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Member: Caroline_McElwee

CollectionsDVDs (238), Read 2018 (my own collection) (67), Read 2017 (my own collection) (82), Read 2016 (my own collection) (65), Your library (8,160), Read 2015 (my own collection) (57), Kindle Library (since Aug 2014 - I have over 1000 others!) (409), Read 2014 (my own collection) (69), College of One (39), 50 books I'd keep if I could have no more (50), Read but no longer owned (or not read!) (267), 2009 - read (from my own library) (73), Thrice or more! (57), Read 2013 (from my own library) (67), Read (of my library) (1,534), Bloomsbury Group and Friends (121), Dutch Collection (128), Russia (118), Joyce Carol Oates Collection (47), Books I wouldn't want to live without (1,862), Useful self development tools (16), Publications (45), Recovered books (3), All collections (9,055)

Reviews129 reviews

TagsNovel (2,164), R (1,754), US (1,136), biography (909), UK (904), 2012 (896), 2014 (876), novel (862), autobiography (663), 2017 (501) — see all tags

MediaNot set (147), Book (8,665), Paper Book (7,589), Audiobook (13), Ebook (383), Video Recording (240), DVD (232), VHS (1), Blu-ray (6), Other (3), Map (2)

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About mePhotograph: (c) C J McElwee 2015

ROOT= read our own tomes (books owned for more than a year)

My 2018 reading thread starts here:

Currently reading

Austerlitz (W G Sebald) ROOT
Natives: Race and Class in the Ruins of Empire (Akala)

Create Space (Derek Draper)
Promise me, Dad (Joe Biden)

Will get back to
The River in the Sky (Clive James) (poetry) (*/09/18) (122/*)
Albion (Peter Ackroyd) (*/01/18) (449/*) ROOT
The Odyssey (Homer, translated by Emily Wilson) (*/02/18) (525/*)

With the End in Mind: Dying, Death and Wsdom in the Age of Denial (Katherine Mannix) (*/09/18) (352/*)
Bad Feminist (Roxanne Gay) (Essays)
Fascism: A Warning (Madeleine Albright) (*/08/18) (258/*)
Kintsugi (Tomás Navarro) (*/05/18) (270/*)
Behold, America: The History of America First and the American Dream (Sarah Churchwell) (*/06/18) (308/*)
Outliers (Malcolm Gladwell) (*/01/18) (320/*) ROOT


Why Write? (Philip Roth) (*/12/17) (404/*)
Blind Spot (Teju Cole) (*/07/17) (337/*)
Portraits (John Berger) (*/02/17) (502/*)ROOT

I'm always reading several books at a time, some get left aside for long periods and then are returned to.

by Jackie Morris

Read 2018

The Body in the Library (Agatha Christie) (LL) (02/01/18) (272/272) ***1/2
Sing Unburied, Sing (Jesmyn Ward) (Kindle)(10/12/17) (304/576) ****
Nemisis (Agatha Christie) (LL) (16/01/18) (240/784) ***1/2
A Pocket Full of Rye (Agatha Christie) (LL) (17/01/18) (206/990) ***
From the Heart (Susan Hill) (20/01/18) (211/1,201) ****
The Lost Words (Robert Macfarlane and Jackie Morris) (21/01/18) (126/1,327) *****
4.50 From Paddington (Agatha Christie)(LL) (22/01/18) (223/1,550) ***
The Woman in Blue (Elly Griffiths) (30/01/28) (358/1,908)
The 4 Pillar Plan (Dr Rangan Chatterjee) (03/02/18) (250/2,158) *****
In The a Darkroom (Susan Faludi) (09/02/18) (463/2,622) ****
Kenneth Clark: Life, Art, Civilisation (James Stourton) (18/02/18) (411/3,033) ****1/2
The Power of Now (Eckhart Tolle) (20/02/18) (192/3,220) ***1/2
Demian (Herman Hesse) (21/02/18) (144/3,364) ***
The River of Consciousness (Oliver Sacks) (28/02/18) (217/3,581) ****
Appointment in Arezzo: A Friendship with Muriel Spark (Alan Taylor) (02/03/18) (173/3,754) ****
No Time to Spare (Ursula K Le Guin) (06/03/18) (215/3,969) ****
New Collected Poems: Wendell Berry (07/03/18) (387/4,356) ****1/2
The Staircase Letters (Arthur Motyer/Elmer Gerwin/Carol Shields) (11/03/18) (152/4,508) ****
Packing my Library (Alberto Manguel) (15/03/18) (144/4,612) ****
The Beginning of Spring (Penelope Fitzgerald) (18/03/18) (246/4,858) ***
A Room of One's Own (Virginia Woolf) (reread) (20/03/18) (182/5,040) *****
Strangers (Anita Brookner) (LL) (21/03/18) (202/5,242) ***1/2
Anecdotal Evidence (Wendy Cope) (21/03/18) (66/5,308) ***1/2
The Little Book of Feminist Saints (Julia Pierpont) (27/03/18) (179/5,487) ***1/2
The Guernsey Literary. And Potato Peel Pie Society (Mary Ann Shaffer) (30/03/18) (243/5,730) (3rd reread) ****1/2
The Cemetery in Barnes (Gabriel Josipovici) (16/04/18) (101/5,832) ***1/2
A View of the Harbour (Elizabeth Taylor) (22/04/18) (299/6,131) (reread) ****1/2
If this is a man (Primo Levy) (25/04/18) (234/6,465) (reread) *****
The Newton Letter (John Banville) (26/04/18) (92/6,557) (reread) ****
White Houses (Amy Bloom) (29/04/18) (211/6,768) ****1/2
The Three Lives of Dylan Thomas (Hilly James) (29/04/18) (250/6,997) ****
The Salt Path (Raynor Winn) (06/05/18) (274/7,271) ****
Remarkable Creatures (Tracy Chevalier) (10/05/18) (350/7,621) (reread) ****
Wade in the Water (Tracey K Smith) (10/05/18) (72/7,693) (Poetry) ****
The Waves (Virginia Woolf) (19/05/18) (250/7,943) (reread) ****1/2
Meet Me at the Museum (Anne Youngson) (25/05/18) (200/8,143) ****
Free Woman (Lara Feigel) (28/05/18) (306/8,449) ****1/2
The Seven Sisters (Margaret Drabble) (07/06/18) (248/8,697) ****
Warlight (Michael Ondaatje) (12/06/18) (290/8,987) ****1/2
The Librarian (Salley Vickers) (18/06/18) (385/9,373) ***
Reading with Patrick (Michelle Kuo) (21/06/18) (301/9,674) ****
House of Names (Colm Tóibín) (24/06/18) (262/9,936) ****
Morning (Allan Jenkins) (* /*) ****
My Name is Lucy Barton (Elizabeth Strout) ****
Tom's Midnight Garden (Philippa *) ***1/2
Mark Rothko: ****
The Gentle Art of Swedish Death Cleaning (Margareta Magnusson) ***
100 Poems (Seamus Heaney) ****1/2
Nothing to Envy (Barbara Demick) (26/07/18) (294/*) ****
Conversations on Writing (Ursula K. Le Guin) (31/07/18) (140/*) ****1/2
The Overstory (Richard Powers) (05/08/18) (502/*) *****
Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine (Gail Honeyman) (12/08/18) (386/*) ***1/2
The Unpunished Vice: A Life of Reading (Edmund White) (15/08/18) (223/*) ***1/2
To The Lighthouse (Virginia Woolf) reread (21/08/18) (*/*) *****
The Lost Letters of William Woolf (Hellen Cullen) (23/08/18) (325/*)***1/2
The Corner that held Them (Sylvia Thownsend Warner) (30/08/18) (399/*) ***1/2
Take Nothing With You (Patrick Gale) (01/09/1828) (346/*) ****
Gloucester Crescent: Me, My Dad and Othrt Grown-ups (03/09/18) (333/*) ****1/2
The Perfect Summer (Juliet Nicholson) (13/09/18) (264/*) ****1/2
Call Them by Their True Names (Rebecca Solnit) (15/09/18) (185/*) ****1/2
Why I'm No Longer Talking to White People About Race (Reni Eddo-Lodge) (16/09/18) (224/*) *****
The Lighthousekeeper's Daughters (Jean Pendziwol) (20/09/18) (307/*)****1/2
Love is Blind (William Boyd) (25/09/18) (369/*) ****
The Dark Flood Rises (Margaret Drabble) (*/09/18) (*/*) ****
An Untouched House (WF Hermans) (02/10/18) (93/*) ***1/2
In My Mind's Eye: A Thought Diary (Jan Morris) (*/09/18) (320/*) ***
Melmoth (Sarah Perry) (13/10/18) (270/*) ****
The Carrying (Ada Limon) (poetry) (14/10/18) (*/*) *****
A Keeper (Graham Norton) (20/10/18) (20/10/18) ****
Brave New World (Aldous Huxley) (25/10/18) (197/*) ****
A Year of Reading Proust (Phylis Rose) ***1/2
Brief Answers To The Big Questions (Stephen Hawking) *****
To Kill The President (Sam Bourne aka Jonathan Freedland, political commentator on The Guardian) (408/*) (07/11/18)****
Mad, Bad, Dangerous to Know: The Fathers of Wilde, Yeats and Joyce (Colm Tóibín) (11/11/18) (174/*) ****
Spy of the First Person (Sam Shepard) (15/11/18) (*/*) ****
Becoming (Michelle Obama) (21/11/18) (426/*) ****
The Life of Rebecca Jones (Angharad Price) (23/11/18) 11/18) (160/*) ***1/2
The Husband's Secret (Liane Moriarty) (29/11/18) ***
What Truth Sounds Like (Michael Eric Dyson) (02/12/18) ****1/2

Total: 80

Pages: 9,936
Out of date


Best of 2017 (94 books read, 23,492 pages)


A Gentleman in Moscow (Amor Towles) ****1/2
The Golden Age (Joan London) ****1/2
Home Fire (Kamila Shamsie)****
Homegoing (Yaa Gyasi) *****


Utopia for Realists (Rutger Bregman) ****1/2
Just Mercy (Bryan Stevenson) ****1/2 ROOT
Plot 29 (Allan Jenkins) (03/05/17) ****1/2
Politics: Between the Exremes (Nick Clegg) ****1/2
The World-Ending Fire: The Essential Wendell Berry *****
Hope in the Dark (Rebecca Solnit) (Essays) *****
The Mother of all Questions (Rebecca Solnit) (Essays) *****
What Happened (Hillary Rodham Clinton) ****1/2
At the Existentialist Café (Sarah Bakewell) ****1/2 ROOT
This is the Story of a Happy Marriage (Ann Patchett) (Essays)) ****1/2
Out of the Wreckage (George Monbiot) ****1/2
Why Buddhism is True (Richard Wright) ****1/2


Say Something Back (Denise Riley) (Poetry) ****1/2 ROOT
Bone (Yrsa Daley-Ward) (Poetry) *****

Best of 2016 (of 69 books read (17,693 pages))


The Greater Journey: Americans in Paris (David McCullough) ****1/2
Gratitude (Oliver Sacks) *****
On the Move (Oliver Sacks) ****1/2
A House Full of Daughters (Juliet Nicholson) *****
The Lonely City (Olivia Laing) (Kindle) ****1/2
James Baldwin in Turkey (photographer: Sedat Pakay/ text various) *****
The Trip to the Echo Spring (Olivia Laing) ****1/2
Bowie/Collector (Various) *****
Unforbidden Pleasures (Adam Phillips) ****1/2


The Noise of Time (Julian Barnes) ****
1984 (George Orwell) (reread) ***** ROOT
The Whistling Season (Ivan Doig) AAC ****
The Red Chairs (Edna O'Brien) ****1/2
The Martian Chronicles (Ray Bradbury) ****1/2 ROOT
Life After Life (Kate Atkinson) ****1/2
A Country Road, A Tree (Jo Baker) (LL) ****1/2
The Underground Railroad (Colson Whitehead) ****1/2
Speak (Louisa Hall) ****
Golden Hill (Francis Spufford) (Kindle) ****


Loop of Jade (Sarah Howe) ****1/2 (poetry) – Winner of TS Eliot Prize

Top reads of 2015 (of 70 books, 15,042 pages)

Deep Lane (Mark Doty) (Poetry) *****


Plainsong (Kent Haruf) ****1/2
The Illuminations (Andrew O'Hagan) *****
Vanessa and her Sister (Priya Parmar) ****1/2
Go Set a Watchman (Harper Lee) ****1/2
Dear Thief (Samantha Harvey) ****1/2
Grief is the thing with Feathers (Max Porter) ****1/2
Our Souls at Night (Kent Haruf) ****


Being Mortal (Atul Gwande) *****
After Sebald (Ali Smith/Will Self/Robert MacFarlane et al) *****
The Future of the Past (Alexander Stille) ****1/2
Conversations with Frank Gehry (Barbara Isenberg) *****
The Nearest Thing to Life (James Wood) (Memoir Essays) ****1/2
Between the World and Me (Ta-Nahisi Coates) *****
M Train (Patti Smith) ****1/2
My Life on the Road (Gloria Steinem) ****1/2
Falling Upward (Richard Rohr) *****


What stood out in 2014 (Of 92 read)

The Hamlet (William Faulkner) (20/02/14 ****
Day (A L Kennedy) (02/03/14) ****1/2
Tinkers (Paul Harding) (16/03/14)****1/2
The Legacy of Elizabeth Pringle (Kirsty Wark) (05/04/14) ****
The Song of Solomon (Toni Morrison) (12/05/14) *****
The Lie (Helen Dunmore) (16/05/14) ****1/2
Virginia Woolf in Manhattan (Maggie Gee) (novel) (13/06/14) ****1/2
In the Light of What We Know (Zia Haider Rahman) (13/07/14) ****1/2
Suddenly, Love (Aharon Appelfeld) (03/08/14) (novel) ****1/2
Last Night at the Lobster (Stewart O'Nan) (14/09/14) ****1/2
Lila (Marilynne Robinson) (16/10/14) ****1/2
A Winter's Tale (William Shakespeare) (07/12/14) ****1/2
The Clothes on their Backs (Linda Grant) (22/06/14) ****


The Road to Middlemarch: My Life with George Eliot (Rebecca Mead) (21/03/14) ****
Life Lessons from Byron (Matthew Bevis) (08/04/14) ****1/2
I've lived in London for 86 1/2 years (Joseph Markovitch/Martin Usbourne) (26/04/14) ***** (memoir/photography)
Rumi: The Persian, the Sufi (A Reza Arasteh) (GL) (27/05/14) ****1/2
This Boy (Alan Johnson) (23/06/14) (autobiography) ****
Andrew Wyeth: A Spoken Self-Portrait (with Richard Meryman)(03/08/14) ****
Until Further Notice I Am Alive (Tom Lubbock) (Memoir) (10/08/14) *****
Great Works:50 Paintings Explored (Tom Lubbock) 15/08/14) *****
Passions Past and Present (Roy Strong) (Essays) (19/08/14) ****
Van Gogh at Work (Marije Vellekoop et al) (27/08/14) *****
Poetry Notebook 2006-2014 (Clive James) (24/10/14) ****
A Painters Progress: A Portrait of Lucian Freud (David Dawson) (07/11/12) ***** (memoir/photography/art)
Essays on the Self (Virginia Woolf) (30/11/14) *****
Update: Poems 2011-12 (Dennis O'Driscoll) (29/12/14) **** (poetry)

What stood out in 2013


Top 5

Orkney (Amy Sackville) ****1/2
Pnin (Vladimir Nabokov) ****1/2
Frances and Bernard (Carlene Bauer) ****1/2
The Goldfinch (Donna Tartt) (02/11/13) ****1/2
Toilers of the Sea (Victor Hugo) (07/04/13) ****1/2

Best of the rest

The Poetry Professor (Grace McCleen) ****
The Orchardist (Amanda Coplin) (novel) (Debut) ****
Americanah (Chimamanda Ngosi Adichie) ****
The Orchard (Drusilla Modjeska) ****1/2 (Australia)
Beowulf (Seamus Heaney trans) ****1/2
The Selfish Giant and other Stories (Oscar Wilde)*****


Top 5

Airmail: letters of Robert Bly and Tomas Tranströmer (27/07/13) *****
The Twilight of American Culture (Morris Berman) (NF) (05/01/13) ****
Straw Dogs (John Gray) ****1/2 [Essays]
William Morris (Fiona MacCarthy) ****1/2
Feral: Searching for Enchantment on the Frontiers of Rewilding (George Monbiat) ****

Best of the rest

The Letters of Leonard Woolf (ed Frederic Spotts) ****1/2
Living, Thinking, Looking (Siri Hustvedt) **** [Essays]
On Writing (A L Kennedy)) ****1/2
The Time by the Sea (Ronald Bythe) ****
This is it (Alan Watts) (Essays) ****
The Rings of Saturn (W G (Max) Sebald) *****
Virginia Woolf's Garden (Caroline Zoob/Caroline Arber: photographer) *****
At the Source (Gillian Clarke) [memoir/Wales/poetry/nature] ****

Special mention
Vincent Van Gogh sketchbooks ***** [Folio Society Facimillies]

What stood out in 2012:


Readings: Essays and Literary Entertainments (Michael Dirda)
Former People: The Last Days of the Russian Aristocracy (Douglas Smith)
The Missing Ink: The Lost Art of Handwritting (and why it matters) (Philip Hensher)
Mortality (Christopher Hitchens)
Collected Letters of Virginia Woolf: Vol 1
The Idle Traveller (Dan Kieran)
Listen to the Echoes: Interviews with Ray Bradbury (Sam Weller)
Earth Pilgrim (Satish Kumar)
Wildwood: A Journey through Trees (Roger Deakin)
Hockney: The Bigger Message (Martin Gayford)
Pilgrimage (Annie Leibovitz )


Train Dreams (Denis Johnson)(I read it a second time in the same year!)
Satantango (Laszlo Krasznahorkai)
The Cleaner of Chartres (Salley Vickers)
Home (Toni Morrison)
A trick I learned from dead men (Kitty Aldridge)
Rules of Civility (Amor Towles)
Fame is the Spur (Howard Spring)

Stood out in 2011:


Crossing to Safety (Wallace Stegner) (American)
Our Fathers (Andrew O'Hagan) (British)
Five Bells (Gail Jones) (Australian)
The Last Brother (Nathacha Appanah) (French- Mauritian)
Great House (Nicole Krauss) (American)
Sum (David Eagleman) (American)
The Farm Theotime (Henri Bosco) (French)
The Upright Piano Player (David Abbott) (British)
South Riding (Winifred Holtby) (British)
The Master and Margerita (Mikhail Bulgakov) (Russian)
Tender is the Night (F Scott Fitzgerald) - 5th read, and the writing and scope blew me away this time


The Blue Hour : A Portrait of Jean Rhys (Lilian Pizzichini)
My Reading Life (Pat Conroy)
How to Live - a life of Montaigne in one question and twenty attempts to answer it (Sarah Bakewell)
Zeitoun (Dave Eggers)
The Fountain (Don Cupitt)(Secular theology/philosophy)
Just Kids (Patti Smith)

Stood out in 2010

Of mutability (Jo Shapcot) [Poetry]
Dreams of Speaking (Gail Jones)(04/12/10) ****
The Book of Small Souls (Louis Couperus) quartet which includes: Small Souls/The Later Life/The Twilight of Souls/Dr Adriaan)
Nemesis (Philip Roth)
The Great Gatsby (F Scott Fitzgerald) [Re-Read 28th time!]
Virginia Woolf Diaries diaries Vols 1-5
Leslie Stephen (Noel Gilroy Annan)
Andrew Wyeth: A Secret Life (Richard Meryman)
The Idea of a University (John Henry Newman)
The Vicar of Wrexhill (Fanny Trollope)
After the Deluge (Vol 1&2) (Leonard Woolf)
Heat of the Day (Elizabeth Bowen
I Lock my door upon myself (Joyce Carol Oates) [Read twice this year]
Conversations 1970-2006 (with Joyce Carol Oates)
Trespass (Rose Tremain)
Pollard (Laura Beatty)
The Spectator Bird (Wallace Stegner)
Little Bird of Heaven (Joyce Carol Oates)
Their Eyes were watching God (Zora Neale Hurston) [Re-read]
An Equal Stillness (Francesca Kay)

I have joined the London Library and decided to start a catalogue to record the books I've loaned and to sometimes review them.

If you don't know about this lovely library you can find it here:

I have started a separate catalogue to list those books here:

Groups75 Books Challenge for 2015, 75 Books Challenge for 2016, 75 Books Challenge for 2017, 75 Books Challenge for 2018, All Writers Considered, Atwoodians, Bloomsbury Group and their friends, Club Read 2014, Club Read 2015, Club Read 2016show all groups

Favorite authorsDavid Abbott, Peter Ackroyd, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Karen Armstrong, Elizabeth von Arnim, Margaret Atwood, Paul Auster, James Baldwin, John Banville, Pat Barker, Simone de Beauvoir, Dirk Bogarde, Elizabeth Bowen, William Boyd, Ray Bradbury, Poppy Z. Brite, Richard Burton, A. S. Byatt, Lord Byron, Italo Calvino, Albert Camus, J. L. Carr, Anne Carson, Raymond Carver, Bruce Chatwin, Anton Chekhov, Louis Couperus, Michael Cunningham, Charles Dickens, Emily Dickinson, Joan Didion, Annie Dillard, Isak Dinesen, Fyodor Dostoevsky, Mark Doty, Carol Ann Duffy, Helen Dunmore, George Eliot, T. S. Eliot, Euripides, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Penelope Fitzgerald, Janet Frame, Northrop Frye, Tess Gallagher, Maggie Gee, André Gide, Victoria Glendinning, Graham Greene, Helene Hanff, Richard Holmes, Michael Holroyd, Janette Turner Hospital, Khaled Hosseini, Siri Hustvedt, Fergal Keane, John Keats, Dalai Lama XIV, Primo Levi, Penelope Lively, Mary S. Lovell, Bernard MacLaverty, Deirdre Madden, Osip Mandelstam, Henning Mankell, Sándor Márai, Philip Marsden, André Maurois, Ian McEwan, Patrick McGrath, Anne Michaels, Michel de Montaigne, Toni Morrison, Marcel Möring, Harry Mulisch, Pablo Neruda, John Henry Newman, Joyce Carol Oates, Andrew O'Hagan, Michael Ondaatje, John Pilger, Annie Proulx, Rainer Maria Rilke, Joseph Roth, Philip Roth, Jeffrey D. Sachs, Jonathan Sacks, Vita Sackville-West, Lorna Sage, May Sarton, Bernhard Schlink, Seneca, William Shakespeare, Percy Bysshe Shelley, Sam Shepard, Carol Shields, Anita Shreve, Marin Sorescu, John Steinbeck, Lytton Strachey, William Styron, Elizabeth Taylor, Lisa St. Aubin De Teran, Leo Tolstoy, Claire Tomalin, Rose Tremain, Jane Urquhart, Salley Vickers, Alice Walker, Oscar Wilde, Tennessee Williams, Lanford Wilson, Jeanette Winterson, Jan Wolkers, Leonard Woolf, Virginia Woolf (Shared favorites)


Favorite bookstoresLondon Review Bookshop

MembershipER. LibraryThing Early Reviewers/Member Giveaway


Account typepublic, lifetime

URLs /profile/Caroline_McElwee (profile)
/catalog/Caroline_McElwee (library)

Member sinceFeb 21, 2007

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