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Paul C's 2017 Reading & Life - 19

This is a continuation of the topic Paul C's 2017 Reading & Life - 18.

This topic was continued by Paul C's 2017 Reading & Life - 20.

75 Books Challenge for 2017

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Jun 17, 2017, 12:29pm Top

The beautiful North Yorkshire moors - God's Own Country as we call it where I am from.

Edited: Jun 17, 2017, 1:08pm Top

Paul's Poetry

This is one I wrote the day that Seamus Heaney died a few years ago.


Where are the poets
Who raised the standard, now fallen
Tattered and degrading upon the ground;

As the battles rage never a-thwarted
Whose is the voice to be found

To set the calumnies before us
Such that the call is worth the sound?

Who now holds the mantle
In order to find the magic in the commonplace
To wade through weeds to waiting shore -

Whence the pen’s nib dries and the sword sharpens
And eloquence is placed in little store.

Who will stand with lyric of love and longing
Now that Heaney breathes no more?

Edited: Jul 3, 2017, 8:33pm Top


I was 50 in September 2016 and have enough unread reading material on my shelves to take me safely into my seventies! I have lived in Malaysia since 1994 and have a long suffering (but never quietly) wife, Hani (sometimes referred to as SWMBO), three children Yasmyne (19), Kyran (17) and Belle (12), as well as a supporting cast which includes my book smuggling assistants Azim (also my driver and a part time bouncer who, despite his muscles, lives in almost as much fear of my wife as I do) and Erni (my housemaid, almost-little sister and the worlds greatest coffee maker). On this thread you'll probably read as much about the vagaries of life, book buying and group related statistics as you do about the actual books themselves.

I have added 3,000 books to my shelves in four years but late last year I decided to sort my books from the 4,500 books unread into the essentials of 900 fiction and 180 non-fiction books and I will try to make a serious dent in that list this year.

I will also be reading, as usual, plenty of poetry which is another passion and, as you have seen above, a faltering pastime.

Edited: Jul 3, 2017, 10:02pm Top



1. The Magician's Wife by Brian Moore (1997) 229 pp
2. Maus I : My Father Bleeds History by Art Spiegelman (1986) 159 pp
3. Midwinter Sacrifice by Mons Kallentoft (2006) 440 pp
4. Out in the Midday Sun : The British in Malaya 1880-1960 by Margaret Shennan (2000) 471 pp
5. Blood Child and Other Stories by Octavia E. Butler (2003) 214 pp
6. The Assault by Harry Mulisch (1985) 185 pp
7. 100 Prized Poems : Twenty-Five Years of the Forward Books (2016) 176 pp
8. The Broken Shore by Peter Temple (2005) 400 pp
9. Spring Flowers, Spring Frost by Ismail Kadare (2000) 182 pp
10. The Hare with Amber Eyes by Edmund de Waal (2010) 352 pp
11. Varamo by Cesar Aira (2002) 89 pp
12. The House in Paris by Elizabeth Bowen (1935) 250 pp


13. The Crystal Cave by Mary Stewart (1970) 456 pp
14. A Blaze of Autumn Sunshine : The Last Diaries by Tony Benn (2013) 294 pp
15. City of Secrets by Stewart O'Nan (2016) 190 pp
16. The Colour of Magic by Terry Pratchett (1983) 210 pp
17. The Poetry of Jaroslav Seifert by Jaroslav Seifert (1998) 246 pp
18. Dogs at the Perimeter by Madeleine Thien (2011) 253 pp


19. Up the Junction by Nell Dunn (1963) 133 pp
20. Middle Passages by Kamau Brathwaite (1992) 120 pp
21. Maus II : A Survivor's Tale : And Here My Troubles Began (1991) 136 pp
22. Sapiens : A Brief History of Humankind by Yuval Noah Harari (2011) 466 pp
23. Fences by August Wilson (1985) 101 pp
24. No Great Mischief by Alistair MacLeod (1999) 262 pp
25. Seabiscuit by Laura Hillenbrand (2001) 399 pp

Edited: Jul 3, 2017, 10:03pm Top



26. Persepolis by Marjane Satrapi (2003) 343 pp
27. Strange Shores by Arnaldur Indridason (2010) 296 pp
28. The Confessions of Nat Turner by William Styron (1967) 415 pp
29. When I Was Old by Georges Simenon (1970) 452 pp
30. On the Black Hill by Bruce Chatwin (1982) 262 pp
31. And the Mountains Echoed by Khaled Hosseini (2013) 444 pp
32. The Cry by Helen Fitzgerald (2013) 307 pp
33. I Shall Not Hate by Izzeldin Abuelaish (2010) 236 pp
34. Ariel by Sylvia Plath (1965) 81 pp
35. Shout at the Devil by Wilbur Smith (1968) 391 pp
36. A Perfidious Distortion of History : The Versailles Peace Treaty and the Success of the Nazis by Jurgen Tampke (2017) 269 pp
37. Doctor Who and the Web of Fear by Terrance Dicks (1976) 150 pp
38. The Haw Lantern by Seamus Heaney (1987) 51 pp


39. Then by Morris Gleitzman (2009) 196 pp
40. March: Book One by John Lewis (2013) 121 pp
41. Selected Poems : 1940-1982 by Norman Nicholson (1982) 78 pp
42. Doomsday Book by Connie Willis (1992) 587 pp
43. The Englishman's Boy by Guy Vanderhaeghe (1997) 402 pp
44. Castle Rackrent by Maria Edgeworth (1800) 97 pp
45. Disgrace by J.M. Coetzee (1999) 220 pp
46. And the Weak Suffer What They Must? by Yaris Varoufakis (2016) 246 pp


47. Il Postino by Antonio Skarmeta (1985) 112 pp
48. How to Fight Islamist Terror from the Missionary Position by Tabish Khair (2012) 190 pp
49. 1914 by Jean Echenoz (2012) 118 pp
50. Resistance by Carla Jablonski (2010) 121 pp

Edited: Jul 3, 2017, 10:04pm Top



51. The Endless Steppe by Esther Hautzig (1968) 281 pp

Edited: Jul 3, 2017, 10:05pm Top

British Author Challenge 2017



MARCH : A DECADE OF BRITISH NOVELS : The 1960s - 10 Novels by Men; 10 Novels by Women - 1 DONE


MAY : BEFORE QUEEN VIC : 10 Novels written prior to 1837




SEPTEMBER : THE NEW MILLENNIUM (Great Books Since 2000) A novel chosen from each year of the new century

OCTOBER : WELSH AUTHORS (Born in or associated with Wales) : JO WALTON & ROALD DAHL

NOVEMBER : POET LAUREATES : British laureates, children's laureate, National Poets


Edited: Jul 3, 2017, 10:08pm Top

American Author Challenge

American Author Challenge 2017

January- Octavia Butler Blood Child and Other Stories
February- Stewart O' Nan City of Secrets : A Novel
March- William Styron The Confessions of Nat Turner
April- Poetry Month - Ariel by Sylvia Plath
May- Zora Neale Hurston
June- Sherman Alexie
July- James McBride
August- Patricia Highsmith
September- Short Story Month
October- Ann Patchett
November- Russell Banks
December- Ernest Hemingway

Edited: Jul 3, 2017, 10:10pm Top

ANZ Author Challenge

I will be doing Kerry's ANZAC Bingo Challenge 2x12

ANZAC Bingo 2x12
1: Read a book about conflict or war
2: Read a book with more than 500 pgs
3: Read an Aussie crime novel COMPLETED The Cry by Helen Fitzgerald
4: Read a book using word play in the title
5: Read a book about exploration or a journey
6: Read a book that's been longlisted for the International DUBLIN Literary Award
7: Read a book that's part of a series COMPLETED Then by Morris Gleitzman
8: Read a memoir/biography (can be fiction)
9: Read a book written under a pen name
10: Read a book with a musical plot
11: Read a book with water featured in title/cover : COMPLETED The Broken Shore by Peter Temple
12: Read a book with an immigrant protagonist

Edited: Jun 17, 2017, 2:26pm Top


Around the World in 80 Books

1 How to Fight Islamist Terror From the Missionary Position by Tabish Khair (India) DONE
2 The Endless Steppe by Esther Hautzig (Lithuania)
3 The Family of Pascal Duarte by Camilo Jose Cela (Spain) - NOBEL Winner Challenge
4 Il Postino by Antonio Skarmeta (Chile) DONE
5 The Rainbow Troops by Andrea Hirata (Indonesia)
6 Love in the Time of Cholera by Gabriel Garcia Marquez (Colombia) (1001 Books First Ed)
7 1914 by Jean Echenoz (France) DONE
8 Stingray by Kim Joo Young (South Korea)
9 Sweetheart Sputnik by Haruki Murakami (Japan) (1001 Books First Ed)
10 The Rehearsal by Eleanor Catton (New Zealand)
11 Petals of Blood by Ngugi Wa Thiong'o (Kenya) (1001 Books First Ed)
12 The Boy in the Suitcase by Lene Kaaberbol (Norway)
13 The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind by William Kamkwambe (Malawi)
14 Quiet Flows the Una by Faruk Sehic (Bosnia)
15 For Bread Alone by Mohamed Choukri (Morocco)

British Author Challenge

16 Regency Buck by Georgette Heyer
17 The American Future by Simon Schama

American Author Challenge

18 Reservation Blues by Sherman Alexie

Canadian Author Challenge

19 Pavel & I by Dan Vyleta


20 A Change of World by Adrienne Rich


21 Resistance : Book 1 by Carla Jablowski DONE

Edited: Jun 17, 2017, 2:28pm Top

Jun 17, 2017, 12:32pm Top

Other Challenges

Jun 17, 2017, 12:32pm Top

TBR Records

Jun 17, 2017, 12:32pm Top

Literary Worlds

Jun 17, 2017, 12:32pm Top

Around the World in Eighty Books

Jun 17, 2017, 12:32pm Top

Next one is yours

Jun 17, 2017, 1:47pm Top

First! Happy new thread!

Jun 17, 2017, 1:50pm Top

>18 amanda4242: Always a pleasure to see you here Amanda. xx

Jun 17, 2017, 1:54pm Top

Happy new thread! I love the picture of the moors.

Jun 17, 2017, 2:00pm Top

Happy new thread, Paul! Beautiful picture of the North Yorkshire Moors. Absolutely stunning.

Edited: Jun 17, 2017, 2:06pm Top

>20 foggidawn: Thanks Foggy. Whitby from the last thread runs straight into the North Yorkshire Moors.

God's Own

Stark and desolate beauty like a forlorn lover assuaged by God's gentle hand.
Heather strewn turrets make home
to lapwing and curlew, vole, mole, grouse and snipe.
Sundew and crowberry furnish the realm
from the non-smoke of the Rosedale Chimney to Flamborough's decapitated Head.


Jun 17, 2017, 2:06pm Top

Wow. New thread. Hullo, hullo. Grand to be here. If I don't get back 'til Monday or Tuesday, there will be too too many posts. So wishing you the best.

Have you any thoughts about when we should tackle The Ginger Man? I'm starting Tree of Smoke by Denis Johnson Sunday or Monday; group read with Mark and Karenmarie.

Jun 17, 2017, 2:08pm Top

>21 karenmarie: Thanks Karen. It is a beautiful place. The short poem above was scribbled down as we parked by the side of the road a few years ago on our way from Hutton Cranswick up to Whitby. I probably should have used it with this topper but I had forgotten it until I read Foggy's post.

Jun 17, 2017, 2:15pm Top

>23 weird_O: Hiya Bill. I am game anytime for The Ginger Man and The Brothers Karamazov just tell me when you are and I'm good. Group good wishes have sustained me this last week or two. :D

Jun 17, 2017, 2:45pm Top

Happy new thread, Paul. May it be a thread of only good news!

Gorgeous topper!

Jun 17, 2017, 3:18pm Top

>26 jessibud2: There is a wish to yearn for, even if somewhat selfishly! Thank you, Shelley.

Jun 17, 2017, 5:02pm Top

Happy new thread mate, hope this one is filled with really good news. Hope your weekend has been good to you all, sending love and hugs.

Edited: Jun 17, 2017, 5:16pm Top

Happy New Thread, Paul! Love the North Yorkshire topper and the lapwing. Hope you are having a good weekend.

Oh, yeah- Happy Father's Day, my friend.

Jun 17, 2017, 5:16pm Top

Happy new thread, Paul! That's a beautiful view of the moors in your thread topper.

Jun 17, 2017, 5:45pm Top

What Harry said, Paul. Happy New Thread, and that's a gorgeous topper up there.

Very nice tribute to Heaney, too.

Jun 17, 2017, 7:00pm Top

Beautiful, beautiful topper!

At the end of your previous thread you shared some great news about your "real life" -- that is so fantastic! What a shot in the arm, to have that confidence from a friend, and to have the weight of the world off of your shoulders!

I still haven't found a book to read for your TIOLI challenge, however! Your challenges are probably the toughest TIOLIs ever!

Karen O.

Jun 17, 2017, 7:23pm Top

Happy new thread!

Jun 17, 2017, 8:26pm Top

it's like, every time I turn around, Paul has a new thread. :-p

I'm shocked that I'm only 33 posts in and not the usual 168 posts. But hey, great news on the personal loan.. what a wonderful friend you have.

Oh and Happy Father's Day!

Jun 17, 2017, 8:42pm Top

Happy new thread, Paul--a new thread for a new lease on life! And happy father's day, if that's something you celebrate in KL.

Jun 17, 2017, 9:26pm Top

>28 johnsimpson: Thank you mate. Weekend has gone excellently so far - let's see what Sunday brings me!

>29 msf59: When I saw and recalled my short poem about the North Yorkshire moors, Mark, I thought about your warbling self and couldn't resist putting up the picture of the lapwing accordingly!

>30 harrygbutler: Thanks Harry. I am of course doing a traverse of my home county for my thread toppers but I am always inspired and proud of my roots when I am on those moors.

Jun 17, 2017, 9:38pm Top

>31 jnwelch: Cheers Joe. I think that there is a genuine dearth of outstanding poets with the passing of Hughes and Heaney in particular. Greatest living poet anyone writing in english?
Possible shortlist of twelve - six men and six ladies:

USA : Mary Oliver, Sharon Olds, Billy Collins, Richard Wilbur ?
UK : Carol Anne Duffy, Simon Armitage, Don Paterson, Alice Oswald ?
Elsewhere : Derek Walcott, Anne Carson, Paul Muldoon, Fleur Adcock ?

>32 klobrien2: I have to say Karen I had a sense of elation tinged with relief yesterday; so much so that after breaking my fast I drove Belle and Hani to the KLCC Twin Towers so that they could enjoy coffee and I could join them after a reconnaissance of the bookstore, my own mini Mecca of Kinokuniya.

Jun 17, 2017, 9:41pm Top

>33 drneutron: Thank you Jim. I really do hope that this is a happy thread!

>34 cameling: Lovely to see you so promptly my dear! I was a little sleepy yesterday so after opening up new digs my brain started to shut down a little.

>35 kac522: Thanks you very much. I'll let you into a secret - it is celebrated here in Kuala Lumpur, but I am convinced that it has been totally forgotten by my crew. It is 9:41 am here and Father's Day has not been mentioned at all - still they are all, without exception, still a-bed.

Edited: Jun 17, 2017, 10:26pm Top

A rare event for me these days........a book purchase!

The Nakano Thrift Shop by Hiromi Kawakami (2005) 229 pp

Why? Recommended by Alex.

Edited: Jun 17, 2017, 10:58pm Top

And now quite a big oops. I have completely overlooked making this month's CAC thread.

Anyway better late than never :

June is Heather O'Neill and Dan Vyleta

Sorry all.

Jun 18, 2017, 1:46am Top

Checking in. Will be back later to catch up. Happy new thread.

Jun 18, 2017, 2:18am Top

>25 PaulCranswick: glad the group has been there for you in the last few weeks. I shamefacedly admit to not knowing what was going on until just now, having read over your last thread. (I need a few hours of chill time in the house before I can settle down to LT in the evening, and haven't found that in the last few weeks because of this or that.)
Glad to hear that your friend/business contact was able to help you out to tide things over! Business huh? It is so fickle! It seems to either be drought or downpour. The place I am working at the moment is having trouble landing the contracts, so I am feeling like my ongoing employment there is tenuous at best. Not a nice feeling (but i have my fingers crossed that a few of the proposals i have worked on will come good soon!).

>39 PaulCranswick: yay for book recs, and book shops!!

Jun 18, 2017, 5:38am Top

>41 humouress: Lovely to see you, Nina - however briefly. There is a distinct possibility that we will land a project in Singapore for the perfume manufacturer Givaudan. If we are successful it will mean a fortnightly visit to Singapore for the next year with the certainty of a meet-up finally.

>42 LovingLit: Business fortunes are a fickle friend for sure, Megan.

Jun 18, 2017, 5:52am Top

Happy new thread, Paul.

Jun 18, 2017, 5:58am Top

Thank you dear Barbara. xx

Jun 18, 2017, 8:01am Top

Happy new thread, Paul!

Jun 18, 2017, 8:36am Top

Happy new thread and such a gorgeous topper! Hope you had a good weekend!

Jun 18, 2017, 9:19am Top

Happy new thread! Beautiful photo and lovely poem about Seamus Heaney. He was able to capture the magic in the every day. An absolute favorite poet.

Jun 18, 2017, 9:24am Top

oh oh oh ... I hope you start on Nakano Thrift Shop soon, Paul. I have that in my TBR Tower so if it's worth it, I might move it up a rung or 2 and bear with the grumblings from the other books who have to be rudely shoved down the queue a little.

Jun 18, 2017, 10:28am Top

Books and coffee are good for the soul! Glad you got a dose of both and gave yourself a little reward.

Jun 18, 2017, 10:39am Top

>46 scaifea: Thank you, dear Amber. xx

>47 ChelleBearss: Thanks Chelle. I have had a splendid weekend actually. Nice dinner today with my bunch this evening - an Italian one which is probably my favourite cuisine if I am pushed.

>48 witchyrichy: Karen; Heaney and Hughes were heroes of my formative years both as a reader as well as a would be writer of poetry. Both are sadly gone and I don't think that there is presently any writer that comes close to their genius with words.

Jun 18, 2017, 10:42am Top

>49 cameling: I am struggling a little to decide on what to settle down properly so it could well be next up, Caro. I can't seem to get into anything at the moment which is probably because my mind is going ten to the dozen.

>50 karenmarie: Well I thought it was about time I went back "home"; a few of the Kino staff looked relieved to see me!

Edited: Jun 18, 2017, 11:33am Top

>2 PaulCranswick: and have you yet an answer Paul?

Liked Lapwing too.

Did you ever finish the Saunders novel Lincoln in the Bardo by the way, don't see it on the list? I didn't.

ETA: love the topper. I've been to York a couple of times, but not explored the rest of the county.

Jun 18, 2017, 11:42am Top

>53 Caroline_McElwee: Ha! Well a second rate one is hiding out in Malaysia!
I suppose I repose my hope in Don Paterson presently as my favourite living British poet.
I haven't tried to start Lincoln in the Bardo, although your lack of enthusiasm for it has given me check.

One fine day I'll be running 75er tours of God's Own Country for those interested. xx

Jun 18, 2017, 12:17pm Top

Hi Paul! It's Father's Day here in the states and so I want to wish you a happy one, too!

BTW, Mark loved Lincoln in the Bardo (I think) and I have it waiting in the wings.

Jun 18, 2017, 1:44pm Top

Happy Father's Day!

Jun 18, 2017, 2:04pm Top

>37 PaulCranswick:

Isthmus.com May 18-24, 2017 had an intriguing article, NOT SILENT,
on a reaction to a reading of Billy Collins' poem "Grave."

In it, Collins describes:

"one of the one hundred kinds of silence
according to the Chinese belief,
each one distinct from the others."

UW Professor Timothy Yu was surprised that he had never heard
of this aspect of his Chinese culture.

Collins later says that he made it up!

Yu then rewrites 100 poems which "marginalize or objectify
Asians or 'Orientalness'" in his book 100 Chinese Silences.

Jun 18, 2017, 2:11pm Top

Happy Father's Day Paul - to one of the best I've come across! Too sun crisped to write more...

Jun 18, 2017, 4:14pm Top

Happy New-ish Thread, Paul. I LOVE that topper! It brings to mind Rannoch Moor in Scotland from our 100-mile walk three years ago. From the top of that moor, you cannot see any sign of civilization in any direction. The heather was in bloom when we were there - such subtle but pervasive purple.

Jun 18, 2017, 4:36pm Top

>55 Berly: It was Father's Day here too, Kimmers and I enjoyed it although my team came bearing no gifts!

>56 mahsdad: Thanks Jeff.

>57 m.belljackson: I would not place Collins at the absolute pinnacle of poets, Marianne, but he is always enjoyable and playful as exemplified perfectly in your post.

Jun 18, 2017, 4:39pm Top

>58 BekkaJo: Blushing and unworthy, Bekka, but charmed and flattered nonetheless. xx

>59 EBT1002: The feel is similar to parts of the Scottish Highlands that I too have enjoyed occasionally, Ellen. It really is wondrous when the heather is in bloom isn't it?

Jun 18, 2017, 4:48pm Top

Happy new thread, Paul. Beautiful pictures of the moors.

Jun 18, 2017, 4:57pm Top

>62 BLBera: Thanks Beth. My home county of Yorkshire is blessed with three national parks. The Yorkshire Moors (as featured), the Yorkshire Dales (Wuthering Heights and James Herriot country) and the northern edge of the Peak District. If I manage sufficient threads I shall try to showcase these places.

Jun 18, 2017, 5:21pm Top

>63 PaulCranswick: "If I manage sufficient threads I shall try to showcase these places."
Well, it's hard to imagine that you'll squeeze two more threads into this year of reading, Paul.

Jun 18, 2017, 5:39pm Top

>64 EBT1002: One should never count one's chickens, Ellen!

Jun 18, 2017, 8:52pm Top

Happy new thread and Happy Father's Day, Paul! What a wonderful thread topper pic. Stunning!

Jun 18, 2017, 9:26pm Top

>60 PaulCranswick:

Review of Timothy Yu's book states that he "eviscerates" the poems he visits - could be darkly revealing of many poets.

Jun 18, 2017, 11:15pm Top

>66 lkernagh: Thank you, Lori. xx

>67 m.belljackson: I suppose in many ways the process of writing poetry can be quite cathartic for me. Sometimes I look back on where I have erred, great or small, and confess myself; sometimes I look into the darker thoughts that I find myself brooding upon and sometimes it is mere exposition of whatever emotion impelled me to write. Since my default state of mind is a sort of ironic optimism, that tone pervades much of what gets onto the page.

Jun 18, 2017, 11:30pm Top

I wanted to say a big thank you to everyone who has posted here this year so far.

My thread has now passed 5,000 posts for the year which is the 26th time in the sixth year I have been keeping the stats this feat has been achieved.

Paul 6 times
Mark 5 times (also closing on #6)
Joe 5 times
Amber 3 times
Richard 3 times
Mamie 3 times
Kath 1 time

Jun 18, 2017, 11:49pm Top

>54 PaulCranswick: One fine day I'll be running 75er tours of God's Own Country for those interested. xx

Sign me up!

Jun 19, 2017, 12:53am Top

>70 kac522: It's a deal!

Jun 19, 2017, 8:20am Top

Congrats on reaching 5000 posts, Paul! It truly is a noteworthy accomplishment.

I hope this week goes well for you.

Jun 19, 2017, 8:39am Top

>69 PaulCranswick: Wow, 5,000 posts! Quite an achievement, and well warranted!

Jun 19, 2017, 9:13am Top

>37 PaulCranswick: Good lists, Paul. (I need to look up Fleur Adcock and Alice Oswald!)

So hard to say contemporaneously who the top poets are, at least for me. For example, I'm a ways into Olio by Tyehimba Jess, the Pulitzer Prize winner, and I'm really impressed. I'd never heard of him before. I've got other favorites, like Sharon Olds, Kim Addonizio, Ada Limon and Tracy K. Smith (our new U.S. Poet Laureate), but I don't know whether they belong way up there or not. I suspect Sharon Olds does.

On the other hand, I've not been that taken with Derek Walcott's poems, although I know so many have been.

>39 PaulCranswick: Like Alex, I enjoyed Nakano Thrift Shop. Her Strange Weather in Tokyo is a particular favorite. Hope you like it when you get to it.

Jun 19, 2017, 12:15pm Top

>72 karenmarie: Well I have always managed it Karen but not always before the end of June!

>73 harrygbutler: Thanks Harry.

>74 jnwelch: Many in the know consider Alice Oswald the leading English poet at the moment. I would put Don Paterson there but she is well worth looking up, Joe.

Some of Walcott's stuff is, shall we say, difficult and it repels often as much as it inspires. I admire his work more than I like it, Joe, if I'm honest. Bit too obtuse for me a lot of it.

Jun 19, 2017, 2:58pm Top

Looks like I mostly missed your last thread, but hopefully I can keep up a little better for at least a few weeks.

Jun 19, 2017, 3:51pm Top

Happy (sort of) New Thread Paul

Good to read some good news toward the end of your previous thread. Hope that trend continues.

Congrats on 5000!

Jun 19, 2017, 3:59pm Top

Hi Paul, congrats on reaching 5,000 posts mate, there are a few of us who are now posting more so there might be a chance of more 5,000 post candidates. Hope the week is going ok so far, love to you all.

Jun 19, 2017, 5:01pm Top

>76 thornton37814: Lovely to see you Lori.

>77 SuziQoregon: Hi Juli. I hope the trend continues too!

>78 johnsimpson: The "new" candidate for 5,000 posts this year is Kimmers who has close to 2,700 posts so far this year.

Jun 19, 2017, 5:03pm Top

I finished reading A Writer's House in Wales by Jan Morris. Morris is an author you had featured in the British Author Challenge a few years ago, and since I enjoy travel books, I wanted to read something by her. I didn't get to it when she was a featured author, but since my real life book club is doing travel books for our next meeting I decided that something by Jan Morris would be my selection. I had to get this copy from Inter-Library Loan because apparently this series is hard-to-come by. This copy came from the University of Tennessee in Knoxville.

I enjoyed the book. It was really a long essay. It only had 150 pages, but it had lots to say about the state of the Welsh language and Welsh Nationalism. I did learn that Lloyd George was a Welshman and is buried in Wales.

Jun 19, 2017, 5:18pm Top

>80 benitastrnad: Jan Morris is an interesting writer, Benita, and Wales a great subject for her talents.

Jun 19, 2017, 6:30pm Top

Jun 19, 2017, 6:38pm Top

5,000 posts? Wow, that's amazing!

Happy new thread!

Jun 19, 2017, 9:11pm Top

I just realized that I have Manazuru in my TBR Tower, which is by the same author as Nakano Thrift Shop. I'll have to get to that soon.

Jun 19, 2017, 9:39pm Top

>43 PaulCranswick: Promises, promises!

>69 PaulCranswick: Congratulations! You'll be catching up with me soon ;0)

Jun 19, 2017, 10:03pm Top

Hooray, for 5,000! I knew you could do it, Paul! Grins...

Jun 19, 2017, 10:43pm Top

>82 jnwelch: I struggle oftentimes with poetry which is too "clever" and obtuse, Joe. John Ashbery is another poet who falls into the troublesome category for me.

>83 Heather19: Lovely to see you Heather. No-one has ever managed 10,000 posts in a year on his or her thread and I think this year that won't happen either.

Jun 19, 2017, 10:46pm Top

I came by the other day, but I think I was so busy reading your new thread that I forgot to speak up and wish you,

Happy New Thread, Paul!

Jun 19, 2017, 10:59pm Top

>84 cameling: Caro, I have also got Strange Weather in Tokyo which is well regarded too apparently.

>85 humouress: Wait and see! Almost the project there is confirmed to write in Asian style for a second.

>86 msf59: Coupla days and you'll make it too, buddy, I guess.

Jun 19, 2017, 10:59pm Top

>88 ronincats: Thank you, Roni dear. xx

Edited: Jun 20, 2017, 1:16am Top

Jun 20, 2017, 5:59am Top

Belated happy new thread, Paul, and congrats on 5.000!

Your thread topper is breathtaking, such beautiful colors, it would be great to be walking there :-)

Jun 20, 2017, 9:14am Top

Happy 5000!

Jun 20, 2017, 9:24am Top


Jun 20, 2017, 9:31am Top

Just a quick hello Paul, with the hope that you are doing well.

Jun 20, 2017, 11:03am Top

>87 PaulCranswick: Ditto re Ashbery, Paul. :-) Vivid images, but deliberately obscure as to meaning? Hard for me to understand that use of his talent. When he's straightforward, I do enjoy him, like in "Instruction Manual": https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poems-and-poets/poems/detail/47766

Edited: Jun 20, 2017, 1:40pm Top

>1 PaulCranswick:

A definite Garden of Eden - will you follow this with an annotated list of the best books set on
The Yorkshire Moors?

Jun 20, 2017, 2:45pm Top

Just stopping by to say hi, Paul. Lovely topper and I enjoyed your poem on Seamus Heaney. Ideas well expressed and moving.

Jun 20, 2017, 6:58pm Top

Beautiful topper Paul. Would love to wander there!

And I hope you're doing well, and things will pick up for you.

>97And yes, to that list of best books, there must be a choice of them.

Jun 20, 2017, 8:07pm Top

>91 EBT1002: In another milestone I have passed 45,000 posts on my threads since 2012. I don't think that I'll manage to get to 50,000 this year but here's to trying!

>92 FAMeulstee: Thanks Anita. It wouldn't be so great being caught there in the middle of a storm though. Sometimes when I was training for my cycle racing i would ride up there and, in a headwind, I would almost feel as if I was going backwards.

>93 ChelleBearss: Thank you Chelle, dear. I think that I will go and check which Canadian has the most posts on her (for it is surely a "her") thread since 2012. Will report back.

Jun 20, 2017, 8:13pm Top

>94 BLBera: Thanks Beth. My target this year was 9,000 posts which may still be on as I am about 56% of the way there.

>95 karenmarie: I am coping Karen. The high interest loan is officially toast as I paid it off yesterday and my friend's kind loan will tied us over, I hope until cashflow and more traditional financing based on actual projects sees us home.

>96 jnwelch: Exactly, Joe! Such an obvious talent but if you can't understand him it undermines that talent. John Berryman could be obscure but his writing had a wonderful cadence that it mattered much less.

Jun 20, 2017, 8:15pm Top

>97 m.belljackson: I wasn't going to , but I guess I now have little choice! :D

>98 Oregonreader: Thank you, Jan. I am certainly not an obscurist when it comes to verse.

>99 EllaTim: I will reflect on this and revert with a list of sorts within the day, Ella!

Edited: Jun 20, 2017, 10:27pm Top

>101 PaulCranswick:

Paul - if your new cashflow involves the frugal book buying that many of your U.S. LT friends employ
(abe.com, library book sales, used bookstores, garage sales, etc.),
here's what you might expect for $4.00:

Indian Creek Chronicles by Pete Fromm > not heard of him before, but book won
Pacific Northwest Book of the Year - "A Winter Alone in the Wilderness" - tending Salmon eggs

Beloved Dog by Maira Kalman - beautiful paintings and a title no dog lover could resist

Married in Seattle by Debbie Macomb - for snowed in Wisconsin Winter nights

I opened it to the entry on Henry Beston whose OUTERMOST HOUSE I recently loved -
also saw an entry on Mammoth Cave - & finding THE NORTON BOOK would be really cool too!

A recent entry on the Five Books website listed
THE BLACK STALLION by Walter Farley as a life changing story -
I remember it well from many years ago and welcome reading it again

The most beautiful and evocative one is THE LION AND THE MOUSE -
No words! Caldecott Medal winner illustrated by Jerry Pinkney

and the finale:

a 1973 copy of Peter Quenelle's A HISTORY OF ENGLISH LITERATURE -
loaded with black and white illustrations

Got all these at the local senior center Strawberry Festival on Saturday,
along with fresh strawberry shortcake, greeting Mr. Peanut at his truck,
getting a free whistle at the Weiner Mobile, and a free chair massage for my daughter.

(Others have had even greater hauls in their various cities!)

Edited: Jun 21, 2017, 9:02am Top

>101 PaulCranswick: I'm reading Olio, Paul, the Pulitzer Prize winner by Tyehimba Jess, and he has several poems that are based on specific Berryman Dream Songs. I've ended up reading both, and being reminded how good Berryman was. Olio is impressive so far, BTW.

Jun 21, 2017, 10:55am Top

I loved those Black Stallion books. I loved them so much that every year I purchase a boxed set of them - new from Amazon - and give them to the Toys For Tots program. I also give them various cousins who are of an appropriate age to enjoy them.

Jun 21, 2017, 11:47am Top

>103 m.belljackson: That is a very interesting list Marianne. Not a list I am familiar with but a list I have saved and will keep an eye out for.

>104 jnwelch: I will definitely look for that, Joe. As someone who has written poems in homage to Berryman, I know that capturing his tone (even without his finesse) is a tricky thing to do.

>105 benitastrnad: That is a lovely gesture, Benita.

Jun 21, 2017, 11:53am Top

Today I managed to get the money from my friend so the financial situation is looking quite perky at the moment and I will be enthused shortly!

I wanted to say a quick word on the passing of a dear member of our small group very recently - Ellie Moses (mirrordrum).

Ellie was a wonderful, warm, wise and witty contributor to the group over the years although troubles with ill health kept her away from us more than we (and she) would have liked. She was persistently optimistic in the face of often trying personal health circumstances and I will miss her immensely.

She used to refer to me as "her Peacock Prince" and wherever you are now dear lady - your Peacock Prince salutes you and will think of you whenever and wherever his plumage gets chance to show itself. xx

Jun 21, 2017, 12:08pm Top

Very sweetly put, Paul. Ellie had an indomitably positive spirit and she will be sadly missed by many. But I like to think that while we'll miss her, she's at last free from the pain and discomfort she suffered due to her ill health and that she's now leaping about in her new library, exclaiming over each new book she's not yet read but will now have all the time and energy to read.

And to balance out the sad, oh happy happy news about the slight easing of your financial situation with the influx of funds. One wrinkle around the eye is being erased with the reduced strain. :-)

Jun 21, 2017, 12:45pm Top

>108 cameling: Thank you Caro. It is a lovely image of Ellie at home in her new library free from pain and discomfort. xx

Jun 21, 2017, 1:46pm Top

I'm glad there is some financial respite Paul. I hope the remaining plans pull together smoothly too.

Nice thoughts about Ellie.

Jun 21, 2017, 2:00pm Top

>110 Caroline_McElwee: Managed also to get a long overdue payment in of some $45,000 which will help me too. I have a few financial institutions keen to provide funding on the strength of the few projects we have just picked up and I am keen to follow up on this which will completely turn around our fortunes all being well.

You know, Caroline, Ellie was an early friend to me in the group and one of the few ladies that still considered me handsome. With a shared sense of humour and love of poetry we were bound to be close. I didn't have the honour of meeting her in RL but she represented to me a lot of what was great about this group.

Jun 21, 2017, 2:13pm Top

Aaahh, the male ego, chucking your chin Paul. :-)

The internet has offered us such a gift in the possibility of linking hands across the world, and often bringing people together in real-life too. I have met maybe a dozen people I knew first over the net, and more than half remain friends, and the meeting solidified the friendship. Once or twice there was less of a click than expected, and a couple of friendships had a limited time frame. Only once did I feel manipulated and misused.

Edited: Jun 21, 2017, 2:32pm Top

A dozen books set on the Yorkshire Moors/Dales (OK Marianne?!)

All Creatures Great and Small by James Herriot

God's Own Country by Ross Raisin

Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte

Kirkland Revels by Victoria Holt

The Tenant of Wildfell Hall by Anne Bronte

The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett

Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte

Common Ground by Rob Cowen

Remains of Elmet by Ted Hughes

Millstone Grit by Glyn Hughes

The Lost Child by Caryl Phillips

Gallows View by Peter Robinson

Jun 21, 2017, 2:34pm Top

>113 PaulCranswick: I've read five of those, which is better than usual for me, with your lists. :-)

Jun 21, 2017, 2:36pm Top

>112 Caroline_McElwee: So far Caroline, I don't recall any of my LT meet-ups being a huge disappointment in terms of my expectation of what to expect and whether I would "click" with my fellow 75er. I love the international flavour of the group and especially the fact that we can all come together whatever our race, religion, gender, age, sexuality et al and have our common interests and basic humanity transcend the things that ought not really to matter.

Jun 21, 2017, 2:37pm Top

>114 foggidawn: Does that mean I am slipping Foggy?! A couple of the entries are up to my usual obscure standards I suppose but there are also a few on the list that most will recognise.

Jun 21, 2017, 3:01pm Top

Glad things are looking better Paul! I've barely read any of those Yorkshire books... (tries desperately to think of Lancashire books...)

Jun 21, 2017, 3:30pm Top

>117 charl08: Well since you represent the ancient enemy I shouldn't help but......

A Dark Anatomy by Robin Blake
The Lancashire Witches by William Harrison Ainsworth
Oranges are not the Only Fruit by Jeanette Winterson
The Dressmaker by Beryl Bainbridge
Fame is the Spur by Howard Spring
Love on the Dole by Walter Greenwood
North and South by Elizabeth Gaskell
Monster Love by Carol Topolski
A Taste of Honey by Shelagh Delaney
The Mersey Sound by Adrian Henri, Roger McGough and Brian Patten
Liverpool Miss by Helen Forrester
The Rescue Man by Anthony Quinn

Jun 21, 2017, 4:13pm Top

Hi Paul, glad to hear you have got some funds in mate and hopefully this will just be the start of the recovery for you. Sadly Yorkshire made a right hash of their championship game with Middlesex, losing by an innings and 64 runs. Apart from Balance the batting is very poor and some work needs to be done by Gale and the backroom staff, we just can't seem to get off to a good start although young Harry Brook made a decent impression in his first senior game and he is only 18. Hopefully we will do better against Surrey at Headingley starting on Monday. Hope all is well with the family and we both send love and hugs.

Jun 21, 2017, 4:16pm Top

>119 johnsimpson: Thanks John. I saw the news of the Yorkshire result. We are a bit depleted at the moment but the nature of the defeat was very disappointing.

Jun 21, 2017, 4:40pm Top

>113 PaulCranswick: I've read six of those.

Jun 21, 2017, 4:57pm Top

>121 thornton37814: That is very respectable, Lori. xx

Jun 21, 2017, 5:12pm Top

>118 PaulCranswick: See? You're not slipping at all; I haven't read any of those!

Jun 21, 2017, 5:40pm Top

>113 PaulCranswick:

Impressive list and bet you have read them all!

(Only 4 here and all deserving of a re-read...)

Combined with the Lancashire list, this could make a great new monthly challenge.

Jun 21, 2017, 5:43pm Top

>113 PaulCranswick:

Maybe, as was done online recently with the Beatles 213 songs,
someone will rank them, worst to best, with commentary...

Jun 21, 2017, 7:32pm Top

>123 foggidawn: A-Hah!

>124 m.belljackson: I think someone will send arrows in my direction were I to even suggest another challenge, Marianne!

>125 m.belljackson: You really don't like seeing me get some sleep, do you?

Jun 21, 2017, 8:30pm Top

Good to hear of your financial turnaround, Paul. I had full confidence that it would happen and am happy that the downside didn't last too long. Better days ahead... :-)

Jun 21, 2017, 8:57pm Top

Also pleased to see that you have had a financial breather and good prospects ahead.
I've taken note of the Lancashire Witches as I'm interested in the Pendle witch trials as part of my family history is in the Samlesbury area and my maiden name in common with one of the witches.

Jun 22, 2017, 12:32am Top

>127 jessibud2: I am not home and dry yet, Shelley but am on the road to recovery for sure.

>128 avatiakh: That is interesting, Kerry. No wonder your thread is so bewitching!

Jun 22, 2017, 1:00am Top

Congrats on 5000 posts - it must be almost 6000 by now with the length of time it took me to read your new to me thread. I was sorry to hear about Ellie, such an indomitable spirit. You meet the nicest people on LT. Glad to hear that you have some good news for a change, Paul.

Jun 22, 2017, 7:45am Top

Hi Paul, and I’m so glad to hear that your financial situation has improved and that there are good things on the horizon.

Drawing the line in the sand from my month away has made it easy for me to fall back into things, but I think I missed a lot about your situation. Are you moving to the UK or are you staying in Malaysia? Or is it still up in the air?

I’ve read five of the >113 PaulCranswick: list.

>112 Caroline_McElwee:> have met maybe a dozen people I knew first over the net, and more than half remain friends, and the meeting solidified the friendship. Once or twice there was less of a click than expected, and a couple of friendships had a limited time frame. Only once did I feel manipulated and misused.

It took me a very long time to figure out that some friendships have a shelf life. I’ve been trying to tell daughter this as she’s been upset recently that someone she thought a good friend moved out of state and has basically stopped being in touch. Other meetings that logically should have become friendships didn’t, and once I figure out that I’m being manipulated/misused, I classify the relationship as toxic to me and get out of it. I’ve only met one person in RL after meeting them on the web. It was pleasant and nothing ever came of it.

Jun 22, 2017, 7:51am Top

>113 PaulCranswick: Nice list. I've read three, so room for improvement. And watched James Herriot on TV of course.
>118 PaulCranswick: And here the score is one.
Lists are fun!

Congrats on 5000 posts, and glad that your finances are improving.

Jun 22, 2017, 7:53pm Top

>130 Familyhistorian: Hahaha not quite so fast.

>131 karenmarie: Karen, I am not exactly out of the woods but things are definitely looking up. At least the high interest loan has been paid off and I don't have that shadow hanging over me. I have restructured debts which are now manageable in the short to medium term and RM300,000 of the RM650,000 ($75,000/185,000) of it is interest free.
My experiences of LT meet-uos have been, without exception, positive.

>132 EllaTim: Ella - The Lancashire list is definitely the more obscure of the two. You are right and will have noticed that I agree that lists are fun!

Edited: Jun 22, 2017, 9:58pm Top

Hi Paul--Glad the finances are headed in the right direction. Congrats on the 5000 mark!! I've read half of the Yorkshire books. One Lancashire book. Yay me!! Big hugs. : )

Jun 22, 2017, 11:51pm Top

>134 Berly: Lovely to see you Kimmers. Yes a good week for me so far and fasting coming to a halt at the weekend.

Jun 23, 2017, 1:59am Top

Hi Paul, I was very sad to read of Ellie's (mirrordrum) passing. She truly was an original and her warm and witty posts lightened many a day for me. Hope all is well with you and your clan.

Jun 23, 2017, 2:51pm Top

>136 DeltaQueen50: Indeed, Judy, indeed. I am now on the last day of Ramadhan this year and fasting will be over officially for us in a little over sixteen hours. I have had a good one in terms of weight loss (7 kgs / 15 lbs), in terms of feeling healthier and in terms of what life has thrown me in this month of devotion and introspection.

Edited: Jun 23, 2017, 3:55pm Top


Hours to go! Congratulations on the weight loss and the chance to focus on the importance of this devotional month. Any big plans to break the fast?

Jun 23, 2017, 3:55pm Top

All Creatures Great and Small remains one of my favorite books since I first read it in the early 80s. I went on to read all his other books and then when the TV series came out, I was a fervent follower.

Jun 23, 2017, 4:10pm Top

>137 PaulCranswick: well done, Paul! Out of interest, as I know you're a cricket fan, what did you make of the obstruction call on Roy?

Edited: Jun 23, 2017, 5:26pm Top

>133 PaulCranswick:

Thanks again for both Yorkshire and Lancashire lists - the latter definitely challenging for those who have only SEEN "A Taste of Honey."

There's Shropshire because of the poems which makes me wonder how many "shires" there are?

Jun 23, 2017, 6:34pm Top

>113 PaulCranswick: Only read the first and the last, Paul, and none of the next list.

Jun 23, 2017, 7:15pm Top

>137 PaulCranswick: Congrats on the weight loss! I'm not looking forward to trying to lose the baby weight later this year. Taking the summer to just relax and enjoy our family before I even think about it

Jun 23, 2017, 9:30pm Top

>138 Berly: Thanks Kimmers. There are two alternatives. Either we will go down to Johor Bahru and break fast with Hani's parents or else I will take them all to a favourite restaurant of the family which will be a Japanese buffet at Putrajaya's IOI resort.

>139 cameling: I also loved both Caro. The TV series with Christopher Timothy, Robert Hardy and Peter Davison was exceptional and I could watch the repeats over and over.

Jun 23, 2017, 9:43pm Top

>140 harvey.g: Harvey, I think it a harsh call to be honest and bad luck on Roy as he has been struggling for form and was suddenly doing well. I think it definitely gave the victory to South Africa. I can see both sides but on balance I do think it a harsh call.

>141 m.belljackson: Interesting question, Marianne. Of the 48 traditional or ceremonial counties of England 23 of these bear the suffix "shire" and cover around 60% of the land mass of England.

In addition, Scotland also has over 30 shires and Wales 12.

Jun 23, 2017, 9:46pm Top

>142 FAMeulstee: And even with your amazing reading prowess! Just goes to show how many books there are in the world!

>143 ChelleBearss: I would have thought getting back to "fighting weight" after giving birth was quite a challenge, Chelle. Hani was able to do it with little fuss and palaver after Yasmyne and Kyran but has struggled following the birth of Belle. In truth of course the priority at the moment is making sure that Chloe's sibling makes a grand, safe and healthy entrance (shortly). xx

Edited: Jun 27, 2017, 9:25pm Top

Happy Weekend, Paul. Hope you get some R & R in.

Looking forward to meeting a few LTers tomorrow night at our ALA Meet Up.

Jun 23, 2017, 10:56pm Top

Nice lists up there Paul ...... I may have read a fair few 👌

Jun 23, 2017, 11:48pm Top

>146 PaulCranswick: Oh it's not easy for me, at all. I lost most of the baby weight after Chloe was born but kept about 10 lbs of it. Hoping to take the full year after wards to lose it slowly and healthy and maybe lose that extra 10 as well. :)

Jun 24, 2017, 2:09am Top

You have had a very eventful Ramadan, Paul. Enjoy breaking your fast.

Jun 24, 2017, 2:49am Top

>147 msf59: Thanks Mark. I hope to get round the threads a fair bit this weekend with Ramadhan done and all.
By the way, you have passed 5,000 posts for 2017 too.

>148 roundballnz: Cheers Alex. More likely us Northern Brits would have read the odd one in those two lists.

Jun 24, 2017, 2:52am Top

>149 ChelleBearss: Fingers and toes crossed for you Chelle. As someone who has struggled with weight gain since turning 30, I am pleased overly by the 15 pounds that I have shed this month and I hope to consolidate this time rather than pile it straight back on.

>150 Familyhistorian: It has indeed Meg. There have been on or two other happenings this month which I haven't shared which have made it even more eventful and enjoyable.

Jun 24, 2017, 3:19am Top

>152 PaulCranswick: That makes it sound like there were some positive things happening during that eventful time, Paul. May everything be positive from now forward.

Jun 24, 2017, 5:04am Top

>153 Familyhistorian: I was teasing a little bit too, Meg. All in all though the fasting month has been an exceptional time for me this year.

Jun 24, 2017, 6:05am Top

Congratulations on the weightloss Paul. It's not easy, I well know.

Jun 24, 2017, 7:35am Top

Hi Paul. Devotion, introspection, and weight loss are all good thing.

(I wonder what the total weight loss around the world is for practicing Muslims?)

Edited: Jun 24, 2017, 9:32am Top

PAUL - you and your Architect friend will enjoy tomorrow's (Sunday) New York Times!
Look for our California Musician, Composer, and Educator...

Jun 24, 2017, 9:39am Top

>146 PaulCranswick: There are way to many books to read them all, Paul, our National Library has over 2,500,000 books! And that is only (mostly) in Dutch....

Jun 24, 2017, 11:12am Top

>155 Caroline_McElwee: The trick is now to consolidate, Caroline, with Ramadhan over and the freedom to eat and drink again open. I have been physically quite active this month as well as the stresses and strains probably impelling my metabolism a little. I have hardly had to use my inhaler this month which is a sure sign that I have been living well!

>156 karenmarie: In Malaysia, Karen, I reckon the figure would probably be a negative! The extent to which Malays tend to gorge themselves during the non-daylight hours is truly amazing. Defeats the purpose entirely in my opinion but it is really an excuse by them to over indulge after dark.

Jun 24, 2017, 11:17am Top

>157 m.belljackson: Intriguing, Marianne! I will go online to look at the NY Times tomorrow and I am lunching with Johann (for he is the architect) on Wednesday and will show him it then.

>158 FAMeulstee: The British Library has 25 million books which is second to the American Library of Congress which totals presently around 32 million. I have some way to go! I think you'll make a bigger dent in reading them than will I, Anita. xx

Jun 24, 2017, 2:33pm Top

>160 PaulCranswick:

Unless the U.S. government has proven Galileo to be wrong, the sun will shine in Malaysia so that you will see the article first!

Wow - all those "shires" - since I was the one who requested the well-received Yorkshire list,
I promise not to ask for annotated Worst to Best lists for all the rest...so that you DO get your rest.

And, not to be forgotten, here comes this from BLEAK HOUSE:

"I have had Frenchwomen come, before now, and show themselves dabs at pistol-shooting."

Jun 24, 2017, 3:37pm Top

>161 m.belljackson: "A Pioneering Black Composer Keeps Pushing" - RM looks very fetching in his fedora. An interview with some excerpts from his latest release. Very, very interesting.

Of course Bilbo and Frodo were also from the Shire and I am not sure how many other indeterminate Shires there are in fiction.

Well spotted from Bleak House. xx

Jun 24, 2017, 4:17pm Top

Congratulations on the improved financial situation, Paul---and on the weight loss. It comes back so much more easily than it drops off... I don't mean to be discouraging, just bemoaning a fact I've proven for myself many times! Incentives...that's the key.

Jun 24, 2017, 4:29pm Top

>163 laytonwoman3rd: It is exactly the problem, Linda. I think that I have the incentives to keep it off so let's see how I cope!

Jun 25, 2017, 7:23am Top

Best wishes for maintaining the weight loss, Paul.

Huh. It just never occurred to me that day-time fasting equaled night-time gorging.

Jun 25, 2017, 9:36am Top

Catching up after a long absence. Glad your financial woes may be sorting out.

Love the Yorkshire booklist, I too had read only six! I've copied out the rest of the titles.

The biggest meet-up I've attended was in Philadelphia with three of us and my daughter, mostly I've met people one on one, but all of them have been delightful. People are exactly as advertised!

Jun 25, 2017, 1:06pm Top

Paul, the posts on your many threads come at me fast and furious. Here I am, paralyzed by the onslaught:

This is, of course, a 21st century take on Norman Rockwell's Saturday Evening Post cover from 1952.

Jun 25, 2017, 5:24pm Top

Hi Paul, hope you have had a good weekend mate.

Jun 25, 2017, 5:54pm Top

Selamat Hari Raya Adilfitri, Paul. Wishing you and your family a Blessed and Happy celebration. Do you have to do much visiting this weekend?

Jun 26, 2017, 12:50am Top

Hi Paul! I am glad that you have had a good fast. Hope the week ahead is good to you.

Jun 26, 2017, 4:44am Top

>165 karenmarie: Karen, I don't know if that is replicated throughout the Muslim world but it is certainly an issue in Malaysia. Sometimes in the hotel buffets which traditionally house breakfasting celebrations some of the ladies queueing for food can be brutal!

>166 sibyx: Lovely to see you Lucy - I have missed your musical presence in these parts.
You are right in that all the people I have met in the group are pretty much exactly as I expected them to be. Of course therefore having been so keen to meet them in the first place I have never been disappointed!

Jun 26, 2017, 4:57am Top

>167 weird_O: Good old Rockwell, Bill. He must have an amazing pair of eyes in order to stand in front of that bloody thing for a while!

>168 johnsimpson: Thanks John. I am in Johor Bahru visiting Hani's parents to coincide with the end of Ramadhan celebrations. Took three of my neices/nephews shopping for presents today at Toys-R-Us and managed to get them all something that they were happy with.

Jun 26, 2017, 4:59am Top

>169 cameling: Terima kasih banyak banyak, Caro! Johor Bahru is extremely warm at the moment but Starbucks is providing some cool relief.

>170 banjo123: Officially the office is closed this week, Rhonda, but I shall be returning to work on Wednesday. I am hopeful of a decent week. xx

Edited: Jun 26, 2017, 5:18am Top

>145 PaulCranswick: Of course, Shire is just a word that means county, so it is not surprising to see shire in the various county names. It comes from Old English Scir. County was the Norman French word for the same thing. Welsh borrowed the older Saxon word and not the Norman one, so a county in Welsh is "sir" (the i is long in that word, and the r is trilled). Although having said that, Welsh also uses "cantref" (literally "hundred-town") as an older form for a county - or a division of land somewhat akin to a county at least.

That does lead to the odd "county of Worcestershire", which can be understood to mean "county of Worcester county".

Jun 26, 2017, 5:41am Top

>174 sirfurboy: Interesting as always Sir. F.

Jun 26, 2017, 5:50am Top

Glad you are getting some respite in Starbucks- which reminds me of two things. a) I watched Battlestar Galactica on VCR with the kids the other day, remember the character named Starbuck!!? b) it is so cold here that I would be seeking refuge in Starbucks for heat, not cool!! It was -4 degC this morning. Frosty indeed!

Jun 26, 2017, 9:54am Top

Hi Paul! Glad that you are having a couple of extra days off.

>176 LovingLit: I have a cat named Inara Starbuck, Megan, from Firefly and of course Battlestar Galactica, the new one with the female Starbuck. I'm a Starbuck's fuddy-duddy - I only ever get black coffee no sugar.

Jun 26, 2017, 11:05am Top

Hi Paul! Glad things are looking up since the last time I checked out your thread! :)

Jun 26, 2017, 1:12pm Top

Hi, Paul.

>167 weird_O: Very cool, Bill!

Jun 26, 2017, 3:14pm Top

Ooh..a Firefly reference. I miss that series. If the hubster ends up having to work this weekend, I might just have to make like a snacking slug and enjoy a Firefly marathon on Netflix.

Jun 26, 2017, 10:27pm Top

Sounds like your health has improved with the weight loss, Paul. That's incentive for keeping it off!

Jun 27, 2017, 3:17am Top

>176 LovingLit: Polar opposite reasons to visit Starbucks in the 21st Century, Megan. I don't suppose that the franchise will be bothered in either eventuality.

>177 karenmarie: I am also a black coffee and no sugar guy, Karen. I am pleased to inform though that I have no input whatsoever into the naming of our cats. I did try to intervene in the naming of Kyran but all are apparently that Zachary Wallace was shouted down!

Jun 27, 2017, 3:20am Top

>178 The_Hibernator: This roller coaster ride that is is my life is on one of the steadier sections at the moment - Hani notwithstanding. She is struggling quite a bit at the moment with depression and self esteem issues as well as a sort of delayed stress/anxiety from the difficulties we have been having. I am trying to support her as best as I can but she can be a fragile soul at times which people would simply not believe were they to only know her at a surface level.

>179 jnwelch: Cool Bill would be more apropos than Weird Bill, don't you think, Joe?

Jun 27, 2017, 3:23am Top

>180 cameling: Hani is a huge fan of the lead character - the quality or otherwise of the shows he is in doesn't seem to matter any.

>181 Familyhistorian: You are right, Meg. The inhaler seems to have been confined to its blue wrapping since I started Ramadhan. Long may it continue.

Jun 27, 2017, 5:12am Top

Hugs for Hani.

Jun 27, 2017, 6:58am Top

Hi Paul! Hugs for you and Hani.

My husband and I had quite a bit to cope with as we watched his properties development business go belly up after Hurricane Katrina destroyed the market on the Carolina coast in 2005, even though the hurricane was in the Gulf Coast. I had a job and 12-year old daughter to keep going through it, in addition to supporting my husband. None of it was fun at all.

Jun 27, 2017, 11:27am Top

Good morning, Paul! I hope all is well with you.

Jun 27, 2017, 1:13pm Top

>185 Caroline_McElwee: Yes, Caroline I need to do that more too. It would be a complete waste of time for me to fight my way through the business and financial morass only to fail with the most important things.

>186 karenmarie: Thanks Karen. Hani is supportive actually but just doesn't handle the stresses and strains as seemingly I do. I say seemingly as, in my darkest moments, I just wanted to curl up in my room and never come out, but I never showed any of the family that.

We have a tradition at Hari Raya (end of Ramadhan) to seek forgiveness from our loved ones. My youngest Sister-in-law, Fifi, in seeking forgiveness from me burst into tears and said something along the lines of "Don't leave us Abang Paul, my parents would never survive without your help." I had tears in my eyes as I assured her I wasn't going anywhere.

>187 brodiew2: Morning Brodie. I am starting to cope much better, mate, thank you.

Jun 27, 2017, 1:29pm Top

I was in the official Leeds United shop in Leeds on Friday Paul, so couldn't help thinking of you!

Jun 27, 2017, 1:35pm Top

>189 SandDune: You mean the one attached to the ground, Rhian? I have been there a number of times (of course) but I often get reminded in the store just how far the mighty have fallen!

Jun 27, 2017, 1:41pm Top

>190 PaulCranswick: No - not that dedicated! There was one in the middle of Leeds when we were walking to the university, so we thought we'd pop in and get Mr SandDune a little memento.

Jun 27, 2017, 7:42pm Top

>191 SandDune: I cannot remember which is his team but it wasn't Leeds United was it? Fairly exciting times for my club with a new owner and a new Head Coach and seemingly a host of new players coming in.

Jun 28, 2017, 2:44am Top

Hi Paul! Congrats on the weight loss--here's to keeping it off and continuing the trend!

Jun 28, 2017, 9:13am Top

>193 Berly: So far so good Kimmers.

Jun 28, 2017, 10:19am Top

So glad that you have some breathing room now, physically and fiscally ;-).

Be gentle with yourself, the aftermath of a crisis is also quite difficult and does not come with an adrenaline rush to help you through. Hugs to you and Hani.

Jun 28, 2017, 10:31am Top

>183 PaulCranswick: I'm "Cool" all the time, Paul, but only in MY head. To most others, I'm just plain "Weird." It's okay, being weird is cool.

Jun 28, 2017, 1:35pm Top

For your Friend's Birthday and You: You Tube "Bells for the South Side" - very mellow, both musically and visually.

And, here are the next 4 month's entries from our old playlist:


Blowing' in the Wind (Dylan)
There But for Fortune (Baez)
Fortunate Son (Credence Clearwater Revival)


Mercedes Benz (Janis Joplin)
Who do You Love? (Bo Diddley)


Take Me to the River (Talking Heads)
Wade in the Water (Porter, Hawkins, Ella Mitchell, &
Alvin Ailey's Revelations)
The Dock of the Bay (Otis Redding)


The Star Spangled Banner (Jimi Hendrix)

Jun 28, 2017, 2:09pm Top

>195 MDGentleReader: Thank you dear lady. I am eternally grateful to those in the group who have wished and willed me and Hani well over the years and especially over these very trying months. I am sure that we'll get there (wherever that may be!).

>196 weird_O: Cool or Weird or Cool and Weird - you are an amazing member of the group, Bill.

Jun 28, 2017, 2:16pm Top

>199 PaulCranswick: Some great stuff on that playlist, Marianne. It is funny but I was listening to stuff from the three of your April list today:

Diamonds and Rust - Joan Baez
Another Side of Bob Dylan and
Green River - Creedence Clearwater Revival

Great music all.

Jun 28, 2017, 8:42pm Top

Finally with a little loose change I managed to have a mini haul in Kinokuniya yesterday

62. Fireflies by Shiva Naipaul (1973 412 pp

63. Barkskins by Annie Proulx (2016) 713 pp

64. The Twelfth Day of July by Joan Lingard (1970) 162 pp

65. The Lesser Bohemians by Eimear McBride (2016) 312 pp

66. Ladivine by Marie N'Diaye (2013) 325 pp

67. Heaven's My Destination by Thornton Wilder (1935) 222 pp

68. Singing from the Well by Reinaldo Arenas (1982) 206 pp

69. The Pigeon Tunnel by John Le Carre (2016) 342 pp

Edited: Jun 28, 2017, 9:09pm Top

Hi Paul, Catching up and sending along some hugs for both you and Hani.

>1 PaulCranswick: Oh, and the moors are gorgeous!

Jun 29, 2017, 4:39am Top

>201 Copperskye: Lovely to see you, Joanne. Hugs are always gratefully received here.

Jun 29, 2017, 7:01am Top

>200 PaulCranswick: Good haul Paul! Just by the titles I would love to read nrs 68 and 69! Wishing you happy reading with them.

Jun 29, 2017, 7:10am Top

Congrats on the recent book haul. The Pigeon Tunnel is fantastic.

Sweet Thursday, Paul. Hope your week is going well.

Jun 29, 2017, 7:15am Top

>204 msf59: I have that on Kindle Mark, I'll nudge it up.

Jun 29, 2017, 7:17am Top

>203 EllaTim: I picked out the Reinaldo Arenas book Ella to give me the option to include Cuba in my Around the World in 80 Books Challenge which I know you are also going to embark upon.

>204 msf59: I have seen some positive reviews of it Mark and just felt I needed a mini-haul to break my reading funk.

Jun 29, 2017, 7:17am Top

>205 Caroline_McElwee: Hi Caroline. I will probably get to it fairly soon too.

Jun 29, 2017, 7:57am Top

Hi Paul!

Nice to see you with a book haul. Buying books definitely feeds the soul.

Jun 29, 2017, 9:41am Top

>200 PaulCranswick: Congratulations on the book haul, Paul — a nice treat.

Jun 29, 2017, 10:10am Top

Hi Paul! Great book haul. Barkskins caught my eye because I have it already, waiting to be read. But at over 700 pages, it doesn't look like paper, but more like a tree stump and it scares me!! LOL

Jun 29, 2017, 12:15pm Top

>208 karenmarie: Book hauls are definitely food for the soul, Karen. xx

>209 harrygbutler: I was actually a little overdue such a treat, Harry.

>210 Berly: It does look a readable chunkster though, Kimmers

Jun 29, 2017, 5:34pm Top

>188 PaulCranswick: Does your answer to your SiL mean you postpone your move to England, Paul?

Jun 29, 2017, 8:30pm Top

>212 FAMeulstee: Certainly for a while Anita until I can go back on terms that wouldn't hamstring me too unfavourably.

Jun 29, 2017, 9:19pm Top

Diamonds and Rust is an outstanding album, Paul!

Jun 29, 2017, 10:17pm Top

>214 ronincats: It is definitely my favourite album of Joan Baez, Roni.

Jun 29, 2017, 11:27pm Top

I can't catch up, Paul, but I can say how happy I am to know for sure that you seem to have turned the financial corner into a better street. May you continue!
Right now I'm contemplating the concept of negative weight loss and liking it a lot!

Jun 30, 2017, 9:22am Top

Hi Paul!

My daughter loves Diamonds and Rust. She loves The Beatles, too, and Emerson, Lake and Palmer, ELO, and etc. Her dad and I have tried to bring her up right!

I'm so glad things are calming down and getting better for you.

Jun 30, 2017, 10:53am Top

>216 LizzieD: Lovely to see you Peggy. Negative values on the weighing scales are positive news aren't they?!

Jun 30, 2017, 11:00am Top

>217 karenmarie: You both sure did a good job, Karen! What a wonderful group Electric Light Orchestra are/were. Jeff Lynne released an album last year (or was it the year before) and he has lost nothing of his brilliance.

Jun 30, 2017, 12:59pm Top

Does Hani share your musical tastes?

If yes, she might also enjoy the next three months on the Soap playlist:


Give Peace a Chance (Lennon and McCartney)
Under Pressure (David Bowie and Queen)
Tears in Heaven (Eric Clapton)


Another Brick in the Wall (Pink Floyd)


The Phantom of the Opera (Gerard Butler and Emmy Rossum)
Sympathy for the Devil (Rolling Stones)

A couple of them seem to work well to describe your past months...!

Edited: Jun 30, 2017, 1:25pm Top

Hello Paul!

>200 PaulCranswick: I noticed the Thornton Wilder you picked up. I am not as familiar with Heaven's My Destination, but I have added Theophilus North to my TBR. Wilder is someone I liked the idea of over time, but never taken the plunge. This happens more often than I would like.

'Mr. North' was pleasant film adaptation.

Jun 30, 2017, 3:24pm Top

Hi Paul, sadly the weather rather spoilt the day/night cricket this week and allowed Essex to stretch their lead at the top of the table. I wonder what the team selection will be for the first Test next week, they are struggling to find an opener with decent form to bat alongside Cook who warmed up nicely with a big hundred.

Sounds like things are moving apace down at Elland Road since Raddzziani took full control. Hope you have had a good week mate and send love and hugs to all the family.

Jun 30, 2017, 6:20pm Top

>220 m.belljackson: Hahaha, indeed Marianne. Hani can certainly hold a tune but has not performed before audiences as far as I am aware!

>221 brodiew2: Brodie, Thornton Wilder is an author who is strangely difficult to come by in print in the UK and commonwealth countries with the exception of San Luis Rey which has been constantly in print since it won the Pulitzer. A publisher called Apollo released last year a series of 12 novels which could be described as "lost classics" in very attractive paperback form. So far I have tracked down and purchased 5 of these including Heaven's My Destination.

Edited: Jun 30, 2017, 6:37pm Top

>222 johnsimpson: Of the two main contenders for the openers role Hameed and Jennings the latter is in demonstrably better nick and the former doesn't look like he has a great deal of confidence. Stoneman probably leads the way of the rest and is averaging more than 50. I am an advocate of Bell-Drummond but he too has had a mixed summer so far. I would like to see us select his teammate but I fear we won't.

My XI would be:

Cook, Jennings, Root, Northeast, Bairstow, Ali, Stokes, Overton, Broad, Rayner, Anderson

I would be tempted to give Darren Stevens a long overdue cap if Stokes isn't fit enough.

Elland Road is abuzz at the moment isn't it? Buying back the ground finally is something that will endear him to the fans and some of the players we are linked with sound exciting enough for it be promise to be one heck of a season ahead.

Jun 30, 2017, 11:10pm Top

>218 PaulCranswick: Uh, Paul. I was taking it that negative weight loss was the euphemistic statement of weight gain. Oh dear.

Jul 1, 2017, 12:55am Top

>225 LizzieD: That's what happens Peggy, when two weavers of words communicate!

Jul 1, 2017, 1:57am Top

>225 LizzieD: >218 PaulCranswick: I was wondering about the negative weight loss as well and wondered if that meant you were starting to put the pounds back on, Paul.

Jul 1, 2017, 2:34am Top

>227 Familyhistorian: As of today I have maintained the lost 7 kilos, Meg. I was actually playing with the different meanings of negative and positive and, ergo, confusion reigns!

Jul 1, 2017, 8:10am Top

How de do, Paul! I couple of Yorkshire girls shared our van from the airport to our respective hotels in Budapest. Very nice young ladies, celebrating their graduation from university.

Jul 1, 2017, 9:12am Top

Hi Paul and I hope you're having a good weekend.

I've only read The Bridge at San Luis Rey, but also have The Woman of Andros, and The Cabala.

Congrats on maintaining your weight loss, too.

Jul 1, 2017, 10:42am Top

>192 PaulCranswick: Oh Yes, Leeds United is Mr SandDune's team too. We used to have a video somewhere called 'Leeds United: the Glory Years' which he made me watch once.

Jul 1, 2017, 1:13pm Top

>229 Carmenere: Lynda, I am pleased that two of my countrywomen made such a good impression upon you!

>230 karenmarie: I have thus far only read that one too but I reckon that my latest buy of his will get attention soon.

>231 SandDune: I knew that you were smart in choosing that particular gentleman to be your soulmate! Rhian, I have that video too!

Jul 1, 2017, 1:16pm Top

Hi Paul. Congrats on the weight status quo. Wishing you a great weekend with lots of books and relaxation. Hugs.

Jul 1, 2017, 6:38pm Top

>233 Berly: Thanks, Kimmers. Today Yasmyne and boyfriend are going up to Pinang and I am planning a restful day with possibly a cinema visit and a trip to a Persian restaurant as Hani is craving for that.

Jul 1, 2017, 7:23pm Top

Happy Saturday! And congrats on your 5,000 posts! I am back from travels and hoping to start my second thread for the year. Nothing like your 19...but it's a milestone for me!

Jul 1, 2017, 8:52pm Top

>235 witchyrichy: Karen, your posting numbers are definitely on the rise whilst mine have certainly plateaued. I look forward to your new thread. xx

Jul 1, 2017, 9:01pm Top

Great week for me in sport :

Leeds United (my soccer club - I am one of the horde of long suffering supporters of our great club) finally bought its beloved ground, Elland Road, 13 long years after selling it to keep afloat in the dark days of financial implosion. We now need to get promoted back to the EPL.

Geraint Thomas won the first stage of the Tour de France and with it the Yellow Jersey. Many will know that cycling is my first sporting passion and that I was a less than successful semi-professional back in the day when I could still see my shoes.

The British Lions levelled the Rugby Union series with the mighty All Blacks after a thrilling game in Wellington. It is the All Blacks first defeat at home for 8 years and the first time in 39 games they were prevented from scoring a single try. I would still make the All Blacks comfortable favourites for the decider in Auckland but it will be exciting.

Edited: Jul 1, 2017, 10:52pm Top

Hi, Paul! I seem to have missed an entire thread. Not hard to do when you go through threads like I go through newspapers (for lining the birds' cages, under their perches, etc.). (I do hope that's not TMI.) ;-) Anyway, gorgeous topper!

The only Thornton Wilder I ever read - and I liked it a lot, so I don't know why I haven't read more of his works - was The Ides of March.

Jul 2, 2017, 12:04am Top

>234 PaulCranswick: Hah; we went out for Persian just the other night, Paul.

>231 SandDune: I suspect that Leeds is not Rhian's team ;0)

Have a happy weekend. Congratulations on your sporting wins.

Jul 2, 2017, 1:09am Top

>238 Storeetllr: I have not been myself around the threads these last few weeks, Mary. I think that my financial stresses and strains took a toll on me that I had not expected and in the relief and release of achieving my intermediate goals I have been a little bit of a spent force a lately! Time to gird my loins and throw myself headlong back into the fray. Just had a week off work to celebrate the end of fasting and I am chomping at the bit to be honest to go and achieve things work wise.

My reading also badly suffered with my absolute worst return (4 shortish books) in the 6 1/2 years I have been on LT.

>239 humouress: It is not a favourite of mine (Persian food) to be honest Nina, but Hani adores it.

The tenor of Rhian's messages are clear - some other club must be dear to her heart! The fact that (having seen them together) Mr SandDune obviously occupies an unassailable position in said heart will always give my football team a fighting chance!

Jul 2, 2017, 2:15am Top


The Endless Steppe by Esther Hautzig

Date of Publication : 1968
Pages : 281
Around the World in Eighty Books : #23 - Lithuania

Based on her true life experiences. Esther comes from a wealthy family in Vilna. The Russians take over and the family are deported to a Siberian labour camp due to being "capitalists". Inadvertently their lives are saved in the process although the hardships they face and overcome together and apart as a family make the story worthwhile.

Esther's optimism and her desire and achievement in making the best of her situation and her love of her father are the highlights of a YA book that is well worth the reading.


Edited: Aug 20, 2017, 7:53am Top


Country 23 of 80 - LITHUANIA

Lithuania Factfile

Area : 25,200 sq miles
Population : 2,827,947
President/Prime Minister : Dalla Grybauskaite / Saulius Skvernelis
Capital City : Vilnius
Largest City : Vilnius
Currency : Euro
GDP Nominal : $42.826 billion
GDP Per Capita : $31,849
National Languages : Lithuanian
Median Age : 43.4
Life Expectancy : 74.9
Percentage Using Internet : 71.4%

Its a Fact : According to scientific study Lithuania is dead centre in terms of European geography.

Sources : Various but mainly wikipedia and CIA world fact book

Jul 2, 2017, 2:43am Top

A Lithuanian Dish


Probably Lithuania's most famous dish. Stuffed potato dumplings (ground meat) usually served in a sour cream sauce with bacon bits.

Jul 2, 2017, 2:46am Top

Another Lithuanian Dish

Edita Vilkeviciute

Lithuanian supermodel and cutie.

Edited: Jul 2, 2017, 2:49am Top

And Another Lithuanian Dish

Robertas Aukstuolis

Lithuanian Model

Jul 2, 2017, 3:48am Top

To all my Canadian Friends:

Happy 150th Birthday.

Jul 2, 2017, 7:17am Top

Hi Paul!

It really does sound like you're getting your mojo back. I'm happy for you.

I must have missed that Yasmyne was home from school. How did her first year go?

>245 PaulCranswick: Yummy. Almost a bit too handsome for Jack Reacher, but those rugged good looks are very like Lee Child.

Jul 2, 2017, 8:28am Top

>241 PaulCranswick: Congrats on finishing another country. The endless steppe sounds good.
Surprising that Lithuania is the center of Europe.
I've never been there, but I did have two Lithuanians staying over in my house for some days. They were orchestra members from Vilnius, accompanying a performance by a choir I used to sing in. The orchestra couldn't make a living in Lithuania at that time, so they toured around Europe. Nice people, but nowhere near as handsome as the model in 245;)

Have a happy weekend!

Jul 2, 2017, 9:12am Top

>244 PaulCranswick: Nice!

Happy Sunday, Paul. Hope you had a enjoyable weekend.

Jul 2, 2017, 9:19am Top

I have some Lithuanian ancestry, but unfortunately, the only Lithuanian "dish" I resemble ... is the dumplings.

Jul 2, 2017, 10:28am Top

>247 karenmarie: Yes and I even finished a book today! I am very positive about work and business for the first time in ages and my week off (well pretty much) has galvanised me somewhat. I am going into tomorrow feeling that a corner is to be turned.

Yasmyne is very much in love and the boyfriend, Tobias, is clearly more in love than even she is! Her studies went well, I think, but then again she is an extremely diligent student so I don't have too many qualms there.

I agree that Mr. Aukstuolis is not Reacher material but he seems to be copying me with his wayward locks!

>248 EllaTim: It was good, Ella.

I also wouldn't have come up with Lithuania as the geographical centre of Europe. French scientists in the late 1980s came up with this one:


Jul 2, 2017, 10:34am Top

>249 msf59: She is isn't she, Mark? I choose the ladies with far more care than I do the gentleman or with at least a more practised eye!

>250 foggidawn: That really made me guffaw, Foggi!

I am hardly supermodel material myself although I must say that our number is awash with pleasant faces!

Jul 2, 2017, 12:02pm Top

Morning, Paul.

Wow, that Edita Sveltecutie in >244 PaulCranswick: is really something, isn't she.

Jul 2, 2017, 12:41pm Top

Happy Sunday, Paul! So glad to hear you are doing better! A week off always helps too. :)

Being half Lithuanian (my mom's parents emigrated here in the early 1900s), I really appreciated your highlighting Lithuania. No, Mr. Aukstuolis isn't Reacher, but he is pretty fine nonetheless! As far as food goes, my grandma's kugelis was ambrosia. I still remember the taste of it and, though I've tried, haven't been able to make it like hers.

Jul 2, 2017, 1:03pm Top

I am back from ALA and have a book haul coming through the mail. I won't post all the titles here. It is Cranswikian in size for most people but for me it is rather modest. Nothing to compare with the book hauls of Marianne, Suz, and Caro when it was in Boston.

Chicago is a great place for ALA. It is a very bookie kind of town.

Jul 2, 2017, 2:48pm Top

>250 foggidawn: Delicious!

Jul 2, 2017, 3:45pm Top

It sounds like you have turned a corner, Paul, and I guess all that fasting was good for something. Keep up the good work. All is good here. I am in the middle of our long weekend for Canada Day and the weather is sunny and breezy.

Jul 2, 2017, 5:09pm Top

>253 jnwelch: So far on my reading travels, Joe, I have been fortunate to discover that each country is endowed with beautiful ladies (and OK looking guys!).

>254 Storeetllr: I have passed a couple of recipes to Hani for her to work her culinary magic on the kugelis / cepelinai. I don't particularly like the sound of sour cream sauce but I am sure that my dear SWMBO will come up with something that I find more than a little palatable. I have often prospered, Mary, on the principle that a change is as good as a rest, but really a rest was in order for me this time. I do think that batteries are recharged and I am raring to go again.

Jul 2, 2017, 5:14pm Top

>255 benitastrnad: I haven't really managed any "Cranswickian" hauls myself this year and I need to be careful that the name doesn't fall into dis-use! I dread to think what would happen if I were to join you guys at one of those ALA events!
Judging from the number of our pals hailing from the windy city, Benita, I would have to agree on the assessment of Chicago as a bookie type of town. As Ol' Blue Eyes sang "My kind of town, Chicago is".

>256 humouress: Nice and concisely put, Nina!

>257 Familyhistorian: I am an advocate of fasting, Meg, although you wouldn't know so immediately from first glances! It is good for the body, great for the spirit and wonderful for the soul.

Jul 2, 2017, 8:40pm Top

>246 PaulCranswick: - Thank you, Paul. It's been a good one

Jul 2, 2017, 9:39pm Top

Jul 2, 2017, 10:03pm Top

Hi Paul. I haven't been making the rounds lately, but wanted to stop by to let you know that I visited Yorkshire with my June BAC selection, Venetia. And it was a milestone book at #50 for the year.

Jul 3, 2017, 1:01am Top

Hi Paul - my son made cepelinai several times a couple of years back, it was more delicious than I was expecting, even the sauce. He's proud of his Eastern European heritage, though it's actually a Jewish one.

Jul 3, 2017, 1:41am Top

Greetings Paul. I see that your thread is skipping along at its usual good pace. I'm quite enjoying your "Around the World in 80 Books" series. Thinking I might pick up that theme for 2018-2019. I don't read many more than 80 books in any given year, so I would want to give myself two years for the trip.

Jul 3, 2017, 6:30am Top

Hello, Paul! We're back from vacation - how have your last 10 days been?

Jul 3, 2017, 8:40am Top

Hi Paul!

>251 PaulCranswick: Your 'report' is great to hear. Ah, wayward locks. Husband and I have been watching Sherlock and Benedict Cumberbatch's wayward locks add to the pleasure of the series.

Jul 3, 2017, 10:55am Top

>262 cbl_tn: Carrie, as always it is lovely to see you here. My BAC reading for June was pathetic and I didn't finish anything although I started two and hope to finish them this month.

>263 avatiakh: Hani will make them for me on Wednesday so I am looking forward to tasting her take on this Eastern European delicacy.

Jul 3, 2017, 10:58am Top

>264 EBT1002: It has slowed a wee bit to be honest Ellen but in keeping with what I can keep pace with! I am really enjoying the challenge and hope I can get it finished in a single year.

>265 scaifea: I have missed you around Amber and have had a week holiday myself. My recent days have been nothing short of splendid.

>266 karenmarie: I cannot do wayward with anywhere near as much elan as can Mr. Cumberbatch, Karen!

Jul 3, 2017, 1:26pm Top

Paul - I know your vote is for Andy Murray,

but I'm looking forward to you being at Wimbledon next July

with this year's winner, Rafael Nadal!

Ah well, one can hope...

Jul 3, 2017, 7:14pm Top

>269 m.belljackson: I hope Murray wins but I fear he is not fully fit. I think both draws are extremely open this year.

I used to love playing tennis when I was younger but when I stopped growing at 5ft 6 I realised that I had no chance!

Jul 3, 2017, 7:58pm Top

Hi Paul, I quickly scanned through this page because I have to get home and cook. After seeing some of the delicious looking dishes featured on your pages I am starving now! But I wanted to say that I was so sorry to hear that you had some problems last month but very happy to read that you found a way to resolve them. I am not surprised a bit to find that there are people who have great faith in you and are willing to help you out of a financial bind in appreciation of what you have done for them financially and morally, being the great guy you are! Professionally speaking and personally, also. To bring you up to date with me quickly, we have moved into my friend's house which is located on a lagoon and has its pleasures. A nice breeze blowing off the water, swans and ducks floating by daily, friendly people cruising slowly by on their boats, on their way to or from the bay. Unfortunately, I had one of the worst experiences of my life on the day we moved in, and I no longer have 5 dogs but only 2. There is no nice way to put what happened. Several of my dogs attacked my small dog and not only did we lose her but we felt we had to surrender two of the American Bulldogs to the local shelter as we did not want to endanger our friends or any visitors they may have. Our dogs had never done anything to make us think they would do that but that one event was enough and believe me I am still traumatized by it. I have been a dog lover all my life but I don't even know how to feel anymore. I was the one who witnessed it and had to deal with the event, although my husband took the dogs away and that was very hard on him. I am still unable to actually speak about it but as you mentioned posting on LT has always been somewhat cathartic because there are such kind and good-hearted folks on here. Well, I have to go and feed the folks so let me say that you are in my thoughts and prayers, Paul, as well as your family.

Jul 3, 2017, 8:03pm Top

>271 mmignano11: That is an awful tale of dogs turning, Mary Beth. Was it changing environment do you think?

I really liked your descriptions of your new home and I do hope that, despite that harrowing beginning, you will all be happy there. xx

Jul 3, 2017, 8:09pm Top

I think that my dogs were becoming very stressed both by the move and the fact that I was not physically able to care for them because I had cellulitis of both legs and spent some time in the hospital and then recovering. I used to walk them every day and just wasn't able to do so any more and my husband works very hard, God Bless him and he just didn't have the energy to do it either because he was helping me. That may have contributed to it. It was something I never expected I hope that people realize the power big dogs have and really make sure they are trained properly. There was not a thing I could do to stop them once it started and believe me I tried. And I spent all day with these dogs and felt I knew them. They never touched me although I was right in the midst of it but I could never look at them the same way again.

Jul 3, 2017, 8:28pm Top

>273 mmignano11: It is amazing that even when the most raw of animal instinct takes over and they turned on their smaller fellow, they still had the innate sense to not go against their mistress. The ways of dogs and animals in general is as fascinating as it can be horrifying. I hope that the trauma it clearly inflicted will be worn down by time and the love of the two remaining dogs.

Jul 3, 2017, 9:15pm Top

>271 mmignano11:

Some small consolation for enduring this horror - when we were adopting our little rescue kitten,
the procedure was put on hold because three dogs in the house of the highly experienced expert
dog trainer had attacked and killed their beloved cat.

The trainer went into therapy and took a calming medication for several months to overcome guilt
and to reclaim her life. Her dogs had been regularly and rigorously exercised - do not blame yourself.

The only explanation was that the pack instinct for predator/prey had been set off
that it was a trigger-sharp movement with no 'thinking' involved.

So sad that this happened to you.

Jul 3, 2017, 9:56pm Top

>275 m.belljackson: Lovely post. Thank you for that Marianne. xx

Jul 4, 2017, 11:53pm Top

>271 mmignano11: Gosh, that's so scary, especially to have been in the middle of it. Deepest sympathies on the loss of your pets.

Jul 5, 2017, 12:03am Top

>270 PaulCranswick: No excuses Paul! I have an uncle who's not even your height; an ex-Davis Cup player, I think he finally retired from competitive tennis about a year ago after winning quite a few events on the senior circuit on both sides of the Pond. He's not far shy of 90 and still gives his grandkids a game.

Jul 5, 2017, 11:01pm Top

>277 humouress: & >278 humouress: It is a sad and frankly terrifying story, Nina.

Forty years is a long time in growth patterns Nina! Your uncle sounds like a marvel but 5 ft 6 two generations before mine was relatively taller than nowadays! That is my excuse anyway!

In all seriousness I could have proceeded with any number of sports. I was a half-decent rugby scrum-half, cycled to a decent level, played district soccer (Wakefield and District) and Cricket (West Yorks school and Nostell Sunday league). Tennis was and is my favourite racquet sport but I knew that I would never be able to compete with the giants!

This topic was continued by Paul C's 2017 Reading & Life - 20.

Group: 75 Books Challenge for 2017

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