avatiakh tackles Mt tbr in 2012 #3
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Urupukapuka Island in Northland.
Many happy family camping holidays here in years past and also the 1920s fishing hangout of writer Zane Grey.
Bring up the bodies by Hilary Mantel
Pawn in Frankincense by Dorothy Dunnett
The Abominables by Eva Ibbotson
The Cry of the Go-Away Bird by Andrea Eames
Pandora's Star by Peter F. Hamilton - iPod audio
The FitzOsbornes at war by Michelle Cooper - stalled
The French Tutor by Judith Armstrong - stalled
Don Quixote by Miguel de Cervantes - (12in12 year long GR) - Book III: Ch 33-52, 20 chapters (Sept/Oct)
IQ84 by Haruki Murakami (October)
My other LT threads & challenge family
The marae at Raukokore, East Cape - the NZ movie 'Boy' was filmed around here.
(my mother has half-share in a bach here, though I haven't been for many years)
My 12in12 category challenge thread:
1) Favourite Writers & Rereads 11/12
2) Israel & the Diaspora 10/12
3) Australia 10/12
4) New Zealand 20/12
5) Fact not Fiction 7/12
6) Short n' Sweet 4/12
7) Neverending Stories - series 14/12
8) God is Back - religious themes/retellings in fiction2/12
9) Big Boys - chunksters / omnibus editions 1/12
10) The Crowded Nest - Mt tbr 14/12
11) The Lists - booklists, longlists, shortlists, award winners etc 10/12
12) Dropbox - anything goes 22/12
Baker's Dozen bonus Category - graphic novels & picturebooks 14/12
The 12in12 Starts with Food challenge thread
My 2012 Orange thread
Reading Globally 1st Quarter:Turkey + the Balkans:
Zorba the Greek by Nikos Kazantzakis (Greece)
The bridge on the Drina by Ivo Andrić (Bosnia)
2nd Quarter: Closed and Selective Societies
3rd Quarter: Middle Eastern Literature
Links back to 2011:
My last 75 books in 2011 thread
My 11in11 challenge thread
Proposed June reading:
Finish all books I'm currently reading and/or stalled on and then try to read my TIOLI listings
Don Quixote - my June portion
The FitzOsbornes at war by Michelle Cooper - stalled
Gillespie and I by Jane Harris
Konstantin by Tom Bullogh - back to library
Only Yesterday by S.G. Agnon - (Israel) - addded to July's TIOLI
The Fault in our stars by John Green - just noticed this shared read
The French Tutor by Judith Armstrong
Reconnaisance by Kapka Kassabova
Reflections by Diana Wynne Jones
A means of grace - Edith Pargeter - unlikely to get to this one
Rivers of Fire - Patrick Carman
Kerry, Love the photo at the top of your new thread. Have to say though, I will miss the Halsman!
Hope you enjoy The Fault in Our Stars as much as I did. I'm still trying to get my hands on the Kassabova mentioned above . . . Eager to read more by her.
Happy reading . . .
98) Sea Hearts (Aust/NZ title) or The Brides of Rollrock Island (UK/US title) by Margo Lanagan (2012)
A beautifully haunting novel based on selkie folklore. The book was first published as a short story in an anthology and then it was suggested to Lanagan that she might try extending it to novel length. The island of Rollrock is bleak and inhabited by simple fishing folk. Young embittered Misskaella, once an ugly misshapen child, can call seal-brides for the men in exchange for harsh payment. The men fall for the bewitching charms of the selkie brides and so their women-folk all leave for the mainland. So the sea-witch, Misskaella, has her revenge on those who taunted her but the price for the Rollrock folk is high. The story is told from a variety of viewpoints and takes place over the lifetime of the sea-witch.
I sought out the movie The Secret of Roan Inish last year as I couldn't find the book, The Secret of Ron Mor Skerry by Rosalie K. Fry that it was based on. It's well worth watching if you want to really delve into the selkie story and explore the lifestyles of these Celtic folk.
I'll be reading Red Rocks by Rachael King soon, this is a New Zealand children's book based on the same selkie folklore but set on the Kapiti Coast.
I loved the film "Boy"....the crowd clapped at the end they all liked it so much, and it was just a normal movie theatre session, not a festival or anything.
And what a great island for a camping trip, looks tropical :)
Hi Anne & Brenda
Yes, I'll miss my Dali & Halsman combo too, and it was hard to think of a follow up, so decided to be like Paul and do the tourism promo of my country this time. Had great holidays at both spots.
I'm really overbooked for June, so might only be starting the Kassabova by the end of the month. I should be typing meeting minutes too, not setting out my new thread and reviewing a book...
Hi Megan - yes, I loved 'Boy' and recognised the location and was surprised when I found out that Taika Waititi came from that area.
Northland is known as the 'winterless north'! Urupukapuka has a DOC camping ground and you need your own boat to get there if you have lots of camping gear. We used to join my brother and his family quite often when my oldest ones were at primary school. Every couple of days you walk over to Otehei Bay for icecream, coffee and a taste of civilisation.
Kerry - love the look of the island although I would prefer boat to bi-plane to view it from! Congratulations on your latest thread and on your prodigious reading.
Added Sea Hearts to the wishlist based only on the first sentence of your review. This thread is always so dangerous!
Love the photos. I'm having a hard time finding any other G. Durrell books, besides My Family and Other Animals. I may have to break down and order online...
Hi Kerry, I thought I'd jump in while you're getting started here. I fell horribly behind on your last thread, but still intend on catching up with it to read up about all the great books you mention.
I decided to participate in TIOLI this month though haven't found time to list any of my books yet. My Family and Other Animals is the one I'd like to read for Darryl's challenge, but it's looking doubtful that I'll be able to fit it in this month...
I love those pics -- thx for sharing. Thanks for the movie tip too. I wondered if it was worth watching. Sounds like we'd enjoy it a lot.
I finally caught up on your last thread. There are so many interesting things to find, so it took me a while. I'll try not to get that far behind in the future. A belated "wow" re. your daughter's visit to the Queen's garden party.
It just tasted like tea. :-)
Great books, tempting recipes, wonderful pics!
Urupukapuka has just been added to the list of places I'd love to visit. I started playing in the Italian lottery, so maybe one day I'll be able to do all those travels...
99) God is Back: How the Global Rise of Faith is Changing the World by Adrian Wooldridge & John Micklethwait (2009)
Added to Zoe's TIOLI #17 Prominent tag challenge using bell7's 'Christian' after much searching and hair pulling to make it fit. Wow, Zoe, this was a difficult challenge to place a book in.
This kicks off one of my 12in12 categories which is focused on religious retellings in literature but the category is named 'God is Back' to prompt me to finally read it this year. I heard Adrian Woolridge speak several times at our Writers Festival a couple of years ago and bought his book as a follow up. Woolridge is an editor at The Economist and Micklethwait is their Washington Bureau Chief.
This book takes a look at the role religion has played in the history of the 20th and 21st century. The first part of the book looks over the past 200 years of European history and how secular these countries have become, then turns to the development of religion, especially evangelism in the US and how religion has become such an important factor in society there. After delving into the business side of Christianity in the US, the book turns to a more global sweep looking over the Muslim world, the missionising by Christians from the US and Korea and how religion fits into modern politics and society.
I found this quite a fascinating read though I had to take my time with it and I've probably forgotten most of the content. I found the part explaining why religion has taken such a strong hold in the US especially interesting.
Now I can look forward to some of the fiction I have lined up for this category including:
The Book of Rachael by Leslie Cannold (Aust)
The Good Man Jesus and the Scoundrel Christ by Philip Pullman (UK)
The Four Wise Men by Michel Tournier (Fr)
Not wanted on the voyage by Timothy Findley (Canada)
My name was Judas by C.K. Stead (NZ)
Hehe, I'm struggling to fit a book into my challenge myself. It's much easier if you go in the other direction, choosing a tag and then finding a book to fit ;)
#10: Paul - thanks, I've always taken the boat option myself. More recently we spent an afternoon at Otehei Bay as part of a day trip on one of the tourist boats.
#11: Zoe - Lanagan is a great writer, I especially loved her short story collection Red Spikes, so imaginative.
#12: Hi Lisa - I've just started The Whispering Land and he writes so well. I've been wanting to read about Patagonia and this is just my thing. I hope you manage to find more of his books, I'm really keen to read Lawrence Durrell and have been looking out for his work in some used book stores that I visit from time to time. I have managed to get The Alexandra Quartet in a box set and now have 4 of the 5 Avignon quinitet, plus his translation of Pope Joan. Enough to keep me going, and I think I'll have a 'Durrell Brothers' category in my 13 in 2013 category challenge next year.
#14: Hi Susan - sort of a haunting movie, I'm probably going to have to watch it again.
#15: I buy the occasional lotto ticket and would jump on a plane if I won and travel all over. Maybe we could time our wins so we can meetup somewhere exotic!
Zoe - last thing I need is to add another book to this month's reading pile!
#13: Hi Ilana - I missed replying to your post earlier on. I've definitely overbooked my reads for this month's TIOLI and brought home too many interesting ones from the library as well. I hope you enjoy the Durrell when you get to it.
Brought some really interesting reads home from the library this week and I know I'll never make time for them before they need to be returned...sigh. Some are making their second appearance in my house.
The Scent of Apples by Jacquie Mcrae - I abandoned this last week but have been assured by one of my child lit colleagues that I should persevere, so got it out one more time.
I am Forbidden by Anouk Markovits - Suzanne or Madeline mentioned this one
The Fairy Tales of the Brothers Grimm by Taschen with various classic illustrators
Dying to know you by Aidan Chambers - new YA
Konstantin by Tom Bullough - second time out and I'm determined to read it
The trouble with fire by Fiona Kidman - shortlisted last week for our national book awards and this week for the Frank O'Connor short story awards
And I read an interesting article about Renato Amato so had to have a look at his short story collection The full circle of the travelling cuckoo and the novel Maurice Shadbolt based loosely on him, An ear of the dragon.
I'm adding God is Back to my library WL - looks good.
Urupukapuka Island looks gorgeous! I've spent very little time in Northland but loved the week I've had there (mostly in Kerikeri 12 years ago.)
I haven't been that good at travelling around NZ either these past few years and my next trip out of Auckland is to Palmerston North in a couple of weeks time. Really looking forward to the wind and the cold.
I really want to get back to Great Barrier Island, I haven't been there since my late teens and I really loved it, I'm sure it hasn't changed that much since those dark ages.
Yep, Palmerston North will not be balmy! It's FREEZING here tonight. Book weather.
I haven't ever been to Great Barrier Island - that's what happens when you grow up in Dunedin. I was 18 before I went to Auckland (apart from when I was 0-9 months old when we lived in Otara.)
I'm already starting to shiver. Its been cold here but not freezing and quite warm during the day.
They played a clip of the iconic Crunchie Bar advt on a tv programme tonight so I had to track down the full version, it was so popular that it ran for 20 years.
A Monster Calls has won the double of Carnegie Medal for writing and Kate Greenaway Medal for illustration - very well-deserved. Here's an excerpt about how the illustrations were done:
It was not, however, an easy project. It involved lack of sleep and extreme cold. Up against deadlines and trying to find his style (“Ben had much more of a sense of what the finished book should look like than I did”), Kay got down to four hours sleep a night. He was living in a beautiful Georgian flat in Edinburgh that “had central heating but no capacity to hold heat whatsoever”. He would open the windows every morning to warm the flat up, even through one of the city’s coldest winters. He worked wrapped in a duvet with an electric blanket underneath, seeing his breath, and with frost patterns on the inside of the windows. His hands ached, and detailed drawing was hard. He would run, as much as three times a day, just to get his temperature up – “I’ve never been so fit.”
Telegraph interview with Ness & Kay: http://tinyurl.com/c5a7rmr
Patrick Ness website
Jim Kay website
Palmy will be quite cold at this time of year ...... but also beautiful
#2: Looking forward to the drive down, love the green green landscape.
#28: Not frightening once you read the text but forceful, ancient and wise.
And can't resist adding this image to my thread
"Some are making their second appearance in my house." I know the feeling/experience! LOL So many books... too little time. :)
#26 I've had A Monster Calls sitting on the shelf for a while. I must get round to it soon.
Rhian - definitely read it asap, you won't be disappointed.
Susan - c'est la vie!
Heather - I thought the pic was pretty good when I saw it too. My holiday photos are all fairly old and based around children doing silly things in and out of tents. I found God is Back a bit dry but interesting. my brother is a born again Christian, Baptist preacher whose daughters have all done mission work, so I was interested in the information on the growth of the evangelical church in the US and worldwide. The other point of interest is how the new conservatism in religion comes from Africa and they have the numbers, whereas in Europe, the UK and the Commonwealth we have become much more liberal allowing female bishops and gay churchmen etc etc. I'm not religious but interested in how religion works in society and politics.
The new Anglican Bishop of Wellington is worth reading about too, I saw this interview, The Barefoot Bishop on the tv news last month.
Press article: http://www.stuff.co.nz/dominion-post/capital-life/6826181/Wellington-Anglicans-p...
I've been reading very slowly but have finally finished How the soldier repairs the gramophone which I started back in January and also made quick work of Gerald Durrell's A Whispering Land which is set in Argentina. I was listening to Paddy Clarke Ha Ha Ha but my iPod needed resetting and I lost everything on it, so have now switched to Neal Stephenson's Quicksilver which promises to be great, but I'm finding myself getting a little lost at times and having to back up and relisten so am still only a little way in.
Last weekend I started tidying up our family history notes and entering data into a software programme from the 'no longer free' and now restricted online site that we had been using. I contacted an Australian guy who was looking for descendants from one of my family lines and he sent me a 360 pg pdf of our family history in Australia and Scotland, however I quickly noted that they had left out the older son who came to New Zealand in 1855 (originally the family went to Australia in 1839). So I had to prove the family link and now the guy who is writing a book on the family has to put it on hold while we gather the data on our NZ family! So I've had an interesting week reading lots of online newspaper clippings and learning about life in early Nelson and South Australia. Needless to say this has affected my reading.
That last paragraph is pretty darn cool. Fun... I'm sure the author'd rather get it right the first time. He should be grateful you were there!!
Susan - I've also found I have a relatively successful novelist in the family - Garry Disher has written award winning YA and a couple of crime series. Can't wait to try his books.
Planning my July TIOLI reading as June was a bit of a bust. I'm going to be much less ambitious this time round as I need to keep in mind the Reading Globally Middle East theme and Orange July.
So many fun challenges and groups going on in July it's hard to know what to focus on
Yes, I'm really keen to participate but just need to be a little realistic with TIOLI or I end up losing direction.
100) How the soldier repairs the gramophone by Saša Stanišic (2006)
'The young Bosnian writer Saša Stanišić was 14 years old when he arrived in Germany. He wrote a novel in German that became a huge success in 2006, yet he does not like to be considered either a celebrity nor held up as an example of successful integration....Aleksander’s story is also a little bit of Saša Stanišić’s story. He too fled with his parents from Višegrad to Germany and the experience also changed and marked him: “The war and the escape combined to turn me into an eternal traveller, someone who is at home everywhere, and if that is not possible, into someone who is never at home anywhere. Moreover I have absorbed the experience of existential fear of that time to such an extent that today I have a very low happiness threshold. I feel joy at the smallest things and don’t allow myself to become stressed by a tax return.”' http://www.goethe.de
This book is quite tough read, the exuberant storytelling jumps around quite a bit and leaves a lot unsaid, you're never sure exactly what is happening. It's told from the POV of a young boy from just before the genocide in Visegrad to his return from Germany for a visit ten years later. Sometimes the narrative is a little vague as the boy Aleksander is not really taking in the politics or reality of what is happening, just that things are happening. There is an especially painful retelling of a football match between the opposing sides during a truce, but it doesn't altogether go as simply or as honourably as the 1915 Christmas Day football match on the Western Front.
I started this in January for the reading Globally theme read, got distracted but knew I wanted to finish it for my 12in12 challenge. Some might get a little impatient with the style, I'm fairly tolerant especially when it deals with such a terrible event.
One thing this book has left me with is an urgent sense to know more about the modern history of this region of the Balkans.
Read for TIOLI challenge #2: Read a book with a goofy, whimsical title that makes you think to yourself "what on earth is THAT about?" , Reading Globally theme read on the Balkans and my 12in12 challenge The Lists category - the book was shortlisted for International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award Longlist, 2010, Bollinger Everyman Wodehouse Prize for comic fiction finalist (2009), and won the Bremer Literaturpreis for Förderpreis (2007) and possibly several others within Germany.
It also won the Oxford-Weidenfeld Translation Prize (translator: Anthea Bell, 2009) - she certainly captured the spirit of the book.
101) The Whispering Land by Gerard Durrell (1961)
TIOLI challenge #3: Read a book written by an author who is the younger relative of another published author
Gerald is the younger brother of Lawrence Durrell.
This is the story of Durrell's trip to Argentina to study the fur seals, sea lions and penguins of Patagonia and then his travels to Jujuy province to collect tropical animals for his private zoo. I adored this little marvel of travel writing, Durrell captures the spirit of life on working estancias, the local people, the hard landscape of the south, the bureaucracy of Buenos Aires customs agents perfectly. Easy to fall under the spell of Durrell's charm, I've now added Menagerie Manor to my tbr.
102) Fallen Words: eight moral comedies by Yoshihiro Tatsumi (2012)
Eight stories, each with a moral dilemma of sorts. I enjoyed these little black comedies.
103) Insurgent by Veronica Roth (2012)
Added to TIOLI challenge #7: One word title beginning with 'I' or set in country beginning with 'I'.
This is the second book in the Divergent trilogy. I found this to be quite brutal but fairly compelling reading with perhaps a little too much dithering and angst around the 'trust', 'does he love me', 'motives' etc etc. The ending was excellent, can't wait for the third book.
104) The Scent of Apples by Jacquie McRae (2011)
new zealand, YA
Added to TIOLI challenge #23: Read a book whose title contains the word "of". This was included in the International Youth Library's White Raven's List for 2012 so I felt obliged to read it. I did give up and abandon the book in the early stages, but my friend insisted I give it another go, so I did. Yes, it ended up a decent read, my problems with the girl's mother were eventually almost resolved, some plot details although slight and insignificant weren't realistic. The story is about coping with grief. Libby lives with her parents and grandparents on an apple orchard farm. When she loses her grandfather in an accident and her grandmother becomes unresponsive, Libby finds it hard to cope. Her mother is totally unsympathetic, her father absent through work and Libby starts uncontrollably pulling out her hair.
Altogether a rather good debut novel though I've read enough of these type of YAs.
Alastair drawings and illustrations edited by David Berona (2011)
nonfiction / art
This gives a brief overview of the life of illustrator Baron Hans Henning Voigt, a.k.a. Alastair and then a sumptous selection of his illustrations. I'm just going to quote the publisher:
“Haunting genius,” “dazzle … and a great deal of melancholy,” “singularly maladroit with critics” … Fin-de-siècle illustrator Baron Hans Henning Voigt, a.k.a. Alastair, was about as far removed from convention as any artist working in the Decadent movement. Alastair illustrated books by the likes of Oscar Wilde, Edgar Allen Poe, and Gustave Flaubert, and his work was compared to that of Aubrey Beardsley and Edward Gorey. In the introduction to this collection of 110 of Alastair’s illustrations, editor David A. Beronä writes: “Alastair’s drawings are sometimes disconcerting and strange, but they prod our fascination and uncover a glimpse at the human soul.” Over the decades, Alastair’s drawings have been mostly forgotten; Beronä hopes to bring this important book illustrator back into the light. He quotes art historian Philippe Jullian: “His drawings—more cruel than Beardsley’s—could illustrate a fashion magazine in Hell, with the Marquis de Sade as editor-in-chief and La Casati as its only model.” Artists, historians, and collectors will be thrilled to discover the art of Alastair in this gorgeous retrospective. As Beronä says, “each drawing has a spellbinding quality … you do not want to be released!”
chasing a dream by carla coulson (2011)
When I saw this arresting book cover on display at the library I just had to take a look. Carla Coulson was in her 30s when she ditched her sensible day job and took the gamble of a new career in photography which was her passion. I especially like her portraits. She does inspiring fashion photography as well, though living in glamorous cities like Florence and Paris must help. This is a showcase of her world travels and photography over the past few years and is inspiring. http://carlacoulson.com/
Fascinated by the Stanišic book and glad to hear The Whispering Land is so good, as Katie and I just bought it. We are still chugging through My Family. She has arranged her playmobil to resemble the large villa (the one in which Gerry has his own study), started keeping nature journals, and made her own science wish list (which also includes cement). She has a dead mole out back and is waiting for nature to do its thing so that she can have the skeleton. To say she has found this book inspirational is an understatement!
I love how your pictures above cycle through. Cool.
Hi Mark - I ended up enjoying Insurgent though she does put you through the wringer. I read a recap of Divergent on wikipedia as all the names started to blur a bit at the start.
Lisa - when I was your daughter's age I wanted so much to be a vet but didn't read these particular Durrells - I read his Two in the Bush and loved "Buster" Lloyd-Jones' The Animals Came in One by One. Sounds like you have a naturalist in the making, just hope she doesn't want her own private zoo. I grew up on a farm that had bush along one boundary and a large river along another - we were never bored! I didn't end up becoming a vet but my first job was fascinating, working in a research laboratory on a dairy farm. My first job on Monday mornings was pumping sheep stomachs for digestive juices in order to do the weekly 'nitrogens' on grass samples.
Oh, and the scrolling pictures - I just copied the url from a publisher's page and ended up with that.
Hi Kerry. Just catching up on your threads. I've added Sea Hearts/Brides of Rock Island to the wish list. I love selkie stories. I was saving Insurgent to read on the beach when on vacation in 2 weeks. It sounds like it may be too intense for beach reading. Possibly I'll read the next two Maisie Dobbs books instead.
Very cool story about the family history. Have you been working on your genealogy for long? My sister's been working on our family genealogy for about a decade. Our family has very common surnames - Johnson, Davis- so she's finding it very frustrating.
Nice slide show/ scroll. It startled me the first time it moved.
#33 Noticed your post on your family history connections. I've done some work on mine as well and once connected up with someone who claimed to be descended from my great-aunt. Trouble was my great-aunt and her husband were childless, a fact that had been confirmed by at least five of my relatives who had grown up in the next street, as well as by documentary evidence. It turned out that there had been two couples married in a similar area in South Wales in the same year both with exactly the same names, and he had picked the wrong one. All his work going back from that point had been wasted. I did feel very bad about telling him though.
#48 & 47: Hi, regarding the family history I've only dabbled in it till now, getting serious these past few weeks only. I've found with going back into the early 19th and 18th century that there seem to be so many spellings of the surname that it all gets a bit difficult too. Our family names seem to be common in the areas we originally came from, and the repeat of first names generation from generation can get confusing as well.
Most of the early research has been done by others and I've been more interested till now in garnering more information about family stories I've heard about happenings 1900 - 1930s.
I noticed one online family tree from the States which had some info on my own family through marriage. My 'relative' had married a woman in New Zealand in the early 1900s & they had a couple of children. She then remarried an American and went to the States and had another child by him. The guy was descended from her and very proud of her family connections into the past, he hadn't looked for the death certificate of the first husband, which was of more interest to me. I found in our PapersPast archive that he hadn't died, he'd been granted a divorce on the grounds of abandonment several years after she'd left for the States. I'm keeping this info to myself.
I had to work quite hard to prove the links with the family in Australia, had always taken it for granted, but had no idea that the Australian side hadn't kept tabs on their NZ 'cousins'. Luckily we have great online newspaper archives and the obituaries proved the links well and truly once I came across them. My grtx3 grandfather was a publican so his name comes up in heaps of newspaper items, chasing debts, serving on juries, and licensing issues.
My July Reading:
Don Quixote - Jun/Jul portion
The French Tutor by Judith Armstrong
& misc library books
Madeline's TIOLI Rainbow challenge & Orange July:
TIOLI #2. Read a book with a full name for the title:
TIOLI #3. Read a book set in one of the countries or regions that comprise the traditional Middle East & Reading Globally
Palace Walk by Naguib Mahfouzb - Reading
TIOLI #5. Read a book with a title or author name that includes the letter Q
TIOLI #6. Read a book with the word “boy” or “man” (or a synonym) in the title or author's name
TIOLI #7. Read a book with more than 300 pages with multiple word titles
Pawn in Frankincense by Dorothy Dunnett (Lymond Chronicles #4) - Reading
TIOLI #9. Read a book where the pages are Deckle Edge
TIOLI #10. Read a book by an author whose surname could also be a first name
TIOLI #14. Read a book whose title begins with a 'B'
TIOLI #19. Read a book by an author whose canon you are trying to complete
Now must make an effort to finish The Hounds of the Morrigan before midnight and the end of June for me - I have 11 hours left.
I loved your review of Alastair Drawings and Illustrations, Kerry .. definitely adding that one to my obese wish list.
I like your planned reading list for July too ...can't wait to read your reviews.
The Durrell family were a great eclectic bunch. Like the work of Gerald as well as Lawrence Durrell whose novels are lyically beautiful. Have a super weekend Kerry - how is the weather in NZ?
Cold with icy windscreen on the car this morning. Still made my morning class at the gym though. I'm having the heater on now for the afternoon which is unusual as our house doesn't usually need heating during the day. Still nice to have the rain ignore us.
There was a news item last night about a farmer down south whose young pregnant heifers were in the path of a sudden chill earlier this month, he lost about 180 cows in one day. Since then he's been receiving presents of pregnant heifers from neighbouring farmers up and down the coast and the trucking companies are delivering them for free.
I really enjoyed your review of Sea Hearts and have added it to my wish list! :)
105) The hounds of the Morrigan by Pat O'Shea (1985)
children's fantasy, Ireland
Added to TIOLI challenge #7: One word title beginning with 'I' or set in country beginning with 'I'. This is included in the 1001 children's books you must read before you grow up and is a classic fantasy based on Irish folklore. I've been meaning to read this one for a few years, and since I named my black cat Morrigan earlier this year, I knew this was time for it.
The Morrígan is goddess of battle, strife, and sovereignty, she sometimes, as in this book, appears as a trio of sisters. Two young children are sent on a quest in west Ireland, into the land of faerie, they are being trailed by the Morrigan's hounds as she also seeks the object they are after, it will give her all her power back and bring destruction to our world. The children are helped by all manner of odd people and beast, some they find later are the one and same - Brigit, goddess of the hearth and Angus Og, god of love and many other wonderful heroes of Irish folklore. The hounds can take on human form which they do from time to time.
I enjoyed this, though at times the quest seemed to be a bit endless, the climax was great and the two children were brave and loyal as well as true to their ages - Pidge is about 11 and Brigit only 5. There is magic, humour and bravery and the three Morrigan sisters had their quirks as well. I rushed the second half of my reading to fit it into the June TIOLI and that was probably a mistake.
106) The Book of Human Insects by Osamu Tezuka (2011)
graphic novel - manga
I've added this to TIOLI challenge #6: Read a book with the word “boy” or “man” (or a synonym) in the title. This is a noirish thriller type read that I couldn't put down. The main character, Toshiko Tomura, is a stunning young woman who excells at everything she turns to. It soon becomes clear that she's sucking dry and/or imitating the talent, or just plain stealing it from those she gets close to. She'll even commit a murder or two or three to meet her ends. She's like an empty shell that has to live on others like some sort of parasite in order to get ahead. And she's really good at what she does.
This is creepy but good and the artwork is great.
Wikipedia: Osamu Tezuka (手塚 治虫, born 手塚 治 Tezuka Osamu, 1928 – 1989) was a Japanese cartoonist, manga artist, animator, producer, activist and medical doctor who never practiced medicine. Born in Osaka Prefecture, he is best known as the creator of Astro Boy, Kimba the White Lion and Black Jack. He is often credited as the "Godfather of Anime", and is often considered the Japanese equivalent to Walt Disney, who served as a major inspiration during his formative years. His prolific output, pioneering techniques, and innovative redefinitions of genres earned him such titles as "the father of manga", "the god of comics" and "kamisama of manga"
Ok, you got me with that review of The Book of Human Insects ... have to add that to my obese wish list immediately.
>45 The farm where you grew up sounds lovely. My sister wanted to be a vet, but could never pass the calculus exam. She ended up doing wildlife rehabilitation instead for a while, but it's hard to make a living at that. She now owns her own water filtration company. Funny how things work out.
I think you are right, Katie is a naturalist at heart. She would love to live on a farm, especially if it was 10+ acres (her idea of minimum living space). It's fun to see her passion, but hard for me to keep up. She knows more than I do about insects, for instance, but I was able to find her a mentor who is a naturalist and bug expert (Rob Sandelin, co-author of Field Guide to the Cascades & Olympics). They've gotten together a couple of times, and he just asked her to help him do his annual beetle survey in Sharingwood. She's thrilled.
I love the stories about your family history. I'm scared to think what I might turn up if I looked into ours!
I don't think I've ever read The Hounds of the Morrigan but it sounds like one I should read. Onto the wishlist it goes.
Oops, went to the book page and it says the book is already sitting in my tbr pile here, and sure enuf...
Well, you've pushed it up the tbr list at least, Kerry!
Roni, I hope you like it, it's definitely juvenile fiction but a big read for that age. I've just started another YA fantasy that looks like it will hold up, first in a new trilogy though, Shadow and Bone. Also picked up The Circle from the library, yet another fantasy trilogy but it's a bestseller in Sweden and just got translated to English, it was recommended by a couple of Swedish readers in the 12in12 challenge.
Lisa - great that your daughter has a mentor. I remember a few years ago spending time 'babysitting' a couple of children's writers, we were stuck at the airport waiting for a midwinter fog-bound flight. Anyway one was Simon Pollard who is a world expert on spiders and a world class photographer of insects, we passed the time watching a slide show of his spider photos and discussing creepy crawlies in general. He did a couple of fantastic children's books, I am a spider and I am an insect. Photographer Nic Bishop's Backyard Detective might be worth a look.
There's definitely a few skeletons in my family history, I was fairly shocked by a couple of news items I came across. Not talking about them, too depressing. Our farm was great, we had to sell when my father got terminal cancer when he was in his early 40s.
Thanks for the suggestions by Simon Pollard and especially Backyard Detective; I'll have to look for them.
I'm so sorry to hear about your dad. He was so young. Losing him and your home must have been very difficult.
Am all caught up with you again Kerry. Lots of great content here as usual. I've added the two Gerald Durrell books you've mentioned to the wishlist, then went poking around a little and found that a) there are a great number of his titles available on Audible (19 unabridged, but no Whispering Land and I have My Family and Other Animals in print) and b) that Penguin is publishing a new editions of several of his titles, all with wonderful covers, probably done by the same illustrator who did MFaOA, which I had posted on your previous thread. You can get a preview here.
Lovely books about Alastair and Carla Coulson.
Belated thanks for posting those illustrations of A Monster Calls. I really need to get a copy of that book. I listened to the audio early this year and even without having seen the illustrations it left such a strong impression with me. Maybe my best YA read/listen ever, and I think I never cried so much over a book.
#64: Deern - yes, the illustrations are fantastic.
#63: Hi Ilana - I'm slowly making my way through a few of Durrell's books, but must admit that I need to read something by his brother. Love the cover art but old paperbacks of his are so easy to pick up cheap in used bookshops. I just found Three singles to adventure so will probably read that too.
#62: Happy to pass on recommendations. Backyard Detective was recommended to me a few years ago.
I've been away for a few days, nowhere that exciting, but a lovely drive through the central North Island to get there. Managed to scrounge a few books in two of Palmerston North's secondhand bookstores. Trash n' Treasures was my pick of the places to visit, a few rooms to explore and lots of older books. There was also a lovely independent bookshop right beside the central library which we also visited. The central library was a mix of industrial modern and an old building stripped out, but the reading spaces were fantastic.
First up a poem by New Zealand poet and doctor Glen Colquhoun which was on display, it comes from An Explanation of Poetry to My Father which can be read in full at the NZETC site
In other words
A poem is a way
of knowing you are alive
As shocking as fish
leaping out of deep water
As sharp as light stabbing
through a row of trees
As bold as opening up
your eyes during prayer
As simple as lying awake
in the middle of the night
listening to the sound
of people snoring
of every day
of every life
is a full library
Three Singles to Adventure by Gerald Durrell - travels to Guyana
Dragonwyck by Anya Seton - hopefully my daughter might get into some Seton
Green Darkness by Anya Seton
Going with the Grain: travels for the love of bread by Susan Seligson
bulibasha by Witi Ihimaera - just read a great review for this at ANZ Litlovers blog
Poor man's Orange by Ruth Park - NZ writer on being poor in post WW2 Sydney, a sequel to The Harp in the South
On Canaan's Side by Sebastian Barry - after hearing his reading from this I just have to read it
The flight of the heron by D.K. Broster - one of many recs on Scottish historical fiction from Suzanne
on the drive home we stopped for lunch at Tirau, and I couldn't resist poking my nose into I Spy Books - she's not always open as she doubles as the area midwife and is on call at all times. Anyway managed to pick up a children's novel I hadn't come across before, Henry Treece's Electra: The Compelling Story of the Downfall of Mycenae.
And home to collect even more library books including:
The Dungeon by Lynne Reid Banks - YA historical fiction
Palace Walk by Naguib Mahfouz - group read
Fate and Philosophy by Jim Flynn - second in his series of life books, first was The Torchlight List: around the world in 200 books
White Bread: a social history by Aaron Bobrow-Strain
#66, Roni it was great to get out of the city for a few days.
#67, Anne - The Hounds of the Morrigan is a children's book but has some interesting characters. I read a lot of Anya Seton as a teen too so these will be rereads (probably) and then will be passed on to my teenaged daughter.
I also watched two dvds that I'd had on request at the library. I read Julia Leigh's The Hunter in January and thought it would make a great movie especially with Willem Dafoe as the lead. It was a beautifully visual movie and though the plot was altered it still had great resonance.
The other movie was Woody Allen's Midnight in Paris and while I enjoyed the timeslip into 1920s Paris and all the glimpses of famous writers and artists of the era, especially Hemingway, I couldn't handle the present day scenario much. Still a fun enough outing.
107a) The Bamboo Flute by Garry Disher (1992)
australia, children's fiction
TIOLI # 14. Read a book whose title begins with a 'B'. Once I found out that I was related, very distantly, to a writer well I just had to try one of his books. He's also written a couple of crime series and I'm tracking down the first book in one of them to try as well. This was a great little read, set during Australia's depression years in the early 1930s in a rural area of South Australia. The story gives us a glimpse into a bygone era of hardship and struggle, of the lives of soldiers, home from the war but unable to re-enter society, who 'choose' the life of a swagman. Paul's father and his teacher also fought in the Great War and carry scars both internal and external.
This won the 1993 Australia Book of the Year for the younger reader.
107b) Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo (2012)
The Grisha Book 1
TIOLI #7. Read a book with more than 300 pages with multiple word titles. This started off really well for me and ended up as quite a good read. For me the downside was the emphasis on romance rather than friendship or comradery. I'm not that keen on too much loveydovey stuff in my fantasy reading, so it loses points for that. Overall quite a compelling storyline, if the reviews are good for book 2 I'll be back for more.
107c) The Hidden Gallery by Maryrose Wood (2011)
The Incorrigible Children of Ashton Place #2
TIOLI #9. Read a book where the pages are Deckle Edge. Really enjoyed my second outing with the feral wolf children. Here they continue to endear themselves to the reader, the plot thickens a tad more and book #3 beckons me.
108) The Waiting Game by Bernice Rubens (1997)
TIOLI #19. Read a book by an author whose canon you are trying to complete. I read a lot of Bernice Rubens last year and it was great to have a quick revisit here. This is set in a rest home and Rubens manages another excellent little black comedy. I was quite keen to read this since reading Muriel Spark's Memento Mori last year.
109) Gillespie and I by Jane Harris (2011)
TIOLI #1. Rainbow Challenge & Orange July. Like most other readers I really enjoyed this. An unreliable narrator relates her version of what happened fifty years earlier in Glasgow.
110) The Age of Doubt by Andrea Camilleri (2008) (2012 Eng)
TIOLI #19. Read a book by an author whose canon you are trying to complete. This is #14 in the Montalbano series and does well to feed the addiction. I'll now have to take a break from the series as this one ws hot from the press. Darryl posted a link to an interesting Guardian interview "Andrea Camilleri: a life in writing", here's the link.
Phew, all caught up!
Way back when you talked of Great Barrier Island, we are planning a trip there for next Autumn. Maybe April? My dad went recently and talked of how unchanged it is, in the northern part of the island anyway. I am really looking forward to it, and now I just have to remember to save up for it!
111) Quicksilver by Neal Stephenson (2003)
Baroque Cycle Vol1of8
TIOLI #5: Read a book with a title or author name that includes the letter Q. Inspite of the excellent narration this book did nothing for me. This is an epic alternate history and after 16 hours of audio there wasn't much that excited me.
Mostly set in the late 17th century the story centres on Nathan Waterhouse, a natural philosopher and Dissenter who mingles with real life characters such as Isaac Newton. There's gunpowder, alchemy, pirates and lots of science and technology, but I think I prefer just to read straight historical fiction.
I still have two volumes to go to complete the first part of the cycle, I just don't think I can handle the idea of it right now, so will put King of the Vagabonds and Odalisque on the back burner.
Megan - You'll love the natural beauty of the island for sure. It's right on AUckland's doorstep but not many people bother to go there as Waiheke is so much closer.
A list of possible reading for my 12in12 categories that I put together last year, I've managed to knock a few off the list but not many. This is just to remind myself what I should be reading every time I pick up a library book.
The Ministry of Fear by Graham Greene
The Spanish Bride by Georgette Heyer (reread)
A Very Private Gentleman by Martin Booth
Smiley's People by John Le Carre (reread)
Israel & the Diaspora:
The River Midnight by Lilian Nattel
A Journey to the end of the Millenium by A.B. Yehoshua
Great House by Nicole Krauss
Homesick by Eshkol Nevo
Thirty-Three Candles by David Horowitz
The True History of the Kelly Gang by Peter Carey
Just Relations, Silence or The last love story by Rodney Hall
The French Tutor by Judith Armstrong
Notorious by Roberta Lowing
Black Mirror by Gail Jones
The Chant of Jimmie Blacksmith by Thomas Keneally
The Vivisector by Patrick White
Breath by Tim Winton
New Zealand fiction:
Novel about my wife by Emily Perkins
Magpie Hall by Rachael King
The God Boy by Ian Cross
Tarzan Presley by Nigel Cox
Gifted by Patrick Evans
The Larnachs by Owen Marshall
Somebody Loves us all by Damien Wilkins
Hand me down world by Lloyd Jones
Baby no-eyes by Patricia Grace
Quinine by Kelly Ana Morey
Lunch with the Generals by Derek Hansen
Billie's Kiss by Elizabeth Knox
The Valley of Bones by Anthony Powell (DttMoT #7)
The State of the Art by Iain M. Banks (Culture #3)
A Feast for Crows by George R.R. Martin (A Song of Ice and Fire #4)
Ragnarok: The End of the Gods by A S Byatt (UK)
The Book of Rachael by Leslie Cannold (Aust)
The Good Man Jesus and the Scoundrel Christ by Philip Pullman (UK)
The Four Wise Men by Michel Tournier (Fr)
Not wanted on the voyage by Timothy Findley (Canada)
My name was Judas by C.K. Stead (NZ)
King Hereafter by Dorothy Dunnett
A Suitable Boy by Vikram Seth
The Sunne in Splendour by Sharon Penman
A Means of Grace by Edith Pargeter
A High Wind in Jamaica by Richard Hughes
Votan by John James
The Stranger's Child by Alan Hollinghurst (Booker Prize longlist, 2011), (UK)
The Restraint of Beasts by Magnus Mills (Booker Prize shortlist, 1998), (UK)
And the land lay still by James Robertson (Scottish Book of the Year, 2010), (UK)
A visit from the goon squad by Jennifer Egan (Pullitzer Prize, 2011), (US)
Zorba the Greek by Nikos Kazantzakis (1001 Books/Guardian 1000), (Greece)
The Bridge on the Drina by Ivo Andrić (Nobel, 1961), (Serbia)
River Boy by Tim Bowler (Carnegie Medal, 1997)
The Lark on the Wing by Elfrida Vipont (Carnegie Medal, 1950)
The Gentle Falcon by Hilda Lewis
The Once and Future King by T.H. White
Ironhand by Charlie Fletcher (Stoneheart #2)
The Shattering by Karen Healey
Again the Bugles Blow by Ron Bacon
Crow Country by Kate Constable
Froi of the Exiles by Melina Marchetta
Samir And Yonatan by Daniella Carmi
Midwinterblood by Marcus Sedgwick
Bloodsong by Melvin Burgess
To browse through:
Australian Classics: 50 great writers and their celebrated works by Jane Gleeson-White
Gödel, Escher, Bach: an eternal golden braid by Douglas Hofstadter
Walk the Blue Fields by Claire Keegan (Ireland)
My Mistress's Sparrow is Dead: great love stories - ed. Jeffrey Eugenides (US)
From under the overcoat by Sue Orr (NZ)
Selected stories of Patricia Highsmith by Patricia Highsmith
Hi Kerry- I have Shadow and Bone waiting at hand. Hope to get to it in a few weeks.
Woah...that's a great list, Kerry. Are you intending to read them all by the end of this year?
What an ambitious list! I am far too erratic a reader to keep to a list, but I always love looking at other people's (and far too often end up expanding my wishlist as a result!).
Hi Mark - it's got a great premise, I hope you like it.
Caroline - these are books that I used to set up my category challenge, yet I've ignored most of them so far this year. I'm still happy with the number I've already read but could do better, sometimes I end up reading different books by the author as I have done with Graham Greene and Derek Hansen. I'm still hoping to read about half of these before year's end.
Crossed off the list so far and not as many as I first thought:
Persuasion by Jane Austen (reread)
Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen (reread)
The Waiting Game by Bernice Rubens
Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone by JK Rowling (reread)
Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets by JK Rowling (reread)
Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban by JK Rowling (reread)
Life: an exploded diagram by Mal Peet
Path of the Orange Peels by Nahum Gutman (Israel)
Only Yesterday by S Y Agnon (Israel)
Oscar and Lucinda by Peter Carey
Walkabout by James Vance Marshall
Rangatira by Paula Morris
The Disorderly Knights by Dorothy Dunnett
God is Back: How the global revival of faith is changing the World by John Micklethwait & Adrian Wooldridge
The Hunter by Julia Leigh
How the soldier repairs the gramophone by Saša Stanišic
Hi Ilana, I was interested in this particular Rubens after finishing Momento mori, just to see how she handled a resthome setting, keeping in mind that she wrote this in the early 1990s whereas Sparks was writing in the 1950s. I've enjoyed every Rubens book I've read so far and next year intend to read a few by her contemporary, Beryl Bainbridge. I've read a lot of Anya Seyton's books before in my 'yoof' but am looking forward to some rereading and hoping my daughter will pick them up as well.
Lisa - consider it more of a guided tour through my tbr stacks rather than a list. These books glare down at me daily and when I do read one I feel very yeled tov yerusaliym indeed.
That all said, I'm really happy with the books I've read so far this year and lots have been from my tbr stacks. I've also discovered new writers such as Anthony McCarten, and added many more books to my tbr piles.
I finished two great novels last week but won't comment on them till I finish What we talk about when we talk about Anne Frank as all three are by Jewish writers and each one has enhanced my reading of the other.
I have Master Georgie in my tbr, but have just now added a whole bunch of her other books onto my WL. Somehow, seeing that she shares with Muriel Spark a propensity for writing very short novels, I am encouraged to dive into her oeuvre.
I love your list of books for your 12 in 12 categories Kerry. It makes me want to look at mine and see what I've read that I planned on reading versus what I thought I would read when I set up my categories at the beginning of the year. I'm reasonably on track with that challenge and still loving my categories but I have a feeling that I'm reading different books than I planned to.
Anne - I think most of us meander from our goals, I list them under 'possible reading' because I know I'm not likely to stick to a hard and fast list.
Morph - lol, not quite, I feel like a 'good Jerusalem boy' - an expression my husband and I use when we feel virtuous.
112) Disobedience by Naomi Alderman (2006)
TIOLI Challenge #1: Rainbow cover (violet). This won the Orange Prize for New Writers in 2006 and was my second Orange July read. I really enjoyed this exploration of Orthodox Judaism in a London neighbourhood and how modern day lifestyles clash with old world ideals. Ronit returns from New York where she's been living a nonreligious life to London's Hendon for her father's funeral. She is forced to deal again with the values and lives of those she left behind. Her vivid descriptions of migraine headaches make me thankful that I've not suffered from these.
I'll also recommend When we were bad by Charlotte Mendelson for a more humorous exploration of similar ideas.
Although they both looked good, I thought more humor would be good and added When We Were Bad to the wishlist.
Rangatira was nominated for NZ Post Book Award wasnt it? I am keen to read it too, but library copies are in hot demand with it being relatively new and now nominated.
113) Only Yesterday by S.Y.Agnon (1945)
TIOLI #3. Read a book set in one of the countries or regions that comprise the traditional Middle East and also for the Reading Globally theme read this quarter.
S.Y. Agnon is Israel's only Nobel Prize winner and this is his magnum opus. A sprawling, chaotic literary novel that details the life of Isaac Kumer when he ascends to the land of Israel as part of the second aliyah between 1904 to 1912. Agnon wrote this through the late 1930s -1943 and it was first published in Israel in 1945. There are so many layers to this novel, much to admire and enjoy. I'm still coming back to it and reconsidering especially after reading the excellent introduction essay (which is best read after reading the novel - as always).
What I loved were the many colourful characters, the detailed descriptions of Jerusalem neighbourhoods, of Jaffa and the early neighbourhoods of Tel Aviv. Back in his Austrian-Galician village Isaac dreams his Zionist dreams of Israel, of working the land with his fellow Jewish brothers and sisters, but on arrival he is totally unprepared for the reality of the situation. Those farmers of the first aliyah prefer to hire Arab labour rather than the politically activated Jewish socialists and idealists lining up for work. An outsider, never quite fitting in anywhere even his fellow Zionists are almost all Russian, and with no money or work Isaac must focus on daily survival rather than the political ideals that brought him here.
At first I found the writing style a little hard to get into, but once I got used to the style I found it fascinating. The breadth of the novel is epic, there is Talmudic commentary, wonderful glimpses into the religious communities of Jerusalem of the time, surreal-like passages with a dog named Balak, a modern woman and a religious one who both capture Isaac's heart. But this is not a straightforward story, not by any means, Isaac is never quite the hero but he is on a journey and he takes us on a bountiful ride. Yes, layers on layers.
Lisa - I probably liked When we were bad more though as I listened to it I don't quite like to compare them too much. The characters were very memorable and I'll probably reread it at some stage. I've also want to read more of her work.
Megan - Rangatira is straightforward historical fiction, interesting and all, and I did enjoy it and the other book by Paula Morris that I read. If you really want to enjoy yourself, try Wulf by Hamish Clayton, he won this year's best first book award and it's probably more your thing.
Disobedience looks like a keeper - and could be a life manual for my daughter in her present state!
114) What we talk about when we talk about Anne Frank by Nathan Englander (2012)
TIOLI #9. Read a book where the pages are Deckle Edge. It was great to follow up the last two reads with this one. I could feel the pull of the modern vs tradition in the first story and the Zionist values in the second and enjoy them so much more. I adored Englander's novel The Ministry of Special Cases and these short stories were a total treat. He manages elements of perplexion and humour that captivate me as a reader. Ok, I'm a fan and just want to read more by him.
Thanks for the recommendation! Ill keep my eyes open for it.
#91: Paul, the book also focuses on being gay in a rigid traditional community so might not be quite the life manual you're after.
115) The Unseen Guest by Maryrose Wood (2012)
The Incorrigible Children of Ashton Place #3
TIOLI #9. Read a book where the pages are Deckle Edge. The third instalment and it is fun. Wood has a similar style to that of Lemony Snicket's The unfortunate Events series with the use of an intrusive narrator, which can get a bit tiring when overdone. Like Snicket she gets away with it as the restrained use of humour, the Victorian setting, the outrageous characters, the slowly unfurling mystery all combine to keep you reading. For every fact we uncover, the mystery nevertheless seems to deepen. In this instalment the children and their 15 yr old governess, the intrepid Penelope Lumley, are back at Ashton Hall and need to find a lost ostrich.
While reflecting on what I wrote about Only Yesterday I realise that the Talmudic commentary was actually in Disobedience, at the start of each chapter, whereas OY had more of a rich Jewish religious traditions and folkloric feel to it. Both novels sort of merged in my head a little since I finished them a day apart! My husband's grandfather went to Israel in early 1914 so I was sort of wondering about his experiences at the same time as I was reading about Isaac's. I did interview him as part of my Hebrew Ulpan course and knew him quite well as he would stay with us in Tel Aviv for part of each week. In hindsight I should have pressed for more details.
I want to read more Isaac Babel now as well as everything else on my plate. and I've pulled Charlotte Mendelson's Daughters of Jerusalem out of my tbr pile and might read it next month.
Just want to note that Nathan Englander's What we talk about when we talk about Anne Frank won the Frank O'Connor Short Story Award last week.
A trip to the local Salvation Army shop this past weekend, and a buy one get one free promotion, saw me heading out the door with :
Elvis, Jesus and Coca-cola by Kinky Friedman - couldn't go past this title
The White Bone by Barbara Gowdy - novel from the POV of elephants
The story of the night by Colm Toibin - replacing a tatty hardback copy, maybe I'll read it now
Night Hunting by Deborah Burnside - great children's fiction with one of the ugliest covers I've come across
Illywhacker by Peter Carey
My Place by Sally Morgan - Australian classic
The Guide by R K Narayan
A heart so white by Javier Marais
The secret purposes by David Baddiel - novel on Jewish internment on Isle of Man during WW2
From the library:
The Prisoner of Heaven by Carlos Ruiz Zafon
The Coroner's Lunch by Colin Cotterill
Night Dancer by Chika Unigwe
Kerry, I think you've just added 3 books to my wishlist in one go - Disobedience, When We Were Bad and Only Yesterday - and all 3 are available in the library!!
I hope you read the Elvis and Jesus book soon, because it sounds really funny.
Lisa - you should love it, Madeline is a fan as well.
Cushla - Only Yesterday is a rewarding read, one of those books that you can't or shouldn't try to rush. I was quite besotted with 'When we were bad' when I listened to it, it has an especially entertaining first chapter.
Megan - hope you like it, it feels a bit like a chicklit novel at the start but gets more serious as it goes.
Hi Tina, yes I do have an Orange thread but it's fairly quiet. I'll update it once I finish The Song of Achilles which I started last night.
Naomi Alderman has a new book coming out in August, The Liars' Gospel, which looks to be a retelling of the Jesus story. I'll wait for the reviews but it fits one of my 12in12 categories so I'm fairly interested.
Some fun here, a 6 year old guesses what some classic books are about by their covers: http://tinyurl.com/cns88nr
Well I've spent the last couple of weeks with an annoyingly sore hip and it is almost back to normal. I've had to limit my gym sessions considerably which has been annoying as I do enjoy them. Now I've woken up with a nasty head cold and I'm hoping it doesn't turn into the flu. I've spent the morning making a lovely creamy green vegetable and herb soup and a big bowl of tabbouli most of which ended up on the kitchen floor due to my clumsy handling of said bowl!
Today's mail included an old Penguin copy of The Colossus of Maroussi which I've been keen to read since Ilana mentioned reading Henry Miller last year. I've taken a large number of library books back to the library so I can focus more on my tbr list in post #76.
I'm currently reading Riddley Walker by Russell Hoban, just a chapter a day. It's quite an adjustment as it is written in an imagined dialect, quite phonetic but needs concentration. I'm also reading my June/July section of Don Quixote, I've switched from the audiobook to the printed copy for the second half and still enjoying the banter between Quixote, Sancho and whosoever they meet on the road. I intend to start Palace Walk as soon as I get the next 30 pages read.
I'm also reading Pawn in Frankincense by Dorothy Dunnett but the small font size always hinders me from picking the book up at night, so I've put it to one side to try The Song of Achilles for another Orange July read.
Library books that I'm still hanging on to with full intentions of reading:
The Coroner's Lunch by Colin Cotterill
The prisoner of heaven by Carlos Ruiz Zafon
I am forbidden by Anouk Markovits
The Circle by Mats Strandberg
What a beautiful photo of the library (post 65)
Congratulations on reading so many books thus far this year. I'm no where near the amount I read this time last year. But, I've read some good books along the way.
I'm sorry about the sore hip, cold, and spilled tabbouleh. If you don't mind my asking, what symptoms are you having? Three years ago I hurt my hip doing my usual exercise routine and ended up with major issues. I hope your's feels better soon!
Hi Lisa - feeling rather miserable here as the cold takes further hold! I can't work out what caused my hip to do this, but it started as more of a glut pain which then went to the hip area. I know from the horror story that happened to a young woman at the gym that you don't take these things lightly, she ended up having to have major surgery after what had seemed to be a simple injury to her hip during an over zealous stretch in a yoga class and then continued to exercise.
Back in my 20s I broke my leg when I was pregnant and was in plaster for too many months which ended when my son was about 4 months old and I finally got the plaster off. My leg is slightly off kilter and whenever I carried my babies on my hip I'd always end up with a similar injury. So I've had this before but not for many years. Since joining the gym I've been very careful and with any sign of a niggling pain have backed away.
Yesterday I did my usual essentrics class and have been feeling really good since then so hopefully it has passed. Still taking it easy today, rather take a couple of weeks easy than have to pay for it with several months of therapy. I recommend the essentrics, it is a blend of yoga, pilates, ballet and general stretching that has improved my posture and general wellbeing.
Do you still have ongoing issues?
Unfortunately yes. I go for a bilateral hip MRA tomorrow. More surgery may be in my future. :-(
116) Ransomwood by Sherryl Jordan (2012)
YA fiction / new zealand
Added to TIOLI challenge #10. Read a book by an author whose surname could also be a first name. This was a great little historical fiction set in medieval times. I loved the plot and the characters grew on you. Three unlikely people set off for a pilgrimage to Ransomwood where the tears of the Madonna make miracles happen. The young and scorned Gwenifer is to accompany the old and blind Dorit with Half-wit Harry to protect them. A delight.
The House Baba Built: an artist's childhood in China by Ed Young (2011)
This was an interesting book to look through and read. The artwork is varied with a lot of use of collage. Ed Young tells the story of his childhood and the big house his father designed and built that not only housed his family but also the extended family and friends through war time. Ed Young's artwork is really brilliant, I especially love Wabi Sabi and Lon Po Po, so was thrilled to get my hands on this pictorial story of his childhood.
> 97, 100
Chiming in here to guide you, Lisa, into quickly reading The Ministry of Special Cases. It was such a well written book - one that I thought started out funny but quickly realized was not funny at all.
By the way, Kerry, my son and his new bride are leaving for their honeymoon trip this Thursday. They're going to Israel for three weeks. My daughter-in law refuses to take me with them! Can you imagine that?! ;)
Lisa, since you're in Virginia, are you going to be around for the LT meet-up in conjunction with the National Book Festival this September? That's always such a fun time.
Oh, Ransomwood sounds like a lot of fun! Onto the list it goes. :) I love the cover, too.
Came across this quote while looking for one to take to a workshop this morning:
“There are 500 reasons I write for children.... Children read books, not reviews. They don't give a hoot about the critics.... They don't read to free themselves of guilt, to quench their thirst for rebellion, or to get rid of alienation. They still believe in God, the family, angels, devils, witches, goblins, logic, clarity, punctuation, and other such obsolete stuff.... They don't expect their beloved writer to redeem humanity. Young as they are, they know that it is not in his power. Only the adults have such childish illusions.” ― Isaac Bashevis Singer
Hi Kerry. As usual, I've added several books to my wishlist with this visit. I tried to add Ransomwood too, but seems that no matter how I try to enter the book, LT just won't recognize it, ever with the ISBN. Yet, the touchstone works just fine. Weird.
Sorry about the hip trouble. Hope it's nothing serious.
>109 Ok, SqueakyChu, I just pulled it off the shelf and moved it onto my read-next table. One step closer! P.S. I live in Seattle, not Virginia, so no, I'll be missing the meet up.
>111 So ironic that you quote I.B. Singer. I've well into his autobiography Love and Exile at the moment. Hope your cold is better, and that your hip is responding to the rest and ice.
Thanks, the hip seems to be almost ok now, just this stupid head cold, I feel soooo blocked up. And today my youngest daughter and I went to a letterpress workshop at a local printers. We each typeset an alphabet and handprinted it, then moved on to typesetting a larger quote each and printing it. Finally we worked with larger wooden type and made poster sized word-themed art. It was fun and we have been invited back if and when we have a project to work on.
My quote ended up being Isaac Bashevis Singer's (much shorter than the above one) - “When I was a little boy, they called me a liar, but now that I am grown up, they call me a writer. ”
Quite time consuming to set the type, proof it, check spacing and layout and then have a small print run of 5-10 cards. We're both inspired and want to do more. I'll add a couple of photos when they've uploaded. I took lots of photos and am uploading them for the printer and the other participants to see. A journalist interviewed us as well for the local community paper, and the printer's wife came with fresh baked muffins just towards the end of the day!
Madeline, how fabulous, a honeymoon in Israel!
Ilana - Ransomwood is probably only available in New Zealand.
How fascinating! Thanks for sharing. I would be so worried about smearing. The older gentleman watching in the last picture looks the part. Is that you? I'm glad your hip and head were better enough that you could attend; it looks very cool. Head colds are the worst though aren't they?
#116: That's my daughter Dana, she's 15. Graham, the owner of the printing business, is watching her. He was really helpful and enthusiastic about letting 4 of us loose in his printing business. This workshop was aimed at total beginners and so focused on the process and 'how to' aspect rather than our finished products. We were encouraged to print on a variety of paper stock to see how that affected the printing. I've wanted to play with real type for ages and thought it would be fun for a modern teen to see how it was done in the old days before computers.
Graham collected the letterpress equipment to complement the modern side of his printing business. He does lots of wedding invitations and is now seeing a huge growth in business cards. People find that a quality letterpress business card is good for business. He told us about an event next month at our local Museum of Technology, they are going to use a steamroller to 'press' a large artwork. Dana and I will probably go along to watch that, the museum has an active printing workshop that is open to enthusiasts.
#117: Hi Paul, weekend proceeding rather well, though book reading is not. I'm not catching the love for Dr Siri after one chapter but will keep going. Also not particularly catching the love on The Song of Achilles, so far am reminded of a well written YA novel rather than an award winning Orange Prize winner. Riddley Walker remains a phonetic but intriguing battle. My audiobook, Stonemouth, is menacingly great though I haven't listened to it for a couple of days as I've had to give up most of my gym sessions till I'm sure about my hip.
I can either keep struggling through the above or pick up The Prisoner of Heaven and wallow in some retro Barcelona.
I'm enjoying the narrator's strong Scottish accent for Stonemouth and the story comes with a menacing atmosphere. I like the play between the two story threads, the past and the present. I'm hoping to be back at the gym tomorrow and will get another hour or so of audio done.
Never been able to think about audio books in the gym ..... Banks is always good at creating the right atmosphere .....
Interesting you're finding Song of Achilles like a well-written YA novel... it took me a few pages to get into, but when I did, my goodness, I sat and read that thing from cover to cover. The voice isn't complex, but I think it's suitable based on who the narrator is and his age. Do you think you'll keep going with it?
#121: Alex, I've managed to tune out the loud music and focus on the audiobook, it can work really well, and especially makes the time doing cardio fly a little faster. I'm intending to read more Culture novels, just got too many other books vying for my attention at present. I've read 2 so far, so have about 8 to go.
#122: Hi Stasia, great to see you here
#110 & 123: Hi Faith, as I said to Ilana I think Ransomwood will only be available in NZ at present. I will keep reading The Song of Achilles, just thought there'd be a little more depth to the novel. I've started a number of books this past week looking for one to hook me in, just not sure what I'm in the mood for and all my reading at present is influenced by me being a bit miserable with this cold.
#124: Hi Heather. Those are both good reads.
I'm focusing on Riddley Walker at present. It needs a lot of concentration and is a really unusual read. Hoban has invented a primitive broken down dialect, it took him 5 years to write and turned him into a bad speller. You have to admire the ideas he's brought to this novel and I'm really keen to read some commentary on the book, but have to finish it first.
Here's a quote from Riddley Walker that gives an idea of how you have to read carefully for comprehension:
'I begun to see why G. ternt me luce hed parbly sust it myt come to me by its self if he lef me a loan.
I begun to get as cited then thinking on them things. I wudve liket to gether with G. right then and pul datter wylst my mynd wer running like that.'
There is method to the madness of the dialect and I'm looking forward to finishing the book, hopefully later today.
If you haven't seen it yet, do take a look at this video footage, View from the International Space Station at night. Stunningly beautifully and the musical choice was inspired.
Just catching up after my holiday. You've been doing some great reading as usual. Interesting that you've got The Spanish Bride in your favourites category - it's the one Heyer book I've read that I didn't enjoy at all.
#128: Rhian, I've got it there probably because Heyer is a favourite writer, I haven't read this one. My category headings are a bit hazy.
#129: Hi Madeline - isn't it!!
Sad news - The amazing and wonderful children's writer, Margaret Mahy died yesterday afternoon and the world is shining a little less brightly for the children' literature world today. So many great writers / illustrators lost this year.
I've finished Riddley Walker and can now pick up my last two TIOLI reads but will probably sidetrack and finish a couple of library books that need o be taken back in a couple of days.
I picked a couple of interesting looking books off the library shelves yesterday, something I so shouldn't do as I have enough to read.
The Second Son by Jonathan Rabb - which will go back unread as it's the last in a trilogy set in between the wars and I need to start with book 1, Rosa.
No time like the present by Nadine Gordimer - with Nobel Prize winner on the cover and having successfully just completed a Nobel Prize winning chunkster I couldn't resist at least taking this one home to look at for a few days.
117) Riddley Walker by Russell Hoban (1980)
Read for TIOLI challenge #2: Title is a full name. Patrick Ness mentions Riddley Walker as one of his inspirations for his Chaos Walking books.
This was a demanding but very satisfying read and I’m really pleased I finally read it. At first the pidgin style English takes some time to adapt to, but you do adapt and then over the course of the book you see glimpses of Hoban’s clever word play. There was more than I scoped at first but reading some commentary on the book has made me aware of the rest. I loved how Hoban used broken words to play on one of the themes of the book 1 into 2 and 2 into 1 and also give double meanings.
The book is set in England’s Kent about 2000 years after a nuclear devastation and the inhabitants are still living in an Iron age like environment. They scrap old machinery for iron and the society is built on superstitions, myths and a twisted history/legend of times before the 1 big 1.
Proaganda and religion combine with entertainment in a traveling puppet show that moves from settlement to settlement. Riddley Walker, a young boy just turned 12, who proves his manhood in the first chapter is the son of the local connexion man, a sort of prophetic seer who interprets the stories of the puppet show to his people.
Don’t want to say anything more, except that the book is a linguistic marvel, just interpreting the double meaning of some of the broken words, and the word play in general is so satisfying. There is an underlying brilliance here especially with the misinterpretations of the past. The Legend of St Eustace was Hoban’s main inspiration for the story, in the introduction notes he describes his visit to Canterbury Cathedral where he first came across an old painting of the legend.
There is quite a lot of online commentary about the book but best to link to the man himself:
“The first time I stood in Canterbury Cathedral and tilted my head back to look up, up, up to that numinous fan-vaulting I felt the uprush past me of all the centuries of prayer, of hope and fear and yearning, yearning for answers and, if possible, salvation…Up those worn- down steps, past the place where the remembered blood of Thomas Becket seethes on the stones, to the north aisle where on one wall remains the faint earth-green tracery of The Legend of St Eustace.
The book is considered a classic scifi, though do note that it’s more an intelligent study of a deconstructed people (post-apocalyptic) than a futuristic rockets and outer space type read. Some reviewers mention two other books alongside this one – Canticle for Leibowitz and Clockwork Orange. My edition of the book came with an introduction by Will Self (whose Book of Dave is apparently along similar linguistic lines) and a glossary and notes by Hoban that do help with the reading of the book. Definitely a book that I’ll be thinking of and possibly rereading at some stage. I read Hoban's The lion of Boaz-Jachin and Jachin-Boaz a couple of years ago and thought that was a great read as well.
The other book Ness mentioned was Peter Carey's The Unusual Life of Tristan Smith and I’ll be reading that sometime soon. I also want to finally finally read Hoban’s classic children’s novel The Mouse and his child, I’ve only seen the movie version which I strongly recommend. Also recommended is one of my all time favourite children’s storybooks – Hoban’s 1974 How Tom Beat Captain Najork and his Hired Sportsmen which was illustrated by Quentin Blake.
Nice review. I'm not sure I'm up for the linguistic challenge at the moment, but it sounds interesting, as does the man himself. Thanks for reminding me of A Canticle for Leibowitz, which has been on the fringes of my reading consciousness forever. I love Quentin Blake's illustrations. Nice juxtaposition of Hoban the sci-fi/linguistic writer and the children's author.
ETA: oh, meant to say the link to the Guardian article isn't working.
Thank's for that, I've fixed the link. When I paste from a word.doc the commas don't work in the html whatever...
Many tributes for Margaret Mahy, but this poem written by Margaret herself feels appropriate:
The Fairy Child by Margaret Mahy
The very hour that I was born
I rode upon the unicorn.
When boys put tadpoles in their jars
I overflowed my tin with stars.
Because I sing to see the sun
The little children point and run.
Because I set the caged birds free
The people close their doors to me.
Goodbye, goodbye, you world of men -
I shall not visit you again.
By Margaret Mahy
From The Word Witch: The Magical Verse of Margaret Mahy (page 81)
Margaret signing a book for Dana about 12 years past.
Hi, love the printing workshop, looks like great fun and right up my alley.
Sad news about Margaret Mahy huh, she was a great lady by all accounts. And, of course, a great writer.
#132: Lisa, it took me a couple of years to get round to reading Riddley Walker especially after I tried the first page when I got the book. I read Canticle for Lebowitz a couple of years ago, it's a classic you sort of have to read those ones to make sense of the ones that come after.
Two cult novels I should read are Trainspotting and Clockwork Orange, I think both have that dialect problem. I tried reading The Book of Dave when it first came out but gave up for the same reason - too hard to concentrate on each word, sentence and comprehend what's going on.
#135: Hi Megan, I've got quite a bit of my own printing equipment all collected over the years but needed a workshop like this to finally get going. I was really creative about 8 years ago but life and books seem to have got in the way and I would love to get back to my screen printing etc. Now I just need to wave my magic 'clean up this mess' wand in our garage so I have some space to work in.
Very sad about Margaret. I've worked on some of her nominations for awards as well as for Joy Cowley and when you start compiling lists of everything they've published, languages they've been translated in, critical studies of their work etc etc you do start to get a bit in awe of how much they've quietly achieved. Margaret was just wonderful. There's a 10 min glimpse of her with animations and Elizabeth Knox here: http://www.nzonscreen.com/title/a-tall-long-faced-tale-2008
One of my favourite Blerta songs, Dance around the world, (I especially love the video which unfortunately isn't available online) was based on her picturebook, The Procession.
I didnt know that about "Dance Around the World"! Thats a classic really isnt it.
Id love to get into screen printing and printing in general, im wondering if my local printer does workshops. (they were closed down after the earthquake and now only sell bits and bobs online). Ill keep my eye on them :)
118) The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller (2011)
Read for Orange July and TIOLI challenge #8. Read a book where the author's initials form a commonly used abbreviation or initialism. I should have been picking up Palace Walk or Pawn in Frankincense but needed a light read and tbh the small print size of PiF makes me less keen to pick up at present. This fitted the bill, a retelling of the Iliad focusing on the relationship between Patroclus and Achilles. The writing was good but I'm surprised that it won the Orange Prize, mainly because it was such a straight forward retelling of a well known story.
That letterpress workshop looks like it was lots of fun. Something I'd love doing for sure.
I liked song of Achilles when I read it a few months ago (listened to, actually), but there was something bothering me about it all along and I couldn't quite put my finger on it, so quite uncharacteristically, I gave it quite a glowing review. The further away from it I get however, the more I see what bothered me about it, but it's one of those rare cases where I don't dare share my thoughts because I fear they might offend and make me seem much more narrow-minded than I am. I'll just say I wasn't all that keen on the romance aspect of the story, something which I never like much in general, and leave it at that.
>139 If you are referring to a gay or lesbian romance, I don't think that makes you narrow-minded. I don't particularly care for reading about them either. But then I don't particularly care about reading teen romances either. It's not that I don't like gays, lesbians or teens, but rather I find it difficult to relate because I'm not gay/lesbian/teenaged. It's no different than a friend recommending me a book about a mystery that involves food and French countryside. It doesn't interest me. Doesn't make me narrow-minded against the French, etc.
Ilana - I'm not really into the romance side of things either, though unrequited love does draw me in. This one didn't really captivate me though I enjoyed it. I've done some reading of reviews etc since posting my thoughts mainly to see why the judges felt it worthy of the prize. Not having read the original Iliad does leave me unable to comment much more on The Song of Achilles.
Morphy - thanks for your comments. I'm also not rushing out to read about gay relationships though I don't mind to read the occasional one if it's been shortlisted for an award or of literary value.
119) Stonemouth by Iain Banks (2012)
fiction / audiobook
This was narrated superbly by Peter Kenny. And what a great novel. Stuart Gilmour goes home to Stonemouth in north Scotland for a funeral. Five years has elapsed since he left under a cloud with the local mobster family after him. The story covers both Stuart's present day return and also his reminiscing around the events leading up to that infamous last night in Stonemouth. Banks is great, this has such menacing overtones, the characters are all interesting and the Scottish landscapes are vividly described. Kenny does great Scots accents.
120) The Circle by Sara Elfgren & Mats Strandberg (2011) (2012 Eng)
Engelsfors Trilogy Bk 1
This was recommended to me by Anders in the 12in12 group, he's already read book 2 which still has to be translated. This is different from what I normally read as it's a YA paranormal dealing with witches and prophecy. At first I thought it was just average but as the book progressed I could see the appeal. Several girls attending the local high school find that they are witches and must work together to defeat an evil force. But these girls are all flawed, they don't get on with each other, they never have and probably never will. Their home situations are all different and they all have other more normal problems going on in their lives. The town of Englefors is really well drawn and feels quite grim, the industry has left, shops are closing, it's a town with a past, no present and definitely no future. There's plenty of unemployment, booze and drugs if that's your scene. It ends up being quite a compelling read.
Don't give up either on Trainspotting or A Clockwork Orange. They're both really worth their cult status, especially A Clockwork Orange.
There is an online glossary you can use for the Scottish words in Trainspotting. I recommend keeping it close by and using it as often as you need to.
The vocabulary in A Clockwork Orange is made up, but just start reading it. You'll "get it" soon enough. I actually listened to A Clockwork Orange on CD and found that its imaginative vocabulary was part of what made it such a brilliant novel despite my being one of those people who will stop a novel at any point if I either don't understand it or don't like it.
Madeline, I'll get to them eventually.
121) Red Rocks by Rachael King (2012)
children's, new zealand
TIOLI challenge - Colour from your country's flag in title. King takes the Celtic selkie tale to the rocky Wellington coastline and gives the reader a richly satisfying read. Young Jake is staying with his father, a writer, and when climbing around rocks at a nearby beach he discovers a sealskin. He feels an immediate compulsion to take it home and hide it under his bed, his action puts Jake and his father at risk from a young selkie woman searching for her skin. I thought Jake was a wonderfully drawn character.
I've read King's debut adult novel, The Sound of Butterflies, I'll have to try her other adult novel, Magpie Hall on the strength of this read. I'm interested in her work as she's the daughter of the late Michael King a renown New Zealand biographer and history writer.
122) The Prisoner of Heaven by Carlos Ruiz Zafón (2012)
Added to TIOLI challenge #16. Read a book with a cover that is boring, uninteresting, uninspiring, or mostly brown as the cover is in sepia brown tones. This is the third book in The Cemetery of Forgotten Books series and after reading only a few pages I had to resort to wikipedia to refresh my memory of the various characters and plot strands. Daniel Sempre, now married, encounters a strange and sinister visitor to his father's bookshop. He buys the rarest and most expensive book, The Count of Monte Cristo, and writes a dedication in it, leaving the book to be given to Fermin, shop employee and good friend of Daniel. Fermin then recounts an episode from his past to Daniel about how he came to be acquainted with the writer, David Martin (from The Angel's Game).
I enjoyed this, it was an easy book to race through and I do like the Barcelona setting. Once again fairly grim happenings, lots of mystery in that gothic layering way of Zafon's. Will need to read the next book as we're left sort of midair and bereft of resolution.
My proposed reading for August:
Don Quixote - my August segment of about 110 pgs
finish books on the go -
* shared read
Challenge #1: Literature Map
Challenge #2: Read a book from the 2012 Booker Prize longlist
*Bring up the bodies - Hilary Mantel
*Narcopolis - Jeet Thayil
Challenge #3: Read a book about an alternate Earth
Challenge #4: Read a book where the Title either begins with the same letter as the one above or ends with the same letter, alternating
The Helmet of Horror - Victor Pelevein
My name was Judas - CK Stead
Challenge #7: Read a book someone recommended to you in the last month
Tooth and claw - Jo Walton (recommended by ronincats)
Challenge #11: To mark the August appearance of the Perseid meteor shower, read a book about a warrior
Bloodsong - Melvin Burgess
Challenge #13: Read a book where the first letter of the title words can be rearranged to make a single word
Challenge #14: Read a book whose title includes one or more of the colors from your country's flag
Yellow Blue Tibia - Adam Roberts
Challenge #16: Read a book with a cover that is boring, uninteresting, uninspiring, or mostly brown
*Palace Walk - Naguib Mahfouz
Challenge #17: Read a book with an embedded first name in either the title or author's name
Brilliance - Anthony McCarten (Lian)
A High Wind in Jamaica - Richard Hughes (Hugh)
Challenge #19: Read a short work such as a short story or an essay with a title which follows an alphabetical sequence
Challenge #21: Read a middle-length work (between 150-288 pages total)
Can't get over how many shared reads I've got lined up. There's 24 books on the list, more than I can probably manage for the month but several are juvenile or YA reads and there's one short story so there's hope. Most fit my 12in12 challenge.
Hey, Kerry, I see you've been doing lots of good reading as usual while I was off cavorting around the Midwest.
Always fascinated by your proposed reads Kerry and you are one of the few in the group that could pull of such an ambitious list.
My SIL has just read The Prisoner of Heaven and was raving to me about it - or was it that she was just raving! Must read it soon as well as its pre-cursor; read the first one and loved it.
Hi Paul, I flew through the Prisoner of Heaven, it's great to read a page turner from time to time. I had forgotten the plot details of Shadow of the Wind and The Angels Game so had to do a little homework to sort a few characters out but in this book he's bringing the two previous books together, I'm sure book 4 will be good.
I'm not expecting to finish the full list from above in August but will have a try, I have to be in the mood for the book. My usual method is to read the first chapter or 20 pages of several books and the one that pulls me in is the one I tend to concentrate on. I also set a daily page count for the more worthy books that are slower to get through.
Kerry - that is exactly my strategy too but you seem to do it so much better than I.
123) The Dungeon by Lynne Reid Banks (2002)
Added to TIOLI challenge #21. Read a middle-length work (between 150-288 pages total). A few weeks ago I got some recommendations of historical fiction set in Scotland from Suzanne but this was not one of them. I found this in my library's catalogue and thought the plot sounded interesting and having enjoyed Banks' work on other occasions decided to try it.
Not a happy book though a bit of a juvenile page turner for all that.
The story revolves around a feud that escalates between two neighbouring lairds. The younger laird is bitter and determined to have his revenge after losing his family. He orders the building of a fortified castle with a dungeon and once the foundations and dungeon are dug he travels overland to China, staying away for several years. He finally returns bringing a young Chinese girl-slave, Peony, with him but so damaged are his emotions by his anger, grief and need for revenge that his relationship with the child is very harsh. Peony, misunderstood and so far away from her people, becomes friends with the stable boy who sees himself as her protector.
The laird, being so very unpredictably angry in his grief almost to the point of mental unstability, made this quite a scary read.
And a couple of books with pictures:
The fantastic flying books of Mr Morris Lessmore by William Joyce (2012)
From what I understand this is a by-product of the short animated film that won an Academy Award earlier this year. I still haven't watched the film though I will and I think overall I'll like it more than the book which just doesn't 'call' to the child in me. And I also felt when reading it that it was more of a book to appeal to adults than an actual child, the text was a little leaden for me.
I came across mention of the book when reading a review for The word collector by Sonja Wimmer which I'm waiting for my library to get in. Along similar lines is the wonderful sophisticated picturebook by Colin Thompson, How to live forever. I noticed that Thompson has just had 2 children's chapter books published based on the story from the picturebook.
10 little insects by Davide Cali (2012 Eng) (2009 French)
graphic novel / juvenile
Awards first: Winner, Best Children's Comic Book, Salon du Livre Jeunesse (France)
Winner, Garonne Comic Festival (France)
Winner,Tam-Tam Literary Prize (France)
One of the Best Graphic Novels of the Year - Angoulême International Comics Festival (France)
I believe this has been first published in English here in Australia/New Zealand. This is quite an amusing caper based on the Agatha Christie novel And Then There Were None. It was a bit silly, but also fun and at times quite brilliant.
There's a sample of the book here: http://issuu.com/wilkinsfarago/docs/10_little_insects_sample
#131 Enjoyed your comments about the Russell Hoban. I can't say that it's calling to me at the moment (it sounds hard...) but maybe one day.
I was also saddened to hear of the death of Margaret Mahy. I can't remember whether I've read any of books before but after hearing she'd died I checked on bookmooch and managed to get a copy of The Catalogue of the Universe to try.
#146 I'm going to try and wait until The Prisoner of Heaven's out in paperback. I'd like to reread the first two before reading the new one and I don't feel like I have time for them at the moment!
Keri, The Fantastic Flying Books video is amazingly good. I hope you have an opportunity to see it soon. . .
Hi Heather - do hope you enjoy Mahy's work. I also strongly recommend her picturebook/poem Bubble Trouble, it really is a showcase of her wonderful way with words.
“‘Little Mabel blew a bubble and it caused a lot of trouble… Such a lot of bubble trouble in a bibble-bobble way. For it broke away from Mabel as it bobbed across the table, Where it bobbled over Baby, and it wafted him away.’
Yes, Riddley Walker was difficult to get going on, it sat around my tbr for a couple of years, though it does make the lists of classic scifi so is a must read. I set a goal of a chapter a day and found that pace worked.
I got in early on the library queue for the Zafon. I'm not one for rereads, I like to see what I can remember as I start a second or third book in a series but do resort to blog reviews or wikipedia to recap if needed. This book ties the previous two together.
Brenda - yes, I do need to take a look at the film. I remember Madeline posting about it a few months back but I didn't click on the link.
Hi Kerry, well, a couple of book bullets with Stonemouth and The Dungeon, plus and instant glide over to my library tab to borrow 10 petits insectes (the touchstone only seems to work in French, and that's the version I've reserved). Not adding The Prisoner of Heaven because I still have to listen to the 2nd book, the audio of which I got from the library and it's almost a given I'll get to the 3rd book shortly after.
Ilana - I don't think The Dungeon is worth going out of your way to read. I might start rating my reads.
I think you'll like some of Davide Cali's work, he collaborates with interesting people.
I'm stopping by to say hello and to see what great books you are reading.
I was going to update the 2 books I finished, but don't feel up to it right now. I feel really bad and my cat feels really dizzy. Morrigan is a black cat and not always easy to spot, so I didn't notice that he was lying in the dryer before I loaded it and started it this evening. I wondered what the unusual thumping sound was and after I finished loading my washing machine, went over to the dryer and opened the door, a pitiful meow came out from between wet towels and wet jeans...I feel so guilty. He's fine now. Both cats climb into the dryer and I usually do check that it's empty.
Two days ago he climbed into the plastic bag holding the dry cat food and got the bag handles stuck round his neck. He ran up and down the hallway making a racket then sprinted through the cat flap and into the neighbour's garden. Took ages to track him down and pull the bag away especially as our dog was all for chasing him. I've now bought a container to store the dry food in.
He loves sleeping on my son's black computer chair and has been sat on a couple of times as well. Talk about nine lives!
And I'm loving my audiobook, The Prefect by Alastair Reynolds, really exciting scifi. This is Shyness is turning out to be a great little read as well.
I really enjoyed This is Shyness. I read it last week and have you to thank for that, Kerry! I spotted in on a shelf of proof editions in a second hand bookshop, thought "interesting title" but left it as I didn't know anything about it and being a proof copy, the book itself didn't reveal much. Then I saw you'd listed it in a TIOLI challenge, followed the link to the book's main page and decided to go back for it!
#163 What a mischief maker Morrigan is. I'm glad he's ok and don't feel guilty - it's one of those things that's so easy to do.
I must get started on the Alistair Reynolds series at some point!
Oh, poor Morrigan! I wish I could think this experience would cure him of getting into the dryer.
Sounds like Morrigan is taking full advantage of his nine lives! I had a couple of black cats in the past and often didn't see them in time to stop myself from sitting on them or tripping over them on a dark stairway. Amazing how much they can take.
Glad to hear that Morrigan is OK! I remember when you got that little guy.
Oh my goodness, I didn't read your whole post in my hurry to thank you for leading me to This is Shyness.
That must have been such a shock for you. It's something I always dread happening with my own cat and such a terribly easy thing to happen! So relieved Morrigan is okay.
Omigod, Morrigan has a death wish -- that's a few of his lives shot, right there!! Poor puss, stuck in a dryer...
One more Scottish HF title, although probably at least 50% romance, is Clandara by Evelyn Anthony. Set against the backdrop of the '45. The sequel is set at Versailles, a generation later. I re-read it last year and still enjoyed it for what it is.
Btw, thanks for suggesting (way back) The Conductor by Sarah Quigley. It just arrived from the UK and is on my (over-ambitious) TBR for this month. I'm really excited about it, as Shostakovich's 7th is one of my fave symphonies. I saw a performance here about 10 years ago that was one of those evenings that will live forever in my memory. Conducted by the late Rostropovich; chills going up and down my spine the whole time. (Either LSO or LPO? At Lincoln Center.) The audience mobbed the stage after the final notes. And New Yorkers don't get that excited about much....
Wow, amazing that Morrigan is fine!! He sonds lovely (and I am not usually a cat person). The worst thing I've put into a dryer is lipstick with a lovely cream linen shirt.
Glad that Morrigan is OK! Is he avoiding the dryer now or does he still go in?
So many comments about my poor cat. He's fine, luckily he was part of the load so was well padded in and didn't get knocked onto the metal shelves. I'm feeling a bit tired today so will have to come back tomorrow and answer everyone individually. Will also upload a recent photo of cat.
Morrigan reminiscing on his time in the dryer!
My, what long legs you have - he often sits all stretched out like this.
#160: hi Linda!
#161: Hi Darryl, good to see you here, I'm intending to prioritise Palace Walk this coming week.
#162: hi Stasia!
#164: Hi Dee, I was surprised to see you adding This is Shyness to the TIOLI as I didn't think it would be very available. Did I mention somewhere that book 2 is now available? Glad you enjoyed it too.
#165-172: Heather, Roni, Judy, Stasia, Dee, Suzanne, Cushla, Rhian - Thanks again for all the comments on Morrigan, eventually was able to not feeling too guilty about it, just pleased that I checked out the dryer before leaving the room. Since then I'm being extremely careful when loading up the dryer, should just keep the dryer door shut but that never seems to happen. I feed the cats in our laundry, away from the dog, and their catflap to outside is there, so is one of their favourite rooms.
Heather: Alastair Reynolds writes very exciting scifi stories, I loved The Prefect as much as all the others I've listened to. I haven't actually 'read' any yet, I just love the narration by John Lee.
Judy - didn't realise this about black cats till we got him but they are hard to spot. He also runs really fast and often between our legs as we're walking, my son tripped over him coming down the stairs when he did this.
Stasia - they still feel like babies, just fairly big ones. Morrigan is turning into a bit of a monster, but one with gorgeous fur. I love the little crick at the end of his tail, otherwise he'd have been too perfect.
Suzanne - I'm really hoping you enjoy Quigley's book. I'm a bit annoyed with myself for having misplaced the cd that came with it. I'll have to dig out my husband's cds and hunt for it there for another listen. Sounds like you got to listen to a magnificent live performance. And now knowing the background to the music does enhance the listening experience.
I'm definitely having a Celtic category next year so all these historical novels will get a chance.
Cushla - lipstick in the dryer, now that would be a cat-astrophe.
Rhian - he hasn't been in there again, but I don't think he's scared of it either.
I've caught a nasty cold again so am having a day at home. I've got lots of books to comment on, so will be reporting in on them once I've had a bit of a read of my current crime novel, The Dragon Man. I finished Never let me go this morning and feel extremely virtuous as it was a book that has spent a long long time on my tbr pile.
So sorry to hear about your cold (but at least for you, it IS a winter cold) and hope you feel better quickly. Love the cat pictures--lovely, lovely!
Hope you recover from your cold and have a wonderful weekend Kerry.
124) I am forbidden by Anouk Markovits (2012)
TIOLI challenge #17. Read a book with an embedded first name in either the title or author's name. I have to say that Suzanne has just summed up this book rather well over on her thread here. I had similar thoughts on this one, the plot does get carried away a little but overall it's a great read. Recommended. I would like to say more but it's a hard one to describe, just note that the characters are all members of a strict Hasidic Jewish sect and the story moves from East Europe during WW2 to Paris and then New York.
125) Whispers Under ground by Ben Aaronovitch (2012)
fiction, Peter Grant #3
TIOLI challenge #3. Read a book about an alternate Earth. First of all, I love the covers these books are getting. They are based on Stephen Walters' 'The Island' map. Anyway this instalment was still interesting, I probably wasn't as engaged as I was in the first two but that could have been my own reading of the book rather than the book itself. Following Peter Grant, an apprentice wizard-constable at The Folly, the not-talked-about magical branch of the London Police.
Both books are now safely back at the library and my other reads have all been taken from my tbr pile.
126) This is Shyness by Leanne Michelle Hall (2010)
TIOLI challenge #13. Read a book where the first letter of the title words can be rearranged to make a single word.
The manuscript for This is Shyness won The Text Prize in 2009, an award for new writers from Australia and New Zealand by Melbourne based Text Publishing, a new award set up in 2008. I've enjoyed the other two winning entries and the 2011 winner, Fire in the Sea by Myke Bartlett, has just been published and is on my tbr list.
I've seen TiS around many times in the bookshops and library but the cover never appealed and reminded me too much of a 'boy-girl' romance YA read. When I finally picked up the book I got a much different read to what I had expected. Firstly Shyness is a place, an unusual quarter of the city where over the past several years the sun has not shone and lives in perpetual night time. Most residents have adapted or left, though the rest of the city now mostly avoids the area and services such as police, sanitation, education etc have fallen by the wayside. Wildgirl comes with her friends for a night out, an 'experience' but then she meets Wolfboy and decides to take him up on his offer to show her around Shyness. The rest of the plot is about that one night and is told in alternating chapters by Wildgirl and then Wolfboy. I enjoy these switcharound POVs from time to time, they seem to be popular in YA especially when two writers collaborate such as with Nick and Norah's Playlist or Will Grayson Will Grayson. Overall this was a delightfully dark read, the setting was really intriguing and Wildgirl and Wolfboy were both flawed and interesting characters.
The sequel, Queen of the night, was published earlier this year. and is on my 'must read' list. In the real world Leanne works as a children's specialist in an independent bookstore in Melbourne.
127) The Taniwha's Tear by David Hair (2010)
YA, new zealand
TIOLI challenge #4:Read a book where the Title either begins with the same letter as the one above or ends with the same letter, alternating.
This is the second of four published so far in Hair's Aotearoa series, a fantasy that straddles across the real world New Zealand and the spirit world of Aotearoa, home to gods, spirits from the past, patupaiarehe (fairy), ponaturi (goblins), taniwha ...
The main character is Matiu Douglas, a part Maori teenager from Napier, who has the ability to cross into Aotearoa and some burgeoning supernatural power. In the previous book he had battled and defeated a powerful tohunga who wanted to control Aotearoa. Other spirits are now vying for the top position, many of them equally as evil. So now Matiu is asked to free the spirit of a taniwha, Haumapuhia who has the ability to yield great power to whoever gains control of her. This is a great yarn, fairly sure I enjoyed it much more than the first book. Matiu and his friends in the real world are convincingly normal but annoying teenagers, the world of Aotearoa is full of interesting character spirits and this time the setting is around Lake Waikeremoana and Gisborne. I'm so pleased that the next two are already available, The Lost Tohunga and Justice and Utu.
David Hair's first book in his 'Return to Ravena' Indian mythology series, Pyre of Queens recently won the LIANZA YA Book Award. I read it last year and need to read the second book.
I love the artwork by late Manu Smith so here are a couple to illustrate the world of Aotearoa that Matiu and his friends experience.
128) Celandine by Steve Augarde (2005)
TIOLI challenge #17. Read a book with an embedded first name in either the title or author's name (Elan, Eve). This is the second book in the Touchstone trilogy and I found it a brilliant read. The first book is about Maddie who discovers the Various, faerie-like folk who live in the woodland on the farm, really interesting faerie... In Celandine, we travel back 50 or more years to around 1915 and are with Celandine when she first discovers the Various as a young child. The book starts with Celandine running away from school and then alternates between her travails at the boarding school and an estranged northern tribe of faerie who are travelling through countryside to reunite with the Various at the farm. This book explains much of the mystery touched on in book 1 but opens up more about the Various themselves.
I spent four years in boarding school and can never get enough of reading boarding school stories, this is a particularly nasty episode though Celandine is spirited enough to come through for a strong finish. Can't wait to get into book three where everything will come together.
I love the cover art on these books which was done by Augarde, a talented artist and now award winning writer.
129) The Diddakoi by Rumer Godden (1972)
TIOLI Challenge #4: Read a book where the Title either begins with the same letter as the one above or ends with the same letter, alternating.
This has been a very long time resident on Mt tbr and seems to have been a childhood favourite read for many, the alternate title was Gypsy Girl. Kizzy who lives alone with her old Granny is a diddakoi, a gypsy of mixed blood. She's about 7 and has been forced to attend the local school where she is bullied incessantly for being different. She shares an old traveller's wagon with her gran and they live happily and peacefully in an orchard in the grounds of a large estate owned by the solitary Admiral Twiss. When her Gran dies the local gypsy families won't take Kizzy in and so her future has to be decided by the local villagers, though Kizzy has her own ideas. This was a delightful story, Kizzy is a staunch little character and for such a slim volume it packed a lot in.
130) The Family Fang by Kevin Wilson (2011)
TIOLI Challenge #4: Read a book where the Title either begins with the same letter as the one above or ends with the same letter, alternating. This was one of my santathing gifts from last year, so I was looking forward to reading it. The Fang family is a little weird and so is the story about them. The parents are artists, they stage unexpected performance art in the midst of public places such as shopping malls and capture the chaos and reactions on camera. When the children come along, they include them in their art and eventually the children (Child A and Child B) become integral components to the 'act' and here the line blurs between what is more important to the parents, family or art. So the children have grown from dysfunctional children into dysfunctional adults and we meet them as their adult lives begin to unravel and both Annie and Buster return to the family home.
The narrative jumps around in time, so we get to experience enough of the back story on the Fangs to understand the how and why of the present.
I found this quite an interesting read though at first I couldn't read more than a couple of short chapters at a time as the whole idea of the childhood the siblings must have had became more and more apparent. The parents seemed to be more and more selfish and unengaged, all in the name of their skewered view of art as the book progressed. The mystery about the parents drew me in though and turned the last third of the book into a bit of a page turner.
131) Never let me go by Kazuo Ishiguro (2005)
TIOLI #1. “Literature-Map" challenge. I typed in Michael Chabon and Ishiguro was one of the recommended writers to try and as Never let me go has spent a very long time sitting on Mt tbr I thought it was time to tackle it. I loved the style of writing in the book and the plot was one of those quiet and soulful ones, never promising a hopeful outcome but not falling into utter bleakness either. Set in an alternate world where scientific advances after WW2 have progressed too quickly for ethics to keep up and cloning is an now accepted part of medical science. The main characters are clones, and Kathy, who is nearing the end of her time as a carer is reliving her memories of the past.
I enjoyed this very much, and I need to read more by Ishiguro.
I was able to watch the 2010 movie after finishing the book and while it was quite different in parts from the book, I did enjoy many of the scenes and the acting of Carey Mulligan and Andrew Garfield as Kathy and Tommy. I could almost appreciate Kiera Knightley as well. I thought Andrew Garfield was impressive in the films made of David Peace's Red Riding quartet, not sure which one he has the main part in, but well worth a look if you like dark, brutal crime. Must read the books.
132) The Prefect by Alastair Reynolds (2007)
scifi / iPod audio
Another Revelation Space read, this was my 5th book from the series and it was another thrilling space adventure. Set in the Glitter Band above Chasm City, Dreyfus is a Prefect or law enforcer for the 10,000 plus habitations. Action-packed, big plot, lots of spine-chilling moments and crazy escapes, a perfect escapist read. I do not want ever in my life to come across the standard Prefect weapon, the whiphound, especially the type-C one. No more to be said except I'll now be going back to Peter F Hamilton to try his Commonwealth Saga.
133) The Dragon Man by Garry Disher (1999)
Added to TIOLI challenge #16. Read a book with a cover that is boring, uninteresting, uninspiring, or mostly brown - I thought this was an uninspiring cover. This is the first in the Inspector Challis series and introduces us to Challis and his police colleagues who work at a beachside town near Melbourne. I'm interested enough to continue with the next book, there are enough flawed policemen in this one outing to know that the series can hopefully go from strength to strength. I haven't taken to Challis as quickly as I've taken to the two policewomen who work with him, though he does have an interesting backstory. The title comes from the vintage plane, a Dragon Rapide, that Challis is restoring at the local aerodrome in his spare time.
And as I mentioned previously, I found out a couple of months ago that I'm distantly related to Disher so intrigued to read his work.
I'm currently working on a list of the series I'm reading or intending to read in the near future, this will include trilogies. I'll need to amend this as I'm sure to have left off something. First up:
Crime / Thrillers
Bruce Medway by Robert Wilson (1/4) The Big Killing
Jack Reacher by Lee Child (16/17) A Wanted Man (Sept 2012)
Rebus by Ian Rankin (17/18) Standing in Another Man's Grave Nov 2012
Inspector Fox by Ian Rankin (1/2) The Impossible Dead
Harry Hole by Jo Nesbo (2/9) The Devil's Star
Inspector Montalbano by Andrea Camilleri (14/18) The Dance of the Seagull (Feb, 2013)
La Saga Malaussène by Daniel Pennac (1/7) The Scapegoat
Nina Borg by Lene Kaaberbol & Agnete Friis (1/2) Invisible Murder
Hal Challis by Garry Disher (1/6) Kittyhawk down
Jackson Brodie by Kate Atkinson (2/4) When will there be good news
Leo Demidov by Tom Rob Smith (2/3) Agent 6
Paul Christopher by Charles McCarry (1/7) Tears of Autumn
Michael Ohayon by Batya Gur (1/6) Saturday Morning Murder
Matthew Shardlake by C J Sansom (2/5) Dark Fire
Inspector Sejer by Karin Fossum (1/10) He who fears the wolf
Pepe Carvalho by Manuel Vázquez Montalbán (1/27) Tattoo
Inspector Adam Dalgliesh by PD James (1/10)
Chief Inspector Wexford by Ruth Rendell (2/23)
Sean Deveraux by Ben Sanders (1/2) By any means
not started yet:
Red Riding Quartet by David Peace (0/4) Nineteen Seventy Four
Inspector DeKok by A C Baantjer (0/70) Dekok and the somber nude
given up on:
Alex Cooper by Linda Fairstein (11/14) Hell Gate
Rizzoli & Isles by Tess Gerritsen (7/10) Ice Cold
Kay Scarpetta by Patricia Cornwall (10?/20)
Temperence Brennan by Kathy Reichs (2/15)
Lymond Chronicles by Dorothy Dunnett (3/6) Pawn in Frankencense
A Dance to the Music of Time by Anthony Powell (6/10) Valley of Bones
Masters of Rome by Colleen McCullough (5/7) The October Horse
The Adventures of Captain Alatriste by Arturo Pérez-Reverte (1/7) Purity of Blood
Sephardic Cycle by Richard Zimmler (1/4) Hunting Midnight
Corfu trilogy by Gerald Durrell (1/3) Birds, Beasts, and Relatives
Song of Fire and Ice by George M Martin (3/5) Feast for Crows
Rivers of London by Ben Aaronovitch (3/4) Broken homes (2013)
The Cemetery of Forgotten Books by Carlos Ruiz Zafón (3/3) tba
The Sandman by Neil Gaiman (4/11) reading from beginning in 2013
Thursday Next by Jasper Fforde (6/8) The Woman Who Died A Lot
The Wall of Night by Helen Lowe (1/2) The gathering of the lost
King Raven by Stephen Lawhead (1/3) Scarlet
Books of Abarat by Clive Barker (1/3) Days of Magic, Nights of War
Legend of the Wolves by Alice Borchaldt (1/3) Night of the Wolf
Clockwork Century by Cherie Priest (1/3) Dreadnought
Bas-Lag by China Mieville (1/3) The Scar
The Glamourist Histories by Mary Robinette Kowal (1/4) Glamour in Glass
Culture by Iain M. Banks (2/10) State of the Art
Ender: extended by Orson Scott Card (4/10) Ender's Shadow or Ender in Exile
Not started yet:
Lunch with… by Derek Hansen (0/4) Lunch with the Generals
The Myths by Canongate (0/15) The Good Man Jesus and the Scoundrel Christ
Alexander Quartet by Laurence Durrell (0/4) Justine
Sharpe's adventures by Bernard Cornwall (0/21) Sharpe's Eagle
Tallentire Trilogy by Melvyn Bragg (0/3) Hired Man
Southern Trilogy by Laurence Fearnley (0/3) Butler's Ringlet
Cairo trilogy by Naguib Mafouz (0/3) Palace Walk
Empire trilogy by J. G. Farrell (0/3) Troubles
Commonwealth Saga by Peter F Hamilton (0/2) Pandora's Star
Homecoming by Orson Scott Card (0/5) Memory of Earth
Tales of the Ketty Jay by Chris Wooding (0/2) Retribution Falls
Tales of Alvin Maker by Orson Scott Card (0/6) Seventh Son
Pastwatch by Orson Scott Card (0/3) Pastwatch
Mither Mages by Orson Scott Card (0/4) The Lost Gate
Pendragon Cycle by Stephen Lawhead (0/7) Taliesin
given up on:
Vampire Chronicles by Anne Rice (2/10) The Queen of the Damned
Aramov CHERUB by Robert Muchamore (1/2) or (CHERUB 13/14) Guardian Angel
Hendersons Boys by Robert Muchamore (3/5) Grey Wolves
Bloody Jack Adventures by L.A. Meyer (1/9) Curse of the Blue Tattoo
Juno by Fleur Beale (2/3) Heart of Danger
Exodus by Julie Bertagna (1/3) Zenith
Blood of the Lamb by Mandy Hager (1/3) The Crossing
Ingo by Helen Dunmore (3/5) Crossing of Ingo
Hungry Cities by Philip Reeve (4/7) Fever Crumb
Flora Segunda by Ysabeau S. Wilce (1/3) Flora’s Dare
Enchanted Forest Chronicles by Patricia Wrede (1/4) Searching for Dragons
Sea of Trolls by Nancy Farmer (2/3) Islands of the Blessed
Chronicles of Chrestomanci by Diana Wynne Jones (3/6) Conrad's Fate
Aotearoa by David Hair (2/4) The lost Tohunga
Bartimaeus by Jonathan Stroud (3/4) The Ring of Solomon
Atherton by Patrick Carman (1/3) Rivers of Fire
Demonata by Darren Shan (8/10) Dark Calling
Arthur by Kevin Crossley-Holland (2/4) At The Crossing Places
Archer Legacy by Richard Newsome (1/3) The Emerald Casket
Artemis Fowl by Eoin Colfer (6/8) The Atlantis Complex
Kingdom of Silk by Glenda Millard (5/6) The Tender Moments of Saffron Silk
Magic series by Andre Norton (1/6) Steel Magic
Larklight by Philip Reeve (1/3) Starcross
Lousie Trilogy by Aubrey Flegg (2/3) In the Claws of the Eagle
Lumatere Chronicles by Melina Marchetta (1/2) Froi of the Exiles
Pellinor by Alison Croggon (1/4) The Riddle
Marbury Lens by Andrew Smith (1/2) Passenger
The Montmaray Journals by Michelle Cooper (2/3) The FitzOsbornes at War
Modern Tales of Faerie by Holly Black (2/4) Ironside
The new Policeman by Kate Thompson (2/3) The White Horse Trick
Obernewtyn Chronicles by Isobelle Carmody (5/7) The Sending
Viking Sagas by Kevin Crossley-Holland (1/2) Scramasax
Tales of the Otori by Lian Hearn (3/5) The Harsh Cry of the Heron
Return of Ravana by David Hair (1/2) The Ghost Bride
Septimus Heap by Angie Sage (1/7) Flyte
Stoneheart by Charlie Fletcher (1/3) Ironhand
Moribito by Nahoko Uehashi (2/5) not translated
Wildensterns by Oisin McGann (1/3) The Wisdom of Dead Men
Swallows and Amazons by Arthur Ransome (1/12) Swallowdale
Casson Family by Hilary McKay (1/6) Indigo's Star
Divergent by Veronica Roth (2/3) tba
Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer (1/4) Scarlet 2013
Dust Lands by Moira Young (1/3) Rebel Heart
The Hunchback Assignments by Arthur Slade (2/4) Empire of Ruins
Not started yet:
The Saga Of Larten Crepsley by Darren Shan (0/3) Birth of a Killer
The Curse Workers by Holly Black (0/3) White Cat
Inheritance Cycle by Christopher Paolini (2/4) Brisingr
Percy Jackson by Rick Riordan (2/5) The Titan's Curse
A lot of these I'll slowly get to, just good to have it out in the open. A few I've stopped reading and should finish off especially the Anthony Powell.
Hi Kerry, I was dropping by to let you know about the September Series & Sequels but I see you've found it.
I think perhaps I've gone overboard in spreading the news!
Just found this image over on pinterest and have to post it here it's so darn cute:
Scenes from an impending marriage: a prenuptial memoir by Adrian Tomine (2011)
This is a fun peek into the planning that goes into a wedding. Even when you think it will be a small event, you still have to cover all the bases as Tomine finds out when he prepares for his own wedding. It's more of a gift book than a GN; small, compact and quite cute with dashings of humour.
I requested a selection of graphic novels from the library for my daughter to try and this was one of them. She's been reading Kate Beaton on the internet and was delighted when I brought home a copy of Hark, a vagrant.
Hi Kerry- As usual, I love your reading choices. I'm glad you enjoyed both the Fang Family and Never Let Me go, since I was a big fan of both myself. I forgot Andrew Garfield was in the movie version. I just saw him in the new Spiderman. He was good, film was fair.
I also need to get to the Red Riding Quartet. I've had this series on my WL for years. I didn't realize they had made a film series of it.
The graphic novel would be a great gift for Chelle!
I have read the Red Riding Quartet, some of which was set very close to my home area in England. Growing up the shadow of the Yorkshire Ripper loomed large over our communities and I can still remember the terror his activities generated in West Yorkshire. The first novel features a place called The Redbeck Cafe which is next to a petrol filling station and is actually in the village I was born in.
#196: Hi Mark - the other plus about The Red Riding miniseries is that Sean Bean is in it. Yes, our reading paths do seem to cross quite a bit. I'm keeping a space for 1Q84 for October.
197/198: Could look at this all day. It's from an etsy.com site.
199: Hi Paul - I'll have to put them on my 2013 'must read' list. I remember the news reports on the Yorkshire Ripper.
134) Winter Wood by Steve Augarde
TIOLI challenge#4: rolling challenge. This is the final in the Touchstone trilogy and I felt was possibly the weakest of the three though still a good page turner. I put aside a few of my planned reads in order to finish the trilogy after enjoying book 2 so much earlier in the month. Midge must help the Various one final time, it means tracking down what happened to Celandine who was a friend of the Various almost 90 years ago.
I spent today at our annual Storylines Family Day, a book festival for children. I was in the book talk/book launch room and got to listen to a variety of children's writers. Especially interesting were the powerpoint presentations by wildlife photographer Nic Bishop and archaeologist David Veart. The day ended with a fire alarm and evacuation of the events centre and arrival of the fire brigade!
I've also finished my August section of Don Quixote, I'm not enjoying the second part as much as the first.
135) Owls do cry by Janet Frame (1957)
fiction, new zealand
TIOLI challenge #13. Read a book where the first letter of the title words can be rearranged to make a single word (cod).
Another book that has been on my tbr pile since forever. The last time I read Janet Frame I was in my teens and I really enjoyed it, but a few decades have past since I tried another. I did read a short story of hers, Gorse is not People, about a dwarf that was in the New Yorker a few years back. Her latest posthumous publication has the same title so must include that story, the book has gone straight to the bestseller lists here in New Zealand which is quite a phenomenon considering Frame died 8 years ago.
Owls do Cry was Frame's first novel and written in an experimental style, the title comes from Shakespeare's Midsummer Night's Dream (I think), one of the characters quotes it several times near the start of the book.
Owls Do Cry portrays the drab, repressed lives of the Withers family in the fictional South Island town of Waimaru, where the shallowness and spiritual emptiness of suburban life is starkly offset by the poetic voice of Daphne Withers, confined in an asylum and subjected to barbaric electric shock treatment − a parallel with Frame’s own experiences.
Not a happy read but Frame's writing is the treasure in this book, it just flows beautifully even when the subject matter is totally bleak.
136) The Whispering Muse by Sjón (2012)
TIOLI challenge #7. Read a book someone recommended to you in the last month (one of many book bullets from psutto in the 12in12 challenge group). I also added Sjón to the Hot Author August thread.
This fable-like story is quite brilliant. It's 1949 and the mythological Greek hero, Caeneus, is second mate on a voyage from Norway to the Black Sea. The narrator is an eccentric old man who is obsessed with Nordic fish consumption. Caeneus entertains the crew each evening with mesmerizing stories of his long ago adventures.
I enjoyed this strange mix of Nordic fishing, ships and Greek mythology and will look out for other books by Sjón.
From wikipedia: Sjón is an internationally known Icelandic author and poet. As a poet Sjón published his first volume of poetry, Sýnir ('Visions') in 1978 and has since published numerous books of poetry, prose and even children's novels. In 2005 Sjón was awarded the The Nordic Council's Literature Prize for the novel Skugga-Baldur ('The Blue Fox'), but was until his international breakthrough with that book perhaps best known in the English speaking world for writing the lyrics to several songs of the Icelandic singer Björk.
"In many respects, Sjon's oeuvre constitutes a novelty in Icelandic literature. The way in which Sjon employs international culture, myth, literature, and popular culture is unique, as is the breadth of his scope of reference. The narratives are enriched by light and humorous touches, which allow him to work pliably with what would otherwise seem obscure matters."
(Eysteinsson and Dagsdottir, p. 452, A History of Icelandic Literature, U of Nebraska Press, 2006)
#206 I hadn't heard of Sjón at all before yesterday, but then I bought The Blue Fox on kindle, and now here's another recommendation!
I sure do agree about those whiphounds, -- what a horrible weapon indeed - but effective, certainly.
137) Varjak Paw by SF Said (2003)
TIOLI challenge #21. Read a middle-length work (between 150-288 pages total). This won the Smarties Prize Gold Award in the junior section back in 2003. One of the outstanding aspects of the book are the stirring illustrations by Dave McKean which give this book a sophisticated edge and lifts it out of the age group parameters that the story on its own would probably be stuck in. And this cat story is very cute - Varjak Paw's family of Mesopotamian Blues has never left the Contessa's house, they are raised on tales of their illustrious ancestor Jalal, who had many adventures before settling there. But now, the Contessa is dying and their home is threatened by a mysterious Gentleman and his two strange cats, black with black eyes. Only Varjak and his grandfather, Elder Paw, are aware of the threat and Varjak must leave the house to find a monster 'dog' to help them rid the house of these intruders. Just before Varjak climbs the garden wall to the Outside for the first time, Elder Paw tells him of a family secret that has been passed down through the generations, The Way, a secret type of martial art for cats. So starts Varjak's adventure on the Outside.
In the sequel The Outlaw Varjak Paw we find out more about the mysterious white gangcat, Sally Bones.
From wikipedia: S. F. Said is a British author. He was born in Beirut in 1967 and spent his first years in Jordan. He grew up in the Iraqi diasporic community in London, moving there with his mother at the age of two. After graduating from the University of Cambridge, he worked as a press attaché and speech writer for the Crown Prince of Jordan’s office in London. He began a Ph.D. in 1997 looking at the lives of young Muslims in Britain, but left academia to focus on film journalism for the Daily Telegraph – where he brought attention to much 'world cinema', including contemporary Islamic cinema – and writing for children.
Kerry - I am in awe of the books you manage to unearth. The icelandic fiction looks fascinating and will take its place on my cumbersome hitlist.
#209: Lucy - Those C-type whiphounds were so wicked in the wrong hands. I also liked the tidiness of the invisible envelope, I need a few of those for around the home. Have you read anything by Peter F. Hamilton?
#211: Rhian - the illustrations were consistently good throughout. I haven't found that many from Varjak Paw online as there is so much other work by Dave McKean already out there.
#212: Paul - The Blue Fox might be a better book to start with, I won't know till I've read it. I keep getting hit by book bullets from the 12in12 group, I've also got Sven Lindqvist's A history of bombing home from the library as well.
I'm a little annoyed because I've been reading wonderful reviews of Garry Disher's Wyatt series but the first two books seem to be completely unavailable unless I'm willing to spend a heap of money on abebooks, and my library doesn't have them which would usually be my first port of call.
Also read two short stories from the 50 stories from Israel anthology, shared reads with Madeline for TIOLI.
Departure by Yaakov Shabtai & Flood Tide by A B Yehoshua.
I also read The Visit to the Museum by Nabakov from Black Water: Anthology of Fantastic Literature for the same challenge.
Earlier in the month I listened to the first story in Julian Barnes' Pulse, East Wind but decided not to continue with the collection about halfway through the second story. Just didn't feel like listening about the love lives of a bunch of middleaged English people. I also abandoned the audio of Essays in Love by Alain de Botton, which felt too much like nonfiction navel gazing, but I see now that it's actually a novel so I might have to give it another try.
I'm jealous that so many of your books are local and unavailable here, although turn-about is certainly fair play--it's just that you make them sound so good!
Just dropping in to catch up and say hi. Echoing Paul's comment in #212!
My library says I have The Reality Dysfunction - since Aug. 2010 in fact, but I don't remember this book at all -- I bet I Wishlisted it, but it went into 'Your Library' instead and got lost in the shuffle. Now it is back on the WL. His books look v. interesting, thank you. Do you have any favorites? Best place to start?
Lucy> His Greg Mandel trilogy would be a quick read, I really enjoyed it, first one is Mindstar Rising. I've also read & enjoyed the Night's Dawn trilogy but those books are huge. Lots of characters and sub plots, lovely escapist reading. A bit lighter on the science than Reynolds but makes up for it with story.
I'm still getting into his Commonwealth Saga, there are so many characters and subplots that are still being established but it involves wormholes, alien encounters and the eternal-lifers who re-clone every few decades.
Roni> I've had a few 12in12 challenge people intrigued by David Hair's Aotearoa series. I'm sending the first two books to -Eva- in Long Beach later this week.
Lisa> do try Sjon. I don't think I've read anything Icelandic before.
#195 that's hillarious! It's totally true though! We had a super small wedding (60 people) and it was still a ton of work. I'm going to see if my library has that one
Sorry to see about your kitty's dryer incident. I bet his/her coat was nice and fluffy after though eh ;)
#177: I did not realize that there was already a third book out in the Peter Grant series. I am behind!
Hi Chelle - yes, weddings are a lot of work no matter how small. I was married quietly at home but still had to organise a wedding cake, photos, rings, food, flowers, celebrant and write our vows. My mum paid for my dress as I wasn't going to bother with a special one.
Stasia - can't keep on top of every series that's for sure.
I'll be starting a new thread later today. I feel the need to celebrate Spring with a fresh start.
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