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The gone-away world by Nick Harkaway

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Guardian Angel (CHERUB) by Robert Muchamore

How We Got Here: From Bows and Arrows to the Space Age by C. R. Hallpike

The Lost City of Z: A Tale of Deadly Obsession in the Amazon by David Grann

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Member: avatiakh

CollectionsYour library (6,626), Israel (169), cookbooks (88), Currently reading (4), Wishlist (185), Read in 2014 (44), To read (555), Read but unowned (240), Favorites (7), No Longer Own (69), All collections (7,231)

Reviews26 reviews

Tagsfiction (3,163), children's (1,836), nonfiction (1,106), new zealand (1,000), picturebook (642), young adult (544), jewish (221), australia (221), israel (166), 12 in 12 (160) — see all tags

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Recommendations101 recommendations

About meMy 75 books in 2014 thread
My 2014 Category Challenge thread

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Jenny Williams'illustration from the first edition of Margaret Mahy's A Lion in a Meadow

About my libraryI collect modern classics, fairytale anthologies, children & YA literature, Middle Eastern history, politics & religion, a little science fiction, fantasy, and some design and art books.

Groups1001 Books to read before you die, 1001 Children's Books You Must Read Before You Grow Up, 2013 Category Challenge, 2014 Category Challenge, 2015 Category Challenge, 75 Books Challenge for 2012, 75 Books Challenge for 2013, 75 Books Challenge for 2014, Arab, North African and Middle Eastern Literature, Australian States and Territories Challengeshow all groups

Favorite authorsJane Austen, Paul Auster, Fleur Beale, Bernard Beckett, Isobelle Carmody, Ken Catran, Michael Chabon, Joy Cowley, Dorothy Dunnett, Vince Ford, Jostein Gaarder, Neil Gaiman, Maurice Gee, Peter F. Hamilton, Diana Wynne Jones, D. H. Lawrence, Margaret Mahy, Melina Marchetta, Katerina Te Heikoko Mataira, Glenda Millard, Michael Morpurgo, Donna Jo Napoli, Amos Oz, Mal Peet, Chaim Potok, Anthony Powell, Ian Rankin, Philip Reeve, Alastair Reynolds, Marcus Sedgwick, Darren Shan, Jonathan Stroud, Nigel G. Tranter, Scott Westerfeld (Shared favorites)

VenuesFavorites | Visited

Favorite bookstoresBookmark, Browsers Quality Secondhand Bookshop, Classics and such-like Books, Cook The Books, Dominion Books, El Ateneo - Grand Splendid, Evergreen Books, Hard To Find Books (Onehunga), Jason Books, Mad Hatter Books, Pegasus Books, Readaway Books, Shakespeare and Company (Paris), The Dorothy Butler Children's Bookshop, Unity Books

Favorite librariesAuckland Central City Library, Botany Library

Other favoritesAuckland Writers and Readers Festival, Storylines Festival of New Zealand Children's Writers and Illustrators

Favorite lists Middle East and Maghreb Graphic Novels, 1001 Children's Books You Must Read Before You Grow Up, Best Books Set in Boarding Schools, Best Israeli Reading, Best of Jewish Literature, Bibliography for Among Others, Bibliography for How to be a Heroine, The Emergence of the Modern Middle East, A High School Trip to Israel, Middle East Fiction, Summer Reads 2014, Women in Islam

Also onBookMooch, Facebook, FictFact, Photobucket, Pinterest, Tumblr, WikiThing (LT)

Membership LibraryThing Early Reviewers/Member Giveaway

Real nameKerry

LocationNew Zealand

Account typepublic, lifetime

URLs /profile/avatiakh (profile)
/catalog/avatiakh (library)

Member sinceSep 8, 2007

Currently readingThe Ringed Castle (Lymond Chronicles, 5) by Dorothy Dunnett
Making David into Goliath : how the world turned against Israel by Joshua Muravchik
Ole!: Capturing the Passion of Bullfighters and Aficionados in the 21st Century by Hal Marcovitz
You Will Never Find Me by Robert Wilson

Leave a comment


Thanks for steering me to the Novitz review of Catton's "Luminaries." I especially agree with his citation of Kristy Gunn regarding what a novel can (and should) do for the reader -- what happens to us when we read novels can be more important than what happens in the novels themselves. Exactly the effect reading "Luminaries" had for me.

Also responded to Barth citation from his essay 'The Literature of Replenishment.' All in all found Novitz' review the kind of thoughtful, fair, and perceptive analysis I appreciate from a lit crit. Impressed and feeling more enlightened following his explication of Zodiac framing. Hadn't been so precise in my observations of diminishing chapter lengths and condensation, but felt the rightness of the "odd" structure.

Would love to hear your thoughts.
Thank you very much!
Thanks for your list. I'm not terribly keen on the term 'Middle East' but you listed some books there that I will certainly be checking into. Lord knows I wouldn't have heard of them had you not posted them, so cheers again.
Hi! Have read The Spanish Bride, what do I do now? Is there a discussion or something?
Happy further reading!
Well, of course it's up to you, but I really like your user name - always makes me think of something nice and refreshing on a warm summer's day - which can only be a good thing! :)
Wonderful! Thank you!

Hi Kerry,
Thanks for adding your favourites to A Child's Book Tour of Scotland. The 'Tobermory Cat' book looks lovely.

I just passed on your page following a link LT gave people with 'similar libraries'. Yours looks like a bigger version of mine. Cool :-)
Have a nice day!
hi Kerry

I just saw you read Crusade in jeans last year, I am glad you liked it!

Kerry - The Marcel Pagnol would be fantastic. I remember watching the films 20 years or so ago and falling madly in love with Emanuelle Beart. Thank you so much for being so quick!
Hi Kerry, are you interested in doing a Christmas book swap? Amongst NZ, Aus, and SE Asian dwellers from the 75 group.
My idea is for names to be drawn out of who is interested and whoever is designated the giver, makes a list of 10 books they are willing to part with, and the receiver picks the one most to their liking. All done through private messaging once I have drawn and allocated the people involved.
Me (megan)
Cushla (cushlareads)
Lisa (KiwiFlowa)
Paul (PaulCranswick)
Leonie (kiwinyx)Alex (roundballnz)
Prue (PrueGallagher)
OK, now I need help. Who else have we got out there in the region?
Steinbeck will always be one of my favorites, though I haven't dipped into his books again for years. So many books, so little time!
Oops! Thanks for picking that up. As a journo, I should know better ... particularly when the title is staring me in the face!
Oh my, I never closed the HTML link there. Well, I hope it doesn't look too ugly.
Oh! I pasted that from my reading journal (there's a link on my profile if you want to follow it). Jose Saramago, Portugese Nobel Laureate, wrote a book called Cain, a very fictionalized novel about what happens to Cain in the land of Nod and after.

I am with you on the Pullman book. Any book or author that arouses as much controversy with churches as he does gets bumped up on my reading list. I might get to it next month. This Biblical fiction thing is being extended, since the folks over at Historical Fiction have given me way more title ideas (and now you have! Thank you). I think I'll focus on Hebrew Bible for now. Maybe I can even knock off Thomas Mann's 1400-page Joseph and His Brothers.

While you're on religion and literature, have you read any Chaim Potok? I read The Chosen a few years ago, a coming of age story of two Jewish teens in Brooklyn. Despite being both Jewish, they were a very different and unlikely pair, as one was Hasid and the other was more mainstream (I think Conservative). The movie was good too.
Greetings again. I'll post my review below but first I'll mention that I found two other books on Samson: Samson by Vladimir Jabotinsky, and The Book of Samson by David Maine. I am on a Biblical fiction kick so will probably get to these soon, and it would be nice to have a fellow reader to compare notes with.

My review:

Like Saramago's book, this retelling of the myth of Samson is written not by an author trying to instill religious faith, but a well-known secular novelist who wishes to look at this culturally influential text. Unlike Saramago, Grossman is not writing a philosophical polemic, but rather a look into the psyche of Samson.

And what a lot of psyche is there. Samson is one of those Biblical characters whose presence in the Judeo-Christian imagination is much larger than the scant space he occupies in the canon - only four chapters in Judges. I can't think of any other character in the Bible who combines such zealous holiness with a comically exaggerated virility, sexuality, and physical prowess. Yet Grossman sees in Samson a man perpetually alienated from those around him, seeking intimacy in which to reveal vulnerability. But it always eludes him. His oafish and loafish father is bewildered and cowed by his son, and his mother knows the secret of his strength but can't possibly understand it. So Samson seeks a woman to share his secret with.

So why does Samson always choose women of the Philistines, Israel's oppressive enemy? From his wife from Timnah, to the Philistine prostitute, to Delilah, he somehow wants his intimacy to be with someone completely foreign. The tragedy is that both his wife and Delilah betray him. One can imagine Samson's despair and sadness that drives him to send the burning foxes' tails into Philistine land. This despair is deepened after his second betrayal, when the Delilah he placed so much hope in turns him over to the enemy. Grossman speculates that Samson told her the secret of his strength because he saw no point to living in a world where nobody could truly love him.

So Samson dies as he lives: alone, in a place where he has no home. His life is a tragedy, even though as a judge he is a wild success who destroys the Philistine elite in his dying act. Just as the four chapters about him in Judges remain opaque for us, Samson was such a riddle to those around him, both a riddle-poser and a riddle himself. Grossman's look at this man set apart from birth gave me a lot of insight into this long-haied powerhouse.
Lion's Honey was great. I'll have a review up soon. Hope you're enjoying it too.
Okay! I ordered Lion's Honey on interlibrary loan. I read Judges this summer so this will be a good complement.
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