• LibraryThing
  • Book discussions
  • Your LibraryThing
  • Join to start using.

Cushla's 2012 Challenge - Part 2

This is a continuation of the topic Cushla's 2012 Challenge - Part 1.

This topic was continued by Cushla's 2012 Challenge - Part 3.

75 Books Challenge for 2012

Join LibraryThing to post.

This topic is currently marked as "dormant"—the last message is more than 90 days old. You can revive it by posting a reply.

Edited: Jun 13, 2012, 9:39pm Top

Books read in 2012


1. North and South by Elizabeth Gaskell - 5 stars
2. Tolstoy Lied by Rachel Kadish - 3 stars
3. A Study in Scarlet by Arthur Conan Doyle - 4 stars
4. Rondo by Kasimierz Brandys - 4 1/2 stars
5. Death at Wentwater Court by Carola Dunn - 3 1/2 stars
6. Requiem for a Mezzo by Carola Dunn - 3 stars

7. The Stone Angel by Margaret Laurence - 4 1/2 stars
8. The Book of Fame by Lloyd Jones - 3 1/2 stars
9. Murder on the Flying Scotsman by Carola Dunn - 2 1/2 stars
10. Maus by Art Spiegelmann - 5 stars
11. Dreams in a Time of War by Ngugi wa Thiong'o - 4 stars

12. Coventry by Helen Humphreys - 4 stars
13. Maus II by Art Spiegelmann - 4 stars
14. Death and the Jubilee by David Dickinson - 3 stars

15. When God Spoke English by Adam Nicholson - 4 stars
16. Blood from a Stone by Donna Leon - 3 1/2 stars
17. The Siege by Helen Dunmore - 4 1/2 stars
18. The Cellist of Sarajevo by Steven Galloway - 5 stars

19. The Song of Achilles - Madeline Miller - 5 stars
20. Lehrter Station by David Downing - 4 stars

21. Bring up the Bodies - Hilary Mantel - 5 stars
22. Campaign Ruby by Jessica Rudd - 3 1/2 stars

Feb 22, 2012, 1:40pm Top

Well hello there .. marking my place ;)

Feb 22, 2012, 1:47pm Top

reading various math books? Is this something you enjoy?

Edited: Feb 22, 2012, 1:57pm Top

Responding to your last comments on your previous thread, I saw Fletcher's review. Looked good, and he's really going to town as a reader. Captain Underpants and Geronimo Stilton are above his grade-level, so looks like he's doing great!

P.S. You're both busy in real life and popular on LT, so I was equally pleased to see you show up on my thread.

Feb 22, 2012, 2:10pm Top

12 days off - yippee!

Feb 22, 2012, 6:05pm Top

he he maths books. I've so much to look forward to.
(Don't tell the kids that I failed first year statistics!)
New thread! Yippee

Feb 22, 2012, 6:54pm Top

#3 and #6 Linda and Megan, stop laughing, I love them!!! (and I know Heather is a closet maths book lover too.)

Feb 22, 2012, 6:56pm Top

Cushla - you could go straight to the top of the book reading league that will be posted up next week by including all the maths books! Good luck with that and congrats on the new thread.

Feb 22, 2012, 9:17pm Top

What did the kids get for school lunch today, Cushla?

Feb 22, 2012, 11:04pm Top

Hi Paul and Caro!

Caro, the usual... made in haste today. Ham sandwich for T, pate sandwich for F, apple, piece of defrosted birthday cake, and some roasted chickpeas for Fletch and some rice crackers for T. I get so sick of school lunches!! But now I'm onto dinner. I had a fruit and vege box delivered yesterday and we are now flooded with peaches, pears and apples, so I've just stuck peach crumble in the oven. Next up is to do something with the 3 very big and kind of alive crabs that I bought this morning. (Don't think we will get much meat off them but wanted to show the kids.)

Am halfway through Maus and wondering what took me so long. What an amazing book.

Feb 22, 2012, 11:35pm Top

Another endorsement for Maus! I must get there ... Hi, Cushla!

Edited: Feb 22, 2012, 11:43pm Top

Hi Cushla, had to laugh at the food prep, it gets like that sometimes,.. you're just through with breakfast and making school lunches, then you have to feed the adults lunch and then make dinner for the whole tribe... I swear I have more catering experience than some chefs out there!

Interesting your thoughts on Maus, I got it from the library last year but was never in the mood and returned it unread. I think you need to be in the right head space to begin that one. Seems like I have to try again though.

Feb 23, 2012, 6:58am Top

I really have to get to Maus soon. I glanced through it as a kid and something (don't remember what exactly) shocked me so much that I couldn't touch it since then. But as I've read many Holocaust books in the long meantime I should now be able to read that one as well.

I want some peach crumble... it's time that summer comes back! I get my organic vegetable box on Fridays and the last weeks it has been mainly apples and all varietes of cabbage central Europe has to offer: white, red, Savoy, Brussels sprouts,...

Feb 23, 2012, 2:56pm Top

This thread is making me hungry...is this Cushla's Kitchen? ;)

Just saying Hi and trying to get caught up somewhat. Had to laugh at reading math books for fun - I don't do that but I do read a lot of non-fiction in general, some are the sort that other people might only read because they have to. So I understand!

Feb 23, 2012, 3:11pm Top

Crabs? Did they get delivered with the veges? :) Hope the kids are suitably freaked out/impressed.
Yummo on the peach crumble. Ive had some great nectarines this season too. Love that summer fruit

Feb 23, 2012, 3:58pm Top

I'm curious how the crabs are only "kinda" alive ... ;-)

Please save me some dessert! k thanks

Feb 23, 2012, 5:07pm Top

Chelle took the words right out of my ..err.. fingers. How are crabs "kinda' alive, Cushla?

I love peach crumble ... *holds out plate*

Feb 23, 2012, 5:12pm Top

Um, ok, I think they were dead by the time they were home. They were definitely dead before we cooked them but when they come into the shop they're put onto ice.

The kids finished the peach crumb le for breakfast. I must make it again because I got amazing behaviour out of both of them - they knew no peach crumble for breakfast till they were all dressed down to their shoes and socks. Nothing like bribery!

Nathalie, I am laughing at visions of you surrounded by central European cabbages!

Going to finish Maus now then maybe laundry time...

Feb 23, 2012, 5:29pm Top

kids ..... finished.....the peach crumble..... for ...... breakfast!

Feb 23, 2012, 6:32pm Top

OK. Next time I will post some here for you to stare at. Doesn't ship very well I don't think.

Feb 24, 2012, 12:15am Top

I think you need to figure out a way to ship it. I'm hungry, and I get cranky when I'm hungry... And I lurve peach crumble...

Feb 24, 2012, 2:48am Top

#18 Bribery is an awesome tool :)

Feb 24, 2012, 3:26am Top

Suz - peaches going mouldy. Pear crumble?

Bekka - yes! But not what Dr Suzuki would say... I am doing my reading homework for tomorrow: Nurtured By Love by Dr Shinichi Suzuki. I have 106 pages to read before Fletcher's violin lesson tomorrow morning. Oopsie. How to explain that Maus was better?

I will be back with reviews of Maus and Nurtured by Love some time after tomorrow's telling off.

Feb 24, 2012, 11:58am Top

I always looked at it as presenting them with choices, not bribery. If you do this, you get that. If you don't do this, you don't get that. Your choice! I think peach crumble is an excellent metaphor for making good choices in life: fully dressed with peach crumble in your tum = happy; not dressed with empty tum = unhappy. {tongue a bit in cheek but...}

Feb 24, 2012, 12:05pm Top

Mmm, peach crumble. Wish I could make that good choice in life right now.

Feb 25, 2012, 2:16am Top

Tui - I may need to make peach crumble several times a week... and yes, agree.

Joe - I'm guessing the peach trees are not blooming in Chicago right now? Sorry.

Am starting my next book from the T Coll library, Dreams in a Time of War by Ngugi wa Thiong'o - first 5 pages are excellent. Maus review coming once the kids are at school on Monday.

Edited: Feb 25, 2012, 2:21am Top

OK, will settle for pear crumble... *anxiously awaiting FedEx package*

ETA: I see now the reason you decided on teacher's college -- another library to ransack!!

Feb 25, 2012, 2:32am Top

No peaches near me, but I always covet the neighbours lemon tree as my lemon tart the other night was a success. :) mmm, so rich and zingy.
>27 Chatterbox: hope the pear/peach crumble makes it through customs intact :)

Feb 25, 2012, 1:17pm Top

Sorry I've been away so long. I had to take a self-imposed break on LT, email, etc, to keep from going insane. I'm so glad you enjoyed Maus. Did you read the complete Maus (I and II) or just vol.1? I met Art Spiegelman back in '92 and he signed a book for me, complete with a self-portrait of himself as a maus. I rated both I and II as five stars and as favorites. Recently, I was able to get a copy of MetaMaus, which just came out last year, at half-price. It's about the background to why and how he wrote that particular story. Very interesting, but I realized I needed to reread I and II before MetaMaus, so I had a fresher memory of particular scenes. This morning at breakfast, my husband asked me the classic question: how can a "comic book" about the Holocaust be serious or appropriate. I think he just needs to read the book, then he will see.

Anyway, I hope you enjoy your break, and then fun classes in math and German!

Feb 25, 2012, 4:06pm Top

Peach crumble ... yum! that might even get me to voluntarily wear shoes & socks - though I do think cruel & unusual punishment in summer ....

Feb 25, 2012, 4:20pm Top

Lisa, how cool that you've met Art Spiegelmann. I've just finished Maus I but Maus II was in the library next to it, so I'll go and grab it tomorrow. I didn't see MetaMaus there, but I just looked now and Wellington library has it listed as "in processing" so it should be available soon. I wouldn't have read it except for LT - would have wondered the same thing as your husband. I've read tons of Holocaust books, fiction and non-fiction, and this is so in your face in a way that words on their own aren't.

Suz, the TColl library has tons of great fiction that is really easy to find because they have less of it than the enormous Wgtn library. I'm already investigating how i can extend my library card beyond one year! Between that and the very good Karori branch library 2 minutes away from TColl I'm a happy girl.

Feb 25, 2012, 4:26pm Top

I thought the Maus books were amazing. Unfortunately, I was so enthusiastic about them that I convinced my son to share them with his English Lit teacher and never got them back. I can only hope that they are still being read by the students in that teacher's class.

Feb 26, 2012, 12:08pm Top

>32 bonniebooks: Oh Bonnie, that would be awful for me. I hate not to get books back, and by a teacher too. I'll keep an eye out for some used copies for you. ;-)

Mar 1, 2012, 1:00pm Top

Sorry for the latest vanishing act. Bonnie, that is awful, and puts you off lending anything precious.

I've got Maus II out of the library now and want to read it over the weekend.

I finished Dreams in a Time of War by Ngugi wa Thiong'o and really liked it - 4 stars.

I'd been meaning to read The Wizard of the Crow or some of his other fiction for ages, but this was sitting there in the library so I grabbed it instead, and I'm glad I did. I'll try to find some of his fiction soon. This is his memoirs of his childhood in Limuru, a village in Kenya in the 1950s during the civil war between the British and the Mau Mau and is beautifully written and thought-provoking. It's a book that needs to be read slowly to take it in.

I started Coventry last night and am going to try to finish it today. I can't remember the last time a book i read had so many positive reviews from LT friends - the works page is chocker with them! It'd been on my wishlist for ages and it was in Karori library when I went this week so I grabbed it.

Mar 14, 2012, 5:19am Top

Just saying "Hi", hoping you are okay and that all the learning leaves you some time for reading.

Mar 14, 2012, 2:11pm Top

Hi Nathalie! Thanks for saying hi - I have hardly been on here at all. I am swamped with work for my course (a test tomorrow, two assignments due in the next week) but enjoying it a lot.

I did finish Coventry and really liked it, but since then I have read the same two pages of A Mighty Fortress: A New History of the German People for 3 nights in a row. I am stuck with the Visigoths and Huns and I keep on falling asleep in 350 AD!

Mar 14, 2012, 2:17pm Top

Nice to see you posting Cushla and that you are enjoying your work.

Mar 14, 2012, 4:00pm Top

I've been meaning to read Ngugi wa Thiong'o because I've read a few really good reviews of his works. I should make a more concerted effort to remember to look for his books the next time I'm in a bookstore or at the library. Thanks for the nudge with your 4 star recommendation, Cushla

Mar 14, 2012, 4:03pm Top

Hi Cushla,

TCol keeping you busy I see. I bet it is. I cant imagine having much time spare with all youve got on. Good to see you are prioritising reading over posting (I suppose *grump grump* dont see you much around here *grump grump*)

I heard a guy on National Radio last night talking about the rise of the graphic novel, and how it is a very respected genre now. Its cool that "literature" can embrace a previously looked-down-upon art form.

Mar 14, 2012, 6:49pm Top

Hi Cushla

found your thread again. Maus is really fascinating, I enjoyed reading it very much - and was also disturbed by the story.

Mar 23, 2012, 2:21pm Top

Just stopping by to say hi.

Mar 23, 2012, 2:51pm Top

Hi! Thanks for visiting Paul, Paul, Megan, Lisa and Caro.

I have read about 30 pages of my Germany book this week (The Mighty Fortress and am up to 1100 so I am starting to have a clue about what's going on... have read about Otto, several Fredericks, Lothar and Ermengard, Hildegard, and numerous popes. I'm really missing my reading time but it isn't about to come back, so I'm just squeezing it in to spare minutes here and there.

I've also managed to get 2 assignments handed in (5000 words of maths and 1500 of ed psych) and on Monday I start my first placement in a school for 7 weeks. I can't wait. I think the first few days will be spent observing but we need to teach 40 hours over the time we're there, so the sooner the better.

I will try to visit your threads this weekend!

Mar 24, 2012, 2:36am Top

Good to read you again, Cushla! I am very impressed - such a long book on German history with all those kingdoms and dukedoms and all kings have the same name...

You've been very busy! 'Words' of math? I didn't know they were real written assignments possible for maths. I hope - no, I am in fact quite sure - you'll enjoy your first placement. I am absolutely convinced you'll be a great teacher.

Have a great weekend!

Mar 24, 2012, 4:54am Top

Good luck with your first placement Cushla, I'm also sure you'll love it. Which school will you be at?

Mar 24, 2012, 1:41pm Top

Adding my good wishes for your first placement. I'm also impressed you're managing to read such a heavy book alongside your studying.

Mar 24, 2012, 2:23pm Top

Good luck on placement. Im sure you'll be up front as soon as the other teacher has introduced you. Will you be tolerating tardiness or backchat? I dont think so!

Mar 25, 2012, 12:44pm Top

Hi everyone and thanks for your good wishes for today - they mean a lot!

Nathalie, I have put down A Mighty Fortress for a pretty fluffy mystery series recommended by Suzanne - the 2nd Lord Francis Powerscourt one, called Death and the Jubilee. I found it in the library the day Suz read the 11th one and it's been easy to rip through this weekend, although it was with some trepidation that I started it because Carrie gave it 1 1/2 stars!! Dickinson does take a long time to say things, and the plot has been really obvious to me for the last 40 pages, but it is just what I needed.

Megan we have read gallons of papers on classroom environment etc so I will be curious to see behaviour will be. It's definitely the most challenging part of the job for most of us!

Alana, the school is all boys and has a big mix of cultural backgrounds which is what I was after - I am really looking forward to meeting the kids this morning!! (Am PMing you the name). It's one of the ones I put on my list of schools I wanted to go to.

Mar 26, 2012, 2:51am Top

sounds like you are full of excitement/passion ......have fun!

Mar 27, 2012, 12:13pm Top

Good luck!

Mar 27, 2012, 1:52pm Top

Hi Alex and Lisa. I've done 2 days now and am really getting into the swing of it. First day was lots of orientation and only an hour of watching a class, but yesterday I observed 4 maths classes (and helped out as much as possible). The boys are lovely - the Year 10s are, errrr.... rambunctious... but I will sort them out. And the teacher I'm trailing is excellent.

I finished Death and the Jubilee so have read a whole THREE books in March. Thank goodness there are no 75er demotion global police about to leap out of the laptop. Comments on the book coming tonight hopefully...

Edited: Mar 27, 2012, 2:01pm Top

Year 10: how old is that, Cushla? Equivalent to 11th grade US and therefore 16-17? Fairly rough & tumble and high maintenance, I'd imagine!

Mar 27, 2012, 2:40pm Top

#51: Yr 10 = 14 yr olds

Cushla, sounds like you are right into it. Enjoy the rest of your placement.

Mar 27, 2012, 2:55pm Top

" errrr.... rambunctious.." would be a kind way to describe my class at school when I was in year 10 too!

#51 If it's the same as the UK system they're 14/15 Laura. I think US 11th grade would be Year 12. Year 12 was normally quieter because those who'd absolutely hated school had left to work or get a different qualification and those who remained were stressed out with exams and getting good enough grades to get into university. Year 10 (in the UK at least) is the worst year.

Mar 27, 2012, 2:55pm Top

#52 Delayed too long before posting - thanks Kerry!

Mar 27, 2012, 3:39pm Top

If i remember correctly, 4th form (year 10) was the worst class behaviorally for me to be in, the cockiness!

Mar 27, 2012, 5:58pm Top

Hope you continue to enjoy your placement :)

Mar 27, 2012, 6:38pm Top

Hmmm 14 year old so late middle school here or possibly high school freshman, a world of difference between the two BTW. I'm sure your classroom management skills will be very strong Cushla and you will have no trouble, but middle school here is the toughest group to teach yet those who do so successfully seem to love it. Whoever you end up teaching I'm sure you will shine:)

Mar 27, 2012, 6:45pm Top

Hi Cushla! I do love middle schoolers, but they are certainly challenging. Good luck to you!

Mar 27, 2012, 7:29pm Top

Never again! I was a long-term sub for what must be your Form 8 or 9. Ei yi yi! But I'm sure you'll have a much better experience. I was in a really rough neighborhood.

Mar 27, 2012, 9:55pm Top

>51 lauralkeet:-53: ack, I had it backwards. Actually I guessed correctly at first, then thought I was wrong and changed it, but you've set me straight. Thanks!

As a mother of two daughters, boys of any age mystify me. Sometimes even the 51-year-old sitting next to me right now, LOL.

Mar 27, 2012, 10:11pm Top

Cushla - my happiest time was probably in Middle School and I think that grounding and especially the joy of learning about the world and about history dictated my future interests I'm sure. I had a lovely teacher, Mrs Jennison, who instilled a love of books and an enquiring mind that I have not enough thanked her for. I hope you are as inspiring to your students as she was to me.

Mar 28, 2012, 2:38am Top

I'm glad you got a school on your list Cushla - the one you mentioned will be interesting but a great experience I'm sure. I look forward to hearing more about it.

Year 10 definitely, but also Year 11 were my most rambuctious classes. Year 9's are nervous about being at high school and finding their way, and by Years 12 and 13 those who don't want to be at school, as mentioned above, have left, and those that stayed are stressing about exams :-) I went to a small town high school were everyone knew everyone, so it was lots of fun.

Mar 29, 2012, 9:28am Top

Year 10 was the last year we had of not worrying about the approach of young adulthood and all its attendant responsibilities. But there was a whiff of it in the air, which might explain why our hijinks had a touch of the manic about them. Best of luck with all of it, Cush.

Mar 29, 2012, 4:29pm Top

Hi Cushla, catching up at last. I hope you've enjoyed the first week of your placement - it sounds like it got off to a good start.

And I hope you've got a good fluffy mystery or two to unwind with over the weekend!

Apr 3, 2012, 2:02am Top

I hope your placement continues to be a positive experience for you. It sounds like you're off to a great start!

I'm glad you enjoyed Death and the Jubilee more than I did. I can't remember what else I had been reading at the time, but I suspect it suffered in comparison. The series is difficult to find in this part of the U.S., but if I do run across another book in the series maybe I'll give it another chance.

Edited: Apr 3, 2012, 6:33am Top

I'm doing a drive-by wave on my own thread- I'm in the middle of week 2, 2 more days till 2+ weeks of holiday. Thanks for the lovely comments, thread-warming activity and animated discussion about what is Year 10. Yes, it's Grade 9, and I think they're the hardest bunch to teach. They are lovely boys though - except when they're not being quiet enough... I also have a Y11 class, 2 Year 13s (who are a lot like my uni students were) and some Year 12s in with my Year 13s.

I've read next to nothing in the last week and I don't like it. I started my first ever PD James on the Kindle - The Private Patient - after falling asleep too many times with the Germany tome. But the PD James book is feeling too creepy and I'm only 20 pages in... I think I'm going to flit from book to book till the end of May when I'm finished my placement!!

Apr 3, 2012, 11:36am Top

Just stopping by to catch up--best of luck with your classes!

Apr 3, 2012, 3:27pm Top

grade 10 for me (14/15, but I was jumped ahead a year) was a difficult one -- we moved the summer before to Belgium from Canada, so I was starting another new school, my fourth or fifth in about three years (finished elementary school, started secondary in London, then moved to Canada a few mos later, switched schools twice to get into a new program and then move to high school). I felt out of place and unhappy much of the year although I did end up making friends that I have stayed in touch with for the last 35 years or so, including my pal Harlan who I saw when I was down in DC ten days ago. Dunno if I was rambunctious, but it was the only time I've ever skipped classes routinely, and the only time i ever got a failing grade (first quarter of the second semester...) Got into the International Baccalaureate program the next year, and while there was a lot about the school I didn't like, I found ways to emphasize what I did enjoy. Looking back, that period was probably the first time I suffered from some form of depression.

The Dickinson books are a bit odd, stylistically. I really liked the first books in the series; the latter ones don't work quite as well for me and I suspect it's because the novelty has worn off. I think I read three in a row while getting over food poisoning in a Moroccan riad in Fes!! (Argh, the pre-Kindle days...)

Have you pre-ordered Lehrter Station, Cushla? I'm anxiously awaiting the next installment of the great adventures!

Apr 3, 2012, 4:23pm Top

yay for school holidays! You've earned a break. Time for reading? Or are you going away somewhere?

Apr 8, 2012, 8:33am Top

Hi Cushla - hope you're enjoying some well deserved time off!

Edited: Apr 9, 2012, 3:40pm Top

Hi Anne, Heather, Suz and Megan. Nice to see you and happy Easter!

Suz, your year 10 sounds tough - my 7th form year was a bit like that. We had just moved from Dunedin to Christchurch, I skipped a year, and it took me a good 6 months to settle in - and then we moved again to Wellington at the end of that year! I only have a couple of friends from that year.

I am loving having 2 weeks off even though I am doing lots of lesson planning (which includes making little angle measurers for my year 10 class... I have FINALLY read most of a book in under a week and I might even finish it today. It's When God Spoke English by Adam Nicholson, which appeared in the US as God's Secretaries. I wishlisted it last year, probably after Suz read it, and I am enjoying it quite a lot. It's all about the making of the King James bible, and there is lots about James and religion and politics in England. It feels like a good book to read before Bring up the Bodies appears soon.

Suz I haven't pre-ordered Lehrter Station. (goes to Book Depository...) Ooh. It's only NZ$22. Might have to do that! I'm expecting a good month coming up - I've just reserved Bring Up the Bodies. But I'm 13 in the queue so I hope they get more than one copy.

Apr 9, 2012, 6:44am Top

#71 "It feels like a good book to read before the Bring up the Bodies appears soon" Ok, When God Spoke English is on my library list for next month.

Edited: Apr 9, 2012, 5:37pm Top

Book 15 (holy moly I am running late this year): When God Spoke English by Adam Nicholson - 4 stars

This book is about the making of the King James Bible, which was 400 years old last year. It's pitched at the reader, like me, who knows a bit about English history through the Tudors up to the Civil war but has forgotten a lot of the details. Adam Nicholson writes well and a lot of the book is really about King James and religion in the last years of Elizabeth's reign and under James. I would have liked a bit more of the bible itself and really enjoyed the parts about translation. To the extent that I grew up with any Bible, it was the Good News, and inspiring it was not - but as I've mentioned before, one of the things my Catholic education could have done much better was to focus on the whole bible instead of repetitive retellings of the parables.

At the start of his reign, King James held a conference at Hampton Court to which competing factions of religious believer were invited (without the two extremes of the Roman Catholics and the separatist non-conformists who wanted to abolish bishops and the institutional structure of the English church).
The King James bible was the product of compromise among these different groups of believers. There were 6 groups of 8 translators. Each translator worked on his own section, then met in his group of 8 to finalise the group's section of the bible, then there was a full meeting of 16 to go through the whole thing. It really was translation by committee.

The only thing that bugged me was Nicholson's over-use of the word "irenicon" (a thing of peace). I lost count of how many times I read it.

Recommended to fans of CJ Sansom's Matthew Shardlake books, Wolf Hall, or LTers who are interested in translation or history. (Heather, I think you will like it!)

Apr 9, 2012, 5:40pm Top

Hmmm--I might have to wishlist that one since based on your recommendation I seem to fall into the target audience! Thanks for the review!

Apr 9, 2012, 10:09pm Top

Anne, I think you'd like it. And it's not too long - only 248 pages.

Apr 10, 2012, 1:04am Top

Ironically I was thinking about translations of the King James Bible yesterday. I was trying to sort out the progression from it to the American Standard version (1901), to Revised Standard Version (1952, 1971), New Revised Standard Version (1989), then English Standard Version (2001). Thanks for putting the book on my radar. Sounds like my cup of tea.

Apr 10, 2012, 1:24am Top

Anne, that's LT serendipity at work! There is a bit in the book about the Puritans that made me want to read more (maybe Sarah Vowell's The Wordy Shipmates - I have seen good things about it on here I think.) And Nicholson goes through the translations in England, but not the USA.

Apr 10, 2012, 1:34am Top

I was amazed when I began to read about how many translations and versions have been written in English alone. And that's not counting the paraphrased versions. And I found it surprising that Americans have to write their own revisions, usually in reaction to the British ones.


Apr 10, 2012, 8:16am Top

I find Bible translations oddly fascinating and I would enjoy learning the history behind this one. Memories of the "Good News" version make me shudder -- so very 70s, but so accessible that perhaps it got people to read it who otherwise wouldn't. Interesting review, Cushla. Thanks!

Apr 10, 2012, 8:14pm Top

That looks good. Count me in!

Apr 11, 2012, 11:08am Top

I'm adding that one to my own wishlist too. I'm fascinated with issues of translation, plus I've been working off and on for years on reading the New Testament in the original Greek.

Apr 11, 2012, 5:41pm Top

I hope you all like it! Amber, it might be a bit light on the translation issues for you - there are quotes in there showing how the KJV translates something vs the Geneva Bible and later translations, but I would have liked more of this. But as a history book it's a good read. (Not sure if that makes sense. Haven't had enough coffee to get my brain going.)

I've just finished another book and am feeling like I'm reading enough again to be happy. I have tons of lessons to plan but have enjoyed a few days of not doing much work for school. The kids are having swimming lessons every day again so I get a bit read at the pool.

Book 16 was the 14th in Donna Leon's Inspector Brunetti series, Blood from a Stone - 3 1/2 stars.

I've been going in order on this series but grabbed this a few days ago and started reading, and it really didn't matter that it's #14.

The book opens with the gunning down of an African fake handbag seller by two white men. Nobody knows who the victim is, and witness reports are vague - it was obviously a professional job. The novel follows the usual Brunetti pattern - plenty of Guido and his family, Vianello and Signorina Elettra, the smarmy Vice-Quaestore Patta, Venetian food and geography, and discussion of the Social Issues of The Day - this time it's illegal immigration, racism, a sidetrack onto climate change, and a fourth one that is obvious from the title.

I sound a bit sarcastic writing that, which is silly because I really like the format of the books and her perspective on life fits my own, but the books are starting to feel a bit formulaic. I've read 8 of these now and they are still one of my favourite crime series - perfect when you have a few minutes here and there, and won't keep you up at night.

Apr 11, 2012, 11:44pm Top

I just got the new book by Adam Nicolson, The Gentry; I think my faves of his are actually his memoir about living/working on an island he owns (I think in the Hebrides?) and his book about a family through the period of civil strife in Elizabethan and Jacobean England and on to the civil war.

only about a month to go until Lehrter Station. I've requested Bring Up the Bodies as an ER book this month, but have it pre-ordered for Kindle in case I'm not lucky.

Apr 12, 2012, 11:14am Top

Hi Cushla, just catching up after a longish absence from LT. I hope you're enjoying your break and I'm impressed with the reading you're getting done with all that you have going on.

I'm reading (even) more slowly now that I'm working again part of the time. But the main thing is that we are reading, right? I think the average person wouldn't manage it at all...

Apr 13, 2012, 10:29pm Top

Hey for those who like When God spoke English - may also like The Book of books - Melvyn Bragg

either way as Cushla stated this is a great book .......

Apr 15, 2012, 12:17am Top

Suz, I read about Nicholson's other books in the blurb at the back of When God Spoke English and the one about the Hebrides sounded good - I will definitely look for it now that it's got your tick too. (tr. tick = check mark!)

Rebeki, you're right that at least we are reading. When I was working in banking my fiction reading stopped completely - actually the whole way through grad school too. It's only in the last few years I've really started reading much more than non-fiction again since high school.

Alex, I have Melvyn Bragg's Credo here, bought a few years ago at one of the second hand book fairs. Have you read it? It looked good at the time but it's enormous and that puts me off!

At the start of the year one of my goals was to read more books set in Russia or the formet Soviet republics, and I have managed not to do that so far -
but yesterday I finished The Siege by Helen Dunmore.

This is one of the best books I've read so far this year and I gave it 4 1/2 stars. Thank you everyone here on LT who raved about it - I loved it too and it put the minor stress of juggling kids and planning maths lessons into perspective. I'm not doing a review because there are tons of great ones already. I've read 3 other books about the siege of Leningrad - city of Thieves by David Benioff, one of my top 5 books last year, the gripping but fairly trashy The Bronze Horseman (and its sequel really lost all credibility when the lost lovers met up after months of winter and starvation, with lots of Germans chasing them and I think the Russian army too, and had pages and pages of sex in a barn before they raced off through the night... apologies for any spoilers but trust me the book is not worth it) - and the very good Madonnas of Leningrad. I'll get The Betrayal, its sequel, out of the library soon.

I do wish somebody could tell me about a great story of the Leningrad siege written by a survivor though, or at least a Russian author. I don't want to play down Helen Dunmore's achievement because I really felt like I was seeing what life must have been like for Anna and her family, but I would like to hear the story from someone who was really there now that I've read the novels. Any suggestions?

Edited: Apr 15, 2012, 2:50am Top

Cushla - I read Credo a few years ago and really loved it.
Not by a Russian but a NZ writer based now in Berlin, Sarah Quigley's The Conductor is set during the siege and sheds light on the Leningrad Symphony No 7 by Shostakovich.

Apr 15, 2012, 1:17am Top

>86 cushlareads: Credo yes read it a few years back - borrowed from my mum after I had gifted it - memory serves me right was a good read :)

Was thinking about your Leningrad siege - can't remember the Author or Title for the life of me - will pop back in if it ever does ......

If you want something a bit lighter - try Child 44

Apr 15, 2012, 2:21am Top

Kerry, I've just looked on the Wellington library website and there are tons of copies of The Conductor but all out (unless I go to Miramar, but I am trying to stick to Central and Karori!). It looks great - I vaguely remember it being published while we were away and getting great reviews.

Alex, I am adding Child 44 to my wishlist, and I'm going to find Credo on the bookshelves and move it nearer the bed... my system is kind of working.

Apr 15, 2012, 5:23am Top

Cushla, I'm so glad that you enjoyed The Siege. I just loved it when I read it earlier this year. Helen Dunmore has become on of my favourite authors.

I'm in the midst of a couple of books, but Child 44 is sitting in my TBR pile. Yes, do get The Betrayal out next. It's not as good as The Siege - but I loved it too.

Apr 15, 2012, 6:57am Top

Add me to the "glad you enjoyed The Siege" chorus. What a wonderful book. And I know I've heard of another book, perhaps even non-fiction, about this time period. Rebeccacnyc may have been the one who read it. I have this vague memory of reading about it and thinking it sounded a lot like The Siege.

Not very helpful, am I?

Apr 15, 2012, 8:21am Top

I have to get to The Siege this year. I'll probably read it for Orange July.

Apr 15, 2012, 4:25pm Top

Hi Cushla - just a drive by wave. Hope the teaching is going well.

Apr 15, 2012, 4:33pm Top

>86 cushlareads: I loved it too and it put the minor stress of juggling kids and planning maths lessons into perspective
It is good when books can do that isnt it. Life is hard and busy, but when you have a shelter and food you are doing better than plenty of other people!

Apr 15, 2012, 8:49pm Top

I've had The Siege on my TBR for a while, but it sounds like I need to bump it up. Thanks for the nudge, Cushla!

Apr 15, 2012, 9:02pm Top

Laura and Deb, your great reviews were two of the shoves I got to buy this book. Darryl and Amy, I think you'll both like it. I wasn't sure for the first 40 pages or so but then loved it from there on.

Laura, I will check Rebecca's threads later on (and no doubt add half a dozen books to my WL). My stack of deperssing Russian books is growing. I found Solzhenitsyn's The First Circle yesterday - I msut have bought it in a book fair. 500+ pages of a Stalinist prosecutor's life - eek!! It looks good though.

Bekka, I have 2 weeks off - this is week 2 - and it has been lovely having some time to relax. I'm doing geometry with my year 10s for 5 weeks and stats with my year 11s. I had some inspiration yesterday and have just been down to the NZ Rugby Union head office to get posters of the All Blacks - first topic is scatterplots, so we're going to investigate the All Blacks' height and weight.

Megan, I am still reading about sieges - I've moved on to Sarajevo now! I'm halfway through the Cellist of Sarajevo, and at this rate it might get 5 stars.

Apr 16, 2012, 1:58am Top

Hi Cushla,

I've never read anything about the siege of Leningrad, so can't be of any help, but I will look for The Siege when I decide to do something about this gap in my knowledge.

I really enjoyed The First Circle when I read it a few years ago. I remember there were a lot of characters, so I had to keep referring to the list at the beginning of the book, but generally it was a lot more "fun" than it looked. For me, Solzhenitsyn has a very clear and engaging writing style.

Apr 16, 2012, 2:13am Top

Hi Rebeki - we are following each other around!! I just came from your thread (but haven't posted anything, am making chicken soup and checking LT and doing Just Dance on the Wii all at once. )

Good to hear about Solzenhitsyn - I have A Day in the life of Ivan Denisovich here somewhere too. And Cancer Ward. (Looking around in embarrassment... I 'm pretty sure that's him but maybe it's not!!) Every day I find another Russian book - they seem to turn up at the big bookfair every year. After W&P last year, I should whip through the other ones!!

Apr 16, 2012, 3:22am Top

#96 That's a great idea - you'll have to let me know how they enjoy that. Was just going to comment on the girls liking the posters before I realised it's a boys school... oops!

Apr 16, 2012, 3:56am Top

I've been eying up Helen Dunmore in the shops for a little while now, I think I'll have to give her a try.

Apr 16, 2012, 5:51am Top

I love the idea of All Blacks stats!

Edited: Apr 16, 2012, 10:07am Top

#98 - Ha, yes, I got up particularly early today to work, but ended up on LT. I imagine you're fast asleep now though.

Yes, Cancer Ward's also one of his. I've read and enjoyed all three of those books. Perhaps bizarrely, I found One Day in the Life the hardest to read, which may be down to the monotony of Ivan Denisovich's day (which is obviously sort of the point). I have Solzhenitsyn's The Gulag Archipelago on my TBR pile and I'm a bit scared of that... Anyway, I think all these Russian books ganging up on you are trying to tell you something!

Apr 16, 2012, 6:53pm Top

>98 cushlareads: am making chicken soup and checking LT and doing Just Dance on the Wii all at once
lol! Talk about multi tasking, and all such important tasks too :)

Apr 16, 2012, 7:09pm Top

Well there's this one Cushla: The 900 Days: The Siege Of Leningrad non-fiction but it's not written by anyone who lived through it. It does have a 4.1 LT rating. I have this book on my shelf but haven't go to it yet. Not surprisingly, I picked it up after I read The Siege because I wanted a NF book about that time.

Apr 16, 2012, 8:18pm Top

I'm a Solzhenitsyn fan, so I've read all four of the ones mentioned. I think The Gulag Archipelago is probably my favorite. Did you get the old version of The First Circle or the new one, In the First Circle: A Novel (The Restored Text: The First Uncensored Edition) that contains all the materials that the censors had cut, including 9 full chapters? I haven't read the new one, but would like to.

Apr 16, 2012, 10:02pm Top

I'll ask a Russian friend about Leningrad novels. The Anna Reid NF book is supposed to be v. good; it's been on my "watchlist" since I learned about it last summer.

ARGH. Must wait until July to get a copy of The conductor, when it is published in the UK. You see, I happen to love Shostakovich's 7th symphony...

Apr 17, 2012, 1:18am Top

Hi Cushla, I'm learning some interesting things from your thread today!

#105 - Lisa, I didn't even know a new edition had been published. How exciting!

#106 - And butting in here to say that if Borderland: A Journey Through the History of Ukraine is anything to go by, the Anna Reid book should be good. It's also going on my list - thanks, Chatterbox!

Apr 17, 2012, 9:27am Top

Hi Cushla. I've been meaning to read The Siege since the beginning of the year and I've also had Credo in my TBR pile for ages. Your comments about the Paullina Simons books made me smile, I thought the same thing but then romance novels aren't generally my thing anyway.

Apr 17, 2012, 4:39pm Top

I have wishlisted (on my library account) the Anna Reid one, as the NF one isnt available. I dont know if it is a morbid fascination, but this topic does fascinate me.

Apr 17, 2012, 4:39pm Top

*waving* at Cushla

Apr 17, 2012, 8:36pm Top

Yowser - TONS of visitors - hi everyon and thanks for visiting.

Stasia, you really must be on holiday - it's great to see you back here.

Rebeki, I'm looking at my copy of The First Circle and I think it must be the old abridged version - annoying. It's the one published in 1974, which explains why the book is yellow and a bit grotty.

Bonnie, Rebeki and Suz, I have added all those Leningrad books to my WL and both Anna Reid books (Borderland and the Leningrad one) are available in Karori library. I'll have a look on my next kid-free trip there. Suz The Swerve is in there too so I'll grab that as well.

I have been busy finishing The Cellist of Sarajevo, which gets a full 5 stars and is likely to be in my top 10 books this year.

I bought this at the big Waterstones in London in May 2010 because of LT recommendations. It was the day I dragged Fletch onto the London Eye and he sulked the whole way round, but now he tells his friends that it was great...and it was 33 degrees and Waterstones was a much nicer place to be than the doubledecker buses that day...but I am getting sidetracked! I do miss my London trips though.

When I got it home to Basel, it sat on the shelves - it looked too sad. But once I picked it up a few days ago and got into the first chapter, I was reading it in 5 minute blocks to find out what was going to happen - as well as being a novel about the Bosnian war and the siege of Sarajevo, it's as tense as a great thriller.

At the start of the book, the former cellist from the national orchestra is playing his cello in his apartment when a shell kills 22 people queuing up to buy bread in the square below him. He decides to play Albinoni's Adagio every day for the next 22 days to commemorate the victims. That's the last time Galloway shows us life from the cellist's point of view, but the book is framed around his performance and its impact on 3 Sarajevo residents: Arrow, a sniper, Kenan, whose mission is to get water for his family, and Dragan, whose wife and son have managed to escape the city to Italy.

Highly recommended, but many of you will have beaten me to it!

Apr 17, 2012, 11:52pm Top

Cush, my formerly rugby playing son loved The Book of Fame so thank you for finding and saying good things about it.

Apr 18, 2012, 12:20am Top

Tui that's great! Have you read it yet?

Apr 18, 2012, 12:34am Top

I sped read it before I gave it to him (shhh don't let on).

Apr 18, 2012, 1:43am Top

Heh. I should do that with the books I give Tim, but they are usually chunksters (like 1Q84, which he has yet to open, and a bio of Isaac Newton, which is 875 pages long... the Book of Fame was definitely a better bet for a sneaky preview!)

Apr 18, 2012, 2:51am Top

>111 cushlareads: looks a good one, and love the back story too :)

Apr 18, 2012, 3:17am Top

Megan I think you'd like it. There were bits in it that I marked that reminded me of the Christchurch earthquake though, so make sure you're in the mood for it.

Apr 18, 2012, 9:35am Top

Hi Cushla, I'm catching up on threads after the Easter break and yours just hit me with so many BBs.... off to amazon to update my wishlist. :-)
Has school started again this week?

Apr 18, 2012, 7:44pm Top

I loved The Cellist of Sarajevo too, Cushla. I am glad to see you thought so highly of it!

Apr 19, 2012, 6:36pm Top

Great review of The Cellist of Sarajevo. I enjoyed that one, too.

Apr 20, 2012, 1:31am Top

Hi Cushla, very happy to see you have rated The Cellist of Sarajevo so highly! A great story, IMO!

Apr 20, 2012, 3:25am Top

Nathalie, I could make a bad taste joke about bullets from The Cellist of Sarajevo but I won't. But you'll know a lot more about snipers at the end of the book than you did at the start.

Hi Lori, Anne and Stasia - I just saw this today:


Apparently Barbara Demick (the author of the fantastic Nothing to Envy) also wrote a book about the siege of Sarajevo and it's being reprinted. Might have to look for it.

School is back on Monday so I am busy... but sneaked into the library 5 minutes before it shut last night and found The Song of Achilles, yay!!

Apr 20, 2012, 4:43am Top

Hi Cushla, your review of The Cellist of Sarajevo makes me want to read a book I thought I wasn't fussed about. For some reason, I was a bit sniffy about the fact that it wasn't written by a Bosnian or at least someone from ex-Yugoslavia.

I recently watched this documentary about a group of people in Sarajevo trying to protect the valuable (in all senses of the word) contents of a library from the shelling and bombing and was (naively) shocked by how snipers would take aim at any unarmed civilian passing by.

I'll definitely look out for the Barbara Demick book on the subject - thanks for letting us know about it!

Apr 21, 2012, 12:30am Top

Not only do I have The Cellist of Sarajevo, but I even took it on vacation with me last year, but I still haven't read it. I'm going to get it off the shelf and put it on my reading table right now. (As soon as I add the Demick book to my wishlist!)

Apr 21, 2012, 4:11am Top

You are in for a big treat with "Achilles"....

I found Demick's book about Sarajevo in my library system -- Logavina Street. It seems to be a different kind of book -- 182 pages and says it contains photos. Only one copy, and there's already a hold on it, so I imagine it will take a while to show up chez moi.

Apr 21, 2012, 10:00pm Top

From what I understand, Logavina Street: Life and Death in a Sarajevo Neighborhood is the name of the original book published in 1996. Besieged: Life Under Fire on a Sarajevo Street is the new edition, I believe, in which Demick revisits and brings the story up to date. (see the link to the article in post #122)

Apr 21, 2012, 10:55pm Top

Hi there, Cushla! So many good books to add to my wishlist! 5 starsw for The Cellist of Sarajevo! Wow, must get that one. I think I own Blood from a Stone It's probably on my bookshelf. Everybody like The Seige so must get that one as well. But When God Spoke English really intrigues me the most so definately one to locate.
Good luck with the (is it new?) school year!

Apr 28, 2012, 4:19am Top

Hi Cushla,
I am finally reading that book I bought at Unity on our meetup last year....just getting to it now! At this rate I'll be reading the one from my latest meetup by Christmas. :/
I take it you have polished off all your purchases from Unity?
(my sole purchase was The New Penguin Book of American Short Stories).
Keep those kids in line.... (the school ones, I mean!)

Apr 28, 2012, 6:27am Top

Hi Megan!! And hi Lynda, Lisa, Suzanne and Rebeki. I am underwater with school - I have worked 10 hours today on lesson planning and am nowhere near done. I will be back on LT around May 25... just trying to get through the next 4 weeks without melting down (or at least melting down too often!).

Megan I am so tired i can't even remember what I bought that day but I think I was very restrained except for the kids... hope it's good!

Apr 28, 2012, 9:18am Top

Wishing you all the best for the next 4 weeks then! You'll make it. And should you really have a bad day you know we're all here ready to support you and to cheer you up.

Apr 28, 2012, 4:28pm Top

Wishing you the best over the next 4 weeks, Cushla!

Apr 28, 2012, 5:13pm Top

Thanks guys. Several very bad days last week, but the trend is good. I really appreciate the messages. I feel like I'm back in investment banking again getting buried in work but it will come right (oh and then there is getting the boys to DO WHAT I WANT!)

I am up to page 220 in The Song of Achilles and loving it - and it is a minor triumph that I was awake in bed long enough to get 10 pages read last night.

Apr 28, 2012, 6:30pm Top

and it is a minor triumph that I was awake in bed long enough to get 10 pages read last night
congrats! That is an achievement I can relate to :)

Apr 28, 2012, 6:48pm Top

No melt downs are permitted Cushla;-) I know it seems overwhelming but it really does get easier as you go along. Good luck to you over the next few weeks.

Apr 28, 2012, 7:22pm Top

Cushla, it's great to hear from you and will be thinking of you over the next 4 weeks. I'm glad you're enjoying Song of Achilles; it's near the top of my TBR.

Apr 28, 2012, 7:54pm Top

"oh and then there is getting the boys to DO WHAT I WANT!" ...... oh you are funny getting full grown 'boys' to do that is impossible never mind when they are teenagers with wandering minds ....!!!

Keep the snack reading up it will keep you sane

Apr 28, 2012, 8:44pm Top

Alex, yes... but in my 3rd lesson for at least 1-2 minutes you could have heard a pin drop. The rest, um, work in progress.

Bonnie my hat goes off to you for your stamina and energy at teaching for ages. I can see that this job is going to be great once I have figured out how to do it!!

Right, back to the lesson plans... I have 10 left to do today. Yes 10...

Apr 28, 2012, 9:50pm Top

....you reckon you really need all that paperwork Cushla? Or is it mostly just to please the machine? My guess is it is useful when you are starting out, but its need my decrease with experience in the classroom.

Apr 29, 2012, 12:25am Top

We have to do it Megan. I've been told to hand them in tomorrow. Basically, whatever your associate teacher tells you to do, you do it... and especially when you're starting out it is one of the keys to a good lesson. But it is killing me getting it all done!

Apr 29, 2012, 1:27am Top

((Hugs)) for Cushla. You can do it!

Apr 29, 2012, 2:03am Top

Cushla - teaching is clearly a very taxing occupation - wish you every success - I have given a few training seminars in my time and am familiar with the sinking feeling that silence brings with it!

Apr 29, 2012, 2:11am Top

Paul, silence brings elation - these are 14 year old boys!

Thanks guys. 5 lesson plans to go.

Apr 29, 2012, 3:02am Top

The lesson planning does get easier ....... remember what doesn't kill you will make you stronger ! :)

Apr 29, 2012, 12:45pm Top

Juggling all the different balls in the air of mom, wife, student...I think you're doing a super job (even though I miss you here).

Apr 29, 2012, 12:48pm Top

Half way there!

Apr 29, 2012, 1:36pm Top

Popping in to say hello, Cushla! Glad to see you enjoyed The Cellist of Sarajevo. It's one that I enjoyed reading too.

Apr 29, 2012, 11:21pm Top

>144 tiffin: I agree!

Apr 29, 2012, 11:28pm Top

Well, after your time in investment banking, I would imagine that you have all the skills necessary to get 14 year old boys to listen and behave... it's just a matter of recalling it all to memory, no?? *grin*

And just think, it's all for a much more productive purpose...

May 1, 2012, 10:05am Top

Good luck with the next few weeks, Cushla! I hope you've lined up some nice books to read afterwards as a reward!

May 1, 2012, 12:03pm Top

111 - Good to hear that people are still loving The Cellist of Sarajevo. I must get to my copy--I even had it personally signed by the author. He lives close to me, so even more reason why I'm very bad for not reading it yet!

May 2, 2012, 2:04am Top

You guys rock - it is lovely to come on here and read all your messages. Am having a better week - feel like I am learning how to get 27 14 year old boys to listen and yes Suz it does have similarities to banking, but even more to getting my own kids to learn to take their plates to the kitchen at the end of dinner when they were 2 or 3.

Might even finish The Song of Achilles tonight if I don't fall asleep first. 40 pages to go and it is still fantastic.

Joyce that is funny that you haven't read The Cellist of Sarajevo when he lives nearby. Mind you, I could say the same about numerous Wellington authors whose work I've bought but not read...

May 2, 2012, 3:17am Top

27? That's a big class isn't it Cushla? You'll certainly have your hands full, but you sound like you're managing well. The Cellist of Sarajevo keeps popping up on my radar, one day soon I'll have to go and check it out.

May 3, 2012, 2:07pm Top

#152 Alana, yep, it's quite big... I'm getting there. 3 weeks and a day left. I'm tired but less stressed than a week ago.

News flash - I finished a book!!!!!!!! And it's the best book I've read so far this year - Madeline Miller's The Song of Achilles. 5 stars for me with no thought required.

Now I can go and read all the other reviews that might have spoilers. No review from me, just a huge GO AND READ THIS ONE if you have any interest in the ancient world. I'm going to have to pull the Iliad off the shelf (Nathalie I saw you are right into it already and giggled at you calling Patroclus Pat in your summaries!).

No idea what is up next, but something gripping because my reading will continue to be in 10 minute bursts for the rest of May.

May 3, 2012, 2:38pm Top

122: Apparently Barbara Demick (the author of the fantastic Nothing to Envy) also wrote a book about the siege of Sarajevo and it's being reprinted. Might have to look for it.

Yeah, that one's been on my radar since I read the, I agree fantastic, Nothing to Envy, and it has been published, as of April 17 says Amazon, same title but with additions / revisions.

Re teaching... I did it for two years, HS math, by far, far, exhausting stressful far, the hardest job I've ever had. Kudos to you, and best wishes for the next few weeks.

May 3, 2012, 4:03pm Top

Wow, another 5star rating for SoA! Glad you enjoyed it so much.

There are just too many ways to spell Patro-c/k-l-o/u/e-s, and my German version of the Iliad uses all of them, so with 'Pat' I am on the safe side.

Off again to get that 13th canto read tonight.

May 3, 2012, 5:36pm Top

Great! I'm glad that you're part of The Song of Achilles fan club, Cushla. I do hope it wins the Orange Prize later this month.

May 4, 2012, 4:44am Top

Snap I finished The Song of Achilles as well this week ( well monday so bit late) - Nothing more to say BUT GO READ THIS .....

May 4, 2012, 4:58am Top

Adding SoA to the 'must read soon' list...

May 4, 2012, 6:31am Top

As a child one of my favourite books was the Giant Golden Book edition of the Iliad and the Odyssey. I read it, and other books of Greek myths, over and over again. As an adult I've read other versions/translations and, having read all the recommendations, I have The Song of Achilles on my kindle. But I'm almost afraid to start it in case I don't like it as much as I think I will...

May 4, 2012, 9:23am Top

Wow - I've only been to 3/4 threads today but all of them have people saying that this is a must read. Hmmm...

May 4, 2012, 3:32pm Top

Hi Katherine, Darryl, Kerry, Alex, Bekka, Nathalie and Alana! I'm coming up for air again... have got through another week of school, and feeling much less tired after the one just gone than the first one. Fell asleep before I opened one of several books on the bed to see what to read next but will find something after breakfast.

I've just read all the SoA reviews and it's been ages since I've seen review after review declaring love for a book. Not everyone loved it but its average rating is a whopping 4.56. Alex, we had exactly the same reaction.

Darryl, I have been so underwater with work that I haven't even visited the Orange group to see what the other shortlist books are like. OK, I'm just back from the Orange website and probably won't read any of the others in a rush, and really hope Madeline Miller wins. I remember your reaction to Half Blood Blues last year, have read various negative comments about Cynthia Ozick's book, have seen many slams of Anne Enright's The Gathering. That leaves State of Wonder which I seem to remember lots of great reviews from and it's on my "want to read but not right now" list and Painter of Silence which looks like it has potential but not what I'm in the mood for now...

Kerry, as soon as I read your post I went onto book Depository and looked for your children's book. I don't think I've found it but I did just order Fletch a children's version and also some Rosemary Sutcliff book - Black Ships before Troy, and Beowulf and The Eagle of the Ninth while I was at it. I didn't read her as a kid but I wish I had.

Nathalie, am going over to your thread to see where you're up to now.

Am planning a library trip today with Teresa - haven't been in for a leisurely visit for several weeks.

May 4, 2012, 9:07pm Top

Interesting. Painter of Silence has no LT reviews. If I get one more in it would be that one but I probably won't get another one in. Song of Achilles is by far the favorite on LT and the only other one I've read is State of Wonder which was good but flawed. So I'll be rooting for SofA. I never thought there was a chance that you wouldn't love it Cushla.

May 4, 2012, 10:21pm Top

That is spooky saw Painter of Silence in the bookstore today, looked a good read was wondering f there were any reviews thoughts on the book also saw A small circus which also looks tantalisingly good

Edited: May 5, 2012, 5:16am Top

#161 If it helps the Giant Golden book I mentioned is written by Jane Werner Watson. It is a giant book too - about 40cm tall. Mine is now the repository of school certificates, large photos and other important documents. It contains a good cross section of my childhood.

I've just got the audio versions of Black ships before Troy and The wanderings of Odysseus, which I'm looking forward to.

May 5, 2012, 8:31am Top

I had planned to complete the Orange prize shortlist by May 30th, the date of the award ceremony. I definitely want to read at least two of the titles this month, particularly State of Wonder and Painter of Silence. I'll read The Forgotten Waltz afterward, and save Foreign Bodies for last.

May 5, 2012, 3:49pm Top

Hi Bonnie. I am struggling to think of a book rec from you that I didn't end up loving as well. If you give something over 4 stars, it almost always goes onto my WL (but not the one about the kids with cancer - not for a few years!). I've just had a look for Broken Glass Park and it's not in Wellington library, but Book Depository has got the original in German and I will probably buy it. (I am SO good at buying books in German, or getting them as presents from a couple of lovely German friends. I just fail to read them...)

Will be looking forward to seeing your reviews of the other Orange books, Darryl and Alex.

Kerry I just looked up Jane Werner on Book Depository - can't find the Greek book but laughed because she also wrote the Fuzzy Duckling, which is one of my favourite Golden Books. Funny about all your childhood stuff being kept inside it.

Had a nice day yesterday with very little lesson planning etc - it is all done after last weekend's hellish effort. Got out of Karori library with a big pile of kids' books and a couple of mysteries for me (a Lindsey Davis one but I can never find the first Falco one in the library so this is about #5 - Last Act in Palmyra) and another Lord Francis Powercourt one . Not in the mood for anything weighty.

May 5, 2012, 4:30pm Top

Hi Cushla--I'm glad to see you're feeling less tired after week 2--hopefully that's a trend!

I've read Painter of Silence but haven't reviewed it yet. I guess I should get on that! It was a lovely and moving read--but I don't think as good a book as Song of Achilles. I'd rank it ahead of Foreign Bodies and The Forgotten Waltz, and I liked it better than Half Blood Blues as well.

May 6, 2012, 1:47am Top

I'm reading The Forgotten Waltz now and really enjoying it so far (about 20% of the way into it, my Kindle tells me). I started Painter of Silence but bogged down quickly, so must face re-starting it. Foreign Bodies was a giant meh for me; part of it I put down to it being an homage to Henry James -- but then I remind myself that so was The Master by Colm Toibin, which I still like better than any Henry James I have read.

May 7, 2012, 6:20pm Top

I'm miles behind here, Cushla, but delighted you enjoyed The Siege; it was also one of my best reads so far this year. You've confirmed that I need to get to the The Cellist of Sarajevo sooner than later.

May 7, 2012, 8:32pm Top

Will have to go for The Cellist of Sarajevo over the Achilles one....not sold on the ye olde genre. Library says a copy is available so may even get it today, despite my current reads totally enthralling me.

May 7, 2012, 8:39pm Top

Popping in to catch up on your thread, Cushla.

May 11, 2012, 3:18pm Top

Hi Caroline, Nancy, Megan, Anne and Suzanne!

Megan and Nancy I think you would like the C of S.

Suzanne, I have yet to read any Henry James, or The Master. (I am teaching 2 boys who sit next to each other called Henry and James though, and that was how I learnt their names. Maybe an omen that It Is Time.) Foreign Bodies is staying far from my wishlist.

I vanished on my own thread again, but I am back and have had a good week at school. 2 left then back to university and 3 exams in 5 days two weeks later.... eek. I feel much less tired, the boys are (mostly) doing what I want when I want them to, and apparently a bunch of my year 11s know me as Miss (they all call me that) and Put Your Pens Down. Could be worse. They are really nice kids even if maths is not always what they want to be doing.

I had a new book blow out at Unity last Sunday but it's a sign of how well the book ban has been working that 2 new books really did feel like a huge shop! I came out with Painter of Silence by Georgina Harding, which Anne has just read and reviewed and really liked, and The Forrests by Emily Perkins. Perkins is a NZ author and I think I've read one of her earlier novels, but didn't love it. This one looks like it might be good - a family saga - sounds a bit like Freedom though and I gave that up after 250 or so pages. The Listener has started doing a book club online, and it's the May book - and it also made the front page of the Dominion when it was mentioned at the Hay Festival as being a possible Booker winner. It was so amazing to see a book on the front page that I had to buy it!

I'm doing the readathon here this weekend and want to get through David Downing's new John Russell book, Lehrter Station, which i bought for my Kindle last week too... within 5 seconds of reading on Suzanne's thread that it had been published.

Right I had better go and read instead of type. Hope you all have relaxing weekends.

May 11, 2012, 4:22pm Top

Hi Cushla - I also picked up a copy of The Forrests from Unity Books (Akl) last week. I got my copy signed after listening to Perkins chat about her work at the Writers Festival yesterday. Looking forward to reading it, I haven't read her before though I started Novel about my wife a few days ago.

May 12, 2012, 1:38am Top

Sounds like school is going well Cushla! Enjoy your readathon.

>173 avatiakh: Kerry, I look forward to seeing your thoughts on Novel About My Wife, I'm slightly embarassed at how long my copy has now been sitting on my shelf.

May 12, 2012, 4:29am Top

5 seconds??? LOL... so much for book buying bans!

May 12, 2012, 8:22am Top

Hi Cushla. So glad to hear that school is getting easier - I will be cheering you on for the next two weeks. Also glad to hear that The Song of Achilles was a winner for you :-) I have Painter of Silence out of the library and The Forgotten Waltz ready for collection - would like to finish those two by the end of the month.

May 13, 2012, 9:26pm Top

It seems that this school year has just flown--do you feel that way? When these exams are done, is that it or do you have another round of things to go through?

May 14, 2012, 12:23am Top

Cushla - reading your thread and those of our other friends involved in the business of imparting their knowledge to our children reminds me just how fast those same children seem to be growing up. My little girl Yasmyne is already 15 and breaking hearts across Kuala Lumpur, my little boy Kyran is already 12 and towers above his Dad already and my baby Belle is 8 and I am unnerved at how much of the world she already seems to be aware of. Bonded with her wonderfully on holiday recently and have taken it through to present when she made me feel as if Mother's day can be special for Dads too.

May 17, 2012, 2:39pm Top

Hi everyone - thanks for visiting. Alana,

Paul, I love reading about your kids and I am not surprised about Yasmyne from her pics on FB and your thread! I'm glad you had a lovely Mother's day with them.

School is going really well - 6 days left but today is a good day for me with a couple of planning hours and I am going to be observing some Samoan lessons, which should be interesting - I need to observe some languages classes for my uni assignment. Tui, the programme continues at this pace till DECEMBER 21!!! Once we are back, I have 2 4000 word assignments due by June 4. Then the exams, and a glorious 3 weeks off, when I will be all over LibraryThing. Then a couple more weeks at uni on the next batch of courses, and a 7 week placement, which requires 60 hours of teaching and will be even more intense than this one, plus it's around the time that we have to start applying for jobs. In late Sept we head back to uni, finish the courses, do more exams, then have a big essay to write due on Dec 21. Gulp. But I have survived so far and am really enjoying it, just juggling a lot of things.

Kerry - I have an unread Emily Perkins on the downstairs bookshelf - Not her Real Name (so Alana you are not alone because it has been there forever!!). Haven't started the Forrests yet. Sounds like you had a great time at the festival - I wonder if you saw my friend Jolisa talking? I think she was in a panel with Emily Perkins.

Suz, the book ban is officially over. My willpower has vanished and book buying therapy is the next best thing to actually reading lots of books. I bought another one without looking on here first on Monday - Gabrielle Hamilton's chef memoir, Blood, Bones & Butter. Now that I've looked at it harder I don't know if I like her writing style enough to read 300 pages of it. We'll see.

Heather, you've reminded me that I need to find Painter of Silence! I was enjoying it till I got sidetracked by Lehrter Station, which was worthy of 4 stars and highly recommended if you are addicted to the rest of the series. As Suz said in her excellent review, it's not a good place to start and it did feel like he was doing a round-up of everyone in the earlier books. But that was good because I really wanted to know what had happened to all of them - but as a place to begin, it just wouldn't work. I hope he writes the next one soon.

So that's an amazing TWO books finished in May so far.

May 17, 2012, 3:39pm Top

Yes, I did attend the session that Jolisa chaired, it was very good. My daughter and I got the last two seats as it was a sellout. The next day Kate De Goldi talking with Jeffrey Eugenides was not at all as good, she tried to overanalyse him and asked long annoying questions which especially grated after having seen him in action with Jolisa and Emily the day before.

Sounds like you are thriving in the world of school, education and those dreaded assignment deadlines.

May 17, 2012, 3:50pm Top

Coming back to say that Jolisha described Emily's writing as 'Katherine Mansfield on ecstasy' which does make one want to try her work.

May 18, 2012, 9:37pm Top

Kerry, it sounds from your thread as if you had a fantastic but exhausting time at the Auckland festival. And now I might have to push Eugenides a bit further up the pile too - but Middlesex just looks SO LONG!

I am struggling with Painter of Silence. I think I'm just not in the right mood for lyrical writing and slooooowness. Might need to find something else till my school workload drops a bit, I think.

May 18, 2012, 10:34pm Top

Well I've had Middlesex kicking around my house for a good few years but also tend to prefer picking up more compact books.
What I like about attending festival events is how when listening to writers speak, you are constantly reminded of how much time they invest in writing a novel, and when as in Eugenides' case one writing project needs to be abandoned in favour of a new idea that it can be a few years between novels. As readers we can get a tad impatient with the long waits between books from our favourite writers.

I've got Painter of Silence out from the library but will probably not even try to read it, I just have too many others on the go and not making headway on anything.

May 19, 2012, 4:58pm Top

Cushla, I was so behind, but I've at least skimmed your thread enough to know that you are able to juggle school, family, and reading with amazing success.
I mainly wanted to say that if you want a different look at the King James Version, you might try In the Beginning by Alaster McGrath. I understand that he is a theologian and focuses more on the language and theology than maybe your book did.
And I'm another recent reader and lover of The Siege, but I can't bring myself to try *Cellist* yet. What am I talking about? I can't bring myself to get on with the rest of the Orange short list, and I am the happy owner of a copy of all of them and want to read them all. Instead, I've started Love Marriage about a modern clan of Sri Lankan Tamils. (Oh, the pressure of TIOLI; it fits Suzanne's current challenge!)

May 20, 2012, 12:40am Top

Cushla, I promise to drop by the Soho Press booth at BookExpo in two weeks' time (yippee!!) and grill them ruthlessly about the timing of the next Downing opus....

I've put down Painter of Silence twice now. I have no idea what may be amiss, but there isn't much there that is resonating for me.

May 20, 2012, 10:42am Top

Don't give up on Painter of Silence, Suz! It's a superb novel.

May 20, 2012, 10:37pm Top

Hi Cushla, it looks like the possible meltdown isn't going to happen. Teaching does get easier but is still a very tough job. Kudos to you for following your dream.

I see so many titles here that I've loved and some that I look forward to loving like The Song of Achilles and Painter of Silence. I'm amazed that you can get any reading done at all. Good luck to you as you finish up the school year.

May 23, 2012, 6:28pm Top

Hi Cushla,
Love that your book buying blow out involved the purchase of only 2 books. Have been hearing a lot about The Forrests on Nat Radio etc lately. If it is anything like Freedom I think I'll like it!

My sister and me are planning a cheeky day trip to Wellington at the end of the year, for: thats right, a Christmas shopping day! Only if we can get cheap grab a seat flights. So maybe we can squeeze in an LT coffee as well :)

May 25, 2012, 2:33pm Top


That's the sound of me escaping from under my rock - I have finished my placement and am back at uni on Monday! I am sad to leave the boys at school behind (ok, most of them...) but looking forward to being a bit less shattered at the end of every day. This is definitely going to be the hardest job I've done but probably the most rewarding.

Thanks everyone for keeping on writing on my thread even when I was hardly here - it was really nice.

Kerry, I am going to a book thing on Thursday night with Emily Perkins organised by the Listener book club. So I have got to finish the Forrests by then!

Peggy, I've added in the beginning to my WL - thanks. It looks really good. And I see from your thread (I did a 30 second lurk yesterday morning) that you didn't much like Love and Marriage - hope your next read's better.

Darryl, I will read Painter of Silence, just not till I've finished exams - I think I need to be in the right mood for it.

Suz yes please tell me what you find out at Book Expo. Not that I'm going to run out of crime and spy series or anything, but the John Russell books are so good.

Donna thanks for visiting and being so encouraging. I think this first teaching placement is the toughest mentally because it's all so new. Now I am back to uni, which is intense but I'm very used to academic work, and then the next placement has a greater number of teaching hours requirements but at least I will have some experience already with managing the kids. That's not till August/September. Hope you like SoA and Painter of Silence whenever you get time for them.

Megan it would be great if you do your day trip!! We will def have to have coffee.

Am getting hounded off the laptop by F (at 6.32 am on Saturday...) but my copy of BUTB is here - a gorgeous hardback for NZ$13 too. Back later. Can't put it down except to write on my Lt thread!

May 25, 2012, 3:14pm Top

*thinking thinking*
*scrolling for blue clues*
Nope. No idea.

Glad you have some time to....yourself (haha, as if) now that school has finished. Hope F gives you the computer back sometime soon!

May 25, 2012, 3:42pm Top

>190 Ireadthereforeiam:: ha! BUTB=Bring up the Bodies, Hilary Mantel's latest and by all reports, fabulous.

May 25, 2012, 6:03pm Top

I'll just say hi Cushla because I KNOW you will not come up for air until you're finished with Ms. Mantel's latest. Wahhhhh how long will we have to wait for the final third of the trilogy???

May 25, 2012, 7:04pm Top

...and can I also ask how you acquired a beautiful hard back of BUTB (I so now what that means now...:)) for only NZ$13?

May 25, 2012, 8:03pm Top

Hello you three and yes it is awesome! I'm 40 pages in, and know what I want to spend the weekend doing.

Megan, it was NZ$13 from Book Depository - I do not understand how, but it was.

May 25, 2012, 9:43pm Top

Hi Cushla. I hope you fully enjoy the change of pace with the end of your placement. I have just acquired my own copy of BUTB but am holding off until June--too many other books in progress.

May 26, 2012, 2:30am Top

Quel bargain!!

Welcome back to the land of the living -- or should I say, the land of the reading?? Will def. keep you posted re BookExpo and all that I discover there; one never knows. Last year I got The Swerve... My contact at Free Press will be there, so I must make haste and finish the two books they so kindly sent me that I promised to review -- "The Last Hunger Season" by Roger Thurow (sequel to Enough by Thurow & Scott Kilman) and Spies and Commissars by Robert Service. The latter is a tad on the dense side...

May 26, 2012, 2:51am Top

Cushla, hello! Thanks for visiting my thread - I skimmed yours and ended up with two BBs! Aaargghhh! The Siege and Cellist... You temptress you!

May 26, 2012, 2:34pm Top

Prue it is really nice to see you back on tons of threads. Hope you're having a good weekend on the farm. And I think you'll like both those 2 BBs - you'll have to wait till after your trip though.

Suz, only you can dump 2 new books onto my WL by 6.24 am on a Sunday morning. (But I know that Robert Service one will be enormous- it's the kind of book that I will happily check out of the library, lug home, then read the intro and think how very interesting, then get a due back notice before I can blink.) Enough is on my WL though and now I've put the other one on there too, unless of course if you read it and say it is no good, but that strikes me as unlikely.

Anne, I know what you mean about too many books on the go - I have spent the last week jumping around and not getting much read.

This weekend there's an excellent secondhand bookfair on in Johnsonville - it's much smaller than the main one in September for which there's a queue at opening time of several hundred people, but the books are usually really good. It opens at 8 am and I'm looking forward to it. I completely forgot about it yesterday because I was busy being a Tiger Mother (I am KIDDING) - both kids are now doing Suzuki violin and we had their usual lessons in the morning then a group lesson in the afternoon. There were a couple of 3 year olds in Teresa's group who were so cute - they had 1/16 size violins. So far, I am loving the Suzuki approach. There's a huge focus on the kids learning to listen and love music, getting the posture and technique right, and going very very slowly.

Ok, back to the Forrests, or I won't get it finished by Thursday night. BUTB is in the car otherwise the Forrests wouldn't be getting a look in. Megan, I abandoned Freedom after 200 pages... and I need to start feeling some empathy for some of the characters in this one soon or it might go the same way.

May 26, 2012, 2:58pm Top

189: I think this first teaching placement is the toughest mentally because it's all so new.
I bet you have lots of ideas for the next round...

May 26, 2012, 6:16pm Top

Good luck with the Forrests...sounds like you need it!

Have never heard of the Suzuki approach....and I can scarcely imagine my 3 year old in a music lesson! A gymnastics one maybe....

May 26, 2012, 7:02pm Top

Megan - yup, my 3 year olds wouldn't have handled it. Most kids start around age 5 - Fletch is one of the old beginners at 8!

Well I am home and I have just had a glorious half hour entering many many ISBNs into LT and seeing what books I've bought. 26 books in about an hour is not bad going... and they cost a whole $61! I was first in the door at 8.05 and had the place to myself for a bit.

Here's the loot list:
First the crime...
A long finish by Michael Dibdin
Stalin's Ghost by Martin Cruz Smith
The English Assassin by Daniel Silva
The Secret Servant by Daniel Silva
Petrified by Barbara Nadel

The spy thrillers:
Absolute Friends by John le Carre
A Small Town in Germany by John le Carre
The Odessa File by Frederick Forsyth
Red Gold by Alan Furst (v happy about this - was about to hunt for it in the library)

Cooking for Mr Latte by Amanda Hesser, because I used to like her NYT food columns in 2001-2, but the book is PANNED on here so I might just be skimming it!

Other fiction:
In the Country of Men by Hisham Matar
A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith
Dreams of Water by Nada Awar Jarrar, whose A Good Land I read and didn't like much in 2010, but hey I was feeling charitable - but with 2 1/2 stars from akeela (whose taste I rate highly!) I probably should've left this one where it was...
A Man of Parts by David Lodge, his new-ish book about H G Wells
Half Blood Blues by Esi Edugyan so that I can make up my own mind whether I like it or not!
Snowdrops by A D Miller - ditto...
Staying On by Paul Scott, but I see that Darryl says to read the Raj Quartet first... so this one will linger near the bottom of my TBR pile for some time.
Marking Time and Confusion by Elizabeth Jane Howard - vols 2 and 3 of the Cazalet Chronicle
China Court by Rumer Godden (I think this is a favourite of Heather or Genny or both)
A Novel Bookstore by Laurence Cosse because I really like A Corner of the Veil
Campaign Ruby by Jessica Rudd, Kevin's daughter, which is political chick lit and looks quite funny
State of Emergency by Andre Brink because I don't have enough depressing books lying around the house already
and the old and interestiong looking A House on the Rhine by Frances Faviell, set in Berlin straight after WW2. Faviell was married to a diplomat posted there and this copy is from 1955.

And that is it for a while!!

May 26, 2012, 7:53pm Top

Holy keerap! Who drove the getaway car?

May 26, 2012, 8:03pm Top

What a great book list! And in just an hour! many I'm not familiar with but I loved A Tree Grows in Brooklyn and also {In the Country of Men.

May 26, 2012, 8:35pm Top

Heh, Tui. It was a bit like that. The man on the desk kept appearing in front of me with a plastic bag and took loads to the front desk for me.

Anne, that means both you and Laura loved in the Country of Men - I knew when I saw it that it had raves on here but couldn't remember who from! (Except for the usual long list of suspects...)

May 26, 2012, 8:56pm Top

Great list Cushla! I didn't even know about this book fair, but it's been noted for next year.

May 26, 2012, 8:57pm Top

Wow Cushla what a great weekend when you add 26 books to your lists!

because I don't have enough depressing books lying around the house already - hahaha I'll use that one myself in the future.

May 27, 2012, 5:31am Top

#201 I'm a Rumer Godden fan and I think China Court is my favourite, or perhaps a close second to In this house of Brede, though I return to Miss Happiness and Miss Flower very often, and The Dolls' House, too. Well, China Court is near the top, then.

May 27, 2012, 6:42am Top

Wow! Stupendous book haul, Cushla! And all that for...checks currency converter...US$42!

How are you getting on with Bring Up the Bodies?

May 27, 2012, 6:50am Top

Stupendous book haul is right ... wow. Good for you, and glad you scored a copy of In the Country of Men, too.

The violin lessons sound so sweet. I learned to play at about Fletch's age, maybe a year younger, through a Suzuki-like approach. I don't think it was as hardcore as the real thing, but had similar principles. Playing violin was a big part of my life until I was ~30 and had children. Now I live vicariously through the kids' musical activities, and really couldn't live without music in my life. I hope your two enjoy it, Cushla.

May 27, 2012, 2:23pm Top

#205 Alana, I don't think many Wellingtonians know aout it - the books keep on coming out over the 2 days that it runs too, so even near the end it is good. My husband went later on and came home with another 20 books so we were both pretty happy. I'll remind you next year!

#206 Yup, Paul, a 26 book day is a wondrous thing. Now they need shelving.

#207 Kerry, Rumer Godden was one of those authors who was around when I was growing up but I don't think I read anything by her. But in the last year or so I've seen so many good comments about her on LT. It's a nice old hardback copy of China Court too.

#208 Darryl, I am 45 or so pages in - and it is superb. I am glued to every word and I can raed it in tiny bits and still feel like I'm back inside Cromwell's head. I am trying to do uni reading so I probably won't get much further through than the first 100 pages by June 1, so I'll be joining in a bit on the group read.

#209 Laura, I'm another retired violinist - although in my case one with very limited skills now. I started piano when I was 10, and violin a year later. Both were too late really but I loved each - but my technique was hampered by my overwhelming desire to sightread everything instead of really mastering pieces first. I never got really really good at either, but it didn't matter. Quite apart from giving me a love of classical music, learning the violin and getting good enough to play at the back of the seconds in the city's youth orchestra was far and away my best chance to meet brainy boys!! (Not that I actually *talked* to many of them - I was far too shy to manage that.) So I hope the kids grow up to love it too. Teresa is very keen on filling out her daily practice chart with ticks and crosses, and to do what the teacher wants, whereas Fletch really doesn't care.

May 27, 2012, 5:08pm Top

>210 cushlareads:: well, whaddaya know. If I weren't so rusty I'd suggest we form an LT string quartet. I'm sure we can find a violist and cellist around here. I shudder to think what I'd sound like -- it's been 20 years.

May 27, 2012, 6:39pm Top

Great haul Cushla, what a coup. How come there were no others queueing up to get in?

May 28, 2012, 5:45am Top

What a haul! No, I am not jealous... well, maybe a little. :-) No book fairs/ second hand book sales, etc. where I live. Don't people read here? I don't know a single book of your list, so I am looking forward to many fresh BBs!

I succumbed and bought Bring Up the Bodies. Somehow it didn't feel like a Kindle book to me, so I got the audio for now and will later buy the paperback. The narrator is very good and I thought this way I could enjoy it the longest, while I'd probably devour the paper book in 2 days.

Have a great week!

May 28, 2012, 6:28am Top

Cushla - Not that I actually *talked* to many of them

I remember looking forward to choir practice with a longing that bordered upon obsession and all because it allowed seconds to be spent with the only young lady in the entire group - very aptly named (and I kid you not) Wendy Chant. And whom I cannot remember speaking to above a couple of times. Halcyon days when I look back to be told that you carry a tune and that your much cooler twin is utterly tone deaf.

May 29, 2012, 4:32pm Top

Cushla, congratulations on surviving your first placement and that incredible book haul! The Rumer Godden recommendation wasn't from me as I haven't read anything of hers but I've heard so many good things said about her on LT that I'd snap up any book of hers that I did see so well done!

I think there was mention of a group read of A Tree Grows in Brooklyn in August, think it was on Lynda's (carmenere) thread.

I learnt guitar and piano as a youngster but then tried to start learning the violin at 16 because I was desperate to be able to play in a group. It was dreadful: I found it so difficult to cope with being that bad at playing an instrument again (and when you're bad at the violin you're really bad) and my Dad used to yell at me whenever I tried to practise at home! And then there was the embarrassment of playing in junior orchestra with the 11/12 year olds... Probably best to start learning when it's cute if you can play Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star really badly :-)

May 29, 2012, 5:18pm Top

Excellent musical stories....I fear my attempts at violin would have brought the same results as Heather, above. Learning the piano as a child was harrowing and I loathed it to the extreme. I believe I considered running away from home to avoid it and then quickly bumped that idea up a notch to suicide...it was just a thought thank goodness, but it did flash through my mind!

May 29, 2012, 9:29pm Top

>215 souloftherose:: Probably best to start learning when it's cute if you can play Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star really badly Oh, I couldn't agree more! I made brief attempts to learn other instruments as an adult and was very frustrated. When I was 8 it all sounded good to me.

May 30, 2012, 2:48am Top

When my son started learning an instrument we gave him the choice of anything but the violin. I knew I just couldn't cope with the noise of the practising.

May 30, 2012, 4:27am Top

My son (who is musical, thank goodness) will try any musical instrument. I enjoy his playing on the piano, the organ, the harmonium, the bass guitar, the double bass, the clarinet but it was the trumpet that had me begging him to stop...

May 30, 2012, 5:51am Top

Sorry, I went lurky again - I am into the next 2 big assignments and have been cranking them out (well, in my head... the final product has yet to hit paper but I have 7 and 9 days left, so that's ok). And I succumbed to my cold and spent yesterday at home doing very little - bliss after the last 9 weeks of non-stop activity.

it's cool reading about all your music experiences. Yes, Laura, there must be a cellist and viola player here somewhere! I have had to play a bit in Fletch and Teresa's lessons and I am so embarrassed - my technique really is awful now and was never great, which is half the reason I like Suzuki - Teresa is yet to put the bow on the violin because first she has to sort out holding bow and violin, and she's had 3 good lessons on that already.

Paul, that story of yours is funny in at least 3 ways - I wonder what Wendy Chant is doing now.

Megan, I really don't get how come the book fair was deserted. It was 8 am and cold? It doesn't get much publicity, and it's in the Johnsonville community hall, but they pack plenty of books in and they don't price the good stuff as aggressively as the main one (not that that is dear, it's just that they do their homework on what's hot - e.g. I paid a whole NZ$12 for Cutting for Stone a few years back, and I STILL have not read it!).

Nathalie, I lurked over to your thread a few minutes ago and hope you can re-download BUTB onto your nano - bummer that you lost your ipod. And awful news about the earthquake too - glad you are all right and hope they ease off. (I could say this on your thread and will do, but I'll say it here first!).

Heather, Joan Aiken is one of your faves, right? I think all the good English authors blur in my brain. And I know what you mean about starting instruments late - no way would I have had the patience. It's awful reading about you and Megan not enjoying it. Megan, I hope your kids only do it if they want to (at least a little bit... Fletch is not the most enthusiastic of violinists yet but he is getting into it as he gets better._) It's meant to be fun.

Rhian, you're right about the noise but it isn't for too long. But I have to be *in the room doing a mini-lesson* with her, not just in the kitchen trying not to hear!! I have got really good at kind of raising my eyebrows and smiling fixedly when the bow goes over the bridge. Fletch gets so mad if he thinks I don't like the sound. Teresa has yet to start squeaking but that'll be this weekend probably.

Kerry, my husband (who plays the piano well and is really musical) started trumpet about 15 years ago and it was AWFUL, really really awful - I couldn't stand the exercises and he knew and then I had to try to be nice. But now he's good and it sounds great - he also did not play once while we were in Switzerland because of all the rules about when you were allowed to practise... we didn't want the police arriving, and I am not kidding!

Right after that long spiel about nothing to do with books, I am going back to writing fun tasks to teach Year 9 kids how to talk about their families in German... If I vanish again it's because I am buried in assignment drafts.

May 30, 2012, 6:34am Top

I'm debating whether I should at least learn some basic German over the next year. This time next year we will have a 12/13 year old German exchange student for 2 weeks, and I don't know a single word. My son goes on his exchange to Germany at the same time so we can't depend on him for translation. It would be just our luck to get a very poor student who can't speak much English at all.

May 30, 2012, 7:46am Top

#220 Oh no, my slightly exaggerated humourous tale wasn't meant to worry you. I am sure I would have liked learning the violin a lot more if I'd started at a younger age. I loved learning my other instruments but I think I just wasn't really prepared to go back to basics at 16/17 - I was grade 7 on the guitar at the time and whilst I picked the violin up fairly quickly I never felt I managed more with it than just being ok.

I like Joan Aiken a lot though I've only read a couple of her books so far.

Edited: May 30, 2012, 2:32pm Top

Heather, I didn't read your post well enough - I forgot you already played other instruments. Guitar is such a great one to know - lucky you!

Rhian, want me to send you some good online links? I'm finding tons as part of my course (I'm trawling the web for activities). Both Deutsche Welle and BBC would be worth a look to start with.

Just woke up to find out that Song of Achilles won the Orange Prize- I'm so happy!

May 30, 2012, 2:43pm Top

My upstairs neighbor plays sax, quite well, I think. But after three years of daily practices, I simply can't stand it! He does have a "quiet room" that he can practice in, but doesn't use it that often. Sometimes I grit my teeth; sometimes I relocate downstairs to my office. But when I have a migraine (like today), it's bad. And occasionally I have to beg him to desist. Sigh....

May 30, 2012, 4:14pm Top

>221 SandDune:: many European kids speak several languages, English included. I found they came over wanting to practice their English so speaking their language wasn't necessary (although I was glad I could speak a bit of French so I had some idea what was going on--played that card close to my chest).

May 30, 2012, 5:08pm Top

#223 German links would always be useful for us - both for me and my son. He's at a specialist language college so languages are given a high priority. German is his first foreign language and he'll be expected to take his German GCSE at the end of year 9 rather than year 11 which is normal in the U.K., and then to continue studying at a higher level. In years 9 and 10 they are taught either history or geography in their first foreign language as well - the idea is that they are really fluent by age 16. In year 8 (from this September) he starts his second foreign language - we just got notification today that he has got his first choice which is Italian. I'll be all right with that one as I spent a year in Italy (although a long time ago) so my Italian isn't too bad.

#225 I think in all likelihood the exchange will speak reasonable English. But I keep thinking maybe we'll get the one who's bottom of the class! My friend's French exchange had really poor English a couple of years ago, and I know she found it hard work. If it was a French or Italian exchange I wouldn't worry as I can get by at a basic level in both those languages, but I have never studied any German at all. I think I will probably try and learn a little bit - if only just to be polite.

May 30, 2012, 7:17pm Top

Wow! terrific haul Cushla. Add me to the list of those who loved In the Country of Men. And thanks for the reminder for me to get to the Rumer Godden I own In the House of Brede.

Edited: May 30, 2012, 11:09pm Top

Phew. I have found it. The book that vanished from my Amazon shopping basket by Sarah Quigley. I was sure it was Kerry who mentioned it, but it was a head-fake, because she mentioned it on your thread! I couldn't remember the author and it was driving me demented because I knew I wanted to read it when it was available in the UK and I was trying to figure out how insane I would look if I posted on my thread, "does anyone recall a mention by a Kiwi poster of a book about Shostakovich's 7th symphony?" Sigh. I wish my brain cells weren't vanishing by the day.

Oh, and a big "yes" to Rumer Godden.

May 31, 2012, 3:58am Top

Cushla, your recommendation + Orange Prize win means I went into the bookshop tonight planning to buy Wulf Hall and came out with SOA (and the Hunger Games trilogy) instead :-)

May 31, 2012, 12:26pm Top

#226 Rhian: 12/13 years is quite young for a foreign exchange, but as English is now taught already in most German primary schools, there's some hope your exchange should speak enough English at that age.

He might however not have learned any subtleties, and German is a very direct language. So prepare for some rough sounding "I don't like/want xyz" or just simple "No"s where others might say "I'd prefer" or "I'll think about it". :)

#220 Cushla: I connected the new nano to my notebook and within a couple of minutes had all my collections including ButB synchronized. And now I can't stop listening, this is great audio stuff!

Jun 6, 2012, 3:10pm Top

Just resuscitating my own thread! Have had a huge week at uni (still going but the end is near - one large German assignment left to finish today, one large maths one done, and a test and presentation yesterday) but get to breathe after 4 pm today. And my husband's in Japan till Saturday so I am Chief Cook and Bottlewasher. So - proper replies later. (Suz, I read something about the Sarah Quigley book yesterday and the NZ Post book awards - I think it was not shortlisted and it was expected to be, or something, but my brain has got the dumb so I'm not sure.)

Alana - I was so pleased to read that you bought SoA (and now I am feeling that vague "ooh I hope she likes it..." pressure!). If you feel like borrowing Wolf Hall you could borrow mine? It's sitting here.

Despite the madness I am creeping my way through Bring up the Bodies because it is so good - halfway there and looking forward to ripping through it tonight.

Hope you are all having a good Wednesday or Thursday. Back later on!

Jun 6, 2012, 3:21pm Top

I feel sorry for your super-busy weeks Cushla. But its all in the name of something worthwhile, so good for you.

I heard on the Panel that The Forrests is a Booker possible!? Wouldnt that be great, another NZ representation? I have heard great reviews of it and the way it is being described makes me think I might like it.

Jun 6, 2012, 3:33pm Top

Hi Cushla - heavy study stuff going for you. I was with some University of Auckland lecturers on Tuesday and the university has just announced sweeping changes for teacher training. They lecture on reading and literacy and were still taking in the implications.

Re Sarah Quigley - I was thinking that she wouldn't be eligible as she lives in Berlin, but then realised that Paula Morris lives in Glasgow and is a finalist. By the way I thought Rangatira was a good read, still haven't cracked open The Forrests.

Jun 6, 2012, 4:13pm Top

Cushla - Woah... I turn my back for a while and you have a whole new and envious haul of books. I spun my head around your books, not knowing which to focus on so much that I resembled an enthusiastic English Boxer, flinging threads of drool far and wide.

Jun 6, 2012, 4:18pm Top

I'm glad you're enjoying Bring Up the Bodies--I'm about to crack it open myself. Good luck with your final days of study!

Jun 8, 2012, 2:10am Top

I got through the assignments and now I have a whole week before 3 3 hour exams - so I took last night off and might do the same tonight. I have had tons of practice at academic work and exams, and they don't freak me out so next week will be very busy but relaxing at the same time - no lectures of tuts, just reading and synthesising all the stuff we've done since March. And then I will get 3 weeks off till the new lot of courses (and the 2nd placement...gulp.)

Megan, yes it would be cool to see a NZ book get nominated for the Booker, except that I am really not drawn into it and that's after a good 150 pages. I will go back to it once I finish BUTB but I am not feeling the love. I hope it picks up soon.

Kerry, I had a look at the KidsLit webpage last night (and the Auckland education faculty one too - can't find anything about the changes they're making to their programme but am v interested...did find some other useful things on their news page though for my ed psych course so thanks.) The KidsLit quiz got me really excited - I'm pretty sure my kids' school will be in it and am going to show it to Fletch later on. There was a blog post by a librarian saying how great it had been for her school - awesome stuff. I've added Rangatira to my wishlist, looks really good.

Caro I hope your drooling English Boxer impersonation is over now and I laughed when I read your post - thanks! I am a bit the same - the box of new books is STILL sitting in the living room.

Right I am going back to p 198 of BUTB and Mr Cromwell.

Jun 8, 2012, 2:26am Top

The main announcement was that teacher trainees wouldn't do practicum anymore which seems an awfully weird decision. It wasn't really discussed much as the lecturers themselves were just taking it in and basically thankful that they hadn't lost their jobs.

Jun 8, 2012, 2:35am Top

That is BIZARRE!!! We have two of 7 weeks each and even that feels kind of just enough before I go and get a real job.

Jun 8, 2012, 3:18am Top

I'm just catching up. It sounds like the teacher training is going well. I remember being a zombie during my teaching practices though it didn't help that my school was some miles away and I had to get up at 5.30 to make it there on time!

Thanks for the nudge of The Cellist of Sarajevo. I've had that on my TBR for a while now.

Good luck with the exams.

Jun 8, 2012, 4:51pm Top

Cushla, didn't this happen a decade or so ago to nursing.

Edited: Jun 10, 2012, 1:10am Top

Sounds like you've earned at least a couple of nights off, Cushla. I'm quite curious about SoA, my not-quite-finished BA major was Classics. I may take you up on your offer of borrowing Wolf Hall, I was supposed to be reading it this month for the group read but I can't quite face another brick so soon after 2666!

Edited so that a sentence actually makes sense.

Jun 9, 2012, 3:22pm Top

Dee, I was leaving here at 7.30 which I thought was early enough - your 5.30 commute for your teacher practicum sounds awful! I hope you like The Cellist of Sarajevo.

Kerry, I didn't know that about nursing. Neither makes a great deal of sense.

Alana, I had yet another night off last night - I got 150 pages of Bring up the Bodies read yesterday and am going to finish it this morning. But then I really, really have to get reading journal articles on maths education. I enjoy them but there are a few too many readings to do between now and the first exam on Friday. If you did classics I think you'd like Song of Achilles.

Jun 10, 2012, 4:14am Top

News flash - I finished a book!!! And it's the first in three weeks. Geez, I will be lucky to get to 50 books this year (and yes I know it is not about the numbers, but still.)

Nobody will be shocked to read that I give Bring up the Bodies a full 5 stars - it was stupendously good and the last bit where, um, well, something happens had me sitting up straight in my chair.

No review - too many maths articles to read tonight and maybe even another book to start, but definitely something that does not involve decapitation.

Jun 10, 2012, 9:43am Top

Cushla, I'm also on a MUCH slower reading pace this year. I understand the reasons why, some by choice and some not, and I'm trying hard not to let it bother me. As long as I'm enjoying my reading that's what really matters right? And you picked a winner there with the Mantel.

Edited: Jun 11, 2012, 5:14am Top

Good luck with those exams Cushla (meaning 'viel Erfolg', because I know you'll be more than well-prepared)!

Glad you loved ButB, but now I wonder if I missed something towards the ending, because there was nothing that made me sit up straight anywhere. Must re-listen to the last chapter.

I am close to the 75 early this year, but I'm sure that latest by July my reading could collapse to almost nothing, so don't worry about books read. You've got so many great things going on.

Jun 11, 2012, 5:47am Top

Hi Laura and Nathalie! I know you're right about the number of books read, and I am really happy with most of the ones I've picked this year.

And today I had time for a library trip, mostly for F, who is so addicted to Asterix that I have taken to visiting branch libraries to find as many as I can. But I grabbed the next Inspector Montalbano, the 4th Bruno Chief of Police, and a potentially very funny book by Al Gore's daughter Kristen called Sammy's Hill - if it's good it'll be just like a West Wing episode. If it's bad, it'll be dreadful. Hmmm.... just had a look at the ratings and reviews - and nobody I know on LT has read it!

Nathalie, you definitely didn't miss anything. SPOILER... PEOPLE WHO DO NOT KNOW WHAT HAPPENED TO ANNE BOLEYN AVERT YOUR EYES NOW!! (OK, so that is probably nobody, but hey.) I just meant the scene where she gets her head chopped off. It was so vivid and I was sitting there with my nice cup of herbal tea trying to read it and found myself re-reading the sentences because they were so gruesome.

Exam prep is going ok. First one is Friday, then Monday, then Weds. I have lots and lots of reading to do, but it doesn't really feel like work.

Jun 11, 2012, 9:37am Top

Your spoiler made me chuckle, Cushla.

Jun 11, 2012, 12:04pm Top

Me too.

Jun 11, 2012, 12:19pm Top

#243 You and me both - and I don't have half the excuse! Good luck with the exams.

Jun 11, 2012, 1:50pm Top

Haha...loved the spoiler, Cushla...although I too have to wonder if there could be anyone out there who doesn't know what happened to her. and I love that while you were having a cup of tea, you just HAD to re-read the decapitation scene because it was oh so gruesome! Thanks for the smile today.

Good luck with your exams! I'm sure you're going to ace them.

Jun 12, 2012, 6:05pm Top

Hi Cushla,
So its not long no til you're a real teacher then? Wow, time flies. I cant help but wonder what I could have achieved in the same time. I suppose i need to curb my impatience...once Lenny is two he might start preschool and I can go out and get a job! But til then Im treading water and trying to remember to moisturise my dishes-doing hands....

Great for you on the 5 star book, do you feel at a loss without it now?

Jun 13, 2012, 12:26am Top

Ha, glad you liked the spoiler. I have already lent my copy of BUTB to a friend who loved Wolf Hall and yes, Megan, I am missing it a bit - except that Campaign Ruby is the perfect book to read during exams. The author, Jessica Rudd, is Kevin Rudd's daughter, and the plot has an ex-investment banker joining the Australian election campaign for the leader of the opposition. It's funny and it's funnier with even the little bit I remember about Julia Gillard's booting out of Kevin Rudd. It's a very fast read and it may yet be responsible for me dropping a grade or two in the exams...

Megan, I'm not even halfway yet - seven more long months to go!! It won't be long till Lenny is bigger and you'll suddenly have more time to yourself - life is so much easier now that F and T are both at school and getting independent, and sleep is no longer my main goal in life!

Right I am going back to Campaign Ruby and maths readings.

Jun 13, 2012, 7:32am Top

Cushla - I have Math Girls by Hiroshi Yuki out from the library at present, I've only read a few pages and not sure if it's for me, but thought you should at least check it out if you haven't already.

Jun 13, 2012, 7:46am Top

253: Math Girls is sitting on my dining room table, a recent arrival.

Jun 13, 2012, 9:48pm Top

When I flicked through and saw all the maths equations through the text I immediately thought that Cushla should look at this. I read a gushing blog review and so had to get it from the library but the first few pages felt a bit light aside from the math. I'm sure it will develop into an interesting read, not keen to tackle some of those equations though.

Jun 13, 2012, 10:21pm Top

Ha, Kerry that's funny that you thought of me! I just had a look on here and on the WCL site - it's not in Wellington library but I will keep my eyes open for it. It's the kind of book that might get re-gifted I think. Sounds like I'd like it.

I have finished book 22 - Campaign Ruby - and it was a thoroughly enjoyable piece of chick lit. Recommended for anyone who likes West Wing (ok West Wing with more clothes and shoes and Aussie jokes). 3 1/2 stars, and no review because I am meant to be memorising some good exam quotes on using evidence in teaching...

and a new thread will appear some time after Wednesday next week, in case anyone was wondering!

Jun 14, 2012, 1:27am Top

Thanks for the reminder Cushla, had a rough day sleep -wise and was fantasizing about being at the library and being able to sit and read a book with my coffee....call me crazy! It actually prompted me to call my mother and ask her to babysit for a few hours next week so I can do just that. She has only looked after the both of them once so I figure its not too much of an ask. And she said yes!

Jun 14, 2012, 1:55am Top

Megan, well done!!!! I hope you have a great few hours off. Funny about the library. I have been 3 times this week - it's my way of relaxing before exams. There are about 70 kids' books on the playroom floor now...

This topic was continued by Cushla's 2012 Challenge - Part 3.

Group: 75 Books Challenge for 2012

987 members

229,572 messages


This topic is not marked as primarily about any work, author or other topic.




You are using the new servers! | About | Privacy/Terms | Help/FAQs | Blog | Store | APIs | TinyCat | Legacy Libraries | Early Reviewers | Common Knowledge | 114,465,200 books! | Top bar: Always visible