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Paul C's 2017 Reading & Life - 26

This is a continuation of the topic Paul C's 2017 Reading & Life - 25.

This topic was continued by Paul C's 2017 Reading & Life - 27.

75 Books Challenge for 2017

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Sep 26, 2017, 7:36pm Top

This is a place that I like to come to of an evening or at the weekends for a long stroll. Newmillerdam close to Wakefield is about 4 miles from my mother's home.

Edited: Sep 26, 2017, 7:42pm Top

Paul's Poetry

We are what we read? This was a juvenile attempt at aping Thomas Hardy.

Reflections in an Old House

Dark sweating corridors reek of reminiscence;
Pinioned inside this perimeter memories unfold
of music no longer playing
only carpets left fraying
An empty container bled of stories untold.

A hall - once bright - has befallen the touch of time;
Its ebbing walls pallour now fast asserting:
no happy feet upon the floor
no friendly welcome at the door
Only rat droppings collecting along the skirting.

Through sepia tinge pastel colours impinge -
Sunroom made dark by spiralling green upon the pane
echoes of autumnal winds
that the auburn sun has dimmed
Into a nothingness never to be restored again.

A frail stairway replete with self-pity
Looking about morosely clothed in mould;
the secrets of the aged place
are creeping with a ghosted face
Up to the ruins where the sun shines cold.

Edited: Oct 10, 2017, 8:26pm 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: Oct 10, 2017, 8:26pm 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: Oct 10, 2017, 8:27pm 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: Oct 10, 2017, 8:27pm Top



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


52. Miss Buncle's Book by D.E. Stevenson (1936) 299 pp
53. Amok by Stefan Zweig (1922) 121 pp
54. The King's Revenge by Don Jordan (2012) 328 pp


55. A Voice in the Night by Andrea Camilleri (2012) 278 pp
56. Listening to Van Morrison by Greil Marcus (2010) 183 pp
57. The Trouble with Poetry by Billy Collins (2005) 85 pp
58. S. : A Novel About the Balkans by Slavenka Drakulic (1999) 201 pp
59. The World's Two Smallest Humans by Julia Copus (2012) 52 pp

Edited: Oct 10, 2017, 8:28pm Top



Edited: Oct 10, 2017, 8:32pm 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: Oct 10, 2017, 8:33pm 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: Oct 10, 2017, 8:35pm 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

Sep 26, 2017, 7:37pm Top


Sep 26, 2017, 7:37pm Top


Sep 26, 2017, 7:38pm Top


Sep 26, 2017, 7:38pm Top


Sep 26, 2017, 7:38pm Top


Sep 26, 2017, 7:40pm Top

>3 PaulCranswick:

Just one word longer than Muhammed Ali's.

Sep 26, 2017, 7:42pm Top

Happy new thread, Paul! Very restful scene up at the top.

Sep 26, 2017, 7:44pm Top

Happy new thread!

Sep 26, 2017, 7:50pm Top

>17 m.belljackson: Haha, George Harrison in my mind more likely!

>18 harrygbutler: Thanks Harry. It is a charming and peaceful place to go for long walks.

>19 amanda4242: Thank you dear Amanda. xx

Sep 26, 2017, 8:03pm Top

Happy New Thread, Paul! Happy 26th! Love the Newmillerdam topper and the waterfowl.

Sep 26, 2017, 8:09pm Top

>21 msf59: Thanks Mark. I think you would enjoy a stroll around its environs and there are a couple of Pubs - The Dam Inn and The Fox and Hounds which are nice stopping off points to refresh yourself along the way.

Sep 26, 2017, 8:09pm Top

I am having trouble re-loading and updating my map for the Around the World in 80 Books challenge I have set myself. Anybody any ideas why the map page doesn't load fully anymore?

Sep 26, 2017, 8:17pm Top

^I love the sound of both The Dam Inn and The Fox and Hounds. Making me thirsty.

Sep 26, 2017, 8:22pm Top

Happy New Thead, Paul. I'm happy to serve as Mark's security guard for The Dam Inn and the Fox and Hounds - as long as the security guard gets to drink, too.

Sep 26, 2017, 8:42pm Top

>24 msf59: Me too mate; me too.

>25 jnwelch: Oh, I think that that could be easily arranged, Joe!

Sep 26, 2017, 9:03pm Top

Love the rationales for the books you buy, the Why: because....
It reminds me of a complicated Q + A game I had as a kid. all these complex long questions, a whole box of them. And amongst them one which simply asked 'Why?'. On the back was the answer: Because.. It cracked me up!!!

Sep 26, 2017, 9:05pm Top

>27 LovingLit: I suppose with 4,000 unread books in the house, Megan, I should really be asking myself those types of questions!

Edited: Sep 26, 2017, 10:29pm Top

>1 PaulCranswick: Just beautiful! I'd come along for a pint, too.

>3 PaulCranswick: And they aren't bad either!


Sep 26, 2017, 10:20pm Top

Happy new thread!

Sep 26, 2017, 11:35pm Top

>29 Copperskye: And you would be more than welcome, Joanne.

Sep 26, 2017, 11:35pm Top

>30 drneutron: Thanks Jim.

Sep 27, 2017, 12:15am Top

Happy new thread! Following along, eagerly anticipating more book lists and bullets. : )

Sep 27, 2017, 12:25am Top

>33 Berly: Kimmers lovely to see you as always. xx

Sep 27, 2017, 1:04am Top

I was following along on your old thread today and got distracted. By the time I got back you had started a whole new thread. No wonder I can't keep up! *sigh* Happy new thread.

Sep 27, 2017, 1:48am Top

>35 Familyhistorian: Thanks Meg. It may be considerably cold comfort but I do think that I have slowed down a fair bit. Mark on the other hand keeps chugging along at the same pace!

Sep 27, 2017, 2:30am Top

Happy, Happy, Happy! New Thread!

Edited: Sep 27, 2017, 2:43am Top

Happy New thread Paul. I was thinking about your African list and wasn't quick enough to comment on the right thread!
I've only read the Paton, Adichie and Achebe, I think, although I've read quite a bit of Brink it was before I kept records so not too sure if that is one I've read. I really admire his style.

Just picking six books is really hard, and I'd probably be better to describe any list by me as South African or Nigerian. I would add Zoe Wicomb who is now based in Scotland but grew up in Cape Town. Her short stories You Can't Get Lost in Cape Town are probably the most accessible. I also can't resist mentioning Waiting for an Angel, Helon Habila's first book.

Suspect the more I think about this though the more problems I will have narrowing it down to six! Memoirs of a Woman Doctor, The Map of Love and Lyrics Alley would all be contenders though.

Sep 27, 2017, 2:43am Top

>37 mahsdad: Thank you, Thank you, Thank you, Jeff, Jeff, Jeff.

Sep 27, 2017, 2:44am Top

>38 charl08: It was fairly hard to choose a few of them Charlotte - Mahfouz and Adichie and Brink definitely picked themselves but the other three could have easily gone to any number of writers.

Sep 27, 2017, 4:05am Top

I have been keeping records of posting to threads since 2012 (I joined the group in 2011) and in that time SEVEN threads have always been in the top 15. Richard, Kath, Ilana, Claudia and Ape were up there in the first years with Charlotte, Barbara, Kimmers and Katie latterly very active.

These seven with their total posts since 1/1/12 to their threads is as follows:

1 Paul C TOTAL POSTS = 46,934 (Top position 1st 2012, 2013; lowest position 4th 2015 & 2016)

2 Mark TOTAL POSTS = 46,121 (Top position 1st 2016; lowest position 5th 2012)

3 Joe TOTAL POSTS = 38,578 (Top position 3rd 2012, 2015; lowest position 5th 2016)

4 Amber TOTAL POSTS = 37,213 (Top position 1st 2014, 2015; lowest position 11th 2012 & 2013)

5 Mamie TOTAL POSTS = 29,461 Top position 3rd 2016; lowest position 7th 2015)

6 Darryl TOTAL POSTS = 23,837 (Top position 5th 2015; lowest position 9th 2013)

7 Ellen TOTAL POSTS = 20,714 Top position 6th 2013; lowest position 15th 2012)

Sep 27, 2017, 4:22am Top

Happy new thread Paul. Love the posting stats as always :)

Sep 27, 2017, 6:30am Top

Happy new thread, Paul!

Sep 27, 2017, 6:31am Top

OH My Gosh!!!! thread 26. Not even going to try to catch up but will just drop in to say hi, happy new thread and I hope all is well with you and yours.

Sep 27, 2017, 7:11am Top

Happy new thread! The photo up top does look like a lovely place for a stroll.

Sep 27, 2017, 7:14am Top

>40 PaulCranswick: As Rhonda said on the last thread, what no Coetzee?!!
(who I also ignored. I'm stuck in the middle of Foe at the moment, and really not feeling it. And after The childhood of Jesus, which I wasn't wowed by either, I'm in a bit of a 'meh' phase about him, I think). Seriously though, do love a list. I wonder what would be on Darryl's top six?

Sep 27, 2017, 8:10am Top

Happy new thread, Paul! Love your opening shot! Looks like a lovely place to visit

Sep 27, 2017, 8:12am Top

Hi Paul and happy new thread!

I don't feel bad at all with my 1771 unread books (plus 805 books that are reference or not in tbr-land for one reason or another), given that you have over 4000.

I posted this on my thread recently and thought you might like it: For the Love of Books

Sep 27, 2017, 10:01am Top

Happy new thread, Paul.
Lovely scenery at the top, inviting for a nice walk on a day without rain ;-)

>41 PaulCranswick: Unbelievable those numbers, especially you and Mark!

Sep 27, 2017, 10:36am Top

>42 BekkaJo: Great to see you as always, Bekka, my absolute favourite Channel Islander!

>43 scaifea: Thank you Amber. Your posting stats are particularly impressive. Over the last four years I reckon you would lead in posts.

Sep 27, 2017, 10:39am Top

>44 fairywings: That is a lovely surprise, Adrienne. I managed 26 threads in the whole of 2016 so I am pleased that I am likely to beat that this year.

>45 foggidawn: Thanks Foggy. It is indeed a good place for a stroll. This is another view looking over at the old mill house:

Sep 27, 2017, 10:44am Top

>46 charl08: We have to ask him but I would certainly put down a small fortune, Charlotte, that Ngugi wa Thiong'o would feature.
I also, you may have noticed, like producing the occasional list!

>47 ChelleBearss: Thank you Chelle. Indeed Newmillerdam is very pleasant.

This is another view looking over at the Dam Inn which I had mentioned above as a suitable place to refresh oneself after a pleasant stroll:

Sep 27, 2017, 10:52am Top

>48 karenmarie: I keep telling myself, Karen that I will read more than I will buy in any given year but I never seem to manage it.
Will go and study the link. xx

>49 FAMeulstee: You are right of course Anita but there is little guarantee of rain free days in West Yorks.

Sep 27, 2017, 11:45am Top

I was so relieved to notice that there were only 7 posts since I looked... only to find out that you're already 53 posts into a new thread... It's impossible to keep up, but I keep trying.
Btw, I probably missed the conversation somewhere between thread A post Z and thread B post Y, but did you not plan to move to good old England this year?

Sep 27, 2017, 1:26pm Top

>54 FoliumArgentum: Yes that had been planned, Monica. It has been a turbulent year and my business woes here did not allow me to move and I am still trying to sort things out.

Sep 27, 2017, 1:52pm Top

Hello Paul! Happy new thread. I hope all is well with you.

Sep 27, 2017, 2:02pm Top

>50 PaulCranswick: Nah, surely not. Mark is much more consistent than I am, and you have massive numbers.

Sep 27, 2017, 3:18pm Top

Hi Paul - Love the photos of the pond! The child in me loves the name 'The Dam Inn'.

And I always enjoy your poetry. I especially like that last stanza.

I don't know what's going on with the global map, either. I'll give it a bit of time and then switch to one of the other global maps from another site if I need to. But what a lot of work! I'm just finishing books for two new-for-me countries: The Elephant's Journey by Jose Saramago and an LTER book called Stripped to the Bone: Portraits of Syrian Women by Ghada Alatrash. I'm itching to make Portugal and Syria pretty red on my map. :)

Sep 27, 2017, 3:36pm Top

>56 brodiew2: Thank you Brodie. I am just about coping!

>57 scaifea: On actual checking Amber you split us!

From 2014 threads until today:

Mark 31,011
Amber 30,431
Paul 28,300
Joe 24,243

Sep 27, 2017, 3:39pm Top

>58 streamsong: Thanks Janet. The Dam Inn also serves very good food too.

I think I kept that poem for so many years (I wrote it about 30 years ago) because of the last stanza so well spotted! I have juggled somewhat with the wording of the other three verses over the last couple of days when I picked it out of my folder but I didn't touch the ending.

Yep, the map is giving me plenty of grief as I cannot update my reading (not that there has been lots of that.

Sep 27, 2017, 3:43pm Top

Happy new thread, Paul
Lovely poem as well as the peaceful topper! Always a pleasure to stop in for a visit.

Sep 27, 2017, 3:48pm Top

>61 Carmenere: Lynda, thank you.

It is always a pleasure to have you stop by.

Sep 27, 2017, 4:28pm Top

Happy new thread Paul, love the fact that I find your new threads with 50 posts on before I get to them although I did not get on LT yesterday so that's my excuse.

Well the squad has been announced and yet again no place for Leach or Northeast and where did the Vince selection come from. I have to agree With Jonathan Agnew that this is the weakest Ashes squad for a long while and that we might suffer a whitewash. Another point he made yesterday was that we are demeaning cricket by dismissing the second division and the players of those counties and that is why players with ambitions to represent England are moving to first division clubs thereby weakening the second division more. Something needs to be done to bolster the second division counties and their players to make sure we have a big pool of players to pick from. I do hope (although I know it will not happen) that Strauss et al fall on their swords if we have a disastrous winter.

Avoid looking at the Yorkshire result mate, it the stuff of nightmares and thank god the season is over. Hope you are having a good week mate and Karen says hello.

Sep 27, 2017, 5:02pm Top

>59 PaulCranswick: Ha! I *knew* there was no way I had more posts than Mark! I'm surprised that I'm ahead of you, though. Of course, none of that matters to me in the slightest; the stats are very interesting - I don't mean that they're not - I just mean that the friendship and the book talk are what I'm here for, and I still think it's nuts that folks find my thread somehow worthy of such numbers.

Sep 27, 2017, 5:16pm Top

>59 PaulCranswick: Holey moley, I can't believe someone hasn't told us to shut up already!

Sep 27, 2017, 5:58pm Top

Happy newish thread Paul (have to be fast to say this with you, or you'll have a new new thread again;)

Sep 27, 2017, 7:20pm Top

>63 johnsimpson: The squad is poor mate but unsurprising. I was happy that Overton got included but where is Porter. How on earth two people, let alone a whole selection committee can choose Crane with no experience and a 48 bowling average over Leach who is head and shoulders our best spinner despite their attempts at screwing his action. No third opener and as say Vince?! Northeast had a great season and why Darryl Mitchell or even the obdurate Luke Wells never get a mention is beyond me.

The county game is an absolute mess. I have said before that the league system doesn't work in creating a false two tier network. Get back to 18 counties and 17 first class games each. If the country game dies so does English cricket as we know it. I saw the Yorkshire result and duly winced!

>64 scaifea: I love getting posts Amber, pure and simple. I don't think that it is any fluke at all that your thread has such consistently high posting numbers. xx

Sep 27, 2017, 7:22pm Top

>65 jnwelch: Well without Richard and Kath and Ape going hell for leather too we have collectively slowed a little, Joe.

>66 EllaTim: Thank you Ella. I am sure that, after an initial spurt, the thread will settle down to near slumber. xx

Sep 27, 2017, 7:24pm Top

Just checking in and saying hi on the new thread, Paul, as I attempt to be sort of caught up after a really spotty summer.

Sorry to hear things are still in such upheaval for you and hope things calm down soon.

Sep 27, 2017, 7:48pm Top

>69 bell7: Thanks Mary. Let us see what the next days bring.

Sep 27, 2017, 8:03pm Top

Well, good that your absent Family did not end up yesterday, September 26th, at Midwich in Winshire

Sep 27, 2017, 8:17pm Top

>71 m.belljackson: Indeed, Marianne, they might have simply gone cuckoo.

Sep 28, 2017, 1:12am Top


Sep 28, 2017, 2:40am Top

Love Paul McCartney. He is touring Australia in December, sadly I am unable to go.

Sep 28, 2017, 5:06am Top

>51 PaulCranswick: could certainly imagine sitting looking at that view Paul.

>2 PaulCranswick: pretty good juvenilia I'd say.

>73 PaulCranswick: I used to be quite a Wings fan. Ages since I've listened to any of the albums though.

Sep 28, 2017, 6:00am Top

>74 fairywings: He is slowly but surely showing his age but is still phenomenal, Adrienne. That he is still touring as far afield as Australia at his age is remarkable.

>75 Caroline_McElwee: Newmillerdam is one of my favourite places to visit and walk, Caroline, and I always do so every time I make it back home.

I was trying to catch some of the mood in some of the Hardy poems like Afterwards. I guess that most juveniles wouldn't try to recreate Victorian poetry! Certain lines I remain more than a little proud of but there are still awkward and gawky phrases in there that grate a little.

I like McCartney's "solo" stuff - including WIngs - for the sake of argument. No one in modern popular music had such an ear for melody as he.

Sep 28, 2017, 6:07am Top

>76 PaulCranswick:: Yes I saw an interview with him recently and he is definitely showing his age, but what a legend.

My mum was a big Beatles fan, so while I was growing up we listened to a lot of their music, and by extension Paul McCartney with and without Wings but also John Lennon. I would have to say that Band On The Run would be my favourite album, it's the one I remember most.

Sep 28, 2017, 6:27am Top

I went through a Beatle Obsession faze in junior high and high school (I still love 'em, of course), and also listened to a ton of McCartney's stuff, too. Band on the Run ran on repeat pretty much one whole summer for me. He gave a concert in NYC recently; a friend of ours was there and said it was unbelievable - 3+ hours of amazing music.

Sep 28, 2017, 6:49am Top

>77 fairywings: I was always more Lennon than Macca but what a songwriting pair they were. McCartney's solo stuff is a bit mixed quality wise but there are melodic gems on all his records.

I agree with you that Band on the Run is his best "solo" effort, Adrienne.

>78 scaifea: He has got plenty of stamina hasn't he? I think I can sing without the need for accompaniment all the Beatles songs with the possible exception of the outtakes on Yellow Submarine.

Sep 28, 2017, 8:15am Top

Oh, McCartney... my dad is a huge fan, so of course I know some of his music. I am less familiar with the newer stuff than the Beatles and Wings, but one of my favorite songs is "Maybe I'm Amazed." I've seen him in concert a few times, and it's well worth going even though he has trouble with the high notes now.

Sep 28, 2017, 8:27am Top

Hi Paul!

>53 PaulCranswick: I can't ever imagine having the goal of reading more books than I buy. It simply won't happen, so I've given up and happily add to my library regardless of how many read. I have, however, culled 156 this year and (only) acquired 209. *smile*

>73 PaulCranswick: This brings back so many wonderful feelings and memories! I was and am a serious Beatles fan and got to see them in concert at the Hollywood Bowl when I was eleven in 1964. I won ONE ticket by sending in a post card to KFWB "Channel 98" and my mom and dad let me go. Dad put me on a bus, told the bus driver to take care of me, told me to memorize the bus number and get back on the right bus, and I screamed along with everybody else. The music, therefore, became a blur. I also got to see Paul McCartney and Wings at the Forum in Inglewood CA on my birthday, June 26, 1976. My boyfriend drove us by the Forum which I thought was stupid since there was so much traffic for Wings, but then he told me to look in the glove box and there were two tickets. Heaven.

Paul was always my favorite. Sigh.

Sep 28, 2017, 8:55am Top

Hi Paul, just passing by to leave the link here: http://map1.maploco.com/visited-countries/. I don't get the other map working so I am using this one now. Have a lovely day!

Edited: Sep 28, 2017, 9:41am Top

Hi Paul. Happy (not so new any more) thread!

Another serious Beatles fan here, and yes, a lifelong McCartney fan, too. I never saw them perform live but I did see their films. In fact, like Karen, I won tickets from a local radio station to the first one, A Hard Day's Night. I was always the shortest of my friends and when we had to go down to the station to pick up the tickets, the crowd in the parking lot (of screaming fans - just for the tickets, for crying out loud!) was so crazy, that I actually lost a shoe! I think that was the genesis of my *dislike* of being in large crowds...

Have you seen the recent film by Ron Howard of the Beatles, called Eight Days a Week: The Touring Years? It was excellent and such fun. A real trip down memory lane!


I would be hard-pressed to choose one song as a favourite but I think *In My Life* would be right up there.

Sep 28, 2017, 9:27am Top

>83 jessibud2: Yes, I agree In My Life is one of the best, if not the best of the Beatles songs. It is haunting. Awhile back, a former student invited me to her Vermont wedding. It was a smallish gathering. Those of us who arrived the night before the wedding had a lovely picnic dinner on the lawn of the Vermont Inn. She had lost her grandmother, mother and father within one year's time. She choose In My Life as the main wedding song. I could not help but cry.

Sep 29, 2017, 2:24am Top

>80 bell7: Maybe I'm Amazed is one of his best tracks ever, Mary. One of the few McCartney songs that is tremendously difficult to sing as per the original and I'll wager that Macca has also pared it back a little now.

>81 karenmarie: I don't think I will manage to read more than buy ever again either, Karen.

Those are great memories of concert trips. I would have loved to have met John Lennon. A lot of my early attempts at poetry was a result of listening to his lyrics. McCartney did melody whilst John was into meaning.

Sep 29, 2017, 3:10am Top

Congrats on your new thread, Paul. I like the photos.

Sep 29, 2017, 6:40am Top

Happy err... newish thread, Paul! The Beatles were long before time and I discovered them only in my late teens when friends borrowed me records (how many years since I wrote "records"?). My parents didn't own a single one, and my mum just knew some of the early songs in German translation - this was still done in the early 60s for the international markets. Recently there have been lots of docus on TV and all the films, and I listened so some of their later music with much more appreciation.

What lovely pictures, especially >51 PaulCranswick: is so meditative!

Have a great weekend!! Yours must have started already.

Sep 29, 2017, 11:17am Top

>82 PersephonesLibrary: Thanks Kathy. I will go and try and use that one.

>83 jessibud2: I like all the Beatles films with the notable exception of Yellow Submarine. I have seen the Ron Howard film-o-mentary or whatever it could be called and very good it was too.
In My Life is possibly my favourite too but I do love Don't Let Me Down and will always look for it if I at a karaoke lounge (which is not that often!).

>84 Whisper1: Lovely to see you Linda. It is a very affecting song isn't it? I reckon I would have been in tears alongside you under those circumstances.

Sep 29, 2017, 11:22am Top

>86 Ameise1: Thanks Barbara. Not many people realise that my home are has little snippets of natural beauty alongside the industrialisation.

>87 Deern: Meditative is a good description of the atmosphere generated by that place, Nathalie.

I do like the later Beatles stuff better than the raw excitement of the first couple of albums.

Sep 29, 2017, 7:23pm Top

Interesting that the enigmatic Mona Lisa might well have been unclothed! The French have unearthed a charcoal sketch that would appear to have been a preparatory sketch for the great work. She looks far less sour faced without those heavy Renaissance clothes on!


Sep 29, 2017, 7:40pm Top

Huh, that's pretty cool!

Sep 29, 2017, 8:04pm Top

>91 drneutron: It is Jim isn't it? In fact I could imagine Northern Italy would be quite chilly without the benefit of underwear!

Sep 29, 2017, 9:04pm Top

>90 PaulCranswick:

As would most of us be happy to unshed all that heavy darkness.

In the study, she has one of those unusually good vs evil asymmetric faces:
if you hold a card down thru the middle of her forehead and nose, then look only at the right, then the left side,
you see two different personalities.

Sep 29, 2017, 10:51pm Top

Ha! I get to wish you happy new thread before you get to 100!! LOL

>90 PaulCranswick: Interesting. She looks rather cross-eyed in the nude drawing. I like the finished one better...

Edited: Sep 30, 2017, 12:15am Top

>94 Berly: Ooh, same here; happy new thread, Paul! I hope you haven't missed me too much - though, at 95 posts in, I suspect you've managed without me ;0)

I vaguely remember that there is evidence from the layers of paint in the Mona Lisa itself that the painting looked a bit different before he settled on this final version.

And by the way, where is everyone putting all these books they keep buying? We moved into our house about ten years ago and I'm almost out of my allotted shelf space. I haven't persuaded my husband to grant me more and the kids (having been properly indoctrinated by mamma) are full to the gills, too, so I can't sneak any space from their room. I love my house, so we're not moving. *sigh* I suppose the only other option is to *shudder* start culling books off my shelf.

Sep 30, 2017, 4:03am Top

Happy weekend, Paul.

Sep 30, 2017, 5:35am Top

>93 m.belljackson: I think that I would be tempted to undrape in such circumstances! You are right about the two sides of her face revealing conflicted personalities.

>94 Berly: Well spotted, Kimmers! My weekend wouldn't be complete without a visit from you. xx

Sep 30, 2017, 5:46am Top

>95 humouress: It is my personality to miss everyone, Nina. I am always on the look out for my pals whether they are relatively close at hand in Singapore or slightly further afield. xx

>96 Ameise1: Same to you dear Barbara.

Sep 30, 2017, 8:15am Top

Hi Paul!

>90 PaulCranswick: The only thing I can really see in common is the enigmatic smile.

I hope that you are having a good weekend, Paul, notwithstanding all the things that are stressful in your life.

Sep 30, 2017, 9:09am Top

>90 PaulCranswick: Very interesting. While I like the final copy better I do think the charcoal drawing has a better smile.

Sep 30, 2017, 12:44pm Top

>99 karenmarie: Full of highs and lows so far, Karen. Had a nice meal with good friends this evening and ended on a high note but earlier in the day Hani and I were struggling to be civil with each other.

>100 ChelleBearss: Yes and a shapely bosom!

Sep 30, 2017, 9:16pm Top

Hi Paul, my reading has slowed down of late, September seemed to be a month where I did everything except read.

In the recent election my husband and I voted differently which didn't endear each to the other, though we weren't on opposing camps. He voted for the kingmaker, which I wouldn't do as I didn't like how it all has played out in the past. I also pointed out that apart from the leader, my husband could not even name one single other MP from NZ First, yet he was willing to give them his vote. Anyway, we had several heated conversations and he was surprised that he couldn't convince me to change my vote.

Sep 30, 2017, 9:26pm Top

>102 avatiakh: Ouch, Kerry, the touchy subject of politics in the family home! Hani has always supported the ruling party here in Malaysia because of their protection of Malay rights but I am pleased to say that given the quite rampant corruption apparent here she is finally changing her sympathies. Problem is that the opposition are divided and not much better.

Sep 30, 2017, 10:19pm Top

Oh, dear. Probably nearly half-way through, but still--happy "new" thread!

I love the goal of reading more books than one buys in a given year. I fear this year has already spun wildly out of control, but perhaps 2018? Hey! I can dream, can't I?

Speaking of poetry and things, I've started Beowulf in the Heaney translation and was inspired to get Grendel by John Gardner. Have you read it? Oh my. While it's written in prose form, the language is wonderfully poetic. It's both moving and funny...

I hope Sunday finds you and yours at peace, Paul.

Sep 30, 2017, 11:57pm Top

>104 bohemima: I have Beowulf on the shelves but I don't have Grendel.

Lovely to see you Gail as always.

Oct 1, 2017, 12:18am Top

>104 bohemima: I am neck and neck with acquisitions and reading this year. We'll see! : )

>105 PaulCranswick: Hello, Paul. Happy Sunday. I just got a box from Powell's with my latest books. I tried not to open it but couldn't resist. The latest novel by Jesmyn Ward, Sing, Unburied, Sing and a collection of essays and poems about Race, The Fire This Time. Also reading my second (okay, I started before October) creepy Halloween read, The Grip of It, about a couple who moves into a haunted house.

Oct 1, 2017, 12:26am Top

I hope that there will soon be more highs than lows in your life, Paul. Interesting stats.

Oct 1, 2017, 2:04am Top

Hey Paul the family politics discussions are intriguing. Family once discussed votes before the day and realised we effectively would cancel each other out, as everyone voting for someone different! Voted anyway, though.

We are having a celebration of 100 years of women voting at work (originally a women's college) in 2018, so the right to vote is rather on my mind at the moment. Should be a good year of events helping people think about what has changed- and what still needs to!

Oct 1, 2017, 4:02am Top

Happy Sunday, Paul!

I remember the family discussions about politics and voting in my youth, they always ended in shouting at eachother... I am glad Frank and me share most of our political views.

Oct 1, 2017, 7:28am Top

Happy Sunday, Paul. Hope you had a good weekend, with plenty of R & R time. How are those current reads treating you?

Oct 1, 2017, 7:31am Top

>106 Berly: Bravo, Kimmers. Maybe the year will come along when I read more than I buy.

Jesmyn War is a writer who deserves more attention and I look forward to her latest book hitting stores here.

>107 Familyhistorian: So do I Meg. A bit sick of the lows if I am honest. xx

Oct 1, 2017, 7:35am Top

>108 charl08: I find it inconceivable that it could have ever been thought that there was a logical reason to exclude women from the electoral process. They have certainly more say on due process in my bloody house!

>109 FAMeulstee: My father (with whom I am estranged for reasons nothing to do with politics) was a true blue Thatcherite - the sort of working class wannabe that she preyed upon. I on the other hand was always a very committed socialist and this caused plenty of problems for me as I got older. I have mellowed in my views as I got older and made money but my flag will always be red instead of any other hue.

>110 msf59: I have more reads going on than I know what to do with, Mark and it is really not to my benefit as I can never decide which one to move the most!

Oct 1, 2017, 7:43am Top

This is why I generally stick with one print, one audio, a poetry and a GN. Never seems to be a problem.

Oct 1, 2017, 7:47am Top

>113 msf59: I am going to list down my current reading in a few minutes, Mark. I am going to concentrate on knocking them off before I get to attacking my Around the World in 80 Books challenge whilst it is still possible.

Oct 1, 2017, 7:49am Top

If I had 4 or 5 print books going at once, I think I would go crazy, although I am still impressed when people can do it. I think it helps that I am not a "mood" reader.

Oct 1, 2017, 8:19am Top

>115 msf59: It is normally a sign for me, Mark, that I am busy looking for my mojo. I think I will find it soon!!

Oct 1, 2017, 8:33am Top

Hi Paul, love the choice of books you are currently reading mate.

Edited: Oct 1, 2017, 8:37am Top

Just finished Home Fire Paul, which I thought a worthy Booker contender, if not a book I'd read again (of course one doesn't want to find too many of those, with all the yet to be read books in the world!). I have two other of her novels, so look forward to reading them.

Oct 1, 2017, 8:47am Top

>118 johnsimpson: I am sort of collecting them, mate, rather than reading them! Hope to finish some of them off fairly soon and all in this month!

>119 Caroline_McElwee: I have some of her other work too but the opening part in the airport immediately caught my attention as it was so well written.

Oct 1, 2017, 9:21am Top

Morning Paul! You sure do have a lot of books on the go, some are pretty deep reads too!
Hope you find your mojo book soon!

Oct 1, 2017, 9:28am Top

Hi Paul!

Quick hello, quick hug, quick wishes for peace and harmony at home.

I can't imagine having 6 books on the go - I hope your mojo settles down soon.

Oct 1, 2017, 9:36am Top

>121 ChelleBearss: It is coming back slowly, Chelle. xx

>122 karenmarie: Possibly my state of mind dictates that I need a few to choose from!

Oct 1, 2017, 9:54am Top

>116 PaulCranswick: That's a great group of reads, Paul. How are you liking Home Fire so far? That seems to have broad appeal in our group.

Hope you're having a good weekend, mate.

Edited: Oct 1, 2017, 10:20am Top

There are eight books. Using random.org it says (rolled a 3) you should read Kafka on the Shore.

There, problem solved. :D

Oct 1, 2017, 11:02am Top

>124 jnwelch: I like it plenty, Joe.

Weekend has been an uneven one. Some rapprochement followed by vituperation followed by cuddles and muddles.

>125 Morphidae: You should pop by more often, dear lady, and then I wouldn't have got in this mess already!!

Oct 1, 2017, 12:13pm Top

>106 Berly: Kim, I'd be thrilled if I could achieve a one-to-one
with buying and reading. I'll go along, doing really well, and then suddenly buy 10 books at one go. Or I'll see something I *must* have and buy it, even if yesterday I vowed not to buy another for two weeks.

>116 PaulCranswick: Gee, I don't know if I'd try to tackle Dostoevsky andMurakami at the same time, Paul. That seems like a bit much.

Oct 1, 2017, 12:32pm Top

>127 bohemima: It doesn't seem like too much, Gail - it is too much and has resulted in further proliferation!

Oct 1, 2017, 1:32pm Top

>127 bohemima: I posted that because it was a rare chance that I am so even between buying and reading!! LOL

>128 PaulCranswick: Well, I only talked you into one of those, so it isn't my fault. : P Hope you find something that draws you in soon. Hugs.

Oct 1, 2017, 2:07pm Top

>116 PaulCranswick: I'm looking forward to seeing your thoughts on Kafka on the Shore and The Dig. The former didn't impress me much, but the latter was one of the September BAC titles I liked.

Oct 1, 2017, 4:33pm Top

>129 Berly: Certainly not your fault Kimmers but I don't know when Kafka will get to the shore!

>130 amanda4242: I am glad I put that one on the list for BAC as it seems to have gone down so well in the group.

Oct 1, 2017, 10:26pm Top

>116 PaulCranswick: I read multiple books at a time too, Paul. I started the habit when reading for pleasure and taking courses at the same time. Now it seems strange to just concentrate on one for a long period of time. The result of reading multiples is that I often finish a couple of books within hours of each other, usually at the end of the month for multiple challenges, though quite often I don't finish the books in the appropriate month.

Oct 1, 2017, 10:48pm Top

>132 Familyhistorian: Funny because I couldn't put my hand on two of the books from the weekend and found out this morning that I had left Home Fire and Words Under the Words at a business meeting on Saturday. I will get them back tomorrow only!

Oct 2, 2017, 1:31am Top

Happy October, Paul! I hate it when I accidentally leave books at the office.

Oct 2, 2017, 3:00am Top

>134 banjo123: I was enjoying both of them too!
Happy October to you too, Rhonda. xx

Oct 2, 2017, 3:03am Top

>133 PaulCranswick: Good thing that you have other current reads to chose from then Paul.

Oct 2, 2017, 12:39pm Top

I moved into my house in September of 2012. I have now run out of shelf space and have boxes of books under both beds. I am going to try to keep myself from buying books from now on. I recently discovered that our Inter-Library Loan a the university will get me anything I want, so I am going to make use of that and take advantage of it. I just have to keep from bringing the darn things into the house on a permanent basis.

Oct 2, 2017, 12:40pm Top

I read multiple books at a time as well. I usually have one that I keep in the office, and two going at home. Then I listen to a book in the car while commuting to and from work. I find it amazing how many books I listen to while driving to and from work. And then there are those huge long tomes that I listen to on those two day trips back and for to Kansas.

Oct 2, 2017, 12:45pm Top

Hello Paul! I hope all is well with you.

>116 PaulCranswick: The Ways of the World looks interesting.

Oct 2, 2017, 2:04pm Top

I don't have a book at the office--I use my Kindle app on the phone instead. Paul, I am sure it sucked leaving your books at the office! Good thing you have some back ups laying about.

Oct 2, 2017, 6:45pm Top

>136 Familyhistorian: Hahaha; just one or two.

>137 benitastrnad: I have, to Hani's annoyance, books strewn everywhere. Shelf space is dangerous actually because it is a challenge to fill it up!

>138 benitastrnad: Audio books whilst driving makes complete sense to me, Benita. I do think that, if we ever get back to the UK, I will look seriously at adding some audio books into my stockpile.

Oct 2, 2017, 6:47pm Top

>139 brodiew2: I am doing ok, Brodie. The Ways of the World is the first of a trilogy by Robert Goddard who is a writer of thrillers that I always make sure to buy and devour as soon as possible.

>140 Berly: My weekend was more than a little testing, Kimmers, so I only really noticed when the secretary from the other office sent me a picture of my books by whatsApp.

Edited: Jan 9, 12:12pm Top


(In typical Guardian fashion there are actually only 998 books in the list). Here is what I have read from that list to date:

link : https://www.theguardian.com/books/2009/jan/23/bestbooks-fiction

1 Lucky Jim by Kingsley Amis
2 Money by Martin Amis
3 The Bottle Factory Outing by Beryl Bainbridge
4 Flaubert's Parrot by Julian Barnes
5 A History of the World in 10 1/2 Chapters by Julian Barnes
6 A Good Man in Africa by William Boyd
7 The History Man by Malcolm Bradbury
8 The Pickwick Papers by Charles Dickens
9 Cheese by Willem Elsschot
10 Bridget Jones's Diary by Helen Fielding
11 Towards the End of the Morning by Michael Frayn
12 Cold Comfort Farm by Stella Gibbons
13 The Wind in the Willows by Kenneth Grahame
14 Our Man in Havana by Graham Greene
15 Travels with My Aunt by Graham Greene
16 Diary of a Nobody by George Grossmith
17 The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time by Mark Haddon
18 Catch-22 by Joseph Heller
19 High Fidelity by Nick Hornby
20 Lake Wobegon Days by Garrison Keillor
21 Nice Work by David Lodge
22 Whisky Galore by Compton Mackenzie
23 Cakes and Ale - Or, the Skeleton in the Cupboard by W Somerset Maugham
24 Bright Lights, Big City by Jay McInerney
25 Under the Net by Iris Murdoch
26 Portnoy's Complaint by Philip Roth
27 Porterhouse Blue by Tom Sharpe
28 Blott on the Landscape by Tom Sharpe
29 The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie by Muriel Spark
30 The Girls of Slender Means by Muriel Spark
31 The Driver's Seat by Muriel Spark
32 Barchester Towers by Anthony Trollope
33 Decline and Fall by Evelyn Waugh
34 A Handful of Dust by Evelyn Waugh


35 The Mask of Dimitrios by Eric Ambler
36 Epitaph for a Spy by Eric Ambler
37 Journey into Fear by Eric Ambler
38 The New York Trilogy by Paul Auster
39 The Beast Must Die by Nicholas Blake
40 The Thirty-Nine Steps by John Buchan
41 Greenmantle by John Buchan
42 The Postman Always Rings Twice by James M Cain
43 True History of the Ned Kelly Gang by Peter Carey
44 The Big Sleep by Raymond Chandler
45 The Long Goodbye by Raymond Chandler
46 The Riddle of the Sands by Erskine Childers
47 And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie
48 The Murder of Roger Ackroyd by Agatha Christie
49 The Murder at the Vicarage by Agatha Christie
50 The Woman in White by Wilkie Collins
51 The Moonstone by Wilkie Collins
52 A Study in Scarlet by Arthur Conan Doyle
53 The Hound of the Baskervilles by Arthur Conan Doyle
54 The Sign of Four by Arthur Conan Doyle
55 The Secret Agent by Joseph Conrad
56 Under Western Eyes by Joseph Conrad
57 Jurassic Park by Michael Crichton
58 The Ipcress File by Len Deighton
59 Last Seen Wearing by Colin Dexter
60 The Remorseful Day by Colin Dexter
61 Ratking by Michael Dibdin
62 Dead Lagoon by Michael Dibdin
63 Dirty Tricks by Michael Dibdin
64 A Rich Full Death by Michael Dibdin
65 Vendetta by Michael Dibdin
66 Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoevsky
67 Casino Royale by Ian Fleming
68 Goldfinger by Ian Fleming
69 You Only Live Twice by Ian Fleming
70 The Day of the Jackal by Frederick Forsyth
71 Brighton Rock by Graham Greene
72 A Gun for Sale by Graham Greene
73 The Ministry of Fear by Graham Greene
74 The Third Man by Graham Greene
75 The Thin Man by Dashiell Hammett
76 Fatherland by Robert Harris
77 Tourist Season by Carl Hiaasen
78 The Friends of Eddie Coyle by George V Higgins
79 Strangers on a Train by Patricia Highsmith
80 Miss Smilla's Feeling for Snow by Peter Hoeg
81 Rogue Male by Geoffrey Household
82 Malice Aforethought by Francis Iles
83 Silence of the Grave by Arnadur Indridason
84 Cover Her Face by PD James
85 A Taste for Death by PD James
86 Kim by Rudyard Kipling
87 Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy by John le Carre
88 The Spy Who Came in from the Cold by John le Carre
89 To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
90 Cop Hater by Ed McBain
91 Sidetracked by Henning Mankell
92 Nineteen Seventy Four by David Peace
93 Nineteen Seventy Seven by David Peace
94 Black and Blue by Ian Rankin
95 The Hanging Gardens by Ian Rankin
96 Dissolution by CJ Sansom
97 Murder Must Advertise by Dorothy Le Sayers
98 Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck
99 The Secret History by Donna Tartt
100 The Daughter of Time by Josephine Tey
101 Fingersmith by Sarah Waters
102 Native Son by Richard Wright
103 Therese Raquin by Emile Zola

Family and self

104 Little Women by Louisa May Alcott
105 Behind the Scenes at the Museum by Kate Atkinson
106 Le Pere Goriot by Honore de Balzac
107 The L Shaped Room by Lynne Reid Banks
108 Herzog by Saul Bellow
109 The Old Wives' Tale by Arnold Bennett
110 The Way of All Flesh by Samuel Butler
111 The Outsider by Albert Camus
112 Wise Children by Angela Carter
113 The Awakening by Kate Chopin
114 Quarantine by Jim Crace
115 Great Expectations by Charles Dickens
116 The Millstone by Margaret Drabble
117 My Family and Other Animals by Gerald Durrell
118 The Gathering by Anne Enright
119 As I Lay Dying by William Faulkner
120 The Sound and the Fury by William Faulkner
121 The Sportswriter by Richard Ford
122 The Man of Property by John Galsworthy
123 The Immoralist by Andre Gide
124 The Power and the Glory by Graham Greene
125 Hunger by Knut Hamsun
126 The Old Man and the Sea by Ernest Hemingway
127 Steppenwolf by Herman Hesse
128 Tom Brown's Schooldays by Thomas Hughes
129 A Prayer for Owen Meany by John Irving
130 Ulysses by James Joyce
131 One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest by Ken Kesey
132 Sons and Lovers by DH Lawrence
133 Cider with Rosie by Laurie Lee
134 How Green was My Valley by Richard Llewellyn
135 Palace Walk by Naguib Mahfouz
136 Family Matters by Rohinton Mistry
137 Sour Sweet by Timothy Mo
138 The Lonely Passion of Judith Hearne by Brian Moore
139 A House for Mr Biswas by VS Naipaul
140 The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath
141 The Shipping News by E Annie Proulx
142 The God of Small Things by Arundhati Roy
143 The Catcher in the Rye by JD Salinger
144 Unless by Carol Shields
145 A Thousand Acres by Jane Smiley
146 The Blackwater Lightship by Colm Toibin
147 The Secret Diary of Adrian Mole, Aged 13 3/4 by Sue Townsend
148 Fathers and Sons by Ivan Turgenev
149 The History of Mr Polly by HG Wells
150 The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde
151 To the Lighthouse by Virginia Woolf
152 Mrs Dalloway by Virginia Woolf
153 Swiss Family Robinson by Johann David Wyss


154 Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen
155 Mansfield Park by Jane Austen
156 Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte
157 Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte
158 Rubyfruit Jungle by Rita Mae Brown
159 Possession by AS Byatt
160 Breakfast at Tiffany's by Truman Capote
161 A Month in the Country by JL Carr
162 My Antonia by Willa Cather
163 Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier
164 The Lover by Marguerite Duras
165 The Great Gatsby by F Scott Fitzgerald
166 Madame Bovary by Gustave Flaubert
167 The Good Soldier by Ford Madox Ford
168 A Room with a View by EM Forster
169 The French Lieutenant's Woman by John Fowles
170 Sunset Song by Lewis Grassic Gibbon
171 The End of the Affair by Graham Greene
172 Far From the Madding Crowd by Thomas Hardy
173 Jude the Obscure by Thomas Hardy
174 Tess of the D'Urbervilles by Thomas Hardy
175 The Go-Between by LP Hartley
176 The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne
177 The Piano Teacher by Elfriede Jelinek
178 Beauty and Saddness by Yasunari Kawabata
179 The Far Pavillions by Mary Margaret Kaye
180 Zorba the Greek by Nikos Kazantzakis
181 The Book of Laughter and Forgetting by Milan Kundera
182 The Unbearable Lightness of Being by Milan Kundera
183 The Rainbow by DH Lawrence
184 Women in Love by DH Lawrence
185 Death in Venice by Thomas Mann
186 Of Human Bondage by Somerset Maugham
187 The Heart is a Lonely Hunter by Carson McCullers
188 The Child in Time by Ian McEwan
189 Norwegian Wood by Haruki Murakami
190 The Painter of Signs by RK Narayan
191 Doctor Zhivago by Boris Pasternak
192 Bonjour Tristesse by Francoise Sagan
193 The Reader by Benhardq Schlink
194 Enemies, a Love Story by Isaac Bashevis Singer
195 I Capture the Castle by Dodie Smith
196 Waterland by Graham Swift
197 Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy
198 Breathing Lessons by Anne Tyler
199 The Age of Innocence by Edith Wharton

Science fiction and fantasy

200 The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood
201 The Wasp Factory by Iain Banks
202 A Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess
203 Kindred by Octavia Butler
204 Erewhon by Samuel Butler
205 Alice's Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll
206 Nights at the Circus by Angela Carter
207 Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell by Susanna Clarke
208 American Gods by Neil Gaiman
209 Lord of the Flies by William Golding
210 Atomised by Michel Houellebecq
211 Brave New World by Aldous Huxley
212 The Turn of the Screw by Henry James
213 The Trial by Franz Kafka
214 Flowers for Algernon by Daniel Keyes
215 The Left Hand of Darkness by Ursula Le Guin
216 The Chronicles of Narnia by CS Lewis
217 The Butcher Boy by Patrick McCabe
218 Nineteen Eighty-Four by George Orwell
219 Fight Club by Chuck Palahniuk
220 Blindness by Jose Saramago
221 Dracula by Bram Stoker
222 The Hobbit by JRR Tolkien
223 The Lord of the Rings by JRR Tolkien
224 Affinity by Sarah Waters
225 The Time Machine by HG Wells
226 The War of the Worlds by HG Wells
227 Day of the Triffids by John Wyndham
228 The Midwich Cuckoos by John Wyndham

State of the nation

229 Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe
230 Go Tell it on the Mountain by James Baldwin
231 Room at the Top by John Braine
232 A Dry White Season by Andre Brink
233 Earthly Powers by Anthony Burgess
234 The Plague by Albert Camus
235 What a Carve Up! by Jonathan Coe
236 Disgrace by JM Coetzee
237 Moll Flanders by Daniel Defoe
238 Underworld by Don DeLillo
239 White Noise by Don DeLillo
240 A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens
241 Hard Times by Charles Dickens
242 Oliver Twist by Charles Dickens
243 The Book of Daniel by EL Doctorow
244 Castle Rackrent by Maria Edgeworth
245 The Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison
246 A Passage to India by EM Forster
247 North and South by Elizabeth Gaskell
248 July's People by Nadine Gordimer
249 Mother by Maxim Gorky
250 The Mayor of Casterbridge by Thomas Hardy
251 A Kestrel for a Knave by Barry Hines
252 Les Miserables by Victor Hugo
253 Goodbye to Berlin by Christopher Isherwood
254 The Grass is Singing by Doris Lessing
255 Babbitt by Sinclair Lewis
256 Main Street by Sinclair Lewis
257 Amongst Women by John McGahern
258 Bel-Ami by Guy de Maupassant
259 A Fine Balance by Rohinton Mistry
260 Animal Farm by George Orwell
261 Cry, the Beloved Country by Alan Paton
262 GB84 by David Peace
263 Midnight's Children by Salman Rushdie
264 Shame by Salman Rushdie
265 Saturday Night and Sunday Morning by Alan Sillitoe
266 Novel on Yellow Paper by Stevie Smith
267 White Teeth by Zadie Smith
268 One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovtich by Alexandr Solzhenitsyn
269 The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck
270 The Red and the Black by Stendhal
271 This Sporting Life by David Storey
272 The Ragged Trousered Philanthropists by Robert Tressell
273 The Adventures of Tom Sawyer by Mark Twain
274 The Day of the Locust by Nathanael West
275 The Return of the Soldier by Rebecca West
276 Germinal by Emile Zola
277 La Bete Humaine by Emile Zola

War and travel

278 Master Georgie by Beryl Bainbridge
279 Empire of the Sun by JG Ballard
280 Regeneration by Pat Barker
281 A Long Long Way by Sebastian Barry
282 Fair Stood the Wind for France by HE Bates
283 The Sheltering Sky by Paul Bowles
284 Invisible Cities by Italo Calvino
285 Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad
286 Lord Jim by Joseph Conrad
287 Sharpe's Eagle by Bernard Cornwell
288 The Red Badge of Courage by Stephen Crane
289 Robinson Crusoe by Daniel Defoe
290 Three Soldiers by John Dos Passos
291 Justine by Lawrence Durrell
292 Birdsong by Sebastian Faulks
293 Parade's End by Ford Madox Ford
294 Flashman by George MacDonald Fraser
295 King Solomon's Mines by H Rider Haggard
296 She: A History of Adventure by H Rider Haggard
297 Enigma by Robert Harris
298 For Whom the Bell Tolls by Ernest Hemingway
299 The Prisoner of Zenda by Anthony Hope
300 The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini
301 From Here to Eternity by James Jones
302 Schindler's Ark by Thomas Keneally
303 Darkness at Noon by Arthur Koestler
304 If Not Now, When? by Primo Levi
305 The Call of the Wild by Jack London
306 The Guns of Navarone by Alistair MacLean
307 All the Pretty Horses by Cormac McCarthy
308 Blood Meridian by Cormac McCarthy
309 The Naked and the Dead by Norman Mailer
310 One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez
311 The Children of the New Forest by Frederick Marryat
312 The Sorrow of War by Bao Ninh
313 The Scarlet Pimpernel by Baroness Emmuska Orczy
314 Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance by Robert Pirsig
315 All Quiet on the Western Front by Erich Maria Remarque
316 Ivanhoe by Sir Walter Scott
317 Black Beauty by Anna Sewell
318 A Town Like Alice by Nevil Shute
319 Maus by Art Spiegelman
320 Kidnapped by Robert Louis Stevenson
321 Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson
322 Sophie's Choice by William Styron
323 A Journey to the Centre of the Earth by Jules Verne
324 Slaughter-House Five by Kurt Vonnegut
325 Put Out More Flags by Evelyn Waugh
326 Men at Arms by Evelyn Waugh
327 The Island of Dr Moreau by HG Wells
328 The Debacle by Emile Zola

329 Kafka on the Shore by Haruki Murakami
330 Wide Sargasso Sea by Jean Rhys
331 A Month in the Country by JL Carr
332 The Debt to Pleasure by John Lanchester

Oct 2, 2017, 10:04pm Top

I think that I have read 75 books from your list of 328!

Oct 3, 2017, 3:10am Top

>144 torontoc: I'll bet you've read more from the complete list of another 670 that I haven't yet managed to read.

Oct 3, 2017, 9:10am Top

Hi Paul!

I love lists! I've read 133 of The Guardian's list and have many more on my shelves.

I hope the week is proving less testing than the weekend.

Oct 3, 2017, 10:37am Top

Thanks Paul! There I go again, checking out a list instead of reading! ;-)
I have read 65 of the Guardian list and 55 books are patiently waiting for me on the shelves.

It thought that "War and travel" was a bit strange combination of themes...

Oct 3, 2017, 10:49am Top

Paul--How do you have time to make all these lists? LOL I have read 13 of the Comedy and that's as far as I got on the list this morning. Too funny that the secretary sent you a pic of your left-behind books. ; )

Edited: Oct 3, 2017, 1:22pm Top

>143 PaulCranswick: Another list that shows how poorly read I am but then there are all those wonderful books waiting out there for me to discover. I think I have read 24 on the list but there were some that I might have read far back in the mists of childhood.

Edited: Oct 3, 2017, 1:46pm Top

Hello Paul! I hope you have a great day!

Oct 3, 2017, 3:22pm Top

Hi Paul, hope all is well with you. I love your Guardian list and spent some time scrolling through and counting. I have read 113 of the titles you have listed and plan on two more this month as both The Grass is Singing and A Clockwork Orange are waiting for me to pick up. I have been working on the 1001 Books To Read Before You Die List but it's slow going as my attention often wanders to the new and shiny books that are coming along.

Oct 3, 2017, 7:29pm Top

>146 karenmarie: My aim is to slowly work through the 1001 Books list, Booker Winners, Guardian list, Pulitzer Winners, read something by each Nobel winner etc. I track my progress regularly on this and I am doing well with the Guardian one being already a third of the way through.

>147 FAMeulstee: The Guardian is an unusual newspaper, Anita so its mix of themes is par for the course! Since it is a British newspaper there will be a slight bias towards British authors which explains why my numbers are relatively higher.

Oct 3, 2017, 7:34pm Top

>148 Berly: I think that she would know that I would be happy in the knowledge that my books were safe, Kimmers!

>149 Familyhistorian: One list is (almost) as good as another, Meg. I like the Guardian list:

a) Because, like Charlotte, I am a Guardian reader;
b) Because my tastes are possibly more attuned to their literary editorial staff;
c) Because any list of a 1000 books with only 998 books on it is bound to intrigue!

Oct 3, 2017, 7:36pm Top

>150 brodiew2: Hi Brodie. Thanks mate - my day yesterday was better than normal and I am expecting a busy day ahead today.

>151 DeltaQueen50: I really enjoyed The Grass is Singing, Judy and I don't think that Lessing ever bettered her debut novel. I have read about 15% more on the Guardian list than the 1001 Books list.

Oct 3, 2017, 7:39pm Top


Hopefully not a false dawn but I think Hani and I have achieved something of a rapprochement after a very testing couple of months. We (and I in particular) have a lot of work to do to get back to where we once were but it is obvious that our love prevails and that we are much better together than apart.

I am so happy.

Oct 3, 2017, 7:59pm Top

>155 PaulCranswick: Excellent news!

I think I've read about 80 of the Guardian list -- I can't always remember exactly which classics I read in my misspent youth. Also, they do the irritating thing where they mix whole series with individual titles. For instance, can I count Discworld since I have read some of them, or must I have read all of them?

Oct 3, 2017, 8:17pm Top

>156 foggidawn: Yes the inclusion of series is extremely annoying isn't it. I have read part of Discworld and the Rabbit series but couldn't list them as finished.

Oct 3, 2017, 8:20pm Top

>155 PaulCranswick: I am so happy to hear (see) that! I wish you both the best and hope that over time things will work out

Oct 3, 2017, 8:30pm Top

>158 ChelleBearss: Thank you Chelle. There are tough times ahead I am sure but we'll face them together.

Oct 3, 2017, 8:49pm Top

Saw over on Mamie's new thread about her idea of just reading what she likes and I like the idea rather than following so many challenges. I am going to do that in October once I have finished my reads!

Oct 3, 2017, 9:01pm Top

Happy news for you and Hani. Wishing you both the best.

From the Guardian list, I've read about 220. Many were on my tbr list and others where I'd read a different book by the author. Still an interesting list, I've added it to my pinterest collection so I can look at it again.
Agree about the inclusion of series, not many would have read all the Discworld books.

Oct 3, 2017, 9:40pm Top

Oct 3, 2017, 10:10pm Top

>155 PaulCranswick: Awesome! Glad to hear you've had a breakthrough.

Oct 4, 2017, 1:52am Top

>155 PaulCranswick: I am so happy for you and Hani, Paul!! Wishing you lots of love and fun in October (and forever more!).

I applaud cutting loose from the planned reads for October. Go for it! Be random and spontaneous.

: )

Oct 4, 2017, 3:40am Top

>155 PaulCranswick: That is great news, Paul!
I am very happy that you are so happy :-)

Oct 4, 2017, 6:15am Top

#155 Big love to you both - this makes me smile :)

My big excel sheet has a tab for the Guardian 1000 (and the Guardian 100 tbh). I've read 266.

Oct 4, 2017, 6:22am Top

Oh, wonderful, Paul! I'm so happy for you and Hani!!

Oct 4, 2017, 7:18am Top

Good news, Paul. Best of luck, going forward. May the worst be behind you now!

Oct 4, 2017, 10:37am Top

>161 avatiakh: Thanks Kerry. I do think it is a bit silly to have a whole series of books to read in order to tick off just one of the 998 entries.

>162 torontoc: Thank you, Cyrel. It is an absolute joy to me to see such encouragement from my peers here. I am greatly moved by the warmth and regard of this group pulling for us from afar. xx

Edited: Oct 4, 2017, 10:44am Top

>163 drneutron: Cheers Jim. This morning I had such a spring in my step that you would not have needed to over tax yourself to send me into orbit!

>164 Berly: Kimmers, thanks so much. The love and support of this awesome group has been a bedrock of support for me these last few months and I will always be grateful for the words of positivity, advice and support that I have received during this time.

I want a month without too much structure to my reading.

Oct 4, 2017, 10:42am Top

>165 FAMeulstee: And I am happy that you are happy that I am happy Anita! Thank you. xx

>166 BekkaJo: I have been smiling for most of what has been a busy day, Bekka.
Our numbers on the Guardian list are quite similar.

Oct 4, 2017, 10:43am Top

>167 scaifea: Thank you dear Amber. xx

>168 jessibud2: Thanks Shelley. I do hope so.

Oct 4, 2017, 11:02am Top

>155 PaulCranswick: ****CLAPPING****

Oct 4, 2017, 11:21am Top

>155 PaulCranswick:

"The sacredness of domestic peace."

Joseph Conrad The Secret Agent

Oct 4, 2017, 11:23am Top

This user has been removed as spam.

Oct 4, 2017, 11:24am Top

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Oct 4, 2017, 11:29am Top

Hi Paul!

>155 PaulCranswick: I'm glad to hear your good news, Paul. I hope things just keep getting better and better for you and Hani!

>160 PaulCranswick: I always find that when I start a group read, even if it's one I start or something I want to read anyway, that I get stressed and feel pressured. Self-induced, of course, so I'm trying hard to just read what I want, too. Pushing oneself can be rewarding, but I never want to feel reading is a chore.

Edited: Oct 4, 2017, 12:15pm Top

Hello Paul!

>155 PaulCranswick: I am happy to hear this, Paul. I wish you and your family the best.

After a cd issue with Almost Interesting, I have temporarily switched to Nelson DeMille's new book The Cuban Affair. It's off to a good start. I must be tired of Scott Brick's voice yet. :-)

Oct 4, 2017, 12:13pm Top

>173 Caroline_McElwee: Thanks Caroline. Of course you are one of those in the group that has met my spouse and, if I recall, shared a dessert with her. I think that she is sweet!

>174 m.belljackson: Conrad was a perceptive fellow, Marianne.

>175 maikefa: & >176 maikefa: Erm thanks for visiting, I think.

Oct 4, 2017, 12:16pm Top

>177 karenmarie: Karen, one of the things that has embarrassed me somewhat this year is my abysmal performance in the challenge I administer - the British Author Challenge. I do think that I should be leading from the front much more!

>178 brodiew2: Thanks Brodie. Almost Interesting is possibly not the best title for a novel! DeMille's thrillers are usually long but readable as I recall.

Oct 4, 2017, 12:38pm Top

What way to celebrate a happy day when a husband and wife feel in unity once more? Buy a couple of books of course!

116. 4321 by Paul Auster (2017) 1070 pp

Why? Booker shortlist and contender for all masochists to read.

117. Revolution by Peter Ackroyd (2016) 371 pp

Why? Part of a series on English history by Ackroyd (number 4) of which the first instalment I read and enjoyed.

Edited: Oct 4, 2017, 1:13pm Top

>181 PaulCranswick: I have both Paul, but want the Auster in paperback rather than Kindle. As for the Ackroyd, I have the first two, but as I still haven’t read them, I’m making myself wait for the rest. I have most of Ackroyds books, so they will creep in.

>179 PaulCranswick: yes Paul, we did share a dessert. You seemed such a contented pair, so I hope you have the right glue.

Oct 4, 2017, 3:12pm Top

Glad to hear it Paul - more clapping from me.

Oct 4, 2017, 3:30pm Top

Oct 4, 2017, 3:39pm Top

>155 PaulCranswick:, So happy for you mate, you are meant to be together and like you say, there is work to be done but I am sure that you will get back to where you were relationship wise. Both Karen and I could not imagine you not together and so glad that we will be two in love couple together when next we meet.

Hope the rest of your week goes well dear friend.

Oct 4, 2017, 4:02pm Top

Glad to hear things have taken a turn for the better!

Oct 4, 2017, 5:40pm Top

Tomorrow the Nobel Prize for Literature will be announced. NPR (National Public Radio) did a story this evening on who they consider to be the top contenders for the prize. Margret Atwood, Haruki Murakami, and Ngugi wa Thiong'o were named. The experts think it unlikely that Murakami will win because he is too popular. What, I ask you, does that make Atwood?

Oct 4, 2017, 6:59pm Top

>182 Caroline_McElwee: I knew the Auster book was longish, Caroline, but I didn't realise it was quite of such proportions!
Ackroyd, especially writing non-fiction, is a pretty safe bet.
As a couple I do think Hani and I have an excess of chemistry which can sometimes makes us combustible but oftentimes we are perfectly attuned.

>183 charl08: Thanks Charlotte. Applause gratefully heard!

Oct 4, 2017, 7:02pm Top

>184 ronincats: Thanks Roni. It has been a tough period for both of us where we have let the stresses and strains of life get on top of us more than a little, but hopefully now we can face our futures together.

>185 johnsimpson: Hani will be in UK before I am John, but I reckon we will both be there for a visit before long and perhaps for more than a visit depending upon circumstances. You and Karen have become dear to us so it will be good for sure to have "ready made friends" back home if and when we do finally relocate.

Oct 4, 2017, 7:05pm Top

>186 amanda4242: Thanks Amanda. I do wonder how our situation could have been summed up in one of your wonderfully concise reviews?!

>187 benitastrnad: Well I would hazard, Benita, that Murakami beats Atwood in the popularity stakes. I don't get on with much of her writing whilst recognising her importance. I don't see her winning though given the recent wins for Dylan and Munro. I cannot see the pick tomorrow coming from North America.

Oct 4, 2017, 7:12pm Top


My own shortlist.

I always do this and never get it right.

Ngugi wa Thiong'o
Nuruddin Farah
Cees Nooteboom
Milan Kundera
Ismail Kadare

I think that the winner will come from that six. Let's see.

Oct 4, 2017, 8:32pm Top

>190 PaulCranswick: Conflict, conflict resolution, everyone lives happily ever after.

Oct 4, 2017, 8:44pm Top

>155 PaulCranswick:. Great news, Paul. Debbi and I had such a good time with the two of you; you’re quite a team.

Oct 5, 2017, 3:18am Top

>192 amanda4242: That would be a nice logical course to follow, Amanda. xx

>193 jnwelch: And vice versa, Joe. We were both enchanted by your company. As to being quite a team, well - touche!

Oct 5, 2017, 4:50am Top

Hi Paul!

>181 PaulCranswick: Buy books when we're sad, buy books when we're glad. But, always buy books!

Oct 5, 2017, 6:58am Top

>155 PaulCranswick: Great news, Paul.
Good luck both of you on your further way with happiness and books.

Oct 5, 2017, 7:07am Top

>191 PaulCranswick: you are right that you don't get it right ;-).
Kazuo Ishiguro did it!

Oct 5, 2017, 8:12am Top

>155 PaulCranswick: Belated big fat YAY and congratulations and best wishes!!! :D

I was checking in to see if you're happy about Ishiguro, but the other notice is so much better! (though I'm glad we finally have a NP winner I really like and whose books are widely available)

Oct 5, 2017, 8:42am Top

>143 PaulCranswick: Just went through the list and I've read 91 of the books, and started 19 - which I'll hopefully finish someday soon-ish.

And it might only be 998 titles, but several of them are series of books so it's actually more than 1000 books if you were to count each titles (Narnia and Harry Potter are each 7 books).

Oct 5, 2017, 10:12am Top

I'm thrilled, of course, to see that you and Hani have had a break-through! May you continue to progress as a couple--each would be incomplete without the other.

Love the Guardian list. I have 225 under my belt. Many more in the house stacks.

I'm glad Ishiguro won. With only one exception, I've loved his work.

And an especially happy week-end to you!

Oct 5, 2017, 1:31pm Top

>191 PaulCranswick: Well as I confidently predicted.....mmm


Wouldn't have picked that one but I have to say that at least they have selected a writer of genuine quality this year.


Oct 5, 2017, 1:33pm Top

Hello Paul! I hope all is well.

Congrats to Ishiguro.!

Oct 5, 2017, 1:33pm Top

>195 karenmarie: Well that is an ethos to live by certainly, Karen.

>196 SirThomas: Thank you, Thomas. I have been so bolstered by the support of this group.

Oct 5, 2017, 1:35pm Top

>197 SirThomas: Precisely! I have read and enjoyed his first two novels and have the rest of his work on the shelves.

>198 Deern: Thanks dear, Nathalie.

Yes his books are widely available, he is popular both with the reading public and with the critics. In some ways the foregoing sentence makes him a bigger surprise winner than Dylan!

Oct 5, 2017, 1:38pm Top

>199 PawsforThought: I love the Guardian list Nathalie but it is so obtuse with the 1000 books not being a 1000 books and series being included seemingly on a whim and a fancy.

>200 bohemima: Thank you Gail. Hani and I are still quite delicate but the progress is still forward not sideways.

>201 PaulCranswick: I am doing ok, Brodie. I didn't think the UK would get another winner for a while if I am honest.

Oct 5, 2017, 5:43pm Top

I've read 143 from the Guardian list. And I'm so happy you've worked things out between you and SWMBO. I was honestly worried about you two. *hugs*

Oct 5, 2017, 5:55pm Top

>155 PaulCranswick: "we are much better together than apart." I'm thrilled to hear this, Paul. And so may it ever be. One (or two) can simply never stop working at a marriage; no matter how good and healthy it is, it will always need tending.

Oct 5, 2017, 7:41pm Top

>206 Morphidae: Thanks Morphy. Hugs are greatly appreciated - I was more than a little worried myself.

>207 laytonwoman3rd: I am trying to be a much better gardener, Linda! Thank you my dear lady.

Oct 5, 2017, 8:14pm Top

We are off to Wales this month with the BAC

Roald Dahl and Jo Walton, anyone?


Oct 5, 2017, 8:28pm Top

Another laggardly bit of administration.

The October CAC thread is up.

Alice Munro and Arthur Slade


Oct 5, 2017, 8:29pm Top

>209 PaulCranswick: - Unrelated to the BAC, but last night, I saw the most inspiring documentary film, called Bending the Arc, about the 3 main founding members of a wonderful and important organization called PIH (Partners in Health). One of those 3 is Ophelia Dahl. I wrote about it at length on my thread. It was never mentioned in the film itself but I googled afterwards and discovered that Ophelia is Roald's daughter! A nice bit of serendipity there!

Oct 5, 2017, 9:00pm Top

>211 jessibud2: His family sure is talented, Shelley.

Edited: Oct 5, 2017, 10:12pm Top

I am not sure about this pick. I think Ishiguro is a one horse wonder. He wrote one book that everybody loved. One. I haven’t read that one because it just doesn’t interest me. I have read Never Let Me Go. I thought it good but nowhere near the thought provoking body of work of either Atwood, Murakami, or Noteboom. I think that in order to win an award of this magnitude the author should have a body of work. Not one outstanding book and then some others.

Oct 5, 2017, 10:40pm Top

>213 benitastrnad: I think that is a bit harsh, Benita. Kazuo Ishiguro has written seven novels and one short story collection. Three of these novels were Booker shortlisted and another one won it.

Is it enough to justify the Nobel? Perhaps not, but he is hardly a one horse wonder.

Oct 6, 2017, 12:06am Top

For those who may miss it as he has reappeared in a very understated way - Mr. Derus is back!

Richard's thread is here if you would like to say hello to him:

Edited: Oct 6, 2017, 12:37am Top

Oh! I have to dash off to Richard's thread....

OK. I'm back. Hurray for Ishiguro winning the Nobel!! Glad things are still looking up. Good job getting up your group read threads, but remember to read for fun and be a bit spontaneous. ; )

Oct 6, 2017, 1:28am Top

>216 Berly: Kimmers, lovely to see you as it was RD.

I think Ishiguro is a breath of fresh air as a winner of the nobel prize.

Oct 6, 2017, 2:35am Top

>209 PaulCranswick: Oooh, Roald Dahl! I've already loaded up on books for October, but if I have any time leftover at the end of the month, I might pick up on a couple of Dahl books - he's always a delight (and I, shamefully, have only read about 4 of his books).

And the Dahls certainly are talented - I really like Sophie Dahl's recipes.

Oct 6, 2017, 3:14am Top

Weighing in with my happiness re Ishiguro. I love his writing - Remains of the Day is just beautiful. Never let me go, soul destroying. Artist of a floating world and A pale view of hills were both well crafted, though lacking the impact of his other work (IMO).

I was unconvinced about The Unconsoled but it has definitely stayed with me and was immensely thought provoking.

I waffled a bit more than intended there.

Oct 6, 2017, 4:23am Top

Personally, I am happy to hear your personal news, upthread at >155 PaulCranswick:.

Oct 6, 2017, 11:01am Top

Thanks for posting the link to Richard's thread! I had not realized that he was back
Hope your week has gone well. Hugs to you and Hani!

Oct 6, 2017, 12:43pm Top

I agree that the committee could have made worse picks - like Patrick Modiano. At least Ishiguro is an author who some people read. I just find his selection a disappointment when there are other authors who have a much wider audience. I know that this prize shouldn't just be about popularity, but I just don't find this to be an author that has works that I read or care to read. I also say that about Joyce Carol Oates another perennial Noble list author, I just have a hard time finding a book by her that I like, but I have read three of hers and that is two more than I have read of Isiguro. On-the-other-hand, I try to read one Murakami, and one Atwood book per year. Lastly, isn't Isiguro rather young to be a Nobel winner? Most of them are much older than 62. Murakami is almost 70 and Atwood is over 70.

Oct 6, 2017, 1:23pm Top

>218 PawsforThought: I am enjoying a rather salacious novel of his My Uncle Oswald at the moment and love his short stories, Paws.

>219 BekkaJo: I have only read his first two novels but both left an impression on me. His writing has a unique texture to it, I think.

Oct 6, 2017, 1:25pm Top

>220 LovingLit: So am I, Megan, so am I!

Hani goes off to the UK for 20 days on Sunday morning. I hope we will both use the time apart from each other wisely.

>221 ChelleBearss: I only did it, Chelle, because:

a) I was excited by the event; and
b) He didn't put his name on his thread so some people may not realise.

Oct 6, 2017, 2:01pm Top

>155 PaulCranswick:, >207 laytonwoman3rd: One of mrsdrneutron's and my favorite songs is Better When We're Together by Jack Johnson. Here's the first verse/chorus

There is no combination of words I could put on the back of a postcard
No song that I could sing, but I can try for your heart
Our dreams, and they are made out of real things
Like a, shoe box of photographs
With sepia-toned loving
Love is the answer,
At least for most of the questions in my heart
Like why are we here? And where do we go?
And how come it's so hard?
It's not always easy and
Sometimes life can be deceiving
I'll tell you one thing, it's always better when we're together

Mm, it's always better when we're together
Yeah, we'll look at the stars when we're together
Well, it's always better when we're together
Yeah, it's always better when we're together

Oct 6, 2017, 7:59pm Top

>225 drneutron: Thanks for that Jim. I take it that we are referring to Jack Johnson the singer rather than his namesake the pugilist?!

Oct 6, 2017, 8:33pm Top

Happy Weekend, Paul. Hope the work week went smoothly.

I would have preferred if Murakami would have read the Nobel, but I have no problem with Ishiguro and I definitely do not think he is a one trick pony. He has an impressive range.

Oct 6, 2017, 8:48pm Top

>222 benitastrnad: Almost missed you Benita. I would have chosen other over Ishiguro if I had a vote but I am not entirely displeased at his selection and I don't think he is unworthy of being chosen as I did feel Alexievich, Modiano, Lessing and Dylan were.
My own choice would have been between the six I listed above and I would like either Ngugi wa Thion'o or Adunis to win as their respective areas have been much overlooked.

Oct 6, 2017, 8:49pm Top

>227 msf59: Actually I am in the minority and prefer Ishiguro over Murakami any day of the week. Murakami and Atwood have both touched millions but neither are amongst my absolute favourite writers.

Oct 7, 2017, 11:02am Top

I am glad that things are looking better for you and Hani, Paul. I hope you are having a great weekend.

Oct 7, 2017, 11:10am Top

>230 Familyhistorian: So far so good, Meg. Hani flies off tomorrow morning so today she fancied eating a nice steak with our good friends and that is exactly what we did. She is presently packing so I shall keep out of her way.

Edited: Oct 7, 2017, 4:18pm Top

I was pleased by the pick of Ishiguro, but would have been better pleased with Murakami or Atwood. Incidentally, I thought Never Let Me Go, the favorite of many, was rather trite in the plot line, with the idea telegraphed far too clearly, so that it didn't have much impact on me.

But I often disagree with award choices, and have my own esoteric and idiosyncratic favorites. Shocking, I know.

Oct 7, 2017, 5:19pm Top

>232 bohemima: I think if I was pushed absolutely to the wall I would have awarded the prize to Milan Kundera, but as someone who writes poetry of a sort, I would have also been pleased had Adunis won.

Whilst I wouldn't have picked Ishiguro, I cannot really say that I disagree in terms of his merit in justifying the award.

Oct 8, 2017, 8:05am Top

Hi Paul, I hope you are allright, now Hani is on vacation.
How long until she is back with you?

Oct 8, 2017, 9:10am Top

Hi Paul. Wishing you a good week ahead

Oct 8, 2017, 9:33am Top

>155 PaulCranswick: Pulling for you and Hani, Paul!! You make things happen all the time and I feel sure that you can work your magic here too.

I own a few books my Murakami but have yet to read any of them. I don't own any books by Ishiguro but have read 3 and I enjoy is quiet prose so I approve of him for the Pulitzer. However, I sort of wish Murakami would have been selected, that might have been the impetus to finally pull one of his books off the shelf.

Have a lovely Sunday evening and an even better week.

Oct 8, 2017, 10:00am Top

Hi Paul!

I hope that Hani's vacation gives you both what you need to continue the rebuilding of your relationship.

I hope that your children are all doing well, too!

I'm just coming down from a book-buying orgy and 3-day volunteer stint at our Friends of the Library book sale. Right now the idea of buying another book is unappealing - we'll see how long that lasts! Here's the link to the books I bought (message 187): karenmarie's book haul

Oct 8, 2017, 4:27pm Top

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

Oct 8, 2017, 5:05pm Top

>234 FAMeulstee: She is gone until the 27th Anita. Just spoke to her and she has safely arrived in Manchester and has gotten the car I booked for her online. In Malaysia we rarely drive manual transmission cars (stick shift I think our American cousins call it) and so I had to book her an automatic which requires a considerable premium in the UK. Anyway she is happy if a little tired.

>235 jessibud2: Thank you Shelley, dear.

Oct 8, 2017, 5:10pm Top

>236 Carmenere: Yes, Lynda, I also sort of approve of Ishiguro winning the Nobel prize even though it wouldn't have been my pick.

>237 karenmarie: We are both hopeful that distance will strengthen rather than weaken our relationship and I do think that she has needed a breather and a little space for a while, Karen.

I bought pizza for Kyran, Belle and myself last night. Typically since we couldn't agree we had a different one each!
Book buying orgies sound like just my kind of debauchery!

>238 johnsimpson: As good a weekend as can be mate considering that I put my wife on a plane and won't see her for three weeks!

Oct 8, 2017, 6:32pm Top

Ho! You've started a new thread. And I got here before you moved on.

I'm fine with Ishiguro as Nobelist. The committee called me, and I gave them my thumbs up (even though they couldn't see it). I did suggest Stephen King, but got the Bronx cheer on that. Should I have suggested Danielle Steele?

Glad to read that you and Hani are doing better.

Oct 8, 2017, 6:40pm Top

Hi Paul! Back to your prior thread (yes, I am that far behind), I loved your review of The Trouble with Poetry. I need to read more by Billy Collins.

>232 bohemima: I agree with Gail's comments about Never Let Me Go; I found it to be less than profound and too predictable. I loved The Buried Giant and The Remains of the Day deserves to be called a modern classic. I will try to read more by Ishiguro in the coming year or so.

I'm glad things are going better for you and Hani. Marriage is hard work.

Oct 8, 2017, 6:53pm Top

>241 weird_O: Jilly Cooper and Sidney Sheldon would also have sufficed surely, Bill.

>242 EBT1002: Yes, Ellen, I think a long overdue read of his third novel The Remains of the Day is imminent.
Marriage is work that normally repays the effort though isn't it?

She has her car and is safely ensconced in the Mercure Hotel in Manchester Piccadilly.

Oct 8, 2017, 7:00pm Top

Glad Hani has arrived safely Paul, that must be a relief. I like being the traveller rather than the one waiting for news. I am hoping I am book spreed-out otherwise I may have some expensive luggage charges!

Oct 8, 2017, 7:47pm Top

>244 charl08: Is there such a thing as "spreed-out", Charlotte, because if there is it has not yet happened to me?!

I think that you are right actually in that it is better to travel and inform than being the one at home waiting for news.

Oct 8, 2017, 7:54pm Top

>243 PaulCranswick: "Marriage is work that normally repays the effort though isn't it?"
Well, I think the ones that do repay are the ones where the partners are willing to do the work.

I'm glad Hani is safely settled into her hotel.

When I read The Remains of the Day, I admit that I heard Miss Kenton's voice as that of Emma Thompson. She and Anthony Hopkins were SO good in the 1993 film.

Oct 8, 2017, 8:03pm Top

>246 EBT1002: Yes, of course, the willingness to try has to be there too.

I have the advantage, if indeed it is, to have not yet seen the film either, so I would be going into the book without a preconceived "voice" so to speak, Ellen.

Oct 8, 2017, 8:26pm Top

Hi Paul, it's nice to see you so much happier! Yes, working at a relationship is necessary, but I'm glad that it is working out for you.

I like Ishiguro, I really do, but my vote would have been for Atwood.

Oct 8, 2017, 8:43pm Top

>247 PaulCranswick: and a little bit of luck is always much appreciated, too, yes?
Hang in there, my friend. I do believe it's worth it and will result in better times together down the road.

Oct 8, 2017, 8:44pm Top

>248 EllaTim: It is only one day that she has been away on her travels so I don't want to jinx things either!

I think that Atwood didn't win in part because they only awarded the Nobel to Alice Munro a few short years ago.

Oct 8, 2017, 8:45pm Top

>249 EBT1002: Ah! Lady Luck. Could do with a nice old dollop of that right now, Ellen! xx

Oct 9, 2017, 8:44am Top

I really liked The Buried Giant-worth reading

Oct 9, 2017, 4:35pm Top

Happy to see your good news up thread, Paul! Wishing you both all the best.

Oct 9, 2017, 6:28pm Top

>252 torontoc: I will definitely read more from the new Nobel winner very soon, Cyrel.

>253 Copperskye: Thanks Joanne. Hani is in Manchester and just getting her bearings before travelling over to see my mum and my sister (with our new neice). After that she will spend a couple of days in London before moving up to Edinburgh to be with Yasmyne a while. Yasmyne returns to Edinburgh tomorrow.

Oct 9, 2017, 8:27pm Top

As most of you know I keep stats of posting to threads and books read in the group.

I have been doing this since 2012 which was my first full year in the group.

Yesterday the total of the top 10 for 2017 passed the total of the top ten for the entire year of 2015. As follows (up to date)

2017 (October 9)

1 Mark 7599
2 Paul 7173
3 Amber 5662
4 Joe 5418
5 Kimmers 3966
6 Mamie 3317
7 Ellen 3190
8 Katie 2953
9 Charlotte 2858
10 Anita 2680

2015 (Full Year)

1 Amber 7500
2 Mark 7312
3 Joe 5126
4 Paul 5123
5 Darryl 4596
6 Katie 3836
7 Mamie 3335
8 Ellen 2786
9 Barbara 2662
10 Charlotte 2483

Interesting that the top four are the same but in a different order and that 8 of the 2015 list still appear in the 2017. The two that don't appear Barbara and Darryl are 12th and 13th this year thus far.

Oct 10, 2017, 12:40pm Top

Well, looks like we're a little more chatty this year. Not too big a surprise... 😀

Oct 10, 2017, 1:17pm Top

>255 PaulCranswick: Thanks for the stats, Paul, I am happy to maintain my position in the top 10 this year.

Funny as I was just looking at my own stats before I went to read the treads ;-)
I chat a lot this year, probably because I read so much this year.

Oct 10, 2017, 1:35pm Top

Hi again, Paul -

I don't do much with Stats or Lists,
with rare prompting on their locations.

A handy skill going into 2018!

Oct 10, 2017, 3:44pm Top

>256 drneutron: 2015 was the slowest year in terms of posting since I have been in the group. It coincided with me going off the rails through the embezzlement case in my company and RD falling away.

>257 FAMeulstee: Isn't it funny that in your case so much more reading equals so much more posting. You would have thought that there was no time left!

>258 m.belljackson: At this rate, Marianne, you may become one of the Seven Wonders of the LT World!

Oct 10, 2017, 4:07pm Top

>255 PaulCranswick:, I have had a good year posting so far and hope to carry this on next year with an aim to break into the top ten mate. I have enjoyed my posting this year although I have been helped with my books read lists that added quite a number of posts on a couple of occasions but I have also had more visitors this year.

Hope you are coping ok with Hani being over here mate, love to you all from both of us mate.

Oct 10, 2017, 4:18pm Top

>260 johnsimpson: Indeed you have John. You are safely ensconced inside the top twenty in terms of posts to threads this year. So far in 17th place with 1,822 posts. This is already your best posting year.

2013 520 posts
2014 1,718 posts
2015 1,336 posts
2016 1,538 posts

I am coping ok, John. Hani is visiting Malham today.

Oct 10, 2017, 4:24pm Top

>261 PaulCranswick:, I haven't been up to Malham for quite a number of years mate but we have decided to invest in some decent walking boots so that we can try and keep as active as possible despite the arthritis and follow some of the walks shown in the Country supplement in Saturday's Yorkshire Post. We will take things steady but we can combine some of our drives out to the Dales and North York Moors and do a bit of walking and then take in a nice Tea shop and peruse any book shops, a perfect day, fitness and reading.

I should comfortably top 2,000 posts for the year and then see what I can do in 2018.

Oct 10, 2017, 4:28pm Top

>262 johnsimpson: Yes, John, I think that 2,000 is easily in sight for the first time this year.

If I manage to relocate then I will also join you for plenty of long walks. The climate is conducive not like the sapping heat and humidity of Kuala Lumpur.

Oct 10, 2017, 4:34pm Top

The boy and his numbers hahaha.

I hope Hani is enjoying her visit. How are you coping without her Paul? The rest of the family keeping you in check?

Oct 10, 2017, 4:36pm Top

>263 PaulCranswick:, It would be nice to have you along for a nice long walk, we could chat about the Cricket and then put the world to rights before enjoying a leisurely pint mate, what could be better.

Oct 10, 2017, 4:45pm Top

>259 PaulCranswick: Reading all those books is a large part of it, Paul!

Reviewing my books already generated 348 of those posts.
Keeping track of my reading at each new thread generated almost 100 posts.
And each new thread generates a lot of posts ;-)

Oct 10, 2017, 4:46pm Top

>264 Caroline_McElwee: Hahaha Caroline - you make me seem like a naughty schoolboy!

Belle is keeping me busy as I have to send and pick her up from school. Hani is tired but seems to be relishing some alone time.

>265 johnsimpson: Yes of course, John, the pint would put back all the calories we lost through walking!

Oct 10, 2017, 4:48pm Top

>266 FAMeulstee: I am mightily impressed Anita that you have read well in excess of a book a day this year to date. No way I could do that. xx

Oct 10, 2017, 4:51pm Top

>267 PaulCranswick:, never mind the lost calories, a pint would be a just reward for our efforts and to lubricate to vocal cords after a good chat.

Oct 10, 2017, 5:03pm Top

>269 johnsimpson: I am always in favour of suitable lubrication, John!

Oct 10, 2017, 8:39pm Top

>255 PaulCranswick: Don't these people have a life? Grins...

Oct 10, 2017, 8:51pm Top

>271 msf59: Since two of 'em is us, then I would hastily refute that Mark as the Postie with the Mostie brings life a plenty to the group!

Oct 10, 2017, 8:55pm Top

Don't make me blush, Paul. You know how sensitive I can get...grins.

I am just glad to contribute to the chattiness of the place. Long live the Mighty 75!!

Oct 10, 2017, 9:08pm Top

>273 msf59: Amen to that.

This topic was continued by Paul C's 2017 Reading & Life - 27.

Group: 75 Books Challenge for 2017

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172,369 messages


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