren's Profession Shaw
195 Arms and the Man Shaw
196 Candida Shaw
197 Man and Superman Shaw
198 Dimension of Miracles Sheckley
199 The Last Man Shelley
200 Temple of a Thousand Faces Shors
201 Year of the Monkey Smith P READ APR 21
202 Eternity Smith T
203 Crossing Statovci
204 Lucy Church, Amiably Stein
205 Rosencrantz and Guilderstern are Dead Stoppard
206 Blood Cruise Strandberg
207 Shuggie Bain Stuart READ JAN 21
208 Three Poems Sullivan READ MAY 21
209 Rules for Perfect Murders Swanson
210 Cane River Tademy
211 Real Life Taylor
212 The Queen's Gambit Tevis
213 Far North Therous
214 Walden Thoreau
215 Civil Disobedience Thoreau
216 Survivor Song Tremblay
217 The Heartbeat of Wounded Knee Treuer
218 The Small House at Allingham Trollope
219 A Nest of Gentlefolk Turgenev
220 A Quiet Backwater Turgenev
221 A Lear of the Steppes Turgenev READ JAN 21
222 The Queen of Attolia Turner
223 The King of Attolia Turner
224 Redhead by the Side of the Road Tyler
225 Outlaw Ocean Urbina
226 Plague 99 Ure READ JAN 2021
227 The Age of Miracles Walker
228 The Uninhabitable Earth Wallace-Wells
229 Judith Paris Walpole
230 Love and Other Thought Experiments Ward
231 The Death of Mrs. Westaway Ware
232 Lolly Willows Warner
233 Second Life Watson
234 Final Cut Watson
235 Letters to Alice on First Reading Jane Austen Weldon
236 Before the War Weldon
237 Lazarus West
238 Educated Westover
239 The Nickel Boys Whitehead READ JAN 21
240 The Death of Murat Idrissi Wieringa
241 Salome Wilde
242 An Ideal Husband Wilde
243 Lady Windemere's Fan Wilde
244 A Woman of No Importance Wilde
245 The Salt Path Winn
246 The Natural Way of Things Wood C
247 East Lynne Wood E
248 A Room of One's Own Woolf READ FEB 21
249 Interior Chinatown Yu
250 How Much of These Hills is Gold Zhang

BEGIN : 250
READ : 27

Redigerat: jun 19, 6:57pm


1. Some Experiences of an Irish R.M. by Somerville & Ross READ MAR 21
2. Swallows and Amazons by Arthur Ransome READ JAN 21
3. The Warmth of Other Suns by Isabel Wilkerson
4. The French Revolution by Thomas Carlyle
5. The Black Corsair by Emilio Salgari
6. The Prime Ministers : Reflections on Leadership from Wilson to Johnson by Steve Richards
7. The God Child by Nana Oforiatta Ayim READ JUN 21
8. Arturo's Island by Elsa Morante
9. Coningsby by Benjamin Disraeli
10. The Secrets We Kept by Lara Prescott
11. The Light in Hidden Places by Sharon Cameron
12. Death's Mistress by Terry Goodkind
13. The Mermaid of Black Conch by Monique Roffey
14. Small Days and Nights by Tishani Doshi
15. Clear Light of Day by Anita Desai
16. Desert by JMG Le Clezio
17. For the Record by David Cameron
18. The Only Good Indians by Stephen Graham Jones
19. The Guardians of the West by David Eddings
20. Boy, Snow, Bird by Helen Oyeyemi
21. The Council of Egypt by Leonardo Sciascia
22. Me Talk Pretty One Day by David Sedaris
23. The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms by NK Jemisin
24. The Midnight Library by Matt Haig
25. Rupture by Ragnar Jonasson
26. White Out by Ragnar Jonasson
27. The Age of Capital by Eric Hobsbawm
28. The World Turned Upside Down by Christopher Hill
29. The Wretched of the Earth by Frantz Fanon
30. Modern Times by Paul Johnson
31. The Rise and Fall of the Great Powers by Paul Kennedy
32. The Warehouse by Rob Hart
33. On Earth We're Briefly Gorgeous by Ocean Vuong
34. Pawn of Prophecy by David Eddings
35. Queen of Sorcery by David Eddings
36. Magician's Gambit by David Eddings
37. Midnight Never Come by Marie Brennan
38. In Ashes Lie by Marie Brennan
39. The Broken Kingdoms by N.K. Jemisin
40. The Flight Attendant by Chris Bohjalian
41. Dragonfly in Amber by Diana Gabaldon
42. At Lady Molly's by Anthony Powell
43. Casanova's Chinese Restaurant by Anthony Powell
44. The Kindly Ones by Anthony Powell
45. The Financier by Theodore Dreiser
46. Still Waters by Viveca Sten READ JUN 21
47. Toilers of the Sea by Victor Hugo
48. The Europeans by Henry James
49. Vice Versa by F. Anstey
50. A Thousand Moons by Sebastian Barry
51. The Scarred Woman by Jussi Adler Olsen
52. Closed for Winter Jorn Lier Horst
53. News of the World by Juliette Jiles
54. Bright Dead Things by Ada Limon READ MAR 21
55. A Teaspoon of Earth and Sea by Dina Nayeri
56. Death in the Tuscan Hills by Marco Vichi
57. American Dirt by Jeanine Cummins
58. Good Morning Midnight by Lily Brooks-Dalton
59. Love After Love by Ingrid Persaud
60. The Enchanted by Rene Denefeld
61. The Friend by Sigrid Nunez
62. The Posthumous Memoirs of Bras Cubas by Machado de Assis
63. The Innocents by Michael Crummey
64. Night Waking by Sarah Moss
65. Idaho by Emily Ruskovich
66. Throw me to the Wolves by Patrick McGuinness
67. Consent by Annabel Lyon
68. Selling Manhattan by Carole Ann Duffy
69. Rendang by Will Harris
70. The City of Brass by S.A. Chakraborty
71. No One is Talking About This by Patricia Lockwood
72. Amnesty by Aravind Adiga
73. The Awkward Squad by Sophie Henaff
74. The Perplexing Theft of the Jewel in the Crown by Vaseem Khan
75. Afternoon Raag by Amit Chaudhuri
76. The Sirens of Titan by Kurt Vonnegut
77. The Gap of Time by Jeanette Winterson
78. The Shell Seekers by Rosamunde Pilcher
79. Bricks and Mortar by Clemens Meyer
80. The Eastern Shore by Ward Just
81. The Splendid and the Vile by Erik Larson
82. The Wild Iris by Louise Gluck
83. Vertigo& Ghost by Fiona Benson
84. Salt Slow by Julia Armfield
85. Soot by Dan Vyleta
86. Deacon King Kong by James McBride
87. Abigail by Magda Szabo
88. Baba Yaga Laid an Egg by Dubravka Ugresic
89. Coming Up for Air by Sarah Leipciger
90. Red at the Bone by Jacqueline Woodson
91. Selection Day by Aravind Adiga
92. The Voyage by Murray Bail
93. Peace : A Novel by Richard Bausch
94. The Third Reich by Roberto Bolano
95. Something Wicked This Way Comes by Ray Bradbury
96. The Kingdom of this World by Alejo Carpentier
97. My Life as a Russian Novel by Emmanuel Carrere
98. Texaco by Patrick Chamoiseau
99. Man V. Nature by Diane Cook
100. The Melody by Jim Crace
101. SS-GB by Len Deighton
102. Human Voices by Penelope Fitzgerald
103. Fates and Furies by Lauren Groff
104. The Beautiful Indifference by Sarah Hall
105. Munich by Robert Harris
106. Bodies Electric by Colin Harrison
107. The Punch by Noah Hawley
108. Spook Street by Mick Herron
109. London Rules by Mick Herron
110. The Sparsholt Affair by Alan Hollinghurst
111. The Land of Green Ginger by Winifred Holtby
112. The Wreck of the Mary Deare by Hammond Innes
113. The Cider House Rules by John Irving
114. Exiles in the Garden by Ward Just
115. Duffy by Dan Kavanagh
116. The Good People by Hannah Kent
117. The Life to Come by Michelle de Krester
118. The Lathe of Heaven by Ursula Le Guin
119. 10:04 by Ben Lerner
120. Home is the Hunter by Helen MacInnes
121. Paris 1919 by Margaret MacMillan
122. The Blood Miracles by Lisa McInerney
123. The Girl in Green by Derek B. Miller
124. Arab Jazz by Karim Miske
125. Bodies of Light by Sarah Moss
126. Carthage by Joyce Carol Oates
127. The Changeling by Kenzaburo Oe
128. The Horseman by Tim Pears
129. Echoland by Per Petterson READ APR 21
130. Last Stand by Michael Punke
131. The Waiting Time by Gerald Seymour
132. Home Run by Gerald Seymour
133. Eisenhower in War and Peace by Jean Edward Smith
134. To the Back of Beyond by Peter Stamm
135. They Know Not What They Do by Jussi Valtonen
136. The Tulip Eaters by Antoinette Van Heugten
137. Smoke by Dan Vyleta
138. Trainspotting by Irvine Welsh
139. That Eye, The Sky by Tim Winton
140. Fear : Trump in the White House by Bob Woodward
141. Hamnet by Maggie O'Farrell READ JUN 21
142. Gerta by Katerina Tuckova
143. My Country: A Syrian Memoir by Kassem Eid READ JUN 21
144. Tyll by Daniel Kehlmann
145. The Hotel Tito by Ivana Bodrozic
146. Strange Hotel by Eimear McBride
147. Blame by Paul Read
148. House of Lords and Commons by Ishion Hutchinson
149. To Calais, In Ordinary Time by James Meek
150. Your Story, My Story by Connie Palmen
151. Wake Up : Why the World Has Gone Nuts by Piers Morgan
152. Death of a Coast Watcher by Anthony English
153. Limitless by Ala Glynn
154. Toddler Hunting and Other Stories by Taeko Kono
155. Daughter of the Tigris by Muhsin al-Ramli
156. Don't Call Us Dead by Danez Smith
157. Small Pleasures by Clare Chambers
158. Incomparable World by S.L. Martin
159. The Dancing Face by Mike Phillips
160. Mirror, Shoulder, Signal by Dorthe Nors
161. Sharks in the Time of Saviours by Kawai Strong Washburn
162. The Old Drift by Namwali Serpell
163. Rest and Be Thankful by Emma Glass
164. Minty Alley by CLR James
165. The Fat Lady Sings by Jacqueline Roy
166. Actress by Anne Enright
167. The Vanishing Half by Brit Bennett
168. The Living Sea of Waking Dreams by Richard Flanagan
169. Damascus by Christos Tsiolkas
170. Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov *Replacement*
171. Summer by Ali Smith
172. If Nobody Speaks of Remarkable Things by Jon McGregor *Replacement*
173. Notes of a Native Son by James Baldwin
174. The Temple of Dawn by Yukio Mishima
175. The Girls by Emma Cline
176. The Night Watchman by Louise Erdrich
177. The Flint Anchor by Sylvia Townsend Warner
178. The Unconsoled by Kazuo Ishiguro
179. The Thursday Murder Club by Richard Osman
180. The Death of Vivek Oji by Akwaeke Emezi
181. Just Like You by Nick Hornby
182. Down and Out in Paris and London by George Orwell
183. Season of Migration to the North by Tayeb Salih READ JUNE 21
184. The Book of Chameleons by Jose Eduardo Agualusa
185. The Dig by Roger Preston
186. The Historians by Eavan Boland
187. Selected Poems by
188. The Deemster by Hall Caine
189. When Rainclouds Gather by Bessie Head
190. Maru by Bessie Head
191. Derek Mahon: New Selected Poems by Derek Mahon
192. A Move in the Weather by Anthony Thwaite
193. Door into the Dark by Seamus Heaney
194. Driftless by David Rhodes

194 added
9 read
185 nett additions

Redigerat: jun 19, 6:58pm


Redigerat: jun 19, 7:07pm


January : The Nickel Boys by Colson Whitehead
February : Did You Ever Have a Family by Bill Clegg
March : The Return by Hashim Matar
April : Life of Pi by Yann Martel
May : The Camomile Lawn by Mary Wesley

Redigerat: jun 19, 7:08pm


A book for the book bullet that made the biggest mark on me that month. Only one win per person each year.

January 2021 MARK (msf59) for THE ONLY GOOD INDIANS by Stephen Graham Jones
February 2021 ADRIENNE (fairywings) for THE BELGARIAD by David Eddings
March 2021 BONNIE (brenzi) for DRIFTLESS by David Rhodes
April 2021 KERRY (avatiakh) for THE DIG by John Preston

Redigerat: jun 19, 7:12pm


Books Read : 63
Books Added : 194
Nett TBR Addition : 131

Number of Pages in completed books : 15,657
Avergae per day : 94.89
Projected Page Total : 34,635

Number of days per book : 2.61
Projected Number : 139
LT Best : 157

Longest Book read : 523 pages
Shortest Book read : 51 pages
Mean Average Book Length : 248.52 pages

Male Authors : 38
Female Authors : 25

UK Authors : 33
Italy : 2
USA : 8
NZ : 1
Russia : 2
France : 1
India : 1
Libya : 1
Pakistan : 1
South Korea : 1
Canada : 1
Morocco : 1
Thailand : 1
Norway : 1
Belgium : 1
Sweden : 1
Trinidad : 1
Sudan : 1
Uruguay 1
Syria 1
Ghana 1
Austria 1

1001 Books First Edition : 8 (312)
New Nobel Winners :
Pulitzer Fiction Winners : 2 (18)
Booker Winners : 2 (33)
Around the World Challenge : New countries : 17 (30)
BAC Books : 33
AAC Books : 1
Queen Vic Books : 7 (10/64)
Queen Betty Books : 23 (24/70)
52 Book Challenge : 22 (22/52)
British Historians : 2 (2/12)

Redigerat: jun 19, 7:14pm


TBR at Midnight 31 May 2021

Books Unread : 4,425
Pages Unread : 1,555,749
Average Book Length : 351.58 pages

Books Read : 12
Pages Read : 2,859

Books Added : 7
Pages Added : 1,163 pages

Books Culled : 180
Pages Culled : 77,262

Revised TBR
Books Unread : 4,240
Pages Unread : 1,476,791
Ave Book Length : 348.30 pages

jun 1, 12:31am

Next is yours

jun 1, 12:32am

Amazing--I'm here so early! Nice to see your new thread Paul--glad I'm here for it.

jun 1, 12:33am

Happy new thread!

>27 AnneDC: In spite of my checking every few comments for the last 5 min you have jumped in first!

jun 1, 12:40am

>27 AnneDC: And I am so glad to see you here, Anne. Got a bit stuck with the last one, so I am hoping this will be almost literally a new page!

>28 quondame: Hahaha I don't know how you guys manage to get here so early but I am blessed by your presence! Thanks Susan. x

jun 1, 12:41am

Happy new thread!

>1 PaulCranswick: At last! I'll be joining you as soon as I finish The Way We Live Now.

Redigerat: jun 1, 12:52am

>30 amanda4242: I probably need a wee head start, Amanda!

Just finishing up a couple of mine that are well advance first and then I will be indulging myself with it!

jun 1, 12:58am

Paul, when I saw your new thread pop up and looked at the photo, then saw your comment about "single biggest project this month" I initially thought it was a building you were building. Which seemed...very surprising. Then I realized it was a book project. Ha ha, I guess your work doesn't often call for castles and fortresses.

jun 1, 12:59am

>32 AnneDC: Oh but what a wonderful thought, Anne!

jun 1, 1:15am

>32 AnneDC: Oh good, I wasn't the only one momentarily confused!

jun 1, 1:42am

>34 ursula: I have been starting my thread this years with "Scenes from my Books" but iI inadvertently missed that off the post this time!

jun 1, 1:48am

>35 PaulCranswick: I mean, it is relatively early in the morning here (I've been up for a couple of hours but I'm just starting my coffee!), but I should still have figured the type of project you'd be doing that involved a castle would have to do with reading!

jun 1, 2:01am

For those interested in the real progress of the PNB Tower which is my main work project at the minute (I am the Senior Contract/Commercial Manager of Samsung C&T taking care of their projects in Malaysia) this is the link.

Will be the world's 2nd tallest building upon completion.

Just on scale so you can imagine more easily

The Empire State Building is 443.2 metres to the tip of its spire
PNB 118 will be 678.9 metres

The Empire state top floor is at 373.1 metres
PNB 118 is at 530 metres

jun 1, 2:05am

>36 ursula: It is not exactly the Chateau D'If, Ursula but my current project is interesting enough:

This is what it will eventually look like:

jun 1, 2:46am

Happy new thread, Paul!

I hope you will love enjoy The Count of Monte Cristo as much as I did 5 years ago.

>38 PaulCranswick: The PNB Tower will be an impressive building when finished!

jun 1, 3:08am

>39 FAMeulstee: Thanks Anita.

I am sure that it will be right up my street!

Oftentimes when a Grab/Uber driver drops me off in the car park with the tower looming over us, I do realise that the project I am working on is not exactly a run of the mill undertaking.

Redigerat: jun 19, 6:55pm

What a start to the month!

Just when I have determined to reduce my TBR from 1 June, all my pending orders (7 titles) arrive from Book Depo in one fell swoop!


188. The Deemster by Hall Caine (1887) 169 pp
189. When Rainclouds Gather by Bessie Head (1969) 215 pp
190. Maru by Bessie Head (1971) 116 pp
191. Derek Mahon: New Selected Poems by Derek Mahon (2016) 123 pp
192. A Move in the Weather by Anthony Thwaite (2003) 67 pp
193. Door into the Dark by Seamus Heaney (1969) 44 pp
194. Driftless by David Rhodes (2008) 429 pp

Hall Caine is for my Queen Vic challenge
Bessie Head is for my Around the World Challenge (Botswana)
Mahon, Thwaite and Heaney are three poets from my youth - Mahon died last October and Thwaite in April 21. I now only have one more of Heaney's main collections to add to my library.
Driftless was my recommendation of the month winner for March which netted Bonnie a book!

jun 1, 7:18am

Happy New Thread, Paul. I like the Larkin poem. How far along are you into Hamnet? Thoughts so far?

Redigerat: jun 2, 2:10pm


TBR at Midnight 31 May 2021

Books Unread : 4,425
Pages Unread : 1,555,749
Average Book Length : 351.58 pages

Books Read : 0
Pages Read : 0

Books Added : 7
Pages Added : 1,163 pages

Revised TBR
Books Unread : 4,432
Pages Unread : 1,556,912
Ave Book Length : 351.29

jun 1, 7:35am

>42 msf59: Great to see you Mark.

I am not far into Hamnet but know it will be good.

I had a terrible May in terms of losing my closest friend in Malaysia and then having to organise her funeral and send her ashes home to her mum. I had been pretty devastated and very busy seetling her apartment and handing it back to the owner plus returning her sentimental possessions to Mongolia.

All the above made me unable to concentrate on reading so I threw myself instead into re-cataloguing my unread books. Done that now and my appetite for reading has returned!

jun 1, 7:44am

Happy new thread, Paul.

I liked the Larkin poem, as well. Days to live in, not a bad thought.

>38 PaulCranswick: Wow! It looks like it belongs in a fantasy or SF novel.

>44 PaulCranswick: I am glad your reading appetite has returned. Happy reading with the count.

jun 1, 7:46am

>44 PaulCranswick: I am very sorry about the loss of your best friend. I hope you can settle back into a more comfortable routine this month.

jun 1, 7:47am

>45 EllaTim: Apt little poem, I thought, Ella x

It does sometimes feel a little futuristic coming into the building but it is less than space-age inside the place at the moment!

jun 1, 7:48am

>46 msf59: Thanks Mark. My solace will hopefully be my books!

jun 1, 11:44am

Hi Paul! Happy new thread.

Congrats on the book cataloging project being complete, seeing the back of a bad May, and being energized for a good reading month in June!

jun 1, 11:46am

>49 karenmarie: Thank you, Karen.

My other wish is to get round the threads as I was able until May.

jun 1, 12:51pm

Happy new thread, Paul. May June be a better month for you. Enjoy getting back to reading.

jun 1, 12:59pm

Thank you, Meg. First day but so far so good.

Redigerat: jun 1, 2:08pm

>37 PaulCranswick: According to your stats/memes page, your library would be 3216.4 feet tall if all your books were stacked on top of each other. If my math is correct that would make your books stack about 980 metres tall, or about 300 metres taller than the PNB Tower!

jun 1, 2:08pm

>53 amanda4242: I love the way you think!

jun 1, 3:24pm

Happy new thread!

jun 1, 3:34pm

>53 amanda4242: Clever thought, Amanda. Your math is correct.

jun 1, 4:22pm

Happy new thread Paul, hope all the family are well mate. Looking forward to the first Test tomorrow and hope that Bracey has a good Test.

jun 1, 5:23pm

Happy new thread, Paul!

jun 1, 8:18pm

>53 amanda4242: Fascinating, Amanda. I hadn't seen that feature before and it is a good job that I have given away so many of the books that I have read already. I have probably retained about 2,500 of them (without counting, em). Which would make the physical count in my home about 7,000 books.

>54 quondame: Amanda pointed out that at the very least I am building something, Susan!

jun 1, 8:19pm

>55 banjo123: Thank you, Rhonda.

>56 FAMeulstee: I didn't check the maths, Amanda, but it did look to be in order. x

jun 1, 8:24pm

>57 johnsimpson: Yes John and I hope he plays Bracey and Robinson. Personally I would have included Matt Critchley too as a middle order leg-spinner and all rounder as well as Ryan Higgins to fill in for Stokes. Family are doing ok although we have re-entered a full lockdown again here.

>58 jessibud2: Thank you, Shelley.

jun 1, 8:24pm

By the way, I have my vaccination date confirmed for first jab of Astra Zeneca. 20 June 2021.

jun 1, 9:57pm

Happy new thread, Paul! Here's hoping you manage more books in June. And congrats on your vaccination appointment!

jun 1, 11:39pm

>63 richardderus: Always great to see you here, dear fellow. The building is an artist's impression but I think the artist is not overstating things in this instance.

>64 bell7: Thanks Mar. I am pretty confident that last month's total will be passed before the week is out!

jun 2, 1:51am

Happy new thread, Paul!

>62 PaulCranswick: Congratulations on getting a date for your vaccination. I hear Malaysia has started another lockdown.

>53 amanda4242: So he could have just stacked his books instead? I'm sure Hani would have been pleased to get the books out of the house ;0)

jun 2, 6:23am

>66 humouress: Thanks Nina.

Yes it is full lockdown here. Went to the bank at 11 am (they close at 1 pm) and the roads were pretty empty (lovely!).

I'm short so I need to spread them around me and not make too big a tower out of them!

jun 2, 8:12am

Great news about the vaccine appointment, Paul! Charlie has his second shot next week, so soon we'll all be fully vaccinated.

jun 2, 8:51am

>68 scaifea: Hi Amber! Good to see that the teens are already getting vaccinated in the USA. In the UK and here there is plenty of debate about the efficacy of that but youngsters are not immune are they?!

jun 2, 9:22am

>69 PaulCranswick: I'm *so* happy that Charlie just makes the 12+ cutoff for vaccines. I'd be worried sick about sending him back to school in the fall without being vaccinated.

jun 2, 9:49am

>70 scaifea: Yes, I guess I would be the same if my three were back at that age. Kyran has his first jab on 19 July 2021 but the other two haven't got dates for theirs yet.

jun 2, 10:05am

>71 PaulCranswick: I think (and I could be wrong about this) that if he were in upper high school or college that I wouldn't worry so much? I dunno. Maybe then he'd have more autonomy over keeping socially distanced? Anyway, I do feel for parents of younger kiddos right now, who aren't eligible yet.

jun 2, 10:19am

>72 scaifea: I find the whole premise that it seems somehow unimportant to protect the younger generations as entirely misconceived. It is right and meet that the most vulnerable in society be made a priority but is that really the 18-30 brigade over those younger and less able to fend for or protect themselves?

jun 2, 10:26am

Trying to sustain the illusion (delusion?) that I'm on top of things. Obviously, YOU are the topper.

jun 2, 12:10pm

>74 weird_O: Nice of you to say that, Bill, I think the same of so many of our pals in the group. I'm not making a joke about my lack of height but I really do look up to so many of you in the group for so many reasons. Your stoicism in a time of great sadness for you is a wonderful example to us and your homages to your late and dear wife are remarkably touching and I am sure that she is looking down with pride and affection.

jun 2, 12:24pm

Happy new one!

jun 2, 1:40pm

>76 drneutron: Thank you, Jim. I seem to recall that someone's bday is imminent.

jun 2, 4:16pm

Hi Paul, they selected Bracey and Robinson to play and Robinson took a couple of wickets but the NZ debutant Devon Conway made his maiden Test century and in the process became the highest scorer on debut at Lord's.

We both have our second AZ vaccine on Tuesday and hopefully on the 21st we come out of all restrictions dependent on the Indian variant that is around.

Sending love and hugs to you all from both of us dear friend.

jun 2, 8:45pm

>78 johnsimpson: I was a little bit cynical about the vaccination programmes, John, as some people had clearly been planning such a programme for a good while, but the correlation between people getting jabs and a drastic fall in infections is beyond dispute by now. Besides which I won't be able to travel otherwise!

So negative to go with 7 batsmen and 4 seamers. Broad and Anderson playing together shows why Ed Smith was probably right to use them slightly more sparingly. Mark Wood is quick but simply doesn't get anywhere near enough wickets. Matt Critchley should be playing instead with Bracey at 3 of Zak Crawley who, his one giant score aside, averages barely 20 and is averaging 20 in the CC too. That now said he'll probably make a big score. I agree that Sibley plays when fit but is he fit or match fit? He and Burns together is a pretty turgid start to our top order and the other option drafting in in Hameed scores even slower!

jun 2, 9:07pm

Book #52

Still Waters by Viveca Sten
Date of Publication : 2008
Origin of Author : Sweden
Pages : 434 pp

Around the World Challenge (24th country)
52 Book Challenge (17/52) - Surprising ending

The Sandhamn series is not available in the stores in Malaysia and I am surprised because this is accessible with believable and largely likeable characters. Not so much Nordic Noir as Swedish Summertime as most of the action takes place in the "heat" of summer in that charming place set amid the cobalt Baltic sea.

A body is washed up on shore and Thomas Andreasson does not view the death as particularly suspicious but when the deceased's cousin is found dead in the blood spattered room of her B&B a murder investigation is put into full operation.

Many in the group have championed this and I can see why. I will have to order the next installment.

jun 2, 9:09pm

Continuing thoughts on my new MacBook Pro from the previous thread . . . I needed a software that could do all the things I used Irfanview to do in editing genealogy images. This included placing citations in bottom margins. I kept seeing recommendations for the Preview software that comes pre-installed on the Mac as a good replacement for Irfanview but I couldn't figure out how to get it to do one thing. I finally kept googling and saw that there was a work around to get it to do that, but it was very convoluted and time-consuming. I posted a question to my FB thread. It was not a genealogist but one of our retired music faculty members who came to my rescue with a low cost solution. It's actually shareware so you get to try it free. Then it costs $40 (USD). It took me a few minutes to figure out how to get it to work (although I saw it had the capability). Now that I know how to do it, it's quite easy, so I think I'll fork out the $40. I'm still downloading, but I'm able to get work done in the meantime.

jun 2, 9:11pm

>77 PaulCranswick: Yep! 59 on Saturday.😀

jun 2, 9:16pm

>80 PaulCranswick: Yikes, I think I have the first five or so of that series languishing on my Kindle Paul. I got sucked into the Kindle deal along with a bunch of other people.

Redigerat: jun 8, 3:42am


Ambitious as always. I have the sum total of 24 books and 7,861 pages planned:

1 Still Waters by Sten (Around the world; 52 book) DONE 2 JUNE
2 Half a Life by Naipaul (BAC, Around the World) DONE 3 JUNE
3 Bell for Adano by Hersey (Pulitzer) DONE 4 JUNE
4 Hamnet by O'Farrell (BAC, 52 Book) DONE 5 JUNE
5 John Saturnall's Feast by Norfolk (BAC, 52 Book, Queen Betty)
6 The King's Peace by Wedgwood (BAC, Historians, Queen Betty)
7 The Conservationist by Gordimer (Booker, Around the World)
8 Dead Lions by Herron (Series Pair, BAC)
9 Real Tigers by Herron (Series Pair, BAC)
10 The Count of Monte Cristo by Dumas (1001, Queen Vic)
11 Vice Versa by Anstey (Queen Vic, BAC)
12 The God Child by Ayim (Around the World, 52 Book)
13 Man's Search for Meaning by Frankl (Around the World)
14 The Acceptance World by Powell (52 Book, DTTMOF)
15 Mr. Norris Changes Trains by Isherwood (1001, BAC)
16 Vita Nova by Gluck (Poetry)
17 Springtime in a Broken Mirror by Benedetti (Around the World, 52 Book) DONE 6 JUNE
18 Mrs Palfrey at the Claremont by Taylor (BAC, Queen Betty)
19 My Country by Eid (Around the World)
20 Goodnight Mister Tom by Magorian (BAC, Queen Betty, 52 Book)
21 The Nightingale by Hannah (52 Book)
22 Auto da Fe by Canetti (Nobel, 1001, Around the World)
23 Mr Rosenblum Dreams in English by Solomons (Queen Betty)
24 Season of Migration to the North by Salih (Around the World) DONE 3 JUNE

jun 2, 9:30pm

>81 thornton37814: Lori, I doubt whether I will change back to Windows but it does present problems when I am writing and reviewing letters intended for use on that server / operating system.

Good luck with the PC and getting acquainted with the new software (s).

>82 drneutron: You wear your years lightly dear fellow!

jun 2, 9:32pm

>83 brenzi: They are in some ways a little lighter than say Mankell given that at least the main protagonists are reasonably fit!

Redigerat: jun 2, 9:44pm

>85 PaulCranswick: It's a Mac I switched to, so that's what I'm getting used to using (again). When I first went to where I worked, they gave me a Mac laptop although I had a PC in the office too because of the library system that ran only on PC. After about 4 years, I was due for replacement, and at that time, the school had switched to a Dell program so that's what they were purchasing. They replaced the laptop with a Desktop. Although Mac advantages in certain programs mean we have Macs in public spaces and that certain departments can get a Mac instead of a PC, the library is one of those who gets PCs. I'm hoping my work PC is up for replacement this year. It's OLD and slow!

jun 2, 9:53pm

>84 PaulCranswick: pssst #1 was done on 2 JUNE, not April

just so's ya know

jun 2, 10:36pm

>88 richardderus: My desktop at the 118 Site is a bit of a dinosaur, Lori, but it carries the Samsung server system. I didn't want to upload that onto my personal MacBook Air as it is hefty and intrusive so I have to struggle along with the work desktop for now.

>89 PaulCranswick: Hahaha well spotted, dear fellow. I am stuck in a time warp but will go and amend it!

jun 3, 2:41am

>84 PaulCranswick: Ambitious list, indeed. I hope you get to Viktor Frankl's book and allow time for reflection. It is a Holocaust memoir unlike any other.

jun 3, 4:28am

>90 kac522: The rate I am going I will definitely get to it, Kathy. I will finish books 2 and 3 for the month by sleeping time Malaysia tonight.

I am ahead of schedule for a change!

jun 3, 5:13am

Your June plan is indeed ambitious, Paul. Good luck with it.

jun 3, 5:35am

>92 sirfurboy: Thank you, Sir F. Lovely to see you here. I am almost ready to venture back out to the threads in full force.

jun 3, 8:16am

I read Good Night Mister Tom a little while ago and loved it tons! And also, of course, yay for The Count of Monte Cristo! You've got some excellent reading plans for this month.

jun 3, 8:54am

>94 scaifea: I am loving my reading so far, Amber, and it great to get some enthusiasm back. xx

jun 3, 10:06am

I'm hoping to read Goodnight Mister Tom and some of her other books soon, but it probably won't be this month.

Good luck with the 23 remaining books on that list, and please add them and the 17 you've read to the LT list!

I read The Return by Hisham Matar, which was moving but I think I found it quite tough reading about so many shifty excuses and questionable claims. I did wish that he'd carried through with his plan to tell David Miliband how much he liked his dad's work though.

jun 3, 10:11am

>96 elkiedee: I will go to the LT list and update soon, Luci, I promise!

I liked The Return by Matar but I didn't think it was an entirely unqualified success either.

Redigerat: jun 3, 10:24am

I meant that I think my issues were with the subject - I found it hard to read about.

I was thinking I preferred his novels, but have just reread my review of Anatomy of a Disappearance which is a little more critical than I remembered, and which covers some of the same ground.

jun 3, 10:31am

>97 PaulCranswick: I knew what you meant, Luci, the hoping against hope that his father would reappear but in the fairly certain conviction that he would not was certainly difficult to read. I was most struck and chilled by his anecdote about the time he was at the airport to meet his father.

I have read In the Country of Men but it is on my re-read list.

Redigerat: jun 3, 10:42am

BOOK #53

Half a Life by VS Naipaul
Date of Publication : 2001
Origin of Author : Trinidad (later UK Citizen)
Pages : 211 pp

BAC book 31
Queen Betty book 23
Around the World Challenge book 25

One's appreciation of Naipaul's palpable gift with the pen is dulled in the knowledge that he was a pretty horrible individual. Surprisingly (or probably not) this is amply or aptly demonstrated in the lead character of this novel Willie Chandran who himself is thoroughly unlikeable.

There is much to admire in writing skill but the whole thing comes across as both contrived as well as soulless. Moreover I got the distinct impression that Naipaul got irritated himself with the writing of the book as it seems to end abruptly and without a noticeable denouement.

I loved A House for Mr Biswas but haven't much enjoyed anything else I have read or tried to read by Naipaul. This is a poor second to that splendid book but I wouldn't recommend it overly for all that.

jun 3, 2:48pm

jun 3, 6:58pm

>101 SilverWolf28: Thank you, Silver

jun 4, 1:20am

BOOK #54

Season of Migration to the North by Tayeb Salih
Date of Publication : 1969
Origin of Author : Sudan
Pages : 169 pp

Around the World Challenge : 26th Country

This is a powerful little novel which has had a past mired in censorship and prohibition. Banned until recently in most Arab countries it well hopefully receive a much deserved wider readership.

The migration to the North is both figurative as well as allegorical. At its heart is the majestic rolling River Nile wending its cumbrous path Northwards from the mountains of Ethiopia to the Mediterranean sea. The migration is also in terms of civilisation from rural to urban and North to Cairo and onto London beyond in the acceptance of modernity and "Northern" values.

The meeting of two learned men one in his ancestral home village and the other who has migrated there to settle among the folk and live a simple life. As the interloper relates his life story it reveals as much about the future of Sudan as it does the past of the individual.

Some of the very best parts of this novel are the scenes between the old village folk and their bawdy reminiscences and casual references to female circumcision and the place of woman in the tribal setting. Given the outcomes subsequently revealed it is clear that Salh's critique is a stinging one and I can understand the Arabian need to suppress it.

Very worthwhile book.

jun 4, 1:21am

Three books in three days is a great start for me in June and I am hopeful of finishing another 3 or so over the weekend.

jun 4, 1:23am

jun 4, 1:24am

>105 quondame: I can breathe the rarified air of you and Anita and Amanda and Harold and Suz for a few days at least!
I don't know how you guys can keep it up at this pace day in and day out, though.

jun 4, 5:07am

>103 PaulCranswick: Good isn't it! One that stays with you I found.

Also, hola! I don't really have much to add - though weighing in with some more Larkin approval. It made me just pick up my copy of Whitsun Weddings from the shelf for a bit of nostalgia. I had to learn all the poems off by heart for a closed text A-level exam. Opening it now, I had forgotten that it is massively annotated, so it was even more nostalgic!

jun 4, 6:34am

>107 BekkaJo: The beauty of the prose helps the whole thing along and for which the translator deserves plenty of credit too.

I have plenty of Larkin on the shelves - well three anthologies worth and plenty of contributions in other general anthologies. Larkin would not be amongst my very favourite poets but he is only just after that first rank of five - Yeats, Eliot, Dylan Thomas, Heaney and Hughes - together with poets I have always enjoyed reading such as Betjeman, Auden, MacNeice and Paterson.

His famous poems Annus Mirabilis and This Be the Verse should be in all household poetry collections.

jun 4, 7:16am

>108 PaulCranswick: I think he is in my top five. I'm now trying to work out who the others would be... Heaney and Frank O'Hara definitely. Just not sure about the others. Betjeman in the top ten... *potters off to contemplate poets*

Oh and during my earlier shelf perusal I found I had two copies of Death of a Naturalist. No idea why.

jun 4, 7:30am

>109 BekkaJo: The Hawk in the Rain is my favourite debut collection but Death of a Naturalist runs it mightily close.

Betjeman was the first poet I really enjoyed (and then Tennyson, Kipling and Hardy strangely enough) and reading some of their work now sends me right back to my early teens and my nascent love of British poetry. I am still a snob in so far as I still place those era poets from Edwardian times to my birth as the Golden Age of poetry and still think of all of them as British (though Yeats was as Irish as a drop of the blackstuff or a peat fire and Auden & Eliot were at one time or another Americans).

jun 4, 8:36am

110: At university one of my first year options was on early 20th century English Literature.. The writers included were mostly not that English - I can only think of DH Lawrence and Virginia Woolf who were. I would have included Auden as English because he only went off to America much later as well - and Irish writers too have often settled elsewhere, whether in London, on the continent or in the US - James Joyce and Samuel Beckett both left Ireland for a fairly large part of their lives. "English Literature" has always claimed other writers when it suited the needs of the canon.

jun 4, 10:37am

>111 elkiedee: Certainly true, Luci, but it is normally considered in terms of "English" as a language rather necessarily as "English" as belonging to a specific place - it it by me at any rate. I would have thought that the first quarter of the 20th Century would have to mention Kipling, Wells, Galsworthy, Bennett, Forster, Ford Madox Ford and a young Maugham as well as Bridges, Masefield and the War Poets.

jun 4, 4:27pm

>100 PaulCranswick: After reading Sir Vidia's Shadow in the 90s I was left with the distinct impression I didn't want to make him any more money than I already I stopped reading his books!

Theroux tells ALL and it doesn't make gladdening reading. Theroux on the "friendship":
I was just a young man in Africa, trying to make my life. He was one of the strangest men I had ever met, and the most difficult. He was almost unlovable. He was contradictory, he quizzed me incessantly, he challenged everything I said, he demanded attention, he could be petty, he uttered heresies about Africa, he fussed, he mocked, he made his innocent wife cry, he had impossible standards, he was self important, he was obsessive on the subject of his health. He hated children, music, and dogs. But he was also brilliant, and passionate in his convictions, and to be with him, as a friend or fellow writer, I had always to be at my best.

jun 4, 5:04pm

>80 PaulCranswick: This looks good, Paul!

jun 4, 7:06pm

>113 richardderus: I must say, RD, that I think you made a pretty decent judgement call. I will probably still read In a Free State simply because it did win the Booker and I do have several of his already on the shelves but they could well get culled when I do my next serious cull.

>114 leperdbunny: It is a series I am going to follow, Tamara, despite the difficulty of buying the books here. Lovely to see you here, by the way. x

jun 5, 12:24am

BOOK # 55

A Bell for Adano by John Hersey
Date of Publication : 1944
Origin of Author : USA
Pages : 269 pp

Pulitzer Winner 2 (18)

I had read Hiroshima that (pun meant gravely) incendiary piece of writing about the devastating impact of war but this novel displays a deftness of touch and an bitter-sweet optimism of spirit that sits nicely on the reading palate.

In turns funny, maddening and poignant, Hersey, paints a world of contradictions - the Americans, largely well intentioned, look down on the vanquished Italians, the foibles of the villagers (laziness, greed, petty self-service and dishonesty) but their overwhelming warm heartedness is an effecting part of the story. The vainglorious, wrong-headed military leadership and our main character Major Jopolo himself vain but gloriously looking out for the town under his leadership and trying to do his best.

The town has "lost" its ancient bell, taken by the Fascists for munitions and Joppolo wants it back for them.

Thoroughly enjoyable and a story that you are begging not to end as it inevitably does.

jun 5, 12:26am

Well I have managed four books in four days and am still on my June target. Now Hamnet is up and I hope to finish it today.

jun 5, 6:00am


We are moving apartment. The owner of our apartment has informed us that they want to move back into the apartment at the end of our tenancy (8th July). Given that my medium term plan is to relocate back to the UK after the completion of the 118 project it is not ideal as my intention was to take a 1 year extension.

Hani being Hani she has quickly moved into gear and we will move into a slightly bigger unit in the same building from 1 July! An extra bedroom for when Yasmyne moves home. We save on some of the expense and hassle of moving which would have been compounded in this time of lockdown.

jun 5, 6:02am

It has also set me thinking about my books and I went through my new TBR list and culled 180 titles and in the process removed 77,262 pages from my TBR.

I will reflect these changes above shortly.

jun 5, 6:06am


TBR at Midnight 31 May 2021

Books Unread : 4,425
Pages Unread : 1,555,749
Average Book Length : 351.58 pages

Books Read : 4
Pages Read : 1,083

Books Added : 7
Pages Added : 1,163 pages

Books Culled : 180
Pages Culled : 77,262

Revised TBR
Books Unread : 4,248
Pages Unread : 1,478,567
Ave Book Length : 348.06 pages

jun 5, 6:41am

>118 PaulCranswick: So you will move next month, Paul, thanks to Hani fast action.
That is unexpected, I hope the move goes well.

>120 PaulCranswick: Even the revised numbers are huge :-)

jun 5, 6:53am

Lopping off 70,000 pages from my TBR in a day is not to be sniffed out and I exercised the delete button very grudgingly!

Hani is very good in situations where something needs to be done - she rarely if ever hesitates.

jun 5, 6:55am

Wow! Wincing a bit at having to cull 180 titles so far but how fortuitous it is that you'd just catalogued your TBR. I suppose this might be a bit disruptive for your reading time.

jun 5, 6:58am

>123 elkiedee: I am in the zone reading wise, Luci, but I haven't forgotten about updating the LT books read list!

jun 5, 7:04am

Happy New Thread, Paul!

>1 PaulCranswick: You carried me away in your last thread- but I couldn't wait until June and started reading at the end of May - and I'm still excited!

>62 PaulCranswick: YAY for the vaccination!

>118 PaulCranswick: All the best for your move, glad it worked out so short notice in the same building.

jun 5, 7:11am

>125 SirThomas: It is a buyer or renter's market at the moment, Thomas with so many expats running for their home countries so it wasn't that difficult to get what we wanted to be honest.

jun 5, 8:10am

Wow, that's short notice, but so glad Hani was able to get you another unit in the same building.

Here in the US, it's a seller's and leaser's market for some reason. I've heard of up to 15 offers in the first day a house is on the market, often many thousands over asking price. Jenna had a hard time finding an apartment in Asheville recently, too.

jun 5, 8:21am

Wow, Paul, it feels like you just moved *into* that apartment! Good luck with the swift move out. And well done with your reading pace!

>127 karenmarie: I read somewhere last week that there are currently more realtors than listings in the US, which seems absolutely nuts.

jun 5, 9:09am

>127 karenmarie: That is strange, Karen, as the housing market is on its knees in Malaysia at the moment especially for Condo units which are way over supplied.

>128 scaifea: It does indeed, Amber, the two years have flown by. I must say that I am very happy here all things considered and didn't really want to move. Our new unit will have an extra bedroom (4+1 although the +1 becomes a sort of retreat for the cats as Erni has always shared rooms with Belle. This came from the previous house whereby the maid's room had no windows and barely enough room to swing a cat and I decided that there was no way I was letting Erni stay there (we used it as a store).

jun 5, 9:56am

Good luck with the move and kudos to Hani for her quick success. I am surprised that they are even making you move at all, given your lockdown situation.

jun 5, 10:54am

>130 jessibud2: I am pretty sure that we could have dug our heels in a little but it doesn't seem worth it since we can move within the same complex.

Under the Government's force majeure provisions there were avenues to defray or even sidle out of rental commitments but since my income has not been impacted by the pandemic (other than I have foregone any increments over the two years), I think it would have been a bit dishonest to look upon it as an opportunity to avoid payments.

jun 5, 11:16am

Kudos to Hani for finding you a bigger place in the same building! If you have to move, this seems like the best outcome you could hope for. The idea of packing up would simply overwhelm me. I don't expect to move until I'm unable to cope, in which case it will all be someone else's problem!

jun 5, 11:19am

>132 laytonwoman3rd: I have been thinking of a plan, Linda, to move my books with the least amount of hassle possible and I am going to move them bookcase at a time. I took the new apartment from 1 July and we give up the present place on 8 July meaning that I have a week to move my books across. Should be a piece of cake!

jun 5, 12:10pm

>118 PaulCranswick: A shame you have an extra move before your UK relocation Paul, but I guess it should be simpler being in the same building. Mrs Organised is on it I see.

Will you start transferring some of your books into storage in the UK before moving back, or do it all at once?

jun 5, 12:14pm

>134 Caroline_McElwee: She is organised, Caroline and I find it scary!

I guess the plans for the physical relocation in the UK will depend on the speed we find a place. I would prefer my books to move with me a bit like the Count taking the soil from Transylvania with him and keeping it close!

jun 5, 12:53pm

There can't be *too* many competitors for thousand-square-meter housing on Oban....

Congrats on the move to a larger space! That never comes amiss, does it.

jun 5, 12:56pm

>136 richardderus: Ha! I could store plenty of single malt in such a space, RD!

It is only slightly bigger. Instead of 3,426 ft2 we will have 3,986 ft2. more window space and for me a problem slightly less bare wall space.

jun 5, 1:00pm

>137 PaulCranswick: There's no law on any register anywhere that says bookcases can't be placed in front of windows. Remind yourself of this as the light gets blocked by a purpose-cut piece of plywood so your books don't bake.

jun 5, 1:18pm

>138 richardderus: Funnily enough, RD, Hani sort of said the same thing.

jun 5, 1:26pm

>135 PaulCranswick: Hahaha! Should we call you Count Bookula?

jun 5, 1:27pm

>140 elkiedee: I would have to arrange to sail into Whitby, then, Luci!

jun 5, 2:10pm

Best of luck for the move, Paul.

I see the word 'cull' so I'm not sticking around ...

jun 5, 2:41pm

>142 humouress: Don't worry, Nina, it is a very rare day that you'll see anything like that on my threads!

jun 5, 3:54pm

>118 PaulCranswick: Well that's a kick! Good for Hani, that woman must keep her feelers out.

jun 5, 4:09pm

Hi Paul, Our batting frailties have been shown up once again after Root was out to the first ball of the day, It was good to see that Robinson continued his debut Test good form this time with the bat and then he took two late wickets, not a bad Debut at the home of Cricket.

The weather this last week has been glorious and i have spent quite a bit of time in the garden making up for the lost time in May, this has affected my reading but not book buying, lol.

Hope that you are all having a good weekend mate and send love and hugs to you all from both of us dear friend.

jun 5, 4:51pm

Sorry for your loss of Manda, Paul, that's terrible.

Big hugs for having to move on such short notice xx

jun 5, 6:50pm

Yikes, Paul.... good luck on the move. Even moving a short distance can be exhausting.

jun 5, 11:51pm

>144 quondame: She has more antennae than Rupert Murdoch and Ted Turner combined, Susan!

>145 johnsimpson: Nice to see we got better weather than London for a change, John. I felt a little sorry for Bracey pushed down the order into an unfamiliar position instead of at three instead of the hapless Crawley and then coming in in the middle of a collapse. I hope he doesn't get a pair but then again it would put him in company of Graham Gooch. Robinson has shown real mettle on debut.

jun 5, 11:55pm

>146 DianaNL: I'm still reeling from it, Diana, to be honest much to SWMBOs chagrin I'm afraid.
Moving is a pain but so was my previous owner!

When we moved in she had refused to connect the electricity so we had three days of no power whilst I got all the unfamiliar paperwork organised and then of course the power revealed problems with the house that she then refused to rectify without me paying half towards it.

Lovely surprise to see you here this morning when I awaoke. xxx

>147 banjo123: To be honest, with Hani here, I will have much less to do than last time as she likes to take over and then complain about my lack of activity! I will concentrate on my books!

Redigerat: jun 5, 11:57pm

It is 5 books in 5 days as I have just finished Hamnet. I won't differ from everyone else in my regard however as it is an excellent novel.

Rest my eyes a little and then I'll think about my review.

jun 6, 3:40am

BOOK #56

Hamnet by Maggie O'Farrell
Date of Publication : 2020
Origin of Author : UK
Pages : 370 pp

52 Book Challenge (18/52)

One cannot commence a review of this fine novel without pondering the nature and expression of grief.

So many of us have had our troubles and our losses over the past year or two that we would have to be turned into stone not to be moved by or identify with the protagonists of this book.

How do we treat with grief? For some of us it stultifies; we feel as if the world has or should stop turning so that we can stay as we were in that exact moment before we were bereft. It is said that grief can be all-consuming and for some it does consume - in pain, in loss, in fear and anguish and anger. For some it inspires us to memorialise and remember to create and to dedicate so that the loved one is never forgotten.

This is at heart what Hamnet spoke to me. The shades of grief between mother and father, twin and husband and wife is brilliantly explored and dissected and it leads us to the understanding that we all find our own way to get through. I thought the scenes where young Hamnet is prepared for his funeral and the funeral itself are some that will long stay with me and deserving alone of the plaudits O'Farrell received for the whole thing.

Possibly the world's finest play came from the premature end of a little boy, but the mother remembers the boy not the play.

Redigerat: jun 6, 5:08am

jun 6, 5:09am

jun 6, 5:36am

I plan to start my first reading of the Count this month Paul. At a much slower pace than you though.

jun 6, 5:47am

>154 Caroline_McElwee: I have planned to read it over 8 days, Caroline but reading other shorter books alongside them!

jun 6, 7:07am

Threads are dangerous.

They are dangerous for books.
They are dangerous for music.

Catching up with Jennifer (mstrust) I saw her review of a book by Debbie Harry and now Blondie is on my weekend playlist - along with similar era stuff such as Stranglers, Clash, ABC, the Pretenders .......ATOMIC!

Redigerat: jun 6, 7:25am

Great review of Hamnet, Paul. You described it perfectly. Can you believe I have never read The Count of Monte Cristo? WTH? I need to remedy that glaring oversight. Maybe, later this year?

"Threads are dangerous." They certainly are...

jun 6, 7:33am

>156 PaulCranswick: Sounds good.

I wish I had something to play my CD collection on. For some reason we have quite a few things which should play DVDs (and CDs in the house) but can't get any of them to work. My laptop sound quality is rubbish so if I want to listen to music I tend to end up using Youtube but on the TV via the digibox thing from my Cable/Internet etc provider. It's becoming well trained in throwing up random selections of songs I've listened to recently. The rotation seems to include Blondie and the Jam, but perhaps I need to search a couple of 80s Pretenders videos in order to get those into the mix.

jun 6, 7:39am

Now playing Brass in Pocket!

jun 6, 7:59am

>157 msf59: Thanks Mark. I was rather thinking the same of myself and The Count. I think I did read an abridged version of it as a youngster. It is very, very easy to get right into!

>158 elkiedee: I have a small Bose player that turns out great music from my CDs but I mainly use spotify these days (a waste of my 4,000 cds really!) and I am thinking about buying a better turntable and system to better enjoy some of the vinyl I have left. Will probably leave it until I get back home to the UK though.

jun 6, 8:00am

>159 elkiedee: Amazingly I heard it two or three songs ago too! "GONNA USE MY FINGERS"

Just had Robert Palmer and his Addicted to Love and now I'm Up the Junction with the irrepressible Squeeze.

jun 6, 9:52am

>161 PaulCranswick: Don't like Robert Palmer and that video was hideous, but I love those late 70s/early 80s Squeeze recordings.

jun 6, 10:40am

>162 elkiedee: I'm not really a fan of his either, Luci, but his song was in the mix selected for me by Spotify - also had Talking Heads, Eurythmics, Roxy Music and Yazoo which were more like it.

Black Coffee in Bed is a classic Squeeze song. Tempted and the wonderful Take Me I'm Yours.

jun 6, 10:44am

Wow! That will be a fast move- I hope that you have movers lined up to move all of you books and possessions!

jun 6, 11:04am

>164 torontoc: We have an incredibly heavy dining table and an incredibly heavy piano and I make better music out of the former than the latter but they both take a bit of moving. Three double beds and three sofas add nicely to the mix.

Hani is here never fear but she will expect me to make my mark over
15 book cases and possibly 7 to 8000 books in the house.

Movers partly required even within the same building for sure!

jun 6, 11:14am

Hi Paul!

Good plan to move your books bookcase by bookcase. Is a week enough time? *smile*

>158 elkiedee: Luci, I have a laptop, which provides crap sound, but I also have a set of Logitech speakers and subwoofer hooked up to it. They definitely provide a more-than-reasonable sound experience.

jun 6, 11:37am

Sorry to hear you have to move suddenly, but happy that you found such a convenient place so quickly.

And you've finally started on the Count!

jun 6, 1:03pm

>166 karenmarie: You are right, Karen, external speakers can really improve the sound from a PC.

14 bookcases at 2 per day. Easy peasy!

>167 amanda4242: Indeedy, Amanda. I'm also reading Springtime in a Broken Mirror alongside it which is fantastic. It is about a political detainee/prisoner in Uruguay and its impact on his father, wife, daughter, compadres and himself told from differing perspectives. A great read.

jun 6, 1:53pm

Regulars here will know how much I love my football (soccer) club my beloved Leeds United. This season we returned to the top league after 16 years of pain and acquitted ourselves admirably. With our genius eccentric head coach, El Loco Marcelo Bielsa and the fittest team in the world by a country mile he had us toe to toe with the very best. Not a single one of the self proclaimed Big Six won at our Elland Road stadium and we were the only EPL team not to be beaten by Manchester City.

jun 6, 5:53pm

>23 PaulCranswick: I recently watched the film version of The Dig, and have to say, was underwhelmed.

>151 PaulCranswick: Well, I'm sold. That was a lovely review.

I am currently on a reread of The Rings of Saturn, and I can say that the years between me and the last read have improved it greatly! I am loving its poetic way, and salivating over the sentence structures.

jun 6, 6:43pm

>163 PaulCranswick: Ah, Yazoo...*happy memory*

jun 6, 8:13pm

Dear Lord, I can’t imagine what it would take to pack us up and move us somewhere…

jun 6, 8:26pm

>170 LovingLit: Time and experience and mood are factors in book enjoyment, Megan. I have gone back to several books I just couldn't get into and subsequently loved them.

I saw the film of The Dig and I must agree it was rather devoid of incident.

>171 richardderus: Alison Moyet in her Alf mode really did have tubes to speak of.

jun 6, 8:27pm

>172 drneutron: Tis why we are staying in the same complex, Jim. Moved two years ago and it was pretty horrendous, I have to tell you.

jun 7, 1:17am

Wasn't Hamnet spectacular? And your review was spot on. I'll be rereading it with my book club in a few months and am looking forward to it, although in my review I said that the grief would make it a hard reread.

We read The Count of Monte Cristo in high school and I absolutely fell in love with the story. Daring do and glammering and revenge and love and all that great stuff.

jun 7, 2:21am

>175 streamsong: It isn't often these days that I post a review to the work page of a particular book, Janet but I was impelled to by Hamnet.

The Count is going to be one to enjoy for the ages. Reading it decidedly chewable pieces alongside other books (which are also pretty good, I think). I'm having a great reading month so far and have managed 6 books in the first 6 days.

Latest review to come shortly.

jun 7, 3:49am

>151 PaulCranswick: My "skip the line" hold on Hamnet just came in, so I didn't read your review but I squinted at it and saw enough to see that it is a positive one. Starting to read it imminently.

jun 7, 7:25am

>177 ursula: Enjoy it, Ursula. Don't think my review would have had any spoilers in it even if you had read it. x

jun 7, 7:47am

BOOK #57

Springtime in a Broken Mirror by Mario Benedetti
Date of Publication : 1982
Origin of Author : Uruguay
Pages : 181 pp

This short but powerful novel is at its core about separation and the consequences of separation. Loyalties and how they are tested by separation.

Santiago is a political prisoner arrested and tortured by the military regime in Montevideo, his wife and daughter, his father and friends are in exile but there is a possibility of Santiago being released soon after five long years. The story of the lead up to his release is told from the various perspectives of those involved with the most effective being the viewpoint of the young daughter.

It is a sad and harshly realistic look at these lives with the downfall that we gradually lose respect for some of the characters as the book develops.

jun 7, 8:00am

>178 PaulCranswick: I trust you not to spoil anything, but I really try not to read anything about a book ahead of time. Blurbs, synopses, back of the book, reviews....

jun 7, 8:18am

>180 ursula: It's fine Ursula - I like to read the reviews but I can understand wanting your own impression to be a fresh one. xx

jun 7, 5:16pm

It's a piker compared to one of your hauls, PC, but Rob just surprised me by sending me the whole contents of my shopping cart at the University of Chicago Warehouse Sale! Go look...what a great Monday surprise.

jun 7, 6:24pm

>182 richardderus: You lucky guy, you. Going off to salivate!

jun 8, 1:59am

BOOK #58

My Country : A Syrian Memoir by Kassem Eid
Date of Publication : 2018
Origin of Author : Syria
Pages : 194 pp

Around the World Challenge : 28

Bashar Assad and his father before him are extremely bad men. They rule their country for themselves and their family and hanger's on and the rest either conform to a secondary role in society or they will take you out.

I loved the bits of this book which were about his childhood and the reminisces of his mother, father and schooldays. I do understand though reading this book why the Syrian cause has somehow gotten lost in the West. I mean it should have been a no-brainer Assad dropped Sarin on his own people, used torture, rape, intimidation and rank prejudice to rule without accountability for 20 years. It is just all so unremitting and pointlessly brutal that I just think that most people cannot understand how the Syrians themselves were unable to follow Tunisia, Egypt and others and rid themselves of their fate.

Most people conceive Muslim disputes as being a Shia-Sunni schism but Assad and his cronies are effectively neither of these (although some would say his is a sect of Shia faith). He and at the time of the uprising a mere 11% of Syrians are of the Alawite faith - who profess to be Muslims but believe in the divinity of Ali, use wine in their religious rituals, do not pray in Mosques and believe in reincarnation. It beggars belief as to how someone from such a minority faith was able to hold the reins of power so firmly and bring tyranny to the majority.

It is an important and sad book and one that expresses anger at the west for ignoring their pleas of assistance. The sarin attacks and the brutality of the regime appal and make me angry but also confused as to how the majority were so unable to unite against the minority. Therein, I feel lies the biggest single problem in the Islamic world.

Redigerat: jun 11, 11:18pm

Can't remember when I last managed 7 books in 7 days (and I have also started the Count). Still well on course to meet my June target.

1 Still Waters by Sten (Around the world; 52 book) DONE 2 JUNE
2 Half a Life by Naipaul (BAC, Around the World) DONE 3 JUNE
3 Bell for Adano by Hersey (Pulitzer) DONE 4 JUNE
4 Hamnet by O'Farrell (BAC, 52 Book) DONE 5 JUNE
5 John Saturnall's Feast by Norfolk (BAC, 52 Book, Queen Betty)
6 The King's Peace by Wedgwood (BAC, Historians, Queen Betty)
7 The Conservationist by Gordimer (Booker, Around the World)
8 Dead Lions by Herron (Series Pair, BAC)
9 Real Tigers by Herron (Series Pair, BAC)
10 The Count of Monte Cristo by Dumas (1001, Queen Vic)
11 Vice Versa by Anstey (Queen Vic, BAC)
12 The God Child by Ayim (Around the World, 52 Book) DONE 8 JUNE
13 Man's Search for Meaning by Frankl (Around the World)
14 The Acceptance World by Powell (52 Book, DTTMOF)
15 Mr. Norris Changes Trains by Isherwood (1001, BAC)
16 Vita Nova by Gluck (Poetry) DONE 8 JUNE
17 Springtime in a Broken Mirror by Benedetti (Around the World, 52 Book) DONE 6 JUNE
18 Mrs Palfrey at the Claremont by Taylor (BAC, Queen Betty)
19 My Country : A Syrian Memoir by Eid (Around the World) DONE 7 JUNE
20 Goodnight Mister Tom by Magorian (BAC, Queen Betty, 52 Book)
21 The Nightingale by Hannah (52 Book)
22 Auto da Fe by Canetti (Nobel, 1001, Around the World)
23 Mr Rosenblum Dreams in English by Solomons (Queen Betty)
24 Season of Migration to the North by Salih (Around the World) DONE 3 JUNE

Redigerat: jun 9, 2:04pm

Now in addition to The Count (He is already unjustly behind by bars unfortunately)

I have started :

The God Child and Vita Nova

With a good evening of reading I may manage to get to 9 books in 8 days.

jun 8, 10:32am

Hi, Paul.

What a beautiful photo up top. I'm another one who loved The Count of Monte Cristo. I hope you have a good time reading it. you've sure been doing a lot of other good reading. I've thought about reading A Bell for Adano more than once, and I think you've convinced me to finally give it a go. Nice review.

Your new building looks spectacular up in >38 PaulCranswick:. What a project!

jun 8, 10:40am

>187 jnwelch: Lovely to see you getting round the threads, Joe. Funny because I was just over at your place admiring the newest photos of your grandkids.

I don't think that A Bell for Adano would win the Pulitzer these days but it is a really good read.

I am savouring the Count and gradually ramping it up whilst at the same time enjoying it in the company of the other books I am reading.

The project is currently pretty much at a standstill given the lockdown here.

jun 8, 12:59pm

>186 PaulCranswick: I certainly won't be following you down the Glueck path...but The God Child crossed my radar and I'm eager to know what you're thinking about it when you finish.

jun 8, 7:37pm

>189 richardderus: I think you'll like it, RD. A coming of age story with dislocation thrown in.

Redigerat: jun 10, 2:41am

I just read a review in the Straits Times about 'The Bride Always Knocks Twice - Killer Secrets' which is a virtual interactive murder mystery. It's quite tempting although not quite my thing. I thought you might like it.


jun 9, 3:24am

>191 humouress: I better keep that from the boss, she is likely to attempt to put it into practice.

jun 9, 6:18am

>151 PaulCranswick: We read Hamnet for my book club recently and I think it was one of the few books (possibly the only book) where absolutely everyone loved it. I think it’s one of the best books I’ve read.

jun 9, 7:53am

>151 PaulCranswick: With me suffering a little with issues of loss, Rhian, I think I appreciated it all the more. I may be mistaken but I really do not recall a negative review of it anywhere. Deserving winner of the Women's Prize, I would warrant.

jun 9, 2:02pm

BOOK #59

Vita Nova by Louise Gluck
Date of Publication : 1999
Origin of Author : USA
Pages : 51 pp

Challenges :
Monthly Poetry Read : 6/12

Of the six collections of Gluck's that I have read since she won the Nobel Prize, this one probably impacted upon me the least. Could be the mood I was in but I got the feeling that there was plenty of filler in here and some of the work was clearly formulaic with her posing herself rhetorical questions then answering herself obliquely.

These poems deal largely with the aftermath of the break up of her marriage and she uses quite a bit of mythological imagery with plentiful references to Orpheus, Oddyseus and Penelope as a counterpoise of her own experiences. Doesn't work in every instance unfortunately for me.

There are some great lines in here but I do feel that she has tended to wrap free verse around those individual lines to make poems and it was my feeling that her muse was marking time here. Some people place this high in her oeuvre - I don't.

I probably liked this fairly bitter poem "Unwritten Law" the most.

Interesting how we fall in love:
In my case, absolutely. Absolutely, and, alas, often—
so it was in my youth.
And always with rather boyish men—
unformed, sullen, or shyly kicking the dead leaves:
in the manner of Balanchine.
Nor did I see them as versions of the same thing.
I, with my inflexible Platonism,
my fierce seeing of only one thing at a time:
I ruled against the indefinite article.
And yet, the mistakes of my youth
made me hopeless, because they repeated themselves,
as is commonly true.
But in you I felt something beyond the archetype—
a true expansiveness, a buoyance and love of the earth
utterly alien to my nature. To my credit,
I blessed my good fortune in you.
Blessed it absolutely, in the manner of those years.
And you in your wisdom and cruelty
gradually taught me the meaninglessness of that term.

If you haven't read any Gluck you'll probably like it and her wheel spinning is still good stuff but I just think her collection "Averno" offered so much more.

jun 9, 2:13pm

BOOK #60

The God Child by Nana Oforiatta Ayim
Date of Publication : 2019
Origin of Author : Ghana
Pages : 241 pp

Around the World Challenge : 29th Country
52 Week Book Club : 20/52

A promising debut novel which is the sort of coming of age story of a young Ghanaian girl exiled in Germany and then the UK whose parents are a doctor and a Tribal princess. It also explores the nature of tradition and power in Ghana and how its bright young things from the establishment class are being prepared in order to take the country forward as they also take control of it.

It does show occasionally a disjointed callowness that is certainly forgivable in a debut novel and I am sure that she is a writer to watch. Having been to Ghana (and very much liking its people) I recognised some but not all of the images she created of her own country and its folk.

Mildly recommended.

jun 9, 5:47pm

Congratulations on your reading streak!

jun 9, 6:57pm

>1 PaulCranswick: Count of Monte Christo is a chunky one, isn't it?! So much of it is memorable. I lost some reading time because I'd have to pause and write quotes down for posterity.

Karen O.

jun 9, 7:17pm

>197 amanda4242: Nine books in eight days and I am close to adding a tenth, Amanda. A combination of lockdown and concentration. I maybe can keep it up for a month but I couldn't match you guys in making this pace permanent.

>198 klobrien2: It is great though despite its chunkiness! I enjoying reading it in instalments as it bi-passes the scale of the thing a little bit. I am setting a small portion of each day aside for it and will concentrate only on it on Sunday. I may get to about halfway by Sunday.

jun 10, 12:27am

Reading Man's Search for Meaning by Viktor E Frankl so even though it is short in pages, I haven't been able to rush through its harrowing pages and it will only be finished later today. Still it will be 10 books in 10 days plus a steady progression of the Count.

jun 10, 2:11am

BOOK #61

Man's Search for Meaning by Viktor E Frankl
Date of Publication : 1946
Origin of Author : Austria
Pages : 154 pp

Challenges :
Around the World Challenge : 30th Country
52 Book Club Challenge : 21/52 Book that should be read in school

If I were to make a list of my top twenty most indispensable works of literature then two of them would directly concern the Holocaust/ the Jewish experience of the war - Night by Elie Wiesel and If Not Now, When? by Primo Levi.

This short but extremely powerful and much venerated book seeks to find meaning in the Holocaust and the writer's experience and survival of Auschwitz and other camps. It is a book that I will definitely re-read often and dip into for emotional sustenance in future, especially the first 2/3rds which is in a way his memoir of direct experience.

It is a treatise on the human spirit and the miracle of the survival instinct and I would heartily recommend it to those looking for a deeper and rounded understanding of all the participants involved from the guards, to the Capos to the "inmates".

On entering camp a change took place in the minds of the men. With the end of uncertainty there came the uncertainty of the end. It was impossible to foresee whether or when, if at all, this form of existence would end. pp79

jun 10, 11:07am

>201 PaulCranswick: Okay, so that may be too heavy for me at the moment!

Loving the reading sprint - and quite jealous of it to be honest. *wanders off to look at threads instead of reading*

(And actually instead of working which is what I should be doing. oops!)

jun 10, 11:27am

>202 BekkaJo: Well my ability to knock the books off does coincide with a spell of "working" from home.

Lovely to see you Bekka.

I have just started Mr. Norris Changes Trains which is a 1001 book.

Redigerat: jun 10, 1:00pm

>201 PaulCranswick: A book that, when I read it some time ago, I found both portentous and trenchant...couldn't settle it into one category in my mind, recommend or revile.

It's so hard to read survivor accounts without sometimes wishing they'd apply story logic..."this is too much, dial it back"...before recalling it's THEIR LIVED EXPERIENCE! Shuddersome.

>196 PaulCranswick: Oh darn. "Promising debut" does not make me want to rush out and procure it. Well, better to know now! Thanks for the précis.

jun 10, 1:06pm

>201 PaulCranswick: BB. On the WL it goes. And thanks for the reminder about Night, I've always wanted to read that too.

jun 10, 3:34pm

jun 10, 6:49pm

I can't believe how many books you've been reading Paul. Man's Search for Meaning sounds like a good one.

jun 10, 7:58pm

>204 richardderus: There was such a generosity of spirit in the pages, RD, as he sought to understand.

I was a tad disappointed in Ayim's book to be honest, it promised to deliver more than it eventually achieved.

>205 mahsdad: It is a must-read, Jeff, but then again Richard is right in that those "lived" experiences are difficult to take in without awe and revulsion mingling in a an unpalatable proportion.

jun 10, 7:59pm

>206 SilverWolf28: Thank you, Silver.

>207 brenzi: I have Mr Norris Changes Trains to finish and then the weekend will be given over to the Count of Monte Cristo, Bonnie.

jun 10, 9:09pm

I've finished The Way We Live Now, so I'll be starting in on the Count once I give my wrists a day to rest.

jun 10, 9:55pm

>210 amanda4242: Hahaha I am sure that you'll soon catch me up, Amanda!

Redigerat: jun 11, 3:23am

>203 PaulCranswick: Oh I have that one on the shelf I think - I think I picked it up fairly recently. Any good?

jun 11, 9:20am

>212 BekkaJo: Really like the beginning and it is certainly ok but I am not entirely blown away.

jun 11, 2:34pm

>208 PaulCranswick: I'm not afraid of the hard truths of reading personal stories about the Holocaust, or any other horrific event. I think its important to read and understand those first hand accounts. If it doesn't remain visceral in our collective minds, its too easy to forget about it, and it just becomes a list of numbers in a history book.

jun 11, 7:12pm

>53 amanda4242: Beautiful!

jun 11, 8:32pm

>214 mahsdad: The Holocaust, the Killing Fields of Cambodia, Rwanda, - all these are so important not to lose our collective memory of and use to create a sort of collective barrier of humanity to try to prevent recurrences. Humankind in its basest form will often reappear without knowledge, education or understanding.

>215 ArlieS: In all fairness I have been working a little to lower that tower, this month at least!

jun 11, 8:34pm

Our lockdown has just been extended until 28 June. Means:

1 My reading will continue largely unimpaired
2 I will probably climb the walls
3 Moving home on 1 July will be made difficult as workers won't be able to come and clean up the new place which has stood empty a couple of years
4 Work will continue to be hard to coordinate.

jun 11, 9:54pm

Yikes! That’s a long lockdown!

jun 11, 10:41pm

>218 drneutron: If you see our numbers you would certainly think it an over reaction but the politicians here cannot seem to make up their minds how to react and they keep changing their response. Because of the Indian Variant the case numbers went up alarmingly weeks ago and the reaction was to bunker down and starve the variant of opportunity. The numbers are slowly going back down but they need to get the vaccination programme moving better.

jun 11, 11:18pm

BOOK #62

Mr Norris Changes Trains by Christopher Isherwood
Date of Publication : 1935
Origin of Author : UK
Pages : 230 pp

Challenges :
1001 Book First Ed : 8 (312 total)
BAC : 32 books

Isherwood will always be associated with Berlin and much of this story is set in that city in the politically febrile days that saw a series of elections culminate in the Nazis seizing power.

William who narrates our story meets the faintly sinister Mr Norris on a train bound for Germany and throws himself into an unlikely friendship thereafter. Norris seems to be leaving at least a double life and William seems in danger of embroiling himself.

Well written with fizzing dialogue with as much hinted at as delivered. One also gets the flavour of Germany on the brink of dramatic and, as it transpired, disastrous reorder. As Isherwood stated in those days of appeasement:

It is indeed tragic to see how, even in these days, a clever and
unscrupulous liar can deceive millions.

Not sure that it would be in my list of indispensable books to read but it was a worthwhile and mildly enjoyable one all the same.

Redigerat: jun 20, 2:10am

Still pretty much on target this month. 11 days and 11 books read.

1 Still Waters by Sten (Around the world; 52 book) DONE 2 JUNE
2 Half a Life by Naipaul (BAC, Around the World) DONE 3 JUNE
3 Bell for Adano by Hersey (Pulitzer) DONE 4 JUNE
4 Hamnet by O'Farrell (BAC, 52 Book) DONE 5 JUNE
5 John Saturnall's Feast by Norfolk (BAC, 52 Book, Queen Betty)
6 The King's Peace by Wedgwood (BAC, Historians, Queen Betty)
7 The Conservationist by Gordimer (Booker, Around the World)
8 Dead Lions by Herron (Series Pair, BAC)
9 Real Tigers by Herron (Series Pair, BAC)
10 The Count of Monte Cristo by Dumas (1001, Queen Vic)
11 Vice Versa by Anstey (Queen Vic, BAC)
12 The God Child by Ayim (Around the World, 52 Book) DONE 8 JUNE
13 Man's Search for Meaning by Frankl (Around the World) DONE 9 JUNE
14 The Acceptance World by Powell (52 Book, DTTMOF)
15 Mr. Norris Changes Trains by Isherwood (1001, BAC) DONE 11 JUNE
16 Vita Nova by Gluck (Poetry) DONE 8 JUNE
17 Springtime in a Broken Mirror by Benedetti (Around the World, 52 Book) DONE 6 JUNE
18 Mrs Palfrey at the Claremont by Taylor (BAC, Queen Betty)
19 My Country : A Syrian Memoir by Eid (Around the World) DONE 7 JUNE
20 Goodnight Mister Tom by Magorian (BAC, Queen Betty, 52 Book)
21 The Nightingale by Hannah (52 Book)
22 Auto da Fe by Canetti (Nobel, 1001, Around the World)
23 Mr Rosenblum Dreams in English by Solomons (Queen Betty)
24 Season of Migration to the North by Salih (Around the World) DONE 3 JUNE

Redigerat: jun 12, 2:14am

Forgot to officially announce that My BOOK RECOMMENDATION WINNER for May 20201
is Deborah (Cariola) for her book bullet of I am, I am, I am : Seventeen Brushes with Death by Maggie O'Farrell

Redigerat: jun 12, 12:10am

>222 PaulCranswick: I read that one a few years ago and there are still scenes I remember with vivid clarity.

ETA: Do you perhaps mean your winner for May 2021?

jun 12, 2:13am

>223 amanda4242: So it looks like the recommendation was a sound one, Amanda, even if my stir crazy lockdown mood allows me to forget what year it is! I will edit it!

jun 12, 6:05am

>217 PaulCranswick: Sorry to read the lockdown is extended, Paul.
Over here we are slowly returning to (almost) nomal life.

>221 PaulCranswick: You are beating me this month!
I am at 5 books for June.

>224 PaulCranswick: With lockdowns, it feels like 2020 is still here.

jun 12, 6:09am

>225 FAMeulstee: Wow, my head is spinning! Not sure that I have read more in a month than you for several years.

In Malaysia we are not standing still but are instead going backwards towards the abyss. The country is not a first world one and will really struggle to recover from all this enforced economic inactivity.

Redigerat: jun 12, 6:21am

>226 PaulCranswick: Probably every month before June 2016, Paul, that is when full speed reading came back to me.
And maybe last year August (13) and December (14), both were bad reading months for me.

jun 12, 6:26am

>227 FAMeulstee: Nope Anita I checked. August 2020 I didn't break double figures and read 12 books in December 2020. Before 2016 I did have my very good months with several over 20. 27 books in a month is the best I have done whilst a member of this group.

jun 12, 6:40am

>228 PaulCranswick: Before June 2016 it was 7 books a month at most, Paul, with a serious dip in 2013 with 13 books for the year.
My best was December 2018, when I did nothing else but read. Ended at 93. I doubt I could ever do that again.

jun 12, 6:45am

>229 FAMeulstee: I did say several years. I well remember you recovering your ability to read quickly.

93 books in a single month!!! I do wonder if that has ever been equalled before in the group - I doubt it very much indeed.

jun 12, 6:55am

>230 PaulCranswick: Still Stasia holds the record for most books in a year, with 578 in 2010.

Redigerat: jun 12, 7:25am

We had been in lockdown pretty much since November, except for essential services like food stores, pharmacies, and garden centres. Yesterday was our province's first day of stage one opening: in-person shopping (I went to a bookstore!), outdoor patio dining, and some other stuff. I am hoping that we don't end up back in lockdown because, like you, our govt has been consistent in giving mixed messages and changing its mind on a regular basis. The Indian variant has arrived here, too, so I just hope that *letting the dogs out* (if you know what I mean) doesn't end us up in a 4th wave and another lockdown. Sadly, I truly just don't trust people to stay safe here and do the right thing. Most are, I would guess, but it only takes a few to wreck it for everyone and though our vaccination program seems ahead of yours, there are still those who are hesitant and defiant.

Ah, humans!

jun 12, 7:33am

>232 jessibud2: I agree! Our lockdown has been very severe but the Covid numbers have gone down as the vaccination programme ramps up.

jun 12, 8:04am

>231 FAMeulstee: I think that it may have been beaten but not by adult books if I recall, Anita. "Regular" books then the traditional big hitters reading wise including Stasia, Suz, Amanda, Susan, Harold and yourself always leave me in awe.

>232 jessibud2: I know what you mean, Shelley and there is of course the fact that in these times we are able to lockdown. If you take the example of the 1918 Spanish Flu pandemic where if we adjust for current population levels the death toll was more than 20 times worse than this one the world wasn't able to shut down.

I do think that if the world had been able to genuinely lock down for a month last year completely we would have seen it off for good. Now it is a question of vaccinating it away - at least as a major source of human fatality.

jun 12, 8:06am

>233 torontoc: I know that there is still some resistance to the vaccine programmes but the figures are pretty undeniable in the correlation between vaccination and eradication. I have some big brother and personal freedom issues with it myself too but sometimes you have to weigh up the pros and cons and see the obvious good sense of it. I will have my first Astro Zeneca jab in 8 days.

jun 12, 8:19am

I was caught by Hani with my already read books this month (the day before yesterday) when I was 10 books in 10 days. There are benefits to being in full lockdown for me!

jun 12, 8:25am

>236 PaulCranswick: That is a mighty stack!

Happy Weekend, Paul. I hope you get plenty of R & R in.

jun 12, 8:36am

Morgan had his first vaccine dose yesterday. His second one isn’t until the beginning of August, so it’s still a long haul before immunity. And although newspapers say my age group is eligible, I am not yet eligible according to the government health app, so I continue to wait.

Redigerat: jun 12, 8:58am

Hi Paul!

>172 drneutron: I agree, Jim. I keep saying I’m going to start decluttering and getting rid of the stuff none of us want/need, but it ain’t happened yet.

>170 LovingLit: and >173 PaulCranswick: I found the movie interesting enough to cause me to want to read the book. It is a fascinating story, even if the movie was “rather devoid of incident.”

>217 PaulCranswick: Yikes to the extended lockdown. I’m especially sorry that the new apartment won’t get the cleaning it needs before you move in. However, your reading month is definitely benefiting.

>222 PaulCranswick: A BB for me. I’d heard about this book, but just realized that I needed it.

jun 12, 8:57am

>237 msf59: I'm doing good, Mark. Spent the afternoon in the company of the Count of Monte Cristo and read about a quarter of the book in the process.

>238 ursula: I hope the situation in Turkey is better than here, Ursula. Hani got her first jab already but still doesn't have a date for her second jab yet.

jun 12, 9:00am

>239 karenmarie: I do love that part of the UK, Karen, which fascinates me the sky has such wonderful colours there.

I hadn't really seen much blurb about that particular O'Farrell book. Deborah sold me on it completely.

Redigerat: jun 12, 11:50am

I have been largely absent from the threads for the last three weeks as I was in Kansas and so I just got caught up on your thread. In mid-April my mother was hospitalized for the third time suffering from the effects of Long-Haul Covid symptoms. She was very weak and had to be put into a rehab institute after her release from the hospital. I went home to get in-home health care set up for her. The Rehab Institute was not comfortable releasing her when I got there and so I got to spend a week by myself. It was great! I did get her home and then had to start with all the coordination because our health care systems don't play well together. I did manage to "work-from-home" about half time so I did get some of my library work done. I am back in Alabama now and arrived in the middle of 13 days of rain. (Now there's a perfect title for a novel.). Today the sun finally came out and there is no rain in the forecast.

I had planned to get lots of reading done while I was away but that didn't happen. I did do some reading, but not as much as I wanted. In May 2020 I read 14 books. May of 2021 I had 7.

Things in Alabama are open even though this state has the second lowest vaccination rate in the U.S. with only 34% vaccinated and 29.4% fully vaccinated.

I don't envy you moving. It has always seemed to me that it didn't matter if you moved 50 yards or 50 miles. It is the same amount of work. Things have to be packed and culled no matter how much the distance is. I know that you will enjoy the extra space in the new place.

When I first read your thread, I thought you were just reading over the weekend, but gradually I came to understand that you are at home and unable to go to work due to another COVID lockdown. It has to be frustrating, but at least there are books!

jun 12, 11:59am

Happy weekend's reads, PC. The lockdown's costs are monumental for a social safety-net-less country...but better than the cost of a huge spike of avoidable, and irreplaceable, people dying.

>242 benitastrnad: this state has the second lowest vaccination rate in the U.S. with only 34% vaccinated and 29.4% fully vaccinated

Good old Alabackward! Always reliably showing the way **NOT** to go.

jun 12, 12:42pm

>242 benitastrnad: I do hope that your mother is feeling much better - I understand that the version with the long term effects does take quite a bit of seeing off.

It will still be a task to move but I will at least have a week to move by books over a bit at a time and have the bookcases set up so that I can slot them straight in. Hani has taken the opportunity to send the sofa's (all three of them!) for re-upholstering and will have them delivered straight to the new place which will also help.

>243 richardderus: Yes it is a difficult one, RD, but lives over money any day for me too.

Apparently there is quite a lot of resistance to the vaccination programme in parts of the US and elsewhere in the West but I don't really perceive that here. The Malaysians will do as they are told, I expect!

jun 12, 1:40pm

My latest Milkweed Fiction Award Winner is TIVOLEM which has featured references to both Malaysia and Kuala Lumpur in the early pages.
Hand drawn map and legend and cover are also highlights.

jun 12, 2:14pm

>245 m.belljackson: I will be sure to look out for that one, Marianne. I must say it is lovely to see you posting. xx

jun 12, 2:17pm

Regulars here will know how I am a lover of sports -
Football and my beloved Leeds United
Cricket and my beloved Yorkshire
Cycling especially in the high altitude of Grand Tours
The Olympics
The Tennis Grand Slams

I am hugely saddened to hear today that Jana Novotna the wonderful Czech lady who won Wimbledon but more famously lost one of her other finals has passed away from cancer aged just 49.

jun 12, 2:23pm

>240 PaulCranswick: A quarter of the Count?! That's the equivalent of an entire novel of moderate length!

jun 12, 10:31pm

>38 PaulCranswick: Gorgeous building, Paul!!

>80 PaulCranswick: There's a group thread for the Viveca Sten series. Starting with book #1 here:

>118 PaulCranswick: Good luck on the BIG MOVE!

>217 PaulCranswick: More lockdown. Yikes. This sure has been rough. Good thing you like to read.

>222 PaulCranswick: I loved O'Farrell's I Am, I Am, I Am!! Glad it was a winner for you.

>236 PaulCranswick: Impressive speed reading, sir!

There. Momentarily caught up. : )

jun 12, 11:06pm

>248 amanda4242: Yep and I reckon on another quarter today. I am also reading Mr Rosenblum Dreams in English which is a charming novel.

>249 Berly: KIMMERS!!

It is a lovely building if we are ever able to get it finished through lockdowns.

I will go and look at the group thread but the difficulty of getting her books here will mean that it is a series that will proceed slowly for me.

I am hoping that the move will not be quite so big! Hani is here which will help as she is a supreme organiser and will call on her veritable army of friends to come and help.

Lockdowns and reading do seem to go together for me. The extension helps as they announced it will extend to 28 June 2021!!

I haven't read that one by O'Farrell yer, Kimmers, I picked it as my top recommendation received last month after reading a review of it by Deborah (Cariola) and she won my montly book prize as a result.

I'm still at about 40 pages an hour on average but I have more hours to read!!

jun 12, 11:19pm

Still caught up....LOL.

jun 13, 12:00am

jun 13, 5:23am

>240 PaulCranswick: I'm not sure what the numbers are in Malaysia, but "officially" the cases here are around 9,000 per day. I'm sure they are actually higher. Still nightly curfews and Sunday complete lockdowns.

>247 PaulCranswick: Aw, Jana Novotna. That famous loss, crying on the Duchess of Kent's shoulder!

Redigerat: jun 13, 7:39pm

>253 ursula: I think the numbers are similar, Ursula but with a smaller yet concentrated population. We will have another two weeks of pretty much total lockdown. Only head of household supposed to shop and a police letter needed to permit travel to work. No public gatherings including weddings, funerals and prayers etc.

Jana Novotna - proof that we all love a glorious loser a little more than the winner!

jun 13, 10:56am

Hi Paul! Good idea of Hani's to get the sofas recovered and brought back directly to your new apartment.

>247 PaulCranswick: Ah, I’m sorry to hear about Jana Novotna.

>254 PaulCranswick: Don’t know if it’s just me or not – I can’t see the image.

jun 13, 11:36am

>255 karenmarie: Hani is a smart as a Savile Row suit.

The image is displaying on my computer fine, Karen?

jun 13, 12:56pm

Lockdowns are a challenge, but beat the morgue vans of NYC streets. Stay strong and healthy!

jun 13, 1:07pm

Your man Phillips acquitted himself well tonight on the football field.

>254 PaulCranswick: I can see the picture.

jun 13, 1:57pm

>257 m.belljackson: We can certainly agree on that, Marianne! Thank you.

>258 humouress: The boy did well, didn't he? The talk about him and Rice or him or Rice was an unfair distraction. I wouldn't pick the same team as Southgate but I am pleased for him that the choices he made worked out for him.

jun 13, 2:24pm

Can't see the picture....

But I'm still up to date! (I have to milk it while I can.)

jun 13, 7:15pm

>260 Berly: That's funny, Kimmers - some can see it but some cannot!?

jun 13, 7:32pm

The image in >254 PaulCranswick: displayed fine yesterday (I saw a photo of Novotna being embraced by an older woman, I guess) but now it is just a little square. The LT gremlins were hungry, I guess.....

jun 13, 7:37pm

>262 jessibud2: Let me try to reload it, Shelley. I can see it fine here.

jun 13, 7:40pm

For those who couldn't see the photo in >254 PaulCranswick: I put up a slightly different photo which hopefully presents less problems.

jun 14, 12:03am

>173 PaulCranswick: I love Alyson Moyet, me and my lovely other saw her here live a few years ago, and my lovely other was reportedly "almost" moved to tears. Given that I have never seen his eyes even moisten, I was impressed at her ability to move him! (AND even more impressed with her voice and performance AND that on her blog she showed a local cafe that she visited while in Chch, and now when I visit it I always think of her being there, and- just joking, that is all.)

Ack, your lockdowns are relentless. It is such a difficult situation.

jun 14, 12:53am

>265 LovingLit: I remember having her first solo album - "Alf" and playing it almost to death. Wonderful singer and out Adele'd, Adele all those years ago.

jun 14, 1:02pm

It was a source of great irritation to me, resident in the Benighted States of Murruhkuh, that Moyet's size was the "reason" given for her utter absence of presence in the music scene her hips were going to crowd out the anorexic little twerps chirping brightly, if annoyingly?

Import shops got a lot of my music-buying dollars and I'm very grateful I never lived in a music desert.

jun 14, 3:33pm

>267 richardderus: When you are listening, RD, you don't really need to be seeing. Alison Moyet and Adele are certainly not unattractive ladies but their vocal performances make such "value" judgements of what they look like entirely specious. I dare say Van Morrison, Elton, Stevie Wonder are not exactly eye candy but they sure as hell soothe my ears.

Listened to a few of Alison Moyet's albums today and simply love the song "Steal Me Blind"

Here she is a tad older, less powerful of lung and a little husky but still marvellously tuneful. Only You

jun 14, 4:24pm

>268 PaulCranswick: Isn't that poignant? I'm glad you shared it, PC, it gave me a frisson.

jun 14, 6:46pm

>222 PaulCranswick: I missed Deborah's review of I Am I Am I Am but if it convinced you I'm sure it would be a good one for me Paul. And, better yet, the book is on my shelf!

jun 14, 8:12pm

I've been put off Van Morrison entirely by his recent COVID denial compositions.

jun 14, 8:30pm

>269 richardderus: I thought it was lovely. She still has it doesn't she?

>270 brenzi: Lucky you, Bonnie! I will be looking for it shortly too.

jun 14, 8:39pm

>271 elkiedee: To be honest, Luci, I don't have to like someone's views or political stances to appreciate their music. The Van Morrison of "Moondance", "Crazy Love" and "Warm Love" is timeless and lovely - I don't care about his otherwise silly opinions.

jun 14, 8:57pm

>268 PaulCranswick: - Wow, I do not know this singer at all, Paul, but thank you for that clip. I LOVE her voice! As a (perhaps snarky) aside from me, I can't stand *fashion shows*. The models always have such sour faces, never look like they are remotely enjoying themselves, and are all so anorexic that it is actually painful to watch. I never really get the point of such a parade. Oh well, the music was lovely. :-)

jun 14, 9:15pm

>274 jessibud2: I'm not a fashionista either, Shelley! She was a huge star in the UK in the 1980s and disappeared for a while in the video age as she was not the typical looking popstar being a little overweight.

jun 14, 9:17pm

>247 PaulCranswick: Oh I'm sorry to hear that! And far too young, too. I remember watching her play.
And speaking of Wimbledon, I'm hoping to be able to watch some live matches. The dates happily correspond with a lot of dogsitting for me, so I'll have TV to watch instead of attempting live streaming or radio like I did for the Australian (the French was almost completely a bust, I have no cable and there was no online coverage).

jun 15, 1:40am

>276 bell7: I hope to see some of the games on TV too as the world slowly gets back to some kind of normality.

jun 15, 3:36am

>268 PaulCranswick: And how about Lisa Stansfield? And ... well, the list is too long.

>274 jessibud2: I don't watch fashion shows but my hairdresser always has a fashion show video playing and the sets are interesting (as is, occasionally, wondering how they walk in those painful-looking shoes). The models don't look like they're enjoying themselves (maybe if their faces looked happy it would take attention away from the clothes?) and, quite honestly, any clothes that look different from ordinary, everyday clothes look just too ridiculous to actually wear in real life.

jun 15, 4:05am

>278 humouress: Lisa Stansfield was also very good Nina but Alison Moyet was slightly more my age (that ten years of difference makes all the difference).

Redigerat: jun 15, 5:56am

>276 bell7: If you are up for a VPN solution, you can access Australian TV (9Now), they always show matches for free. They were a lifesaver for me with the French Open.

jun 15, 5:11am

>273 PaulCranswick: I agree but this was actually in his recent music - he's written a recorded a batch of songs. I'm not actually familiar with very much of his work - I've mostly heard Them, Here Comes the Night - which I do like - and Brown-Eyed Girl. David Bowie did an album of covers of songs that had inspired him in the 1970s so I started trying to collect all the originals, and that's where I first heard Here Comes the Night (the Bowie version).

jun 15, 5:17am

BOOK #63

Mr Rosenblum Dreams in English by Natasha Solomons
Date of Publication : 2010
Origin of Author : UK
Pages : 355 pp

Challenges :
BAC : 33 books
52 Book Club Challenge : 22/52
Queen Betty Challenge : 24/70

Some books simply leave a warm feeling in your tummy. This is one such and I loved it.

The Rosenblum's (Jack and Sophie) arrive as refugees from Germany in 1937 and settle in London firstly before moving to Dorset after becoming successful in the carpet trade. Jack wants to be the model Englishman and assimilate completely preparing a tick-list of 150 things he needs to do in order to achieve this. His 150th is to become a member of a golf club but he receives rejection after rejection as they seem to prefer not to have a Jew in their midst. Undeterred Jack decides to solve the problem by making his own course.

A lovely bittersweet period piece - more sweet than bitter and it deals with the prejudices and kindnesses doled out to the Rosenblum couple in a measured and believable manner. I think my key take-away from the novel is that belonging and acceptance are not ticks on a list but that humanity will often win through.

A recommended first novel and I shall look for more books by her for sure.

jun 15, 5:23am

282: Mr Rosenblum's List (UK title) is one I must get back to - I really enjoyed her second book and quite liked the 3rd, but think I have at least 3 others TBR.

jun 15, 5:26am

>280 ursula: I have this wonderful box in the house that seems to be able to pick up channels from everywhere - I'm not sure how it does it and even less sure that it is strictly Kosher but I am sure glad of it. I love watching Wimbledon (I would love a new face to win) and even the British Golf Open (Tommy Fleetwood would be my favourite) . Then we have the Tour de France (Julien Alaphillipe), the Euro Football Championships (Go England!) and the Olympics which celebrates all sports so marvellously.

>281 elkiedee: I would certainly agree about his older versus his newer stuff, Luci. I listen up to his Album The Healing Game which was released in 1997 and I honestly haven't heard much of his recordings since that date that were much worth a third listen. I can usually only determine on two listens whether I will ever like it or not.

jun 15, 6:00am

>284 PaulCranswick: I just realized I mis-directed my reply, so I fixed that. But I'm intrigued by the magic box you have! We don't have a tv and besides, it would all be in Turkish haha. I mean, my Italian soccer and tennis vocabulary increased greatly while we were living in Italy so there are upsides. Mostly though I can see what I want to with the VPNs - frequently through Australia and occasionally through Italy or the UK.

As for new faces winning Wimbledon - what are we on at this point, Next Next Next Gen to win?

jun 15, 7:20am

>285 ursula: I'm not actually sure what the box is called, Ursula, but it has channels from around the world and sports and movies seem especially abundant. I don't use it really other than for sports as Hani tends to conquer it completely.

Hahaha on Wimbledon winners. I had hopes of the young Greek chap (possibly not the most popular winner in Turkey) and Zverev, Dimitriov and Thien would have chances. The ladies game seems to be something of a lottery these days without any noticeable dominant players.

jun 15, 7:35am

I thought the Pulitzer fiction prize winner was a surprise. Not sure exactly how many people called Louise Erdrich to win but she did with The Night Watchman.

I bought it last month and will read it next. If her book is better than The Round House then I am going to love it. I did expect one of Homeland Elegies or The Vanishing Half to at least get shortlisted.
A Registry of My Passage Upon the Earth by Daniel Mason &
Telephone by Percival Everett were fairly leftfield choices that I didn't predict but will look out for. Any of us read any of 'em?

The other winners are illustrative of the issues presently concerning America all being on the subjects of race relations or sexuality questions and I will try to seek them out eventually. I do have Postcolonial Love Poem by Natalie Diaz which won for poetry.

jun 15, 9:08am

I am so glad you loved Hamnet. It was my favorite last year. You've also begun one of my all-time favorites, The Count of Monte Cristo. I really should re-read it soon. I read it first in a high school English class where the teacher made it enjoyable for us all. I re-read it in college (just for fun). I've read it once since then.

jun 15, 9:24am

Detta konto har stängts av för spammande.

jun 15, 9:58am

>288 thornton37814: It is a wonderful book, Lori, isn't it but 1,100 pages is a monumental challenge.

>289 LouisGoodwin: ?

jun 15, 10:50am

>290 PaulCranswick: As the old fable says, "Slow and steady wins the race."

jun 15, 10:59am

>291 thornton37814: I'm not sure about winning, Lori, but I'll sure pass for slow and steady!

jun 15, 1:08pm

>268 PaulCranswick: Is that Cumberbatch at 1:24?

jun 15, 6:40pm

>293 RBeffa: I think so, Ron. Not sure what he was there for?!

jun 16, 3:57pm

>294 PaulCranswick: It seemed a strange thing for him to be at. I haven't thought about Moyet in a number of years. The 80's produced some great female singers. I have two of her early lp's, Hoodoo and the one with Invisible, but they are boxed away in a closet I think. Seems impossible it is 35+ years ago. She sounds good in this vid tho.

jun 16, 6:55pm

>295 RBeffa: Presumably he was a sponsored VIP, Ron. I have the Moyet albums you are referring to and the one with Invisble - "Alf", is a particularly strong collection of songs.

jun 17, 2:57pm

jun 17, 3:42pm

>297 SilverWolf28: Thanks Silver. I'm a little bit over tired today. I didn't expect so much work when I am sitting at home!

jun 17, 4:41pm

>287 PaulCranswick: I am very happy for Louise Erdrich! I am a big fan. I am starting The Night Watchman tomorrow, so I will be joining you. I have had it on shelf for more than a year. It is time...

jun 17, 9:21pm

>299 msf59: I meant to say I will read it next month, Mark! Anyhow I will be looking for your review, mate.

There seems to be some opinion that she got the award more for the accumulation of her work rather than for this particular book.

jun 18, 2:51am

Just ducking in with a thankful it's Friday wave :)

jun 18, 5:52am

>301 BekkaJo: Hahaha me too, Bekka. It is a real TGIF today, I have been really busy the last couple of days even though working from home.

jun 18, 7:28am

Just squeaking in before you start a new thread?

>179 PaulCranswick: What a beautiful book! I am very tempted. (As almost always by the Penguin classics' covers).

>287 PaulCranswick: I've just requested this from the library: fingers crossed it turns up in good time.

jun 18, 7:32am

>303 charl08: The book by Benedetti was quite well done, Charlotte.

Lovely to have you drop by. xx

jun 18, 9:21am

Hi Paul. I have read two chapters in The Count of Monte Christo, because you wrote about it. Now I have a zillion pages to go ;-) My eldest son has read the book a couple of years ago, he loved it.

Have a wonderful weekend!

jun 18, 9:39am

>305 DianaNL: I am loving it too but I am still only about half way through it, Diana!

jun 18, 6:48pm

Hi Paul! quite a drag about the lock-down, but congrats on all the reading.

I will have to find the Mr. Rosenblum book for Mrs. Banjo, as her grandfather did something similar--he started a Jewish Country Club in Toronto, as he wasn't accepted in any established clubs.

jun 19, 1:50am

>307 banjo123: That is a nice story, Rhonda. I think she'll enjoy Solomon's book as something she can easily identify with.
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