Vestafan ROOTs even deeper

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Vestafan ROOTs even deeper

1vestafan
jan 31, 2022, 9:05 am

I've decided to set my target at 60 ROOTs again this year, that's 5 per month and allowing for new books which I won't be able to resist and library books and reading group books, that should be attainable.
I have started well and read eight books this month. They are:

Forbidden Fruit by Peter Abelard - a selection of letters between Abelard and Heloise written after their forced separation, which reveals Peter Abelard, to me, as a rather arrogant and self-important man.
Who Is Maud Dixon? by Alexandra Andrews
The Binding by Bridget Collins - What would happen if you could get your painful memories bound into a book and forget them? This novel starts well, but loses its way after the first third.
Venetia by Georgette Heyer - I hadn't read a Heyer for years but was prompted to do so by an episode of the Backlisted podcast - I enjoyed it more than I expected, and might even try another.
And Away... by Bob Mortimer - the autobiography of the comedian, very enjoyable for anyone who enjoys his fishing programme with Paul Whitehouse or his appearances on Would I Lie To You?
All the Devils Are Here by Louise Penny
Many Different Kinds of Love by Michael Rosen - a moving account of the author's experience of Covid, including poetry and notes written by his nurses while he was in intensive care.
The Salt Path by Raynor Winn - a couple lose their home and find that the husband has a terminal illness. Their response? to walk a long distance coastal path and rediscover their capacity for endurance - a cpmpelling true account.

2Jackie_K
jan 31, 2022, 3:53 pm

Welcome back! Nice to see another Backlisted fan :)

3rabbitprincess
jan 31, 2022, 4:47 pm

Welcome back and have a great reading year!

4cyderry
jan 31, 2022, 5:14 pm

Glad you're back!

5connie53
feb 1, 2022, 9:07 am

Welcome back, Sue! Happy ROOTing.

6vestafan
feb 28, 2022, 11:32 am

>2 Jackie_K: I love it! - don't know about you but I've bought loads more books since I started to listen - they're so enthusiastic about everything!

7vestafan
feb 28, 2022, 11:33 am

>3 rabbitprincess: Thank you - I always enjoy planning what I'm going to read every New Year.

8vestafan
feb 28, 2022, 11:34 am

>4 cyderry: Thanks - wishing you a good reading year.

9vestafan
feb 28, 2022, 11:34 am

>5 connie53: Thank you - it's a bottomless pile, but delving into it is always enjoyable.

10vestafan
feb 28, 2022, 11:47 am

Seven ROOTs read this month:
Truth or Dare by M. J. Arlidge - another gripping read in the Helen Grace series with those irritating short chapters which make it impossible to stop reading
Of Mistresses, Tigresses and other Conquests by Giacomo Casanova
Hollywood Wives by Jackie Collins - I saw a documentary about this author and thought I'd try one of her books as I'd never read one - it's really a product of the times in which it was written - you can imagine the shoulder pads and big hair!
Heartburn by Norah Ephron - a short and witty novel based on the author's own experience of finding out her husband was having an affair when she was seven months pregnant
Standard Deviation by Katherine Heiny - a New York set novel about a couple and their son who has Asperger's - funny and touching
The Morning Gift by Eva Ibbotson - much recommended, but I was a little underwhelmed. The author also wrote children's books and this shows in the style. The best part for me was the portrayal of Jewish refugee life in London during WWII
Black Skies by Arnaldur Indridason

11Jackie_K
mar 3, 2022, 12:45 pm

>6 vestafan: It's their enthusiasm that I love the most! Even if I have no interest in the book, the conversation is always so entertaining. I do want to read South Riding after this week's new episode though!

12vestafan
mar 31, 2022, 8:56 am

Nine more ROOTs read this month:
Sad Little Men by Richard Beard - an interesting account of how the dominance of public school educated men in government and other influential professions affects the way the UK is governed.
A Russian Affair by Anton Chekhov
Over Sea Under Stone and The Dark is Rising by Susan Cooper - rather late coming to this series of children's novels which I really enjoyed. Again, stemming from a Backlisted podcast, and i plan to read the three remaining novels in the series some time this year.
Slow Horses by Mick Herron - the first in the Jackson Lamb series - my husband's been recommending I read this series for a while and as our reading group chose it I had to spring into action. Needless to say another series to pursue, and it might even tempt me to subscribe to Apple+ TV!
When Hitler Stole Pink Rabbit by Judith Kerr - I am trying to catch up with some children's books I never read in the past, and this is a touching story about a child's experience of being a refugee in the Hitler era.
Sorrow and Bliss by Meg Mason - a novel whose treatment of mental health has had mixed responses, but which I found a compelling read
Out of Bounds by Val McDermid
and
Lolly Willowes by Sylvia Townsend Warner - another Backlisted-inspired read which begins as a conventional novel dealing with women's lives in the early 20th century and changes into something much stranger in the last third of the narrative

13vestafan
apr 30, 2022, 9:50 am

I'm managing to get quite a lot of reading done at the moment and have managed 6 more ROOTs during April:
The Vet's Daughter by Barbara Comyns - another Backlisted recommendation in which the title character endures a miserable life with her father and through the intensity of some of her unfortunate experiences develops some strange powers - in some ways not dissimilar to Lolly Willowes that I read last month although that book has a more positive feel.
Die Laughing by Carola Dunn
Deviant Love by Sigmund Freud
A Place Called Winter by Patrick Gale - a man divided from his family by scandal has to make a new life for himself in Canada
The Stranger Diaries by Elly Griffiths - an enjoyable standalone novel by the author of the Ruth Galloway series - murders begin to be committed in ways associated with a cult Victorian story.
Broken Ground by Val McDermid - the 5th in the Karen Pirie series - another entertaining read

14vestafan
maj 31, 2022, 6:47 am

I've managed another 6 ROOTs this month:

Life After Life by Kate Atkinson I'd been meaning to read this for ages, and our reading group chose it for this month. A compelling and thought provoking story of a woman who lives her life over and over again and how she responds to the underlying feelings that force her to act to prevent events she can't remember.
In Plain Sight: the life and lies of Jimmy Savile by Dan Davies - an account of how the predatory paedophilia of Jimmy Savile was suspected but not called to account throughout his life. This was rather depressing, and I was pleased to finish it and think I need never read anything else on this subject again.
The Guest List by Lucy Foley
A Mere Interlude by Thomas Hardy
Still Life by Val McDermid
Dear Reader by Cathy Rentzenbrink - I love books in which people discuss their reading habits and the part books have played in their life, and this was a particularly enjoyable example of this genre.

15Jackie_K
maj 31, 2022, 1:15 pm

>14 vestafan: I loved Life After Life when I read it last year.

16connie53
jun 5, 2022, 7:33 am

Hi Sue. I've been neglecting the ROOTers for some time. Live, sunny days, babysitting the grandkids and doing volunteer work for the library at Lonne's school. And reading of course. Today is a rainy day with some thunderstrokes. A perfect Sunday for reading al those neglected threads.

>15 Jackie_K: Loved that book too. And most of the other books by Kate Atkinson

17vestafan
jun 30, 2022, 6:12 pm

>15 Jackie_K: One of my favourite books by her - I like the Jackson Brodie books as well, but wasn't too keen on Emotionally Weird

18vestafan
jun 30, 2022, 6:14 pm

>16 connie53: I've had an odd June '22 - went abroad on holiday for the first time for 3 years and came back with coronavirus! A bit of a lost month, but I did get some reading done and hope next month will be more productive.

19vestafan
jun 30, 2022, 6:22 pm

Despite a holiday and a bout of coronavirus, I did get some reading done this month. ROOTs read were:
Dead Lions by Mick Herron
May We Be Forgiven by A M Homes
Need You Dead by Peter James
Among the Bohemians by Virginia Nicholson
Poison for Teacher by Nancy Spain
A Shot in the Dark by Lynne Truss

20rabbitprincess
jun 30, 2022, 8:39 pm

>18 vestafan: Oh no! That's a terrible souvenir :( Hope you're feeling better and that you have a great reading month in July!

21Jackie_K
jul 1, 2022, 1:24 pm

>18 vestafan: Hope you're feeling better soon! I got covid in May and I am so cheesed off with the lingering cough! I'm glad you were still able to read.

22connie53
jul 10, 2022, 11:26 am

>18 vestafan: That's really not nice. Hope you are feeling better by now!

23vestafan
jul 31, 2022, 7:25 am

>20 rabbitprincess: Thank you - the lingering cough has just about gone now.

24vestafan
jul 31, 2022, 7:27 am

>21 Jackie_K: Thank you! My cough has just about gone now, and although I felt tired, I escaped the brain fog, so could carry on reading after the first day or two.

25vestafan
jul 31, 2022, 7:29 am

>22 connie53: Thanks for your good wishes - I'm recovered now and didn't suffer as badly as many people that I know.

26vestafan
jul 31, 2022, 7:39 am

Apart from a day or two which were so hot I couldn't concentrate, I had a good reading month. 6 ROOTs in all:

Bill Bailey's Remarkable Guide to Happiness by Bill Bailey
Under the Ice by Rachael Blok - a domestic noir set in St Albans
The Sleeping and the Dead by Ann Cleeves - a one off crime novel by the author of the Shetland and Vera series
Greenwitch by Susan Cooper - the third in the Dark is Rising sequence
1913 by Florian Illies - an interesting history of the year before WW1, drawing mainly on diaries and letters of cultural heavyweights
and
The Shrouded Path by Sarah Ward - a crime novel set in the Peak District

27vestafan
aug 30, 2022, 11:39 am

Due to a visit to Cambridge (and its bookshops) I thought I hadn't read many ROOTs this month, but I see I have read 6 in all, which surprises me.

Four Max Carrados Detective Stories by Ernest Bramah - a small collection of short stories written in the early 20th century featuring a blind detective
The Sussex Downs Murders by John Bude - one of the excellent British Library Crime Classics series, enjoyable, but slightly marred by the fact I guessed the twist quite early on
The Madness of Grief by Richard Coles - Interesting and moving book by an ex pop star, now CofE clergyman, about his experiences of grief after the death of his husband
Death of an Expert Witness by P D James
A Mind to Murder by P D James - these two were rereads - I like to turn to P D James occasionally as her novels are involving but traditional in style
and
The Midwich Cuckoos by John Wyndham - I knew the story but hadn't read the book - rather more philosophising and less action than I'd anticipated

28connie53
sep 11, 2022, 3:39 am

Hi Sue! You have been reading a lot. >26 vestafan:. It was really hot wasn't it. I'm happy I can still read by 35C. It was all I could do really.

29vestafan
sep 30, 2022, 7:09 am

>28 connie53: It's already hard to remember how hot it was, as it's now chilly enough for me to look forward to lighting a fire in the evening! But sitting by the fire with a large mug of tea is another ideal reading environment, so it's win-win!

30vestafan
Redigerat: okt 31, 2022, 12:34 pm

Only three ROOTs this month as I've had large library books and reading group choices to read. What I have read are two Scandi crime novels:
The Silence of the Sea by Yrsa Sigurdardottir
and
In Bad Company by Viveca Sten

I've also read Ban This Filth! by Ben Thompson - an account of the work of Mary Whitehouse and her Clean Up TV campaign. This was an interesting book, with a lot of humour, but which showed that in some areas, particularly in relation to pornography, her analysis was correct, although her objections were religious rather than feminist.

31rocketjk
okt 3, 2022, 10:29 am

>26 vestafan: I've made a mental note of 1913. It looks like just the sort of history I very much enjoy.

32connie53
okt 4, 2022, 6:11 am

>30 vestafan: Your link to the Vivica Sten book leads to another book with the same title, Sue! I followed that link to see if it was translated into Dutch, so I noticed that.

33vestafan
okt 31, 2022, 12:00 pm

>32 connie53: Thanks for letting me know, Connie - the link is from within LThing so I'll check for the correct edition.

34vestafan
okt 31, 2022, 12:03 pm

>31 rocketjk: I found it very accessible and full of fascinating insights.

35vestafan
okt 31, 2022, 12:15 pm

I read 6 ROOTs this month which means that I have exceeded my target for the year!
These are:
George Beneath a Paper Moon by Nina Bawden
The Postscript Murders by Elly Griffiths - I always enjoy this author's books, which are all well-written page-turners.
Oblivion by Arnaldur Indridason
Walking Shadows by Faye Kellerman
Why We Sleep by Matthew Walker - this was our reading group book for October. It's quite accessible for a popular science book and the author is a scientist rather than a journalist, which gives you more confidence in the contents. However, as a more mature person I found the fact that you can never catch up with the sleep you didn't get in the past with all the damage to health that implies, rather depressing.
The Man on the Street by Trevor Wood - a crime novel set in Newcastle, which coincidentally was where I was when I read it.

36Jackie_K
Redigerat: okt 31, 2022, 1:42 pm

Well done for exceeding your goal!

Also, I totally agree with your comments on Why We Sleep (which I thought was excellent). Not being able to catch up doesn't stop me from trying though.

37rabbitprincess
okt 31, 2022, 7:53 pm

>35 vestafan: Congrats on exceeding your goal!

38MissWatson
nov 2, 2022, 9:57 am

>35 vestafan: Congrats on your achievement!

39vestafan
nov 29, 2022, 8:04 am

Thanks for the congratulations on reaching my ROOTs target. It gets harder the longer the year goes on as I define anything not bought in the current year as a ROOT, and having passed my target, I'm now a little less motivated, and anxious to read more of my recent purchases. Still, I've read three ROOTs this month:

Snap by Belinda Bauer - a crime novel, which has the distinction of being the first in that genre to be nominated for the Booker Prize. It had been on my Kindle for ages, but my interest was aroused by its inclusion on the BBC book programme Between the Covers. I would recommend it to crime novel lovers - the central character, a teenage boy trying to hold his family together after his mother's murder, really gets you involved, and you care very much that things work out well. Without giving away the ending, I found it very satisfying.

The Ascent of Rum Doodle by W E Bowman - a spoof ac count of a mountaineering expedition by the world's most unreliable narrator, with some very funny set pieces.

and

A Sport and a Pastime by James Salter - a novel set in France in the early 1960s - the narrator encounters an American man and gives an account (how much is imaginary?) of the time they spend together. Well written, with a dream like atmosphere, but the subject matter did not altogether appeal.

40connie53
dec 22, 2022, 4:19 am

Hi Sue! Great job on reaching your goal!



Wishing you and yours all the best for 2023 and Happy Holidays!

41vestafan
dec 31, 2022, 10:21 am

>40 connie53: Thank you! I've enjoyed my reading this year and am now thinking about a plan for next year.

Wishing you a happy New Year!

42vestafan
dec 31, 2022, 10:40 am

A few more ROOTs this month:

Babette's Feast by Julian Baggini - I was prompted to read this by going to see the film for the second time. It was very interesting on the spiritual and philosophical themes raised by the film
The Grey King and Silver on the Tree by Susan Cooper - these are the final two books in the Dark is Rising Sequence - a compelling set of novels where a child comes to terms with discovering he is the last of the Old Ones, who fight for the light against the dark. The way in which nature and the landscape are used to embody threat and fear is wonderful. If anyone enjoyed The Dark is Rising, it is currently (or has just finished) being serialised on the BBC World Service, and can be streamed through BBC Sounds.
On Chapel Sands by Laura Cumming - The author tries to discover the facts behind her mother's mysterious 5 day abduction as a child and discovers a complicated set of secrets kept by the local community.
A Surprise for Christmas, edited by Martin Edwards - an anthology of vintage crime short stories set in the Christmas season.
and
Lady in Waiting by Anne Glenconner - the memoirs of one of Princess Margaret's ladies in waiting. I couldn't help but be amazed by the stiff upper lip, just get on with it attitude to some horrible events in her life - separation from her parents during WWII and the cruelty of her nanny, marriage to a volatile, unstable man, the death of two of her five children and the serious injury suffered by another and the final blow, the fact that her husband left his entire estate to his manservant. The protocols of life in royal circles seem as if they would have a negative effect on all involved.

A good year's reading and I look forward to the next. Happy New Year to all.