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Sophies World by Jostein Gaarder

The Anti-Death League by Kingsley Amis

The Lighthouse by Alison Moore

Goodbye to Berlin by Christopher Isherwood

The Trick Is to Keep Breathing by Janice Galloway

In Ethiopia with a Mule by Dervla Murphy

Jude the Obscure by Thomas Hardy

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Member: Tifi

CollectionsYour library (1,080)

Reviews643 reviews

TagsRead (935), UK (440), USA (215), tbr (120), Germany (72), France (56), Italy (35), Read more than once or will read again (32), Spain (31), Russia (28) — see all tags

Cloudstag cloud, author cloud, tag mirror

About meSince I could read I've never been without a book on the go and reading novels and travel books is a big part of what I do. I am part of a book group in the North West of England, which constantly encourages me to widen my reading. I currently work in the NHS and I am trying to adjust to life back in Manchester, after spending a year travelling in our VW camper van. You can read about the trip at:

About my libraryI always have itchy feet and want to travel and books are an affordable way to do this. I have set myself the challenge of reading at least one book set in each country in the world. The book does not have to be written by a native of the country, although this is preferable. I am finding this quite challenging for some countries.
I have used the UN list of countries and added Kosovo since I started and included Palestine (total 195), although this is not in the UN list. I have current either read or have on my to be read (tbr) pile books set in 112 of these 195 countries. I have concentrated on Europe, as this is where I live initially. The list by continent is below. In February 2013, my tally was:
Africa - Read or tbr 21 out of 53
Asia - Read or tbr 24 out of 45
Europe - Read or tbr 41 out of 48
North America (including the Caribbean)- Read or tbr 11 out of 23
Oceania - Read or tbr 6 out of 14
South America - Read or tbr 9 out of 12

I use Library Thing to keep a record of what I have read and what I have yet to read. I have recently updated my books, so everything I have read since 1992 is now in my library. We live in a small flat and don't have much room to keep lots of books and we try and ensure the clutter never gets too much. Library Thing is one way to retain a book shelf, even if it is virtual. I find Read It Swap It excellent to swap books after I've read them.

GroupsA Quieter LibraryThing, Atheist Fiction, Bits for Brits, Books that made me think, Fans of Russian authors, Happy Heathens, Reading Globally, Travel and Exploration literature, Undiscovered Gems

Favorite authorsFannie Flagg, Graham Greene, John Irving, Magnus Mills, Geoff Nicholson, Rachel Seiffert, Anne Tyler (Shared favorites)


Favorite bookstoresCeilidh Place Bookshop, Stanfords, Waterstones Manchester Deansgate

Favorite librariesBroadwalk Library


Membership LibraryThing Early Reviewers/Member Giveaway

LocationManchester, England

Account typepublic, lifetime

URLs /profile/Tifi (profile)
/catalog/Tifi (library)

Member sinceDec 15, 2007

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Hi, I saw you reviewed Janice Galloway's novel, The Trick is to Keep Breathing. I work for the BBC World Service and we will be interviewing her about this novel in July. Do you have a question that you would like to ask her? Please either reply here or email be at: Please include your name and where you're from. Many thanks.
I love Dervla Murphy for taking me on her travels. And inspiring me with both her personal story, and her sense of adventure. I am particularly inspired because she started her travels at a 'mature age', there's hope for me yet! Best, Barb
Hello Tifi - Manchester! My husband is from Manchester. I agree totally about Anne Tyler: her books are like warm blankets. I don't read a lot of Australian novels really, but Tim Winton is a considered a great Australian writer (Cloudstreet his best known) but his Australia is not really mine. However, A Fortunate Life, by A B Facey is one I would recommend. And The True History of the Kelly Gang by Peter Carey is also excellent. I love The Wire in the Blood tv series - which we stil get on cable.

Happy reading!

regards Prue
Hello Tifi - first, you had few good things to say about Wolf Hall, then I see you have almst all of Anne Tyler's books, THEN I notice you have 'The Sweetshop Owner' by Graham Swift (which I hardly ever see) - you seem like my kind of gal! Interesting library!. Will be interested to see what you thing of Being Dead - which is in my TBR pile. Happy Travelling...Prue
Hi Tifi, chuffed that you found my library interesting! We share loads of books (you are 8th on my list of similar libraries), including quite a lot of the lesser known stuff. I noticed you have The Last Llanelli Train on your TBR list (absolutely loved that book!!). Still to read Emotionally Weird, but always surprised by Kate Atkinson, every time I read a book of hers I think she must have used up every idea she ever had in her head, but she keeps coming back with more. I have yet to read a bad book by her!

Happy reading, Jayne

PS I just had a quick look at your blog, sounds like a fab trip, I'm going to have to go back and read it all and spot all the song lyrics
Love your list of suggestions! I've not heard of any of those titles or authors, it shows that a very short list makes it across the pond. (Well, and maybe I've been missing out, too.)

As for US books, it's a classic but Nelson Algren's City on the Make is an eye-opening picture of Chicago, where I live. I also like James Ellroy's American Underground trilogy, though it's not so much a real picture as a highly stylised idea of our underbelly, with violence akin to Iain Banks in Complicity or his debut (forgetting the title now). I also really like Sherwood Anderson's Winesburg, Ohio, but like the Algren it's an historic portrait, albeit one quite relevant to our collective psyche today, in my opinion. Algren and Anderson read very fast, the Ellroy is crime noir and the second novel especially is a prose you'll either adore or loathe.
It is so interesting to read your reference to the "two cultures separated by a common language"! Of course US culture is one of our biggest exports, often to everyone's detriment, and it saddens me to realise it defines us to so many people. And yet, we are in fact accurately represented by our exported mass media, to a significant degree. An interesting dilemma.

For my part, I love the differences in language when I read books from the UK, preferring those not 'translated' into American English. It's part of what I like to learn from my reading. And I have the same issue, I suppose: do I have an accurate picture of the British from this? It's no substitute for living there, but until that happens (and it's not likely at this point), reading is far better than nothing.
Jim Crace I just came read about, probably here on LT (and very likely from one of your reviews). This is how I gather new books unto me: enough positive mentions, and though I'm not conscious of it exactly, it is elevated to my wishlist.

LT has provided me with a means of actually tracking my wishlist, so now it runs over 100 books. It's another mystery how I decide to read one book over another, but I'm game.

The Mills I liked, especially the premise and the humour. It was before I took notes on LT so I don't have specific recollection of the prose. If it is very British, that would be an attraction for me though I know it can be off-putting for some of us Yanks. I wonder, does it work the other way 'round?
My mistake: it was Shadow of the Wind, not Jernigan, so it'll ratchet up a few slots on the wishlist based on your review!
Chanced upon two of your reviews on 2 separate occasions(Scheme for Full Employment and Jernigan, I think?), and was prompted to stop by your profile page. I've read the Mills and think you've captured my sense of the novel, haven't yet read the other and might well steer clear of it.
Hi. I really like the style of Ian McEwan's writing even though the subject matter is often difficult - that's why I find it hard to sometimes describe his books as 'enjoyable'! I enjoy the twisty plots of the Brodie books by Kate Atkinson too - I haven't read the latest yet but I'm on the look out for it. Another well-plotted page-turner is Gentleman & Players by Joanne Harris - it is very different in style to her French books - I can't see it in your library & I think you'd enjoy it.
Should also let you know about my all-time favourite Australian novel - Picnic at Hanging Rock, by Joan Lindsay.
PS - And, although I can't remember much about it now, I did love The Secret River. Happy reading!
Ah, well, you might even be able to sneak Shantaram in as an Australian novel. The author is Australian and his journey to India comes about after he escapes from an Australian jail. I think there's a bit of Afghanistan and Germany coming up later too!
What was Lost is on my TBR pile; I'll move it up a bit higher now I've had a recommendation! And, in return, I have to recommend Shantaram, by Gregory David Roberts, which has stolen the past week or so of my life and I'm thrilled it has done so! It's a great big juicy part novel/part biog set mainly in the slums of Bombay/Mumbai and, even though I'm still only half way through it has utterly captured my heart. I'm busy telling the whole world about it!
Hi Tifi! I just caught sight of your message on Shearrob's page and I do like to be able to say hello to fellow Brits wherever and whenever I find them. Plus the fact that some of the books we share are amongst my all time favourites - stuff like Captain Corelli, Middlesex, The Kite Runner, Life of Pi, The Secret History and anything and everything by John Irving And lots more.

I see you are a Lancastrian - I used to have relatives in Preston (in fact, I still have a nephew there now, just as I thought the family had died out up there!) so I feel a certain fondness for the place. I also rather envy you your up-and-coming tip around Europe. If you are going anywhere near Greece (my spiritual home, I do believe!) and can squeeze one more under the sink, just let me know. I hope you have a wonderful time.

Best wishes
Hi, Tifi!

Best of luck with the move! I know how irritating all that palaver can be - and, as you say, especially on the nerves of a cat!

I do have rather a lot of favourite authors, don't I? Sorry - I know that's a bit unhelpful. It's a list, going through my frankly-too-big and somewhat-overstuffed library, of writers whose works I'd snap up at the drop of a hat. Some I've loved having only read a single novel, but know that over the years I'll try to read them all (I try to ration out my favourites, so I don't exhaust their complete works too quickly!) - some I've gobbled up and know backwards. I'll happily direct you to some of my recommendations - what particular types of authors would interest you?
Hi Tifi,

The Ceilidh Place and Stanfords! We have good taste although it is a while since I've been in either shop unfortunately. I couldn't find the photo you added to The CP page but maybe there is a delay in things showing up. I'll keep checking.
We do share quite a few books and a love of travel books, it would seem. I'm going to add you to my interesting libraries too.

Hi Tifi,

Thanks for adding me to your interesting libraries. LT is a great way to keep track of all your books and it will be a great way to stay in touch with like-minded people whilst your on your travels around Europe. I also love to swap books on RISI, it's a great way to build up your collection fairly cheaply. I have added you to my friends list, hope thats OK.

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