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Member: Smiler69

CollectionsYour library (2,669), Wishlist (1,301), To read (1,735), Currently reading (3), TRRS Pile (63), Read (1,228), Read in 2015 (43), Picked for Me 2015 (24), Picked for Me 2014 (51), Read but unowned (539), Audiobooks (1,321), eBooks (293), Children's & YA (275), Library Books (13), Folio Society (169), Slightly Foxed (49), Virago Modern Classics (24), La Pléiade (6), Everyman's Library (14), Limited Editions (10), Visual Arts (168), Natural History (20), Poetry (35), Favorites (147), To Give/Trade/Sell (35), Given Away/Sold (42), Reference (11), Cookbooks (32), To Reread (76), Unfinished (49), Read in 2014 (279), Read in 2013 (165), Read in 2012 (188), Read in 2011 (287), Read in 2010 (55), All collections (4,580)

Reviews660 reviews

TagsFiction (2,501), 20th Century (1,612), Audiobook (1,559), Library Book (1,203), English Literature (970), Literary Fiction (814), 21st Century (692), Purchased from (670), Acquired in 2014 (665), Guardian 1000 (630) — 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 blogs, one of which is dedicated to my artwork,, on which I'm currently posting updates on my first portrait commission, and my other blog covers just about every topic under the sun but perhaps not surprisingly is mostly dedicated to book reviews.

My Threads:
75 Books Challenge for 2015

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 2015 so far: (★★★★½ and up)
Bitter Greens by Kate Forsyth (review)
The Blind Contessa's New Machine by Carey Wallace
The Hare with Amber Eyes by Edmund de Waal ★★★★★
Babette's Feast by Isak Dinesen
Clockwork by Philip Pullman (review)
Lamentation by C. J. Sansom
The Scapegoat by Daphne Du Maurier (review)
The Gift of Rain by Tan Twan Eng
Small Gods: Discworld #13 by Terry Pratchett
The Buried Giant by Kazuo Ishiguro ★★★★★

Favourites of 2014:
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 (review)
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 (review)
Amsterdam by Ian McEwan (review)
The Waiting Game by Bernice Reubens
Dead Until Dark by Charlaine Harris
Frankenstein by Mary Shelley
Vanessa and Her Sister by Priya Parmar (review)
Love-Letters Between A Nobleman And His Sister (Volume II) (tutored read)
Breakfast With Lucian: A Portrait of the Artist by Geordie Greig (review)
The Ruby in Her Navel by Barry Unsworth ★★★★★ (review)
Not My Father's Son by Alan Cumming (review)
Mrs Palfrey at the Claremont by Elizabeth Taylor
Le joueur d'échecs / Chess Story by Stefan Zweig ★★★★★
La Petite Bijou by Patrick Modiano

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, 75 Books Challenge for 2015, Audiobooks, Booker Prize, Books off the Shelf Challengeshow 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, Evelyn Waugh, 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


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Real nameIlana


Account typepublic, lifetime

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

Member sinceNov 25, 2007

Currently readingSlightly Foxed: No. 28: Happy Ever After by Gail Pirkis
Mansfield Park (Everyman's Library) by Jane Austen
Guards! Guards!: Discworld, Book 8 by Terry Pratchett

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