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Member: Widsith

CollectionsYour library (1,455), Before AD 500 (23), 6th - 10th centuries (10), 11th century (1), 12th century (3), 13th century (3), 14th century (4), 15th century (1), 16th century (9), 17th century (18), 18th century (16), 19th century (69), 20th century (690), 21st century (445), Currently reading (2), All collections (1,455)

Reviews152 reviews

Tagsfiction (460), history (146), poetry (139), languages (113), travel (107), france (103), comics (84), sexiness (80), dictionaries (69), biography (64) — see all tags

Cloudstag cloud, author cloud, tag mirror

Recommendations18 recommendations

About meI'm a television journalist. I'm from south-east England, originally, but have lived all over the UK, as well as South America, North Africa, and (currently) in Paris. Books calm me down.

About my libraryThese are just the books I actually own - anything I've lost or got rid of or given away is removed from my LT.

Everything that's been read has been rated, and vice-versa.

I have tried to make my ratings stricter, but I suppose it's natural that it skews to the positive -- I wouldn't keep a library full of books I hated.

Groups21st Century Network, All the World's a Stage, bande dessinée, Byzantinistik, Combiners!, Folio Society devotees, French Connection, Go Review That Book!, Hipster Book Club, It's Not Pornshow all groups

Favorite authorsKaren Armstrong, Paul Bowles, Sir Thomas Browne, Anthony Burgess, Richard F. Burton, Lawrence Durrell, John Fowles, Russell Hoban, Gerard Manley Hopkins, Milo Manara, Vladimir Nabokov, Thomas Pynchon, William Shakespeare, Tom Stoppard, Rebecca West (Shared favorites)

VenuesFavorites

Favorite bookstoresAlbum, Daunt Books - Marylebone, Foyles, Hall's Bookshop, L'Harmattan Librairie Centre, Librairie L'Univers du Livre, Reader's Rest

Also onFacebook, Goodreads, Twitter, Wikipedia

Membership LibraryThing Early Reviewers/Member Giveaway

Real nameWarwick

LocationZurich

Account typepublic, lifetime

URLs /profile/Widsith (profile)
/catalog/Widsith (library)

Member sinceJan 19, 2007

Currently readingLes Rougon-Macquart Tome 1 : La fortune des Rougon. : La curée. Le ventre de Paris. La conquête de Plassans by Emile Zola
Parisians: An Adventure History of Paris by Graham Robb

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Comments

Oh lord I loved your review of Froth on the Daydream. So I came here, read some of your shorter & wonderfully scathing reviews and put you on the private watch list so I can remember where to come to read more of them. Or where to come to give out if as I fear you've planted the seed of a recurrent nightmare in which an Andrex puppy mutates into a civil servant. Cheers.
I am reading West's Black Lamb and Grey Falcon. I read your review and am depressed. Depressed because I do not know what review that I could write that would add to your excellent review. Kudos. I used to believe that Patrick Fermor's A Time of Gifts was the ne plus ultra of travel writing. Now I am not so sure. Where are writers of her ilk today?
Thanks for your comment. I did have a bit of a brain lapse when I was writing that one, and I appreciate your note. I have fixed the review to reflect reality.
This is Aubrey from Goodreads. I found you through your review of [Delta of Venus]. A bit awkward, but true.
I've just read your review of Black Lamb and Grey Falcon. I started re-reading the book yesterday and intended to write a review of it after I finish. But, after reading your splendid review I think I will concede the stage to you.

Your intelligent review is worthy of such a deeply intelligent work as West's Black Lamb and Grey Falcon.

Personally, I think West misunderstood Christianity and the meaning of Christ's crucifixion - and I write this humbly aware of the woman's intelligence, but also of 1 Corinthians 1:23.
I had no idea. Thanks for the tip.
Thanks for the recommendations on both The Last Time I Saw Paris and Black Lamb Grey Falcon; I actually just started a burgeoning interest in West so glad to hear enthusiastic reports about her work.
Haha, a number of private comments, but no public ones for some reason. Maybe my LT friends tend to be very secretive? :-) Thanks for the comment on Suite française - possibly a new favorite for me.
I just read your review about Possession, and though I have yet to read it, I give to you a loud & clear "Here, here!" concerning your line: READ THE POETRY, PEOPLE!

It is a huge pet peeve of mine when people tell me how much they love The Hobbit and Lord of the Rings yet tell me they skip all of the poetry and songs. I mean, that's a majority of the lore and legend that makes up Middle Earth, which is what the story is based on. I feel like people are missing so much of the sinew and meat by skipping over the verse.

Anyway, thank you for your review. I appreciate it.
It really is a strange collection we share. :)

And thanks about the reviews!
I loved your review of Cutural Amnesia so checked out your others (and now have some new entries on my To Read list). Thank you for writing it; it was the perfect coda to a couple of months spent working through Clive James's splendid book.
Well I saw him in your favorites and I just picked up Ridley Walker--kind of battered but still intact. Not sure when I'm going to get around to it but hopefully within a month. Currently reading two books Night and Hope by Arnost Lustig--a Czechoslovakian holocaust survivor and Helen Dewitt's The last samurai--which is very, very interesting. I think I'm going to rate them both very highly.

By the way I think one of the reasons I started reading like I have is because books calm me down as well.

Another by the way--one of the people I have listed as a friend John--from Ottawa has done a ton of reviews and IMO is a much better reviewer than I am.
Widsith--thank you very much for your comments. I don't if my library is as remarkable as some others though. I'm interested in other places and I've been doing it for a while and I've always found others to point me to other writers. And I have holes as well--some probably glaring ones. In an odd way it's a way of traveling in your head. Anyway I just picked up a book by Russell Hoban the other day--what's he like?
Your review of Lost Girls was the best I have read. I was about to write one, and saw yours, and could really only add one sentence. Thanks for the good work!
Hi, I just went to enter my review of Cultural Amnesia and read the existing reviews first. I didn't feel I could compete with yours and also saw no need to. I thought yours said most of what needed saying. In my review I just added a personal take on the work. Thanks for your review,

Robert
I don't know how much Lao you're going to be able to learn in that short a time, but I presume you'll get (or have already gotten) the Lonely Planet Lao Phrasebook, which looks like a useful little book. I've got Lao for Beginners by Tatsuo Hohino and Russell Marcus, which is pretty decent for such an obscure language and seems to still be in print. Marcus's English-Lao/Lao-English Dictionary is also pretty good.
Hi! Yes, same LH (as far as I know, I'm the one and only). All the Laos books are good in their various ways, but all (as you probably noticed) are quite old -- the Meeker is from 1959 and the others from the '60s -- since I'm more interested in the history than the current situation. But of course there's Lonely Planet for up-to-the-minute info. Anyway, Meeker is a fun read with some great photos, but the guy was a CARE representative with empathy and curiosity, not a scholar, so bear that in mind. Dommen was a UPI reporter with a lot of experience in the area and good insight into the diplomatic and political stuff; Toye was a military man who did a lot of historical research and compiled an impressive bibliography; the Adams/McCoy book is a great collection of articles on the history of the country and of US involvement with it from a leftie perspective (intro by Chomsky). I envy you your chance to go there -- it's a fascinating country and from what I gather even a few decades of communism haven't managed to wreck it. Have a great trip, and if you have any further questions don't hesitate to ask!
Hi, Warwick,
You have an intriguing pseudonym or alias.
I've read and enjoyed your 13 reviews, and second your opinion of Clive James, (a very under-rated guy imo). Can't say I share your high regard for Karen Armstrong, however; the comment "fundamentalism is just a reaction to the secularism of modern life" reads almost like a REVERSE of the truth. Like you, "I hope as many people as possible read it" [her book(s)] but I hope they don't consider it / them "important" (as you put it). Sheesh!
Reckon you're more astute about John Gray, though his nihilism seems apparent, surely, from the first book he wrote, never mind this one. I would add "ditto Anthony Burgess" (for what it's worth).
Norwich, as you say, is fascinating, Hoban also. And Gardner is always worthwhile (though I'd nominate Mickelsson's Ghosts as his best effort). Coelho (how does one pronounce that name?) is totally forgetable; though marginally better than Jostein Gaarder wouldn't you agree? How do these dummies get published? Hell, who wants to waste time trawling through Richard Dawkins or Sir David Rottenborough when they could be reading Peter S Beagle Jr or Wind in the Willows? You Brits have a weird sense of seriousness.
Only yesterday, I picked up (and bought) Zafon's "Shadow of the Wind" coz I liked the jacket blurb (a disgracefully bad habit of mine), but it felt sort of 'entertaining' as I weighed it in my hand, and I'd hate to be badly disappointed. Would you care to elaborate on why you didn't exactly adore it?
I'd be obliged and welcome judicious guidance.
Hope you don't mind me adding you to my "interesting libraries"
TTFN.
R.
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