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Member: Robertgreaves

CollectionsYour library (1,258), ebooks and online books (187), Currently reading (4), To read (44), Read but unowned (16), All collections (1,275)

Reviews642 reviews

Tagscontemporary (915), novel (648), british author (330), American author (281), detective fiction (251), ebook (185), British author (130), translation (115), history (98), 19th century (84) — see all tags

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About meI am English, living in Jakarta where I work as an editor/English language consultant/translator/EFL teacher. I read a lot. A lot. At a pinch anything will do.

Groups18th Century British Literature, 50 Book Challenge, 75 Books Challenge for 2009, Ancient Egypt, Ancient History, Asian Fiction & Non-Fiction, Biblical History, British & Irish Crime Fiction, Christianity, Combiners!show all groups

Favorite authorsJane Austen, Lindsey Davis, Edward Gibbon, C. S. Lewis, Ellis Peters, Barbara Pym, Mary Renault, Alexander McCall Smith (Shared favorites)


Real nameRobert W. M. Greaves


Account typepublic, lifetime

URLs /profile/Robertgreaves (profile)
/catalog/Robertgreaves (library)

Member sinceApr 30, 2006

Currently readingAkar pule by Oka Rusmini
The Sirian Experiments: the Report by Ambien II, of the Five by Doris May Lessing
The Science-Fantasy Megapack: 25 Classic Tales from Fantasy Adventures by E. C. Tubb
Inferno: (Robert Langdon Book 4) by Dan Brown

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Hi There

I'm compiling a list of birthdays of our group members. If you haven't done so already, would you mind stopping by this thread and posting yours.

The Sense and Sensibility group read starts on the fifteenth, but I think it continues until the end of February to finish reading the book. Your flight home is a long one, isn't it?

I got to see the photos from my Dad's trip to New Zealand and it was lovely. He said, If I had known it was only 1500 miles to Antarctica, I would have gone there while I was in the neighborhood. I had to laugh at 1500 miles away being in the neighborhood!
Hi, Robert!
I left a link to The Master and Margarita group read on your Books Off the Shelf thread. Is this your main thread these days? I was thinking that it is. The Jane Austen link is in my thread, left by Stasia. I can post it to your thread if you like. Happy New Year!
Sorry, Robert! I read your reply to me with great interest and immediately checked out the site you gave me, and then forgot to thank you. A belated THANKS! Bonnie
Robert, I keep thinking I want to go somewhere to teach English. Are you interested in talking about your experiences, especially how you got into it? I would love to hear more.
It's all good as long as we are still reading; Right?
Thanx for your prompt response Robert.
You take care and I will try to keep up with your group read and see how it goes.
Take care.
Mark and I have been discussing the possibility of another group read in November and want your input. We have narrowed it down to two books at this point. "The People of the Book" by Geraldine Brooks and "The Thirteenth Tale" by Diane Setterfield. So chat it up with friends or us and let us know if you are up for it and what you think. Probably the same plan as with "Pillars of the Earth" which seemed to work out perfectly for almost all of us.
Think it over and give one of us a shout.
hugs and looking forward to hearing from you,
Thank you for your kind words!
Hi, Robert!
Thanks so much for the friends invitation! I especially love keeping up with what you are reading and reading your wonderful reviews!

By the way, my daughter was looking at my copy of Last and First Men, and she suggested that I not read it as a novel but more like a book on philosophy or maybe evolutionary predictions. Wow, what a difference that made in my reading of it. So the book is going much better now. :)

Hope you are having a great weekend and thanks again!
Ah yes. I can relate to very large "to be read" piles. I think mine's already stacked up to the "I could read until I die and I will still not get through all these" level. Good luck!
thanks for the info about the monk!
Sorry, just read your comment now, two months late, haha.
Yep, I'm just another bookworms saddened with the loss of QB bookstores. Yes they still have one in Kemang, but not enough. I hope Indonesia will have more stores specialized in selling foreign books with a nice atmosphere, collection and price just like QB. Cheers, Silvana
Thanks for the link to the Roman History Books site. It looks like a great site, with tons of information on it!
Thanks so much for your suggestions, Robert. I've added all but Sutcliff's Eagle of the Ninth, which will go in a future section for YA and children's books. I especially appreciate you tipping me off to the University of Omaha site on Alexander the Great, which will undoubtedly result in more additions to
Robert, I do have a 2008 challenge thread. Despite the fact that I am getting a pretty slow start, I am aiming high, so it is called Susan's 100 books. It's currently on the second page of the board, but I am hoping to have something to add later today.
Just a quick reply to your query regarding 'interesting libraries'.Besides indicating the fact that you find someone else's library (er) interesting, if you look to the top of your profile page,you will see NEW- Connection News- If you click that,it will bring up any newly entered books by anyone that you have included under either 'friends' or indeed 'interesting libraries',as well as the 50 closest library collections to your own. It's just another thing to play with really, but in addition I personally find it quite useful for seeing what people with similar tastes to me are buying. Hope that helps.
Thanks for putting me on your 'Interesting library' list. As you will see you already feature on mine. We have exchanged messages about Steven Saylor a little time ago. Recently I went to a book-signing of his latest 'Roma' , in Cambridge. Ancient Rome,but not his detective series.I haven't got round to reading it yet however. I also notice that you have been having some comments along the line about Michael Innes who is one of my favorite authors.
I just reread paradise lost and had the same experience.It left more questions then the first time. I then purchased the clift notes and now understand the book on some level. If you care to discuss it get in touch. Ken
Hi. I saw that you are one of the very few who also has Jeremy Allen's Jakarta Jive, and you are in Jakarta! I was born there, but my family moved to southern California in 1990 so we missed the whole krismon & reformasi period. But I'm always trying to read books on contemporary Jakarta, partly nostalgia and partly to keep some sense of connection to my hometown. Best wishes to you, I hope you like it there! I sure miss it =)
Yes, I have huge interest in Indonesia, especially Jakarta. I used to live and work there and have the fondest memory of that crazy city. Now living in Canada but still missing it to bits. I can relate to the story in Jakarta Jive too, because although I'm an Indonesian, but I have lots of bule friends back then. The pre-1998 years seems so romantic right now. I left home that same year.
Hey, where are all these other word buffs? Probably too busy doing crosswords, I guess!

Richard (vallis-salutis)
Hi Robert,

Yes, so far we are the only ones. That's a bit curious in itself. It is not as if it is a rare title. I expect that more word sleuths will be joining the club soon.

Richard (vallis-salutis)
Thanks all the same for your note, Robert. Happy reading!
I have an idea that I've seen somewhere about another non-Roman novel from Steven Saylor.When I find the details I'll send them on to you.
I see from elsewhere in your comments list (from haillib)some feedback about Michael Innes and van Gulik.In the case of the latter, The University of Chicago Press produce a nice little series of Judge Dee titles. Michael Innes is as haillib rightly says,mostly out of print. However I think you will find several of his better known titles re-issued under the 'House of Stratus' imprint. I don't know of course how easy it is for you to obtain these publishers.How are you off for book-shops ? Pretty well I should think.
Can I just throw another name at you,which you may of course already be familiar with-Edmund Crispin-I do find him a very enjoyable read on the Crime front.
I got The Man in the Ice years ago, after I had seen the original Horizon programme about him. I've followed the story on and off ever since.
I must admit to a feeling of some trepidation before reading 'Honour the Dead',as I have been used to,and much enjoyed the Roma Sub Rosa series. However having completed it,I found it a terrific read and look forward to more in this period of time. Am luck enough to have several signed copies of Steven Saylor's books as he has visited a book shop in Cambridge,which is not too far away from us in Northampton.As you say it is odd that only two of us have this book
There was also a Rivals of Sherlock Holmes tv series made in the early 70s. It was largely responsible for my interest in early detective fiction.
I think I have all of the Hugh Greene collections, but as I've only just begun to catalogue my books I may be in for some surprises. At the moment, I appear to have a lot of books that no one has, although I expect that will change as this site takes off.
I see that a third person has added 'From London Far'.

The Unfolding of Language has as a subtitle: An Evolutionary Tour of Mankind's Greatest Invention. He tries to explain how languages change and why these changes occur. Since our library's copy still isn't in and I haven't actually seen the book for a couple of months the details are a bit vague. However has several, generally favorable, reviews which taken together give a good overview of the book.
Since "Unfolding" wasn't in, I checked out a book called Empires of the Word: A Language History of the World. I've barely started it though and don't yet know what I think about Ostler's book.

Sounds like you were right to be dubious of Hannibal. I once read a book which put me off ever reading another by that author because the geography and climate of the area where I was raised was totally WRONG. Too bad, because the basic plot was pretty good.
I've found that most people either really like the original Star Wars Trilogy or they don't see what all the fuss is about...

How is your book on Hannibal? Good, bad, why are we reading this? Most of what I remember about him is from high school reading and definitely from the Roman point of view.

Have you come across a book called The Unfolding of Language by Guy Deutscher? We read this a while back and have requested it again from our local library as my husband wants to take another look. I found his ideas interesting. Though not linguists, we are interested in the development of languages (especially English, but in general as well).
The books you mentioned sound interesting. I haven't read anything this past week that really stands out in my mind except a book I picked up while adding our mythology books. We had unplugged our electronics (we don't trust the surge suppressers if the electrical strom is directly overhead!) and I picked up Star Wars: The Magic of Myth.I soon realized that I had never actually read the text except for a few bits and pieces. Next time I see the movies I'll be looking for some ideas that I had not conciously been aware of before.

The recent fiction that stands out in my mind was from a couple of weeks ago, also myth related. I was previewing some books that the teachers were considering for the summer reading list for the ( to 12 year old children and two were different takes on the princess working as a goose girl. One was based on The Goose Girl fairy tale and the other (loosely) on The Twelve Brothers.Although they had the same title , they were very very different books and are going to be used to point out that similar ideas can produce very different stories.

Above read ( as 9. My computer is dying and doing wierd things in its death throes. weird? Like not letting me correct typos. I'll be glad when the new one appears!
I had a similar experience a number of years ago. I was reading in bed and distinctly felt the bed move up and then back down and heard some dishes clattering in the cabinets (the kitchen being directly under the bedroom). Found out the next day that we had had about a 3.1 tremor. My husband was so involved playing his piano that he was totally unaware of anything happening.
Our biggest problems here with Mother Nature are severe thunderstorms in the summer and icestorms in the winter.
Are you reading anything particularly interesting at the moment?
Hurricane season is always of interest here although we are at about the farthest distance one can get from the coast (about 5 hours by car on major highways) and still be in South Carolina. A really strong hurricane that makes landfall in Georgia or South Carolina almost always gives us very heavy rain and sometimes enough wind to make problems. Occasionally even tornados. The most serious one for us was Hugo which was a number of years ago. Last years biggie (Katrina) caused major power outages in Memphis, Tennessee where my uncle lives and some flooding in Nashville, TN ( my father and nieces). Locally, a number of Louisiana families made homeless by Katrina came to our area and some are still here and are probably permanent additions.
I asked about the quake because on my very small map it was really hard to tell how far away you are. My son in California has had dishes rattling and cracks in his apartment wall from ones that were actually 200 or more miles away.
Were you directly affected by the quake? I know indirect effects are almost certain but the news stories I've read concentratrate almost completely on the city and villages at Ground Zero.
Sounds like you have a fair chance of finding newer books in a nearby store. I suppose the older ones are a bit problematic.
Asked the question because our local independent bookstore closed a few months ago due to the owners death. Now the nearest brick and mortar store is at least half an hour away in a town that we don't visit more than once a month. There is also a used paperback store in that town but they have very little nonfiction. So the fall back is online, mostly Amazon. However the local public library system is pretty good for a smallish community. If we really want to consult nonfiction or a journal, there is the Clemson University library but we would have to get a card in order to check books out, which they tend to make a hassle. However, one can sit and read all day!
Our copies of both Keating and van Gulik are rather ols and I don't know if any of them are currently in print. I suggested them because my husband really likes both authors and often rereads one of their books. I also enjoyed them but am less likely to read them over and over. I like van Gulik best of the two. Do you have a good English language bookstore locally?
Reading tastes do change with time. For a while I wasn't reading a lot of mysteries but have recently gone back to them. Of course I'm still reading a lot of other things!
Have you tried the mysteries by van Gulik (Judge Dee) or Keating (Inspector Ghote). The first Judge Dee was based on a character from Chinese literature and the H. R. F. Keating books take place in India.
Thanks for the tip on Davis. I do occasionally run into a series that is better read in order, at least the first time. My local library system does not have the first one although they do list the second one in their catalog. Guess I'll have to keep an eye out for it. Too bad my son's copy is in California!
I notice you also read some science fiction. Is that a favorite genre or an 'it'll do when there's nothing else' category?
May I recommend Detective Stories From the Strand selected by Jack Adrian. It's a while since I read it but I'm pretty sure there were a few good stories in it. And I've just finished Mr. Timothy by Louis Bayard. 'Mr. Timothy' is Tiny Tim Cratchit from Dickens' A Christmas Carol all grown up and the story is a Victorian mystery/crime yarn. Despite a few Americanism I liked it a lot. Good period detail.
Yes, I picked up my copy of Rivals of Sherlock Holmes in a charity shop recently. Haven't read it yet - just getting into Victorian crime/mystery books. Is it good?
I wouldn't have guessed Hammond's history was so unusual. I've haven't read it yet. I wasn't wholly satisfied with either Burn or Robinson, so I've felt a gap there and I am hoping that Hammond will fill it.
We do wish they had been able to keep the original Hugh for more episodes of Cadfael. Changing actors in midstream is a bit disconcerting.
I noticed that you have several books by Lindsey Davis. Our son was raving about her books on his last visit to us. Maybe I should make my next mystery the unread copy of 'Venus in Copper' sitting on our shelves...
I think nearly all of the Michael Innes we have came from second-hand book stores, especially the trading ones. Our newest edition is about 15 years old. Don't know if any publisher is currently reprinting any of them.
Most of our Ellis Peters books are the Cadfael books. My husband loves these but doesn't like the other books by her at all. While I will read the other books I will reread the ones in the Cadfael series. We even have one of the video sets (Derek Jacobi as Cadfael) and find they can be repeated with enjoyment.
Some years ago I read a number of Michael Innes' books including the one we share. Now you would be more likely to find one of us with a book by Ellis Peters.
Even more years ago we spent a year in Bahrain [Persian/Arabian Gulf] so we have also experienced living outside our own country for a while.
Have fun here at LibraryThing!
Hi, I had my early education in Malaysia, learning Bahasa Malaysia, and have maintained my interest and proficiency in both Bahasa Malaysia and Bahasa Indonesia since (I now live in Western Australia). That's one of the reasons I have the Learner's Dictionary of Today's Indonesian. The other reason is that I love dictionaries, and like to collect them. Even for languages I don't speak or read.
Hi! I had to buy a copy when I kept hearing wonderful quotations from a speaker at a diocesan conference and struggled to write them down and remember them. One of these days I'll sit down and savor the whole thing.
I'm afraid there isn't a very good reason. As I recall, a number of years ago I bought the Modern Library set (large, hardcover--they make a good display copy), but when I sat down to read (and no, I haven't yet finished!) I realized I wanted a handier volume that I could write in and use as reference--hence the Penguin paperbacks. Never got rid of the Modern Library set, though it's crossed my mind to do so.
Yes, that's odd. (Nice to meet you!) Also interesting: I have a 3-volume Modern Library hardcover set of Gibbon, and apparently exactly 144 people own each volume of that set (as well as vol. 1 of the Penguin set). I'm sure there are tons of other quirks like this involving series.
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