Paws goes at it in 2017
This topic was continued by Paws goes at it in 2017, part 2.
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I'm Paws and I figured that even though I was pretty much completely absent from LT in the past year, I'd at least make a thread and see how things go. There's a lot going on in RL (especially in my own head), though.
Hopefully, I'll find the time and energy to read and check in here regularly. Hope to see some familiar faces.
Great to see you back Paws :
I am part of the group.
I love being part of the group.
I love the friendships bestowed upon my by dint of my membership of this wonderful fellowship.
I love that race and creed and gender and age and sexuality and nationality make absolutely no difference to our being a valued member of the group.
Thank you for also being part of the group.
Hi Cousin Paws! I think last year was a bad one for a lot of people. I was mostly AWOL from late summer through to the end of the year. Trying to do better now.
I'm looking forward to seeing whatever you find yourself getting to this year. :)
Hi Paws. I've got furbabies so came by to make friends with another animal lover. I've got two + a temporary Irish Water Spaniels. Hope RL gives you some breathing space so you can find some reading and LT time.
I've finished my first book of 2017! I'm slightly in shock, to be honest. I've been having a hard time just getting myself to sit down and focus on reading so to combat this problem I've set up a rule that I must sit and read for at least half an hour before going to sleep - every day. I haven't done that in ages so I'm getting the routine back.
#1 Best Detective Stories of Agatha Christie by Agatha Christie
A short story collection rather than a normal book, but a good way to start. I always enjoy Christie and quite liked the stories in this short collection. There are a couple of The Labours of Hercules and I'd like to read the rest of them so I'll check out the libraries and see if they're available in any of their other books.
Both Poirot and Marple pop up in this and there are also a couple of stories with neither - though I'm not as fond of those.
Another one down! Can't believe how well I'm doing. We'll see how long I can keep it up.
#2 The Golden Ball and Other Stories by Agatha Christie
Another Christie-collection. I didn't particularly like the stories in this, to be honest and there is neither Poirot nor Marple to make up for it. They're early stories which explains the meh-ness. The first half are all about "a man needs to be a REAL man or women won't love him, and also women are shallow morons" and the latter half are about supernatural events, which I don't usually have a problem with but it doesn't feel like it fits.
So not a very good read, but one more CHristie ticked off the list - I've read between a third and half of them.
Added a pic of baby otters to the top because I wanted something cute to start the thread off with. And there are very few things in the world cuter than baby otters (really only kittens and baby koalas).
It's been a fairly shit week at work and I can't wait until it's time to go home. I haven't got much reading done this week so since the afternoon looks like it'll be calm (Friday afternoon usually is) I'm going to take an extra long break (I've earnt it!) and read.
There's some mix up in the library catalogue and the copy of War and Peace that I ordered is a different translation than the one I wanted so now it looks like I can't get hold of the one I wanted and I'm irritated. I'm going to pop into the main library on my way home and see if either of their copies has also been mis-catalogued and is in fact "my" translation.
I'm definitely going to buy myself a fancy coffee-to-go on the way home, hit the shower as soon as I'm through the door and then spend the rest of the day/evening in pyjamas.
I love the baby otters pic but if it's cute you want you really should look for pictures of baby platypuses (platypi?)!
>18 muddy21: I actually don't like platypodes much so don't find the babies cute at all. They look weird. I don't like sloths either, and can't understand why people are so crazy about them all of a sudden. Also weird-looking. (I think the most common plural form of platypus is platypuses but I personally think the "-uses" sounds really strange so prefer "-odes" which is more grammatically correct because "platypus" is a Greek word, not Latin (Amber, a.k.a. scaifea, taught me this a couple of years ago).
Very helpful information re:platypodes, Paws! I think I'm drawn to them because of their weirdness - it speaks to me in many ways related to my own life. Here's to good reading for 2017!
I'm not a dog person, but last summer I met a beagle puppy that looked just like this cutie below and very nearly smuggled him home with me. Beagles are the best dogs in the world (and they have the cutest puppies).
>20 muddy21: I like other weird animals, but just not those two mentioned. I love octopodes (and their relatives) and rays, for instance.
Well, I didn't get hold of the right translation of War & Peace so I'll have to settle for the other version. Oh, well.
I've been told three times today that I look really tired, including by the barista who served me my eagerly awaited coffee. That did result in him giving me a ginger smoothie shot for free so I suppose every cloud has a silver lining. And my new sheepskin slippers arrived in the mail so I can cuddle up properly tonight.
Also, you don't have to have fur to be cute. You can also be a baby sea turtle.
Has anyone else ever thought about how turtles look perpetually irritated? THey're like the Grumpy Cats of the sea.
Which translation of W&P did you want, and which did you get?
>24 PawsforThought: So true! LOL
>25 ronincats: I'm reading it in Swedish so the names probably mean nothing to you, but the translation I wanted was by Walborg Hedberg and the one I got was by Hjalmar Dahl. The Hedberg version is the first Swedish translation from the 1880s so it's probably a bit tricky to read but the Dahl one is from the 1920 so I don't think it's much easier.
Ha! I was just about to comment on how happy I was to see that you used the proper plural of platypus and then got to the part where my name comes up! I'm so predictable...
Also, yes, Beagle puppies are The Cutest. Criminally adorable, really.
>27 scaifea: Criminally is the word. The only time I get that "Oh-my-God-I-have-to-smush-my-face-into-your-fur-you're-so-frickin-cute" feeling about a puppy (I get it every time I see a kitten) is with Beagle puppies. Beagles are also a great size; they're small enough to be convenient and big enough that you're not scared about stepping on them.
Happy weekend, everyone!
I woke up this morning to discover that the cold I've been fighting valiantly against the last few days (which is why people were commenting on how tired I looked yesterday) has hit with a vengeance. It's a bit tricky to breathe.
But also, my cat was sleeping and snoring next to me in bed, which he doesn't do that often and which I greatly enjoy so that made it better.
Here is the world's most adorable elephant cub to brighten your morning.
>30 scaifea: We had a beagle when I was a kid and I don't think she was that bad. She was elderly at that point, though, so might be a reason. Also, my cat would put any howling dog to shame in the vocal department. Never met a more loud animal in my life - it's like living with a foghorn.
>29 PawsforThought: Get better soon Paws. As an asthmatic I always struggle myself through any kind of cold or infection so I can sympathise.
It is great to see you more active in the group again this year.
>32 PaulCranswick: I can definitely sympathize with your asthma problems. I don't have asthma myself but I do have very narrow nasal passages so they get impenetrable easily.
And thanks. It's nice to be back; I hope my participation level will last.
Some excellent signs from the Women's March yesterday, courtesy of Buzzfeed. I'm particularly fond of the Leia one and the last one (snowflakes). There are more great signs in the comments section. Warms my heart and gives me a bit of hope for the future.
Aren't they? I love rays - they're fascinating creatures. And you wouldn't think that transluscent baby sharks would be cute, but they are (not the same way that kittens are cute, but still, in their own way).
Have you ever seen ray eggs? Also very cool.
In honour of the foxes that seem to have moved into the neighbourhood, an adorable fox cub:
The Women's March keep giving me goosebumps of joy, pride and fighting spirit even days afterwards. I really wish I could have gone and taken part.
Take a minute and click on the video in this article and listen. It's such a beautiful rendition and a fantastic song - so perfect for the occasion.
This is how you pull at Paws's heartstrings:
Kittens are the best thing in the world.
I'm currently reading two books, and I'm trying to keep it at that (I've always been one to have multiple books going on at the same time, but I've notised that if my reading isn't going well I start a new book and that isn't a good tactic in the long run - I just end up with a dozen books I've read 1-2 chapter of).
I'm about 1/3 of the way through Wide Sargasso Sea, which is a much easier read than I was expecting but also much different style-wise. Not a negative thing, but just different.
I'm also reading Heart of Darkness, which is going well enough - if only I could make myself sit down and actually read it during my breaks at work (it's my handbag book).
This is bringing a bit of diversity into my reading. Admittedly, the authors themselves are pale and English but the setting is at least a change from my normal fare. I haven't read a book set in Africa since my uni days and the only other book I can remember reading that was set in the Caribbean was A Caribbean Mystery. The problem when you try to read "the classics" is that you do end up with an awful lot of dead old white men writing about white protagonists in England (not even the rest of the U.K.) and the U.S.
>40 PawsforThought: Agreed. Cats are wonderful but kittens are..........no words. It's been far too long since I've had a kitten in my life. Darn the little things, they just keep insisting on growing up and turning into floppy, sleepy cats!
>42 lunacat: It's been over 20 years since I had a kitten at home (my current kitty was already grown up when we adopted him).
I'm lucky enough that a friend's family has kittens at least every other year and they always let me know, send tons of photos, and invite me over for kitten cuddles.
>43 PawsforThought: Friends that provide ready access to kitten cuddles are definitely ones to keep!
>44 lunacat: She's my best friend. And her family have bascially adopted me. I'm very lucky.
Cute animal for today is a baby reindeer.
I love reindeer, but they're a bit like sheep in that they like to stand in the middle of the road blocking your way and refusing to move - especially if you have somewhere to be and are short on time (or it's the middle of the night and -25 C outside with no heating in the car. Not that I'd know from personal experience or anything.)
Also, they are very tasty.
A New York Times article that's right up my alley. Fantastic twitter "feud".
To start the weekend off, a fluffy wolf pup trying to howl.
I adore wolves and am firmly against hunting them (there's a big debate going on over here). Here's a great YouTube video about how reintroducing wolves to Yellowstone National Park had a massive positive impact on the ecosystem there, even changing the way that the rivers flow. And another video with a wolf expert who's been involved with the project from the start explaining what it has meant and what lies ahead (though it's an old video so a lot of "the future" is in the past now).
There was a recent article I read (I think yesterday in fact) that wolves have been heard/detected as a breeding pair in the forests just south of Paris for the last year.
I love the idea of having wolves around but I'm sure I'd soon go off it if they were threatening my livestock (and therefore my livelihood) or my pets. However, as you say, they are a massively important part of a healthy ecosystem.
If only they could be convinced to just eat wild deer, there would be no need for deer culling (as there is in the UK) and the farmers wouldn't be so concerned about their presence!
>50 lunacat: Well, I argue that wolves were here first so if we want to hold livestock or pets we will have to accept the risk that they will be eaten or killed. We're the ones putting them through that risk, not the wolves. They're just doing what they're programmed to do - we're dangling gourmet meals under their noses and expecting them not to take a bite.
I have a cat who goes outside and I know there's a risk he might not make it back in again. Partly because of cars and trains, but also because there are foxes, lynxes and bears in the area and while I'll be terribly upset if he died I know it's a risk that comes with having a cat who goes outside. And that goes for all pet and livestock owners. You just have to accept that you don't own the land, you're just using it.
Yes, I can see that. I'm not saying I agree with any kind of eradication of species, and I'm glad that wolves are making a comeback in Europe and areas of the US. But I can also see the challenges faced by livestock owners, particularly sheep farmers over here in Europe. I don't know what it's like in the US but there isn't a lot of money to be made from sheep here, either in the UK or on the Continent, and for people who are reliant on their flock to be able to put food on the table, having a pack of wolves nearby is a significant threat to that.
Not that I know what the answer is, but I can understand and sympathise with their desire to put food on the table and keep a roof over their heads, and their undeniable concern when they suffer losses that mean it is difficult or impossible for bills to be paid. I also completely support wolves' right to exist and roam. Like I said, I have no answer.
>52 lunacat: I complete understand that it's difficult to run a farm and own livestock if there are predators in the area, and I do think a solution needs to be found, that doesn't include killing said predators. But unfortunately the climate surrounding the issue here in Sweden is pretty infected and there are a lot of people who want to eradicate all wolves (and claiming that they kill people and steal babies which is ridiculous since no attack by wolf on a human has been recorded in Sweden for over 200 years, and evidence before that is sketchy at best). The biggest opoonents to wolves isn't actually farmer, it's hunters who don't want wolves to eat "their" elks (moose).
ETA: I've heard that keeping alpackas with the sheep and using them as a form of "guard dog" works well. I've seen a few farmers in the area use them, but haven't asked more about it. That's the kind of solution I believe in.
In Romania there are some projects going where LGDs (Livestock Guardian Dogs) are kept with the flock again and the results are encouraging. It serves both ways, the dog breeds are kept from extinction and the farmers loose much less of the flock.
>54 FAMeulstee: That sounds like a fantastic solution! Two birds with one stone!
Even an incredibly dangerous animal can be adorable as a baby:
And an article about a prematurely born hippo at Cincinnati Zoo.
A bunny to start the week off. It's a shame they're such fragile creatures or I would have loved to own a few.
I'm almost done with Wide Sargasso Sea, but it's going a bit slower than I'd like it to. I'll definitely be done sometime tomorrow, though.
And I'm done with book #3!
Wide Sargasso Sea by Jean Rhys
I didn't like this book as much as I was hoping I would. It was really confusing for the first few pages, but then started making more sense and I enjoyed it for a while. But the more I read the less I liked the two main characters (Antoinette and Rochester) - and the way they acted and what they were saying didn't seem to make sense. I'm also not really fond of magic being part of the plot in a non-magical world. Seems like cheap way out to me.
No not a great read, but I didn't enjoy Jane Eyre the first time I read it either but thoroughly liked it the second time, so maybe if I re-read this in 10 years I'll have better thigns to say.
Baby of the day is a panda. Who doesn't love pandas? No one, that's who. And while it's been a few weeks, I'm still really excited about the fact that pandas are off the endangered species list and are now "just" vulnerable. It's an incredible achievement and a testiment to what we can do if we work hard, and work together.
Aren't they? If it was possible to OD on baby pandas I'd be long dead.
This is my absolute favourite panda pic:
Oh, my God! Yeah, I had seen but you can never see a cute panda video too many times. They're so adorably clumsy.
There also this video were a panda gets to play with a snowman.
Animal baby this Wednesday is a harp seal pup, because, well, just look at it.
It's like 95% blubber.
I used to have tickers on my thread but never really liked the look of any of them. I wish there was a ticker that looked like a shelf and every time you changed the ticker number another book would be added to the shelf. Sadly, no one seems to have created a ticker like that.
I guess I'll have to open up Photoshop if I really want one.
>69 PawsforThought: That would be neat, if you could create such a ticker. Not a fan of tickers, but I would be interested in a ticker like that :-)
>70 FAMeulstee: It wouldn't be a working ticker, it'd just be a picture I'd edit every time I added another book.
You could put them somewhere accessable on the web, picture 1 book, picture 2 books etc....
Not really my kind of thing. Maybe someone else would be interested.
An adorable Alaskan Malamute to celebrate the weekend:
He looks like a miniature cross between a wolf and a polar bear.
Haven't read a single page this weekend - simply wasn't in the mood. Doesn't help that I'm not particularly into either of the books I'm reading at the moment. Will try to read a bit tonight, if nothing else then to get closer to the end of them!
Did you see that the premature hippo baby has just started taking her first steps! Go Fiona :).
>77 PawsforThought: I feel like I'm in the same boat. I hope you find your groove again soon too.
The annual book sale is coming up in a couple of weeks and I've been looking through the catalogues but sadly there doesn't seem to be a whole lot of enticing titles.
There is a series of books about the history of Sweden from the ice age until today that I've been eyeing for a couple of years.
Otherwise it's mostly bestsellers from the last few years (Elena Ferrente, Jojo Moyes, etc.) and that's not really my kind of fare. I don't think I'm going to make any shopping lists this years but just check it out after work and see if there's anything I want that I didn't spot in the catalogue (they always have local differences). Unless I think there's a risk of the title selling out I'll probably wait a week or two to buy anything, because they'll lower the prices even more after a while.
Happy Valentine's Day, people. I don't celebrate it, but here is an adorable golden retriever puppy who wants to be someone's valentine.
Have you heard the big literary news of the day? Philip Pullman is releasing another trilogy of books in the His Dark Materials universe! It'll be called The Book of Dust and the first book will be released in October. As my birthday is that month, I have my birthday-present-to-myself worked out already.
I thought you might be interested in this - it's from a charity I follow (and have supported) who rear and rehabilitate orphan elephants in Kenya, but they also save other wild animals when they come across them. Ostrich, zebra, rhino, you name it!
They've got a first for them: an abandoned baby hippo!
Aw, what a sweet story. Thanks for posting that. Reading (and watching) cute animal rescue stories (with happy endings) on a Friday is a great way to start the weekend.
In hnour of the massive snowfal we've had this week, a cute polar bear cub for the weekend.
The yearly booksale has started and I popped in after work today and picked up a couple of books that seemed alluring. There were more that looked interesting but I'm going to hold out on them and see if there are still copies left when they lower the prices towards the end of the sale.
The ones I did buy were:
* The Men and Women Who Cracked the Enigma Code at Bletchley Park by Sinclair McKay
* De utvalda by Steve Sem-Sandberg (about children put into hospitals by the Nazis, with the aim to "cure" them)
* Erik XIV by Herman Lindqvist (the "mad king of Sweden")
*Empress Dowager Cixi: The Concubine Who Launched Modern China by Jung Chang
* Historien om västfronten by Nils Fabiansson (about the western in WW1)
The books at the booksale usually cost between one third and half of their regular price, so I got five books for the price of two.
I think I'm going to give up on Herman Hesse's Siddhartha. I've read it on an off since July and could never get into it (despite the fact that it's only about 120 pages long).
I need to get better at pearl ruling books.
>76 PawsforThought: is so cute
*I said that already! face plam!
>93 BBGirl55: Haha! Well, in your defense, he really is cute. Enough to say it twice.
Happy International Women's Day, people!
I have not been on strike today (seems to mostly be in America, and also the only one who'd be affected is me so) but I did wear red in solidarity.
I hit up the book sale again on my way home from work today. It's 50% off the sale price now, so you can make really good bargains.
I bought three books. I was salivating over a set of history books that seem incredibly interesting and well-written but there's seven in a set and they're absolutely massive - and there's a limit to how much my arms can handle. I'm going to check if the online shops have them (on sale) and possibly order them.
The ones I bought today were:
* A crossword lexicon (this one, but with an updated, nicer cover)
*A standard cookbook (The latest edition of Vår kokbok, one of the most classic cookbooks in Swedish history. I wanted the vegetarian version as well, but that was sold out.)
* Photography: The Whole Story. It's in the same series of books as a book on art history I bought a year or two ago. There was also one on film history but it was sold out.
I'm quite pleased. There were a few others I had my eye on but wasn't desperate enough to buy immediately that were sold out now. Not a big deal, I can manage without them (and a few are bound to end up on next year's sale).
>96 PawsforThought: Interesting to see your books on Swedish cuisine. Hani is a big fan of Scandinavian food and I can see that there will be visits in our future when I get resettled in the UK.
>96 PawsforThought: Well, the book I bought at the book sale isn't really on Swedish cuisine as such, but more a standard on cooking in general. There's everything from "How to boil an egg" and upwards, including dishes from cuisines around the world.
I am rather partial to Swedish foods, though - it's that comfort things I think most of us have with our native cuisines.
But true Swedish cuisine doesn't really lend itself to eating out in restaurants and the like. It's more home-y (the Swedish term for it translates to "all man's food"). Lots of boiled potatoes, meat stews and flous-based things.
The Little Prince by Anoine de Saint-Exupéry
I've had this at home for ages but had to rush to finish because there was someone else who wanted to borrow (it's a library copy). So instead of reading it in French (and then checking in the Swedish copy that I understood properly) I read the last half of the book in Swedish, during a break at work.
I did enjoy it but I think I'd like to re-read it when I have more time and can let it really sink in. With the time pressure I couldn't really let my brain absorb the philosophy of the book - I only had time for the actual storyline. So a definite re-read.
>Hi Paws, nice thread you have going. The little orang-utan is my favorite, those eyes,and the smile!
>99 PawsforThought: This is on my to-read list as well. It's true that it takes some time sometimes to really digest a book.
Hope your weekend is going well Paws and that you'll update soon.
>101 PaulCranswick: My weekend is pretty good, actually. I haven't really read much in the last few months so there isn't much to update. I have bought quite a lot of books, though.
I have quite a lot on my plate for the next month and a half or so so I'm not expecting too much reading, but hopefully I'll feel more in the mood once summer arrives.
I've been going through a reading funk for what feels like an eternity now, but there might be a speck of light at the end of the tunnel (though I don't dare to assume just yet). I picked up an Agatha Christie short story collection last week and I'm almost finished with it. And a few days ago when I was at the library to see which Christies they had I accidently picked up a couple of Simenon books and a Miéville. I'm a couple of chapters into the first Simenon and liking it so far (it's my first of his) so hopefully it'll go well.
I finished a book! Whoohoo!
Poirots problem by Agatha Christie
This is a collection of Poirot short stories that appeared in Poirot's Early Cases, but this contains fewer stories than in Poirot's Early Cases (the ones that don't appear here are The Submarine Plans, The Third Floor Flat, Wasps' Nest, Problem at Sea and How Does Your Garden Grow?). I had read one of the stories before (The Adventure of the Clapham Cook).
I enjoyed it a lot - as I tend to do with Poirot and Christie. These books are comfort reads to me - it's the literary equivalent of drinking hot chocolate. Which I love.
Fifth book of the year, that makes it one book a month. Terrible, but I've had worse, so I suppose I should count it as a victory. I am partway through two other books, and if my reading keeps going as well as it has the last week, I should be finished with them pretty soon.
>105 Kassilem: Thanks. Yeah, they're pretty horrid, but I should have guessed that if anything cold get me out of it (at least temporarily) it'd be Agatha Christie. Easy, cozy reads with characters I like, a challenge to the mind and no gore.
After the horrible news out of Manchester this morning, I doubt I'm the only one who needs a bit of a pick-me-up. So here's a leopard pup (why isn't it called "kitten" when it's a big cat?)
>106 PawsforThought: - The news out of Manchester was both shocking and highly disturbing. I am horrified that this is the world we live in. How did we get to this place? More importantly, how do we change this?
Baby leopard is adorable.
>107 lkernagh: I think the worst thing is that I don't find it shocking. I've sort of been waiting for the day when the UK would be struck again. But the attack being made primarily on young people and kids is sickening, definitely. I've seen a lot of people say that one of the most important things that need to be done is to change the way the media covers these news. Exposure and hysteria is exactly what the horrid people doing these things want, so changing the way it's covered could be a way to pull the mat out from under their feet. Starving them out, so to speak. But there are SO MANY things that need to be changed.
In happier news, it's World Turtle Day today, which we'll celebrate by posting a pic of an adorable baby turtle.
>108 PawsforThought: I am still shocked, but not as bad as with previous terrorst attacks... I think your are right in media covering. An other issue is that civil rights/freedoms are taken away or limited because of these attacks.
Thanks for sharing the leopard pup and the baby turtle, to remember there is still beauty around.
>110 FAMeulstee: Yeah, that's another issue. I was already angry about increasing amounts of CCTV and bag searches and the like (not to mention the laptop ban in flights the US has started and want to expand). And people telling you that "if you're not one of the bad guys you have nothing to fear". I just feel like swearing up a storm and punching something when people say that. My right to privacy is not "nothing".
But at least these horrid acts bring out the best in a lot of people. I was in Stockholm when the attack happened there and saw firsthand how people reacted with love and kindness - hugging police officers, leaving stuffed toys at the scene and setting up a memorial for the dog that died (I was there again last week and people are still leaving flowers and notes of love and friendship at the scene).
The same thing happened in manchester - people showing what human nature *really* is: helping others.
Someone commented this on a Buzzfeed post I read:
Taxi drivers turned off their meters and drove in from Liverpool. Taxi drivers were going to protest against Uber the day after, but changed their plans and brought food and drinks instead. Ordinary people offered rides and beds. Hotels opened their doors.
That's exactly it. We fight back by being good people and showing that you can't win over love by hating.
I'll keep posting cute baby animals when I feel I need to. I spent a whole week after the Stockholm attack just watching videos of otters and of vets helping injured cats. Seeing the good and pure in life helps in times like these.
>104 PawsforThought: Christie is always guaranteed to get anyone out of a reading funk IMHO!
That Buzzfeed post is so true. Keep the cute baby animals coming!
>111 PawsforThought: Thanks for posting that, conquer hate with love is the only way...
>113 FAMeulstee: Exactly, the only thing that happens if you fight fire with fire is that the fire spreads and everything burns.
I had a really good reading day yesterday. We have a long weekend (Thursday through Sunday) because of Ascension Day on Thursday, so while I did have a few errands to run and other things to to I spent several hours reading, which felt really good. And it's raining today, so it's optimal reading weather. I have a couple of half-read books I'm hoping to be able to finish by the end of tomorrow. But for now, I've at least finished one:
The Body in the Library by Agatha Christie
I've read this book before but it was so long ago (and I'm not good at remembering details in crime novels) that I couldn't remember much more than that there was a body found in a library and that it involved dancing. So it was mostly like reading a new-to-me book. And Dame Agatha is always a pleasure to read so I enjoyed this quite a bit. It's a Miss Marple story, but she's really not in the book much except from the very beginning and the very end. Most of the book concerns the work done by the police and a retired police officer. That's fine and the story is a pretty good one, but I prefer when Marple (and Poirot) is front and centre - I can get police procedurals from elsewhere.
I'm sure I'm not the only one on LT who's a big fan of Philip Pullman and greatly looking forward to his new series The Book of Dust this autumn. The Guardian published an extract of the first book (which is apparently going to be called La Belle Sauvage) and I personally loved it. Hope everyone else does too.
You can read it here.
I'm on a roll!
Maigret's First Case by Georges Simenon
This was my first time reading a Simenon, thought I've been meaning to for years. I watched the mini series with Rowan Atkinson as Maigret over Easter and that's what finally got me to pick it up.
This books features Maigret as a young detective, decades before he's made commissaire. I did enjoy the writing style of the book and very much enjoyed Maigret as a character I was pretty underwhelmed with the story itself and definitely with the way the case was solved (but so was Maigret, so I guess that's rather fitting).
I thought about reading the Maigret books in French but I'm glad I picked this up in Swedish. I'm sure I'd be able to plow through it in French but it would take me an absolute age and I'd rather spend that time reading more (different) books.
>117 PawsforThought: How did you like the mini series with Rowan Atkinson?
We watched it too, at first it was a bit akward, but somewhere halfway the first episode I forgot he was Rowan Atkinson and he became Maigret. The scenery was very beautiful filmed.
One day I will read the Maigret books too... in Dutch translation ;-)
>118 FAMeulstee: I really liked it, and didn't have any problems "accepting" him as Maigret - I thought he did a really good job of portraying the character in a believable way. I watched it with my parents and we all liked it - even my dad, who's normally a bit snobbish with crime dramas (always signing when mum and I watch Midsomer Murders or Poirot or something).
The only thing I didn't like was the way everyone kept pronouncing his name "Maygray". I get that that's how most English speakers (with little to no knowledge of French pronunciation rules) say it, but it's set in France and all (yes, ALL, because I'm petty enough to keep track) the other names were pronounced the right (French) way, so why not him?
Okay, question time:
What's the best dinosaur book you've read?
It can be fiction or non-fiction, doesn't matter. I'm a big dinosaur fan ('cause seriously, who isn't?) but I have a distinct lack of dinosaur themed tomes on my shelves. I read and loved Michael Crichton's Jurassic park a few years ago and would love to get a copy of it but haven't found one I really liked the cover of so I'm holding off. I was planning on buying the sequel The Lost World as well, though I haven't read it. Other than that, most dinosaur books I've come into contact with are kids' non-fiction, which isn't really what I'm after. I'd love more dinosaur fiction but I'm also dying for non-fiction books. But dino non-fiction for adults seems like a genre that people haven't invested in - or am I just bad at finding it?
8.) Five Little Pigs by Agatha Christie
This Poirot-story has a different structure than most of Christie's detective stories, which is interesting, and works well for the story, even if I have to admit I prefer the "regular way". A woman is convicted of (and hanged for) murdering her husband 16 years ago but Poirot is recruited to find out if she really was guilty. So he talks to the five witnesses, who are also the only other people who could have committed the crime (and several had motive and/or opportunity to).
It wasn't my favourite Christie (nor favourite Poirot) but it was interesting, and easy to read - as always with Christie.
I love this ^^ cover. It's not the one I had on "my" (my library's) copy of the book, because I read it in Swedish, but it's the one I'd like to have if I bought it. Which I hope to do - I want all of AC's detective stories.
I've been reading nothing but detective stories for a while now, so while I'm not giving them up yet (they're such delightfully quick and easy reads, most of the time), I'm going to mix it up a little and read some other books *too*.
I had a really good reading month in May (well, the last two weeks of May, at least) and I'm hoping it'll continue into June and beyond.
I've seen a few people summarize their months on their threads and thought I'd nick that idea now that I actually have something to summarize.
Number of books finished: 4
Longest book read: Five Little Pigs by Agatha Christie, 267 pages
Shortest book read: Maigret's First Case by Georges Simenon , 161 pages
Pages read: 897 pages
Male vs. female authors: 1 vs. 1
So I've read just under 900 pages in a week and a half. If I keep up that pace, or even go a little bit slower I should be able to read ~2500 pages a month. Sound excellent, but I'm not putting up any goals. I'm just going to enjoy the flow I'm currently in.
9). Peril at End House by Agatha Christie
I said I was going to mix it up a a little and not just read mystery novels, and here I am having read another mystery. But I kind of had to, because there was someone else waiting for the book so I wouldn't have been able to re-new the loan. So I figured I might as well speed through it and return it as soon as possible.
Hercule Poirot has decided to retire and he and Hastings are enjoying a vacation by the seaside when they meet a young girl who it seems someone is trying to kill. She herself thinks it's just accidents, though, and that's she's been incredibly lucky to escape them unharmed.
This was an interesting read with several little mysteries that got explained in the end. I had guessed two of them but hadn't a clue about the big one, which has quite the massive twist at the end.
Number of pages: 211
To start the summer, the new month and the weekend off, here's a picture of a cute foal frolicking in the green summer grass. It had to be a foal because I've read/watched two stories the past week about orphaned foals who've been successfully adopted by mares who've lost their own foals - one of them was a Swedish Warmblood mare and an Icelandic Horse foal, bit of a size difference Aww!
>125 PawsforThought: Awww, sweet foal :-)
Icelandic horses are beautiful!
10). Private Peaceful by Michael Morpurgo
What the h*ll was I thinking? I've been reading nothing but mystery novels lately and thought I needed to break it up with something else. So instead of picking up another book about a murder mystery I pick up ... a book about the First World War. Cause that's somehow better? Giving my brain a break from one or two murderse by reading about one of the most horrendous things that have happened in human history.
Really smart, Paws, really smart.
Morpurgo knows how to pull at heartstrings, which I already knew from reading Warhorse a few years ago - still one of my favourite WW1 novels. And I'll readily admit to crying at the end of this one. It did take me a little while to get into the story and really "get" the characters, because of the way the story is told (partly "today" (during the war) and partly looking back at the main character Tommo's childhood), but I think that was more me than the book.
Morpurgo is a fantastic author, and it's no wonder he was chosen as Children's Laureate.
Number of pages: 185
>120 PawsforThought: Hmmm. The Lost World by Arthur Conan Doyle is sort of a dinosaur book. It is part of a series, but I don't think the rest of the books are dinosaur-related. I've only read The Lost World. It was a good book. Other than the Jurassic Park series, I can't think of any others that are not kid's books.
I haven't seen the Maigret series with Rowan Atkinson, I'll have to look for it.
Love the mystery reading!! Christie is one of my favorite authors.
Rowan Atkinson as Maigret, I would like to see it! I've been reading Simenon as well, had the same impression, best for atmosphere, not so much for story.
>128 PawsforThought: I've never read anything by Morpurgo, but now I would like to.
Never read or seen this in real life but Librarything lists
Dinosaur Tales by Ray Bradbury.
>129 rretzler: Oh, yes! That's a classic. I don't think I've actually put it on my dinosaur book list, though (yes, I have a dinosaur book list). Thanks for reminding me.
>130 EllaTim: Oooh, Ray Bradbury! I never knew he wrote something dino related. That's very interesting, thanks!
I've also added My Beloved Brontosaurus by Brian Switek, partly because it sounds genuinely interesting, but mostly because there's no way I'm not going to read a book called "My Beloved Brontosaurus". I love Brontosauruses, and the fact that they might be re-classified as an actual species was the best news I'd heard in ages.
You should definitely read something by Morpurgo. He's really good, and while he primarily writes for kids and young adults, it works really well for adults too.
>131 PawsforThought: Brontosauruses are also my favorite. I was so disappointed when they decided they were Apatosauruses, and am also glad that they are reconsidering re-classification! Growing up in eastern Ohio, I lived about 40 minutes from Pittsburgh, Pa. Pittsburgh is home to several Carnegie Museums and in particular, the Carnegie Museum of Natural History. I used to LOVE to go there when I was young, they have many dino skeletons and do have an Apatosaurus, which I believe is the most complete Apato skeleton in the world!
>132 rretzler: Aw, I'm so jealous! I love natural history museums and would love to have one close by, but the nearest one (Stockholm) is 8 hours away. The Carnegie seems amazing - I follow them on several social media.
Whenever I'm on holiday I always make sure to visit the natural history museum, they're nearly always the best part of the trip. The Berlin Natural History Museum is a favourite.
I found an amazing photo of myself from my first visit to a natural history museum, with my brother and I are standing next to the dinosaur skeleton (a Tyrannosaurus and some form of sauropod) and my facial expression is just perfect - mouth gaping and eyes wide.
>134 EllaTim: Ella, I hadn't heard anything about that, but I know the Carnegie had a couple of T-Rex skeletons, so they may have sold one.
We visited the Royal Ontario Museum in Canada several years ago, and they also had an excellent dinosaur exhibit, and just last year we visited Dinosaur National Monument in Colorado which has a wall of bones in situ, as well as excavated bones. There is also a museum in South Dakota which has several very good skeletons excavated on site. I guess I'm just a kid at heart because dino bones still fascinate me.
I would love to go the Berlin Natural History Museum someday. When we were in Germany for the 2006 World Cup, we visited the Deutsches Museum in Munich, and it was wonderful (but no dino bones that I recall.) The boys were very young, so we didn't spend as much time there as I would have wanted to, though.
>134 EllaTim: Exactly! I mean, it does actually seem like an interesting book but there's no universe in which I wouldn't read a book with that title. How could you resist?
>135 rretzler: Everyone loves dinos! It's not an age thing, it's a human thing. It's dinosaurs!
The Colorado and South Dakota museums seem really interesting, getting to see the dinosaurs in the actual area they lived in sounds like a great idea (even if those areas now look nothing like they would have during the Jurassic/Triassic/Cretaceous eras.
The Vienna NHM is highly recommended too - they have an enormous prehistoric turtle (I think it's the largest one found ever?) and several interesting dinos.
>136 PawsforThought: I second that, I would love to see the Colorado and South Dakota museums. Just because of that, that it's close to where the bones were found (or the footprints).
And then I'd love to visit some more of course;)
>137 EllaTim: Of course! Fairly recently, there were articles about new footprints having been found in Australia, including footprints of what they say is the largest dinosaur (sauropod) that's ever been "found" - way bigger than any they've discovered earlier. My first thought (other than "OMG, that so incredibly cool!") was "Crap, I'm really going to have to brave the weather and lethal animals of Australia and go see it some day."
Virtual reality would come in handy there. Lots of nasty beasties. ;)
I remember an episode fram David Attenborough'l Life On Earth, where Sir David himself is standing in a bay in Australia showing Stromatolite fossils. So you can see some of the smallest fossil remains there as well.
>139 EllaTim: Ha! Yeah, it'd be handy.
I don't think I've seen Life on Earth. I should hunt it down and watch. Really cool that both the biggest and (one of the) smallest existed in the same place.
Life on Earth was his first series. I loved it then, and still think it is worth while. Of course in the meantime we have seen so many very good nature programs, that it might look pretty dated now.
>141 EllaTim: I hadn't been born yet when that one was on TV so didn't catch it! ;) I'm usre bits of it are dated, but nature documentaries can hold up surprising well (as long as there hasn't been relevatory new data/discovery/etc. in the meantime)
11). Death on the Nile by Agatha Christie
Another Poirot, this time one that takes rather a long time before the murder actually happens. It's more of a traditional Christie novel than the last few I've read - at least in terms of structure. I've seen parts of the TV movie (with David Suchet) but didn't remember much more than that there was murder on a boat in travelling along the Nile. I quite liked this one - the more traditional structure is more my thing than the experimental ones.
I even had an inkling of who the murderer might be but couldn't quite work out the details in my head (because my little grey cells aren't as sharp as Hercule Poirot's).
Number of pages: 256
The new nature documentaries can be quite a treat, but I still have a soft spot for the golden oldies by Attenborough
Death on the Nile was a good one, and who can be as sharp as Poirot? Not me, I'm always surprised, I confess.
>144 EllaTim: I watched 4 of his newer series back-to-back last year, which was a real treat. I haven't watched Planet Earth 2 yet, because when they showed it on Swedish TV, it had been re-dubbed into Swedish. I can understand why, and there was absolutely nothing wrong with the Swedish narrator, but I prefer Attenborough himself. So I'll watch it later, when I can get hold of the original.
Yeah, not one is as sharp as Poirot. There have been a few times where I've had a hunch who the murderer is (often the one you least suspect), but only a few times, and only if I've been on a Christie binge so i'm in the Poirot (or Marple) mindset already.
Drumheller, in Canada, also has fascinating Dino history.
>146 m.belljackson: I've never heard of Drumheller before (not that I can remember, at least), but googling it tells me they call themselves the "Dinosaur capital of the world", so that's promising. And it's Alberta, so I can visit some relatives while I'm at it!
>148 EllaTim: Oh, that sounds really cool. I really need to but Canada on my places-to-visit list.
>146 m.belljackson: Thanks, Marianne. I just looked it up, and it looks like a very interesting place. Someday, perhaps we'll get there. Our Canada visiting so far has been limited to Ontario and Quebec, which are the closest to us - Toronto, Ontario is about a 6-hour drive for us - and Vancouver, British Columbia on the way to Alaska.
A friend and I visited in 1994 and were really impressed back then - they have added A LOT since that time.
I looked around the badlands up there to see if any stray dino bones had been overlooked; alas, no.
We had better luck back below the border in Delta, Utah, where a tour guide took us to a new site for Trilobite fossils.
My friend also found a Starfish!
Hope everyone gets a chance to visit Drumheller and Delta.
Great to see your thread so active Paws. Hope your weekend was a good one.
>152 PaulCranswick: Thanks. I had a great weekend. My brother's family are visiting for a few weeks so I spent the day with my 10-month-old nephew who was in such a good mood he nearly choked from laughter, and then finished with a dinner at an incredible restaurant (who didn't charge us anything for nephew's food even though they made up a portion of both the main course and dessert for him - the same food we got but slightly smaller size).
12). Maigret's Dead Man by Georges Simenon
I tried to finish the incredibly thin book I've been trying to get through for over six months, but it's going so slowly that I had to take a break and finish this one because it's due back at the library soon.
I like this Maigret better than the previous one I read. This is one of the stories that was used for the mini series starring Rowan Atkinson so I was familiar with the storyline, but since I'm terrible at remembering details I'd almost completely forgotten who murdered the dead man in question. The only thing I didn't quite like was how, suddenly, Maigret just found out tons of really important information that we'd never heard anything about before and thus had the key to solving almost everything. Felt like it came out of nowhere. But I'm used to reading Agatha Christie novels where you get to meet all the suspects at once and the solution is "right there".
I will definitely be reading more Simenon books in the future - I like spending time with Maigret - but not just yet. I have more Christie books to get to first.
Number of pages: 179
Found a pretty interesting list of dino books for those of you who are interested.
Don't forget to read the comments, which contain even more suggestions.
Journey to the Center of the Earth is still great fun to read - movies haven't exactly been potboilers.
>158 m.belljackson: I read that one a few years ago - it's definitely a fun read.
>156 PawsforThought: I had a bit of trouble getting my head round Rowan Atkinson as Maigret but he pulls it off, I think.
Have a great Sunday. xx
>160 PaulCranswick: Thanks.
>161 EllaTim: I can't remember any dinosaurs in Journey to the Centre of the Earth either - it must have been a fairly small part. I know they had some encounters with animals, so I guess dinosaurs were among them.
// Just checked and technically there aren't any dinosaurs in the book. There are pterosaurs, ichthyosaurs and plesiosaurs, but no true dinosaurs. //
The covers are very 80's, I think. A bit too much for me. But the Conan Coyle cover is really nice - quite suggestive and simple. And the Jurassic Park one is great; I only wish the cover for Crichton's The Lost World was more matching - like a set.
I had completely lost your thread this year. Partly because I've been somewhat sporadic on LT myself but I'm so glad I found you again. I love all the baby animal and fish photos in your thread. The best one, I thought was the one with the baby stingray. I've never seen baby ones before and that was just too precious.
I'm more of a Hercule Poirot fan than I am of Miss Marple *ducks to avoid all the shoes flying in my direction* and Death on the Nile and Death on the Orient Express are my 2 favorite Poirot stories.
>163 cameling: Glad you found your way here, and that you like the baby animals. The stingrays are among my favourite too, they look almost alien - and it's not a species we get to see often.
No shoes will be thrown here! While I do like Marple, Poirot was my first Christie detective and the reason I fell in love with her books. I also think the Poirot books tend to be better than the Marple ones - though I've forgotten so much of them I might be wrong on that.
Stopping by to get caught up. yes, Drumheller does have wonderful dinosaur history. They have the Royal Tyrrell Museum which is dedicated to all things paleontological found in the immediate area.
>165 lkernagh: Sound amazing. I really want to go there. It's a shame Canada is so far away.
13). Evil Under the Sun by Agatha Christie
I was actually reading a different Christie book, but it wasn't quite as quick to read as her books normally are and I felt like breezing through something so picked this one up.
It's classic Christie, and classic Poirot. He's on vacation by the coast and a murder happens, but the most obvious person has an alibi. I didn't manage to predict how this would end and who the killer would turn out to be.
It's not my favourite Christie but it's a solid one.
Number of pages: 229
Oh oh oh .. you are making me want to do a re-read of all the books in the Poirot series.
>168 cameling: I'm not surprised. I've having a whale of a time reading all these Christies. I have about ten more checked out from the library.
Had to take kitty to the vet today. He's had runny eyes and sneezing for weeks, but no other problems so we thought it'd work itself out, but enough's enough. He aparently has cat flu. So now I have to get saline solution, nasal drops, and lysine. And some treats to cheer him up.
It's a good thing I love that cat
>171 FAMeulstee: It's apparently something he'll have for the rest of his life, but it won't affect him too much. He's a trouper, though, and behaved so well at the vet's office. He's always well-behaved at the vet's - every vet we've visited (and he's been a bit accident prone previously so there have been a few trips) has marveled at how sweet and social he is. The chemist didn't have what I needed for him so I'm ordering online now. And he's got some extra cuddles.
Poor cat. Fortunate that he's so well-behaved.
Isn't it nice that Agatha Christie wrote so many detectives? I can vaguely remember Evil under the sun, but could do a reread easily.
>173 EllaTim: He's the best cat ever. Last time I was to the vet with him, she (the vet) said she'd never met a cat who hugged the vet before. He's big on hugs (cat hugs, that is).
I'm incredibly grateful to Dame Agatha for being so productive - I can read and read and it feels like there is no end to them. And once I manage to read them all I'll have forgotten the plot/murderer so I can just read them again.
I haven't been on LT in a week, and have barely read anything in that time either. Not going through another funk - I just haven't been physically able to read a book (or had the time to sit and look through LT threads. My entire family headed to our summerhouse and after celebrating Midsummer (and weeks and weeks spent preparing for the big day) my brother and SIL got married. So in between babysitting my nephew (who is just learning to walk and is very energetic and excited) I've been partying and clearing up after the party. And having tons of guests over. My brother's family have gone home now and so have I - it's incredibly nice to be able to be alone for a bit. I'm going to catch up a bit on my reading now...
Congratulations for your brother and his new wife! Sounds like you had a week well spent.
And yes, how nice it can be to be alone sometimes!
>176 EllaTim: Thanks! Yeah, it was well-spent, and now I'm really glad it's over. And I've had a great day today - all alone!
I was really sad to read that Michael Bond, who created the wonderful Paddington Bear, has died. I adore Paddington, as I'm sure many others here on LT do too.
Think I'll have a look and see how many of the Paddington books my local libraries have, and have myself an in memorian-read.
14.) The Mystery of the Blue Train by Agatha Christie
This book was mentioned in a Poirot novel I read a few weeks ago so when notised that it was one of the books I'd ordered from the library (I ordered all the Christies they had so couldn't remember the titles) I had to pick it up.
Like several of the Christie novels I've read recently, this one has a bit of a different style. It primarily follows Katherine Grey (a resident of St. Mary Mead!) who becomes a witness when a murder takes place on the train she is on. I don't have anything against switches in narrative or different takes, but I do prefer to more classic style of following Poirot (or Marple).
I'd rate this as a medium Christie - it's interesting but not one of the best she's written (and I had a suspicion about the murderer several chapters before the end!).
Number of pages: 212
>178 PawsforThought: Hi Paws, I've never read Paddington. But sorry to hear that a writer you loved has died. The drawing above is really cute. Did he make the drawings as well?
>180 EllaTim: No, Bond didn't make the illustrations. The books had several illustrators through the years, with Peggy Fortnum being one of the most well-known. I think the one above was made by R. W. Alley.
I saw a photo from Paddington Station, where they have a statue of Paddington the bear and people have been leaving bouquets of flowers and jars of marmalade (which Paddington was very fond of) next to it. Brought a tear to my eye.
It is nice that his books were so well loved, and that everybody knows Paddington, even people like me who haven't read the books.
>182 EllaTim: Yeah, that seems to happen with really good children's books (doesn't seem to happen as much with adult fiction) - they permeate society. I never read any Beatrix Potter as a kid but still "knew" them.
I never read any Beatrix Potter either, but I have a vague image of her figures, I think.
And other children's books, well you only have to think of Harry Potter.
I agree, it seems to happen more with childrens books. Alice in Wonderland, Wind in the Willows, Wizard of Oz.
OMG! Cuteness alert!
Here is an article about a cheetah cub (kitten) who, after being rejected from her family and developing anxiety, was given a "support puppy" as a companion by the zoo she lives in. They are now best friends, and there's even a video of them meeting the zoo's African penguins. Too adorable for words.
>184 EllaTim: Yeah, Harry Potter is the obvious example. I know quite a few people who've never read the books (blasphemy!) but still now a fair deal about the world and life of HP.
I did a memoriam re-read of a box set of Paddington stories and also Monsieur Pamplemousse when I read that Michael Bond had passed. I keep these in my re-read bookcase in the basement for when we have little nieces and nephews staying over.
>187 cameling: Aw, that's so nice to hear (both that you had a re-read and that you keep the books around for your nieces and nephews).
>185 PawsforThought: Very nice! That had me smiling.
Also loved the penguins, must be very curious animals to step up to a cheetah like that;)
>189 EllaTim: Yeah, pretty tough little things. Though I suspect they might not understand that it is a predator - I don't think they live in the same areas (in the wild) so there might not be a built in instinct.
But prey animals in general are tougher than me might think. I used to have a rabbit and he smacked both a cat and a large hunting dog on the nose when they got too close.
15). Destination Unknown by Agatha Christie
I thought this was going to be another murder mystery (because what else would you expect from Dame Agatha?) but it's actually more of a spy novel. I found it a bit difficult to get into at first, but that was mainly because it wasn't what I was expecting. It's a very interesting novel and you really don't know how it'll end until it does. There is a lot of uncertainties about the characters and their fate and there are twists in the end. I ended up really liking this one, and I'm glad I accidentally picked it up (I don't think I would have if I'd known it wasn't a crime novel as such).
Number of pages: 200
>190 PawsforThought: Yes, I know that about rabbits :-)
In my childhood I had a pet rabbit, she was big (half Flemish Giant) and kept every cat or dog from our garden. She sure knew how to used her strong backpaws.
Sometimes I see the crows chasing a bird of prey away.
>192 PawsforThought: Thanks for listing Private Peaceful st the TIOLI challenge for June, I have requested it at the library for a July challenge.
>193 FAMeulstee: Wow, that must have been a pretty big rabbit! Ours was a Holland Lop so much, much smaller.
Crow birds are pretty fierce in general, plus they live in flocks so I'm not surprised about them chasing birds of prey.
And I'm glad you found Private Peaceful interesting enough to request it. Hope you like it as much as I did.
>191 PawsforThought: Agatha Christie wrote more books that are a bit adventure-like. Do you know the Tommy and Tuppence books? I remember those as a bit different, not so much the detective/little grey cells, more action. So maybe you'd like those as well.
>195 EllaTim: I know of them but have never read any. Don't think they're as widely available here as her other books.
I do love the Marple and Poirot books, but it was a nice surprise to find that I did like Destination Unknown despite being initially disappointed that is wasn't a Marple/Poirot mystery.
>199 SandDune: I don't have any distinct memory of reading them (or rather, having them read to me) but I know we went through some of them.
The city library were supposed to have a few of them on the shelves but I couldn't find them so will have to go look again some other time.
My nephew was given a Paddington plushie by someone when he was born and it made me smile SO wide. When he gets a bit older, I'm definitely going to read some of them to him.
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