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Everybody's Shakespeare: Reflections Chiefly on Tragedies by Maynard Mack

Something Wholesale by Eric Newby

Losing My Virginity: The Autobiography by Sir Richard Branson

Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead by Sheryl Sandberg

Driving Home: An American Scrapbook by Jonathan Raban

Diary of a Country Parson, 1758-1802 by James Woodforde

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Member: Caroline_McElwee

CollectionsYour library (7,321), Read 2015 (my own collection) (50), Kindle Library (since Aug 2014 - I have over 1000 others!) (76), Read 2014 (my own collection) (68), College of One (39), 50 books I'd keep if I could have no more (50), Read but no longer owned (or not read!) (210), 2009 - read (from my own library) (72), Thrice or more! (57), Read 2013 (from my own library) (66), Read (of my library) (1,394), Bloomsbury Group and Friends (117), Dutch Collection (128), Russia (115), Joyce Carol Oates Collection (47), Books I wouldn't want to live without (1,861), Useful self development tools (15), Publications (45), All collections (7,602)

Reviews119 reviews

TagsNovel (2,055), R (1,613), US (1,007), UK (902), 2012 (896), 2014 (876), biography (829), novel (650), autobiography (569), 2013 (463) — see all tags

MediaNot set (109), Book (7,496), Paper Book (6,720), Audiobook (13), Ebook (86), Other (3), Map (2)

Cloudstag cloud, author cloud, tag mirror

About mePhotograph: (c) C J McElwee 2015 Blue vase by ceramatist Julia Smith, bowl by Jane Hanson

Currently reading

In the Fall (Jeffrey Lent) (*/10/15) (511/*)
Islam and the Future of Tolerance (Sam Harris and Maajid Hawaz) (*/10/15) (128/*)
Portraits: John Berger on Artists (*/10/15) (502/*)
Women in Dark Times (Jacqueline Roase)(*/09/15)(328/*)
The Red Sea: New and Selected poems (Stephen Edgar) (*/09/15) (100/*)
Falling Upwards (Richard Rohr) (*/08/15) (167)

The Streets (Anthony Quinn) (*/10/15) (260/*)
A Spool of Blue Tread (Anne Tyler) (*/10/15) (357/*)

Iraq: A History (John Robertson) (*/09/15) (335/*)
My Generation: Collected Non-Fiction (William Styron) (Essays)
Reading Dante (Prue Shaw)

Kristin Lavrensdatter (Sigrid Undset) - a three in one volume tome, it will be a while!
Indigenous Australia:Enduring Civilisation (Various)

A House of Air (Penelope Fitzgerald) (Essays, reviews and other pieces)
Vanished City: London's Lost Neighbourhoods (Tom Bolton)

365 Stories (James Robertson) - a year long read

The Voice of the World (Sir Thomas Browne) Selected Works
Hitting Trees with Sticks (Jane Rogers) Short Stories
Virginia Woolf's Essayism (Randi Saloman) (LL)
Blake (Peter Ackroyd)

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

Read in 2015

The Miniaturist (Jessie Burton) (05/01/15) (432/432) ****1/2
Being Mortal (Atul Gwande) (08/01/15) (263/695) *****
Plainsong (Kent Haruf) (12/01/15) (288/983) ****1/2
The Ballad of Sad Café (Carson McCullers) - American Author Challenge (AAC) (26/01/15) (85/1068) ****1/2
The Patience Stone (Atiq Rahimi) (30/01/15) (136/1104) **** reading group read
No Exit (Jean Paul Sartre) (play) (31/01/15) (45/1149) ****1/2 reading group read
Van Gogh: A Power Seething (Julian Bell) (03/0215) (148/1297) ***1/2
The Sweet Dove Died (Barbara Pym) (15/02/15) (208/1505) (LL) ***
Crime at Christmas (CHB Kitchin) (21/02/15) (190/1695) (LL) ***1/2
Portraits (Elaine Feinstein) (Poetry) (28/02/15) (59/1754) ****
Bee Journal (Sean Borodale) (Poetry) (03/03/15) (90/1844) ****1/2
The Living Mountain (Nan Shepherd) (11/03/15) (114/1958) ****1/2
After Sebald (Ali Smith/Will Self/Robert MacFarlane et al) (11/03/15) (155/2113) *****
The Future of the Past (Alexander Stille) [LL] (18/03/15) (339/2452) ****1/2
As I Walked out One Midsummer Morning (Laurie Lee) (29/03/15) (198/2650) [re-read] ****
The Half-Finished Heaven (Tomas Tranströmer, trans Robert Bly) (Poetry) (30/03/15) (97/2747) ***1/2
The Illuminations (Andrew O'Hagan) (30/03/15) (293/3040) *****
A Corner in the Marais (Alex Karmel) (LL)(03/04/15) (149/3189) ***
Sentenced to Life (Clive James) (03/04/15) (Poetry) (59/3248) ***
Sailing Through Byzantiam (Maureen Freely) (10/04/15) (255/3503) ***1/2
Love Medicine (Louise Erdrich) (28/04/15) (LL) (AAC) (272/3775) ***1/2
I Leap Over the Wall (Monica Baldwin) (memoir) (08/05/15) (LL) (308/4083) ***1/2
God Help the Child (Toni Morrison) (09/05/15) (178/4261) ***1/2
Virginia Woolf: Art, Life and Vision (Frances Spalding) (11/05/15) (169/4430) ****1/2
Vanessa and her Sister (Priya Parmar) (14/05/15) (350/4780) ****1/2
The Songlines (Bruce Chatwin) [re-read] (26/05/15) (292/5074) *****
The Great Gatsby (F Scott Fitzgerald) [re-read about the 34th] (28/05/15) (156/5230) *****
Very Good Lives (JK Rowling) (06/06/15) (36/5265) ****
How to be Both (Ali Smith) (07/06/15) (372/5693) ****
Our Souls at Night (Kent Haruf) (08/06/15) (179/5872) ****
On Elizabeth Bishop (Colm Tòibin) (17/06/15) (201/6073) ****
Ammonites and Leaping Fish (Penelope Lively) (book group) (memoir) (23/06/15) (234/6306) ****
Alice's Adventures in Wonderland (Lewis Carroll) (re-read) (25/06/15) (113/6409) ****
Through the Looking Glass (Lewis Carroll) (re-read) (26/06/15) (132/6541) ****
Remembering Laughter (Wallace Stegnar) (27/06/15) (150/6691) (AAC) ***
Deep Lane (Mark Doty) (Poetry) (30/06/15) (65/6756) ***** (+ x2 more : 130/7056)
Conversations with Frank Gehry (Barbara Isenberg) (08/07/15) (271/7287) *****
Geis (Catríona O'Reilly) (Poetry) (11/07/15) (61/7348) ****
A Question of Loyalty (Allan Massie) [LL] (18/07/15) (360/7708) ****1/2
Swallowing the World: New and Selected Poems (Don Freas) (19/07/15) (167/7875) ****
Barbara Hepworth (various) (22/07/15) (181/8056) ****1/2
Alexander McQueen: Blood Beneath the Skin (Andrew Wilson) (24/07/15) (345/8411) ****
Beloved (Toni Morrison) (5th re-read) (27/07/15) (280/8691) *****
The Left Hand of Darkness (Ursula LeGuin) (AAC) (02/08/15) (248/8941) ****
The Iceberg (Marion Coutts) (Memoir) (05/08/15) (294/9235) ****1/2
Go Set a Watchman (Harper Lee) (Kindle) (07/08/15) (288/9523) ****1/2
A Place called Winter (Patrick Gale) (11/08/15) (340/9863) ***
The Nearest Thing to Life (James Wood) (Memoir Essays) (16/08/15) (116/9979) ****1/2
Dear Thief (Samantha Harvey) (23/08/15) (260/10,239) ****1/2
The House of Elrig (Gavin Maxwell) (Memoir) (30/08/15) (256/10,495) ***
Latest Readings (Clive James) (Essays) (30/08/15) (180/10,675) ****
Lila (Marilynne Robinson) (re-read for book group) (04/09/15) (261/10,936)
On the Water (HM Van Den Brink) (16/09/15) (134/11,070) ***1/2
The Mermaids Singing (Val McDermid) (22/09/15) (443/11,513) [Kindle]****
Hotel (Object Lessons) (Joanna Walsh) (02/10/15) (176/11,689) [Kindle] ***1/2
Grief is the thing with Feathers (Max Porter) (04/10/15/) (114/11,803) ****1/2
Between the World and Me (Ta-Nahisi Coates) (9/10/15) (150/11,953) *****
M Train (Patti Smith) (15/10/15) (253/12,206)
Nothing to be Frightened of (Julian Barnes) (02/11/15) (250/12,456) ***1/2
My Life on the Road (Gloria Steinem) (10/11/15) (254/12,710) ****1/2
Howards End (EM Forster) (26/11/15) (343/13,053) ****
Living on Paper: Letters from Iris Murdoch 1934-1995 (27/12/15) (627/13,680) *****

Total: 62


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, Atwoodians, Bloomsbury Group and their friends, Club Read 2014, Club Read 2015, Dutch writing in English - An appreciation, Fans of Joyce Carol Oates, Folio Society devotees, Helene Hanff, Hornbeam Reading Groupshow 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, 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

Membership 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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