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Travesties: [a Play] by Tom Stoppard

Marcovaldo ovvero le stagioni in città by Italo. [from old catalog] Calvino

In the Forest: A Novel by Edna O'Brien

Dungeon the Early Years 1: The Night Shirt by Christophe Blain

Introducing Psychoanalysis (Introducing... S.) by Ivan Ward

The Plays of John Galsworthy by John Galsworthy

Plautus: The Comedies (Complete Roman Drama in Translation) by David R. Slavitt

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Member: sycoraxpine

CollectionsYour library (2,892), Wishlist (43), Currently reading (1), To read (2,028), Read but unowned (211), eBook (66), DC Home (568), To Give Away/Given Away (2), All collections (3,666)

Reviews72 reviews

Tagsto be read (2,147), halifax home (1,123), already read (979), by women (843), dc home (570), 1001 books you must read (294), drama (281), mooch acquisition (215), mystery/thriller (132), sci fi/fantasy (106) — see all tags

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About meI am an assistant professor of English who studies modern and contemporary drama, and I have long been absolutely addicted to expanding my proliferating collection of books - so addicted that my rate of consumption has never matched my rate of acquisition, even when I attempted to put myself on a book diet (!!). My boyfriend has now been muttering "too many books, too many books" steadily under his breath for several years. I also have a somewhat compulsive fondness for lists, so I am simultaneously pursuing the quests of reading "The 1001 Books you Must Read before you Die" and watching "The 1001 Movies you must see before Die." Can you guess which one is progressing more quickly?

Groups1001 Books to read before you die, All the World's a Stage, Baker Street and Beyond, Blog the Book, BookMooching, Books on Books, Bug Collectors, Can you recommend....., Canadian Fiction/Non-Fiction Reading Challenge, Canonshow all groups

Favorite authorsJane Austen, Pat Barker, Charles Dickens, Frederick Douglass, E. M. Forster, Kazuo Ishiguro, Alice Munro, William Shakespeare, Art Spiegelman, Tom Stoppard, Lewis Trondheim (Shared favorites)


Favorite bookstoresBook Trader Cafe, Bookmark II, Books for America Used Bookstore, Dust Jacket Books and Treasures, Outside the Lines Books, Politics and Prose, Strange Adventures, The Jade W, The Last Word, Trident Booksellers & Cafe, United Book Exchange

Favorite librariesSaint Mary's University - Patrick Power Library, Yale University - Film Study Center


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Membership LibraryThing Early Reviewers/Member Giveaway

LocationHalifax, NS

Account typepublic, lifetime

URLs /profile/sycoraxpine (profile)
/catalog/sycoraxpine (library)

Member sinceMay 24, 2006

Currently readingLady Audley's Secret (Oxford World's Classics) by Mary Elizabeth Braddon

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Thought that you might be interested in this article on Man Booker 2013: Top 25 literary prizes from today's Telegraph (, as well as the two or three year old Fiction Uncovered prizes (
Just saw your wonderful review of The Tenant of Wildfell Hall and wanted to say thank your for the entertainment!

I'm surprised that with your moniker that you don't have dan simmons' illium/olympos set. :) i am assuming, however, that you do like the good doctor, besides shakespeare? either way, i enjoyed looking at your library, and got a few good ideas from it. have a great day!


Was wondering if you'd be interested in reviewing my new novel and posting your comments here as well as a few other book-related sites. Saw you liked Paris Trout, and thought you might like my novel since it's also southern and a bit dark (in the same vein as Paris Trout). I could e-mail you the novel in an e-book format if you'd like. Let me know if you're interested. Here's a link to a summary in case you're interested:


You're very welcome!! I hope you enjoy the books.
Alas, I have indeed read the Amelia Peabody books, but that was well chosen, Santa: that's exactly the sort of adventure stuff I was talking about. And I've been meaning to read Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell for quite a while! (My, it's an enormous book.)
The words "too many books" are all a jury has to hear to bring back a verdict of "Not guilty - justifiable homicide." Or as we say down here in the South: "He needed killin."

Considering your user id, I'm guessing you are a fan of the Doctor?

Donna B. in Raleigh, NC
My favorite is also the spyglass! No, monsters like this are ok. It is the jump out of nowhere, paranormal kind that I really hate. Or the especially sadistic killing ones that I ususally avoid. This was perfect! (I hate to admit that I haven't read Moby Dick since I was a kid so this was almost like looking at a new story!) Thanks again!
Thank you so much for my Moby Dick pop-up book. It is quite something. It is a great addition to my collection and I quite enjoyed going through it last night. (And wasn't it impressive that anyone would tackle a book like that for a pop-up?!) Very cool! Again, thank you so much!
so addicted that my rate of consumption has never matched my rate of acquisition

story of my life. haha

have a fabulous day!
hi there we have many books in common! you have excellent taste! i'm busy working my through 1001 snacks to eat before you die! some of my friends are working on 1001 beers to drink before you die! cheers!
Hi. I have just recently joined LibraryThing and have not even developed a profile yet, or logged in any books. I own about 1000 and have a book catalog program called Readerware and I am not looking forward to re-cataloging everything. But I keep signing in and browsing what is happening in LibraryThing. There is so much going on....I came across a message you posted...somewhere....and was drawn to your library. I thoroughly admire your list of 1001 books...and your cataloging system. I can only hope I eventually reach your level of competence....and meet up with you in some reading group eventually.
I left town Wednesday morning and just got back today...I would love to get your recommendations because I don't know where to start! :) I could easily make this an author study but I want to read 12 books by 12 different authors. I've already looked at your blog...any additional choices?
I just wanted to recommend "Bliss" since it seems you are a Peter Carey fan; I am also interested in taking up the challenge. :)
Hey, hon. Just started wasting my precious time here on library thing, and found you as the person who so far has the most books shared with mine. Go figure...

Hi back at you :) LOL about the picture!!
Hi there! the Arabic Richard III was a visiting company to the RSC as part of their complete works festival. I've been lucky enough to see about 10 shows in the last 12 months, partly because I only live 40 minutes away. It's been a great year for them and I really hope that they have attracted many more audience members through the productions. have you ever been to Stratford?
Thank you!
Hi there! :)

Thank you so much for responding and many apologies for not getting back to you sooner. I must admit it's been many years since i dipped into "Tenant", so i'm hesitant at this point to give a definite opinion on the work. However, I recently reread "Wuthering Heights" and it was very interesting to read in the biographical notice by Charlotte (I have the 1943 edition with beautiful woodcut illustrations by Fritz Eichenberg) regarding "The Tenant of Wildfell Hall" and her sister's disposition and choice of topic:

"The choice of subject was an entire mistake. Nothing less congrous with the writer's nature could be conceived. The motives which dictated this choice were pure, but, i think, slightly morbid... hers was naturally a sensitive, reserved, and dejected nature; what she saw sank very deeply into her mind; it did her harm. She brooded over it till she believed it to be a duty to reproduce every detail... as a warning to others. She hated her work, but would pursue it. When reasoned with on the subject, she regarded such reasonings as a temptation to self-indulgence."

This quote reminded me so much of your review that I felt I had to share it with you. Have you read Charlotte Bronte's (Currer Bell) biographical notice? I'm sure you have, but just in case you haven't yet, I think you would find it most interesting. It shed a particular shade of light for me on the subject of the Bronte sisters and their aspirations, publishing adventures, and lives. What wonderful ability in a family! I always envision them a bit like the March sisters in "Little Women" in my mind... all beautiful and talented in their various ways.

Much reading bliss and cheers your way!!
Hi again,

Came across an interesting website, and thinking of your yearly challenge, thought you might want to check it out. It's called Eurozine, and while that falls outside of your current focus on Commonwealth countries and the like, there are a lot of interesting comments by European writers about themselves, about books and about their relation to a wider European community and the world. For example: "Do I feel any kinship with Europe? Yes, through literature I do. Some years ago, at a reading at the time of the publication of my first collection of essays, I was introduced by the compère as a Norwegian writer who reads much foreign literature, one that has an "international orientation". I was astonished. The thought had simply not occurred to me that for the most part I read books by foreign authors." This from:

Another interesting one:
"Migrant or multicultural literature in the Nordic countries"


"The re-transnationalization of literary criticism"

Thought you might be interested in others who are exploring the thoughts and words of people from other places.

I simply HAD to leave a comment on your page after reading the following in your review of "A Tenant of Wildefell Hall":

"A mere wisp of a novella hiding inside an elephant suit. The plot creaks under Bronte's attempt to wring every last moment of pathos and didactic purpose out of the theme of alchoholism (of which she had painful first hand experience thanks to her brother Branwell)."

*gasp* Beautiful use of description!! It makes me (almost) want to try and read it for the 2nd time. :]

Cheers & happy LibThing-ing
Good luck with your reading. You absolutely must let us know what you end up choosing. If you are particularly interested in drama you could also try: Ray Lawler, Summer of the Seventeenth Doll; Louise Nowra, Away, or any play by David Williamson who is our most prolific playwright.
Hi. I'd urge you to consider adding any of the following (from the traditional canon) to your Australiana quest:
"Robbery Under Arms" by Rolf Boldrewood - classic bushranger tale
"The Fortunes of Richard Mahoney" by Henry Handel Richardson - epic 3volume account, perhaps try her much shorter "The Getting of Wisdom"
Something from Martin Boyd's novels about the Brayfords, eg Lucinda Brayford or the Cardboard Crown - Boyd was one of the members of a multi-talented creative Australian family of artists...
"For the Term of His Natural Life" by Marcus Clarke, brilliant but somewhat depressing story of a convict
"The Pea Pickers" by Eve Langley - neglected classic about itinerant working women
"Coonardoo" by Katherine Susannah Pritchard, one-hit wonder really about love between a member of the squattocracy and an Aboriginal woman
Perhaps some verse collections by Henry Lawson or Banjo Patterson, the two classic mythologisers of the Bush.

If you're only going to read 12, then absolutely positively ensure you include a Carey, White, Malouf and probably Richardson (seeing as you've already sampled Miles Franklin). Maybe do two Careys... his versatility is astonishing so if you do Oscar and Lucinda, you'll get a completely different style in True History of the Kelly Gang or The Unusual Life of Tristan Smith...

On the other hand, I really disliked Vernon God Little and would suggest you don't waste your time - particularly if you're only doing 12...
you can guess where my user name comes from.
Correction:all are novels (one memoir) except for the first one which is a play.
Dear syco, I have compiled a list of Australian books for your challenge. The criteria I have used is that they must be good literature and that together they form a wide-ranging period of Australia and it's issues from early on to the present day. I will asterisk particular favoursites and I also have a supplementary list up my slleve should you ever be interested. Alan Seymour,The One Day of the Year*(play/drama); A.B.Facey, A Fortunate Life* (early settlement); Elliot Perlman, Seven Types of Ambiguity*(on your list; Nevil Shute, A Town Like Alice* (WWII); Patrick White, Voss*(early explorers); Sally Morgan, My Place* (memoir/aboriginal author); Richard Flanagan, The Sound of One Hand Clapping* (European immigration); Kate Grenville , The Secret River* (aboriginal dispossession); Christopher Koch**, Out of Ireland (convict becomes landowner); Time Winton, Cloudstreet* . ALL ARE FICTION EXCEPT THE FIRST ONE
Good luck,
I'm ashamed that I didn't pick up on the "Tempest" reference! Fantastic! Have you ever seen "Prospero's Books?" A pretty wild and "bookish" take on the play. My sig is from an old English poem that I've always fancied. You can find a version of it on Bartleby with a quick Google search (not sure about the rules on this site for posting links so I'll refrain).

Throwing out the question of good "localized" lit to the forum is a fine idea. My Scandinavian search ended up amounting to nothing more than picking up a copy of Knut Hamsun's "Hunger" which I rather enjoyed. The cards were stacked against me I suppose: I used to do some acting but never warmed up to the great dramatists like Ibsen or Strindberg. I also tried to dig up some good Canadian authors with the same purpose in mind, as Atwood seems to be the only writer familiar to most of us in the States. Any suggestions? I know what you mean about the difficulty of finding translations from non-English speaking countries. It would be interesting to see what people in non-Western countries are reading at any given time, both best sellers and books considered proper literature.

Oh, if you do decide to follow up with a year of Japanese lit. I think you'll be quite pleased. There are numerous translations of very good authors available, many of them under the Vintage International imprint.

Thanks for writing back- good luck with the quest!

Hi sycoraxpine,

I had to leave a comment after seeing your unique user name. Hope I don't sound like too much of a clod if I ask the origin? Additionally, I'm interested in your "challenge." Is this the first year or have you previously conquered another country's lit? How do you go about selecting them? A few years back I decided I needed to read more lit. from Scandinavian countries and aside from the obvious authors had a hell of a time compiling a list. Just curious- good luck with the challenge!

Just read your message of August 6th about Saturday. Have you read it yet. To me, it was a perfect book. Ten out of ten.
I'm totally going to find everything I want to read in your library :)
Anne Tyler is one of the few authors who produces a very good novel every time. I enjoyed The Amateur Marriage, The Accidental Tourist and her new one, Digging to America. I also have Breathing Lessons in my pile. Did you describe her writing as quietly absorbing? I would agree with that. Tyler has a skill for recognising the minutiae of human behaviour - I really like her characters. Understated but very clever.
Book of Illusions is one of my favorites...i think Auster is fabulous.

Thanks for the invitation to the Prizes group...I must've missed the group when I was scanning the lists. I wouldn't want to be redundant with something that does exactly the same thing...see you there!

Thank you, thank you for alerting me to "Prizes". I follow all of these. I hang out for longlist and shortlist announcements and such. In fact I glue them into my reading journal and they go on to my "must buy" list. Love it!
Regarding Auster...I'd say go with [New York Trilogy] next and I also recommend [hand to Mouth] his memoir if you like non-fiction (too).
i loved [book of illusions] i am a big Auster fan.
We share a pretty nice stack of books. Took a look at your blog (thanks for reminding me about Philip Larkin, by the way. I've been meaning to add the "Collected Works" to my wishlist). I liked the "Top 50 Before 1950" list. I've seen maybe half of those, though the ones I have seen are mostly favorites (my own list would lean more toward silent comedy and horror, but to each their own).

Anyway, happy cataloging.
Ah, I tell everyone: "You can never have too many books or too many CDs"
Thanks for the invitation - I've joined.
Thank you for the invitation - that's very kind! I shall see what's going on there..!

I see that you, like me, are wading through the 1001 Books and Movies to Read Before You Die. (Nothing like a challenge! On the priviso, of course, that once I finish, I don't actually keel over dead.) I'm more or less reading the books backwards. How are you getting on?
My goodness, it's like looking at a profile of myself! Except you have a zillion more books than I do. I suppose that comes with time.

Ever try to get your boyfriend to read your favorite book? Yea, that doesn't really work.

1001 books AND movies? When do you have time to, I don't know, go to class? Eat? Sleep? Priorities, priorities. :) -MissLizzy
Hello - say you like reading feminist fiction in the "what are you reading now" board. I can recommend the book The Eight by Katherine Neville. It is a good adventure book like Raider's of the Lost Ark but it is about an ancient Chess set and women who kick butt.

A good fun read.
From what you say, I think you'd enjoy Iizuka - "36 Views" is a great one to start with, though it's one of her later pieces. She has plays in a number of the Humana Festival anthologies, 99 ("Aloha Say The Pretty Girls"), and 2004 ("At the Vanishing Point") definitely. Recently I've been reading through Arthur Miller pieces I'd either overlooked or not gotten round to - "The Man Who Had All the Luck", "Mr Peter's Connections", and my new favorite Miller play "Resurrection Blues", which is surprisingly recent - it premiered at the Guthrie in 2002! I can't wait to use it in a sound design class either this Fall or Spring. Another play that I've recently fallen in love with after using it for a class is "On The Verge" by Eric Overmeyer.
Wow! How nice for me to see Lucky Jim in the list of books we share. I rarely laugh out loud when reading - it takes a lot for that - but Lucky Jim is one of those books. I'll be checking out the random books from your collection - they look interesting to me. I enjoyed reading your reviews; I look forward to perusing your collection!
Hello - I'm kind of an OB alum (Thompson Island course), but I spent a lot of time on Hurricane Island as a kid with my parents, who volunteered there. So I spent a lot of time exploring the island! Did you take a Hurricane Island course? And PS - save the book, I think it's pretty hard to find these days!
Hi sycoraxpine,

To answer your question, I'm a tar heel by birth and wolverine by education. What's the origin of your user name?
Hi, thanks for the welcome. RE Shining City, embarrasingly enough it's sitting at the top of the reading script stack next to the bed, but I haven't read it yet! The script stack is a bit deep, as I'm a theater sound designer and lighting designer. I suspect it will be only a short matter of time before I go for the membership - just found Librarything the other day.

I do love contemporary works - some of my favorite playwrights are Naomi Iizuka (currently starting work on a production of Aloha Say The Pretty Girls), Connor of course, Martin McDonagh and folks like Stoppard, Sheppard, Dorfman.
There is an excellent book entitled, "The Red Tent," by Anita Diamant. From what I have learned about this work, it is a fascinating look at womanhood. I have not read it yet but several women I know have, and they highly recommend it, although I am told it is more a woman's book!
I see you're also a fan of Peabody! Gotta love a good egyptian mystery!
I've arrived!
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