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Paul C's 2017 Reading & Life - 27

This is a continuation of the topic Paul C's 2017 Reading & Life - 26.

This topic was continued by Paul C's 2017 Reading & Life - 28.

75 Books Challenge for 2017

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Oct 10, 2017, 8:04pm Top

Since I ended the last thread talking about walking (rather than walking), I thought I would start this one with that King of walks - The Pennine Way. The Pennine hills separate the two rivals of Yorkshire and Lancashire and are a place of windswept beauty.

Edited: Oct 10, 2017, 8:18pm Top

Paul's Poems

A soppy one from 1990.

The Keeper of my Wishing Well

You are the flight of the swallow -
Soaring majestically;
Mysterious yet so familiar.

If I could reach out and catch you
And hold you in the hollow of my hand
A breathe of air may take you
And reinforce our separation.

You are an image of the light,
A mirage in my mind;
The keeper of my wishing well.
I dream such dreams of you -
Wherefore do dreams become reality?

Edited: Oct 19, 2017, 6:23pm 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 19, 2017, 6:25pm 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 19, 2017, 6:25pm 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 19, 2017, 6:26pm 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 19, 2017, 6:28pm Top



60. Not a Penny More, Not a Penny Less by Jeffrey Archer (1976) 334 pp
61. My Uncle Oswald by Roald Dahl (1979) 264 pp
62. Words Under the Words by Naomi Shihab Nye (1995) 157 pp
63. The Dig by Cynan Jones (2014) 156 pp
64. The Rainbow Troops by Andrea Hirata (2005) 292 pp

Edited: Oct 19, 2017, 6:29pm 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 (DONE)

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


Edited: Oct 19, 2017, 6:31pm 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 19, 2017, 6:34pm Top

ANZ Author Challenge

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

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

Edited: Oct 19, 2017, 6:34pm Top


Guardian 1000 (998) Books - 328 read https://www.librarything.com/topic/270237#6197972

1001 Books First Edition - 283 read https://www.librarything.com/topic/268508#6162704

Booker Prize Winners - 25 read https://www.librarything.com/topic/268508#6165614

Nobel Prize Winners Read - 62 out of 114 laureates read something. https://www.librarything.com/topic/270794#6207224

Pulitzer Prize Winners (6 main categories) - 23 read https://www.librarything.com/topic/270794#6207348

National Book Award Winners (Fiction) - 16 read https://www.librarything.com/topic/270794#6208562

Women's Prize Winners - 5 read https://www.librarything.com/topic/270794#6208568

Giller Prize Winners - 6 read https://www.librarything.com/topic/270794#6208574

Miles Franklin Winners - 5 read https://www.librarything.com/topic/270794#6208578

Walter Scott Prize Winners - 2 Read https://www.librarything.com/topic/270794#6209474

Baillie Gifford Winners - 3 Read https://www.librarything.com/topic/270794#6209503

James Tait Black Winners - 17 read https://www.librarything.com/topic/270794#6209513

Whitbread/Costa Winners (4 categories) - 23 winners read https://www.librarything.com/topic/270794#6209540

Dublin International Literature Award - 7 winners read https://www.librarything.com/topic/270794#6209556

PEN Faulkner Award Winners - 3 read https://www.librarything.com/topic/270794#6209725

National Book Critics Circle Awards - 6 read https://www.librarything.com/topic/270794#6209733

Edited: Oct 11, 2017, 7:06pm Top



Edited: Oct 19, 2017, 6:37pm Top


I have not included the UK and USA in this as so much of our reading is from those two places but these are my 80 countries. Authors should have been born there, been a citizen of that country or are clearly associated with it.

Create Your Own Visited Countries Map

1 AFGHANISTAN Khaled Hosseini
3 Algeria
4 Angola
5 Antigua
9 Bangladesh
12 Bosnia
13 Brazil
16 China
17 Colombia
20 Denmark
21 Dominica
22 Dominican Republic
23 Egypt
24 Ethiopia
25 Finland
28 Ghana
30 Haiti
32 Hungary
35 Indonesia
40 Jamaica
41 Japan
42 Kenya
43 Korea
45 Malawi
46 Malaysia
47 Mexico
48 Morocco
49 Mozambique
50 New Zealand
51 Nigeria
52 Norway
53 Pakistan
55 Peru
56 Philippines
57 Poland
58 Portugal
59 Romania
60 Russia
61 Saudi Arabia
62 Senegal
63 Serbia
64 Sierra Leone
65 Singapore
66 Somalia
68 Spain
69 Sri Lanka
70 St. Kitts
71 Sudan
73 Switzerland
74 Syria
75 Tanzania
76 Trinidad
77 Turkey
78 Ukraine
80 Zimbabwe

Oct 10, 2017, 8:06pm Top


Oct 10, 2017, 8:14pm Top

Happy new thread! Am I really first?

Oct 10, 2017, 8:19pm Top

>17 jessibud2: You are indeed, Shelley and eminently welcome too!

Oct 10, 2017, 8:36pm Top

Happy New Thread, Paul!

Oct 10, 2017, 8:40pm Top

I reciprocate your "Happy New Thread." And many more to come.

Oct 10, 2017, 8:41pm Top

Happy New Thread, Paul! I love The Pennine Way topper. Looks like a gorgeous place for a stroll.

How are the current reads coming? Is everything going slow?

Oct 10, 2017, 8:48pm Top

>19 ronincats: Thanks Roni. Always lovely to see you around the threads.

>20 weird_O: Reciprocation is at the very heart of the group Bill! Great to see you posting so often and so well in 2017.

Oct 10, 2017, 8:50pm Top

>21 msf59: Hi Mark. You would love trudging those pathways - the paved and the unpaved. Birds aplenty dear fellow, I assure you.

I have currently got 10 books on the go and will finish at least one of them today.

I am in a little panic actually as i have never failed to reach 100 books in 35 years and it will be nip and tuck this time.

Oct 10, 2017, 8:53pm Top

" Birds aplenty dear fellow," Now, you have my attention. Good luck hitting a 100. Time to turn the heat up, mate.

Oct 10, 2017, 8:58pm Top

Happy new thread!

Oct 10, 2017, 9:06pm Top

>24 msf59: You are right, Mark. My reading has been sluggish for about four months this year which is my longest spell in the reading doldrums ever.

>25 amanda4242: Thanks dear Amanda. xx

Oct 10, 2017, 9:36pm Top

Hi Paul and happy new thread.

My goal is 100 this year, too. I keep picking up chunksters or emotionally demanding books, so will have to start choosing more wisely to make it. I do have lots of 'little' books that I do want to read, fortunately.

It seems like you and Hani both need to breathe a little. I hope this time apart works wonders.

We're all rooting for you, you know.

Oct 10, 2017, 9:50pm Top

Happy new thread!

Oct 10, 2017, 9:50pm Top

>26 PaulCranswick: Paul, I'm right there with ya. I managed to finish only 4 books all summer (June through August). The last few years I've read 60-80 books for the year--not to your level, but pretty darn good for me. If I make 50 this year, I'll feel lucky. Like you, I'm reading a bit more in the last few weeks, and listening to a couple audiobooks has helped boost the totals. But I'm woefully behind. 'Course, it didn't stop me from *acquiring* more books (not that I'm actually reading them) :(

And love the topper on the new thread...maybe I'll get to walk it one day, although I loved the train ride between Manchester and Sheffield.

Oct 10, 2017, 10:00pm Top

You know.... just enjoy the books that you read this year- books should give you pleasure not anxiety re: numbers!

Oct 10, 2017, 10:29pm Top

Happy new thread!

Oct 10, 2017, 10:48pm Top

>27 karenmarie: Having friends genuinely rooting for you is truly humbling, Karen. Hope we both make it to 100!

>28 drneutron: Thanks Jim.

Oct 10, 2017, 10:51pm Top

>29 kac522: Yes, the train ride is a picturesque one as I recall, Kathy. The Settle to Carlisle railway is one I used to make frequently when I was working at the Sellafield Nuclear Establishment and my Sundays were always pleasurable whatever the weather.

Oct 10, 2017, 10:52pm Top

>30 torontoc: You are entirely right, Cyrel, and of course the numbers shouldn't matter............but they do!

>31 foggidawn: Thanks Foggy. xx

Oct 10, 2017, 11:20pm Top

So far in thread posting:

Leading Females:

1 Amber 5,671
2 Kimmers 3,970
3 Mamie 3,323
4 Ellen 3,205
5 Katie 2,953
6 Charlotte 2,866
7 Anita 2,688
8 Karen 2,608
9 Barbara 2,354
10 Meg 1,928

Leading Males:

1 Mark 7,630
2 Paul C 7,226
3 Joe 5,433
4 Darryl 2,317
5 Jim 1,868
6 John 1,824
7 Harry 1,245
8 Bill 700
9 Erik 643
10 Sir F 611

Edited: Oct 10, 2017, 11:42pm Top

Leading US Residents

1 Mark
2 Amber
3 Joe
4 Kimmers
5 Mamie
6 Ellen
7 Katie
8 Karen
9 Darryl
10 Julia (1,893 posts)

Leading UK Residents

1 Charlotte
2 John
3 Susan (1,577 posts)
4 Jenny (1,280)
5 Rhian (800)
6 Sir F
7 Heather (474)
8 Bryony (328)
9 Caroline (317)
10 Jo (207)

Leading Europeans

1 Anita
2 Barbara
3 Diana (744)
4 Ella (576)
5 Paws (513)
6 Paul S (508)
7 Nathalie (488)
8 Carsten (394)
9 Monica (146)
10 Sir Thomas (128)

Leading Asia Pacific

1 Paul
2 Megan
3 Liz
4 Nina
5 Alex
6 Adrienne
7 Derrick
8 Trizzy
9 Prue
10 Cushla

Leading Canadians

1 Meg
2 Chelle
3 Deb
4 Shelley
5 Nancy
6 Lori
7 Micky
8 Mary
9 Ilana
10 Katherine

Oct 11, 2017, 1:11am Top

>34 PaulCranswick: For me the number of books read matters merely because I have SO many books I want to read. And the only fighting chance I have of reading even a small portion is to read at least a book or two per week. Otherwise I'm doomed to be crushed by my bookcases.

Oct 11, 2017, 1:38am Top

>37 kac522: I need to start reading like Suz or Anita or Charlotte in order to start making an impression on my TBR pile.

Oct 11, 2017, 2:07am Top

>38 PaulCranswick: And the thing is, I really want to read most of them, too. Sometimes I just can't decide what to read next 'cause there are so many I want to pick up now. Too many choices. So I end up on LT ;)

Oct 11, 2017, 2:29am Top

>39 kac522: Too many books and too little time, Kathy.

Oct 11, 2017, 2:29am Top

Beautiful thread topper. As always :) Hope the weeks treating you well and that the weather is better than here (miserable drizzley yuck - just walked to work in the dark in the rain. Boo!).

Oct 11, 2017, 2:33am Top

>41 BekkaJo: So far so good this week, Bekka. No walking in the rain in the tropics as you would soon fall ill.

Oct 11, 2017, 2:36am Top

>39 kac522: An update on your comments Kathy.

I checked and note that I have bought / been gifted 3,793 books since 1 January 2012

During which time i have read 695 books.

Mmm, I have a lot to do!

Oct 11, 2017, 3:10am Top

Crumbs, >43 PaulCranswick: That's a lot of books! Good luck with reading all of those! (I'm glad I don't track this stat for myself).

Oct 11, 2017, 3:29am Top

I'm at the stage where I need to cull a lot of books, too many glaring at me.

Oct 11, 2017, 5:29am Top

>44 charl08: You would make a better fist of finishing the books than I have been doing, Charlotte.

>45 avatiakh: I am always loathe to do that though Kerry. I will put them aside and they will keep somehow finding their way back in.

Oct 11, 2017, 6:28am Top

Happy new thread, Paul!

Oct 11, 2017, 7:57am Top

>36 PaulCranswick: - I made a list??!

Oct 11, 2017, 8:01am Top

>47 scaifea: Thanks Amber. I guess your new thread is imminent no?

>48 jessibud2: 4th amongst Canadians is quite impressive actually, Shelley, as it is a competitive group!

Oct 11, 2017, 8:11am Top

Happy new thread Paul!

Love your topper, would like a walk there!

>46 PaulCranswick: They're scary aren't they, those books, following a person around, pushing to be bought...

Oct 11, 2017, 8:20am Top

>50 EllaTim: It is a great place to take the air, Ella. I do think though that the absence of trees can make it a rather windswept area.

I will almost certainly pass 4,000 books bought since 2012 within this year as the Big Bad Wolf sale will hit KL in early December and I tend to add triple figures at that time.

Oct 11, 2017, 8:26am Top

Happy new thread, Paul!
Your topper is beautiful, with the top of the hill hiding in the clouds.

>43 PaulCranswick: My numbers of books aquired, culled and read are a bit better:
aquired since 2008: 391 books; read & culled: 87 books (total culled 144); own books read: 614 (total 1116)

Oct 11, 2017, 8:28am Top

>51 PaulCranswick: I guess so, but it's that emptiness that made it look so attractive to me.


Oct 11, 2017, 8:32am Top

>52 FAMeulstee: With your present reading speed, Anita, you would have to be spending a lot of money to not reduce your TBR lists!
The peak is called Pen-y-Gent and is a magical place to go and think.

>53 EllaTim: It is attractive, Ella. It is atmospheric and magical.

Edited: Oct 11, 2017, 8:36am Top

>54 PaulCranswick: As I started with nearly 2,000 books, I don't think it will come that far, Paul ;-)
And there is always the library, with many TBR books available.

Oct 11, 2017, 8:37am Top

27!!! :O
Oh yes, Happy New Thread, Paul!

>51 PaulCranswick: I will almost certainly pass 4,000 books bought since 2012 within this year as the Big Bad Wolf sale will hit KL in early December and I tend to add triple figures at that time. *faints in her office chair*

Oct 11, 2017, 8:37am Top

>55 FAMeulstee: My own TBR at my own reading pace takes me close to my eighties already!

Oct 11, 2017, 8:38am Top

>56 Deern: I have, of course, slowed down considerably, Nathalie!

It is always great to see you stop by. xx

Oct 11, 2017, 9:00am Top

>36 PaulCranswick: Wow, there must not be many Canadiens if my sad little thread made the list!

Hope you are doing well! :)

Oct 11, 2017, 9:15am Top

Wow, I must've been victimized by posting before coffee. I have no idea where my post went. Here goes again.

Happy New Thread, Paul!

Jeesh, that wasn't so hard, was it.

That is lovely soppy up in >2 PaulCranswick:.

Oct 11, 2017, 9:43am Top

>59 ChelleBearss: Too much self-deprecation there, Chelle! Not only made the list but in second place. Something of a joint effort in a way as your children must also take some plaudits for posts!

>60 jnwelch: I have always managed a decent line in soppy, Joe. Have plenty of those in fact a bit like a poor man's Neruda. Full of passion expressed in ways of love and longing but of course more gauche than the great man.

Before or after coffee Joe you always light up any of our threads.

Oct 11, 2017, 10:24am Top

>59 ChelleBearss: I think my kiddos can take most of the credit :) Although I guess I get credit for creating them :-)

I can see that I've been neglecting LT a bit over the last few years as I don't know some of those names on your list! Perhaps I should be a touch more social ;-p

Oct 11, 2017, 10:52am Top

>62 ChelleBearss: I think the kids are lovely for a reason, Chelle. (compliment intended to Nate and you).

I guess the make up of the group has changed slightly over the last few years but I don't think overly so.

Oct 11, 2017, 11:33am Top

Hi Paul!

The world tilts and aligns again - being 8th in Leading Females >35 PaulCranswick: and US Residents in >36 PaulCranswick: is fantastic for a person whose lucky number is 8. My day has officially been made.

I've picked up a book sale find - 1066 and All That and it's such a quick read that I'll have it done today. Closer and closer to 100.....

Edited: Oct 11, 2017, 1:18pm Top

>33 PaulCranswick: A very atmospheric photo Paul. I’ve been to York twice, and a day trip to Harrogate but not explored further the area. I had Betty’s cake time in York. And I’m partial to, but rarely eat Kendal’s mint cake.

Oct 11, 2017, 2:48pm Top

Happy New thread, Paul!

>1 PaulCranswick: beautiful topper!

My Thinaversary was on 10/8 and I am told I need to buy 8 books and... Remind me of Cranswick's Rule? :-)

Oct 11, 2017, 2:49pm Top

>1 PaulCranswick: So beautiful. It reminds me of our 100-mile trek along the West Highland Way.... still eight of the best days of my life.

Oct 11, 2017, 2:52pm Top

Happy Thingaversary Brodie.

Oct 11, 2017, 3:32pm Top

Happy new one, Paul. I thought I would try to stop by before you move onto another! Love the topper as always.

Oct 11, 2017, 4:11pm Top

Happy new thread mate and I can't believe I am in the top ten Males, made my day that.

Oct 11, 2017, 6:18pm Top

>64 karenmarie: I actually did remember this time that 8 is your lucky number, Karen. I think it will be a close run thing whether you make the top ten this year as you are currently 11th and posting consistently still.

Onwards and upwards to 100!

>65 Caroline_McElwee: I am partial to those things too, Caroline. York is, not surprisingly a favourite city of mine - love the restaurants beside the River Ouse (when it sticks to the confines of its banks), like the bookshops and the pubs; the history and the well-heeled air to the place.

Oct 11, 2017, 6:21pm Top

>66 brodiew2: Happy Thingamyjig, Brodie. Cranswick has no rules when it comes to buying books dear chap - the more the merrier. The LT "rule" is to buy a book for every year and add one for yourself.

>67 EBT1002: Yes Ellen. You would love it and also the English Lake District with its walks too. Scotland and Ireland are both beautiful countries and I adore the latter especially, but my own country has plenty to see and enjoy too.

Oct 11, 2017, 6:23pm Top

>68 Caroline_McElwee: :D

>69 BLBera: Thanks Beth. I am not quite such a Speedy Gonzales these days!

>70 johnsimpson: 8 gentlemen in the top 50 is slightly better than usual, I think, John.

Oct 11, 2017, 6:34pm Top


Not a Penny More, Not a Penny Less by Jeffrey Archer

Date of Publication : 1976
Pages : 336 pp

I never thought I would read anything by the ex-Minister and jailbird.

This is a yarn about a dodgy businessman who pulls of a scam that results in four men losing their respective savings. The four men gang up to get their money back.

Archer, I read this because I had breakfast with him fairly recently and was charmed despite myself, is a good storyteller. The fast moving plot is well managed in a conversational style that can be appreciated more, I think, by British sensibilities than American one because he name-checks so shamelessly. The addition of real individuals into his plots is, I suppose, something his personal connections allowed him to get away with.

I can understand why his books are so popular and also why I have not rushed to read them before. Literature this isn't.

Enjoyable throw away stuff.


Oct 11, 2017, 7:02pm Top

>1 PaulCranswick: Ooohhh Paul, Yorkshire is de-lovely, innit? Wow.
>2 PaulCranswick: You and Hani have weathered storms and made adjustments and keep on keeping on...but no matter the tsurres, my old, you've produced three handsome and intelligent and good people in a world that is in dire need of each of them.

Check out my birthday book binge, all from the University of Chicago Book Sale. Glorious.

Oct 11, 2017, 7:08pm Top

>75 richardderus: Thanks for those kind words, RD.
Hani is currently in the Dales and convinced that her hotel room is haunted.

I will be along to try and keep my feelings of envy in check as I peruse your book binge.

Oct 11, 2017, 8:18pm Top

>1 PaulCranswick:
>2 PaulCranswick:

"Illyrian woodlands, echoing falls
Of water, sheets of summer glass,
The long divine Peneian pass
The vast Akrokeraunian walls,

Tomohrit, Athos, all things fair,
With such a pencil, such a pen,
You shadow forth to distant men,
I read and felt that I was there ... "

Edited: Nov 30, 2017, 8:23pm Top


This is a challenge that a number of us in the group have been sort of fumbling with for the last few years.

There are now 114 Nobel Laureates and these are the ones I have read something from:

1. 1907 Rudyard Kipling
2. 1913 Rabindranath Tagore
3. 1920 Knut Hamsun
4. 1921 Anatole France
5. 1923 William Butler Yeats
6. 1926 Grazia Deledda
7. 1929 Thomas Mann
8. 1930 Sinclair Lewis
9. 1932 John Galsworthy
10. 1933 Ivan Bunin
11. 1934 Luigi Pirandello
12. 1938 Pearl Buck
13. 1946 Hermann Hesse
14. 1947 Andre Gide
15. 1948 T.S. Eliot
16. 1949 William Faulkner
17. 1950 Bertrand Russell
18. 1951 Par Lagerqvist
19. 1952 Francois Mauriac
20. 1953 Winston Churchill
21. 1954 Ernest Hemingway
22. 1955 Halldor Laxness
23. 1957 Albert Camus
24. 1958 Boris Pasternak
25. 1961 Ivo Andric
26. 1962 John Steinbeck
27. 1964 Jean Paul Sartre
28. 1968 Yasunari Kawabata
29. 1970 Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn
30. 1971 Pablo Neruda
31. 1972 Heinrich Boll
32. 1976 Saul Bellow
33. 1978 Isaac Bashevis Singer
34. 1982 Gabriel Garcia Marquez
35. 1983 William Golding
36. 1984 Jaroslav Seifert
37. 1985 Claude Simon
38. 1987 Joseph Brodsky
39. 1988 Naguib Mahfouz
40. 1991 Nadine Gordimer
41. 1992 Derek Walcott
42. 1993 Toni Morrison
43. 1994 Kenzaburo Oe
44. 1995 Seamus Heaney
45. 1996 Wislawa Szymborska
46. 1997 Dario Fo
47. 1998 Jose Saramago
48. 2001 V.S. Naipaul
49. 2002 Imre Kertesz
50. 2003 JM Coetzee
51. 2004 Elfriede Jelinek
52. 2005 Harold Pinter
53. 2006 Orhan Pamuk
54. 2007 Doris Lessing
55. 2009 Herta Muller
56. 2010 Mario Vargas Llosa
57. 2011 Tomas Transtromer
58. 2013 Alice Munro
59. 2014 Patrick Modiano
60. 2015 Svetlana Alexievich
61. 2016 Bob Dylan
62. 2017 Kazuo Ishiguro

63. 1989 Camilo Jose Cela

Oct 11, 2017, 8:27pm Top

>77 m.belljackson: Honoured to be your Edward Lear my dear Marianne Tennyson! xx

Oct 11, 2017, 8:47pm Top

I am presently reading a selection of poems from Naomi Shihab Nye called Words Under the Words. This is a selection of poems from her first three anthologies.

This poem Kindness comes from her debut collection and is very effecting.


Before you know what kindness really is
you must lose things,
feel the future dissolve in a moment
like salt in a weakened broth.
What you held in your hand,
what you counted and carefully saved,
all this must go so you know
how desolate the landscape can be
between the regions of kindness.
How you ride and ride
thinking the bus will never stop,
the passengers eating maize and chicken
will stare out the window forever.

Before you learn the tender gravity of kindness
you must travel where the Indian in a white poncho
lies dead by the side of the road.
You must see how this could be you,
how he too was someone
who journeyed through the night with plans
and the simple breath that kept him alive.

Before you know kindness as the deepest thing inside,
you must know sorrow as the other deepest thing.
You must wake up with sorrow.
You must speak to it till your voice
catches the thread of all sorrows
and you see the size of the cloth.
Then it is only kindness that makes sense anymore,
only kindness that ties your shoes
and sends you out into the day to gaze at bread,
only kindness that raises its head
from the crowd of the world to say
It is I you have been looking for,
and then goes with you everywhere
like a shadow or a friend.

Edited: Oct 11, 2017, 10:30pm Top

Pulitzer Fiction/Novel Winners Read

1. 2010 Tinkers by Paul Harding
2. 2006 March by Geraldine Brooks
3. 1994 The Shipping News by E. Annie Proulx
4. 1993 A Good Scent from a Strange Mountain by Robert Olen Butler
5. 1992 A Thousand Acres by Jane Smiley
6. 1989 Breathing Lessons by Anne Tyler
7. 1968 The Confessions of Nat Turner by William Styron
8. 1967 The Fixer by Bernard Malamud
9. 1961 To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
10. 1953 The Old Man and the Sea by Ernest Hemingway
11. 1940 The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck
12. 1939 The Yearling by Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings
13. 1932 The Good Earth by Pearl Buck
14. 1928 The Bridge of San Luis Rey by Thornton Wilder
15. 1921 The Age of Innocence by Edith Wharton

In addition I have another 33 winners unread on the shelves!


1. 1987 Fences by August Wilson
2. 1949 Death of a Salesman by Arthur Miller


1. 2010 Lords of Finance by Liquat Ahamad


1. 1997 Angela's Ashes by Frank McCourt


1. 1983 Selected Poems by Galway Kinnell
2. 1965 77 Dream Songs by John Berryman


1. 1969 The Armies of the Night by Norman Mailer
2. 1963 The Guns of August by Barbara W Tuchman

Oct 11, 2017, 10:41pm Top

Hi, Paul. I'm not around as much as I'd like to be, but I did want to zoom through your new thread so far, so I did it. I'm bemused to say that I've read something of 27 of your list of 62 Nobel Prize winners - not even half your reading! Oh.... and 5 of your 15 Pulitzer novels. Oh well.
Speaking of well, I hope that all is well with you and yours. We persevere!

Oct 11, 2017, 10:44pm Top

>82 LizzieD: There may (MUST) be others in the Pulitzer lists and other Nobel Laureates that you have read, Peggy.

I am persevering more than I am preserved at the moment. xx

Oct 11, 2017, 11:28pm Top

Hi, Paul. I looked up the list of literature Nobelists last week, when I read quite a bit of chirping about the choice of Kazuo Ishiguro. The Wiki pointed out that 14—yes, all of 14—of the honorees are women.

You've read quite a few of the Nobelists. Me? Not so many. I think you've tried more of them than I've even heard of.

Pulitzers are different, but having the Trustees of Columbia University vote yea or nay on the writers recommended for the awards is pretty looney to me. It's gotten political in some years; the university president snatched the 1941 prize away from Hemingway (For Whom the Bell Tolls) by aggressively (and successfully) lobbying the trustees to reverse their vote approving the choice.

Oct 11, 2017, 11:39pm Top

>84 weird_O: Sometimes Bill, I have included For Whom the Bell Tolls on the list of winners as it sort of was and then wasn't. I was interested to see that, of the fifteen novels/fiction winners I have read, the majority are by lady authors (8/15).
Gravity's Rainbow is another that won only not to be given the award. The trustees cannot be trusted.

Oct 11, 2017, 11:46pm Top

Pen-y-ghent is one of the Dales Three Peaks and is where Hani is in the UK presently.

Oct 11, 2017, 11:49pm Top

The second of the Three Peaks is Whernside:

Oct 11, 2017, 11:54pm Top

The final one is Ingleborough

All three peaks are walked/raced in a single day and covers 24 miles with something like 5,200 feet of ascent.

The next Three Peaks challenge is on 15 October by which time Hani will be safely on the road North.

Oct 12, 2017, 3:20am Top

See, 24 miles, okay, do-able. It's that ascent!!! Madness.

Where's Hani off to next?

Oct 12, 2017, 6:13am Top

>89 BekkaJo: I'd say 24 miles in a day (38.62 km!!) would kill me, the 3 ascents I could do - unless each of them is 5,200 feet? Slowly though with lots of breaks to regain breath and admire the view. But too beautiful a place to run through anyway.

Oct 12, 2017, 9:05am Top

>89 BekkaJo: The ascent part is the bit that sticks in one's memory, Bekka!
I don't think that she is truly decided whether to head North to Edinburgh via my mums place or to visit Ealing / London and stay with our friend there for a day or two before wending her way up to Yasmyne.

>90 Deern: It is hard in early spring or late autumn but almost pleasant in high summer. I have done it several times and you know for a few days afterwards that you have been for a stroll!

Oct 12, 2017, 10:52am Top

Paul - bet you are in the gym keeping up with Hani!

Oct 12, 2017, 11:35am Top

I've done one of those Paul - there is a lovely cake stall run by local farmer on the route. Watched the crazy folk on their way to do all three as we sat and ate cake. Recommended!

Oct 12, 2017, 12:27pm Top

Enjoying the Three Peaks photos, Paul. Lucky Hani!

Oct 12, 2017, 6:10pm Top

>35 PaulCranswick: Ah stats. I made one of the leading threads! I'm amazed!

Happy newish thread. I am currently staying at a hotel in Halifax, NS. There is a bookstore less than a block from here - dangerous, but I have to remember that everything needs to fit in a small suitcase *sigh*.

Oct 12, 2017, 6:10pm Top

>92 m.belljackson: I am not a gym kinda guy, Marianne - it is difficult to pump iron and read at the same time!

Hani is in the wonderful city of York today. She is going to see my mum later on.

>93 charl08: Cake beats hiking any day, Charlotte, especially if the weather is playing up.

>94 jnwelch: She confirmed that it was picturesque but that she was only up for strolls rather than slogs.

Oct 12, 2017, 6:13pm Top

>95 Familyhistorian: Made one of the stats?! Leading Canadian only!!

Don't forget, Meg, a bookstore will normally throw in a bag or two if you are good enough to fill it with books!
The original Halifax - West Yorkshire - is somewhere I have visited many times. An old mill town but a fine looking one.

Oct 12, 2017, 6:16pm Top

>96 PaulCranswick:

Well, yeah, we just want to make sure she is totally impressed on her return!

Oct 12, 2017, 6:20pm Top

>98 m.belljackson: Now you have me sweating, Marianne!

Oct 12, 2017, 6:24pm Top

Halifax, West Yorkshire

Halifax, Nova Scotia

Oct 12, 2017, 6:52pm Top

>80 PaulCranswick: I love this Naomi Shihab Nye poem. I shared it recently too.

Hope the week is going well for you, Paul.

Oct 12, 2017, 7:02pm Top

>101 msf59: I like her way with "words under the words", Mark. There are layers of meaning in her writing that I find very compelling.

Oct 12, 2017, 7:09pm Top

I NEED to read more of her work. I have only read one collection.

Oct 12, 2017, 7:16pm Top

>103 msf59: Words Under the Words is good Mark because it selects from her first three collections. I will definitely look out for more of her work too and note that Joe recommended to both of us 19 Varieties of Gazelle.

Oct 12, 2017, 10:22pm Top

National Book Awards for Fiction read so far:

1. 1938 Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier
2. 1939 The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck
3. 1940 How Green Was My Valley by Richard Llewellyn
4. 1952 From Here to Eternity by James Jones
5. 1953 Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison
6. 1965 Herzog by Saul Bellow
7. 1967 The Fixer by Bernard Malamud
8. 1980 Sophie's Choice by William Styron (HB)
9. 1980 The World According to Garp by John Irving (PB)
10. 1985 White Noise by Don DeLillo
11. 1986 World's Fair by E.L. Doctorow
12. 1992 All the Pretty Horses by Cormac McCarthy
13. 1993 The Shipping News by E. Annie Proulx
14. 1995 Sabbath's Theater by Philip Roth
15. 2007 Tree of Smoke by Denis Johnson
16. 2012 The Round House by Louise Erdrich

Oct 12, 2017, 10:33pm Top

Women's Prize for Fiction Winners that I have read so far:

1. 2004 Small Island by Andrea Levy
2. 2007 Half of a Yellow Sun by Chimamanda Ngozie Adichie
3. 2008 The Road Home by Rose Tremain
4. 2012 The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller
5. 2015 How to be Both by Ali Smith

Could do better!

Oct 12, 2017, 10:38pm Top

Giller Prize Winners so far read :

1. 1994 The Book of Secrets by M.G. Vassanji
2. 1995 A Fine Balance by Rohinton Mistry
3. 1996 Alias Grace by Margaret Atwood
4. 2003 The In-Between World of Vikram Lall by M.G. Vassanji
5. 2015 Fifteen Dogs by Andre Alexis
6. 2016 Do Not Say We Have Nothing by Madeleine Thien

Oct 12, 2017, 10:42pm Top

>74 PaulCranswick: I read this because I had breakfast with him fairly recently and was charmed despite myself
Really, a meal with Archer? I read his prison diaries, and still cant be sure what he was in for, this is probably quite telling of the theme of those books. His crimes were not the main plot!

Oct 12, 2017, 10:44pm Top

Miles Franklin Award Winners so far read:

1. 1984 Shallows by Tim Winton
2. 1996 Highways to a War by Christopher J. Koch
3. 1998 Jack Maggs by Peter Carey
4. 1999 Eucalyptus by Murray Bail
5. 2010 Truth by Peter Temple

Oct 12, 2017, 11:21pm Top

>108 LovingLit: Not that I generally move in exalted circles but we have a mutual friend who knows that I am an avid bookworm. He was very relaxed having breakfast in Bangsar. We had a full english breakfast - well as full as can be when the Turkey sausages and beef bacon replace their more established counter parts.

He was good company, I have to admit that, even though I didn't really want to like him! He was imprisoned by the way for perjury and perverting the course of justice.

Edited: Oct 13, 2017, 2:08am Top

>96 PaulCranswick: where I live there are those mountain inns (Almen), and they have the best cakes, usually much better than the bakeries in the valleys. So you always have a great incentive to hike up there, to get to the fresh warm apple strudel. Or you take one of the cable cars. :)
Hm, could have some apple strudel for breakfast now...

>100 PaulCranswick: Both beautiful!

>105 PaulCranswick: and following: I need more book lists in my life! Maybe I'll start in my lunch break today.

Oct 13, 2017, 2:53am Top

>111 Deern: That is what your description conjures up for me Nathalie:

Both Halifax-s have their charm even though the charms of each are very different.

I will probably do a few more lists, Nathalie, including the Whitbread/Costa awards.

Oct 13, 2017, 5:36am Top

Loving the lists - I think I have most of the lists on my mahooosive book spreadsheet, so it's fun comparing notes :)

Oct 13, 2017, 5:53am Top

>113 BekkaJo: I think that I may add the James Tait Black Prize and the Whitbread/Costa Book Awards - possibly the IMPAC Dublin one, one of the Frenchie ones and maybe the Booker International thingy.

Oct 13, 2017, 5:56am Top

>110 PaulCranswick: aah, that's right, I recall now.
Nice to force yourself to see another side of someone. At least you know you were hoodwinked by his charm!

Oct 13, 2017, 6:01am Top

>115 LovingLit: I expected him to be a complete stuffed shirt and he wasn't at all.

Oct 13, 2017, 6:43am Top

>100 PaulCranswick: Thanks for posting the pictures, Paul. My travel computer is giving me a hard time so photos are few and far between. The Halifax waterfront does look like that, very nice, but a typical photo now would have at least one construction crane in it. There are lots of buidlings going up and streets dug up.

Oct 13, 2017, 7:50am Top

>117 Familyhistorian: I don't think that there will be construction cranes in the other Halifax to any great degree, Meg!

Oct 13, 2017, 8:31am Top

Hi Paul! Just a quick catch up on your thread and best wishes for a wonderful, relaxing, reading weekend.

Oct 13, 2017, 9:18am Top

>100 PaulCranswick: Halifax West Yorkshire I need to visit, Halifax NS I have been and it's one of my favourite cities! (Old Quebec City my favourite to date)

Hi Paul!

Oct 13, 2017, 10:54am Top

>119 karenmarie: Lovely to see you as always, Karen. I am feeling outpaced at the moment as almost all my pals have waltzed merrily beyond the 75 already. As pleased as I am for all I would very much like to join the club too and need to get cracking.

>120 ChelleBearss: Well the Yorkshire version is certainly an old town, Chelle. Not sure it is quite as eye catching as the New Scotland version but it will more than suffice for me!

Oct 13, 2017, 11:02am Top

>110 PaulCranswick: Liars make good company, I've found.

Oct 13, 2017, 11:43am Top

I am surprised that you haven't added the Walter Scott Prize for Historical Fiction to your list of Prize winning reads.

I want to visit both Halifax's in my lifetime. A friend and I have actually started to plan a visit to Halifax, N.S. but we haven't decided when to do so. In the meantime there is a fine Young Adult work of Non-Fiction about the Halifax disaster of 1917. Blizzard of Glass: The Halifax Explosion of 1917 by Sally M. Walker. Halifax N.S. has been a very historically important city to the New World and is defiantly on my To-Be-Seen list.

Oct 13, 2017, 11:51am Top

>122 richardderus: I don't know if he had perjured himself in charming me so, RD, and I won't lie about it at all, no sir!

>123 benitastrnad: I'll go and have a look at it too then Benita. xx

If you can plan a trip to Halifax, West Yorkshire and give me a wee bit of notice, I will meet up with you there.

Oct 13, 2017, 3:39pm Top

We could have a big LT meet-up in Halifax West Yorkshire mate, that would be something to look forward to.

Oct 13, 2017, 3:50pm Top

>125 johnsimpson: I'd be there if I could... 😀

Oct 13, 2017, 3:54pm Top

>126 drneutron:, You would be very welcome Jim.

Oct 13, 2017, 5:52pm Top

"The greatest thing Harry Potter has given the world is the freedom to use our imagination."
--Oprah Winfrey

This from the OUT OF PRINT catalogue which has some fun t-shirts and even "Electric Sheep" Socks -
which are VERY cool...

Oct 13, 2017, 8:20pm Top

>125 johnsimpson: I would have to bow to you John on local knowledge nowadays because I don't know any bookshops in Halifax. We are of course not too far from Bronte country there.

>126 drneutron: Our sustainer would almost be compulsory, Jim!

Oct 13, 2017, 8:21pm Top

>127 johnsimpson: Certainly would be welcome. It would send a rocket through the group!

>128 m.belljackson: I think that the greatest thing Harry Potter has done is provide the freedom not to be suckered into reading one of the books in the series.

Edited: Oct 13, 2017, 8:33pm Top

>123 benitastrnad: Just for you Benita (and because it is such a great award) here are the Walter Scott Prize books I have read so far:

1. 2010 Wolf Hall by Hilary Mantel
2. 2013 The Garden of Evening Mists by Tan Twan Eng

Edited: Oct 14, 2017, 8:14pm Top

NCR Book Awards / Samuel Johnson / Baillie Gifford Prize for Non-fiction books read so far:

1. 1996. The Railway Man by Eric Lomax
2. 2004. Stasiland by Anna funder
3. 2014. H is for Hawk by Helen MacDonald

Edited: Oct 13, 2017, 9:26pm Top

James Tait Black Memorial Prize Winners read to date: One of my favourite awards selected by the trustees of the Edinburgh University most years since 1919.

1. 2013 Harvest by Jim Crace
2. 2004 GB84 by David Peace
3. 2000 White Teeth by Zadie Smith
4. 1998 Master Georgie by Beryl Bainbridge
5. 1996 Last Orders by Graham Swift
6. 1984 Empire of the Sun by J.G. Ballard
7. 1984 Nights at the Circus by Angela Carter
8. 1982 On the Black Hill by Bruce Chatwin
9. 1981 Midnight's Children by Salman Rushdie
10 1977 The Honourable Schoolboy by John Le Carre
11 1965 The Mandelbaum Gate by Muriel Spark
12 1959 The Devil's Advocate by Morris West
13 1952 Men at Arms by Evelyn Waugh
14 1948 The Heart of the Matter by Graham Greene
15 1934 I, Claudius by Robert Graves
16 1928 Memoirs of a Fox-Hunting Man by Siegfried Sassoon
17 1924 A Passage to India by EM Forster

Oct 13, 2017, 9:16pm Top

I can't help but think of the Brontes when I see those photos! Beautiful country!

Edited: Jan 9, 12:13pm Top

Last of the British Awards that I will monitor:

The Whitbread / Costa Book Awards. (Fiction) read so far:

1. 1975 Docherty by William McIlvanney
2. 1976 The Children of Dynmouth by William Trevor
3. 1983 Fools of Fortune by William Trevor
4. 1986 An Artist of the Floating World by Kazuo Ishiguro
5. 1987 The Child in Time by Ian McEwan
6. 1996 Every Man for Himself by Beryl Bainbridge
7. 1997 Quarantine by Jim Crace
8. 2003 The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime by Mark Haddon
9. 2004 Small Island by Andrea Levy
10. 2012 Bring Up the Bodies by Hilary Mantel
11. 2014 How to Be Both by Ali Smith

First Novel

1. 1982 On the Black Hill by Bruce Chatwin
2. 1995 Behind the Scenes at the Museum by Kate Atkinson
3. 1996 The Debt to Pleasure by John Lanchester
4. 2000 White Teeth by Zadie Smith


1. 1987 The Haw Lantern by Seamus Heaney
2. 1996 The Spirit Level by Seamus Heaney
3. 1998 Birthday Letters by Ted Hughes
4. 2010 Of Mutability by Jo Shapcott
5. 2015 40 Sonnets by Don Paterson


1. 1978 Lloyd George : The People's Champion by John Grigg
2. 1995 Gladstone by Roy Jenkins
3. 2010 The Hare with Amber Eyes by Edmund de Waal
4. 2014 H is for Hawk by Helen Macdonald

Oct 13, 2017, 9:19pm Top

>134 Copperskye: Yes, Joanne - as Kate Bush would sing: "Out on the winding, windy moor"

Oct 13, 2017, 9:36pm Top

International Dublin Literary Award Winners read so far

1. 2001 No Great Mischief by Alistair MacLeod
2. 2002 Atomised by Michel Houellebecq
3. 2004 The Blinding Absence of Light by Tahar Ben Jelloun
4. 2007 Out Stealing Horses by Per Petterson
5. 2010 The Twin by Gerbrand Bakker
6. 2015 Harvest by Jim Crace
7. 2016 Family Life by Akhil Sharma

Oct 13, 2017, 10:30pm Top

Awwwwwww - now, you're going to get a Howler!

Oct 13, 2017, 10:33pm Top

>135 PaulCranswick:

One more round on H is for Hawk =

How does taking a wild and free animal
and "taming" it, training it to bring you dead and dying creatures
possibly lessen your grief over a human's death...?

Oct 14, 2017, 3:08am Top

>135 PaulCranswick: I frequently find the Costa shortlist a lot more readable than the Booker one (this year's Booker list being an exception). Here's one you haven't mentioned: the Goldsmith's Prize. We're going to a discussion with the 2017 winner (not yet announced) as part of the Cambridge Literary Frstival.

Oct 14, 2017, 3:55am Top

>36 PaulCranswick: a belated happy new thread Paul and thank you for your stats - I like to be in the top 10 ;-).
Best wishes to you and yor family!

Oct 14, 2017, 4:51am Top

>138 m.belljackson: I must be one of the very few in the group without the distinction of reading anything at all by Ms. Rowling.

>139 m.belljackson: Ay, there's the rub! I didn't really get that bit of it either, Marianne. It was a well written book and its observations on TH White were fascinating too but I couldn't see me finding the same way towards finding myself.

Oct 14, 2017, 5:00am Top

>140 SandDune: I will look at the Goldsmith's Prize, Rhian. I was going to finish off with two other American awards - The Pen Faulkner and the National Book Critics Circle Awards.

eta Since inauguration in 2013 , I have only read the 2014 winner How to be Both by Ali Smith. I will certainly keep an eye on this award. xx

>141 SirThomas: Thank you Thomas, It has been great to see you more active in posting this year!

Oct 14, 2017, 5:36am Top

PEN Faulkner Award Books so far read:

1. 1990 Billy Bathgate by E.L. Doctorow
2. 1992 Mao II by Don DeLillo
3. 1995 Snow Falling on Cedars by David Guterson

Oct 14, 2017, 5:50am Top

National Book Critics Circle Award books so far read:

Fiction only

1. 1975 Ragtime by E.L. Doctorow
2. 1989 Billy Bathgate by E.L. Doctorow
3. 1991 A Thousand Acres by Jane Smiley
4. 1992 All the Pretty Horses by Cormac McCarthy
5. 2009 Wolf Hall by Hilary Mantel
6. 2015 The Sellout by Paul Beatty

Oct 14, 2017, 7:54am Top

Hi Paul!

I get an F for only reading 14 of all the books listed from message 81 on. However, I have read everything J.K.'s published, multiple cases for the HP books. "Everything we know came from Harry Potter" is my mantra, inspired by husband's "Everything we know came from Star Trek". Joke, of course, but even though I actively dislike LOTR, I adore HP.

Oct 14, 2017, 8:06am Top

>146 karenmarie: Just as RD still loves you despite Chuckles, Karen, I am still enamoured in the face of your HP fixation!!!

Oct 14, 2017, 8:09am Top

>147 PaulCranswick: Thank goodness! I would be bereft here on LT without you, and, for however long he graces us with his presence again, RD.

Oct 14, 2017, 8:10am Top

>148 karenmarie: Hopefully RD is back for the long haul as his presence has always helped to energise me. You are an essential part of my being in this group too, Karen. xx

Oct 14, 2017, 8:31am Top


My Uncle Oswald by Roald Dahl

Date of Publication : 1979
Pages : 264
British Author Challenge

Roald Dahl is famous for his brilliant children's books and his fabulously wicked short stories, but this is something quite, quite different.

Oswald Cornelius is a romping fornicator and a chap who will stop at nothing to make a quick sneaky buck. With a nutty professor and a nymphomaniac he sets out to procure sperm samples from the great and good of the day to sell when they are dead and gone.

There are bits of this that are funny but it descends too often into the tawdry and the uncomfortable. Not really what I want to remember such a remarkable writer for.


Oct 14, 2017, 9:29am Top

Added a couple yesterday

118. Islands in the Stream by Ernest Hemingway (1970) 450 pp

Why? It is Ernie not Dolly and Kenny.

119. The Trick is to Keep Breathing by Janice Galloway (1989) 236 pp

Why? 1001 Books First Edition and "resembles Tristram Shandy as rewritten by Sylvia Plath" (NYT Book Review)

Oct 14, 2017, 9:41am Top

*clears throat* I am actually here, you know. And also a fervent opponent of the tedious, ponderous, smug LotR. Ghastly stuff, up there with Chuckles and Ernie.

>150 PaulCranswick: Tawdry sums it up, doesn't it. Best read while wearing gloves.

>151 PaulCranswick: Oh dear.

Haven't read the Galloway. You make me want to add a book to my TBR. I must flee.

Oct 14, 2017, 9:47am Top

>152 richardderus: My excuse in liking LotR is my close approximation to a Hobbit, sans exceptionally hairy feet.

There is a scene in the Dahl book regarding Proust's sexuality which I thought in extremely bad taste. Couldn't give a fig whether he preferred the company of boys to girls but I didn't think it appropriate at all to depict real historical figures in a basically crass way.

Oct 14, 2017, 10:05am Top

>151 PaulCranswick: - I had not heard of Janice Galloway. I had a peek at the reviews and though it sounds intriguing, I think I will pass on this one. I think I need to be in a certain frame of mind to read this sort of book. But the reviews are well-written! ;-)

Oct 14, 2017, 10:08am Top

>154 jessibud2: The blurb on the back of the book says that it is "told with shattering clarity and wry wit, this is a Scottish classic fit for our time." Wouldn't write it off completely, Shelley!

Oct 14, 2017, 10:11am Top

>155 PaulCranswick: - So many books, so little time.... and all that jazz....;-)

Oct 14, 2017, 10:23am Top

>156 jessibud2: Now that feeling I do know intimately, Shelley!

Oct 14, 2017, 10:50am Top

>153 PaulCranswick: The idea of gayness as lurid and deviant has always made me roll my eyes. Dahl was, among his more outré prejudices, a homophobe.

Oct 14, 2017, 11:28am Top

>158 richardderus: Must admit that I gleaned as much in the pages of this often annoying book.

Oct 14, 2017, 11:43am Top

>95 Familyhistorian: Yes, reading and pumping iron simultaneously is difficult, Paul, but I read most of James M. Cain's novels while pumping on a stationary cycle. These days, you can also listen on audio. Ask Mark.

Oct 14, 2017, 11:52am Top

>160 weird_O: I am sure that I would walk into lampposts and the like if I were listening to audio books whilst walking. Pumping iron doesn't appeal to be honest, Bill, but I guess it depends upon the reading matter!

Oct 14, 2017, 12:38pm Top

>142 PaulCranswick:

Yeah, well...as Wallace and Grommit might say, "time to get cracking,"
or you won't know what to do when THE HOWLER arrives!

Oct 14, 2017, 4:13pm Top

So many books....so many lists....so little time!!! >150 PaulCranswick: Maybe not this one.

Oct 14, 2017, 6:00pm Top

>162 m.belljackson: No, Marianne, I think that I can hold out for a spell longer. Her mystery novels interest me more in truth.

>163 Berly: Yes, I would have thought that one wasn't really for you, Kimmers.

Oct 14, 2017, 7:33pm Top

Bill mentioned over on Karen's thread about a TBR for every year of his life. Great idea.

I will maintain this and change the book with another when one of them gets read:

1966 The Jewel in the Crown by Paul Scott
1967 Smith by Leon Garfield
1968 Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? by Philip K. Dick
1969 Adam Resurrected by Yoram Kaniuk
1970 Deliverance by James Dickey
1971 In a Free State by VS Naipaul
1972 G. by John Berger
1973 The Siege of Krishnapur by JG Farrell
1974 The Lost Honour of Katharina Blum by Heinrich Boll
1975 Fateless by Imre Kertesz
1976 The Boys from Brazil by Ira Levin
1977 The Book of Common Prayer by Joan Didion
1978 The Sea, The Sea by Iris Murdoch
1979 The Year of the French by Thomas Flanagan
1980 The Name of the Rose by Umberto Eco
1981 XPD by Len Deighton
1982 A Very British Coup by Chris Mullin
1983 The Color Purple by Alice Walker
1984 The Bone People by Keri Hulme
1985 Lonesome Dove by Larry McMurtry
1986 Here Be Dragons by Sharon K. Penman
1987 Cities of Salt by Abdelrahman Munif
1988 The Dragonbone Chair by Tad Williams
1989 The Remains of the Day by Kazuo Ishiguro
1990 The Things They Carried by Tim O'Brien
1991 Cloudstreet by Tim Winton
1992 The English Patient by Michael Ondaatje
1993 Paddy Clarke Ha Ha Ha by Roddy Doyle
1994 Pereira Maintains by Antonio Tabucchi
1995 The Ghost Road by Pat Barker
1996 The Debt to Pleasure by John Lanchester
1997 American Pastoral by Philip Roth
1998 The Hours by Michael Cunningham
1999 Waiting by Ha Jin
2000 The Saddlebag by Bahiyyih Nakhjavani
2001 Atonement by Ian McEwan
2002 The Story of Lucy Gault by William Trevor
2003 Shantaram by Gregory David Roberts
2004 Suite Francaise by Irene Nemirovsky
2005 The March by EL Doctorow
2006 The Road by Cormac McCarthy
2007 Salmon Fishing in the Yemen by Paul Torday
2008 City of Thieves by David Benioff
2009 Hell by Robert Olen Butler
2010 Matterhorn by Karl Marlantes
2011 Ready Player One by Ernest Cline
2012 The Orphan Master's Son by Adam Johnson
2013 The Narrow Road to the Deep North by Richard Flanagan
2014 All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr
2015 Flood of Fire by Amitav Ghosh
2016 Autumn by Ali Smith
2017 Home Fire by Kamila Shamsie (Reading)

Oct 14, 2017, 8:15pm Top

>165 PaulCranswick:

From the list above:

18 are in the 1001 Books First Edition
14 are in the Guardian 1000
10 are Booker Winners
7 are Pulitzer Winners
2 are National Book Award Winners
3 are National Book Critics Circle Winners
3 are PEN/Faulkner Winners
2 are James Tait Black Memorial winners
1 is a COSTA/Whitbread award winner
1 is a Miles Franklin Award winner

Oct 14, 2017, 8:37pm Top

>164 PaulCranswick:

ALL the Potters are Mysteries, with clues buried throughout the series in ways that have surprised even adult mystery fans.

Oct 14, 2017, 8:48pm Top

>167 m.belljackson: *Hiding head under pillow *

Can't hear yer!

Oct 14, 2017, 9:04pm Top

>168 PaulCranswick: Hi, Paul! I can't keep up with your threads, so a simple wave will have to suffice for now.

Hani must be busy and having a great time in the UK, as I haven't seen many posts from her on Facebook since she arrived there.

Oct 14, 2017, 9:06pm Top

>169 kidzdoc: We cross posted buddy as I was just over at your place laying down similar sentiments there as you did here!

Hani was flying under the radar as she wanted to give my mum a surprise so I guess you'll see a little more of her on FB now that she has been to West Yorkshire.

Oct 14, 2017, 9:08pm Top

>170 PaulCranswick: Right! I'm glad to hear that Hani is off to Edinburgh; as I'm sure you've seen I fell head over heels in love with the city after my trip for the Edinburgh Festivals this past August, and I plan to go to them every year as long as I can.

Oct 14, 2017, 9:21pm Top

I enjoyed Harry Potter, but I honestly don't think you'll be missing much if you never get around to them. Besides, why read Harry Potter when you have so many more Discworld novels to read for the very first time?

Oct 14, 2017, 9:42pm Top

I am another who has never read anything by Rowling, and I don’t intend to do so anytime soon.

Oct 14, 2017, 10:12pm Top

>171 kidzdoc: I'll join you next time, Darryl, if hope and good intentions count for aught!

>172 amanda4242: Well you have more than a point there, Amanda. I have only read one Discworld book and I aim to do more.

>173 benitastrnad: What an exclusive club we will make, Benita!

Oct 15, 2017, 3:33am Top

>165 PaulCranswick: Hi Paul,
another great list, thank you for all the work, I like it very much.
Some of the books are on my TBR too - 1968, 1989
One is on my top list - 1980
One I read this year - 2011 Ready Player One just barely lost to Bronnie Ware.
Have a nice sunday and keep up the good work!

Oct 15, 2017, 7:32am Top

Hi Paul!

>165 PaulCranswick: Okay, now I really must buckle down and make a TBR for every year of my life.

Oct 15, 2017, 7:52am Top

>165 PaulCranswick: Love the list, Paul. Good job. Not familiar with Salmon Fishing in the Yemen and I still have yet to read Flood of Fire and I LOVED the first 2 in the trilogy. Bad Mark?

And I have been meaning to read Shantaram & Suite Francaise forever. I do have both books on shelf.

Hope you are enjoying a nice weekend.

Oct 15, 2017, 8:21am Top

>175 SirThomas: Thank you Thomas. Lists do make me happy, I must say!

Oct 15, 2017, 8:24am Top

>176 karenmarie: I don't want to keep you buckled too long, Karen!

>177 msf59: Same as me with the Ghosh trilogy, Mark - I don't understand why I haven't read the final instalment sooner having loved the first two. Would be happy to join you for either of those two renowned books.

Sorry to see the Cubs got clubbed last night. Better luck with the next game in the series but it is going to be tough, I think.

Oct 15, 2017, 8:25am Top

Saw 'The Foreigner' just now with Kyran and Belle and I think I liked it better than either of them did. Pierce Brosnan was quite good in it and Jackie Chan effective as the avenging father.

Oct 15, 2017, 9:47am Top

>165 PaulCranswick: Great list, Paul.

Oct 15, 2017, 10:05am Top

I tried to do some of your lists yesterday, but guess I won't follow up on all those prizes after all. When my numbers are that low for Nobel, Pulitzer and National Book Award I don't even have to check up on the others. Though that "each year of my life" might work a bit better.

I loaded a pic of an Alm and one of a slice of strudel to my profile but couldn't post yet, because: no mouse and unable to copy/paste stuff on the touchpad. But yes, it's an Alm up there! :)
I basically live in Heidiland. No that would be Barbara, but I'm close to it.

Oct 15, 2017, 12:56pm Top

The reviews for The Foreigner have been quite good here in the states. Someday I will get it via Netflix because of those reviews.

Oct 15, 2017, 1:31pm Top

>181 BLBera: Beth, it could be that one such list may become my challenge one of these years!

>182 Deern: Heidiland is certainly picture postcard attractive, Nathalie. I look forward to seeing the apple strudel and the Alm over at your digs. xx

Oct 15, 2017, 1:34pm Top

>183 benitastrnad: I think that the subject matter was much more serious than most of Jackie Chan's usual films and some of the special effects are really effective. I thought that overall it was very well done.

Oct 15, 2017, 2:38pm Top


Words Under the Words by Naomi Shihab Nye

Date of Publication : 1995
Pages : 157 pp

This collection selects extensively from the first three anthologies published by the poet.

She has a confiding poetic voice telling polished tales in a page of blank verse sometimes more successfully than others but always in a way that demands to be re-read.

I find most interesting the multi-culturalism of her style and language. Her Arabian roots can be divined on occasion and distinctively when she is referring to incidents from her childhood or of her parents and grandparents, but I get a profound feeling of a poet not wishing to be confined to those roots. Especially after the first of the three collections, there are times when the patina of her language hints more at Latin America than the Middle East and the impact of Hispanic culture on Nye from her home in the American South-West is obvious. That said these influences do not blunt her muse they broaden it.

She is good on universal issues but also deft when it comes to the mundane. Here are her deliberations on "The Travelling Onion"

When I think how far the onion has traveled
just to enter my stew today, I could kneel and praise
all small forgotten miracles,
crackly paper peeling on the drainboard,
pearly layers in smooth agreement,
the way the knife enters onion
and onion falls apart on the chopping block,
a history revealed.
And I would never scold the onion
for causing tears.
It is right that tears fall
for something small and forgotten.
How at meal, we sit to eat,
commenting on texture of meat or herbal aroma
but never on the translucence of onion,
now limp, now divided,
or its traditionally honorable career:
For the sake of others,

Free form poetry will never be my favourite of the form as I delight in structure and playing with rhythm and rhyme but there is plenty to admire here, although I would note that, as with many poets, she tends to overuse certain words. The word "skillet" appears four times in the anthology which someone with an OCD on words like me is bound to pick up on and have it grate upon.


Oct 15, 2017, 3:08pm Top

>186 PaulCranswick: "The word "skillet" appears four times in the anthology"

Well, to be fair, you said yourself that she is "deft when it comes to the mundane" and what could *possibly* be more mundane than a skillet?

Quite enjoyed "The Travelling Onion" and still will never, ever, ever pick up this, or almost any other, poetry book.

Oct 15, 2017, 4:35pm Top

Paul, I love your lists of prize-winning books. I haven’t even heard of some of the prizes, though most of the books were familiar to me. Thanks for taking the time to share these lists with us.

Oct 15, 2017, 7:18pm Top

>187 richardderus: I do recall that you have an anti-affinity with "poultry", RD. Some of those could almost have been short stories in a Lydia Davis type way.

>188 Donna828: You are welcome, Donna. Lovely to see you posting after a quiet-ish spell. xx

Oct 15, 2017, 7:48pm Top

>186 PaulCranswick: Love that Onion poem!

How is it that you haven't read Harry Potter? Didn't your children make you?

Oct 15, 2017, 7:51pm Top

>190 banjo123: I was too busy reading them Roald Dahl and Watership Down and The Borrowers and E. Nesbit, Rhonda.
I am not entirely sure that they have read them themselves to be honest although I did see a copy of one of the books in the series looking smug on Belle's bookshelf.

Oct 15, 2017, 8:09pm Top

Managed to finish a couple of books over the weekend at least and now have 12 more ongoing! I don't think that I will finish The Brothers Karamazov this month but hope to get the rest done and put myself on the cusp of 75 at least. I don't want to fail to reach 100 books for the first time in 35 years.

Here is what I am reading :

Oct 15, 2017, 8:49pm Top

>189 PaulCranswick: Heh, nice try. Nope. Nuh uh.

>192 PaulCranswick: Ooo, Cynan Jones! I lurve his stuff.

Oct 15, 2017, 9:49pm Top

>193 richardderus: I reckon that the Cynan Jones will be the next one finished. It is very good and, may I venture, quite poetic.

Edited: Oct 15, 2017, 11:31pm Top

Having to consider whether my Around the World in 80 Books is going to be a one year or a two year challenge. With my present reads there are five new countries to add : Pakistan, Indonesia, Russia, Japan and Algeria. This would take me to only 31 countries done in ten months and need 49 in just two months.

I am determined to have a concerted effort at this in the remainder of the year and see where it takes me but the reality looks like I will be swimming against the tide.

The most books I have read in a month since I have been on LT is 27 and I would need to replicate close to that two months running to pull it off.

November targets:

Brazil AMADO
Colombia MARQUEZ
Dominica RHYS
Hungary MARAI
Malaysia TASH AW
New Zealand GEE
Norway NESBO
Romania MULLER
Saudi Arabia MUNIF
Somalia FARAH
Sierra Leone FORNA
Switzerland ROUSSEAU
Trinidad NAIPAUL
Turkey PAMUK
Ukraine KURKOV
Zimbabwe GAPPAH

I will drop most of my other challenges to attack this one in earnest for the remainder of the year

Oct 16, 2017, 3:14am Top

151 But... but there's a reference to Tristram Shandy - surely that means it must be destroyed? Or at least put in the freezer where it can't infect anyone?

How are you finding the Goddard? I quite liked this when I read it (last year? I lose track). I've been meaning to pick up the next one for a while.

Oct 16, 2017, 4:29am Top

I would extend the challenge to another year Paul. It is great fin seeing which 'dish' gets the response here. (Or I enjoy it, anyway!)

And of course the reading, she adds hastily...

Oct 16, 2017, 4:51am Top

>196 BekkaJo: Hehehe I would have thought Ms. Plath was more likely to need careful handling than Fizzy Shandy.

I do like the Goddard. He has a very readable style in all his books and I have read over 20 of them. I have the other two waiting.

>197 charl08: I will probably have to but think of all the goodies coming our way next month if I can actually do 25 in a month. I know which dishes I prefer Charlotte!

Oct 16, 2017, 10:45am Top

Hi Paul!

>186 PaulCranswick: Pass, since I, too delight in structure and while I don't write poetry any more and so don't play with rhythm and rhyme, I do seem to need them to enjoy poetry.

>192 PaulCranswick: My, my. Twelve on the go. Good luck getting to your goals.

Oct 16, 2017, 11:35am Top

Kudos on your lifeline TBR, Paul. I counted a dozen on it that I have read, and I recommend them all. There are others listed that are duplicated on mine. Atonement. The Hours. Ready Player One. The English Patient. The Name of the Rose.

I sense that you have multiple TBRs for each year, that you just aren't displaying all. And no gaps. I've got multiple books for most years, onesies was several, and a surprising number with nahda.

Oct 16, 2017, 4:35pm Top

>199 karenmarie: My own scribbling has evolved over the years and I am not now as dependent upon rhyme and structure as before but it still predominates in my idea of what poetry is.

Soon to be eleven on the go as I have almost finished another one.

>200 weird_O: You inspired that list Bill! And yes I do of course have multiple TBRs for every year. I took the ones listed on my list from books that I already possess but haven't read yet.

Oct 16, 2017, 6:32pm Top


The Dig by Cynan Jones

Date of Publication : 2014
Pages : 156
British Author Challenge

I have seen this described as a "huge little book" and that sums this up nicely.

It is a lyrical journey into the heart of grief and isolation and gentle brutality. Cynan Jones uncovers the Welsh farming landscape with a clear eye and his descriptions of badger hunting and subsequent baiting are visceral and disturbing but uneasily fascinating at the same time.

The juxtaposition of Daniel with his loss and his futile loving care for his failing lambs and the Big Man with his rough adoration of his primally effective dogs and his coldly cruel treatment of his prey is fascinating as the story slowly brings them together. One longing for the company of his dead wife one averse to the company of men and preferring the isolation that being free from the restraints of a prison cell affords him. One fearing the future alone, the other fearing the police who will catapult him back into the prison system and its enforced social system.

Certainly an author I will read more of.


Oct 16, 2017, 6:51pm Top

>202 PaulCranswick: Well put, Paul. I'm glad you'll be pursuing Jones's other books.

Oct 16, 2017, 6:57pm Top

>203 richardderus: There was indeed poultry in his prose, RD. I have another of his on the shelves and will dust it off sooner rather than later, I feel.

Oct 16, 2017, 7:52pm Top

I am now reading and really enjoying The Rainbow Troops by Indonesian writer Andrea Hirata and really enjoying it. It is set on the Sumatran island of Belitong (Belitung) which is a majestically beautiful place but an impoverished one.

Oct 17, 2017, 6:14am Top

I may have drooled onto that picture a bit...

Oct 17, 2017, 6:28am Top

>206 BekkaJo: Don't worry, Bekka, so did I.

We are trying to get a project moving on an Indonesian island called Lombok (near to Bali) which a Hong Kong Hotel operator has agreed to operate and the funding exercise is well underway. We would be Project Managers for it and I am quite excited about it if we can get it moving.

I think you'll agree that the island is stunning:

Oct 17, 2017, 8:09am Top

That's real??? With the reflection on the water it looks like it's created. how has no film producer shot a dragon/fantasy film there yet!

Oct 17, 2017, 8:12am Top

>208 BekkaJo: Lombok is certainly real, Bekka. I hopefully shall be going there in December on business! I am sure that Hani may invite herself along!

Oct 17, 2017, 9:14am Top

Wow, that’s a fantastic looking place! Once they get the project built, I’d be happy to inspect for you... 😀

Edited: Oct 17, 2017, 10:35am Top

>210 drneutron: Yes, if you need a group for quality assurance once you get the project built, I suspect you could find a willing cadre of volunteers here!

Oct 17, 2017, 11:40am Top

>210 drneutron: That is jolly decent of you, Jim!

>211 foggidawn: Well Foggy, I guess that I will have to work out some sort of selection criteria for the job but I guess my 75er team would be sure to be in the hood.

Oct 17, 2017, 2:38pm Top

Hi, Paul - Finally finished reading all (well, most of) the posts in the thread. Your 2017 reading stats put me to shame. I need to read more from the winners' lists, though I have read a few from almost all the lists you mentioned and loved most of them, so I don't know why I don't read more.

Can I be on the team too please? The images in >205 PaulCranswick: and >207 PaulCranswick: are both stunning and make me want to pack my bathing suit and sunscreen and catch the first jet out.

Oct 17, 2017, 2:40pm Top

>202 PaulCranswick: I thought it was a fine novel Paul, very visceral though. Not one I could read again I think.

Oct 17, 2017, 2:50pm Top

>213 Storeetllr: I also cannot understand why, when I love a book by a certain author, I invariably leave a long passage of time before I try to read another of his or her books.

You would always get shortlisted for our Lombok Expeditionary Force, Mary!

>214 Caroline_McElwee: Lyrically visceral, I think, Caroline. Rarely has such an uncomfortable subject matter being accompanied by such beautiful language.

Oct 17, 2017, 2:54pm Top

>205 PaulCranswick: Wow, what a photo. I'm with Bekka; we need a movie set there now.

Oct 17, 2017, 2:57pm Top

>216 jnwelch: I would be happy to pop along and start filming, Joe!

Oct 17, 2017, 3:06pm Top

>208 BekkaJo:, >209 PaulCranswick: I know right, Bekka?

Best of good luck whammys for your project management deal to come through, Paul! Tell Hani I send my best, if you please.

Edited: Oct 17, 2017, 3:15pm Top

>207 PaulCranswick: All Dutch children had to learn them until well into the 1950s: Bali, Lombok, Soemba, Soembawa, Flores and Timor (Lesser Sunda Islands). My mother now and then recites lines like this, more often as the dementia progresses....

Oct 17, 2017, 7:35pm Top

>218 richardderus: Thanks RD. I just messaged Hani - she says hello and says don't forget her on FB now that we on LT are so full of ourselves to have you back here!

>219 FAMeulstee: I wouldn't like to think that I had to remember and recite all the Indonesian islands, Anita!

Oct 17, 2017, 7:40pm Top


Lincoln in the Bardo which many in the group have admired has won the Booker. I am ambivalent about the addition of US writers into the prize and they have now won the last two. Non-American writers are not eligible for most of the US prizes and I do think that the other countries had more chance of developing and recognising writing talent under the old format.

Spare a thought for Ali Smith again shortlisted and again missing out a la Beryl Bainbridge.


Congratulations to Saunders anyway - he doesn't make the rules.

Oct 17, 2017, 8:34pm Top

It is a public holiday here celebrating the Hindu holy day/festival of Divali or Diwali or as it is known here Deepavali. To all my hindu friends and, I think that there are a couple in the group:

Oct 17, 2017, 8:40pm Top

Happy Diwali, Paul. Enjoy your long weekend holiday.

How are you enjoying Kafka on the Shore? Have you started it yet?

Oct 17, 2017, 8:43pm Top

>223 cameling: Thanks Caro. As you know, one of the joys of our part of the world is that the cultures get to share and enjoy each other's festivals and celebrations!

I am halfway through Kafka. Not at all bad but I am not as absolutely blown away as some others have been.

Oct 17, 2017, 9:22pm Top

Checking in.

Oct 17, 2017, 9:40pm Top

>225 bohemima: Always a pleasure, Gail!

Oct 18, 2017, 1:00am Top

You are ambitious reading 12 books at a time, Paul. Best of luck getting your reading numbers up.

Oct 18, 2017, 1:36am Top

>227 Familyhistorian: Not really ambition, Meg. It was more force of circumstances. Start a book and then get a little stuck so start another one and then the book adding sort of gets a life of its own!

Oct 18, 2017, 3:02am Top

Nice pics of the Penine way up there .... 38K very nice stroll - hope you are doing well

Oct 18, 2017, 3:04am Top

#228 *Mumbles something under her breath about having started yet another something else...*

Oct 18, 2017, 3:21am Top

Oh, it's Divali today? We once celebrated it in yoga class (of course). Happy Divali, Paul! And wow - I never knew Lombok is that beautiful. Good luck with the project there!

What I took from Lincoln in the Bardo was how we're often stuck in our own bardo already in lifetime, clinging to a past that's long gone and afraid to accept the present reality. It was my 2nd favorite (on the SL, not on the LL), but Ali Smith would have been a more courageous choice. Well, maybe next time, 3 more books to come in that series. :)

Oct 18, 2017, 4:44am Top

Hi Paul, I agree with you on the Booker Prize, a real shame that the rules were changed especially as there is no longer a Commonwealth Prize (I think I typed these exact words 12 months ago!).

Saunders was one of the runaway stars of the Auckland Writers Festival back in May - he wowed everyone who heard him talk.

Oct 18, 2017, 5:47am Top

Until the Pulitzer is open to UK/Commonwealth English-language writers, I'm ignoring the (overpraised IMO) Saunders win.

Oct 18, 2017, 7:03am Top

>229 roundballnz: A mere bagatelle for a chap like you, Alex! It is a bracing "stroll" for us mere mortals though.

>230 BekkaJo: We are in the same boat which is rapidly listing towards capsizing, Bekka!

Oct 18, 2017, 7:06am Top

>231 Deern: Yes, Nathalie, it is the Festival of Light today (and over the next five days traditionally). I have visited a few friends today who are celebrating.

I do think it would have been more appropriate and satisfying for most of us were Ali Smith to have won but C'est la vie.

>232 avatiakh: I was also thinking about the now defunct Commonwealth Writers prize today, Kerry. That was a favourite award of mine and, had it still been in existence, I think I would have felt the extension of the Booker less keenly.

Oct 18, 2017, 7:09am Top

>233 richardderus: Well I am reading his Tenth of December collection of stories at the moment and to be honest don't feel that there is anything remotely special about it in qualitative terms. I certainly feel that Krys Lee, Nathan Englander and Dan Chaon have published much more cohesive collections in the last few years.

Edited: Oct 19, 2017, 8:19am Top

>221 PaulCranswick: Glad to see the Booker winner is one the library actually acquired. We simply could not get all this year.

Oct 18, 2017, 9:50am Top

Hi Paul!

As you know, I loved Lincoln in the Bardo and would imagine that part of the draw of it for any prize-awarding organization would be its unusual, if not unique, form and style. Don't know why the Man-Booker was opened up to US authors, but as you say, Saunders didn't make the rules.

Good luck on the Lombok project.

Oct 18, 2017, 11:27am Top

>205 PaulCranswick: Andrea Hirata, Good to have a second choice for an Indonesian author. Do you like the book up till now?

Good luck with the Lombok project, it's a wonderful photo.

Oct 18, 2017, 2:56pm Top

>232 avatiakh: I tend to agree wish there was a commonwealth prize still , we are missing those voices in the current format of the Booker .... guess i just need to keep an eye out for events/prizes that highlight those voices. ( if that makes sense)

well off to mine have a great day

Oct 18, 2017, 4:52pm Top

Just cruising through - doing a bit of skimming to catch up

"Enjoyable throw away stuff" is exactly what I enjoy about the occasional Archer.

Oct 18, 2017, 5:33pm Top

>237 thornton37814: He is widely read too, Lori, which is good I suppose. I have all the Longlist on the shelves (nothing read!) except two. The McGregor and the Friedlund.

>238 karenmarie: Yes indeed Karen - it is no good blaming the authors! The Booker prize made a conscious decision in order to broaden its pull and appeal. What I didn't like is that they presented the decision as some sort of consultative affair when many prominent British authors confirmed that no such consultation took place and that, had they been consulted, they would not have favoured broadening it.

Oct 18, 2017, 5:37pm Top

>239 EllaTim: I really, really like it, Ella. It is a wonderfully uplifting story about ten children in a small impoverished school on a far flung Indonesian island. I can relate to some of his comments about the Malay community but it is a lovely tale. I will finish it today.

>240 roundballnz: I don't think Eleanor Catton or Keri Hulme would have won had the Americans already been in situ. The Commonwealth writers prize was wonderful because it had regional winners as well as an overall winner.

Oct 18, 2017, 5:38pm Top

>241 SuziQoregon: Lovely to see you Juli. I did enjoy the fluff of reading Jeffrey Archer and it helped to speed up back my reading which was rather the point of it.

Edited: Oct 18, 2017, 6:40pm Top

>186 PaulCranswick: I'm not a poetry lover, but this is my favorite collection. I grew up in South Texas and spent 3 years in the Hill Country. Reading this collection takes me home. I love it.


Oct 18, 2017, 6:46pm Top

>245 luvamystery65: Lovely to see you, Ro. What surprised me about Nye was how much she has assimilated the cultures of the South West into her work over time. The progression was obvious from the first collection to the third. She has a very direct and a very evocative voice which makes for the attracting of readers who normally wouldn't want to be reading obscure works of poetry.

Oct 18, 2017, 6:56pm Top

Kyran, my brilliant, obstreperous and always challenging son celebrated his 18th birthday today (LT time).

I am inordinately proud of him and I am sure that he will be a success in whatever he decides to do with his life.

A shame his mother wasn't with us to celebrate yesterday.

Oct 18, 2017, 7:03pm Top

We had Mexican food last night for his birthday dinner as it is his favourite.

His little sister as always has difficulties to provide a smile for the occasion. I am sure that the glass of Guinness will occasion comment from Hani's rather conservative family if they view this photo on facebook. Never mind and sod them it is not every day your boy turns 18.

Oct 18, 2017, 9:03pm Top


The Rainbow Troops by Andrea Hirata

Date of Publication : 2005
Pages : 292
Around the World in 80 Books : #27 - Indonesia

This is a heart rending and life affirming autobiographical novel and Indonesia's best selling book to boot.

At a poor village school on the isolated island of Belitong, there are nine children seeking education and two teachers desperate to provide it. Trouble is they need ten students or the school will be closed. At the last they get their student and this documents the school's fight for survival and the progress of its amazing students.

Having a family of Malays who hail from places generations ago not far removed from the local which Hirata so lovingly describes, I have a natural affinity to the story and its characters. It is sad, ebullient, magical and a joy to read.

Very much recommended.


Oct 18, 2017, 9:05pm Top

Geez - "shame and sod" - aren't we the Happy Camper?

It looks like your son sure is - hope he's having a Great Day!

Oct 18, 2017, 9:08pm Top

Happy birthday to Kyran, Paul!

And that book looks interesting!

Oct 18, 2017, 9:31pm Top

>248 PaulCranswick: A handsome young man! A Guinness won't kill him, it's a big day. And go Kyran, Mexican being his favorite food! Mine too.

Oct 19, 2017, 12:48am Top

Looks like he is having a great day .... you only turn 18 once ( well unless you manage to travel over the international timeline)

Oct 19, 2017, 1:25am Top

Great picture of Kyran!

Oct 19, 2017, 4:26am Top

Congratulations Paul! Your son is looking good in that picture.

>249 PaulCranswick: Now that goes on the wish list for me. Hope I can find it here.

Oct 19, 2017, 4:29am Top

>250 m.belljackson: He had a very good day, I think, Marianne. Hani and Yasmyne called him as did his grandparents.

>251 jessibud2: Thank you Shelley.

>252 richardderus: He loves Mexican food, RD. He had a chimichanga whilst Belle was noshing on nachos and I had a brilliant sirloin steak. I had a few Mexican beers to complement his Guinness.

Oct 19, 2017, 4:31am Top

>253 roundballnz: It is a biggie but he told me in his usual understated way that "it's just another day, Dad."

>254 banjo123: Thanks Rhonda

>255 EllaTim: Ella he is a chip off the old block - his mum's block!

I would recommend The Rainbow Troops - it is a very uplifting story.

Edited: Oct 19, 2017, 6:03am Top

Happy birthday Kyran, love the hat.

Oct 19, 2017, 5:25am Top

Happy birthday to Kyran!

Has he decided what he's doing after his exams - Uni like Yasmyne?

Oct 19, 2017, 5:30am Top

Happy Birthday to Kyran & congratulations to the proud parents :-)

Oct 19, 2017, 6:20am Top

Happy birthday to Kyran!

Oct 19, 2017, 7:15am Top

Hi Paul!

>247 PaulCranswick: and >248 PaulCranswick: Happy birthday to Kyran! I noticed the moustache on pic #2. My, my. They do grow up, don't they?

Oct 19, 2017, 10:39am Top

Happy birthday, Kyran!

Oct 19, 2017, 10:51am Top

Happy Birthday to Kyran!!!

Oct 19, 2017, 11:01am Top

>258 Caroline_McElwee: Thank you Caroline. That hat gets an outing everytime someone has a birthday at the Las Carretas restaurant.

>259 BekkaJo: Yes he want to do psychology (heaven help me, because he tries to dissect everything we all do already)! He says thanks for the birthday wishes.

Oct 19, 2017, 11:03am Top

>260 FAMeulstee: Thanks Anita. Kyran really hasn't been a struggle to get to 18. He is a lovely sensitive and intelligent boy although he isn't the most hard working fellow I have ever met!

>261 scaifea: Thank you Amber. You have Charlie's coming of age and first legal Guinness to come!

Oct 19, 2017, 11:05am Top

>262 karenmarie: He is rather pleased and proud of the caterpillar on his top lip, Karen. I have told him that a rough towel will probably remove it for him!

>263 drneutron: Thank you, Jim

>264 SuziQoregon: Thanks Juli. xx

Oct 19, 2017, 11:37am Top

Happy Bday to Kyran!! Look at the mustache and beer--so grown up!

I am sure you will crack 100 books again this year. I would crack under the pressure of all your lists!

Happy Thursday.

Oct 19, 2017, 2:24pm Top

Happy birthday to Kyran and congratulations on your handsome son's 18th birthday, Dad! And a Mexican fiesta sounds a great way to celebrate that milestone!

Edited: Oct 19, 2017, 3:38pm Top

Hi Paul - Happy Divali! Wow - incredible lists - including the global reading you need to finish and the list of current books!

>122 richardderus: "Liars make good company, I've found." Except when they are the POTUS. I can't imagine spending ten minutes with that man.

Happy birthday to Kyran! Great photos! I always felt it was a bit of a surprise when the brood starts rocking 'sexy' on their snapshots. Love the 'stache.

Oct 19, 2017, 3:23pm Top

A happy 18th birthday to Kyran, it's just another day, no it is special my next one, 55 is just another day as they all have been since I hit 50. Glad he enjoyed his favourite food and a Guinness mate.

Oct 19, 2017, 5:50pm Top

>268 Berly: He is grown up for his age but his little sister is positively an old lady. Mature doesn't describe her attitude enough and it is a little bit disconcerting when I still occasionally want to treat her like my baby to be met with disdain!

>269 Storeetllr: Thanks Mary. My own favourite food is probably Italian, Yasmyne would probably go for Malay food, Kyran Mexican, Hani would go for Chinese food and Belle would take Korean or Japanese. Deciding where to eat every Sunday has always presented a challenge. I used to take it in turns to let one of us choose the venue but the person whose turn it was would usually opine; "I don't mind." If a positive choice was made then Hani's stock response is "I don't fancy that!"

Oct 19, 2017, 5:54pm Top

>270 streamsong: I am sure that ten minutes with trump would be as fascinating as it would be horrifying, Janet! Kyran is quite vain so I will not be sharing the consensus that he is "rocking 'sexy'" as he would be more smug than usual!

>272 PaulCranswick: Thank you, John. He was playing it down a little maybe because he knows that I am financially still a little stretched at the moment. He's a good lad.

Oct 19, 2017, 8:29pm Top

>272 PaulCranswick: I don't have *a* favorite. I have a number of favorites. Japanese (esp. sushi/sashimi), Thai, Indian, Italian (esp. pizza), Mediterranean/Middle Eastern (love lamb), Cajun, Chinese (esp. dim sum), French (who doesn't love escargot?) - all are on my list of restaurants that serve food I love. Mexican is low on the list, though I had a fish dinner once on the coast of the Yucatan Peninsula that was so wonderful I've craved it ever since, and I can always manage to enjoy fish or shrimp tacos with a couple margaritas.

Okay, now I'm hungry - and I just finished dinner. :)

Oct 19, 2017, 8:33pm Top

>274 Storeetllr: Hahaha Mary - you have just made me hungry too!

I don't have a definitive favourite although I do always name Italian if I am asked. I adore Thai food and North Indian. Like Korean food and French and traditional British fayre, am a big fan of Mexican...............

This topic was continued by Paul C's 2017 Reading & Life - 28.

Group: 75 Books Challenge for 2017

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