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CollectionsYour library (4,196), Wishlist (1,011), Reviewed (69), Pearl Ruled (25), Kindles (65), NaNo 2013 Gaslight mystery (6), Library Donations (44), Re-checks (74), HORRORS! (2), No Victoria (7), NaNo 2011 (12), TV Project (4), Swap (78), BkM (30), PBS (15), Read but unowned (497), LTOP (30), Mystery series writing (12), RL Book Circle (131), Queen Matilda's Tapestry (17), People of Cain (2), Rufus (14), All collections (6,087)

Reviews962 reviews

Tagsfiction (442), novel (410), non-fiction (193), gay (71), box 11 (69), #Pbshr (68), mystery (61), box 35 (59), #ER (57), mama's book (56) — see all tags

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About meMale. Less fat than before, balding, happy like that. Writer of novels, editor of whatever needs editing, reader and biblioholic since receiving my first very-own-and-no-one-else's book: The Bayeaux Tapestry, a birthday gift from my much, much, much older sister back in 1966.

I learned about LibraryThing from a note published in Poets & Writers magazine, and joined the next day. What a wonderful place this is, too! Thank you, Tim Spalding, for this great open agora of ideas, opinions, facts, and fallacies. This is what I hoped to find when I first got an ISP account back in 1995. And now that I'm part of the Early Reviewers family, I add the following incantation to be applied to each and every request in each and every batch: Please oh please, all knowing and mysterious algorithm... pick me, pick me!

So I took the Nerd Test 2.0 and I am:




About my libraryI belong to a Book Circle in real life that's been meeting regularly (about every six weeks) since 1994. One of our cohort, and with me the co-founderess of the group, has compiled a list of all 110 titles we've read. I post it here to show what a bizarre and eclectic group of people I hang around with:

BOOK CIRCLE READING LIST
Books Completed as of 11/23/2013

1)Amado, Jorge, DONA FLOR AND HER TWO HUSBANDS: Adored it! Ghosts get horny, too, and why not?

2)Anonymous, THE TALE OF GILGAMESH: Not sorry I read it, but what a slog.

3) Auster, Paul, THE BOOK OF ILLUSIONS: Sorry I read it, and what a slog.

4)Bambara, Toni Cade, THE SALT EATERS: Wonderful prose, not so much on the storytelling.

5)Beckett, Samuel, MURPHY: Scintillating, superb, fractal geometry in words.

6)Bellow, Saul, MR. SAMMLER’S PLANET: Fun, fun, fun to read. Not the story, mind, but the storytelling!

7)Berendt, John, MIDNIGHT IN THE GARDEN OF GOOD AND EVIL: Delicious, shimmering prose. Wonderful story. Savannah really should give Mr. Berendt a pension.

8)Bowles, Paul, THE SHELTERING SKY: Tedious twaddle.

9)Burnett, Ivy Compton, MANSERVANT AND MAIDSERVANT: Next to SONS AND LOVERS, the worst, most horrendously offensively overrated piece of crap I've read in my life.

10)Butler, Octavia, KINDRED: Excellent!!

11)Brown, Dan, THE DA VINCI CODE: I plead the Fifth.

12)Cain, James, DOUBLE INDEMNITY: I liked the book better than the movie.

13)Capote, Truman, IN COLD BLOOD: As good as it gets. Only really good thing he wrote.

14)Carroll, Lewis, ALICE IN WONDERLAND & THROUGH THE LOOKING GLASS: whatever, you pervy old so-and-so.

15)Carter, Angela, NIGHTS AT THE CIRCUS: *swoon*

16) Carter, Jimmy, PALESTINE: PEACE OR APARTHEID: Tendentious as all hell, but hand it to the man: he can explicate complex issues like nobody's business.

17) Cendrars, Blaise, MORAVAGINE: Yee-ikes!

18) Coetze, J. M. , DISGRACE: Wonderful writing. Is there a story here?

19) Conrad, Joseph, HEART OF DARKNESS: Deserving of its classic status.

20) Cunningham, Michael, THE HOURS: Loved it. Then again, I'm a gay "Mrs. Dalloway" fan.

21) Doctorow, E.L., THE WATERWORKS: Very good, not excellent.

22)Davies, Robertson, THE FIFTH BUSINESS: ...did I read this?

23)DeQuincey, Thomas, CONFESSIONS OF AN ENGLISH OPIUM EATER: Whoo-ee!

24) Dreiser, Theodore, AN AMERICAN TRAGEDY: How I wish Dreiser had written novels.

25) Drury, Alan, ADVISE AND CONSENT: Writing serviceable, story riveting.

26)Dunn, Katherine, GEEK LOVE: Close to the top of any literature lover's life list of lovely books.

27)Durrell, Lawrence, JUSTINE: Almost perfect.

28)Ellison, Ralph, INVISIBLE MAN: Recursion taken to a logical extreme.

29)Faulkner, William, LIGHT IN AUGUST: The Nobel people must've read this one. Simply delightful.

30)Fox, Paula, DESPERATE CHARACTERS: I have no memory of this book whatsoever.

31)Ford, Ford Maddox, THE GOOD SOLDIER: What in the hell does this book rate classic status based on?!

32)Frazier, Charles, COLD MOUNTAIN: Oh dear God.

33)Fuentes, Carlos, THE OLD GRINGO: Ripping good stuff! Not.

34)Golden, Arthur, MEMOIRS OF A GEISHA: Flawed, but elegant and very readable.

35) Greene, Graham, THE HEART OF THE MATTER: Excellent!

36)Hammett, Dashiell, THE MALTESE FALCON: I like the movie better.

37)Hegi, Ursula, STONES FROM THE RIVER: Perfectly adequate.

38)Hemingway, Ernest, FOR WHOM THE BELL TOLLS: also known as "For Who the Hell Cares"

39)Hemingway, Ernest, THE OLD MAN AND THE SEA: "The Old Fart in High C" as I call it.

40)Herr, Michael, DISPATCHES: Excellent.

41)Irving, John, A PRAYER FOR OWEN MEANY: Annoyed me, the voice of the kid being all in caps. Don't remember anything else about it.

42)Ishiguro, Kazuo, THE REMAINS OF THE DAY: Shimmers with a nimbus of magical beauty.

43)James, Henry, WHAT MAISIE KNEW: Well, *I* liked it, though I know many who didn't.

44)Joyce, James, DUBLINERS: Marvelous.

45)Joyce, James, PORTRAIT OF THE ARTIST: As much fun to read as ULYSSES isn't.

46)Kerouac, Jack, ON THE ROAD: I think I waited too long...all I could think was, "Valium, dude, and a little less booze!"

47)Kesey, Ken, ONE FLEW OVER THE CUCKOO’S NEST: Parables DO age well, and here's the proof.

48)Kincaid, Jamaica, LUCY: ~meh~

49)Kipling, Rudyard, KIM: Dated. Racist. Good story, though.

50)Kundera, Milan, THE BOOK OF LAUGHTER AND FORGETTING: Droningly dull.

51)Lawrence, D. H., SONS AND LOVERS: The worst, most horrendously offensively overrated piece of crap I've read in my life.

52)LeGuin, Ursula, THE LEFT HAND OF DARKNESS: As good as novels get.

53)Lee, Harper, TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD: Oh dear, oh dear...I am not a fan...I must be flawed in some major way.

54)L’Engle, Madeleine, CIRCLE OF QUIET: I don't think I read this.

55) Lewis, Sinclair, BABBITT: Scathingly timely even now.

56) Lewis, Sinclair, ELMER GANTRY: Damn near made me choke, it was so eerie how it's remained current.

57) Dardis, Tom, FIREBRAND: A Life of Horace Livewright: Disorganized, but very good.

58)Lodge, David, NICE WORK: I hate David Lodge books.

59)Mahfouz, Naguib, PALACE WALK: Superb!

60)Malraux, Andre, MAN’S FATE: Another classic that deserves its status.

61)Mann, Thomas, THE MAGIC MOUNTAIN: BIIIIIIIIIG book.

62)Marquez, Gabriel Garcia, LOVE IN THE TIME OF CHOLERA: Outstandingly written, wonderfully conceived.

63)McCarthy, Cormac, BLOOD MERIDIAN: Yuck.

64)McCourt, Frank, ANGELA’S ASHES: Since it took twenty-plus years to write, no wonder it's so good.

65)Morrison, Toni, SONG OF SOLOMON: I'm not a cultist of hers, but this is a fine book.

66) Nabokov, Vladimir, LOLITA: Perfect.

67)Nabokov, Vladimir, PALE FIRE: Not perfect. Top notch, though.

68)Naipaul, V.S., A BEND IN THE RIVER: Highly readable.

69)O’Connor, Flannery, WISE BLOOD: Sneaky!

70)O’Neill, Eugene, LONG DAY’S JOURNEY INTO NIGHT: Plays, blech.

71)Orwell, George. ANIMAL FARM: Isn't it depressing how Orwell remains timely?

72)Orwell, George. 1984: See above.

73)Parks, Suzan-Lori, GETTING MOTHER’S BODY: Whatever, shut up so I can read, and quit bothering me.

74)Percy, Walker, THE MOVIEGOER: Metairie? Really?

75) Powell, Dawn, THE LOCUSTS HAVE NO KING: High-quality stuff from an unjustly underknown writer.

76)Pynchon, Thomas, THE CRYING OF LOT 49: Og think nasty writer-man making fun of Og.

77)Roy, Arundhati, THE GOD OF SMALL THINGS: So what's the fuss?

78)Rozan, S. J., NO COLDER PLACE: Bad.

79)Rushdie, Salman, THE SATANIC VERSES: Damn! THIS gets a guy sentenced to DEATH?!?

80)Salinger, J. D., THE CATCHER IN THE RYE: Pitch-perfect, still fresh, and what a story.

81)Saramago, Jose, BLINDNESS: Superb.

82) Schulberg, Budd, WHAT MAKES SAMMY RUN: Fun! How to enjoy anti-Semitism!

83) Sebold, Alice, THE LOVELY BONES: Okay, I guess, but a little "Ladies' Home Journal" short story from the 60s for me.

84)Shakespeare, William, HAMLET: Plays, blech.

85)Shelley, Mary, FRANKENSTEIN: Tedious.

86)Sinclair, Upton, THE JUNGLE: This didn't feel like a novel to me. I didn't enjoy it.

87)Singer, Isaac Bashevis, ENEMIES, A LOVE STORY: Not my cuppa.

88)Spillane, Mickey, I, THE JURY: Guilty pleasure.

89)Stegner, Wallace, THE SPECTATOR BIRD: Fine, fine writing.

90)Steinbeck, John, TORTILLA FLAT: Excellent.

91)Thackery, William Makepeace, VANITY FAIR: I'm still not sure that it's really over.

92)Thomas, Piri, DOWN THESE MEAN STREETS: No idea what this is, even.

93)Toole, John Kennedy, A CONFEDERACY OF DUNCES: Cruel, unusual fun.

94)Unknown, GILGAMESH: So very worth reading. I rooted for Enkidu, myself.

95)Unsworth, Barry, MORALITY PLAY: No memory of this one whatever.

96) Updike, John, RABBIT, RUN: Get over it! Pull up your socks and get on with it! Sheez.

97)Vidal, Gore, LINCOLN: My, how Mr. Vidal can talk!

98)Waugh, Evelyn, VILE BODIES: Decadent fun.

99)Welty, Eudora, THE OPTIMIST’S DAUGHTER: SUPERB!

100) West, Nathaniel, MISS LONELYHEARTS: One of my favorites, so bleakly oblique in its sly satire.

101)Wilde, Oscar, THE PICTURE OF DORIAN GRAY: What else need be said, after "Oscar Wilde"?

102)Winterson, Jeanette, SEXING THE CHERRY: Hmmm.

103)Wolfe, Thomas, YOU CAN’T GO HOME AGAIN: And why try? Belt up, Tom.

104)Woolf, Virginia, MRS. DALLOWAY: The epitome. Perfect.

105)Woolf, Virginia, TO THE LIGHTHOUSE: Not perfect, but I love storytelling as an evolutionary step to "Mrs. Dalloway."

106)Wright, Richard, NATIVE SON: Bleak.

107)Maugham, W. Somerset, THE RAZOR'S EDGE: So very caustic, and seems so innocent.

108)Hill, Susan, THE MAN IN THE PICTURE: Oof.

109)Simenon, Georges, THE WIDOW: Blah.

110)Fitzgerald, Penelope, THE BLUE FLOWER: I love her work, though this one least of all.

Overlooked titles recently added:
111) Millhauser, Steven, MARTIN DRESSLER: The Tale of An American Dreamer: Pretty good, I guess.

112) Rezzori, Gregor von, MEMOIRS OF AN ANTI-SEMITE: Charged! Very worth reading.

113) Wilson, August, JOE TURNER'S COME AND GONE: Plays, blech.

114) Gilman, Charlotte Perkins, THE YELLOW WALLPAPER: SCARY!!

115) McCullers, Carson, REFLECTIONS IN A GOLDEN EYE: Very Gothic, not for everyone.

116) Atwood, Margaret, THE BLIND ASSASSIN: Mmmf.

117) Steinbeck, John, THE WINTER OF OUR DISCONTENT: Outstanding!

118) Nafisi, Azar, READING LOLITA IN TEHRAN: Dreary.

119) Machiavelli, Niccolo, THE PRINCE (tr. George Bull, tr. Paul Sonnino): Lessons for the ages and very instructive to read different translations at the same time.

120) Eliot, George, SILAS MARNER: Deservedly a classic.

121) Adiga, Aravind, THE WHITE TIGER: Pseudo-hip maunderings of a pseudo-Robin Hood.

122) Highsmith, Patricia, THE TALENTED MR. RIPLEY: Good stuff!

123) Munro, Alice, THE BEGGAR MAID: Stories of Flo and Rose: Lovely, lovely sentences telling deadly little quotidian stories about dreary, slatternly people.

124) Jelinek, Elfriede, THE PIANO TEACHER: THIS won a NOBEL for literature? This tedious, ponderous crapulous thing that represents her chef d'ouevre? Pah.

125) Hawthorne, Nathaniel, THE BLITHEDALE ROMANCE: There is nothing new under the sun, including the New Age.

126) Rhys, Jean, GOOD MORNING, MIDNIGHT: Ladies and gentlewomen, the Lifetime Network presents this historical woman-abused-and-denigrated snore-fest!

127) Yourcenar, Marguerite, THE MEMOIRS OF HADRIAN: I would not be surprised if Hadrian himself had dictated this book to La Yourcenar from Beyond the Veil. Gorgeous.

128) Twain, Mark, LIFE ON THE MISSISSIPPI: There is no point in saying much beyond, "Read it or else."

129) Golding, William, LORD OF THE FLIES and Wiggins, Marianne, JOHN DOLLAR: Both being short, simultaneously read. Both being badly written, simultaneously chucked in the bin.

130) Oz, Amos, ELSEWHERE, PERHAPS: Neither good nor bad.

131) Dos Passos, John, MANHATTAN TRANSFER: A too-long narrative poem, or a badly built novel.

132) Melville, Herman, THE CONFIDENCE-MAN: Good, old-fashioned stuff; Patricia Highsmith couldn't have done better.

133) Camus, Albert, LA CHUTE (The Fall): Beautifully translated!

134) Jackson, Shirley, WE HAVE ALWAYS LIVED IN THE CASTLE: Quiet, unsettling, and chilling.

135) Beckett, Samuel, WAITING FOR GODOT: Plays, blech.

136) Faulkner, William, AS I LAY DYING: Glorious.

137) Anderson, Sherwood, WINESBURG, OHIO: Better than the sum of its parts.

138) Bowen, Elizabeth, THE HOUSE IN PARIS: Forsooth!

139) Kawabata, Yasunari, SNOW COUNTRY: Long trip in a short package. Japan has found her Hemingway.

140) Turgenev, Ivan, SKETCHES FROM A HUNTER'S ALBUM: Amorphous; beautiful.

141) Mann, Thomas, DEATH IN VENICE and TONIO KRUEGER: Tiresomely homophobic.

142) Twain, Mark, THE ADVENTURES OF HUCKLLEBERRY FINN: Amazingly modern, down to the lack of a real ending.

143) Murray, Albert, TRAIN WHISTLE GUITAR: I liked the memoir better.

144) Greene, Graham, BRIGHTON ROCK: Hate the characters, adore the story.

145) Proust, Marcel, SWANN IN LOVE (tr. Lydia Davis): Astonishing. Not for all readers.

146) France, Anatole, THE GOD WILL HAVE BLOOD: So so so interesting!

147) Caldwell, Erskine, GOD'S LITTLE ACRE: Unrelievedly grim. :-/

148) Caldwell, Erskine, TOBACCO ROAD: Even more grim. :_{

149) Conan Doyle, Sir Arthur, A STUDY IN SCARLET and THE SIGN OF FOUR: Canonical Holmesian goodness.

150) Moore, Alan, WATCHMEN: Didn't read it.

151) Roth, Joseph, THE RADETZKY MARCH: Fascinating. Glad I finally read it.

152) McDonald, Ian, DESOLATION ROAD: Delicious. Steinbeck in space.

153) Flaubert, Gustave, MADAME BOVARY (tr. Lydia Davis): Classic novel, deathless. Sorta like a literary zombie.

154) Gray, Alasdair, POOR THINGS: Arch.

155) Trollope, Anthony, THE WARDEN: Pure Barsetshire gold.

156) Apuleius, THE GOLDEN ASS (tr. Robert Graves): It was fun, I suppose.

157) Wilder, Thornton, THE BRIDGE AT SAN LUIS REY: I still love it, though more out of respect than impressed-ness.

158) Wilson, Sloan, THE MAN IN THE GRAY FLANNEL SUIT: Midcentury Modern at its best.

159) O'Neill, Eugene, THE ICEMAN COMETH: Plays, blech.

160) Tolstoy, Leo, HADJI MURAD: Notes for a novel, not ready for publication.

161) Stoppard, Tom, ROSENCRANTZ AND GUILDENSTERN ARE DEAD: If it has to be a play, let it be by Stoppard.

162) Graves, Robert, I, CLAUDIUS: Utterly mesmerizing and completely delightful.

163) Burgess, Anthony, A CLOCKWORK ORANGE: Pretentious twaddle.

164) Cather, Willa, MY ÁNTONIA: Of its time, gracefully written, and moderately dull.

165) Gogol, Nikolai, DEAD SOULS: Absurdist delight.

166) Chopin, Kate, THE AWAKENING: Soporific.

167) Hurston, Zora Neale, THEIR EYES WERE WATCHING GOD: Her one masterpiece in an ouevre of competent pleasantness.

168): Silko, Leslie Marmon, CEREMONY: Groundbreaking forty years ago, I suppose, but predictable, tedious twaddle now.

169) Beckett, Samuel, MOLLOY, MALONE DIES, THE UNNAMEABLE: Deeply touching, hard work.

170) Alighieri, Dante, THE INFERNO (tr. Pinsky): A cross between a slasher flick and a rap song.

Groups50-Something Library Thingers, 75 Books Challenge for 2013, 75 Books Challenge for 2014, Austinites, Banned Books, Baseball, BBC Radio 3 Listeners, Biographies, Memoirs and Autobiographies, Bizarro Fiction Fans, Booker Prizeshow all groups

Favorite authorsVladimir Nabokov (Shared favorites)

Favorite publishersUniversity of California Press

Homepagehttp://www.librarything.com/topic/179396

Also onBlogger, Facebook, Google Talk, LinkedIn, NaNo, Twitter

Membership LibraryThing Early Reviewers/Member Giveaway

Real nameRichard Derus

LocationHempstead, NY

Account typepublic, lifetime

URLs /profile/richardderus (profile)
/catalog/richardderus (library)

Member sinceAug 13, 2006

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Comments

Hi Richard. Although I have been missing from the "pages" of LibraryThing, I am rather OK. The recent anniversary of my husband's death kept me in free fall and it was hard to find my footing. Recent events show some improvement. But a lot of uncertainty lies ahead. Anyway, hope you are OK. Your fan, David
Oh my gosh! I almost missed your 8th Thingaversary, Richard. This is what happens when I get all crazy and do something social for a change. Thanks for making the LT 75er group a fun place to hang around. I am NOT going to thank you for all the book bullets, though, so there! ;-)
Happy Thingaversary Richard!!

hugs and kisses for you & Stella

Anita, Frank, Chimay & Ari
You are very welcome.
Glad the box arrived. Smooches. : )
archived 8 Aug 14 12.34
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