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SusanJ's 75 Books Challenge - Thread 6

This is a continuation of the topic SusanJ's 75 Books Challenge - Thread 5.

75 Books Challenge for 2017

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May 13, 4:42pm Top

Hello, and welcome to my sixth thread for 2017.

I'm Susan, a Kiwi living in London for the past 22 years. During the working week I'm a lawyer so I love nerdy legal stuff, which crops up in more books than you might expect.

Over the past few years I've started to read a lot more non-fiction, so my reading is now more non-fiction than fiction. I typically aim for 150 books, with a 100 NF/50 F split, although this year isn't working out quite like that. While I read mostly from the library, I do have a fair few books that I've bought (mostly for the Kindle) and I need to keep my eye on those so that I actually read them instead of just accumulating them. This year I want to read at least 50 books from Mount TBR (which counts as anything I own) so I'm adding a ticker for that too.

Edited: Yesterday, 2:30pm Top

Books read during 2017

By Dick Mudde - Own work, Public Domain, Link


1. The Trials of the King of Hampshire by Elizabeth Foyster
2. The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead
3. Make Me by Lee Child
4. The Bible: The Biography by Karen Armstrong
5. Before We Kiss by Susan Mallery
6. Until We Touch by Susan Mallery
7. Night School by Lee Child
8. Under Another Sky by Charlotte Higgins
9. Miss Smilla's Feeling for Snow by Peter Hoeg
10. The Invention of Nature by Andrea Wulf
11. Defiance: The Life and Choices of Lady Anne Barnard by Stephen Taylor
12. The Last Grain Race by Eric Newby
13. The Improbability of Love by Hannah Rothschild
14. Hold Me by Susan Mallery
15. Kiss Me by Susan Mallery
16. Thrill Me by Susan Mallery
17. Toast by Nigel Slater
18. The Unexpected Inheritance of Inspector Chopra by Vaseem Khan
19. The Janus Stone by Elly Griffiths
20. Hell's Bottom, Colorado by Laura Pritchett
21. The Warmth of Other Suns by Isabel Wilkerson
22. The Emperor of All Maladies by Siddhartha Mukherjee
23. Looking for Alaska by John Green


24. China Rich Girlfriend by Kevin Kwan
25. The Tidal Zone by Sarah Moss
26. The Perplexing Theft of the Jewel in the Crown
27. The Riviera Set by Mary S Lovell
28. Five Star Billionaire by Tash Aw
29. The Dinosaur Hunters by Deborah Cadbury
30. Assassin's Apprentice by Robin Hobb
31. Evicted by Matthew Desmond
32. China's Disruptors by Edward Tse
33. Oil on Water by Helon Habila
34. Royal Assassin by Robin Hobb
35. Bleak House by Charles Dickens
36. The Unwinding by George Packer


37. A Gentleman in Moscow by Amor Towles
38. The Butcher, The Baker, The Candlestick Maker
39. The Templar Legacy
40. Waves of Prosperity: Indian, China and the West: How Global Trade Transformed the World
41. Assassin's Quest by Robin Hobb
42. The Looming Tower by Lawrence Wright
43. How to Survive a Plague by David France
44. Missing Pieces by Heather Gudenkauf
45. The Mighty Dead by Adam Nicolson
46. The House At Sea's End by Elly Griffiths
47. A Room Full of Bones by Elly Griffiths
48. The Life Project by Helen Pearson
49. You May Also Like by Tom Vanderbilt
50. Another Day in the Death of America by Gary Younge


51. The Big Rock Candy Mountain by Wallace Stegner
52. The Swerve by Stephen Greenblatt
53. The Wangs vs the World by Jade Chang
54. Hit Makers by Derek Thompson
55. The Epigenetics Revolution by Nessa Carey
56. The Windflower by Laura London
57. An African in Greenland by Tete-Michel Kpomassie
58. The Leveller Revolution by John Rees
59. The Death of an Owl by Paul Torday
60. Behold the Dreamers by Imbolo Mbue
61. Talking to the Dead by Harry Bingham
62. Cast in Shadow by Michelle Sagara
63. Girl Waits With Gun by Amy Stewart
64. The Woman Next Door by Yewande Omotoso
65. Vicious Circle by C J Box


66. Killers of the Flower Moon by David Grann
67. Dying Fall by Elly Griffiths
68. The Plague Charmer by Karen Maitland
68.5 Midnight at Tiffany's by Sarah Morgan
69. The Doctor's Engagement by Sarah Morgan
70. Mail Men by Adrian Addison
71. Wonderland: How Play Made the Modern World by Steven Johnson
72. Good As You by Paul Flynn
73. Fully Connected by Julia Hobsbawm
74. Irresistible by Adam Alter
75. The Book Smugglers of Timbuktu by Charlie English
76. Los Alamos by Joseph Kanon
77. Ghachar Ghochar by Vivek Shanbhag
78. The House of Hidden Mothers by Meera Syal
79. About Last Night by Catherine Alliott


80. Barbara the Slut and Other People
81. Ship of Magic by Robin Hobb
82. All This Will Be Lost by Brian Payton
83. Queer City by Peter Ackroyd
84. Heat and Light by Jennifer Haigh
85. On Intelligence by John Hughes-Wilson

May 13, 4:44pm Top

Last year I started a new NF challenge, which is to read the non-fiction winners of the Pulitzer prize. I stole this idea from Reba, who is doing a fiction challenge. Hi Reba! This is a long-term project, rather than something to be completed in a year or two. If I can't find the relevant non-fiction winner easily in the UK, I propose to substitute the winner of the history category.

Last year I read about eight books from the list. This year I'd like to do the same, but I have five already and I'll focus on those.

Here's the full list:

2017 Evicted by Matthew Desmond
2016 Black Flags: The Rise of ISIS by Joby Warrick
2015 The Sixth Extinction: An Unnatural History by Elizabeth Kolbert
2014 Toms River: A Story of Science and Salvation by Dan Fagin
2013 Devil in the Grove by Gilbert King
2012 The Swerve: How the World Became Modern by Stephen Greenblatt
2011 The Emperor of All Maladies: A Biography of Cancer by Siddhartha Mukherjee
2010 The Dead Hand: The Untold Story of the Cold War Arms Race and Its Dangerous Legacy by David E. Hoffman

2009 Slavery by Another Name: The Re-Enslavement of Black Americans from the Civil War to World War II by Douglas A Blackmon
2008 The Years of Extermination: Nazi Germany and the Jews, 1939-1945 by Saul Friedländer
2007 The Looming Tower: Al-Qaeda and the Road to 9/11 by Lawrence Wright
2006 Imperial Reckoning: The Untold Story of Britain's Gulag in Kenya by Caroline Elkins
2005 Ghost Wars by Steve Coll
2004 Gulag: A History by Anne Applebaum
2003 A Problem From Hell: America and the Age of Genocide by Samantha Power
2002 Carry Me Home: Birmingham, Alabama, the Climactic Battle of the Civil Rights Revolution by Diane McWhorter
2001 Hirohito and the Making of Modern Japan by Herbert P Bix
2000 Embracing Defeat: Japan in the Wake of World War II by John W. Dower

1999 Annals of the Former World by John McPhee
1998 Guns, Germs and Steel: The Fates of Human Societies by Jared Diamond
1997 Ashes To Ashes: America's Hundred-Year Cigarette War, The Public Health, And The Unabashed Triumph Of Philip Morris by Richard Kluger
1996 The Haunted Land: Facing Europe's Ghosts After Communism by Tina Rosenberg
1995 The Beak Of The Finch: A Story Of Evolution In Our Time by Jonathan Weiner
1994 Lenin's Tomb: The Last Days Of The Soviet Empire by David Remnick
1993 Lincoln at Gettysburg: The Words That Remade America by Garry Wills
1992 The Prize: The Epic Quest For Oil, Money & Power by Daniel Yergin
1991 The Ants by Bert Holldobler and Edward O Wilson
1990 And Their Children After Them by Dale Maharidge and Michael Williamson

1989 A Bright Shining Lie: John Paul Vann and America in Vietnam by Neil Sheehan
1988 The Making of the Atomic Bomb by Richard Rhodes
1987 Arab and Jew: Wounded Spirits in a Promised Land by David K Shipler
1986 Common Ground: A Turbulent Decade in the Lives of Three American Families by J Anthony Lukas
1986 Move Your Shadow: South Africa, Black and White by Joseph Lelyveld
1985 The Good War: An Oral History of World War Two by Studs Terkel
1984 The Social Transformation Of American Medicine by Paul Starr
1983 Is There No Place On Earth For Me? by Susan Sheehan
1982 The Soul of A New Machine by Tracy Kidder
1981 Fin-De Siecle Vienna: Politics And Culture by Carl E Schorske
1980 Godel, Escher, Bach: an Eternal Golden Braid by Douglas R Hofstadter

1979 On Human Nature by Edward O Wilson
1978 The Dragons of Eden by Carl Sagan
1977 Beautiful Swimmers by William W Warner
1976 Why Survive? Being Old In America by Robert N Butler
1975 Pilgrim at Tinker Creek by Annie Dillard
1974 The Denial of Death by Ernest Becker
1973 Fire in the Lake: The Vietnamese and the Americans in Vietnam by Frances Fitzgerald
1973 Children of Crisis, Vols. II and III by Robert Coles
1972 Stilwell and the American Experience in China, 1911-1945 by Barbara W Tuchman
1971 The Rising Sun by John Toland
1970 Gandhi's Truth by Erik H Erikson

1969 The Armies Of The Night by Norman Mailer
1969 So Human An Animal by Rene Jules Dubos
1968 Rousseau And Revolution, The Tenth And Concluding Volume Of The Story Of Civilization by Will and Ariel Durant
1967 The Problem of Slavery in Western Culture by David Brion Davis
1966 Wandering Through Winter by Edwin Way Teale
1965 O Strange New World by Howard Mumford Jones
1964 Anti-Intellectualism in American Life by Richard Hofstadter
1963 The Guns of August by Barbara W Tuchman
1962 The Making of the President 1960 by Theodore H White

Edited: Jun 5, 4:16am Top

There are all sorts of reading challenges around (quite apart from LT) and I thought I'd have a go at the Better World Books challenge, which is as follows (with some thoughts for books in each category where I have thoughts. Or books):

A food memoir Toast by Nigel Slater COMPLETED
A young adult novel Looking for Alaska by John Green COMPLETED
A National Book Award Winner The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead COMPLETED
A book under 200 pages Hell's Bottom, Colorado by Laura Pritchett COMPLETED
A book by a female writer The Invention of Nature by Andrea Wulf COMPLETED
A book set in Asia China Rich Girlfriend by Kevin Kwan COMPLETED
A book translated from another language Miss Smilla's Feeling for Snow by Peter Hoeg COMPLETED
A fantasy novel Assassin's Apprentice by Robin Hobb COMPLETED
A book that’s more than 100 years old Bleak House COMPLETED
A book about immigrants The Wangs vs the World COMPLETED
A romance that takes place during travel The Windflower by Laura London COMPLETED
A book set in a place you want to visit An African in Greenland by Tete-Michel Kpomassie COMPLETED
A book you picked based on its cover The Leveller Revolution by John Rees COMPLETED
A collection of short stories Barbara the Slut and Other People by Lauren Holmes COMPLETED

Still to go:

A book with a color in the title
If "Fiery" is a colour, then The Fiery Trial: Abraham Lincoln and American Slavery by Eric Foner

A book based on a fairytale
Snow White by Matt Phelan

A book that takes place in a forest

A book over 400 pages
Catherine the Great & Potemkin by Simon Sebag Montefiore

A banned book
1984 by George Orwell

A nonfiction book about nature
Weatherland by Alexandra Harris - another gift that I haven't quite got to

A book by a person of color
The Pillow Book

A book of poetry
Poem for the Day, which I didn't quite keep up with last year.

A book about a historical event
Hitler's Beneficiaries by Gotz Ali

A book with a child narrator

A book that’s been adapted into a movie
The Life of Pi

Edited: Jun 17, 4:48am Top

Other projects for 2017

The Pulitzer challenge has no end date, but for 2017 I want to read Boswell's Life of Johnson which I have in a slightly different (i.e. cheaper) version than this handsome Penguin Classic. But it's the unabridged version, so yay.


1. BBC 3: Breaking Free: Martin Luther's Revolution. Reformation 500 http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p052bmk9
2. BBC Radio 4: The Battle of Lincoln 1217 http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b08njv60
3. BBC Radio 4: 1816, The Year Without a Summer http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b077j4yv
4. BBC Radio 4: Le Morte d'Arthur http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b01pp989
5. BBC Radio 4: The Epic of Gilgamesh http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b080wbrq
6. BBC Radio 4: Purgatory http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b08qxfrb#play
7. BBC Radio 4: The Gin Craze http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b084zk6z
8. BBC Radio 4: Enzymes http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b08rp369
9. BBC Radio 4: Christine de Pizan http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b08sksb4
10. BBC Radio 4: The Day is for the Living (Hilary Mantel Reith lecture) http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b08tcbrp
11. BBC Radio 4: Making History - The English Pearl Harbour http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b08sn96v
12. BBC Radio 4: The Field of the Cloth of Gold http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p003k9dl
13. BBC Radio 4: Making History - Zombies in Yorkshire? http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b08tcg6f
14. BBC Radio 4 Extra: Suburbia http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b05n3yjq
15. BBC Radio 4: The American Populists http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b08tbf4g
16. BBC Radio 4: Costing the Earth - The World's Toughest Plants http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b08rq6dx
17. BBC Radio 4: Common Sense Philosophy http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b007qhbn#play
18. History of Pirates podcast - Introduction http://www.historyofpiratespodcast.com/?p=19
19. History of Pirates podcast - What is a Pirate? http://www.historyofpiratespodcast.com/?p=23

Edited: May 13, 4:57pm Top

May 13, 4:48pm Top

Happy new thread, Susan!

May 13, 4:52pm Top

71. Wonderland: How Play Made the Modern World by Steven Johnson

In this entertaining book, the author discusses many of the things that we take for granted today which were developed because they were fun, amusing or different, rather than absolutely necessary. Spices, for example. Or the colour purple. The cinema. Computers (made for gaming as well as complex calculations, and who among us would have one if they were just for calculations?) He argues that the pursuit of things like spices, purple (from sea snails) and the once newfangled cotton led to the development of the modern world for good and bad - voyages of discovery and all the technology that those required, slavery in the US and so on. While the official history of things tends to emphasise all the worthy reasons they were developed, he says that we can't overlook play as another powerful motivator. Highly recommended.

May 13, 4:54pm Top

>7 katiekrug: Thanks Katie!

May 13, 5:50pm Top

Happy new thread from me too. I note you've already read 71 books...and you walk thousands of steps each day...and you have a demanding job...how do you do all of that?!?

May 13, 6:34pm Top

Happy new thread, Susan!

May 13, 8:57pm Top

Happy new thread, Susan. Well past 1,000 posts on your thread this year already. x

May 13, 10:35pm Top

Happy new thread!

May 13, 11:00pm Top

Happy new thread, Susan.

May 14, 2:38am Top

Happy new thread!! I have several of the NF Pulitzers in the TBR stacks; they should be good ones if I ever get to them...

May 14, 4:31am Top

Happy new thread Susan. >8 susanj67: looks good to me.

Lovely sunshine here, time for me to transplant some tomatoes:-)

May 14, 10:30am Top

Happy new thread, Susan!

May 14, 10:33am Top

Happy new thread!
>16 charl08: that's next weekend's job. I've mowed the lawn and have a load of post holiday laundry drying in the nice weather!

May 14, 12:02pm Top

>10 RebaRelishesReading: Reba, the steps have taken a hit. Apart from special efforts like last weekend, I just can't sustain 10,000 per day and get anything else done.

>11 FAMeulstee: Thanks Anita!

>12 PaulCranswick: Thanks Paul. I'm trying to overtake Amber :-)

>13 drneutron: Thanks Jim!

>14 BLBera: Thanks Beth :-)

>15 Berly: Thanks Kim. I love the threads!

>16 charl08: Charlotte, I hope the transplanting went well. It's lovely down here too. I went to the supermarket in just a short-sleeved t-shirt and light cardigan. No coat of any kind!

>17 scaifea: Thanks Amber :-)

>18 Helenliz: Helen, I've also taken advantage of the good drying weather!

Continuing the magazine discussion from my last thread, I had a look at Tesco's magazine selection this morning, and it is very good. I saw four magazines dedicated solely to carp fishing, which I was surprised to learn is still actually a thing (I've always associated carp with abbey fishponds, and assumed carp were rare, if they were still around at all. Maybe they *are* rare, and that's why people need four magazines to catch them). One was called Total Carp, which was snork-worthy. There may, however, be a gap in the market for Holy Carp. (Hi Katie!). I bought:

Focus, which is the BBC's science and technology magazine http://www.sciencefocus.com/issue/anything-good-you-any-more which comes (at least at Tesco) bundled with a magazine called "The Theory of Everything", which I see really *is* worth £9.99

History Revealed http://www.historyrevealed.com/history-revealed/current-issue, another BBC magazine, which comes bundled as a Tesco special with "Hollywood Histories Revealed" https://www.buysubscriptions.com/special-editions/hollywood-histories-revealed


All About History, https://www.historyanswers.co.uk/ because...

How could I resist?

I'll see which ones look best to subscribe to, with the BBC History magazine I bought last week and their World Histories too.

Before that, I was gazing dispiritedly at the ironing, and decided to try a podcast while I did it. I looked at the History magazine I've been reading on the bus, and looked up the podcast referred to in the article about the Reformation, which was excellent: http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p052bmk9 Then I listened to the one on the Battle of Lincoln, which also features in the magazine. It was Melvyn Bragg's In Our Time, on Radio 4: http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b08njv60 . At the end I scrolled down the rest of the page and noticed a "recommended reading" section which had *seven* good books in it. And a link to the top ten "In Our Time" podcasts, as voted for by listeners. http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/articles/wvSdFMv6yP0m6W5J8xyhBh/the-in-our-time-...

Now I just need many hundreds more minutes, and a quiet room. I can't hear well enough to listen to them while I'm out in the noisy world, although I can see that a person with better hearing and a long commute would never lack for entertainment again, even if they couldn't read. The good news is that, as well as learning, I have ironed *all the things*.

Edited: May 14, 6:45pm Top

Who looks at their iron like this?

Nope. For me, it's more like this...

Glad you got it done. : )

May 14, 9:39pm Top

Carp are a common trash fish in US rivers, ponds and lakes, Susan--rather more common than desired! Funny to think the situation is so different over there. I can't imagine magazines about them...

Happy New Thread!

May 15, 4:11am Top

>20 Berly: Kim, I'm going to assume that the first picture is from an ad for the iron! I have never looked at my iron like that. I'm more like the second picture :-) But it is lovely to have a whole row of nicely ironed things to choose from, instead of having to iron something every morning. I am bad with ironing and paperwork filing.

>21 ronincats: Roni, I've just looked up carp on Wikipedia, and it seems that:


"Attitudes to carp as a recreation or sport fish vary around the world.

In Europe, even when not fished for food, they are eagerly sought by anglers, being considered highly prized coarse fish that are difficult to hook. The UK has a thriving carp angling market. It is the fastest-growing angling market in the UK.

In the United States, the carp is also classified as a rough fish as well as damaging naturalized exotic species but with sporting qualities. Many states' departments of natural resources are beginning to view the carp as an angling fish instead of a maligned pest. Groups such as the Carp Anglers Group and American Carp Societypromote the sport and work with fisheries departments to organize events to introduce and expose others to the unique opportunity the carp offers freshwater anglers."



And they list *five* UK carp-related magazines, but none for the US. Maybe if the US had some magazines, there wouldn't be so many carp :-) Hey, there's a business opportunity for someone!

I was going to try a podcast on the bus this morning, just to see if I could hear anything, but the bus tracker said 23 minutes till the next bus and, while I was fairly sure that was wrong, I got the tube anyway. I definitely can't hear anything on the tube.

The roomie arrived at 8.59, which is about three hours earlier than usual. She hurried off to a 9am meeting, muttering about partners who like early starts. Then she came back, because apparently the partner isn't here. "And you got here a whole minute early!" I said. "I know, right?" she said. I'm never entirely sure how seriously to take her :-)

May 15, 7:55am Top

Library confession time: I took back Wonderland and noticed The Book Smugglers of Timbuktu on the new books shelf, so I got that. And also Los Alamos, a thriller. Just because. Well actually because I read a lot about Los Alamos in one of my Pulitzer books last year, so the title jumped out at me.

May 15, 8:07am Top

Bah humbug. No Timbuktu book in my library :-(

May 15, 8:14am Top

>23 susanj67: Amazingly mine has it as an ebook too, and I was #4 in the queue, so I've cancelled that now. It's very new, though. Yours might get it. I tried to get The Bad-Ass Librarians of Timbuktu a while ago after someone read it, but it wasn't where the catalogue promised it would be. I reserved that Barbara The Slut book, btw :-)

May 15, 6:34pm Top

Hi Susan - I am of the iron-as-needed philosophy. However, when I'm doing my spring cleaning, anything that has been on the ironing board for a year gets sent to Good Will.

The Book Smugglers looks good. I'll watch for your comments.

Happy Monday.

May 16, 2:05am Top

>25 susanj67: Well, be prepared for plenty straight talking with Barbara and the other protagonists!

>26 BLBera: I really need to spring clean my wardrobe. Not so much the ironing as the clothes I like but never wear...

May 16, 4:11am Top

>26 BLBera: Beth, at least you have a system :-) I'm looking forward to The Book Smugglers of Timbuktu and I hope to get to it soon.

>27 charl08: Charlotte, I'll bear that in mind!

72. Good As You: From Prejudice to Pride: 30 Years of Gay Britain by Paul Flynn

Described as "The definitive pop-cultural history of British gay men", this is a good read, but probably one for people who live in the UK, as I doubt a lot of the pop culture written about was available in the US or elsewhere, unless you live in a country that got a lot of UK music and soaps, because they feature heavily. Coming from New Zealand, I got all the music references and the tracing of gay characters in television programmes which pre-dated my arrival in the UK. Then I came to live here, so I'm familiar with the rest of it. It is a *tiny* bit spooky to see a book classified as "history" when all of the events in it have taken place during your lifetime, but, as someone who gets offered seats on the train now (yup - still not over that) I'll let that go.

The author is a couple of years younger than I am, so it starts when he is 12, and hears "Smalltown Boy" and Frankie Goes to Hollywood's "Relax" for the first time (not on the BBC, which immediately banned it). Who could forget "Relax", in particular? I bought a Frankie Goes to Hollywood tape cassette and I remember having to tape over the end of one side with silence, because there was a lot of swearing in a sort of coda at the end, and I couldn't risk my parents hearing it. There's lots about pop culture, but also quite a bit about the legal changes that were going on at the same time, ending with the equal-marriage legislation being passed by Parliament. The author interviews a lot of interesting people, including Chris Smith, the first openly gay cabinet minister, and some "gay icons", including Kylie Minogue. There's also a lovely interview at the end with David Furnish, who is Sir Elton John's husband. It *is* pretty amazing to look back over just thirty years and to see how much things have changed. And I'm tempted to get Frankie Goes to Hollywood on CD...

May 16, 8:17am Top

Book Riot's list for today - 100 must-read books by international romance authors.
http://bookriot.com/2017/05/16/100-must-read-books-by-international-romance-auth... It's funny seeing UK authors on the list, but I suppose they are "international" compared to the US. I will have to try some. A quick glance doesn't show up any pirates, but a person can hope.

Last night on the bus I tried another podcast, which I could hear most of until we got to the cobbled streets where I live, and then it was hopeless so I finished it off at home (also it was 40+ minutes long and the bus takes 15). It was "1816, The Year Without a Summer" http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b077j4yv. This morning, continuing with my BBC History magazine, I read about Elizabeth Fry (no associated podcast - whew!) and then the bombing of Guernica, which served only to confirm that the Spanish Civil War should stay in my too-hard basket, and an article about King Arthur and whether there actually was such a person (probably not, was the conclusion). It ties in with the film which is out here now, but they only had a tiny picture of Charlie Hunnam, so I'm not sure why they bothered. I mean really. There's a podcast on Le Morte d'Arthur, which I will get to. Next up is the book reviews section. Oh dear. Based on the covers and a quick skim, I want:

The Greedy Queen by Annie Gray (no touchstone)
The Prince Who Would be King by Sarah Fraser
The Earth is Weeping by Pater Cozzens

I've already read The Butcher, The Baker, The Candlestick Maker and This Orient Isle.

And there's a TV and radio section too.

May 17, 4:10am Top

Last night I listened to the Le Morte d'Arthur podcast, which is here: http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b01pp989 I'm listing all these in post 5, so I can keep track of them. It was excellent, although I have now downloaded volume 1 of the book, because I need more books. The bus was a bit of a challenge as a girl from work was on it with her toddler, who has yet to perfect his inside voice, but I did what I could, and finished it at home. UK BBC-lovers, you can now sign in on the iPlayer and it remembers where you are across all your devices (allegedly - it didn't work with the podcast but maybe it works with TV). It's going to become compulsory soon, but they're rolling it out on a voluntary basis at the moment. I might have to find some things to follow. Ooh. I really want my new phone, because everything will work better on it (I am convinced) but there's still no sign of it. The roll-out is supposed to finish by the end of June but no-one I know has got theirs, which is vexing. It is just cruel to dangle shiny new things in front of people and then make them wait :-)

I read about half of Julia Hobsbawm's book Fully Connected last night, which about how busy we all are with FOMO etc, and trying to do All The Things and, while it doesn't apply to my life in terms of people to meet and places to go, it certainly does in respect of things to read/watch/listen to. I remember when I was a kid actually being *bored*. Ha! The olden days.

May 18, 1:44am Top

Hope the shiny new phone turns up soon Susan. I am a bit miffed with the whole sign in thing, as it all seems so unnecessary - everything was working fine before! (who moved my cheese, etc)
I always forget what FOMO stands for, which probably means I should be doing more, right? Ack. Back to the job application.

May 18, 4:14am Top

>31 charl08: Charlotte, FOMO = Fear of Missing Out :-) I passed the smartphone refresh point yesterday, and was tempted to knock on the door to see if anyone was in there, but I managed not to.

73. Fully Connected by Julia Hobsbawm

This is about "Surviving and Thriving in an Age of Overload", but it's a tedious read which is all over the place, with random case studies and general annoyance. It is at least short. The author advocates for better Social Health, but I'm still not sure what that is. Maybe people not emailing at 11pm and expecting an answer (or, if I'm honest, saying something *so wrong* that I can't leave it uncorrected till morning). It's all very woo-woo, and fairly pointless. Also a lot of it struck me as pat points that could be made by middle-aged people with famous surnames and good contacts, but of relatively little use to young people who find themselves stuck in the "gig" economy, when all they want is a desk and a monthly pay slip and paid sick leave and holidays. And an IT department. But that could just be me. Don't bother with this one.

This morning I started the "History Revealed" magazine on the bus. It's another BBC publication, but very different to "History". It is incredibly picture-heavy, with lots of boxes of text all over the place, whereas I tend to like starting at the beginning and reading to the end of something, with maybe a box of interesting points at the side. I am orderly like that :-) I don't think it's one I'll continue with, but it's interesting enough. I just like a bit more depth than a box with a fact in it. I wonder whether it's aimed at the "bite-sized" market for information that we see on Facebook and other social media. But I haven't got to the main feature (Richard III) yet, so maybe I shouldn't judge until then.

May 18, 7:45am Top

>32 susanj67: Oh yeah, I move past that into RIMO (Relief I'm...). Unless it's books. I opened the history magazine last night for a quick skim and had to close it again quickly. Too many books.
Also, the editor looks about ten.

And I want to go to the Jaipur literary festival. Are you free to attend the one in about three years time?(!)

May 18, 8:52am Top

>33 charl08: Charlotte, having finished "History" I thought that I could put it in the paper recycling, but then I thought I should go through it one more time for book advertisements. It's like a sickness. Interestingly, History Revealed doesn't have links to podcasts or other learned BBC content. I found this press release for the launch, which is interesting:


Immediate Media Co, the special interest content and platform company, announces that it is to launch History Revealed, a brand new exciting and action-packed magazine that will bring the past to life for everyone.

Appealing to a wide audience aged 15 – 50+; each issue will explore one of the big stories from history – from ancient Rome to the First World War – telling readers everything they need to know about the subject. Every issue will also feature a mix of quality features with a strong story-telling element, stunning images, infographics, Q&As, plus fun historical facts and trivia. Debuting on the newsstand on 27 February 2014, the print edition will be priced at just £1 for the launch issue and £3.99 thereafter.

Dave Musgrove, Publisher, commented: “History has been a strong sector for magazines recently, and the forthcoming swathe of anniversaries this year (World War One, Bannockburn, the fall of the Berlin Wall) means that interest in the past will pick up apace. Coupled with our existing knowledge and expertise of this subject, we believe the timing is right and there is space in the market for a new history magazine.”

Paul McGuinness, Editor, added: “Here at ‘History Revealed’, we love a good story – and that’s what has driven us to produce a new kind of history magazine, one packed with characters, colour and adventure. We leave the analysis to others and concentrate on the stories and pictures that really bring the past to life.”


Hmmm. I don't want to use the word "comic", but there are similarities...

Did you mean the festival in Jaipur (surely the ultimate LT meet-up) or the one in London? :-) The roomie told me I could go to India because there's a fancy train for people worried about e.g. drinking the water and it goes all over the country to all the good sights, and the food and drink is safe. But still...

May 18, 9:41am Top

More history books:


I'm intrigued by Sleep in Early Modern England. I'll be even more intrigued if the price drops from the near-£20 it is at present, or the library gets it :-)

May 18, 12:16pm Top

Hi Susan - Great lists, podcasts, etc. I can't keep up with you.

May 19, 1:19pm Top

>36 BLBera: Beth, I am struggling myself. And I just bought some new earphones but can't get the packet open without scissors, so here I sit on the bus, podcastless. Heh :-)

May 19, 2:02pm Top

I had to abandon the bus in the end, as it just sat in traffic. So I got in some extra steps. And when I got home, my Civil Wars bookazine was waiting, and it looks like a great read. Not for this weekend, though...

May 20, 11:24am Top

The Jaipur festival in India sounds like fun to me. Thw haitory magazine certainly makes it sound tempting! I'd love to travel by train as well, although not sure funds would stretch to a fancy one! Hoping to get to Edinburgh this summer for their book festival, which is likely to be fun but less adventurous than Jaipur.
I've not been to it in years, so hoping for good things.

Edited: May 22, 4:10am Top

>39 charl08: Charlotte, when I win the EuroMillions tomorrow (£99 million!) I will charter the train and invite everyone. The roomie's mother moderated a session there one year, and apparently it's lots of fun. Edinburgh sounds good - I didn't realise they had a book festival as well as the "Edinburgh Festival", unless it's part of the same thing...

74. Irresistible: Why We Can't Stop Checking, Scrolling, Clicking and Watching by Adam Alter

Heh :-) This is an excellent read. While LT may be less addictive than Facebook or Instagram with their endless "likes", don't we all just love it when someone posts on our threads? Yes we do. And might we, say, refresh over and over just to, you know, keep an eye on things? Hmmm. The author looks at how popular technology (gaming, social media etc) hooks us and just won't let us go. While addictions to substances have made the news for centuries, this behavioural addiction is a newer thing, and harder to wean ourselves off. If someone gives up alcohol, they don't go to the pub. But most of us can't just stop looking at email, because it's part of our job. The author doesn't really have many suggestions for grown-ups (but perhaps being aware of what's going on gives us some power to resist), although there are some good tips for parents who face their kids just staring at screens for hours and hours. The most chilling statistic in the book:

"In 2000, Microsoft Canada reported that the average human had an attention span of twelve seconds; by 2013 that number had fallen to eight seconds.(According to Microsoft, a goldfish, by comparison, has an average attention span of nine seconds)."

Very highly recommended.

75. (yay!) The Book Smugglers of Timbuktu by Charlie English

In 2012/13, the famous town of Timbuktu was overrun with jihadis, who caused all sorts of mayhem. They destroyed various famous monuments and brought misery to the citizens, but the city held another treasure in the form of hundreds of thousands of manuscripts from the days when Timbuktu was a centre of learning, and attracted scholars and students from all over the region. The jihadis left the city only after French military action and, as they left, announced that they had burned all the manuscripts. But that turned out to be false, as most of them had been smuggled out of the city over the preceding months, by people determined to keep them safe. I suspect these are the same people who feature in The Bad-Ass Librarians of Timbuktu, which wins best title but which the library doesn't have on the shelf where it's supposed to be. Fascinated by the story, the author left his job and went to find out how the evacuation took place. The book's chapters alternate between the modern day and the history of Timbuktu and its grip upon olden-days Europeans as a magical place, a grip which loosened a bit when European explorers finally got there in the 1800s. It's really well done, and highly recommended.

May 22, 8:00am Top

Congrats on reaching 75, Susan! And it sounds like the 75th was a good one, too. Onto the list it goes.

May 22, 8:04am Top

>41 BLBera: Thanks Beth! 74 and 75 were both excellent. Weirdly, I was just over at the library (well, that's not actually the weird part, as I think we know) and I saw yet another display in a whole new place, with the Facebook "like" thumb displayed on little cards all over it (raising intellectual property issues, but I didn't think I would point that out).

May 22, 8:05am Top

>40 susanj67: Now on my list too. I watched the recent programme about the researcher travelling to Timbuktu - so sad to see the city surrounded by armed guard and traders not able to travel (but I suppose better than the previous arrangement).

The goldfish stat is a bit of a shocker, too. I wonder if it varies by age?

May 22, 9:02am Top

>43 charl08: Charlotte, I think I've recorded that one. I must actually watch it... They didn't differentiate between young goldfish and older ones, so I'm not sure :-)

May 22, 11:28am Top

That 8 second stat is a shocker!!

The Book Smugglers of Timbuktu sounds very interesting. I'm trying hard to reduce the height of Mt. TBR but that one may just have to make its way there.

May 22, 1:19pm Top

Congrats on 75! I have Badass Librarians on my stack - so it'll be interesting to compare notes on the two books.

May 22, 3:23pm Top

Belated congratulations on a new thread Susan! I am feeling a little overwhelmed by all the book, magazine and podcast recommendations from just the first 40 posts... I think I will start with the Reformation podcast.

And congrats on 75 books!

May 22, 3:48pm Top

>44 susanj67: *snork*
I'm slightly surprised it's that short, if I'm honest. We had a uni professor who used to make us all get up & change seats every 20 minute to reinvigorate ourselves.

May 23, 3:56am Top

>45 RebaRelishesReading: Reba, it is a shocker. The Book Smugglers is well worth one more addition to Mount TBR :-)

>46 drneutron: Thanks Jim! I'll definitely get the Bad-Ass Librarians if I ever find it where it's supposed to be.

>47 souloftherose: Thanks Heather :-) That reminds me I must add another podcast - I listened to one on the Epic of Gilgamesh while I walked to and from the supermarket on the weekend: http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b080wbrq

>48 Helenliz: Helen, I hope I'm not down to eight seconds, but I have definitely lost the ability to concentrate for long periods like I used to.

May 23, 10:10am Top

Nice, those podcast recommendations. I've downloaded the Morte d'Arthur one. Will be listening to it shortly. BBC podcasts are not always available outside of the UK, but this one was.

May 23, 8:13pm Top

I know, it has been ages since I last stopped by one of your threads. Slowly trying to make amends today with some free time on my hands.

Happy new thread!

Podcasts... something I really should try one of these days. I am so "old school". ;-)

Congratulations on 75!

May 24, 4:11am Top

>50 EllaTim: Hello Ella! I hope you enjoy the podcast. I'd heard of the book but it gave me more of an idea about what to look for in it. Now I just have to find the time to read it :-)

>51 lkernagh: Hey Lori! I'm very late to podcasts, but then they are a comparatively new thing, so that's my excuse :-)

Security is nuts at the Wharf this morning. It's always tight, so we don't often notice changes in the national level but this time we have. I've never seen so many security people at the checkpoint onto the Wharf. Even the bus was boarded and the guy walked up and down. I don't know what they're looking for, or what they would do if they found it, but no doubt someone gets to tick a box. Then, when I got into my building, I had to show my pass before I could even swipe in to the lift lobby area. Maybe I missed the story about terrorist outrages perpetrated by middle-aged white women. It's this sort of nonsense that lets the criminals slip through the cracks. At another building they had people queued up outside and they were ticking them off a list before they could get in. I think I'd be tempted just to go home again.

May 24, 6:05am Top

>52 susanj67: Hi Susan, Yes I thought it was really interesting. Didn't know about the background, in English, Latin and French, and the story of it being written while in prison.

May 24, 9:03am Top

Hey Susan, sorry about all the security stuff. I've been sitting outside in the lovely gardens here and it seems rather far away, and then a colleague mentions that her daughter is now scared to go to work and it all comes crashing back. Yuk.

May 24, 10:12am Top

>53 EllaTim: Ella, I didn't know anything about the author at all. He didn't sound like a good person, and I thought one of the speakers was making excuses for him when she said that people could be charged with rape when really it was only adultery.

>54 charl08: Charlotte, I ventured out at lunchtime, and had to run the gauntlet again when I came in - it is very silly. When people are walking around with only a purse (wallet), balancing Prets and trying to read their BlackBerrys, they *work here*. They have not travelled here with ill intent. I want to make this point in a loud voice downstairs. I went out to find the new issue of World Histories magazine, which is out today, but it was nowhere to be seen. Humph. All About History has the Boleyns on the cover this month, though. That might be worth a look. As soon as I read last month's...

May 24, 1:00pm Top

Congratulations on reaching 75!

>52 susanj67: I was glad I already returned home, Susan, I don't know if I could have stand the higher security levels on the airport...

May 24, 2:38pm Top

Checking and waving my 75 flag! Wooo!

Though on a somber note, I have been through the airport a few times in the last few days and not noticed any increase in security, though I did expect it to be a nightmare on the way back. But any time flights to Manchester were announced I sort of winced - when they announced the Southampton-Manchester flight was delayed by nearly an hour this afternoon, everyone just sort of hung their head. Weird feeling of shared pain.

May 25, 3:22am Top

>55 susanj67: I haven't yet read World Histories, although I don't feel so bad about the LRB and the TLS, which my dad has been reading on my behalf :-)

Edited: May 25, 4:17am Top

>56 FAMeulstee: Thanks Anita! I was so pleased to see from your thread that you had a good visit to London :-)

>57 BekkaJo: Thanks Bekka! Yes, there is a lot of shared pain. The news keeps showing the picture of that little eight-year-old - so, so awful. There seemed to be even more security people in our foyer this morning. I held my pass out in front of me like a talisman and marched right in. I am particularly incensed by all the *security* people with long jihadi beards, but I have so far managed not to say "Are you kidding me?". So points to me.

>58 charl08: Charlotte, I haven't read mine either *shame*. But I will. Very soon. The BBC History mag is out today, bundled at Waitrose with their "Story of the Tudors", which is free. I do feel like I know the Tudors better than my own family, but I'm not one to pass up a freebie. There is still no sign of World Histories, but the chap was filling the shelves as I looked, so maybe later.

Last night I nearly finished the History Revealed magazine, which I still find hard to navigate. There's too much going on. But I thought the text of the articles they did have was OK, until I read the one about the Apollo 11 mission (which again, happened during my lifetime so how can it be history etc) and saw the following (Jim, look away now):
"Up in the pointy end of the 111-metre-tall spaceship sat three American astronauts with the expectations of all humankind weighing heavily on their shoulders."
"POINTY END"? I'm not going to pretend I know the actual name (nose?) but surely it isn't that.

76. Los Alamos by Joseph Kanon

This is a detective-y novel set in Los Alamos in the run-up to the testing of "the gadget" as it was apparently called. A security employee is found dead and Michael Connelly, who works for the Government, is sent to try and find out what happened. It is perhaps a bit long, although I am perhaps a bit distracted so I shouldn't blame the book. It's good, though, and I enjoyed reading more about how the town was set up and how it operated.

May 25, 9:15am Top

In case you've run out of Netflix shows, I've been watching "Shetland," which is based on the Jimmy Perez Anne Cleeves books. It's really good. I try to limit myself to two shows per day.

May 26, 4:19am Top

>60 BLBera: Beth, I'm not sure the UK has that series on Netflix, although it's been on TV over here. For the time being, I think I have enough things :-))

77. Ghachar Ghochar by Vivek Shanbhag

This is a short but excellent novel about an Indian family who go from being quite hard-up to very well off, and the trouble that it brings them. I liked it a lot, and thanks to Mamie for the recommendation! I was also impressed by the translation, or at least how flawlessly the book read in English. I usually don't like translated things because I'm sure I can tell that they're not in the original language, but with this one I couldn't. In fact, I didn't realise until I was half way through it that it *was* actually a translation. Highly recommended.

That leaves me with three novels for the weekend, and my Pulitzer pile to keep working on...

May 26, 8:50am Top

Just checking in, Susan... The Wayne has similar feelings about security measures he views as meaningless. Working from home now, I don't really have to deal with much of that :)

We have a long weekend here for Memorial Day, but I am being dragged to Virginia to see the in-laws. *sigh* I had so been looking forward to 3 days of reading and organizing my books. Oh well.

I hope you have a good weekend!

May 26, 10:46am Top

Great comments, Susan. Ghachar Ghochar goes on the list.

May 27, 5:32am Top

Just checking in to wish you a happy long weekend Susan. Sorry to hear about all the security issues.

>60 BLBera:, >61 susanj67: I just went to check and UK netflix does have Shetland so I've added it to my list.

May 27, 6:01am Top

Do you get the bank holiday off Susan? Still crazy warm here, I've had to risk sandals. Just picked up three books from the library so I won't run out on Monday...

May 27, 6:43am Top

>62 katiekrug: Hey Katie! Sorry about Virginia, but I hope it's unexpectedly fun, and you find a bookshop of some sort :-) Working from home sounds good at the moment. The police up North are evacuating part of Manchester according to the news - it sounds like chaos.

>63 BLBera: Thanks Beth!

>64 souloftherose: Thanks Heather. I heard the Home Secretary say that she only intended the current threat level to last for a few more days, but I suppose that depends on what they find. The stations now all have new "Report anything suspicious" posters, and the man in them is *Chinese*.

>65 charl08: Charlotte, yes I have Monday off. All the office-related drama is in a holding pattern until Tuesday :-) I hope those books last you. I have three hard copy books, but yesterday thought I'd better download a Robin Hobb novel, just in case. I've just started Merra Syal's The House of Hidden Mothers and I have a Catherine Alliott for tomorrow :-)

I risked a short trip to Tesco on the Overground today, so now I am stocked up for most of the weekend, although I'll probably walk somewhere tomorrow and get a few more bits and pieces. I bought three more magazines, so I plan to sit outside and have a look at those later. It is alternating between very hot and then overcast with drops of rain (and some thunder earlier). I should put some laundry on as it is good drying weather (as long as the rain holds off).

May 28, 6:10am Top

78. The House of Hidden Mothers by Meera Syal

I love Syal's writing, and Anita and Me remains a favourite. This book is about the hidden(ish) world of surrogacy in India, where dormitories of young women incubate babies for rich Westerners. The issue has had a bit of publicity here, usually because of visa problems involved with taking the children home to the West, but Syal looks at it not just from the point of view of the Western couple (one of whom is a Non-Resident Indian, and much older than her British boyfriend) but also from that of the surrogate. It's a really good read.

It's *hot* here today, and I have the roof window open. This almost never happens. I've decided on a quiet weekend watching various recorded things and reading (so unlike me!).

May 28, 8:38am Top

>67 susanj67: Another fan of Syal's earlier book, but had somehow missed this one. Will add it to the list! I've finished my Val McDermid and hovering over the next one...

May 30, 4:06am Top

>68 charl08: Charlotte, I'd missed it too. I just happened to see it on the shelf... Thanks for that reminder about the Timbuktu documentary, by the way. I watched both parts over the weekend and it was excellent. She travelled from a different starting point than the explorers in the book, but it seems just as hard to get there today.

Yesterday was a TV day, due to feeling headachy and a bit blah. I explored the depths of the PVR to remind myself what I'd recorded in the 160 things on it, and started to watch some of them. It was fun to be a bit random (not out of order random, or anything crazy like that) but just click things with only half a title displayed, and see what they turned out to be.

I also listened to another In Our Time podcast yesterday while I was cooking - the one about the gin craze: http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b084zk6z I'm making my way through the listeners' top 10, but I've discovered the programme's own top 10 in various categories - gah. And I'm now recording it on the PVR, so I should add the one about purgatory, which was last week's programme http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b08qxfrb#play

May 30, 7:44am Top

Aw, that's super cute - I love the neckerchief he's wearing in the ID picture, too.

I love IOT, don't always understand it though. Hope you're feeling better today.

May 30, 7:04pm Top

>70 susanj67: - Definitely "Awwww" moment!

May 31, 4:17am Top

>71 charl08: Charlotte, yes, he looks like a Very Good Boy.

>72 lkernagh: Lori, glad you liked it too!

79. About Last Night by Catherine Alliott

I love Catherine Alliott's books, which are really good chick-lit and great comfort reads. The heroine of this one is older now, maybe like the author, and the widowed mother of three teenagers who turn horribly prissy once her love life takes an unexpected turn. Or three. She writes teenage boys particularly well, and this was laugh-out-loud funny in parts. Recommended for fans of the genre.

Somehow I picked up On Intelligence yesterday, which is not a popular science book, but about "the history of espionage and the secret world". It was right there on the new NF shelf, so it wasn't my fault. The other option was a biography of Pugin. Of course, I do have to go back today...

Edited: May 31, 10:21am Top

The world's NEW largest-jigsaw-in-the-world just appeared on my Facebook feed: http://www.jigsawpuzzle.co.uk/the-new-biggest-puzzle-in-the-world-travel-around-...

But really it's just 24 x 2,000 piece jigsaws joined together, which strikes me as a *tiny* bit against the spirit of the thing...

May 31, 10:55am Top

Dogs are good people and labradors are especially good dogs!!

Jun 2, 7:15am Top

Did you resist Pugin?

Apparently today is fish and chip day, I am reliably told in the office, so I feel obliged to have grease for my tea...

I've maxed out the books again, wondering if I should start another month of reading my own instead...

Jun 3, 5:20am Top

>75 RebaRelishesReading: Reba, I have a friend who loves that saying "The only problem with dogs is that I can't have them all" :-)

>76 charl08: Charlotte, so far the resistance is holding. Of course, two reserves came in on Friday (blame attributed to Beth and you) and when I checked my reserves page *after* I'd been to pick them up, another one had arrived. I had to leave that one because it was pouring with rain when I left the office yesterday. I'm also considering another month on Mount TBR...

This morning, tidying up and filing stuff, I listened to this week's In Our Time, which was about enzymes http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b08rp369 There are some clever people out there.

Having signed up for the iPlayer, the BBC is now emailing me all the time with recommendations and websites I didn't know existed, and their suggestions are spookily good, considering how little I have actually watched/listened to while signed in. Much better than Netflix's, despite the hundreds of hours I have spent on their programmes. I suppose the BBC might just be using my age to recommend things... But here is their Arts website, which I was alerted to this morning: http://www.bbc.co.uk/arts

Jun 3, 11:16am Top

New in bookazines (seen today at Tesco): All About Vikings (Fifth Edition) https://www.myfavouritemagazines.co.uk/knowledge-guides-and-specials/all-about-history-book-of-vikings/?listtype=search&searchparam=vikings

Greatest Battles https://www.myfavouritemagazines.co.uk/knowledge-guides-and-specials/All-About-History-Book-of-Greatest-Battles.html

I'm really not sure who these are aimed at. The illustrations are cartoony, but the text is tiny and full of proper words. And they cost a fortune. I was vaguely tempted by Planning Your Retirement magazine today, but maybe not just yet, even after the week I've had.

Jun 3, 11:20am Top

You got me with the Syal, Susan. I wasn't aware of this issue. Wow.

Jun 3, 11:27am Top

>79 BLBera: Beth, it's a good read. I picked up Heat and Light and Barbara the Slut from the library yesterday, by the way :-) I've read some of the Barbara stories today and I love them. I'm *supposed* to be focusing on an ebook that expires in 13 days, and it's one that I want to love. But...

Jun 3, 11:38am Top

Yay for Barbara. Never mind about the ebook. It's raining here, so I've had some respite from the bugs. I think it might be nap time :-)

Jun 4, 3:08am Top

Just checking in - and checking you are okay after the latest violence.

Jun 4, 4:49am Top

>81 charl08: Charlotte, I'm tempted to nap all day today, to blot out what's going on.

>82 BekkaJo: Thanks Bekka. I'm OK but terribly worried about the Young People from the office. It's a trendy sort of area and some of them live there, or might have been at dinner there. For the first time ever, Facebook asked if I'd like to use the Safety Check feature, and that may have been because one of my former office roomies had used it (and is fine, but literally just down the road from it).

I would say I can't believe it, but that would be wrong because it's exactly what everyone should have expected. I've just watched the useless head of the Met Police give a statement where she said it was all very hard. And yet they will have identified the murderers and raided their free houses that I'm paying for by the end of the day, and it will turn out that they were known to security services etc etc etc.
I was going to go out today, but it's looking like a quiet one will be best. "Quiet" apart from the police helicopter, of course.

Jun 4, 5:52am Top

>83 susanj67: Hi Susan. I'm glad to know you're OK. I had the news on for a while last night, but it really wasn't informative. A lot of talk but no substance. I hope things aren't even more difficult for you on Monday. It seems to me that security measurses that result in large queues outside of buildings aren't a good idea, but maybe I'm missng something.

Jun 4, 6:09am Top

Glad you're OK Susan. What a horrible night.

Jun 4, 7:12am Top

Happy to know that you are alright, Susan. Hope you have as good a day as possible.

Jun 4, 7:23am Top

Glad you're OK. A day in the sun with a good book, not going very far, sounds like a good idea.

Jun 4, 7:36am Top

>84 cbl_tn: Thanks Carrie. Details are still a bit vague here too, although the police have raided a block of council flats in Barking (of course they have!) and taken numerous people away. The Sky News helicopter was sending pictures for a while, which must have been very noisy for the poor chap trying to report on it. But now they've rolled out Kay Burley, which is the end of TV coverage for me. How to make a bad situation worse in one easy step. The threat level hasn't been raised, so I'm not expecting tomorrow to be as crazy as a couple of weeks ago was.

>85 charl08: Thanks Charlotte.

>86 Fourpawz2: Thanks Charlotte. I'm reading a fantasy novel, which isn't really working but I've switched to the radio now instead of the news on mute.

>87 Helenliz: Thanks Helen. I thought the PM's speech was tougher than it has historically been, although "enough is enough" should have been her theme when 8-year-olds were being murdered at pop concerts. At least we didn't get "Islam is a religion of peace". I do object to public servants telling outright lies in an attempt to appease the indefensible.

Jun 4, 9:03am Top

Happy Sunday, Susan. I'm glad you're safe.

Jun 4, 12:26pm Top

So glad you're safe and so sorry these things are happening. Take care of yourself.

Jun 4, 12:59pm Top

Like everyone else, I am glad to hear that you are safe. I hope you get the quiet day you are wishing for.

Jun 4, 1:10pm Top

I hope you have a quiet day, and that there is soon an end to this craziness. I'm glad you're safe.

Jun 4, 1:49pm Top

>89 Ameise1: Hi Barbara. Thanks for visiting.

>90 RebaRelishesReading: Hi Reba. We walked right past where it happened when you were here - remember going past Southwark Cathedral and turning right to the Golden Hinde? If we'd gone straight ahead, that's Borough Market. Packed with people on a Saturday night. Well, busy all the time, really.

>91 alcottacre: Thanks Stasia.

>92 BLBera: Thanks Beth. There will be no end to it while Britain is so politically correct. We just have to hope that we're not next.

I went out this afternoon to Canary Wharf, to the supermarket, but I took the bus, which was nearly empty. The mall was also very quiet. Well, for Canary Wharf. I went to the supermarket and then to the library, where FLA issued me the reserve that I didn't pick up on Friday. "You have five books out," he said "and one is due back on the 13th." There was a pause, and then he said "But I suppose you know that." "I'm all over it," I confirmed :-) On Friday the chap offered to *renew* the one due on the 13th. I didn't understand that at all, as it was only the 2nd. I might finish Barbara the Slut this evening, but I'm not really in the mood to concentrate. Every time an email arrives I dread it being bad news about someone from work.

Jun 4, 9:38pm Top

>93 susanj67: I was pretty sure we had been near there but didn't know quite how close.

Edited: Jun 5, 4:14am Top

>94 RebaRelishesReading: Reba, it was scarily close (although we were there on a Sunday morning, and that is far too early for jihadi scumbags to get out of bed in their free houses that I am paying for and go and kill people).

This morning brings more raids on council flats in scummy areas of London. No surprise there. And the neighbours of one of Saturday night's murderers says she warned the police TWO YEARS ago that he was trying to radicalise local children and they did...nothing. This is because they're too busy investigating people who say mean things on Twitter to actually catch criminals.

There was one aspect of Saturday night that may cause the police to have to rethink their "Run, Hide, Tell" strategy (which produced unedifying footage of officers screaming at law abiding citizens to cower under tables and wait to be killed). And that was the number of people who very bravely fought back. As one of them said, that sort of thing wasn't going to happen on his watch, and there are stories coming out of incredible bravery that saved many lives. People throwing chairs and glasses at the attackers, barricading doors to allow people to escape, and a police officer who took on all three of them with just a baton. This may be the beginning of Londoners deciding to fight back - quite literally.

80. Barbara the Slut and Other People by Lauren Holmes

This is a collection of short stories and I liked it a lot, although it did make me glad not to be a twenty-something today. My favourite was "My Humans", which was narrated by a dog, and that's pretty much what I was in the mood for yesterday. Thanks to Beth and Charlotte for this one :-)

Jun 5, 9:56am Top

Sorry, all the credit goes to Charlotte. I haven't read it yet. But thanks anyway.

I hope you have a quiet, uneventful week.

Jun 5, 2:22pm Top

Very glad your safe - saw your post the other day and was relieved but didn't manage to get on to LT again till now. I hate having to keep checking everyone is safe - I miss being able to just presume everyone is safe and not think about it :/

Jun 5, 3:50pm Top

I liked that dog's perspective one too. Sometimes the simple stuff is good.

Have you read East West Street? There is legal geekery (of the human rights/international law variety) and I thought of you.

Jun 8, 4:52pm Top

Susan, hope you're not working too hard...

Jun 8, 7:56pm Top

>99 charl08: Me, too, Susan. Thinking of you and wishing you happy.

Jun 8, 10:47pm Top

What Mamie said!!

Jun 9, 4:21am Top

Thanks for posting, ladies. I've been working like a maniac all week, with long days and then even more BlackBerrying. And I'm so sad and angry about last weekend that I really can't play nicely. The police found the eighth victim in the river at Limehouse, which means that his body must have drifted past my flat. All I can think of is how I hope that he died when the van hit him, and didn't drown in the river while everyone was looking in the other direction at the stabbing victims.

And now we have a hung Parliament, so more nonsense.

I've read a couple of chapters this whole week, so no books to report.

>96 BLBera: Beth, I was sure you had, but maybe Charlotte picked it up on your (unread!) recommendation. Such is the power of LT :-)

>97 BekkaJo: Bekka, I know. But there will be no end to it, the way things are going.

>98 charl08: Charlotte, I haven't read that one, although I saw your review of it. I think I need something a bit less gruelling at the moment, but I'll keep it in mind. >99 charl08: Hard, but not as hard as the one of us who was drafting till 3.30 in the morning yesterday...There is a hearing next week which is the reason for all the work.

>100 Crazymamie: Thanks Mamie.

>101 ronincats: Thanks Roni :-)

Jun 10, 12:49pm Top

Sorry you're having a tough time. Piling up lots of work with disturbing things in the community just compounds it all, I imagine. Hope you have a peaceful, restorative weekend.

Jun 10, 4:14pm Top

Something peaceful sounds good, Susan. I'm enjoying Just Mercy but have had to put it to one side for a break.

Jun 11, 2:51am Top

Susan--Wishing you a wonderful, peaceful Sunday. Sorry things have been rough.

Jun 11, 8:36am Top

>103 RebaRelishesReading: Thanks Reba. I have mostly just stayed at home, apart from a short supermarket excursion yesterday.

>104 charl08: Charlotte, I'm trying for peaceful, but I did start Orange is the New Black series 5 yesterday, which continues with the riot at the end of series 4, so I've parked that one for a bit.

>105 Berly: Thanks Kim.

81. Ship of Magic by Robin Hobb

I've been reading this for days, on and off, and I think it could have benefited from a bit more concentration. It's book 1 in the Liveship Traders trilogy, and book 4 of the series that starts with the Farseer trilogy. So far, I preferred the first trilogy, but I'm going to keep going with this because I want to see what happens. But not just yet...

82. All This Will Be Lost by Brian Payton

This was a recommendation from Reba (it's called The Wind is not a River in the US) and I loved it. It's set in the Aleutian Islands during WWII. It's one of those novels that I feel should be better known - cover copy compares it to Cold Mountain and The English Patient, and I agree. Thanks for a great recommendation, Reba!

83. Queer City: Gay London from the Romans to the Present Day by Peter Ackroyd

Peter Ackroyd and London - enough said. But unlike most of his books, which are serious chunksters, this one is short and quite small - just 232 pages of text. It was, I think, written as part of the marking of 50 years since the Sexual Offences Amendment Act 1967, which decriminalised homosexual sex (but with a higher age limit than the other sort). And, frankly, I think it shows. A lot of it is taken from court reports through the ages, so it becomes a long list of cases described in a paragraph or two, before moving onto the next case. There is relatively little developing of themes. Maybe it wasn't intended for that, and it's still a worthwhile read, particularly for people who love London history, but I doubt it will be sitting on bookshelves like London: The Biography in a few years' time.

But that means I have got the library pile down to *three* - woo-hoo!

Edited: Jun 11, 9:43am Top

Down to three? Maybe I can give you some of mine? Seriously though think I'm going to return some unread, as they haven't called to me to be picked up.

Sorry Queen City didn't live up to his high standards - sounds like such a great premise for a book.

ETA as does Queer City, the actual title...

Jun 11, 11:25am Top

>106 susanj67: So glad you liked it, Susan :)

Jun 11, 11:49am Top

>107 charl08: Charlotte, I may have some capacity in a week or so :-) Both those book titles sound good :-)

>108 RebaRelishesReading: Thanks Reba :-)

Two pieces of news which are not getting the attention they deserve today:

1. Trump has said he won't come on his state visit to Britain if people are going to protest. Yay! I think people who have never protested before may now be ordering cardboard and poster paint, just in case.

2. Liz Truss has just been fired as Justice Minister. Excellent news for all lawyers and judges (she was the one who refused to defend judges when the Daily Mail called them "enemies of the people" over the Brexit judgment, which simply upheld the RULE OF LAW). No word on who the new one will be yet, but I am so keen to know that I am suffering through the woman on Sky who can't say "ing", so everything is "speakin", "walkin" etc. Oh, David Lidington. I must look him up. Hmmm, he's still not a lawyer, and I think that the Minister of Justice really should be. But the words "safe pair of hands" have just been heard on Sky, so maybe that's something. At least he doesn't seem to be a nitwit.

Jun 11, 12:00pm Top

>109 susanj67:
I have cardboard, I can buy paint...

A politician who's not a nitwit? That sounds like a rarity...

Hope you're doing Ok.

Jun 11, 12:11pm Top

>109 susanj67: Love your pieces of news, Susan. Maybe I'll make a trip to protest. I wasn't familiar with your justice minister, but I trust your judgment.

You can have some of my library books; I have 17 out right now...

Jun 11, 12:27pm Top

>110 Helenliz: Thanks Helen. The news about last weekend just gets worse and worse, so I'm trying to focus on other, positive, things. And Liz Truss was a special category of nitwit - the sort of person who you can't imagine actually having a real job.

>111 BLBera: Beth, I suspect that the government will say "OK then," and say that he should wait until he's happy there will be no protesting. Which will be never. I bet the Queen is pleased :-) Now, I can't have all these library books - you and Charlotte will have to draw up a list. I did get a pre-overdue notice for one of mine today, which is poor. But I have at least finished it. I'm continuing with On Intelligence, which is about spying, but I also have that fracking novel you recommended, so I might start that too.

Series 3 of Poldark starts tonight, but at the same time as The Handmaid's Tale (so annoying) so I will have to stop reading at some stage. And then tomorrow is back into the fray. I already had a full day looming, but someone has emailed wanting me to do something else tomorrow, urgently (of course) so I think I can see the way the week is panning out.

I meant to post this earlier: Book Riot's list of 100 must-read novels set in London http://bookriot.com/2017/06/06/100-must-read-novels-set-in-london?utm_source=Sai... I'm pleased to see it includes the superb London Belongs To Me, which was a recommendation from Rhian a few years ago, and which remains one of my favourite reads of all time.

Jun 11, 1:19pm Top

Hmmm 19 of those - and two half read. A couple of brilliant ones too. Really happy to see Aaronovitch's Rivers of London on the list - it's brilliant (urban fantasy in the best sense of the words!).

I've lost the library game - and I have fines on my cards for the first time in ages! Between two kids cards and two adult cards we can have 36 books out and they are spread across the house and I don't know where anything is anymore!!!!!

Jun 11, 2:02pm Top

That Book Riot list is great - I own (too) many of those titles and have read several of them. Keeping the list for reference!

Jun 11, 2:42pm Top

About 25 read but plenty there I've not even heard of - and the fab Their Finest Hour and a Half. I do like a list.

Jun 11, 3:13pm Top

What Katie said! And I might have ordered my own copy of London Belongs to Me just because you said it was one of your favorite reads of all time.

Jun 11, 4:36pm Top

>109 susanj67: I was also very happy about the Trump news.... and considering ordering cardboard and paint!

Jun 11, 5:31pm Top

>116 Crazymamie: Apparently I own a copy of this. I had no idea. I really need to sort out my books.

Jun 11, 8:32pm Top

>112 susanj67: It is really annoying that the networks always seem to pit their best offerings directly against each other - sort of screw the viewers.

Poldark for me though by a country mile.

Jun 11, 10:01pm Top

I wish the U.K. would just tell our idiot to stay home. We don't need him embarrassing us around the world any more than usual. But if he does go to the U.K. I hope the paint and cardboard manufacturers have a banner month!!

Jun 12, 4:31am Top

>113 BekkaJo: Bekka, two half read is better than none! Do you have any time off before the new job? You could do a library book hunt :-)

>114 katiekrug: Katie, I must study it more carefully, but I do love books about London :-)

>115 charl08: Charlotte, there is something about lists...

>116 Crazymamie: Mamie, yay! You will love it, guaranteed!

>117 souloftherose: Heather, I see that story is now being denied. Humph. But I am desperate for good news, so I'm going to choose to believe it. The officials only know what he's doing on official communications - goodness knows how many people he's secretly in touch with through his stupid Twitter or similar.

>118 charl08: Charlotte, read it *right now*!

>119 PaulCranswick: Paul, yes, they are annoying like that. Last night there was a new thing on ITV too. I prefer to record the BBC because then if something goes wrong I can get it on the iPlayer anyway, which I have as an app on the TV. If a non-BBC recording doesn't work, I have to watch it on my laptop on the channel's website.

>120 RebaRelishesReading: Reba, I'm sure they will :-) But honestly things are so nuts here that we just can't handle any more crazy at present.

Jun 12, 6:58pm Top

I loved London Belongs to Me too--an old-fashioned big novel that has really held up!
I'm glad to see that England is rejecting a visit from t-Rump. On the other hand, when he's abroad he's not able to mess things up here as much.
I'm so sorry about the latest attack in London (and the prior one in Manchester). I was in London a week after the attack on Westminster Bridge and outside Parliament, and the floral tributes were still lying by the side of the road there.

Jun 13, 2:36am Top

A Rising Man is great. I was going to say 'just what the doctor ordered' but it seems a bit much... Think I might divert to historical crime for a bit.

Jun 13, 4:16am Top

>122 arubabookwoman: Deborah, I'm glad you're another fan of London Belongs to Me! We are having a very difficult time here. Every morning I'm almost too scared to look at the news websites in case something awful has happened overnight.

>123 charl08: Charlotte, that's good to hear *checks response for possible innuendo and continues*. The second one, A Necessary Evil, has just been published. I may have reserved it. Actually, I should check that.

As well as the possible Trump non-visit, which I still choose to believe (I see why fake news is so popular) more good news arrived yesterday with an email yesterday about the new mobile phone rollout, which has finally reached my department. The good news: those of us who picked the Samsung S7 will now be getting the S8. Yay! The bad: Not till July. Still, it's July in a couple of weeks, I suppose...

Edited: Jun 13, 8:29am Top

Morning, Susan! I had to listen to it on audio as that was the only format available here at the time, and it was fabulous. Your post to Charlotte made me laugh, so Tuesday is already starting off much better than yesterday. I ordered A Necessary Evil from Book Depository since it won't be out here for forever, and I am not good with waiting.

Jun 14, 12:09am Top

Susan, seeing the news of the big fire there in London--early reports yet, hope the death count isn't too high and that you and all of yours are okay.

Jun 14, 4:11am Top

>125 Crazymamie: Hey Mamie :-) It turned out that I hadn't reserved A Necessary Evil and now I am eighth in the queue. You'll probably get to read it first.

>126 ronincats: Thanks Roni. I've never seen anything like the pictures that are coming out this morning (and someone from the London Fire Brigade is saying that neither has he, in 29 years of being a fireman). At 8am there was a confirmation of fatalities, but no more details at this stage. It will take them ages to go through it all, I expect. Poor London. Again.

Jun 14, 8:47am Top

Ooh, thanks for the reminder. I'm now 6th in the queue.

I had to turn the news off this morning, too much heartbreak.

Jun 14, 9:11am Top

Charlotte, it is awful. I've got the Guardian live blog going and it's constantly updating. There have been some amazing stories of people helping out, though, including a man who stepped forward to catch a baby that a lady threw down from the ninth floor. Goodness only knows what the eventual number of deaths will be. So far it's six. There have been some awful fires in those old council blocks - one in Southwark in 2009 killed seven, and lessons were supposed to be learned etc, but I don't suppose they were. I'm going to stop being cross about the people in my (much smaller) block banging the fire doors when they come and go from the stairs (yes, the lift is broken again). At least the fire doors are shutting, and keeping us safe.

Jun 14, 10:48am Top

"Poor London, again" indeed. My heart is breaking for you all there in one of my favorite places.

Jun 16, 4:39am Top

>130 RebaRelishesReading: Reba, it's getting worse and worse. And it is noticeable that there is very little being released about the likely eventual death toll (I thought this before Lily Allen said it last night on Channel 4 and was then apparently uninvited from the BBC's Newsnight programme). Rumours say more than 100 dead - maybe up to 150. The council is apparently asking neighbouring councils how much morgue space they have.

This morning I saw this on Facebook, and it was so sweet that I had to share as we all need cheering up: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/little-girl-adorably-mistakes-a-bride-for-a-...

The power of books...

Jun 16, 7:57am Top

I love that photo. Just what I needed this morning as I avoid the news. 'Triple figures' keeps bouncing around in my head.
Oh hey, it's the afternoon already...

Jun 16, 8:13am Top

>131 susanj67: What a lovely story! Thanks for sharing that, Susan - a bright spot in the midst of so much tragedy in the news these days. Keeping you in my thoughts and wishing you a Friday that is kind.

Jun 16, 8:57am Top

>132 charl08: Thanks Charlotte. I loved the little girl's eccentric outfit, too, and the fact that she was toting round a Victorian novel just for the picture on the cover :-)

>133 Crazymamie: Hi Mamie! Wasn't it cute?! I've found another one, this time involving a dog who seemed to be untrainable, until the shelter worked out what the problem really was... http://www.standard.co.uk/news/uk/dogs-trust-hunts-new-home-german-shepherd-only...

Jun 16, 10:51am Top

>131 susanj67: OK that brought tears to my eyes!!

Jun 17, 5:09am Top

>135 RebaRelishesReading: Reba, it was such a kind thing for the bride to do :-)

It's HOT here this weekend, so good weather for laundry. I'm going to be doing a lot of document review, but at least I can do it from home, and catch up on some podcasts. I've discovered the History of Pirates podcast, which seems like a lot of fun. The chap doing it isn't an expert, but just a long-term enthusiast, but is somehow much more interesting to listen to than all the super-qualified talking heads on the BBC...

Jun 17, 8:22am Top

I saw this in the library yesterday Susan and thought of you.

Sitting quietly with coffee and (three!) home grown strawberries in yoghurt, after morning exertions at the allotment. I have interview prep to do, but at the moment a nap is looking very attractive...

Edited: Jun 17, 1:47pm Top

>137 charl08: Charlotte, I love it :-) I might get it for FOR's little boy. I also managed a nap out on the balcony, as it was so warm and there was no wind. One of the tourist boats kept going past playing "Girls Just Wanna Have Fun", so it seemed like a short nap until I realised what was happening.

I finished book 84, looked at Rebel Crossings, a giant and worthy tome, and quietly put it in to the "return to library" pile. I'm just not in the mood at the moment. I have one other one out, but I might spend the evening reading history mags :-) I've just watched "What The Health" on Netflix, so Man v Food doesn't appeal.

84. Heat and Light by Jennifer Haigh

This was a Beth recommendation, and another good one. It's all about fracking in Pennsylvania, with lots of characters and I thought it was excellent. Thanks Beth :-)

Jun 18, 3:45am Top

Heh. I seem to have acquired a whole lot more words. I've seen ads for a new(ish) app called Readly over the last week or so, so last night I downloaded it onto the Fire. It's unlimited magazines for £7.99 per month, and they have some excellent titles, including most of the history mags that I've been buying (not World Histories, but all the others, plus lots of the history bookazines) and sciencey things (World of Animals, anyone? I've already started it :-) ) plus current affairs things and tons of food/craft/women's mags. Even the TV guides! (not the Radio Times, but it seems like most of the others). It does seem a bit too good to be true, but I'm giving it a try. It's in all the app stores, and it also opens up on my ancient Windows PC, but it's not intuitive on that, by which I mean I'm doing a lot of clicking to relatively little effect. On the Fire the text can be expanded as much as you want, using the pinch method, but on the PC it's one (small) size or another bigger one, with no ability to control that. So it's best as an app, and it would be best as an app on a larger tablet like a full-size iPad, but it's still pretty good on the Fire, particularly when I factor in all the money I'm saving :-)

Today is going to be another hot and steamy one. My goal is to stay awake all day. Ha! And I should do some more doc review. Yesterday my head/neck felt a bit ominous, so I took it easy, but I feel better today. Onto the database! And the pirates. Let's not forget them.

Jun 18, 5:33pm Top

Taking advantage of a day to myself to get caught up with threads. The news out of the UK the past few weeks has been quite eye-opening. And disturbing. Hung governments - never a good thing. The provincial government here in BC is also going through its own weirdness. The party that has been in power for the past 16 years found itself one seat short of a majority in our election back in May. The former official opposition party is three seats short for majority and has entered into a political partnership with a third party with only three seats to try a create a coalition government. BC has not seen a minority government for some 65 years - or anything quite like this where the party with only three seats seems to control all of the power - so kind of new for everyone involved.

Wishing you a wonderful week ahead, Susan.

Jun 19, 4:15am Top

>140 lkernagh: Hey Lori! Lovely to see you. Yes, the government issue is a vexing one, although so much has been going on here that the forming of a government actually seems to have taken a back seat. The party proposed has some alarming views, but apparently mostly votes with the Conservatives anyway. I wish they would all sort themselves out and focus on real things.

I'm totally addicted to the Readly app, having yesterday read World of Animals while waiting for documents to load, and then moving on to History of Royals. I have the other history ones in print at present, so I'm exploring other things, although there are lots of back issues... Y'all should try it! Their version of The Week is the US one (which I discovered after thinking it had a lot of US content and then reaching the book reviews, which were priced in dollars. Still, book reviews!) but otherwise the titles seem to be the UK versions of things. In the US I suppose it is the US versions, although it is possible that the US will get the UK version of The Week :-) I've even downloaded a fancy TV guide, which I would never normally buy as anything more than 55p seems unnecessary.

This week holds lecturing and doc review. Joy. But I am almost glad to be in the air-conditioning.

Jun 19, 9:26am Top

Hi Susan - Good luck with your document review.

I'm so glad you liked Heat & Light. I thought she did a good job with a large cast of characters.

Your news keeps getting gloomier and gloomier. Stay safe.

Jun 19, 11:19am Top

Hi Susan! I was going to come by to see how you were doing and then saw more bad news from London :(

On a happier note, my plans for next month are finally coming together, so we have two options for dinner - Wednesday the 12th or Thursday the 13th. I should get to London late afternoon on the 12th and just need to drop my bags at my hotel (which is in Kensington) and then could meet you wherever. Thursday I plan to traipse all over, so could meet you wherever is easiest but will be dressed pretty casually :) I'm happy with either, so just have a think and let me know.

Take care!

Jun 19, 12:11pm Top

Hi Susan--hope you continue to have fun with the new app! Like we need more words. LOL

Jun 19, 12:25pm Top

The Week sends us a trial month every year (US version) and I like it although we subscribe to Time so it seems a bit redundant to have both. I may switch over at some point though. Sounds like you read in on-line. I haven't done that with magazines yet although I do read the newspaper that way. Probably should try it -- would save hassle of changing addresses when we go east for the summer and then back west since P. O. will only forward magazines for one month.

Hope you had a good weekend and that your lecturing goes well this week (sure it will).

Jun 19, 2:36pm Top

>143 katiekrug: I want to come, too!

Jun 19, 7:53pm Top

Oh, do, Beth!!

Jun 20, 4:39am Top

>142 BLBera: Thanks Beth. The documents should be finished today, so yay! That's until the next lot come through...The database is pretty slow, so I can do other things on my second screen waiting for stuff to load. Like this! Last week I filed *all* of my unfiled emails.

>143 katiekrug: Katie, I'm so excited that you're still coming! I wouldn't blame you for flying straight back from Scotland. Let's say the 13th, as otherwise you will be stressed if things go wrong on the 12th and you don't arrive when you think you will. I thought I had found the perfect dinner venue (the restaurant in the giant Waterstone's in Piccadilly - five floors up, so safe from the nutcases, and in a bookshop), but the reviews are not good, so I've nixed that idea and will PM you with some thoughts when I have more thoughts. Ooh, actually I have just had a thought which I will check out and PM you later.

>144 Berly: Kim, yes, more words is probably not what I need :-) But right at the moment I'm struggling to focus on anything for very long, so magazines fit the bill. Readly seems to work on the Netflix model - a monthly payment but you can cancel it when you want. And you can have five profiles per account. I don't have four other people to share with, but I've recommended it to a pal whose mother has retired to Spain. They already share a Kindle account, so it sounds perfect for them.

>145 RebaRelishesReading: Reba, I was reading online, which I haven't done much with magazines, but I like it, not least because they don't clutter up the house and I can read anything at all. I can download 30, and then after that the oldest one drops off the bookshelf to make room for something newer. I had a very quiet weekend due to the heat. I have just been explaining to our newest secondee from the New York office that this (31C) is VERY HOT for Britain and that there was an amber alert out for hot weather. I think he thought I was kidding, but he hasn't been here long.

>146 BLBera:, >147 katiekrug: Beth, we would love that! Just imagine the shenanigans :-)

Yesterday I returned a couple of things to the library and saw Anne De Courcy's new book The Husband Hunters on the new NF display. It's about the "Dollar Princesses", an area I already know quite well, so I thought it wouldn't be too challenging and borrowed it. I loved her book The Fishing Fleet, about young women travelling to India to find husbands. The book about Pugin is still there. Also lots of books about the Russian revolution. I'm still reading the one about spying, which is good, but I'm being very slow and had to renew it. I just can't seem to concentrate, because I'm forever flipping to the news sites where inevitably someone is running a live blog on the latest atrocity.

Jun 20, 9:35am Top

Oh Susan, I hope things settle down soon. I can't imagine how disruptive all this is.

Jun 20, 12:46pm Top

>148 susanj67: - Of course I'm still coming! I'm super fatalistic about life in general. When it's my time, it's my time... The attitude may have something to do with going through 9/11, the anthrax scare, the sniper shootings, etc. when I worked at the White House and lived in the DC-area :-P

Jun 21, 1:51am Top

I've given up on the news Susan. Although I have turned on this morning to see the weather is being presented from Brighton. #notaproperbeach

Apparently it's as hot here as Mauritius. That can't be right, can it?

Jun 21, 3:53am Top

>149 BLBera: Beth, I can't see it settling down. If anything, it's getting worse.

>150 katiekrug: Katie, I see your point. Still, I'm looking for a restaurant that isn't at street level...

>151 charl08: Charlotte, I heard Istanbul. But maybe also Mauritius. I wonder whether the news people just have a bag of "hot" places and they pick one out at random every time and pop it into their story. And Brighton - #totallynotaproperbeach

Last night I watched the first episode in the new series of "Hospital", which is the fly on the wall documentary at St Mary's, Paddington. It started with a meeting, at which the topic was staff vacancies, and then suddenly everyone's phones started ringing, and it was the beginning of the Westminster attack. Watching them trying to work out what was going on was awful. And the story focused on two of the French students injured, and one of them was the same age as Oldest Nephew. It was heartbreaking, and filled me with rage all over again.

But, on the Oldest Nephew front, there is some light relief. He has just got his driver's licence (he passed the theory last year on his 16th birthday and has just done the practical exam). My brother is now in something of a quandary, because ON can only drive in daylight for 18 months, and not have passengers, *unless* he does a defensive driving course, and then the restrictions only last for 12 months. My brother will want him to do the course, but will not want him having a full licence in just a year's time. He is like those dads of daughters who think there should be no dating until they're 35, except in this case it's driving cars. It definitely sounds like a better system than in the olden days, though. So many accidents seem to be caused by cars full of young people who are egging one another on to do stupid things. I don't think ON is like that, but a year of no passengers is a year where that can't happen, and a year of driving alone and paying proper attention can only be a good thing.

Jun 22, 7:18am Top

Hope the ON behaves himself admirably and your brother gets a chance to breathe a bit more easily about the driving. My dad flat out refused to teach any of us to drive (which may be the reason we all still speak to each other, as I don't think teaching runs in that side of the family!?), and lessons were so dear that both my siblings learned late (I avoided it altogether). I think as an 18 year old a year of no passengers would have felt harsh, but now I feel like it should be until they're at least 25, or maybe even older...(!) Ideally wrapped in cotton wool and with big flashing signs saying 'warning, young person driving...'

Jun 22, 7:59am Top

>153 charl08: Charlotte, I don't think my brother will ever breathe easily while his boys are on the road :-) but ON is pretty sensible, I think, at least on his own. I'm assuming that "no passengers" doesn't include e.g. my brother or another responsible adult, but I'm not sure. My father taught me the basics and then I had some lessons, but I always hated driving and one of my favourite things about London is all the public transport. And the fact that it's flat. My early lessons took place at the crematorium in Albany (just north of us), which had lots of little roads and car park areas and heaps of hills, so it was good for hill starts and three-point turns and all those things. And there was never anyone there. I seem to recall my Dad marvelling once that I'd driven all the way around and never got out of second gear, but he was surprisingly patient, although, when I was waiting (at a real intersection) for something to come past us so I could turn into another street, he said I could have turned around and reversed out in the time I'd spent waiting :-)

Jun 22, 3:40pm Top

>253 Ha! That rings a bell. I had one trip out with Dad while learning to drive - and promptly invested in lessons with an instructor! A decade later, my mum learnt to drive - a very similar story. She decided that, in order to stay married to him, she's have lessons with someone else!
I love driving, even though I know it's likely to be a fast disappearing pleasure. We have 4 cars between 2 of us, they serve different purposes, one of which is just to make me smile. >:-) It does, every time I look at her.

Jun 23, 4:27am Top

>155 Helenliz: Helen, driving is the sort of thing I wish I loved, but I never really felt like I was controlling the car. More that it was controlling me. I would have a car that made me smile, and take it on long drives out of London, listening to loud 80s music :-)

Well. We got an email yesterday saying that we're getting Microsoft Surface Pros in a couple of months. Ya-hoo! Fortunately this doesn't mean giving up all my giant screens, because the thought of hunching over a laptop to work would make me cry. Instead, we will now have a third, little, screen, which plugs into something...the technicalities are lost on me. They've been rolling them out for a while, but London is the biggest office and so usually the last to get stuff. The roomie did get her new iPhone on Tuesday, though. It came in a plain black case, which she could hardly wait to change to something far cooler. Now she has two identical iPhone 7s, although she calls the work one her BlackBerry, to differentiate it. I shake my (old lady) head at paying for a personal phone when the work one can be partitioned to get personal email as well as work email, but all the young people do it. Mine is still a few weeks away, I think, although I am forever watching for an email which IT sends as part of the set-up, and when you get that then you know the new gadget is close. It appears and then disappears after a few seconds, so you have to be quick :-)

In library reserve news, the second Mukherjee book has arrived. Ha! Shenanigan THAT!

Jun 23, 9:01am Top

I have a work mobile and a personal one *hangs head in shame*

I forget why, it's been so long since I first got the work one. It might have had to do with not being able to use my personal number on the new phone, maybe?

Happy Friday, Susan!

Jun 23, 10:53am Top

My son's had a personal number since he was a teenager, so he keeps a work phone and a personal phone to avoid having to change over all the personal stuff. Plus, if he changes jobs he doesn't have to convert all the personal stuff all over again.

Jun 23, 4:35pm Top

I am just catching up with your thread now, Susan. You have been through so much in the last while. Stay safe.

The Badass Librarians of Timbuctoo was a good one. It started with how the books were gathered from places all over the country, many of them in tatters and worse because of how the were stored. Once the were finally in a safe place the Jihadists came and the smuggling out began.

Politics are very up in the air at the moment where you are and here. >140 lkernagh: When aren't BC politics strange, Lori?

Yesterday, 2:41am Top

>156 susanj67: our car to make me smile:

No loud music, with the roof off all you can hear is the wind rushing past. With the roof on, the engine is about 6 inches behind your head, so that takes over. She is probably not the most practical car ever made, but I love her.

I too have a work phone and my own phone. Largely as I know my own mobile number and have no idea what my work number is! And I can understand where >158 drneutron: is coming from, I want to maintain MY phone. Having them on different networks has more chance that one will work and means I don't take my work phone on holiday - I'd be unable to avoid looking at the work mails coming in.

We have docking stations for our lappies, they work well, although we're not swish enough to be on something as swizzy as a surface pro. Embrace the change!

Yesterday, 2:50am Top

I like the idea of leaving the work phone at home when you go on holiday. With all the tech now for migrating phone info I just pressed a couple of buttons and everything reappeared on this latest phone, even the settings.

Will office roomie provide guidance on a fancy cover for your new gadget too? Sounds fun.

Yesterday, 6:21am Top

>157 katiekrug: Katie, I understand now. I'd overlooked the personal phone number aspect of it, as I have never had a personal mobile, always a work one. But I can see that if you had an existing personal number then it would be a hassle. Happy Saturday!

>158 drneutron: Jim, that makes sense. I do giggle when I see our young people with all their gadgets neatly lined up on their desks, though. Who will call/text/WhatsApp next?

>159 Familyhistorian: Thanks Meg. I thought that we might have a weekend of relative calm, but now it seems that a couple of councils have decided that their tower blocks aren't safe either, and have evacuated hundreds of households (with nowhere to put them). It never seems to stop. I'll keep an eye out for the Badass Librarians - it is an amazing story.

>160 Helenliz: Helen, I can see why she would make you smile! Just the cheery colour made me smile. I suspect we are getting Surface Pros because there are so many of us that they can buy in serious bulk. A few years ago they trialled MacBooks with the new trainee intake, and there was a mass outbreak of jealousy (but then they didn't work as expected, so the rest of us were quite glad we didn't have those problems). It's funny when people from the smaller offices come over to London for training - everyone is crowding round not just to say hello, but also to look at what new tech they have that we might be getting at some point.

>161 charl08: Charlotte, not really "guidance", more "orders". "You should get this". "OK", I say meekly and get out my credit card. So much has been written about the "office spouse", but there is a curious lack of literature about the office daughter.

After another busy week, I have some time to hit the (library) books. I'm going to try and finish the spy one. That's if I can ignore the siren call of Readly for a bit - I LOVE this app. Have I mentioned that before? (and no, they're not paying me). New mags appear every day, and I'm trying all sorts of things.

Yesterday, 10:44am Top

Hope you have a fun, restful weekend. I like your idea of the "office daughter". Someone should take you up on that, it would make for some interesting research I"m sure.

Yesterday, 11:32am Top

I used to enjoy driving and can still do so but I love having my driver, Azim, take me through the streets, highways and logjams of Kuala Lumpur. The interaction between us, the fact that I can read and relax between meetings, the fact of no need to worry about the pain of parking. I don't mind cruising on the quieter roads at the weekends though.

Have a great weekend, Susan.

Yesterday, 2:27pm Top

>163 RebaRelishesReading: Reba, it's karma catching up with me. She's just like I used to be with my own mother :-)

>164 PaulCranswick: Paul, I love the idea of a driver. It won't happen in this job, though :-)

85. On Intelligence: The History of Espionage and the Secret World by John Hughes-Wilson

Finally I have finished another book! The time it took me to read this is no reflection on the book, which is aimed at a general audience and very well done. I just couldn't concentrate on anything. The author explains how intelligence works, and looks at the various failings of intelligence in well-known cases (Pearl Harbor, for example, and the D-Day landings) and which bit of the system failed in those cases. In many cases there was plenty of information but it wasn't collated properly, or interpreted properly, or passed on to the right people. And sometimes, even when it reached the very top, the very top declined to believe it (e.g. Stalin, Tony Blair). Recommended to anyone interested in things like this :-)

Yesterday, 4:58pm Top

>162 susanj67: Our news covered the story about some of the other similar apartment blocks being evacuated, Susan. The first thing that leapt to mind was where were all the people put? We have a huge homeless problem in Vancouver and there was a huge outcry when one of the residential hotels was deemed unfit to live in, all of a sudden there were spaces for the displaced. Inquiring minds wanted to know where they were when the homeless problem was been discussed.

Yesterday, 5:44pm Top

>166 Familyhistorian: Meg, some of them are at "rest centres", which means sleeping on the floor in a gym, but they are supposed to be getting into hotels or other accommodation before Monday. But it sounds like a shambles, and some of the people have refused to leave their homes, saying they've lived with the apparent risk for years, so they'll take their chances. I think I'd do the same, in that situation. So far they haven't been forced to move. Then there are the people with pets, who can't go to the hotels, and some of them are really elderly. The RSPCA is helping out, but I don't know whether that means kennelling the pets or finding foster homes for them, and it seems to be taking a long time. Now the news is saying that 27 blocks in 15 council areas are unsafe, so it's only going to get worse. Camden council said this morning that it would reimburse people who paid for their own hotels, but if you're living in a council flat you don't have money for hotels. I wonder who thinks up some of these stupid press releases.

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