Smiler's Balancing Act - Part 4

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Talk75 Books Challenge for 2015

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Smiler's Balancing Act - Part 4

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Edited: Jul 23, 2015, 12:28 pm

Surrealist art by (left) Christian Schloe, "The Silent Garden" and (right) Catrin Welz-Stein "Memories 2". Both artist could be related...

Table of Contents:
Reading Plans
Books Completed in May-August
Books Completed in January-April
AAC, BAC, ANZAC Reading Challenges
Reading Stefan Zweig
Picked for Me! Challenge
Booker Prize Books
A Century of Books!
Reading Bingo
Ongoing Series
Books Purchased May-July
Books Purchased Jan-April (thread #3)

Currently reading, listening to, and occasionally browsing through:

La bibliothèque idéale RTL edited by Bernard Lehut
Slightly Foxed: No. 46: Grecian Hours by Gail Pirkis, Hazel Wood (Editors)
❉ⓔ Flood of Fire by Amitav Ghosh
All the World's Birds: Buffon's Illustrated Natural History General and Particular of Birds by Georges-Louis Leclerc
*♫ Love in the Time of Cholera by Gabriel García Márquez (reread)


Favourites of 2015: (★★★★½ and up, by reading order)
Bitter Greens by Kate Forsyth (review)
The Blind Contessa's New Machine by Carey Wallace
The Hare with Amber Eyes by Edmund de Waal ★★★★★ (review)
Babette's Feast by Isak Dinesen
Clockwork by Philip Pullman (review)
Lamentation by C. J. Sansom
The Scapegoat by Daphne Du Maurier (review)
The Gift of Rain by Tan Twan Eng
Small Gods: Discworld #13 by Terry Pratchett (review)
The Buried Giant by Kazuo Ishiguro ★★★★★ (review)
Fräulein Schmidt and Mr Anstruther by Elizabeth von Arnim (review)
The Real Jane Austen: A Life in Small Things by Paula Byrne
Mansfield Park by Jane Austen (reread - tutored read with Liz)
Murder on the Orient Express by Agatha Christie (reread)
The Bloody Chamber and Other Stories by Angela Carter
The Grand Sophy by Georgette Heyer
The Leopard by Guisepe Di Lampedusa
Ross Poldark by Winston Graham (review—sort of)
The Red Queen by Margaret Drabble (review)
The Accursed Kings: The Iron King (Part 1) by Maurice Druon
The Accursed Kings: The Strangled Queen (Part 2) by Maurice Druon
The Accursed Kings: The Royal Succession (Part 4) by Maurice Druon
Sea of Poppies by Amitav Ghosh (reread)
All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr (mini-review)
Nothing Like the Sun by Anthony Burgess (review)
The Garden Party and Other Stories by Katherine Mansfield
Parle-leur de batailles de rois et d'éléphants by Mathias Enard (review)

Favourites of 2014:
The Garden of Evening Mists by Tan Twan Eng ★★★★★ (review)
Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë
Rogue Male by Geoffrey Household (review)
The New York Stories of Edith Wharton by Edith Wharton
Lady Susan by Jane Austen (review)
Zealot: The Life and Times of Jesus of Nazareth by Reza Aslan (review)
Restoration by Rose Tremain ★★★★★ (review)
The Quick by Lauren Owen (ARC) ★★★★★ (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 ★★★★★
Treehorn Times Three by Florence Parry Heide & Edward Gorey
Merivel by Rose Tremain (review)
A Café on the Nile by Bartle Bull (review)
Amsterdam by Ian McEwan (review)
The Waiting Game by Bernice Reubens (review)
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 (review)
The Ruby in Her Navel by Barry Unsworth ★★★★★ (review)
Not My Father's Son by Alan Cumming (review)
Mrs Palfrey at the Claremont by Elizabeth Taylor
Le joueur d'échecs / Chess Story by Stefan Zweig ★★★★★
La Petite Bijou by Patrick Modiano

My rating system:
★ - Hated it (May or may not have finished it)
★★ - Has some redeeming qualities (Just ok)
★★★ - Enjoyed it well enough (Good)
★★★★ - Loved it! (Very good)
★★★★½ - Favourites of the year (Want to read it again!)
★★★★★ - All-time favourite (Would read again, and again... and again!)

⅛ ¼ ⅓ ½ ¾ ⅞

♫ = audiobook
✔ = off the shelf
❉ = library book
ⓔ = eBook
* = Picked for Me

Reserving first 10 posts for organizational and planning needs.

Edited: Jul 23, 2015, 12:27 pm

Reading Plans for August: Planning is fun, what happens next is anyone's guess...
*♫❉ The Last Picture Show by Larry McMurtry - AAC, Picked for Me! (by msf59)
*♫ The Bell by Iris Murdoch - BAC, Picked for Me! (by @sibyx)
Travels With My Aunt by Graham Greene - BAC
The Bone People by Keri Hulme - ANZAC, ACoB! (1984), Booker Prize Challenge
*✔ The Brontes Went to Woolworths by Rachel Ferguson - Picked for Me! (by LizzieD)
*✔+♫ A Fine Balance by Rohinton Mistry - Picked for Me! (by kidzdoc), Booker Prize Challenge
**✔ The Wind in the Willows by Kenneth Grahame - Picked for Me! (by Cee) (reread), ACoB! (1908)
♫❉ Go Set a Watchman by Harper Lee
♫❉ The Accursed Kings: The Lily and the Lion / Le Lis et le lion by Maurice Druon
The Uncommon Reader by Alan Bennett
The Strange Library by Haruki Murakami
Unterzakhn by Leela Corman
The Day the Crayons Quit by Drew Daywalt ; pictures by Oliver Jeffers
Le fou de Bergerac / The Madman of Bergerac Maigret #16 by Georges Simenon
The Birthday Boys by Beryl Bainbridge
An Awfully Big Adventure by Beryl Bainbridge
My Favorite Things by Maira Kalman


(What remains of my) Reading Plans for July:
✪♫ All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr - TIOLI #15: Read a Book with a W in the title - COMPLETED
✭❉ River of Smoke by Amitav Ghosh - TIOLI #2: Read a book with a connection to water - COMPLETED
✪❉ⓔ Flood of Fire by Amitav Ghosh - TIOLI #11: A word in the title that specifies heat - Reading
✭*✔ Catharine and Other Writings by Jane Austen - Picked for Me! (by souloftherose), TIOLI #12: Read A Book That Was Originally Published Before the Year 2000 - COMPLETED
✭✔ The Garden Party and Other Stories by Katherine Mansfield - May ANZAC, TIOLI #19: A story involving the formation of a Marriage - COMPLETED
✭♫ Nothing Like the Sun by Anthony Burgess - June BAC (belatedly), TIOLI #5: A title that could drive you to drink (water, tea, beer, wine, your choice) - COMPLETED
✭*♫ Love in the Time of Cholera by Gabriel García Márquez (reread) - TIOLI #5, picked by cameling, ACoB! (1985) - Listening
✪❉ The Tombs of Atuan Ursula K. Leguin - AAC, TIOLI #4: Read a work by an individual mentioned in the Science Fiction Awards Database - COMPLETED
✪♫ Orlando by Virginia Woolf - BAC, TIOLI #12 - COMPLETED
✭♫ Oscar and Lucinda by Peter Carey - ANZAC, TIOLI #12, Booker Prize Challenge
✪♫ Evelina by Fanny Burney - Group read, TIOLI #3: Read a book in which letters are important - COMPLETED
✭✔+♫ Fifth Business by Robertson Davies - shared read with EBT1002, TIOLI #12, ACoB! (1970) - COMPLETED
The Zone of Interest by Martin Amis - May BAC (belatedly)
✭ⓔ When We Were Bad by Charlotte Mendelson - TIOLI #13: Read book from the Orange Broadband/now Bailey's Prize for Women's Fiction lists
✭♫ State of Wonder by Ann Patchett - TIOLI #13
✪♫ A Natural History of Dragons: A Memoir by Lady Trent, Book 1 by Marie Brennan - TIOLI #4: A work by an individual mentioned in the Science Fiction Awards Database - COMPLETED
✪♫ In the Unlikely Event by Judy Blume - TIOLI #7: Read a "red letter" day book

Spur of the moment:
✭♫❉ L'échappée belle / French Leave by Anna Gavalda - TIOLI #1: Title is at least two words long with first letter of words in alphabetical order - COMPLETED
✭❉ Le Port des brumes / Maigret and the Death of a Harbor-Master #15 by Georges Simenon - TIOLI #2 - COMPLETED
✭♫ The Collectors by Philip Pullman - TIOLI #4 - COMPLETED
✭♫❉ Lettres by Madame de Sévigné - TIOLI #3 - COMPLETED
✭♫❉ Parle-leur de batailles de rois et d'éléphants by Mathias Enard - TIOLI #3 - COMPLETED
✭♫❉ Rue des boutiques obscures / Missing Person by Patrick Modiano - TIOLI #1 - COMPLETED
✪♫❉ Modern Romance by Aziz Ansari - TIOLI #1

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

Edited: Jul 23, 2015, 12:25 pm

Books completed in July
87. ♫ All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr ★★★★¾
88. ♫ Nothing Like the Sun by Anthony Burgess ★★★★½ (review)
89. ♫ L'échappée belle / French Leave by Anna Gavalda ★★★½
90. ♫ A Natural History of Dragons: A Memoir by Lady Trent, Book 1 by Marie Brennan ★★★★
91. ✔ The Garden Party and Other Stories by Katherine Mansfield ★★★★½
92. ♫ Orlando by Virginia Woolf ★★★ (review)
93. ❉ River of Smoke by Amitav Ghosh (reread) ★★★★⅓
94. *✔ Catharine: and Other Writings by Jane Austen ★★★★
95. ❉ The Tombs of Atuan by Ursula K. Leguin ★★★★ (review)
96. ♫ Evelina by Fanny Burney ★★★★⅓
97. ♫ The Collectors by Philip Pullman ★★★★
98. ♫ Lettres by Madame de Sévigné ★★★★
99. ♫ Parle-leur de batailles de rois et d'éléphants by Mathias Enard ★★★★½ (review)
100. ❉ Le Port des brumes / Maigret and the Death of a Harbor-Master #15 by Georges Simenon ★★★★ (review)
101. ♫ Fifth Business by Robertson Davies ★★★★½
102. ♫ Rue des boutiques obscures / Missing Person by Patrick Modiano ★★★½

Books completed in June
75. ♫ The Fair Fight by Anna Freeman ★★★¾
76. ♫ The Strangled Queen (The Accursed Kings, Part 2) by Maurice Druon ★★★★½
77. ✔ Sea of Poppies by Amitav Ghosh ★★★★½ (reread)
78. ♫ Babbitt by Sinclair Lewis ★★★½
79. ♫ The Accursed Kings: The Poisoned Crown (Part 3) by Maurice Druon ★★★★⅓
80. ✔ Master Georgie by Beryl Bainbridge ★★★★⅓ (review)
81. ♫ The Accursed Kings: The Royal Succession (Part 4) by Maurice Druon ★★★★½
82. ❉ Maigret chez les Flamands / Maigret and the Flemish Shop #14 by Georges Simenon ★★★★
83. ♫ Angle of Repose by Wallace Stegner ★★★★
84. ♫ The Accursed Kings: The She-Wolf of France (Part 5) by Maurice Druon ★★★★
85. ✔ Slightly Foxed: No. 33: A World of Shining Beauty by Gail Pirkis, Hazel Wood (Editors) ★★★★
86. ♫ The Whale Rider by Witi Ihimaera ★★★★

Books completed in May
62. ✔ Slightly Foxed: No. 31: The Return of Grouse by Gail Pirkis, Hazel Wood (Editors) ★★★★
63. ♫ The Grand Sophy by Georgette Heyer ★★★★½
64. ♫ The Parasites by Daphne du Maurier ★★¾
65. ♫ The Lost City of Z: A Tale of Deadly Obsession in the Amazon by David Grann ★★★★⅓
66. ✔ Castle Rackrent by Maria Edgeworth (group read)
67. ♫ The Leopard by Guisepe Di Lampedusa ★★★★½
68. ♫ L'Affaire Saint-Fiacre / Maigret Goes Home #13 by Georges Simenon ★★★★
69. ✔ Ross Poldark by Winston Graham ★★★★¾ (review—sort of)
70. ♫ The Fatal Flame by Lyndsay Faye ★★★⅓
71. ✔ Slightly Foxed: No. 32: At Home with the Pewters by Gail Pirkis, Hazel Wood (Editors) ★★★★
72. ♫ Child 44 by Tom Rob Smith ★★★★
73. ✔ The Red Queen by Margaret Drabble ★★★★½ (review)
74. ♫ The Iron King (The Accursed Kings, Part 1) by Maurice Druon ★★★★½

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

Edited: Jun 17, 2015, 9:09 pm

Books completed in April
45. ✔ Slightly Foxed: No. 28: Happy Ever After by Gail Pirkis, Hazel Wood (Editors) ★★★★½
46. ❉ Anya's Ghost by Vera Brosgol ★★★★⅓
Ah-Ha to Zig-Zag: 31 Objects from Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum by Maira Kalman ★★★★
47. ♫ The Real Jane Austen: A Life in Small Things by Paula Byrne ★★★★½
48. ✔+♫ Of Human Bondage by W. Somerset Maugham ★★★★⅓
49. ✔ Mansfield Park by Jane Austen (reread - tutored read with Liz) ★★★★½
50. ♫ The Round House by Louise Erdrich ★★★½
51. ✔ Slightly Foxed: No. 29: An Editorial Peacock by Gail Pirkis, Hazel Wood (Editors)
52. *♫ I, Dreyfus by Bernice Rubens ★★★★⅓
53. ❉ Maigret Mystified / L'Ombre chinoise by Georges Simenon ★★★★
54. ♫ Murder on the Orient Express by Agatha Christie (reread) ★★★★½
55. ✔ The Bloody Chamber and Other Stories by Angela Carter ★★★★½
56. ♫ The Magician by W. Somerset Maugham ★★★★
57. ✔ Slightly Foxed: No. 30: A Personal Landscape by Gail Pirkis, Hazel Wood (Editors)
58. ♫ Oryx and Crake by Margaret Atwood ★★★★⅓
59. ♫ The Thirty-Nine Steps by John Buchan ★★★★⅓
60. ✔ High Rising by Angela Thirkell ★★★★⅓
61. ♫ The Painted Veil by W. Somerset Maugham ★★★★⅓
The Love of Erika Ewald by Stefan Zweig (short story)

Books completed in March
31. ♫ Lamentation by C. J. Sansom ★★★★¾
32. ♫ Whispers Under Ground by Ben Aaronovitch ★★★
33. ♫ The Scapegoat by Daphne Du Maurier ★★★★½ (review)
34. ✔ Slightly Foxed: No. 27: Well Done, Carruthers! by Gail Pirkis, Hazel Wood (Editors) ★★★½
35. ♫ What Angels Fear by C.S. Harris ★★★★
36. ⓔ The Gift of Rain by Tan Twan Eng ★★★★½
37. ♫ Small Gods: Discworld #13 by Terry Pratchett ★★★★½ (review)
38. ⓔ Great Granny Webster by Caroline Blackwood ★★★★⅓ (review)
39. ✔ Slightly Foxed: Part 45: Frankly, My Dear by Gail Pirkis, Hazel Wood (Editors) ★★★★
40. ♫ The Buried Giant by Kazuo Ishiguro ★★★★★ (review)
41. ♫ Jamaica Inn by Daphne du Maurier ★★★★⅓ (review)
42. ⓔ Fräulein Schmidt and Mr Anstruther by Elizabeth von Arnim ★★★★½ (review)
43. ♫ Elizabeth is Missing by Emma Healey ★★¾
44. ♫ Guards! Guards!: Discworld, Book 8 by Terry Pratchett ★★★★⅓

Thief of Time by Terry Pratchett
Perdido Street Station by China Mieville

Books completed in February
16. ❉ An Artist of the Floating World by Kazuo Ishiguro ★★★★⅓
Rêves oubliés (Vergessene Träume) by Stefan Zweig ★★★★⅓ (short story)
Printemps au Prater (Praterfrühling) by Stefan Zweig ★★★★⅓ (short story)
Un redoublant by Stefan Zweig ★★★★⅓ (short story)
Babette's Feast by Isak Dinesen ★★★★½ (short story)
17. ❉ⓔ Can't We Talk About Something More Pleasant? by Roz Chast ★★ (review)
18. ♫ Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire by J. K. Rowling ★★★★⅓
19. La Guinguette à deux sous / The Bar on the Seine (Maigret #11) by Georges Simenon ★★★★
20. ♫ The Europeans by Henry James ★★★
21. ♫ Decline and Fall by Evelyn Waugh ★★★★⅓
22. ♫ The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion ★★★★⅓ (review)
23. ✔ Slightly Foxed: No. 26: A Nightmare on Wheels by Gail Pirkis, Hazel Wood (Editors) ★★★½
24. ♫ Affinity by Sarah Waters ★★★★⅓ (review)
25. ♫ Vol de nuit / Night Flight by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry ★★★½
26. ♫ Clockwork by Philip Pullman ★★★★½ (review)
27. ♫ A Handful of Dust by Evelyn Waugh ★★★★⅓
28. ✔ Brideshead Revisited by Evelyn Waugh ★★★ (review)
29. ✔ Diary Of A Provincial Lady by E.M. Delafield ★★★★
30. ♫ Beyond Black by Hilary Mantel ★★★

Books completed in January
1. Slightly Foxed: 44: My Grandfather and Mr. Standfast by Gail Pirkis, Hazel Wood (Editors) ★★★★½ (review)
2. ♫ Bitter Greens by Kate Forsyth ★★★★½ (review)
3. ✔ Schindler's Ark by Thomas Keneally ★★★★ (review)
4. ♫ Chocolat by Joanne Harris ★★★★⅓ (review)
5. ♫ Dept. of Speculation by Jenny Offill ★★★★⅓ (review)
6. Slightly Foxed: No. 24: A Pash for Nash by Gail Pirkis, Hazel Wood (Editors) ★★★★½ (review)
7. ♫ Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel ★★★½ (review)
8. ⓔ Moon Tiger by Penelope Lively ★★★½ (review)
9. ✔ Slightly Foxed: No. 25: A Date with Iris by Gail Pirkis, Hazel Wood (Editors) ★★★½
10. ♫ Murder as a Fine Art by David Morrell ★★★★⅓
11. ❉ⓔ The Assassination of Margaret Thatcher: Stories by Hilary Mantel ★★★¾
12. ✔ The Blind Contessa's New Machine by Carey Wallace ★★★★½
13. ♫ The Black Dahlia by James Ellroy ★★★★
14. ❉ Reflections in a Golden Eye by Carson McCullers ★★★★⅓
15. ♫ The Hare with Amber Eyes by Edmund de Waal ★★★★★ (review)

Edited: Jul 21, 2015, 2:54 pm

American Authors Challenge (AAC)
January:Reflections in a Golden Eye by Carson McCullers - COMPLETED
February: The Europeans by Henry James - COMPLETED
March: ❉♫ The Sportswriter by Richard Ford - wasn't up to it
April: *ⓔ The Round House by Louise Erdrich - Picked for Me! - COMPLETED
May:Babbitt by Sinclair Lewis - COMPLETED
June:Angle of Repose by Wallace Stegner - COMPLETED
July:The Tombs of Atuan by Ursula K. Le Guin - COMPLETED
August: *♫ The Last Picture Show by Larry McMurtry - Picked for Me!
September:Everything That Rises Must Converge by Flannery O' Connor
October:Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury (reread)
November:Flight Behavior, ✔ The Lacuna or ✔ Prodigal Summer by Barbara Kingsolver
December:Ragtime by E.L. Doctorow


British Authors Challenge (BAC)
Moon Tiger by Penelope Lively - COMPLETED
An Artist of the Floating World by Kazuo Ishiguro - COMPLETED
*♫ Affinity by Sarah Waters - Picked for Me! - COMPLETED
Brideshead Revisited by Evelyn Waugh - COMPLETED
*✔ Jamaica Inn by Daphne du Maurier - Picked for Me! - COMPLETED
Railsea by China Mieville - wasn't up to it
The Bloody Chamber and Other Stories by Angela Carter - COMPLETED
Of Human Bondage by W. Somerset Maugham - COMPLETED
The Red Queen by Margaret Drabble - COMPLETED
The Zone of Interest by Martin Amis
Master Georgie by Beryl Bainbridge - COMPLETED
A Dead Man in Deptford by Anthony Burgess - COMPLETED
Orlando by Virginia Woolf - COMPLETED
The Bell by Iris Murdoch
Travels With My Aunt by Graham Greene
Midnight's Children by Salman Rushdie
The Long Song Andrea Levy
The Siege by Helen Dunmore
Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell
The Mandelbaum Gate by Muriel Spark
An Ice-Cream War by William Boyd
The Giant, O'Brien by Hilary Mantel
Carry On, Jeeves P. G. Wodehouse


ANZAC Author Reading Challenge 2015
April: Once Were Warriors by Alan Duff - lost at library, will try to get somewhere else.
May: The Garden Party and Other Stories by Katherine Mansfield - COMPLETED
June: Whale Rider by Witi Ihimaera - COMPLETED
July: Oscar and Lucinda, Parrot and Olivier in America by Peter Carey
August: The Bone People by Keri Hulme
November: Phryne Fisher mysteries Kerry Greenwood


Tutored and Group Reads
February:Diary of a Provincial Lady by E. M. Delafield - shared read with Liz - COMPLETED
March:Mansfield Park by Jane Austen - tutored read with Liz - COMPLETED
July:Evelina by Fanny Burney - Group read - COMPLETED
Fifth Business by Robertson Davies - shared read with Ellen - COMPLETED
November / December:Cecilia by Fanny Burney - Group read
???:The Midnight Bell by Francis Lathom - Tutored read


Reading Stefan Zweig
I discovered Stefan Zweig in April 2012 and found a soulmate. I've since acquired a treasure in the form of a luxurious La Pléiade leather-bound two volume collection of his complete novels and stories in French translations. I'd like to read at least one of his short stories or novels per month. I'll list what I've read here:

January: Dans la neige (Im Schnee), 1901
February: Printemps au Prater (Praterfrühling) & Un redoublant
March: Deux Solitudes (1901), Le Voyage (1902)
April: L’Amour d’Érika Ewald / The Love of Erika Ewald (1904)
May: L'étoile au-dessus de la forêt / The Star Over the Forest (1903)

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

Edited: Jul 11, 2015, 1:17 pm

I'm running this personal challenge for the fourth year in 2015. It's a real treat reading something that was specifically chosen for me from my TBR by this wonderful bunch of passionate readers, and of course helps reduce that pile which I seem to never stop adding to. I asked participants select a book from my "To Read" collection then tell me, in a few words why you they though I should read the suggested work. I really look forward to the following bunch this year:

1. ♫ The Black Dahlia by James Ellroy - picked by Ameise1 - COMPLETED / January
2. ✔ The Blind Contessa's New Machine by Carey Wallace - picked by luvamystery65 - COMPLETED / January
3. ✔+♫ Shantaram by Gregory David Roberts - picked by lunacat
4. ⓔ The Midnight Bell by Francis Lathom - picked by lyzard (tutored read)
5. ♫ I, Dreyfus by Bernice Rubens - picked by avatiakh - COMPLETED / April
6. ✔ The Brontes Went to Woolworths by Rachel Ferguson - picked by LizzieD
7. ♫ The Last Picture Show by Larry McMurtry - picked by msf59 (August - AAC)
8. ♫ A Town Like Alice by Nevil Shute - picked by DeltaQueen50 (ACoB!, 1952)
9. ♫ The Lost City of Z by David Grann - picked by drneutron - COMPLETED / May
10. ⓔ The Round House by Louise Erdrich - picked by Donna828 (April - AAC) - COMPLETED / April
11. ♫ Affinity by Sarah Waters - picked by PaulCranswick - COMPLETED / February
12. ✔ Catharine and Other Writings by Jane Austen - picked by souloftherose - COMPLETED / July
13. ✔ The Art of Looking Sideways by Alan Fletcher - picked by LauraBrook
14. ♫ The Bell by Iris Murdoch - picked by @sibyx (August - AAC)
15. ♫ The Leopard by Guisepe Di Lampedusa - picked by @Ireadthereforeiam - COMPLETED / May
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 - COMPLETED / January
20. ♫ My Antonia by Willa Cather - picked by jnwelch
21. ♫ Jamaica Inn by Daphne du Maurier - picked by @Cee- (March - BAC) - COMPLETED / March
22. ♫ Love in the Time of Cholera by Gabriel García Márquez (reread) - picked by cameling (ACoB!, 1985)
23. ✔ The Dog Who Wouldn't Be by Farley Mowat - picked by Deern

Extra Picks (optional)
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) (ACoB!, 1908)

♫ = audiobook
✔ = off the shelf
ⓔ = eBook

Edited: Jul 5, 2015, 11:46 am

Booker Prize Books

Read in 2015
(in reading order)
Schindler's Ark by Thomas Keneally (Booker Prize 1982)
Moon Tiger by Penelope Lively (Booker Prize 1987)
An Artist of the Floating World by Kazuo Ishiguro (Shortlist 1986)
Beyond Black by Hilary Mantel Longlist 2005)
The Gift of Rain by Tan Twan Eng (Longlist 2007)
Great Granny Webster by Caroline Blackwood (Shortlist 1977)
Oryx and Crake by Margaret Atwood (Shortlist 2003)
Child 44 by Tom Rob Smith (Longlist 2008)
Master Georgie by Beryl Bainbridge (Shortlist 1998)

On my TBR
Bruno's Dream by Iris Murdoch (Shortlist 1970)
*Fire From Heaven by Mary Renault (Shortlist 1970)
14The Elected Member by Bernice Rubens (Booker Prize 1970)
14Mrs Palfrey at the Claremont by Elizabeth Taylor (Shortlist 1971)
14The Siege of Krishnapur by J.G. Farrell (Booker Prize 1973)
*The Conservationist by Nadine Gordimer (Booker Prize 1974)
*The Children Of Dynmouth by William Trevor (Shortlist 1976)
Quartet in Autumn by Barbara Pym (Shortlist 1977)
14A Five Year Sentence by Bernice Rubens (Shortlist 1978)
13The Sea, the Sea by Iris Murdoch (Booker Prize 1978)
14A Month in the Country by J.L. Carr (Shortlist 1980)
*Earthly Powers by Anthony Burgess (Shortlist 1980)
13Good Behaviour by Molly Keane (Shortlist 1981)
Midnight's Children by Salman Rushdie (Booker Prize 1981)
*An Ice-cream War by William Boyd (Shortlist 1982)
*Waterland by Graham Swift (Shortlist 1983)
*Small World by David Lodge (Shortlist 1984)
The Good Apprentice by Iris Murdoch (Shortlist 1985)
The Bone People by Keri Hulme (Booker Prize 1985)
13The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood (Shortlist 1986)
The Satanic Verses by Salman Rushdie (Shortlist 1988)
*Nice Work by David Lodge (Shortlist 1988)
Oscar and Lucinda by Peter Carey (Booker Prize 1988)
14Restoration by Rose Tremain(Shortlist 1989)
The Book of Evidence by John Banville (Shortlist 1989)
Cat's Eye by Margaret Atwood (Shortlist 1989)
13The Remains of the Day by Kazuo Ishiguro(Booker Prize 1989)
Possession by A.S. Byatt (Booker Prize 1990)
*Two Lives by William Trevor (Shortlist 1991)
14The English Patient by Michael Ondaatje(Booker Prize 1992)
*Sacred Hunger by Barry Unsworth (Booker Prize 1992)
Under the Frog by Tibor Fischer (Shortlist 1993)
13Morality Play by Barry Unsworth (Shortlist 1995)
A Fine Balance by Rohinton Mistry (Shortlist 1996)
*Last Orders by Graham Swift (Booker Prize 1996)
14Amsterdam by Ian Mcewan (Booker Prize 1998)
13Disgrace by J. M. Coetzee (Booker Prize 1999)
Death of Vishnu by Manil Suri (Longlist 2001)
*Family Matters by Rohinton Mistry (Shortlist 2002)
Astonishing Splashes Of Colour by Clare Morrall (Shortlist 2003)
Brick Lane by Monica Ali (Shortlist 2003)
13What Was She Thinking?: Notes on a Scandal by Zoe Heller(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)
14The Ruby in Her Navel by Barry Unsworth (Longlist 2006)
*Black Swan Green by David Mitchell (Longlist 2006)
Mother's Milk by Edward St. Aubyn (Shortlist 2006)
The Inheritance of Loss by Kiran Desai (Booker Prize 2006)
14Mister Pip by Lloyd Jones (Shortlist 2007)
A Fraction of the Whole by Steve Toltz (Shortlist 2008)
13The Secret Scripture by Sebastian Barry (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)
14Room by Emma Donoghue (Shortlist 2010)
Jamrach's Menagerie by Carol Birch (Shortlist 2011)
14The Garden of Evening Mists by Tan Twan Eng (Shortlist 2012)
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)
13The Testament of Mary by Colm Toibin (Shortlist 2013)
13Harvest by Jim Crace (Shortlist 2013)
13The Luminaries by Eleanor Catton (Booker Prize 2013)
*Orfeo by Richard Powers (Longlist 2014)
*The Blazing World by Siri Hustdvedt (Longlist 2014)
*History of the Rain by Niall Williams (Longlist 2014)
14The Narrow Road to the Deep North by Richard Flanagan (Booker Prize 2014)

13 = read in 2013
14 = read in 2014
* = recent additions

(Much more on the wishlist of course!)

Edited: Jul 21, 2015, 2:08 pm

A Century of Books! 1900-1999
I stole this challenge idea from Heather/souloftherose. I'm trying to read a book published in every year of the 20th century; I've been at it for a couple of years already, so obviously haven't set myself a time limit to complete it. Hopefully I'll put a good dent in this one in 2015!

1904 The Cherry Orchard by Anton Chekhov
1907 Fraulein Schmidt and Mr Anstruther by Elizabeth von Arnim
1908 The Magician by W. Somerset Maugham
1913 O Pioneers! by Willa Cather
1915 Of Human Bondage by W. Somerset Maugham
1918 The Return of the Soldier by Rebecca West
1920 In Chancery by John Galsworthy
1922 Babbitt by Sinclair Lewis
1925 The Painted Veil by W. Somerset Maugham
1926 These Old Shades by Georgette Heyer
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 High Rising by Angela Thirkell
1934 Miss Buncle's Book bu D. E. Stevenson
1936 The Dark Frontier by Eric Ambler
1938 Epitaph for a Spy by Eric Ambler
1939 Rogue Male by Geoffrey Household
1940 Native Son by Richard Wright
1941 Reflections in a Golden Eye by Carson McCullers
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 Brideshead Revisited by Evelyn Waugh
1946 Miss Pym Disposes by Josephine Tey
1947 Wolf Story by William Mccleery
1948 A Russian Journal by John Steinbeck and Robert Capa
1950 Smallbone Deceased by Michael Gilbert
1951 My Cousin Rachel by Daphne du Maurier
1953 The Unstrung Harp: Or, Mr Earbrass Writes a Novel by Edward Gorey
1954 Bonjour tristesse by Françoise Sagan
1956 The Accursed Kings: The Poisoned Crown (Part 3) by Maurice Druon
1957 The Scapegoat by Daphne Du Maurier
1958 The Leopard by Guisepe Di Lampedusa
1960 The Great Fortune by Olivia Manning
1961 Franny and Zooey by J.D. Salinger
1962 Cover Her Face by P. D. James
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
1968 A Wizard of Earthsea by Ursula K. Le Guin
1969 The Elected Member by Bernice Rubens
1970 Fifth Business by Robertson Davies
1971 Mrs Palfrey at the Claremont by Elizabeth Taylor
1973 The Dark is Rising by Susan Cooper
1974 Greenwitch by Susan Cooper
1977 Great Granny Webster by Caroline Blackwood
1978 A Five Year Sentence by Bernice Rubens
1979 The Bloody Chamber and Other Stories by Angela Carter
1980 A Month in the Country by J.L. Carr
1981 Codex Seraphinianus by Luigi Serafini
1982 Schindler's Ark by Thomas Keneally
1983 The Woman in Black by Susan Hill
1986 An Artist of the Floating World by Kazuo Ishiguro
1987 Moon Tiger by Penelope Lively
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
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 Chocolat by Joanne Harris

Edited: Jul 20, 2015, 1:39 pm

TWO NEW BINGO LINE with the addition of #22!

I got this card from the 2015 Catergory challenge, where there are three fun designs to choose from. Unlike last year, I'll count any book that fits the criteria, as opposed to counting only books that I rate 4 stars and up, to give myself a chance to complete the challenge...

✭1. With a protagonist of the opposite gender: Schindler's Ark by Thomas Keneally ★★★★
✭2. Chosen by someone else: Chocolat by Joanne Harris ★★★★⅓
✭3. That I've owned for more than one year: Moon Tiger by Penelope Lively ★★★½
✭4. With scientists: The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion ★★★★⅓
✭5. On a subject I'm unfamiliar with: An Artist of the Floating World by Kazuo Ishiguro ★★★★⅓

✭6. Translated from a language I don't speak: Babette's Feast by Isak Dinesen ★★★★½
✭7. With a natural disaster: Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel ★★★½
✭8. About Autism: The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion ★★★★⅓
✭9. With an LGBTQ character: Reflections in a Golden Eye by Carson McCullers ★★★★⅓
✭10. Set in a country other than my own: Dept. of Speculation by Jenny Offill ★★★★⅓

11. About language:
✭12. Published in 1915: Of Human Bondage by W. Somerset Maugham
✭13. Category Challenge - FREE Space!
✭14. That reminds me of my childhood: The Bloody Chamber and Other Stories by Angela Carter ★★★★½
✭15. Where prophecies or portents are part of the plot: The Gift of Rain by Tan Twan Eng ★★★★½

✭16. Based on a fairy tale or myth: Bitter Greens by Kate Forsyth ★★★★½
✭17. Inspired by another piece of fiction: Murder as a Fine Art by David Morrell ★★★★⅓
✭18. With correspondence or letters: The Blind Contessa's New Machine by Carey Wallace ★★★★½
✭19. By an LT author: A Natural History of Dragons: A Memoir by Lady Trent, Book 1 by Marie Brennan ★★★★
✭20. Where an animal is of importance: Small Gods: Discworld #13 by Terry Pratchett ★★★★½

✭21. With a mythical creature: Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire by J. K. Rowling ★★★★⅓
✭22. Centered around a major historical event: The Thirty-Nine Steps by John Buchan ★★★★⅓
✭23. Whose author shares an ancestor's first name: The Hare with Amber Eyes by Edmund de Waal ★★★★★
✭24. That is a Genre Bender: Beyond Black by Hilary Mantel
✭25. That is completely outside my comfort zone: Can't We Talk About Something More Pleasant? by Roz Chast ★★

Edited: Jul 20, 2015, 1:37 pm

Ongoing Series
An idea Heather (souloftherose) borrowed from Liz (lyzard), which caught on like wildfire. Ongoing series that I am more or less 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)
The Australian Trilogy - Next up: Tommo and Hawk by Bryce Courtenay (⅔)
The Balkan Trilogy - Next up: The Spoilt City by Olivia Manning (2 of 3)
*♫ Barsetshire Books - Next up: Wild Strawberries by Angela Thirkell (2/29)
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 (2/10)
Chocolat - Next up: The Lollipop Shoes by Joanne Harris (2/3)
The Chronicles of Barsetshire - Next up: Doctor Thorne by Anthony Trollope (2/6)
The Chronicles of St Mary's - Next up: A Symphony of Echoes by Jodi Taylor (2/4)
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 (5/23 - read out of order)
Commissario Montalbano - Next up: August Heat by Andrea Camilleri (10/19)
Corfu Trilogy: The Garden of the Gods by Gerald Durrell (3/3)
The Cousins' War: The Red Queen by Philippa Gregory (2/6)
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 (5/10)
Dublin Murder Squad - Next up: The Likeness by Tana French (2/5)
*❉ The Earthsea Cycle - Next up: The Farthest Shore by Ursula K. Le Guin (3/6)
Easy Rawlins Mystery - Next up: White Butterfly by Walter Mosley (3/11)
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 (2/9)
❉♫ Flavia de Luce - Next up: A Red Herring Without Mustard by Alan Bradley (3/7)
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 Order of the Phoenix by J. K. Rowling (reread) (5/7)
*♫ Hercule Poirot - Next up: Murder on the Links by Agatha Christie (2/39 - 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: Flood of Fire (3/3) - Reading
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 (2/5)
Isabel Dalhousie Mysteries - Next up: The Right Attitude to Rain by Alexander McCall Smith (3/10)
Jack Reacher - Next up: The Enemy by Lee Child (8/20)
Jackson Brodie - Next up: When Will There Be Good News? by Kate Atkinson (3/4)
John Russell - Next up: Lehrter Station by David Downing (5/6)
Joseph O'Loughlin - Next up: Shatter by Michael Robotham (3/7)
Kenzie & Gennaro - Next up: Darkness, Take My Hand by Dennis Lehane (2/6 - read out of order)
Kurt Wallander - Next up: The White Lioness by Henning Mankell (3/11)
*♫❉ Lady Trent's Memoirs - Next up: The Tropic of Serpents by Marie Brennan (2/4)
The Last Lion - Next up: Winston Spencer Churchill, Alone 1932-1940 by William Manchester (2 of 3)
* Leo Demidov - Next up: The Secret Speech by Tom Rob Smith (2 of 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)
*♫❉ MaddAddam Trilogy: The Year of the Flood by Margaret Atwood (2 of 3)
*❉ Maigret - Next up: The Madman of Bergerac by Georges Simenon (16/76)
Mapp and Lucia - Next up: Lucia in London by E. F. Benson (3/8)
Matthew Shardlake by C. J. Samson - Next up: Awaiting publication (7/7)
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 (6/15)
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 - Next up: 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)
*✔ Richard Hannay - Next up: Greenmantle by John Buchan (2/5)
*❉♫ Les Rois Maudits - Next up: Le Lis et le Lion (6/7)
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 Hound of the Baskervilles by Arthur Conan Doyle (5/9)
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 Nixie's Song by Holly Black & Tony DiTerlizzi (6/8)
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)
*♫ Thomas De Quincey - Next up: Inspector of the Dead by David Morrell (2/2)
Three Men in a Boat - Next up: Three Men on the Bummel by Jerome K. Jerome (2/2)
Timothy Wilde Lyndsay Faye (3/3) - COMPLETED in June
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)
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 of 3)
*♫ Captain Gregor Reinhardt : The Man from Berlin by Luke McCallin (1 of 3)
Carl Webster: The Hot Kid by Elmore Leonard (1/3)
Chief Inspector Adamsberg: The Chalk Circle Man by Fred Vargas (1/9)
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 of 2)
*✔ Eustace and Hilda: The Shrimp and the Anemone by L. P. Hartley (1 of 3)
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)
*♫ The Inheritance Cycle: Eragon by Christopher Paolini (1 of 4)
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 of 4)
✔❉♫ The Magicians: The Magicians by Lev Grossman (1/3)
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 (1/5)
On Foot to Constantinople: A Time of Gifts by Patrick Leigh Fermor (1/3)
Outlander: Outlander by Diana Gabaldon (1/9)
♫+ⓔ 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 (1/6)
Revelation Space: Revelation Space by Alastair Reynolds (1/7)
*✔ Sacred Hunger: Sacred Hunger by Barry Unsworth (1 of 2)
*❉♫Sean Duffy: The Cold Cold Ground by Adrian McKinty (1/4)
Shanghai Girls: Shanghai Girls by Lisa See (1/2)
*♫ Small Change: Farthing by Jo Walton (1/3)
Sprawl: Neuromancer by William Gibson (1/3)
Swallows and Amazons: Swallows and Amazons by Arthur Ransome (1/12)
Sword of Honour: Men at Arms by Evelyn Waugh (1 of 3)
The Vampire Chronicles: Interview with the Vampire (reread) by Anne Rice (1/10)
❉♫ The Wolves of Mercy Falls: Shiver by Maggie Stiefvater (1/4)
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

Edited: May 28, 2015, 3:13 pm

Books Purchased May-July

(coming soon)

Edited: May 27, 2015, 4:23 pm

First!? Good heavens! That's not like me at all... :)

Hi, Ilana - happy new thread! Trying to do some catching up around the place, but there's a point beyond which that process just gets scary!

May 27, 2015, 7:28 pm

Hi Liz! Lovely to see you here. I know what you mean about trying to catch up with this group. A constant struggle for most of us, but obviously we all love it!

May 27, 2015, 8:44 pm

Just posted the latest versions of my father's portrait on FB and now sharing here. Scans from May 11, 18 and 27th, to show the progression.


Off for a light supper, then back to the drawing board!

May 27, 2015, 8:56 pm

incredible talent!!!!!!! Every time I see your art, I marvel at your ability. WOW!

May 27, 2015, 8:57 pm

>15 Whisper1: What a sweet lady you are Linda! Welcome to my new digs! xox

May 27, 2015, 9:01 pm

I've joined the fun on the CUTENESS: The Salon stays cute thread today. Worth a visit for a dose of pure happiness. Here's my latest post there:

May 28, 2015, 7:20 am

Happy New Thread, Ilana! Love the toppers and your progress on the drawing. Fine work.

May 28, 2015, 8:48 am

>14 Smiler69: Marvelous, just marvelous.

May 28, 2015, 9:12 am

Happy New Thread, Ilana! Great toppers.

What Linda said - what incredible talent you have. Love >14 Smiler69:!

May 28, 2015, 12:58 pm

Howdy! Just parking right here so I can find my way back again. :-)

May 28, 2015, 1:17 pm

Lovely new thread, Ilana. Your opening artwork is stunning. I love your picture of your Dad, you are blessed with an amazing talent. And your warble about the Cuteness thread kept me tied up for a couple of hours last evening! There are some amazing pictures on that thread.

Edited: May 28, 2015, 2:43 pm

Book #73:The Red Queen by Margaret Drabble ★★★★½
Read for: British Author Challenge, May TIOLI #8: A word in the title that means a Female
Edition: Harvest Books (2005), Paperback, 348 pages
Awards & Distinctions: 1001 Books You Must Read Before You Die (2006 Edition)
Original publication date: 2004
Date acquired: 2008

I loved the first part of the book, which is told in the voice of Lady Hyegyong, who was married to Prince Sado, heir to the throne in 1744 when they were both nine year old children, and who managed to survive court intrigues, murders and political upheavals into old age and saw her son become King Chongjo, against all odds. Margaret Drabble undertook the writing of this book after she was introduced to a translation of The Memoirs of Lady Hyegyong and fell under the spell of the Crown Princess's voice, which by all accounts transcends time and space.

The biographical details of Lady Hyegyong's life growing up in a Confucian society ruled by a demanding monarch; being forced to learn the strict and perilously fraught traditions of court etiquette; her account of a marriage to Prince Sado who descended into madness and murderous compulsions, causing so much havoc his father, with whom relations had always been fraught felt he was forced to order the murder of his son, which was carried out in a scandalously horrific manner; her story all the overtones of a Shakespearean drama. I found this account so fascinating I felt a strong desire to read her memoirs first-hand and immediately made a purchase suggestion to the National Library, which I am glad to say they quickly responded to are now in the process of fulfilling.

In Drabble's narrative, the Crown Princess is seeking a 21st century candidate to spread her work and her fame, and in the second part of the novel, we are introduced to the noted scholar Professor Barbara Halliwell who is on her way from Oxford, England to a conference in Korea, where a famous oft-published academic is also slated to deliver a presentation. Having mysteriously been sent The Memoirs of Lady Hyegyong anonymously, which comes in an Amazon box but strangely doesn't carry an ISBN number, Halliwell reads the memoirs on the long flight to Seoul and is so strongly impressed with the memoirs that she feels strangely affected and compelled to learn more about her times and life. This book will lead her to a romantic relationship and have repercussions on big life decisions to follow.

The two parts of the book don't feel quite connected, but having been forewarned of this by other reviewers, I was still able to enjoy it as a whole in what was my first exposure to Margaret Drabble's skills as a writer. I would certainly have been much happier if the novel had wholly focused on a retelling of Lady Hyegyong's life, yet I feel I understand the author's strong compulsion to tell her story as she did, which was her way of describing to the reader how strongly the voice of Lady Hyegyong affected her. A very interesting read which I feel has greatly enriched my reading life.

May 28, 2015, 2:50 pm

Well! My first 'real' review in quite a while! Maybe I'll be encouraged to catch up with some of those I've been mulling on during all this time? One can always hope.

Yay for visitors! I'm always happy to share my artwork and it's so encouraging to get all this positive feedback. I should be finished with my father's portrait soon, as my intention is to deliberately leave some parts unfinished. This is harder than it sounds, because deciding where to stop is not so easily done.

Very, very happy I went through the trouble of getting The Iron King by Maurice Druon from the library to copy it properly this time, instead of just giving up on it; it's a fascinating story and I can see I'll definitely want to continue with the further 6 volumes in the Les Rois Maudits (or "The Accursed Kings") saga.

What to pick up next for bedtime 'real' book reading?? How I love this time of indecision where possibilities seem (and pretty much are) endless!

Edited: May 28, 2015, 2:59 pm

>18 msf59: Hi Mark, lovely to see you in my new digs! I'll have to make my way to your busy thread to see what I've missed soon.

>19 weird_O: Thanks Bill! Is that really you on your profile pic? If so, it definitely suits your moniker! ;-)

>20 jnwelch: Hi Joe! I'm hoping to find the mental resources to fill this thread with more book reviews, or at least more brief commentaries than I've done in the last one... Welcome!

>21 luvamystery65: Get nice and comfortable Roberta, I'm saving your seat for anytime you want to drop by!

>22 DeltaQueen50: Hi Judy! I'm really happy with the way my father's portrait is going. It's also made it a great introduction to me asking people I know locally to pose for further portraits in the metro. That is, pose for a 'photo shoot' in the metro for further drawings. I've got several positive replies already and one good friend whose commissioned me to do a portrait for her to purchase (in the same series, that is). The whole trick is keeping them guessing when I'm actually taking the shot to catch them looking natural, as I think I managed with my dad. It'll be fun mixing strangers with friends, family and acquaintances when the drawings are all shown together, someday.

So glad you were encouraged to drop by the Cuteness thread! Makes for a good dose of concentrated happiness, don't you think? :-)


Now to the serious task of planning my June reading!

May 29, 2015, 1:50 pm

Hi, Ilana! Just stopping by to follow the new thread. I love the paintings at the top. And in case you didn't see my post on the last installment, I HIGHLY recommend The Fair Fight--best historical novel I've read in ages.

Edited: May 30, 2015, 4:29 pm

>26 Cariola: Hi Deborah! Lovely to see you here! I'm very fond of those paintings too, though I believe they are actually computer-generated with advanced Photoshop skills. I've been posting works from Catrin Welz-Stein on quite a few of my threads since last year because I find her work so inspiring, and now have discovered another artist who has a very similar and equalling fascinating approach. Glad you enjoy them too.

Thanks for the recommendation on The Fair Fight. I think Suzanne had read an ARC version and recommended it a several moths ago, and I'm glad you've added your thumbs up to it. I'll go read your review shortly and will definitely fit it into this month's reading plans.

eta: thumbs up for your review—you should post it on Audible too!

May 30, 2015, 4:34 pm

As just posted on Facebook:

Now the decisions begin... when to stop? Leaving a work "non finito" or deliberately "unfinished" isn't as easy as just stopping randomly... Scans from 27th and today, May 30th for comparison shown here. I'll be doing scans after every drawing session to compare with previous steps to help me make those editorial choices.


May 30, 2015, 4:35 pm

In reading, I picked up Flood of Fire by Amitav Ghosh, the final book in the Ibis Trilogy, as soon as I saw it on the library's Overdrive latest arrivals last night and read the first chapter which is very promising, but now I'm wondering if I shouldn't go back and read the first two novels again, as I'd been intending to do all along, so that I can follow the full narrative from the start and get a sense of continuity, since with my non-existant recall abilities, I've completely—or nearly— lost the thread of the stories and the various characters altogether. This would mean delaying reading the final book by quite a bit longer than I'd like, but would probably prove more satisfactory in the end.


May 30, 2015, 7:39 pm

>27 Smiler69: Unfortunately, Audible only lets me post reviews for audiobooks purchased from them--but I posted the review on Amazon, which is linked.

May 31, 2015, 9:07 am

>30 Cariola: For some reason, I'd assumed you listened to the audiobook version, hence my comment, Deborah.

I started listening to The Fair Fight yesterday after your enthusiastic recommdation, and so far I'm finding it very good. Only downside is one of the narrators, Justine Eyre, who has a horribly affected delivery style. I'm not sure why she narrates as she does now, because I've sampled older audiobooks by her and she sounded just fine. I will know to avoid her at all cost in future. Thankfully the other two are just fine.

May 31, 2015, 10:16 am

>31 Smiler69: Oh, I'm so glad I read it on my Kindle! The wrong reader can really kill a book.

May 31, 2015, 11:45 am

Happy Sunday, Ilana! I did not realize that Flood of Fire was out. I would it would be released a later on in the summer. That is good news.

I've been hearing such good things about The Fair Fight, for the past couple of months, that I plan on using an Audible credit for it. Glad you are enjoying it.

Jun 1, 2015, 2:13 pm

>32 Cariola: Deborah, I really hesitated about this one, and listening to Justine Eyre, considered getting the Kindle book or borrowing it from the library, but I've stuck it out and am finding that one out of three isn't too bad. The story is very good and I'm enjoying it all the same. But again, I'll stay away from this narrator in future.

>33 msf59: Hi Mark. I'm surprised you didn't know about Flood of Fire being out. I thought you'd be among the first to twitter about it. I started on the first couple of chapters, but finally decided to put it aside for now and reread the first two books first, so I could remember who all the characters are and their histories, and be able to follow all the threads of the stories. I'm now back to reading A Sea of Poppies, which I'd meant to reread eventually anyway, so am enjoying that for now.

Edited: Jun 1, 2015, 8:51 pm

Here are my reading possibilities for June:

✭*✔ Catharine and Other Writings by Jane Austen - Picked for Me! (by souloftherose), TIOLI #17: a book that was published by Oxford World's Classics - Reading
✭♫ The Zone of Interest by Martin Amis - May BAC, TIOLI #12: DIY Read a book with a word in the title that starts with either D, I, or Y
✭✔ Master Georgie by Beryl Bainbridge - June BAC, TIOLI #2: has a word in the title that means a male
✭♫ A Dead Man in Deptford by Anthony Burgess - June BAC, ACoB! (1993), TIOLI #2
✭♫ Dodsworth or Babbitt by Sinclair Lewis - May AAC, TIOLI #10: by an author who shares a name with your father or grandfather
✪♫ Angle of Repose by Wallace Stegner - June AAC, TIOLI #14: a book featuring a teacher or instructor
✭✔ The Garden Party and Other Stories by Katherine Mansfield - May ANZAC, TIOLI #9: something in the title makes you think of flowers - Reading
✭♫ The Whale Rider by Witi Ihimaera - June ANZAC, TIOLI #3: set primarily in a country farther to the south than yours
✭✔+♫ Fifth Business by Robertson Davies - shared read with EBT1002 - TIOLI #4
✭*♫ Love in the Time of Cholera by Gabriel García Márquez (reread) - TIOLI #4: with your 6th and/or 15th most popular/used tags, picked by cameling, ACoB! (1985)
✪♫ All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr - TIOLI #1: has a set of double letters in the first title word and in the author’s last name
✭✔+♫ Possession by A. S. Byatt - TIOLI #1, Booker Prize challenge
✪♫ Skippy Dies by Paul Murray - TIOLI #1, Booker Prize challenge
✭❉ Maigret chez les Flamands / Maigret and the Flemish Shop #14 by Georges Simenon - TIOLI #4
✭*♫ My Ántonia by Willa Cather - Picked for me by jnwelch, TIOLI #6: a book with a summery cover
✭**✔ The Wind in the Willows by Kenneth Grahame - Picked for me by @Cee-, TIOLI #6
✭♫ Christine Falls by Benjamin Black - TIOLI #10 (father called Ze'ev, adapted from Benjamin)
✭♫ The Fair Fight: A Novel by Anna Freeman - TIOLI #13: Read a book that has a punctuation mark and/or a symbol in the title - Listening
✭✔ Sea of Poppies by Amtiav Ghosh - TIOLI #4, Booker Prize Challenge - Reading
✪♫ Touch by Claire North - TIOLI #4
✭♫ A Natural History of Dragons: A Memoir by Lady Trent, Book 1 by Marie Brennan - TIOLI #12

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

Jun 1, 2015, 8:39 pm

>35 Smiler69: Ilana I am listening to Love in the Time of Cholera the book you picked for me way back in January. So far I like it. It's hard for me to describe but sometimes I laugh at the crazy things Hispanic people say and we just shrug our shoulders when peoples mouths drop open. An example and this is not a direct quote from the book but one of the main characters mother tells him that it is a very good thing that he is getting his suffering done while he is young. He should just embrace it and enjoy his martyrdom.

Something crazy like that. I laughed out loud in my car and though only a crazy Latina mom would say something like that. She was so happy her son was suffering and this was because she truly loved him.

Edited: Jun 2, 2015, 2:01 am

>36 luvamystery65: Roberta, I'm so glad you're ahead of me with LitToC, because I was going to swing over and let you know I had planned it for this month. Now I know you've making progress on it, I'll really have to make an extra effort to actually fit it in this month! :-)

Love that comment from the book you've mentioned above. Last time I read this book, I was around 20 years old, so it'll probably all be new to me this second time around!

Jun 2, 2015, 4:07 pm

>25 Smiler69: It is indeed me. But let me say, it was taken 30 years ago, quite some time before I became weird.

Jun 3, 2015, 5:27 pm

Belated happy new thread Ilana! I'm always happy to see more images from Catrin Welz Stein opening your thread. And thank you for the link to the cuteness thread - that was a good midweek pick me up for me.

>23 Smiler69: A thumb for your review and The Red Queen has gone on the wishlist. I really enjoyed The Millstone last month (and no I still haven't written about it on my thread) so I would very much like to read more of Drabble's work.

>24 Smiler69: 'my intention is to deliberately leave some parts unfinished. This is harder than it sounds, because deciding where to stop is not so easily done.'

I don't know, that sounds pretty hard to me. Have you decided yet?

>35 Smiler69: I have tentatively added Possession to the wiki as a shared read but I have overbooked myself for June so who knows what will happen. I have been meaning to read Sea of Poppies and sequels but given I am already feeling a bit overbooked I don't think this is the month to try and squeeze Sea of Poppies in too. Glad to hear you are enjoying your reread so far though.

Jun 3, 2015, 7:06 pm

I'm so late and sorry about it. Lots going on here!!
I'm happy to see that the last of the Ghosh trilogy is out there, but I haven't read the second one yet. Maybe I'll just wait until I have all three and reread *Poppies*. I must think I'm going to live to 127.
You make me want to pick up *Red Queen* but I can't do it yet.
That's some list for June!

Jun 5, 2015, 3:57 pm

Not sure where the last couple of days went by. I know I haven't been feeling in top form this week and been napping a lot and generally dragging myself around. However, making good progress on Sea of Poppies, which I'm determined to finish ASAP so I can then reread River of Smoke and finally get to Flood of Fire.

I finished listening to The Fair Fight a couple of days ago, which I liked well enough. The theme of women pugilists was interesting, as was the relationship between an upper class lady and a woman born and bred in a whorehouse who learns to live by her fists (this comes up rather late in the novel, but no spoiler here), but I can't say whether it was the fault of one of three narrators Justine Eyre, who has an unbearably affected breathy voice or because I consequently found the whole thing a bit melodramatic, but I ended up not quite loving it as much as Suzanne (Chatterbox) and Deborah (Cariola) did recently. Perhaps I'd have been better off reading this one in print or eBook, but I'll never know. Still, I do recommend it because it's a great yarn and I'm sure it'll be to the liking of lots of readers.

Now I'm listening to Maurice Druon's second book in the "Accursed Kings" ("Les rois maudits) series. Of course, now I've made a huge list of books I plan to read this month, I had to pick one I didn't include on said list, but I was really keen on continuing this saga set in the first part of 14th century France. Really fascinating story and rich in historical details.

Jun 5, 2015, 4:03 pm

In other news, I've made as much progress as I can for now on my father's Metro portrait and decided to set it aside for now, as I'm going back and forth on it, trying to decide how best to leave it "unfinished". I'm starting on drawing #7 in the series today, which I will be working on after taking Coco for a walk in a few minutes, post-thunderstorm.

Here is what #6 is looking like now, as posted on FB a moment ago. Scans from May 30th and yesterday, June 4th (previous steps at >14 Smiler69:)


Jun 5, 2015, 4:08 pm

Also on FB, just posted #5: Woman with Headscarf saying I had it aside to decide whether it needed more work. It may need a small touch-up here and there, But this is pretty close to the final result:

Jun 5, 2015, 4:08 pm

^So cool!

Edited: Jun 5, 2015, 4:25 pm

>38 weird_O: quite some time before I became weird.

That's reassuring! :-)

>39 souloftherose: Hi Heather! I just now noticed I used almost exactly your words to describe how I've felt this week. Seems like we're perhaps both struck by the same ailment? Mine comes 'round more or less with every new moon...

Thanks for the thumb on my Red Queen review. I'm not sure when I'll read more by Drabble, but I definitely intend to. It's not a lack of will so much as having so many other books currently on the tbr which I can't wait to get to. Not to mention new books coming out all the time to tempt me away from my well-meaning plans, of course!

As for Possession, I'm not so certain I'll get to it either this month. I've been meaning to read it for years and have the book, but finally got what seems like a good audio version recently, which I'm hoping will encourage me to pick it up sooner than later. Of course would be lovely to read it along with you, more or less at the same time. I'm constantly overbooking myself too and have listed several rather large volumes on the wiki (including Skippy Dies, which isn't all that realistic, but I do believe in the guilt-free "leave it" spirit of TIOLI! ;-)

>40 LizzieD: No worries Peggy, you're just being fashionably late and making sure you get to the party when it's already in full swing! :-)

My June list is a fantasy, as are all my monthly reading plans. I do believe I enjoy making those lists more than actually following them, though they do prove to be good general guidelines to help me make reading selections among the hundreds of choices available to me on the tbr (currently standing at 1,889 titles!)

I really loved Sea of Poppies and River of Smoke the first time around and had told myself I would probably have to reread them when the final installation came out. Of course, it does take up space for other *new-to-me* selections, but I find it's worth it to get a sense of continuity considering how well-crafted these novels are. I'll probably end up doing the same with the Wolf Hall trilogy, if only to give me an excuse to revisit the first two books; it probably won't prove necessary in that case, especially now I've seen the excellent TV adaptation and have the sequence of events and personalities well in mind, but I want to reread those books more than once anyway; masterpieces both so far, though I worry about what kind of pressure Hilary Mantel must be under to produce another Booker winner as the final book of the trilogy!

Considering the rate at which I continue to acquire books, if you think you'll live to be 127, I must think I'm immortal! ;-)

Jun 5, 2015, 4:21 pm

>44 jnwelch: Thanks Joe! :-)xx

Jun 5, 2015, 7:39 pm

My goodness, you are so talented. Your drawings are just jaw dropping!

Jun 5, 2015, 10:38 pm

I love the art! I love that your father is so self-possessed that he doesn't need anything to read or listen to or look at. I love that you've left the young person beside him unfinished. That's how life is!

Jun 6, 2015, 12:04 pm

Lovely new thread, Ilana. I always enjoy seeing the progression of your drawings. You are very talented. That's a great idea rereading the first two Ghosh books. I will probably just jump into Flood of Fire when my library gets it. I'm No. 1 on the reserve list. Yay for me! Have a great weekend!

Jun 6, 2015, 1:22 pm

I'm simply stopping by to say hello. I love the post regarding cuteness. How do I join this group?

Jun 6, 2015, 3:27 pm

>47 Dianekeenoy: Thanks so much Diane! I need my drawing session daily to help me feel balanced. I'm glad so many people appreciate my efforts!

>48 LizzieD: Hi Peggy. My dad used to be a yogi, practicing his yoga several times a day, for some 25 years, and he learned lots of meditation techniques along the way and in his later years too, so he doesn't feel the need to keep himself constantly occupied, I don't think. He's probably going to read this comment as he keeps updated with me here, so I hope I've got it right! The left side of the image is more or less resolved, I think. Just have to figure out what to do with the other side, but I'm leaving it be for now and will get back to it with a fresh perspective at a later time.

>49 Donna828: Hi Donna! Lovely to "see" you in these parts! I did want to jump right into Flood of Fire, which became available as a downloadable e-book last week from the library; I DID in fact get it and read the first two chapters, but quickly realised I'd lost the thread and didn't quite recall each of the charachter's paths through the narrative that came before and that I would probably miss out too much if I didn't go back to the first two books first. Sometimes, having little memory means I can enjoy books the second time and find them fresh again—comes in handy for rereading Agatha Christie, because I can never remember "whodunit" from one time to the next! but for series and trilogies it tends to be problematic. I'm sure you'll enjoy Flood of Fire when you get to it. I'm hard at work trying to complete book 1 and then 2 so I can also get to it soon!

>50 Whisper1: Hi Linda! Thanks for dropping by my dear. I think it's pretty much the same process to join any group on LT; just one place to click somewhere saying "join this group". I'm sure you can just post there without joining too though.

Edited: Jun 7, 2015, 2:37 pm

Haven't listed my book acquisitions in quite some time, though goodness knows they DO keep coming in! Had a bit of a shopping spree on Audible just now, after returning a couple of titles that were more or less ruined for me because of the narrators. Some of these books came rather cheaply because I'd previously gotten the Kindle versions, usually for free or just a couple of dollars, so saves me credits. Here is today's plunder:

A Passage to India by E. M. Forster (Kindle+Audio deal)
Had that one on the tbr for ages, but want to listen to Sam Dastor's narration

Howards End by E. M. Forster (Kindle+Audio deal)
I keep accumulating E. M. Forster titles, looking forward to actually reading/listening to them!

The Narrow Corner by W. Somerset Maugham
Because the BAC made me a confirmed Maugham fan.

Absolution by Murder: A Sister Fidelma Mystery by Peter Tremayne
A new-to-me mystery series, set in 7th century Britain.

Death at Victoria Dock: A Phryne Fisher Mystery by Kerry Greenwood (Kindle+Audio deal)
Hadn't had a dose of this fun Aussie chick-lit in a while.

Dune by Frank Herbert
One of those books I've been meaning to discover for a lifetime.
Folio Society just put out a gorgeous edition, and it made me impatient to read it.

The Wine of Angels by Phil Rickman
Another new-to-me author and series.
Discovered him because he's just put out a new book and became curious about his previous work.

Ordinary Thunderstorms by William Boyd
I'm a Boyd fan, and this came highly recommended in a French "The Ideal Library" book I'm currently
poring over which has tonnes of great suggestions for books published in French*. Plus Suzanne and Bonnie loved it.

*Called La bibliothèque idéale RTL edited by Bernard Lehut; this one will definitely make my wishlist bulge even further!

Jun 7, 2015, 3:44 pm

Happy Sunday, Ilana! I really like the Woman with Headscarf drawing.

Glad you are rereading the first 2 books, in the Ibis Trilogy. I am looking forward to the 3rd one.

I am also looking forward to listening to The Fair Fight and see for myself.

Hope all is well, my friend.

Jun 7, 2015, 5:32 pm

I see you have Whale Rider by Witi Ihimaera lined up for this month. I count that film as one of the best NZ films ever made. BUt shamefacedly have not read the book!

>52 Smiler69: lol, re the book purchases just rolling on in....I am the same. After a few weeks of determinedly steering clear of book sales, I came back with 7 the other day and then 5 library books!!??! I have bitten off more than I can chew, but am trying my best to not return a book unread to the library. It is like a wasted opportunity when that happens :)

Jun 9, 2015, 1:16 pm

>42 Smiler69:, >43 Smiler69: Double wow!

>45 Smiler69: No problem if you don't get to Possession this month - I was just hugely encouraged by the fact that I felt hopeful enough about reading it to move it from the bookshelf to my bedside table. It's a book that has been intimidating me for several years now but I think enjoying a Drabble last month made me feel like I might be able to tackle one of her sister's books.

>52 Smiler69: I haven't read Dune for years but I do remember the wow factor when I read it.

I also came over to say that Slightly Foxed #46 dropped through my letterbox last week so hopefully yours will arrive soon.

Jun 10, 2015, 8:54 pm

Lovely new acquisitions, Ilana! Count me as a lover of Dune too.
I also like Phil Rickman O.K., but I'm wondering whether he's your cup of tea. I'll be interested to see what you think of it.

Jun 10, 2015, 8:54 pm

Not sure where the time goes by! Been hard at work on my new drawing these past five days. I might be able to take a photo in a day or two and have something to show for my efforts, as far as early beginnings go.

Book #77:Sea of Poppies by Amitav Ghosh ★★★★½ (reread)
Read for: Booker Prize Challenge,
TIOLI #4: Read a book with your 6th and/or 15th most popular/used tags (#15: "Literary Fiction")
Edition: Farrar, Straus and Giroux (2008), Hardcover, 528 pages
Awards & Distinctions: Booker Prize Shortlist (2008),
International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award Longlist (2010),
British Book Design and Production Award (Literature, 2008)
Original publication date: 2008

Finished my second reading of A Sea of Poppies and again, rating it at 4.5, as I did the first time around. My initial review is on the book page (, and I would only add on second reading that this time I warmed to the characters and story from the very first page and was glad I already had the background to fully appreciate just how fleshed out Ghosh's large cast of characters are. Very much looking forward to revisiting River of Smoke next, which I'll fit into my reading as soon as I get my copy from the library... to eventually get to Flood of Fire as soon as I am able; all this so I can, as much as possible, read the trilogy as one long novel and keep the flow going.


Also just finished Babbitt earlier this evening. I'm giving it a 3.5 rating, because while I found it to be a good story with an interesting character and social study, I also found it dragged on and on, and would probably have rated it 4 stars had some of it been left on the cutting room. Lots of great reviews on this one lately thanks to the American Author challenge, so I don't feel the need to add to the bunch.

This brings me up to 78 books so far this year. The 75th book slipped past my notice, even as I listed it earlier this month. It was The Fair Fight, which I thoroughly regret having chosen to listen to because the narration style of one of the readers grated on me so much it pretty well ruined a good part of the experience for me. Ah well, I'll know to avoid Justine Eyre next time. Talk about affectation—UGH! But it's definitely worth a read; fascinating story about a female pugilist at the end of the 18th century and her relationship with a down-on-her luck lady, two women who under normal circumstances should never have been able to form a friendship.

Edited: Jun 10, 2015, 9:01 pm

>56 LizzieD: Hi Peggy, looks like we cross-posted just now! I'll probably fit in Dune relatively soon; maybe next month? The Folio Society edition is very appealing (as seen below, and on their site: and if I end up loving it after having listened to it and feel like it's a novel I'll definitely want to revisit, I'll probably end up acquiring it as an addition to my ever-growing Folio collection. That's with a big *IF* though, because it's extremely pricey.

Very curious whether I'll like Phil Rickman too. One thing I really like about Audible is that I feel perfectly safe trying out new-to-me authors because there is no trouble at all returning books if I don't like them.

Jun 10, 2015, 9:09 pm

>53 msf59: Hi Mark, I really rushed through A Sea of Poppies this second time around, just can't wait to get to the final book in the trilogy, but at the same time am finding I'm getting so much more out of the story upon revisiting it, now that I'm familiar with some of the characters already. I'm sure you'll love The Fair Fight when you get to it, no doubt about it!

>54 LovingLit: Hi Megan! Thanks so much for dropping by! I saw The Whale Rider at the cinema and remember being completely blown away by it. Definitely among my favourite movies of all time, though I can't say I've seen enough NZ movies to judge it by. Does Flight of the Concords count?! I did ADORE that show! ;-)

Back to The Whale Rider, I got the audiobook from the library a few years ago now, so glad the ANZAC is giving me the perfect excuse to finally pick it up. I'm currently, also thanks to the ANZAC really enjoying The Garden Party and Other Stories by Katherine Mansfield, who is now my all-time favourite short story writer.

>55 souloftherose: Heather, I do hope I manage to fit in Possession this month, if only because I've been meaning to read it for so many years now, and you're right, reading both sisters one after the other does seem appealing, even though we know they can't abide each other. If I can't fit it in somehow, I'll try to get to it next month. I'm being completely distracted from my monthly reading plans right now by the "Accursed Kings" series by Maurice Druon which is proving truly fascinating. Amazingly well researched historical fiction about the early-14th century kings of France and the political and religious turmoils of the period. Amazing storytelling!

Jun 11, 2015, 9:30 am

>58 Smiler69: I love that cover, but I have to confess that I read the title first as "Dude" and then was wondering who the dude on the cover with the funky blue eyes was. :)

Jun 11, 2015, 12:32 pm

>57 Smiler69: You're persuasive, Ilana. I'm adding Sea of Poppies to my WL.

Jun 11, 2015, 1:26 pm

>57 Smiler69: So sorry a reader spoiled The Fair Fight for you! You probably listened to the sample on audible before ordering--but when there are multiple readers, you don't always get to hear them all. I'll put in a big thumbs up for the book--in print--in case anyone else reading your thread is hesitating.

Jun 11, 2015, 2:30 pm

>60 drneutron: I see what you mean Jim, given the angle of the cover shot, I can definitely see why you would have read "Dude" at first glance. Did you check out the Folio link with samples of the illustrations? I think the artist, Sam Weber does amazing work.

>61 jnwelch: Joe, I must say I'm very surprised you hadn't already delved into The Ibis Trilogy, given how much loving it's gotten in this group in past years. I think I recall Mark putting together a group read for River of Smoke too, if I'm not mistaken, which is when I read it as well; it gave me a reason to finally pick up the first book, which had been sitting on my tbr ever since it came out; honestly, I'd bought it without knowing much about it, just because I found the cover of the hardcover edition (as posted above) so beautiful! Hope you enjoy it when you get to it. Have to say though—something I didn't mention in my review, that there is a lot of Indo-English dialect (or rather, words peppered throughout), which does make it a bit distracting on first reading, but don't let that interrupt the flow of what is an amazing story with fascinating characters. Glad to know I can be convincing when I love a book as much as I did this one—TWICE! :-)

>62 Cariola: Hi Deborah, honestly, I should have known better from the start, because while Justine Eyre wasn't on the audio sample for The Fair Fight, I do make a point to seek out samples for the other narrators when there is a multiple reader cast,; I knew I would probably have problems with her, but figured since she only lent her voice to one third of the book, it might pass muster. The odd thing is I listened to some of her early recording samples in which she sounds just fine, but somewhere along the way she adopted this really annoying reading style. I guess some people must like it, but it makes me cringe every time she breathes out word endings, in what she must think is a seductive voice.

Jun 11, 2015, 3:04 pm

>63 Smiler69: I did - they were really great!

Jun 11, 2015, 3:13 pm

Jun 11, 2015, 7:00 pm

Hi There. What a great recent book haul.

Jun 12, 2015, 3:43 pm

>66 Whisper1: Thanks Linda! Much agreed. I'm certainly not lacking for choice when it comes to audiobooks—or any kind of book for that matter. What joy! :-)

Edited: Jun 12, 2015, 3:46 pm

Finished The Accursed Kings: The Poisoned Crown (Part 3) by Maurice Druon on audio last night. Giving it ★★★★⅓ and looking forward to part 4 of 7 soon. I'll pick up something else just now from my planned reading list as I do a short drawing session, which will be followed by a longer one after a walk with Coco.

eta: just saw the time, so change of plans: Coco's walk first, then long drawing session. I'll have a first glimpse to show of Metro Series #7 very soon.

Jun 13, 2015, 12:40 am

Started listening to Angle of Repose by Wallace Stegner this evening (for the AAC). The narrator, Mark Bramhall, is very good, but I think I'll try to get my hands on a written copy so I can go back and forth, because something about his writting makes me very much want to read it inside my head instead of listening to it being told by someone else's voice.

Jun 13, 2015, 10:55 am

As just posted on Facebook:

Metro Series #7 is underway. I'm calling this one "Mister Abercrombie".


Jun 13, 2015, 12:22 pm

Am yearning to see flowers, lots of flowers. Been pinning them like crazy onto my "Blooms" Pinterest board ( Going to the botanical gardens with my friend Kristyna next week, where I'll probably grab lots of shots. Here, peonies around the corner from my house caught on Friday while walking Coco.


Edited: Jun 14, 2015, 1:41 pm

Book #80:Master Georgie by Beryl Bainbridge ★★★★⅓
Source: Book swap
Read for: June BAC, TIOLI #2: has a word in the title that means a male, Booker Prize Challenge
Edition: Carroll & Graf Pub (1998), First Edition, Hardcover, 190 pages
Awards & Distinctions: James Tait Black Memorial Prize (Fiction, 1998)
Booker Prize Shortlist (1998)
Orange Prize Longlist (1999)
Guardian 1000 (War and travel)
Commonwealth Writers' Prize (Best Book, South Asia and Europe, 1999)
WH Smith Literary Award (1999)
ALA Notable Books for Adults (2000)
Original publication date: 1998
Year acquired: 2011

Finished Master Georgie last night. I had no notion at all what the story was about before starting this novel, even though I'd had it in my possession since 2011 and had heard the title bandied about countless times. All I knew is it had been shortlisted for the Booker and had an excellent reputation, and didn't seek to find out more about it, which is uncharacteristic for me. At the beginning, I thought it would be about photography, which the Georgie in question takes an interest in when the novel begins in the mid-1840s. Then it became a novel about obsession, with one of the narrators, young Myrtle, a foundling who has found a home with George's family, so in love with the young man that she's literally willing to follow his every step. Then it became a novel about the Crimean War, more or less as lived close to the front, Georgie now being a doctor and taking care of the horribly maimed and wounded, while Myrtle and his step-brother Dr Potter—who is specialised in geology and well versed ancient literature, but is sickened at the sight of maimed bodies—making camp with our hero in the worst possible conditions. The novel is told by three narrators; the two mentioned above, as well as Pompey Jones, a young man who starts off as a street urchin, then becomes a fire-eater and finally a photographer assigned to Crimea to document the war. We learn about Georgie through those three individual narratives but never get a glimpse into his own thought patterns, which I found a very novel approach which turned George Hardy into a sort of mythical figure, which I suppose he was to the three people most closely involved in his life during the war, and what Beryl Bainbridge probably set out to turn him into, as the title partially implies.

Extremely well written with beautiful language and strong imagery, I can well see why this novel was shortlisted for the Booker prize when it came out in 1998 (it was the novel Amsterdam by Ian Mcewan who took it that year; equally deserving in my opinion). Bainbridge was nominated no less than five times for the Booker and passed away from cancer without actually ever winning it. A shame, but all the more reason for me to want to discover more of her work now I have a vivid example of what an excellent writer she was.


eta: I may not be putting out many reviews lately, but I've still somehow managed to publish 665 of them so far on this site since I joined in 2007. Not too shabby, but I'll make an effort to review more often this year. The above was knocked out in 15 minutes, so I can do it if I put my mind to it!

Jun 14, 2015, 6:04 pm

>59 Smiler69: I really need to revisit Katherine Mansfield. We studied her at school and I don't recall enjoying it much. I wasn't a reader's on my list!

>60 drneutron: I read the spine as DUDE too, Jim. I love the look of that book, and intend to read it some day.

Your latest read sounds like a very good way to pass time. I tried only one Beryl Bainbridge book, and wasn't all that enamoured with it. I have not thought about trying another one, although, this one of yours could make it. The one I read was one about the Titanic sailing, I cannot recall the title.

Jun 14, 2015, 10:41 pm

ummm. As I said to somebody else today, I haven't ever read Bainbridge, and it becomes more and more apparent that I need to. Thanks for the boost in that direction.
I'm tickled that you're working on Metro #7!

Jun 15, 2015, 7:51 pm

Hi Ilana! I am finally making it over here, to see my pal. I think it is a good idea to read Angle of Repose in print and save the audio for a reread. From what I remember, the prose is deep and lush and should be savored.

Did you listen to The Children's act? I think that will be my next audio, after finishing Just Kids. I really want to read more, McEwan. This will only be my second.

Jun 16, 2015, 9:09 am

Once again, your talent is astounding!!!!!!

Jun 16, 2015, 11:20 am

>72 Smiler69: Hmm, here I have been saying that I'm not going to attend to any challenges this month, giving myself a break from all things obligatory.... but that sounds like a good read. Well, I'll add it to the wish list and perhaps eventually get to it.

Thank you for visiting my thread, Ilana. I'm going to start The Buried Giant today. I also really do want to read Fifth Business with you next month. I know we're both prone to overcommitment when it comes to reading plans and, like you, I really enjoy making the plans (and I'm working on feeling less overwhelmed by them -- it's not like they are real commitments, just plans!). Fifth Business has been on my TBR for years, nay, decades so I do want to get to it this summer. And reading it with you will make it even more fun!

Okay, off to work but wanted to stop in to say a quick hello!

Jun 17, 2015, 12:20 am

Happy new thread, Ilana. You continue to amaze me with your skill as an artist!

Jun 17, 2015, 9:29 pm

Hi everyone, thanks so much for the messages. I'm struggling this month with a recrudescence of nightmare migraines, which I only seem to be able to forget about when I'm drawing. I'll be back to respond to individual messages soon, but right now am just barely able to hold it together.

Just finished book 4 in the Accursed Kings series with The Royal Succession. I think I'll probably finish this series before long—so very good!

Jun 17, 2015, 11:59 pm

Hi Ilana, sorry to hear that you are having trouble with a migraine. Hope it goes away soon. I've taken a BB for Master Georgie. I so enjoyed my Beryl Bainbridge read and I am looking forward to trying another of hers.

Jun 18, 2015, 2:44 pm

Been having technical difficulties with the Audible app on my iPhone, which keeps quitting every couple of minutes and which has made listening to Angle of Repose near to impossible. I suppose I could transfer it to iTunes and listen that way, but feeling quite exasperated with Audible, and liking, but not loving Angle of Repose, I've put it aside for now and moved on to Maurice Druon's part 5 of The Accursed Kings, The She-Wolf of France.

Migraine still with me, quite bad ones lately which I wake up with in the morning. I've taken lots of Fiorinal this month and now must dose it so I make sure not to take for more than 12 days, after which it can cause rebound headached—oh joy! Needless to say, this constant pain is making things more difficult—and unpleasant—than necessary. But thank goodness I have my books and my drawing to keep me on a more or less even keel, though I must say my spirits have taken a hit from this relentless dull pain. Boring, boring.

I have quite a few physical books on the go (as seen in the first post on this thread), but then a couple of them are short story collections, on is a reference book (to help me add to my bulging wishlist, as if that were necessary!), and I just picked up the latest Maigret last night: Maigret chez les Flamands / Maigret and the Flemish Shop (#14) by Georges Simenon. I'm still waiting on River of Smoke to arrive from the library so I can jump back into the Ibis Trilogy.

Drawing is progressing well as I'm putting in lots of hours, though mostly obsessing over small details nobody will notice but me. I'll post a new photo of it soon.

Jun 18, 2015, 2:51 pm

>73 LovingLit: Megan, I can see that Katherine Mansfield wouldn't have held all that much appeal to a teenager, and I'm glad I've picked it up in my middle years, now I can appreciate all the details she puts into her short tales, which are not at all about reaching any kind of closure or following any plots at all. But taken for what they are, they seem like little gems, each precious and unique and many-faceted.

I'm not sure when I'll pick her up again, as I have no more Beryl Bainbridge on the tbr at this time, but I do look forward to revisiting her work and hope you'll find something of hers to like.

>74 LizzieD: Hi Peggy! I hope you enjoy Master Georgie if and when you eventually get to it.

I'm also quite tickled by #7; it's starting to feel like an actual collection and I'm maybe a third of the way to having enough for a show. Woo!

>75 msf59: Hi Mark, well you might have seen my comments on Angle of Repose from my post just above. I thought I owned a print copy of it, but was mistaken, so I stayed with the audio, though I'm not sure that was the best decision given my latest technical difficulties.

I did indeed listen to The Children's Act not very long after it came out and found it quite good. I too want to read lots more of Ian McEwan's work. Everything in good time!

>76 Whisper1: Thanks so much Linda, you are very kind to say so.

Jun 18, 2015, 2:57 pm

>77 EBT1002: Ellen, nobody says you MUST read Bainbridge this month. But I do hope you manage to fit in Master Georgie at some point, because I think it's worth the time to discover what an amazing writer and storyteller she is. In the meantime, I hope you've been enjoying The Buried Giant—a book I'll definitely want to revisit sometime.

Thanks so much for dropping by, I know what a busy lady you are and it's much appreciated. xx

>78 lkernagh: Hi Lori! Welcome! I guess I'm not posting much reviews these days and showing more of my art, which sort of reflects where I've been spending most of my time lately. The extra fun thing about working on this drawing series though is I can listen to audiobooks while a work; a pretty good two-for-one if you ask me! :-)

>80 DeltaQueen50: Hi Judy. Yes, the migraines have been pretty relentless all month. When I draw I forget about the pain as I work, so it's an extra incentive to keep at it. I'm glad I've convinced you to add Master Georgie to the wishlist, I'm sure you'll enjoy it when you get to it already being a Beryl Bainbridge fan.


Landlord vacuuming my front balcony after doing a big job on the front cornice. I must escape the noise. Off to my latest drawing!

Jun 18, 2015, 4:29 pm

I'm sorry that you are suffering with migraines again. I used to have them but only occasionally. To have them frequently is terrible. I'm glad though that you can still read and draw through them.

Jun 19, 2015, 10:41 pm

So sorry to hear that the migraines are making their presence so, um, present. I hope the pain eases soon.

I bought a couple of Beryl Bainbridge novels, used copies, so I will get to check out her writing at some point. I'm doing a good job of giving myself permission to let go of my perfectionism about the challenges. Life is too short and reading time too precious to make it a competition with myself.

Sending you healing energy from the other coast of North America. :-)

Jun 19, 2015, 11:31 pm

Well, my dear, I can only echo Ellen and wish that the migraine may lose its grip on you.

Jun 20, 2015, 2:04 pm

For the first day this week, I woke up with a tolerably tame headache and actually had pleasant dreams just before waking up—quite eventful! Beautiful outside and not too warm, just the way I like it. Pierre and I finally inaugurated the BBQ this season with some delicious brochettes from the organic butcher's last night which I accompanied with store-bought but delicious hummus and a homemade huge tabouleh salad. Very yummy. Tonight we're making fresh salmon on the grill and having local strawberries and yoghourt for dessert. I do love enjoying the seasonal bounty.

Dropping by the local library this afternoon to pick up River of Smoke among other things. It'll be the next reread in the series to be up-to-the-minute before finally picking up the final part of the trilogy with Flood of Fire.

Just finished Maigret chez les Flamands / Maigret and the Flemish Shop by Georges Simenon last night, which is number 14 in the series. Only 62 more books to go to complete that one! I do love the strong sense of atmosphere he creates with each story, and the inspector himself is growing on me too with his bulky presence, few words, and constant pipe-smoking. Next, I'll read a few more short stories by Katherine Mansfield and then on to River of Smoke as bedtime reading.

Jun 20, 2015, 2:12 pm

>84 catarina1: Hi Catarina, and thanks for the sympathy. Daily migraines are no joke, but you're right in that I'm blessed that they still allow me to draw and even read. Drawing is just about the only thing which allows me to almost forget the pain, so I consider it an essential therapy. Glad to know you are no longer plagued with those buggers... I look forward to menopause as a likely respite from them myself.

>85 EBT1002: Hi Ellen. I'm not quite sure why, but this time of year seems to be mark strong activity on the migraine-front for me. Will have to mention that to my neurologist when I see him in July. I remember last year stuffing myself with Fiorinal on my birthday so I could enjoy the day and dinner with my gf Kristyna, and then enjoying way to many dirty martinis and an excellent bottle of wine. Not recommended to mix barbiturates with alcohol to be sure, but I figured to risk it once was worth it to allow for a good time that one day in the year.

I was really stoked when I looked up the library listings that they're currently purchasing The Bottle Factory Outing by Beryl Bainbridge, which I've reserved to make sure I'll be more or less first in line to get it. I've seen that title oft recommended; it was shortlisted for the Booker Prize, as you might know and is also on the Guardian 1000 list in the comedy category. I love that Guardian list and am trying to get to as many books on it as I possibly can. Other books by Bainbridge available at the library too, all old copies from the 90s being the most recent, but no matter; I can get them for free, which means I can spend my money on other harder to obtain books.

>86 LizzieD: Thank you so much Peggy—your combined wishes seem to have gained me some relief for now at least, which I am most grateful for, believe me! :-)xx

Edited: Jun 20, 2015, 2:16 pm

Just posted the following series of pics on FB to show the evolution of Metro Series #7: "Mister Abercrombie". I'm loving those sartorial details which are also driving me a bit nuts, but certainly make for an interesting challenge!


Jun 20, 2015, 2:48 pm

^Love these!

Jun 21, 2015, 8:36 am

Happy Sunday, Ilana! I hope you are doing okay. I am enjoying the latest drawing. It is really taking shape.

Jun 22, 2015, 9:13 pm

This subway series just gets better and better, and I love the photos you post of the process.

I got so far behind in threads, I'm trying to catch up!

Edited: Jun 23, 2015, 7:59 pm

Hi Friends, still struggling with daily migraines which obviously affect my sleep, so I'm pretty much out of it today. Finished Angle of Repose the day before yesterday, and while I enjoyed it and found it beautifully written, my overall appreciation suffered from the fact that a) I'd felt from the beginning I would appreciate this book more in written format than on audio, which was the format I had and b) I'm experienced many difficulties with the Audible app, so the narration kept stopping randomly, sometimes every couple of minutes, sometimes every ten minutes, and occasionally I was able to listen for an hour at a time without interruption, but distracted because wondering when it would stop again. Not the ideal conditions to enjoy such a piece of fine writing! I've already decided I owe it to myself to reread this one in a few years to fully appreciate it.

Last night, finished book 5 in in the Accursed Kings series, The She-Wolf of France and now only have two more to go to complete the series, which will no doubt happen in very near future as I've become addicted to this series and now want to read up a lot more about the 14th century and the 100 year war, which the series ends on, I believe.

Am well embarked on River of Smoke and will do my best to finish Catharine and Other Writings by Jane Austen, as I've had that one going for a couple of months now and am nearly at the end (but taking it in bits here and there) as well as The Garden Party and Other Stories by Katherine Mansfield, as that one was the May author for the ANZAC and I'd like to move on. However, each story is like a precious gem, and I want to take my time to fully savour them, and as I'm pushing ahead to finish River of Smoke ASAP, I'll just have to see how it all pans out in the end.

Edited: Jun 23, 2015, 8:01 pm

>90 jnwelch: Thanks Joe! :-)

>91 msf59: Hi Mark, my Sunday was fine, though there's not much difference for me between a weekend and a weekday. The drawing is coming along well with daily drawing sessions, and I'm about to settle down for a good 2-3 hours of drawing in a moment, so hope I'll have something to show for it afterward.

>92 sibylline: Thanks so much Lucy, I'm glad you're finding my work is improving with each new drawing; very encouraging, that. I'm chronically behind on all the threads and can only manage to visit a few each day, so have resolved not to worry myself about it overmuch, especially since I know even the most active members here have trouble keeping up too.


Starting on a new audiobook this evening while working on my drawing. Right now the big problem of: which to choose?

Jun 24, 2015, 12:03 pm

I'm having a good time with The Grand Sophy, Ilana. Things really picked up when Sophy came on the scene. Right now she's squaring off with the overly paternalistic Charles.

Jun 24, 2015, 6:29 pm

Hi, Ilana! Sorry I haven't dropped in for a while - I've been swamped and mostly off the grid, but I'm trying to do some catching up now.

A while ago you expressed some interest in the proposed group read of Fanny Burney's Evelina: I'm pleased to say we'll be going ahead with that next month - it will be lovely if you're able to join in. :)

(Yay, another Sophy convert!)

Jun 25, 2015, 2:19 pm

Hi, Ilana! Love the new drawing. I'm sorry you are dealing with migraines. Also sorry that I have audible's Angle of Repose in the hopper. Hopefully I won't have the same glitches, but you never know. One thing they told me when I called about an issue with another book was that if it is a longer one, download it in parts (Format 4) rather than the Enhanced Format.

Jun 25, 2015, 4:32 pm

Sorry to hear you're suffering with migraines again Ilana. I don't have much to say except I really like the latest of the Metro series and you are encouraging me to read the Sea of Poppies trilogy, the Accursed Kings saga and some Beryl Bainbridge.

Edited: Jul 1, 2015, 4:41 pm

In really bad shape these past few days. Had a 10 out of 10 migraine yesterday, which thankfully didn't last much more than an hour. Most of the time am at 7, which isn't great, but lets me function. Now at 8/9 and just completely miserable.

Book #86:The Whale Rider by Witi Ihimaera ★★★★
Source: Municipal Library
Read for: June ANZAC, TIOLI Challenge #3: set primarily in a country farther to the south than yours
Edition: Bolinda Publishing (2005), Unabridged Audio CD: 3h40
Awards & Distinctions: 1001 Children's Books You Must Read Before You Grow Up
Original publication date: 1987
Year acquired: 2011

I finished The Whale Rider last night, and thought I liked it enough, I couldn't help but compare it to the movie which I saw when it had come out at the cinema and which I'd absolutely adored. Somehow the story with the images was that much stronger, though I'd probably had loved the book that much more had I not seen the movie first. Still, a great read about a young Maori girl and her struggle to emerge as the special person she is despite her great-grandfather's insistence on regretting she isn't a boy.


Have started listening to All the Light We Cannot See and am enjoying it so far.

Very annoyed that I can't use the Audible app at all lately. Now it won't work at all, so I guess I'll have to download books to iTunes instead. No possibility of bookmarking with iTunes, and I'd taken to listening at x1.25 or 1.5 speed, which also isn't possible on iTunes. I'm very annoyed with the people at Audible right now and wish they could do something for me considering how many audiobooks I buy for them in any given year, but reading the latest comments on the app, I see many users are having the same complaint, so they're obviously working to fix it.

Jun 26, 2015, 4:04 pm

>95 jnwelch: I'm so glad you're enjoying The Grand Sophy Joe. She certainly is a memorable character!

>96 lyzard: Hi Liz, I've become more of a lurker than ever these past couple of months and did see you were MIA for a while there. Hope all is well with you. I'll definitely happily join in with Evelina, which I've already included in my current short version of the July planning. Very kind of you to invite me!

>97 Cariola: Hi Deborah. It was a real shame, having all those tech glitches while listening to such a great book. But obviously they're having big problems over at Audible right now, so I'll have to download anything I want to listen to from them onto iTunes, which I am loath to do, but seems there is no other choice right now if I want to listen to any of my 700+ audiobooks from them!

>98 souloftherose: Hi Heather, lovely to have your visit. I am indeed made very low with the migraine attacks these past several weeks now. Thanks for the comments on my drawing, and glad to know I'm managing to incite you to read some books despite my neglect in writing reviews!

Jun 28, 2015, 5:11 pm

>99 Smiler69: Really sorry to hear the migraine has worsened. And boo to the problems with the audible app - hopefully they will fix it soon. I find annoyances like that can feel really overwhelming when I'm struggling with life - the proverbial final straw I suppose. Hugs.

Edited: Jul 1, 2015, 4:45 pm

My my, goodness knows I've been active, and even been cataloguing quite a lot of books here on LT, but somehow not active here in the group or even on my own thread!

Thank heavens, I've had a bit of a break in terms of intensity of the migraines for the past 3-4 days, at "only" 5 to 7 out of 10 in the pain scale, which is a huge improvement and allows me to lead a normal life, as pain free as I've been in the last 6 weeks or so. I've been drawing daily which keeps me on an even keel and makes me feel like I'm being productive with my time. I've taken care of a bunch of administration tasks I usually put off endlessly, I've even taken time to sort through my wardrobe and get rid of quite a few items, another task I usually put off and only do when closet space is no longer existent. All this makes me feel like I'm functioning above my normal levels, which can only be an awesome thing.

On the books front, been accumulating titles, mostly on audio as regularly as ever, mostly borrowing audiobooks from the library, many of them in French taking advantage of the vast catalogue available here.

A mini sort-of-revew of my latest completed book follows.

Jul 1, 2015, 4:51 pm

Book #87:All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr ★★★★¾
Source: National Library OverDrive collection
Read for: July TIOLI #15: Read a Book with a W in the title
Edition: Simon & Schuster Audio (2014), Unabridged MP3; 16h03
Awards & Distinctions: Pulitzer Prize (Fiction, 2015)
Alex Award (2015)
Andrew Carnegie Medals for Excellence in Fiction Shortlist (2015)
National Book Award finalist (Fiction, 2014)
New York Times Notable Book of the Year (2014)
Original publication date: 2014

I just finished All the Light We Cannot See last night, late enough that it can be counted as my first book in July. I loved, loved, loved this story about a French young blind girl and her amazing relationship with her father and great uncle, running alongside parallel stories about a young German whiz who is recruited into a Nazi school and then the German army at the onset of WWII, and a rare and talismanic diamond which causes some lives to collide and some relationships to come apart. Beautifully told, and a great audio experience as well. One of my favourite books this year, which I'm rating at 4.75 stars.

Jul 1, 2015, 5:47 pm

Glad to see you back, Ilana! And I am glad to see that you loved All the Light We Cannot See. I also thought it worked very well on audio.

Jul 1, 2015, 5:54 pm

>104 msf59: Hi Mark, thanks for dropping by! I remember you saying you'd loved the audio version of this book, and I sort of wavered, but glad I went for it in the end.

Jul 1, 2015, 5:57 pm

>101 souloftherose: Hi dear Heather, well, as you might have read above already, migraines giving me a bit of a respite these last few days, which I can't thank heaven enough for!

I just started listening to Anthony Burgesse's Nothing Like the Sun a this afternoon on the Audible app, which finally decided to come back online, and was able to listen for 50 uninterrupted minutes, which I take to be a good sign. Fingers crossed it'll stay on track!

Edited: Jul 1, 2015, 6:31 pm

Any help in the way of getting to 150 posts so I can start a new thread with new visuals is greatly appreciated! :-)

Here's a photo of Coco if there is nothing else you wish to comment about... ;-)
Taken May 20th, one month after a visit to the groomer's. Coat is quite grown out again, so my little lamb will be getting shorn again in a couple of weeks.

Jul 1, 2015, 6:31 pm

Hi Ilana - just checking in. Glad that you are feeling a little better of late. I've started listening to the last 6 books of the Dance to the music of time series on audio. I rejoined audible so I can nab a few series like this and The Alexandra Quartet.

Edited: Jul 1, 2015, 9:27 pm

>108 avatiakh: Hi Kerry, I might have spoken too soon, because now I feel I have a monster migraine looming over me... hopefully the painkiller I've just taken (Relpax) will do it's job, but whatever breaks I can get here and there are already much appreciated.

I've yet to plunge back into the much-lauded Anthony Powell series, which I tried on audio and decided I wanted to read in my own "voice" at some point. You are braver than I in wanting to tackle The Alexandria Quartet... I started on Justine in 2013 and gave up on it about halfway. A bit too highbrow for my liking. Or.. maybe highbrow isn't the word I'm looking for, and my head won't let me reach for appropriate words right now, so I'll leave it at that!

Jul 1, 2015, 10:04 pm

I have All the Light We Cannot See on my Kindle but stopped reading at about the half-way point several months ago. I found the alternating chapters a bit unsettling. But the book has gotten such consistently good reviews here on LT, I guess I'm going to have to go back to it and try again.

That is interesting how much Coco looks like a little lamb, so cuddly. And I've enjoyed seeing the progress in all of your drawings - such talent.

Jul 1, 2015, 10:36 pm

Coco is a little lamb! I devoutly hope that the migraine didn't develop - how wonderful if you could get some permanent relief!
Ah dear. I went without lunch a couple of days in college to be able to afford the next volume of *Alexandria 4tet*. Now I remember almost nothing and should put them on the reread mountain. I think I'll wait to see what Kerry says.....
You liked *All Light* more than I did, and I'm glad. I'd hate for you to have bad headache time and unsatisfactory reading. I, on the other hand, didn't get to Alma Mahler today, so I was free from the unsatisfactory read and the headache.

Jul 1, 2015, 11:04 pm

>109 Smiler69: - that's why I nabbed the audio of the Durrell books, I also found Justine a difficult read. I do want to read them though.
I started the Powell books back in 2008 and made my way through the first six fairly quickly, then I joined LT groups and the rest just got put aside. The three books I'm listening to are set during WW2 and slightly boring so at least I'm getting through them.

Hope the migraine stays away.

Jul 1, 2015, 11:15 pm

>102 Smiler69: I am currently putting off administrative tasks too, like tax returns and dentist appointments *yikes*
Sorry to hear you are migraining...what a drag. How frustrating to be waylaid by such an unwelcome visitor!

>103 Smiler69: great star rating! I saw this book mentioned as an aside in a different book's review somewhere, something to the effect of "if you don't want to be challenged then go back to All the Light We Cnnot See" and it sounded quite insulting. I have heard a lot of good things about the book, so, I guess I can discount whoever s so disparaging.

Jul 2, 2015, 6:59 am

Love that Coco!!

Jul 2, 2015, 9:10 am

Good to see your enthusiasm about All the Light We Cannot See, Ilana. I've been undecided, but I'll put it on the WL.

Great photo up in >107 Smiler69: of your little lamb!

Hope you're setting up for a good weekend.

Jul 2, 2015, 12:02 pm

Hi, Ilana. So sorry about the migraines. If your weather has been anything like ours, it hasn't helped. I've been getting a lot of sinus headaches due to the humidity.

Wow, 700+ audiobooks? I pretty much stick to my two credits/month and an occasional sale item. Now that I'm retiring, I will probably listen to books on audio less, since I did this mostly during my commute.

I was not as enthusiastic as you about All the Light We Cannot See. I remember that it took a LONG time to get into and for things to start moving along.

Does Coco like getting clipped? I kind of like the little lamb look!

Jul 2, 2015, 2:58 pm

>110 catarina1: Hi Catarina, I know what you mean about the alternating chapters sometimes being confusing, but I've noticed it's a device often used by contemporary authors and I've grown accustomed to it over time as a narration style, changing from one aspect of the story to the other. As a matter of fact, the book I've been (re)reading lately, River of Smoke by Amitav Ghosh switches between of character and another several times within each chapter, which does jog the brain a little, but you do get used to it. Not everyone loved All the Light as much as I did, as you can see by some of the comments following yours, but I do think it's worth giving it another try.

Jul 2, 2015, 3:00 pm

>111 LizzieD: Hi Peggy, I well remember that you weren't all that enthused about All the Light You Cannot See when you read it this year, and that influenced me in that I lacked the enthusiasm to pick it up, but wanted to read it to find out why it had been awarded the Pulitzer, and finally got sucked into the the story more or less from the start. I love that we agree to disagree about any given book here on LT!

The migraine managed to stay at bay the other day once I took the painkiller and I'm doing relatively well today so far too, so keeping fingers crossed!

Jul 2, 2015, 3:02 pm

>112 avatiakh: Kerry, I know what you mean about getting through books you're less enthusiastic about via audiobooks since I've done the same myself. I was under the impression that all the Powell books were equally good, so I'll be interested to see how I feel about them when I embark on that series.

Edited: Jul 2, 2015, 3:06 pm

>113 LovingLit: Hi Megan! I gave some thought to that "if you don't want to be challenged" comment, and don't see why someone would say that about any given book, unless they are used to a regular diet of challenging literature (thinking of someone like Darryl/kidzdoc, for example). I suppose All the Light focuses more on telling a great story than aspiring to any great literary merit, and some might be annoyed that it took such a big award as the Pulitzer because of that perceived short-coming. I didn't try to compare it to anything, and must admit I do enjoy a great yarn and am easy to please when I'm being told a good story, so I'm definitely biased in my own way.

Jul 2, 2015, 3:09 pm

>114 msf59: Thanks Mark—I share your feelings! ;-)

>115 jnwelch: Hi Joe, I'll look forward to your take on All the Light We Cannot See when you eventually get to it. It seems to generate all kinds of different reactions.
As for weekends, they don't really mean much to me with the alternative lifestyle I lead, so holidays and weekend are just days I need to remember as being time off for the rest of the world and remind myself not to try to make business calls on those days!

Jul 2, 2015, 3:14 pm

>116 Cariola: Deborah, weather here has been all over the place. Today is beautiful and not too warm, but with a blend of cloud cover as well, and we've had lots of low-pressure systems passing through, with days of rain and lots of grey. But then, full sunshine doesn't seem to agree with me either, so who knows?

I do have a huge collection of audiobooks, but I do get most of my Audible books on sale, of with the Kindle deal, which means I usually pay less than $5 CAD for them. I'm much less willing to spend credits, but I have renewed my platinum membership several times in any given year, so that must make me a very good Audible customer. Let's just say they never refuse returns from me! That being said, I get lots more audiobooks via the library, so my overall collection is quite overwhelming, but somehow I can't seem to stop myself from adding to it! It must be a disease, for sure!

I guess I enjoyed All the Light from the beginning because I liked both Marie-Laure and her father on one side, and then Werner and his crew quite a lot from the get-go, which made it easier for me to diver right into the story, which I found enthralling all the way through. To each his/her own, as usual! :-)

Jul 2, 2015, 3:16 pm

Off to take a pic of my drawing before working on it again for an hour or so, till Pierre comes over and we take Coco out for a nice long walk. I'll be posting the updates on said drawing on FB and here very soon.

Jul 3, 2015, 7:23 am

Just checking in. Looking forward to the drawing updates.

Jul 3, 2015, 2:24 pm

>124 msf59: Oh yes, drawing updates... coming up!

Jul 3, 2015, 2:27 pm


Jul 3, 2015, 4:21 pm

Nice progress on Mr. Abercrombie. You are very talented Ilana.

Jul 3, 2015, 9:41 pm

Your pictures never cease to amaze me! What talent you have! Coco is so cute with that adorable hair cut. I'm always sorry to hear about your migraines because I know how incapacitating they can be. I suffered with them after 2 concussions for years. Then, had to have a hysterectomy (sorry guys) and never had one again!

Jul 3, 2015, 11:09 pm

Oh my goodness!!! That PLAID!!!!!! Is that as hard as I imagine?
Great work, Ilana! I bow to you.

Jul 5, 2015, 11:02 am

Coco is just so dear!

I love this new drawing - I can feel the boy's suspended movement - he has to hold on to the seat just to stay still, staring out the window, can't wait to get where he's going, poised to leap up and go!

Never ever worry about getting to my thread. I have a ridiculous number that I try to visit at least now and then, and that is the best I can do. I always read all the reviews and try to make sure, scanning, that I am not missing important life events. Oh and of course I stop to savor pet pix, bien sur!

Jul 5, 2015, 1:20 pm

Thanks so much for the kind feedback on my drawing. I'm happy with the way it's coming along, but most of all with the fact that I've been keeping up my daily drawing practice for quite a few months now.

So many books coming into the house, from Audible, from the library, from various sources, that I can barely keep up with all the cataloguing, which takes up most of my LT time, therefore I'm very sorry I'm not being more active within the group. But I'm here in spirit, if that counts for anything!

Just started on Marie Brennan's A Natural History of Dragons last night. Have barely finished the first chapter, so too early to pronounce myself, but I've been very curious about this book since many readers here seemed very enthusiastic about it.

A short review coming right up.

Edited: Jul 5, 2015, 2:18 pm

Book #88:Nothing Like the Sun by Anthony Burgess ★★★★½
Read for: June BAC (belatedly), July TIOLI #5: A title that could drive you to drink (water, tea, beer, wine, your choice)
Edition: Audible Studios (2015), Unabridged MP3; 9h01
Original publication date: 1964

Nothing Like the Sun has made me a Burgess fan, since I was never going to read A Clockwork Orange ever since I read the fist two pages back in my late teens and got thoroughly turned off. This book purports to be a biography of Shakespeare and introduces him to us from his late teens, when he was presumably occupied chasing women and bedding every one of those who accepted his advances. Until he got caught into marriage by the brothers of one Anne Hathaway, one of the women which he managed to impregnate, though not at all his first or last choice as a wife. The story follows his career path from his first scratchings until his demise from syphilis, with his first sonnets devoted to what was reportedly one of the greatest loves of his life, a young teenage lord of great beauty, here presented as being Henry Wriothesley, 3rd Earl of Southampton. His second great love is a Dark Lady, also mentioned in his sonnets, who was probably from Indian descent from the details we glean in this highly fictionalized story. Burgess present to us a lusty William Shakespeare who seems entirely convincing considering the countless bawdy references in his plays, but also a very realistic portrait of a man of genius who is unsure of himself and his position in the world, blending the sublime and the ordinariness of life. Among my favourite books this year.

I should mention I listened to an excellent very recently release audio version narrated by Sean Barrett, and also that I'm very glad I didn't let the utterly confusing beginning of the novel discourage me from continuing on. I can be very slow on the uptake sometimes, so among other things, it took me some time to catch on to the fact that "WS" was our main man. I've got two more Burgesses waiting in the wings, one being the Booker shortlisted Earthly Powers, which comes highly recommended by some of our favourite LT members. I just may have to make room for more Burgess this year.

Jul 5, 2015, 1:43 pm

>127 catarina1: Thank you so much Catarina. Impressed that you recalled the title of my drawing! :-)

>128 Dianekeenoy: Hi Diane, nice to hear from one I presume has been a lurker till now. :-)
Thank you for your very nice comments about my drawing. I discovered I had great ease with a pencil in my teens, before having any serious training, but sadly let the next 30 years go by without producing much of anything. I can't tell you what it means to me to have the ability and mostly the time (!) to work on pieces at my leisure, that is using a technique akin to embroidery which most people would find utterly mind-numbing, but for me proves to be a meditation of sorts.

Coco looks great right now, with his coat a bit longer and looking every bit like a teddybear, but I'm having him shorn again soon so he can be comfortably on the hotter days. I love him in all his guises, and he truly is a little sweetheart. When he's not being a drama queen, that is!

Jul 5, 2015, 1:48 pm

>129 LizzieD: Hi Peggy dear. The plaid was... a challenge, but strangely enough, as I said to Pierre the other day, what I find most challenging of all is getting the skin tones as I want them, and those big surfaces of grey require endless passes, building up from very light then darker, layer after layer, to ensure I don't get them too dark, which is harder to fix. But as you can imagine, I love those challenges, otherwise I'd be working in completely different way.

>130 sibylline: Hi Lucy! Lovely to get a visit from you. I know I've been terrible at visiting my friends this year. I do try to lurk when I have time, but have so many other activities keeping me busy, not least of which my drawing practice, which I've finally committed myself to in earnest.

I don't post enough reviews, another thing I don't take enough time to, but once in a while I start writing one spontaneously, such as the above, and then I feel glad I've done my duty as a good LT member, but also for my own benefit, since I do tend to forget so much of the narratives over time.

Jul 5, 2015, 1:48 pm

Cataloguing a few more books, then off to said drawing.

Jul 5, 2015, 2:33 pm

Hi Ilana, I'm finally catching up here and enjoying both your artwork and the picture of Coco. I am planning on reading The Natural History of Dragons this month so I am looking forward to your thoughts on it. I am currently listening to The Tombs of Atuan by Ursula Le Guin and although I am not enjoying this as much as the first book of the trilogy, it's good enough to keep me listening.

Jul 5, 2015, 3:07 pm

Coco, a drama queen! Too funny.

Jul 5, 2015, 4:07 pm

>132 Smiler69: Oh, now that you've finished Nothing Like the Sun, you MUST move on to A Dead Man in Deptford, which is about Christopher Marlowe. I taught a seminar years back in which, in addition to reading Marlowe's plays, I had the students read several novels about him. At the end of the course, we held a "crowner's inquest" to determine if it was premeditated murder or if, as the official story goes, Marlowe was stabbed in the eye in a tavern quarrel.

Another good novel about Marlowe is Entered from the Sun by George Garrett.

Jul 5, 2015, 6:15 pm

>126 Smiler69: Terrific!

>132 Smiler69: I liked Nothing Like the Sun, too, Ilana, although maybe not as much as you. I wonder whether I would've liked this one more on audio. Quite possibly.

I'm one of those LTers who thought Earthly Powers was exceptionally good.

Jul 5, 2015, 9:13 pm

I saw the words "lurk" and "lurker" in some of the posts above. I don't want to alarm you, but I have it from reliable sources that there IS a weird-O lurking here. Do be careful. :-) Oh, I really admire your drawings.

Jul 5, 2015, 10:57 pm

>140 weird_O: Dunno --- maybe more than one!!

Jul 6, 2015, 6:55 am

^^Was that a Weirdo-Lurker??

Hope you had a good weekend, Ilana. Like the progress on Mr. Abercrombie.

Jul 7, 2015, 9:32 am

Dont we all? I've got an ever-growing board on Pinterest called "Reading Love" which give me a raison to regularly look at beautiful imagery and add to my collection. You're welcome to have a peek right here:

Insomnia these days brought on by... well mostly, strange dreams, which isn't anything new, but usually I make up for multiple interruptions by sleeping in late in the mornings. But they are renovating a large apartment triplex building across from my bedroom, bringing in new containers each morning and then proceeding to dump large items into it from the third floor, which makes for lots of clanging... lovely sounds to interrupt whatever sleep I might get then. But no matter, it gives me extra hours during which to do things like... find new pins for my Pinterest boards!

Just finished A Natural History of Dragons: A Memoir by Lady Trent, Book 1 by Marie Brennan last night, which was lots of good fun. I got the library to obtain the whole series on OverDrive audiobooks, so I'll probably proceed with the others in near future. I look forward to joining into a group read of Evelina by Frances Burney this month, but might try to fit in one or two other short books before then. I just love trying to decide what to read next, even though I have my monthly planning list. After all, they are mere suggestions and those moments seem filled with infinite possibilities.

Off to see my neurologist this afternoon, and not a day too soon! I'm doing ok so far today, and the last week has been relatively good with only one or two days in the 7 or 8 out of 10 in the pain zone, but still, high time we find a better course of treatment, so I expect we'll be switching medication. Perhaps looking at Botox treatments as well? I'll be bringing it up.

Edited: Jul 7, 2015, 9:37 am

Almost forgot to mention I received my SUBLIME edition of Buffon's All The World's Birds yesterday, which is 672 pages, 30 x 39 cm (12 x 15.5 inches), weighing 8 kilos (17.6 lbs), and with 1008 colour engravings (many in full page format) of 18th century ornithological drawings from the 18th century. Pierre and I had originally ordered the Rizolli edition of this book when the price vastly dropped on Amazon some months back, but then the order kept being delayed and I was told I shouldn't expect it to arrive. Finally, we borrowed the original French edition from the library (incredible that they'd actually lend such a treasure!) which is when I was able to fully appreciate the original French texts which read like bits of poetry. This books aparently influenced authors such as Jean-Jacques Rousseau, Chateaubriand, Balzac and Proust, so deciding to get the French edition, although much more costly, seemed like the only way to go. In any case, a birthday gift (for my 46th, coming Saturday), worth keeping for a lifetime.

It came in a stunning presentation slipcover and an extra copy of the cover art, which I will frame and put up on my wall. I will take pictures of my wonderful gift when the right lighting presents itself.

Jul 7, 2015, 12:06 pm

>136 DeltaQueen50: Hi Judy! I'd listed The Natural History of Dragons a couple of times on various monthly TIOLI wiki pages, and included it in my planning this month when I saw you'd listed it for July, so thanks for giving me an excuse to finally pick it up! You remind me I want to do a short writeup on it, but sometimes intentions are good, and I'm a little bit pressed for time now, so if I somehow forget to write more, I should say I thought it was great fun and marvellous entertainment, filled with exciting adventure which worked for me even though I didn't really have any interest in dragons until watching the Game of Thrones series on HBO!

I started on The Tombs of Atuan on audio sometime last year shortly after I'd listened to the first book and was quite disappointed the story changed to other characters, so dropped it, but finally decided to go back to it, so I hope I appreciate it more this time now I have some idea what to expect from it.

Been meaning to tell you I'm really glad you're active within the group even though you don't have your own thread here this year, and always enjoy your visits. xx

Jul 7, 2015, 12:11 pm

>137 catarina1: Coco, a drama queen! Too funny.

Goodness! You should have seen/heard him at the vet's yesterday! He was hollering before the lovely doctor had even applied the stethoscope to his body, and THEN I had to hold him and keep his mouth shut so he'd stop yelping just so she could hear something other than his hysteric yelping!
Taking his temperature was another great trauma to him, and then I heard him screaming bloody murder some more when they took x-rays in the lab, shaking my head in shame the whole time. No overstatement at all saying he's a drama queen, believe it!

Turns out he's got a restricted trachea, which they miraculously captured on a regular x-ray (apparently this never happens). I'm waiting for a call from the vet so we can decide how to proceed to help him with his breathing difficulties, sneezing and coughing fits. Probably some kind of cough syrup for a few days, then as needed on occasion, which doesn't sound too difficult.

They gave him a green gingham bandana which suit his so well... I must take pictures to show you all soon!

Jul 7, 2015, 12:18 pm

>138 Cariola: Thanks for the suggestions on the Marlowe books, Deborah. A Dead Man in Deptford is the other Burgess book I got from Audible (other than Earthly Powers, that is), and the one I had originally planned to listen to for the BAC, so I will follow your advice and plan to fit it in sooner than later. That seminar of yours sounds like it was a lot of fun!

>139 jnwelch: Joe, when I said Earthly Powers "comes highly recommended by some of our favourite LT members", I should have specified those members were none other than yourself and Paul. The only reason I didn't pick it up first is because of the length (38 or so hours on audio), which I found a bit daunting, but all the same I look forward to making time for it.

>140 weird_O: Hi Bill, thank you for alerting me to the fact that you are there... and lurking. Always nice to know there are Weird-Os out there keeping up with me! :-)

>141 LizzieD: See above, Peggy. ;-)

>142 msf59: Hi Mark, weekend was fine, I think, though I can't recall much of it already. But then, I forget what I've done in the morning by the afternoon of the same day! It probably involved looking at a lot of books and drawing and throwing something on the BBQ though... Hope you're doing great too. I'll make some time to catch up with you sometime real soon! xx

Jul 7, 2015, 1:31 pm

>107 Smiler69: What a cutie pie!

>126 Smiler69: Also enjoyed seeing the progress on your latest drawing. Such detailed work!

>143 Smiler69: I'm really glad you enjoyed A Natural History of Dragons - for some reason I still haven't got round to the second book so will probably join in whenever you get round to reading them.

>144 Smiler69: That looks like a gorgeous book - I look forward to the photos when you can get the light right.

>146 Smiler69: Poor Coco :-( I hope they can help with his breathing difficulties.

'They gave him a green gingham bandana which suit his so well... I must take pictures to show you all soon!'

Yes please!

Jul 9, 2015, 7:54 pm

>143 Smiler69: Hi Ilana, I love the pictures in your pinterest collection. I have bookmarked it! Also very interested and intrigued and wowed by your drawings. Wowed too by the books listed that you have read. Great ideas for my reading future.

Jul 10, 2015, 1:13 am

>144 Smiler69: Oh my, that looks like a stunning edition!

I do plan to read Fifth Business this month. In fact, I'm taking it on this weekend's camping trip so that I can start it once I finish The Shore. I hope you're up for joining me!

And yes, we all do read past our bedtime. At least, I do on a regular basis. It's one of life's greatest pleasures.

Edited: Jul 10, 2015, 2:29 pm

Book #92:Orlando by Virginia Woolf ★★★
Source: Audible
Read for: July TIOLI #15: Read a Book with a W in the title
Edition: Aquarium Audio Books (2015), Unabridged MP3; 9h32
Awards & Distinctions: 1001 Books You Must Read Before You Die (2006/2008/2010/2012 Editions),
Guardian 1000 (Science Fiction & Fantasy),
Guardian Essential Library
Publishing Triangle 100 Best Lesbian and Gay Novels
Original publication date: 1928

Finished Orlando yesterday, which rather left me cold, though I'd quite enjoyed the first third of the book or so, until he became a she after a long sleep and I somehow lost interest as the centuries wore on past the Elizabethan age and with Woolf's falling into more of an exercise in writing than the telling of a story, or so it felt to me. Also the sex change and immortality were never explained, and instead were just treated as a matter of fact, with the passing of time simply indicated by some changes in technology, with some characters who seemed to also be immortal and having also inexplicably changed sexes, and most not. Somehow this was mostly annoying to me; I would have liked for some reason to have been given, at least for the sex change. I know this is a very well respected book, and I also know it was written for Vita Sackville West, with whom Woolf had a love affair, but having no background on their relationship and having not read their correspondence, I couldn't begin to guess how the book was a tribute to her erstwhile lover, or why it is considered to be one of the best lesbian fiction books, or even a feminist one for that matter, though that may be in simple bad faith on my part since I was less than taken with the whole. So I'll stick to Mrs Dalloway and A Room of One's Own as my two favourite Woolf books at this time. That being said, I listened to an audio version with excellent narration by Veronika Hyks and rather hope we'll be finding more books read by her in near future.


My second reading of River of Smoke was much more successful, and looking at my original review, must say I still agree with it (, and glad that I no longer have to wait for the final instalment of the trilogy as I was lamenting about there.

Jul 10, 2015, 2:35 pm

>148 souloftherose: Hi Heather, I like the idea of reading the next Lady Trent book with you, so we'll see what TIOLI challenge in coming months prompts either of us to list it.

I took a picture of Coco this week with his little green gingham scarf which I will post very soon. Have yet to do a photo shoot of my Buffon book, but that too is imminent.

>149 mdoris: Hi Mary, thanks for dropping by. I'm sure you won't lack for reading suggestions as you make the rounds of threads of the other members of this group. I know my wishlist positively exploded the moment I joined in! :-)

>150 EBT1002: Ellen, now I know you'll be making room for Fifth Business, I'll make sure to fit it in this month as well. I remember loving it the first time around, and it's been a very long time since I've read any Robertson Davies, who is among my favourite authors, so it's great to have a good excuse to pick him up again. Maybe it'll prompt me to finally finish that trilogy. Thanks for dropping by!

Jul 10, 2015, 5:56 pm

>120 Smiler69: that literary writing vs. a good story thing is like in music with melody vs. lyrics. I am of a mind to think that any odd mixture of either element can just work, or just not work. I can't see that there is a formula that makes something good or bad, it is just each persons feelings and thoughts at the time.

Your picture is coming along fabulously. I just showed it to my lovely other and he had to look closely to see that it was really pencil, and not a photo!

Edited: Jul 11, 2015, 7:35 am

^Hope you have a lovely day, Ilana! And yes, that is a warbler up there.

Jul 11, 2015, 1:12 pm

>153 LovingLit: Hi Megan, I know Orlando is a much beloved book, and as you say these things are always highly subjective. I was most willing to like it, and really did enjoy it a lot in the beginning, but then... not so much. All the same, I'm glad I read it and am no somewhat familiar with it. Perhaps I'll return to it someday and appreciate it more now I know what to expect. Thanks for the comment on my drawing. Off to work some more on it now!

>154 msf59: Thanks so much Mark, that a truly sweet visual. Gotta love that warbler! :-)

Jul 11, 2015, 2:41 pm

Happy birthday, Ilana!

I recommend the film version of Orlando, which starred Tilda Swinton and was directed by Sally Potter. It's still an odd story, but it is more palatable as a film, I think. I always used the scene of the Lady Orlando attending a salon with Pope, Johnson, and others in my Brit Lit I course.

Jul 12, 2015, 12:59 pm

Belated happy birthday Ilana!

I was trying to read Woolf's The Voyage Out this month but have ended up abandoning it and returning it to the library as I just wasn't in the mood...

Edited: Jul 15, 2015, 7:18 pm

I ended up having a lovely birthday, with birthday wishes coming in from all parts of the world, and then a lovely evening out with my beau at a great little restaurant, which is apparently listed among the 100 best restaurants in Canada. Monday my friend Kim came over and assembled a strawberry shortcake, of which we devoured more or less half with two hearty slices each. It's become a yearly tradition for her to make me this dessert, one of my great favourites for the strawberry season months.

In reading, I completed Catharine and Other Writings by Jane Austen, as well as The Garden Party and Other Stories by Katherine Mansfield, two books I'd had on the backburner for quite a while, and both excellent. I will most definitely revisit both in future and am now a great Katherine Mansfield fan, and looking forward to the other volume I have of hers, Bliss and Other Stories.


Book #95:The Tombs of Atuan by Ursula K. Leguin ★★★★
Source: Municipal Library
Read for: America Author Challenge,
July TIOLI #4: Read a work by an individual mentioned in the Science Fiction Awards Database
Edition: Atheneum Books for Young Readers (2012), Edition: Reissue, 208 pages
Awards & Distinctions: Newbery Honor, Phoenix Honor
Original publication date: 1971

I finished The Tombs of Atuan yesterday, book 2 in the Earthsea Trilogy by Ursula K. Le Guin, literally racing through the last few chapters. I'm glad the American Authors Challenge gave me an excuse to pick this one up again, as I'd started on it just after finishing The Wizard of Earthsea last year, and being disappointed with the change of protagonist, gave up on it, thinking I'd try it again some other time. This book tells the tale of a young girl, supposedly the reincarnation of the high priestess of the Tombs of Atuan, a large warren of underground passages and a labyrinth where the "dark ones" reside; dark forces which are considered as the gods of old, who eat the souls of those who venture in their territory. The story takes a while to pick up, but then when a wizard becomes trapped in the tombs, things become very interesting, with our young high priestess suddenly choosing to keep him alive instead of executing him, as is the custom, and in the process opening up to possibilities she had never considered as existing for her before. The edition I read from includes a very interesting afterword by Le Guin, who explains she had not at all planned the Earthsea cycle to extend beyond the first book originally, as well as her reasons for treating her female heroine the way she did, in this case allowing her to have real power only when joined by that of a male protagonist.


Have now picked up the final book in the Ibis Trilogy, Flood of Fire and also embarked on Maigret #15 by Georges Simenon with Maigret and the Death of a Harbor-Master. I'll probably be finishing up the audiobook of Evelina by Frances Burney this evening during my drawing session. Speaking of which, I'm about to edit the photos of said drawing I've taken over the last week to post them on FB and on my thread.

Edited: Jul 15, 2015, 8:07 pm

>156 Cariola: Thanks for the birthday wishes, Deborah. I vaguely remember seeing the Tilda Swinton movie around the time it was released (early 90s I believe?) and not being able to make heads nor tails of it, though I had not read the book yet then. I'll try to find it and watch it again now I'm familiar with the story in all its strangeness.

>157 souloftherose: Hi Heather, and thank you! I do think one needs to be in the right head space to read Virginia Woolf. She can be a very demanding author, and I've often started and stopped on some of her books, picking them up again at a later time when the moment was right.

Jul 15, 2015, 8:01 pm

I've just posted updates on Mister Abercrombie on FB. Here are the latest photos:


Jul 15, 2015, 8:06 pm

Great progress on "Mr. Abercrombie". I like how the others sitting next to him are slowing coming into view.

Jul 15, 2015, 8:08 pm

Thanks Catarina! I'm off to work on it for the rest of the evening now.

Jul 15, 2015, 8:19 pm

A quick howdy Ilana. I'm glad you had a very nice birthday. Happy Belated my dear.

Jul 15, 2015, 8:42 pm

Swell drawing. It is almost like watching a photo print develop in the darkroom. (Haven't done darkroom work in decades!)

Jul 16, 2015, 2:06 pm

>158 Smiler69: Sounds like a lovely birthday (I do wish I could have some of the strawberry shortcake) and I'm so pleased you enjoyed Catharine and The Tombs of Atuan. I still haven't read anything by Katherine Mansfield despite having The Garden Party collection on my kindle as a free ebook - clearly I should.

>160 Smiler69: Wow - I also like seeing the progress on the other characters in that drawing.

Jul 16, 2015, 2:30 pm

Very happy but belated birthday wishes, Ilana. I read The Tombs of Atuan a week or so ago and my reaction was very similar to yours. At first I was a little disappointed at the change in the main character, but then the story grabbed me and I ended up actually liking this one better than the first. I am looking forward to finishing the trilogy at some point.

I also just finished our other joint read this month, and I loved A Natural History of Dragons, thought it was a very entertaining read.

Jul 17, 2015, 3:23 pm

Rats, I missed your birthday. I've not been on LT at the beginning of this vacation, and I'm intentionally avoiding FB (can you say time suck?).

I always enjoy seeing the development of your art work. I so appreciate that you post it at different stages in the process; for a non-artist like myself, it actually helps me "see" details and nuances I might otherwise miss.

I just finished Fifth Business this afternoon and I almost dug right into The Manticore. I will certainly read that one, and presumably World of Wonders before long. I can see why Robertson Davies is a favorite of yours and I am sorry it has taken me so long to get around to reading his work! Delightful.

Have a great weekend, my friend.

Edited: Jul 19, 2015, 2:03 pm

Book #99: ❉♫ Parle-leur de batailles de rois et d'éléphants / Tell Them Of Battles, Of Kings and Elephants* by Mathias Enard ★★★★½
Source: Municipal Library
Read for: July TIOLI #3: Read a book in which letters are important
Edition: Audiolib (2011), Unabridged MP3 CD; 3h20
Awards & Distinctions: Goncourt des lycéens (2010)
Goncourt Shortlist (2010)
Original publication date: 2010

I picked up this amazing little book because it came highly recommended in a "best of" directory consisting mainly of French writings (La bibliothèque idéale RTL edited by Bernard Lehut); it has not been translated into English yet, but it can only be a matter of time given it won a prestigious French literary award, its vastly famous protagonist—the artist Michelangelo di Lodovico Buonarroti Simoni, aka Michelangelo—and the compelling premise that the great Italian Renaissance master had made a trip to what was then known as Constantinople in 1506 after being invited by Sultan Bayezid II.

From a few verifiable facts, Mathias Enard has weaved a highly poetic tale on the premise that following the Sultan's invitation, (which Michelangelo's famous biographer Giorgio Vasari noted in his Lives of the Most Excellent Painters, Sculptors, and Architects), the great master did in fact accept the invitation and spent three months in Constantinople to present plans for a bridge connecting the Eastern and Western parts of the great capital. Sultan Bayezid II has been mostly forgotten by history, but it seems he was a great visionary who promoted learning, fine arts, poetry and earned the epithet of "the Just" because of the smooth running of his domestic policies. Among other things, he organized the evacuation of Jewish and Muslim Spanish civilians who were evicted from Spain as part of the Inquisition, and granted them full Ottoman citizenship. Bayezid II was keen to have a bridge designed by one of the great Italian Renaissance masters, and asked Leonardo da Vinci to submit his designs first. This drawing is still in existence today, but it seems the proposed bridge was deemed impossible to build with the technology available at the time and it was rejected by the Sultan's engineers, after which Bayezid II turned to Michelangelo.

The story he weaves here begins with Michelangelo's arrival to Constantinople in May 1506, where is he given shelter by an Italian merchant and greeted by one of the Sultan's protégés, the Ottoman poet Mesihi of Pristina. The two men couldn't be more different; Mesihi, though now still considered as an important contributor to Ottoman letters, having died young in an impoverished state and total obscurity, while Michelangelo went on to become rich and famous and died towards the end of his ninth decade. Mesihi enjoyed much food and drink, and openly courted both men and women, while Michelangelo was of an ascetic nature, refusing all drink and eating little. But here Enard imagines the two men developing an unlikely friendship and the poet introducing the renaissance artist to a performer of great beauty and indefinable sex during one of their outings. The language is sublime, and we are privy to some of Michelangelo's actual correspondence with one of his brothers, which Enard has translated into French for his book.

As for the intriguing title of the short novel, the author took the sentence from Rudyard Kipling’s preface of Life’s Handicap, a short story collection. This preface contains a fictive conversation between Kipling and “Gobind the one-eyed”, a holy beggar, who explains the art of telling stories:
“Tell them first of those things that thou hast seen and they have seen together. Thus their knowledge will piece out thy imperfections. Tell them of what thou alone hast seen, then what thou hast heard, and since they be children tell them of battles and kings, horses, devils, elephants, and angels, but omit not to tell them of love and suchlike. All the earth is full of tales to him who listens and does not drive away the poor from his door. The poor are the best of tale-tellers; for they must lay their ear to the ground every night”.

Such a beautifully told tale that it's well worth reading twice in a row.

*Proposed translation for the English title

Jul 19, 2015, 2:23 pm

Sorry I've been giving so little news lately. Things are well. Things are muggy and sticky and too warm here in Montreal of late. I'm trying to live as well as I can with the headaches that inevitably hit me by early evenings, given the constant cloud cover and heavy atmosphere. Reading a lot, drawing alot—twice a day lately, taking daily walks with Coco and Pierre, the latter of which has caught a summer cold a few days ago, which we're both dearly hoping I'll manage to avoid so that we're keeping as much apart as possible, aside from above-mentioned daily walks and sharing an aperitif after the afternoon walk and then tea and desert before the night walk. Seems like we've got a nice little routine going, which also means I've got the most regular schedule I've ever had in my life before. This can only be good for me, and I'm glad I'm being more productive than ever. I'm also sadly not participating much in the group lately, guess I can only challenge my energies to a few places at a time, but I'm always here in spirit.

Doing lots of good reading, and I especially wanted to share the latest book I read, although it isn't yet available in English. If you're a fan of historical fiction and excellent writing as I am, do look out for the above-mentioned book. Another of Enard's books, Zone, was translated into English recently and was on the Best Translated Book Award Longlist in 2012, among other distinctions. I will look out for it since it was the book Enard was working on while he was in residence at the Villa Medicis library, which is where he fell on the bit of Vasari's biographies mentioning Michelangelo's invitation to Istanbul/Constantinople.

Have now picked up the audio version of Fifth Business for a reread. I really should be reading it from one of my gorgeous Folio books, as I have the complete Deptford Trilogy in that edition, but as I'm currently reading another big volume with Flood of Fire, the last book in the Ibis trilogy, I thought I was likeliest to get to the Robertson Davies sooner this way, as Ellen and I had put off this shared read for a while already.

Thanks so much for keeping my thread alive! Answering individual messages next.

Edited: Jul 19, 2015, 2:50 pm

>163 luvamystery65: Thanks Roberta, glad you managed to drop by!

>164 weird_O: Great analogy with the photo print, Bill—I fell the same way about it. I remember my dad doing print work in one of the bedrooms he'd turned into a dark room when I was little, and then had fun with it myself when I was in design school. Talk about the good ol' days, eh? ;-)

>165 souloftherose: Hi Heather! That was definitely one of the loveliest birthdays I've had in quite a few years. The Strawberry Shortcake is long gone. I think I must have devoured it in two days. Half was gone within the first 30 minutes after it was made, with Kim and I having two hearty slices each, then somehow I managed to keep two small pieces for Pierre... but it was much too good to keep!

I have a feeling you would greatly enjoy Katherine Mansfield. I'll be happy to read Bliss and Other Stories, when you decide to pick up her other story collection—I'd even be willing to create a Katherine Mansfield challenge for TIOLI whenever you're up to it!

>166 DeltaQueen50: Hi Judy! I read your review of The Tombs of Atuan and thumbed it the other day as it perfectly expressed how I felt about it too. I've just now thumbed your Natural History review as well, since you again sum up my feelings about it perfectly well... and you also remind me I should try listening to Crocodile on the Sandbank again. I'd put it aside a few years back because I couldn't get into it back then, but I think I might enjoy it now, if I can get past Katherine Kellgren's antics. She's just a bit too expressive for my tastes sometimes.

eta: don't know why I was going on about Katherine Kellgren, since she didn't narrate any of the books, now I look into it! I guess it was the style of writing I didn't like back then, sort of chick lit, I guess, but I'm game for it now once in a while, now my horizons have widened! :-)

Jul 19, 2015, 2:41 pm

>167 EBT1002: Hi Ellen, so lovely to hear from you here, as I know you're a busy woman away from the net. I know just what you mean about FB, since I spent a period doing little else, and have learned since then to stay away as much as possible too and just dip in once in a while.

Really appreciate your comment on seeing my drawing develop and how it makes you notice things you wouldn't see otherwise, which is part of the appeal of showing the drawing in stages for me, as I did think it would help viewers notice more details. Glad it's working! :-D

I've also finally picked up Fifth Business again. I'm so glad you ended up loving it and you were enthused enough about it to consider picking up the next book in the trilogy! The audio version isn't as good as the voice I've long had in my head as being Davies' own, but I'm familiar enough with his writing and this book to enjoy it as a second-to-best way of taking it in as a reread this time around. I've got quite a ways to go with Flood of Fire in print/ebook format, and wouldn't have gotten to Fifth Business for quite a while if I'd resolved to stick to the print version of that one as well, but I do look forward to reading the next two books as well in my Folio edition—I'll have to reread The Manticore as a refresher before finally delving into World of Wonders, which I hadn't managed to fit in yet. The Ghosh book is excellent, by the way, though I can't recall if you've read the first two yet; all three are recommended in any case!


Off for a drawing session!

Edited: Jul 19, 2015, 9:43 pm

>171 Smiler69: Ilana, I have read (and very much enjoyed!) the first two in the Ibis Trilogy. I think I must have been living in a cave; I had not realized that the third one was out. I will put Flood of Fire on my wish list. I'll either get it from the library or wait until it comes out in soft cover to purchase it.

ETA: I see that it is out in soft cover although not readily available for various shopping carts. I've put it in my shopping cart for Book Depository. Maybe I'll get a nice bookmark to go with the book!

Edited: Jul 20, 2015, 1:08 pm

Book #100:Le Port des brumes / Maigret and the Death of a Harbour-Master #15 by Georges Simenon ★★★★
Source: Municipal Library
Read for: July TIOLI #2: Read a book with a connection to water
Edition: Le Livre de Poche (2005), softcover, 224 pages
Original publication date: 1932

A man is found in Paris with a head wound, apparently suffering from amnesia and unable to speak. His maid eventually comes in from a small harbour town and identifies him as Capitaine Joris, her town's harbour-master, and Maigret follows Julie and her employer back to the port town of Ouistreham in Normandy to elucidate the mystery. But to add to the confusion, Capitaine Joris dies on the night of his return home from strychnine poisoning and Julie is besides herself with grief. The town is foggy throughout Maigret's stay, which makes discerning passers-by near impossible and adding to the confusion, none of the town's inhabitants want to speak to the inspector, though it becomes evident that everyone has something to hide, including Julie's big brutish brother, an ex-convict, who works on a ship and is evidently involved in some scheme. A compelling mystery, and as always, Simenon is a master of ambiance.

Jul 20, 2015, 1:12 pm

>172 EBT1002: Ellen, I'm glad you've read and enjoyed the first two books in the Ibis Trilogy. Flood of Fire was just released at the end of May, and there's been surprisingly little noise about it, so I'm not surprised you missed the fact that it's come out already. I managed to borrow the ebook from the national library online service, but won't have time to finish it before the due date, so I've already reserved a physical copy from the municipal library so I don't have to interrupt my reading.

The Book Depository bookmarks are always a nice touch!

Jul 20, 2015, 1:24 pm

Just noticed I've completed another bingo category and filled two more lines with square #19: A Natural History of Dragons by Marie Brennan, who is an LT author. Just one more square to go!

Go to >9 Smiler69: to see all the books.

Jul 20, 2015, 1:29 pm

Lurketty, lurk; lurk-lurk.
Keep the cold at bay and enjoy!
I'm sorry I missed your birthday here. Hope the rest of the year lives up to it.

Jul 20, 2015, 1:44 pm

>176 LizzieD: Hi hi Peggy, thanks for delurking :-)

So far so good as far as keeping the cold at bay, thank heavens. Poor Pierre is suffering, but he's just as worried about me catching it, so we're being as careful as possible.
No worries about missing my b-day, since you did send me something on FB and there's no need to be everywhere all the time, is there? It was really lovely and I was heartily spoiled. Off to look at my Buffon's Natural History of Birds birthday book out on the sunny balcony now; best lighting to let the colours of the illustrations pop!

Jul 20, 2015, 4:39 pm

Go Bingo categories! :-)

Jul 21, 2015, 4:54 pm

I perfectly understand about Elizabeth Peter's books. I enjoyed the first three or four of the Amelia Peabody series, but I then ran out of enthusiasm as they were so much the same. I am glad that Marie Brennan is only doing a trilogy of Lady Trent's adventures as I am afraid they could also get a little "same-y" after a few books.

Jul 21, 2015, 6:23 pm

I'm sorry I missed your birthday. I hope it was as special as you are!!!!!!!!

What great comments regarding All the Light We Cannot See. I'm going to see if my local library has this one.

Thinking of you in the hope that your migraines will stay away. Summer is usually worse for me than winter regarding nasty headaches. Take care!

Edited: Jul 21, 2015, 8:01 pm

Hi, Ilana! All this tutored read talk has my head spinning! I was just trying to work out where there might be an opening for Emma, and realised that I have The Midnight Bell pencilled in for October---is that still on the cards? I've lost track of how your Pick For Me reads have been going. Either side of that we're supposed to be tackling Phineas Redux in September, and Cecilia in November / December.

All of which prompts me to be completely unoriginal and say---"So many books, so little time!" :D

Jul 21, 2015, 8:21 pm

>178 EBT1002: Ellen, what's been cool about the Bingo categories is I can completely forget about them and then when I visit the card once in a while, I find I've filled in squares as if by magic! Gotta love easy challenges like that! :-)

>179 DeltaQueen50: Judy, I went to check what audio version I had of the first Amelia Peabody book, and it's the one narrated by Barbara Rosenblat, which I find quite good, but the recording itself is quite old. On the other hand, I've discovered the National Library has an OneClickDigital account where the first 12 books are available with remastered sound files, so I'll plunge into those eventually. We'll see how many of them keep up my interest...

Bad news on the Lady Trent "trilogy" though, I'm afraid... seems there's a fourth book due for April 2016 called In the Labyrinth of Drakes... ;-)

>180 Whisper1: Hi Linda, thanks so much for dropping by. My birthday was very lovely—the nicest b-day I've had in years, since the past recent ones have been rather sad affairs on the whole, and this time was a real joy, and I must say Pierre hugely contributed to the festivities, but my dad and friends were also responsible for making it a happy occasion.

I predict you will LOVE (all CAPS) All the Light We Cannot See. Or at least, I really hope you do, since of course we can never all agree on any one title. I think I'll want to revisit that one eventually, if I can fit it in. Usually any rating of 4.5 stars an up means I want to reread a book. Whether I manage to remains to be seen...

Headache manageable today even though we're experiencing low pressure systems. Sometimes the doozy declares itself later at night. Every day when the pain is tolerable is an absolute blessing, but then I don't need to tell you that! Take good care my dear. xx

>181 lyzard: Hi hi Liz! I have The Midnight Bell down for an eventual group or tutored read; only had question marks next to it as to the date up till now, but October would be fine for me if it works for you! I'll also be joining in for Cecilia. I'm fine with putting off Emma till next year since you've obviously got your hands full in 2015, but perhaps earlish-ish in the year might work? Just say when is good for you, but we don't have to 'book' it right away either! (Love the unintentional pun!).

You can see my Picked For Me progress up on post >6 Smiler69:. I'm a bit behind, but hoping I can catch up before the end of the year.

Jul 24, 2015, 3:26 pm

>183 DeltaQueen50: Re: The Lady Trent books - it doesn't surprise me to see these books developed into a full blown series given their popularity. Oh well, what's one more series to keep up with at this point!
This topic was continued by Smiler's Balancing Act - Part 5.