Smiler Marks Her Reading Spot - Part 11

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Smiler Marks Her Reading Spot - Part 11

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1Smiler69
Edited: Nov 23, 2014, 7:44pm

 
More from artist Catrin Welz-Stein as I don't tire of looking at her wonderful art. Here: "The Man in the Moon" and "Enjoy the Ride".
She posts her work at: catrinwelzstein.blogspot.ca


Table of Contents:
Reading Plans
Books Completed September-December
Books Completed May-August
Books Completed January-April
Picked for Me! (also here)
American Authors Challenge
Booker Prize Books
Additional Books I'd like to read in 2014
A Century of Books!
Ongoing Series
Reading Bingo
Books Purchased Jan-Mar
Books Purchased April-June
Books Purchased July-September
Books Purchased October-December
2015 Planning

Currently reading, listening to, and occasionally browsing through:
Love-Letters Between A Nobleman And His Sister (Volume III) by Aphra Behn
Sacred Hearts by Sarah Dunant
The Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes by Arthur Conan Doyle
The Narrow Road to the Deep North by Richard Flanagan

      


Favourites of 2014: (★★★★½ and up)
The Garden of Evening Mists by Tan Twan Eng ★★★★★ (review)
Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë
Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen - reread tutored read
Rogue Male by Geoffrey Household (review)
The New York Stories of Edith Wharton by Edith Wharton
Lady Susan by Jane Austen (review)
Love and Freindship (sic) by Jane Austen (review)
All the Pretty Horses by Cormac McCarthy - reread (review)
Zealot: The Life and Times of Jesus of Nazareth by Reza Aslan (review)
Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen (tutored read)
Restoration by Rose Tremain ★★★★★ (review)
The Quick by Lauren Owen (ARC) ★★★★★ (review)
The One and Only Ivan by Katherine Applegate (review)
Miss Buncle's Book by D. E. Stevenson (review)
Dissolution by C. J. Samson (review)
The Unstrung Harp: Or, Mr Earbrass Writes a Novel by Edward Gorey ★★★★★
Le Petit Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry ★★★★★
Treehorn Times Three by Florence Parry Heide & Edward Gorey
Merivel by Rose Tremain
Harry Potter and The Philosopher's Stone by J. K. Rowling (reread)
The Bird King: An Artist's Notebook by Shaun Tan
Aya by Marguerite Abouet, illustrated by Clément Oubrerie
A Café on the Nile by Bartle Bull
Amsterdam by Ian McEwan
The Waiting Game by Bernice Reubens
Dead Until Dark by Charlaine Harris
Frankenstein by Mary Shelley
Vanessa and Her Sister by Priya Parmar (review)
Love-Letters Between A Nobleman And His Sister (Volume II) (tutored read)
Breakfast With Lucian: A Portrait of the Artist by Geordie Greig
The Ruby in Her Navel by Barry Unsworth ★★★★★
Not My Father's Son by Alan Cumming
Mrs Palfrey at the Claremont by Elizabeth Taylor
Le joueur d'échecs / Chess Story by Stefan Zweig ★★★★★
La Petite Bijou by Patrick Modiano

My 31 Most Memorable Reads of 13

My rating system:
★ : Hated it! (May or may not have finished it)
★★ : It was just ok...
★★★ : Enjoyed it (Good)
★★★★ : Loved it! (Very good)
★★★★½ : Loved it—must read again! (Excellent)
★★★★★ : Brilliant!—will read again, and again... and again! (All-time favourite)

⅛ ¼ ⅓ ½ ¾ ⅞

♫ = audiobook
✔ = off the shelf
❉ = library book
ⓔ = eBook
☀ = TIOLI




Reserving first 15 posts for organizational needs. Also helps in post rankings ;-)

2Smiler69
Edited: Dec 4, 2014, 11:44am

Reading Plans for November:

✭*♫ Suite Française by Irene Nemirovsky - Picked for Me!, TIOLI#10: a book as an act of remembrance - COMPLETED
✭✔ Greenwitch by Susan Cooper - TIOLI #3: Read a novella from your TBR collection (purchased or acquired prior to 1/1/14), A Century of Books! - COMPLETED
✭✔ Mrs Palfrey at the Claremont by Elizabeth Taylor - TIOLI #4, A Century of Books! - COMPLETED
✪♫ Stone Mattress by Margaret Atwood - TIOLI #5: embedded word in the title (mat) - COMPLETED
✭❉ Dora Bruder / The Search Warrant by Patrick Modiano - TIOLI #4 - COMPLETED
✪❉+♫ Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs - TIOLI #5
✭♫ Elmer Gantry by Sinclair Lewis - TIOLI #5, AMC, A Century of Books!
✭♫ The Paper Moon by Andrea Camilleri - TIOLI #14 - COMPLETED
✭♫ Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire by J. K. Rowling - TIOLI #14
✪♫ Not My Father's Son by Alan Cumming - TIOLI #14 - COMPLETED
✭♫ The Wall by Marlen Haushofer - TIOLI #16
✭♫ Breakfast with Lucian: A Portrait of the Artist by Geordie Greig - TIOLI #8: a book in which a major character shares your profession - COMPLETED
✪♫ The Ruby in Her Navel by Barry Unsworth - TIOLI #14 - COMPLETED
✭♫ Chess Story by Stefan Zweig - TIOLI #3, A Century of Books! - COMPLETED
✪❉ Essex County Volume 1: Tales From The Farm by Jeff Lemire - TIOLI #13: title completes the phrase "I am thankful for..."
✭❉ Essex County Volume 2: Ghost Stories by Jeff Lemire - TIOLI #13

Spur of the moment:
✭✔ Slightly Foxed: No. 23: Social Climbing by Gail Pirkis, Hazel Wood (Editors) - TIOLI #5 - COMPLETED
✭❉ Small and Tall Tales of Extinct Animals by Damien Laverdunt - TIOLI #17: Read a "Leftover" book - COMPLETED
✭♫ La Petite Bijou by Patrick Modiano - TIOLI #4 - COMPLETED
✭♫ Nine Lives by Bernice Rubens - TIOLI #12 - COMPLETED

***

Reading Plans for December:

✭*✔ Sacred Hearts by Sarah Dunant - Picked for Me!, TIOLI #19: Read a book that you saved or put off to the last - Reading
✭*✔ Love-Letters Between A Nobleman And His Sister by Aphra Behn - TIOLI #19 - Reading
✭*✔ Schindler's Ark by Thomas Keneally - TIOLI #19
✭♫ The Narrow Road to the Deep North by Richard Flanagan - TIOLI #3: Read a book with a title containing a contradiction - Listening
✭♫ The Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes by Arthur Conan Doyle - TIOLI #16: Bah, Humbug!: Read a book that has nothing to do with Christmas - Listening
✭ⓔ+♫ Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs - TIOLI #1: Read a book using a minimum three-letter part of the name "Madeline" in your book's title
✭♫ Firesong by William Nicholson - TIOLI #14: Read a book that fits a category on the 2014 Reading Bingo card
✪♫ Just One Damned Thing After Another by Jody Taylor - TIOLI #14, shared with Ellen
✪♫ Bitter Greens by Kate Forsyth - shared with Mamie - TIOLI #6: Read a book whose title includes either a color or a word to describe a shade of color
✭❉ The Blazing World by Siri Hustvedt - TIOLI #5: Read a book with a noun from the title of a Christmas carol in its title ("Joy to the World")

Spur of the moment:

The Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes
contains:
Silver Blaze
The Adventure of the Yellow Face
The Stock-Broker's Clerk
The Gloria Scott
The Musgrave Ritual
The Reigate Puzzle
The Adventure of the Cardboard Box
The Crooked Man
The Resident Patient
The Greek Interpreter
The Naval Treaty
The Final Problem
***

* = Picked for Me challenge
** = Picked for Me challenge extra picks
♫ = audiobook
✔ = off the shelf
❉ = library book
ⓔ = eBook
✭ = TIOLI
✪ = Shared TIOLI

3Smiler69
Edited: Nov 23, 2014, 7:43pm

Books completed in November
209. ♫ Breakfast With Lucian: A Portrait of the Artist by Geordie Greig ★★★★½ (review)
210. ✔ Greenwitch by Susan Cooper ★★★★⅓ (review)
211. ♫ The Ruby in Her Navel by Barry Unsworth ★★★★★ (review)
212. ♫ Not My Father's Son by Alan Cumming ★★★★½ (review)
213. ✔ Mrs Palfrey at the Claremont by Elizabeth Taylor ★★★★½
214. ✔ Slightly Foxed: No. 23: Social Climbing by Gail Pirkis, Hazel Wood (Editors) ★★★★
215. ♫ The Paper Moon by Andrea Camilleri ★★★½
216. ❉ Dora Bruder / The Search Warrant by Patrick Modiano ★★★½
217. Petites et grandes histoires des animaux disparus / Small and Tall Tales of Extinct Animals by Damien Laverdunt ★★★★
218. Essex County Volume 1: Tales From The Farm by Jeff Lemire ★★★★
219. Essex County Volume 2: Ghost Stories by Jeff Lemire ★★★★
220. ♫ Suite Française by Irène Némirovsky ★★★★⅓
221. ♫ Le joueur d'échecs / Chess Story by Stefan Zweig ★★★★★
222. ♫ La Petite Bijou by Patrick Modiano ★★★★½
223. ♫ Nine Lives by Bernice Rubens ★★★★⅓
224. ♫ Stone Mattress by Margaret Atwood ★★★★⅓
225.

Books completed in October
189. ♫ Bonjour Tristesse by Françoise Sagan ★★★★⅓ (review)
190. ♫ The Children Act by Ian McEwan ★★★½ (review)
191. ♫ The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle ★★★★⅓
192. ✔ Slightly Foxed: 43: The Flight in the Heather by Gail Pirkis & Hazel Wood (Editors)
193. ♫ The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson ★★★ (review)
194. ❉ The Ironwood Tree by Tony DiTerlizzi and Holly Black ★★★★ (review)
195. ✔ Frankenstein by Mary Shelley ★★★★½
196. ❉ Sailing Alone Around the Room by Billy Collins ★★★★ (review)
197. ♫ The Graveyard Book (Full-Cast Production) by Neil Gaiman (Reread) ★★★★★
198. ❉ Amphigorey Also by Edward Gorey ★★★★
199. ✔ The Elected Member by Bernice Rubens ★★★★⅓
200. ♫ The Custom of the Country by Edith Wharton ★★★★
201. ⓔ Vanessa and Her Sister by Priya Parmar ★★★★½ (review)
202. ♫ Living Dead in Dallas by Charlaine Harris ★★★½
203. ❉ⓔ Daily Rituals: How Artists Work by Mason Currey ★★★★⅓ (review)
204. ♫ The House on the Strand by Daphne du Maurier ★★★★
205. ✔ Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage by Haruki Murakami ★★★★⅓
206. ✔ Love-Letters Between A Nobleman And His Sister (Volume II) (tutored read) ★★★★½
207. ♫ A Place of Greater Safety by Hilary Mantel ★★★★
208. ♫ The Things They Carried by Tim O'Brien ★★★★

Books completed in September
170. ♫ The Full Cupboard of Life by Alexander McCall Smith ★★★★
171. ✔ Slightly Foxed: No. 22: Don't Give Up the Day Job by Gail Pirkis & Hazel Wood (Editors) ★★★★(review)
172. ❉ La Nuit du carrefour / Maigret at the Crossroads by Georges Simenon ★★★★⅓ (review)
173. ♫ A Five Year Sentence by Bernice Rubens ★★★½ (review)
174. ♫ Ptolemy's Gate by Jonathan Stroud ★★★½
175. ⓔ The Stockholm Octavo by Karen Engelmann ★★★½ (review)
176. ♫ Dead Until Dark by Charlaine Harris ★★★★½
177. ♫ Night Soldiers by Alan Furst ★★★¾
178. ✔ A Month in the Country by J.L. Carr ★★★★ (review)
179. ♫ Rounding the Mark by Andrea Camilleri ★★★½
180. ♫ Going to Meet the Man by James Baldwin ★★★★
181. ♫ The Paying Guests by Sarah Waters ★★★★⅓ (review)
182. ♫ Her Royal Spyness by Rhys Bowen ★★★½
183. ✔ The Siege of Krishnapur by J. G. Farrell ★★★★
184. ♫ The Patience of the Spider by Andrea Camilleri ★★★½
185. ♫ Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell ★★★★⅓ (review)
186. ❉ Un Crime en Hollande / Maigret in Holland by Georges Simenon ★★★½ (review)
187. ✔ Love-Letters Between a Nobleman and His Sister by Aphra Behn ★★★★⅓ (tutored read)
188. ♫ Scarlet by Marissa Meyer ★★★★

Unfinished
A Test of Wills by Charles Todd
The Incorrigible Children of Ashton Place: The Unseen Guest by Maryrose Wood (will read in print)

4Smiler69
Edited: Oct 31, 2014, 1:31pm

Books completed in August
142. ♫ The Snack Thief by Andrea Camilleri (reread) ★★★½
143. ❉ The Bird King: An Artist's Notebook by Shaun Tan ★★★★½
144. ❉ Aya by Marguerite Abouet, illustrated by Clément Oubrerie ★★★★½ (review)
145. ♫ The Persimmon Tree by Bryce Courtennay ★★★★
146. ❉ Aya of Yop City by Marguerite Abouet, illustrated by Clément Oubrerie ★★★★⅓ (review)
147. ♫ Cinder by Marissa Meyer ★★★★ (review)
148. ❉ Aya: The Secrets Come Out: Volume 3 by Marguerite Abouet, illustrated by Clément Oubrerie ★★★★ (review)
149. ♫ Our Magnificent Bastard Tongue by John McWhorter ★★★½ (review)
150. ✔ Slightly Foxed: No. 42: Small World by Gail Pirkis & Hazel Wood (Editors) ★★★½
151. ❉ Aya de Yopougon: Volume 4 by Marguerite Abouet, illustrated by Clément Oubrerie ★★★★ (review)
152. ♫ The Voice of the Violin by Andrea Camilleri ★★★★ (review)
153. ✔ A Café on the Nile by Bartle Bull ★★★★½ (review)
154. ♫ The Burning Bridge: Ranger's Apprentice, Book 2 by John Flanagan ★★★½
155. ❉ Le Chien Jaune / The Yellow Dog by Georges Simenon ★★★½
156. ❉ The Pilot and the Little Prince: The Life of Antoine de Saint-Exupéry by Peter Sís ★★★★ (review)
157. ✔ Amsterdam by Ian McEwan ★★★★½ (review)
158. ♫ The Heart is a Lonely Hunter by Carson McCullers (reread) ★★★½ (review)
159. ♫ Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets by J. K. Rowling ★★★★⅓ (Reread)
160. ✔ Miss Pym Disposes by Josephine Tey ★★★★
161. ♫ Excursion to Tindari by Andrea Camilleri ★★★★
162. ❉ Amphigorey Again by Edward Gorey ★★★★⅓
163. ♫ The Waiting Game by Bernice Rubens ★★★★½ (review)
164. ❉ Aya de Yopougon, Tome 5 by Marguerite Abouet, illustrated by Clément Oubrerie ★★★★ (review)
165. ❉ Aya de Yopougon, Tome 6 by Marguerite Abouet, illustrated by Clément Oubrerie ★★★★ (review)
166. ♫ The Scent of the Night by Andrea Camilleri ★★★¾
167. ♫ The Good Girl by Mary Kubica ★★ (review)
168. ✔ The English Patient by Michael Ondaatje ★★★★
169. ♫ Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban by J. K. Rowling ★★★★

Unfinished
The Dog Stars by Peter Heller

Books completed in July
114. ♫ Au bonheur des dames / Ladies' Paradise by Émile Zola ★★★ (review)
115. ❉ Amphigorey Too by Edward Gorey ★★★★⅓
116. ❉ The Little Prince Graphic Novel by Joann Sfar ★★★★⅓
117. ✔ Black Hearts in Battersea by Joan Aiken ★★★★ (review)
118. ❉ Monsieur Gallet décédé / Maigret Stonewalled by Georges Simenon ★★★★ (review)
119. ♫ Legend by Marie Lu ★★★⅓ (review)
120. ✔ Slightly Foxed: No. 21: All Washed Up by by Gail Pirkis & Hazel Wood (Editors)
121. ✔ Franny and Zooey by J. D. Salinger ★★★⅓
122. ❉ Codex Seraphinianus by Luigi Serafini (review)
123. ♫ Midnight in Europe by Alan Furst ★★★★ (review)
124. ❉ Le pendu de Saint-Pholien / Maigret and the Hundred Gibbets by Georges Simenon ★★★★ (review)
125. ♫ The Silkworm by Robert Galbraith ★★★ (review)
126. ✔ My Cousin Rachel by Daphne du Maurier ★★★⅞ (review)
127. ♫ Merivel by Rose Tremain ★★★★½ (review)
128. ❉ La Tête d'un homme / A Man's Head by Georges Simenon ★★★⅓
129. ♫ The Sign of the Four by Arthur Conan Doyle ★★★½
130. ♫ The Shape of Water by Andrea Camilleri ★★★★ (reread)
131. ✔ Chasing Vermeer by Blue Balliett ★★★
132. ♫ Harry Potter and The Philosopher's Stone by J. K. Rowling ★★★★½ (reread)
133. ✔ Sketches from a Hunter's Album by Ivan Turgenev ★★★★⅓
134. ♫ Anansi Boys by Neil Gaiman ★★★★⅓ (review)
135. ♫ The Terracotta Dog by Andrea Camilleri ★★★½ (reread)
136. ♫ Journey Into the Past by Stefan Zweig ★★★★
137. ✔ The Big Sleep by Raymond Chandler ★★★½
138. ♫ Ruby Red by Kerstin Gier ★★★★ (review)
139. ♫ Lost for Words by Edward St. Abyn ★★★★
140. ♫ To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee ★★★★ (reread)
141. ✔ Mister Pip by Lloyd Jone ★★★⅞ (review)

Books completed in June
94. ⓔ Revelation by C. J. Sansom ★★★★⅓
95. ✔ Slightly Foxed: No. 20: Shrieks and Floods by Gail Pirkis & Hazel Wood (Editors)
96. ♫ Slaves of the Mastery by William Nicholson ★★★★ (review)
97. ♫ The Ruins of Gorlan by John Flanagan ★★★★
98. ⓔ Heartstone by C. J. Sansom ★★★★
99. ❉ Amphigorey by Edward Gorey ★★★★½,
includes (among 15 others):
The Unstrung Harp: Or, Mr Earbrass Writes a Novel by Edward Gorey ★★★★★ (review, sort of)
The Listing Attic by Edward Gorey ★★★★½ ('review' coming up)
The Curious Sofa by Edward Gorey ★★★★½ ('review' coming up)
100. ♫ The Six Wives of Henry VIII by Alison Weir ★★★★ (review)
101. ✔ The Dark is Rising by Susan Cooper ★★★½
102. ✔ Lord Peter Views the Body by Dorothy L. Sayers ★★★★⅓ (review)
103. ✔ The Day of the Scorpion by Paul Scott ★★★⅓
104. ♫ In the Woods by Tana French ★★★½
105. ♫ A Study in Scarlet by Arthur Conan Doyle ★★★★ (review)
106. ✔ A Russian Journal by John Steinbeck and Robert Capa ★★★½
107. ♫ Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail by Cheryl Strayed ★★★★ (review)
108. Le Petit Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry ★★★★★ (review)
109. Treehorn Times Three by Florence Parry Heide & Edward Gorey ★★★★½ (review)
110. ❉ Pietr le Letton / Maigret and the Enigmatic Lett by Georges Simenon ★★★★ (review)
111. ✔ Cover Her Face by P. D. James ★★★½
112. ♫ The Great Fortune by Olivia Manning ★★★½
113. ❉ Le charretier de la Providence / Lock 14 by Georges Simenon ★★★★⅓ (review)

Unfinished
Frederica by Georgette Heyer

Books completed in May
78. ♫ March Violets by Philip Kerr ★★★★ (review)
79. ♫ Seven for a Secret by Lyndsay Faye ★★★★ (review)
80. ✔ Slightly Foxed: No. 19: A Lonely Furrow by Gail Pirkis, Hazel Wood (Editors) ★★★★ (review)
81. ✔ Small Island by Andrea Levy ★★★★ (review)
82. ♫ The White Queen by Philippa Gregory ★★★★ (review)
83. ♫ The Adoration of Jenna Fox by Mary E. Pearson ★★★★ (review)
84. ♫ The Cuckoo's Calling by Robert Galbraith ★★★½ (review)
85. ⓔ Dissolution by C. J. Samson ★★★★½ (review)
86. ♫ The Last Days of Ptolemy Grey by Walter Mosley ★★★★
87. ♫ The Vanishing Act of Esme Lennox by Maggie O'Farrell ★★★★
88. ⓔ Dark Fire by C. J. Sansom ★★★★⅓ (review)
89. ♫ Bloody Jack; Being an Account of the Curious Adventures of Mary "Jacky" Faber, Ship's Boy by L. A. Meyer ★★★★
90. ♫ The Pale Criminal by Pillip Kerr ★★★ (review)
91. ⓔ Sovereign by C. J. Sansom ★★★★ (review)
92. ⓔ The Italian by Ann Radcliffe (tutored read) ★★★½
93. ♫ Room by Emma Donoghue ★★★½ (review)

Unfinished
The Bees by Laline Paull

5Smiler69
Edited: Oct 31, 2014, 1:32pm

Books completed in April
52. ♫ The Prisoner of Zenda by Anthony Hope ★★½ (review)
53. ⓔ The Quick by Lauren Owen (ARC) ★★★★★ (review)
54. ✔ Rhyming Life and Death by Amos Oz ★★★★⅓
55. ♫ Frog Music by Emma Donoghue ★★★★⅓ (review)
56. ✔ Aiding and Abetting by Muriel Spark ★★★⅓ (review)
57. ♫ Zealot: The Life and Times of Jesus of Nazareth by Reza Aslan ★★★★½ (review)
58. ✔ Slightly Foxed: No. 41: Cellmates by Gail Pirkis ★★★★ (review)
59. ❉ Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen (tutored read) ★★★★½
60. ✔ The Kalahari Typing School for Men by Alexander McCall Smith ★★★¼ (review)
61. ♫ Restoration by Rose Tremain ★★★★★ (review)
62. ❉ⓔ Wolf Story by William McCleery ★★★⅓ (review)
64. ❉ⓔ The One and Only Ivan by Katherine Applegate ★★★★½ (review)
65. ♫ These Old Shades by Georgette Heyer ★★★★ (review)
66. ♫ In Chancery by John Galsworthy ★★★★
67. ♫ A Wizard of Earthsea by Ursula K. Le Guin ★★★★
68. ♫ Home by Toni Morrison ★★★½
69. ♫ The Woman in Black: A Ghost Story by Susan Hill ★★★¾
70. ♫ The Incorrigible Children of Ashton Place: The Hidden Gallery by Maryrose Wood ★★★★
71. ✔ Pot-Bouille/Pot Luck by Émile Zola ★★★★ (review)
72. ❉ The Herbarium of the Fairies by Benjamin Lacombe ★★★★
73. ♫ The Master Butcher's Singing Club by Louise Erdrich ★★★★
74. ✔ Coventry by Helen Humphries ★★★★ (review)
75. ✔ Miss Buncle's Book by D. E. Stevenson ★★★★½ (review)
76. ♫ The Janissary Tree by Jason Goodwin ★★★★ (review)
77. ✔ King Lear by William Shakespeare (reread) ★★★★⅓

Unfinished
The Orphan Master's Son by Adam Johnson
A Red Herring Without Mustard by Alan Bradley
The Colossus of Maroussi by Henry Miller

Books completed in March
34. ❉ Goliath by Tom Gauld ★★★★
35. ♫ The Guns of August by Barbara W. Tuchman ★★★★ (review)
36. ♫ Epitaph for a Spy by Eric Ambler ★★★★
37. ♫ Apple Tree Yard by Louise Doughty ★★★ (review)
38. ♫ The Dark Frontier by Eric Ambler ★★★¼
39. ♫ The Cherry Orchard by Anton Chekhov ★★★½
40. ⓔ Grumpy Cat by Grumpy Cat ★★★★ (review)
41. ♫ All the Pretty Horses by Cormac McCarthy ★★★★⅞ (review)
42. Jane Austen: A Life by Claire Tomalin ★★★★ (review)
43. ✔ The Jewel in the Crown by Paul Scott ★★★
44. ✔ Olive Kitteridge by Elizabeth Strout ★★ (review)
45. ✔ Slightly Foxed: 18: The Sensation of Crossing the Street by Gail Pirkis ★★★★ (review)
46. ♫ The Three Musketeers by Alexandre Dumas ★★★★
47. ✔ Native Son by Richard Wright ★★★★ (review)
48. ♫ How It All Began by Penelope Lively ★★★
49. ♫ Le Bal by Irène Nemirovski ★★★★
50. ✔ The Incorrigible Children of Ashton Place: The Mysterious Howling by Maryrose Wood ★★★★⅓ (review)
51. ♫ The Daughters of Mars by Thomas Keneally

Books completed in February
17. ♫ Longbourn by Jo Baker ★★★★⅓
18. ✔ Nana by Émile Zola ★★★★⅓ (review)
19. ♫ Midnight Riot by Ben Aaronovitch ★★★½
20. ✔ Slightly Foxed: 40: Mellow Fruitfulness by Gail Pirkis ★★★★
21. ♫ The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater ★★★★ (review)
22. ⓔ 420 Characters by Lou Beach ★★★¾ (review)
23. ♫ An Unnecessary Woman by Rabih Alameddine ★★½ (review)
24. ♫ Lady Audley's Secret Mary Elizabeth Braddon ★★★★ (review)
25. ♫ Tenth of December by George Saunders ★★★¼
26. ✔ Rogue Male by Geoffrey Household ★★★★½ (review)
27. ✔ The New York Stories of Edith Wharton by Edith Wharton ★★★★½
28. ♫ Lady Susan by Jane Austen ★★★★½ (review)
29. ⓔ Love and Freindship (sic) by Jane Austen ★★★★½ (review)
30. ♫ Can You Forgive Her? by Anthony Trollope ★★★★⅓
31. ♫ Moon Over Soho by Ben Aaronovitch ★★★¼
32. ✔ The Return of the Soldier by Rebecca West ★★★★⅓ (reread)
33. ♫ The Light of Day by Eric Ambler ★★★★

Unfinished
Mistborn: The Final Empire by Brandon Sanderson
♫+ⓔ An Unnecessary Woman by Rabih Alameddine
The Lies of Locke Lamora by Scott Lynch

Books completed in January
1. ♫ The Dogs of Riga by Henning Mankell ★★½
2. ♫ Smallbone Deceased by Michael Gilbert ★★★½
3. ✔&♫ Bleak House by Charles Dickens ★★★★
4. ❉ Trouble with Trolls by Jan Brett ★★★★
5. ♫ The Weed the Strings the Hangman's Bag by Alan Bradley ★★★¾
6. ♫ The Garden of Evening Mists by Tan Twan Eng ★★★★★ (review)
7. ✔ Cold Comfort Farm by Stella Gibbons ★★★½
8. ♫ Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë ★★★★½
9. ♫ 1914: A Novel by Jean Echenoz ★★★★
10. ❉ You're All Just Jealous Of My Jetpack by Tom Gauld ★★★★
11. ♫ Let's Explore Diabetes with Owls by David Sedaris ★★★★
12. ⓔ O Pioneers! by Willa Cather ★★★½ (review)
13. ♫ The Light Years by Elizabeth Jane Howard ★★★★⅓ (review)
14. ♫ Hygiène de l'assassin by Amélie Nothomb ★ (review)
15. ✔ Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen - tutored read with Liz/lyzard ★★★★½
16. ✔ Coriolanus by William Shakespeare ★★★★

Unfinished
Master and Commander by Patrick O'Brian (will try again)
Hygiène de l'assassin by Amélie Nothomb

♫ = audiobook
✔ = off the shelf
❉ = library book
ⓔ = eBook
☀ = TIOLI

6Smiler69
Edited: Dec 2, 2014, 1:55pm



This is my third year running this challenge, for which I asked my fellow LTers to pick ONE book from my vast tbr. It's looking like I might manage to complete the challenge in time for the end of the year.

1. ♫ Zealot: The Life and Times of Jesus of Nazareth by Reza Aslan - picked by Fourpawz2 - COMPLETED
2. ♫ The Garden of Evening Mists by Tan Twan Eng - picked by Donna828 - COMPLETED
3. Sketches From a Hunter's Album by Ivan Turgeniev - picked by sibyx - COMPLETED
4. ♫ The Guns of August by Barbara Tuchman - picked by PaulCranswick - COMPLETED
5. Love-Letters Between A Nobleman And His Sister by Aphra Behn - picked by lyzard - Reading
6. Olive Kitteridge by Elizabeth Strout - picked by phebj - COMPLETED
7. Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen - picked by Crazymamie - COMPLETED
8. Coventry by Helen Humphreys - picked by Claudia - COMPLETED
9. A Russian Journal by John Steinbeck - picked by avatiakh - COMPLETED
10. The Dark is Rising by Susan Cooper - picked by souloftherose - COMPLETED
11. A Café on the Nile by Bartle Bull - picked by Deern - COMPLETED
12. Cold Comfort Farm by Stella Gibbons - picked by luvamystery65 - COMPLETED
13. Rhyming Life and Death by Amos Oz - picked by Polaris - COMPLETED
14. ♫ Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail by Cheryl Strayed - picked my msf59 - COMPLETED
15. Suite Française by Irene Nemirovsky - picked by SandDune - COMPLETED
16. Sacred Hearts by Sarah Dunant - picked by calm - Reading
17. A Place of Greater Safety by Hilary Mantel - picked by kidzdoc - COMPLETED
18. ♫ The Heart is a Lonely Hunter by Carson McCullers - picked by EBT1002 - COMPLETED
19. Dissolution by CJ Sansom - picked by Chatterbox - COMPLETED
20. Schindler's Ark by Thomas Keneally - picked by DejaVoo

Extra picks
Some people couldn't pick just one book. I looked at this secondary list of extras to guide some of my reading choices in 2014 and switched some items from one list to the other, the point being I wanted to read at least one book for each person who had done the picking.

The Pursuit of Love by Nancy Mitford (reread)
Franny and Zooey by J.D. Salinger - both extras from Lucy - COMPLETED
Watership Down by Richard Adams (reread) - extra from Paul
A Fine Balance by Rohinton Mistry - extra from Paul
Harry Potter And The Philosopher's Stone by J. K. Rowling - COMPLETED
The Land Of Laughs by Jonathan Carroll - both extras from Liz
The Colossus of Maroussi by Henry Miller (reread) - extra pick Kerry - Unfinished
The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater - extra pick Kerry - COMPLETED
The Maltese Falcon by Dashiell Hammett - extra pick by Roberta - COMPLETED
The New York Stories of Edith Wharton by Edith Wharton - extra pick by Roberta - COMPLETED
Angle of Repose by Wallace Stegner
The English Patient by Michael Ondaatje - both extras from Paul Harris - COMPLETED
The Enchanted April by Elizabeth von Arnim - extra from Rhian
Sula by Toni Morrison
Angela's Ashes by Frank McCourt
The Golden Notebook by Doris Lessing
Reading Lolita in Tehran by Azar Nafisi
Babbit by Sinclair Lewis
The Bone People by Keri Hulme
Elmer Gantry by Sinclair Lewis
Fifth Business by Robertson Davies
Snow Falling on Cedars by David Guterson - COMPLETED - all 9 extras from Ellen
Master and Commander by Patrick O'Brian - Read January/14 (unfinished)
Smallbone Deceased by Michael Gilbert - COMPLETED
Through Black Spruce by Joseph Boyden - picked by Chatterbox - three extras from Suz

***

2015 Edition!

Selections

1. ♫ The Black Dahlia by James Ellroy - picked by Ameise1
2. ✔ The Blind Contessa's New Machine by Carey Wallace - picked by luvamystery65
3. ♫ Shantaram by Gregory David Roberts - picked by lunacat
4. ⓔ The Midnight Bell by Francis Lathom - picked by lyzard
5. ♫ I, Dreyfus by Bernice Rubens - picked by avatiakh
6. ✔ The Brontes Went to Woolworths by Rachel Ferguson - picked by LizzieD
7. ♫ The Last Picture Show by Larry McMurtry - picked by msf59
8. ♫ A Town Like Alice by Nevil Shute - picked by DeltaQueen50
9. ♫ The Lost City of Z by David Grann - picked by drneutron
10. ⓔ The Round House by Louise Erdrich - picked by Donna828
11. ♫ Affinity by Sarah Waters - picked by PaulCranswick
12. ✔ Catharine and Other Writings by Jane Austen - picked by souloftherose
13. ✔ The Art of Looking Sideways by Alan Fletcher - picked by LauraBrook
14. ♫ The Bell by Iris Murdoch - picked by @sibyx
15. ✔ The Leopard by Guisepe Di Lampedusa - picked by @Ireadthereforeiam
16. ✔ The Memory Keeper's Daughter by Kim Edwards - picked by jolerie
17. ✔ A Fine Balance by Rohinton Mistry - picked by kidzdoc
18. ♫ Falling Angels by Tracy Chevalier - picked by Fourpawz2
19. ♫ Chocolat by Joanne Harris - picked by Crazymamie
20. ♫ My Antonia by Willa Cather - picked by jnwelch
21. ✔ Jamaica Inn by Daphne du Maurier - picked by @Cee-
22. ♫ Love in the Time of Cholera by Gabriel García Márquez (reread) - picked by cameling
23. ✔ The Dog Who Wouldn't Be by Farley Mowat - picked by Deern
24. (extra spot, to round things off)

Extra Picks
A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith - picked by lunacat (reread)
Dessins d'écrivains by Pierre Belfond - picked by @Cee-
The Curse of Chalion by Lois McMaster Bujold - picked by @Cee-
The Wind in the Willows by Kenneth Grahame - picked by @Cee- (reread)

♫ = audiobook
✔ = off the shelf
ⓔ = eBook

7Smiler69
Edited: Dec 1, 2014, 1:13pm

American Authors Challenge

This is Mark's/msf59 baby. Each month will be devoted to a specific author, but as I want to read from my tbr, I've substituted some of the *official* selections with other equally deserving auteurs américains. Here's my list:

January: Willa Cather - O Pioneers! - COMPLETED
February: William Faulkner - As I Lay Dying As I Lay Dying by William Faulkner - Gave it up, wasn't in the mood
March: Cormac McCarthy - All the Pretty Horses (reread) - COMPLETED
April: Toni Morrison - Home - COMPLETED
May: (Eudora Welty) Louise Erdrich - The Master Butcher's Singing Club - COMPLETED
June: (Kurt Vonnegut) Paul Auster - Moon Palace
July: Mark Twain - Huckleberry Finn (reread) or The Autobiography of Mark Twain
August: Philip Roth- American Pastoral
September: James Baldwin - Going to Meet the Man - COMPLETED
October: Edith Wharton - The Custom of the Country - COMPLETED
November: (John Updike) Sinclair Lewis - Elmer Gantry
December: (Larry Watson) Zora Neale Hurston - Their Eyes Were Watching God

***

Booker Prize Books

Booker Prize Books Read in 2014 (in reading order)
The Garden of Evening Mists by Tan Twan Eng (Shortlist 2012)
Restoration by Rose Tremain (Shortlist 1989)
Room by Emma Donoghue (Shortlist 2010)
Mister Pip by Lloyd Jones (Shortlist 2007)
Amsterdam by Ian Mcewan (Booker Prize 1998)
The English Patient by Michael Ondaatje (Booker Prize 1992)
A Five Year Sentence by Bernice Rubens (Shortlist 1978)
A Month in the Country by J.L. Carr (Shortlist 1980)
The Siege of Krishnapur by J.G. Farrell (Booker Prize 1973)
The Elected Member by Bernice Rubens (Booker Prize 1970)
The Ruby in Her Navel by Barry Unsworth (Longlist 2006)
Mrs Palfrey at the Claremont by Elizabeth Taylor (Shortlist 1971)

Booker Prize Books Read in 2013
Good Behaviour by Molly Keane (Shortlist 1981)
The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood (Shortlist 1986)
Disgrace by J. M. Coetzee (Booker Prize 1999)
The Remains of the Day by Kazuo Ishiguro (Booker Prize 1989)
The Testament of Mary by Colm Toibin (Shortlist 2013)
Harvest by Jim Crace (Shortlist 2013)
The Luminaries by Eleanor Catton (Booker Prize 2013)
What Was She Thinking?: Notes on a Scandal by Zoe Heller (Shortlist 2003)
The Secret Scripture by Sebastian Barry (Shortlist 2008)
The Sea, the Sea by Iris Murdoch (Booker Prize 1978)
Morality Play by Barry Unsworth (Shortlist 1995)

Booker Prize Books on my TBR
Bruno's Dream by Iris Murdoch (Shortlist 1970)
Quartet in Autumn by Barbara Pym (Shortlist 1977)
Great Granny Webster by Caroline Blackwood (Shortlist 1977)
Midnight's Children by Salman Rushdie (Booker Prize 1981)
Schindler's Ark by Thomas Keneally (Booker Prize 1982)
The Good Apprentice by Iris Murdoch (Shortlist 1985)
The Bone People by Keri Hulme (Booker Prize 1985)
Moon Tiger by Penelope Lively (Booker Prize 1987)
The Satanic Verses by Salman Rushdie (Shortlist 1988)
Oscar and Lucinda by Peter Carey (Booker Prize 1988)
The Book of Evidence by John Banville (Shortlist 1989)
Cat's Eye by Margaret Atwood (Shortlist 1989)
Possession by A.S. Byatt (Booker Prize 1990)
Under the Frog by Tibor Fischer (Shortlist 1993)
Paddy Clarke Ha Ha Ha by Roddy Doyle (Booker Prize 1993)
A Fine Balance by Rohinton Mistry (Shortlist 1996)
Master Georgie by Beryl Bainbridge (Shortlist 1998)
Death of Vishnu by Manil Suri (Longlist 2001)
*Family Matters by Rohinton Mistry (Shortlist 2002)
Oryx and Crake by Margaret Atwood (Shortlist 2003)
Astonishing Splashes Of Colour by Clare Morrall (Shortlist 2003)
Brick Lane by Monica Ali (Shortlist 2003)
The Master by Colm Toibin (Shortlist 2004)
Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro (Shortlist 2005) - reread
The Accidental by Ali Smith (Shortlist 2005)
Mother's Milk by Edward St. Aubyn (Shortlist 2006)
The Inheritance of Loss by Kiran Desai (Booker Prize 2006)
The Gift of Rain by Tan Twan Eng (Longlist 2007)
A Fraction of the Whole by Steve Toltz (Shortlist 2008)
The White Tiger by Aravind Adiga (Booker Prize 2008) - reread
Heliopolis by James Scudamore (Longlist 2009)
The Little Stranger by Sarah Waters (Shortlist 2009)
Trespass by Rose Tremain (Longlist 2010)
Skippy Dies by Paul Murray (Longlist 2010)
Jamrach's Menagerie by Carol Birch (Shortlist 2011)
A Tale for the Time Being by Ruth Ozeki (Longlist 2013)
Almost English by Charlotte Mendelson (Longlist 2013)
The Lowland by Jhumpa Lahiri (Shortlist 2013)
*Orfeo by Richard Powers (Longlist 2014)
The Narrow Road to the Deep North by Richard Flanagan (Booker Prize 2014)

* recent additions

(more on the wishlist of course!)

8Smiler69
Edited: Nov 4, 2014, 5:15pm


Bedroom selections from my tbr

Additional Books I'd like to read in 2014

Caravan of Dreams by Idries Shah (blindly picked by PiyushChourasia in 2012)
Arabian Nights: Four Tales from a Thousand and One Nights by Marc Chagall (blindly picked by picked by Donna828 in 2012)
The House of the Spirits by Isabel Allende - (blindly picked by picked by LauraBrook in 2012)
Nana by Emile Zola - Read in February
Pot-Bouille by Émile Zola - Read in April
Au Bonheur des Dames by Émile Zola (to continue with the Rougon-Macquart series) - Completed in July
The Strangers in the House by Georges Simenon (on my shelf for over 10 years) - Completed in August
Angels & Insects by A. S. Byatt (loved the movie, want to read my Byatt)
Possession by A. S. Byatt
Reading Lolita in Tehran by Azar Nafizi (want to read more about Afghanistan)
Seven Gothic Tales by Izak Dinesen (wanted to read seemingly forever)
Small Island by Andrea Levy (recommended a million times) - Read in May
Mister Pip by Lloyd Jones (waited to read Great Expectations, on my reading list for a couple of years) - Completed in July
Kaspar by Michael Morpurgo
The Butterfly Lion by Michael Morpurgo (love Morpurgo for not so light children's books)
All the Pretty Horses by Cormac McCarthy (reread) - Read in March
The Crossing by Cormac McCarthy
Cities of the Plain by Cormac McCarthy (finally want to finish the trilogy)
A History of the World in 10½ Chapters by Julian Barnes (on the shelf since forever)
The Sense of an Ending by Julian Barnes (reread on audio this time to see if I like it better)
Amsterdam Stories by Nescio (started in 2012 and unfinished)
The Soul of Kindness by Elizabeth Taylor (want to read more Taylor)
Aiding and Abetting by Muriel Spark (want to read more of one of my favourite authors) - Read in April
Balzac and the Little Chinese Seamstress by Dai Sijie (reread in the original French this time)
Living Well is the Best Revenge by Calvin Tomkins (wanted to read forever)
The Blind Contessa's New Machine by Carey Wallace (much recommended)
Moon Palace by Paul Auster (on last year's list)
Christine Falls by Benjamin Black (on the shelf for ages, might get the audio which is supposedly very good)
✔ Lady Oracle by Margaret Atwood (blindly picked by MickyFine in 2012)
Cat's Eye by Margaret Atwood (wanted to read forever)
Howard's End is on the Landing by Susan Hill (much recommended)
Black Hearts in Battersea by Joan Aiken (to continue the much recommended series) - Completed in July
The Elected Member by Bernice Rubens (to start reading Rubens, much recommended by Kerry/avatiakh) - Completed in October
The Cat's Table by Michael Ondaatje
Chasing Vermeer by Blue Balliett (on last year's list) - Completed in July
Jamrach's Menagerie Carol Birch (on last year's list)
The Big Sleep by Raymond Chandler (wanted to read forever) - Completed in July
Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugenides (wanted to read forever)
Hard-Boiled Wonderland and the End of the World by Haruki Murakami (haven't read him in a while)
✔&♫ 1Q84 by Haruki Murakami (maybe this year, maybe not)
The Kalahari Typing School for Men by Alexander McCall Smith (want to pick up where I left off years ago) - Read in April
✔&♫ 2666 by Roberto Bolaño (meant to join the group read last year, didn't.)
The Master by Colm Toibín (wanted to read forever)
Amsterdam by Ian McEwan (been meaning to read more of his work for years) - Completed in August
Felicia's Journey by William Trevor (an author I want to discover)
The English Patient by Michael Ondaatje - Completed in August
Zarafa by Michael Allin (stories about animals a must)
The Mysterious Howling by Maryrose Wood (on my tbr for ages) - Read in March
The Colour by Rose Tremain
Restoration by Rose Tremain - Read in April
Ru by Kim Thúy (have seen her around lots and highly rec'd by Lori/lkernagh
Alys, Always by Harriet Lane (strongly Rec'd by Prue last year)
Sweet Thursday by John Steinbeck (left over from 2012 Steinbeckathon)

17/53

9Smiler69
Edited: Nov 15, 2014, 4:14pm

A Century of Books! 1900-1999

I stole this challenge idea from Heather/souloftherose. I'm going to try and read a book published in every year of the 20th century. I know I won't manage it in one year, so I'll extend it for as long as it takes me.

1900
1901
1902
1903
1904 The Cherry Orchard by Anton Chekhov
1905
1906
1907
1908
1909
1910
1911
1912
1913 O Pioneers! by Willa Cather
1914
1915
1916
1917
1918 The Return of the Soldier by Rebecca West
1919
1920 In Chancery by John Galsworthy
1921
1922
1923
1924
1925
1926 These Old Shades by Georgette Heyer
1927
1928 Lord Peter Views the Body by Dorothy L. Sayer
1929 Journey Into the Past by Stefan Zweig
1930 Le Bal by Irène Némirovsky
1931 Maigret and the Enigmatic Lett by Georges Simenon
1932 Cold Comfort Farm by Stella Gibbons
1933
1934 Miss Buncle's Book bu D. E. Stevenson
1935
1936 The Dark Frontier by Eric Ambler
1937
1938 Epitaph for a Spy by Eric Ambler
1939 Rogue Male by Geoffrey Household
1940 Native Son by Richard Wright
1941
1942 Le joueur d'échecs / Chess Story by Stefan Zweig
1943 Le Petit Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry
1944 Dragonwyck by Anya Seton
1945
1946 Miss Pym Disposes by Josephine Tey
1947 Wolf Story by William Mccleery
1948 A Russian Journal by John Steinbeck and Robert Capa
1949
1950 Smallbone Deceased by Michael Gilbert
1951 My Cousin Rachel by Daphne du Maurier
1952
1953 The Unstrung Harp: Or, Mr Earbrass Writes a Novel by Edward Gorey
1954 Bonjour tristesse by Françoise Sagan
1955
1956
1957
1958
1959
1960 The Great Fortune by Olivia Manning
1961 Franny and Zooey by J.D. Salinger
1962 Cover Her Face by P. D. James
1963
1964 Black Hearts in Battersea by Joan Aiken
1965 Going to Meet the Man by James Baldwin
1966 The Jewel in the Crown by Paul Scott
1967
1968 A Wizard of Earthsea by Ursula K. Le Guin
1969 The Elected Member by Bernice Rubens
1970
1971 Mrs Palfrey at the Claremont by Elizabeth Taylor
1972
1973 The Dark is Rising by Susan Cooper
1974 Greenwitch by Susan Cooper
1975
1976
1977
1978 A Five Year Sentence by Bernice Rubens
1979
1980 A Month in the Country by J.L. Carr
1981 Codex Seraphinianus by Luigi Serafini
1982
1983 The Woman in Black by Susan Hill
1984
1985
1986
1987
1988 Night Soldiers by Alan Furst
1989 Restoration by Rose Tremain
1990 The Light Years by Elizabeth Jane Howard
1991 The Six Wives of Henry VIII by Alison Weir
1992 All the Pretty Horses by Cormac McCarthy
1993
1994 The Shape of Water by Andrea Camilleri
1995 Snow Falling on Cedars by David Guterson
1996 The Terracotta Dog by Andrea Camilleri
1997 Jane Austen: A Life by Claire Tomalin
1998 Amsterdam Ian McEwan
1999

10Smiler69
Edited: Oct 31, 2014, 2:29pm

Ongoing Series
An idea Heather (souloftherose) borrowed from Liz (lyzard), which caught on like wildfire. Ongoing series that I am actively reading; this doesn't include series I have in my TBR but haven't started reading yet (that is covered in the next list!)

African Trilogy - Next up: No Longer at Ease by Chinua Achebe (2/3)
Alan Grant Mysteries - Next up: The Man in the Queue by Josephine Tey (1/6 - read out of order)
American Gods - Next up: Anansi Boys by Neil Gaiman (2/2) - Completed in July
Anton Rider - Next up: The Devil's Oasis by Bartle Bull (3/3) - Completed in August
The Australian Trilogy - Next up: Tommo and Hawk by Bryce Courtenay (⅔)
*ⓔ The Balkan Trilogy- Next up: The Spoilt City by Olivia Manning (2/3)
Bartimaeus Trilogy - Next up: The Ring of Solomon by Jonathan Stroud (Prequel)
Bernie Gunther - Next up: A German Requiem by Philip Kerr (3/9)
Bloody Jack Adventures - Next up: Curse of the Blue Tattoo by L. A. Meyer (2/12)
Border Trilogy - Next up: The Crossing by Cormac McCarthy (2/3)
Cannery Row - Next up: Sweet Thursday by John Steinbeck (2/2)
*♫ Cazalet Chronicles - Next up: Marking Time by Elizabeth Jane Howard (2/5)
The Cemetery of Forgotten Books - Next up: The Angel's Game by Carlos Ruiz Zafón (2/3)
Chief Inspector Armand Gamache - Next up: A Fatal Grace by Louise Penny (2/8)
The Chronicles of Barsetshire - Next up: Doctor Thorne by Anthony Trollope (2/6)
Claudius - Next up: Claudius the God by Robert Graves (2/2)
La Comédie Humaine - Next up: Le curé de Tours by Honoré de Balzac (31/88 - read out of order)
Commissario Brunetti - Next up: Acqua Alta by Donna Leon (5/21 - read out of order)
Commissario Montalbano - Next up: The Paper Moon by Andrea Camilleri (9/18)
Corfu Trilogy: The Garden of the Gods by Gerald Durrell (3/3)
The Cousins' War: The Red Queen by Philippa Gregory (2/5)
*✔ The Dark is Rising Sequence - Next up: The Grey King by Susan Cooper (4/5)
Daughter of Smoke and Bone - Next up: Days of Blood and Starlight by Laini Taylor (2/3)
De Luca Trilogy - Next up: The Damned Season by Carlo Lucarelli (2/3)
The Deptford Trilogy - Next up: World of Wonders by Robertson Davies (3/3)
The Dresden Files: Grave Peril by Jim Butcher (3/15)
Dr. Siri Paiboun - Next up: Curse of the Pogo Stick by Colin Cotterill (5/8)
Dublin Murder Squad - Next up: The Likeness by Tana French (2/5)
Easy Rawlins Mystery - Next up: White Butterfly by Walter Mosley (3/10)
Elizabeth and her German Garden - Next up: The Solitary Summer by Elizabeth von Arnim (2/2)
*✔ Empire Trilogy - Next up: The Singapore Grip by J. G. Farrell (3/3)
❉♫ Erica Falck and Patrik Hedström - Next up: The Preacher by Camilla Läckberg (2/8)
❉♫ Flavia de Luce - Next up: A Red Herring Without Mustard by Alan Bradley (3/6)
Forsyte Saga - Next up: To Let by John Galsworthy (3/3)
Green Town - Next up: Something Wicked This Way Comes by Ray Bradbury (2/2)
The Harlem Cycle - Next up: All Shot Up by Chester Himes (4/8)
Harry Potter - Next up: Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire by J. K. Rowling (reread) (4/7)
Hercule Poirot - Next up: Lord Edgware Dies by Agatha Christie (8/39 - read out of order)
Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy Dramatization - Next up: Tertiary Phase (BBC Radio Collection) by Douglas Adams (3/5)
The House of Earth Trilogy - Next up: Sons by Pearl S. Buck (2/3)
The Ibis Trilogy by Amitav Ghosh - Next up: Awaiting publication (3/3)
The Incorrigible Children of Ashton Place - Next up: The Unseen Guest by Maryrose Wood (3/4)
Inspector Yashim Togalu - Next up: The Snake Stone by Jason Goodwin (2/4)
Isabel Dalhousie Mysteries - Next up: The Right Attitude to Rain by Alexander McCall Smith (3/9)
Jack Reacher - Next up: The Enemy by Lee Child (8/17)
Jackson Brodie - Next up: When Will There Be Good News? by Kate Atkinson (3/4)
John Russell - Next up: Lehrter Station by David Downing (5/5)
Joseph O'Loughlin - Next up: Shatter by Michael Robotham (3/5)
Kenzie and Gennaro - Next up: Darkness, Take My Hand by Dennis Lehane (2/5 - read out of order)
Kurt Wallander - Next up: The White Lioness by Henning Mankell (3/10)
The Last Lion - Next up: Winston Spencer Churchill, Alone 1932-1940 by William Manchester (2/3)
Leviathan - Next up: Behemoth by Scott Westerfeld (2/3)
The Lord of the Rings - Next up: The Two Towers by J. R. R. Tolkien (3/4)
Lord Peter Wimsey - Next up: The Unpleasantness at the Bellona Club by Dorothy L. Sayers (5/15)
Maigret - Next up: The Sailors' Rendezvous by Georges Simenon (9/76)
*ⓔ Mapp and Lucia - Next up: Lucia in London by E. F. Benson (3/8)
Matthew Shardlake - Next up: Lamentation by C. J. Samson (awaiting publication) (6/6)
Miss Marple - Next up: The Body in the Library by Agatha Christie (2/12)
Night Soldiers" - Next up: Dark Star by Alan Furst (2/13)
The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency - Next up: In the Company of Cheerful Ladies by Alexander McCall Smith (6/14)
The Obelisk Trilogy - Next up: Tropic of Capricorn by Henry Miller (2/3)
Oxford Time Travel series - Next up: Blackout by Connie Willis (3/4)
Parker - Next up: The Mourner by Richard Stark (4/24)
Philip Marlowe - Next up: The Long Goodbye by Raymond Chandler (6/9 - read out of order)
Phryne Fisher Mysteries - Next up: Death at Victoria Dock by Kerry Greenwood (4/20)
The Power Of One - Next up: Tandia by Bryce Courtenay (2/2)
The Prairie Trilogy - Next up: The Song of the Lark by Willa Cather (2/3)
The Raj Quartet: The Towers Of Silence by Paul Scott (3/4)
Ranger's Apprentice: The Icebound Land by John Flanagan (3/12)
❉♫ The Raven Cycle Next up: The Dream Thieves by Maggie Stiefvater (2/4)
Rivers of London - Next up: Whispers Under Ground by Ben Aaronovitch 3/5)
Robert Merivel Next up: Merivel by Rose Tremain (2/2) - Completed in July
Les Rougon-Macquart - Next up: La joie de vivre by Émile Zola (12/20)
Ruby Trilogy - Next up: Sapphire Blue by Kerstin Gier (2/3)
Sally Lockhart Mysteries - Next up: The Shadow in the North by Philip Pullman (2/4)
Sherlock Holmes: The Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes by Arthur Conan Doyle (4/9)
A Song of Ice and Fire - Next up: A Dance with Dragons by George R. R. Martin (5/7)
Sookie Stackhouse - Next up: Club Dead by Charlaine Harris (3/14)
The Spiderwick Chronicles - Next up: The Wrath of Mulgarath by Holly Black & Tony DiTerlizzi (5/8)
Tales of the City - Next up: Further Tales of the City by Armistead Maupin (3/6)
Tales of the Otori - Next up: Brilliance of the Moon by Lian Hearn (3/4+prequel)
Three Men in a Boat - Next up: Three Men on the Bummel by Jerome K. Jerome (2/2)
Timothy Wilde - Next up: Unknown title by Lyndsay Faye (awaiting publication) (3/3)
*♫ Tom Ripley - Next up: The Boy Who Followed Ripley by Patricia Highsmith (4/5)
Victor Legris - Next up: La disparue du Père-Lachaise by Claude Izner (2/11)
Wind on Fire Trilogy - Next up: The Wind on Fire by William Nicholson (3/3)
Wolf Hall Trilogy - Next up: The Mirror and the Light by Hilary Mantel (awaiting publication) (3/3)
Wolves Chronicles - Next up: Nightbirds on Nantucket by Joan Aiken (3/11)
Wyoming Stories: Bad Dirt by Annie Proulx (2/3)

***

First in Series on my TBR
*♫ Albert Campion: The Crime at Black Dudley by Margery Allingham (1/19)
The American Trilogy: American Pastoral by Philip Roth (1/3)
Aristide Ravel Mysteries : The Cavalier of the Apocalypse by Susanne Alleyn (1/4)
The Astonishing Life of Octavian Nothing, Traitor to the Nation: The Astonishing Life of Octavian Nothing, Traitor to the Nation, Volume I: The Pox Party by M.T. Anderson (1/2)
Aubrey-Maturin: Master and Commander by Patrick O'Brian (1/21)
Avalon: The Mists of Avalon by Marion Zimmer Bradley (1/7)
The Book of Lies - Twins Trilogy: The Notebook by Ágota Kristóf (1/3)
The Borrible Trilogy: The Borribles by Michael De Larrabeiti (1/3)
Carl Webster: The Hot Kid by Elmore Leonard (1/3)
Chief Inspector Adamsberg: The Chalk Circle Man by Fred Vargas (1/9)
*♫ Chocolat: Chocolat by Joanne Harris (1/3)
*♫ Cicero: Imperium by Robert Harris (1/2)
A Dance to the Music of Time: A Dance to the Music of Time: First Movement, Spring by Anthony Powell (1/4)
Danzig Trilogy: The Tin Drum by Günter Grass (1/3)
Empress Orchid: Empress Orchid by Anchee Min (1/2)
Hank Thompson: Caught Stealing by Charlie Huston (1/3)
Haroun: Haroun and the Sea of Stories by Salman Rushdie (1/2)
*♫ Harry Hole: The Bat by Jo Nesbø (1/10)
Henrietta's War: Henrietta's War: News from the Home Front 1939-1942 by Joyce Dennys (1/2)
The Hummingbird's Daughter: The Hummingbird's Daughter by Luis Alberto Urrea (1/2)
In Search of Lost Time: Swann's Way by Marcel Proust (1/8)
James Bond: Casino Royale by Ian Fleming (1/14)
Joona Linna: The Hypnotist by Lars Kepler (1/3)
The Kingkiller Chronicle : The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss (1/3)
Latin American Trilogy: The War of Don Emmanuel's Nether Parts by Louis de Bernières (1/3)
Leonid McGill: The Long Fall by Walter Mosley (1/4)
✔❉♫ The Magicians: The Magicians by Lev Grossman (1/2)
McCaskill Trilogy: English Creek by Ivan Doig (1/3)
Micah Dalton: The Echelon Vendetta by David Stone (1/4)
Michael Forsythe: Dead I Well May Be by Adrian McKinty (1/3)
Mistress of the Art of Death: Mistress of the Art of Death by Ariana Franklin (¼)
*✔ On Foot to Constantinople: A Time of Gifts by Patrick Leigh Fermor (1/3)
Outlander: Outlander by Diana Gabaldon (1/8)
*♫+ⓔ Patrick Melrose: Never Mind by Edward St. Aubyn (1/5)
The Psammead Trilogy: Five Children and It by E. Nesbit (1/3)
Quirke: Christine Falls by Benjamin Black (1/5)
Revelation Space: Revelation Space by Alastair Reynolds (1/7)
Shanghai Girls: Shanghai Girls by Lisa See (1/2)
Sprawl: Neuromancer by William Gibson (1/3)
Sword of Honour: Men at Arms by Evelyn Waugh (1/3)
The Vampire Chronicles: Interview with the Vampire by Anne Rice (reread) (1/10)
❉♫ The Wolves of Mercy Falls: Shiver by Maggie Stiefvater (1/3)
World War II Saga: The Winds of War by Herman Wouk (1/2)



✔ = in my TBR
♫ = audiobook (in my TBR)
❉ = library book
ⓔ = eBook
* = recent changes

11Smiler69
Edited: Oct 31, 2014, 2:28pm

Reading Bingo - FIRST CARD COMPLETED!
Only counting books I really loved toward this challenge (4 stars and up).



More than 500 pages: Bleak House by Charles Dickens ★★★★
Forgotten Classic: Coriolanus by William Shakespeare ★★★★
Book that became a movie: Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen - tutorial ★★★★½
Published this year: Frog Music by Emma Donoghue ★★★★
Number in the title: 1914: A Novel by Jean Echenoz ★★★★
Written by someone under 30: Love and Freindship (sic) by Jane Austen ★★★★½
Book with non-human characters: Trouble with Trolls by Jan Brett ★★★★
Funny Book: You're All Just Jealous Of My Jetpack by Tom Gauld ★★★★
Female Author: Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë ★★★★½
Book with a mystery: Lady Audley's Secret by Mary Elizabeth Braddon ★★★★
One-Word Title: Nana by Émile Zola ★★★★⅓
Book of short stories: The New York Stories of Edith Wharton by Edith Wharton ★★★★½
Set on a different continent: The Garden of Evening Mists by Tan Twan Eng ★★★★★
Non-Fiction: Jane Austen: A Life by Claire Tomalin ★★★★
First book by a favourite author: Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen ★★★★½
Heard about online: The Light Years by Elizabeth Jane Howard ★★★★⅓
Best-selling book: Let's Explore Diabetes with Owls by David Sedaris ★★★★
Based on a true story: Zealot: The Life and Times of Jesus of Nazareth by Reza Aslan ★★★★½
*Book at the bottom of TBR pile: A Café on the Nile ★★★★½
Book my friend loves: Grumpy Cat by Grumpy Cat ★★★★
Book that scares me: Anansi Boys by Neil Gaiman ★★★★⅓
More than 10 years old: Can You Forgive Her? by Anthony Trollope
Second book in a series: In Chancery by John Galsworthy ★★★★
Blue cover: The Janissary Tree by Jason Goodwin ★★★★


For the following, I'll be counting any kind of books, not just YA.
Only 2 categories left to go to complete this one!



A book with a female heroine: Lady Susan by Jane Austen ★★★★½
A book set in a high school: Ruby Red by Kerstin Gier ★★★★
The last book in a trilogy:
A book with a colour in the title: The White Queen by Philippa Gregory ★★★★
The first book in a series: The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater ★★★★
A book set in the future: The Adoration of Jenna Fox by Mary E. Pearson ★★★★
A book with a breakup: All the Pretty Horses by Cormac McCarthy ★★★★⅞
A book without a love triangle: The Incorrigible Children of Ashton Place: The Mysterious Howling by Maryrose Wood ★★★★
A book that became a movie: Rogue Male by Geoffrey Household ★★★★½
A book set in Paris: These Old Shades by Georgette Heyer ★★★★
A book set in the past: Restoration by Rose Tremain ★★★★★
A book with magic: Slaves of the Mastery by William Nicholson ★★★★
A book set in the summer: Dark Fire by C. J. Sansom ★★★★⅓
A book with a dragon:
A book that made you cry: The One and Only Ivan by Katherine Applegate ★★★★½
A graphic novel: Amphigorey by Edward Gorey ★★★★½
A book based on a myth: The Quick by Lauren Owen ★★★★★
A "classic" YA book: Bloody Jack; Being an Account of the Curious Adventures of Mary "Jacky" Faber, Ship's Boy by L. A. Meyer ★★★★
A book with a lion, a witch, or a wardrobe: Harry Potter and The Philosopher's Stone by J. K. Rowling ★★★★½ (reread)
A book with an incredible fight scene: Goliath by Tom Gauld ★★★★
A book you heard about online: Epitaph for a Spy by Eric Ambler ★★★★
A book set in another world: A Wizard of Earthsea by Ursula K. Le Guin ★★★★
A book with an epic love story: Longbourn by Jo Baker ★★★★⅓
A book with music: Frog Music by Emma Donoghue ★★★★⅓

* = Most recent additions

12Smiler69
Edited: Nov 4, 2014, 12:24pm

Books Purchased in 2014

January
1. Prospero's Cell by Lawrence Durrell
2. ♫ The Daughters of Mars by Thomas Keneally - Read in March
3. ♫ The Ruby in Her Navel by Barry Unsworth - Read in November
4. ♫ The Songs of the Kings by Barry Unsworth
5. ♫ The Proud Tower: A Portrait of the World Before the War 1890-1914 by Barbara W. Tuchman
6. ♫ Murder as a Fine Art by David Morrell
7. ♫ Seven for a Secret by Lyndsay Faye - Read in May
8. The Book of Common Prayer (2nd hand FS)
9. ♫ Will Grayson, Will Grayson by John Green and David Levithan (Audible Daily Deal)
10. ⓔ The Yacoubian Building by Alaa Al Aswany (Kindle deal)
11. ⓔ Mrs. Robinson's Disgrace by Kate Summerscale (Kindle deal)
12. ⓔ The Snoring Bird: My Family's Journey Through a Century of Biology by Bernd Heinrich (Kindle deal)
13. ⓔ Voltaire Almighty by Roger Pearson (Kindle deal)
14. ♫ The Trembling of a Leaf by W. Somerset Maugham (Downpour Sale)
15. ⓔ Uncle Silas: A Tale of Bartram-Haugh by Sheridan Le Fanu (Kindle 99¢)
16. ⓔ Ham On Rye by Charles Bukowski (Kindle Daily Deal)
17. ⓔ Post Office by Charles Bukowski (Kindle Daily Deal)
18. ⓔ The Stockholm Octavo by Karen Engelmann (Kindle Daily Deal) - Completed in September
19. ⓔ 420 Characters by Lou Beach - Read in February
20. ⓔ The Sheltering Sky by Paul Bowles (Kindle Daily Deal)
21. ⓔ The Spider's House by Paul Bowles (Kindle Daily Deal)
22. ⓔ Ask the Dust by John Fante (Kindle Daily Deal)
23. ⓔ The Crusades: The Authoritative History of the War for the Holy Land by Thomas Asbridge (Kindle Daily Deal)
24. ⓔ D.V. by Diana Vreeland (Kindle Daily Deal)
25. ⓔ Hotel de Dream by Edmund White (Kindle Daily Deal)
26. ⓔ The Whale: In Search of the Giants of the Sea by Philip Hoare (Kindle Daily Deal)

February
27. ⓔ Never Fall Down by Patricia McCormick (Kindle DD)
28. ⓔ When We Were Bad: A Novel by Charlotte Mendelson (rec'd by Bonnie)
29. ⓔ The Light Years (The Cazalet Chronicle 1) by Elizabeth Jane Howard
30. ♫ Marking Time (The Cazalet Chronicle 2) by Elizabeth Jane Howard
31. ♫ Fools of Fortune by William Trevor (rec'd by Paul)
32. ♫ The War That Ended Peace: The Road to 1914 by Margaret MacMillan (rec'd by Suz and Bonnie)
33. ♫ Midnight Riot by Ben Aaronovitch (rec'd by Suz and Mark) - Read in February
34. Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen (Everyman's Library)
35. ♫ Moon Over Soho by Ben Aaronovitch - Read in February
36. ♫ The Dinner by Herman Koch (Audible Daily Deal)
37. ♫ An Unnecessary Woman by Rabih Alameddine - Read in February
38. ♫ Selection of Katherine Mansfield
39. ♫ Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen (read by Juliet Stevenson)
40. ♫ Realms of Gold: Letters and Poems of John Keats
41. ♫ The Beautiful Visit by Elizabeth Jane Howard
42. ♫ The King's General by Daphne du Maurier
43. ♫ The Two Destinies by Wilkie Collins
44. ♫ The Complete Barchester Chronicles by Anthony Trollope - (Dramatisation)
45. ♫ Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen
46. ♫ Lady Audley's Secret by Mary Elizabeth Braddon - Read in February
47. ♫ The Velveteen Rabbit by Margery Williams
48. ♫ Fraud by Anita Brookner
49. ♫ The Brimstone Wedding by Barbara Vine
50. ♫ The Cherry Orchard by Anton Chekhov (Dramatised) - Read in March
51. ♫ Apple Tree Yard by Louise Doughty - Read in March
52. ♫ Imperium by Robert Harris (Rec'd by Suz, $5 on Downpour.com)
53. ⓔ+♫ Sons and Lovers by D. H. Lawrence (for reread) - (special deal w/ Kindle)
54. ⓔ+♫ Lady Chatterley's Lover by D. H. Lawrence (for reread) - (as above)
55. ♫ The Prisoner of Zenda by Anthony Hope - Read in April
56. ♫ Tommo and Hawk: The Australian Trilogy, Book 2 by Bryce Courtenay
57. ♫ How It All Began: A Novel by Penelope Lively - Read in March
58. ♫ Beyond Black by Hilary Mantel
59. ♫ The Light of Day by Eric Ambler - Read in February
60. A Truth Universally Acknowledged: 33 Great Writers on Why We Read Jane Austen by Harold Bloom (used)
61. High Rising by Angela Thirkell
62. Sanditon and Other Stories by Jane Austen (Everyman's Library)
63. ⓔ+♫ Pamela, or Virtue Rewarded by Samuel Richardson - (special deal w/ Kindle)
64. ♫ Philomena by Martin Sixsmith (Audible Daily Deal)

March
65. ⓔ+♫ Doctor Thorne by Anthony Trollope - (special deal w/ Kindle)
66. ⓔ+♫ Phineas Finn by Anthony Trollope - (special deal w/ Kindle)
67. ♫ Firesong by William Nicholson
68. ⓔ+♫ Vanity Fair by William Makepeace Thackeray (Kindle and Audio for special price)
69. ♫ Epitaph for a Spy by Eric Ambler - Read in March
70. The Raj Quartet: v. 2 by Paul Scott (Everyman's Library)
71. ⓔ A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith (Kindle DD)
72. ⓔ Flannery O'Connor: Complete Stories (Kindle DD)
73. ⓔ Miss Marple: The Complete Short Stories by Agatha Christie (Kindle DD)
74. ⓔ The Natural by Bernard Malamud (Kindle DD)
75. ⓔ Bradbury Stories: 100 of His Most Celebrated Tales by Ray Bradbury (Kindle DD)
76. ⓔ Ahab's Wife by Sena Jeter Naslund (Kindle DD)
77. ♫ The Dark Frontier by Eric Ambler - Read in March
78. ⓔ Grumpy Cat by Grumpy Cat - Read in March
79. ♫ Ripley Under Water by Patricia Highsmith
80. ♫ The Janissary Tree by Jason Goodwin - Read in April
81. The Reef by Edith Wharton (Everyman's Library)
82. ⓔ The Complete Northanger Horrid Novel Collection (9 Books of Gothic Romance and Horror) (all for $1!)
83. ⓔ Marcovaldo: or the Seasons in the City by Italo Calvino (Kindle DD)
84. ⓔ Italian Folk Tales by Italo Calvino (Kindle DD)
85. ♫ I Am David by Anne Holm (Audible 2 for 1)
86. ♫ The Invisible Woman by Claire Tomalin (Audible 2 for 1)
87. ♫ Maurice by E.M. Forster (Audible 2 for 1)
88. ♫ Society's Child by Janis Ian (Audible 2 for 1)
89. ♫ Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie (Audible 2 for 1)
90. ♫ The House of Mirth by Edith Wharton (Audible 2 for 1)
91. ♫ The Man with the Golden Arm by Nelson Algren (Downpour)
92. ♫ A Walk on the Wild Side by Nelson Algren (Downpour)
93. ⓔ The Man in the Brown Suit by Agatha Christies (Kindle DD)
94. ⓔ Death on the Nile by Agatha Christies (Kindle DD)
95. ⓔ 4:50 from Paddington by Agatha Christies (Kindle DD)
96. ⓔ The Body in the Library by Agatha Christies (Kindle DD)

13Smiler69
Edited: Oct 31, 2014, 2:31pm

Books Purchased in 2014 (cont'd)

April
97. ♫ The Bees by Laline Paull - Returned for refund
98. ♫ Cause for Alarm by Eric Ambler
99. ♫ The Great Railway Bazaar by Paul Theroux
100. ♫ Whispers Under Ground by Ben Aaronovitch
101. ♫ The Wall by Marlen Haushofer (Strongly recommended by Rhian)
102. ♫ The Patrick Melrose Novels by Edward St. Aubyn
103 ⓔ The Patrick Melrose Novels by Edward St. Aubyn (Kindle)
104. ♫ The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, Volume I by Edward Gibbon
105. ♫ Frog Music by Emma Donoghue - Read in April
106. ⓔ The Balkan Trilogy by Olivia Manning (Kindle)
107. ♫ Merivel by Rose Tremain - Completed in July
108. ♫ Chocolat by Joanne Harris
109. ♫ These Old Shades by Georgette Heyer - Read in April
110. Mansfield Park by Jane Austen (Everyman's Library)
111. Emma by Jane Austen (Everyman's Library)
112. Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen (Everyman's Library)
113. ♫ Bloody Jack: Being an Account of the Curious Adventures of Mary "Jacky" Faber, Ship's Boy by L. A. Meyer - Read in May
114. ♫ The Incorrigible Children of Ashton Place: Book II: The Hidden Gallery by Maryrose Wood - Read in April
115. ♫ The Woman in Black: A Ghost Story by Susan Hill - Read in April
116. ⓔ Virgin Soil (with Biographical Introduction) by Ivan Turgenev (Kindle Deal)
117. ⓔ Stoner by John Williams (Kindle Deal)
118. ⓔ Child 44 by Tom Rob Smith (Kindle Deal)
119. ⓔ Sadler's Birthday by Rose Tremain (Kindle)
120. ♫ Our Magnificent Bastard Tongue: The Untold History of English by John McWhorter (Audible DD) - Completed in August
121. ♫ A Town Like Alice by Nevile Shute (Audible DD)
122. ♫ March Violets by Philip Kerr - Read in May
123. ⓔ The Complete Works of Josephine Tey (Kindle Deal)

May
124. ♫ The Art of Hearing Heartbeats by Jan-Philipp Sendker as the (Audible DD)
125. ⓔ Miss Buncle Married by D. E. Stevenson (Kindle)
126. The Fortnight in September by R. C. Sherriff (Persephone Books)
127. They Knew Mr. Knight by Dorothy Whipple (Persephone Books)
128. Good Evening, Mrs Craven: The Wartime Stories of Mollie Panter-Downes by Mollie Panter-Downes (Persephone Books)
129. ♫ The Pale Criminal by Philip Kerr - Read in May
130. ♫ The Vanishing Act of Esme Lennox by Maggie O'Farrell - Read in May
131. Seven Gothic Tales by Isak Dinesen (FS sale)
132. ⓔ Dissolution by C. J. Samson - Read in May
133. ⓔ Dark Fire by C. J. Samson - Read in May
134. ♫ The Vicomte de Bragelonne: Ten Years After by Alexandre Dumas (Downpour.com deal)
135. ♫ Louise de La Vallière by Alexandre Dumas (Downpour.com deal)
136. ⓔ A Judgement In Stone by Ruth Rendell (Kindle Deal)
137. ⓔ Summer Knight: Book four of The Dresden Files by Jim Butcher (Audible DD)
138. ⓔ Death Masks: Book five of The Dresden Files by Jim Butcher (Audible DD)
139. ⓔ Blood Rites: Book six of The Dresden Files by Jim Butcher (Audible DD)
140. ⓔ Dead Beat: Book 7 of The Dresden Files by Jim Butcher (Audible DD)
141. ♫ The Two Towers by J. R. R. Tolkien (Audible 2 for 3)
142. ♫ Tristram Shandy by Laurence Sterne (Audible 2 for 3)
143. ♫ The Tombs of Atuan by Ursula K. Le Guin (Audible 2 for 3) - Returned for exchange
144. ♫ The Farthest Shore by Ursula K. Le Guin (Audible 2 for 3) - Returned for exchange
145. ♫ Steelheart by Brandon Sanderson (Audible 2 for 3)
146. ♫ Dog on It by Spencer Quinn (Audible 2 for 3)
147. ♫ Curse of the Blue Tattoo by L. A. Meyer (Audible 2 for 3)
148. ♫ Under the Jolly Roger by L. A. Meyer (Audible 2 for 3)
149. ♫ The Ruins of Gorlan by John Flanagan (Audible 2 for 3) - Completed in June
150. ♫ The Burning Bridge by John Flanagan (Audible 2 for 3) - Completed in August
151. ♫ The Icebound Land by John Flanagan (Audible 2 for 3)
152. ♫ You're Next by: Gregg Hurwitz (Audible 2 for 3)
153. ⓔ Sovereign by C. J. Samson - Read in May
154. Animal Farm by George Orwell (FS sale)
155. ⓔ Lucian Freud: Eyes Wide Open by Phoebe Hoban (Kindle DD)
156. ♫ A Kiss Before Dying by Ira Levin (Audible DD)
157. ♫ The Curse of Chalion (Downpour.com sale)
158. ♫ Shards of Honor (Downpour.com sale)
159. ⓔ Edwin: High King of Britain by Edoardo Albert (Amazon Deal)
160. ⓔ Mrs Miniver by Jan Struther ($1 Kindle)
161. ⓔ Revelation by C. J. Sansom - Completed in June

June
162. ⓔ Heartstone by C. J. Sansom - Completed in June
The Complete Sherlock Holmes by Arthur Conan Doyle (Audible - exchange)
The Various Haunts of Men by Susan Hill (Audible - exchange)
163. ⓔ The Corinthian by Georgette Heyer (Kindle sale)
164. ⓔ Cotillion by Georgette Heyer (Kindle sale)
165. ⓔ Venetia by Georgette Heyer (Kindle sale)
166. ⓔ The Quiet Gentleman by Georgette Heyer (Kindle sale)
167. 84, Charing Cross Road by Helene Hanff (VDC from Abe)
168. The Unstrung Harp: Or, Mr Earbrass Writes a Novel by Edward Gorey (Hardcover from Abe)
169. ⓔ Quartet in Autumn by Barbara Pym (Bello editions deal)
170. ⓔ To War with Whitaker: Wartime Diaries of the Countess of Ranfurly, 1939-45 by Hermione Ranfurly (Bello editions deal)
171. ⓔ Madensky Square by Eva Ibbotson (Bello editions deal)
172. ⓔ The Secret Countess by Eva Ibbotson (Kindle Deal)
173. ♫ Midnight in Europe by Alan Furst - Completed in July
174. ♫ The Great Fortune by Olivia Manning - Completed in June
175. ⓔ Le Petit Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry - Completed in June
176. ⓔ Correspondance by Paul Cézanne
177. ♫ The Good Thief's Guide to Amsterdam by Chris Ewan (Audible DD)
178. ♫ The Unseen Guest by Maryrose Wood - Returned for refund
179. ♫ Sold by Patricia McCormick (Audible DD)
180. ♫ Breakfast at Tiffany's by Truman Capote
181. ♫ Love Letters to the Dead by Ava Dellaira
182. ♫ Good Manners for Nice People Who Sometimes Say F*ck by Amy Alkon - Returned for refund

14Smiler69
Edited: Oct 31, 2014, 2:35pm

Books Purchased in 2014 (cont'd)

July
183. ⓔ The Last Picture Show by Larry McMurty (Kindle Monthly Deal)
184. ⓔ What Matters in Jane Austen? by John Mullan (Kindle Monthly Deal)
180. ⓔ Oryx and Crake by Margaret Atwood (Kindle Deal)
185. ⓔ A Fine Balance by Rohinton Mistry (Kindle Deal)
186. ⓔ Reading Like a Writer by Francine Prose (Kindle DD)
187. ⓔ The Round House by Louise Erdrich (Kindle DD)
188. ⓔ The Bridge of San Luis Rey by Thornton Wilder
189. ♫ The Shape of Water by Andrea Camilleri (Downpour.com sale) - Completed in July
190. ♫ The Terra-Cotta Dog by Andrea Camilleri (Downpour.com sale) - Completed in July
191. ♫ The Smell of the Night by Andrea Camilleri (Downpour.com sale) - Completed in August
192. ♫ Rounding the Mark by Andrea Camilleri (Downpour.com sale) - Completed in August
193. ♫ The Patience of the Spider by Andrea Camilleri (Downpour.com sale) - Completed in September
194. ♫ The Wings of the Sphinx by Andrea Camilleri (Downpour.com sale)
195. ♫ The Potter's Field by Andrea Camilleri (Downpour.com sale)
196. ♫ The Age of Doubt by Andrea Camilleri (Downpour.com sale)
197. ♫ The Dance of the Seagull by Andrea Camilleri (Downpour.com sale)
198. ⓔ+♫ The Old Curiosity Shop by Charles Dickens (Audible/Kindle deal)
199. ⓔ+♫ Barnaby Rudge by Charles Dickens (Audible/Kindle deal)
200. Bliss and Other Stories by Katherine Mansfield (Bloomsbury Classics)
201. The Garden Party and Other Stories by Katherine Mansfield (Bloomsbury Classics)
202. The English Patient by Michael Ondaatje (Bloomsbury Classics) - Completed in August

August
203. A Month in the Country by J.L. Carr (NYRB - used) - Completed in September
A Five Year Sentence by Bernice Rubens (Audible replacement) - Completed in September
The Waiting Game by Bernice Rubens (Audible replacement) - Completed in August
204. Mrs Palfrey at the Claremont by Elizabeth Taylor (VMC Designer Collection)
205. A View of the Harbour by Elizabeth Taylor (VMC Designer Collection)
206. ♫ The Elephant Whisperer by Lawrence Anthony & Graham Spence (Audible deal)

September
207. ⓔ Leonardo's Notebooks by Leonardo da Vinci, edited by H. Anna Suh (Kindle Deal)
208. ⓔ Tudors: The History of England from Henry VIII to Elizabeth I by Peter Ackroyd (Kindle Deal)
209. ⓔ Capturing the Light by Roger Watson and Helen Rappaport (Kindle Deal)
210. ⓔ Die a Little by Megan Abbott (Kindle Monthly Deal)
211. ♫ The Scapegoat by Daphne du Maurier
212. ♫ The French Lieutenant's Woman by John Fowles (Bonus credit)
213. ♫ Where Angels Fear to Tread by E. M. Forster (Downpour.com Weekend Spotlight)
214. ♫ The End of the Affair by Graham Greene (Audible $4.95 sale)
215. ♫ The Remains of the Day by Kazuo Ishiguro (Audible $4.95 sale)
216. ♫ Dissolution by C. J. Sansom (Audible $4.95 sale)
217. ♫ The House on the Strand by Daphne du Maurier - Completed in October
218. ♫ The Way I Found Her by Rose Tremain
219. ♫ Trespass by Rose Tremain
220. ♫ The Ghost Writer by Robert Harris
221. ♫ A Place of Greater Safety by Hilary Mantel - Completed in October
222. ♫ Affinity by Sarah Waters
223. ♫ The Paying Guests by Sarah Waters - Completed in September
224. ♫ The Good Apprentice by Irish Murdoch
225. ♫ Flight from the Enchanter by Irish Murdoch
226. ♫ Bruno's Dream by Irish Murdoch
227. ♫ Madame Bovary by Gustave Flaubert
228. ♫ Decline and Fall by Evelyn Waugh
229. ♫ Sword of Honour by Evelyn Waugh
230. ♫ Giovanni's Room by James Balwin
231. ♫ The Tiger in the Smoke by Margery Allingham
232. ♫ The Boy Who Followed Ripley by Patricia Highsmith
233. ⓔ+♫ Women in Love by D. H. Lawrence (Audible/Kindle deal)
234. ⓔ+♫ The Rainbow by D. H. Lawrence (Audible/Kindle deal)
235. Everything Flows by Vassili Grossman (NYRB Classics)
236. ♫ Spies of the Balkans by Alan Furst (Downpour.com Deal)
237. ♫ Black Mask 1: Doors in the Dark (Downpour.com Deal)
238. ♫ The Miniaturist by Jessie Burton
239. ♫ The Bat: The First Inspector Harry Hole Novel by Jo Nesbø
240. ♫ The Finishing School by Muriel Spark
241. ♫ La vie en mieux by Anna Gavalda
242. ♫ Conspirata: A Novel of Ancient Rome by Robert Harris
243. ♫ Solar by Ian McEwan
244. ♫ Sweet Tooth by Ian McEwan
245. Jamaica Inn by Daphne du Maurier (VMC Designer Collection)
246. ♫ The Grand Sophy by Georgette Heyer (Audible DD)
247. ♫ The Children Act by Ian McEwan - Completed in October
248. ⓔ Lucia in London by E. F. Benson (Kindle 99¢)
249. The Singapore Grip by J. G. Farrell (Better Wold Books gift coupon)

15Smiler69
Edited: Nov 28, 2014, 1:35pm

October
250. ♫ The Graveyard Book (Full-Cast Production) by Neil Gaiman - Completed in October
251. Pedigree by Georges Simenon (Amazon.ca)
252. ⓔ Sisters of Treason by Elizabeth Fremantle (Kindle DD)
253. ⓔ The Railway Man by Eric Lomax (Kindle Deal)
254. ⓔ+♫ The Mystery of Edwin Drood by Charles Dickens (Audible/Kindle deal)
255. ⓔ+♫ The Yellow Wallpaper by Charlotte Perkins Gilman (Audible/Kindle deal)
Bitter Greens by Kate Forsyth (Audible replacement)
256. ⓔ Sunday Best by Bernice Rubens
257. ⓔ I, Dreyfus by Bernice Rubens
258. ♫ Past Caring by Robert Goddard
259. ♫ Stamboul Train by Graham Greene
260. ⓔ+♫ Far From the Madding Crowd by Thomas Hardy (Audible/Kindle deal)
261. ⓔ+♫ Barry Lyndon by William Makepeace Thackeray (Audible/Kindle deal)
262. ⓔ+♫ Jude The Obscure by Thomas Hardy (Audible/Kindle deal)
263. ⓔ+♫ Night and Day by Virginia Woolf (Audible/Kindle deal)
264. ⓔ+♫ Oliver Twist by Charles Dickens (Audible/Kindle deal)
265. ⓔ+♫ The Woman in White by Wilkie Collins (Audible/Kindle deal)
266. ⓔ+♫ Just One Damned Thing After Another by Jodi Taylor (Audible/Kindle deal)
267. ⓔ+♫ The Secret Countess by Eva Ibbotson (Audible/Kindle deal)
268. ⓔ+♫ The Diary of a Nobody by George Grossmith (Audible/Kindle deal)
269. ⓔ+♫ My Antonia by Willa Cather (Audible/Kindle deal)
270. ♫ The Crime at Black Dudley by Margery Allingham (Audible Sale)
271. ♫ Mystery Mile by Margery Allingham (Audible Sale)
272. ♫ All Our Worldly Goods by Irene Nemirovsky (Amazon.com)
273. ♫ Elizabeth is Missing by Emma Healey (Amazon.com)
274. ♫ The Road Home by Rose Tremain (Amazon.com)
275. The Ghost Stories of Edith Wharton (Virago edition from AbeBooks)
276. A Pin To See The Peepshow by F. Tennyson Jesse (Virago edition from AbeBooks)
277. The Victorians by A. N. Wilson (Used, Folio Society from AbeBooks)
278. The Great Plague of London by Walter George Bell (Used, Folio Society from AbeBooks)
279. The Heather Blazing by Colm Tóibín (New from Book Depo)
280. ♫ Philosopher's Pupil by Irish Murdoch
281. ⓔ+♫ The Wings of the Dove by Henry James (Audible/Kindle deal)
282. ♫ Tipping the Velvet by Sarah Waters
283. ♫ The Winthrop Woman by Anya Seton
284. ♫ The African Queen by C. S. Foreseter
285. ♫ The Collector by John Fowles
286. ♫ Breakfast with Lucian: A Portrait of the Artist by Geordie Greig - Completed in November

November
287. Walking the Dog by David Hughes (BookDepository)
288. ♫ The Masqueraders by Georgette Heyer (Audible Daily Deal)
289. ⓔ+♫ Because We Are: A Novel of Haiti by Ted Oswald (Audible/Kindle Daily Deal)
290. ⓔ+♫ A Princess of Mars by Edgar Rice Burroughs (Audible/Kindle deal)
291. ⓔ+♫ Adam Bede by George Eliot (Audible/Kindle deal)
292. ♫ The Human Factor by Graham Greene
293. ♫ The Heart of the Matter by Graham Greene
294. ♫ The Siege by Helen Dunmore
295. ⓔ The Perfect King: The Life of Edward III, Father of the English Nation by Ian Mortimer (Kindle Daily Deal)
296. ⓔ The Gift of Rain by Tan Twan Eng (Kindle Deal)
297. Ru by Kim Thúy (AbeBooks)
298. Les Liaisons Dangereuses 2007 Folio Society edition (AbeBooks)
299. The Ice-Cream War by William Boyd (BookDepository)
300. Sacred Hunger by Barry Unsworth (BookDepository)
301. Decca: The Letters of Jessica Mitford Edited by Peter Sussman (BookOutlet.ca)
302. ♫ Family Matters by Rohinton Mistry
303. An Elephant in the Garden by Michael Morpurgo (for a reread) (BookOutlet.ca Deal)
304. Breakfast with Lucian by Geordie Greig (for a reread) (BookOutlet.ca Deal)
305. Empire of the Sun by J. G. Ballard (BookOutlet.ca Deal)
306. Mrs. Woolf and the Servants: An Intimate History of Domestic Life in Bloomsbury by Alison Light (BookOutlet.ca Deal)
307. Ross Poldark by Winston Graham - Rec'd by Peggy (BookOutlet.ca Deal)
308. The Age of Insight: The Quest to Understand the Unconscious in Art, Mind, and Brain, from Vienna 1900 to the Present by Eric Kandel (BookOutlet.ca Deal)
309. The Diddakoi by Rumer Godden (BookOutlet.ca Deal)
310. The Greengage Summer by Rumer Godden (BookOutlet.ca Deal)
311. ♫ The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield - audiobook on CD (BookOutlet.ca Deal)
312. The Time Traveler's Guide to Medieval England by Ian Mortimer (BookOutlet.ca Deal)
313. The Towers of Trebizond by Rose Macaulay (BookOutlet.ca Deal)
314. The Glimpses of the Moon by Edith Wharton (BookOutlet.ca Deal)
315. Madame De Treymes and Three Novellas by Edith Wharton (BookOutlet.ca Deal)
315. A Backward Glance: An Autobiography by Edith Wharton (BookOutlet.ca Deal)
316. The Writing of Fiction by Edith Wharton (BookOutlet.ca Deal)
317. Thomas Cromwell by Robert Hutchinson (BookOutlet.ca Deal)
318. ♫ Orfeo by Richard Powers (Audible Sale)
319. ♫ A Symphony of Echoes: The Chronicles of St Mary's, Book 2 by Jodi Taylor (Audible Sale)
320. ♫ A Good Man Is Hard to Find and Other Stories by Flannery O’Connor (Audible Sale)
321. ♫ Dimension of Miracles by Robert Sheckley (Audible Sale)
322. ♫ Farthing: Small Change, Book 1 by Jo Walton (Audible Sale)
323. ♫ The Storied Life of A. J. Fikry by Gabrielle Zevin (Audible Sale)
324. ⓔ The Creation of Anne Boleyn: A New Look at England’s Most Notorious Queen by Susan Bordo (Kindle Daily Deal)
325. ⓔ A Scanner Darkly by Philip K. Dick (Kindle Daily Deal)
326. ⓔ Ubik by Philip K. Dick (Kindle Daily Deal)
327. ⓔ The Man in the High Castle Philip K. Dick (Kindle Daily Deal)
328. ⓔ Illuminations: A Novel of Hildegard von Bingen by Mary Sharratt - Suzanne (Chatterbox) rated this one 4.5 stars (Kindle Daily Deal)
329. ⓔ If on a winter's night a traveler by Italo Calvino (Kindle Daily Deal)
330.




♫ = audiobook (Audible or Downpour.com)
ⓔ = eBook
FS = Folio Society

16Smiler69
Edited: Nov 25, 2014, 12:26pm

2015 Planning

January
♫ +✔ War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy - Shared read
Moon Tiger by Penelope Lively - British Authors Challenge (BAC)
The Remains of the Day by Kazuo Ishiguro - BAC (reread)
Reflections in a Golden Eye by Carson McCullers - American Authors Challenge (AAC)

February
♫ +✔ War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy (cont'd) - Shared read
Affinity by Sarah Waters - BAC, Picked for Me!
Brideshead Revisited by Evelyn Waugh - BAC
What Maisie Knew or ♫ The Europeans by Henry James - AAC

March
Mansfield Park by Jane Austen - tutored read with Liz
Jamaica Inn by Daphne du Maurier - BAC, Picked for Me
Railsea by China Mieville - BAC
❉♫ The Sportswriter by Richard Ford - AAC

April
The Bloody Chamber and Other Stories by Angela Carter - BAC
Of Human Bondage by W. Somerset Maugham - BAC
The Roundhouse by Louise Erdrich - AAC, Picked for Me

May
The Red Queen by Margaret Drabble - BAC
Dodsworth or Babbitt by Sinclair Lewis - AAC
Fifth Business by Robertson Davies - shared read with Ellen

June
Master Georgie by Beryl Bainbridge - BAC
Nothing Like the Sun by Anthony Burgess - BAC
Angle of Repose by Wallace Stegner - AAC

July
(Ursula K. Le Guin)
Orlando by Virginia Woolf - BAC

August
The Last Picture Show by Larry McMurtry - AAC, Picked for Me
The Bell by Iris Murdoch - BAC
Travels With My Aunt by Graham Greene - BAC
The Bone People by Keri Hulme - GR with Ellen

September
Everything That Rises Must Converge by Flannery O' Connor - AAC
Midnight's Children by Salman Rushdie - BAC

October
Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury (reread) - AAC
The Siege by Helen Dunmore - BAC
Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell - BAC

November
Flight Behavior, ✔ The Lacuna or ✔ Prodigal Summer by Barbara Kingsolver - AAC
The Mandelbaum Gate by Muriel Spark - BAC
An Ice-Cream War by William Boyd - BAC

December
(E.L. Doctorow)
Beyond Black by Hilary Mantel - BAC
Carry On, Jeeves P. G. Wodehouse - BAC




♫ = audiobook
✔ = off the shelf
ⓔ = eBook
❉ = library book

17luvamystery65
Oct 31, 2014, 1:55pm

Safe to post now! I love your picked for me category Ilana. Everyone's choices and the reasons are very interesting. I suspect we have as much fun with the category as you do.

18DeltaQueen50
Edited: Oct 31, 2014, 1:59pm

Oh, I get to be first! Happy new thread, Ilana.

ETA: Ok, Roberta gets to be first - I get to be second! :0

19luvamystery65
Oct 31, 2014, 2:00pm

>18 DeltaQueen50: You are first in my book Judy! ;-)

20Smiler69
Oct 31, 2014, 2:49pm

>17 luvamystery65: Hi Roberta, and welcome, and BRAVO on being first to come to my 11th spot this year. I'm glad you like the Picked for Me challenge. I really enjoy it too, and it's special for me reading something that was specially chosen by one of my friends here, so I do want to keep it going, but only if I know for sure you guys enjoy doing the picking. Lats year it got a bit out of hand with some people picking a lot of titles and I'll need to put some restriction on, though I think I ended up managing it rather well in the end despite this.

Thanks for you visit on my last thread and your effort at catching up when the thread was coming to the very end, that's positively heroic of you! :-)

>18 DeltaQueen50: We'll agree on you being second first Judy. Welcome and thanks for the visit.

From the last thread: And, hey, I bet even Audrey Hepburn had her off days!

That's an encouraging thought somehow... thanks! :-)

21Smiler69
Oct 31, 2014, 3:00pm

From the last thread:

@Ireadthereforeiam: I feel so so lucky to have had the luck of my pain being able to be removed by surgery, and I can say that the difference in being without pain is incredible. The sky seems higher somehow. Like I am not being pressed down by the invisible weight of pain. It's a burden!

I'm really happy they were able to do something for you Megan. You're much too young to have to deal with chronic pain, and with a young child to deal with, your hands a plenty full enough as it is. I guess I feel that I'm lucky in many ways in that I can concentrate on taking care of myself with few priorities in my life, which gives me little right to complain, but I take that privilege when things get out of hand. Things have been back to normal these past couple of days and I'm very grateful to be able to function normally whenever possible of course!

msf59: Hi Mark, weather is definitely on the cold side here in Montreal too. Right now it's between 5-7 C or 41-45 F, though beautiful and sunny on this Halloween day. I'm looking forward to picking up The Narrow Road to the Deep North this month.

jolerie: Hi Valerie, thanks for dropping by the other day. No worries about any surgery on my end at this time, it was only a mention of Megan's surgery which helped remove her pain, a good thing all around.

22Smiler69
Edited: Nov 27, 2014, 2:18pm



I'll be running the challenge again for the fourth year in 2015. It's really special reading something that was specifically chosen for me from my TBR by this wonderful bunch of passionate readers, so I do want to keep it going. I have 20 spots, which I've found is the optimal maximum number of books for this challenge. If you are interested in participating, please stick to the following instructions TO THE LETTER*:

1. To select a book, go to my "To Read" collection by following this link: http://www.librarything.com/catalog/Smiler69/toread
Here you'll find close to fifteen hundred titles or more to choose from. You can sort the list by titles, authors etc. To narrow down the selections, you can also use my tags by clicking on them. For example, click on "Fiction" or "Non-Fiction", "Classics", "English Literature", "Historical Fiction", "Crime Fiction", etc. Alternatively, you can also use the search box in the top right-hand corner that says "search this library".

2. I'll list the books picked here but also keep an eye on my tags; there are lots of them, but look for the last tag, and if it mentions "Picked for Me 2015", then it's already been chosen by someone else, in which case please make another selection.

3. Only ONE pick per person.
If you MUST break the rules, then please do not suggest more than 2-3 titles, in which case I will create a secondary list of suggested titles as I did this year, though my stated goal is to only read ONE of your suggested titles.

4. I'd like you to tell me, in a few words (or a few lines) why you think I should read your suggested work (or direct me to your review if you've written one).

* (making generous allowances for typos)

***

Selections

1. ♫ The Black Dahlia by James Ellroy - picked by Ameise1
2. ✔ The Blind Contessa's New Machine by Carey Wallace - picked by luvamystery65
3. ♫ Shantaram by Gregory David Roberts - picked by lunacat
4. ⓔ The Midnight Bell by Francis Lathom - picked by lyzard
5. ♫ I, Dreyfus by Bernice Rubens - picked by avatiakh
6. ✔ The Brontes Went to Woolworths by Rachel Ferguson - picked by LizzieD
7. ♫ The Last Picture Show by Larry McMurtry - picked by msf59
8. ♫ A Town Like Alice by Nevil Shute - picked by DeltaQueen50
9. ♫ The Lost City of Z by David Grann - picked by drneutron
10. ⓔ The Round House by Louise Erdrich - picked by Donna828
11. ♫ Affinity by Sarah Waters - picked by PaulCranswick
12. ✔ Catharine and Other Writings by Jane Austen - picked by souloftherose
13. ✔ The Art of Looking Sideways by Alan Fletcher - picked by LauraBrook
14. ♫ The Bell by Iris Murdoch - picked by @sibyx
15. ✔ The Leopard by Guisepe Di Lampedusa - picked by @Ireadthereforeiam
16. ✔ The Memory Keeper's Daughter by Kim Edwards - picked by jolerie
17. ✔ A Fine Balance by Rohinton Mistry - picked by kidzdoc
18. ♫ Falling Angels by Tracy Chevalier - picked by Fourpawz2
19. ♫ Chocolat by Joanne Harris - picked by Crazymamie
20. ♫ My Antonia by Willa Cather - picked by jnwelch
21. ✔ Jamaica Inn by Daphne du Maurier - picked by @Cee-
22. ♫ Love in the Time of Cholera by Gabriel García Márquez (reread) - picked by cameling
23. ✔ The Dog Who Wouldn't Be by Farley Mowat - picked by Deern
24. (extra spot, to round things off)

Extra Picks
A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith - picked by lunacat (reread)
Dessins d'écrivains by Pierre Belfond - picked by @Cee-
The Curse of Chalion by Lois McMaster Bujold - picked by @Cee-
The Wind in the Willows by Kenneth Grahame - picked by @Cee- (reread)

♫ = audiobook
✔ = off the shelf
ⓔ = eBook

23Ameise1
Edited: Oct 31, 2014, 4:13pm

Hello Ilaria

I would suggest The Black Dahlia by James Ellroy. I've finished the L.A. Quartet this year and can strongly recommend it.

Good luck with your challenge.

BTW I haven't put 2015 to your tag. Should I have done it?

24Smiler69
Oct 31, 2014, 4:14pm

>23 Ameise1: Thanks so much for your participation! I'll definitely be glad to add your selection as the first entry to the challenge right this minute. No worries about the tag, since only I can do it anyway. By the way, my name is Ilana. And yours? Lovely to have your visit!

25Ameise1
Oct 31, 2014, 4:18pm

I'm Barbara and sorry that I misspelled your name. Glad that I could be a kind of help. I hope you'll enjoy it as much as I did.

26Smiler69
Oct 31, 2014, 4:20pm

Thanks Barbara. I've been wanting to read that book for a long time, and just got it on audio from the library fairly recently. Thanks for giving me an excuse to get to it sooner than later. No problems about my name, it's an unusual one, Hebrew in origin, and it's been spelled in all kinds of ways over the years, I promise you!

27luvamystery65
Oct 31, 2014, 4:24pm

Ilana I absolutely loved The Blind Contessa. I thought you had read this already. The audio is lovely. Because she is blind the descriptions of how things taste and smell and feel bring your senses alive.

28Smiler69
Edited: Oct 31, 2014, 5:38pm

>27 luvamystery65: I've been wanting to read that one all year Roberta. I have The Blind Contessa's New Machine in the paperback edition, which I couldn't resist because of how lovely the cover design is. Coco has been crying for the last hour to get outside, so I'll add your selection to the list as soon as I get back (as well as the cover in this post), thank you so much! xx


eta: Above, that lovely cover design.

29lunacat
Oct 31, 2014, 4:37pm

I choose A Tree Grows in Brooklyn as it's a true comfort read for me - to such an extent that my Mum had to buy a new copy after I had borrowed hers so much that it was disintegrating. She bought one for herself, and a new one for me.

I'm not sure why I love it so much - perhaps it was simply escapism at a time that I needed desperately to escape from my life - but I still return to it when I need a break from thinking.

30lyzard
Oct 31, 2014, 4:40pm

Ah, my dear, this one is easy:

I pick Mansfield Park by Jane Austen for 2015. Because 2014 has been a very uncooperative year. :)

31avatiakh
Oct 31, 2014, 4:55pm

Ok, I'll confess I haven't looked all the way through your list but I'm such a fan of Bernice Ruben's books that I'm plumping for I, Dreyfus which I thought was a really good read, more serious than some of her other work but I think you'll like it.
This time I'll hold back on a second choice so you don't feel too overwhelmed though I'll give you an out in that you could choose another Rubens book if this one doesn't appeal.

32Smiler69
Oct 31, 2014, 5:43pm

>29 lunacat: Jenny, does it matter that I already read it in 2011? I got this Kindle edition you picked for me this year because I had every intention of rereading it eventually anyway because I really loved it the first time around, and am happy to return to it in 2015, but just thought I'd give you a chance to pick something else in case you wanted to pick something new to me. Otherwise am happy to add A Tree Grows in Brooklyn to the list.

>30 lyzard: Liz, I'm going to disqualify that choice because I'd made that selection myself for a tutored read, so you can't pick it once it's already been chosen!!! Will hold the spot for you in the meantime.

>31 avatiakh: Will happily read more Bernice Rubens in 2015 Kerry, many thanks!

33luvamystery65
Oct 31, 2014, 5:49pm

>28 Smiler69: What a gorgeous cover Ilana.

34Smiler69
Oct 31, 2014, 5:54pm

>28 Smiler69: Oh good, glad you saw it Roberta, as I was going to post a little note to say I'd put it there and then forgot to do so. You can see why I had to have it, right? I just listened to an sample of the audiobook and didn't find the narrator particularly inspiring, so I'm still happiest with my version.

35lunacat
Oct 31, 2014, 6:03pm

Well, I absolutely adore Shantaram for the first 2/3rds of it, not so much for the last third. It's got some beautiful language in it, and a lot of quotes I've written down (one of the few I've done that for), but because most of it was so good, the drawn out sections showed.

And I really enjoyed Speaks the Nightbird as an audio but it doesn't have the same hold.

So I guess I'm saying go for ATGIB if you'd like a reread of a brilliant book, or go for Shantaram if you want a new read (assuming you haven't read it before) that is spectacular in places and means quite a lot to me, but has it's flaws.

36luvamystery65
Oct 31, 2014, 6:04pm

>34 Smiler69: Ilana I listened to some CDs from the library when my work commute was over an hour each way. You are probably right in saying she wasn't the best but the story was so charming and enticing that I suppose that is what I concentrated on. It was a lovely relief from the greater Houston metro traffic. ;-)

I really think you will find the story lovely. There is one book in your list that if no one picks I will invite you for a shared read. I'll wait until your picks are in. :D

37Smiler69
Edited: Oct 31, 2014, 6:23pm

>35 lunacat: Tell you what Jenny, I'll put A Tree Grown in Brooklyn on the secondary list as a reread option, since I got the Kindle for all the reason you mention, as I did want it for an eventual comfort read and may very well want to turn to it in 2015 as I always like to make room for rereads during any given year and will make Shantaram the "official" selection. Have that one both on audio and in print so I can theoretically alternate between the two editions if I want to.

>36 luvamystery65: I agree with you some stories are so good they transcend average narrations. In this case, I got the book because I'd read several reviews (I've got Joe, Suzanne and Caroline down as recommenders) who were really giving it high praise, and the cover, as I said above clinched it for the ppbk version. I've been looking forward to getting to it for a long time. Just hasn't happened yet, so this is yet another example of the PfM! challenge giving me an extra reason to get to a book sooner than later.

Always happy to do a shared read, so looking forward to seeing what title you have in mind Roberta...

38LizzieD
Oct 31, 2014, 6:25pm

OOoo. I'm excited to get to pick, and you have such an interesting collection to choose from! It was hard to decide, but I think I'll pick for you The Brontes Went to Woolworths by Rachel Ferguson. You'll either love it or hate, it; I'm in the LOVE column. It is pretty short too and there's more going on than appears on the surface. Enjoy!

39Smiler69
Oct 31, 2014, 7:34pm

>38 LizzieD: Thanks Peggy, been wanting to get to that one for ages!

40msf59
Oct 31, 2014, 7:44pm

Hi Ilana! There are so many titles to choose for your PFMC, but I think I will pick The Last Picture Show. I am a big fan of McMurtry and I considered him for the AACII. This is one of his shorter works, which I am sure will make you happy, but it is such a drop-dead gorgeous portrait of a group of people, in a small town in Texas. The atmosphere and detail are breath-taking.
Once you read the book, see the film. One of the rare cases, where the film nearly captures the magic of the book.

I might join you, for a reread, especially if I can snag it on audio.

41Smiler69
Oct 31, 2014, 8:01pm

>40 msf59: Hey Mark, great pick; I remember you recommended this one a long time ago, and I came to love Larry McMurtry since with his Lonesome Dove series, so I look forward to The Last Picture Show (and yes, they do have the movie version available at the library, though not on NetFlix.ca!). I got the eBook as a Kindle daily deal, but I can get the audiobook as a download from the library too and will be happy to share a read with you next year sometime with this one.

42DeltaQueen50
Oct 31, 2014, 8:31pm

Wow, this was tough, Ilana. So many great books, but I finally decided on a book that I loved and also started me on a journey to read all this author's books. So my choice is A Town Like Alice by Nevil Shute.

43Smiler69
Edited: Oct 31, 2014, 8:58pm

>42 DeltaQueen50: Sounds good Judy, adding A Town Like Alice to the list, thanks for taking the time to make a selection!

44msf59
Oct 31, 2014, 9:33pm

I haven't read McMurtry in a few years. I am due for a revisit. I am thinking of rereading Lonesome Dove on audio and I have a few more, I have not read, including Pretty Boy Floyd.

I have also not read A Town Like Alice. Maybe I'll join you on that one as well. I have not ready any Shute.

45drneutron
Oct 31, 2014, 9:58pm

46Donna828
Oct 31, 2014, 10:37pm

Ilana, my choice for you to read in 2015 is The Round House by Louise Erdrich. She is one of my favorite authors. Her specialty is writing about the Ojibwe (Chippewa) Native Americans because of her ancestry. Many of her books are loosely connected, but this is a stand along novel about a boy who is on a quest to find the man who hurt his mother. It's a quick read but has a lingering story. Enjoy!

47PaulCranswick
Oct 31, 2014, 10:53pm

I would humbly request that you read Affinity by Sarah Waters. I have read two of her historical fiction works to date and enjoyed both of them immensely. There is another reason for my selection but I won't tell it to you yet!
Have a lovely weekend. xx

48lunacat
Nov 1, 2014, 6:46am

Ohh, you'll have a fantastic time reading A Town Like Alice for the first time. It's another real comfort read for me.

49souloftherose
Nov 1, 2014, 8:05am

Thanks for the invitation to choose a book for you again Ilana! I sorted your To read collection alphabetically but only got as far as 'A' before finding 3 books I wanted to recommend. Following your rules I will only mention one: Catharine and Other Writings by Jane Austen which I see is tagged with my recommendation so seems fitting. I think having read Love-Letters you'll get the sort of over-the-top sentimental behaviour Austen's spoofing in these early works :-) I don't think anyone's picked this yet but let me know if you need another suggestion.

I'm glad to see others have picked authors I was also considering, Bernice Rubens and Sarah Waters

50Smiler69
Nov 1, 2014, 12:42pm

>44 msf59: Mark, I have Lonesome Dove both in print and audio and can definitely recommend Lee Horsley as the narrator. But then the whole series features great narrators. There's Will Patton for Dead Man's Walk, Frank Muller for Comanche Moon and Daniel Von Bargen does a good job for Streets of Laredo too. Of course Lonesome Dove is the best of the bunch, but I couldn't help going with the whole series to continue with the characters and don't regret it one bit.

I'll be happy to notify you in advance when I plan to read (listen to, actually) A Town Like Alice so you can join me.

>45 drneutron: I'll be happy to pick up The Lost City of Z Jim, thanks for the recommendation. Just one question though: why did you pick that one for me? I know it landed on my wishlist, then tbr because Mark gave it high praise a while back, though I probably missed you review of it.

>46 Donna828: Donna, you are on the list of recommenders for that book, so makes sense you should pick it now, especially as I know you are a fan of Erdrich's. I ended up getting the kindle edition even though I had a chance to get the audiobook for free because I didn't like the narrator's voice much. Having heard lots of good things about it, and really enjoyed The Master Butcher's Singing Club this year, my only Louise Erdrich so far, I'll be looking forward to The Round House.

>47 PaulCranswick: Paul, you've managed a double whammy; historical fiction and a British author, plus I've enjoyed the two other novels I've read by Sarah Waters so far, so very happy to add Affinity to the list. Looking forward to finding out that other secret reason for your selection. Hope you're having a great weekend too dear friend.

>48 lunacat: Oh, I'm really glad you've told me that, for some reason I was under the impression it was quite the opposite from a comfort read, though I couldn't at all tell you why. Now I'll look forward to A Town Like Alice even more Jenny, many thanks!

>49 souloftherose: Heather, Catharine and Other Writings definitely ended up on my tbr because of your recommendation, so am happy you picked it out, finally giving me a good reason to pick it up and stop delaying for no good reason at all save that I have too many books to choose from. I'm sure you're right that Love-Letters will help me further appreciate the kind of novel Jane Austen was spoofing in her earlier works. Really looking forward to it!

51LauraBrook
Nov 1, 2014, 5:39pm

If you still have a spot open, I'd like to choose The Art of Looking Sideways by Alan Fletcher for you to read. I'm picking it simply because it's the earliest To Read entry on LT! Plus, it's always nice to have a good "excuse" to read a fun design/inspiration book, isn't it?!? Cheers to you!

52lunacat
Nov 1, 2014, 5:41pm

ATLA is quite intense in places, the first third isn't exactly light-hearted, but it is thoroughly enjoyable and extremely well paced as well as being proper page turner. I think you'll love it.

53Smiler69
Edited: Nov 1, 2014, 5:51pm

>51 LauraBrook: What a great pick Laura! I've been looking for a good time to pick up this book for ages, as you've noticed. I have so many great art books and feel it's almost criminal that I don't make more time for them. Looking forward to this one, and it's one of those books I can browse through over time too. Many thanks!

eta: I see I added it to the site on the day I joined LT!

54Smiler69
Nov 1, 2014, 5:43pm

>52 lunacat: I'll put you down as a recommender for it Jenny and will look forward to it.

55drneutron
Edited: Nov 1, 2014, 5:58pm

>50 Smiler69: I really liked The Lost City of Z - it's very much an interesting story well told. I'm fascinated with people from that era who went to such extremes to explore. In this case, it's the Amazon, but Arctic exploration is another I really like to read about. If I'd been around back then, I'd have been right in it! :)

56Smiler69
Nov 1, 2014, 5:58pm

>55 drneutron: Cool! I've almost listened to it several times, so this coming year it'll be sure to actually happen! Thanks Jim!

57sibylline
Nov 1, 2014, 9:43pm

Of the four Iris Murdochs on your list I would choose The Bell. It is an early novel and it was my second and sort of the 'breakthrough' novel for me. I didn't like the first all that much, The Sea, the Sea although many others do - although I fully recognized it as a masterful and interesting book. The Bell was friendlier and I actually liked some of the characters. I also loved the setting although that is one of Murdoch's huge strengths, amazing houses and places.

The Lost City of Z is a superb read!

58LovingLit
Nov 1, 2014, 11:46pm

Hi Ilana, may I choose one for you too?

I am reading The Leopard at the moment, and although I have not finished it yet, I can see that it is a special and important book :) Darryl rec'd it to you according to your tags...and he'd know!

I am liking it so far as its protagonist is someone I don't particularly like but I do feel for him. I think this makes the author very clever. Also, the book seems to be making some pretty strong statements about society....and this I am very in to!

59jolerie
Nov 2, 2014, 12:45am

If your list isn't already full Ilana, I would love to add my selection of The Memory Keeper's Daughter. It was a 5 star read for me a couple of years back. Intriguing story with beautiful writing as well. :)

60kidzdoc
Nov 2, 2014, 2:24am

I choose A Fine Balance by Rohinton Mistry, as I gave it 5 stars when I read it last year.

61Smiler69
Nov 2, 2014, 9:51am

>57 sibylline: Thanks Lucy, The Bell has been on the tbr the longest, so makes sense to pick up that one first. Likeable characters seems like an amazing bonus in a Murdoch novel too!

>58 LovingLit: Yet another book I've been meaning to get to for ages! Thanks for you pick Megan, I've added it to the list.

>59 jolerie: Thanks for playing along Valerie, TMKD had been on the tbr since 2009, about time I dust it off and pull it out of the shelf.

>60 kidzdoc: I'm glad you picked A Fine Balance Darryl. Paul had made several picks last year, thus breaking the rules, and AFB was among the bunch, and while I was hoping to manage to fit it in this year, I was under no obligation to do so under my self-imposed rules and didn't manage it, but I'll be happy to make room for it in 2015 as many people here on LT fell in love with it last year.

62sibylline
Nov 2, 2014, 10:00am

Likeable might be too strong - care-about-able might be closer to the mark!

63Smiler69
Nov 2, 2014, 10:11am

>62 sibylline: Ha ha! I did wonder about that! ;-)

64Fourpawz2
Nov 2, 2014, 10:21am

Hi Ilana. Am skipping to the bottom of your thread so that I can select Falling Angels by Tracy Chevalier for you to read next year. I really liked it a lot when I read it in 2010.
Now I will go back and read the messages I skipped over...

65Smiler69
Nov 2, 2014, 10:51am

>64 Fourpawz2: Thanks for you selection Charlotte. I haven't read any Tracy Chevalier in a good while, so will look forward to it. Adding it to the list. I think it's worth going to the top of the thread to see the new artwork by Catrin Welz-Stein I put up there if anything...

66Smiler69
Edited: Nov 2, 2014, 11:23am



Happy November; and now we've Fallen Back as of the middle of the night. I actually completely missed it and woke up at my regular hour this morning not realising the hour had changed till I saw Mark mention it on his thread and then noticed the time on my computer, so in effect, gained an hour out of the blue. This would be wonderful, but it won't compensate for the fact that the sun will be going down that much earlier in the evening.

Here are my October Stats

Total books: 20 (1 more than September)

Literature: 7
Classics: 5
Historical fiction: 4
Mystery / thriller: 3
YA: 2
Short Stories: 1
Poetry: 1
Graphic Novels: 1
Non-Fiction/Biographies: 1
Quarterlies: 1
Series works: 3
(some crossover in this section)

Male : Female authors: 10 : 11
TIOLI: 18, across 11 different challenges, 10 shared reads

Audiobooks: 10
Off the shelf: 5
Library: 4
eBook: 2
Unfinished: 0

Ratings:
5 stars: 1
4 & up: 15
3 & up: 3

Longest work: A Place of Greater Safety by Hilary Mantel (33h52 audio / 768 pages)
Shortest work: The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson (3h07 audio / 94 pages)

Oldest work: Love-Letters Between a Nobleman and His Sister (Volume II) by Aphra Behn (1685)
Newest work: Vanessa and Her Sister by Priya Parmar (December 30th 2014)

A Quick Summary
While September was seriously focused on series work, October saw a shift toward literature again, with the cold weather making me more willing to take on some works more serious in nature. One such was The Things They Carried, which I initially abandoned just 1.5 hours from the end because the brutality of the Vietnam war wore me down, but toward the end of the month I picked it up again and perhaps feeling more numb, was able to finish it and fully appreciate Tim O'Brien's collection of short stories, definitely NOT for the faint of heart. I remain dedicated to mixing it up; a little bit of YA, a little bit of illustration with yet another Edward Gorey omnibus (I could only wish there were more to keep me going), historical fiction of the highest order with Hilary Mantel's A Place of Greater Safety, some wonderful Rebecca du Maurier with The House on the Strand, which makes me all too happy there is much more on the TBR where that came from, and one of the best known classics that yet remains somehow little known and is really is a MUST-read, Frankenstein; it's been a fulfilling month on the reading front. November is already overbooked and filled wall-to wall with a great selection of books too, so shouldn't disappoint.

67Smiler69
Nov 2, 2014, 12:07pm

Reading Plans for November:

✭*♫ Suite Française by Irene Nemirovsky - Picked for Me!, TIOLI#10: a book as an act of remembrance
✭♫ The Narrow Road to the Deep North by Richard Flanagan - TIOLI #4: an author whose publication career spanned at least 15 years
✭✔ Greenwitch by Susan Cooper - TIOLI ##3: Read a novella from your TBR collection (purchased or acquired prior to 1/1/14), A Century of Books! - Reading
✪*✔ Sacred Hearts by Sarah Dunant - Picked for Me!, TIOLI #12: one plural word in the title
✭✔ Mrs Palfrey at the Claremont by Elizabeth Taylor - TIOLI #4, A Century of Books!
✭❉ⓔ Stone Mattress by Margaret Atwood - TIOLI #5: embedded word in the title (mat)
✭❉ Dora Bruder / The Search Warrant by Patrick Modiano - TIOLI #4
✭❉ The Blazing World by Siri Hustvedt - TIOLI #4
✭❉ Curse of the Pogo Stick by Colin Cotterill - TIOLI #14: Title contains an object or noun from a children's nursery rhyme or hand game
✭❉+♫ Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs - TIOLI #5
Elmer Gantry by Sinclair Lewis - AMC, A Century of Books!
✭♫ Bitter Greens by Kate Forsyth - TIOLI #11: a book which represents a modern fairy tale or is based on a classic fairy tale
✭♫ The Paper Moon by Andrea Camilleri - TIOLI #14
✭♫ Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire by J. K. Rowling - TIOLI #14
✭♫ Not My Father's Son by Alan Cumming - TIOLI #14
✭♫ Firesong by William Nicholson - TIOLI #16: a Dystopian Novel
✭♫ The Wall by Marlen Haushofer - TIOLI #16
✭♫ Breakfast with Lucian: A Portrait of the Artist by Geordie Greig - TIOLI #8: a book in which a major character shares your profession - Listening
✭♫ The Ruby in Her Navel by Barry Unsworth - TIOLI #14
✭♫ Journey to the Centre of the Earth by Jules Verne - TIOLI #1: Read a book with at least one element (earth, water, fire, wind, sky) in the title
✭♫ Chess Story by Stefan Zweig - TIOLI #3, A Century of Books!
✭❉ Essex County Volume 1: Tales From The Farm by Jeff Lemire - TIOLI #13: title completes the phrase "I am thankful for..."
✭❉ Essex County Volume 2: Ghost Stories by Jeff Lemire - TIOLI #13

* = Picked for Me challenge
♫ = audiobook
✔ = off the shelf
❉ = library book
ⓔ = eBook
✭ = TIOLI
✪ = Shared TIOLI

68Donna828
Nov 2, 2014, 3:34pm

Ilana, I am enjoying the selections that others have made for your reading next year. Lots to look forward to! I think The Narrow Road to the Deep North is one of the books waiting for me at the library. I think it's my kind of book. I'll be sure to share the read with you on TIOLI!

69LizzieD
Nov 2, 2014, 4:09pm

Ilana, I do love your Chosen for Me category. I'm tempted to try it too except that I know what a mood reader I am, and I'm afraid that it would become a duty rather than an opportunity. So I'll watch and admire from afar!

70lkernagh
Nov 2, 2014, 5:05pm

Happy new thread, Ilana! Like Donna, I am enjoying reading the selections others have made for you! Such great choices!

71Smiler69
Nov 2, 2014, 5:24pm

>68 Donna828: Hi Donna, so many great books to read on that list, aren't there? That's the 'problem' with my tbr, lots of great titles to choose from, but where to start? which is what gave me the idea for this challenge; that way I don't have to make all the decisions alone.

Yay for the shared read on The Narrow Road to the Deep North, though I must say I'm surprised nobody else has listed it on the wiki so far as I was fairly certain there would be others keen on picking it up considering it won the Booker so recently and got good praise too, but then it's still early in the month.

>69 LizzieD: Peggy, the reason I limit the number of books chosen for me in that challenge is so that I'll only feel obligated to read a reasonable amount of books in a given year. I've gotten sort of used to following a monthly menu, but then I never follow my own selections religiously either and am happy to add in spur of the moment selections too.

By the way, I just picked up The Ruby in Her Navel this afternoon and am about an hour into the audiobook so far and definitely engaged this time. Not sure what happened when I tried it a few months ago... my mind was evidently somewhere else.

>70 lkernagh: Hi Lori, so far the list is looking pretty exciting isn't it?

72Crazymamie
Nov 3, 2014, 9:41am

Lovely new thread, Ilana! Those images in your thread topper are stunning. I see that you are doing your annual round up of books selected for you by this group, and I hope that I am not too late to participate. I would recommend Chocolat by Joanne Harris. One of my all time favorites. My review can be found here. I saw that you had the audiobook of it read by the talented Juliet Stevenson, whom we both adore, and that would be a delightful way to revisit it for me. So if it makes your list, I will join you when you get to it next year. I wanted to pick a book that is new to you, so if you have already read this in another form, let me know and I will choose another.

Hoping that your Monday is full of fabulous!

73Smiler69
Edited: Nov 3, 2014, 10:48am

>72 Crazymamie: Good morning Mamie. I'm so glad you got to see those image up top. I really love them, and somehow no one has commented on them up to now except you.

I love that you picked Chocolat. I have not read it yet, and am often surprised when I come across this title that I haven't done so, if only because of my beloved Juliet Stevenson. There just seem to always be other options crowding it out, so am glad to have a reason to make room for it next year. And of course will be extra nice to share a read with you.

***

It's absolutely gorgeous out there (and cold), but unfortunately I woke up with a beast of a migraine. Rushed straight to the medicine cabinet to swallow some Fiorinal, because I'm getting together with my friend K in less than a couple of hours, as we're having lunch at a very nice French restaurant called Laloux to celebrate her 60th birthday. Neither of us being much in funds, we figured lunch would probably end up being a better deal, even if only by a small measure. I had no idea what to get her as a gift, and then had a brainwave this w/e to ask my masseuse to call on her and pay her a visit at her home for an hour, which I think she will enjoy a great deal. For today I'll just write her a little card with an intriguing note, like "expect a phone call from a stranger for a good time" or something of the sort. K has always been extremely generous to me in big ways and small, so I feel I need to do something special for her, especially as she's been quite depressed about this birthday in particular, though I've told her compared to the women we used to take watercolour classes with, who are on average 80 years old, she's still a baby.

Almost finished Greenwitch last night, but with the change of hour over the weekend, I was 10 pages from the end and couldn't keep my eyes open. Will finish it today.

74Smiler69
Edited: Nov 3, 2014, 12:06pm



About my Picked for Me challenge:

Please consider the challenge closed unless I sent you a personal invitation. I've enjoyed all your suggestions. I just want to ensure I will actually read all the books picked during the year. Thank you for everyone's participation!

eta: Just to clear up any possible confusion: I knew when I sent the personal invites that other people I hadn't thought of sending them to would also participate and that was absolutely a desired outcome. The personal invites were only to stimulate participation, so please do not feel that if you were not invited your choices are of less importance or less significant in any way!

75jnwelch
Edited: Nov 3, 2014, 11:53am

Oh, I'm happy to see the ones being picked for you, Ilana, especially The Blind Contessa's New Machine, and A Tree Grows in Brooklyn. You're a brave lass for doing this.

My suggestion would be Strange Weather in Tokyo. I think you'd love it.

P.S. Sorry I'm late, but you did give me a personal invite, so it sounds like it's okay. This one is slim, too.

76Smiler69
Edited: Nov 3, 2014, 12:13pm

>75 jnwelch: Joe, now I know FOR SURE you can't have followed my simple instruction, because that book isn't anywhere near of far my collection, so I would suggest you have a look at http://www.librarything.com/topic/182420#4902314 and try again!

Consider a spot is reserved for you my friend!

77luvamystery65
Nov 3, 2014, 1:21pm

>75 jnwelch: One of my favorite book pushers strikes again! :D

78-Cee-
Nov 3, 2014, 2:39pm

Forgotten and forlorn... though I must admit I deserve it...



or, perhaps my book choices are just too dreadful!

wet hugs xoxo

79jnwelch
Edited: Nov 3, 2014, 3:20pm

Oops. I think I get it now, Ilana. You were smart to set it up that way. Beautiful and enchanting illustrations up top, btw. And I love Cee's walking in the rain just above.

I'll pick My Antonia. Loved that book. Does that work?

80-Cee-
Nov 3, 2014, 4:11pm

>79 jnwelch: LOL... that was a gif Ilana sent me one time. I have occasion to send it back now ;-)

81jnwelch
Nov 3, 2014, 4:17pm

>80 -Cee-: It's a beaut, Cee. Since she sent it first, I'm sure Ilana will understand its poignancy. :-)

82Smiler69
Edited: Nov 3, 2014, 4:22pm

>78 -Cee-: >80 -Cee-: Definitely NOT forgotten Claudia, but I don't want you feeling forlorn, so PLEASE DO make a selection for me, I'll be happy to have one of your choices to read from seeing as you are one of my best friends here, in RL as well as online. You'd just been away for a while so I didn't want to put pressure on you. I stopped at 20 thinking I'd probably end up with around 24... I made allowances as you can see, so all is well.

I love that you reused that gorgeous gif image of Jeanne Moreau from "Ascenseur pour l'échafaud" or "Elevator to the Gallows" in translation. The music by Miles Davis in that movie is to die for and I've owned the CD for many years, but only saw the movie itself a couple of years ago and remember that scene quite vividly.

>79 jnwelch: Thanks Joe, I'll add your pick to the list as soon as I come back from my walk with Coco. I'm sure your other pick was great too, but one of the objects of that challenge is to get me reading from the TBR, something we all need to be doing as much as possible, right?

83jnwelch
Edited: Nov 3, 2014, 4:24pm

>82 Smiler69: Yes - using your tbr actually seems very smart to me, Ilana.

ETA: Miles Davis music in the movie! Oh my. Now I have to find the CD and find the movie.

84Smiler69
Nov 3, 2014, 5:08pm

>83 jnwelch: Joe, it's a really great soundtrack—highly recommended. A young Jeanne Moreau isn't too hard on the eyes for the duration of the movie either. Thanks for the pick. I don't read enough books from my vast TBR, so I thought this challenge was another creative way to get me to do so. Really glad you enjoy the artwork up there. I had fun picking it out. This artist really rocks my world.

85-Cee-
Nov 3, 2014, 5:43pm

Heh! Thought that gif might work :-)

I know. I haven't been posting on LT lately. I've been a bit of a mess and thought I would spare the LT community. I have been lurking though - and there are a few important things I guess I really don't want to miss. Like your "Picked for Me" challenge. I would do this challenge myself but don't know if I could stand the discipline.

My selection for you would be The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern.

It is one of my favorites and was a lot of fun to read. It struck me as being very creative/original. So in picking it for you I am hoping it will appeal to your creative side :-) I think it might be a good book to read if you are feeling less than 100%, i.e. an easy read. This book is not intense and not cringe-worthy.

Also, looks like yours is audio. Hope you will be delighted - but if you are not, don't panic. I'll try again next year... ;-)

86Smiler69
Edited: Nov 3, 2014, 6:01pm

>85 -Cee-: Claudia, I AM delighted with your selection, but I'll leave it up to you in that it would not be a new book to me but a reread. I got it as an audio from my library for that purpose and if it's in my collection, obviously it's because I loved it the first time around and I want to get back to it eventually. If you don't mind that I'll add it to the list gladly. However, if you'd rather pick something that's new to me, you might want to pick again (in which case I'd put this pick on the secondary list and might read it anyway, but not as a 'priority'). As I said, I'll leave that up to you.

Sorry to hear things have been difficult. If you want to discuss privately, via PM or phone, I'm all eyes and/or ears. xox

87lyzard
Nov 3, 2014, 6:48pm

Hmm, well...

After all that, I admit I was very tempted to make you read Moby Dick...but instead I think I'll pick The Midnight Bell by Francis Lathom, one of the Northanger "Horrid Novels" and one I haven't read, so I can read it with you. :)

88Smiler69
Nov 3, 2014, 7:59pm

>87 lyzard: After all that, I admit I was very tempted to make you read Moby Dick...

Mody Dick as a punishment, eh? I do mean to get to it eventually, since I have that gorgeous limited edition of it, though I'd hate to be under an obligation for that one, quite honestly. But one of the Horrid Novels sounds like good fun. I was just thinking the other day when I was seeing them all on my catalogue that I still had quite a lot of them to read. And a shared read is a nice bonus. Thanks Liz!

89lyzard
Nov 3, 2014, 8:03pm

Mwuh-ha-ha! :)

I have read Moby Dick and I did enjoy it, but I think it would be the worst book in the world to have thrust upon you. I'm glad you approve my alternative choice!

90-Cee-
Edited: Nov 3, 2014, 10:52pm

>86 Smiler69: Ah, woman! You're killing me. I went through your entire list and somehow missed that you already read this one! BTW, I want to count your list as a book read - it is certainly long enough.
Since I am not one that does a lot of re-reading (life is short), I will choose another for you.

I think it would be nice to read the book your Mum gave you , Dessins d'écrivains, but it's in French and I don't know what it means.
Then there is The Curse of Chalion that I liked a whole lot, and it looks like many others did too. Bujold is a terrific writer.
I also saw The Wind in the Willows on your list - but don't recall if you've already read it. If you never have read it, maybe I should choose that one for you.
Oh, and Jamaica Inn by du Maurier... such a strong sense of place and creepy-ish. This one stuck with me. I actually liked this one a bit more than Rebecca.

Ah... decisions, decisions. I need more time....

91Smiler69
Nov 4, 2014, 11:23am



Fruther Notes about the Challenge and Apologies

I'd just like to say I'm really sorry a) I mentioned I'd sent out private invites and/or b) I sent out private invites to begin with. I'm not sure which exactly, a bit of both I guess. There was no exact methodology I followed and I certainly didn't invite everyone I would have liked to, and I posted the challenge on my thread because I wanted to encourage participation by people who had not been invited as well. I invited fewer people than there were spots, knowing I'd probably end up with more than 20 books, but all I managed to do was hurt the feelings of those I hadn't invited and confuse those I had, and I feel badly about that. Initially, my only intent had been to stimulate participation and to make sure at least several of my friends would participate.

I'm saying all this because I've received a few PMs lately from friends who are obviously confused and I think probably feeling a little hurt, saying I should feel free to remove their picks, which is something I have no intention of doing. Every pick is meaningful to me, and there is no pick which is unwanted or superfluous, and I'm sorry if my lack of tact hurt anyone's feelings as that certainly was not my intention.

I'm not sure how best to handle this in future, but if anyone has suggestions, I'm all ears!

92Smiler69
Nov 4, 2014, 11:36am

>90 -Cee-: Claudia, I'll make this easy for you, how's that? You've mentioned several awesome books, but I'll make some choices among those by picking out a main book for the 'official' list and putting the other ones on the 'extra picks' lists, which isn't a 100% guarantee I'll get to them, but I will make an effort to because I am looking forward to getting to those other books as well.

The one I'll choose as the 'official' selection is Jamaica Inn. In part because Paul's British Authors Challenge features Daphne du Maurier in March, so I can do a 2 for 1. And also because I'm already a fan of hers and haven't read that one yet.

The book my mum sent me from France for my birthday this summer, Dessins d'écrivains, translates to "Drawings by Writers". I paged through it when I got it and it's a very lovely book and features a large range of writers, probably with a focus on classic French writers, thought there are a few international writers represented too. Really neat and lovely little book. The Curse of Chalion is completely new to me, but I'm not sure what I'll make of it, so it's probably safer as a secondary choice, though of course I saw it recommended by lots of LTers (just added you to the list now!) I've already read The Wind in the Willows once at least, and had a beautiful old copy my mum left me, but then couldn't resist getting the Folio Society edition last year, which is absolutely to die for and one of their best sellers, which I look forward to rereading this classic from.

93-Cee-
Nov 4, 2014, 9:06pm

Poor Ilana ;-)
I hope I didn't start a mudslide with your rain picture. My feelings were truly not hurt. I just jumped at the chance to return your very cool gif. Thanks for your thoughtfulness to not put any pressure on me.

You have done me a very great favor by choosing a book. Really you have a lot of good books on your TBR list. You don't have to add all the others I was contemplating to your extras - they are already on your TBR list. lol. No pressure.

You sure do love lists!

Anyway, I would recommend reading Jamaica Inn for enjoyment. It's not heavy reading. I just threw myself into it and loved it - but there are mixed feelings in the reviews. I had to laugh a bit at the review I wrote back in 2011.

Dessins d'écrivains
Oh... so that's the translation. I got the "writers" part, but not the "drawings". Apparently my French classes did not include art or I just forgot (50 years later).

Whew! That "Picked for Me" challenge is a lot of work for you!
Looks like you have a good year of reading in store for you....
bon chance!

94luvamystery65
Nov 4, 2014, 10:16pm

(((Hugs)))

95EBT1002
Nov 5, 2014, 2:34am

What Roberta said.

96souloftherose
Nov 5, 2014, 3:43pm

(((More hugs)))

97Smiler69
Nov 5, 2014, 7:51pm

>93 -Cee-: Claudia, I received several PMs, and did figure that if you posted that gif you couldn't be all that hurt, it was more the cumulative effect, and one PM in particular from a friend I know is going through a very difficult time at present and this may just have been an unnecessary disappointment.

Daphne du Maurier has become one of my favourite authors, so I'll look forward to Jamaica Inn, which I'll be reading in March for the British Authors Challenge too.

>94 luvamystery65: >95 EBT1002: >96 souloftherose: Roberta, Ellen, Heather: I'm not exactly sure why I'm getting all these hugs, but thank you my dear friends. I have been feeling quite tired and not especially sparkly lately, and yes, did feel like maybe I'd made some kind of faux pas with the way I'd handled my challenge, but nothing too too horrid either, so I'll take a nibble at the hugs for now and store the rest for next time things get nasty.

***

Nothing much to report. Don't feel like typing. Low energy. Watching X-Files and am partway through season 3 now. Almost finished A Ruby in Her Navel ,and Barry Unsworth is definitely among my favourite authors now. Really enjoying Mrs Palfrey at the Claremont, my bedtime treat. Dowloaded Station Eleven from the library's OverDrive collection last night, as soon as they'd acquired it. Brought several more books home from the library today. Not sure how I'll fit them in. There are a couple Patrick Modiano titles, then the second Maigret omnibus Tout Maigret II, which contains books 9 (The Sailors' Rendezvous) through to 16 (The Madman of Bergerac). Also an Edmund Crispin novel, borrowed because Folio just released it and I thought I might find out what it's all about for free (but again, when to fit it in??) called The Moving Toyshop.

98EBT1002
Edited: Nov 5, 2014, 10:18pm

Hi Ilana!

Sometimes friends send hugs just because they think you need them. And the wonderful thing about hugs and good thoughts and caring messages is that they don't have a shelf life and they are an infinitely renewable resource. So, I would like to suggest that you do more than nibble. DEVOUR the hugs and know that more will be sent your way when and if they are needed. :-)

I'm in the queue for Station Eleven at the library and really looking forward to it. It's a bit outside my usual fare but it sounds so appealing!

Have a great Thursday, Ilana. I hope you feel more energy tomorrow.

99luvamystery65
Nov 5, 2014, 10:33pm

^What Ellen said my dear.

100Crazymamie
Nov 6, 2014, 8:22am

Morning, Ilana! Hoping that Thursday is kind to you and that you are feeling better. Station Eleven sounds familiar for some reason, but I can't remember what it's about, so I'm off to check it out.

101cameling
Nov 6, 2014, 9:38am

Odd ... not sure where my post went to. But thanks for the heads up ... so here's my pick.

I'd recommend Love in the Time of Cholera by Gabriel García Márquez. Firstly, I think he's an incredible writer, and secondly, I absolutely loved the book. I think this is the best of his works ..but that's just my opinion.

102jnwelch
Nov 6, 2014, 10:42am

I'm with Caro on Love in the Time of Cholera, Ilana. Great book.

I just finished Station Eleven, and it's thumbs up from me. One of its strengths is bringing an appreciation for many specific miracles we take for granted every day.

As you know, I loved Mrs. Palfrey at the Claremont. High on my list of faves. I'm glad I read The Moving Toyshop, as it's considered a classic mystery, but I must say I didn't think it was any great shakes.

I'm just starting The Witches of Eastwick for the AAC, and I can at least say it's not as bad as I feared (I'm not an Updike fan).

103Smiler69
Nov 6, 2014, 12:25pm

>98 EBT1002: Hi Ellen, as I expected, the fatigue and all the rest was pre-programmed and timed with regular hormonal changes, as was confirmed when I woke up this morning. You'd think that after all these years, I'd be immune to all the side-effects, but no. Thanks for the hugs and sympathy. I want more than anything to cuddle on the couch now.

I don't know if Station Eleven will be in my comfort zone or not, but I'm determined to give it a go to find out.

>99 luvamystery65: Thanks Roberta. xx

>100 Crazymamie: Hi Mamie, I'll probably be taking it easy today, but then, when do I not? Am going to see a play tonight, a screening of Of Mice and Men which should be pretty awesome.

>101 cameling: Caro, thanks for you pick, and as I just posted on your thread, I'm fine with rereading it as I did love Love in the Time of Cholera the first time around, which was more than 20 years ago. If it's ok with you that it would be a reread, that's fine with me. I know you're a really busy lady with travel and whatnot so a reread it just fine, and in this case kind of overdue.

>102 jnwelch: Joe, I remember discovering García Márquez in my late teens, early twenties, with Cholera and One Hundred Years and being really blown away. I just obtained a bunch of his books as they've just released recordings of his books in the last couple of years now and have downloaded them from the library. It'll be nice to revisit that one. I wasn't so taken with One Hundred Years when I revisited it in 2008, mostly I think because it deals with civil war, but then that was quite a while ago already.

I never saw anyone make comments that got me excited to put Updike on the wishlist, much less on the TBR, which is why I ended up substituting him with another author this month (in this case, Sinclair Lewis, which I'll revisit again next year, once again for the AAC—I've seen Mark's list for 2015 and it's awesome!).

104jnwelch
Nov 6, 2014, 2:17pm

>104 jnwelch: Good call on the Sinclair Lewis. You're not going to get any comments to get you excited about Updike from me.

105Smiler69
Edited: Nov 7, 2014, 11:52am

Just finished The Ruby in Her Navel by Barry Unsworth. Have to decide whether to give it 4.5 or 5 stars. Yes, it's that good. Off to walk Coco, need to decide what to listen to next, then quick supper, then off to see Off Mice and Men, a National Theatre Live screening which I'm really looking forward to!

106LizzieD
Nov 6, 2014, 8:07pm

---and sometimes friends send hugs because they need them! ((((Ilana)))!
I am disappointed not to have read *Ruby* with you, but it's taking second place to the Jessica Mitford letters, which are many and super-entertaining. I will definitely make *Ruby* #1 in another couple of weeks. I'm afraid the Mitford will take that long at only 50 pages a day.
Glad you're enjoying some out-of-the-house time.

107msf59
Nov 6, 2014, 10:31pm

Hi Ilana! Just checking in with my pal. Glad you liked the AACII list. I am happy with it and I appreciate everyone helping with the suggestions. It sure helped me narrow it down quickly.

Next year is going to be action-packed but I think we can handle it. Smiles. Hugs!!

108avatiakh
Nov 7, 2014, 4:25am

I'm also lagging behind on the *Ruby* book, will try to get to it next week. Good to hear you liked it.

109Smiler69
Nov 7, 2014, 12:22pm

>104 jnwelch: Joe, I'm always happy to avoid authors altogether, like avoiding series, seems to free up so much time somehow!

>106 LizzieD: Thanks for more hugs Peggy. :-)

No worries about Ruby, I don't think I would have made many comments about it during the 3-4 days it took me to get through it anyway. It's kind of bothering me that I haven't been inclined to write reviews at all lately, I'm not sure what that's about really, but it's certainly not helping me keep my blog current either. And really, I'm sort of writing them when I'm away from the computer, or thinking about the books I've read and what I might say at least, so doesn't make sense I'm not doing anything about it, but somehow not wanting to spend much time at the computer. Ho hum.

From the extract you posted on your thread lately of one of the Mitford letters, I can well see why you're so cuaght up with that book. I'll probably end up adding it to the tbr. I'd like to read more about them, but feel I should read more by them first.

>107 msf59: Hey Mark, once again, I'm really happy with the AACII list. You've done a really good job of boiling down everyone's suggestions and coming up a dozen everyone seems to agree on. I'm quite happy with having a few books planned well ahead of time, as long as I have plenty of room to play around as well, and so far it looks like I've got about 4-5 books/month slotted, which is a good average considering some of them are audiobooks too and I seem to get through 15-20 a month or so on average. Thanks for the visit!

>108 avatiakh: Hi Kerry, I'm fairly confident you'll enjoy Ruby as well when you find the time for it. It's very well written, has a personable main character who has much to learn and reveals a complex mystery to us by degrees so that we don't see it coming and the period details are really fascinating in terms of cultural, religious, political and the various aspects of daily life Unsworth describes. Really quite a jewel of a book. Hmmm. Have I just written a mini-review maybe?

***



Of Mice and Men, presented by National Theatre Live for the premiere screening last night was as I predicted, breathtakingly great. It was a rebroadcasting of the last broadway performance given this summer, and the actors, including James Franco as George, Chris O'Dowd as Lennie, Leighton Meester as Curley's Wife, Jim Parrack as Slim and Jim Norton as Candy were all pitch-perfect and seemed to have walked right out of the novel. Their tears as they took their bows at the end attested to their having given their all to a play that demanded complete emotional intensity. A five-star performance all around. Don't miss it if you have a chance to see it in a cinema near you. ★★★★★

110Whisper1
Nov 7, 2014, 8:49pm

>102 jnwelch: I want to give The Moving toyshop a try. I like the title and the premise. Like you, I love Mrs. Palfrey at the Claremont

111Smiler69
Nov 7, 2014, 10:03pm

Just now finished Not My Father's Son by Alan Cumming. A really great memoir about discovering family secrets and overcoming domestic abuse. I've always liked Alan Cumming as a performer, but he's also a good writer.

>110 Whisper1: Hi Linda!

112Whisper1
Nov 7, 2014, 10:42pm

I read reviews of Not My Father's son. It sounds like a very difficult book to read.

How are you feeling? Headaches bettter?

113Smiler69
Edited: Nov 8, 2014, 12:49pm

>112 Whisper1: Linda, Not My Father's Son certainly deals with difficult issues, but I didn't find it difficult to read, quite the contrary. Probably helps that I went with the audio version, with Alan Cumming narrates himself, and he is an excellent narrator obviously. Guess I really need to write a review. I have a friend coming over in an hour, but will try to do a quick writeup, since it's a brand new book and I feel it deserves to be widely read as I really like the author and his message both.

My head is ok. Not great*, but ok, thanks my love. xx

*reminds me I should grab some Fiorinal, thanks. xx

***


Pierre Lefebvre, Collines (Hills), Oil on panel, 48 x 60" (detail), 2011

My friend Kim, whom I haven't seen in many months is coming over in just an hour or so. She's invited me to attend a vernissage at Gallerie de Bellefeuille on Greene ave., which is just up the hill from me, to see the work of an artist who is the friend of a close friend of hers, as she's been wanting to introduce me to both the friend and the friend of the friend, who is apparently a hermit like me, though I've no idea why she thinks this is a good idea, because I've never heard of hermits getting along together. But I've seen Pierre Lefebvre's work online (http://debellefeuille.com/lefebvre-pierre/) and he is very talented, so should be interesting to see the work in person at least. Also, Kim has always encouraged me to promote my art and live from it eventually and this gallery is very well known and somehow I think she imagines I could eventually be represented there too somehow, even though I haven't picked up a paintbrush in at least a couple of years now and have maybe 1.5 finished paintings to my name, and unsigned ones at that... I guess you never know, and it's nice knowing there are people who believe in my talent as possibly leading me somewhere eventually, even at this late stage and with the little energy I do have.

Finished Mrs Palfrey at the Claremont last night. Such a beautiful novel about aging and reaching out to others.

There are so many book reviews I'd like to write. I do wish I had a laptop again so I wouldn't have to sit here at the desk to write them all. I'll try to do like Heather and others and knock out a bunch of short ones soon, because I'm really behind but I've also read some really great books lately, and this one is among them. I rated The Ruby in Her Navel as a 5-star read finally, and Not My Father's Son a 4.5. Now am onto The Paper Moon by Andrea Camilleri on audio, as it's been a while since my last Montalbano and I do want to get ahead with the series. It's really nice being deep into a series and being so familiar with the characters. This is book 9, and I don't think I've gotten this far into other series before, other than Maigret and Jack Reacher, I guess.

114Whisper1
Nov 8, 2014, 12:46pm

From my house to yours, Happy Fall

115Smiler69
Nov 8, 2014, 12:48pm

>114 Whisper1: Lovely! Thank you my dear Linda. {{{Hugs}}}

116LovingLit
Nov 8, 2014, 3:14pm

Hi Ilana,
I just went ahead and jumped on the bandwagon with your picks for next year. I wasn't sure if you'd veto....I imagine you would get quite the TBR pile if everyone chose one! Lucky you read a lot and fast, huh?

I have been greedy for books lately, wanting to start each one i see....it is tough to restrain myself!

117drachenbraut23
Nov 8, 2014, 3:24pm

Hi Ilana, :)

Great to see that you loved Ruby it's on my reading pile for next week.

>109 Smiler69: I am hopefully going to see this by the End of the month. I saw the trailer, when I went to see the National Theatre screening of Frankenstein with B.C as monster.

Wish you a nice weekend!

118jnwelch
Nov 8, 2014, 6:13pm

>110 Whisper1: Good idea to give The Moving Toyshop a try, Linda. As I said, I'm glad I read it, even if it didn't bowl me over. You may well like it better than I did; it certainly has its fans, and it's considered a classic mystery.

I ended up giving up on The Witches of Eastwick, Ilana. A rarity for me. Getting through 100 pages was enough, I decided. There are too many others out there I want to read.

119EBT1002
Nov 8, 2014, 10:58pm

>109 Smiler69: That production of Of Mice and Men sounds wonderful!

I still have not read any García Márquez and I think I will add Love in the Time of Cholera to my 2015 reading plans. I have a copy but have been a bit intimidated.

I'm intrigued by Not My Father's Son just because I love Alan Cumming (he's Scottish!). I think I watch Masterpiece Mystery just because he introduces it each week. :-)
Well, okay, I like Inspector Morse and Inspector Lewis and Endeavor (the young Morse) just for themselves. Lewis' sidekick, James Hathaway, is my favorite.

It worries me to see Joe giving up on Updike. I haven't been encouraged to read him but feel compelled to give him a try. I bought a copy of Rabbit, Run today and will try to read it before the end of the month.

Hugs for Coco and for you, my dear!

120msf59
Nov 9, 2014, 11:10am

Happy Sunday, Ilana! Just checking in with my pal. Sounds like the reading is going well.

121Smiler69
Edited: Nov 9, 2014, 11:46am

Some Updates:
(as posted on FB yesterday)



This is my friend Kim sitting in front of my favourite painting by Pierre Lefebvre from the vernissage at the gallery yesterday, which sold for around $30,000 and is one of his most recent works. Quite unlike his other pieces which I wasn't so crazy about (between you all here on LT all and I). We had a nice talk he and I. I think Coco, who came along as my sidekick was essential as an ice-breaker, and Pierre, who as it turns out is a neighbour of mine (being the friend of Kim's friend and the hermit I mentioned higher up on this thread >113 Smiler69:), has invited me over to show him my recent drawings, i.e the Metro series, which I told him about (with Kim acting as my agent) for a constructive critique, which is something he and his friend Maya (Kim's good friend, also an artist) do frequently. Looking forward to it, with slight trepidation as can be imagined.





Rocky is nearing completion. The horizon line is badly off and needs fixing. Here is the blog post for some detail: http://createthreesixty5.com/2014/11/08/rocky-almost-there/

122lunacat
Nov 9, 2014, 12:15pm

That's pretty cool, to be invited over like that. Hopefully you'll find any input constructive, and you have an enjoyable time when you go. I like the hills in the painting, but not the big black rock or the clouds - it seems a little simplistic and without depth, but what do I know.

123Smiler69
Nov 9, 2014, 12:23pm

>116 LovingLit: Hi Megan! I'm very glad you went ahead and made a pick for me. The reason I posted the challenge on my thread is I wanted people visiting to go ahead and make some selections, so I was leaving it to chance to see who would do so. I also thought when I got to a certain amount of books I'd simply announce the challenge was closed, and you came in right around the middle, so all was good. It's a challenge I really enjoy, and it's really exciting seeing the selections come in, though I do admit I struggle a bit on how to handle some of the logistics, as you probably saw from my various posts. Still, I think we LTers welcome the opportunity to snoop around each other's book collections and the chance to pick out books, and it certainly helps me narrow down my tbr, because much like you, I'd like to be able to read them ALL at once, which of course... if only, right?

>117 drachenbraut23: Hi Bianca, what a lovely visit! I saw when I was marking Ruby as 'completed' the other day that you'd added it to the TIOLI wiki as well and that made me smile. I hope you do have a chance to get to it soon and that you enjoy it at least half as much as I did, because I found it to be an amazing book, but then I'd already read his Morality Play which had completely won me over last year, and was very happy that this one, far from disappointing, only strengthened my admiration for him as an excellent writer and a fine storyteller.

How did you find the NTL Frankenstein presentation? I really loved Of Mice and Men, as you saw, and I think you will too, especially if you already appreciate the novel.

>118 jnwelch: You know Joe, your comments about The Moving Toyshop usually apply to most crime fiction books for me, that is, I wouldn't necessarily say 'they aren't great shakes', but I would rarely go as far as investing in a Folio Society edition for the majority of mystery and crime fiction books out there because for the most part, I'm happy to read them once and then release them to the wild, so to speak, but there are some exceptions.

For example, I'm very happy I invested in the Dorothy L. Sayers Lord Peter Wimsey series as FS editions, which I've yet to get through, but from the several I've read it's pretty much guaranteed I'll want to revisit them. I also got an FS Cover Her Face, the first Adam Dalgliesh mystery by P. D. James, which I found very good and really enjoyed that much more with the excellent illustrations, which will make a good comfort read more than once over time I'm sure. Rogue Male, though not properly what you'd call 'crime fiction' (probably more 'adventure', 'mystery', 'espionage'... take your pick), became one of my all-time favourites, so I'd say that was an excellent investment too, and the pleasure of reading it from such a fine edition added greatly to my reading enjoyment.

So... there are always exceptions. But for the most part, when I see Folio editions of mystery books, I take it as being an excellent recommendation, and then obtain them either from the library or spend a credit on an audiobook and enjoy them at a much smaller fee. If I then happen to take a huge liking to them, I can invest into them knowing fully what I'm getting into, which makes more sense. But I think you can see why I wasn't going to purchase The Moving Toyshop from FS just to find out what it was all about... I may be addicted, but not a complete goner either, thank heavens! :-)

124Smiler69
Edited: Nov 9, 2014, 12:37pm

>119 EBT1002: That production of Of Mice and Men sounds wonderful!

Oh Ellen, it is, it really IS! I think it's a MUST for any Steinbeck lover. I know there have been many presentation of that play over the decades and will be many more no doubt, but this one was really flawless and should really be seen if possible. And so affordable as a screening too!

I've never seen Alan Cumming in Masterpiece Mystery, because I haven't watched television in several years now, but he does mention that show and that he worries that Patty Smith might steal the gig from him (you'll have to read the book to find out about that!) Also, one of the benefits of the audiobook of course is you get to hear his lovely Scottish brogue since he of course speaks in his natural accent which is absolutely lovely and completely charming. I think I fell in love with him a little, as I'm sure many men and women around the world have been for a long time already, though I may have been for a while already without realizing it really.

I don't know anything about John Updike, other than I was never motivated to add him to my personal collection, so I must say I'm sort of happy to see Joe gave up on him because sort of makes me feel my intuition was correct from the get-go somehow. Of course, he must appeal to some readers or he wouldn't be such a well-known writer, but I always got a feeling he wouldn't appeal to me somehow. All I can say is good luck with him and... don't hesitate to drop him if he doesn't work for you either. Life is too short, eh? {{{Hugs}}}

>120 msf59: Hey Marky Mark! Thanks for dropping by and checking on me. It looks like a nice day out, but I'm staying in for now as have resolved to stick to the computer and get a few things sorted out. The reading is going really well, must say I'm extremely pleased lately with that. Out of 5 books so far this month, I have 1 x 4 stars, 3 x 4.5 stars, and 1 x 5 stars. Not too shabby eh? And plenty of good stuff planned ahead too. And then not to mention all the great stuff planned for 2015 what between the AAC and BAC, so plenty to look forward to! :-)xx

125Smiler69
Edited: Nov 9, 2014, 12:46pm

>122 lunacat: Jenny, I was worried that my bad quality photo wouldn't give the right impression of that painting, and I see it my concern was justified. I should have spent some time fine-tuning my photo in my photo edit software, because the rock isn't just a solid black mass, you can actually see the paint strokes in it, which give it some depth, in fact the whole painting when you see it in person is very surprising because it rides that fine line between being two dimensional and somehow three dimensional... really a dreamscape, which is what attracted me so much to it. I really don't think any photo could do it much justice, but this one in particular basically murders it*.

It seems Pierre isn't a very sociable person, so I've taken the invitation as quite a great compliment, though there may have been some element of flirtation there for all I know. I had taken a few minutes to put on a bit of stuff on my face to even out my skin tone and bring out my eyes a little and he seemed to be a bit TOO attentive to me somehow, which I found a bit strange as I never fix myself up anymore and hardly ever get noticed by anyone these days. He's an older man, so wouldn't be impossible he'd find me to his liking I guess with Coco in tow especially. I haven't taken art classes in a good while now, besides which the 'critiques' we had there weren't real critiques, but mostly just very gentle coddling, since this is a private school where mostly elderly women who don't have any art background at all take classes, so nobody wants to scare them off with any real criticism, which wouldn't be helpful to the students anyway, since they aren't trying to become professional artists anyway for the most part. So it'll be really interesting getting some feedback from a working artist and he did warn me he doesn't hold back and says it exactly like he sees it, and I assured him I should be able to take it, given my professional background where I had to take some pretty brutal criticism sometimes and that I did take 'real' art classes at some point in time. Should be really interesting no matter what.

*will try to fix it right now.

eta: I tried fixing it, but it didn't help, so you'll have to take my word for it. Then again, maybe you wouldn't have liked it all the same... to each his/her own, right? ;-)

126Smiler69
Edited: Nov 9, 2014, 3:11pm

Sheesh. I was seriously considering writing up some short'n sweet reviews. Then I thought "been a while since I catalogued my latest book additions" of which there were quite a few, and thought I'd better get on it to prevent inadvertently doubling up on stuff*, and next thing you know, it took nearly three hours (true enough I'm pretty obsessive about tagging and various details). So I guess that's my computer time all gobbled up. And I guess I'll list those books some other time too. Pretty boring post eh? Sorry 'bout that. :-(

* and still, I now notice a couple of new books managed to escape my notice and go uncatalogued after all that...

127jnwelch
Nov 9, 2014, 6:47pm

>128 I love the Dorothy Sayers mysteries, Ilana, and it would be great to have topnotch editions of them. The Peter-Harriet romance is epic, IMO. When my MBH first wanted to try a mystery, I gave her The Nine Tailors. I've also read and enjoyed lots of P.D. James. The ones that come to mind as keepers for me right now are the Montalbanos and the Dr. Siris.

>119 EBT1002: Remember, Ellen, I'm also the guy who doesn't like Faulkner, to the consternation of many. You may end up liking Updike. He's talented; I just have no interest in what he writes about, or the characters he creates.

>121 Smiler69: Cool painting by Mr. Lefebvre, and the drawing of Rocky is looking great!

128lunacat
Nov 9, 2014, 7:14pm

Well there's nothing wrong with a bit of male attention, unless it's unwanted or creepy. And if his attention leads to you getting some good input about your artwork then it can't hurt, particularly if you find it constructive and aren't easily offended. I don't know how you do it - I pretend to have an extremely thick skin and I do to a certain extent. Peoples' criticisms don't impact immediately and I can brush them off, but I hold them inside to turn against myself. Not healthy.

I'm not one to comment about art one way or another really. There is random 'artwork' dotted around the house but none of it anything proper, or any good. Mostly bright stuff we got on holiday to add a bit of colour to the place, and a couple of horse related sketches from Mongolia that have great sentimental value but nothing more. I don't find myself very interested or moved by art - I know when I don't like something but am rarely drawn to anything particularly. Even the most well known artists I can take or leave - I might like something but it wouldn't bring any emotions with it.

129souloftherose
Edited: Nov 10, 2014, 11:23am

Hi Ilana!

>113 Smiler69: I love the landscapey painting in this post.

>121 Smiler69: and Pierre, who as it turns out is a neighbour of mine (being the friend of Kim's friend and the hermit I mentioned higher up on this thread >113 Smiler69: Smiler69:), has invited me over to show him my recent drawings

Brilliant! Trepidation understandable.

ETA: I keep thinking $30,000 would buy a lot of books....

130Smiler69
Nov 10, 2014, 11:55am

>127 jnwelch: Joe, I guess it's telling that I haven't gotten far enough in the Dorothy L. Sayers series to find out about the Peter-Harriet romance yet, though worry not, no spoiler there as I inevitably found out about it early on one way or another. The next one up for me is The Unpleasantness at the Bellona Club (book 5 of 13), so I still have quite a few 'new to me' books to enjoy! The P. D. James I've mentioned was my first one so far, though there will be more. I've got a Dr. Siri on loan from the library, Curse of the Pogo stick (also book 5), which I really need to make time for. Always a question of time... even when you have lots of it, there's never enough!!!

>128 lunacat: Well there's nothing wrong with a bit of male attention, unless it's unwanted or creepy.

You're right of course. I've just become so unused to it, being such a hermit and then making so little effort when I get out of the house that I become invisible most of the time, or hardly meet anyone at all so that there are no chances of anything like that ever occurring in the first place so that when it does I feel extremely awkward. In this case it was very proper and not at all creepy, and as he's a friend of a friend and so on, it all feels quite safe. And as you say, professional input on my work at this stage is something I do welcome and I should hope he won't set out to completely destroy my work or my ego, in which case I'm confident I would know how to protect myself and walk out in time fairly intact. But I doubt somehow that is the goal of the exercise.

As for not being especially interested in or moved by art, I wouldn't worry about it too much. I grew up with art and with loads or art books around and taking art classes in art-oriented schools all the time and going to museums and galleries as much as possible, probably more than the norm, because art and culture were extremely important to my mother and also because it was mostly FREE and we were very poor and this was something she could transmit to me, unlike many other things which required major funds. As it happened, I had a natural affinity for it, so it took, but for the most part, people are not exposed to art all their lives the way I was, and not everyone is born with an artist's soul and sensitivity.

That we all have the capacity to make and to appreciate art I am convinced of, but there are as many ways of defining and making art as there are of defining and describing the universe, so saying you're not particularly impressed by famous artists doesn't mean anything, really. The art world is a business world like everything else, so those who manage to rise to the top aren't necessarily representative of what people like, often quite the contrary. But I could go on writing about that for days and months and not arrive at a satisfactory conclusion.

I mostly try not to worry about it too much when it comes to my own artwork anymore, because I've driven myself literally mad over it for years and blocked myself from doing anything at all for decades and now I'm mostly productive because I don't stop to ask myself why I'm doing it and whether it's "good" or "bad" or what it means or where I'm going or whether it's actually "art" or "fine art" or "commercial art" or any of that stuff, because that would stop me from doing anything right there all over again. If I'm happy with my own work, then great. If I'm not, then I move on to something else, no big deal.

I just know when I see something I like, I just enjoy it without asking myself why, no matter where it is or who did it or if they're known or unknown or whatever, and that's it. I don't stop to ask myself what the tastemakers would think of it. And if someone really well known has done something that everyone admires and it means nothing to me, then I move on and don't worry about it. Life's too short, and my head hurts most of the time, so what me worry, right? ;-)

131Smiler69
Nov 10, 2014, 12:02pm

>129 souloftherose: I keep thinking $30,000 would buy a lot of books....

Heather, keep in mind that galleries usually take 50% of the selling price (sometimes more) and that professional artists don't have very many shows in a year, depending on how prolific they are and who is representing them, so that their takings from one or two shows could represent their earnings for a whole year... That painting was really the most expensive one there, with the average paintings selling around 3 or $4,000 (again, half that for the artist) so I'd say that wouldn't leave a whole lot for books or too many luxuries in general.

But yes, in the abstract, that amount would indeed represent quite a lot of books, you're right! :-)

132Smiler69
Nov 10, 2014, 12:45pm

Recently Acquired Books

From Audible & Amazon companies:
ⓔ+♫ Because We Are: A Novel of Haiti by Ted Oswald (Audible/Kindle Daily Deal)
ⓔ+♫ A Princess of Mars by Edgar Rice Burroughs (Audible/Kindle deal) - 99¢ grand total!
ⓔ+♫ Adam Bede by George Eliot (Audible/Kindle deal)
The Masqueraders by Georgette Heyer (Audible Daily Deal)
The Human Factor by Graham Greene - had been unavailable for a couple of years
The Heart of the Matter by Graham Greene - as above
The Siege by Helen Dunmore - 'cheated' and purchased on Amazon.com as unavailable in Canada
The Perfect King: The Life of Edward III, Father of the English Nation by Ian Mortimer (Kindle Daily Deal)
The Gift of Rain by Tan Twan Eng (Kindle Deal)
Ru by Kim Thúy - much recommended like new print book from AbeBooks
Walking the Dog by David Hughes - super cool Graphic Novel from BookDepository

Total books purchased to date: 297

From Library's OverDrive downloadable collection:
❉♫ Blue Lily, Lily Blue: Book 3 of the Raven Cycle by Maggie Stiefvater - better listen to book 2 soon!
❉♫ Some Luck by Jane Smiley
❉♫ The World of Ice & Fire: The Untold History of Westeros and the Game of Thrones by George R. R. Martin
❉♫ Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell
❉♫ Memories of My Melancholy Whores by Gabriel García Márquez
❉♫ No One Writes to the Colonel, and Other Stories by Gabriel García Márquez

♫ = audiobook
ⓔ = eBook
❉ = library book

133jolerie
Nov 10, 2014, 4:00pm

Hi Ilana! Thanks so much for your comments on my thread re: audiobooks. I know I made the right choice by asking such an experienced listener but I don't want you to stress yourself out. That would make me feel horrible!

I had to mention that I looked up what the Folio society was all about because I've seen it mentioned on your thread and a few others. OH MY GOODNESS! Those books are not CHEAP! I couldn't close my mouth seeing some of the prices. Granted the books are definitely beautiful, but at double, sometimes triple the cost of a regular HB book, I couldn't imagine....haha. My husband, bless his heart, loves me and abides my book hoarding ways, but I think he would have a fit or two, or three, if I decided I needed a few of those for my collection.....haha! Maybe if we won the lottery one day..... :)

134Smiler69
Nov 11, 2014, 12:23pm

135Smiler69
Edited: Nov 11, 2014, 5:14pm

>133 jolerie: No worries Valerie, the second I feel even the remotest twinge of stress, I shut down immediately. It's a self-preservation mechanism my body has developed for me which renders me wholly ineffectual and unproductive, but also protects me from that pesky problem. Which is why you haven't gotten that list from me... yet. But you will. I'll go through my own list of favourite audiobooks and pick out several I think you might enjoy.

About Folio books: the real trick is to purchase them on the secondary market, because you're right, they're much too expensive when purchased brand new directly from Folio themselves. That, and when you're a member you can also benefit from sales and sometimes get them for as much as 75% off the original price, which makes them almost affordable. As a member you also get various discounts and coupons and promotions. I have rarely, if ever, bought one of their books at full price. Now that would just be crazy! Also, and this is key, they offer payment plans, so that if you purchase for a certain amount, you can pay over 3, 5 or up to 10 months in instalments, which makes buying some of their more expensive books, such as limited editions, feasible for those who aren't actually rich, which most of the world population (and presumably the bulk of Folio members) aren't. And on the secondary market, when looking for books that were published for a few years, one finds LOADS out there in brand new condition at much cheaper prices than those you've seen on the site, trust me! Here in Canada, the international shipping costs are an issue, because there aren't that many to be found here, but there are lots in the US and in the UK obviously, where local shipping is really cheap. I shudder to think how much I've spent on shipping, but still have spent much less on my collection than one might think. Do bear in mind I don't have a family to feed... ;-)

eta: for those curious, here is the list I posted on Val's thread earlier today:

Here's a top-10, sort of tailored to what I hope will be books you'll especially enjoy (in no specific order though):

1. The Power of One by Bryce Courtenay - narrated by Humphrey Bower - a really excellent story and a really excellent narrator, 5 stars from me!
2. The Potato Factory by Bryce Courtenay - narrated by Humphrey Bower - another by the same author/narrator duo. Also the start of a trilogy. You can thank me later!
3. Dead Until Dark: Sookie Stackhouse Southern Vampire Mystery #1 by Charlaine Harris - Narrated by Joanna Parker - this whole series is real brain candy. and I know Mamie is a great fan. The HBO series True Blood was based on these books and the narrator does it great justice!
4. The Count Of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas - I see you have this in your library already, but I've found reading really long Classic works on audio is much more fun. I'd recommend the John Lee or Bill Homewood narration.
5. Brokeback Mountain by Annie Proulx - A modern classic. A short one, but very touching and beautifully narrated by Campbell Scott. You might find it at your local library too as I did.
6. Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day by Winifred Watson - This is a wonderful little story about an old maid who has a very unusual and enchanting day. Narrated by Frances McDormand, who stars as Miss Pettigrew in the film version too. Really charming and among my all-time favourites. You'll find it on Audible.
7. Cutting for Stone by Abraham Verghese - Again, I see you have this in your collection already, but same story about long books. I really loved the narration by Sunil Malhotra too.
8. The Help by Kathryn Stockett - Another one in your collection, but this one is really worth getting on audio for the full cast production, which makes it a really exceptional audio experience. The audio version won awards too. You might very well find it for free at the library as I did.
9. Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein - LOVE the narrator Morven Christie, and there's a second narrator for another character too.
10. The Raven Boys: Book 1 of the Raven Cycle by Maggie Stiefvater - This is right up your alley: YA Fantasy. I really enjoyed this story, and narration by Will Patton. Book 3 just came out too!

136souloftherose
Nov 11, 2014, 4:59pm

>16 Smiler69: You mentioned War and Peace on Liz's thread so I had to come over to see when you were reading it and have only just noticed this message. I am impressed and relieved as I'd been thinking of doing something similar in a spreadsheet (although I thought I'd decided not to make plans for next year all the planning others are doing is making it quite hard to resist...)

137Smiler69
Nov 11, 2014, 5:12pm

>136 souloftherose: Heather, I plan on starting the year with W&P, along with Mark and whoever else wants to join us, and of course you are more than welcome. Needless to say I've been wanting to get to that summit of literature for ages and ages.

Like Mark, I've found it satisfying starting the year on a huge tome, something we've done for the past couple of years, first with Bleak House in 2013, then with Anna Karenina in 2014 (not even trying that faulty touchstone). I've been finding this year that I've been adhering more than I expected to my reading plans, though TIOLI (i.e. Take It Or Leave It for the uninitiated) is always the operative premise, without which it would be much too much of a slog. But within my disordered life, it's nice to have some kind of schedule to be able to follow, however tentatively.

If you'd like to have a look at my reading plans for 2015, have a look at this post (#16): http://www.librarything.com/topic/182420#4902155. It's mostly the AAC + the BAC, and a couple of additions, to which I might add more over the next couple of month, though I will try not to fill it up to much to leave plenty of room for some last minute juggling and additions.

138sibylline
Nov 12, 2014, 9:57am

It will be interesting to see what Pierre says about your drawings! The painting you show (with Kim) is very appealing--I don't mean that in a superficial way.

139souloftherose
Nov 12, 2014, 2:10pm

>137 Smiler69: The reading plans post was the one I was so impressed by :-) I think I am going to solve my not planning/wanting to plan problem by thinking that I might join in with things and then see how I feel each month (have checked the local library has a copy of the Pevear/Volokhonsky translation of War and Peace which I could borrow in January...)

140-Cee-
Edited: Nov 12, 2014, 7:57pm

Hi there!

>132 Smiler69: So glad you got The Siege by Dunmore - and I got The Gift of Rain too. Joanne (Coppers) recommended Stoner so I had to get that too.
>134 Smiler69: Lots of sperm in that one. lol
>135 Smiler69: I second The Power of One in any format ;-)
Lots of great suggestions here... not only for audio
>137 Smiler69: Oh, W&P - so many great boring parts! free sleep aid zzzzzzzzz

Have a bit of fun with Pierre and let us know what he thinks about your artwork. Oh. If you want to share, that is.

Hi to Coco! and kitties!
Any more pictures coming of those cuties?

141msf59
Edited: Nov 12, 2014, 9:48pm

Hi Ilana! Just doing a midweek check-in. Hope you are doing well. I see you are acquiring more books and some good ones. I also loved The Siege. I have The Gift of Rain on my WL.

142Smiler69
Nov 13, 2014, 12:18pm

Woke up v late and with a nasty nasty head. Screen hurts, everything hurts. Banishing myself to the couch.

143souloftherose
Nov 13, 2014, 2:36pm

>142 Smiler69: Hugs. Hope things stop hurting soon.

144Smiler69
Edited: Nov 13, 2014, 3:26pm

Have spent a couple of hours on the couch, reading and lurking a little on the iPad and am feeling a little better now. Not wonderful, but better... I definitely need to take it easy and not spend too long on the computer.

Read from Love-letters Between a Nobleman and His Sister Volume III to catch up with Heather and the tutorial I'm following with Liz, which has made this book a really fascinating read. Next, picked up Sacred Hearts by Sarah Dunant, a books calm picked for me, which I'm glad I'm finally getting to. I really enjoyed Dunant's The Birth of Venus and In the Company of the Courtesan, years ago, before I joined this group and am glad to return to her brand of historical fiction, this time to a convent in 1570 Italy with a 16-year old girl just recently interned against her will. The first chapter is very promising. Very lucky for me that despite the migraine, I can still manage to read. Obviously not when it's at it's absolute worst though...

***

>138 sibylline: Hi Lucy, thanks for the reminder about Pierre. I should probably send him an email soon to arrange something for next week I guess. I'm a bit nervous about this, which is probably normal I guess? I'll definitely ask if I can bring Coco along, as he always facilitates any kind of encounter for me. I have a feeling Pierre will be all for that idea somehow...

>139 souloftherose: Aha! I had some idea nobody bothered with the first 16 posts somehow! :-) I've somehow taken a liking to planning ahead with the reading, which I guess makes sense considering the rest of my life is completely unplanned, with no organized activities whatsoever on the schedule these days, so I guess it's normal I need to make some kind of structure with my reading at least, unlike most of working folks, who need to turn to reading to relax. Though I need it for that too of course! War and Peace... Now that's a challenge in any reader's life, isn't it? ;-)

>140 -Cee-: Claudia, The Siege had been on my wishlist at least since 2011, if not earlier, and you were definitely among the recommenders, and it was about time I got it. What pushed me over the edge was the British Authors Challenge.
The Gift of Rain, for those who don't have it yet is still available at under $2 on Amazon, which is where I got it (maybe other platforms too?).
I'm perplexed about your comment about >134 Smiler69: (i.e. poppies pic). DO please explain!
I'm so thrilled you ended up loving The Power of One after I recommended it to you! I'll definitely want to revisit it, that's how much I loved it myself!
I do hope I end up enjoying War and Peace more than you did though... :-|

I just sent Pierre an email during the time it took me to put this post together. Guess I'll hear from him within a day or so. I'll keep y'all posted!

Should take pics of my brood eh? Haven't taken any in a while. I'll consider you question as a special request and act on it soon!

>142 Smiler69: Hi again m'dears! Better, thanks but not great. Best get off the computer, just in case it gets worse again, plus, Coco is crying to be let out, so two birds, all that. xx

145-Cee-
Nov 14, 2014, 10:20pm

>134 Smiler69: Didn't you notice all those light green sperm-shaped things going every which way in that poppy picture? Distracting to me anyway. Nevermind. I'm just weird.

There are actually people who like War & Peace. I can't figure out why. But if you go to all the trouble to read it (as I did) I hope you at least enjoy it... or most of it... or part of it. I guess some of it was pretty good.

Hope your head is much, much better. I had 3 migraines in the past week - too crazy. I think due to a new med I am taking :p~ This has got to stop!

Yes, please. Special request for a picture of your brood :-) I need a fix.

146drachenbraut23
Nov 15, 2014, 7:33am

>123 Smiler69: Good morning Ilana :). Unfortunately, I haven't come round yet to read Ruby as (as usual) I got sidetracked. Well, I tend to have a little pile with books I would like to read, but never really manage to stick to any plans.

I saw the Frankenstein production with Benedict Cumberbatch as the monster and it was utterly amazing. They managed to portray the developmental stages of a baby and toddler incredible well, also I felt that part could have been slightly shorter. I am just such a fan of BC he is such an incredible impressive actor.

Yesterday I saw in the lunchtime cinema with my friend "The Imitation Game" where he plays the lead role as Alan Turing. The movie was absolutely brilliant and again BC was spot on. I have always wanted to find out more about the tragic life of Alan Turing and planning to read his Biography soon.

>137 Smiler69: I am going to join in with War and Peace in January as well. I read the book when I was in my late teens and again when I was in my early twenties. I always prefered this one to Anna Karenina and I am curious how I feel about the book on re-reading it after such a long time.

Wish you a wonderful weekend :)

147jnwelch
Nov 15, 2014, 12:07pm

Like Bianca, I did prefer War and Peace to Anna Karenina, but even so I only made it halfway through. I'm looking forward to joining the group to finish it in January.

148Smiler69
Edited: Nov 15, 2014, 4:34pm

Oh I'm so excited to see we're getting a nice little group together for War and Peace already! I'll have a little side discussion with Mark about starting a discussion thread early so people can come in and say they're joining and express all their various trepidations. I've already suggested we extend the group read over a two-month period so that nobody feels a pressure to finish it in January, which isn't realistic for everyone, who unlike Mark, will not necessarily be alternating between listening all day and then reading in the evenings and finishing it within ten days or so!

I've been really tempted to buy a few books lately, and thought I'd put off purchases for now because my Thingaversary is coming up in 10 days, on the 25th, for which I'll have 8 books to buy since I joined in 2007, and I worry I won't know what to get myself if I don't put off purchases between now and then (seems unlikely, but could happen!). So what I think I'll do is I'll count anything I purchase between now and then as Thinga self-gifts. So far I've put The Ice-Cream War by William Boyd and Sacred Hunger by Barry Unsworth, two books I've longed for for years in my Book Depo shopping cart, and I'm seriously considering making a purchase on Abe of a 'Like New' Les Liaisons Dangereuses 2007 Folio Society edition for $30 including shipping from the UK (needless to say: a steal, though they'll probably have to increase the shipping due the heavy weight of the book). It's one of my all-time favourite books which I aim to collect in a variety of editions.

Here, I'll keep a little list to keep some kind of control (a self-delusion?):

7th Thingaversary Purchases
(Coming November 25th)

1. Les Liaisons Dangereuses 2007 Folio Society edition
2. The Ice-Cream War by William Boyd
3. Sacred Hunger by Barry Unsworth
4.
5.
6.
7.
8.

Coco isn't looking well, so I will take him out for some air briefly and hope it does him some good. He hasn't been eating in the last couple of days and not been quite himself.

Will be back to answer you later Claudia, Bianca and Joe!

eta: Finished Stefan Zweig's very short Chess Story as I walked Coco and did a few chores around the house. 5 Stars, obviously highly recommended. One day, I'll write reviews again. More chores to do now. Can't decide what audiobook to start on, as have several on my planning which all appeal to me. Eeny, meeny, miny, moe...

149jolerie
Nov 15, 2014, 6:09pm

Sorry to hear that Coco isn't feeling well! I hope he feels better soon.

Good for you in trying to have some self control. I always have the best intentions but it is no longer surprising how fast the enthusiasm fizzles and I go to the mailbox to collect my packages that I swore I wouldn't get until I put a dent in my TBR mountain. Such is life with us LT folks. Thank goodness we all understand one another. ;)

150LovingLit
Nov 15, 2014, 6:49pm

ooooh, the aversay list is shaping up! It is always a fun time. And to think, in ten years time we will all be getting, 12, 15, 17 books!! Hehe. *biding my time*

151Smiler69
Nov 15, 2014, 6:58pm

>145 -Cee-: Hi Claudia, head was much better today thanks, what a relief to feel human again!

I figure if I was able to get through Anna Karenina three times in my life so far, I should be able to manage War and Peace at least once, and I do know there are people who think it's one of the best novels ever written, so obviously it's all a very personal call.

Looking at the poppy picture again, I finally saw what you meant, but I was just so focused on seeing those green things as flower buds, the thought they might look like anything else hadn't at all occurred to me. That's how little focused my mind is on sex and reproduction. Guess it's not part of my instinctual makeup at all, what can I say? Nature really didn't want me to have children I guess.

I remember now we had a discussion about Facebook in which you explained to me it was somehow above your technical abilities... how that can be possible, I'm not quite sure, but have it your way... in any case, I just remembered I posted the following pic of Coco I took last week there which not all my LT friends have seen. This was taken on a night he'd appropriated a favourite pair of yellow cashmere socks I like to sleep and watch videos in:

152Smiler69
Nov 15, 2014, 7:15pm

>146 drachenbraut23: No worries Bianca, I get sidetracked all the time too, but I hope for your sake you do get to The Ruby in Her Navel, if only because it's an excellent novel. I just got sidetracked myself, because looking at what I'd loaded on my iPhone, I noticed I had a Patrick Modiano audiobook called La Petite Bijou. Like most of his works, it's very short, barely 3.5 hours, so I figured I'd listen to that for now. So far it's very good and very touching, and I hope they translate it into English eventually so a wider public can discover it too, though I think it's been translated into German for a good while already.

We saw the same Frankenstein version, with BC, and I agree with your comments about it.

Very glad you'll be joining us for War and Peace, and for a reread too; will be interesting to have your point of view as an experienced reader!

>147 jnwelch: Hurray on another W&P recruit, Joe! I've been meaning to get to that novel for decades now, so am determined to get through the whole thing the first time and like it too by golly!

>149 jolerie: Valerie, I'm not sure what's up with Coco, but it's possible he caught a chill, because I took him out last week without dressing him up and the other day he really wanted me to pick him up and hold him. I usually do dress him when it's cold out, but as his natural coat has gotten quite long I thought we could get away without an extra layer for a while, but apparently my little guy is as little tolerant to the cold as I am! For some reason he's gone off his food lately, but when I made him understand tonight he wasn't getting a second option he finally scarfed down what I'd given him, so I think he's just a bit off, and should be fine soon enough.

Self-control when it comes to book-buying is something I more or less relinquished quite a while ago. Though I do keep a list going to give me a sense of perspective. Don't know how much it's helping, but I've gotten less than Paul so far this year, so I must be doing something right! :-)

>150 LovingLit: Hi Megan! I'm not sure about the T-aversary in a decade or so... we might want to rethink our book-buying strategy as a self-reward at that point, because even for nutballs like me, getting 18 books in one shot seems a little bit extreme! But then again... :-D

153-Cee-
Nov 15, 2014, 8:49pm

Oh, sweet Coco.... take good care of your little bear ;-)

Love the sock picture.
Last night Loki fell asleep with his face in one of my slippers! Didn't get a picture though.

154DeltaQueen50
Nov 15, 2014, 10:19pm

Hi Ilana, that's an adorable picture of Coco. I hope he is feeling better, he's so tiny that I hate to think of him feeling under the weather. I was happy to see you are getting An Ice Cream War for your upcoming Thingaversary. It was a favorite read of mine from last year. I was very happy that Paul added William Boyd to his BAC.

155Smiler69
Nov 15, 2014, 10:24pm

>153 -Cee-: Last night Loki fell asleep with his face in one of my slippers! Didn't get a picture though.

Ah, too bad! That would indeed have made a good pic! I can sort of imagine it though. As for my little bear, I won't be taking him out without an outer layer on anymore, poor mite. I guess I coddle him so much he can't deal with the elements like other dogs might. I just wonder when I get out there because I'm one of the few people dressing like we're in the heart of winter right now, whereas most people are still wearing early fall clothing. Go figure!

***

Spent a good 2.5 hours on Rocky, as all he's needing now is just final touches. I think one last session should do it as there's really very little left to do, just need to fix a couple of details so I can be wholly satisfied with it.

While I was at it, I finished La Petite Bijou by Patrick Modiano. A really excellent piece of short fiction, not yet translated into English but I hope his newfound worldwide fame will encourage publishers to do so soon. Another book I hope to review soon. Now it's bedtime. Off to walk Coco and various nighttime preparations, so back to my original problem: what audiobook to start on now??

156avatiakh
Nov 15, 2014, 10:28pm

So much news here on your thread to catch up on. Great that you are going to have a professional critique of your work, hopefully it will be constructive for you.

I finished The ruby in her navel a few days ago and really enjoyed it. The politics in the novel complemented some of my recent non fiction reading.

157Smiler69
Nov 15, 2014, 10:28pm

>154 DeltaQueen50: Hi Judy, guess we were cross-posting. I've really enjoyed all four William Boyd novels I've read so far, so yes, was very happy as well Paul had added him to the BAC, and since he's among those who has recommended An Ice-Cream War more than once to me, only fitting I should pick that one for the challenge! That being said, I'll add you as a recommender right away. I had Caroline also, so now you are three. Thanks so much for visiting, much appreciated!

158Smiler69
Nov 15, 2014, 10:33pm

>156 avatiakh: Hi Kerry! Lovely to have your visit—I guess right now is rush hour on LT among those who don't post often somehow! :-)

I'm really pleased you enjoyed Ruby and nice bonus that it complemented other reading of yours too.

The professional critique will be interesting, but just having another contact with a professional artist on a casual basis is pretty cool too. We've exchanged phone numbers at this point, so we'll see who contacts who next and when we're both in the mood to get out of our caves and be sociable...

159jnwelch
Nov 16, 2014, 11:23am

>151 Smiler69: Ha! Very cute photo of Monsieur Coco.

I read and liked William Boyd's Any Human Heart, and now I need to figure out another of his to read for Paul's British Author Challenge. Any suggestions?

160Smiler69
Nov 16, 2014, 11:36am

>159 jnwelch: Any suggestions?

Oh gosh, YES! You've come to the right place Joe, because so far I've read four Boyds and I'm a real fan. My two highest ratings went to Brazaville Beach, which also was my first, then Any Human Heart, I followed that up with Restless, also highly recommended and A Good Man in Africa. The latter was his first novel and also excellent. I've written reviews for all four, so if you look them up in my collection you should be able to find those. If you need help I can provide you with the links (I'm so used to snooping around fellow LTers collections I figure everyone is a dab hand like me, but maybe not?). I'll be reading An Ice-Cream War which was several times recommended to me by Paul and also by Caro and Judy, so I feel confident in suggesting that one too, albeit I obviously haven't read it yet.

Stand by for more furry kid pics. Claudia requested and I followed up!

161Smiler69
Nov 16, 2014, 12:09pm





I took these pictures this morning following a request from Claudia to see recent photos of my brood. I just posted these on FB to facilitate posting them here too. As I write there:
"My beasties Coco, Mimi and Ezra on a Sunday morning. Needless to stay, a bit of stage direction was needed. It may be cold outside, but they warm my heart."

162Smiler69
Edited: Nov 17, 2014, 11:21am



Book 209:Breakfast With Lucian: A Portrait of the Artist
or
Breakfast with Lucian: The Astounding Life and Outrageous Times of Britain's Great Modern Painter by Geordie Greig ★★★★½
Source: Audible
Read for: November TIOLI #8: a book in which a major character shares your profession (artist)
Edition: Random House Audiobooks (2013), Unabridged MP3; 8h41
Original publication date: 2013

The grandson of that famous other Freud, Sigmund, Lucian Freud became one of the most famous artists of the late 20th and early 21st century while fiercely resisting any sort of public exposure, including having his photos taken or giving interviews for most of his lifetime. Geordie Greig contrived after years of repeated efforts and conniving to secure a series of breakfast interviews with the notoriously monomaniacal artist, and also interviewed friends, former lovers and models after Freud had passed away in 2011; only at that point were they willing to break the vow of silence they had kept, which they weren't willing to breach before, even if Freud had acted in outrageous ways toward them, because somehow under the influence of the immense charm and influence he had exerted on them. Freud had not been above employing thugs to threaten journalists and reporters who had been working on biographies of him, so fear of his wrath was as effective a silencer as the rest.

His tremendous talent and the one passion which guided his whole life and to which all sacrifices were made was his art, which eventually evolved to his signature paintings of nude models, often of friends and his family, including his own children, or of people he met who were willing to pose for him over many months and for sessions lasting very long hours. As a person he seemed to have more disturbing faults than can be enumerated, and as a father probably sent all his children into lifelong therapy. His other singular passion was sex, which he reportedly indulged in as frequently as he could with little regard for convention, and consequently, of children, he had fourteen recognized daughters and sons, two from his first wife and 12 from various mistresses, but none of his children ever had much contact with him; he gave everything he had to his art and then some, always seeking to perfect himself in that single sphere of life, which ended up paying him back handsomely in the literal sense of the word. Love him and his work or hate him, he was a fascinating character, very well read and full of culture and stories. This book, both gossipy and filled with interesting tidbits and background information about some of his most well-known paintings, is a real treasure-trove and also a great treat in the audio format as narrated by John Standing, an actor and an aristocrat who might very well have been among the kind of people Freud himself would have happily associated with in his long and fruitful lifetime.

I borrowed the print edition from the library to see what I may have missed, suspecting it was probably illustrated with many of the paintings mentioned in the text and featuring pictures as well, and that is indeed the case, so I'd say both audio and book are worth getting your hands on (Farrar, Straus and Giroux (2013), Hardcover, 272 pages).

eta: completely re-writen.

163Smiler69
Edited: Nov 17, 2014, 9:19pm



Book 210:Greenwitch by Susan Cooper ★★★★⅓
Source: The Folio Society, London
Read for: November TIOLI #3: Read a novella from your TBR collection (purchased or acquired prior to 1/1/14), A Century of Books!
Edition: The Folio Society (2012), Edition: First thus, Hardcover, 136 pages.
Original publication date: 1974

The third book in Susan Cooper's The Dark is Rising trilogy follows from the first book, in which the three Drew children; Simon, Jane and Barney, get together on holiday with their mysterious Great-uncle Merriman, commonly called Gumerry. Out in an ancient boating village in Cornwall, an age-old custom of building an offering to the sea goddess made of twigs and rocks called the Greenwitch is followed every year, the creation of which only the local women can assist. Many strange events take place this year, as the ancient forces of light and evil battle it out. A truly fascinating series which draws on Arthurian legends and ancient myths.

eta: edition details added

164drachenbraut23
Nov 16, 2014, 1:18pm

>151 Smiler69:>161 Love the photos of Coco and the cats. Well, for some reason I thought "he" is a "she" and that he is bigger, but now I can see that he is tiny. He just looks absolutely adorable.

I am quite curious myself how I will feel about War and Peace I read it twice in my younger years. I absolutely loved Anna Karenina when I was in my late teens, when I reread her last year I was quite dissapointed. When I was younger I saw her as an misunderstood tragic heroine and even so that I still think she was treated badly by social constraints during that era, I just felt that she brought a lot of the troubles on herself. I also noticed at that time the charming story of Kitty and Levi, which I found much more entertaining.

Just started tonight on Ruby and will let you know what I thought about it, once I finished.

Wish you a wonderful remaining Sunday :)

165Smiler69
Edited: Dec 11, 2014, 3:37pm

(spoiler-free for those who haven't read it yet and are about to!)



Book 211:The Ruby in Her Navel by Barry Unsworth ★★★★★
Source: Audible
Read for: November TIOLI #14: Title contains an object or noun from a children's nursery rhyme or hand game
Edition: AudioGO (2007), Unabridged MP3, 12h22
Awards & Distinctions: Booker Prize Longlist (2006)
Original publication date: 2006

This book by the fine historical novelist Barry Unsworth is set in 1149 Palermo, Sicily, where power struggles between East and West have left King Roger hard pressed to maintain his throne. Both the Pope and the Bishop of Rome refuse to recognize his rule, and Conrad Hohenstaufen (ruler of the west) and Manuel Comnenus (ruler of the east) are threatening to invade Sicily to secure their powers. Palermo has always been tolerant to various ethnic communities, but a Christian group is making false accusations against Muslims, Jews, and other "outsiders" to take over power.

Thurstan Beauchamp narrates this story. He is a young man still, the son of a Norman knight and a Saxon mother. He works in the Diwan of Control, the central financial office at the palace, where his employer is Yusuf Ibn Mansur, a Muslim man with political savvy and of unimpeachable honesty who is willing to help Thurstan become influential if he can avoid falling into one of the dangerous political games the various factions are playing against each other. Traveling throughout Europe as "Purveyor of Pleasures and Shows," Thurstan finds a group of five Yazidis, including Nesrin, a belly dancer with uncommon talent, and immediately hires them to come to Palermo to perform for the king. He is drawn to Nesrin's great beauty and allure, but things take yet another turn when he meets again with the Lady Alicia on the same trip, once his great love when he was still a boy and she then just a girl also. Now she has returned from the land of Jerusalem as a widow of considerable wealth, and seems just as taken with Thurstan, who finds his love for her has not abated over the years.

Further complicating matters, we learn early on that Thurstan's most cherished dream has been to become a knight and fight in the crusades, as his father has done before him, though this opportunity was taken away from him just when it seemed about to be realised. Now with Lady Alicia's return on the scene, many opportunities beckon. The novel builds up at a moderate pace, all the while filled with period details which inform us about aspects of daily life in 12th century Palermo. Thurstan, narrating in the first person from the vantage point of a period after the events have taken place, is a personable main character, whom we cannot help but empathise with though he makes many grave gaffes and mistakes, and much as his naivety and youth show he has yet much to learn, we see the events though his eyes before he had gained the advantage of hindsight, so that the reader is offered only glimpses of the whole, until a complex mystery is revealed.

A jewel of a book which I can't wait to reread to pick up on all the fine intricate details I may have missed the first time. I also loved Andrew Sachs' narration in the audio version. A well-earned five stars for this gem.

eta: Rewrote first two paragraphs.

166Smiler69
Nov 16, 2014, 1:40pm

>164 drachenbraut23: Hi Bianca, I'm loving your visits! As you can see I was deep into my review of Ruby when you left your message. Of course I will perfectly understand if you don't want to read it now. I wouldn't myself if I were you. Thrilled though you've finally picked it up and hope you like it at least almost as much as I did (don't expect everyone to find it a 5-star read!)

I loved your comments about Anna Karenina (it's the real touchstone!) because it looks like you and I both went through very similar paths with it. I fist read it when I was 12 and like you fell in love with her as a tragic heroine. I think I read it again twice more and loved it still, and then reading it again at the start of this year, again, felt similarly as you about it, like she'd brought on so much of it on herself. Also like you, the romance between Kitty and Levi didn't seem so charming anymore. And also... all the politics about the peasants and the farming frankly bored me to death, even though somehow I've been reading Turgenev since and his Fathers and Sons for example, which is practically ONLY about that, absolutely blew me away, in the sense that I really loved it, so obviously a lot of it has to do with style and approach.

167Smiler69
Edited: Nov 17, 2014, 9:39pm



Book 212:Not My Father's Son by Alan Cumming ★★★★½
Source: National Library OverDrive Collection
Read for: November TIOLI #14: Title contains an object or noun from a children's nursery rhyme or hand game
Edition: HarperAudio (2014), Unabridged MP3; 6h28
Original publication date: October 2014

I've always loved Alan Cumming as a performer and listened to him narrate several audiobooks, so it was a certainty I was going to get this autobiographical memoir as an audiobook to get to hear his voice in all senses of the word, and his lovely Scottish brogue to top it all. The story he has to tell here is far from being a fairy tale. Or in any case, if it's a fairy tale, it centres mostly on the bad bits, where the princess (or in this case, the prince) gets locked up in a castle and beaten mercilessly. His cruel father was a head forester of a country estate; evidently not a well man, he terrorised his two sons and his wife with his frequent irrational and violent mood swings, which as Alan Cumming puts it, taught him to act from an early age, that is, to hide his true feelings to protect himself. But the book isn't all a sob story, far from it. He alternates between the past and the filming in 2010 of a BBC show called Who Do You Think You Are? a genealogy documentary series for which, in each episode, a celebrity goes on a journey to trace his or her family tree. In this case, Alan's maternal grandfather had died quite young under mysterious circumstances and it was a sure bet that if the producers had taken him on for the show, there was going to be a big reveal at the end of filming, which was done in a kind of reality TV style, with revelations delivered on camera. Cumming has taken plenty of time to work on himself as he nears his 50th year and he obviously has done a very good job at seeking closure and accepting what life has handed him, the good along with the bad. I don't read many biographies, but as far as celebrity biographies go, I'd say this one is written by someone with a really good head on his shoulders who obviously sees there is a life beyond the flashbulbs, the stage-lights and the fame. Strongly recommended.

eta: edition details added + minor edits.

168msf59
Nov 16, 2014, 2:40pm

Happy Sunday, Ilana! I am glad to see the interest in War and Peace growing. Remind me again, in a couple weeks and I will start the thread. I still have to get my audio version. Downpour has a rental version for 8 bucks. I like the idea of renting an audio, since I really don't keep my audios.

Good review of The Ruby in Her Navel. I have never read Unsworth. It looks like I should.

169EBT1002
Nov 16, 2014, 4:10pm

Hi Ilana! I hope your Sunday has been going well.

Nice review of The Ruby in Her Navel. I've not heard of that before.

I think I'm going to add Not My Father's Son to my audio library as I have several credits with Audible. Alan Cumming does the introduction for Masterpiece Mystery and I absolutely love listening to his Scottish brogue. He also has a wonderful sly single-eyebrow raise that he does. Devilish and adorable. So listening to him narrate his own book sounds perfect. Maybe I can complete it in less than eight months. Ha.

Touchstones are not working. Sigh.

170evilmoose
Nov 16, 2014, 4:32pm

Ooh, I've been thinking of re-reading War and Peace for ages, after first reading it when I was 16 or 17. Now all I can really remember of it is skipping over a lot of battle scenes, and having trouble keeping track of the hordes of characters. Joining in with others in a re-read would be great fun!

171LizzieD
Nov 16, 2014, 4:48pm

Hi, Ilana. Thanks for the lovely pictures of Coco and Cats - they are sweeties! I need to update you on all of our furry ones. Anyway, I hope that Coco has come out of his doldrums and is eating with gusto.
I've read a bit more than 50 pp. of *Ruby*, and I'm raring to go, but I have a bit fewer than 100 pp. left of the Decca letters, so I'm concentrating on that. I do so recommend them - she was a writer and a compelling Character (that's "character" with a Capital C, you understand).
I'm excited that you have 2 good ones in your basket for your T'aversary. I'm also very excited to see the final Rocky portrait. YaY!

172Smiler69
Edited: Nov 16, 2014, 5:52pm

Well, I'd started listening to Bitter Greens by Kate Forsyth last night (touchstones are off this evening, how AWFUL!), set in the 17th century, when a 47 year-old woman and author who publishes under a nom de plumme who has lived most of her life in King Louis XIV's court is banished to a convent, against her will. But shortly after picking it up, I though "oh no!" but decided I'd go ahead anyway, but I realized today it just won't work at this time, only because I'm reading another book about life at a convent in the 16th century, Sacred Hearts by Sarah Dunant, in which a 16-year old girl is interned in an Italian convent, also against her will.

Both seem like fascinating reads so far, and at first I thought "oh well, perhaps this isn't too bad, I'll try to keep the stories straight, besides which it'll only reinforce the idea in my mind of how common it was for women to be sent to convents against their will". But then of course, details were getting mixed up in my mind and since I've made more progress on Dunant's book already, I'm putting off the Kate Forsyth until the first convent story is well over as would be a shame to confuse them both. So I've moved on to a Bernice Rubens on audio for now, Nine Lives which has started off in a very promising, if rather ghoulish way as well, though I did expect that from the synopsis and a couple of reviews I'd read.

***

>168 msf59: Hi Mark! Yes indeed, seems like the interest in War and Peace just keeps on growing. I guess you can't miss when it comes to huge classics. There are always going to be lots of people who will have put it off forever like you and I, and then those who are keen for a reread, so we might keep this beginning of year giant masterpiece thing going for a while yet! :-)

Glad you're intrigued by The Ruby in Her Navel. Barry Unsworth, from the couple of books I've read so far, was a truly great author. He also won the Booker Prize in 1992 with Scared Hunger and I'd been wanting to get to that one for a while, which is why I finally got it for myself as an advance T-aversary purchase this week.

>169 EBT1002: Hi Ellen, I must say I'm really pleased with the weekend, as pain levels were well within tolerable limits, especially yesterday when I was as close to pain-free as I've been in the last year, which was really amazing. Today feel some pain, but again, it's within acceptable limits so all's well. Not so well is that my very expensive, super duper high quality 100% down Italian winter coat isn't doing such a great job at keeping me nice and toasty and we're just starting winter, so I'll have to go back to the store and ask them what they can do for me, even though the 2-week return limit has passed for several weeks already. But even with TWO sweaters underneath and thermal layer today I was still feeling the chill. Yikes!

I think you'll enjoy Not My Father's Son. I thought the construction was interesting, as both the past and recent stories were interwoven for a purpose and he came off in the end as being an awfully decent person who has come out of adversity with flying colours and with the best outlook one could ever hope for. I was really impressed and am looking forward to your comments on it. That being said, I'll expect to wait at least a couple of months for those, though it is a rather short book at just 6.5 hours, so should take you rather less than 8 months!

>170 evilmoose: Hi Megan, lovely to have your visit! Sounds like a reread in the next couple of months might be good timing for War and Peace; there are several books I read at that age that I'm eager to return to which I'm sure I'll respond to very differently, if only because of the life experience I've gained since. Endless battle scenes though... I've never been keen on and I doubt I'll be thrilled with now either. As for hordes of characters, I'll probably mostly be listening to this one on audio, but I do have the Penguin Classics Deluxe edition with a list of principal characters I'll keep handy somewhere—no doubt there are plenty of online resources for secondary recurring characters as well.

>171 LizzieD: Peggy, hi! Glad you liked my furry brood. Can't say they were exactly natural when I grabbed those shots as I did arrange them a little so I'd have them in pairs (hopeless to get all three in one shot as Ezra never wants to get close to Coco), but then again, animals are always just being themselves, aren't they? You do need to update everyone on your kitty situation, so I'll be looking out for that post on your threat soon. WITH PHOTOS PLEASE!!! I'll add the Decca letters to the wishlist once the touchstones are working again as you've certainly sold me on them. Still remember that goldmine!

Why'd you say just 2 in the basket? Last time I looked there were 3 in there, or are you not a Dangerous Liaisons fan? In which case something must be done about it!

eta: small edits and typo fixes.

173lkernagh
Nov 16, 2014, 7:56pm

Good grief, I am so far behind with your thread, Ilana! I don't have much to add to the great conversation except that I had to really look hard at the poppy picture before I saw anything strange about it..... I guess I have seen too many poppies in my mom's garden and didn't see the unopened pods as anything but, unopened pods. ;-)

I am looking forward to the January group read of War and Peace. Good idea suggesting to Mark that it should span two months, otherwise I won't have a chance to also read books for the AAC and the BAC.

>151 Smiler69: - Sorry to see that Coco is under the weather. What an adorable picture!

Wonderful review of The Ruby in Her Navel. Not sure I am up for attempting any Unsworth, but you do make it sound appealing.

174EBT1002
Nov 16, 2014, 11:23pm

>172 Smiler69: "...pain levels were well within tolerable limits..."
HOORAY! I'm so glad you got to have a relatively pain-free weekend, Ilana.

I'm looking forward to listening to Alan Cumming and I will get through it in less than 8 months! :-D

And, for the record, I'm skipping the War and Peace group read. xo

175jolerie
Nov 17, 2014, 10:27am

I'm so glad you are liking the Susan Cooper series. I remember being so surprised that I enjoyed the series as much as I did. Since it was a YA/children's book, I wasn't expecting much but I found the books thoroughly addicting. One of my favourites! :)

176avatiakh
Nov 17, 2014, 12:06pm

Loved reading through your reviews. i understand about the Dunant and Bitter Greens conflict, I'm finding that with my current read of Goddess, which is about a real life 17th century French woman who spends time at court and in a convent so the book is similar to Bitter Greens but pales in comparison. i do want to finish it but will read a couple of others in the meantime.
I liked Nine Lives, it was quite different from her others I think. i'm reading Paul Cleave's The Cleaner at present where the reader is in the head of the serial killer, not always the best place to be.

177Smiler69
Nov 17, 2014, 12:07pm

>173 lkernagh: Hi Lori, no worries, easy enough to fall behind here, considering some days tend to fill up really fast with my own posts! I really went at it this weekend between my kiddies and slowly catching up on my backlog of reviews.

Glad to know we have another War and Peace recruit. Mark personally doesn't believe in the two-month schedule (for his own needs, that is), but I think he understands not everyone will be reading it at the same rate as he will! For all I know I might follow the same rate as him, or similar, since sometimes when I read a really big book and alternate between print and audio I manage to get through it pretty fast, but we'll see when we get there since I might also be tempted to alternate with other things if I'm not completely taken in, what with lots of battle scenes and all (which I might be tempted to skip over... oh horrors!)

Coco seems a bit better. Still being a bit finicky about his food, but eating all the same.

I think you might actually quite like The Ruby in Her Navel. It's very readable. I'd say quite an easy read really. It's proper literature, but definitely entertaining as well!

>174 EBT1002: Ellen, I can't tell you how wonderful it is to get a couple of days here and there when the pain is decreased and I can just be a normal person.

No troubles about skipping War and Peace. I skipped it for many long years, but I was always going to read it eventually. Not everyone has to want to; and I'll still love you. ♥︎

>175 jolerie: Valerie, I'm surprised you thought you wouldn't like the Susan Cooper series just because they were YA/Children's books, especially since you seem to really enjoy YA, but maybe that wasn't always the case? Do enlighten me please! I'm not entirely sure now how I heard about them, probably a combination of recommendations from friends here on LT, but I think I actually saw the series on the Folio Society site first, illustrated by Laura Carlin, an artist I like quite a lot, and I researched them from there. Then I got the first book, Over Sea, Under Stone on audio to see if I'd like it, and I did, very much so, and when they went on sale at FS I got them all. You can look at them here: http://www.foliosociety.com/search by typing in 'dark is rising'. They've actually sold out of The Dark is Rising itself though. NOT on sale right now, so don't freak out at the prices, it's just for window gazing! :-)

178jolerie
Nov 17, 2014, 12:23pm

Oh wow...............window shopping is right!! I just don't know how anyone could afford those kind of prices. Of course if the prices were anywhere near affordable, I would be all over it. They are beautiful no doubt about it!
Regarding YA/Children books. There was a big long chunk of my life where I was a book snob and thought why would I want to read books about teenagers who think their lives are miserable and the world is coming to end..drama, drama, drama! Just before I joined LT a few years back, I decided to give the genre another try and to my surprise I found that I didn't find as annoying as I thought I would. Of course I have to space my reading apart so I'm not just reading about teenage angst all the the live long day. That might just turn me off from it again. ;) There are definitely some YA books that are of a different calibre and when you find those gems, it makes reading all the typical fare ones worth it!

179Smiler69
Nov 17, 2014, 12:26pm

>176 avatiakh: Hi Kerry, I can't tell you how chuffed I am to get these visits and comments from you, totally unexpected as I know you're away and I didn't think I'd have the pleasure. 'Chuffed' by the way comes from a former British bf, Rob, who was really a dear. We had endless cups of tea because I was always getting into a huff about something, and he, ever so patient would say,
"Now Smiler, how about we have a nice cup of tea?" in a really nice quiet voice, and of course that would right away calm me down. He's the one who started calling me Smiler, and as I always kept fond memories of him and our time together. Sorry, got a bit OT (off topic) there.

I will always associate Bernice Rubens with you, since when was it? 2011? When your categories challenge included her and you were reviewing her books regularly and they all sounded exactly like the kind of literature that would appeal to me, and I started buying a few then. I'm finally getting to them now. There's always a great delay, but also a great reward when I finally get there! I don't know that I find Nine Lives so very different from the others really. I know what you mean, but I recognize her completely and it's not such a stretch from The Waiting Game or A Five Year Sentence really with the very overt macabre overtones in both those novels, just, I guess pushed to the extreme here. It was written in the fullness of her years when she was nearing her end and we were in the noughties, so maybe she had no reservations at that point about overt murder and even violence, though she does keep it all rather clean and as tasteful as is possible, all things considered. (I'll save all these bits for my review I think!)

I thought it might have been an interesting exercise, intellectually speaking to read Bitter Greens and Sacred Hearts side by side and make comparisons, and sort of steep myself in this age, centuries really, when women were kept in convents whether they liked it or not; unfortunately I don't have the mental strength or acuity to keep all the details from jumping from one story into the other, and I thought it wouldn't be fair to either author to dilute their stories that way because of my lack or intellectual sharpness.

180jnwelch
Nov 17, 2014, 2:41pm

>160 Smiler69: Thanks, Ilana. Brazzaville Beach it is.

>161 Smiler69: :-)

>163 Smiler69: I loved her Dark is Rising series when I read it, including this one. They made a disappointing movie based on it that entirely missed the atmosphere she created.

181-Cee-
Nov 17, 2014, 7:59pm

Thanks for the lovely pictures of my favorite Canadian furkids :-)
They are all adorable! As usual. I just love to see them every once in awhile - all snuggly cute.

So glad your head has given you a few good days. Of course, I am hoping for many more.
Hope you can get that "super-duper" coat sorted out. I can't imagine a down coat being anything but super-duper HOT! It may be slightly past the return period, but how are you supposed to know if it will be warm and comfortable until the cold weather gets there? Oh, and thanks so much for sending some cold Canadian air this way. LOVE it!

182Smiler69
Nov 17, 2014, 9:13pm

>178 jolerie: Valerie, most people can't afford those prices, which is why FS have those clever payment plans, which allow you to pay in instalments over 3, 5 or 10 months, depending on the total amount of the transaction. I've usually availed myself of this option, and am in fact paying for my latest order that way, yet again, otherwise couldn't possibly pay for the books, even at discounted prices. Being a Folio Devotee is a form of madness, I'll not deny it! :-)

Now I understand the earlier comment you made about the Susan Cooper series. I guess we had similar paths, because before joining this group I don't believe I read any YA fiction at all and hardly any children's literature other than Alice's Adventures in Wonderland and The Wind in the Willows maybe, bona fide classics of that sort that endure through the decades. I still struggle a bit with the YA teenage angst thing and do sometimes drop books partway through when that gets on my nerves, but I'm much more open to YA than I was before. Still though, in relatively small doses, though this summer I went through a period when I went through quite a lot of them and really enjoyed them in all impunity!

>180 jnwelch: Joe, I'd say that a good choice, I really enjoyed Brazzaville Beach, but I'm curious what made you choose that one in particular?

Thanks for your comments on the Dark is Rising movie adaptation. I was considering borrowing it from the library eventually, but I won't waste my time if it's a dud.

>181 -Cee-: Glad you enjoyed the pics Claudia. I always consider myself lucky to get my regular dose from my brood and am all to happy to share them with friends!

Head not so good tonight, but a couple of days in a row was pretty good, and I can only hope for more. I'm seeing the dentist tomorrow downtown, and the clinic happens to be very close to Ogilvy's where I got my "super-duper" coat, so I'll go in and ask them what they can do for me. I was out today, miserable weather, with unending wet snow and cold enough temps, and somehow felt nice and toasty in my coat this time. Go figure. Coco was a miserable tyke though, poor thing. I put his booties on for the first time this season and they got soaked through and he kept losing the same one and hopping around on three legs, and I felt cruel making him come with me all the way to Atwater Market, which I usually consider to be a treat for both of us, since we get to hang out and he gets a nice walk out of it, but today I ended up carrying him most of the time which he seemed to be grateful for.

***

I basically rewrote my review in >162 Smiler69: Breakfast With Lucian: A Portrait of the Artist earlier today, which might end up happening with the other reviews I posted yesterday. I usually type out a first draft and then spend time fixing that, which I didn't do yesterday to try to get them out there within a decent time period, but then going back I spot so many things I simply MUST fix. Maybe the other ones won't require so much work. But the Freud review will end up on my blog, and I always rework them quite a bit there, so maybe there won't be so much to do when I eventually post it there next...

183Smiler69
Edited: Nov 17, 2014, 9:55pm

Update

7th Thingaversary Purchases
(Coming November 25th)

1. Les Liaisons Dangereuses 2007 Folio Society edition
2. The Ice-Cream War by William Boyd
3. Sacred Hunger by Barry Unsworth
4. Decca: The Letters of Jessica Mitford Edited by Peter Sussman - Rec'd by LizzieD
5. ♫ Family Matters by Rohinton Mistry
6.
7.
8.

Total books purchased to date: 302

184souloftherose
Nov 18, 2014, 6:29am

>161 Smiler69: There can never be too many photos of Coco, Ezra and Mimi :-) I hope Coco is feeling better.

>165 Smiler69: For some reason, historical fiction isn't really calling to me at the moment (although I guess I am reading a lot of Heyer) but Barry Unsworth and The Ruby in Her Navel are duly noted for whenever I feel like reading it again.

>183 Smiler69: Another couple of books decided on and I see you've succumbed to Peggy's recommdation of Decca :-) I'm reading another of Nancy Mitford's novels at the moment and starting to wonder whether I find the Mitfords themselves more interesting than their fiction as with the exception of The Pursuit of Love and Love in a Cold Climate they've just been ok. I do want to start reading the biographies and letters.

185scaifea
Nov 18, 2014, 6:45am

Ditto what Valerie said about the Copper series - I'm so glad you like them! I *loved* them when I read them all a few years ago.

186jnwelch
Nov 18, 2014, 1:07pm

>182 Smiler69: I picked Brazzaville Beach because in >160 Smiler69: you said it and Any Human Heart (which I read) received your two highest ratings.

Yes, the Dark is Rising film is a dud. I think it would just make you mad. It did me.

187Smiler69
Edited: Nov 18, 2014, 2:15pm

Dentist appointment soon. Nothing special, just a cleaning, and as I've been very good about flossing, it should go quite well I hope. I'll make myself go to Ogilvy's afterwards to ask them quite innocently what they can do about my "super-duper" Italian designer 100% fleece coat which is supposed to keep me super toasty but even now when it's only gone to -3 C (26.6 F), I've felt chilled, WITH long-sleeve t + cashmere sweater + wool tights + jeans + hat + scarf + gloves + boots on & obviously + coat on. Doesn't compute. I mean, I do dress up more than most people out there, so obviously am more sensitive to the cold than most, but still, if it's supposed to be one of the warmest coats on the market, and among the most expensive to boot, then it should keep me warm in this weather, still early on in the season, shouldn't it? I really love the coat in terms of fit and coverage and it's very flattering on me, but we live in the arctic here... The 2-week return period is long past; that was over a month ago, but this is a luxury store and as my father said, they usually do all they can to have satisfied customers, so as per his suggestion I'll just go in and tell them my problem and ask them what they can do for me, and see what transpires (though am bringing my receipt in case it's needed). Do hate the thought of having to return the coat, I really do.

Ugh sorry about that long tirade.

***

>184 souloftherose: Glad you feel that way about photos of my beasties, Heather! :-)

I'd say Heyer counts as historical fiction. I've really been hesitant to jump back into her stuff though, not sure why. Obviously I have no problem with romance (though I was sure I did), since I'm enjoying Love-Letters so much, and I did love the first book I read by her, These Old Shades, but for some reason got turned off Frederica, which still hasn't stopped me from collecting more and more (and MORE) books from her (have no less than ELEVEN titles by Georgette Heyer at this point!), so I'd better get cracking soon eh?!

Haven't read Love in a Cold Climate yet, but then I think I want to re-read The Pursuit of Love before I move on to it. It hasn't been that long since I listened to it, but I did get both as Folios last year and I feel like I'll enjoy it more in book form, so I'll try to make room for them both in 2015. Haven't read any of the other Mifords yet, though do have The Sun King, yet again by Nancy M—but non-fiction this time—on the shelves, as well as Wait for Me! by Debo M. Would like to get my hands on Hons and Rebels too, and almost got my hands on a reasonably priced 2nd hand Folio once, but balked, not knowing much about it, and it being still not exactly cheap. Have heard so much about the sisters via this group that am also curious to read much more about them!

>185 scaifea: Amber, so far am just a bit mystified as to why it is that I was least taken with The Dark is Rising itself, which as I understand it, tends to be the great favourite of the series. But then I've decided to reserve judgment till I've completed the series and reread it all over again, at which point only will I be in a position to have a truly informed opinion I think. Obviously, this may take a while! :-)

>186 jnwelch: Joe, in all honesty, I may have loved Brazzaville Beach so much solely because it had animals it in, which is definitely a bittersweet experience in this case, so do be warned. Also being my first experience of a fantastic author, I was very much taken. I hope you are as impressed as I was. If not, there are plenty of other great ones where that came from.

Confirmed dud eh? Woof! Growl! Kwack! Yeowl! Groan... Nope, won't waste my time on that one. :-}

188lunacat
Nov 18, 2014, 2:21pm

>187 Smiler69: I didn't like Frederica either - my favourite is still The Reluctant Widow which was the first I read by her. I'm not sure why I haven't read more as they are my mum's comfort reads and so we had all of them in the house, but I always assumed I wouldn't like them. I should try some more, but I keep going back to my favourite instead.

I'm always cold so I don't know how you survive in Canada. I really need to get a better 'normal' coat as opposed to my yard coat. I have found gilets/bodywarmers to be a good compromise in keeping me warm underneath a coat although they do bulk you out slightly. The one I wear most often is similar to this:



with 700 goosedown fill. Mine was around £100 but they've gone up somewhat in price now to about £130, but it works wonderfully as you can adjust the top layer depending on the weather, while not having to have a million different coats - I either wear a lightweight waterproof over the top, or a thicker waterproof coat for full warmth and rain resistance.

189Smiler69
Nov 18, 2014, 2:25pm

>188 lunacat: You know Jenny, this might be perverse, but I'm almost hoping they'll tell me that is truly their warmest coat of all (and they have an amazing selection of very warm coats from around the world and local very trusted manufacturers as well, for polar expeditions, etc!) so that I'll just have to keep it and experiment with shells and whatever. Weird. I just really love the coat. But still, must investigate.

Also must get myself to dentist. Running late as always!

190lunacat
Nov 18, 2014, 2:57pm

>189 Smiler69: Well hopefully it truly is the best coat!

And dentist........urgh. Don't remind me - went yesterday and am having to have three further appointments in the next three weeks. My teeth are really weak, and my high sugar diet doesn't help, so my mouth is a bit of a mess. Plus I absolutely loath going after some really inappropriate behaviour from one dentist (sexual advances and inappropriateness) and extremely harsh comments from another one. My dentist now is reasonable enough but I can't help massive anxiety attacks whenever I have to go.

191connie53
Nov 18, 2014, 3:11pm

I love those pictures of your cute dog and the cats. Adorable.

192msf59
Nov 18, 2014, 6:47pm

Copied from my thread: Hi Ilana! I love the idea of Giant Masterpieces. I've kicked off at least 3 different years with one and see no reason why we shouldn't continue.
If you would like to host the G.R. of War and Peace, be my guest. You know I am always juggling one or 2 things. My suggestion, would be to wait until Jim posts the 2015 Challenge and then jump on the new thread, but it is up to you.

I am already eye-balling The Count of Monte Cristo for 2016. LOL.

193jnwelch
Nov 20, 2014, 10:32am

I'm switching to Restless, Ilana, after your comments. Looks like I might enjoy it more.

I love The Count of Monte Cristo!

194Smiler69
Nov 20, 2014, 11:28am

Have another appointment with the dentist scheduled in December to redo a filling and also to fix my nightguard which I can't wear presently as it squeezes the inner portion of my cheek which I then bite down on, so he may be able to fix that. The interview with the lovely young man who sold me my coat went well and I took advantage of it to flirt with him outrageously, but he had to take it to his manager to see what could be done for me about an exchange or refund, and I'm not so confident she will be able to do much for me according to what he said after speaking to her, given I've been wearing it for a while now, but I will email her and see what transpires. It seems Canada Goose coats are reputed to be the warmest of all, but the one I got has many satisfied customers who keep buying them over the years. I'm just freakishly sensitive to the cold obviously.

Finished Bernice Rubens's Nine Lives yesterday, then jumped into The Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes on audio, which I will take in one story at a time between other things. After the first story, Silver Blaze, decided to start Stone Mattress by Margaret Atwood, also a series of short stories, which I'll listen to in one go. Atwood's The Edible Woman was the deal of the day Wednesday on Audible and looking to see what else they had released by her, I saw Oryx and Crake was finally available on audio. Apparently it had been since 2003, just not in Canada. Narrated by Campbell Scott, whom I enjoy quite a lot, so even if I already have it as an eBook (gotten on special) I spent a credit on it too, but won't count it as one of my T-aversary books (cheating already, yes).

In pain. Just took Fiorinal and hoping for the best.

***

>190 lunacat: Jenny, I've yet to speak to anyone who enjoys visits to the dentist. But it does sound like you've had an especially difficult time of it lately. Hope things go better for you soon. My teeth aren't in great shape either but for now I'm lucky that I have insurance covering my visits and most interventions at 90% of the cost (till the day I turn 65, when all bets are off). I'm always extremely nervous sitting in that chair, even when it's just for a cleaning and all those instruments make hellish noises for my migraine, but I snuck Coco in this week and the hygienist was delighted and let me keep him on my lap so I was able to pet his soft ear while the whir of that infernal cleaning tool was going (and my teeth are so sensitive, like all the rest!) which really helped to lower my stress and also let the Fiorinal I'd taken just before going do its work. Coco was as calm and composed as ever.

>191 connie53: Very glad you enjoyed my cat & dog pics Connie!

>192 msf59: It does seem like the Giant Masterpieces are here to stay, Mark. I think it's a great way to kick off the year. I'll be happy to take the admin part of War and Peace off your hands since you do always have quite a lot to look after, and will start an advance thread soon, just an intro thing really, so people can declare their intention to participate. Then yes, as soon as the 2015 group is up, will get the official thread going.

I LOVED The Count of Monte Cristo. Just listened to it on this excellent original French audio exactly one year ago last November actually, so doubt I'll join in as soon as Jan 2016, but as it's now a favourite, I just might go for a reread that soon, who knows?

>193 jnwelch: Joe, by comments, do you mean my reviews? Either way, doesn't matter; you can't go wrong. Restless is really excellent, and I'm sure you'll love it.

I saw the movie version of The Count of Monte Cristo (the French one) many a year before I ever got to the book and both proved to be a real treat. I'm only sorry I deleted the library copy of the audiobook from my hard drive after I listened to it. I did that out of principle, but really, when they are books I know I will want to listen to again, am I doing any harm if I keep them? I'll definitely borrow and copy it again, in any case.

195lunacat
Nov 20, 2014, 12:02pm

Well, dentist not the greatest, getting a porcelain crown on a lower front tooth so there was some drilling and a temporary crown today, but I got told I was a superstar patient as I didn't have an injection but stayed really really still and didn't even flinch when she touched the nerve. I just hate the injections so much I'd rather have the nerve pain! Don't think it saved much time as they kept stopping to see if I was alright, but I felt better for it.

Bless Coco, I bet he was wondering what all the fuss was about. I'd love to be able to take a cat in but a) it wouldn't be allowed and b) they'd run for the hills!

196Smiler69
Nov 20, 2014, 1:12pm

>195 lunacat: Goodness gracious!!! I hate the injections too, but no way would I let them do anything without it, I'd be jumping to the ceiling if they were doing anything next to a live nerve! I can't imagine how you managed it, you must be stronger than you think Jenny!

Just for the record, dogs aren't allowed at my dentist's either. I just snuck him in hidden away with my dog carrier and once we were there, there wasn't much they could do about it. I get away with it because a) he's so small b) he's so quiet c) he's so darn cute. Not necessarily in that order. Also, because I don't ask permission, I just do it. ;-)

197scaifea
Nov 21, 2014, 6:37am

De-lurking to say that I just had two filling re-filled yesterday, so I sympathize. I do love my new dentist's office, though - the folks are so friendly and it's very state-of-the-art, which comforts me.

198jolerie
Nov 21, 2014, 6:56pm

Haha...the universe must have been in some kind of weird dental alignment because I was also at the dentist. Routine cleaning. Was told I need to remove my two remaining wisdom teeth and I've run out of excuses to delay the inevitable. :/

199Smiler69
Edited: Nov 22, 2014, 3:05pm

I've been listening to Stone Mattress these past couple of days, the latest short story collection by Margaret Atwood. It's very good and works very well on audio too, with a different narrator for each story. I'll probably finish it today and I'm glad I made room for it sooner than later, mostly because Mamie raved about it on her own thread. I planned for a selection of audiobooks this month I'm equally eager to get to, so it's been hard to choose which to go for, so much so that I've been tempted to go off the list altogether a few times (a rebel spirit can never quite be tamed).

Feeling out of sorts today, gastric troubles and incredibly fatigued. Had a nap yesterday afternoon, which I thought would be my usual 45 minutes to an hour, but ended up taking up the whole afternoon, and I'm still very groggy today. Supposed to get together with Liselotte (my 95-year old friend) and called earlier to say wasn't sure could make it, but I think I'll make a special effort since she'll be leaving in 10 days for several months and she's a real social butterfly and as such hard to pin down for a visit. She just likes to keep me there for as long as she can once I go over and I'd really like to keep the visit short, so I'll see if that is feasible.

eta: off to see Liselotte shortly for... a short visit? We'll see about that.

***

>197 scaifea: Amber, I'be been seeing my dentist for over 20 years—it's a family practice my cousin has married into, and they're all extremely friendly as well, and are also constantly keeping up with the latest technology. No matter what though, I still can't stand sitting in that chair and hearing the whirr of those tools! So having Coco was really the best stress reliever I'd ever had, even if the dental hygienist was incredibly friendly, as they all are, so the extra extra bonus is she was delighted I'd sneaked him in. :-)

>198 jolerie: I guess we were all timed Valerie. I had all four wisdom teeth pulled out at once when I was 19. They gave me so much painkillers I was in a fog for a few days afterwards, my cheeks inflated to at least three times their normal size. Definitely wouldn't want to repeat that experience again!

200msf59
Nov 22, 2014, 6:39pm

Happy Saturday, Ilana! That is great news about Stone Mattress. Now, you have me seriously thinking about the audio. I LOVED the last 2 Maddadam books on audio. I have not read any of her short fiction yet. I am itchin'...

201lunacat
Nov 22, 2014, 6:51pm

Thankfully my wisdom teeth are about the only teeth I haven't had problems with. All four came through with no issues whatsoever, and I've still got them.

I'm currently sporting a really ugly temporary silver crown on one of my incisors that will be replaced with a porcelain crown in a couple of weeks. I so hate the dentist :( I think most of my problems stem from a) weak enamel which has been confirmed by a dentist and b) poor previous dental hygiene. I hate things in my mouth, hate the taste of mint, and loathe the taste and tingling sensation of toothpaste (all for personal reasons to do with what I told you once in a PM). It's incredibly difficult for me to force myself to look after my teeth, even though I live in constant dread of them deteriorating - so much so that I have nightmares about feeling them crack and crumble.

Isn't it awful, when you are in terror of something happening, but also in terror of the thing that can stop it occurring?

That's probably why I don't like injections in my mouth - I don't like the lack of control it leaves me feeling. I'd rather feel the pain and know what's going on!

202EBT1002
Nov 23, 2014, 2:08am

>179 Smiler69: I've always wondered about the name "Smiler" and now I know! Very cool.

>199 Smiler69: Sorry for the out of sorts day. I hope Sunday is better!

>201 lunacat: "That's probably why I don't like injections in my mouth..."
Wait. One needs to have a reason for this? Isn't this dislike simply hard-wired and universal? I'm just sayin'.

203Donna828
Nov 23, 2014, 1:53pm

Hi Ilana, sorry to hear about your warm coat woes. The older I get, the warmer I get. I'm pleased with this in the winter because I can get by in our fairly moderate temperatures with a light jacket but I do suffer through the humid summers. I really enjoyed listening to Munro's short stories in Runaway when I was driving home from Denver last January in snowy conditions. I could listen to a story and pause the book while I pondered it. With a novel, I feel compelled to keep listening… Hey, it worked for me and allowed me to concentrate better on my driving because I didn't have to keep a lot of details in my head.

I hope you are having a pleasant--and warm--Sunday!

204Smiler69
Nov 23, 2014, 7:43pm

Finished Stone Mattress last night. Definitely 4 stars at least. Started on this year's Booker Prize winner, The Narrow Road to the Deep North by Richard Flanagan this afternoon, but was rather distracted for the first half hour, so will start from the top as I set out to do an hour or two of drawing this evening.

I met with Pierre last week, my artist neighbour I first met at his vernissage recently, and showed him my drawings over at his place. He was very impressed with my Metro series and very encouraging as well about my drawing abilities. He's already been over at my place for tea and brought me a nice smooth kind of drawing paper to try out. He's also asked me to be his official English teacher as he wants to perfect his English (which is already very good) so he can approach galleries in Toronto to sell his work, so we talk on the phone quite a lot, always in English. I can see having a professional artist as a friend is going to have a good influence on me as far as encouraging me to concentrate more on my artwork.

***

>200 msf59: Mark, now I have all three Maddadam books on audio, there's a good chance I'll finally get to them sooner than later!

>201 lunacat: Jenny, I'm with Ellen, you really don't need a reason to hate getting injections in your mouth, they're nasty no matter what, the difference being most people would rather put up with the temporary discomfort of getting one than the longer suffering of going without.

>202 EBT1002: Sunday was much better Ellen. Much of it spent on the phone with Pierre, so now I'm itching to get away from the computer and unplugged and get drawing!

>203 Donna828: Donna, I'm hoping I just have to go through an acclimatization period with the cold season upon us and things will get better for me and my new coat. I was looking at Alice Munro on audio just yesterday, but then have quite a few of her books in print and eBooks, mostly purchased at full price, so unless I can get them from the library as audiobooks, don't think I'll be spending credits, though would be nice in that format I'm sure.

Weather was warmish today considering how cold it was last week, which made for a nice break!

205qebo
Nov 23, 2014, 8:55pm

>204 Smiler69: Lurking more than you're aware, but I often can't get words organized as I'm perusing the threads in odd moments... Regular conversation with another artist is encouraging!

206PaulCranswick
Nov 24, 2014, 5:21am

Just a quick catch up my dear. Will be interested to see what you make of the Booker winner as I expect it to be a good read.

207msf59
Nov 24, 2014, 7:26am

Hi Ilana! Hope you enjoyed your weekend and squeezed in plenty of reading.

208qebo
Nov 24, 2014, 5:49pm

FYI, I just started reading the October 6 New Yorker, where there's a Talk of the Town bit about this artist who photographs people at art fairs, rearranges them in photoshop, and converts them into paintings. The people are recognizable. (The paintings sell for multiples of $100,000.) Thought of you and your metro series troubles with the gallery.

209souloftherose
Nov 25, 2014, 4:08pm

>204 Smiler69: 'He was very impressed with my Metro series and very encouraging as well about my drawing abilities.'

Hooray! Part of me thinks, of course he was impressed, but I know I know nothing about art really.

Nothing compared to where you are but it has just got cold here (as opposed to a bit chilly). I hope you either get acclimatised or can sort something out with your coat soon.

210LizzieD
Nov 25, 2014, 8:13pm

Checking in and beaming that this Pierre knows what he is about and is encouraging your work! Katherine's link is interesting.
I wish M. Atwood would write another novel.....

211Deern
Nov 26, 2014, 8:28am

Hi Ilana, haven't cought up yet on your threads again, but I finally took my pick: Dog Who Wouldn't Be by Farley Mowat.

How? I narrowed down to "Fiction" and then went to page 44, simply because I'll be 44 in January (very egocentric, I know).

Why? Most of the other books on that page looked difficult and/or tragic and this one looks like a quick fun read AND it has an average rating of 4.06 by 97 members if I counted right AND you own it so no stress getting it from the library AND it's about a dog AND I myself now would love to read it. :)
I hope you'll enjoy!

212sibylline
Nov 26, 2014, 9:44pm

The Dog Who Wouldn't Be is great fun! What a terrific pick!

213Smiler69
Nov 27, 2014, 2:01pm

Lots and lots of messages, WOO! I've been mostly MIA, and I put the blame firmly on Pierre. We've been more or less like Siamese twins for the past week, spending almost every day together, either on the phone or at one or another's place, talking non-stop about everything under the sun and the moon, drinking endless cups of tea, eating one or two meals in the process. A real marathon. His friend Maja (the friend of my friend) apparently can't get over the fact he's been spending all this time with me; this hermit who as far as she's known him has refused to meet anyone at all and now spends almost every day with me. I'm not trying to project ahead or figure out where it's all going, just enjoying it for what it is. He's a lovely man and we obviously enjoy each other's company a lot, with lots and lots of laughs between us that I doubt I could share or explain to anyone else.

My cleaning lady is here today on a rescue mission. I always hate being around with all the noise she necessarily needs to make with all the machinery and Pierre has offered for me to go over to read and work on my drawing at his place for the day (5 mins walk away), though I do wonder if I'll manage to do any of that around him. Worth a try anyway.

Needless to say, not much in general is getting done these days. My reading has been suffering a lot in the process too.

What hasn't suffered is the book buying. Just now, I took advantage of some Black Friday Deals, both on Book Outlet and a new sale on Audible. Here's what I got:

From Book Outlet (all print books save one):
Further 30% on already great deals + $10 coupon
An Elephant in the Garden by Michael Morpurgo (for a reread)
Breakfast with Lucian by Geordie Greig (for a reread because accompanied with paintings & lots of pics)
Empire of the Sun by J. G. Ballard
Mrs. Woolf and the Servants: An Intimate History of Domestic Life in Bloomsbury by Alison Light
Ross Poldark by Winston Graham - Rec'd by Peggy
The Age of Insight: The Quest to Understand the Unconscious in Art, Mind, and Brain, from Vienna 1900 to the Present by Eric Kandel
The Diddakoi by Rumer Godden
The Greengage Summer by Rumer Godden
The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield - audiobook on CD
The Time Traveler's Guide to Medieval England by Ian Mortimer
The Towers of Trebizond by Rose Macaulay
The Glimpses of the Moon by Edith Wharton
Madame De Treymes and Three Novellas by Edith Wharton
A Backward Glance: An Autobiography by Edith Wharton
The Writing of Fiction by Edith Wharton
Thomas Cromwell by Robert Hutchinson - Rec'd by Chatterbox during Wolf Hall tutorial

From Audible ($4.95 sale):
Orfeo by Richard Powers
A Symphony of Echoes: The Chronicles of St Mary's, Book 2 by Jodi Taylor
A Good Man Is Hard to Find and Other Stories by Flannery O’Connor
Dimension of Miracles by Robert Sheckley
Farthing: Small Change, Book 1 by Jo Walton - Rec'd by Heather
The Storied Life of A. J. Fikry by Gabrielle Zevin

Total books purchased to date: 323

Out of all that, needless to say I've more than met my obligatory 8 purchases for my Thingaversary just passed on November 25th. I've decided the following books qualify as the 'official purchases:

7th Thingaversary Purchases
(November 25th)

1. Les Liaisons Dangereuses 2007 Folio Society edition
2. The Ice-Cream War by William Boyd
3. Sacred Hunger by Barry Unsworth
4. Decca: The Letters of Jessica Mitford Edited by Peter Sussman - Rec'd by LizzieD
5. ♫ Family Matters by Rohinton Mistry
6. Breakfast with Lucian by Geordie Greig
7. Mrs. Woolf and the Servants: An Intimate History of Domestic Life in Bloomsbury by Alison Light
8. The Age of Insight: The Quest to Understand the Unconscious in Art, Mind, and Brain, from Vienna 1900 to the Present by Eric Kandel

214souloftherose
Nov 27, 2014, 2:12pm

>213 Smiler69: Pleased to hear you and Pierre are getting on so well and to see all the book deals! I read Mrs Woolf and the Servants this month (no comments yet) and loved it - found it really insightful and inspired me to request VW's first novel from the library.

215Smiler69
Nov 27, 2014, 2:25pm

>205 qebo: Katherine, always nice to know who my lurkers are, so always nice to get a sign of life, however sporadic. I lurk a lot myself, often on the iPad, on which I'm rarely tempted to type and generally need to be in the right chatty mood to leave messages behind, so I know the feeling. Interacting with another artist is really special. My friend Kristyna, with whom I've been hanging out almost weekly is one, and that's certainly one point on which our friendship is strongly based and our characters definitely meet.

>206 PaulCranswick: Really enjoying this latest Booker winner Paul, but my listening time has really taken a hit these past few days unfortunately. Can't have it all I guess. ;-)

>207 msf59: I certainly squeezed in more reading over the weekend than I've managed to since Mark, but I'll try to do better between now and month's end so I can finish at least a book or two. We'll see how that goes...

>208 qebo: Thanks for the link Katherine. I'm a subscriber to The New Yorker, now if only I made the time to actually read it... because it really does have interesting articles doesn't it?! I became familiar with Eric Fischl's work a few years back thanks to my watercolours teacher who exposed us to many contemporary artists during our classes, so thanks for leading me to this latest series. He's an extremely renowned artist and been around for quite a while, so not surprised his paintings sell for the high six figures each.

Really sucks that the laws in Quebec as far as models for works of art are so restrictive. Maybe when the time is ripe and I've got enough pieces finished I should find a gallery in NYC to show my series...

>209 souloftherose: Not only was he impressed Heather, but seems I've given him the inspiration to dip back into drawing himself... though I don't know if this is a good thing really, because drawing doesn't really sell, and Pierre is doing quite well with the sales of his paintings. On the other hand he's very encouraging with me pursuing my own drawing career, which is of course an excellent thing.

I think I doing a bit better with the cold, only very slightly, but maybe I am adapting slightly. Sorry about the cold arriving in your parts. I guess it was bound to happen eventually.

>210 LizzieD: Peggy, I'm sure Pierre likes my drawings in their own right, but it seems he's not completely impartial either... Agreed Katherine's link is very interesting. I'll have to spend more time on it. As for Ms. Atwood, she did after all publish Maddadam fairly recently, didn't she?? I look forward to finally reading that trilogy!

>211 Deern: Nathalie, I'm totally charmed that you picked Dog Who Wouldn't Be for me. I haven't read any Farley Mowat at all yet, and quite looking forward to it. I'm sure this one will be a charming book. Nice to have another Canadian author among the lot as well. Thanks so much for this pick! :-)

>212 sibylline: Plus a thumb up from you, I know for sure it'll be a fun treat Lucy!

>213 Smiler69: Thanks Heather, I got interested in Mrs Woolf and the Servants as soon as I saw it listed on the TIOLI wiki by you and Mamie—the title alone caught my fancy, especially after reading and really liking Vanessa and Her Sister last month. Of course am looking forward to your comments, but Mamie was already glowing about it, so I felt I had nothing to lose.

As for Pierre, there's definitely a spark between us. He's really a lovely man I probably would have overlooked even a few years ago, being quite a bit older than me and not an obvious dreamboat, but truly charming and obviously caring. It's been quite a change for me these last couple of weeks from the reclusive old maid I've been used to being, as you can imagine, but it's quite wonderful to be so appreciated! Though I make sure to remind him I'm quite happy with my single old girl status, in case he gets too carried away, god forbid! :-)

216lunacat
Nov 27, 2014, 5:17pm

:) Glad to hear you're enjoying life to the max, and having lovely conversation and company while you're at it. Long may it continue.

217drachenbraut23
Nov 27, 2014, 5:47pm

Woah, quite a lot to catch up!

Happy belated Thingaversary Ilana and great to see you had a great time book shopping. Some of the titles I heard of, I do have The Thirteenth Tale on my TBR. I also started looking for the unabridged version of War and Peace - 60 hours *sigh* so that I can read and listen. They have two different editions and the one narrated by Neville Jason appealed most to me. The other one is narrated by Frederick Davidson and he just makes me cringe with his "nasal" drawn out speech *shudder*. However, I will need two credits for the book.

Glad to hear that you found someone who makes you laugh and you feel so comfortable with. Enjoy - moments like that should always be treasured. They don't happen every day and as you say for the moment you are just enjoying it for what it is.

218lkernagh
Nov 27, 2014, 8:26pm

Very happy to see that you and Pierre are finding lots to talk about!

219Deern
Nov 28, 2014, 3:41am

After the last posts I decided to read all of that thread and try to get through the last one as well - it seems I missed a lot of interesting news! :)

1. Lovely, lovely, lovely illustrations!
2. Smiling about Barbara calling you Ilaria. Since my colleague Ilaria started working with me, I am in a constant fear to call you Ilaria or her Ilana... so should that happen to me as well, now at least you know why.
3. I'll be interested to read your thoughts on A Town Like Alice. It's widely beloved and I enjoyed it much as well, but for me it was far from a comfort read - quite edgy in fact, causing many contradictory feelings and also some feminist rage. I remember writing 2 reviews, one of them quite a rant. I liked it a lot, but it worked in me.
4. Pierre Lefebvre paintings (linked website): Well, I like all of them and would put them on my wall. Love the expression in the face of the second portrait from the left, last row!
5. Rocky: Aaaaaaaaaaawwwwww! Great work, again thanks for sharing the progress with us.
6. Yay for male attention and the ability to enjoy it! Something I still have to learn. I understand about the need to feel "safe" (i.e. him being a friend of a friend). I hate being chatted up by some stranger and never was able to agree on a date or give out my phone number on such an occasion. On the contrary, I usually avoid the places I met those guys for weeks.
7. War and Peace... *sigh*... We had such a wonderful GR 3(?) years ago, still with Janet, and many many threads. Great memories. So I won't join in the read, but I might follow the threads.
8. Slightly belated HAPPY 7th TA!!
9. Coco, Mimi and Ezra are adorable as ever. Or even more so?
10. Dentists... ew. My teeth have worsened since I live here although I clean them as ever. I wonder if it is the water... In Germany my private health insurance covered everything, here in Italy every cent needs to be paid by the patient, so many people here travel to Hungary or other Eastern countries where dentists are cheaper. There are even organized bus tours, but that seems a bit risky to me. If something goes wrong you can't just complain and get it fixed again.
11. Fingers crossed that your super-dooper Italian quality winter coat will finally start doing its work...
12. Pierre: sounds wonderful and I can only chime in with the others: Enjoy! :)

Have a lovely weekend and a good start into December!

220Smiler69
Nov 28, 2014, 1:38pm

Yes, well, reading's really fallen by the wayside, and I doubt I'll be able to complete any of the books I've got going by month's end, being Love-Letters Between A Nobleman And His Sister (Volume III) by Aphra Behn, Sacred Hearts by Sarah Dunant, The Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes by Arthur Conan Doyle and The Narrow Road to the Deep North by Richard Flanagan (managed to listen to maybe 15 minutes of that one yesterday...), however much I've been enjoying them all. All my time is being eaten up with... other concerns. Kind of a bother, in the sense that I truly did like my quiet little life and routine and all the reading it allowed me, but then, saying it's a bother is quite disingenuous of me too. Things are bound to settle down eventually, with Pierre returning to painting in earnest, being quite a workaholic and very serious about his work and the novelty of our friendship, or whatever it is, wearing down eventually, or us tiring of each other, whichever comes first. In any case, I feel like a teenager again, which isn't entirely unpleasant, I must say.

We watched the movie Sideways last night with Paul Giamatti in the lead from his giant DVD collection. I'd only seen bits and pieces of it before and it really is quite a gem of a little film.

In the meantime, have taken advantage of more Black Friday deals with Kindle today:

The Creation of Anne Boleyn: A New Look at England’s Most Notorious Queen by Susan Bordo
A Scanner Darkly by Philip K. Dick
Ubik by Philip K. Dick
The Man in the High Castle Philip K. Dick
Illuminations: A Novel of Hildegard von Bingen by Mary Sharratt - Suzanne / Chatterbox rated this one 4.5 stars
If on a winter's night a traveler by Italo Calvino

Total books purchased to date: 329

221Smiler69
Nov 28, 2014, 2:14pm

>216 lunacat: Thanks so much Jenny, that's really sweet of you. ♥︎

Honestly, I don't hope or wish for anything one way or the other, just taking it as it comes day by day, which as I understand it, is the best attitude to have for this kind of thing. I've been disappointed so many times in the past when it comes to personal relationships, both with lovers and with friends of both sexes, so that I can't help but protect myself, and it's just as well really. That way nobody gets hurt or disappointed, yet at the same time we've obviously both plunging in with both feet and eyes wide open. :-)

>217 drachenbraut23: Hi Bianca, the Thingaversary came and went... I sort of planned it in advance and then myself wasn't around on the day itself. Seven years already, but it went so fast! It's been a lot of fun being part of this group for the last five of those years. I agree with you on the audio version of War and Peace. I decided to go with the Neville Jason version as well, and was prepared to spend two Audible credits on it too, but then saw it was available from the library. Then, part 1 was always out on loan, so I got and copied part 2 from 26 discs, and then it turned out part 1 had been returned incomplete or damaged last week, so I'll have to spend a credit on it after all. Not too bad, that's still one credit saved, though I could wish they'd just combine the two.

I laugh quite a lot from things I read on the threads here sometimes. Paul especially, with his inimitable British humour often makes me laugh out loud, but I must say I haven't had bouts of hysterical laughter like I've been having with Pierre for quite some time (helped by fatigue from the late hours we've been keeping, I must admit) and it feels really great! :-)

>218 lkernagh: Thanks Lori! It had been a good while since I'd let anyone new into my life and I'm surprised mostly by how naturally it's all been happening. I do miss my regular reading sessions right now though, I must say. A minor quibble for now. ;-)

>219 Deern: Wow Nathalie, I'm amazed you decided to go through quite so much material; I know my threads can get quite dense with stuff, so honoured you've taken that time out to catch up. I'm glad you love those illustrations up top. Every time I open my thread, I get a view of those first and they truly delight me, so much so that I'll be sorry to let them go when I start up a new thread with the coming new month.

Interesting comments about A Town Like Alice. Of course I'll keep them in mind when I come to it sometime in 2015.

I'm glad you like Pierre's paintings. I like some of them more than others, and must say now that I know what his early influences are and am getting to know him personally too, am more appreciative of his work in general (one of his first inspirations to become a painter is Rogier van der Weyden and the 15th Flemmish school). His paintings are selling quite well right now and he's a hard worker, which of course can only be a good influence and inspiration for me for my own work. I'm quite certain that if there hadn't been that initial connection of a female friend of a very close female friend of mine, things wouldn't have taken off the way they have as I would have been much too leery. But that connection, plus being physically introduced to him in the presence of my very good friend Kim, who always has my best interest at heart, felt like a sort of blessing; basically the diametrical opposite to meeting someone in a bar, if you know what I mean (and I'm sure you do). I understand completely why you avoid those sorts of places, because I've been doing so for quite a lot of years now too; just didn't want to put myself in a situation to meet a total stranger and take all the risks of starting with nothing to base yourself on and completely vulnerable to lies and deception. It's hard enough to have a relationship with any sort of friend even with the best of intentions to begin with when life gets in the way...

I remember well your War and Peace GR a few years back. I was tempted, but not ready yet to join in back then. I remember it lasted quite a long time too, over several threads. I think with this one various people will go at various paces and it'll probably be less structured overall. Not sure the discussions will be quite as good consequently, but we'll see.

I'm guessing you're finding my furry bunch more adorable than ever because you've known them for a few years now and they've probably grown on you over time, just as they've grown on me! :-)

I've yet to hear of anyone who enjoys going to the dentist! Though I have heard some people say they don't mind it, which is as far as it goes on the positive side. Water does play a role. Some water systems are fluorinated, for instance. And then there's diet of course. Cost is always astronomical. I'm very appreciative of fact that for now a large portion of my costs are covered by my health insurance policy.

Wishing you a wonderful weekend too my dear. Always lovely to hear from you! xx

222LauraBrook
Nov 28, 2014, 9:43pm

Hi Ilana! It sounds like you and Pierre have a wonderful friendship going, and that's an excellent thing! Plus, there's no way that he wouldn't think your work was great - I'm far from an expert, but having a lot of my close friends in the arts, I've seen enough to know some few things. You are outstanding! No reason why you couldn't be in a gallery. For real.

Stay warm with your furkids!

223msf59
Nov 28, 2014, 10:19pm

Happy Thingaversary, Ilana! Lucky #7! I won't hit my seventh until June. It looks like you wasted no time acquiring the requisite number of books. LOL.

Hope all is well, my friend.

224LovingLit
Nov 29, 2014, 2:36am

Just a quick hello today, Ilana.
Glad to see you loved Narrow Road to the Deep North, I am very interested in that one, for some time. I have so many in the queue! So many promising ones....and it is the usual thing, the more time you have to read (now that I have no uni commitments) the more books come knocking down your door! I have just purchased my 100th physical book of the year, and although I am reading a good proportion of them, the others hate me for neglecting them.

225jnwelch
Nov 29, 2014, 11:48am

Mainly stopping by to say hi, Ilana. I've been very interested in Narrow Road to the Deep North, too, and it's good to know you loved it. It's just a matter of finding the right time; it's in my future.

I'm happy to hear you've found a kindred spirit in Pierre, and that you're having lots of good laughs with him.

Did you ever read Helen Humphreys? I just finished and very much liked The Frozen Thames.

226lunacat
Nov 29, 2014, 12:15pm

Hoping you're still having a great time but I'm glad to hear you are both able to enter into whatever it is with the situations clear. I've seen so many people get hurt when one side has different expectations from the other, even if they think they are on the same page. Age helps a lot of course, but the heart is still easily hurt.

Anyway, while it's good to take it as it comes, and make the most of the thrill of a new friendship, I hope it is able to last as the real world creeps it's way back in and you find yourself needing/wanting some alone time to read, paint, draw or just recharge.

And don't go too far with the hysterical laughter, it's bad for you ya know ;)

227Fourpawz2
Nov 29, 2014, 4:26pm

Hi Ilana! So nice to know that Pierre apparently appreciates your talent as much as the rest of us do. Plainly a man with good taste.

Love the pictures of the children - they are all so sweet. Was particularly taken, this time around, with Ezra's picture. He looks so very much like Willie!

I don't mind the actually dentistry that I experience - with the possible exception of the teeth cleaning bit. The part that I could do with less of is my dentist's constant chattering. He'll pick a topic and run with it, asking questions that I am forced to agree with, via a lot of nodding and grunting, which are my only options as he has all of his dentist gizmos and paws in my mouth. I suppose it is kind of a lonely job for him as the people he spends most of his time with are - perforce - practically entirely mute, but still...I really wish he'd stop being quite so chatty.

Hoping you are having a good weekend and have not had to linger outside for very long.

228EBT1002
Nov 30, 2014, 8:30pm

Regarding Pierre: "...just enjoying it for what it is." Excellent. I'm so pleased that you are having a good time and I hope it continues, regardless of the particulars.

Is Coco jealous?
;-)

229scaifea
Dec 1, 2014, 7:20am

Oh, man, I'm so far behind here! There's now a Pierre! Exciting!

230Whisper1
Dec 1, 2014, 8:05am

I've been IMA, but still, please know I think of you and send loving wishes.

231souloftherose
Dec 1, 2014, 8:14am

>213 Smiler69: 'just enjoying it for what it is.' Definitely the best approach to take but I know one I always found quite difficult to do in practice. So pleased you've discovered this friendship even if the knock on effect is that we 'see' less of you :-)

232DeltaQueen50
Dec 1, 2014, 2:07pm

Hi Ilana, sounds like December has gotten off to a good start for you. Pierre sounds like a lovely friend and you are wise to just enjoy the here and now and let the future take care of itself.

In the hopes of trying to awaken my Christmas spirit I am indulging in a number of Christmas-y books, but it's difficult for me to shake off my inner grinch.

233LovingLit
Dec 1, 2014, 11:41pm

Hm. Where are you, I wonder?
I hope all is well!

234jolerie
Dec 2, 2014, 2:28pm

Hope you are enjoying your new friendship Ilana and that is the reason for your absence. That and good reading or sudden explosion of artistic expression. ;)

235Smiler69
Dec 2, 2014, 3:02pm

Thank you for all the visits and comments. Sorry once again I've been so absent from the group lately. I've been here in spirit, and sometimes for quick visits and lurking a bit, but my days are a bit thrown off my usual routine with the addition of my new friend with whom I've been spending quite a big chunk of time on a daily basis for the past three weeks—nearly a month now, since Pierre's vernissage on Nov. 8th. All is well, we take out Coco together and have afternoon tea, then start planning and preparing dinner, watch movies or just talk through the evening, and before I know it it's late into the night. Pierre is a longstanding insomniac who has always done his best work in the wee hours of the morning, so I'm looking forward to us adjusting our schedules a little so I can have my reading hours back (including listening hours) and fit in my own drawing time, though this should get adjusted soon as he goes back into serious work mode in coming days and weeks.

I'm not sure still how I feel about having someone else in my life, so I mostly don't think about it much and just take it day by day and am convinced if it weren't for the convenience of us living 5 minutes away from each other things probably wouldn't be working out as well as they have been. The fact that he takes me just as I am of course plays a large role as well, since I have no intention of trying to change myself to please anyone at this stage, and he seems quite happy with what he's getting, which somewhat surprises me, but I guess there are greater miracles.

Reading is slooooowwww going, but I'll probably finish Sacred Hearts today, which I've really greatly been enjoying. Am a FAR FAR, FAR way off finishing The Narrow Road to the Deep North as have had practically NO listening time in my days lately, which is a bit distressing, but just now will take the next two hours to draw for the first time since I've met Pierre while listening to it, very much looking forward to that.

Will eventually start a new thread, but time is too precious for now. Answering all precious messages now quickly so can get to work asap!

***

>222 LauraBrook: Hi Laura! Wonderful to have your visit! When I do allow myself to look ahead a little, I think Pierre might be a great influence for my art, if anything encouraging me to do more work and be more serious about it and applying myself toward completing a body of work I can actually display and sell and even eventually get a gallery to take on on a somewhat regular basis even? I can hardly imagine it now, but he seems to believe I could and should aim for that.

>223 msf59: Hey Mark! As you know, acquiring books has never been a problem around here... and I certainly don't miss an occasion to add books in any format to my collection.

>224 LovingLit: Hi Megan, I'm really enjoying TNRttDN, but I do wish I was able to concentrate on it a bit more and not take it in such tiny bits and morsels here and there, as it's not doing the book any justice. But I guess I shouldn't complain given my present circumstances... ;-)

>225 jnwelch: Hey Joe, glad you stopped by. Once again, am a very long way from finishing The Narrow Road to the Deep North, as have just about covered over a quarter of it at this point. But so far so great. I've read Coventry by Helen Humphreys so far, which I really loved and heartily recommend and would definitely read more of her work. Will add The Frozen Thames to the wishlist right away! :-)

236Smiler69
Edited: Dec 2, 2014, 3:28pm

>226 lunacat: And don't go too far with the hysterical laughter, it's bad for you ya know

I know I can always count on you for good common sense advice Jenny! :-)

I've been what you'd call brutally honest with Pierre from the very first, and I think this is something he appreciates very much, even though it does sting sometimes, though it seems he just keeps falling in deeper as time goes, since I'm the opposite from the clingy and needy woman most men are turned off by. I used to be that girl, very much so, but all these years of being by myself and finally coming to love and covet my solitude has made me loath to give it up, and since Pierre has been the same way for even longer than me, this attitude of mine has in turned made him feel comfortable with this situation and feel he isn't getting in over his head. Funny how these things go, isn't it? When they say these things happen when you aren't looking and you least expect it, I guess they have a point. I honestly don't know from one day to the next how things will go, nor do I worry about it. And I do covet my alone time, and miss all my reading time and tell Pierre regularly that I look forward to us adjusting ourselves to a more workable schedule, even as I enjoy all the time we're spending together now. I guess for now it's a win-win situation, which really worries me... ;-)

>227 Fourpawz2: I'm glad you approve of Pierre's good taste Charlotte. I'll tell him you have his stamp of approval, which I'm sure he'll appreciate. :-)

The best thing about him is he's made firm buddies with Coco, who has adopted him wholeheartedly and often now chooses to sit on his lap (which he won't do with me when we're at home), and is all too happy to be taken out on a walk late at night by him—a generous offer Pierre has made me in the last few days, thus allowing me to prepare for bed and avoid that nightly walk I so dread usually out in the cold, but which he says I must not learn to take for granted. Even the cats, which he says he doesn't particularly likes, like him in turn, which can only be a good sign, right?

>228 EBT1002: Is Coco jealous?

Ellen, read my reply to Charlotte above for your answer. In fact, it seems he's particularly happy to have a human male ally in his world. Who would have thought? I always assumed he'd take such a presence in my life as a loss of affection and despair of it, but instead he seems glad to have gained a friend. I am of course delighted with his reaction.

>229 scaifea: There's now a Pierre! Exciting!

Gosh Amber, I hadn't thought of it that way till you posted it, and you know what? It does sound awfully exciting now you make me think of it! :-D

>230 Whisper1: Thanks you for dropping by dear Linda, sending you warm hugs!

>231 souloftherose: Heather, please do believe me that you are very much in my thoughts even though I'm less present here lately. The days just run by even faster than before, which seems somehow impossible!

>232 DeltaQueen50: Hi Judy, so lovely to still get to hear from you. I really worried we'd get less of your presence. I haven't decided yet whether I'll do any Christmas reading at all, though I'll probably fit in a recording of A Christmas Carol, read by Tim Curry, just because it's such a good short treat!

>233 LovingLit: I have a feeling you figured it all out by yourself Megan! ;-)

>234 jolerie: Valerie, mostly I blame Pierre. We've been spending loads of time together, chatting up a storm. He's really a great friend, and quite a nice admirer to have around too. Does wonders for my self-esteem, I assure you! :-)

Am just about to go work on a drawing, and it's about time too!

***

Took advantage of Cyber Monday yesterday on Amazon. Will list the books soon. Mr Wakefield's Crusade by Bernice Rubens arrived in the mail recently from Abe Books. One of the first Rubens books I remember Kerry recommending back in 2011 I think. Also got the latest edition of Slightly Foxed 44: My Grandfather and Mr. Standfast Winter 2014. Hurray!

237-Cee-
Dec 2, 2014, 9:45pm

Sooooo happy to see excitement and fun in your life lately! Amazing and wonderful...
You're making me smile :-)

So, what do you think? Do you buy more books when you are happy or when you are sad? I do think you treated yourself well on your Thing-a-versary, woohoo!

Warm hugs xoxo

238msf59
Edited: Dec 3, 2014, 7:20am

Hi Ilana! Glad you are enjoying your time with Pierre. It is nice to have a friend. Is he a reader? If you mentioned it up there, I may have missed it.

239lunacat
Dec 3, 2014, 8:06am

Glad to hear that things with Pierre have settled into some kind of routine, and that Coco is enjoying the male companionship as much as you are. I think men are often overly impressed when meeting someone who is able to be straight forward and honest about what they want and are able to give in a situation. I'm always very clear about what I'm looking for and how much I would like from a friend/partner. It seems a relief to them to know where they stand, one way or another!

240Smiler69
Edited: Dec 3, 2014, 12:28pm

Off to see my friend Kristyna for a visit at the museum later this afternoon; I've been neglecting her these last few weeks, along with everything and everyone else, so it'll be nice to see her again. Didn't manage to finish the last 20 pages of Sacred Hearts last night, no so very happy about that. On the other hand, did have a great dinner of linguine pasta with a sauce made from leftover mussels marinara made with loads of white wine from the previous night extended with leftover Alfredo sauce from another meal, with an addition of mushrooms and green onions sautéd in butter with steamed florets of broccoli. I'd almost forgotten how much I enjoy cooking when there's someone else to share all the chores of preparation and cleaning up with. Also watched the first episode of X-Files, season 5. The second episode is the continuation and I can't wait to watch that one too, hopefully tonight? I've actually got Pierre eager to watch it too, even though he finds the plot is full of holes which I tell him is besides the point and he's always making fun of my X-Files addiction, so I guess that's another date tonight, if we can call what we're doing so very casually actual dating.

***

>237 -Cee-: Hi Claudia, very happy my present life circumstances are making you smile. What more can I ask for? :-)

Do I buy more books when I'm happy or sad?? Now that's a tough conundrum! I honestly can't say!!! The answer is probably I buy loads of books rain or shine. It's my default reaction no matter how I feel... the solution to anything! :-D In any case, I sure got a whackload in the recent few weeks!

>238 msf59: Mark, he tells me he has read quite a lot and been known in his family as the nerd who always had his nose buried in a book, but as I understand it, his life now is all about painting so that he doesn't have much time for reading. As long as he leaves me time for my passion for books, all should be fine.

>239 lunacat: Jenny, I think what you say about men is true, with the caveat that they have to be mature enough to be comfortable with a woman who knows what she is about, otherwise, I've known plenty to turn around and run for the hills. My one big complaint these days remains: not enough reading time!!!

241Smiler69
Edited: Dec 3, 2014, 12:36pm

Reading Plans for December:

A bit more modest (and hopefully more realistic, given present circumstances) than my usual...

✭*✔ Sacred Hearts by Sarah Dunant - Picked for Me!, TIOLI #19: Read a book that you saved or put off to the last - Reading
✭*✔ Love-Letters Between A Nobleman And His Sister by Aphra Behn - TIOLI #19 - Reading
✭*✔ Schindler's Ark by Thomas Keneally - TIOLI #19
✭♫ The Narrow Road to the Deep North by Richard Flanagan - TIOLI #3: Read a book with a title containing a contradiction - Listening
✭♫ The Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes by Arthur Conan Doyle - TIOLI #16: Bah, Humbug!: Read a book that has nothing to do with Christmas - Listening
✭❉ⓔ+♫ Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs - TIOLI #1: Read a book using a minimum three-letter part of the name "Madeline" in your book's title
✭♫ Firesong by William Nicholson - TIOLI #14: Read a book that fits a category on the 2014 Reading Bingo card
✪♫ Just One Damned Thing After Another by Jody Taylor - TIOLI #14, shared with Ellen
✪♫ Bitter Greens by Kate Forsyth - shared with Mamie - TIOLI #6: Read a book whose title includes either a color or a word to describe a shade of color
✭❉ The Blazing World by Siri Hustvedt - TIOLI #5: Read a book with a noun from the title of a Christmas carol in its title ("Joy to the World")

* = Picked for Me challenge
✔ = off the shelf
♫ = audiobook
ⓔ = eBook
❉ = library book
✭ = TIOLI
✪ = Shared TIOLI