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The Man Who Loved Books Too Much (Hardcover) by Bartlett Hoover

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Sanya: My Life With Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn by Natalya Reshetovskaya

The Bell by Iris Murdoch

Green Dolphin Street by Elizabeth Goudge

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Member: libraryhermit

CollectionsYour library (861), Wishlist (37), To read (41), oilers fan books (1), All collections (861)

Reviews185 reviews

Tagsbought new (20), fiction (14), paperback (12), hardcover (11), American author (11), English author (10), non-fiction (10), read from library (6), trade paperback (6), set (5) — see all tags

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About meGet stewed; books are a load of crap.
Philip Larkin

I only read when my TV is broken or when it is working.
My homage to shaososa.

If anyone wants to hear some hour long interviews with many different authors, please check out CBC (Canadian Broadcasting Corporation = Public Radio) at:

Here's a good citation lifted from the profile of aethercowboy:

Books to the ceiling,
Books to the sky,
My pile of books is a mile high.
How I love them! How I need them!
I'll have a long beard by the time I read them.
-Arnold Lobel

I have been addicted to reading since elementary school. If I didn't have to work, I would read all day. Usually, I do go to work, but then when I come home, I ignore my family and hide in a room with a book. I think there is no cure for this illness except indulging in more books.

Here is a story that relates to my early days as a bookaholic. I was enrolled in Grade 11 English and we had a teacher who was fully competent at her job, no problems there. She did not offer over-the-top answers to every question like was the style of some other teachers. Thus she seemed somewhat aloof, at least that was the way my ignorant 15 year old mind felt about it.
One day there was a conversation after class had dismissed about what reading for enjoyment it was her wont to do after finishing marking all of our essays and exams.
I cannot remember the exact numerical figures, but she said that she picked up 12 or 15 or 17 books each time she went to the library and read them all immediately. I did not catch on to how often she went to the library or what she meant by “immediately.”
At that time, I think our local library had only a 2 week loan and it was not until some years later that they switched it to a 3 week loan. It was eventually revealed to the group of 2 or 3 students that I was standing in, that she actually read the quantity of books not in a school term, or a month, but rather in a week. (Alright, maybe it was two weeks, but it is more dramatic if I say one week; I cannot honestly remember what the time duration was. But I do remember for sure that she said there was no need to renew them.)
That is when I realized that she was a speed reader. This blew me away. I had heard of speed reading before, but only in those bizarre commercials that usually concentrate on helping you to speed read so that you can make a million dollars, not so that you can read all the books your heart desires for enjoyment.
I have never become a speed reader. I am not particularly slow either. But regardless of the actual speed, I am very greedy about books, and want to read as many of them as possible in whatever time is given to me in this life. Does it really make a difference if I read 15 or 35 spy thriller books in the next 2 years? Does it matter if I ever get around to reading all the way through [[Edward Gibbon]]'s [The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire]? No it does not, but I sure feel like it does anyway.

Random member:
Random work:

I do things like get in a taxi and say, "The library, and step on it."

About my libraryUpdate September 27, 2011: I moved house on July 1, 2011. For the last 3 months I have been unpacking books out of boxes. Seeing them now is just as fun as when I bought them the first time. About 90% of the books used to be in alphabetical order; now I think it's about 20 or 30%. I would rather just read now instead of spending endless hours trying to sort them out. Maybe if I have some time off work I can re-sort them later. This time instead of alphabetical by author, I want to save by category, something along the lines of a Dewey Decimal System.

I have been collecting books for about 40 years and I have read about half of them. There are a total of 9 books shelves of varying sizes.
The rest of the books that I have read are from various libraries in the community in which I live.
Things I like to read:
literary criticism.

I am currently working on registering my favourite authors under the appropriate profile link. TBA.

I really enjoy going into the library and picking up, almost at random--although like most people I get caught up by looking at the cover art and reading the blurbs--authors of whom I have never heard of before. If I keep reading nothing but my favourite authors, I end up missing out on some of the startling and rewarding surprises derived from taking a totally random new author out of the blue.

If I am in the library reading blurbs, I automatically will read, without any further scrutiny, any books with the following subjects in them:

Characters who work in a library.
Characters who read all the time.
Characters who collect books.
Characters who work in any university or college in the humanities.
Any historical book about characters (usually working in churches, governments, or civil service postions) who read books all the time, and thus see the world only through the viewpoint of their bookishness.
Needless to say, titles like The Name of the Rose by Umberto Eco, are my constant favourites.

"Un livre qui m'a séduit est comme une femme qui me fait tomber sous le charme : au diable ses ancêtres, son lieu de naissance, son milieu, ses relations, son éducation, ses amies d'enfance !" (Julien Gracq, En lisant en écrivant)
citation tirée du profile de greuh

GroupsBBC Radio 3 Listeners, Bestsellers over the Years, Bibliomysteries, Book Barn Goons, Books on Books, Canadian Bookworms, Dewey Decimal Challenge, Famous voluminous novels, Graham Greene, Historical Fictionshow all groups

Favorite authorsMargaret Atwood, Honoré de Balzac, Samuel Beckett, Alban Berg, T.C. Boyle, Anthony Burgess, Lee Child, Matt Cohen, Joseph Conrad, Robertson Davies, Len Deighton, Fyodor Dostoevsky, Alexandre Dumas, Umberto Eco, Timothy Findley, Ford Madox Ford, Northrop Frye, Nikolai Gogol, Graham Greene, Victor Hugo, Henry James, P. D. James, Margaret Laurence, Heinrich Mann, Thomas Mann, Joyce Carol Oates, Jean Racine, Mordecai Richler, Judith Merkle Riley, Peter Straub, Eugène Sue, Henri Troyat, Mark Twain (Shared favorites)


Favorite bookstoresGibert Joseph - Saint-Michel, Never Without A Book Ltd.

Membership LibraryThing Early Reviewers/Member Giveaway


Account typepublic, lifetime

URLs (profile) (library)

Member sinceSep 5, 2009

Leave a comment


I am glad my review brought back memories of your enjoyment when reading Secretum. Your message prompted me to reread my own review and, of course, I spotted two typographical errors. I am sure if I read it again I will spot more.

I hope you enjoyed your time in France and that the weather was pleasant. I cannot take the weather when it is too hot, e.g. over 30 degrees. Having holidayed in Monaco I know that part of the world can get well over 30 degrees.

I am looking forward to reading Veritas. Unlike you my French is not good enough to read a novel so I will have to put up with a mere translation. :-)

Monaldi & Sorti are good at creating a world to relax in. I really enjoyed the time I spent reading Secretum. The story was of secondary importance.

By the way, I was able to get a Kindle, English language version of "Secrets of the Conclaves" from Amazon. I have not read more than a couple of pages at this stage. The authors go to great lengths to support their novels with supporting evidence.
Your travel plans sound great, especially as it includes the choral festival. I hope you have a wonderful time.

On other news, my copy of Veritas arrived today.
Just to keep you up to date, I am about thirty pages into [Secretum]and am enjoying it.

I have just looked on and it appears an English language edition is coming out in June of this year.

I have been addicted to reading since elementary school. If I didn't have to work, I would read all day. Usually, I do go to work, but then when I come home, I ignore my family and hide in a room with a book. I think there is no cure for this illness except indulging in more books.

Hey, that's me...except, retired, I really do not work and realize that is what I am doing...just reading...and to what end but fun.
Just a quick note to wish you a happy 2013.

I will read Secretum early in the new year.
In relation to William of Orange, better known as King Billy in my home town, I am feeling somewhat sympathetic to the Orangemen of Ulster. Not only do they have to adjust to the existence of evidence that King Billy was funded by a Catholic pope, but they are also recovering from the claims that King Billy was homosexual, a concept that would be an anathema to them. It has not been a good few years for the Orange Order.

One of the main messages I took from the book was that we never know what the truth is when it comes to politics and state affairs.

I don’t know if I mentioned it before, but I found Stone’s Fall by Iain Pears very interesting. It is fiction spanning the years 1867 to 1909 (in reverse order as it happens) and is a study in the origins of industrial wealth and is not devoid of insights into the causes of our recent banking collapse. It too is a “whodunit” tale and I found the story quite captivating. While it does not include many real characters I found it fascinating in its descriptions of the time and in the machinations that led to the formation of the British secret service. It takes place in London, Paris and Venice. You may find it of interest.

Thank you again for recommending Imprimatur and Secretum. I have some other reading to catch up with before starting Secretum but I may pencil it in for the Christmas holidays. It will be a treat to look forward to.

I hope you keep well and that the organising of your library is coming along well. I must find time to organise my own.

I am on holiday in France and am reading and enjoying Imprimatur. Of particular interest is the mention of the prophecies of St. Malachy. Having attended St. Malachy's grammar school in Belfast I am well aware of his papal prophecies and their mention has piqued my interest.

The discussion relating to the Pope's funding of William of Orange also strikes me close to home as King Billy still plays an enormous role in the socio-political reality (if reality is the appropriate word for such things) of everyday life in Northern Ireland.

I'm about one third way through the book and am very grateful for your recommendation.


PS While I attended a grammar school and studied Latin I am still struggling with some phrases in the book, but that just adds to the mystery. :-)
Ah, Mr. Hermit, I thought at one point that I wanted to be a medievalist. I started reteaching myself Latin to that end and fell in love with the classical authors instead, but I still love the period.
Interesting comments about Italian authors! (You'll have to go back to my profile page to see what you said; I apologize for not answering you sooner.) As it happens, I'm reading a novel set in modern Apulia called The Law by one Roger Vailland, but I see that he was French. Anyway, I'm reading it by fits and starts although it's quite an authentic-feeling re-creation of that area. I'm not sure how I'd know, but it does feel right. I should jump on The Betrothed too; I even know exactly where my copy is.... And I must say that I underline titles only because I can't help it. The old English teacher lives.
I love the DFW quotation above, but you don't list him among your favorites. He's another find for me here at LT, but I believe I might have caught on to him eventually.
I haven't been in NYC since 1964, so I wouldn't recognize the place. Things are sounding worse and worse - the death toll now at 110.
Finally, I'm not a lover of short stories and have never heard of "The Most Dangerous Game." I suspect that I'll have to live with that loss as I also live without George Meredith and much Shelley.
Oh! I ordered a used copy of Imprimatur after seeing it mentioned here. Many thanks.
The only M. Laurences that I've read so far are Stone Angel and Jest of God. I got copies of the rest immediately and hope to live long enough to read them all twice. I know that in educated circles M. Laurence is as honored in Canada as she should be. I can't begin to imagine the early lives of our grandparents. Although I've heard the stories all my life, the living must have been something else! Anyway, I assume that Hagar wasn't typical.
I wish that someday one of my students may honor me as you do your English teachers. It's a different world now though, and I'm happier than I can say to be out of the public schools. My skills didn't include dealing with 5 year-olds in 16 year-old bodies.
(I see in your gallery that you have the picture of the young B. Obama in the library - where the cool kids hang - love it!)
I believe I'll go read something. I've been on an escapist kick for the past several days, and I have the huge Juliet Barker bio of the whole Brontë family to continue. REALLY good stuff!
I just snooped shamelessly at Peter's profile page and came over to see whether you are Canadian. And so you are. Margaret Laurence is a gift to me since joining LT. I'd be grateful to this place if for no other reason.
I read a lot, but I buy faster, and now I'm not going to live long enough to read everything that I've bought if I stopped buying today - and I won't. (I see myself in the raw list of members with your books, btw.)
At any rate, having snooped, I felt that I should speak.
As it happens my copies of Imprimatur and Secretum arrived in the past week. Following up on your recommendation I did a bit of Googling (I detest the verbising of nouns, especially proper nouns, but it does describe the act perfectly {and yes, I do know I was verbising a noun with verbising}) and it appears there are four more books to follow Veritas.

I had better get reading or I will never catch up with you.
For your information, the first two Monaldi & Sorti books have graduated from my wishlist to an order due for deliver in mid-October.

When I get around to reading them I will let you know what I think of them. Thank you for the recommendation.
I must thank you, or otherwise, for adding two more books to my wishlist. :-) Monaldi & Sorti
are new to me. Following your mention of their work I executed a Google search, as one does in these days of instant gratification of information needs, and am now intrigued. One of the things I enjoy about historical novels is reading a fiction that is woven around fact and being left with the impression, "well now, that could be true." I think that's why I enjoyed Q and 54 so much and from the on-line description of Monaldi & Sorti's work it appears I will feel that way after reading their books.

Is it mere chance that we have been discussing Italian authors?

Turning to Germany:
In terms of books giving an insight into life in earlier days, I would recommend Perfume by Patrick Süskind if you haven't already read it. I did not think the ending was great but getting there was a good experience.

Following your mention of Umberto Eco I took the liberty of reading your reviews on his novels. I found your comments interesting. My own views on Eco's novels can be summed up as follows:

The Name of the Rose My first introduction to Eco and nothing less than brilliant.

Foucault's Pendulum I felt it was 400 pages too long for the story it contained. My favourite part of the book was the description of vanity publishing.

The Island of the Day Before I gave up on this as I found it boring and tedious. It may have suffered from my having recently completed Dava Sobel's excellent book, Longitude which was a very erudite telling of the development of a method to determine a ship's longitude. Eco's book seem to get too philisophical and included some weird elements.

Baudolino Another novel I felt was too long, but I kept at it because I was amused by what Eco was saying about potential lying, oops, I mean hyperbole in tales from campaigns like the Crusades etc... It was a book that I thought was a drag but I loved the points it eventually made.

The Mysterious Flame of Queen Loana I liked this novel, probably for two reasons. Firstly, books were a key element of the story. Secondly, I learned a lot about Italy during World War II. The novel educated me on the rise and fall of Fascism in Italy and how, like most radically different political views, caused strife and hardship within communities. I think this was the main purpose of the book and I enjoyed it for what I learned.

The Prague Cemetry is a book I really enjoyed. Again it taught me a lot.

I see you have reviewed Q by Luther Blisset, or as they are now called, the Wu Ming Foundation. I really enjoyed this book and also enjoyed 54 which the brought out under the author name of "Wu Ming" (which they explain is Mandarin for "No name".

Apologies for the rambling, but your mentioning one of my favourite author's set me off.


Yes, that Umberto Eco quote gave me a stable spot on which to build my fortress and from whence I could rebuff all attacks. :-)

It's nice to find a like minded person.

Comment on this image. Image comments only appear on your own profile page and the image page itself.
Put one of these on my desert island and I'm set for life. (As long as they have food, that is. ... And medical care if I get appendicitis, etc.)
Dound a couple more titles? Anos de Soledad Gabriel Marquez
Romeo & Juliet
Journals of an Expedition Lewis & Clark and Undaunted Courage Stephen Ambrose

This site has a photo that is supposedly the same library
I went to Google street view and came up with these titles
Adventures of Huck Finn
Plato The Republic(?)
Fahrenheit 451
O Pioneer
Silent Spring
Catch 22
Children's Stories
Collected Poems Langston Hughes
Black Elk Speaks
Invisible Man Author(?)
To Kill a Mockingbird
Tale of Two Cities
Charolette's Web
Truman David McCollough(?)
Thanks for commenting on my review! The book seems to have been sadly overlooked, at least on this side of the border. (Mind you, it's not cheap down here, either.) I loved the tone of it; it's so lively and fun, jam-packed with great anecdotes about so many people. I just got the Salterton Trilogy out of the library -- despite going to Queen's (where I had afternoon tea with Robertson Davies on my 18th birthday!) and getting my first newspaper job (a summer internship) at the Whig Standard back when it was still owned by the Davies family, I've yet to read these books, shamefully enough... Hopefully, this month!
Which part of Canada do you inhabit?
Several weeks ago I asked about the building, in your profile pictures, that looks like a shelf of books. I found out where it is: The Kansas City Public Library.
More info:
Thanks for the interesting library addition. I enjoyed your 'About Me' section. I agree that work is an obstacle to reading; therefore, I believe the only reason to work is to get money for books.

Were is the building that looks like a shelf of books?
Hello LH,

If you own a Kindle, My book, The Book Traveller will be FREE to download on Friday 6 January and Saturday 7 January 2012.

I should be delighted if you would download a copy for a future read and perhaps review it on LT and Amazon for me.

If you don't own a Kindle did you know you can download an APP from Amazon to your computer to read Kindle eBooks?

Hello LH,

Thanks for visiting my profile. I am currently reading Deaf Sentence by David Lodge and it is excellent.

I read the first in the Gormenghast trilogy earlier this year - weird but wonderful sinuous prose.

Have you visited my website where you can read the opening chapter of my latest book, The Book Traveller?

It is

Saw your post at voluminopus books and thought you might like to know there is a Gormenghast read starting January 2012 in Le Salon.
Yes, that's why we came up with the names we did. It was to make fun of the "before you die" titles. They are amusing, aren't they?
Ah, right. LOL! Yes, they were nominated and voted on by Green Dragon members.
>The titles of three compilations are brilliant. I love them.

I don't understand. Did you send this to me by mistake?
Stupidity is not always easy to diagnose. The simplest form of stupidity—the mumbling, nose-picking, stolid incomprehension—can be detected by anyone. But the stupidity which disguises itself as thought, and which talks so glibly and eloquently, indeed never stops talking, in every walk of life is not so easy to identify, because it marches under a formidable name, which few dare attack. It is called Popular Opinion, and sometimes the Received Wisdom of the Race. It looks as though it came from some form of mental activity or spiritual grace, but it does not, and its true name is Intellectual Stasis.”
Robertson Davies lecture to doctors on November 18, 1984 at Johns Hopkins.
Thank you for choosing to early review the book of short stories "Westsiders" by Tom Finn (b. 1931, Newfoundland).

I am mailing you a paper copy.

Once you have read the book, please social network it. Write a review in a literary journal.

Post a review on Google Books, Amazon, Smashwords and Library Thing. Here are the links for these:



Amazon Kindle



Thank you and enjoy.

Peter Geldart
Petra Books
Fifth Avenue Court, Suite 140
Ottawa Ontario Canada K1S 5P5
613-294-2205 |
Good morning,

You've won a copy of our book of short stories, Westsiders by Tom Finn. Please let me know what ebook format you would like it in. Alternatively, please confirm your mailing address for a paper copy.

Thank you


Petra Books
Fifth Avenue Court
99 5th Avenue, Suite 140
Ottawa Ontario K1S 5P5 Canada
613-294-2205 |
I think I have the same collection of Sir Walter. Mine have a limp blue leather cover with gold lettering. I found them at the Akron Antiquarian Book fair for about $75. I also found a set of Thackeray by the same publisher in limp red leather, still in the orginial box.
Hi, I have not returned here lately. I was reading the Presidents with a group on Shelfari, another Internet book club. The group is now doing John Tyler. So far, I guess the most surprising fact I found was that James Madison was pretty much an incompetent president. If he hadn't added James Monroe as Sec of State in his second term the second term woul have been aa failure. I guess being a theorist does not make you a good manager.

Currently, I am reading Dawn to Decadence, Western Culture from 1500 to 2000. The author has interesting critiques of everyone such as Martin Luther, Thomas More, Psscal, Calvin, etc.
Thank you for the IL add. And you are welcome about my story. Thank goodness for people in the medical profession, indeed!

Happy Reading ... all those books ;0)
I think I could identify maybe 10% of my books without seeing the spine - certainly not, the Modern Library series, or the Virago Modern Classics - just the fat, skinny, the giants and the midgets. Over the past year, I've collected a few hundred older books, dating to the late 1800's and early 1900's (largely serendipity - a local nunnery/school closed after 160 years) and I really enjoy looking at their spines. I acquired a copy of Macaulay's History of England yesterday, published in 1850. It wasn't particularly expensive or rare, but on the back page, the owner - a locally famous civil war surgeon, John Frissell - had writtten what was apparently a speech on the right to secession - and dated it "May 1863". Made my day.

I am starting to become a little like the Auto da Fe eccentric - collecting, for example, "collected works of Hawthorne - Turgenev - Cooper - Poe etc." knowing I'll never read them all. Still, they look great, and every so often I like to take a "core sample" to see what I find. I'm currently reading a forgotten little novel by James Fenimore Cooper, "Redskins" which is part a romance, in his clumsy style, but more an excuse to pontificate on the Anti-Rent wars of New York state in the 1840's. A backdoor approach to a history about which I was clueless.

I'm also reading, finally, Proust. It takes discipline, because you can't put everything else on hold until you're done, and yet have to go back to him everyday for a time, to keep things fresh. So far, so good! I'm into Guermantes Way (Book 3).

Let me know how the return to Auto da Fe turns out.

I love Elizabeth Goudge. She's kind of an intuitive,empathic writer. She gets to the heart and expresses emotions and situations in an intimate compassionate way. My favorite in the last few years has been The Dean's Watch. I have read it four or five times and now that I'm talking about it, I think I'll get it out when I get home. The Scent of Water in my other favorite.
Thanks for liking my library- I rarely get on her to add more! I could spend hours looking at peoples libraries- I'll check out Yours!

Also see the website of the son of Paul Feval pere, Paul Feval fils.
New list of authors to read from the list of winners of the Paul Feval prize from France. (Please see link below.)

Grand Prix Paul-Féval de littérature populaire [modifier]

En 1984, la Société des gens de lettres, en hommage au romancier, qui a présidé l'institution en 1867, a créé le Grand Prix Paul-Féval de littérature populaire. L'initiative de ce prix revient à Suzanne Lacaille, arrière-petite-fille de l'auteur. Il a été décerné aux écrivains suivants :

* 1984 : Léo Malet (pour la série Nestor Burma)
* 1985 : Magali
* 1986 : François Cavanna
* 1987 : Michel Lebrun
* 1988 : Charles Exbrayat
* 1989 : Georges-Jean Arnaud
* 1990 : Thomas Narcejac
* 1991 : Jacques Duquesne
* 1992 : Alain Demouzon (pour l'ensemble de son œuvre)
* 1993 : Pierre Magnan
* 1994 : Didier Daeninckx (pour l'ensemble de son œuvre)
* 1995 : René Réouven (Voyage au centre du mystère)
* 1996 : Jean Bernard Pouy (La Petite Écuyère a cafté)
* 1997 : Antonine Maillet (Le Chemin Saint-Jacques)
* 1998 : Pierre Bourgeade (Pitbull)
* 1999 : Claude Seignolle (La Gueule)
* 2000 : Pierre Bordage (Les Fables de l'Humpur)
* 2001 : Frédéric H. Fajardie (Les Foulards rouges)
* 2002 : Alexandre Torquet (La Princesse au cobra)
* 2003 : Jean Contrucci (L'Énigme de la Blancarde)
* 2004 : Serge Brussolo (Peggy Sue et les fantômes, t. 5 : Le Château noir)
* 2005 : Frédérik Pajak (Mélancolie)
* 2006 : Christian Signol (Les Messieurs de Grandval)
* 2007 : Marcus Malte (Garden of Love)
* 2008 : Alain Wagneur (Hécatombe-les-Bains)
* 2009 : Gérard de Cortanze (Indigo)
Bonsoir, libraryhermit,

Excusez-moi de répondre avec retard à votre message.
J'aime beaucoup Elizabeth Goudge ; j'aime la façon dont elle mêle avec poésie enfants et vieillards, animaux, nature, légendes, amour du foyer. Tout ceci
crée dans ses romans une atmosphère unique , qui réchauffe le coeur.
Voici quelques-uns de mes titres préférés, mais tous sont recommandables:
- L'Arche dans la Tempête
- La Cité des Cloches
- L'Héritage de Monsieur Peabody
- la trilogie de la famille Eliot: Le Domaine enchanté
L'Auberge du Pélerin
La Maison des Sources
- Le Pays du Dauphin vert
Voilà. J'espère avoir répondu à votre attente. Merci de m'avoir citée parmi les bibliothèques intéressantes.
Bonne soirée

Miss Halcombe
Thanks for the "Interesting Library" linkage, and for the kind note.

- Bob
First, thank you for adding me as an "Interesting Library"! I consider that a very nice compliment.

Second, from the 4/11 message below about Elizabeth Goudge, may I second two of the writer's suggestions? "Gentian Hill" is a delight, full of wonderful characters (as is most of Goudge's fiction). "Towers in the Mist" seems to me to have inspired Philip Pullman's Oxford in the "His Dark Materials" series, for which I forgive it because Goudge wrote so lyrically of that spectacular city.

I've read Little White Horse as a child and that was a marvelous experience for me at that time, as it was completely different from all other books I had read . full of fantasy and fairytale, I loved it. Do you know that for J.K. Rowling it was also her favourite childhoodbook?
Then many years later I started to collect her books by searching in all secondhand bookshops, especially on holiday in England. There wasn't yet the possibility of searching the internet. My other favourite books are the White Witch and Green Dolphin Country. But......... as I'm now in my sixties it has been many years that I've read and enjoyed her books. On the page of her are two links of her on the internet, one to Wikipedia and the other of a page of the Elisabeth Goudge society and there is a lot to find about her. She has also written an autobiography, " the Joy of the Snow" with photographs. I don't know if this is still for sale.
I hope I am of some use for you and thank you for your attention
I'd suggest one of Elizabeth Goudge's stand-alone novels as your next EG read. Which one? It depends on your other interests. She has written many novels in the historical fiction genre and a few that have become historical fiction since she wrote them ("Castle on the Hill", WW2-era; "The Scent of Water" and "The Rosemary Tree", post-war). "Gentian Hill" involves the British Navy (although nearly all the action takes place on land) in roughly the Napoleonic Wars era. "Island Magic" takes place in the Channel Islands at roughly the end of the 19th century, "White Witch" during the English Civil War, "Towers in the Mist" in Elizabethan Oxford. "Green Dolphin Street" is set in both the Channel Islands and Victorian New Zealand. All of these are among my favourite books, although Scent of Water is my most cherished of the lot.

"The Lost Angel" is short stories, not unlike the one you have already read, and you'd probably enjoy that too.

Most of her young adult/children's fiction is rather fanciful fantasy, reminding me vaguely of Joan Aiken (e.g. "Little White Horse" - which won the Carnegie Medal!), but "Linnets and Valerians", also a fantasy, reminds me strongly of E. Nesbit at her best.

The trilogy "Bird in the Tree", "Pilgrim's Inn" (aka Herb of Grace), "Heart of the Family" might be a bit of a commitment to take on. "The Dean's Watch" and "City of Bells" are both very good, but somehow to me not quite the books I would hand to someone hoping to awaken their enthusiasm for EG. Perhaps because the cathedral city is semi-fictional and "based on" a real place? But so is the setting of Scent of Water. Hmm.

I hope that helps. You could check the tags on my EG books for a little more on themes too.
Thank you for your recent message. I want to reply here primarily to what was perhaps the main point of your message. I'll try and get back to you on some of the other issues you raised as soon as I can.

Maybe there is some other tip I can find for how to do this most efficiently, so that others can check out my library statistically.

There is no other way than the one you mentioned that I'm aware of, however I am by no means a 'power user' of LT. But isn't that actually a good thing? If there were, as you suggested, an alternative easier way to add new authors to your 'favorite authors' list then surely it would only exacerbate the issue (that caused you to initially write to me to tell me that you agreed with my own self-imposed solution) of many LTers claiming authors as favorites because they simply happen to have read (or maybe just own!) one or two of their books. By adding 200+ authors to their 'favorite authors' list those LT members that do that are behaving oxymoronically and simply demonstrating that they don't adequately understand the proper meaning of the word 'favorite' (viz. to regard something with particular favor or preference). But at least those LTers had to add each of the names on their humungously long 'favorite authors' lists one author at a time. If there was an LT feature where we could all add hundreds or thousands of authors to our 'favorite authors' list with just a few keystrokes then I strongly suspect there would be many more cases of the oxymoronic behavior I'm complaining about.

I've always thought there should be two LT features; 'favorite authors' and, say, 'authors I've read & own many works by' (where the subjective "many" would have to be equated to some objective % or numeric threshold; in my own case it would currently be set to 6). I think that many of the LTers that have added a large number of authors as "favorites" would, if they had been given such a choice, have selected the latter option for many of them rather than the former one (which is the only choice they are currently offered). I know I would. OTOH, if you change 'authors I've read & own many works by' to simply 'authors I own works by' then that feature has always existed on LT; it's the 'author cloud'! But for it to be statistically meaningful (i.e., accurate) you have to catalogue all your books on LT. Which neither you or I have done. And which is probably why both you and I are more interested in a method of manually entering those authors that we know we really like (and consequently whom we own lots of works by) rather than having to catalogue 2000-3000 books for the LT system to be able to ultimately determine what we already know by indicating those authors in the largest sized font in our respective 'author cloud' features.

I don't know about you but I tend to read individual authors rather than individual works. By that I mean the following: once I've read a first book by an author that has a high favorable impact on me then naturally I pursue other works by him/her - I go back to mine that particular vein of enjoyment and/or enlightenment again (and again and again ...). If you follow such a course over a period of time you find yourself primarily purchasing additional works in the canons of an ever-increasing number of authors in your own personal coterie (not sure that is the right word to use here because the authors don't know each other, they are only known to you, but I cannot think what is the correct word right now, so it'll have to do) of favorite / respected authors. Why does that 'coterie' continually grow? Because, in my own case, I inject fresh authors into the mix (based on personal recommendations, reviews, or "best of" lists, etc. - or perhaps simply due to having made a spontaneous book purchase after reading and being intrigued by the blurb on the book's DJ). So, to be more accurate, I occasionally inject a first work into my reading by an author I've never read before. So, in that sense, I do also read works - initially.

It's primarily because I read authors rather than works that I'm more interested in the possible connections to other LTers based on the fact I share a lot of favorite authors in common with them rather than share individual books in common. Sharing quite a few classic titles with someone really doesn't tell you very much, does it? I bet the number of LTers that have catalogued Alice in Wonderland or Oliver Twist is in the tens of thousands. I don't even bother to catalogue any of my popular classic fiction on LT because it is exactly that ... way too popular. Being very popular means that those books appeal to a large number of diverse tastes, so what exactly does a connection to 10,000 other LTers that also own The Red Badge of Courage tell you? Not a lot IMO, particularly considering that many people own classic literature out of a feeling of obligation rather than that it brings them bliss in their lives. Thus I would expect that many copies of, say, Wuthering Heights have been catalogued more because, like the Bible, people feel that they should be seen to own a copy of that title - or because they were forced to read it in school, and since they still have their original Puffin edition, they decided to catalogue it along with all their current J.K. Rowling titles - rather than that it is a work that is very close to their hearts.

Consequently, your telling me that, for instance, Anthony Burgess, Len Deighton and Aldous Huxley are all favorite authors of yours - rather than the LT system informing me that we each own a copy of A Clockwork Orange, The Ipcress File and Brave New world - tells me much more about your true reading tastes. Because many people that don't really like those authors very much nevertheless might feel obligated to own all three of those named titles. IMO you really have to like and understand those authors to own, say, A Vision of Battlements, SS-GB and Grey Eminence either individually or along with many other titles by each of those authors. Because those are not titles that the casual reader normally stumbles across (by reading works) but rather titles that one only discovers when working your way through someone's canon (viz. by reading an author). BTW, just as an aside, I started to read SS-GB this weekend (before I had initially seen your message). Pure caprice on my part; I had intended to complete my reading of Inside Mr. Enderby next.

I had better stop here.


Ha, I know what you mean about the pain of giving up books! I deal with it by buying books especially to list on BM and PBS, books that I would probably never read. Also at PBS you can buy credits instead of sending books for credits. But I totally understand if BM and PBS aren't for you!

Yes, I collect Berlioz! I just added 4 more books. I have been a fan since I first heard the Symphonie Fantastique. My favourite work is still the semi-opera 'La damnation de Faust' but I enjoy almost anything the man has written, both musically and in prose. His Mémoires are so much fun to read. If you're interested in innovative wind and brass, try the Symphonie funèbre et triomphale, especially the recording made in the late 50s by Désiré Dondeyne - but be careful to choose the recording with chorus, Dondeyne made a second one which is much less impressive.
Like the best satires, this April Fool’s article contains a nugget of truth:

U.S. Government To Save Billions By Cutting Wasteful Senator Program

WASHINGTON—In an effort to reduce wasteful spending and eliminate non-vital federal services, the U.S. government announced plans this week to cut its long-standing senator program, a move it says will help save more than $300 billion each year.

According to officials, the decision to cut the national legislative body was reached during a budget review meeting on Tuesday. After hours of deliberation, it was agreed that the cost of financing U.S. senators far outweighed the benefits they provided.

"Now more than ever, we must eliminate needless spending wherever possible," President Obama said at a press conference Wednesday. "When we sat down to go over our annual budget, we asked ourselves, where can we safely trim back? What programs can we do away with without negatively impacting the American people? Which bloated and ineffective institutions can we no longer justify having around?"

"The answer was obvious," Obama added. "The U.S. Senate just needed to go."

Established in 1789 as a means of overseeing the passage of bills into law, the once-promising senator program has reportedly failed to contribute to the governing of the nation in any significant way since 1964. Last year alone, approximately $450 billion was funneled into the legislative chamber, an amount deemed fiscally unsound considering how few citizens actually benefit in any way from its existence.

In fact, the program has gone unchecked for so long that many in Washington are now unable to recall what purpose U.S. senators were originally meant to serve.

"I'm sure when it was first introduced the U.S. Senate seemed like a worthwhile public service that would aid vast segments of the population and play an important role in the years to come," said Sheila McKenzie, president of the watchdog group the American Center for Responsible Government. "But in reality, this program has been a complete and utter failure."

"It simply doesn't work," she added. "We've been pouring taxpayer dollars into this outdated relic for far too long."

An analysis conducted last week revealed a number of troubling flaws within the long-running, heavily subsidized program, including a lack of consistent oversight, no clear objectives or goals, the persistent hiring of unqualified and selfishly motivated individuals, and a 100 percent redundancy rate among its employees.

Moreover, the study found that the U.S. government already funds a fully operational legislative body that appears to do the exact same job as the Senate, but which also provides a fair and proportional representation of the nation's citizens and has rules in place to prevent one individual from holding the operations of the entire chamber hostage until he is guaranteed massive federal spending projects for his home state of Alabama.

Not only have U.S. Senators cost the country billions of dollars in misspent funds over the years, but Washington insiders claim they have also derailed a wide range of other government programs, from social welfare to job creation to environmental protection.

"Even just the space the Senate currently occupies could be put to better use," consumer advocate Michael Dodgerson said. "Were the government to open a day-care center, a homeless shelter, or even an affordable restaurant in that building, it would make more of a difference in the lives of everyday Americans than what's there now."

So far, reaction to the cutback has been overwhelming positive, with many across the country calling it a long-awaited step toward progress.

Still, a small pocket of the nation's populace vehemently disagreed with Tuesday's decision.

"This is outrageous," said Joe Lieberman, a Connecticut-area resident and concerned citizen who makes more than $150,000 a year, enjoys full health care benefits, and lives comfortably in a large, non-foreclosed home. "The U.S. Senate has always looked out for my best interests. It's always done right by me."

Added Lieberman, "Without it, I'll have no choice but to exploit my extensive connections in the real estate, legal, insurance, and pharmaceutical industries to obtain strictly honorary positions at large companies that, in exchange for my subservience over the years and the prestige of my name, will compensate me generously and allow me to continue living a privileged life without contributing even a moment of my time to the society that has made it all possible."
I think you're right on it not having to be a perfect circle. In fact, it would've been better for it to be a straight line, like those tourney-things knights used for jousting. I'm not very well read on the LHC, but they're "throwing" protons (photons? things) at each other, accelerating them up to near C (speed of light), right? And the LHC uses magnets to, um, nudge/bend/refine the paths of the protons until that moment when they they smash head on onto each other.

Just saw the lhc.jpg. I know the mountains in the background lends it some sense of scale, but it doesn't really do the size of it justice, since you really can't tell how far away the peaks are, or who big they are . . . until you realize that those are the Alps and those tiny little pixel things, they're houses. Whoa. "Large" doesn't seem to cut it.

So are you interested in physics? Do you have any books to recommend, for a beginner?

will check out those articles later. get back to you tomorrow? later, then.
Oh, definitely! Used books are the best :). You may already know about these resources, but from one book-lover to another, I'm sure you'll forgive me if I'm telling you what you already know. You should check out these sites: great listing of booksales by area. a great online book-swap site! You list books you don't want, other people request them, you get a point for every book you mail (you pay postage), and then you can use your points to request books from other people. It's like Christmas in my mailbox all the time :)
www.paperbackswap: another book-swap site. It has a lot more rules than BM but I'm able to use it as a good supplement. Also there are sister sites for swapping CDs and DVDs.

Opportunities for book-adoption abound :)
Thanks for the interesting library add! :)
Hi - I noticed you recently added an interesting entry to the slang thread - just to let you know that LT authour Jonathon Green (LT name abecedary) currently has a thread devoted to him, on which he talks about slang and his other published books. Here is the thread - you are most welcome to join in:

> What was your experience of reading and listening to Douglas Adams

I adore the way he wrote - and learned only later that it was hard work for him, although the result seems so effortless.

> I always wonder what really famous people read.

The uncommon reader is a novel.

Best wishes


Do you know The uncommon reader by Alan Bennett ( Seeing your profile I'm quite sure you'd like it. It's about the Queen of England who starts neglecting her duties because she takes up reading. Very charming.

Best wishes

I like the pen pal comparison. The nice thing about letters, of course, is that one would take some time in writing them, and that waiting was part of the deal. The built in time delay actually served the form, eliminating the delay in delivery encourages one to write faster and with less care. There's a nice paradox there, of course - one would expect that speeding things up would give you more time, not less.

Programming, I think, is something that should be taken in big bites for best effect. There's certainly some benefit to getting your feet wet in some language - write a few trial programs, get used to the the write-compile-debug cycle, see the computer do what you told it to - but it's like playing an instrument in some ways. If you're going to do it, you have to really want to do it. Many people who are serious about it make a habit of learning one new language or framework every year, and everyone who's serious about it does it every day. Again, like an instrument - if you're going to play, you have to play every day, at least for a very long time, or you'll never do much more than the frustrating part, over and over. Over time, in both disciplines, you get a set of mental habits that mean you can do what you want without thinking much about technique, and then it starts to be really fun. On the other hand, if you just want to get a taste of what programming feels like, a beginning course might be just the thing.

I know what you mean about the brain power of serious CS guys - some of the people that I'm working with have extraordinary minds. I think it's because they spend all of their time manipulating abstract symbols and getting concrete results. Wrestling with literary symbolism is good exercise, but there's never the moment of truth when it either works, or it doesn't. In CS, or in math or physics, there's a certain amount of resistance presented by the real world, so the exercise is more fruitful.
Sorry I didn't respond sooner - I'm also interested in programming, and that has run away with my time in the last few weeks.
So I'm not playing much guitar at the moment, and I certainly haven't been reading any French (Portuguese is my main area, I only dabble in French to keep the brain limber)

I'm trying to get some more fiction onto my stack - lately, I've been fascinated by Iain M. Banks' "Culture" novels. Anything you've come across that I should keep my eye out for?
I see you enjoy literature featuring books and the book-obsessed. If you haven't read Auto-da-fe by Canetti, I'd recommend it. Be warned, though, it's quite disturbing.
Ce sera donc un livre de plus à rajouter sur ma liste.

Celui que je possède s'appelle: Écrire, lire et en parler... Ce sont 55 interviews publiées dans LIRE entre 1975 et 1985.
Hi, if you don't mind I'll reply to you in french.

Moi, c'est plutôt l'inverse: 80% de livres lus en français et 20% en anglais. Beaucoup de "non fiction". Généralement, je lis de tout. Pour les romans, je lis surtout de la science-fiction et des classiques. J'ai commencé à lire plus de romans policiers comme les San-Antonio, Robert Ludlum, Georges Siménon. Non, je n'ai pas lu Gordon Sheppard. Mais je l'ajoute sur ma liste de livre à lire. Ta critique m'a convaincu de sa valeur. Merci!
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