In Memory of RebeccaNYC
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Many of us who are long time members of Club Read were friends of rebeccanyc, who died last summer. I had the pleasure of meeting my "book sister" once, and she was both one of my first friends on LibraryThing, and a huge influence on my reading. We were both huge fans of Mario Vargas Llosa and Ngũgĩ wa Thiong'o, and we share just over 400 books in our LT libraries.
I intend to honor her in 2018 by reading at least 10 books that we share in common, from the following list:
1984 by George Orwell
The Bad Girl by Mario Vargas Llosa
Haiti After the Earthquake by Paul Farmer
The Green House by Mario Vargas Llosa
The History of the Siege of Lisbon by José Saramago
The Lights of Pointe-Noire by Alain Mabanckou
The Long Ships by Frans G. Bengtsson
The Master and Margarita by Mikhail Bulgakov
Metro Stop Paris: An Underground History of the CIty of Light by Gregor Dallas
Of Africa by Wole Soyinka
Petals of Blood by Ngũgĩ wa Thiong'o
The Satanic Verses by Salman Rushdie
Something Torn and New: An African Renaissance by Ngũgĩ wa Thiong'o
I plan to read The Lights of Pointe-Noire in January, and I'll post a review of it here.
Thanks for this post Darryl. I never met Rebeccanyc, but think about her whenever I'm here in Club Read as she was such a part of the atmosphere here (to overuse a word, she was a special part of the special atmosphere that is kind of unique here). I've thought of doing something like this myself, mainly unread books that she left me thinking about, but my memory is not quite as sharp as I might need to put any structure into it. Still, I have a few in mind. And maybe it's time I read Mario Vargas Llosa.
That's a lovely thought, Darryl. I met Sybil some years before you, when I was in town for BookExpo. I like to think that overseeing both Reading Globally and Club Read brought her a lot of pleasure in her last years, both before she was diagnosed and after. I think of her whenever I pick up certain books by authors one of us first shared with the other. Sometimes, she would be ahead of me on the author's most recent book, or vice versa.
Thanks for supporting my idea, everyone. I hope that others decide to do the same, and I'd encourage everyone to at least mention the books that you read throughout the year.
This is really a lovely idea, Darryl. I’ll try to be more diligent in posting this coming year, and using “What should you borrow?” Seems a likely place to look.
I’m also in agreement with Sassy.. The Long Ships... a really enjoyable read.
Great idea Darryl! I’ve only just learnt of Rebecca’s passing, but I can’t think of a better tribute than what you’ve suggested here. I’ve saved myself the link for the “what you should borrow” list for my reading from Rebecca’s books and I hope to add some of them to my reading this year. May her memory be a blessing. ז״ל
Thanks, Paul. Admittedly it will be very easy for me to read 1-2 books every month in honor of her, because our tastes in books overlap so closely.
What a nice idea, Darryl. Rebecca had a huge influence on my reading, so I will inevitably read things this year that I associate with her, but I like the idea of making it a bit more structured.
I'll plan to read The Long Ships in the spring or early summer. How could I not after so many glowing comments about it!
Good! I will add my voice to The Long Ships pile ;-)
I've just been looking through the books we share(d). What a fantastic collection she had. I'll be choosing my tribute reading from the following:
What to Listen For in Music by Aaron Copland
Alex's Adventures in Numberland by Alex Bellos
The Ornament of the World: How Muslims, Jews and Christians Created a Culture of Tolerance in Medieval Spain by Maria Rosa Menocal
Well-Behaved Women Seldom Make History by Laurel Thatcher Ulrich
From the Ruins of Empire: The Revolt Against the West and the Remaking of Asia by Pankaj Mishra
Terra Nullius by Sven Lindqvist
Russian Short Stories from Pushkin to Buida
Varieties of Exile by Mavis Gallant
The Ends of the Earth: An Anthology of the Finest Writing on the Arctic and the Antarctic by Elizabeth Kolbert
At least one of the Best American short stories we share (2006, 2007, 2008)
The Singapore Grip by J. G. Farrell
This Earth of Mankind by Pramoedya Ananta Toer
Equal Danger by Leonardo Sciascia
All About H. Hatterr by G. V. Desani
The Quality of Mercy by Barry Unsworth
Irretrievable by Theodor Fontane
Corrigan by Caroline Blackwood
Oliver VII by Antal Szerb
The Suitcase and Pushkin Hills by Sergei Dovlatov
White Masks by Elias Khoury
Time Present and Time Past by Deirdre Madden
Memoirs of a Revolutionary by Victor Serge
Solo Faces by James Salter
A Game of Hide and Seek by Elizabeth Taylor
Rogue Male by Geoffrey Household
The Hilary Mantels we share - A Change of Climate, An Experiment in Love, Giving up the Ghost
At least one re-read of Sarah Caudwell (we both have all four books)
Nineteen Seventy Four or GB84 by David Peace
Fasting, Feasting by Anita Desai
Seven Brief Lessons on Physics by Carlo Rovelli
I got to know Rebecca through another LT group. Thank you Darryl, for creating this thread to remember her. Eastern European writers remind me of her, and so does Trollope.
I've just finished Phineas Redux. And I completely agree with RebeccaNYC's comment: "As I have come to expect from Trollope, his characterization of women is extraordinary, especially considering the period in which he wrote. The women spring to life, not only Marie Goesler and Lady Laura, but also one of my favorite characters, Glencora Palliser, who becomes the Duchess in this novel..." https://www.librarything.com/work/14758/reviews/117226219
I was very sad to hear of her passing and know there are many books on my wishlist from her reviews and discussions. We share 212 books so I'm sure I can find many to ready this year in her memory.
Thank you for starting this thread, Darryl. I hadn't heard of Rebeccanyc's passing, but I knew that only illness would keep her away from LT so long. Always a private person, I only knew her through the nearly constant conversations we had on LT, and I considered her a good friend, even though we never met.
She and I were co-presidents of the fictitious "Depressing Books" club, since we both had a penchant for nonfiction that dealt with difficult times in difficult parts of the world. She was an intelligent and well-spoken friend whom I'll miss.
May her memory be a blessing
I also would like to read along. When I first lurked in this group, I turned to her threads eagerly to see what she had to recommend. A lot of my wish list seems to have come from this lurking, but I also have a lot of her recommended books on my shelves. I'll read through as many as I can this year in tribute to a great book lover and a generous reviewer.
Darryl, strange coincidence. Tonight I gave my youngest son his 2 Christmas books which arrived late. They were The War at the End of the World and A Grain of Wheat. He followed my Librarything journey for several years so I was able to say that Rebecca loved Ngugi wa Thiong'o. Also was able to tell him that my favourite book of last year was Conversations in the Cathedral, also by Mario Vargas LLosa and that Rebecca loved this book as well. And he knew that if Rebecca was recommending, his 2 books would be worth reading.
So even in Australia her legacy lives on and is being passed down to the next generation.
I hope to join you, especially in regard to those two authors.
Love from Amanda XXXX
I agree, a lovely idea Darryl. I’ll ponder what to read. I too really enjoyed The Long Ships.
My first read of the year was one brought to my attention by Rebecca - Vacant Possession by Hilary Mantel, the follow-up to Every Day is Mother's Day, which I read in the autumn, not long after learning of her passing. Rebecca read a number of Mantel's novels in fairly quick succession a few years ago and her informative reviews made me realise that this was an author worth exploring beyond Wolf Hall.
Bosnian Chronicle by Ivo Andric is set in the small Bosnian town of Travnik, during the Napoleonic wars. People from four religions live in Travnik - Jews who were banished from Spain 300 years ago, and still try to maintain their Spanish traditions; Orthodox Christians, mainly Serbian; Muslims, called Turks even though they are native Bosnians; Catholics. Bosnia is part of the Ottoman Empire, ruled by the Sultan in Istanbul who is represented in Travnik by the Vizier.
The Ottoman empire is in decline. It has lost its Hungarian territories to the Austrians, and Serbia is in revolt against Ottoman rule. As Napoleon endeavours to establish an alliance with the Ottomans, a French consulate is set up in Travnik. To counter French influence, the Austrians set up a consulate as well. Andric describes the lives and characters of the consuls, Europeans stranded in the Levant among alien people and customs, carrying out diplomatic duties that change with their countries' shifting alliances.
As Rebecca said, "A slow read, but worth it." There are so many layers, so much to think about. Absolutely worth the effort.
I finished Wolf Soyinka's novel The interpreters (on my TBR shelf since around 1992) yesterday, and was touched to see that one of the two previous reviews was from RebeccaNYC.
Rebecca said "I had a hard time knowing what to make of this novel, which I read thanks to a suggestion by another LTer. Clearly Soyinka is trying to paint a broad picture of both the challenges of a postcolonial society and the conflicts encountered by young men eager to find their way in a changing world." Like me, she had trouble with the sexism and homophobia in the book, which coming from someone like Soyinka can't quite be excused by saying that things were different in 1965.
I've just been reading a remarkable book I found out about through Rebecca's "What should I borrow?" list, although sadly it looks as though she didn't have time to read it herself, as she had it in her "Hope to read soon" collection.
El viajero del siglo (2009; Traveller of the century, 2012) by Andrés Neuman (Argentina, Spain, 1977- )
Review in my CR thread: http://www.librarything.com/topic/278102#6410428
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