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Wild Europe: The Balkans in the Gaze of Western Travellers by Bozidar Jezernik

Dialogues with Silence: Prayers & Drawings by Thomas Merton

Ghosts by Eva Figes

A Time of Gifts by Patrick Leigh Fermor

Artful by Ali Smith

A Woman in Berlin: Diary 20 April 1945 to 22 June 1945 by Anonymous

Modern Poetry Translation - Russian Women by Various

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Member: Caroline_McElwee

CollectionsYour library (6,332), College of One (39), Read 2014 (my own collection) (13), 50 books I'd keep if I could have no more (50), Read but no longer owned (or not read!) (147), 2009 - read (from my own library) (72), Thrice or more! (53), Read 2013 (from my own library) (65), Read (of my library) (1,328), Bloomsbury Group and Friends (103), Dutch Collection (112), Russia (113), Joyce Carol Oates Collection (46), Books I wouldn't want to live without (1,868), Useful self development tools (13), Publications (38), All collections (6,479)

Reviews108 reviews

TagsNovel (1,846), R (1,514), US (917), UK (898), 2012 (894), biography (780), novel (614), autobiography (525), 2013 (464), poetry (401) — see all tags

Cloudstag cloud, author cloud, tag mirror

About mePhotograph: Reading table (c) C J McElwee 2014

Currently reading

How to be a Woman (Caitlin Moran) (memoir)
The Collector of Lost Things (Jeremy Page)
The Unexpected Professor: An Oxford Life in Books (John Carey)
Vikings: Life and Legend (Williams/Pentz/Wemhoff)
Don Juan (Lord George Byron)

The Garden of Eros (John Calder) (Literary Memoir)
Christina Stead: A Biography (Hazel Rowley)

The Making of the Modern Near East 1792-1923 (M E Yapp)
Gossip from the Forest: The tangled roots of our forests and fairytales (Sara Maitland)
The Question of things Happening: Letters of Virginia Woolf (vol 2)

The Three Christs of Ypsilanti (Milton Rokeach)[Non-fiction/Psychology]
The Voice of the World (Sir Thomas Browne) Selected Works
Hitting Trees with Sticks (Jane Rogers) Short Stories

Haven't given up on:

The Living Mountain (Nan Shepherd)
Report from the Interior (Paul Auster) [Memoir]
Kant and the Platypus: Essays on Language and Cognition (Umberto Eco)
Outsiders Together (Natania Rosenfeld) [Biography]
The Team of Rivals (Doris Kearns Goodwin)

Reading throughout the next year or two:

The Collected Poems of Ted Hughes (1200 pages of poetry)
A New Literary History of America (eds Greil Marcus and Werner Sollors) (200 essays)
A New History of Western Philosophy (Anthony Kenny)
The Oxford Book of English Prose (ed A T Quiller Couch, 1925)
The Complete TS Eliot

I'm also doing the American Author Challenge:

I also decided to record my reading on Club Read 2014 this year:

I'm always reading several books at a time, some get left aside for long periods and then are returned to.

Read in 2014

The Writing Life (Annie Dillard) (03/01/14) ***** [re-read] [Memoir]
The School for Love (Olivia Manning) (05/01/14) ***1/2 [Novel]
Sempre Susan (Sigrid Nunez) (06/01/14) ***1/2 [Memoir]
Standing in the Light: My Life as a Pantheist (Sharman Apt Russell) (11/01/14) **** [Memoir/Spiritual]
The Violins of St Jacques (Patrick Leigh Fermor) (12/01/1304) *** [Novel]
O Pioneers! (Willa Cather)(15/01/14) **** [Novel, US]
Meditations (Marcus Auralius) (18/01/14) **** [Philosophy]
The Insulted and Injured (Fyodor Dostoyevsky) (25/01/14) ***
It's Fine By Me (Per Peterson) (26/01/14)***1/2
The Outlander (Gil Adamson) (08/02/14) ***1/2
The Hamlet (William Faulkner) (20/02/14 ****
Persepolis1 (Marjane Satrapi) (27/02/) ***1/2 (book group read/first Graphic novel)
Day (A L Kennedy) (02/03/14) ****1/2
What W. H. Auden can do for you (Alexander McCall Smith)[Essays] (09/03/14) ****
Tinkers (Paul Harding) (16/03/14)****1/2
The Road to Middlemarch: My Life with George Eliot (Rebecca Mead) (21/03/14) ****
The Lives of Stella Bain (Anita Shreve) (24/03/14)***
The Legacy of Elizabeth Pringle (Kirsty Wark) (05/04/14) ****
Life Lessons from Byron (Matthew Bevis) (08/04/14) ****1/2
On Leave (Daniel Anselme) (13/04/14) ***1/2

Total read: 20

What stood out in 2013


Top 5

Orkney (Amy Sackville) ****1/2
Pnin (Vladimir Nabokov) ****1/2
Frances and Bernard (Carlene Bauer) ****1/2
The Goldfinch (Donna Tartt) (02/11/13) ****1/2
Toilers of the Sea (Victor Hugo) (07/04/13) ****1/2

Best of the rest

The Poetry Professor (Grace McCleen) ****
The Orchardist (Amanda Coplin) (novel) (Debut) ****
Americanah (Chimamanda Ngosi Adichie) ****
The Orchard (Drusilla Modjeska) ****1/2 (Australia)
Beowulf (Seamus Heaney trans) ****1/2
The Selfish Giant and other Stories (Oscar Wilde)*****


Top 5

Airmail: letters of Robert Bly and Tomas Tranströmer (27/07/13) *****
The Twilight of American Culture (Morris Berman) (NF) (05/01/13) ****
Straw Dogs (John Gray) ****1/2 [Essays]
William Morris (Fiona MacCarthy) ****1/2
Feral: Searching for Enchantment on the Frontiers of Rewilding (George Monbiat) ****

Best of the rest

The Letters of Leonard Woolf (ed Frederic Spotts) ****1/2
Living, Thinking, Looking (Siri Hustvedt) **** [Essays]
On Writing (A L Kennedy)) ****1/2
The Time by the Sea (Ronald Bythe) ****
This is it (Alan Watts) (Essays) ****
The Rings of Saturn (W G (Max) Sebald) *****
Virginia Woolf's Garden (Caroline Zoob/Caroline Arber: photographer) *****
At the Source (Gillian Clarke) [memoir/Wales/poetry/nature] ****

Special mention
Vincent Van Gogh sketchbooks ***** [Folio Society Facimillies]

What stood out in 2012:


Readings: Essays and Literary Entertainments (Michael Dirda)
Former People: The Last Days of the Russian Aristocracy (Douglas Smith)
The Missing Ink: The Lost Art of Handwritting (and why it matters) (Philip Hensher)
Mortality (Christopher Hitchens)
Collected Letters of Virginia Woolf: Vol 1
The Idle Traveller (Dan Kieran)
Listen to the Echoes: Interviews with Ray Bradbury (Sam Weller)
Earth Pilgrim (Satish Kumar)
Wildwood: A Journey through Trees (Roger Deakin)
Hockney: The Bigger Message (Martin Gayford)
Pilgrimage (Annie Leibovitz )


Train Dreams (Denis Johnson)(I read it a second time in the same year!)
Satantango (Laszlo Krasznahorkai)
The Cleaner of Chartres (Salley Vickers)
Home (Toni Morrison)
A trick I learned from dead men (Kitty Aldridge)
Rules of Civility (Amor Towles)
Fame is the Spur (Howard Spring)

Stood out in 2011:


Crossing to Safety (Wallace Stegner) (American)
Our Fathers (Andrew O'Hagan) (British)
Five Bells (Gail Jones) (Australian)
The Last Brother (Nathacha Appanah) (French- Mauritian)
Great House (Nicole Krauss) (American)
Sum (David Eagleman) (American)
The Farm Theotime (Henri Bosco) (French)
The Upright Piano Player (David Abbott) (British)
South Riding (Winifred Holtby) (British)
The Master and Margerita (Mikhail Bulgakov) (Russian)
Tender is the Night (F Scott Fitzgerald) - 5th read, and the writing and scope blew me away this time


The Blue Hour : A Portrait of Jean Rhys (Lilian Pizzichini)
My Reading Life (Pat Conroy)
How to Live - a life of Montaigne in one question and twenty attempts to answer it (Sarah Bakewell)
Zeitoun (Dave Eggers)
The Fountain (Don Cupitt)(Secular theology/philosophy)
Just Kids (Patti Smith)

Stood out in 2010

Of mutability (Jo Shapcot) [Poetry]
Dreams of Speaking (Gail Jones)(04/12/10) ****
The Book of Small Souls (Louis Couperus) quartet which includes: Small Souls/The Later Life/The Twilight of Souls/Dr Adriaan)
Nemesis (Philip Roth)
The Great Gatsby (F Scott Fitzgerald) [Re-Read 28th time!]
Virginia Woolf Diaries diaries Vols 1-5
Leslie Stephen (Noel Gilroy Annan)
Andrew Wyeth: A Secret Life (Richard Meryman)
The Idea of a University (John Henry Newman)
The Vicar of Wrexhill (Fanny Trollope)
After the Deluge (Vol 1&2) (Leonard Woolf)
Heat of the Day (Elizabeth Bowen
I Lock my door upon myself (Joyce Carol Oates) [Read twice this year]
Conversations 1970-2006 (with Joyce Carol Oates)
Trespass (Rose Tremain)
Pollard (Laura Beatty)
The Spectator Bird (Wallace Stegner)
Little Bird of Heaven (Joyce Carol Oates)
Their Eyes were watching God (Zora Neale Hurston) [Re-read]
An Equal Stillness (Francesca Kay)

I have joined the London Library and decided to start a catalogue to record the books I've loaned and to sometimes review them.

If you don't know about this lovely library you can find it here:

I have started a separate catalogue to list those books here:

Groups75 Books Challenge for 2014, Atwoodians, Bloomsbury Group and their friends, Club Read 2014, Dutch writing in English - An appreciation, Fans of Joyce Carol Oates, Folio Society devotees, Helene Hanff, Hornbeam Reading Group, Monthly Author Readsshow all groups

Favorite authorsDavid Abbott, Peter Ackroyd, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Karen Armstrong, Elizabeth von Arnim, Margaret Atwood, Paul Auster, James Baldwin, John Banville, Pat Barker, Simone de Beauvoir, Dirk Bogarde, Elizabeth Bowen, William Boyd, Ray Bradbury, Poppy Z. Brite, Sir Richard Francis Burton, A. S. Byatt, George Gordon Byron, Baron Byron, Italo Calvino, Albert Camus, J. L. Carr, Anne Carson, Raymond Carver, Bruce Chatwin, Anton Chekhov, Louis Couperus, Michael Cunningham, Charles Dickens, Emily Dickinson, Joan Didion, Annie Dillard, Isak Dinesen, Fyodor Dostoevsky, Mark Doty, Carol Ann Duffy, Helen Dunmore, George Eliot, T. S. Eliot, Euripides, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Penelope Fitzgerald, Janet Frame, Northrop Frye, Tess Gallagher, Maggie Gee, André Gide, Victoria Glendinning, Graham Greene, Helene Hanff, Richard Holmes, Michael Holroyd, Janette Turner Hospital, Khaled Hosseini, Siri Hustvedt, Fergal Keane, John Keats, Dalai Lama, Primo Levi, Penelope Lively, Mary S. Lovell, Bernard MacLaverty, Deirdre Madden, Osip Mandelstam, Henning Mankell, Sándor Márai, Philip Marsden, André Maurois, Ian McEwan, Patrick McGrath, Anne Michaels, Michel de Montaigne, Toni Morrison, Marcel Möring, Harry Mulisch, Pablo Neruda, John Henry Newman, Joyce Carol Oates, Andrew O'Hagan, Michael Ondaatje, John Pilger, Annie Proulx, Rainer Maria Rilke, Joseph Roth, Philip Roth, Jeffrey D. Sachs, Jonathan Sacks, Vita Sackville-West, Lorna Sage, May Sarton, Bernhard Schlink, Seneca, William Shakespeare, Percy Bysshe Shelley, Sam Shepard, Carol Shields, Anita Shreve, Marin Sorescu, John Steinbeck, Lytton Strachey, William Styron, Elizabeth Taylor, Lisa St. Aubin De Teran, Leo Tolstoy, Claire Tomalin, Rose Tremain, Jane Urquhart, Salley Vickers, Alice Walker, Oscar Wilde, Tennessee Williams, Lanford Wilson, Jeanette Winterson, Jan Wolkers, Leonard Woolf, Virginia Woolf (Shared favorites)


Favorite bookstoresLondon Review Bookshop

Membership LibraryThing Early Reviewers/Member Giveaway

Account typepublic, lifetime

URLs (profile) (library)

Member sinceFeb 21, 2007

Leave a comment


Dear Caroline - it was lovely to meet you and thank you for the suggestion of meeting up on Monday April 7th. Unfortunately, I will be away on a short break with my husband so please may I take a rain check? We are taking advantage of the school holiday but will be back for all the Holy week and Easter celebrations.

Do you know Oxford well I wonder ....

Once again, thanks for helpong us to sort out the itinerary in London!

Warmest wishes
Julie x
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