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Blood & Beauty by Sarah Dunant

Love and Friendship: And Other Early Works by Jane Austen

Now Food: Fusion Food for the New Millennium by Lyndall Popper

The Good People Of New York by Thisbe Nissen

Montrose: The Captain General by Nigel Tranter

How to Be an American Housewife by Margaret Dilloway

The Cloudspotter's Guide by Gavin Pretor-Pinney

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Member: herschelian

CollectionsAnstruther Library (10), Your library (2,587), China (250), To read (647), BJ (360), Kindle (145), London (6), Graphic books (2), Read but unowned (87), Poetry (1), SA fiction (10), Cook books (39), Currently reading (4), Book group choice (11), Given away (23), Reference (35), Wishlist (1), Favorites (9), All collections (2,680)

Reviews448 reviews

Tags07XX (362), TBR (252), (225), China (175), Fiction (126), crime fiction (119), South Africa (119), history (98), recipes (93), historical fiction (83) — see all tags

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About meLondoner, ex South African,ex-Magistrate, now living in Beijing. Wife, mother,grandmother,blog writer, keen cruciverbalist,dog lover. After finding this site through my other little hobby - Bookcrossing - I decided it was time to release my inner librarian. I pour a mean G&T!

About my libraryFour or five major catagories:
Contemporary fiction;
Sub-Saharan Africa particularly central and South Africa;
London (fiction, history, art, sociology etc);
China (contemporary fiction, art, food, history, sociology etc);
History;Food; Travel; Gardens/Plants
Actually, I'll read practically anything that has been published, I'm not a picky reader and I love the serendipity of finding new authors or subjects to read.

GroupsE. F. Benson, South Africa


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Membership LibraryThing Early Reviewers/Member Giveaway

LocationBeijing China

Favorite authorsNot set

Account typepublic, lifetime

URLs /profile/herschelian (profile)
/catalog/herschelian (library)

Member sinceJan 14, 2006

Currently readingThe Wisdom of China by Lin Yutang
Expo 58 by Jonathan Coe
The President's Hat by Antoine Laurain
Atlantic: A Vast Ocean of a Million Stories by Simon Winchester

Leave a comment


Hi Jo

I thought it was banned in China... thats how its advertised. I started it last night.

How did you actually end up in China?
I see that you just read Fat years. I am about to read it. Will I like it?

We have a lot in common. Are you still connected to South Africa?

BTW you say that the suburb in Love Songs of Nathan J.Swirsky is fictional. Its actually Sandringham, about 1km from where I stay

You are most welcome for the invitation. It's not a particularly active thread, I don't think. I do appreciate your two tid-bits to add to my Heyer fund of facts. I don't read her often, but when I want her, nothing else will do!
I have a copy of 'Be Ready with Bells and Drums' by Elizabeth Kata, Penguin 1963. Without knowing her view on the matter, I'd guess that the change of title (in later editions) to 'A Patch of Blue' was a commercial decision - cashing in on the movie of that name. Perhaps I can get it to you sometime.
I read your review of The AFrica House. I just finished reading the book, which seemed harmless and amusing. I wondered at how recently the British Empire was so rich that it could afford to let people indulge in such monumental folly. I'd be quite interested to know what the factual errors were and in what way you think Ms. Lamb's preconceived ideas failed to correspond to the reality of life in Northern Rhodesia/Zambia. I had the feeling all through the book that, though entertaining, the picture she gave of life at Shiwa could hardly be true, and that there was a certain degree of unreality in her write-up, suggesting that she knew relatively little about Zambia. I've never been to any part of Africa, but particularly now that I can read English language newspapers from the former British colonies I've gotten really interested in the way these countries are developing.
Hello! I'm interested in your profile. I seem to like the books you've been reading. Especially this one you are currently reading. I heard about it. Need to get it!!!! So you are in England. My family geneology all goes back to England. Wish I had the accent!! Please give me your feed back on To my Children's Children. I sent a private comment. I'd appreciate it!

Hi Herschelian - I did enjoy 'Flush' and would also recommend 'Balshan and I' if you are a dog-lover (as I am). They are both short and sweet and a lot of fun.

Thanks for dropping by.


Hey Herschelian

Quick note because I found we have a few books in common, but particularly a very strange one from my teen years. You and I seem to be the only people on this group who own Let's Kill Uncle. This is a silly book about two children killing a wicked uncle on an island off Canada but it was one of those books that hit me between the eyes and never left.

We were living in Australia at that time and it was serialised in the Australian Woman's Weekly. I spent almost two years trying to find an affordable copy on line, bought it for about $6 and re-read it last year. I still loved it.

Barbara Dover (
Hi - thanks for visiting my blog, I've checked yours out, and that's a task you've set yourself 3Rs for each post! Well done and keep it up. Glad to meet a fellow reviewer, I find I have to write something about everything I read, else I forget it and my blog has developed from that.
I'm keen on reading "Young Bess" (by Margaret Irwin), especially since that's what started your fascination of Elizabeth I. She intrigues me so much as well. I'm currently reading "Elizabeth" (by David Starkey), which both you and I share, and I'm devouring it! Much like David Starkey says in his introduction/prologue about how he's most interested in Elizabeth prior to her reign (birth-young adulthood), I feel the same way. In fact, I wrote a thesis paper on Elizabeth during those years of her life; my thesis was arguing how events/instances that happen in one's early years have an impact on how they act in their later years/adulthood--I applied those examples to her.

Anyhow, I'd love any good recommendations from you on Elizabethan books. Alison Weir is known to be a highly reputable Elizabethan scholar/author. "The Six Wives of Henry VIII" may be the next book I devour. I'm also curious if you know of any good books about Mary (Elizabeth's sister). If so, please let me know, as I would love recommendations regarding her as well.

Thank you!
I've enjoyed reading your reviews of books about Africa! I found your comments about The Africa House especially interesting.
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