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Riding the Iron Rooster: By Train Through China by Paul Theroux

Mollie and Other War Pieces (Bison Book) by A. J. Liebling

Collected Short Stories: v. 1 (Vintage Classics) by William Somerset Maugham

Ireland for Beginners by Eilene Pollock

The Greek Myths: Volume 2 by Robert Graves

Fong and the Indians : a novel by Paul Theroux

Oliver Twist (Penguin Classics) by Charles Dickens

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Member: Smiley

CollectionsYour library (658), To read (20), All collections (658)

Reviews244 reviews

TagsPaperback (363), Fiction (316), Hardback (282), Nonfiction (249), Biography (95), Folio Society (82), Great Read (80), American History (60), Western Literature (56), Mystery (46) — see all tags

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About meI picked up the habit of reading as a child and never gave it up, fortunately or not. I make time to read every day, but of course, not all the books I have feasted on are in my library.

My yearly reading pattern depends on the first book I read after 01/01. Fiction, follwed by non-fiction for the year or the reverse if I start with non-fiction. From Veterans' Day 11/11 through 01/01 I read only one book or set. I re-read about four books each year.

I read at least one undisputed, classic, fiction or non-fiction each year, along with some Shakespeare every couple of months. When I am working my way through an author's complete works, or almost complete, I read at least two books by that author annually. Otherwise I read as I am moved to do so.

I'm a slow, cud chewing kind of reader, but am blessed with a great memory and a lot of rain in Seattle. Thank God!

About my libraryLike everyone I have a pile of unreads. (you haven't eaten all the food in your kitchen either.) but except for reference works and books clearly tagged as "unread" I have read everything listed. Some books only once and others multiple times.

Many of the books in my library are from the Folio Society which makes beautiful volumes.

My library is arranged in alpha order by author, except for reference works and currently takes up two walls of my study, which also has two windows and usually a sleeping chocolate lab on the floor within easy petting reach.

GroupsWhat Are You Reading Now?

Favorite authorsJohn le Carré, Daniel Defoe, Charles Dickens, Ivan Doig, Henry Fielding, Thomas Flanagan, Shelby Foote, Rudyard Kipling, John McPhee, H. V. Morton, Patrick O'Brian, George Orwell, V. S. Pritchett, Dorothy L. Sayers, Wallace Stegner, A. J. P. Taylor, Sigrid Undset, Virgil, Donald E. Westlake, Gahan Wilson, P. G. Wodehouse (Shared favorites)

Real nameEd


Account typepublic, lifetime

URLs /profile/Smiley (profile)
/catalog/Smiley (library)

Member sinceJan 4, 2006

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I just abandoned Salt too! It is the first book I've abandoned in about 20 years. I really wanted to like it but it was too much like reading a textbook. I read to page 70 and then read the chapter about Ghandi since that was the story I was most interested to hear again. My book club read it and one other person abandoned it too.
Hi Smiley,
In reply to your question about Excellent Women, I was just sucked in to that story. Even though there wasn't a "major" situation in the story, it was so well done and realistic, and I liked Mildred so much that I rooted for her throughout the book.
I do recommend it. Hope that helps!
I did my senior history thesis decades ago on Aldous Huxley--looking more at his place in the Greater Huxley Family (T.H., JUlian in the family tree).
Have you scanned "The Same Man"--short biography piece of Goerge Orwell & Evelyn Waugh? Worth it.
Good advice about the nearly-new hardback copy. Thanks!

Ooops--hit the return button too soon.


Hi, Ed,

First, I don't think I've told you how much the profile picture tickles me--perfect!

Second,Ii also don't think I've told you that I bought Kagan's Peloponnesian War. I received it not too long ago and was prepared to read it soon--until I noticed your remark recently about the Landmark Thucydides--I think it was Thucydides but could have been another classical author. I was going to use my precious, very old copy of Thucydides, but after reading what you had to say about what is included in the Landmark series, I'm going to wait until I can get a copy of the landmark Thucydides.
Hi, Smiley,

I may have missed it, but I don't remember seeing any post from you about how you liked Foote's The Beleaguered City and if that enhanced your trip to Jackson. How did that all work out for you?

Don't you just love it when some one writes a review that so accords with one's own views. Book in question 'Balzac and the Little Chinese Seamstress'. I'll say no more as my brainpower shouldn't be wasted on it.
I came to check out your shelves when I saw on the What Are You Reading Now thread that you had finished the Winston Churchill memoirs/histories of WWII. I am going to read book two this year. I enjoyed the first one very much. I am also reading his Histories of the English Speaking Peoples and liking them. I will read volume 3 this year. Two questions. I understand the difference between memoirs and histories, yet cannot a memoir be a history as well? Also, have you ever read any of Ernie Pyle's books on WWII? Brave Men and Here Is Your War are two of my favorite books about the war. You might say it is the war from the soldier's perspective. Welcome to LibraryThing!
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