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Notes to Myself by Hugh Prather

I, Houdini: The Amazing Story of an Escape-Artist Hamster by Lynne Reid Banks

Time Cat by Lloyd Alexander

Benjamin Franklin by Benjamin] Van Doren [Franklin, Carl

The Geographer's Library by Jon Fasman

Six by Seuss by Dr Seuss

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Member: HorusE

CollectionsYour library (2,302), Currently reading (6), To read (198), Read but unowned (16), All collections (2,319)

Reviews46 reviews

Tagsmystery (682), children's (336), history (198), science (143), picture book (138), british (120), cooking (109), classics (105), historical fiction (100), biography (74) — see all tags

Cloudstag cloud, author cloud, tag mirror

About meThe picture is of Horus, one of our two cats.

About my librarySince I taught physics, I collected a number of science-related books. The library developed from my collections and those of my wife ( a retire elementary school guidance counselor) and two sons. The sons have left home, but their books remain!
There is a fine local public library, as well as a university library; so I have borrowed many books from those sources, or have given some books away. If my library has few books by a "favorite" author, it is because I had given those books away or borrowed them (before LibraryThing).

Groups75 Books Challenge for 2009, 75 Books Challenge for 2010, BBC Radio 3 Listeners, Books in Books, British & Irish Crime Fiction, Bug Collectors, Crime, Thriller & Mystery, Physics!, Steampunk, West Virginians

Favorite authorsBoris Akunin, John Buchan, John Connolly, Jasper Fforde, Alan Furst, Peter Gay, Arnaldur Indriðason, Michael Innes, John Lawton, David Liss, Iain Pears, Arturo Pérez-Reverte, Elizabeth Peters, Oliver Sacks, C. J. Sansom, Janwillem van de Wetering (Shared favorites)


Favorite bookstoresFour Seasons Books, Strand Bookstore

Favorite librariesMartinsburg-Berkeley County Public Library, Scarborough Library - Shepherd University, Shepherdstown Public Library

Membership LibraryThing Early Reviewers/Member Giveaway

LocationShepherdstown, WV

Account typepublic, lifetime

URLs /profile/HorusE (profile)
/catalog/HorusE (library)

Member sinceMay 21, 2007

Currently readingLondon : the biography by Peter Ackroyd
The Stand (The Complete and Uncut Edition) by Stephen King
Acqua Alta by Donna Leon
The Third Reich at War by Richard J. Evans
Aubrey's Brief Lives (Nonpareil Books, No 77) by John Aubrey; Oliver Lawson Dick
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Happy Birthday to you David. I hope today is a special day. You are missed in the 75 challenge group! I hope all is well with you.
Hello David,
So good to hear from you again.I was getting quite concerned about you.
I'm pleased that you enjoyed 'Martyr' and lets hope that the second one in the series continues the high quality of the first. (Haven't yet read it)
I am on the final hundred pages ! of 'Defense of the Realm' which is quite fascinating but is not made easy to read as it weighs a ton and I have to read it supported on a desk or table. Could really use a lectern of some sort I suppose.
You mention blue-ray which I'm sure is wonderfully clear ect,but it rather annoys me that the manufacturers of all this new technology keep bringing updates out out which makes what one already owns obsolete.I had a large number of video tapes to start with,then along comes DVD's and out goes the video's. Now comes Blue-ray and we are expected to dump all of our DVD's. I think I'll wait awhile and see how things go,before I change again.
Yes,I enjoy reading John D.McDonald although I haven't many in the collection as yet.
Ah yes,the English political scene,what a fiasco the election was. For the first time for many years we have a Tory/Liberal democrat Coalition government. The trouble is that the two have somewhat differing policies. so how that will work is anybody's guess. In the meantime the ex-Labour government and the leader of same are now discredited and virtually destroyed. They were not helped by Gordon Brown's infamous remark about a Labour voter,that she was a 'Bigot' and 'that woman'
What is happening with your politics that is ,as you put it 'insane'. They all seen to be,don't they.
Reading-wise - Just completed 'The Gates' by John Connolly,which I throughly enjoyed,as I see that you did (from your Reading Challenge) We met him recently at a Book signing and his is one of the nicest authors that we have had the pleasure of meeting.
Also read with enjoyment - 'Karmesin - The World's Greatest Criminal Or Most Outrageous Liar.' by Gerald Kersh. Really good and one which I did a review of earlier today.
Well that's about all for now,but I'll write again soon as I am sure I've forgotten a few bits and pieces that I meant to convey to you.
Keep in touch David,and once more all the best from my wife and I.

Hello David,
I don't know if you have started 'The Defence of the Realm' yet.I bought it in October last year at which time we attended a talk by the author about MI5.Not of course that the author (either in his talk or in his book) tells of the deeper secrets of the organization.I am reading it between many and lighter books and have nearly reacher the Thatcher era. Although it is heavy in weight as well as content,I am really enjoying it. When I eventually finish it I hope I can write a review that does it justice.
Apart from that,I have been getting through quite a few volumes,most of which have been good to a greater or lesser degree.I'm trying to read the Rizzoli and Isles thrillers of Tess Gerritsen in some sort of order and find them very readable if somewhat gory. For something completely different I tried the first of the Doctor Syn books by Russell Thorndyke. All about pirates and smuggling,I found it an easy and enjoyable change.
As I said in my last short message,we paid a visit to our daughter and her husband recently,which was very enjoyable.They took us to a place called Stowe Landscape Gardens,which has more follies (which greatly interest me) in a smaller area than anywhere else in the world.221 acres of grounds with well over 30 follies. At the centre the beautiful facade of Stowe School. (a prestigious public school) You might like to have a look at the school and the gardens on the net.On our last visit we managed to look round the school itself (not often open) Of course the most interesting room was the grand library.Quite something!,but I still prefer mine.
I hope that you continue to improve and that you will get in contact again soon.
All the best to you and your wife and indeed to the two cats.
Great review on 'The Man Who Loved Books Too Much". I'll be adding that book to my library.
Have just received your wonderful news. I am so pleased to hear that you have come through and that you are feeling better. Keep up the good work.
This is just a quick one as my wife and I are just on the way out to visit our daughter in the depths of the countryside. I'll write is greater length shortly.
With very best wishes
So sorry that you were in the hospital for an extended stay. I hope all is now well.

Happy, Happy Birthday to you!

I hope your day is very special!
I'm re-reading my Joyce Porter's and noticed that you have the Dover series. We share over a hundred books and all good ones I might add. Have you read any of the Dover books?
Hello David,
Many thanks for your latest message. You really seem to have had a great deal of bother and I hope that the worst is over for you. Do keep me posted at any rate.
We have been watching the television reports about the snow and cold in Washington with interest. By comparison our weather conditions are not worthy of the name. I should thing Oscar vanished beneath the snow when he ventured out. Horus sounds sensible in staying indoors and in comfort. While we no longer have a cat ,our daughter and her husband have two - Augustus,who is a comfort-loving creature and Hattie,who tends to roam quite a bit. They seem a little bit like your two.
Interesting to hear about the local wildlife. Although we live in quite a large Town,we are within a few minutes walk of the countryside,with plenty of walks nearby. Recently we have spotted a fox,a kestrel and a heron. We love to see all the wildlife and are often out with our binoculars trying to spot a new bird or animal.
Earlier this week we went to our local theatre to see one of the best shows for some time. Called 'End of the Rainbow', it was the story of Judy Garland,and the girl who played the lead was fantastic.
Bookwise,two of my recent reads stand out. 'Martyr' by Rory Clements was quite as good as C.J.Sansom,and I never thought anyone would come anywhere near to him. The other is a book by Tess Gerritsen called 'Keeping the Dead'. She is someone that I've never read before,but I will certainly look out for more of her books. On the non-fiction side I'm reading 'The Defence of the Realm :The Authorized History of MI5' by Christopher Andrew. This is taking me quite a while as it need absolute concentration. Really worthwhile though.
Well I better close now or I shall run out of space.
All the best and look after yourself.
Hello once more,and I do hope that 2010 treats you well.I was so pleased to hear from you last time.
Our bad weather continues to bite and for the last 10 days or so we have had snow,ice,wind and (for this country) extreme cold. In fact on one day last week it was reported to be colder than the South (or was it the North) Pole here!
Thus we have been unable to undertake our usual days out,in our search for elusive volumes and have had to resort to buying on the internet,which we feel is somewhat unsporting. Much better to spend hours searching through the dusty shelves of even dustier secondhand bookshops. The thrill of discovering a book which one has been after for years,nay decades,is difficult to describe. (but I know that you know exactly what I mean david)
I see that you have added recently 'The Man Who Loved Books Too Much) by Allison Hover Bartlett'. Is it worth acquiring ?.
All the best,and do let me know how you are getting on.
Love the new picture of Horus by the way.
Hello David,
How is life treating you. Over here we are suffering an early spot of winter,with cold and rather miserable conditions,also snow being promised any time now. I have to admit that I really hate that stuff ! With Christmas fast approaching I must put on a happy face and look as though I like it.
As you might have seen,I have been busy entering my DVD's (as last message) and have nearly done with them.
Have you started 'The Alchemaster's Apprentice' yet. I have got it ordered from the Library,so I really don't know when that will come. Most of Moer's books have been good,although I found Captain Bluebear rather tedious.
I've just finished Christopher Fowler's 'Seventy-Seven Clocks',which I personally thought was the best of all the 'Bryant and May'series. Would be interested to hear what you think.
Another interesting title that I have just acquired is a slim volume of classic ghost stories of the M.R.James type.This is 'Tedious Brief tales of Granta and Gramarye' (good title eh?) by Ingulphus (Arthur Gray 1852-1940.
Well all the best to you and your family and the famous cats,for Christmas and the New Year. Hope that we both have plenty of new books that we can read and discuss in due course.
Hello David,
Yes, Amadeus is a wonderful film both from the story and the music angles.I have recently been recommended a DVD cataloging site by Romanus called Take11. You can enter up to 100 DVD's free and this I have done. Have got to decide if I now go on and pay for entering more.While it is good basically,my only hesitation is that at the moment there are only about 230 members.A bit different from Librarything.I shall still keep my DVD's on Librarything of course.Have a look if you care to and perhaps tell me what you think. My name there is Mosaic if you want to check out what I have entered so far.
I'm glad that you enjoyed both Ellory and Booth.I have been following your thread on talk about books read,and always find it most interesting.
I'm also very pleased to hear that you have recovered well.
Hello David,
It's good to hear from you again. Of course I quite understand the gap in the messages,which is quite understandable - I hope all is now well with you.
'The Perfume of the Lady in Black' is the second book by Gaston Leroux featuring detective Joseph Routetabille,who first appeared in 'The Mystery of the Yellow Room'. I mentioned it originally because you said you enjoyed the first book so much. Sorry if I was unclear with my explanation.
I saw that you had entered 'The Osiris Ritual' and that you enjoyed it.I have yet to buy a copy as there are many many books crying out to be bought. I enjoyed the first in this series and will trey to get hold of this second one soon I hope .Glad that Horus like it too.
Louise Penny is good too,isn't she - I've just read my first Three Pines story - out of order needless to say. I'll certainly try to read the rest in due course.
Your cruise sounds marvelous and I am firmly of the opinion that one should try to read something about the place visited at the time.
The book that I am reading at the moment is one called 'Oscar Wilde and the Dead Man's Smile' by Gyles Brandreth.I've avoided this series for a while because a. I don't usually like fiction which uses real people as main characters and b. I have not been a great fan of the author. But after reading this book I have revised my opinion and cannot now wait to get my hands on the other two volumes.
I know that I mentioned my liking for the books of C.V. Clinton-Badderley in my last message. Having now read all five of the books I cannot now recommend them too highly. Would really like to hear what you think of them yourself,if you ever decide to give them a go.
All the best
Hi David,
Just an update on my last message.
The author event in Cambridge went extremely well and we managed to speak to quite a few of our favorites and to get our books signed .Among the most interesting were Stephen Booth,R.J.Ellory,Malcolm Pryce and Suzette Hill.
Since then we have been to two other signings,one by Jeffery Deaver and the other by Deborah Crombie.
However the book that I am reading at the moment is called 'Death's Bright Dart' by V.C.Clinton-Baddeley. This is the first in a series of crime novels which feature Dr R.V.Davie,a mild and elderly member of a Cambridge College. He also happens(surprise,surprise)to be interested in solving crimes. Most enjoyable.
I trust your cruise went well.
Hello David,
Thanks for the information in your last message. I'm glad that the recommendations that I sent on were useful. Have you completed 'The Mystery of the Yellow Room' yet and if so I hope you enjoyed it (as I hope and think you will) There is a follow-up called 'The Perfume of the Woman in Black' featuring the same detective.
We are off in a couple of days to the 'Bodies in the Bookshop' event in Cambridge that we try to attend every year.As I may have mentioned before,there are about 50+ authors there to sign their books and chat to the public. I'll let you know who we see and what we manage to buy,when we get back.
Your cruise in the western Mediterranean sounds most relaxing and enjoyable. What countries did you visit on the way? Congratulations to both your wife and yourself on your 40th. My wife and I have just had our 42nd,so we have both been married about the same time.
Hope to speak to you again soon,

Hello David,
I hope all is well with you and the rest of your family,including Horus and Oliver. I am amazed to see that it has been over a month since my last message so I thought I would just send a few lines to you now.
My reading recently has been fairly varied. Have just discovered the series of books by I.J.Parker about Ancient Japan,featuring Sugawara Akitada,which are perfect for anyone (like me) who have read all of the Judge Dee books of Robert van Gulik,and badly want more of the same. Throughly enjoyed 'La's Orchestra Saves the World' (Robert McCall Smith) at his best. Also a Re-Reading of H.E.Bates volume of short stories about a crafty,lying,but lovable old countryman,who tells a series of tall tales to a small child. Called 'Sugar For the Horse',they are delightful. He also wrote a companion volume which is just as good called 'My Uncle Silas'. Highly recommended.
Of course in between these and other excellent books,there was also a fair bit of dross which I should have avoided like the plague. However how can you tell before you try them David ? We would all save an awful lot of time and wasted effort if only there was some way of sorting out the good from the bad.
Regarding LT and the new collections scheme,well,I don't really know.I started entering a few in 'Wishlist' and 'Read but not Owned' and someone contacted me and asked what edition and what cover my copy was ! Thus,at least for the moment I have returned to my original plan of only entering 'Items Owned'.
May relent again soon,but I really don't know,especially as it doesn't seem to effect the 'Library size' stats at all.
Again,I am going to consider entering my DVD Collection as soon as I can stir myself to do it.
The way our Politicians and the like are going on at the moment,with the economy in such a terrible state is just unbelievable. Certainly the world is in such trouble generally that reading and book-collecting is such a balm and a way to (even for a short time)to opt out of it all.
Well I did say earlier something about a few lines but I seem to have gone on rather longer than I intended to,so I will sign off now until the next one.
Best wishes.
Thank you for your particiaption in my new thread
Thought you might be intersted in joining my new thread. Check it out.
An addition to our discussion regarding 'Company of Liars'. I am about half way through now and am still enjoying the book and the general concept. However in her section of the book dealing with Northampton I feel she has lost the plot a bit. For a start I do not think she has either visited here or indeed studied the Town very much.It could be anywhere in fact.At the time of which she writes Northampton was a very important centrein the country,with probably the most important castle at that time. All the author mentions is the market and the town walls,both in a sort of throw-away manner.I won't go any deeper than that at the moment as you may or may not be interested,but if you are ,you can easily look at the various relevant sites.
Hello David,
A couple of useful suggestions there in your last message.In fact I went straight out and bought a copy of 'Company of Liars'. The description of Blackwells in 'Symmetry' is just right,it is the oddest feeling to walk in through the small front door as if you are entering a tiny little shop,and them finding yourself in a vast space on many levels.The Tardis is just what it seems like.
When you have time perhaps you could let me know what you thought of 'The Last Dickens'.I see you have given it a 4 star rating,so I presume you think it good,but not fantastic.
I am in the process of reading the 'Dexter' books by Jeff Lindsay. I have just completed the second one (of four) and so far am really enjoying them. If you don't know them,then they might be worth a try sometime. I must say,they are a curious mixture of extreme gore and horror and most surprisingly funny. A charming serial killer who only kills killers.Not it has to be said everyone's cup of tea.
What do you think about the changes (present and to come) to the Librarything site. Personally I was sorry to see the end of the tags,tag.I know you can get at them in a roundabout way,but as it is one of the main things of use to me,I was not well pleased.I know that it is impossible to please everybody,but there are quite a few things that seem to me to be virtually useless that could have been dispensed with instead.Oh well - just have to go with the flow I suppose. After all it still remain very good on the whole.
Wow 94F eh. I don't know how I'd cope with that. At the moment we are a bit up and down,last week in the mid 60's and this week quite cold and wet.
Hi David,
I'm very pleased to see the photo of Oscar,thanks for that. Hope Horus won't be jealous.
I saw that you had listed several of the Glauser titles (I have only the one at the moment) and I certainly found 'Thumbprint very readable,not least because it took place in Switzerland,a country not well known for crime stories as far as I know. What a terrible life the poor chap had.
Srrandbookstore - 18 miles of books ! What are you trying to do to me ?. Do tell me more about this monster of a shop.
I'm reading,among other things of course,a german author called Walter Moers. As usual I seem to have acquired them in the wrong order. I read "The City of Dreaming Books" first, perhaps for obvious reasons,in view of the title.Next "Rumo",and I shall shortly try "The 13½ Lives of Captain Bluebear" I don't know if you have heard of this author or indeed are even interested in Fantasy,but I must say that for a complete change,they are really good.(in particular the Book one)
Have you read the Janwillem van de Wetering yet and if so what do you think of it compared to his other titles.He is another author who seems to have had a somewhat strange life what with his Zen Monastery experiences and so on.As I think I've said before I'm having some trouble getting hold of the few titles that I still need to complete my set.
Best wishes

Hello there,
Ah,yes,the snow. It is said that we are having the worst weather for 18 years here ( in fact one report this-morning gives it as 100 years) and although compared with other countries,it is of no account. We are just not used to snow,ice and cold here and are not at all geared up for it,so we are really suffering.We have actually had a couple of days with no public transport running at all and this thing about closing the schools is so annoying and at the moment most of them have been closed for over a week now.
I mean to get hold of a copy of 'Dewey,The Library Cat' when I can.
Glad you liked the two C.S.Forester books. The other two that you might like are 'The General' and 'The Ship'. His Hornblower series are alright , but I would say a little run-of-the-mill by today's standards.
I will have to give David Liss a try,he sounds well worth reading.
Have recently read 'The Painter of Battles' by Arturo Perez-Reverte,which I saw you enter a short time ago.I did find it an interesting read,as per my review. However I still think his first 3-4 books much superior to his later ones.
Thanks to Horus for his message,tell him to keep warm and to look after himself.How is Oscar doing,is he alright too.
Speak to you soon.

Glad you liked the review. The book is wonderful but does give the tear ducts a workout. Hope your wife enjoys it.
Hello, Horus,

I hope 2009 is going well for you and that you've had interesting books to read.

I finished off a book called A Beautiful Place to Die by Malla Nunn a couple of weeks ago. It's a first novel, I believe, by a South African author now living in Australia. The setting is 1952 South Africa just as apartheid is rearing its ugly head in that country. I thought it was a superior crime thriller with some pretty good twists at the end. It's still in hardcover over here so you can probably get it pretty easily from your library, since I believe you favor that over buying hardcovers (I'm going to be doing more of that, too, rather than spending money on what I consider to be "non-essential" novels/authors).

However, I do consider Stieg Larsson to be an essential author, so I ordered (from the UK) the sequel to The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, called The Girl who Played with Fire, and I devoured it in 3 days or so. It was really, really enjoyable and I liked it even more than Larsson's first book. Book 2 is due out over here in hardcover in June, I believe, so keep an eye peeled for it.

I also read a WWII mystery called Billy Boyle which, while not great (dialogue could use a bit more realism, I think, and the foreshadowing was a little obvious at some points), was a decent historical mystery revolving around the exiled Norwegian monarchy/court while it was in the UK. I learned some things about that whole situation that supplemented things I'd learned from reading The Redbreast by Nesbo and a book called The Odin Mission by James Holland, so that was a plus.

Some months back Devenish recommended Peter Lovesey to me. He's an author I'd been buying because his novels were being published over here by Soho Crime and they usually don't waste their time with anything less than above-average writers. However, I hadn't read any of Lovesey's work, so I'm just starting on the first of his Peter Diamond books called The Last Detective; I'll let you and Devenish know how it turns out.

Talk with you later,


Hi David,
A Happy New Year.
I'm pleased that you have read 'The Empty House',as I think that the supernatural short stories of Algernon Blackwood are extremely good. There is another volume of his stories which are almost on a level pegging,and that is the volume containing the 'John Silence' stories .Silence is a sort of psychic sleuth who investigates hauntings and the like. If you haven't come across him before it might be worth giving him a go.
I hope the library manages to find you a copy of 'Brown on Resolution' as that also is a fine book.
Mexico sounds good to me and the dance show sounds really fantastic. Unlike the temperature you returned to however which is similar to that we are going through at the moment,the coldest January for many years it seems.
Not a tremendous amount going on book-wise here in the UK prior to Christmas,the only things being advertised are so-called 'celebrity ' type books that I for one would not be interested in,and nothing whatsoever appears to be about early in the new year I'm afraid.
When anything does happen which catches my eye then you will be the first to know.
All the best.
Merry Christmas, Horus!

I'm glad you were able to get a copy of Nemesis at such a good price. I'm finishing off Nick Stone's King of Swords tomorrow, hopefully, and then I'm going to move directly into Nemesis myself (since the next book is coming out in the UK in March, I believe). I just found out that Jo Nesbo has a website called (what else?), and it has some entertaining graphics that take place when you click on various subjects on the site. There's a pretty interesting interview of Nesbo on the site, too.

Have you ever read any of Loren D. Estleman's "Amos Walker" mysteries? I'm on the hunt for them as they seem to be pretty good. I'd only seen Estleman's name on westerns before and he's won enough awards in that genre to intrigue me greatly.

Cheers, and here's hoping Santa's brought you lots of great books,

Hello there David,
I'm delighted that you found some of my recommendations helpful,as indeed I have yours, Thanks.I hope that when you find the time to read Forrester's "The Nightmare",you will think it as good as I do. (I await your judgement of it with interest) By the way have you read his book,"Brown on Resolution". That is another great read.
I Certainly envy you your holiday in Mexico. I bet you saw some wonderful sights there,didn't you ? and yes, it did show up on the map.
The ten favorites will shortly be the twenty favorites,as ten is not nearly enough,so watch this space.
You may have noticed that I have been concentrating on 'Reviews' just lately.I tend to (a) keep them fairly concise as personally I don't read long and detailed reviews much. and (b)With a few exceptions my efforts are for books that nobody else has done a Review at all for. (as explained on my Profile Page. I do a few Reviews for Heffers Bookshop too,which keeps my hand in.
My wife and I send our warmest regard for Christmas and the New Year to you and to your family and of course to the famous Horus.
I did get the review ,for which many thanks.It certainly gave Michael Cox a very good write-up.I shall have to get hold of a copy of the book at some point and give it a go. At the moment though I've got such a backlog of books to be read that it will just have to get in the queue.
Don't you find that at this time of the year,nearing Christmas, Bookshop stocks go completly haywire. Decent titles disappear,only to be replaced by so called celeb-type autobiographies (mostly ghost-written) and coffee-table books. Therefore most of my purchases at the moment are through ABE.
All the best
Hello David,
Great to hear from you again. Bath is a really wonderful city isn't it.It has so many literary and historic associations too. When we were last there(admittedly a few years ago) we puffed up a mountain-like incline to a place called 'Beckford's Tower'. I don't know if you know of it and it's owner William Beckford . He was a rich English eccentric,who built various strange structures including this Tower overlooking Bath.He was also the author of the novel 'Vathek'. If you look him up on the web you will see just how odd a character he was.He is in fact buried next to his Tower.If you know this already,as you may well do,then disregard the aforesaid info.
Regarding the Peter Diamond books,I'm really pleased that you are reading them as I enjoyed them so much myself. Another title that I don't think that you have yet is 'The Circle',which is about members of a writing group getting bumped off one by one. His other books I like rather less,although some of his Victorian Sergeant Cribb books are worth looking out for I think.
Please do send me the Washington Post link via my e mail.I look forward to receiving it.
Thanks for the reply.
I should have said Penelope Lively and not Fitzgerald,who of course died in 2000. Thus she would have had some problem in attending a book signing in 2008. Sorry about that.
Sorry for replying so late. I have reading to do. lol

Your wife is into painting with watercolours? How lovely! I admire others that have abilities like writing, drawing, painting, music, sports...all the things I only can dream of doing.

I am guessing you are back from your trip and settled home with a good book.

It was super hearing from you. Keep in touch. :)
Hello Horus,
I have just spotted that you have acquired a copy of Bellairs book,"The Night They killed Joss Varren'. Funnily enough this is one that I have recently finished myself.I shall be interested to hear if you like it,but you are fully entitled to castigate me for recommending this author if you don't in fact like it.We can discuss the book and the author when you read it. I have been buying quite a few of the books on ABE recently.
Quite a busy time over the last few weeks attending book signings and talks.These include Robert Goddard,Kathy Reiches,Val McDermid and P.D.James.To come in the next couple of weeks are Penelope Fitzgerald and Charley Boorman. Makes life quite interesting.
With regards to the Map with visitors marked,well I am not too sure if I shall keep it or not,as it does not seem to be at all accurate to me.It is listing me as living in Exeter,which is miles away from me,and as far as I can work out,there is no way of contacting them and changing it.Well,well we shall just have to see.
Any thoughts on the new 'Largest Libraries' seems soomewhat better than it was,but still far from perfect,as it is headed by a chap who is listing some 16,000 volumes but then states on his Profile page that 'in fact I do not own many books at all and this is really my fantasy library'. Well that seems to me a fudge and a nonsense.I have always said that I don't care how individual members use the site,but I do think that only owned items should be counted. What do you think?
Speak to you soon.
Best wishes to you and your family.
I hope that you have been reading today. I don't want this message get to you when you are feeling grumpy lol.

When I have the time I do like to spend it reading but I hardly ever find the time udring the day. There is always something that has to be attended to. At the end of my day is when I read.

My friend and her husband will relax with a book during the day and she will stay up at all hours of the night just to finish a book. I can't see me doing that.

This month I have been good about not buying any books. I have so many already. I need to get them out of my house to make room for other things. I think that if I don't buy a book for 10 years I will still have a few left of my selves. It gets to be a bit much.

I am so happy that your wife does belong to a reading cllub. It gives her a reason to read and encourages her. When not understanding what your reading it can be so very frustrating. ONe really has to make an effort and not give up.

"84 Charing Cross Road" does sound like one I would enjoy reading. You don't even know me but still you knew I would like a book like this. I will have to put it on my wish list. If I run into it and it is really really cheap I will purchase it. That goes with all my wish list books on LT.

I would like to have you on my list of locations. Not sure if I should put you down as living in Phoenix AZ or Harpers Ferry WV. I'll let you pick.

Say hello to your wife for me.
Yeah. We do have some good ones. Although not the best bookstore in the universe, Longfellow was one of the reasons we moved to Portland—nice people there. But I miss my home town, Cambridge, MA. Good bookstores there :)
Thanks. Are you a ex-Portlander?
Hi Horus,
Have you started the 'Dover' series yet.I remember you saying that you were waiting until you got 'Dover One',before starting on them. How very sensible of you,and I only wish I was the same.If I get a series of,say,five books,it is usually 3,5,2,1,4. Back to Dover,yes I think they are great fun.
George Bellairs is I would think an acquired taste,some would say that they are rather slow for today's readers,but I really enjoy them.I found one of his books quite by chance on a Market stall somewhere,read it and that started me on them.I think I've got about 33 now. Quite a few of his books are set on the Isle of Man,a fairly large island off the British coast. This is a location that Bellairs was extremely fond of,retired to and is buried on.I am gathering together,bit by bit,details of his life. This is slow work as information is sketchy to say the least.
I'm pleased that you liked "The Maine Massacre",indeed I have enjoyed most of de Wetering's books. The only one that I didn't was "Just a Corpse at Twilight" which is about both of the main characters,after they have left the police. Didn't like that much at all.
Another book I've been meaning to mention is "The Affinity Bridge" by George Mann.It is designated as 'steampunk' I believe,which doesn't encourage one,does it ? However I did read it and indeed found it very good indeed.(see my review if interested)
Was interested to read about hurricane Hanna,sounds quite a lot of rain you had there. Glad it wasn't worse though.We have had the wettest August for many years,it is a wonder we are not all quacking like ducks,or got webbed feet like frogs.I think we may just have come out of it,as we have had a couple of days of dry weather and the forcast is not too bad for the rest of the week.
Thank Horus for his regards and give him a stroke from us.
All the best.
Something else that may interest you, as sent to me by jackanaples here on LT:

Hello, Horus!

Good to hear from you.

Thanks for letting me know you liked "The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo." I picked it up--and set it back down--last night in favor of reading Richard Stark's "The Hunter," which is the first of his noir Parker novels. "The Hunter" was made into a 1967 Lee Marvin movie called Point Blank and then into the Mel Gibson vehicle from a few years back called Payback, if you ever watched either of those movies. I just got the first three Univ. of Chicago Press re-issues of the Parker novels in the mail yesterday, so I'm pretty fired up to read them. I also still have around 190 pages to go in Michael Stanley's "A Carrion Death" but I'm just not in the mood for it right now, so I'm not sure when I'll get back to it; while it's starting to pick up a bit, it's just not grabbing me the way I'd like it to.

Regarding "Nemesis," it's still shows it's currently available from bookdepository in hardcover (not sure why they haven't changed that if they're telling you they're out of stock) and it appears to be coming out September 4th in trade paperback if you want to wait a couple of weeks and save some cash (assuming bookdepository plans to carry it. One of the other things I dislike about bookdepository, besides a fair number of listing errors, is it just says "unavailable" for certain books and you don't know if they'll be stocking it or if it's temporarily sold out, etc.). Here's a link to the Jo Nesbo page with his UK publisher
As you can see, they've got a March 5th release date for the next book "The Redeemer," though just in trade paperback, so far. I hope they plan to do a hardcover, too, as I'd rather own that. I haven't actually read my copy of "Nemesis" yet; I'm sort of just looking at it on the shelf with the comforting knowledge that a good read will be there when the moon and the stars align in such a way that I'm in the right mood to read it:)

Take it easy,

Glad that you are continuing to enjoy the series of books by John Connolly. Interesting to hear about your family connections,that surely does make the books come to life I should think.
I hadn't noticed the anachronism with John Dickson Carr in the Nichola Upson,I must admit,but when I get round to it I must have a look .I will also have a look-see at the other author you mention, Jonathan Lethem,now I don't know him,so it will be good to see what I think. Thanks for that.
Glad that Horus is doing well.Having looked on the web for pictures and descriptions of coyotes,I can see why you are keeping him in at night,Bet he would like to get out despite all that though.
Regarding my own reading at the moment - Have just completed "City of Lies" by Roger Jon Ellory which took a while to get going,but the last hundred or so pages were just fantastic.About 'The Mob',it climaxes in three violent bank robberies which take place in the same city at the same time.
Also at the moment,am about half-way through "Dead Clever" by somebody called Scarlett Thomas.This is described by' USA Today' as "_spooky and slightly far-fetched but very mary Shelly-ish in its expositions.It's sure to satisfy readers who prefer a more literary crime novel.Lily the main character is Nancy Drew and Miss Marple rolled into one".For me it is a rather odd mix,part cosy and part quite violent.At the moment the jury's out on it.
Oh yes,I've seen a book review in "The New York Times" (on the web of course) and have ordered it . It sounds rather good - "Reading the OED - One Man,One Year,21,730 Pages" by Ammon Shea. It seems that this chap has done just that,and this book tells of his journey from A to Zyxt !
Best wishes.
Hello Horus,
Regarding the David Downing titles,yes they are very good and I agree ,are somewhat similar to those of Alan Furst.
I haven't (yet) received any' friends' or 'interesting libraries' requests,who have zero books.I have however just spotted a 'librarything author' with not only zero books but zero anything! I have queried this on one of the talk threads,and have been told that because I own one of this man's books,well he will appear on your profile! This I find a pain.
Surely one can opt out,if you don't want someone's name on your profile page. Have you had a similar situation arise?
Have just returned home after visiting the annual 'Bodies in the Bookshop' event in Cambridge. From the 50 ish authors there to sign and chat,we spent some time with - R.J.Ellory,Mike Ripley,Andrew Taylor,Natasha Cooper,Ann Purser and David Roberts.It was quite an evening.
How is the magnificent Horus doing? Both my wife and daughter are constantly asking after him.
My reading at the moment - well I have just started Taylor's latest,'Bleeding Heart Square',a stand-alone.I did ask him if he was writing another in the 'Lydmouth' series,which I have found (as I may already have said) fantastic.He replied that he has a couple of other books to write first.He said that when he has finished those he will continue with the series.
Nice to hear from you again.
All the best.
Hi, Horus,

Really good to hear from you. I'm glad you were able to score some good, cheap bookcases.

That library in the photo is pretty darn close to my dream, but I would want the shelves to be glass encased (not sure how that would look, though) and the throw pillows would have to go:).

I went on a graphic novel and fantasy reading binge the last two weeks or so, but I have squeezed in a couple of mysteries of late. The first, "Le Crime" by Peter Steiner, was a little short on the physical violence I like, but it was a quite good character study of the protagonist, his family members and friends; over-all, I enjoyed it. Yesterday, I finished off the first book in a series I'd heard a lot about but hadn't read because I hadn't obtained a copy of the first book (one of those back-burner, low-key, used bookstore searches). However, Busted Flush Press finally re-printed "Walking the Perfect Square" by Reed Farrel Coleman, (winner of the Shamus, Barry and Anthony awards, and a two-time Edgar nominee), so I bought it and was hooked pretty much immediately. Coleman has a very fluid writing style and good, natural-flowing dialogue, so give him a look if you run across his books. I'm off now to read "A Carrion Death" so I can compare notes with Devenish.

Talk with you later,

Glad to hear about your purchase of the John Connolly books,and I look forward to hearing what you think of "Every Dead Thing" in particular,for on that book hangs the premise of the whole series.
I haven't read Ackroyd's "Newton"yet,I must try to get hold of a copy.
Last week my wife and I attended a signing and talk given by a chap called R.J.Ellory,who I had not previously come across.I have this-morning completed his latest novel which is one called "A Quiet Belief in Angels".I would describe it as a novel with crime in it rather than a crime novel.The author is British,but writes American novels,and as far as I can tell does it very well.As the 'blurb' says 'Augusta Falls,twelve-year-old Joseph vaughan hears of the brutal assult and murder of a young girl,the first in a series of killings that will blight the community over the next decade. Joseph and his friends are determined to protect Augusta Falls against the evil in their midst and form The Guardians. But the murderer evades them and they watch helplessly as one child after another is taken.' I must say that I thought it an excellent book and am going to get his others. by luck he has only written five up to yet,so not too bad.
Interesting to hear about the weather in your part of the world,glad it wasn't too bad for you. Very changeable here with days of rain then a couple of really nice sunny ones and back to rain.
Speak to you soon
Hello there,
Glad that you seem to have had a good time in South Carolina and that I encouraged you to spend some more money on books while you were there. Most of John Connolly's books are in the Charlie Parker series,the latest of which - 'The Reapers' - you have just read. Ideally you should try to read them in this order -' Every Dead Thing','Dark Hollow','The Killing Kind','The White Road','The Black Angel','The Unquiet' and 'The Reapers'. All great reads which could be described as either crime fiction or supernatural fiction.Or maybe Supernatural detection may be a better description,take your pick.
He has also produced three stand alone books. These are' Bad Men'(his poorest effort in my humble opinion),'The Book of Lost Things'(a rather interesting take on the fairy tale,and a real page-turner [see my Review if you want to know more]) and' Nocturnes' ,which is a volume of short stories,the majority of which are horrible and creepy in the best possible sense.
I was interested and amused to hear your school story and your take on the explosive issue in the book,thanks for that. Oh,yes and I thought the civil rights issue was handled well too.
Overall I find his books extremely well written,perhaps under-rated by critics and reading public alike,and most of them raise some valid contemporary issues. If you want me to go any further,let me know and I'll be pleased to. As is obvious I'm quite a fan. Which reminds me of a bit of dialogue in an episode of 'Doctor Who' between the Doctor and Charles Dickens. The Doctor (speaking of Dickens books) "I'm quite a fan you know ". Dickens replies "How can you be a device for creating a current of air by movement"
Speak to you soon.
Hello Horus:
Thanks for your replies. I found your comments about Les Carlyon's The Great War most interesting. Carlyon was my boss at one stage and I must say that he is a far, far better writer than a manager! But given that, he can write the socks off most Aussie authors. He's a man who loves history and horse-racing equally. The horse-racing side comes from his love of horse breeding and I guess someone who's fascinated by long lists of sires and dams would have a natural bent for dates. Australia was blooded as a nation (it was just 14 years old) by World War I and there would be very few older families who did not have relatives involved in it. Big news here at present is the finding just last week of a site near Fromelles in France where 170 Diggers were buried in a mass grave after a senseless onslaught in bright afternoon sunshine against German heavy machinegun nests. The British commander General Haig, one of those uncaring 'leaders' responsible for so much unnecessary bloodshed during the war, referred to it offhandedly as a 'minor skirmish', but Australia lost more men in those two hours of combat than its total losses in either Vietnam or Korea. The victims were buried by the Germans and the burial ground is the last of Australian WWI soldiers to be uncovered.
Coincidentally, Australia's last surviving Digger from WWI lives in Bendigo, about 25 minutes north of here.
On a different subject, I've just read a collection of articles by Berton Roueche, a US author I was not familiar with, though a quick Google shows how prolific he was. One of the articles was about Welch, West Virginia, also a town I was unfamiliar with, though again Google came to the rescue. (Welch, too, has historic links with WWI). A glance at a map shows it's some distance from your home, but it sounds like the type of place I'd like to spend an hour or two ... though no longer.
I've just realised that I've repeated myself with Carr's "The Hungry Goblin' and 'The Devil in Velvet',so forgive me for that.
I also wanted to tell you about John Connolly's new book 'The Reapers'. I don't know if you have come across him and his books. If not,let me know and I will give you a brief idea of them if you would like. Met him at a signing last week.
Speak to you soon.
Hello Horus,
and many thanks as always for your messages.I'm glad that you are enjoying reading John Dickson Carr (aka Carter Dickson) I have just read your review of 'Papa La -Bas' which was well said.Are you finding the crime/mystery/thrillers or the historical books best (or indeed both) I haven't managed to get hold of a copy of 'The Hungry Goblin' yet,it sounds worth finding. One that I don't think either of us has mentioned yet is 'The Devil in Velvet',which is both crime and historical,plus the fact that it weaves into the story time-travel too ! One of my favourites.
I see that you have put in a review also for 'Christine Falls' by John Banville writing as Benjamin Black.I have just this moment finished reading this and thought it was fantastic.His second book in the series 'The Silver Swan' I have also read with enjoyment,if enjoyment is indeed the right word for a rather depressing and sordid story.By the way,regarding -John Banville writing as Benjamin Black- I do wish authors wouldn't do this.I know that various reasons abound,including no doubt in this case,he wants to keep his crime writing separate from his other works,but it is still a pain-in-the-neck.
Hope you enjoy your stay in South Carolina,and hopefully I will hear from you when you get back.
All the best to you and your family.
Hey Horus,

I hope all is well with you?

Thanks for letting me know you liked Child 44; I actually still haven't finished reading it. The tension and sense of desperation/despair I was getting from the book 120 pages into the story caused me to set it down, and I haven't yet gone back to it (various upheavals at work and with my in-laws have been adding stress to my life and causing me to lose sleep, so I've been reading "lighter" fair than Child 44; I'll get back to it when things calm down a little).

I did have a bit of fun at the Los Angeles Times Festival of Books a few weeks ago where an aquaintance who's very into foreign-authored mysteries was expounding upon Child 44 as "the" mystery of the year and that it was out in America. I interrupted her conversation to say that I'd been reading it, but that she was mistaken because the book hadn't yet been released in America. She looked at me and said, "Oh, you must have an advance copy" and I said "yep." She then said she had the true first British edition and I said I had that too...signed. The look on her face was classic because she rarely gets trumped by anyone when it comes to book/author information and book collecting, so that was amusing in a friendly, book collecting rivalry sort of way.

I'll keep my eyes peeled for other good stuff and drop you a note if I see anything I think will interest you.

Take it easy and give Horus an ear scratch for me,

Hello Horus:
Glad you enjoyed the Bayeux book and apologies for not replying sooner. Thanks, too, for your comments about our new (or new-ish) Prime Minister. I note he made Time's latest list of influential people and he's given many Australians more reason to feel proud of their country recently.
Anzac Day has just passed here and in my (unpaid) capacity as a book reviewer for the local paper, I've been immersed yet again in more war histories, but it has been enjoyable.
One recent book I did consume with pleasure was Michael Pollan's Omnivore's Dilemma: hugely enjoyable. I note he has recently published a new volume which I'll look out for.
My thoughts about your wonderful country at this time of the year always turn to baseball and the (forlorn) hope that the New York Mets will have a good season.
Best wishes from Down Under. Don
Regarding John Dickson Carr,"The Hungry Goblin" is not one that I have managed to get hold of yet,but what with the Wilkie Collins connections it sounds one that I would like to read. They are not easy to find these days,apart from through Abe (at a price of course) I would estimate that I need perhaps 20-25 to complete.He does seem to have been a prolific and somewhat uneven writer.Among the best I think are "The Devil in Velvet" and "Castle Skull".
Hello Horus,
Just thought that I would drop you a note and check up how you are doing.
My Cambridge bookseller has today produced for me the two reference we have been talking about in past conversations - "They Died in Vain" and "100 Favorite Mysteries of the Century",both of which look at first viewing to be just what I wanted.
I am reading at the moment the new C.J.Sansom "Revelation". I am about half way through it at the moment,and it is just as good as his other books,and for me that means excellent. Three horrific murders so far,and with Matthew Shardlake in deep trouble again,it really is a roller-coaster of a read.
How are you getting on with LT Local and the extra items on the Stats page. Personally I find Local useful.Legacy of no interest,Talk I'm rather in two minds about,and Series incredibly useful.
Regards to you and your family (not forgetting Horus of course)
Thanks for the article about the Cathars. I will add it to my file about them.
Speak to you soon.
Hi Horus,
To respond to your last two notes. I also am playing about with Google,but with me ,it has appeared on A. Strange methinks. However I think it is a very good addition.
Thanks for the information on the two Crime Reference Books,I am deciding on the best way to order them at the moment before once more plunging into debt.
LT Local I am now finding quite useful,in particular with regard to author signings ect.
Best wishes
Hi Horus,
Glad that you liked the van de Wetering although I haven't yet read that particular book it again sounds a good one.They can be a little difficult to find over here because as you know,they are published in America and I can only obtain them from either the net or from a shop in Cambridge.
Two titles from your catalogue caught my eye recently and I have been meaning to ask you about them. Both are from your reference tag,and are "A Catalogue of Crime" by Jacques Barzun,and "They Died in Vain : Overlooked,Under-appreciated and Forgotten Mystery Novels". I am a serious collector of what I have tagged 'Crime Fiction Reference',and those two sound of great interest to me.I wonder if you can give me your opinion of how good/bad/useful or not,they are. Thanks.
Any thoughts on the newish feature on LT. Librarything Local. On the whole quite good I think,especially with that part which shows author signings in a given area.It has always seemed difficult to find that sort of information in the past without much searching.It needs a bit of fine-tuning however to make it really useful. When you get somewhere like New York for instance,the map is just a mass of dots which are so close together as to make it a waste of time.
All the best and speak to you again soon.
Hello Horus,

I just thought I would let you know some mildly annoying news regarding Jo Nesbo's latest book "Nemesis" (only available in the UK right now). According to a reviewer online, "Nemesis" is actually the second book in the series, taking place in between "The Redbreast" and "The Devil's Star." I think you wrote that you'd read "The Redbreast" but maybe you haven't yet read the latter book and would rather wait for "Nemesis" to hit our shores in a couple of months.

Going back a month or so, you mentioned Joseph Kanon's books. I do own several of them but haven't read them yet. A friend read "Los Alamos" several years ago and liked it and I've been buying the books on the strength of that recommendation, combined with storylines that seem to be something I would enjoy. I've recently been going through my library and tagging the books I actually recall reading to get a handle on just how many books I haven't read yet. I think I'll be lucky if I've read 10% of my library, the way things are going. I'm determined to read more of what I already own this year. Along that train of thought, I'm going to start on an advance copy of "Child 44" today (if the in-laws coming to visit leave me any time). It's a Stalin-era thriller/mystery that's getting a lot of positive hype and reviews. It just came out in the UK and I think it's an April release date over here, if my memory serves. Anyway, I know you like Akunin, so this may interest you.

Talk with you later,

Hello Horus,
Glad you liked 'The Secret of Lost Things',and was interested to hear your comments.Of course I didn't pick up about the lowness of the wage paid until you mentioned it.It just shows how one misses out on things when living in a different country.As you say with the Michael Innes books and the references to poetry in them,you may be a little lost too. Talking of poetry,I have recently acquired a useful volume entitled "The Columbia Granger's Index to Poetry" which lists the first and last lines of a fantastic number of poems.(In fact 79,000 ) A great addition to the collection.
I see by the way that we now have 278 books in common,which according to the (raw) shared list is the highest on your list.
I wonder if you have read any of the crime novels by Janwillem van de Wetering by the way,and if so what you think of them ? I quite enjoy the series,which include "The japanese Corpse" and "Outsider in Amsterdam". The whole series concerns two members of the Amsterdam police-force.
On the non-book front,several days ago we had quite a bit of excitement,in that the country experienced an Earthquake ! An earthquake in England-unheard of.
It took place in the middle of the night and what with the headboard of the bed crashing against the wall and the door opening by itself it was quite a thrilling 10 seconds.Only 5.2 on the Richter scale but nevertheless quite high enough for us.Thankfully we didn't disappear under a great mound of books at least.
Talk to you soon.
Thanks for your comment on my review of Walter Mosley's fine novel. I had the pleasure of reading it for two different groups and, as with most good novels, I enjoyed even more the second time. Hope you enjoy it also. I noticed that Boris Akunin is one of your favorite authors. I also enjoy his work, having read his first two detective novels and plan to read more.

Hello, Horus,

Just a quick note as I recover from what doctors term a "severe sinus infection," and what I term "my worst headache...ever!" Anyway, in case you didn't know, Boris Akunin's fifth book "Special Assignments" has just hit the bookshelves here in paperback form. I read it in a couple of sittings and it was quite good (two novellas, rather than one full story).

Talk with you later,

Whoops, I forgot Wignall's second novel, "Among the Dead," which does not appear to be hitman related; I haven't read it, probably because it's not about a hitman, and I'd simply forgotten about it, though I'm now going to go ahead and buy it based on reviews on Amazon UK.

Hello, Horus,

I had just opened the search funcion of LT in a new window to see what IJ Parker books I owned in preparation for responding to your previous message when up popped the "you have a new comment" message; the thing that interests me about it (other than the content, of course:) is that it was shaded pink and read that I have a "private comment posted by HorusE" rather than just the usual message "posted by HorusE." I looked around to see how one sends a private comment, with no luck, so I'd be interested if you could explain the process to me.

I'm glad bookdepository is still a good bargain for "The Devil's Star." I seem to recall it was about the cheapest for that book. I just received a hardcover from them yesterday of Swedish author (now deceased at an early age) Stieg Larsson's "The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo." The back of the book says "Crusading liberal jounalist and author Stieg Larsson died suddenly, shortly after delivering three novels to his Swedish publisher. Tragically, he did not live to see the phenomenon that his work was to become." The book is a handsome, large and hefty tome, and I'll let you know what I think when I'm done with it.

I haven't read any of the IJ Parker books, but it turns out I'm missing the 2nd and 3rd in the series, so I'll have to rectify that after I actually read the 1st book, "Rashomon Gate," since there's no point buying more if it turns out I really detest it. I'd been buying them because I liked the covers of the trade paper editions and, annoyingly, the 2nd book appears to have a cover that doesn't match the others in the series (I really hate that). I'm not sure when my mild fascination with things "Samurai" developed; possibly with the James Clavell book "Shogun" and the TV mini-series of the same name in the early 80's. If you have a chance and aren't averse to a little fantasy in your reading, pick-up Sean Russell's "Initiate Brother" and "Gatherer of Clouds." They're a great mixture of Chinese and Japanese martial arts, feudalism and romance.

That's a good friend, indeed, who gives you Barbara Cleverly books (in my opinion:). I own all the Joe Sandiland books in UK first editions (all signed, too, I think), except "The Last Kashmiri Rose," which will indicate my level of interest in, and enjoyment of, the series. One of these days I'm going to scrape together a few hundred dollars and buy a signed first/first of "The Last Kashmiri Rose" to complete my collection. The mother of one of my co-workers likes "period" archeological mysteries, so I recommended she try "The Tomb of Zeus" and "The Last Kashmiri Rose," though the latter doesn't involve archeology; the mother liked them so much she went back and bought all the other Cleverly novels and read them in about a week or so. It's always fun when you can get someone hooked on a new author/series. I note that you didn't say if you liked the "The Last Kashmiri Rose." I hope you did. If I could change one thing about the series, it would be to, maybe, make Sandilands a little more of dangerous character (he's a little too wimpy for my tastes, honestly), but I like the series a lot all the same.

That's all for now. Talk with you soon.


P.S. That Washington post review also reviewed "Who is Conrad Hirst?" by Kevin Wignall, which is up for the Edgar award for, I believe, best paperback novel. Kevin Wignall is one of my favorite authors and all his novels are about "hitmen."
Anyway, I just finished "Who is Conrad Hirst?" a few days ago and, wow, it had a powerful ending that really brought a tear to my eye, even though it used a rather stale plot device oft used in other mysteries; however, I completely didn't see it coming despite at least one clue, so kudos to Wignall for that, I say. If you want more info on him, go to He has a short story posted there that will give you a good sense of his writing if you want to read it before trying his novel(s).
I have just read the article about Joan Brady, 'Great Literature ? Depends Whodunit' from The New York Times,which you pointed out to me,and for which many thanks.I have printed it out and filed it. Yet another example of why LT is proving to be such a great site - I would never have known about the existence of this interesting piece if you hadn't brought it to my notice.
Glad that the book recommendations were useful. One that I'm reading at the moment and enjoying is called 'Talk to the Hand' by Lynne Truss. Basically it's about rudeness in daily life today and besides being very funny,it is so relevant and true, Every sentence brings a nod of agreement and a 'yes that has happened to me'. basic politeness seems to have disappeared altogether I think. A really good book anyway. She has also written one on the subject of punctuation as well as other stuff too.(of course you probably know about them already,in which case please let me know what you think.
Speak to you soon.
All the best.
Hi HorusE,
The Templers are indeed an interesting subject for study and I can thoroughly recommend the book by Piers Paul Read for a good insight . Jenks I have read,but not the one that you mention. I will have to get hold of a copy.
"The Yellow Cross" I haven't got round to reading yet,but I look forward to starting it.If you complete it before I do,perhaps you will let me know what you think about it. I assume that you have read "Montaillou-Cathars and Catholics in a French Village 1294-1324" by Emmanuel Le Roy Ladurie. If by any chance you haven't,then whatever you do you must get hold of it,it is wonderful.
Speaking to bookstothesky recently I mentioned a book called "The Secret of Lost Things" which he thought might interest you too.The main action takes place in an antiquarian bookshop in America. I did a review of it,giving it a 5* rating.I think that you would enjoy it.
Speak to you soon.
Hello Horus,
How goes it with you. I'm pleased that you enjoyed the Pullman (both film and book) although I wish that the film makers had resisted changing the title of the film.I haven't read Agent Zig-Zag myself,but my wife has and really enjoyed it.
I had an excellent selection of books gifted to me over Christmas including 'The Noel Coward Letters' and 'The Mitford Letters','The `The Templers' by Piers Paul Read,plus a couple of books about the life and works of Edward Gorey,who I think was a fantastic artist with a strange and macabre imagination.
The first book that I read this year however was Peter Ackroyd's 'The Fall of Troy' and I have to say that even if it was the first,it is still going to be one of my books of the year,it was great. Ackroyd is up there among the great modern writers and everything that he writes is different and so though provoking,Certainly Troy was about his most straightforward story,but none the worst for that.
I wish you and your family and of course the famous and magnificent Horus the cat a Very Happy New Year.
Forgot about your mention of "Agent Zigzag." That book's gotten really good reviews and I've looked at it in the store. Now that you've given it a thumbs up I think I'll snap it up. Thanks.

Hi, Horus,

How was your trip? Did you walk all 18 miles of books at The Strand?:) I hope you found some good bargains. I've never been there, but I'd love to go.

Thanks for your impressions of "Good Omens" and "The Golden Compass." I started, but didn't finish reading, both books maybe 10 years ago, give or take a couple of years. I will get back to "Good Omens" because I'm determined to finally start reading Gaiman, but I'm not sure when/if I'll go back to Pullman's book. I'm going to start on "American Gods" when I do get to Gaiman and then go to it's follow-up novel if I like "American Gods." We'll see where I go from there (maybe to the Sandman comics).

I just got back yesterday from my favorite "local" used bookstore, The Iliad in North Hollywood. I go there to get my hardcovers Brodarted and I usually find several books of interest, and this trip was no exception. I found "a collection of short fiction, essays and an interview with the award-winning author, Jack McDevitt" called "Outbound." McDevitt is one of my favorite SciFi authors because he usually writes, for lack of better terms, "archeological" mysteries set in outer space. However, what attracted me to the book especially is that it contains a set-in-the-future 60-page private eye story that I'm just itching to read, called "The Big Downtown."

I also found a copy of "Anarchaos" by Curt Clark, a pseudonym for mystery writer Donald Westlake aka Richard Stark. The Mel Gibson film "Payback" is based on a Richard Stark novel and Anarchaos seems to be a similar kind of thing (i.e., determined, violent character up against great odds), just set on an alien planet; I'm looking forward to a good dose of violence:)

I also ordered the latest books by Boris Akunin and Barbara Cleverly from a UK book dealer I trust to get me fine condition books. I know you like Akunin, but if you haven't read Cleverly, I highly recommend her Joe Sandilands series, set mostly in India during the 1920's. The first book is "The Last Kashmiri Rose" and it's available over here in trade paperback form (I think the first five books are available here now, with the sixth out soon, plus she just also began another archeological series set in the early 1900's that I haven't yet read; that first book is "The Tomb of Zeus").

I'm really glad you enjoyed "The Redbreast." I've been pushing it on anyone I know who reads, ad nauseum:) Now you "have" to read "The Devil's Star" to finish up the unsolved "Prince" storyline (you can get it for 10ish bucks in mass market paperback from bookdepository and possibly cheaper elsewhere).

That's all for now. Talk with you soon.

Happy New Year, HorusE and Horus the cat,

I hope all is well with the two of you. I just got off the website where I discovered they have chosen Jo Nesbo's "The Redbreast" as Mystery of the Year. I hope you've had time to read it and that you agree with that designation. Author Paul Di Filippo also does a nice review of the book as "Norwegian Noir" on the B&N Review page, though he mistakenly credits Nesbo's second book, "The Devil's Star" as the introduction of the Harry Hole character; just goes to show even authors/reviewers aren't immune to American publishers' weird, out-of-order publishing of foreign books. Another favorite author of mine, South African writer Deon Meyer, had his first three books published in reverse order over here and I just ran across a "new" (to me, anyway) author, Canadian Christoper G. Moore, who's 9th book has just been published here in hardcover ("The Risk of Infidelity Index"). His first book with the character is being published in a few months, then a couple of the middle books at intervals of several months each; really annoying for people like me who want to start a series at the beginning.

Anyway, I'm just starting on another new to me author, South African Richard Kunzmann, who has 2-3 books out, with the first being "Bloody Harvests." After that, I'll probably go into "The Overlook" by Michael Connelly to get my yearly Harry Bosch fix, though I think the series has lost a bit of it's edge (or maybe familiarity has bred contempt from me?).

Take it easy,

Hello Horus,

Many thanks for the Washington Post link. Since the reviewer and I are clearly on the same wavelength, you (and he) have inspired me to register with the newspaper so I can read the "Monday thriller" review each week. I've been eyeing Chillwater Cove at my local B&N but haven't yet ponied up the money to get it in hardcover; I may borrow a page from your book and check the library for a copy, then buy it when it comes out in paperback.

Regarding the suggested viewing setting, I set that up after one of LT's blog posts sometime in the last year. After searching around for about 10 minutes, I finally remembered/re-discovered how to set it up. Click on the "Your Library" tab, then make sure your library is on "List view." Looking to the right of "List view" you'll see the five lettered display styles (a,b,c,d,e), then a blue colored "edit" link. Click on the edit link and you'll get a page with the various display styles and, almost to the bottom of the page, there will be a "Suggested display style for visitors to your library" drop down box. Simply select the display style you want, hit the "save" button at the bottom of the page, and you should be all set.

Regarding books, I received the next Jo Nesbo book, The Devil's Star from Bookdepository a few days ago; it was in perfect condition (UK mass market paperback), but while the price via the site was cheaper than the price on the Bookdepository site, I forgot about Amazon's shipping charge ($3.99), so I actually outsmarted myself and ended up paying almost a dollar more than if I'd just gone through Bookdepository. Also, I didn't save any time on the delivery, since the book was sent from the UK rather than the advertised U.S. location. Live and learn, I guess:) Anyway, I'm 300 plus pages into the book and I'm really enjoying it. Mr. Nesbo has a writing style that appeals to me greatly.

I also finally bought the last two Bernard Cornwell Saxon books. I found the second book, The Pale Horseman, in hardcover in the bargain/remainder stacks at B&N for $6.98 and I've pre-ordered the trade paper edition of the third book that comes out in January or February. I'll keep an eye out for a remaindered copy of the third book and maybe do an exchange of the trade paper for it so I'll have a complete hardcover set, depending on whether I've read the trade paper before book 3 shows up in the bargain section (if it ever does).

Take it easy,

Hello HorusE,
How are things with you since we last made contact.
The Devenish Library continues to grow,despite efforts to weed out those volumes which are no longer felt of use. (All too few I fear)
I see that Philip Pullman feature in your Library and I have just completed reading the trilogy. Umm,interesting and very controversial at the moment,particularly with the film just coming out.I must say that I enjoyed the books as a straight fantasy tale, Less sure regarding the Religious (or anti-religious) under-strata, which seemed to come out as the tale progressed. What do you think ? Also interesting is the thing about it being seen as a older children's book in England and an adult one in America,what about that. I haven't seen the film yet (only just out here anyway) but it seems to have received mixed reviews.Generally Effects good but acting (apart from Kidman) bad.Well we shall have to see it and see what we think ourselves.
Have you come across any interesting books lately ? I'm always interested in new ideas you know.
Anyway if I don't speak to you before, may I wish you and your family,including Horus of course,a Happy Christmas and very best wishes for 2008.
Hello Horus,

Thanks for the last couple of messages. I hadn't registered the Lakeman/Lakewood thing since the author's so new to me, so no worries.

Thanks for the reminder that isn't the only game in town. I actually ordered the Lawton book as a test to see if a hardcover would arrive in decent condition from them; it did, but a follow-up order of a new title has disappointed me, so I think I'll stick to paperbacks from that source. Interestingly, I decided to order the next book by Nesbo a few days ago in paperback and, after searching the internet, found bookdepository was selling it "new" through Amazon at a significantly cheaper rate than through it's own website, so I'll be testing that out in the future to try and save some money.

Thanks for the review of "The Redbreast." I totally agree with the reviewer's Nordic name confusion, because at least twice I had to stop and check the character names to make sure I knew what was happening to whom in the story; it made me laugh that he had a similar problem. Anyway, I hope you enjoy the book and I'm glad you got it at such a discounted price. If you get the B&N Mastercard too, you can get another 5% off on in-store and purchases, on top of the membership, plus you get a $25.00 gift card after using the Mastercard for a purchase and paying it off:)

Have a Merry Christmas if we don't chat before then,

Hello again,

Couple of typos in that last message to you, the important one being that the Nesbo book is "The Redbreast," not "Readbreast," though I've no doubt you would have figured that out.

I finished the Lakeman book and it remained quite good all the way to the end; a very impressive debut, as the book's blurbs state. I may have to search out a hardcover copy in case he becomes well known.

That's all for now. I have to put my thinking cap on and come up with some good fantasy novels for devenish to read.

Take care,

Hi Horus,

I got "Second Violin" in hardcover from, which sells discounted UK books with--and here's the important part--free shipping to America. Given the current exchange rate, the book is roughly $25.00 and I just couldn't wait, since it seems to take forever for Lawton to show up over here. Second Violing was my first hardcover order from bookdepository and it arrived in pretty much "as new" condition, so no complaint from me.

Thanks for the reminder about the Saxon books. I've been meaning to buy those and they'd slipped my mind.

I'm just finishing up a mass market, first novel mystery called "The Shadow Catchers" by Thomas Lakeman. I'm really quite impressed with it so, unless the last 50 pages really go downhill (I'll let you know), I suggest checking it out at your library or local B&N. Up next is "The Readbreast" by Jo Nesbo. This book has won all sorts of acclaim in Norway and I'd had it saved on bookdepository for a couple of months in paperback. Then, B&N sent me a 25% off coupon and I stumbled upon the book in hardcover over here at 20% off, so I went for the immediate gratification and bought it today for only a couple of dollars more than the paperback cost from bookdepository.

Gotta go finish "The Shadow Catchers" then get some shuteye.

Talk with you soon,

Thanks for adding me to your 'interesting libraries' list. One of the great joys of Library Thing, I believe, is adding a book and watching as it slowly spreads among the reading community. I think the Bayeux book is a fascinating, well-told story and I just hope it gets the readership it deserves. I'll be interested to see/read what you think of it.
Well, we Aussies haven't produced a Bruce Catton yet, but we're working on it. Nor have we published any great books on World War II - or Vietnam, for that matter. But Gallipoli is a rich vein to be tapped, because it has that element that seems uniquely beguiling to the Australian psyche - defeat. Losses, disasters, almost winning, finishing second, striving but just failing ... all are hugely celebrated by Australians and their best writers. There's a book there somewhere.
Good to hear from you and to read your comments.I do read Catherine Aird and quite enjoy her books,although I haven't read anything just lately,so I'll have to look out for the one you mention,thanks.I will also keep my eye open for the Oliver Sacks,as I've got three of his,and I do find him an excellent and thought provoking writer.I liked in particular "The Man Who Mistook his Wife for a Hat". Some very interesting stuff there as well as a strong contender for 'Strangest Book Title' award I would think. "Musicophillia" sounds as though it will be worth reading as well.As I've no doubt said before,LT is proving to be worth its weight in gold,if only for the way members recommend books for each other. So much better than Amazon or indeed booksellers do,because after all they have an axe to grind,don't they.
One thing I'm beginning to notice too,and that is that in the 'Comments',loads of members seem to be forming fairly tightly knit groups.What I mean is that in my case I correspond on a regular basis with you,(8 times),Bookstothesky,(9 times)Nickhoonaloon,(5 times) Cathyskye (4) ect ect. Quite a few others 2-4 times.
But you look at other folk at random and you find a completely different circle.It is also true that loads of members,even those with fairly high book totals and who have been members for some time,have no comments posted.(or at least if they have they are private ones) It would be interesting,if one had the time,to do a study of this.
Anyway enough of this waffle for now.
All the best
Hello Horus,

I like your cat's color scheme; that's a beautiful orange shade on his/her face.

Thanks for the Curious George information (and Lindbergh, too). I did the Road to Hana tour maybe 7 years ago but I don't recall us stopping at a churchyard or any mention of the two of them being buried on Maui; your tour guide was obviously superior to mine:) Have they paved the entire Road, yet? A very large portion of it was bumpy dirt road when I went on it.

I've managed to track down a few more Reginald Hill books but I'm still missing the second Dalziel & Pascoe book, so I'm waiting to get that before proceeding with the series (I like to read 'em in order). I'm really going to have to track down the Val McDermid books, too, since so many people are recommending her.

Take it easy,

Thanks for your comment on a Month at the Front. If you're interested in Gallipoli, there are a handful of wonderful books written on it by Aussies, the best of which is The Great War, by Les Carlyon. Hope you enjoyed your stay Down Under as much as I did spending a few years working in NYC.
Hi HorusE,
I was interested to hear about your travels book-wise. It is good to return with spoils from your travels I always think. You mention that you found a Peter Ackroyd's book about Dickens,which is an excellent,albeit hefty read.I think Ackroyd is a fantastic writer,both with his non-fiction (he has just written one about the river Thames) and his fiction too. Many of these are unlike any other books about today,and if you come across any I urge you to give them a go. For instance 'Chatterton','English Music','Dan Leno and the Limehouse Golem', and if you really want a way-out,but at the same time a mind-boggling read,'The Plato Papers'.
We were talking about Stephen King earlier,and you said that you were reading a crime story of his (which I hadn't come across) we yesterday I saw it in a branch of Waterstones."Ah ah" said I,"I'll get that". However when I came to look at it in detail I saw that it was an -Waterstones exclusive edition- and priced at £25. I will hold on a bit I think and see if it appears anywhere at less.
On the CD front I thought long and hard,and finally decided to add them,as it is as good a way as any of keeping track of them. They were somewhat of a pain to enter manually as you say,but it's done now so thats behind me.
As you might have seen,various changes to the site have been made since we last spoke,and I wonder what you make of them. Personally I find most of them,what shall I say cosmetic.They are nice to have a little play with for a while,but then I find I don't really use them much after that. What I'm still awaiting is this blessed 'wishlist' feature,which is still a mirage it seems to me.
Hello again,
What great destinations for your holidays,I wonder what they are like for bookshops.
Ah,Stephen King. Well firstly I haven't yet bought or read the one that you mention,but thanks to your good review I will have to give it a go. Not all of his books are Horror by the way. In addition to the 'Dark Tower' series which are fantasy,several could be described as thrillers .I would cite 'Misery' and 'Dolores Claiborne' as good examples. Another really good one of his is 'The Girl Who Loved Tom Gordon', I don't know exactly how to describe this,contemporary fairy -tale perhaps.(don't be put off by that however) If as you say your son has most of them already, do see if you can get hold of them and give them a go.
Regarding the new forms and tags being brought forward, as yet I have not had much of a chance to investigate them,so I can't really give an opinion just yet.I'm busily entering my 'Spoken Word' CD's which is taking up a bit of time. I have had a bit of soul-searching over this.( Read my comments on my Profile page.)but have decided to go ahead and do it.
Speak to you soon when you get back.
All the best
I hate to say this, David, but I can't remember exactly what gave away the villain to me, and I don't have my copy of the book at hand to check. Either it's these 60-hour weeks at work tied to a computer or early onset OldTimer's! I *am* an Equal Opportunity Decapitator, but I do remember that that's not what made the light bulb go off over my head.

Now I feel like calling the friend who has the book to tell her to bring it back....
Philippa Gregory has written a number of books, but the only ones of hers I've read are on Tudor times and people. I think she is as good in her field of fiction as Alison Weir is in her field of non-fiction, and they seem to agree (or borrow from each other) on quite a bit, as far as intentions and characterizations go. I've read The Other Boleyn Girl (the best one, I think), The Boleyn Inheritance, The Queen's Fool, The Virgin's Lover. Innocent Traitor, and have just gotten The Constant Princess on Henry the Eighth's first wife, Katherine of Aragon. All of them are wonderful. I got on this Tudor craze this spring, and will probably get into Gregory's other books later on. Martha Huntley
So glad you liked the Sansom books. I can hardly wait for the next one to come out. I just got Philippa Gregory's The Constant Princess on audio book to listen to while I wait. Martha Huntley
Thanks for accepting 'friends' status. As to what it is for,at the moment very little I suspect. In my case though, it indicates not only an Interesting Library but also someone who,book-wise at least,seems to think along the same lines as myself. (if that makes any sense at all) I think that Tim intends in the future to add as yet unspecified things to 'friends' pages. Watch this space.
Regarding the "Britannica". I was in a branch library in Town recently and saw this set,which was fairly up-to-date and in good condition for sale at not too high a price. Although I was rather horrified at the amount of space they needed I thought, oh what the heck,and took them away. I've only just finished shelving them and they look very well even though they take up about 1.50 metres of shelf space.
Anyway all the best to you,your family,and of course Horus.
Good to hear from you again,
Yes Perez-Reverte's book relating to Saville is the perfect one to read on a visit there.On a holiday we had a few years ago,which was partly a Sherlock Holmes pilgrimage,we visited the Reichenbach Falls,near Interlaken,and sitting by the,and I quote "tremendous abyss,from which the spray rolls up like the smoke from a burning house.The shaft into which the river hurls itself is an immense chasm,lined by glistening,coal-black rock,and narrowing into a creaming,boiling pit of incalculable depth,which brims over and shoots the stream onward over its jagged lip." (from The Final Problem) To read those words when you are actually there is a fantastic experience. That was I think the best one for me,but there have been many more which I could bore you with.
Jasper Fforde is great.So clever,it is easy to miss a lot of the jokes along the way.I have to say the early ones were the better ones in my opinion.
Hay-on-Wye is a place I have never quite dared to go to-just too much of a temptation I think.I do however rather envy you for having been there.
Speak to you soon
Hello HorusE
Good to hear from you.
Regarding the Michael Innes books,when I was getting them together I had the heck of a job to complete the collection. The last few were nearly impossible as those were the days prior to ABE or the like. Quite a few are the original Victor Gollancz editions,some firsts. These are in the yellow dust jackets with 'First cheap edition 3/6 ' on the fronts.Mostly dated around 1946. Now of course a lot have been re-issued and are quite easy to get hold of,in England at least.
Interesting to hear about the tour along the Maine coast,I envy you that I must say. I've just returned home after a short break in Whitby (of Dracula fame) and always try to read a book relating to the place visited. Title pretty obvious this time. Not much good for book shops though.
Speak to you soon.
I see that you have added me to your list of 'Interesting Libraries' for which I thank you,and am glad that you think that my collection warrants it.I also see that we share 183 books. Lovely cat heading your profile page by the way.
Best wishes
Thanks for your comment on my review of the Savage Garden. That was an excellent book. The Magus has always been one of my favorites. I read it initially thirty years ago but when I learned that he had changed the ending I had to reread the old one side by side with the new one. I prefer the old one. I even have a VHS tape of the film with Michael Caine and Candice Bergen. The film is not quite as good. In a vaguely similar vein is The Lying Tongue by Andrew Wilson. That one reminds me of The Talented Mr. Ripley which is logical since Wilson is an expert on Patricia Highsmith. Happy reading.
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