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Paul C's 2018 Part 2

This is a continuation of the topic Paul C's 2018 Part 1.

This topic was continued by Paul C's 2018 Part 3.

75 Books Challenge for 2018

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Edited: Jan 7, 4:50am Top

A return to a Hani topper.

This is the road in North Yorkshire to Osmotherley in North Yorkshire.

Edited: Jan 7, 5:52am Top


The first part of the year I will be slowly working my way through the anthology The Map and the Clock edited by Carol Ann Duffy and Gillian Clarke. It is a retrospective of the poetry of the British Isles as chosen by the two Laureates.

This is Advice to Lovers translated from the Irish by Frank O'Connor

The way to get on with a girl
Is to drift like a man in the mist,
Happy enough to be caught,
Happy enough to be dismissed.

Glad to be out of her way,
Glad to rejoin her in bed,
Equally grieved or gay
To learn that she’s living or dead.

Edited: Jan 19, 10:40pm Top

Who Am I?

Fifty something (already my God). Several businesses and thousands of books. SWMBO and three "children". A coffee making maid and almost little sister and a bald driver who assists in smuggling books past a watchful madam.

Edited: Jan 19, 10:41pm Top

Books Read in 2018


1. The Country Girls by Edna O'Brien (1960) 224 pp
2. The Debt to Pleasure by John Lanchester (1996) 251 pp
3. Girl with Green Eyes by Edna O'Brien (1962) 256 pp
4. Hillbilly Elegy by J.D. Vance (1996) 257 pp
5. Lupercal by Ted Hughes (1960) 63 pp
6. Girls in their Married Bliss by Edna O'Brien (1964) 199 pp

Edited: Jan 19, 10:45pm Top

Currently Reading

Edited: Jan 19, 10:50pm Top


JANUARY - DEBUT NOVELS - https://www.librarything.com/topic/275745#6259410
FEBRUARY - THE 1970s - https://www.librarything.com/topic/276329#6262597
MARCH - CLASSIC THRILLERS - http://www.librarything.com/topic/276329#6266669
APRIL - FOLKLORE, FABLES AND LEGENDS - https://www.librarything.com/topic/276329#6264065
MAY - QUEENS OF CRIME - https://www.librarything.com/topic/275745#6260378
JUNE - TRAVEL WRITING - http://www.librarything.com/topic/276329#6266685
JULY - THE ANGRY YOUNG MEN - http://www.librarything.com/topic/276329#6266706
AUGUST - BRITISH SCIENCE FICTION - http://www.librarything.com/topic/276329#6265570
SEPTEMBER - HISTORICAL FICTION - http://www.librarything.com/topic/276329#6266539
OCTOBER - COMEDIC NOVELS - https://www.librarything.com/topic/276329#6266707
NOVEMBER - WORLD WAR ONE - https://www.librarything.com/topic/275745#6258461
DECEMBER - BRITISH SERIES - https://www.librarything.com/topic/276796#6268684

WILDCARD - THE ROMANTICS - https://www.librarything.com/topic/276796#6271176

The format of the British Author Challenge next year will be slightly different in that it will be based upon themes.
That said for guidance I will choose 10 books each month to help and guide that theme along but, as you know me, you can then read what you jolly well like anyway!

Edited: Jan 19, 10:51pm Top



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

January : EDNA O'BRIEN
April : Samuel Beckett
September : RODDY DOYLE

Edited: Jan 19, 10:52pm Top

American Author Challenge

American Author Challenge 2018

January - Joan Didion

Edited: Jan 19, 10:55pm 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
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
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 :
12: Read a book with an immigrant protagonist :

Edited: Jan 19, 10:56pm Top


Guardian 1000 (998) Books - 332 read https://www.librarything.com/topic/270237#6197972

1001 Books First Edition - 288 read https://www.librarything.com/topic/268508#6162704

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

Nobel Prize Winners Read - 63 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) - 24 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: Jan 19, 11:04pm Top


Create Your Own Visited Countries Map

1. Ireland - Edna O'Brien
2. United Kingdom - John Lanchester
3. United States of America - J.D. Vance

Edited: Jan 19, 11:01pm Top


1. BAC The Debt to Pleasure by John Lanchester (Debut Novels) Around the World in 80 Books (UK) COMPLETED
2. AAC A Book of Common Prayer by Joan Didion - Around the World in 80 Books (USA)
3. ANZAC The Narrow Road to the Deep North by Richard Flanagan - Booker Winner - Around the World in 80 Books (Australia)
4. IAC The Country Girls by Edna O'Brien - Around the World in 80 Books (Ireland) COMPLETED
5. IAC Girl with Green Eyes by Edna O'Briend COMPLETED
6. IAC Girls in their Married Bliss by Edna O'Brien
7. Non-Fiction Hillbilly Elegy by JD Vance COMPLETED
8. Poetry - Lupercal by Ted Hughes COMPLETED
9. Poetry - Meditations in an Emergency by Frank O'Hara
10. Series - The Thief by Megan Whalen Turner
11. Non-Fiction - Hillbilly Elegy by JD. Vance
12. Biography - Wild Tales by Graham Nash
13 Around the World in 80 Books - The Luck of Ginger Coffey by Brian Moore
14. Around the World in 80 Books - Rituals by Cees Nooteboom (Netherlands)
15 Around the World in 80 Books - Man Tiger by Eka Kurniawan (Indonesia)
16. Around the World in 80 Books - Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi (Ghana)
17. Poetry Anthology - The Map and the clock edited by Duffy and Clarke
18. BAC - The Miniaturist by Jesse Burton

Edited: Jan 19, 11:05pm Top


READ 200 BOOKS (First time in twenty-five years) 1/200


BAC 1/12
AAC 0/12
IAC 1/12
ANZAC 0/12

Jan 7, 4:49am Top


Jan 7, 4:56am Top

Me! I'm first... First time ever!

Jan 7, 5:17am Top

Happy Sunday and happy new thread, Paul.

Jan 7, 5:23am Top

Lovely topper Paul.

Jan 7, 5:35am Top

>15 BekkaJo: Splendid, Bekka! Lovely to see you as always.

>16 Ameise1: Thank you Barbara.

Jan 7, 5:35am Top

>17 charl08: Thanks Charlotte, that one is actually Hani's own favourite so I thought it right to start there.

Jan 7, 5:36am Top

Happy new thread! I love the colours of the picture you posted!

Jan 7, 5:39am Top

Happy new thread, lovely picture!

Edited: Jan 7, 5:54am Top

>20 PersephonesLibrary: Thank you Kathy. To be honest, I don't know how she does it!

>21 Deern: Thanks Nathalie. I am interested to see what other pictures and photos she posts in the time she is still there.

Jan 7, 8:20am Top

Happy new thread!

Jan 7, 9:00am Top

Happy new thread! I love that pic Hani took.

Jan 7, 9:06am Top

Happy 2nd thread, Paul! >3 PaulCranswick: Great family photo and of course Hani's topper is the bomb!

Jan 7, 9:13am Top

>23 figsfromthistle: Thanks Anita. Great to see you so active at the beginning of the year.

>24 drneutron: Cheers Jim.

>25 Carmenere: Thank you Lynda. Hani really does have a good eye for landscapes and colour.

Jan 7, 9:24am Top

Happy new thread! Sorry to see that you and Hani are not together right now. Is she living in the UK now or just an extended visit? Hopefully you will under the same roof again very soon!

Jan 7, 9:41am Top

Happy new thread, Paul!

Jan 7, 9:42am Top

>27 ChelleBearss: She is there until the beginning of February, Chelle.

>28 scaifea: Thanks Amber. xx

Jan 7, 9:44am Top

Hi Paul! Happy new thread.

Lovely family photo. 200 book goal - laudable. Already finished The Country Girls - fantastic. I'm on page 71 of 175 in my edition. It's a good'un and thank you for introducing me to Edna O'Brien.

Jan 7, 10:05am Top

200!! In one year, with everything that you're responsible for!! I am awestruck. A noble goal indeed.

Jan 7, 10:39am Top

Happy New Thread, Paul. Love the topper.

Jan 7, 10:49am Top

Happy New Thread, Paul. LOVE the Hani topper. I WANT to hike there!

Hope your weekend went well.

Edited: Jan 7, 11:37am Top

Happy new thread, Paul! I do like the topper and your family photo. I think 200 books is out of reach for me this year, with my movie and magazine plans.

Jan 7, 11:38am Top

Happy new thread Paul.

The family photo is fabulous

Just caught up on your travel adventures from your previous thread.

Jan 7, 12:18pm Top

Happy New Thread, mate. I like that North Yorkshire topper, too, and the family pic.

Jan 7, 12:46pm Top

Happy New Year!
I wish you:
A Happy new Thread
Be Happy with a lot of good books

I am
Clearly Happy to be part of this group

Jan 7, 1:30pm Top

Happy new one, Paul! The topper is stunning - looks like a vintage postcard. Hoping that your week is full of fabulous!

Jan 7, 2:14pm Top

Happy new thread!

Jan 7, 2:15pm Top

>30 karenmarie: You are welcome, Karen. She is a splendid writer isn't she?

>31 richardderus: Hehehe I haven't done it yet, RD!

>32 BLBera: Thanks Beth.

Jan 7, 2:17pm Top

>33 msf59: I am sure that one day we will have a good old hike together to a Ye Olde Country Inn, Mark, wherein you will discover the joys of British Ale!

>34 harrygbutler: Could well be for me too Harry, but I'll start the year - as every year - with high hopes.

>35 SuziQoregon: Juli, I am still sort of getting over my travel adventures! Cannot sleep too well as I expected.

Jan 7, 2:19pm Top

>36 jnwelch: Thanks Joe. The family picture was taken at a Pub called the Red Kite (John Simpson will know it) on Thursday. I must say that it was wonderful to have them all together again.

>37 SirThomas: Thank you Thomas and nicely put. Isn't it just dandy when things are as straightforward as ABC!

Jan 7, 2:21pm Top

>38 Crazymamie: Thank you Mamie, dear. I guess it does sort of look like a vintage card. I am really proud of just how good Hani is at taking photographs, especially when the majority are done with her IPhone.

>39 amanda4242: Thanks Amanda. xx

Jan 7, 4:17pm Top

Happy new thread mate and a great thread topper photo. Looks like it is in the hands of Root and Bairstow to try and save this final Test Match and I have to say that listening to Farbrace he is right, we have to be brutally honest about what has gone wrong and what can be done to rectify it and I think it has to start at the top with the ECB.

Have a good week mate.

Jan 7, 5:33pm Top

Boo hoo I missed most of your first thread! How on earth did that happen?? Happy 2nd, and I Love Hani's Yorkshire images, I never knew the place had so much to offer!

Jan 7, 5:43pm Top

Look a new thread.

Jan 7, 6:59pm Top

>44 johnsimpson: Well John; where to begin?!

1 Structure of the domestic game
2 Pathetic performance by the selectors
3 Selected players not performing, especially senior players
4 Stokes

Item 1 I have banged on about enough.

Item 2 For heaven's sake Vince at 3? Ali as our key spinner? No real pace in the attack? We need to have someone opening the batting with Cook who will keep the scorecard turning. This means one of Alex Hales, Bell-Drummond or Lyth. I would have toured with both of the former named players. Jack Leach is hands down our best spinner whilst Plunkett or Jamie Overton should have toured.

Item 3 And when they weren't nothing was done. Broad and Cook did OK in the last test but 1 score in ten by Cook is not enough and Broad's figures are awful.

Item 4 I am sorry but without him went our chances. I would have toured with hiim.

Jan 7, 7:13pm Top

Happy new thread, Paul. Hani's photo for the topper is so beautiful. And what a great family pic - my family doesn't to that enough and it makes me think that we need to get started as we have only 2 1/2 years before Beckham is off to college.

Jan 7, 7:20pm Top

>45 LovingLit: Yorkshire can surprise. It is not all Dark Satanic Mills and industrial grime, Megan.

>46 BBGirl55: Nice to see you Bryony.

Jan 7, 7:22pm Top

>48 rretzler: Hani always insists on capturing such moments, Robin. It can be annoying sometimes when you are wanting to tuck into your dinner but the memories are often jogged by the images.

Jan 7, 9:13pm Top

Love the Yorkshire topper. I'm quite surprised to be as high in the posting league as I am. As I get back to work this week, I'm sure it will slow down. I might be able to get by with reading a bit of Nicholas Nickleby or something else on my iPad during faculty workshop if it's super boring. I think most of us hope it snows or ices so we get out of it. Good news is that it's in the forecast. Bad news is it's tomorrow instead of the day we need it to be.

Jan 7, 9:18pm Top

Great pictures! Both the landscape and the family portrait. Sorry to hear you are separated for the time being, but I hope the reunion in February is sweet.

Thanks for stopping by my thread a couple times to wish me holiday greetings in the last quarter of 2017. Sorry for my lack of reply. As per usual, I petered out on LT and didn't make it to the end of the year, participation-wise. I have a stack of books piled next to the computer to catalog as purchased or read toward the end of last year. Once I get caught up on that, I'll set up my 2018 thread.

I am impressed by your annual reading ambitions. I try not to put anything in writing, as I never manage to follow through and hate to have my limitations so clearly documented. Happy New Year!

Jan 7, 9:37pm Top

Beautiful pictures, Paul, and welcome "home"...here's to a 2018 full of good reading.

Jan 7, 9:49pm Top

Happy new thread, Paul, and thanks for the change in the male Irish dish. Great family photo, but 50 is nothing, just wait until the first letter of the age changes. LOL

Jan 7, 10:15pm Top

>51 thornton37814: I have noticed you around the threads a lot at the beginning of the year, Lori and that tends towards more posts at your own place. I simply haven't had much chance to venture abroad yet!

>52 justchris: My mistake Chris is putting it in writing and then getting egg all over my face! Nice to see you back in the group.

Jan 7, 10:17pm Top

>53 kac522: Thank you Kathy. Hani was mightily impressed by Sheffield by the way and it is now a definite possible location to live.

>54 Familyhistorian: I am in no hurry to change "f"s to "s"s, Meg! Glad that my Irish "dish" was found to be more palatable!

Jan 7, 10:18pm Top

Hi, Paul. We just watched Dunkirk. I liked it quite a bit. Have you seen it yet?

Jan 7, 10:58pm Top

>57 msf59: I saw it last year, Mark. Us Brits know how to glorify defeat quite admirably.

Jan 8, 12:54am Top

Nice topper & Family pic up there ,,,,,

shall I ... mention the words "Leeds United" ?? Ouch !

Jan 8, 1:36am Top

That is a gorgeous photo for your topper, Paul!

Jan 8, 2:08am Top

Wishing you a great week ahead, Paul.. Kudos to Hani again for the topper--beautiful! And love your new family photo.

Jan 8, 3:23am Top

Morning Paul - hope your week has started well :)

Tagging this week for BAC - In the Forest lined up to start.

Jan 8, 4:57am Top

>59 roundballnz: Yes you can mention, Alex, as I am no longer surprised at how badly we do in the FA Cup. Getting our best player rightly sent off for the disgusting act of spitting at another player will not help us any either. I went to watch Leeds play Nottingham Forest on New Year's Day as we played out an entertaining 0-0 draw and ought really to have won the game.

>60 ronincats: Thanks Roni.

Jan 8, 4:59am Top

>61 Berly: About time I updated that photo, Kimmers isn't it? God is kind in some ways in having my wife not age a jot but cruel in so much as to make her husband fully look his years!

>62 BekkaJo: It has been tough finding my feet again and I am more tired than normal.
In the Forest is for the IAC, Bekka?

Jan 8, 5:04am Top

I finished my first Irish read of the year, The Guards was really good.

Jan 8, 5:05am Top

>64 PaulCranswick: Quite correct, IAC. Started Adam Bede for BAC, though I suspect I'll still be reading it when 2019 dawns on us...

Hope you get some rest and catch up on yourself soon.

Edited: Jan 8, 7:05am Top

>3 PaulCranswick: lovely family photo Paul. Geeesh thread 2 and only the second week of the month/year ha.

Jan 8, 8:40am Top

Happy new thread Paul. Lovely topper again!

You've already finished your first country, way to go! I'm going to lag behind on the Irish challenge, the country girls books by Edna O'Brien are not to be found in my branch of the library.

Jan 8, 9:31am Top

Happy new thread, Paul! I'll join in the admiration for both Hani's photography and the family photo.

Jan 8, 11:03am Top

>1 PaulCranswick: LOVE

Hi Paul and happy second thread! The usual suspects are off to quick starts this January. I am trying to turn off all competitive ions in my construction.....

Jan 8, 12:47pm Top

>65 avatiakh: Yes, I liked that one too, Kerry. Mark recommended that one to me and I was not disappointed.

>66 BekkaJo: I will finish my first BAC tonight - John Lanchester's slightly unusual debut novel / cookery book.

Jan 8, 12:50pm Top

>67 Caroline_McElwee: I am actually going quite steadily by my usual standards for January, Caroline. I was on my third thread last year at the same time!

>68 EllaTim: She has a number of other decent novels Ella if you can't find that one. Her recent novel The Little Red Chairs was hailed as a major return to form.

Jan 8, 12:53pm Top

>69 foggidawn: Thanks Foggy. I am also in admiration of her cookery as she keeps annoying tempting me with what she and Yasmyne are cooking in England via her FB page.

>70 EBT1002: Mamie has a good lead at present. I am a few hundred posts behind where I normally am at this time of year but I am enjoying taking things a little steadier. No proper internet in the UK didn't help me much either.

Jan 8, 4:13pm Top

>7 PaulCranswick:

Good to see everyone looking so happy!

Can you recommend favorite William Trevor and Deirdre Madden books?

Thank you.

Jan 8, 4:35pm Top

Hi Paul, the BFB group is for books of 600 or more pages mate, my challenge on here is for books of 500 or more pages.

Jan 8, 7:50pm Top

Hi there is a vote going on over on my thread.

Jan 9, 3:36am Top

>74 m.belljackson: Hi Marianne!

Trevor is easy. I would recommend The Children of Dynmouth as my favourite but I shall be reading Felicia's Journey.

Dierdre Madden is more troublesome as I haven't yet read anything by her!

>75 johnsimpson: Noted mate. I had a look again on the group page and there it was writ large.

>76 BBGirl55: I have just been there, Bryony!

Jan 9, 3:40am Top

Morning Paul - hope you are feeling more settled?

Felicia's Journey is really good (imo).

Jan 9, 3:48am Top

>78 BekkaJo: William Trevor is a favourite author of mine, Bekka, I may not stop at just one book of his.

Have a touch of stomach ache at the moment and am still not sleeping too well.

Jan 9, 3:49am Top

That sucks - the stomach, not the Trevor of course. Hopefully just a bit of travel setback and nothing bug like. Sending many healthy vibes.

Jan 9, 4:03am Top

>80 BekkaJo: I think that there is a little bit of a bug but I am a bit better today. xx

Jan 9, 6:40am Top

Happy new year Paul. I have just starred this thread. :)

Jan 9, 9:12am Top

Good morning! Love the photos.

Browsing a bit of LT before my first meeting...I love imagining all of us across the globe, settling in to our devices to find our what our reading friends are doing.

Jan 9, 10:35am Top

>82 sirfurboy: Ah! Great to see you Sir. F. I'll be off to find your thread.

>83 witchyrichy: It is a lovely thought that our little community is sort of simultaneously browsing each others pursuits. Quite a fellowship.

Jan 9, 11:28am Top

Hope you feel better today. : (

Jan 9, 11:38am Top

>85 Berly: Still need to get more rest I think, Kimmers. Less than A-OK.

Jan 9, 11:50am Top


The Debt to Pleasure by John Lanchester
Date Published : 1996
Pages : 251
British Author Theme Challenge : January 2018 - Debut Novels
Around the World in 80 Books : #2 The United Kingdom
Guardian 1000 Books - 332 nd read
Whitbread/Costa Winners - 24th read

In cooking parlance this was not a flash fried marvel but a slow cooked casserole which, whilst urbane and shining with wit, wisdom and intelligence was leaving me cold until its flavour and ingredients melded ingenuously. Ultimately the devouring was as satisfying as it was a tad disturbing.

I am surprise this cook-book with its hidden agenda made it to publication as a debut novel as it reads as something put out by someone with a few successes already behind them - daring and experimental as it is.

It won't be everyone's forest of mushrooms but I would venture it is worth stooping close to the Oak for sampling if eaten carefully.


Jan 9, 12:18pm Top

Hi Paul!

>87 PaulCranswick: A book bullet indeed, but it's already on my shelves, I just need to pull it and read it.

Jan 9, 1:03pm Top

>87 PaulCranswick: You'll need to persevere with it Karen. It took me a bit of getting into.

Edited: Jan 25, 10:42pm Top



The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. The place of my birth and education. My citizenship and the residing of both my wider family and many of my good friends. Shakespeare, Chuckles, Kipling and Hardy, JK Rowling and Dame Agatha. Larry Olivier and dear old Chemical Weapon tossing Winnie Churchill. Home to the welfare state and the crumbling NHS of which we are still all proud, if a little worried for.


POPULATION : 65,648,100 (including Northern Ireland)

AREA : 93,628 sq miles

Edited: Jan 27, 6:20am Top





Is this the seat of King Arthur? Dunno but it is an impressive place to visit.

Edited: Jan 9, 1:27pm Top





For Game of Thrones fans everywhere. Sorry but she must remain clothed for inclusion here.

Edited: Jan 9, 1:32pm Top





The Mr. Darcy.

Jan 9, 1:33pm Top





I am after all a Yorkshireman so what else could I have included here. Hani makes great Yorkshire puddings by the way.

Jan 9, 1:40pm Top

My santa swap books made a welcome appearance today.

A big, big thank you to Caroline for picking out two tomes of poetry for me which I will read next month.

24. Michael Longley : Collected Poems by Michael Longley (2006) 328 pp

25. Bone by Yrsa Daley-Ward (2014) 138 pp

Jan 9, 1:41pm Top

>93 PaulCranswick: A most excellent dish! Almost makes up for the debacle with the Irish dish.

Jan 9, 1:47pm Top

>94 PaulCranswick: I have only made Yorkshire Pudding once, but I really enjoyed it! I'll have to make it again sometime.

Jan 9, 1:55pm Top

>96 amanda4242: There is such a thing as learning one's lesson, Amanda!

>97 foggidawn: If we ever meet up I will have Hani make some, Foggy, she has the knack somehow. Delicious served with onion gravy.

Jan 9, 1:56pm Top

The other Yorkshire pudding recipe which Hani is also a dab hand at is Toad-in-the-Hole. Basically sausages cooked in Yorkshire pudding. She doesn't sue pork sausages of course.

Jan 9, 1:57pm Top

Mmmm, that looks good!

Jan 9, 2:03pm Top

>99 PaulCranswick: It certainly is, Jim. Yorkshire pudding batter well done, sausages spiced and crunchy, peppery gravy to ease it down the gullet.

Jan 9, 2:14pm Top

Yorkshire pudding! Toad in the hole! I have instantly become ravenous just by looking at those pictures, Paul.

Jan 9, 2:36pm Top

>102 rosalita: I am a little peckish too now, Julia, and it is 3.30 a.m. here!

Jan 9, 2:46pm Top

>103 PaulCranswick: Ha! At least it is just lunchtime here in Iowa. Though I clearly picked the wrong day to skip lunch. If only I could get some toad in the hole teleported to me from Yorkshire.

Jan 9, 4:10pm Top

>103 PaulCranswick: No wonder you are tired! Do you never sleep? I like sleep...

Also... >90 PaulCranswick: We're not on it! Grrr. Or possibly so small as to not show. That's more usual ;)

All pictures exceedingly yummy.

Jan 9, 4:25pm Top

>93 PaulCranswick: That is far far better. Well done you.

>100 drneutron: Yes please. All of it. Please.

I *was* going to post some of the absolutely glorious pics of naked Charlie Hunnam to prove that the UK is still makin' 'em right but then realized they're almost all from 1) 20 years ago or b) from that iconic US show Sons of Anarchy.

Jan 9, 4:44pm Top

Why am I hungry? Oh Mister Darcy *fans self repeatedly

Jan 9, 6:22pm Top

>94 PaulCranswick: is more tempting than >99 PaulCranswick:, but I'd be happy to have either, Paul. I like Yorkshire pudding, but we don't have it very often.

Jan 9, 6:39pm Top

>93 PaulCranswick:

And The Dive of Mr. Darcy, which Brigette Jones so loved...?

Jan 9, 8:56pm Top

>99 PaulCranswick: Not too fond of toad in the hole, but roast beef and Yorkshire pud - that's the ticket, but maybe I should wait until I have my taste buds back. That's the most distressing part of this bug, glad you were not stricken, Paul.

Edited: Jan 10, 2:38am Top

Hmmm all that food up there makes one hungry - good thing its summer & no chance of eating that right now .... says someone who polished off sausage rolls for dinner ...oops !

Jan 10, 2:05am Top

>104 rosalita: I will see what I can do, Julia, but I am not sure that it travels too well. xx

>105 BekkaJo: I did actually think about you and the Channel Islands when I was putting up that map, Bekka.

I haven't been sleeping overly well at the moment.

Jan 10, 2:07am Top

>106 richardderus: I am now quite mindful nowadays of pleasing my friends with my choices for the Around the World in 80 Books challenge, RD.

>107 BBGirl55: Oh dear, Bryony! Don't say that you are planning to eat the poor fellow!?

Jan 10, 2:10am Top

>108 harrygbutler: I am of course a huge fan of my native dish, Harry. Wonderful stuff when cooked right.

>109 m.belljackson: Renee was a lucky lady as she got Firth and Grant fighting over her and her safety pants.

Jan 10, 2:12am Top

>110 Familyhistorian: Taste buds are fine, Meg, even though the stomach is a little dodgy still. Yorkshire Pudding would not dare upset my stomach though.

>111 roundballnz: Sausage rolls - now there is something I haven't eaten in probably 25 years!

Jan 10, 2:39am Top

>115 PaulCranswick: I think you shd rectify that with some 'quality' sausage rolls .....

Jan 10, 5:37am Top

>116 roundballnz: I have to find ones with chicken sausage or turkey sausage which are not exactly easy to find, Alex.

Jan 10, 6:22am Top

Oh, Yorkshire Pudding! Love the stuff, and have become pretty okay at making it for myself, I'm proud to say. Charlie loves it, too.

Jan 10, 7:40am Top

Hi Paul! I hope your week is going well.

>93 PaulCranswick: You couldn't have made a better choice! My absolutely favorite version of P&P, with Mr. Sexy himself.

>94 PaulCranswick: and >99 PaulCranswick: That beef roast looks pretty much like the one I served on Christmas Day. Yum to Yorkshire Pudding and Toad in the Hole too.

Jan 10, 9:04am Top

>113 PaulCranswick: oh I don't wNt to eat him.

Problem with the vote please go vote again :)

Jan 10, 11:26am Top

>118 scaifea: Charlie is a young man of impeccable taste, Amber!

>119 karenmarie: Mr. Firth was pretty much a banker though really wasn't he, Karen?

I miss my mother's Sunday roasts as it is simply not the right climate for them over here.

>120 BBGirl55: I know silly, I was pulling your leg.

Will do.

Jan 10, 1:22pm Top

Dear Paul, I love the "Around the world in 80 books"! And if everything goes as planned, I will visit Tintagel this year!

Jan 10, 1:52pm Top

>117 PaulCranswick: Yes you are right chicken or beef ones are around but not so easily .... gotta remember i live in a great pie / sausage roll eating country ....

Jan 10, 3:02pm Top

>123 roundballnz: Gawds please bless the Kiwi Carnivores.

Jan 10, 6:48pm Top

Very belated happy new thread, Paul!

I will try to keep up better the next days ;-)

Jan 10, 6:55pm Top

>99 PaulCranswick: Not had toad in the hole but it does look good! I may have to search for a recipe and try it.

>91 PaulCranswick: In my mind, I refuse to believe that King Arthur is a fictional character - I just know he's real! And I also believe in dragons, too! 😜

Jan 10, 7:08pm Top

Golly, you Sir, are very hard to keep tabs on unless one is committed to the cause! All of these threads everywhere! Happy new reading year, hope all is well.

Edited: Jan 10, 7:15pm Top

A touch of an upset stomach today, Paul and I can easily look away from all of that rich food. I fear I indulged in too much chocolate yesterday and I'm paying for it today. Oh to be young again! And I like my beef well done, thank , like a the proper 1/2 Scottish person that I am, Paul. Twas the way I was brought up. Pretty much burn the beef! :-)

William and Serenade has some sort of sous vide roast beef at their wedding dinner and oh Paul, twas far too sophisticated and dripping blood for this old Scotswoman.

Jan 10, 7:16pm Top

>128 vancouverdeb: Well done?! *shivers*

Jan 10, 7:45pm Top

>122 PersephonesLibrary: I hope to visit it this year too, Kathy. I will be reading plenty of Arthurian stuff for the BAC in April which will surely put me in the mood.

>123 roundballnz: NZ, I think of Mt. Cook and Lake Tekapo and Kaikoura and Milford Sound and also now......sausage rolls.

Jan 10, 7:46pm Top

>124 richardderus: We help them by eating alongside or giving them better food, RD?

>125 FAMeulstee: Thanks Anita. I am not keeping up at all well either.

Jan 10, 7:48pm Top

>126 rretzler: Yes Robin and I look forward to a discourse with the elves every year prior to the annual visit of Father Christmas. xx

>127 evilmoose: Lovely to see you Megan! I shall go off and find your thread. xx

Jan 10, 7:50pm Top

>128 vancouverdeb: Hani also insists upon incineration of meat-stuffs prior to consuming the, Deb! I am now ok with my own stomach but have been a bit asthmatic the last couple of days.

>129 amanda4242: Hi Amanda. xx

Jan 10, 10:14pm Top

I haven't had toad-in-the-hole for years and years. I might make it sometime this coming week, just for a change.
I started Diary of a bookseller and at first thought it was a bit bland but now finding I can't put it down for all it's just about buying and selling secondhand books...each day brings something different to the mix.

Jan 10, 10:25pm Top

>91 PaulCranswick: -- awesome picture. Seems to prove that King Arthur was real, don't you think?

Jan 11, 1:48am Top

>134 avatiakh: Buying and selling second hand books would be a job of choice for me too, Kerry, so I could well envisage enjoying reading about it.

>135 banjo123: I would like to think so, Rhonda. Tintagel is a pretty awesome place.

Jan 11, 1:00pm Top

Hi Paul - sorry to hear you haven't been feeling well. Hope that improves.

>91 PaulCranswick: Gorgeous

Jan 11, 1:44pm Top

>137 SuziQoregon: Hi Juli. I am still quite asthmatic at the moment and have been on the nebuliser two days running.

Jan 11, 1:56pm Top

>93 PaulCranswick: Best of luck with all your reading challenges. You have a lot going on this year! Definitely caught my attention with your "Around the World" posts, especially mssg #93.

Jan 11, 4:04pm Top

Hi Paul, I have been a tad remiss in not really visiting many threads to post these last few days so I hope this finds you well mate. I know that you are really good to us in the stats department and it must be a labour of love for you to do this but could I ask if you could show how we all did in 2017 mate especially as you hit five figures on the posting league. I know this is probably a big ask especially on your time but it would be nice to see how we all did, cheers mate.

Jan 11, 5:35pm Top

>140 johnsimpson: I fully support Johns request! If time permits of course.

Jan 11, 5:40pm Top

>136 PaulCranswick: Buying and selling secondhand books is fun. It does have a danger though, the problem of accumulation. Certain booksellers are better at buying than at selling, it seems:-; so beware.

Hope your asthma gets better soon.

Jan 11, 6:52pm Top

I hope you are feeling better.

Jan 11, 10:38pm Top

>139 Lisa805: Nice to see you here Lisa. I didn't need to scroll up to >93 PaulCranswick: to know which message you were alluding to. :D

>140 johnsimpson: I will get this up over the weekend mate including the final numbers read for last year.

Jan 11, 10:40pm Top

>141 FAMeulstee: Noted Anita. I am almost there actually - I just need a final sweep of threads.

>142 EllaTim: Hahaha that would certainly apply to me too, Ella.

>143 BBGirl55: I am much better than yesterday, Bryony, thanks.

Jan 11, 10:43pm Top

Sad to see some of our stalwarts from previous years have not yet made it over here to have a thread for 2018.

Lori K
Paul S
Katie (cammykitty)
Rachel (aktakukac)
Brenda (beeg)

Amongst others. Hope they are just late to the party.

Jan 12, 2:47am Top

Paul S has been active on the TIOLI thread where he put up a challenge.

Jan 12, 5:18am Top

>147 avatiakh: I am glad to see he is still around. Dear fellow had a very difficult year last year with the loss of Suki and I hope he is able to keep in touch with the group and its support network.

Jan 12, 5:19am Top

Wishing you a happy Friday and weekend and hoping you're feeling better!

Jan 12, 7:08am Top

Morning Paul! (or perhaps night or tomorrow already? I'm not sure what the time difference is) Hope your asthma has started to clear up. Have a happy weekend!

Jan 12, 7:14am Top

I hope your asthma clears up, and I'm glad to hear that Hani properly incinerates your meats, Paul. I'm all about well done , myself. Glad to read that Paul S has made an appearance. He did have a bad year with the loss of Suki.

Jan 12, 8:47am Top

>146 PaulCranswick: I think Lori K is just doing Category Challenge this year. She made a post near the end of 2017 to that effect but provided a link to that one if you want to follow her there.

Jan 12, 2:32pm Top

>146 PaulCranswick:

Still trying to read through all the threads and come up with an unboring title.

Until then, I'll keep posts going, including this one:

LitHubDaily has a link on their January 12, 2018 to the Los Angeles Review of Books
for Hillbilly Elegy, which I think you mentioned you were planning to read...?

It gives insight into why this rather tepid showing is so popular among RED States.

You can also go directly to the LA Review.

Jan 12, 4:16pm Top

I was upset to read that Diana had those problems with an online stalker who had used her LT details. Creepy.

Jan 12, 9:35pm Top

>149 Deern: Thanks Nathalie. Slowly feeling better.

>150 ChelleBearss: It is a little eased, Chelle. Didn't need the nebuliser yesterday.

Jan 12, 9:37pm Top

>151 vancouverdeb: I am missing the "incinerator" a bit at the moment, Deb!

>152 thornton37814: Thanks Lori. I will go and find the other Lori shortly. xx

Jan 12, 9:39pm Top

>153 m.belljackson: To be fair Marianne, I am rather enjoying Hillbilly Elegy although I think some of his comments about his mother are a little self-serving. Look forward to your thread going up. xx

>154 charl08: It is shocking isn't it, Charlotte, that the internet can be so misused in that way. I miss Diana a lot around here.

Jan 12, 9:53pm Top

Sorry to hear you have asthma, too. Being chained to a nebulizer is no fun. Hope you feel better.

>146 PaulCranswick: Missing Gail. She and I shared a common taste for British mysteries.

Jan 12, 10:10pm Top

Hi, Paul. Sorry about the asthma. I haven't had to use the nebulizer for a year now. Hope you recover soon.

>146 PaulCranswick: It is sad to see people leave. I understand the need to find the right (and safe) niche and I still wish them lots of books!

Happy weekend. :)

Jan 13, 9:27am Top

Hi Paul!

Just a quick hello and hope your asthma is under control. My sister had adult-onset asthma for a while in her 40s and early 50s - came from nowhere, went back to nowhere fortunately - same with my mom as I was reminded by my sister the other day.

Jan 13, 9:38am Top

>158 rretzler: Thanks Robin. I did some window shopping in the bookstore just now which is an antidote to pretty much everything!

>159 Berly: Kimmers, our friends often do come back too - look at Bonnie this year back to improve the quality of reviews.

>160 karenmarie: Today was the best since I have been back, Karen. Hopefully I am on the road to clearer tubes!

Jan 13, 9:46am Top

>1 PaulCranswick: Hani really has a gift. Her photos are stunning!

Jan 13, 10:28am Top

>157 PaulCranswick:

Chatterbox has the direct LA Review of Books link up on her site.

When you have time, you and your architect friend may also enjoy my review

Jan 13, 2:24pm Top

Hey there Paul, hoping heath and happiness are waxing in your quarters.

Jan 13, 2:56pm Top

>162 Whisper1: Thanks Linda. Funnily enough she hasn't taken any for a few days!

>163 m.belljackson: My pal Johann has just flown in back from Bangladesh - certainly nothing to do with jazz that trip. Will go and check out the review. xx

>163 m.belljackson: Thanks RD. I am still a little bit under the weather but slightly better than the last days - at least I am not having daily nebuliser treatment on my asthma now. Hope to feel up to getting round the threads in the morning (later morning anyways!).

Jan 13, 3:00pm Top

Hope you feel better soon, Paul!

Jan 13, 3:30pm Top

>166 banjo123: Thanks Rhonda. I am certainly chugging along at less than half pace in the group at the moment.

Jan 13, 3:41pm Top

Hi Paul, sorry to read that you are suffering with Asthma mate, I also suffer but it seems to be the spring with me and Rape Seed fields are my trigger. Take things steady mate and make sure you are fully well and don't exert yourself too much. We send love and hugs from both of us.

Jan 13, 4:40pm Top

Do Hope you are listening to that body of yours & slowing down a tad while it gets itself back to normal .... (I know better than to think you will slow down permanently ....)

Jan 13, 6:00pm Top

Yuck. Spring's my hard-to-breathe season. Sorry you're having issues.

Jan 13, 7:30pm Top

>167 PaulCranswick:

I read that asthma increases in planes and around airports.

Jan 13, 8:42pm Top

Are you feeling better Paul? Will has asthma and copd. I know how terrible breathing issues can be. Like many in his age bracket, he smoked. He now wishes he never picked up the first one. But, in his defense, he raised three children, ages 2, 5, 7 when his wife left for a more adventurous life. He used smoking as a stress breaker.

Jan 13, 10:52pm Top

>168 johnsimpson: Thanks John. My problems are dust motes and cold weather. The change back to Malaysia will eventually help me but it also causes something of a shock to my system.

>169 roundballnz: I am sort of (a little painfully) drawing my breath, Alex. Also again sorting out books and the dust disturbed from doing so hasn't helped me too much. Sore eyes and dust mote borne asthma are the result.

Jan 13, 10:54pm Top

>170 drneutron: Thanks Jim. A bit better today after a good six hours sleep (almost unprecedented for me). I am sure that I'll get round the threads a bit today.

>171 m.belljackson: I think anywhere and everywhere where ones environment markedly changes, Marianne, will bring on something like that if it already has some propensity.

Jan 13, 10:56pm Top

>172 Whisper1: Thank heaven that smoking is not one of my "things". My mum always smoked and she now regrets it given her minimal lung function. With my asthma it would probably have been deadly. Hani in fact smokes a little but usually and for reasons I think both of us don't comprehend that smoking is largely confined to the toilet!

Lovely to see you, Linda. xx

Edited: Jan 13, 11:12pm Top

Book Read #3

Girl With Green Eyes by Edna O'Brien

Book No. 2 in the Country Girls Trilogy
Date of Publication : 1962
Pages : 254
Irish Author Challenge
1001 Books First Edition 288/1001

Usually follow-ups are a disappointment. This, though, is Edna O'Brien and no disappointment ensues.

I would hazard that, if anything, it is a superior novel to its more lauded predecessor in that the plot line is more pronounced and the characters already more familiar and well drawn.

Kate is still in Dublin getting over Mr. Gentleman when she falls head over heels with a married film director, Eugene. The author then dissects in a manner often tragic but more usually comic the responses and restraints of family and society to her match. There are scenes where the hard drinking father turns up to bring his daughter home which are so wonderful that you can almost smell the manure on the boots.

Really enjoyed this one.


Edited: Jan 13, 11:29pm Top


Hillbilly Elegy by J.D. Vance

Date of Publication : 2016
Pages : 257
Around the World in 80 Books : #3 U.S.A.

This is a fascinating and well written account of growing up in and ultimately striving to escape from impoverished and abusive "white trash" beginnings.

The early parts of the book are really good and the portrayals of Mamaw and Papaw (his maternal grandparents) and their huge influence on his upbringing are worth the read alone.

Where this falls down a little is that it isn't what is written on the box. It is not an elegy to the hillbilly community that he proclaims it to be at stages in the writing. He declares himself proud of his antecedents and yet can be quite vitriolic about them and his desperation to be free of their restraints pronounces no great affection for the hillbilly life (if there is still such a thing).

I also found his criticisms of his mother a tad overboard and self-serving and a little lacking in the loyalty he states is so endemic to "his" community. The problem of the poverty of working class America - be it white, black, hispanic or other is a genuine one and rather paradoxically helped propel the wrong man into the White House. That said Vance's prescriptions here are muddled beyond a lauding of the American Dream and the need to work harder, avoid drugs and alcohol and all will be fine - you can do the same as him.

I suppose as a socialist, I see the need for the state to intervene to ensure the provision of work to its society and a safety net for those too old or infirm or disabled to manage without collective help. I also believe in hard work and I have pretty hard on occasions myself and believe that the "Working Class" should in fact be put to work. As a prescription though it is too simplistic to resolve all a nations ills.

Critique of his politics aside, this is a powerful piece of writing about a community that seems to be evolving by expanding rather than otherwise and I am glad I read it.


Edited: Jan 14, 12:03am Top



Uncle Sam - from sea to shining sea. The American Dream. Johnny Cash, the Kennedy clan, Al Capone, the Postie-with-the-Mostie, Eleanor Roosevelt and Obama - so much that I treasure and strive towards is captured by the notion of what is "America". Bobby Dylan and Paul Simon - Stienbeck and Haruf and McCarthy and Matt Scudder.


POPULATION : 325,365,189

AREA : 3,796,742 sq miles

Edited: Jan 13, 11:46pm Top




Mount Rushmore

There are so many of course but this surely is a sign of the mark man has made on the continent.

Edited: Jan 13, 11:50pm Top




Amanda Seyfried

I'll admit to a huge passion for this lady.

Edited: Jan 14, 12:00am Top




Patrick Dempsey

Ok I had no idea who to choose and I let Hani pick this one. Go figure I don't look anything like the guy. Still she doesn't look like Ms. Seyfried either!

Edited: Jan 14, 12:03am Top




The Hamburger

I am no food snob. Where would many of us be without this?!

Jan 14, 1:26am Top

>176 PaulCranswick: A higher rating than the first one, and it's a 1001... I might give it a try when I'm done with my second ROOTs book.

Jan 14, 2:06am Top

>183 Deern: I really did enjoy it, Nathalie and now I am well into the third instalment.

Jan 14, 5:22am Top

I always get hungry when I come to your thread.... I wonder why. :-)

Happy Sunday, Paul!

Jan 14, 7:14am Top

Good review of Hillbilly Elegy. I've been seeing that one around the threads a bit and on book blogs.

Jan 14, 7:38am Top

>185 PersephonesLibrary: They do look appetising those burgers don't they?

>186 ChelleBearss: I think that it probably appeals to a particular American demographic, Chelle. I liked much of it but was a little uncomfortable with swathes of it.

Jan 14, 7:50am Top

Happy Sunday, Paul. Glad you enjoyed Hillbilly Elegy. That was a surprise hit, in the states. It really resonated, with people curious about the outcome of our past election.

Hope you had a good weekend.

>146 PaulCranswick: Well, that is sad. Hope they come back around. We did have a few come back, after a long absence, so there is always a chance.

Jan 14, 8:14am Top

>188 msf59: I had mixed feelings about it actually Mark. Some of it made me wince to be honest it was so visceral about his mum.

You may not have noticed my write up on the USA in my Around the World in 80 Books bit, but you get yourself a mention buddy.

Jan 14, 8:22am Top

Hi Paul. Hope you are doing better. My own asthma can easily be triggered by extreme cold weather, which we are immersed in yet again at the moment. Perfect excuse to stay in and read, so I am obeying this conventional wisdom! -15C here at the moment

Jan 14, 8:24am Top


Lupercal by Ted Hughes

Date of Publication : 1960
Pages : 63

If his debut collection The Hawk in the Rain introduced a major new poetic talent, this his sophomore outing took him to the very forefront of verse in his day. This contains some of Hughes' most famous and anthologised poems and he sings to us of the natural world - sometimes of how that natural world is impinged upon cruelly by man - of pigs and pikes and otters and cats and hawks.

I must admit I find the hell and brimstone love reflection on his late wife Birthday Letters to be his last and greatest effort but if only one Hughes collection should be retained by the populace it is this one.

This is the famous poem Hawk Roosting

I sit in the top of the wood, my eyes closed.
Inaction, no falsifying dream
Between my hooked head and hooked feet:
Or in sleep rehearse perfect kills and eat.

The convenience of the high trees!
The air's buoyancy and the sun's ray
Are of advantage to me;
And the earth's face upward for my inspection.

My feet are locked upon the rough bark.
It took the whole of Creation
To produce my foot, my each feather:
Now I hold Creation in my foot

Or fly up, and revolve it all slowly -
I kill where I please because it is all mine.
There is no sophistry in my body:
My manners are tearing off heads -

The allotment of death.
For the one path of my flight is direct
Through the bones of the living.
No arguments assert my right:

The sun is behind me.
Nothing has changed since I began.
My eye has permitted no change.
I am going to keep things like this.


Jan 14, 8:25am Top

>190 jessibud2: Heavens my tubes would be shut fast at -15 Shelley. Stay warm my dear and keep reading as you intend. xx

Jan 14, 10:01am Top

Mmmm, burgers... get rid of pickle and add bacon. Now that’s a burger! 😀

Jan 14, 10:09am Top

>193 drneutron: Keep the pickle, pile on the bacon, and slather the bun with mayo...then melt cheese (sharp cheddar for my taste) over the proceedings and stand back lest my flying elbows and snapping teeth inflict permanent and grievous harm to your outlying bits.

Hillbilly Elegy is an angry man's mea exculpa.

I love Edna O'Brien's beautiful, balanced stilettos. I mean books.

Jan 14, 10:35am Top

Happy Sunday, Paul!

*grabs cheeseburger on her way out*

Jan 14, 10:37am Top

Stay well, Paul.

My, you are reading up a storm! Good start to 2018.

Jan 14, 11:17am Top

>193 drneutron: I am not a pickle fan either with burgers but they look nice.

>194 richardderus: Why Richard we would probably need a booth the size of Minneapolis if we ever get to share burgers.

Ms. O'Brien is one of the good ones.

Jan 14, 11:18am Top

>195 scaifea: You are always welcome, Amber. Get one for Charlie too.

>196 BLBera: I am enjoying my reading at the moment, Beth. xx

Jan 14, 12:42pm Top

>177 PaulCranswick:

He also fails to show how working harder and avoiding drugs and alcohol can bring the American Dream closer
to those who are automatically dismissed and hated for the color of their skin, sexual orientation, immigration status...

Guess his solutions work best for those who believe in The Shithole Heard Round The World.

Jan 14, 12:46pm Top

>179 PaulCranswick:

And half of these guys were slave holders, non?

>181 PaulCranswick:

A lot healthier, eh?

Jan 14, 3:20pm Top

>199 m.belljackson: Yes that was basically his prescription. Work hard and everything will be hunk dory.

>200 m.belljackson: And Jefferson wanted to put off the debate on slavery to future generations! Convenient no?

Jan 14, 8:40pm Top

>182 PaulCranswick: Mmm, hamburgers, haven't had one of those in years. I used to eat them for breakfast in my youth. Hope your asthma is behaving itself, Paul.

Jan 14, 9:50pm Top

>202 Familyhistorian: Thanks Meg. I am a little better but not sleeping at all well.

Jan 14, 10:44pm Top

>177 PaulCranswick: aaaah, you have read it! I have it on my bedside table (the nearest things get to being read by me without actually being read).

>178 PaulCranswick: And your Postie-with-the-Mostie would be Mark, right? ;) Of course it is!!!

Jan 14, 11:21pm Top

>203 PaulCranswick: The healing properties of sleep would help, Paul. Hopefully you get acclimatized soon.

Jan 15, 4:28am Top

Just dropping in another hope that you are feeling more chipper.

In the forest is rather good by the way - rather weird, but rather good.

Jan 15, 7:33am Top

I'm glad to hear that you're feeling better, Paul. Boo hiss on not sleeping well. I hope that turns around soon.

Jan 15, 7:52am Top

>191 PaulCranswick: Thanks for posting that one Paul! I like it.

Hope your sleep improves.

Jan 15, 8:43am Top

>204 LovingLit: Lovely to see you dear Megan.

The Postie-with-the-Mostie is Mark - another All-American hero.

>205 Familyhistorian: You are right, Meg. I wish my sleeping habits were different.

Edited: Jan 15, 8:52am Top

>206 BekkaJo: Slowly but surely, Bekka. Slowly anyway.

I remember finding In the Forest a tough read, but a good one.

>207 karenmarie: I reckon I'll sleep ok tonight, Karen and hopefully then I can get back into the groove around the threads.

Jan 15, 8:53am Top

>208 EllaTim: It is a well known one of his, Ella. Not my favourite in the collection as he wrote one about otters which is really very good and another about a slaughtered pig which is immensely powerful.

These are the first four verses of AN OTTER

Underwater eyes, an eel's
Oil of water body, neither fish nor beast is the otter:
Four-legged yet water-gifted, to outfish fish;
With webbed feet and long ruddering tail
And a round head like an old tomcat.

Brings the legend of himself
From before wars or burials, in spite of hounds and vermin-poles;
Does not take root like the badger. Wanders, cries;
Gallops along land he no longer belongs to;
Re-enters the water by melting.

Of neither water nor land. Seeking
Some world lost when first he dived, that he cannot come at since,
Takes his changed body into the holes of lakes;
As if blind, cleaves the stream's push till he licks
The pebbles of the source; from sea

To sea crosses in three nights
Like a king in hiding. Crying to the old shape of the starlit land,
Over sunken farms where the bats go round,
Without answer. Till light and birdsong come
Walloping up roads with the milk wagon.

Jan 15, 8:58am Top

Hoping that your week is off to a good start, Paul. I am sorry to hear that you are dealing with asthma and that your sleeping is less than desired. My sleeping is often out of whack, too, but no asthma to worry about, thank goodness. Hoping that you are feeling much better very soon.

Jan 15, 12:27pm Top

>211 PaulCranswick:

Long lingering image of the changling otter "walloping up roads with the milk wagon..."

Jan 15, 3:36pm Top

Hi Paul, what a contrasting couple of days, first up we beat the Aussies in the first ODI with Jason Roy hitting a magnificent 180 to get the highest ODI score by and English player and then today the police final decide to charge Stokes with affray. What the hell have the police and CPS been doing for four months to come up with an affray charge, it is laughable and this could have been done at least two months ago and then the report said that depending on what happens, the ECB will look at the situation and decide if he is to be punished by them. At this rate Stokes might not appear in an England shirt until next winter.

Hope you had a good Monday mate and wish you well for the rest of the week.

Jan 15, 4:50pm Top

Quickly popping by. You dishes for USA are all good. Hani picked well.

I am 10 years old here today.

Jan 15, 6:34pm Top

>212 Crazymamie: Not a bad start anyway Mamie. It is Belle's birthday today (15th January - it is the 16th already here in Malaysia) so I spent a good while on the phone to her trying to make conversation (not her forte).

>213 m.belljackson: I think it a really great poem as are his poems about Pikes and Pigs in the same collection.

Jan 15, 6:37pm Top

>214 johnsimpson: Personally John I believe that the ECB should ignore it on the basis of innocent until proven guilty. We badly needed him in Australia and he may have been the difference between a 2-1 loss and a 4-0 loss.

>215 BBGirl55: Wow double figures already Bryony - congratulations and jubilations!

Jan 15, 6:41pm Top

My youngest daughter Karyn Ysabelle Amylea (Belle) is fourteen today LT time.
Missing my girls today. Here she is with big sister (actually smaller already than her sibling seven years younger) in a rare moment of smiles. Belle is an earnest, serious and very mature young lady and I love her to bit. Happy birthday sweetheart.

Jan 15, 8:06pm Top

Stopping by to wish you well. Happy birthday to your daughter!

Hope you are feeling better.

I struggled with Hillbilly Elegy for some of the reasons you did: he seems to be ambivalent about his family and community, praising and then condemning them. As others have suggested, he seems to simplify a complicated historical situation.

Jan 15, 8:32pm Top

>219 witchyrichy: Thanks Karen.

Yes, I was a bit ambivalent towards Hillbilly Elegy.

Jan 15, 8:52pm Top

Happy birthday to Belle!

I have avoided reading Hillbilly Elegy; suspecting I would react about like you did. I may still read it, but you haven't moved it up in the reading list.

Jan 15, 9:08pm Top

Happy birthday to Belle, Paul. When is the next family reunion? Is she settled into school there already?

Hope you are feeling better!

Jan 15, 9:10pm Top

Happy birthday to Belle and I hope her Dad is feeling better.

Jan 15, 10:55pm Top

>221 banjo123: Thanks Rhonda. The book didn't blow me away as much as I had hoped it would to be honest. I thought the introductory chapter was excellent but he grated on my nerves as the thing progressed and I was disappointed to see that he has virtually just left law college and his experiences thereafter cannot therefore be so fully formed.

>222 jessibud2: Shelley, they will be back in early February.
I am almost fully recovered and had a half-decent sleep last night to boot.

>223 Familyhistorian: Thanks Meg. I am doing good of a sudden. xx

Jan 16, 4:03am Top

Happy birthday Belle! There seem to be so many serious pics of her - it's lovely to see her smiling when she's with her big sister :)

Edited: Jan 16, 6:14am Top

Happy Birthday to Belle! She shares a birthday with my mom and also my first cousin. January is very good month! :-) Fourteen still seems so young to this old grandma to be! Enjoy Belle while she is young! I had lovely visit with my younger son over the weekend. He is the one that expecting a daughter in March of 2018. It was nice to have just the two of us chatting about the baby and how is feeling about everything. His wife is from Hong Kong, and she will be following the Chinese Tradition of ' sitting the month" , in which Serenade's mom will go stay for 30 days with my son , wife and their baby. I was feeling a wee bit on the outside of it all, but chatting with my son helps me understand the custom much better and just his excitement and anxiety about the new baby is fascinating for this "old grandma to be". March 13th is the due date, so not too long now .

Jan 16, 6:47am Top

Happy Birthday to Belle! She shares a birthday with my nephew Ryan, who turned 37 yesterday (yeesh. where does the time go?)

That's a sweet picture of her smiling. I hope that she and her sister stay close as the years go by - I had a few rough patches with my sister but we're very close now and I'm grateful for it.

Jan 16, 8:01am Top

Adding my belated "Happy Birthday to Belle"! :)
So another 3 weeks? Are Hani and Belle still travelling around or are they with your family now?

>182 PaulCranswick: I had a bread-free soy burger for lunch (really yummy brand, tastes exactly like a German "Frikadelle"), but I could have some of those fries as well, they look great. And I usually don't even like fries

>191 PaulCranswick: It's ages since I read this poem, I love it! My head is still not ready for serious poetry reading, I should get back to the "one poem per day" approach.

Jan 16, 11:28am Top

Love the photo of the girls. A belated Happy Birthday to Belle! I bet you were missing not getting to see her on the actual day.

Jan 16, 11:55am Top

Happy birthday serious young Belle.

Jan 16, 11:56am Top

Happy Belated Birthday to Belle! Hope you are continuing to feel better.

Jan 16, 12:06pm Top

Fourteen! Ye gawds. I'm utterly unnerved by the speed at which time is passing.

Jan 16, 3:19pm Top

Belated happy birthday to Belle.
Your youngest is 14 already, time flies!!

Jan 16, 6:48pm Top

>225 BekkaJo: Thanks Bekka. You are right she is a serious type! In one of my whatsApp messages to her I asked "what my birthday girl is doing for her birthday?" She replied; "I'm gonna take a bath." mmm.

>226 vancouverdeb: There are some fascinating familial customs in Asia, Deb. Especially those surrounding expectant and just delivered mums. I am sure that the excitement is building towards the March date.

Jan 16, 6:52pm Top

>227 karenmarie: She is actually closer to her brother, Karen, but of course he is here in Malaysia with his dad. They do get along fine, I guess, but the two girls are so different in personality that it is almost inexplicable that they both came from Hani and I.

>228 Deern: Thanks Nathalie. They are spending some quiet time in Yorkshire at the moment but not at my Mums. Hani will go to London (Ealing actually) later in the week and stay with her friend there for a few days.

I had a burger yesterday but not one I could have shared with you. xx

A poem a day is an antidote to many ills!

Jan 16, 6:55pm Top

>229 Crazymamie: I did of course miss not seeing her on her birthday, Mamie and I am pretty sure that it is the first time. It was fun though calling at midnight my time here and wishing her happy birthday although she still had seven hours to go in the UK and then doing so again seven hours later!

>230 Caroline_McElwee: Thanks Caroline. She is by far the most serious person I know!

>231 SuziQoregon: I woke up with a few aches and pains and an itchy throat but I think that was more to do with the ageing process than any external bug! Lovely to see you so active this year so far, Juli. xx

Jan 16, 6:57pm Top

>232 richardderus: I know RD - next minute we will be old farts. Oh wait a minute...........

>233 FAMeulstee: It isn't fair Anita! Time was not meant to move this hastily forward.

Jan 17, 12:40am Top

>218 PaulCranswick: Happy belated birthday to Belle. Very beautiful daughters!

>177 PaulCranswick: I have not decided whether to read Hillbilly Elegy or not. Middletown, OH where Vance grew up is about 100 miles from me, and we drive through occasionally. I can only hope in the book when he talks about his Appalachian upbringing, he is speaking of his Kentucky roots and NOT Middletown, which is not in the least bit "hillbillyish." That is a bit of a disconnect for me, which already makes me feel a little disinclined to read it. Apparently, Vance is now being considered as a candidate for the US Senate from Ohio, so I guess I need to get to know a little more about him.

Jan 17, 2:03am Top

Hi Paul! Glad the sleep is back on track. Belated birthday wishes to Belle. : )

Jan 17, 3:14am Top

>238 rretzler: Well he does sort of equate Jackson, Kentucky and Middletown, Ohio as being somewhat peas in a pod because of the Hillbillies who settled in the latter because of the work there - largely at the steelworks.

I am proud of the girls, Robin!

>239 Berly: Thanks Kimmers. I am sleeping a little better,

Edited: Jan 17, 3:36am Top


Girls in their Married Bliss by Edna O'Brien

Date of Publication : 1964 - new epilogue 1987
Pages : 199
Irish Author Challenge

Shall we say that there is a touch of irony in the title.

Unlike the first two books of the trilogy this one is told mainly from the point of view of Kate's friend Baba and the action moves onto London.

The two ladies are now married and their experiences are not exactly blissful. Given the change of narrator the tone of the piece does change somewhat and the action is more bawdy and there is certainly more high comedy in this instalment than the other two. In particular there is a love scene between Baba and something of an itinerant drummer that is quite frankly priceless. The language is also more explicit perhaps as the swinging sixties impacted the author along with her newly found renown.

Another excellent tragi-comedic novel which perhaps doesn't quite match the first two books but is still more than worth a second or third glance.


Edited: Jan 17, 6:21am Top

>238 rretzler: Wait, that book is set in Middletown, OH?! Weird - Tomm's brother lives there! Huh.

Hello, Paul!

Jan 17, 7:12am Top

Happy new thread, Paul. I'm so far behind, I've decided to skip straight to the end. Happy birthday to Belle. (I sneaked a peek.)

Jan 17, 10:02am Top

Hope Belle had a great birthday. Sorry you couldn't be with her and all your girls

Jan 17, 11:02am Top

Girls in their Married Bliss annoyed me. Oh, unhappy are you? How unique.

Jan 17, 11:43am Top

>242 scaifea: It is at least in part, Amber, yes.

>243 humouress: Thanks Nina. I am struggling to keep up too.

Jan 17, 11:45am Top

>244 ChelleBearss: Apparently she stayed in the house and watched Japanese films as is her wont, Chelle. I don't think she would be too happy to be too happy!

>245 richardderus: I agree it wasn't on a par quite with the first two but it was more than saved for me by some of the black comedy in it, RD. The builder husband was great and some of the sex scenes hilarious. The added on epilogue was annoying though.

Jan 17, 12:10pm Top

Very sad to see that Dolores O'Riordan leader of the rock group The Cranberries has passed away at the young age of 46. I remember seeing her perform in the small Kerry town of Tralee many moons ago and before the group were famous. Sad.

Jan 17, 12:12pm Top

>247 PaulCranswick: I think it was the PoV shift to Baba that played out badly for me. I despised her. Seeing the world from her PoV was thoroughly unpleasant. O'Brien was O'Brien all the way through, it's true, with her scathing, perfect characterizations.

>248 PaulCranswick: Isn't that sad.

Jan 17, 12:37pm Top

>249 richardderus: She was a lovely and very talented woman. Quite a troubled one. She made quite an impression on my late teen sensibilities in that small joint in Tralee and I do recall she was a bit fond of the black stuff.

Jan 17, 2:11pm Top

>1 PaulCranswick: North Yorkshire looks so beautiful. Hope you are doing OK today, Paul. Counting the days 'til the ladies return, I know.

Jan 17, 6:22pm Top

>251 laytonwoman3rd: Have developed a dreadful cough overnight, Linda, just as I was starting to feel Ok. I am counting down the days.

Jan 17, 6:44pm Top

>252 PaulCranswick: Sorry you are feeling worse again, Paul, I hope the cough leves you soon!

Jan 17, 6:49pm Top

>253 FAMeulstee: Kyran is also under the weather, Anita, so we are both feeling a little sorry for ourselves at the moment.

Jan 17, 6:54pm Top

>254 PaulCranswick: That is reason to feel sorry for yourselves, Paul, and reason to long for ladies return.

Jan 17, 7:33pm Top

>255 FAMeulstee: I must chin up and get my work done and time will fly!

Jan 17, 11:11pm Top

Poor Paul and Kyran. This is not a fun sickness. Hopefully it leaves your taste buds alone.

Jan 18, 2:59am Top

>257 Familyhistorian: It would have to be a quite considerable bug to impact my taste buds, Meg!

Jan 18, 12:23pm Top

Happy Belated Birthday to Belle! My granddaughter Audrey will be 14 in April. She is also an old soul and addicted to books like her Gran!

You have my sympathy on the sleeping woes, Paul. My nighttime cough kicks in with a vengeance just as I am drifting off to Dreamland. I hope we both feel better soon.

Jan 18, 1:32pm Top

Hope you start feeling better quickly, Paul.

Jan 18, 2:37pm Top

Now both you and Kyran are unwell? This is unacceptable.

Jan 18, 6:16pm Top

>259 Donna828: I will second that, Donna. It is bugging me somewhat at the moment, I'll admit.

>260 thornton37814: I hope so too, Lori. The coughing and spluttering is a pain - literally!

>261 SuziQoregon: I wish there were fair play bugs, Juli, as they might then just leave me alone for a while.

Jan 18, 6:51pm Top

Hi Paul - hope you & Kyran are in the recovery zone now.

Jan 18, 6:56pm Top

>263 avatiakh: I think Kyran is doing a little bit better than I am, Kerry. I am better than yesterday anyway - that I can say.

Jan 18, 7:08pm Top

Paul--Enough of this nonsense! Feel better ASAP (and Kyran, too).

Jan 18, 7:39pm Top

>265 Berly: I would be more than happy to do your bidding, Kerry!

Jan 18, 7:57pm Top

>266 PaulCranswick: If you are going to obey me, get my name right! LOL Repeat after me, "Yes, Miss Kim!"

Jan 18, 8:56pm Top

>258 PaulCranswick: I never thought that illness would affect my taste buds, either Paul, but it did. Not fun. I hope you get over the bug quickly.

Jan 19, 3:08am Top

Hugs and books.

Jan 19, 7:29am Top

Sorry you and Kyran are feeling unwell, Paul. I hope you both are feeling 100% soon. I am sure you will be delighted to have Hani and Belle back home. Not long now! Best to you.

Jan 19, 8:40am Top

Hi, Paul! Sorry to hear you and Kyran are under the weather. Get well soon!

Jan 19, 8:44am Top

Hope improved health grabs you soon, mate, and Kyran, too.

Jan 19, 9:00am Top

Hi Paul! I hope you and Kyran are well soon.

Jan 19, 11:18am Top

>267 Berly: Hahaha at least you can tell then that I really have been sick!

>268 Familyhistorian: Took a cupful of cough mixture today in boiling water and it does seem to have helped. I hope that the weekend will find me in good form, Meg.

Jan 19, 11:20am Top

>269 BekkaJo: That is a wonderful combination, Bekka. xx

>270 vancouverdeb: Thanks Deb. Kyran at least seems to be almost back to himself. I am close to it too, I think. The ladies are snowed in.

Jan 19, 11:21am Top

>271 harrygbutler: Thank you Harry. I will do my utmost!

>272 jnwelch: Cheers Joe. Kyran has beaten me to rude health.

>273 karenmarie: Thanks Karen. xx

Jan 19, 12:24pm Top

Hopefully, you both have turned the corner, Paul! Finally!

Jan 19, 3:50pm Top

There’s a lot of the lurgy about Paul. Hope you get shot of it soon.

Jan 19, 3:58pm Top

cupful of cough mixture today in boiling water
Say what?! That sounds positively awful. What about a big mug of honey & lemon with tea? Or bottle of tonic chap gajah? That's sure to get you on your feet in seconds.

Jan 19, 4:03pm Top

Sorry to see that you and Kyran are under the weather and that Hani is literally under the weather (snowed in! Gross!)
Is Hani enjoying her snowy winter?

Jan 19, 4:53pm Top

Oh dear. Sorry to hear the Cranswicks are going through the wars. Hot toddy? Whisky, sugar & hot water.

Jan 19, 4:56pm Top

Hi Paul, sorry to hear both you and Kyran have been under the weather and hope you are both back to full fitness mate. Not be long before Hani and Belle will be back with you.

Another ODI win for England, hope the confidence is coming back to the boys and they continue the good form.

Jan 19, 6:15pm Top

>277 jessibud2: I am determined to be well this weekend, Shelley!

>278 Caroline_McElwee: I reckon that with some good reading I will be able to forget about a few sniffles and discomforts. xx

Jan 19, 6:18pm Top

>279 cameling: It was that thick black Chinese cough medicine available locally, Caro. It was unpalatable but quite effective.

>280 ChelleBearss: I think that Hani has enjoyed herself in the UK but I know that she has found driving hazardous the last days. She is staying near Bradford which is quite hilly and this makes for some interesting escapades as stopping in the snow and ice is an art form.

Jan 19, 6:20pm Top

>281 humouress: Hot toddy does sound enticing, Nina. I am quite a bit better this morning after a decent sleep.

>282 johnsimpson: Of course John the two teams ODI and Test are quite different and whilst the former are formidable the latter have been pathetic. It is great to be winning again anyhow!

Jan 19, 7:29pm Top

Just swinging by to wish you a wonderful Weekend!

Jan 19, 7:38pm Top

Thank you Bryony. I am up to a swing across the threads myself this weekend, I think. xx

Jan 19, 7:43pm Top

I'm... you are sitting down right? about to start a second thread.

Jan 19, 8:16pm Top

>281 humouress: What Nina said.

Jan 19, 10:00pm Top

>288 BBGirl55: You and me both kidda!

>289 richardderus: I will cut straight to the whisky - got meself some Glenmorangie single malt Duty Free and I reckon it will do me some good and if it doesn't i won't rightly care.

Jan 19, 10:01pm Top

Jan 20, 8:16am Top


Jan 20, 5:02pm Top

>292 drneutron: Would gladly share it with you Jim.

Jan 20, 9:01pm Top

>291 PaulCranswick: Oh, my---19 year old stuff. If that doesn't cure you...

Jan 20, 10:01pm Top

>294 laytonwoman3rd: Well if it doesn't, Linda, I won't care overly!

This topic was continued by Paul C's 2018 Part 3.

Group: 75 Books Challenge for 2018

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