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Karl Blossfeldt, 1865-1932 by Hans-Christian Adam

Valley of the Dolls by Jacqueline Susann

The Rule of Four by Ian Caldwell

Rossignol by Benjamin Lacombe

Men and Cartoons by Jonathan Lethem

The Track of Sand (Inspector Montalbano 12) by Andrea Camilleri

The Naked Chef Takes Off by Jamie Oliver

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Member: Smiler69

CollectionsYour library (2,274), Wishlist (1,233), To read (1,446), Currently reading (9), Picked for Me 2014 (17), TRRS Pile (67), Read (1,124), Read in 2014 (214), Read but unowned (503), Audiobooks (1,074), eBooks (201), Children's & YA (277), Library Books (16), Folio Society (166), Slightly Foxed (33), Library of America (5), Virago Modern Classics (24), La Pléiade (6), Everyman's Library (11), Limited Editions (9), Visual Arts (158), Poetry (35), Favorites (147), To Give/Trade/Sell (36), Given Away/Sold (42), Reference (11), Cookbooks (32), To Reread (56), Unfinished (49), Read in 2013 (165), Read in 2012 (188), Read in 2011 (287), Read in 2010 (55), All collections (4,061)

Reviews627 reviews

TagsFiction (2,115), 20th Century (1,406), Audiobook (1,263), Library Book (1,125), English Literature (799), Literary Fiction (710), 21st Century (620), Guardian 1000 (575), Purchased from (550), 1001 Books (548) — see all tags

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Recommendations51 recommendations

About meOnce upon a time, seemingly a lifetime ago, I was a harried executive art director working in publishing. It was a good life, filled with excitement, adventures and plenty of travel, but it left no time for much reading or any hobbies of any kind. Then, though I'm still a relatively young woman, health problems intervened, and I'm now on indefinite leave from work, which leaves me time (though there's never enough of it somehow) to occupy myself with all my favourite activities; reading, taking art classes in drawing and painting, and generally acting like a woman of leisure. I now have three pets, Coco; the cutest toy poodle mix that ever was, who takes me outside every day for much-needed walks, and my cats Mimi and Ezra. It all sounds rather ideal, but of course, nothing is ever quite as simple as it seems. I have two now much-neglected blogs, one of which is dedicated to my artwork,, though admittedly, it wants some refreshing, as does my other blog, which covers just about every topic under the sun.

My Threads:
75 Books Challenge for 2014

Currently reading, listening to, and occasionally browsing through:


My rating system:
★ - hated it (may or may not have finished it)
★★ - it was just ok
★★★ - enjoyed it (good)
★★★★ - loved it! (very good)
★★★★½ - loved it—must read again! (excellent)
★★★★★ - all-time favourite (blew me away—will read again, and again... and again!)

Favourites of 2014 so far: (★★★★½ and up)
The Garden of Evening Mists by Tan Twan Eng ★★★★★ (review)
Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë
Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen - reread tutored read
Rogue Male by Geoffrey Household (review)
The New York Stories of Edith Wharton by Edith Wharton
Lady Susan by Jane Austen (review)
Love and Freindship (sic) by Jane Austen (review)
All the Pretty Horses by Cormac McCarthy - reread (review)
Zealot: The Life and Times of Jesus of Nazareth by Reza Aslan (review)
Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen (tutored read)
Restoration by Rose Tremain ★★★★★ (review)
The Quick by Lauren Owen (ARC) ★★★★★ (review)
The One and Only Ivan by Katherine Applegate (review)
Miss Buncle's Book by D. E. Stevenson (review)
Dissolution by C. J. Samson (review)
The Unstrung Harp: Or, Mr Earbrass Writes a Novel by Edward Gorey ★★★★★
Le Petit Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry ★★★★★
Treehorn Times Three by Florence Parry Heide & Edward Gorey
Merivel by Rose Tremain
Harry Potter and The Philosopher's Stone by J. K. Rowling (reread)
The Bird King: An Artist's Notebook by Shaun Tan
Aya by Marguerite Abouet, illustrated by Clément Oubrerie
A Café on the Nile by Bartle Bull
Amsterdam by Ian McEwan
The Waiting Game by Bernice Reubens

Favourites of 2013:
(see for comments)
Gillespie and I by Jane Harris
Three Singles to Adventure by Gerald Durrell
A Storm of Swords by George R. R. Martin
The Power of One by Bryce Courtenay
84, Charing Cross Road by Helene Hanff
The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood (3rd reread)
Elizabeth and Her German Garden by Elizabeth von Arnim
Tales of the City by Armistead Maupin
Good Behaviour by Molly Keane
Travels with Herodotus by Ryszard Kapuściński
Middlemarch by George Eliot
The Rubáiyát of Omar Khayyám by Edward FitzGerald
Eugene Onegin: A Novel in Verse by Alexander Pushkin
Le fantôme de l'Opéra by Gaston Leroux
Black Mischief by Evelyn Waugh
The Tempest by William Shakespeare
Jumping the Queue by Mary Wesley
Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë (reread for Coursera)
The Potato Factory by Bryce Courtenay
Three Men in a Boat by Jerome K. Jerome (reread)
Hamlet by William Shakespeare
The Testament of Mary by Colm Tóibin
Les Liaisons Dangereuses by Pierre Choderlos de Laclos
Confusion: The Private Papers of Privy Councillor R. von D. by Stefan Zweig
Lonesome Dove by Larry McMurtry
Harvest by Jim Crace
Othello by William Shakespeare
Music & Silence by Rose Tremain
Le Comte de Monte-Cristo by Alexandre Dumas père
Lord of the Flies William Golding
Fathers and Sons by Ivan Turgeniev
An Officer and a Spy by Robert Harris
Dragonwick by Anya Seton
The Old Man and the Sea by Ernest Hemingway (reread)
An Elephant in the Garden by Michael Morpurgo
The Old Maid by Edith Wharton
The Man of Property by John Galsworthy
A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini
Snow Falling on Cedars by David Guterson
Morality Play by Barry Unsworth
False Dawn by Edith Wharton

Favourites of 2012 (4.5 stars and up)
On Canaan's Side by Sebastian Barry (review)
Brazzaville Beach by William Boyd (review)
L'Assommoir by Émile Zola (review)
Études de Femmes by Honoré de Balzac (review)
Sea of Poppies by Amitav Ghosh (review)
The Woman in White by Wilkie Collins (review)
A Rage in Harlem by Chester Himes (review)
Troubles by J. G. Farrell (review)
Letter from an Unknown Woman by Stefan Zweig (review)
Fear by Stefan Zweig (review)
Twenty-Four Hours in the Life of a Woman Stefan Zweig (review)
My Letter to the World and Other Poems by Emily Dickinson, Illustrated by Isabelle Arsenault (review)
Stettin Station by David Downing (review)
A Severed Head by Iris Murdoch (review)
River of Smoke by Amitav Ghosh (review)
Any Human Heart by William Boyd (review)
Being There by Jerzy Kosinski (review)
Angel by Elizabeth Taylor (review)
Eugénie Grandet by Honoré de Balzac (review)
Man with a Blue Scarf: On Sitting for a Portrait by Lucian Freud by Martin Gayford (review)
Part of the Furniture by Mary Wesley (review)
All Passion Spent by Vita Sackville-West (review)
Hotel du Lac by Anita Brookner (reread - review)
Bring Up the Bodies by Hilary Mantel (review)
Dandelion Wine by Ray Bradbury (review)
The Headmaster's Wager by Vincent Lam(review)

Favourite of 2011
To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
The Tiger's Wife by Téa Obreht
Regeneration by Pat Barker
From the Land of the Moon by Milena Agus
Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day by Winifred Watson
Memento Mori by Muriel Spark
Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë (re-read)
Emma by Jane Austen
A Game of Thrones by George R. R. Martin
The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman
The Golden Compass by Philip Pullman
The Subtle Knife by Philip Pullman
War Horse by Michael Morpurgo
The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane by Kate DiCamillo
The Arrival by Shaun Tan
Un Lion a Paris by Beatrice Alemagna
Madlenka by Peter Sís

About my libraryWith limited storage space in my home and a propensity for purchasing books faster than I can shelve them, I try to hold on to a relatively small collection, and give away paperbacks I have no intention of reading again. Nonetheless, the book piles have grown relentlessly these past few years, especially since joining the 75ers group here on LT. Most of my library therefore in one giant tbr pile, with art books and Folio Society volumes as part of my permanent collection. My library here on LT is a different story, as I try to keep track of my growing collection AND everything I've read over the years, so I keep adding books whenever they're retrieved from memory. I discovered audiobooks a couple of years ago and was delighted to find I could read while busying myself with other things like commuting and doing chores, so that collection also keeps growing exponentially, mostly thanks to the local library and I challenged myself to review everything I read for a number of years, but as of 2013, this practice has fallen by the wayside, though I hope to pick it up again. My ratings are based on my impression at the time of reading, which might be very different from one reading to the next.

Groups2013 Category Challenge, 75 Books Challenge for 2010, 75 Books Challenge for 2011, 75 Books Challenge for 2012, 75 Books Challenge for 2013, 75 Books Challenge for 2014, Audiobooks, Booker Prize, Books off the Shelf Challenge, Folio Society devoteesshow all groups

Favorite authorsMargaret Atwood, Jane Austen, Paul Auster, Pat Barker, William Boyd, Charlotte Brontë, Philippe Claudel, Robertson Davies, Charles Dickens, Neil Gaiman, Romain Gary, Anna Gavalda, Graham Greene, Ernest Hemingway, Tahar Ben Jelloun, Jonathan Lethem, Amin Maalouf, Cormac McCarthy, Carson McCullers, Michael Morpurgo, Haruki Murakami, George Orwell, Philip Pullman, Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, Dorothy L. Sayers, Muriel Spark, John Steinbeck, Shaun Tan, Rose Tremain, Mary Wesley, Oscar Wilde, Émile Zola (Shared favorites)


Favorite bookstoresChapters - Sainte-Catherine, Indigo - Place Montréal Trust, Librairie Bibliomanie / Bibliomania Bookshoppe, Librairie du Musée des Beaux-Arts de Montréal, Librairie Henri-Julien, Librairie Olivieri, Odyssey Books, Paragraphe Bookstore Librairie, The Word Bookstore

Favorite librariesBibliothèque Atwater Library, Bibliothèque et Archives nationales du Québec - Grande Bibliothèque, Bibliothèque Georges-Vanier


Also onWordpress

Membership LibraryThing Early Reviewers/Member Giveaway

Real nameIlana


Account typepublic, lifetime

URLs /profile/Smiler69 (profile)
/catalog/Smiler69 (library)

Member sinceNov 25, 2007

Currently readingAvedon Fashion 1944-2000 by Carol Squiers
Love-letters Between a Nobleman and His Sister (Virago Modern Classics) by Aphra Behn
The Natural History of Selborne by Gilbert White
The Blue Fairy Book (Andrew Lang's Fairy Books, 1) by Andrew Lang
The Siege of Krishnapur by J. G. Farrell
show all (9)

Leave a comment


:-) Champagne's on me!
Hi Ilana, Thank you for adding my library to your list of interesting ones. I know I've seen your name around on LT, mostly I guess on Mark's and Suzanne's thread, but I never realized we had so many books in common - 366. I see The Quick made your best of list. I've been reading about it here and there for a few weeks now and have it on hold at the library. I need to go read your review!

Have a great day!
Good review. Maybe I'll give it a try. Along with Judaism and Christianity, does he also classify Islam as a cult? Kind of makes me wonder what constitutes a religion.
Thanks for including me in your interesting libraries. I see you list Zealot as one of your favorite reads. I'm so on the fence about reading it. Since I'm not Christian, all the purported miracles don't interest me, but I wonder if the rest of his life would.
Loved your review of Frog Music, especially the inclusion of the NPR interview. I just wanted to assure you that, if you could get through Slammerkin you should have no trouble reading Room. It's not as bad as you fear.
Hi Ilana, I'm very behind on the threads but just wanted to stop by and say I'm not offended in any way that you didn't like Olive Kitteridge. I've been in the position at times of not liking a book that everyone else seems to love and it's perplexing but it is what it is! I am glad you liked Mr. Wuffles! though. :-)

I will try and catch up with your thread soon. Hope you have some Spring-like weather to brighten your days.


Happy Sunday Dear Ilana

I'm stopping by to say you are a sweet, kind, sensitive person, and the world needs more like you!

I hope today is a good one for you!
O.K. You have a new follower at 365. Thanks!
Good luck with Murder as a Fine Art, Ilana. I hope you like it as much as I did. You're right, he's a favorite and I wouldn't normally suggest one of his books for you but this book is a bit of a departure for him. He's trying something a little different but it works because he's always been a diverse writer. let me know what you think.
Hi Ilana,

thanks for the kind words. I am looking forward to browsing your reviews to get some great ideas for new books to buy (not that I haven't got enough already to read !! haha).

Kind regards,

Another nice review and good read. Gutterson's other novels are also good. If you like this one, try The Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet by Jamie Ford.
Yep, I got it wrong, Judi Dench, not Helen Mirren. It is a good movie. Thanks for the link to the other review. Off to read it.
Another fine review, Ilana. Your writing has grown over the years of reviewing. Murdoch was a surprise to me when I read Under the Net years ago. She was not at all what I expected, though I couldn't tell you what that was now. That one actually had me laughing aloud on a plane and someone asking about what I was reading. I've gotten a couple more titles but never cracked them. There was a great movie about her life starring Kate Winslett as a young Iris and Helen Mirren as an older Iris, with Jim Broadbent as her husband.
Hey, over ther last couple of years I've read a few Wharton - I really like her also. ONe of my unusual discoveries was a colleciton of gothic - 'ghost' - stories. They were great. I liked The Age of Innocence much more than The House of Mirth. But I've been looking for a copy of that New York Stories for some time now. Well done review.
Hi Ilana:

I should have remembered that the choices ought to go on your thread. Dopey me!

And yes, cats are both strange and wonderful. Willie does not grasp - or refuses to concede - that I might actually want the 'puter in in my lap instead of him some of the time. As far as he is concerned a lapcat takes precedence over a laptop.

It was pretty chilly here yesterday - freezing rain and then snow in the AM which led to a weird happening on top of my car. What with the trees still retaining about a billion leaves on their branches those that fell as it stormed yesterday absolutely froze to my car's windshield and roof. This morning I peeled some of the leaves off of the roof and they left perfect leaf imprints made out of ice behind them. I got pictures and they look lovely. I may yet figure out how to post pics on the thread one day soon.
I love your art Smiler! Keep creating!
Ilana, I'm totally jazzed that you're enjoying Music & Silence as much as I did!
Thank you very much for letting me know that you're reading it.
I hope all is well with you. I've more or less given up getting around the 75 group as I used to do. I only wish that that made for more reading time. Alas, not.
Take care!
Hi Ilana, I wanted to let you know that I just placed an order for some of your greeting cards and an iPhone case on your Instagram site. I just got the new iPhone 5S and one of the first things I thought to do was finally order a case from you. I love your art work and it was fun to think about what to order. Do you think you'd ever consider doing notebooks or bookmarks?

I hope you're doing well these days. RL is keeping me off of LT more than I'd like but things are going well so I can't complain (too much).

Take care,

Great review of Lonesome Dove. Glad you enjoyed the western so much. The other prequels and sequels are good also but not as good as the original.
Hej Ilana, thanks for your reply. Yes, there are some people here in Basel who speak German, French, and English. I had so much French inn school - I never liked it, but I like listening to French chansons.
When doing my BA in theology I had to learn Hebrew - but that's all lost. I recognise the script and can decipher it.
Wish you a good Sunday
Hej Ilana, you have interesting books in your library - and we share almost 400 books.
You have several French titles - did you read them in French? Living in Montreal, I guess you know French quite good.
Hi Iliana, thanks for the help. I think I have found out how it works with those book covers. With regards to the audio font, I was referring to your thread where you write your reviews in where you allocated an audio icon to audiobooks.

Thanks for the help!
Hi Ilana, love your profile. Just stumbled across one of your threads:

Can you tell me how you list the bookcovers on your profile especially in that abovementioned thread in which they are listed in perfect squares. Love the "audio" font.


You are too kind Ilana. I am a mere human and bibliophile like yourself.
Best wishes
To answer your question about "What sort of medicine do you practice?" I'll have to direct you to:-
Happy reading!
Hi Ilana,

I couldn't believe how good Regeneration was. I did know that The Ghost Door had won the Booker Prize so I'm thinking it has to be a lot better than Regeneration, although I can't imagine how it could possibly top it. I'm looking forward to reading the rest of this trilogy before the year is out.

Have you read other books by Pat Barker? I've just been trolling through Amazon and I see she's written 2 other novels also centered around the effects the Great War has on families and individuals. They sound really interesting and I'm likely to get those after I finish the Regeneration trilogy.

I hope you and Coco are enjoying the warmer weather.

Dear Friend, Ilana:
For shame - you have NOT been a bad friend. You can only divide yourself into so many pieces, after all. You are quite welcome for the books - I really enjoyed trawling through your Santa list, trying to choose for you.
I love your Coco Christmas greeting - please hug the little sweetie for me and kiss him on his nose. (and head scritches for Mimi and Ezra, too!)

Hope you have a lovely day and I am looking forward to reading about all of your reading and art projects in 2013.
Hi Ilana,

Thanks so much for your comment. What a pleasant surprise! I'm glad you like the review and are thinking about Angle of Repose. I think it's a wonderful book - one to really immerse yourself in. If you read it I hope you like it as much as I did.


PS - I'm very glad to have a Quebecois friend on LT! (I look forward to some good recommendations from you in the Reading Globally Francophone quarter next year. x)
Thank you for your warm welcome, Ilana.

Having just finished reading The Grapes of Wrath, I was browsing through the relevant Steinbeckathon thread that LizzieD clued me in on. Your review of that book is what drew me here to your LT page, where your list of 26 "Unfinished" books caught my eye. That is where you "became interesting," so to speak. :)

I followed the link under your review for Sept jours pour une éternité and found that your reaction to it was remarkably similar to what I felt when I was reading The Master and Margarita! Thank you for sharing that on your blog page three and a half years ago.

Your various reviews, comments, and blog entries will surely provide many moons worth of enjoyable reading. :)
Hi Ilana, it's so nice to hear from you and thank you for your kind words re:my reviews. No need to apologize about not being around. I could say the same thing myself. The threads are so overwhelming that I find myself visiting a few and then giving up in frustration and asking myself, "do I want to spend the next couple of hours looking at the threads or reading ?" and most of the time reading wins. There just aren't enough hours in the day, I'm afraid.

I am adding you to my Interesting Libraries too. We really share a lot of the same books!

Take care,

Just read and enjoyed your review of Elizabeth Taylor. I rec her short stories, where (IMO) the word choice and style can be enjoyed most and the chill of the upper middle classes is less, well, chilly. I find her waspish descendant of Jane Austen humour wonderful (though I can't get into Pym who is in the same territory), and she's brill on class, but agree that she + by extension her readers can feel pretty distant from her heroines.

Please excuse my butting in.
Ilana, you are more than welcome :-) If I can't buy new Folio Society editions myself, the next best thing is helping someone else to buy one! I hope you enjoy it when it arrives.

Love Heather
Excellent review of Memento Mori, Ilana! I'm so glad you liked it, you'll have tons of fun with Dame Muriel!
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