Wilkie reads, Part 7

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Wilkie reads, Part 7

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Edited: Jul 11, 2013, 1:26pm

Because it's Tour de France time and I'm a fan:

Edited: Jul 11, 2013, 1:11pm

My reading in 2013:


1. The Moonstone - Wilkie Collins 9/10, 438 p.
2. PAAZ - Myrthe van der Meer 9/10, 351 p.
3. A Place of Greater Safety - Hilary Mantel 7/10, 873 p.
4. The Man Who Forgot His Wife - John O'Farrell 8/10, 393 p.
5. And the Band Played On: Politics, People and the AIDS Epidemic - Randy Shilts 8/10, 630 p.
6. Sans Famille - Hector Malot 8/10, 406 p.
7. Defending Jacob - William Landay 8/10, 421 p.
8. Steve Jobs - Walter Isaacson 7/10, 720 p.

Pages read in January: 4232

Edited: Jul 11, 2013, 1:11pm


9. An Utterly Impartial History of Britain - John O'Farrell 7/10, 588 p.
10. Op zee - Toine Heijmans 6/10, 192 p.
11. The Expats - Chris Pavone 5/10, 500 p.
12. Growing Up Amish - Ira Wagler 6/10, 270 p.
13. No Name - Wilkie Collins 7/10, 762 p.
14. Devil's Peak - Deon Meyer 8/10, 409 p.
15. The Suspicions of Mr. Whicher - Kate Summerscale 6/10, 372 p.
16. Verzamelde gedichten - M. Vasalis 9/10, 196 p.
17. Stiff: The Curious Lives of Human Cadavers - Mary Roach 9/10, 304 p.
18. The Complete Polysyllabic Spree - Nick Hornby 7/10, 278 p.
19. Gedichten - Judith Herzberg 6/10, 75 p.

Pages read in February: 3946

Edited: Jul 11, 2013, 1:12pm


20. The Sealed Letter - Emma Donoghue 9/10, 483 p.
21. I, Claudius - Robert Graves 8/10, 468 p.
22. De eurocrisis - Martin Visser 7/10, 240 p.
23. Thirteen Hours - Deon Meyer 9/10, 410 p.
24. No et Moi - Delphine de Vigan 7/10, 248 p.
25. Here Be Dragons - Sharon Kay Penman 9/10, 704 p.
26. Into the Wild - Jon Krakauer 4/10, 205 p.
27. Shakespeare Wrote for Money - Nick Hornby 7/10, 131 p.
28. More Baths, Less Talking - Nick Hornby 7/10, 135 p.
29. The Woman Who Went to Bed For a Year - Sue Townsend 6/10, 437 p.
30. Bij nader inzien - J.J. Voskuil 8/10, 1207 p.
31. The Sisters Brothers - Patrick deWitt 7/10, 328 p.
32. IV - Arjen Lubach 6/10, 319 p.

Pages read in March: 5315

Edited: Jul 11, 2013, 1:15pm


33. Ik, Zlatan - Zlatan Ibrahimovic 6/10, 334 p.
34. Sharp Objects - Gillian Flynn 7/10, 328 p.
35. 7 Days - Deon Meyer 8/10, 348 p.
36. Escape from Camp 14 - Blaine Harden 8/10, 242 p.
37. Left Neglected - Lisa Genova 8/10, 432 p.
38. Bonk - Mary Roach 6/10, 320 p.
39. Nothing to Envy - Barbara Demick 8/10, 324 p.
40. Wij zijn maar wij zijn niet geschift - Tim Krabbe 7/10, 416 p.
41. The Orphan Master's Son - Adam Johnson 8/10, 592 p.
42. Injustice - Clive Stafford Smith 5/10, 480 p.

Pages read in April: 3816

Edited: Aug 2, 2013, 6:54am


43. The Secret River - Kate Grenville 9/10, 352 p.
44. The Keeper of Lost Causes - Jussi Adler-Olsen 8/10, 512 p.
45. Hoe sms't een Chinees - Eppo Konig 6/10, 234 p.
46. Dissolution - C.J. Sansom 8/10, 464 p.
47. Der Dativ ist dem Genitiv sein Tod - Bastian Sick 7/10, 240 p.
48. Der Dativ ist dem Genitiv sein Tod: Folge 2 - Bastian Sick 7/10, 268 p.
49. Der Dativ ist dem Genitiv sein Tod: Folge 3 - Bastian Sick 7/10, 274 p.
50. Congo - David van Reybrouck 8/10, 680 p.
51. Verhalen uit de Ambulance - Mariette Middelbeek 8/10, 176 p.
52. The Absent One - Jussi Adler-Olsen 7/10, 685 p.
53. The Observations - Jane Harris 8/10, 546 p.

Pages read in May: 4431

Edited: Jul 11, 2013, 1:16pm


54. Het zevende kind - Erik Valeur 9/10, 720 p.
55. Papillion - Henri Charriere 7/10, 612 p.
56. Dead before Dying - Deon Meyer 8/10, 432 p.
57. Dark Fire - C.J. Sansom 9/10, 608 p.
58. Still Alice - Lisa Genova 9/10, 400 p.
59. Of ik gek ben - Michiel Stroink 7/10, 238 p.

Pages read in June: 3010

Edited: Jul 29, 2013, 10:57am


60. Sister - Rosamund Lupton 8/10, 384 p.
61. The Devil in the White City - Erik Larson 7/10, 496 p.
62. Child 44 - Tom Rob Smith 8/10, 512 p.
63. The Family - Mario Puzo 4/10, 608 p.
64. A Conspiracy of Faith - Jussi Adler-Olsen 8/10, 773 p.
65. Before I Go to Sleep - S.J. Watson 7/10, 500 p.
66. A Fine Balance - Rohinton Mistry 10/10, 768 p.
67. Blood Safari - Deon Meyer 7/10, 576 p.

Pages read in July: 4617

Edited: Aug 15, 2013, 5:10am


68. The Bat - Jo Nesbo 6/10, 432 p.
69. Behind the Scenes at the Museum - Kate Atkinson 3/10, 496 p.
70. Case Histories - Kate Atkinson 8/10, 400 p.
71. This Side of Brightness - Colum McCann 7/10, 304 p.
72. The Redbreast - Jo Nesbo 8/10, 656 p.
73. The Know-It-All - A.J. Jacobs 7/10, 400 p.

Pages read in August: 2688

Edited: Jul 11, 2013, 1:17pm


Edited: Aug 15, 2013, 5:32am

Favourite reads 2013:


- A Fine Balance - Rohinton Mistry
- Here Be Dragons - Sharon Kay Penman
- Thirteen Hours - Deon Meyer
- Het zevende kind - Erik Valeur
- The Secret River - Kate Grenville
- Still Alice - Lisa Genova
- The Moonstone - Wilkie Collins
- PAAZ - Myrthe van der Meer


- Stiff: The Curious Lives of Human Cadavers - Mary Roach
- The Know-It-All - A.J. Jacobs

Edited: Aug 15, 2013, 5:34am

Currently reading:

Jul 11, 2013, 1:09pm

Welcome to everyone!

Jul 11, 2013, 1:22pm

Yes Paul, it was a fair sprint. Team Sky will decide tomorrow morning if Boasson Hagen will continue the Tour; I hope nothing is broken.

Jul 11, 2013, 1:46pm

63. The Family - Mario Puzo
608 p.

A year ago, I (finally) read The Godfather by Mario Puzo. I loved his style, his pace, the story. When I discovered this book, The Family, by the same author, I didn't hesitate.

This book is not about the mafia, but in a way it is. This is the story of maybe the greatest crime family in Italian history: it's the story about the Borgias, set in Renaissance Rome.

For me, there's not a good match between Puzo and the Borgias, in this book his style seems misplaced to me. Puzo didn't finish this book, it was completed by Carol Gino. Maybe that's my problem, I don't know.

If you want to read about corruption, betrayal, assassinations, romances and sex in papal Rome with an overwhelming speed, read this.


Jul 11, 2013, 3:27pm

Hi Diana! Congratulations on new thread.

Jul 12, 2013, 8:47am

Hi Reba, thank you!

Jul 12, 2013, 8:49am

Today's another day for Cavendish. I hope he won't be passed by Kittel again.

Jul 12, 2013, 9:53am

Crosswinds, puncture for Valverde: we've got a race!

Jul 12, 2013, 10:52am

This race is so cool! We're shouting for the Dutch boys in the front!!

Jul 12, 2013, 11:17am

Cavendish wins. Mollema 2nd and Ten Dam 5th in the GC. Yoohoo!

Jul 12, 2013, 12:29pm

Hi Diana. Sorry, I haven't been visiting your thread (and all the others) for ages. Checking back in and wishing you a lovely weekend. And enjoy the Tour!
I just noticed I haven't seen anything of it this year. During my university years I followed it daily on TV, loved it! At least I saw the Giro when it passed through my town this year.

Jul 13, 2013, 8:21am

Hi Nathalie, nice to see you. Have a lovely weekend too!

If you have the chance to see the last week of the Tour, it's a great one this year :-)

Jul 13, 2013, 10:38am

Julien Simon of Sojasun has escaped the breakaway, will he win? Still 11 km to go.

Jul 13, 2013, 10:54am

It's not Simon. Matteo Trentin wins the sprint of the breakaway.

Jul 14, 2013, 7:41am

Today's Tour etappe finishes on top of Mont Ventoux. It's a 20,8 km long climb, after cycling 225 km. Will the GC be the same this evening?

Jul 14, 2013, 8:31am

Diana- Congrats on the new thread! I am glad you enjoyed Child 44. I loved that one but have not read any of the others. I finally found an audio of thirteen Hours. Yah! And I am copying the discs into my iTunes, as I type. I plan on getting to it, in the next couple weeks.

Jul 14, 2013, 9:00am

Thanks Mark! You're in for a big treat with Thirteen Hours, enjoy, enjoy!

Jul 14, 2013, 9:33am

The climb of Mont Ventoux starts now, almost an hour before the fastest time table.

Jul 14, 2013, 9:42am

Haha, Peter Sagan with a wheelie on Mont Ventoux. Showbink.

Jul 14, 2013, 10:38am

Vroom vroom Froome, what a win!

Jul 14, 2013, 10:41am

In a cruelling stage Bauke Mollema and Laurens ten Dam succesfully defended their second and fifth place in the GC!

Two Dutch heros, yeah!

Jul 14, 2013, 1:25pm

Chapeau to Froome. What a great performance. Mollema did a good ride to hold onto 2nd place too, although he must be worried about Contador and Quintana in the days to come.

Jul 14, 2013, 1:54pm

Hi Diana. Happy new thread!

I'm afraid the cycling conversations are going over my head - we've moved on from Wimbledon to the cricket and athletics and I'm having enough trouble trying to remember the cricket lingo. I wouldn't be able to cope with another sport at the moment :-)

Jul 15, 2013, 7:54am

Paul, how do you cope with the obligatory resting day in the Tour? I want to see bicycles :-)

Jul 15, 2013, 7:58am

Hi Heather, thank you!

Never mind the cycling talk; I've been addicted since I was a very young girl, but my husband and sons don't care for it. Still one week to go, and after that my conversations will hopefully be back to 'normal' again ;-)

Jul 15, 2013, 9:14am

I'm enjoying your Tour de France updates, Diana!

Jul 15, 2013, 1:21pm

That's nice to hear, Darryl, thanks!

You already knew, but I like your London stories and I hope you continue to feel better.

Edited: Jul 15, 2013, 1:36pm

64. A Conspiracy of Faith - Jussi Adler-Olsen
773 p.

Again, wow!

This is part 3 of the Department Q series and for me it's the best one so far.

I only have 2 more left, but Roberta has first-hand knowledge that there will be 10 tomes. Jussi Adler-Olsen is a thriller-hero!


Jul 15, 2013, 10:30pm

I'm so envious pleased that you and Eva get to read two more books in Department Q before I do! ;)

Jul 16, 2013, 3:39am

#39 It's a great feeling when you find a series of books you enjoy :-)

Jul 16, 2013, 7:58am

Hi Roberta and Heather, the series is great!

I'm sorry Roberta, the Dutch translations seem to be faster than the English ;-)

Jul 16, 2013, 8:00am

Today is the first of 5 Alp stages in the Tour.

Jul 16, 2013, 9:41am

The peloton looses some time because it is stopped by a train :-)

Jul 16, 2013, 2:56pm

Hi Diana, hats off for the Dutch cyclists who are doing so well in the TdF. Lets hope Mollema manages to conquer the Alps.
As for Jussi Adler-Olsen. I've started on these series once but as I was not in my "detective-mood", I put away the book after some 20 pages. So you would advise me to continue reading?

Jul 17, 2013, 8:00am

Hi Monica, how are you? It's a pity Jurgen van den Broeck couldn't repeat his very good Tour of last year, I hope he'll recover fast.

I'd definitely advise you to continue reading Jussi Adler-Olsen. It took me some time to get into the flow in the first book of the series too, but it was worth it. I think I'm addicted now :-)

Jul 17, 2013, 8:45am

Today is a Time Trial of 32 km, 2 mountains and descents. It's possible that the men who start later today will face rain and thunderstorms...

Jul 17, 2013, 10:11am

The rain seems to have stopped, which is better for the big guys.

Jul 17, 2013, 10:34am

Everyone has started, in an hour we'll know everything.

Jul 17, 2013, 10:35am

Meanwhile, Laurens ten Dam is 11th at the first intermediate point.

Jul 17, 2013, 10:49am

Ai, Mollema not a good intermediate point...

Edited: Jul 17, 2013, 11:07am

Oh no. Jean-Christophe Peraud, the # 9, fell of his bike again. This morning he broke his collarbone, I fear it's over now.

Jul 17, 2013, 11:09am

Peraud has abandoned. The Spanish are miraculously better after Monday's second day of rest.

Jul 17, 2013, 11:22am

Ten Dam has fallen, Mollema almost.

Jul 17, 2013, 11:38am

Froome wins.

Jul 18, 2013, 6:03am

Today has two times the climb of Alpe d' Huez, let's see if this will change the GC.

Jul 18, 2013, 6:26am

Diana - I timed my trip to Langkawi to nicely coincide with the rest day and missed the first foray into the foothills.
The ITT yesterday was a funny one. Pity Peraud who had really performed in this tour and the French are even further back now. Mollema and Ten Dam went backwards yesterday and Contador was visibly frustrated as I think he believed he would gain time back on Froome yesterday. The change to the trial bike marginally the right one although Froome had the worst of the weather. He would have gained another 10 seconds or so had the rain not impeded his descent somewhat.
Someone will crack tomorrow. I hope it is not Froome or Mollema. Schleck and Evans (who rested himself yesterday) fancy the stage but I fear Valverde, Contador, Rui Costa, Quintana and Rodriguez are going to squeeze Froome in a latin sandwich today. Hope he can come through.

Jul 18, 2013, 6:53am

Paul, are you watching now? The start is insane already, we've got 170 km of war to go.

Jul 18, 2013, 9:06am

Right, the first climb of Alpe d' Huez is about to begin and there's no rain. Yet.

Jul 18, 2013, 9:33am

700,000 and more people on Alpe d'Huez. So many idiots, it's horrible.

Jul 18, 2013, 9:43am

No, corner 7, the 'Dutch' corner. Sorry guys, I don't know them, I'm ashamed...

Jul 18, 2013, 11:24am

Christophe Riblon is the first French winner of this Tour.

And there's a fight in corner 10, pfff.

Jul 18, 2013, 11:25am

Froome had a hongerklop, that's not very professional.

Jul 18, 2013, 11:32am

New GC:

1. Froome
2. Contador
3. Quintana
4. Kreuziger
5. Rodriguez
6. Mollema

Ten Dam falls out of the top 10.

Jul 18, 2013, 11:36am

Ten Dam is 10th now. Bau en Lau are 6 and 10.

Jul 18, 2013, 12:01pm

I'm so lost on this thread Diana but I will still say hello! ;)

Jul 19, 2013, 5:12am

Hello Roberta! Monday I'll be back to normal again ;-)

Jul 19, 2013, 5:39am

Another day in the Alps. Bauke Mollema has been ill for 2 days now, I'm not sure if he can finish this stage.

Jul 19, 2013, 6:30am

A Garmin rider crashed in the descent of the Glandon.

Jul 19, 2013, 8:37am

You can see the riders are tired, there are more crashes in the descents, and riders abandon.

Jul 19, 2013, 11:06am

Rui Costa wins again.

Jul 19, 2013, 11:12am

Hi Diana! I don't follow cycling (I think that's what you have been updating anyway ;) but sound like you are enjoying it! Hope your favourite wins :)

Jul 19, 2013, 11:14am

Hi Chelle! Yes, it's cycling :-)

Jul 19, 2013, 11:15am

Mollema didn't lose time, very good!

Jul 20, 2013, 7:52am

This is the last day in the Alps with 4 minor and 2 big climbs. Only 125 km.

Jul 20, 2013, 8:17am

Today is the last throw of the dice. Can't see Froome losing it and with three wins he certainly deserves it despite his one bad day coming to Alpe D'Huez. I hope Quintana snatches 2nd from Contador as his attack minded still has enlivened a very good race this time on the first proper route for years.
Also would like one of the Frenchies Riblon or Rolland to win the polka dot.

Have a great weekend Diana.

Jul 20, 2013, 8:58am

Hi Paul, Froome is the best this Tour. I think Quintana has plans for today and I too hope he succeeds. Rolland is virtuellement in the polka dot, but I don't know if he can make it on Mont Revard and on the last climb in Annecy.

Have a wonderful weekend, too!

Jul 20, 2013, 9:07am

Allez, these mountain points are not for Rolland. He pushes Anton away, should be punished.

Jul 20, 2013, 9:39am

The wonderful Jens Voigt is in front now. The old man of the riders, 41 years old, has 6 children.
He always tells the press that he keeps on doing the Tour de France because it's 3 weeks of rest for him :-)

Jul 20, 2013, 9:42am

Jens Voigt is amazing. Huge fellow and I honestly don't know how he drags such an enormous carcass over those mountains.

Edited: Jul 20, 2013, 9:57am

It's wonder Jens Voigt's knees are still working that good.

Jul 20, 2013, 11:05am

Last 4 km now. Contador seems to fall of the podium here!

Jul 20, 2013, 11:17am

Yes, we have Quintana as a winner! And with polka dots.

Jul 20, 2013, 11:33am

Bauke Mollema still 6th in the GC, good job!

Jul 20, 2013, 2:52pm

Too bad Bauke couldn't keep his higher ranking, but indeed a well-deserved place. So did you get any reading done with all this TdF-frenzy?

Jul 21, 2013, 5:18am

O yes Monica, during the Tour I've read these books:

60. Sister - Rosamund Lupton 8/10, 384 p.
61. The Devil in the White City - Erik Larson 7/10, 496 p.
62. Child 44 - Tom Rob Smith 8/10, 512 p.
63. The Family - Mario Puzo 4/10, 608 p.
64. A Conspiracy of Faith - Jussi Adler-Olsen 8/10, 773 p.
65. Before I Go to Sleep - S.J. Watson 7/10, 500 p.

After all, it's a 3 week-period; I can't imagine not reading for one day ;-)

Jul 21, 2013, 5:42am

65. Before I Go to Sleep - S.J. Watson
500 p.

A debut novel, announced as psychological thriller. I didn't expect horror, but that's how the story was for me. I'm certain I won't reread this book again.


Jul 21, 2013, 6:59am

Today is the last day of the Tour de France 2013.

The men ride from Versailles to Paris, and they will do this tonight. In Paris, they won't make a turn before the Arc de Triomphe, but they will take the roundabout. I'm sure it will be beautiful with all the lights!

Jul 21, 2013, 7:57am

Hi Diana- Sounds like you are having a great time at the Tour de France. Very cool. I plan on reading A Conspiracy of Faith in the next couple of months. I love this series. I have had Before I Go to Sleep To-Read list for ages.

Jul 21, 2013, 8:39am

Hi Mark! Before I Go to Sleep was an unexpected, nerve-racking experience. I wouldn't recommend to read it 'before you go to sleep'.

I've learned to read thrillers since I've discovered LT, and I think I can handle suspense and bloody scenes fairly well. But this one was different. We have high temperatures and hot weather over here, but I had chicken pox all over while reading the last chapters of the book.

Jul 21, 2013, 9:10am

LOL. I'll have to get to that one. It also looks like my wife would enjoy it too!

Jul 21, 2013, 9:24am

Haha, Mark, I hope you and your wife will both enjoy it!

Jul 21, 2013, 11:33am

The last stage of the Tour de France will start in 10 minutes time. There will be beautiful shots of Versailles, the palace and the gardens.

Jul 21, 2013, 12:14pm

Wonderful pictures of Versailles, how beautiful! On y va a Paris.

Jul 21, 2013, 1:29pm

Froome is drinking champagne on the bike. They'll be in Paris in 35 km and until then, they're riding slowly and smiling.

Jul 21, 2013, 2:05pm

The riders have entered Paris and ride alongside the Seine. Pictures of many touristic points, the Eifel Tower, Sacre Coeur, Dome des Invalides, etc. Very nice!

Jul 21, 2013, 2:14pm

And they're at the Champs Elysees. The race can start now!

Jul 21, 2013, 3:26pm

Last round in the Tour, 6 km to go.

Jul 21, 2013, 3:33pm

And the winner is Kittel.

Jul 21, 2013, 3:37pm

A massive sprint with:

1. Kittel
2. Greipel
3. Cavendish
4. Sagan

Jul 21, 2013, 3:39pm

The winner of the Tour de France 2013 is Christopher Froome.

Green jersey: Peter Sagan

Polka dot jersey: Nairo Quintana

White jersey: Nairo Quintana

Best team: Saxo Tinkoff

Jul 21, 2013, 3:42pm

This Tour was wonderful and it's a pity we'll have to wait another year before the new Tour begins :-)

Jul 21, 2013, 3:43pm

Chris Froome, winner:

Jul 21, 2013, 3:55pm

Now what?

This feels like when you finished a fantastic book. TV will show the fireworks in Paris, and then to bed.

Jul 21, 2013, 4:06pm

Wonderful lightshow and fireworks, the end.


Jul 22, 2013, 1:58am

This years Tour was the best in a while, enlivened by a well designed route. I would love to see the return of the Puy de Dome in next years tour but I don't think it will happen.

Froome worthy winner; Quintana one for the future (well picked Charles); Contador, even with a very strong squad, no longer has the legs to compete methinks.

Jul 22, 2013, 5:18am

Paul, next year the Tour will start in Leeds, England. Do you think it's extra special when they start in your home country?

Jul 22, 2013, 5:30am

Okay, back to normal :-)

There's a heatwave in Holland and we're trying to keep ourselves cool enough. It's hot and humid, thunderstorms are predicted for Wednesday.

Yesterday, Belgium got his new king and queen, Philippe and Mathilde.

A future king or queen of Britain is in the process of being born, princess Kate is in labour in the hospital. We're getting overseas updates.

Jul 22, 2013, 6:24am

Hello Diana,
just stopping by to wish you a great week. I had a very similiar experience when I read Before I go to sleep last year and thought it was very creepy, despite the absence of any brutalities.

Jul 22, 2013, 7:08am

Exactly Bianca. No brutalities, but the psychological horror is awful.

Jul 22, 2013, 11:24am

I'm starting my first Kate Atkinson. It's her debut novel Behind the Scenes of the Museum.

Jul 22, 2013, 1:36pm

Prince Charles: "I'm very grateful indeed for the kind wishes for my rather slowly-approaching grandfatherhood at the moment.”


Jul 23, 2013, 5:05am

Before starting, I've put Kate Atkinson aside.

Thanks to Mark and others, I feel I have to start A fine balance immediately. You all make me long for that book!

Jul 23, 2013, 5:15am

Diana - The Tour in Leeds. Not only my home country but pretty much my hometown. The countryside aroundabouts is rugged but not Alpine. The puncheurs will love it.

I have long been an advocate of Rohinton Mistry and his brilliant novels. Just wish he'd write a few more of them.

Jul 23, 2013, 5:19am

My version is waiting for me since 1996.

Jul 23, 2013, 5:23am

Paul, I've removed the dust, ready to start the novel.

Jul 23, 2013, 7:07am

Guardian on Booker Prize longlist

Judges for the 2013 Man Booker prize have drawn up what is "surely the most diverse" longlist in the prize's history, they say, naming 13 books by authors who are mostly far from being household names.

Only two authors on the list have been nominated for the prize before: Jim Crace is listed for his 11th and probably his last novel Harvest, 16 years after he was shortlisted for Quarantine; and Colm Tóibín, shortlisted twice before, is in the running for The Testament of Mary, which came out last year.

Robert Macfarlane, this year's chair of judges, said: "This is surely the most diverse longlist in Man Booker history: wonderfully various in terms of geography, form, length and subject. These 13 outstanding novels range from the traditional to the experimental, from the first century AD to the present day, from 100 pages to 1,000 and from Shanghai to Hendon."

The 1,000-page book is one of the most intriguing on the list. The Kills, by Richard House – a writer and artist who teaches at the University of Birmingham – could be described as a political thriller but is much more than that, Macfarlane said. Strictly speaking, it is four books in one novel and comes with extra, digitally available film and audio content, although the Booker panel is judging only on the words.

Three first-time novelists are on this year's list. NoViolet Bulawayo, who was born in Zimbabwe a year after it became independent and moved to the US at the age of 18, is on for We Need New Names, which has been described a "visceral and bittersweet" portrayal of life in a Zimbabwean shantytown called Paradise. Eve Harris, published by the small Highlands publisher Sandstone, is longlisted for her yet-to-be-released book The Marrying of Chani Kaufman, set in the ultra-Orthodox Jewish community of Hendon in London. And Donal Ryan makes the longlist for The Spinning Heart, a novel told from the points of view of 21 people struggling to get by in a rural Irish village.

Ryan is one of three Irish writers on the list, the others being Tóibín and Colum McCann, nominated for TransAtlantic, which spans 150 years.

The other novelists who have yet to be published are: Eleanor Catton, the youngest writer on the list at 27 for The Luminaries; Indian American writer Jhumpa Lahiri, for The Lowland; Alison MacLeod for her second world war novel Unexploded; and Charlotte Mendelson, for Almost English.

The other nominees are the Malaysian writer Tash Aw, for Five Star Billionaire, which charts life in the new China; and Ruth Ozeki, a Canadian-American writer and Zen Buddhist priest, for A Take for the Time Being.

Other judges this year are the broadcaster Martha Kearney, the critic and biographer Robert Douglas-Fairhurst, the classicist and critic Natalie Haynes and the essayist and former literary editor of Scotland on Sunday Stuart Kelly. They will meet again in September to name a shortlist, with the £50,000 winner in what is the prize's 45th year being named on 15 October.

Jul 23, 2013, 7:13am

Jul 23, 2013, 7:17am


Jul 23, 2013, 8:13am

Nice way to put up the list Diana - Bit miffed that Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie is not there. Also not so happy with the Colm Toibin - I really like his work generally - but the longlisted book is, like, 60 pages long!

Jul 23, 2013, 8:54am

The judges certainly put up a nice birth certificate of the longlist.

I know you and more LT-ers would have loved to see Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie there; I haven't read any of her books, so no experience yet.

Jul 23, 2013, 9:19am

I had to visit the doctor and the temperature in my car was 46 Celsius...

I'm now officially fried by this heatwave.

Jul 23, 2013, 2:10pm

#119 -- Hilarious. Love it.

I feel so much for you folks in this heat. At least I can take consolation when the temps spike that (a) it's normal and (b) because it's normal, I have A/C to cope with it. I remember the massive heatwave/drought of 1976, which was the year we moved to Belgium.

May I just say that I'm far more interested in Belgium's new king than in England's new prince? He's not a baby, he's a symbol and a tourist attraction. Poor kid.

Jul 23, 2013, 2:47pm

# 122 - After the long, cold winter we had and the heat we are suffering now, you'll see at the end of the year, when all has been added up and divided, the statistics will just say we had a normal year with average temperatures. It shows how much you can rely on statistics...

# 123 - I remember the summer of 1976 as if it were yesterday. Records may have been broken since, but I'm pretty sure that anyone who experienced that summer, will always refer to it as the hottest Belgian summer ever. Ofcourse, we have airconditioning in many places now and AC in my car is a requirement for me, not a luxury like it used to be.
So why the interest in Belgium's new king? I believe most Belgians don't really care that much. It was a huge contrast to the Dutch orange folly when King Willem-Alexander became king a few months ago.

Jul 23, 2013, 7:50pm

I'm intrigued by your comments on Before I Go to Sleep... it sounds like something I might like! Me likes spooky!! :)

Jul 24, 2013, 11:00am

Waves at Diana!

Edited: Jul 26, 2013, 12:34pm

Waves at Suz, Monica, Tina and Roberta!

I was absent because of all this talk about A Fine Balance. The last couple of days, I immersed myself in this book, and I finished it this afternoon. I seldom cry because of books, but how I wept after finishing...

Jul 26, 2013, 1:10pm

A Fine Balance - Rohinton Mistry
768 p.

This is a masterpiece. It's very depressing, incredibly sad. I'll never forget its characters, nor the atmosphere of the book.


Jul 26, 2013, 1:38pm

10 out of 10 Diana! I must get to it sooner rather than later.

Jul 26, 2013, 2:40pm

#124 -- Joey, because I spent my teenage years living in Belgium, and the late Baudoin was one of the few royals I have ever met in person! (very very briefly). Indeed, the summer of '76 was the summer that we moved to Brussels and I lived for an entire month in a hotel room (of my own; at least I didn't have to share with either my parents or my younger brother) in St. Gilles, a neighborhood devoid of trees and parks that made it seem all the hotter. Happily, we did escape and go visit a friend who had struck it rich as an artist and had moved to Monaco. He had great A/C, great views -- a membership to the beach club. But that summer... wow. When we got back, I took some pics of our new house (out in Woluwe St. Pierre) with a completely scorched lawn. Still have 'em somewhere.

I have the Mistry novel, but haven't started it and probably won't until next month.

Jul 27, 2013, 5:33am

Yes Roberta, definitely 10 out of 10!

Suz, it feels like all summers, including '76 of course, had much heat when I was young. I remember so much outdoor swimming to cool down.

We just had an impressive thunderstorm with torrential rain. Now it's just raining. Maybe we've seen the most of the heatwave?

Jul 27, 2013, 6:01am

I'm pondering what to read after such a masterpiece.

My head is still full with A Fine Balance and I'm reading some magazines before I choose the next book.

Jul 27, 2013, 9:53am

I decided to read another Deon Meyer, it's called Blood Safari.

Jul 27, 2013, 11:01am

Classica San Sebastian:

1. Tony Gallopin
2. Alejandro Valverde
3. Roman Kreuziger

Bauke Mollema and Robert Geesink in second group on app. 45 seconds.

And off to begin in Blood Safari.

Jul 27, 2013, 11:35am

Nice to see a Frenchie winning for a change!

The Deon Meyer is certain to be good.

Jul 27, 2013, 11:54am

I agree, Diana; A Fine Balance is definitely a 10/10 star read. I have no idea why it didn't win the Booker Prize in 1996; Last Orders by Graham Swift won instead.

Jul 28, 2013, 11:18am

Paul, Gallopin finished solo, that was impressive. I've seen better Classica's, it was rather dull.

The Deon Meyer is good again!

Darryl, you liked A Fine Balance as much as I did, that's nice :)

Jul 28, 2013, 11:21am

#128 One day I will read A Fine Balance but I don't think I can handle depressing and incredibly sad right now...

Jul 28, 2013, 11:26am

Heather, please keep in mind to read it one day, there's no hurry.

I hope you're okay? Big hug. x

Jul 28, 2013, 12:22pm

I actually liked Last Orders but there is no way it deserved to win over A Fine Balance. My favourite book of the last 20 years.

Jul 28, 2013, 2:27pm

#139 Yes, I'm OK (sorry, just realised my earlier post made it sound like I could be really struggling). I seem to only want to read lighter, less serious books at the moment.

Jul 29, 2013, 5:57am

I haven't read Last Orders, Paul and Darryl. A Fine Balance is superb.

Heather, I'm glad you're OK :)

Jul 29, 2013, 6:02am

In Casa Wilkie life is not so OK.

We have a 16 3/4 year old dog with a wonderful health until a couple of weeks ago. He's now deteriorating very fast and husband will take him to the vet in 2 hours.

I don't think the dog will return with him. I've offered to go, because I think husband has more difficulty than I have, but he insists on going alone.

Jul 29, 2013, 10:06am

So sorry to hear about your dog Diana. Platitudes about having a good and long life to one side I hope the coping with this difficult time is not too painful.

Jul 29, 2013, 6:06pm

Sorry about the dog Diana. It can be SO hard to lose a pet.

Jul 30, 2013, 10:14am

Paul, Reba, thank you. It's strange and quiet, we only have our cat Kitkat now. He's also missing his dog friend.

Jul 30, 2013, 10:20am

67. Blood Safari - Deon Meyer
576 p.


How can a dead man be a murder suspect? When the Cape Town news flashes a photo of a wanted man, Emma le Roux is convinced it's her long-lost brother.

Emma hires Lemmer, a freelance bodyguard, and together they set out for the countryside in search of the truth. Among luxury resorts, insular tribes, and private game reserves, they find more than they ever bargained for - stubborn cops, racial and political tension, greed, corruption and deadly violence.

Another solid thriller by Deon Meyer, not with Benny Griesel or Mat Joubert, but Lemmer is a good compensation. More political than the others I've read.


Jul 30, 2013, 11:32am

Something new for me, I'm going to read The Bat by Jo Nesbo.

Aug 1, 2013, 4:57am

The first of August brings a new heatwave to the Netherlands; it's hot! Tomorrow is supposed to bring the hottest day of the year.

Aug 1, 2013, 11:42am

68. The Bat - Jo Nesbo
432 p.

The author Jo Nesbo is new to me. Because the book had a sticker 'The first Harry Hole thriller', I thought it was a good idea to start with this one.

Harry Hole is a Norwegian detective, and in this case he is sent to Sydney, Australia to assist in a murder case.

Harry is funny, but the story seemed a bit chaotic.


Aug 1, 2013, 3:56pm

#143 So sorry to hear about your dog Diana. We had to make a similar trip to the vets for my parents 15 year old golden retriever last year - even when you know they've lived a long and happy life it's sad to see them go.

#150 I still haven't read any of the Harry Hole books but my husband quite likes them. Although The Bat is the first in the series it wasn't the first translated into English and I've heard the later books are better.

Aug 1, 2013, 4:06pm

Diana - my condolences. Losing a pet is never easy, especially when they've been with you for such a long time. {{{Hugs}}}

The Harry Hole series gets better as it goes along. So I hope you will get the 2nd and the 3rd and the 4th ..... ;-)

Aug 2, 2013, 7:50am

Heather, thank you. We remember his very long and happy life. The vets sent us a lovely card, so sweet. I hope your parents can cope, too.

Aug 2, 2013, 7:53am

Thanks Caro.

Harry Hole will be continued, I'll get to the next ones sometime ;-)

Aug 2, 2013, 8:13am

Look, it's this hot today. Even the Ice Cream cars melt down... :-)

Aug 2, 2013, 9:14am

Edited: Aug 2, 2013, 2:43pm

It's the hottest August 2 ever measured in Belgium and of course the hottest day of the year so far. How about the Netherlands?
So sorry about your dog. It's never easy to lose a pet after such a long time of companionship.

eta: I love the Ice Cream car!

Aug 2, 2013, 3:01pm

Diana, so sorry about your dog... I had to deal with this with Jasper last September. He was probably the sweetest cat I have ever known, who just wanted to love and be loved. But his health had deteriorated so much that he wasn't really "there" any longer. It's heartbreaking, but I don't think I had ever realized before the truth of the old saying that it's the right thing to do for the animal. It was. And while I still miss him and his little 'prrup' to announce his presence, I can't regret anything. The saddest part was that Jasper was still young; only 10 years old.

Wow, the hottest August 2 ever in Belgium -- beating 1976?? I'm stunned. But I love #156/155. Here it has been a lot cooler; it's only in the low 80s today and on Wednesday night it was cool enough that I wanted my sweater with me while I was sitting outdoors downtown.

Do try more Nesbo. I read The Redbreast and ended up really liking it; The Bat was a 'meh' read with interesting elements but not enough focus, as you correctly point out.

Aug 3, 2013, 10:51am

Monica, thanks.

In the Netherlands it was also the hottest August 2 ever, and the hottest day of the year. So far, and I hope we don't get them any hotter! it was 36.9 C in the shadow.

Aug 3, 2013, 10:58am

Thank you Suz. I'm so sorry about Jasper; 10 years old is really too young for a cat...

I'm not really a dog person, but ours was the sweetest (and ugliest). You couldn't resist him, always friendly and happy.
I am a cat person, we've had 4 of them a while ago and now we have one small red male cat, so very sweet!

I'll order more Nesbo, you all enjoy him and the character of Harry Hole in The Bat needs to be explored by me :)

Edited: Aug 3, 2013, 11:06am

69. Behind the Scenes at the Museum - Kate Atkinson


Ruby Lennox was conceived grudgingly by Bunty and born while her father, George, was in the Dog and Hare in Doncaster telling a woman in an emerald dress and a D-cup that he wasn't married. Bunty had never wanted to marry George, but here she was, stuck with three little girls in a flat above their pet shop in an ancient street beneath York Minster.

Ruby tells the story of The Family, from the day at the end of the nineteenth century when a travelling photographer catches frail beautiful Alice and her children, like flowers in amber, down to the startling, witty and memorable events of her own life.

This debut novel was not for me. I see much talent in the writing of Kate Atkinson, but her way of telling this story, with the omniscient voice of Ruby, irritated me. If it doesn't irritate you, read this book.


Aug 3, 2013, 1:17pm

Jo Nesbo's ordered! :-)

Aug 3, 2013, 1:23pm

I have really enjoyed Kate Atkinson's Jackson Brodie mysteries, but Life After Life was the first novel of hers that I tried, and it left me cold. I appreciated the writing, but...

I had thought about trying one of her others, but haven't felt motivated to do so yet.

Aug 3, 2013, 2:42pm

I did like Life After Life a lot, although on audio it was mighty long. Thanks for your helpful comments on her debut novel, Diana, which is now one I won't pursue. I will give Case Histories another try, with so many people like Suzanne thinking highly of those mysteries.

Aug 3, 2013, 2:49pm

Suz and Joe, I'm glad there are many good reviews of her debut novel, mine is a bit harsh.

Life After Life is somewhere deep in my mountain TBR, but I'll start Case Histories tonight. I'd like to explore the Jackson Brodie mysteries.

Aug 3, 2013, 9:03pm

Diana I am so very sorry about your dog. Hugs to you.

Looks like I need to have Deon Meyer on my radar. I won't be able to get to him this year but perhaps next year.

Aug 5, 2013, 8:22am

Thanks Roberta.

Deon Meyer is one of the new-to-me authors in 2013 that form the biggest surprise. In a very good way.

Aug 5, 2013, 8:35am

I didn't have much reading time last weekend, but I can tell that Case Histories suits me much better than Kate Atkinson's Behind the Scenes of the Museum. Two very different styles!

Aug 6, 2013, 5:36am

The heat has finally left, so we can all breath again. Great!

Aug 6, 2013, 11:36am

70. Case Histories - Kate Atkinson
400 p.

This book features private detective Jackson Brodie and several incidents. He investigates those incidents and searches for connections.

It's not only about the mysteries, Kate Atkinson does an amazing job in describing characters, lives, backgrounds.


Aug 6, 2013, 1:43pm

I'm starting my next book. It's an early one by Colum McCann: This Side of Brightness.

Edited: Aug 6, 2013, 2:36pm

#156 & 156 :-D

#170 I enjoyed Case Histories too but haven't tried any of Atkinson's non-Brodie novels.

Aug 7, 2013, 10:13am

Hi Heather! I'm glad it's not that hot anymore :-)

Aug 7, 2013, 10:16am

Hello Diana how are you? Are you withdrawn from cycling yet?

Aug 7, 2013, 10:23am

71. This Side of Brightness - Colum McCann
304 p.

At the turn of the twentieth century, Nathan Walker comes to New York City to take the most dangerous job in the country: digging the tunnel far beneath the Hudson that will carry trains from Brooklyn to Manhattan. In the bowels of the riverbed, the workers - black, white, Irish and Italian - dig together, the darkness erasing all differences. But aboveground, the men keep their distance until a dramatic accident on a bitter winter's day welds a bond between Walker and his fellow workers that will both bless and curse three generations.

Almost ninety years later, Treefrog stumbles on the same tunnels and sets about creating a home amongst the drug addicts, alcoholics, prostitutes and petty criminals that comprise the forgotten homeless community.

This was my first book of Colum McCann. His style is beautiful, almost poetic and he immediately draws you into the story.


Aug 7, 2013, 10:29am

Hello Roberta, I'm fine! Not enough cycling, though ;-)

Next Saturday, August 10, the WC Athletics will start, that's 9 days of sports. I'm looking forward to it.

Aug 8, 2013, 5:07am

August 3: Jo Nesbo's ordered! :-)

They will be delivered today, The Redbreast might be my next book. :-)

Edited: Aug 8, 2013, 10:26am

Ooh, This Side of Brightness sounds very interesting, and it's by Colum McCann to boot. That definitely goes on the wish list.

Aug 8, 2013, 10:27am

Here it is, my next one.

Aug 8, 2013, 6:47pm

Lots of kudos for The Redbreast Diana! i look forward to your thoughts.

Aug 9, 2013, 10:36am

Darryl, This Side of Brightness might be a good one for you!

Roberta, have you read The Redbreast? Everyone is enabling all the time! ;-)

Aug 10, 2013, 1:10pm

A tiny book:

Aug 10, 2013, 7:25pm

Diana I haven't read any Nesbo yet. I'll wait because there are other authors and characters I feel the need to get to first. Of course I enjoy Scandi crime so I will get to Harry Hole sooner or later.

Aug 10, 2013, 8:13pm

Jo Nesbo rocks!
Jackson Brodie rocks!
Kate Atkinson as serious author of literature doesn't rock quite so much.

Diana of course rocks!

Have a great Sunday.

Aug 11, 2013, 6:39pm

Aug 12, 2013, 7:40am

Roberta, you can't read everything in the same moment, can you? Harry Hole will wait for you ;)

Aug 12, 2013, 7:43am

Haha, Paul, you rock too! And Harry Hole does ;)

Aug 12, 2013, 7:44am

Darryl, I'll follow your comments on This Side of Brightness. I hope you'll like it.

Aug 12, 2013, 7:45am

My internet is rather wobbly at the moment, but I seem to have contact now. Yeah!

Aug 12, 2013, 10:21am

King Willem-Alexander's brother, Prince Friso, has died this morning. He was 44 years old.

RIP Friso.

Aug 13, 2013, 8:39am

Aug 13, 2013, 10:14am

Sad about Friso but most of the sadness came when he had the accident imho. Now the family can move on and, hopefully, find some peace.

Aug 13, 2013, 11:26am

Reba, you're right of course. There's much sadness now, but I hope the family will also find some relief at last. Those 18 months of coma were horrible.

Aug 13, 2013, 11:35am

LT doesn't appreciate my answer? I can't read it...

Anyway. Reba, you're right of course. I hope the family will also feel some relief, when the worst sadness is gone.

Aug 14, 2013, 4:46am

Sorry, my LT didn't work properly yesterday night :-)

I finished The Redbreast, it was much better than The Bat.

Aug 14, 2013, 5:38am

72. The Redbreast - Jo Nesbo
656 p.

An unusual gun. Nazi sympathisers. WW2. Dead people.

This is the real Jo Nesbo. The story is complex, well-written and captivating. Harry Hole has a new fan!


Aug 15, 2013, 5:29am

73. The Know-It-All - A.J. Jacobs
400 p.

To fill the gaps in his knowledge, A.J. Jacobs sets for himself the task of reading all thirty-two volumes of the Encyclopaedia Britannica. That is 33,000 pages, 44 million words. His wife Julie tells him it's a waste of time, his friends believe he is losing his mind, and his father, a brilliant attorney who had once attempted the same feat and quit somewhere around Borneo, is encouraging but unconvinced.

Jacobs has written a hilarious memoir about facts I never knew and will soon forget:
* An opossum has thirteen nipples.
* Oysters can change their sex.
* The best ventriloquists are Eskimos and Zulus.
* Scrabble is also available in braille.
* Napoleon loved ice-skating.


Aug 15, 2013, 5:40am

Reading the Encyclopaedia Britannica, that sounds like a plan. I wonder, did he get to the "Z"?

Aug 15, 2013, 5:56am

Monica, yes. He finished it completely with the last word 'Zywiec':

Zywiec is a town in south-central Poland. It's known for its large breweries and a 16th-century sculpture called The Dormant Virgin.
This topic was continued by Diana (Wilkie) reads, Part 8.