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CollectionsYour library (7,736), Wishlist (29), Currently reading (5), To read (5), Read but unowned (56), Favorites (1), Library Books (243), NetGalleys (60), All collections (8,101)

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About meFor some people, it is alcohol. Or gambling, or cocaine. For me, it's books. That's right, my name is Suzanne and I'm a biblioholic...
When I don't get my fix, it can get ugly. I have been known to learn new languages in order to supply myself with reading material.
So, don't get between me and my books...

My views and opinions of the books I read are simply that: my views. I'm not aspiring to be an arbiter of literary taste, or a judge of what is "good" or "bad" in absolute terms. The more I read; the more I see how others read, the clearer it becomes to me that one person's great book can fail to engage the interest of another reader; that what might be to me a bad book can be to someone else something that they love, because what they are looking for in a book is different than what I seek. There are some absolutes -- incoherent, vague writing, risible scenarios, a plot as full of holes as a piece of lace -- but beyond that, it's all subjective. What do I like? In fiction, a novel with distinctive characters and vivid writing, that gives me the sense of inhabiting the same world as the author's fictional creations. I have no objection to unsympathetic protagonists -- I don't need to "like" the main character or identify with them, as look as they are convincing and the story is well-told. In reading non-fiction, I respond to writing that flows smoothly and makes the book as un-put-downable as any novel, a clear narrative arc, and a subject matter that I find interesting. What do I dislike? Trite, formulaic narratives stuffed with cliches like a Thanksgiving or Christmas turkey.

Oh, and I like to travel:



create your own visited country map

About my libraryEclectic. And rapidly overtaking the amount of available space in my apartment.

Best books of 2014:

An Unnecessary Woman by Rabih Alameddine
The Ruby in Her Navel by Barry Unsworth
Dead Souls by Nikolai Gogol
Bluffing Mr. Churchill by John Lawton
Gossip From the Forest by Thomas Keneally
Young Money by Kevin Roose
Cairo by Ahdaf Soueif
Dark Invasion 1915: Germany's Secret War Against America by Howard Blum
Longbourn by Jo Baker
Dragnet Nation by Julia Angwin
The Raj Quartet by Paul Scott
The Balkan Trilogy by Olivia Manning
Regeneration by Pat Barker
Caught by Lisa Moore
The Angel of Darkness by Caleb Carr
Notes From an Exhibition by Patrick Gale
Glorious Misadventures: Nikolai Rezanov and the Dream of a Russian America by Owen Matthews
The Rise & Fall of Great Powers by Tom Rachman
The Impossible Exile by George Prochnik
The Trigger by Tim Butcher
One Night in Winter by Simon Sebag Montefiore
Twelve Who Don't Agree by Valery Panyushkin
The Everything Store by Brad Stone
Merivel by Rose Tremain
A Colder War by Charles Cumming
The LIkeness & Faithful Place by Tana French
The Zhivago Affair by Peter Finn & Petra Couvee
Burial Rites by Hannah Kent
Unruly Places by Alastair Bonnett
Linnets and Valerians by Elizabeth Goudge
Isaac's Storm by Erik Larson

Best books of 2013:

Cold: Adventures in the World's Frozen Places by Bill Streever
The Big Truck that Went by by Jonathan Katz
Frances and Bernard by Carlene Bauer
The Testament of Mary by Colm Toibin
Late Nights on Air by Elizabeth Hay
The Golden Scales by Parker Bilal (also sequel, Dogstar Rising)
A Thread of Grace by Mary Doria Russell
A Question of Identity by Susan Hill
The Greengage Summer by Rumer Godden (re-read)
Daughters of Mars by Thomas Keneally
The Longest Road by Philip Caputo
Through the Windows by Julian Barnes
The Deadly Sisterhood by Leonie Frieda
CJ Sansom’s Matthew Shardlake mysteries (series -- reread)
The Watchers by Stephen Alford
Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour bookstore by Robin Sloan
A Constellation of Vital Phenomena by Anthony Marra
Going Postal by Terry Pratchett
The World is a Carpet by Anna Badkhen
Former People by Douglas Smith
Under the Wire by Paul Conroy
The Hired Man by Aminatta Forna
Stone’s Fall by Iain Pears
A Fort of Nine Towers by Qais Ahmed Akbar
A Question of Identity by Susan Hill
The Beekeepers’ Apprentice by Laurie R. King
The Aviator’s Wife by Melanie Benjamin
The Woman Upstairs by Claire Messud
The Black Russian by Vladimir Alexandrov
The Round House by Louise Erdich
The Lost Carving by David Esterly
Child 44 by Tom Robb Smith
The Good House by Ann Leary
Short Nights of the Shadow Catcher by Timothy Egan
Gun Guys by Dan Baum
Krakatoa by Simon Winchester
Caleb’s Crossing by Geraldine Brooks
The Opium War by Julia Lovell
Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
Lawrence in Arabia by Scott Anderson

Best reading in 2012:

Before the Poison by Peter Robinson
Maphead by Ken Jennings
The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern
Disgrace by J.M. Coetzee
The Free World by David Bezmogis
The Emperor of Lies by Steve Sem-Sandberg
Sea of Poppies by Amitav Ghosh
Catherine the Great by Robert Massie
Stories About Storytellers by Douglas Gibson
The Man Within My Head by Pico Iyer
Winter King by Thomas Penn
Gillespie & I by Jane Harris
Behind the Beautiful Forevers by Katherine Boo
The Man Without a Face by Masha Gessen
The Uninvited Guests by Sadie Jones
Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller
Waiting for Sunrise by William Boyd
1222 by Anne Holt
Bring up the Bodies by Hilary Mantel
Hood Rat by Gavin Wright
People Who Eat Darkness by Richard Lloyd-Parry
Moth Smoke by Mohsin Hamid
Trapeze by Simon Mawer
The Noble Assassin by Christie Dickason
The Last Waltz by Anne Enright
Darkmarket by Misha Glenny
White Gold by Giles Milton
Doublecross by Ben Macintyre
Defending Jacob by William Landay
The Radetzky March by Joseph Roth
In The Shadow of the Banyan by Vaddey Ratner
Wanted Women by Deborah Scroggins
Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn
Doc by Mary Doria Russell
The Headmaster's Wager by Vincent Lam
The Garden of Evening Mists by Tan Twan Eng
Divorce Islamic Style by Amara Lakhous
A Dangerous Inheritance by Alison Weir
The Watch by Joydeep Roy-Bhattacharya
A Dream of Ding Village by Yan Lianke
The Line by Olga Grushin
Above All Things by Tanis Rideout
Restless by William Boyd
The Green Shore by Natalie Bakopoulos
Ayn Rand Nation by Gary Weiss
An Agent of Deceit by Chris Morgan Jones
The Graves Are Walking by John Kelly
Born With a Tooth by Joseph Boyden
Mortality by Christopher Hitchens
HMS Surprise by Patrick O'Brian
Best books of 2011:

Ravel by Jean Echenoz
The Invisible Bridge by Julie Orringer
Kean by Jean-Paul Sartre
Defiant Spirits by Ross King
Case Studies by Kate Atkinson
Zennor in Darkness by Helen Dunmore
A Widow's Story by Joyce Carol Oates
Three-Day Road by Joseph Boyden
Objects of Our Affection by Lisa Tracy
The Storyteller of Marrakesh by Joydeep Roy-Bhattacharya
The Last Summer of Reason by Tahar Djaout
Lord of Misrule by Jaimy Gordon
In the Country of Men by Hisham Matar
In the Garden of Beasts by Erik Larson
A Writer's Diary by Virginia Woolf
The Memory Palace by Mira Bartok
In a Strange Room by Damon Galgut
The Panic Virus by Seth Mnookin
The 19th Wife by David Ebershoff
Through Black Spruce by Joseph Boyden
The Magicians by Lev Grossman
To End All Wars by Adam Hochschild
Death to the Dictator by Afsaneh Moqadam
Rondo by Kazimierz Brandys
Chasing the Devil by Tim Butcher
In Defense of Flogging by Peter Moskos
Theodora by Stella Duffy
Unnatural Selection by Mara Hvistendahl
Death and the Penguin by Andrei Kurkov
The Memory of Love by Aminatta Forna
A Most Dangerous Book by Christopher Krebs
Island of Bones by Imogen Robertson
The Pericles Commission by Gary Corby
Moonwalking with Einstein by Joshua Foer
Outwitting History by Aaron Lansky
Cooking with Fernet Branca by James Hamilton-Paterson
Snowdrops by A.D. Miller
The Summer of the Bear by Bella Pollen
March by Geraldine Brooks
Midnight Rising by Tony Horwitz
The Magician King by Lev Grossman
The German Mujahid by Boualem Sansal
Jamrach's Menagerie by Carol Birch
The Good Muslim by Tahmima Anam
A Jealous Ghost by A.N. Wilson
The Cat's Table by Michael Ondaatje
Evening in the Palace of Reason by James Gaines
Elizabeth and Hazel by David Margolick
All That I Am by Anna Funder
Waiting for Robert Capa by Susana Fortes
Hand Me Down World by Lloyd Jones
Molotov's Magic Lantern by Jenny Polonsky

Best books of 2010, in no particular order:

The File by Timothy Garton Ash
Enough: Why the World's Poorest Starve in an Age of Plenty by Roger Thurow & Scott Kilman
War at the Wall Street Journal by Sarah Ellison
The Elegance of the Hedgehog by Muriel Barbery
The Library at Night by Alberto Manguel
Shades of Grey by Jasper Fforde
The Reluctant Fundamentalist by Mohsin Hamid
Autobiography of an Execution by David Dow
The Cellist of Sarajevo by Steven Galloway
The Calligrapher's Daughter by Eugenia Kim
The Girl who Played with Fire by Stieg Larsson
The Reader by Bernhard Schlink
Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury
The Children of Men by P.D. James
Passionate Minds: The Love Story of the Englightenment by David Bodanis
The Cello Suites by Eric Siblin
Provenance: How a Con Man and a Forger Rewrote the History of Modern Art by Laney Salisbury and Aly Sujo
The Story of Lucy Gault by William Trevor
The King's Touch by Jude Morgan
Thirteenth Night by Alan Gordon
The Reader by Bernhard Schlink
Death of a Red Heroine by Qiu Xiaolong (and later books in the series)
Map of the Invisible World by Tash Aw
Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro
The Imperfectionists by Tom Rachman
Ordinary Thunderstorms by William Boyd
Mrs Adams in Winter by Michael O'Brien
The Last Stand by Nathaniel Philbrick
The Music Room by William Fiennes
Austerlitz by W.G. Sebald
How to Live: A Life of Montaigne in one question and twenty attempts at an answer by Sarah Bakewell
In Pursuit of Silence by George Prochnik
The Swan Thieves by Elizabeth Kostova
Love Songs from a Shallow Grave by Colin Cotterill
Methland by Nick Reding
Last Train from Hiroshima by Charles Pellegrino
Magnifico: The Brilliant Life and Violent Times of Lorenzo de Medici by Miles Unger
The Dark Vineyard by Martin Walker
Guilt About the Past by Bernhard Schlink
The Long Stretch by Linden MacIntyre
Hot Time in the Old Town by Edward Kotman
Cain's Field: Faith, Fratricide and Fear in the Middle East by Matt Beynon Rees
The Slap by Christos Tsiolkas
Wild Grass by Ian Johnson
Becoming George Sand by Rosalind Brackenbury
Packing for Mars by Mary Roach
Madame Proust and the Kosher Kitchen by Kate Taylor
The Finkler Question by Howard Jacobson
Miss Buncle's Book by D.E. Stevenson
The Bishop's Man by Linden MacIntyre
Heartstone by C.J. Sansom
Dreaming in Chinese by Deborah Fallows
The Whites of Their Eyes by Jill Lepore
Your Republic is Calling You by Young-ha Kim
The Romantic Revolution by Tim Blanning
Room by Emma Donoghue
The Fall by Albert Camus
Brooklyn by Colm Toibin
On The Spartacus Road by Peter Stothard
How to Read the Air by Dinaw Mengestu
Must You Go? by Antonia Fraser
The Siege by Helen Dunmore
The Betrayal by Helen Dunmore
Every Man in This Village is a Liar by Megan Stack
Gilded Youth by Kate Cambor
Doomsday Book by Connie Willis
The Post-Office Girl by Stefan Zweig
Still Alice by Lisa Genova
The Memory Chalet by Tony Judt
A Novel Bookstore by Laurence Cosse
The Crossing Places by Elly Griffiths
Atlantic by Simon Winchester





Absolutely NO surprises with this...

All time favorite reading:

The Island of Lost Maps by Miles Harvey
A Room of One's Own by Virginia Woolf
Confederates in the Attic by Tony Horwitz
The Fourth Part of the World by Toby Lester
In a Dark Wood Wandering by Hella Haase
The Lone Pilgrim by Laurie Colwin
Daughter of Time by Josephine Tey
The Franchise Affair by Josephine Tey
The Uncommon Reader by Alan Bennett
Slowness by Milan Kundera
Enemies of Promise by Cyril Connolly
Enigma of Arrival by V.S. Naipaul
The Perpetual Orgy by Mario Vargas Llosa
How to Cure a Fanatic by Amos Oz
Occidentalism by Ian Buruma
Watermark by Joseph Brodsky
In the Name of Identity by Amin Maalouf
The Other by Ryszard Kapuscinski
Utz by Bruce Chatwin
War is a Force that Gives Us Meaning by Chris Hedges
Medici Money by Tim Parks
Building a Bridge to the 18th Century by Neil Postman
A Desert in Bohemia by Jill Paton Walsh
The Jane Whitefield series by Thomas Perry
the Ian Seraillier series by Susan Hill
The Grave Tattoo by Val McDermid
Representations of the Intellectual - Edward Said
Conducted Tour by Bernard Levin
From the Holy Mountain by William Dalrymple
The Future of the Past by Alexander Stille
The Rites of Spring by Modris Eksteins
The Millennium Trilogy by Stieg Larsson
Terror and Liberalism by Paul Berman
The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood
A Time to Keep Silence by Patrick Leigh Fermor
Virginia Woolf by Hermione Lee
The John Madden mysteries by Rennie Airth
Portrait of an Unknown Woman by Vanora Bennett
China Court by Rumer Godden
In This House of Brede by Rumer Godden
The Balkan Trilogy by Olivia Manning
The Hours by Michael Cunningham
The Mountjoy series by Elizabeth Pewsey
Copenhagen by Michael Frayn
Arcadia by Tom Stoppard
Slaves in the Family by Edward Ball
The Common Reader (2 volumes) by Virginia Woolf
Table Talk by William Hazlitt
Elia by Charles Lamb
Defining the World by Henry Hitchings
George Orwell in Burma by Emma Larkin
Land of Green Ghosts by Pascal Khoo Thwe
84 Charing Cross Road by Helene Hanff
Q's Legacy by Helene Hanff
The Boat Who Wouldn't Float by Farley Mowat
Among the Believers by VS Naipaul
King Leopold's Ghost by Adam Hochschild
A Time of Gifts by Patrick Leigh Fermor
The Reckless Mind by Mark Lilla
Oh Canada! Oh Quebec! by Mordecai Richler
A Secret Alchemy by Emma Darwin
Coasting by Jonathan Raban
The World, the Flesh and the Devil by Reay Tannahill

Groups1010 Category Challenge, 2013 Category Challenge, 2014 Category Challenge, 75 Books Challenge for 2010, 75 Books Challenge for 2011, 75 Books Challenge for 2012, 75 Books Challenge for 2013, 75 Books Challenge for 2014, Europa Challenge, Historical Fictionshow all groups

Favorite authorsPeter Ackroyd, Norman F. Cantor, Laurie Colwin, Colin Cotterill, Murray Davies, Patrick Leigh Fermor, Rumer Godden, William Hazlitt, Kazuo Ishiguro, Milan Kundera, Charles Lamb, Stephen Leacock, Bernard Levin, Hilary Mantel, Val McDermid, Stephen O'Shea, Terry Pratchett, Reay Tannahill, Josephine Tey, Barbara W. Tuchman, Virginia Woolf (Shared favorites)

VenuesFavorites

Favorite bookstoresBookCourt, Daunt Books - Holland Park, David Mason Books, Foyles, Hatchards, Librairie Champlain, Sleuth Of Baker Street, Strand Bookstore

Favorite librariesProvidence Athenaeum

Other favoritesNational Book Festival

Membership LibraryThing Early Reviewers/Member Giveaway

Account typepublic, lifetime

URLs /profile/Chatterbox (profile)
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Member sinceOct 9, 2006

Currently readingAfter Flodden by Rosemary Goring
Travels with a Tangerine: A Journey in the Footnotes of Ibn Battutah by Tim Mackintosh-Smith
Empires of the Dead: How One Man's Vision Led to the Creation of WW1's War Graves by David Crane
A Burnable Book: A Novel by Bruce Holsinger
In Paradise: A Novel by Peter Matthiessen

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