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Paul C's 2017 Reading & Life - 30

This is a continuation of the topic Paul C's 2017 Reading & Life - 29.

This topic was continued by Paul C's 2017 Reading & Life - 31.

75 Books Challenge for 2017

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Edited: Nov 6, 2017, 10:54am Top

Believe it or not, this is Yorkshire. Near to Thornton-Le-Dale; Dalby Forest in all its autumnal glory.

Edited: Nov 6, 2017, 1:14pm Top


Since this little ditty is still a little bit warm, I'll include it here. More versification than poetry but still.

Two Families

The US has Kennedy; Canada Trudeau
Pierre was good Justin's now their beau.
While one dynasty thrived
Another barely survived
Poor old Jack and Bobby took the blow.

From Camelot to Chappaquid
The vultures lifted up the dustbin lid
To lay bare
Upon Nantucket air
All that the Kennedy clan ever did.

How the old place needs them now
To lead from front and prow
In lieu of the present lack of care
America stands need to dream and dare
A pasture sown from a better plough.

Ottawa is luckier than
The slightly southern American
As their chosen team
Are, it can be easily seen
A far more reliable sort of clan.

Political Limericks


Grey, grey, grey Theresa May
Generalities was all she could say.
Climbing ladders after Brexit votes
Is the only thing she's done of note
Hopefully it won't be long she'll stay.


'Trump' is in common parlance; to break wind
It is a word whose meaning we had to rescind
Now it seems to fart
Is no very great art
And all because America's voters sinned.


They say the President of France
Is no mere victim of circumstance;
He is a man so bold
To love a wife thought old
To hell with those thinkers, bonne chance!


For the worries of a continent to trace
Ms Merkl has lines etched on her face
She welcomes all in from Kos,
I hope it won't be her loss
As to blame her humanity's a disgrace.

By Marianne


While we'd love to share his Health Care
When our souls we now faithfully bare
We'd ask sweet kind Justin
Just now bring an end
To the hunts for those Seals up there.

Edited: Nov 12, 2017, 1:00pm Top


I was 50 in September 2016 and have enough unread reading material on my shelves to take me safely into my seventies! I have lived in Malaysia since 1994 and have a long suffering (but never quietly) wife, Hani (sometimes referred to as SWMBO), three children Yasmyne (20), Kyran (18) and Belle (13), as well as a supporting cast which includes my book smuggling assistants Azim (also my driver and a part time bouncer who, despite his muscles, lives in almost as much fear of my wife as I do) and Erni (my housemaid, almost-little sister and the worlds greatest coffee maker). On this thread you'll probably read as much about the vagaries of life, book buying and group related statistics as you do about the actual books themselves.

I have added 3,000 books to my shelves in four years but late last year I decided to sort my books from the 4,500 books unread into the essentials of 900 fiction and 180 non-fiction books and I will try to make a serious dent in that list this year.

I will also be reading, as usual, plenty of poetry which is another passion and, as you have seen above, a faltering pastime.

Edited: Nov 12, 2017, 1:05pm Top



1. The Magician's Wife by Brian Moore (1997) 229 pp
2. Maus I : My Father Bleeds History by Art Spiegelman (1986) 159 pp
3. Midwinter Sacrifice by Mons Kallentoft (2006) 440 pp
4. Out in the Midday Sun : The British in Malaya 1880-1960 by Margaret Shennan (2000) 471 pp
5. Blood Child and Other Stories by Octavia E. Butler (2003) 214 pp
6. The Assault by Harry Mulisch (1985) 185 pp
7. 100 Prized Poems : Twenty-Five Years of the Forward Books (2016) 176 pp
8. The Broken Shore by Peter Temple (2005) 400 pp
9. Spring Flowers, Spring Frost by Ismail Kadare (2000) 182 pp
10. The Hare with Amber Eyes by Edmund de Waal (2010) 352 pp
11. Varamo by Cesar Aira (2002) 89 pp
12. The House in Paris by Elizabeth Bowen (1935) 250 pp


13. The Crystal Cave by Mary Stewart (1970) 456 pp
14. A Blaze of Autumn Sunshine : The Last Diaries by Tony Benn (2013) 294 pp
15. City of Secrets by Stewart O'Nan (2016) 190 pp
16. The Colour of Magic by Terry Pratchett (1983) 210 pp
17. The Poetry of Jaroslav Seifert by Jaroslav Seifert (1998) 246 pp
18. Dogs at the Perimeter by Madeleine Thien (2011) 253 pp


19. Up the Junction by Nell Dunn (1963) 133 pp
20. Middle Passages by Kamau Brathwaite (1992) 120 pp
21. Maus II : A Survivor's Tale : And Here My Troubles Began (1991) 136 pp
22. Sapiens : A Brief History of Humankind by Yuval Noah Harari (2011) 466 pp
23. Fences by August Wilson (1985) 101 pp
24. No Great Mischief by Alistair MacLeod (1999) 262 pp
25. Seabiscuit by Laura Hillenbrand (2001) 399 pp

Edited: Nov 12, 2017, 1:06pm Top



26. Persepolis by Marjane Satrapi (2003) 343 pp
27. Strange Shores by Arnaldur Indridason (2010) 296 pp
28. The Confessions of Nat Turner by William Styron (1967) 415 pp
29. When I Was Old by Georges Simenon (1970) 452 pp
30. On the Black Hill by Bruce Chatwin (1982) 262 pp
31. And the Mountains Echoed by Khaled Hosseini (2013) 444 pp
32. The Cry by Helen Fitzgerald (2013) 307 pp
33. I Shall Not Hate by Izzeldin Abuelaish (2010) 236 pp
34. Ariel by Sylvia Plath (1965) 81 pp
35. Shout at the Devil by Wilbur Smith (1968) 391 pp
36. A Perfidious Distortion of History : The Versailles Peace Treaty and the Success of the Nazis by Jurgen Tampke (2017) 269 pp
37. Doctor Who and the Web of Fear by Terrance Dicks (1976) 150 pp
38. The Haw Lantern by Seamus Heaney (1987) 51 pp


39. Then by Morris Gleitzman (2009) 196 pp
40. March: Book One by John Lewis (2013) 121 pp
41. Selected Poems : 1940-1982 by Norman Nicholson (1982) 78 pp
42. Doomsday Book by Connie Willis (1992) 587 pp
43. The Englishman's Boy by Guy Vanderhaeghe (1997) 402 pp
44. Castle Rackrent by Maria Edgeworth (1800) 97 pp
45. Disgrace by J.M. Coetzee (1999) 220 pp
46. And the Weak Suffer What They Must? by Yaris Varoufakis (2016) 246 pp


47. Il Postino by Antonio Skarmeta (1985) 112 pp
48. How to Fight Islamist Terror from the Missionary Position by Tabish Khair (2012) 190 pp
49. 1914 by Jean Echenoz (2012) 118 pp
50. Resistance by Carla Jablonski (2010) 121 pp

Edited: Nov 12, 2017, 1:07pm Top



51. The Endless Steppe by Esther Hautzig (1968) 281 pp


52. Miss Buncle's Book by D.E. Stevenson (1936) 299 pp
53. Amok by Stefan Zweig (1922) 121 pp
54. The King's Revenge by Don Jordan (2012) 328 pp


55. A Voice in the Night by Andrea Camilleri (2012) 278 pp
56. Listening to Van Morrison by Greil Marcus (2010) 183 pp
57. The Trouble with Poetry by Billy Collins (2005) 85 pp
58. S. : A Novel About the Balkans by Slavenka Drakulic (1999) 201 pp
59. The World's Two Smallest Humans by Julia Copus (2012) 52 pp

Edited: Nov 12, 2017, 1:08pm Top



60. Not a Penny More, Not a Penny Less by Jeffrey Archer (1976) 334 pp
61. My Uncle Oswald by Roald Dahl (1979) 264 pp
62. Words Under the Words by Naomi Shihab Nye (1995) 157 pp
63. The Dig by Cynan Jones (2014) 156 pp
64. The Rainbow Troops by Andrea Hirata (2005) 292 pp
65. Tudors by Peter Ackroyd (2012) 471 pp
66. Exit West by Mohsin Hamid (2017) 231 pp
67. Tenth of December by George Saunders (2013) 251 pp
68. Poems New and Collected by Wislawa Szymborska (1998) 270 pp
69. Now by Morris Gleitzman (2010) 182 pp
70. When Adam Opens His Eyes by Jang Jung-Il (1990) 126 pp


71. For Bread Alone by Mohamed Choukri (1973) 215 pp
72. The Other Country by Carol Ann Duffy (1990) 53 pp
73. Memories of My Melancholy Whores by Gabriel Garcia Marquez (2005) 115 pp
74. Embers by Sandor Marai (1942) 249 pp

Edited: Nov 12, 2017, 1:11pm Top

British Author Challenge 2017



MARCH : A DECADE OF BRITISH NOVELS : The 1960s - 10 Novels by Men; 10 Novels by Women - 1 DONE


MAY : BEFORE QUEEN VIC : 10 Novels written prior to 1837




SEPTEMBER : THE NEW MILLENNIUM (Great Books Since 2000) A novel chosen from each year of the new century 1 DONE

OCTOBER : WELSH AUTHORS (Born in or associated with Wales) : JO WALTON & ROALD DAHL (DONE)

NOVEMBER : POET LAUREATES : British laureates, children's laureate, National Poets - 1 DONE


Edited: Nov 12, 2017, 1:13pm Top

American Author Challenge

American Author Challenge 2017

January- Octavia Butler Blood Child and Other Stories
February- Stewart O' Nan City of Secrets : A Novel
March- William Styron The Confessions of Nat Turner
April- Poetry Month - Ariel by Sylvia Plath
May- Zora Neale Hurston
June- Sherman Alexie
July- James McBride
August- Patricia Highsmith
September- Short Story Month Tenth of December
October- Ann Patchett
November- Russell Banks
December- Ernest Hemingway

Edited: Nov 12, 2017, 1:16pm Top

ANZ Author Challenge

I will be doing Kerry's ANZAC Bingo Challenge 2x12

ANZAC Bingo 2x12
1: Read a book about conflict or war
2: Read a book with more than 500 pgs
3: Read an Aussie crime novel COMPLETED The Cry by Helen Fitzgerald
4: Read a book using word play in the title
5: Read a book about exploration or a journey
6: Read a book that's been longlisted for the International DUBLIN Literary Award
7: Read a book that's part of a series COMPLETED Then by Morris Gleitzman
8: Read a memoir/biography (can be fiction)
9: Read a book written under a pen name
10: Read a book with a musical plot
11: Read a book with water featured in title/cover : COMPLETED The Broken Shore by Peter Temple
12: Read a book with an immigrant protagonist : COMPLETED Now by Morris Gleitzman

Edited: Nov 12, 2017, 9:22pm Top


Guardian 1000 (998) Books - 328 read https://www.librarything.com/topic/270237#6197972

1001 Books First Edition - 285 read https://www.librarything.com/topic/268508#6162704

Booker Prize Winners - 25 read https://www.librarything.com/topic/268508#6165614

Nobel Prize Winners Read - 62 out of 114 laureates read something. https://www.librarything.com/topic/270794#6207224

Pulitzer Prize Winners (6 main categories) - 23 read https://www.librarything.com/topic/270794#6207348

National Book Award Winners (Fiction) - 16 read https://www.librarything.com/topic/270794#6208562

Women's Prize Winners - 5 read https://www.librarything.com/topic/270794#6208568

Giller Prize Winners - 6 read https://www.librarything.com/topic/270794#6208574

Miles Franklin Winners - 5 read https://www.librarything.com/topic/270794#6208578

Walter Scott Prize Winners - 2 Read https://www.librarything.com/topic/270794#6209474

Baillie Gifford Winners - 3 Read https://www.librarything.com/topic/270794#6209503

James Tait Black Winners - 17 read https://www.librarything.com/topic/270794#6209513

Whitbread/Costa Winners (4 categories) - 23 winners read https://www.librarything.com/topic/270794#6209540

Dublin International Literature Award - 7 winners read https://www.librarything.com/topic/270794#6209556

PEN Faulkner Award Winners - 3 read https://www.librarything.com/topic/270794#6209725

National Book Critics Circle Awards - 6 read https://www.librarything.com/topic/270794#6209733

Edited: Nov 7, 2017, 1:49am Top


1. Pass the 75 barrier
2. Try to get a move on towards the Around the World in 80 Books Challenge (30/80) done 50 to read in two months (Oooh Heck!)
3. Read some British Poet Laureates - starting with the incumbent Carol Ann Duffy. DONE
4. Try to fit in Russell Banks.
5. Finish Kafka on the Shore which I am slowly meandering through.
6. Equal my best 75er reading month of 27 books to keep me in with a shot of the challenge in 2.

Some intended reads:

Around the World in Eighty Books


Morocco - For Bread Alone by Mohamed Choukri COMPLETED
Algeria - The Barbary Figs by Rashid Boudjedra
Ghana - Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi
Tanzania - By the Sea by Abdulrazak Gurnah
Zimbabwe - Rotten Row by Pettina Gappah
Angola - A General Theory of Oblivion by Jose Eduardo Agualusa
Egypt - Cairo Modern by Naguib Mahfouz


Colombia - Memories of my Melancholy Whores by Gabriel Garcia Marquez COMPLETED
Dominica - Wide Sargasso Sea by Jean Rhys
Haiti - Breath, Eyes, Memory by Edwidge Danticat
Mexico - Happy Families by Carlos Fuentes
Jamaica - Augustown by Kei Miller
Brazil - Near to the Wild Heart by Clarice Lispector


New Zealand - The Rehearsal by Eleanor Catton
Malaysia - Map of the Invisible World by Tash Aw
China - The Garlic Ballads by Mo Yan (NEW NOBEL}
Japan - Kafka on the Shore by Haruki Murakami Reading
Singapore - Green is the Colour by Lloyd Fernando
Cambodia - The Shadow of the Banyan Tree by Vaddey Ratner


Turkey - The White Castle by Orhan Pamuk
Hungary - Embers by Sandor Marai
Spain - Waiting for Robert Capa by Susana Fortes
Russia - The Spectre of Alexander Wolf by Gaito Gazdanov
Ukraine - Death and the Penguin by Andrey Kurkov
Denmark - The Boy in the Suitcase by Lene Kaaberbol

The Other Country by Carol Ann Duffy (BAC Challenge) COMPLETED

The Reserve by Russell Banks

Edited: Nov 6, 2017, 11:34am Top


I am reading four at the moment and enjoying them all in different ways:

and of course my slow meander through:

I confidently predict that all four of these will be completed by Wednesday.

Edited: Nov 14, 2017, 9:14pm Top


I have not included the UK and USA in this as so much of our reading is from those two places but these are my 80 countries. Authors should have been born there, been a citizen of that country or are clearly associated with it.

Create Your Own Visited Countries Map

1 AFGHANISTAN Khaled Hosseini
3 Algeria
4 Angola
5 Antigua
9 Bangladesh
12 Bosnia
13 Brazil
16 China
20 Denmark
21 Dominica
22 Dominican Republic
23 Egypt
24 Ethiopia
25 Finland
28 Ghana
30 Haiti
32 Hungary
40 Jamaica
41 Japan
42 Kenya
45 Malawi
46 Malaysia
47 Mexico
48 Morocco
49 Mozambique
50 New Zealand
51 Nigeria
52 Norway
55 Peru
56 Philippines
58 Portugal
59 Romania
60 Russia
61 Saudi Arabia
62 Senegal
63 Serbia
64 Sierra Leone
65 Singapore
66 Somalia
68 Spain
69 Sri Lanka
70 St. Kitts
71 Sudan
73 Switzerland
74 Syria
75 Tanzania
76 Trinidad
77 Turkey
78 Ukraine
80 Zimbabwe

Nov 6, 2017, 10:56am Top


Nov 6, 2017, 11:13am Top

I'll take it.

Nov 6, 2017, 11:15am Top

Hiya Paul and Happy New Thread!

Nov 6, 2017, 11:16am Top

>17 richardderus: And most welcome indeed, RD.

Nov 6, 2017, 11:16am Top

>18 EBT1002: Thank you kindly, dear lady. Plenty of long walks for you in Dalby Forest.

Nov 6, 2017, 11:19am Top

Back to the discussion on your prior thread, I haven't yet heard a rational reason why a citizen who lives in a city should have her or his vote count less than a citizen who lives in a rural area.

Nov 6, 2017, 11:20am Top

Nov 6, 2017, 11:21am Top

>21 EBT1002: You know I agree with that. All the same. The argument goes that the rural areas would be abandoned in the rush for votes without the wonderful electoral college. Mmm.

Nov 6, 2017, 11:21am Top

Happy new one, Paul. Gorgeous topper!

Nov 6, 2017, 11:23am Top

>22 EBT1002: It is quite some time since I have been there, Ellen. I do recall it well enough to know that you'd lap it up.

Nov 6, 2017, 11:25am Top

>24 Crazymamie: Thanks Mamie. I am typing this and listening to Don McLean's American Pie album on my spotify. I had to close my reading room window as I don't want the neighbours complaining that whilst I know all the words and can sing them loudly, well, there is only one Don McLean.

Nov 6, 2017, 11:30am Top

American Pie is Birdy's all time favorite song!

Nov 6, 2017, 11:32am Top

>27 Crazymamie: I go for the mellow stuff more to be truthful ; Winterwood, Til Tomorrow and, of course, Vincent.

I do defy almost anyone though to have American Pie at an unreasonable decibel level and not be drawn into singing along with the refrain.

Nov 6, 2017, 11:34am Top

P--I just got caught up on your last thread earlier this morning! Yikes! Happy new one and I love your topper.

Nov 6, 2017, 11:36am Top

>29 Berly: This is what happens when I get bloody cheerful, Kimmers!

Nov 6, 2017, 11:44am Top

With mention of "heart" at the end of your previous thread =

On the 6th of November, a long time ago...

"I saw the Count lying within the box upon the earth,
some of which the rude falling from the cart had scattered over him.

He was deathly pale, just like a waxen image, and the red eyes glared
with the horrible vindictive look which I knew so well.


Whilst at the same moment Mr. Morris bowie knife plunged into the heart."

-- Bram Stoker

Nov 6, 2017, 11:45am Top

>21 EBT1002: There is no rational reason for the Electoral College to exist in a world where there are state laws binding electors to vote in lock-step with the electorate of the state. The idea was that wiser heads would prevail in the Electoral College, wiser meaning conservative and slave-owning in the context of the time.

If an elector is legally required to vote the state's popular results, explain to me how the College is supposed to work for the people again?

Nov 6, 2017, 11:47am Top

>31 m.belljackson: Bram certainly wrote something that has stood the test of time. Eerily immortal!

Edited: Nov 6, 2017, 11:54am Top

>32 richardderus: A system that provided you with Dubya and the Donald when their opponents beat them in the popular vote will never be above and beyond criticism and need of reform.

Nov 6, 2017, 11:53am Top

>34 PaulCranswick: Reform hell! Abolition and replacement.

Nov 6, 2017, 11:59am Top

Happy new thread, Paul. That's a lovely thread topper.

Nov 6, 2017, 12:09pm Top

>33 PaulCranswick:

Not by Bram Stoker, but the Count does get 'exhumed' -

just hoping not the same for any parts of Ulysses S. Grant!

Nov 6, 2017, 12:31pm Top

Happy new thread!

Nov 6, 2017, 12:31pm Top

Happy new thread, Paul - 75 is approaching! Love the topper.

Nov 6, 2017, 12:42pm Top

Happy New Thread - again?!? Didn't we just have one? that's what I was thinking and then noticed I'd missed 110 posts again on the old thread and 40 here. *help*

I've been meaning to read that first Catton for ages, very interested in your comments. And I also liked Embers a lot.

>25 PaulCranswick: This looks like home (old and new), but >1 PaulCranswick: this doesn't. Breathtaking!

Nov 6, 2017, 12:47pm Top

>34 PaulCranswick:

Here's one simple non-partisan thing that could actually be enacted to
get more NORTHERN voters out:

Move Election Day to October!

Many disabled, low income, elderly, and seniors do NOT venture out
when the weather makes just getting to a car extremely dangerous
over ice,
in icy rain, or snow.

Registering to vote in advance is beyond many people's capabilities
without computers and with the present system of having to prove
that you are who you are.

Nov 6, 2017, 12:48pm Top

Happy new thread!

Nov 6, 2017, 12:52pm Top

>35 richardderus: Yep, I guess.

Nov 6, 2017, 12:53pm Top

>36 harrygbutler: Thank you, Harry. It doesn't strike me at first sight to be a picture from God's Country but that it is.

>37 m.belljackson: Hah! I don't suppose they would have rolled them too far away.

Nov 6, 2017, 12:54pm Top

>38 foggidawn: Thank Foggy. xx

>39 BLBera: I guess that this week and this thread will see its realisation, Beth.

Nov 6, 2017, 12:58pm Top

>40 Deern: The last thread did zip along at early year speed in truth, Nathalie.
So far all my present reads are knocking it out of the park.

>41 m.belljackson: I think that earlier in the year would make it easier for those for whom it is too cold out in the height of winter.

>42 drneutron: Thanks Jim.

Nov 6, 2017, 12:59pm Top

>45 PaulCranswick:

Any chance you can reprise here the Limericks toward the end of your last thread?

Many who will jump to the new thread likely will have missed them and
they could inspire many more fun ones.

Nov 6, 2017, 1:08pm Top

OK, There were four by me and one by you. I will reprise them up at post >2 PaulCranswick:.

Nov 6, 2017, 1:11pm Top

>41 m.belljackson: Last Sunday in October. No religious crap need be mentioned, if gawd is more important than your country/state/city's future best you don't vote anyway.

Nov 6, 2017, 1:13pm Top

Political Limericks


Grey, grey, grey Theresa May
Generalities was all she could say.
Climbing ladders after Brexit votes
Is the only thing she's done of note
Hopefully it won't be long she'll stay.


'Trump' is in common parlance; to break wind
It is a word whose meaning we had to rescind
Now it seems to fart
Is no very great art
And all because America's voters sinned.


They say the President of France
Is no mere victim of circumstance;
He is a man so bold
To love a wife thought old
To hell with those thinkers, bonne chance!


For the worries of a continent to trace
Ms Merkl has lines etched on her face
She welcomes all in from Kos,
I hope it won't be her loss
As to blame her humanity's a disgrace.

By Marianne


While we'd love to share his Health Care
When our souls we now faithfully bare
We'd ask sweet kind Justin
Just now bring an end
To the hunts for those Seals up there.

Nov 6, 2017, 1:13pm Top

>49 richardderus: I pray that you're right.

Nov 6, 2017, 1:17pm Top

>51 PaulCranswick: Nice one, Doctor Sarcasmo.

Nov 6, 2017, 1:30pm Top

Happy new thread!

Nov 6, 2017, 2:00pm Top

Happy new thread (again), Paul. That >1 PaulCranswick:, dare I say, looks like a lovely autumn in Ontario or Quebec. Very familiar looking, to me! And why autumn is my favourite season!

With all the election talk, I have to say, no matter how many times people try to explain it to me, I will never understand the American system. How can it be democratic if one if *required* to vote a certain way? And, in my experience, voting is private. You go behind a partition, and mark your *x* in the box beside the name you mean to vote for. You fold it up, and a witness watches as you place it in a sealed box. No one tells you how to vote, you are not required to report or declare who you vote for, and frankly, it's nobody's business.

And, apropos to nothing being talked about here, the city of Montreal elected a woman as mayor yesterday, first tie in its history. Young, pro-environment, progressive. About time!

Nov 6, 2017, 2:51pm Top

Happy New thread, Paul.

Nov 6, 2017, 3:40pm Top

Happy new thread mate.

Nov 6, 2017, 3:57pm Top

Adding my happy wishes for the new thread, Paul.

I enjoyed those topical limericks a few posts up.

Nov 6, 2017, 5:18pm Top

>50 PaulCranswick:
'Trump' is in common parlance; to break wind
It is a word whose meaning we had to rescind
Now it seems to fart
Is no very great art
And all because America's voters sinned.

Ha! Most excellent.

Nov 6, 2017, 5:27pm Top

Happy new thread, Paul!
The lake in your topper is like a mirror, so silent and beautiful in fall colors.

I don't understand the American (and Brittish) system either. Here everyone above 18 gets their voting card send home, goes to the voting place (if you want to vote) and mark the one person from the party you like with the red pencil. Every vote is counted and based on that the parties get their percentage of seats.

Nov 6, 2017, 5:36pm Top

>59 FAMeulstee: *wistful sigh*

Nov 6, 2017, 5:46pm Top

Coincidence: I was thinking heavily about "American Pie" this afternoon. My sister and I went to see "Loving Vincent" at the cinema, a visual treat!

It's an interesting notion that, if each vote in the US truly counted as, well, one vote, the candidates would ignore the less populated regions of the country in their campaigning and, presumably, in their making of promises. But since campaigning from the back of a train is a thing of the past, anyway, and everyone has access to the debates and other ways of learning about a candidate's platform, perhaps the shaking of hands and kissing of babies could be relinquished with the cabooses....

Nov 6, 2017, 5:49pm Top

Happy New Thread, Paul. Love the Dalby Forest topper. Gorgeous. Hope the week is off to a good start for you.

Nov 6, 2017, 6:18pm Top

>52 richardderus: Why thank you, Richard. I think.

>53 amanda4242: Thank you, Amanda. xx

Nov 6, 2017, 6:23pm Top

>54 jessibud2: Bravo for Montreal!

The US voting system is clearly a result of the competing states wanting to keep their individual power. That is also why the 100 Senators are made up of two from each state irrespective of the fact that California has 39.25 million people (19.63 million people per Senator) whilst Wyoming has 585.000 (293,000 people per Senator).

>55 bohemima: Thank you dear Gail.

Nov 6, 2017, 6:28pm Top

>56 johnsimpson: Thanks John. It could well be that Hani and Belle are heading back to the UK late this month to start to scout out places to stay (and be with Yasmyne) whilst I try to wrap things up here. She has some ideas going forward about how to keep herself occupied with the kids grown up and it probably involves food! I will probably be along in December and it would be good to chew the fat when I do do so.

>57 jnwelch: Cheers Joe. Those sort of thing are pretty much a stock in trade for me. I can easily turn out ten or twelve daily but I find that the trick or art of it is to try to have them rounded off nicely. Works sometimes more than others.

Nov 6, 2017, 6:32pm Top

>64 PaulCranswick: Yes, each state gets two senators, but the number of seats in the House of Representatives is based on population.

Nov 6, 2017, 6:32pm Top

>58 LovingLit: Thanks Megan. I do think that the Limerick should make more of a come back (and not just because of my Irish antecedents) because they are quick, easy to digest and sometimes make people smile. The antithesis of most poetry nowadays.

>59 FAMeulstee: I have long been a proponent of changing the British system to be more democratic too, Anita. One of the problems of course is that it does tend towards the proliferation of parties represented and stagnates governments somewhat. I am not sure that coalition in government is anyhow a bad thing as the Conservatives under Cameron with Clegg at his side were a better fit than when they have ruled alone.

Nov 6, 2017, 6:36pm Top

>60 richardderus: As a socialist RD, I do wonder what would happen to the US of A under a socialist government. The fat cats would cringe for sure but would the populace feel the benefit or would the establishment conspire to hamper them or take them out a la Kennedy?

>61 EBT1002: Yes I agree, Ellen. In this day and age the manner of campaigning can be changed. Of course not everyone is internet savvy but most will get themselves informed (and usually deformed) via television at least.

Nov 6, 2017, 6:40pm Top

>62 msf59: Not a bad start to the week, Mark. So far so good anyway.

We have just won with our American partners, Haskell, an order for Cost Management with Kellogs who are expanding their business here in Malaysia and in the construction side of things we have won a bid to renovate a building for regional offices for a Danish aviation company. Not a big order but a job to be finished in three months which I like and with decent payment terms which I like still better!

>66 amanda4242: True that, Amanda. And thankfully the House of Reps is the primary legislative body.

Nov 6, 2017, 6:52pm Top

>69 PaulCranswick: - That's great news, Paul! A good way to end a year of not a lot of great news! Congratulations

Nov 6, 2017, 6:58pm Top

>70 jessibud2: It is a start, Shelley, but it is a good start. Financial planning has been tough but, if only i can navigate the next quarter, the companies should be strong again and able to start to pay me again.

Nov 6, 2017, 7:05pm Top

I go away for a few hours, come back, and Paul has finished a thread and has 71 on a new one. No wonder I'm never caught up! At the moment, I'm awaiting LT to get its act together so I can "add" a book so I can review it. The search on all other catalogs appears to be down at the moment.

Nov 6, 2017, 7:07pm Top

>72 thornton37814: There do seem to be a few hiccoughs at the moment, Lori. I want to add a few books and for some reason it seems to be taking an age to find what are actually fairly popular books.

Nov 6, 2017, 7:16pm Top

>73 PaulCranswick: Well, at least I know it isn't singling me out.

Nov 6, 2017, 7:18pm Top

>74 thornton37814: I am not sure how great a comfort it is, Lori, to know that LT is not discriminatory in its foibles?

Nov 6, 2017, 7:23pm Top

>75 PaulCranswick: Well, I just tried again and managed to get it in my library. Now I'll work on reviewing it.

Nov 6, 2017, 7:23pm Top

For 2018 I will administer an Irish Author Challenge as well as a British Author Challenge.

For the Irish Author Challenge I will manage it a la Mark does the AAC and have one author per month.

For the British Author Challenge I will look at doing a thematic based challenge akin to Kerry's ANZAC challenge but probably without the Bingo!

I will not administer the Canadian Author Challenge this next year as it was merely to help Ilana and not intended to be my "baby". I would love to see the Challenge survive though and hope that one of our Canadian members takes up the cudgel.

I will start to explore ideas over the next weeks and come up with selections by early December.

Suggestions anyone?

Nov 6, 2017, 7:23pm Top

Nov 6, 2017, 7:45pm Top

>69 PaulCranswick: Congratulations!

>77 PaulCranswick: Off to research Irish authors...

Nov 6, 2017, 7:51pm Top

>79 amanda4242: I have some ideas of course on the Irish authors front. They have some of the most approachable as well as some of the most forbidding of writers. Some writers who are now thought of as British (and were then, I suppose) such as Sterne, Swift, Stoker, were actually Irish.

Nov 6, 2017, 7:53pm Top

>80 PaulCranswick: And let us not forget Wilde.

Nov 6, 2017, 8:04pm Top

>81 amanda4242: Indeed. I was always wild about Wilde.

Nov 6, 2017, 8:04pm Top

>49 richardderus:

Maybe 3rd week in October; otherwise Election Day and Halloween would eventually coincide.

Not that they haven't already...

Nov 6, 2017, 9:23pm Top

>83 m.belljackson: Halloween and the election of trump would have been a suitable coincidence.

Nov 6, 2017, 9:37pm Top

>77 PaulCranswick: - Many years ago, I took a course on Irish Literature. I think I liked the accent of the instructor more than the books we read....

I know we read James Joyce, Brian Moore (though he sometimes falls into the Canadian literature category, as well), and I think that's all I can remember. It was a very long time ago, but perhaps when you begin a list, some of the authors' names will come back to me.

Nov 6, 2017, 9:39pm Top

>69 PaulCranswick: Most excellent news, Paul. I wish you all the best fortune with the surfing process in the coming quarter.

>83 m.belljackson: HA. Like they did on 8 Nov 2016, you mean? Trick or head-bash?

Nov 6, 2017, 9:49pm Top

Happy new thread, Paul. Interesting discussion here -- and a great thread topper.

Nov 6, 2017, 9:57pm Top

>85 jessibud2: Shelley, I think you will recognise most of the names when I list them out.

I am sure that the accent is more appealing than most of the ways of speaking english and is often mistaken for slowness of mind which in reality often masks a very keen intelligence.

>86 richardderus: Thanks RD.

I think the way of voting needs to change much more than its timing.

Nov 6, 2017, 9:58pm Top

>87 tymfos: Thanks Terri. It is always lovely to see you.

Nov 7, 2017, 2:06am Top


Memories of My Melancholy Whores by Gabriel Garcia Marquez

Date of Publication : 2005
Pages : 115
Around the World in 80 Books : #32 - Colombia

The premise for this book is an unpromising one as well as being a very, very uncomfortable one.

Our aged columnist is on the cusp of ninety. He has never had relations with a woman that he didn't pay for and has always preferred it that way. Now he has asked the madame at his local "hosteltry" to procure for him a virgin to celebrate his birthday.

Despite such a synopsis this novella does actually work on the level of a writer considering mortality, morals and, yes, relations between the sexes. I wouldn't want to end up like the columnist in Marquez's story but there was a certain nobility to his bearing that will astound one in thinking of the lascivious nature of the tale expected.

At times I felt the narrator's candour would spill over into the sordid but the skill of Marquez enabled me to judge him fairly and despite finding him in many ways reprehensible, I managed to slightly understand him too.


Nov 7, 2017, 2:41am Top

Happy new thread again, Paul. It's good to hear that things are starting to go well for you.

Edited: Nov 9, 2017, 1:11am Top


Country 32 of 80 - COLOMBIA

Colombia Factfile

Area : 440,831 sq miles (25th)
Population : 49,364,592 (29th)
President : Juan Manuel Santos
Capital City : Bogota
Largest City : Bogota
Currency : Peso
GDP Nominal : $306.439 billion (32nd)
GDP Per Capita : $6,216
National Languages : Spanish
Median Age : 30.0
Life Expectancy : 75.9
Percentage Using Internet : 58.1%

Its a Fact : Colombia hosts the world's largest theatre festival; the Iberoamericana

Sources : Various but mainly wikipedia and CIA world fact book

Nov 7, 2017, 3:10am Top

>91 Familyhistorian: Yes Meg, I am more positive than for a long while and I am reading too. This week Wednesday my target to reach 75!

Nov 7, 2017, 3:16am Top



Bandeja Paisa

Paisa platter in other words. Beans, plantain, rice, ground beef, chorizo, avocado and pork rinds normally are main constituent parts of this regional mish mash.

Edited: Nov 7, 2017, 3:35am Top



Danna Garcia

This actress is picked from a very crowded field!

Edited: Nov 7, 2017, 3:33am Top



James Rodriguez

International soccer star.

Nov 7, 2017, 6:36am Top

Hi Paul!

It took a bit, but I've caught up. Beautiful topper.

So back to the previous thread - I've read and loved A Gentleman in Moscow but haven't read The Underground Railroad.

I'm glad you seem to have gotten some reading mojo back. You're almost to 75 and a mere 25 more is entirely doable.

Nov 7, 2017, 9:47am Top

>97 karenmarie: Doable but tough, Karen, but then again it would be less fun if everything was so straight forward.

Nov 7, 2017, 9:53am Top

I'll have a >94 PaulCranswick: and a >96 PaulCranswick: please. To go.

Nov 7, 2017, 9:57am Top

>99 richardderus: If those two were a sandwich, RD, then I would be sampling the filling!

Nov 7, 2017, 10:02am Top

Your thread is on


Nov 7, 2017, 10:05am Top

>101 Berly: Lovely, Kimmers - I hope that they are not burning my books!

Nov 7, 2017, 10:46am Top

>69 PaulCranswick: Congrats on getting that contract. It sounds like a good one.

I'm super excited that you'll be doing an Irish Author Challenge in 2018, Paul. I've been promising myself that I will "sign up" for fewer challenges next year, allowing for more impromptu and spontaneous reading selections, but I will definitely follow that one and participate to a large degree. I just won't set myself up to feel like I have to be a completist. :-)

Nov 7, 2017, 10:48am Top

>69 PaulCranswick: congratulations on the new business Paul.

>77 PaulCranswick: I shall certainly join you for a few of the Irish author reads.

Nov 7, 2017, 1:42pm Top

Feel free to adjust for rhyme, rhythm, and sense:

Election Day U.S.A.

There was an orange freak from DeCeen
Who got dumped by his party's Machine
His numbers had tanked
So loudly he stanked
And now we get on with our Dream.

Nov 7, 2017, 2:32pm Top

Nov 7, 2017, 3:27pm Top

>105 m.belljackson: - If only!!! ;-)

Nov 7, 2017, 3:52pm Top

Hi Paul, hope things go ok with Hani and Belle sorting out accommodation and School when they come over and as always it would be great to chew the fat with you mate and Karen would enjoy a get together as well. Hope your week is going well mate and things are moving in the right direction in all aspects.

Nov 7, 2017, 4:57pm Top

>103 EBT1002: Going to sign the contract this morning, Ellen. It isn't a very big job but it is for a good client and is a fast turn around with good payment terms.

I will start musing on the Irish authors over the next few days. I will settle my antecedents before I go on to the BAC.

>104 Caroline_McElwee: Thanks Caroline. Wait and see who gets picked first!

Nov 7, 2017, 5:03pm Top

>105 m.belljackson: Let us hope so, Marianne. DeCeen? Would Queens not fit?

>106 richardderus: I think he will get dumped. I don't see him getting their nomination and I think he is so full of himself that he'll run on an independent ticket and we'll get a half-decent President in consequence,

Nov 7, 2017, 5:06pm Top

>107 jessibud2: I am a little bit confident that even the GOP realise that this should not be business as usual.

>108 johnsimpson: Hani is keen to start looking at some sort of opportunities with food/baking and so on and I think she wants to talk to Karen about whether there would be any interest in it from her side. She has another interested party to join and a couple of potential investors in addition to yours truly.

Edited: Nov 7, 2017, 5:49pm Top

That is an absolutely gorgeous thread topper, Paul! I love seeing all the variations in the landscape of your home region.

I see it's challenge-planning time again! Every year I have such good intentions, and then fall off the wagon by mid-year. Sometimes I wonder if I like thinking about books more than actually reading them!

Nov 7, 2017, 5:58pm Top

Hi Paul! I think I've missed a few threads since the last time I skulked my way through one....maybe more than a few.

I'm glad that business is looking better and that you seem to be doing well. Your reading is certainly excellent!

I'm looking forward to your Challenges next year - particularly Irish authors.

Nov 7, 2017, 6:08pm Top

>95 PaulCranswick: I LOVE the Columbian dish up there! Go Danna!

Nov 7, 2017, 6:18pm Top

>112 rosalita: We have so much in common in this regard, Julia! I start almost every month feeling that I am going to read this and this and this and this and have to keep modifying as I go. The challenges are the same - I really do want to finish them all but poor old RL keeps getting in the bloody way!

>113 Dejah_Thoris: Lovely to see you Princess!

I do think it about time that the Irish were coming.

Nov 7, 2017, 6:20pm Top

>114 msf59: You know, Mark, I was absolutely spoiled for choice. I remember that Hani likes South American soaps and that when I have glanced up from my books the ladies therein always seemed most palatable but....wowzer! Why on earth have I never been to South America!?

Nov 7, 2017, 6:56pm Top

Why on earth have I never been to South America!?

‘Cause Hani watches South American soaps? 😀

Nov 7, 2017, 6:57pm Top

I started Reservoir 13, which made the Booker long list. it has been very good. It is set in the English countryside. I was not familiar with McGregor.

Nov 7, 2017, 7:00pm Top

>117 drneutron: Hahaha; very good, Jim!

>118 msf59: His book Even the Dogs and the earlier one If Nobody Speaks of Remarkable Things were both highly lauded, Mark.

Nov 7, 2017, 7:28pm Top

Have you read either of those?

Nov 7, 2017, 9:42pm Top

The Irish challenge sounds good. I'm looking again at the ANZAC challenge, it doesn't get many participants though is still worth posting for promoting ANZAC reads. It seems hardly worth posting a new challenge on a monthly basis but I might reconsider that.

Nov 8, 2017, 1:56am Top

>120 msf59: Not yet mate but I do have both of them on the stacks

>121 avatiakh: I value the ANZAC challenge, Kerry, but I haven't performed wonders on it in 2018. I am about to finish another one and will be 5/12 soon which is about par for the course with me across my five challenges this year. Always hope to do better.

I would certainly try and participate should you put it up again.

Nov 8, 2017, 9:46am Top


Who have I forgotten?

John Banville
Kevin Barry
Sebastian Barry
Colin Bateman
Samuel Beckett
Brendan Behan
Maeve Binchy
Dermot Bolger
John Boyne
Elizabeth Bowen
Maeve Brennan
Ken Bruen
Austin Clarke
Eoin Colfer
William Congreve
Seamus Deane
Frank Delaney
Anne Devlin
Emma Donoghue
Roddy Doyle
Maria Edgeworth
Anne Enright
Tana French
Brian Friel
Oliver Goldsmith
Hugo Hamilton
Aidan Higgins
Declan Hughes
Jennifer Johnston
Neil Jordan
James Joyce
Patrick Kavanagh
John B. Keane
Molly Keane
Gene Kerrigan
Marian Keyes
Thomas Kilroy
C. S. Lewis
Morgan Llewelyn
Walter Macken
Charles Robert Maturin
Eimar McBride
Lisa McInerney
George Moore
Seán O'Casey
Joseph O'Connor
Fintan O'Toole
G. Bernard Shaw
Richard Brinsley Sheridan
John Millington Synge
Colm Tóibín
Mervyn Wall
Enda Walsh
Oscar Wilde
W. B. Yeats
Colum McCann
Frank McCourt
John McGahern
Brian Moore
George Moore
Iris Murdoch
Edna O'Brien
Philip Ó Ceallaigh
Jamie O'Neill
Brian O'Nolan writing as Flann O'Brien
James Plunkett
Darren Shan
Somerville and Ross
Laurence Sterne
Bram Stoker
Jonathan Swift
Kate Thompson
Robert Tressell
William Trevor
Æ (George William Russell)
Ciarán Carson
Cecil Day-Lewis
Paul Durcan
Michael Hartnett
Seamus Heaney
Patrick Kavanagh
Thomas Kinsella
Michael Longley
Louis MacNeice
Derek Mahon
Thomas Moore
Paul Muldoon
Tom Paulin
Katharine Tynan
Joyce Cary
William Carleton
Mary Lavin
Sheridan Le Fanu
Kate Cruise O'Brien
Frank O'Connor
Julia O'Faolain
Seán Ó Faoláin
Eoin McNamee
Bernard McLaverty

Nov 8, 2017, 10:29am Top

That’s quite a list, and I’ve read something by 2/3rds of them. Don’t forget Deirdre Madden.

Nov 8, 2017, 10:48am Top

Fun to see Bram Stoker up there after the Count checked out on November 6th -

and today's news states a Prequel to Dracula has been found and is already headed toward a movie...
safe from me since I still close the drapes at night fearing those eyes!

Re: Election Day limerick - is he from Queens?

Slight cold Comfort for Democrats (unless it is followed by a tsunami) from yesterday's elections.

Nov 8, 2017, 1:09pm Top

>124 Caroline_McElwee: Of course that list and any add-ons needs to be whittled to 12. Will be fun cogitating this one.

>125 m.belljackson: I have read and enjoyed Dracula but nothing else by him.

trump was born in Queens.

Nov 8, 2017, 1:21pm Top

>123 PaulCranswick: Okay, I have read some of these, but clearly I need to pay attention when you post this thread next year!

Edited: Nov 8, 2017, 1:33pm Top

>126 PaulCranswick:

Pobre Queens.

Theodore Dreiser & Sister Carrie

on 8th November 1900:

"...Carrie was the first fallen heroine in the history of the novel
whom the author didn't feel compelled to kill off by having
her die of consumption in a graveyard or jump in front of a train."

I think Lady Deadlock finally just went peacefully...?

A formidable Erin list - any plans to group them?

Nov 8, 2017, 1:33pm Top

>123 PaulCranswick: Maggie O'Farrell?

Nov 8, 2017, 1:40pm Top

>126 PaulCranswick:, >128 m.belljackson: One fact that few MSM commentators have mentioned vis a vis 45: It failed to carry any portion of its home town.

Cuz we all hates it, my preciousssses.

Nov 8, 2017, 1:47pm Top

>127 Berly: Compress to twelve and then I am sure that you'll have a few in there that you're familiar with, Kimmers.

>128 m.belljackson: My plan with the Irish Author Challenge is to follow the manner of Mark's AAC format so it will be one author per month. I may go with an Irish poetry month given that Yeats, Kavanagh, Heaney, Muldoon, Kinsella et al, would bring a wealth of literary genius to bear.

>129 BLBera: Very good pick, Beth. She is from Coleraine in Northern Ireland.

Nov 8, 2017, 1:54pm Top

>130 richardderus: Tony Bennett, Ray Romano, Art Garfunkel, Ethel Merman and trump. All hail from Queens.

Nov 8, 2017, 2:36pm Top

Ethel and Tony redeem the place.

Nov 8, 2017, 3:46pm Top

>111 PaulCranswick:, I think they would have a good natter mate and we would have lots of time to chew the fat and peruse books and they probably still wouldn't have finished chatting, lol.

Nov 8, 2017, 6:49pm Top

>133 richardderus: And of course everybody loves Raymond.

>134 johnsimpson: If the meet-up is in Haworth, John, then I suspect that the perusing of books may be on the agenda. The imbibing of ale could be prominent too if elsewhere!

Nov 8, 2017, 7:13pm Top

>123 PaulCranswick: I knew you'd get the poets on there, Paul, but I'm really delighted to see the playwrights, too! Of course, they were often one and the same....

Nov 8, 2017, 7:18pm Top

>136 Dejah_Thoris: Yes and their writing is poetic whether in prose or not, Princess. I missed out Sean O'Casey too, I see. Juno and the Paycock is a classic.

Nov 8, 2017, 7:51pm Top

>51 PaulCranswick:

So good to see you in top form again!

Nov 8, 2017, 7:59pm Top

>135 PaulCranswick: I don't love Raymond. In fact, my unlove for him verges on loathing.

Nov 8, 2017, 7:59pm Top

>138 m.belljackson: One does one's best, Marianne. :D

Nov 8, 2017, 8:01pm Top

>139 richardderus: So not everybody loves Raymond, then RD. I thought the ensemble acting in that show was pretty good to be fair although he was probably my least favourite character in it. World weary Frank was the star for me.

Nov 8, 2017, 8:05pm Top

>141 PaulCranswick: I'm not really much for sitcoms. And Doris What's-it was a snot to me when we were introduced, so phooey on 'em all.

Nov 9, 2017, 1:02am Top

>142 richardderus: To be honest I have a soft spot for some sit-coms but more often British ones such as Only Fools and Horses, Fawlty Towers, Blackadder, Porridge and Some Mothers Do 'Ave 'Em. My favourite American one would be Seinfeld followed by Frasier and Soap.

I have heard tell that the cast of "Raymond" was not a most harmonious bunch.

Edited: Nov 9, 2017, 7:15pm Top


Embers by Sandor Marai

Date of Publication : 1942
Pages : 249 pp
Around the World in 80 Books : #33 Hungary
1001 Books First Edition : #285

This is a wonderfully written mood piece.

Henrik is a retired Hungarian army General who has spent has later years alone in his castle with his servants and memories. Now after forty years, his erstwhile best friend is to pay a visit and Henrik has issues that need to be resolved with him after such a long and abrupt absence.

Mortality, the nature of love, friendship and loyalty are scrutinised in this novel that is strongly recommended. I hadn't heard of it actually but it really ought not to be allowed to fall into obscurity.


Edited: Nov 14, 2017, 7:49pm Top


Country 32 of 80 - HUNGARY

Hungary Factfile

Area : 35,920 sq miles (108th)
Population : 9,797,561 (92nd)
President/ Prime Minister : Janos Ader / Viktor Orban
Capital City : Budapest
Largest City : Budapest
Currency : Forint
GDP Nominal : $132.034 billion (58th)
GDP Per Capita : $13,459
National Languages : Hungarian
Median Age : 42.3
Life Expectancy : 76.1
Percentage Using Internet : 79.3%

Its a Fact : Hungary invented the musical condom

Sources : Various but mainly wikipedia and CIA world fact book

Edited: Nov 9, 2017, 1:49am Top



Beef Goulash

It simply had to be.

Nov 9, 2017, 1:52am Top



Linda Szunai

Hungarian model and beauty queen.

Nov 9, 2017, 1:58am Top



Domi Szabo

Nov 9, 2017, 6:28am Top

All of the hot dishes, Paul :-) I don't love Everyone Loves Raymond either, Paul. Sad, I know. The Big Bang Theory, yes, that I love.

Nov 9, 2017, 8:34am Top

Hi Paul!

>148 PaulCranswick: Yummy.

As you know, I tend to avoid challenges/group reads. For some reason as soon as I commit, I feel pressured and start disliking the book on principle. I've gotten better recently with the 2 Haruki Murakami group reads, 2 Dickens group reads (Sept 2016 and Feb 2017), Mark's 2016 AAC John Irving Challenge, and the year-long Bible as Literature group read (which I am, sadly, the only one adhering to in its original form), but will continue to be prudent. There will be a Nicholas Nickleby and Foucault's Pendulum group read early next year that I'll be moderating, but so far that's it.

Nov 9, 2017, 10:26am Top

>146 PaulCranswick:

Now that we've inspired you to always post a MALE DISH too,

how about also adding a VEGETARIAN DISH...?

...for your fans = Buddhist, Vegetarian, Vegan and otherwise.

Nov 9, 2017, 10:28am Top

>146 PaulCranswick:, >148 PaulCranswick: One of each, please. To go.

The sitcom format is, well, how to say it nicely...tired. Candide was only funny the first time I read it. "All is for the best in this best of all possible worlds" is an eternally quotable quote, but Dr Pangloss gets on my tits when I try to re-read the book.

Sitcoms are trying to rewrite I Love Lucy and The Goldbergs from seventy years ago in just-fresh-enough ways but the effort is showing.

Nov 9, 2017, 2:37pm Top

>149 vancouverdeb: Goulash is great isn't it? The Hotel Equatorial in Kuala Lumpur had a bistro called L"Etoile and they had a goulash on the menu which was served inside a scooped out loaf and was to die for. The Hotel was demolished about five years ago and they are building a new one in its place but I suspect that that wonderful dish will have disappeared forever.

I have never watched Big Bang Theory and tend to watch very little TV these days, Deb.

Nov 9, 2017, 2:40pm Top

>150 karenmarie: I am glad you like, Karen! Being very much a lover of the female form, I do struggle to choose the male dishes and am always strangely satisfied when my picks meet with some satisfaction.

I like the single book challenges and do join in when I can. I might join you for Foucault's Pendulum next year although I suspect that I shall find it rather heavy going.

Nov 9, 2017, 2:44pm Top

>151 m.belljackson: I may struggle to find vegetarian alternatives for all the countries to come, Marianne. What I can promise however is that I will try to include a few vegetarian dishes before we are done.

I am not a vegetarian obviously but do enjoy my vegetables and pulses. Hani and Yasmyne have pushed me recently to try quinoa in lieu of accompanying food with rice and I do often feel the benefit.

Nov 9, 2017, 2:47pm Top

>152 richardderus: I would certainly share a bowl of that goulash with you RD - it looks like the dog's bollocks doesn't it?

I do agree that the SitCom format is struggling for originality. There are a few reasons why most of my picks above are years old and this is in addition to the fact that I don't watch too much telly nowadays.

Nov 9, 2017, 3:59pm Top

>156 PaulCranswick: A goulasherie must be located in whatever spot we end up meeting! Blessed internet, she will help us.

TV isn't on my agenda...I watch shows on streaming services because I can skip the ads. I ***HATE*** advertising. More than hating it, I am outraged and indignant and infuriated that the...rotters...have the audacity to *charge*me*money* to bring it into my private space. If I'm buying a subscription to your mousetrap I've already paid for my access to content. Ads should make whatever it is free, more than one per three-hour period should result in a rebate to me for time spent being forcibly fed idiocy in an effort to render me so incoherent and dazed that I will purchase the brummagem wares I'm being hawked.

Not that I have an opinion about it, you understand.

Nov 9, 2017, 4:32pm Top

>135 PaulCranswick:, The meeting has to be where there are books to be perused, that must be a stipulation and if we are imbibing a pint or two it needs to be easily accessible as Karen doesn't drive so I don't want to have one drink and then onto soft drinks. I am sure all this can be sorted out mate.

Just a thought for a new type of bookshop, one where you can imbibe a drop of alcohol as long as books are purchased so that the right clientele are attracted.

Nov 9, 2017, 4:57pm Top

>157 richardderus: I will have Hani arrange the goulasherie or in lieu thereof it will be incumbent upon her to arrange the goulash.

One of the good things about Auntie - the BBC - is that there is no advertising on it. I don't watch TV too much over here despite subscribing to Sat-TV unless it is the occasional cookery programme and the news once or twice a day.

Nov 9, 2017, 4:58pm Top

>158 johnsimpson: I think books and beer should both be on the agenda, John. Hani can drive the four of us!
A Biblioboozer might just catch on!

Nov 9, 2017, 5:14pm Top

Biblioboozers are A Thing in NYC...wine bars with books. Love 'em.

Nov 9, 2017, 5:19pm Top

>161 richardderus:, Is the prime seller the booze or the books Richard or are books just provided? Obviously with our drinking regulations the bar area would have to be separated or if it was a two storey property the bar would be upstairs along with books for adults, Children's books and stationery and other literary gift ideas would be on the ground floor.

Nov 9, 2017, 6:40pm Top

>154 PaulCranswick: I've added you to my Foucault's Pendulum list. I think it's tentative for March-ish. If you can join in, great!

Nov 9, 2017, 7:04pm Top

>161 richardderus: New York, here I come!

>162 johnsimpson: Mmm John, I don't care about our regulations - a wine bar with books!
It does sound like just the thing for the erudite people of Holmfirth or Haworth, don't you think?

Nov 9, 2017, 7:05pm Top

>163 karenmarie: I will certainly aim to do so, Karen. It is a 1001 book so that should be motivation enough.

Nov 9, 2017, 7:51pm Top

The bookstore bits are first, then the purchaser can go to have a snort. Great idea, IMO.

Edited: Nov 9, 2017, 7:56pm Top

I was interested in your comments about Embers by Marai Sandor. I have that book in my collection but have not read it yet. A colleague who retired many years ago read it and commented to me about how good it was. She kept after me and so finally I purchased a used copy of it. She moved to Colorado and stopped pestering me about it, so it fell by the wayside. It was one of the first books I entered into my LT catalog.

Nov 9, 2017, 9:27pm Top

>166 richardderus: I spoke to Hani about this this morning and she was quite enthusiastic. She conceives of a bakery and bistro on one level with her overseeing fusion food and coffee and pastries.

Upstairs with something of a wine bar /drinking den but with books arrayed on both levels and featured heavily on the upper floor whereat I will after all be drinking away the profits with Mr. Simpson.

The wily creature has already found investors to support her in this idea (initially the first level) and when she goes back to the UK shortly she will look for possible premises.

Nov 9, 2017, 9:28pm Top

>167 benitastrnad: Really liked it, Benita.

The nature of friendship, jealousy, betrayal, loyalty and familial ties were all set out in a very effective manner. I think the timing of my reading it was also quite prescient.

Nov 9, 2017, 10:15pm Top

I also rarely watch TV, Paul. Not much appeals to me, but the Big Bang Theory is hilarious- most of the time. I do like to take in the news as well. Just PVR your TV shows - and skip through the commercials. That's what I do. Best of luck to Hani in her new endeavor.

Nov 9, 2017, 10:22pm Top

>170 vancouverdeb: I guess an ardent love of books and a compulsion to sit in front of the TV all day are not natural bedfellows, Deb.

Hani is at the drawing board but I will back her to be successful in anything she really puts her mind to.

Nov 9, 2017, 11:32pm Top

>170 vancouverdeb: I agree with you, Deb. Big Bang Theory is my favorite. I always find myself laughing out loud.

Nov 9, 2017, 11:54pm Top

>123 PaulCranswick: Adrian McKinty

Nov 10, 2017, 12:50am Top

>172 Oregonreader: I will go and have a look at it Jan / Deb. I cannot comment, praise or condemn because I have never seen it.

>173 RBeffa: Adrian McKinty looks an interesting one, Ron. I am not familiar with him actually but will look out for his books for sure.

Nov 10, 2017, 6:50am Top

>153 PaulCranswick:, >157 richardderus: err... goulash is on almost every menu where I live. They sometimes serve the goulash-soup-in-bread on the Christmas market here.
Austrian-Hungarian heritage. Though honestly it's not as good as the Hungarian one my grandma made. They mostly make it without the fresh bellpeppers here, but serve with bread dumplings that have bits of bacon in them. Both taboo for me these days, and the vegan restaurant that made a (believe it or not) to-die-for version with seitan and lots of red wine and with real bellpeppers has been mobbed out of business.

>168 PaulCranswick: I'll make that place my holiday home! :)

I loved Embers but don't remember how it ended. Another one for the re-read in 2018 list.

Happy Friday to you, Paul!

Nov 10, 2017, 7:17am Top

>175 Deern: I couldn't take the bacon filled dumplings either, Nathalie but I can imagine RD salivating already. Hani does a good goulash and I have to say (although biased) she seems to be able to turn her hand to most cuisines and has an amazing penchant for being able to tell all the ingredients in a dish.

You will be welcomed to the Book Bistro for sure.

I will not of course tell you how Embers finishes!

Edited: Nov 15, 2017, 5:16am Top



I will select five males and five females and there will be two special months.

January : EDNA O'BRIEN
March : Female
April : Male
May : Special
June : Female
July : Male
August : Female
September : Male
October : Special
November : Female
December : Male

The selection for January will be named later today.

Nov 10, 2017, 8:54am Top

Cruel! I wanna know!

You are still doing BAC as well, right? I've been useless this year but may try and BAC - and AAC if Marks' doing it, again next year.

Nov 10, 2017, 8:58am Top

>178 BekkaJo: You should know by now, Bekka, how I like to tease these things out!

I will be doing the BAC too in 2018 but I think it will be genre based rather than individual writers based. I will get the IAC out of the way before I get onto the more established challenge.

I do hope someone will pick up the Canadian Author Challenge next year because I don't feel capable to handle it and I am certainly not knowledgeable enough to choose the writers.

Nov 10, 2017, 9:03am Top

Picked up a new book today straight after paying my mobile phone bill!

It is a book that was mentioned severally this year as many people's favourites and I found it in the magnificent Teen readers section in Kinokuniya, KLCC.

126. Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry by Mildred D. Taylor (1976) 339 pp

Nov 10, 2017, 10:19am Top

>155 PaulCranswick:

No Struggle! = Desserts! Salads w/o cruel Bacon! Rice, potatoes, & quinoa with Vegetables & Sauce!

Nov 10, 2017, 10:42am Top

>181 m.belljackson: There will be non-animal alternatives to come!

Nov 10, 2017, 12:30pm Top

>182 PaulCranswick:

Gracias - the animals and the environment send you their blessings!

Nov 10, 2017, 12:33pm Top

>183 m.belljackson: Hurrah, Marianne - one can never have enough friends!

Nov 10, 2017, 12:40pm Top



Where else to start but with the queen of Irish literature. From her groundbreaking Country Girls in 1960 through 17 novels and 7 short story collection but also with non-fiction, drama and poetry, her contribution has been immense. Sometimes an obtuse writer there is a richness and bravery in her writing that always leaves an impression.

Born in beautiful County Clare in 1930, Philip Roth has described her as "the most gifted woman now writing in english."

Edited: Nov 10, 2017, 1:58pm Top

>185 PaulCranswick:

That's quite a recommendation - which book is your favorite?

On someone else's recommendation, I'm reading Barbara Pym's
Quartet in Autumn and wonder if "tins" are the same as tin cans?

Edited: Nov 10, 2017, 2:12pm Top

>185 PaulCranswick: oooh good, that will give me the excuse to read the volume of short stories I have: The Love Object

I can recommend The Little Red Chairs.

Edited: Nov 10, 2017, 2:33pm Top

>180 PaulCranswick: Look forward to hearing your thoughts on it.

Super excited about the IAC and the next BAC.

Nov 10, 2017, 2:40pm Top

>187 m.belljackson: I haven't read all her books, Marianne, but her first novel The Country Girls is excellent. Three of her books - that one; August is a Wicked Month and In the Forest were all in the 1001 Books First Edition. A Pagan Place and her memoirs are also very highly regarded.

"Tins" are the same as "cans". You may serve a can of soup whereas we in the UK would serve a tin of soup.

Nov 10, 2017, 2:41pm Top

>188 Caroline_McElwee: I have a few of hers on the shelves too, Caroline, but I may read The Country Girls Trilogy in January.

Nov 10, 2017, 2:42pm Top

>189 amanda4242: I am so pleased that you are enthusiastic about the Irish Author Challenge, Amanda. I did think it was time to freshen things up just a little.

Nov 10, 2017, 4:01pm Top

Paul--Nicely done! You've made the selections for January's IAC already and you have enthused readers! You get points. : )

Nov 10, 2017, 6:14pm Top

>193 Berly: Why thank you kind lady. I may have more difficulty enthusing some of the writers later!

Nov 10, 2017, 7:16pm Top

Hi Paul
Suggest to Hani- bakery, cafe and bookstore!

Nov 10, 2017, 7:54pm Top

>195 torontoc: It could well turn into a veritable retreat for the group when visiting the UK, Cyrel. xx

Nov 10, 2017, 9:54pm Top

Edna O'Brien is a great choice based on what I've heard about her books from our English professor who is an Irish literature afficionado.

Nov 10, 2017, 10:14pm Top

>90 PaulCranswick: a tactfully approached review of what sounds like a fairly dodgy book!

>186 PaulCranswick: I have these two, and have only read The Country Girls- I was waiting to come across the second in the series, before reading the third.

Nov 11, 2017, 1:22am Top

Not making any full challenge promises anymore, but I'll try to read at least some books of both the IAC and the BAC in 2018. Haven't read any Edna O'Brian yet, and two of hers are 1001-listed, so I guess I'm in for January.

Nov 11, 2017, 1:52am Top

You are making up for lost time on the 80 book challenge, Paul. The Irish author challenge looks interesting.

Nov 11, 2017, 2:12am Top

>197 thornton37814: I remember I started off the BAC with Penelope Lively and Kazuo Ishiguro and the former seemed to be a great hit whilst the latter has (completely coincidentally of course - the Nobel committee only reads Darryl's thread not mine!) gone on to better things.

Therefore I was keen that the Irish Author Challenge get off to a similarly strong start.

I do hope that the group will not be disappointed in Edna O'Brien, Lori.

Nov 11, 2017, 2:26am Top

>198 LovingLit: Of course, Megan, the book was written by Marquez so some of the prose sang but the subject matter was, to say the least, a little discomfiting. I am not sure that I want my libido to still keep me company into my tenth decade!

That Trilogy made a real stir in the 1960s and the covers are quite provocative aren't they?

Some of her work is a little more advant-garde than this trilogy but she is a great, great prose stylist. If you see her speak you are in for a treat - she has a rich, thick, Clare accent and their is wisdom and mischief in almost equal parts in her brogue.

She appeared in the first ever episode of Question Time which is the UKs longest running political panel show where a number of politicians & academics answer on the big topics of the day. She was asked on that show "which personal vice gives you the most satisfaction" - she replied: "occasional adultery, once a year!"

This is excellent on her and her gypsy, green eyed charms:


Nov 11, 2017, 2:28am Top

>199 Deern: I am fascinated by Ireland and the wonderful, sometimes tortured literature its people have produced.

It is obvious why given that my great-grandparents eloped from County Donegal in the last quarter of the 19th Century and I have definite Irish tendencies coursing through my veins.

I am sure that you'll enjoy The Country Girls if you can get your hands on it, Nathalie.

Nov 11, 2017, 2:33am Top

>200 Familyhistorian: Hoping for good progress this weekend, Meg.

I have five on the go and I hope to get some if not all of them done before work restarts!

Nov 11, 2017, 2:38am Top

>204 PaulCranswick: Good luck with your reading goals, Paul.

Nov 11, 2017, 2:39am Top

I want my threads to be happy nowadays but I must break with intended operating procedures and inform the group that my mother was rushed to hospital in West Yorkshire (Pinderfields Hospital in Wakefield to be precise) after feeling unwell from the evening.

Spoke in detail to my brother and he says that she is not in any immediate danger but that there seems to be some sort of blockage pursuant to the operation she had 18 months ago further to her bowel cancer and the opening for the colostomy bag. I will try to contact the hospital later in the day here and I will say a few prayers for the dear old girl.

Edited: Nov 11, 2017, 2:41am Top

Sorry to hear about your mum Paul, will keep her in my thoughts.

Nov 11, 2017, 2:41am Top

>205 Familyhistorian: Thank you, dear lady.

Edited: Nov 11, 2017, 2:49am Top

Sorry to hear about your mum , Paul. Always a worry when they live at such a distance. I will keep her in my prayers.

As for Irish authors, I've never read Edna O'Brien but I've certainly heard of her and many of her books, I put that in mind for January. I'm currently very much enjoying The Heart's Invisible Furies by John Boyne and recently read the Irish American author, Alice McDermott, with The Ninth Hour. I recommend both highly!

Nov 11, 2017, 3:05am Top

Sending good thoughts to you and your Mom. So hard to be far away. : (

Nov 11, 2017, 3:11am Top

>209 vancouverdeb: Deb, thank you so much for your kind wishes to my mum.

John Boyne has to be a candidate for selection this year and his work is uniformly interesting and very varied.

Nov 11, 2017, 3:28am Top

>210 Berly: Thanks Kimmers.

The distance is, of course, a big worry but I am comforted by the excellence of the National Health Service and the fact that my brother and sister and their respective spouses are close at hand.

Nov 11, 2017, 4:45am Top

Sorry to hear about your mum, too, Paul. She's in my thoughts and prayers.

Well, color me embarrassed. I've never even heard of Edna O'Brien. Now I need to remedy that with reading something by her. Do you have a recommendation?

Nov 11, 2017, 4:58am Top

>213 karenmarie: Quite good news from the hospital. I called them just now and my mum is apparently "quite comfortable". They have given her a CT scan and will look at the results but it is almost certainly a minor procedure that is necessary to make her more comfortable still.

On Edna O'Brien, I really enjoyed her debut novel The Country Girls and I will probably read the trilogy in January. Her memoirs which are called (just to confuse) Country Girl are also well lauded.

Nov 11, 2017, 5:01am Top

Good news! So glad to hear it.

Thanks re O'Brien. I'll have to keep an eye out for The Country Girls - I've added it to my wishlist. Hmm. Perhaps from daughter for Christmas?

Nov 11, 2017, 5:14am Top

>215 karenmarie: I will wish it for you then, Karen!

Edited: Nov 11, 2017, 6:39am Top


Announced later today. A gentleman this time for sure.

Just had some wonderful nasi goreng or fried rice cooked by the irrepressible Erni. Now turning my attention to completing my 75th book.

Nov 11, 2017, 8:06am Top

>218 EllaTim: That looks good, Paul. I had nasi goreng yesterday, wonderful Indonesian take away across the street.

Sorry to hear about your mother, my best wishes for her.

I will certainly participate in some months of the Irish challenge, I'm just not fast enough as a reader to do all the challenges, but I do appreciate the work you are doing for them. And I like that you are introducing the authors now.

Nov 11, 2017, 8:20am Top

>218 EllaTim: I am so lucky that I can have it to order virtually any day I like, Ella. Both Erni and my wife can make delicious fried rice or fried noodles. There is a dish from Pinang called Mee Udang or prawn noodles in a very savoury broth that I like to take at least once a month.

Thanks for thinking of my mum.

I never keep up with all the challenges either but I love the thought of them!

Nov 11, 2017, 8:22am Top

^The food is looking mighty tasty up there!

Happy Saturday, Paul. Hope you are enjoying the weekend. I am off today but it is winter-like out there. Brrrr...

Nov 11, 2017, 8:29am Top

We posted at the same time Paul >207 Caroline_McElwee: in case you missed it.

>214 PaulCranswick: glad to hear your mum is comfortable now.

Nov 11, 2017, 8:56am Top

>220 msf59: Malaysia takes quite a bit of beating when it comes to food, Mark.

It is very tropical as ever over here as we don't have any seasons to speak of. Sometimes I long for a cold breeze but a few days of snow in Europe and I am already keen to come back here.

Nov 11, 2017, 8:57am Top

>207 Caroline_McElwee: & >221 Caroline_McElwee: Thanks Caroline and for the reminder because I did miss the post above!

Nov 11, 2017, 9:14am Top

Hi Paul. So sorry to hear about your mum but it sounds that it is easier this time than when that first episode happened last year. Continued wishes for her speedy recovery. I am currently visiting with my mum, too, and she is so far, stable and holding her own.

I have an Irish-Canadian author to add to your list. Patrick Taylor has written a series of lovely books, the *Country Doctor* series. One doesn't necessarily need to read them in order, rather, the main characters just carry over from one book to another. I admit that I have only ever listened to them on audiobook because they are exquisitely read by one John Keating, who accent(s) are magnificent. He absolutely nails the various local accents, brogues and nuances and because of that, the characters don't even have to be identified for me to know who is speaking. I believe he has written a couple of other books, as well, not part of this series at all but I haven't yet read those. Taylor was a physician, himself, I believe and came to Canada to live in 1970.



Nov 11, 2017, 9:23am Top

>224 jessibud2: My poor mum has been in the wars these last few years but I do pray that this present instance is not amongst the more serious issues that she has faced.

I do like Patrick Taylor and I have read his first book in the series. I remember distinctly his enthusiasm for the debut collection of Seamus Heaney in that first book.

I am not sure that he'll make the final list this year but he is certainly someone I want to read more of, Shelley. xx

Nov 11, 2017, 10:58am Top

>198 LovingLit:

Barnes and Noble currently lists one paperback coming out this month for around $14 that will have all three books.

Nov 11, 2017, 11:02am Top

>214 PaulCranswick:

Great to hear Good News about your Mum!

Are any of your children in the UK close enough to visit?

Nov 11, 2017, 11:26am Top

Mum news = excellent. Edna O'Brien = inspired! I'd encourage the short-story-phobic to read one of her collections. Just scrummy.

August is a Wicked Month is terrific.

Winter clamped down with rain and wind, I had an oral surgeon's appointment, and in the end a little cold prevented me from venturing out as I was already miserable. Today is positively sun-struck and there's a fresh breeze and I'm going to romp and gambol along the boardwalk or die tryin'.

Fuck Trump. That is all.

Nov 11, 2017, 1:25pm Top

>226 m.belljackson: I do know that there is an omnibus edition which collects all three in one book, Marianne.

Nov 11, 2017, 1:30pm Top

>227 m.belljackson: Yasmyne is in Edinburgh which is about a four hour drive / train drive away. If my mum is in hospital an extended time she will go and see her.

Nov 11, 2017, 1:32pm Top

>228 richardderus: Pleased to see that Ms. O'Brien meets with approval, RD.

Sorry however to see that the return trip to the dentist didn't go ahead. I do hope that you can take advantage of today's better weather dear fellow.

Edited: Nov 11, 2017, 1:58pm Top



Regulars here will know that William Trevor has long been a favourite writer of mine so he is a very natural choice for this challenge. A maestro of the medium of short story, his novels are also spare and compelling. I would very strongly recommend his Children of Dynmouth. Often nominated for the Booker Prize and some felt including myself that he was rather unlucky to have been overlooked for the Nobel prize.

He died in November 2016.

Nov 11, 2017, 2:08pm Top

Sorry to hear your mother isn't well.

Nov 11, 2017, 2:18pm Top

>233 amanda4242: She hasn't been well for such a long time, Amanda, but has been coping. I really do hope I can get to see her within this year.

Edited: Nov 11, 2017, 3:23pm Top

>202 PaulCranswick: I love the old Penguin covers, and particularly Edna Orrin's O'Brien's risqué ones, the are beautiful and enchanting. And provocative, as you say.

Sorry to hear of your mum being unwell, I hope she comes right again soon!

Eta: auto correct is a gas!

Nov 11, 2017, 3:42pm Top

>235 PaulCranswick:

Many of us with the recent loss of a Mom will say "Just Go - YOU are her only Paul!"

Nov 11, 2017, 4:03pm Top

The Hill Bachelors! Such an excellent read. Thank you again for it.

Nov 11, 2017, 4:32pm Top

Hi Paul, sorry to hear your mum was rushed into hospital mate but glad that the news coming out is good and hopefully the CT scan will show what the problem is and it can be sorted. It is not good for you when something like this happens and you are so far away but we will say a prayer and keep her in our thoughts mate, love and hugs to you all from both of us.

Nov 11, 2017, 7:38pm Top

>236 LovingLit: Of course our friend Charlotte is the expert on all things Penguin but I also like the assortment of covers. Trevor is almost always in print although some of his earlier collections are quite difficult to find these days.

>237 m.belljackson: I am prepared to go if the news is less than good, but trusting Marianne that the news stays positive. Hani and Belle are going back to the UK in about a weeks time anyway.

Nov 11, 2017, 7:42pm Top

>238 richardderus: Ha yes! I had forgotten that I had treated you to that one, RD. Some of his other collections are, I think, just as strong.

>239 johnsimpson: Thank you John. I have spent a fair bit of time as a youngster in Pinderfields myself so it isn't my favourite place in the world to be truthful.

Edited: Nov 12, 2017, 12:58am Top

There aren't 2, but 4 of EOB's books 1001 listed (August among them) and 3 Trevors! Oh dear, I better start thet January right now! Or at least start getting the books in! :)

Read both the bad and then better news about your mum just now. Hoping for the very best and sending good thoughts and energies her and your way.

Nov 12, 2017, 3:15am Top

It's good to hear that your Mum's health problem is better than first feared. Keep up the positive thoughts.

Nov 12, 2017, 7:24am Top

>242 Deern: I only follow the first edition of the 1001 Books, Nathalie, and I thought there were three of each.

Apparently the operation needed to remedy the blockage is a little bit tricky but not exceptionally so. They are worried though that she is not so strong to face another operation and they are looking at alternatives.

>243 Familyhistorian: Thank you Meg. xx

Nov 12, 2017, 8:15am Top

Hello Paul, being such a long time absent on LT I didn't follow what reading challenge will be in the upcoming year. Am I right that it will be an Irish author challenge and not a British one? Well, I've looked up Edna O'Brien and William Trevor and I've found from both something to read.
Wishing you a lovely sunday.

Nov 12, 2017, 8:30am Top

>245 Ameise1: I am going to do both, Barbara, actually. Will get the Irish Author Challenge sorted first and then work out a slightly revamped version of the BAC.

I think that the pool of writers to choose from is very strong from the beautiful Emerald Isle.

Nov 12, 2017, 8:31am Top

Sounds good to me.

Nov 12, 2017, 8:34am Top

Sending good and comforting thoughts, Paul, for you and your mum. I hope she can return home soon.

I am not sure what I will do next year with challenges. One more month to go to complete my year round TIOLI sweeps, maybe I take a break from challenges after finishing the last one in December.

Nov 12, 2017, 8:36am Top

>247 Ameise1: Thanks Barbara.

>248 FAMeulstee: How I wish I could read with your speed, Anita, then all my challenges would get done!

Nov 12, 2017, 8:38am Top

>249 PaulCranswick: After years of troubled reading, I still think my speed reading is a temporary thing. So I try to use it well.

Nov 12, 2017, 8:42am Top

>250 FAMeulstee: I wish I could have a couple of years of it too, Anita, as I have several thousand books backlogged!

Nov 12, 2017, 9:52am Top



When I check out the group member whose reading is most in tune with my own (percentage of shared books etc), Caroline is often up near the top. Therefore when she insists recommends strongly an author I must listen. I haven't read anything by Deirdre Madden but I am sure going to enjoy trying.

Born in County Antrim, Northern Ireland she has been described as "a pivotal voice in Northern Irish writing". She has been shortlisted for the Women's Prize and has won the Somerset Maugham Prize and the Rooney Prize for Irish literature.

Nov 12, 2017, 10:27am Top

Hi, Paul. Hope you had a good weekend and got plenty of reading in. You sure stay busy organizing these Challenges. I admire that, but I am glad I only have to deal with one. Grins...

Nov 12, 2017, 10:33am Top

>254 msf59: Thanks Mark. We both have our styles! Your approach to ask for feedback and then take responsibility and reveal them in one go is great but I do like to tease them out a month at a time!

Nov 12, 2017, 11:50am Top

Nov 12, 2017, 11:57am Top

>256 Caroline_McElwee: This selection is a "blind" one for me so to speak as I am wholly unfamiliar with her work and have no books of hers on the shelves. A real case of trusting your judgement, Caroline. xx

Nov 12, 2017, 11:59am Top

I hope you won’t be disappointed Paul.

Nov 12, 2017, 12:01pm Top

>258 Caroline_McElwee: Read some of the synopses, Caroline and the one Nothing is Black is getting ordered. Especially interesting for me set as it is in County Donegal where my maternal relations hail from.

Nov 12, 2017, 12:01pm Top

Happy Sunday, Paul!

Nov 12, 2017, 12:14pm Top

I am sorry to hear about your mother's health issues- hope that the doctors taking care of her find a good solution to help her.

Nov 12, 2017, 12:16pm Top

>253 PaulCranswick: Have never read even one of those titles. A discovery! Exciting!

Nov 12, 2017, 12:18pm Top

>260 Berly: Thank you Kimmers!

My Sunday is done and dusted. I am already eating slowly into Monday morning (albeit early hours thereof).

Nov 12, 2017, 12:19pm Top

>261 torontoc: I check with the hospital again a short while ago and she was doing ok, so I can rest a little knowing that she is at least comfortable and has had a bevy of visitors.

Nov 12, 2017, 12:19pm Top

Wishing you a week full of fabulous, Paul, and sending good thoughts for your mother.

Nov 12, 2017, 12:21pm Top

>262 richardderus: It is a discovery to me too, RD. I am confident in Caroline's judgement on an author I will probably like and I do like the fact that her stories are set against the backdrop of political turmoil in the North.

Nov 12, 2017, 12:23pm Top

>265 Crazymamie: Thank you Mamie, dear.

The weekend, other than the sobering news from home, has gone quite well. Had a lovely day with my Queen of Smiles today out at the cinema. I do need to treasure that time as she is about to go back to the UK to start in earnest setting up the foundations for our lives there. She will go, with Belle, around the 20th and I hope to follow her before Christmas.

This topic was continued by Paul C's 2017 Reading & Life - 31.

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