HomeGroupsTalkZeitgeist
This site uses cookies to deliver our services, improve performance, for analytics, and (if not signed in) for advertising. By using LibraryThing you acknowledge that you have read and understand our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy. Your use of the site and services is subject to these policies and terms.
  • LibraryThing
  • Book discussions
  • Your LibraryThing
  • Join to start using.

Paul C's 2017 Reading & Life - 31

This is a continuation of the topic Paul C's 2017 Reading & Life - 30.

This topic was continued by Paul C's 2017 Reading & Life - 32.

75 Books Challenge for 2017

Join LibraryThing to post.

1PaulCranswick
Nov 12, 2017, 12:46pm Top

Still in Yorkshire and one of its prettiest villages - Thornton-le-Dale.

2PaulCranswick
Edited: Nov 12, 2017, 12:59pm Top

Paul's Poetry

Here is a little bit of poetic doodling. First verse was all I had and I decided to add three verses to it where all lines rhyme with their equivalent in each verse.

Universal Truth

A cloud;
a bruise on the skin
of a sunless sky
augurs rain.

Too proud
to once more begin
to question why
it is thus again

so endowed
with every fibre within
from every tearless cry
to die in pain.

Man is bowed
by time's toothless grin,
before a tolling nigh -
An inevitable refrain.

3PaulCranswick
Edited: Nov 20, 2017, 5:35pm Top

ME & MINE

Me?
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 (20), Kyran (18) and Belle (13), 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.

4PaulCranswick
Edited: Nov 20, 2017, 5:37pm Top

.BOOKS READ

JANUARY

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

FEBRUARY

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

MARCH

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

5PaulCranswick
Edited: Nov 20, 2017, 5:37pm Top

BOOKS READ

APRIL

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

May

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

June

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

6PaulCranswick
Edited: Nov 20, 2017, 5:38pm Top

BOOKS READ

July

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

August

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

September

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

7PaulCranswick
Edited: Nov 20, 2017, 5:40pm Top

BOOKS READ

October

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
65. Tudors by Peter Ackroyd (2012) 471 pp
66. Exit West by Mohsin Hamid (2017) 231 pp
67. Tenth of December by George Saunders (2013) 251 pp
68. Poems New and Collected by Wislawa Szymborska (1998) 270 pp
69. Now by Morris Gleitzman (2010) 182 pp
70. When Adam Opens His Eyes by Jang Jung-Il (1990) 126 pp

November

71. For Bread Alone by Mohamed Choukri (1973) 215 pp
72. The Other Country by Carol Ann Duffy (1990) 53 pp
73. Memories of My Melancholy Whores by Gabriel Garcia Marquez (2005) 115 pp
74. Embers by Sandor Marai (1942) 249 pp
75. The Spectre of Alexander Wolf by Gaito Gazdonov (1948) 167 pp
76. Kafka on the Shore by Haruki Murakami (2002) 615 pp
77. Wide Sargasso Sea by Jean Rhys (1966) 126 pp

8PaulCranswick
Edited: Nov 20, 2017, 5:48pm Top

British Author Challenge 2017



JANUARY : IRISH BRITONS - ELIZABETH BOWEN (DONE) & BRIAN MOORE (DONE)

FEBRUARY : SCIENCE FICTION & FANTASY - MARY STEWART (DONE) & TERRY PRATCHETT DONE

MARCH : A DECADE OF BRITISH NOVELS : The 1960s - 10 Novels by Men; 10 Novels by Women - 2 DONE

APRIL: SOUTH YORKSHIRE AUTHORS : AS BYATT & BRUCE CHATWIN (DONE)

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

JUNE : THE HISTORIANS (Historical Fiction / Historians) GEORGETTE HEYER & SIMON SCHAMA

JULY : SCOTTISH AUTHORS : D.E. STEVENSON (DONE) and R.L. STEVENSON

AUGUST : BRITAIN BETWEEN THE WARS (Writers active 1918-1939) WINIFRED HOLTBY & ROBERT GRAVES

SEPTEMBER : THE NEW MILLENNIUM (Great Books Since 2000) A novel chosen from each year of the new century 1 DONE

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

NOVEMBER : POET LAUREATES : British laureates, children's laureate, National Poets - 1 DONE

DECEMBER : WILDCARD (Chosen via a vote) : ELIZABETH GASKELL & NEIL GAIMAN

9PaulCranswick
Edited: Nov 20, 2017, 5:50pm 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 Tenth of December
October- Ann Patchett
November- Russell Banks
December- Ernest Hemingway

11PaulCranswick
Edited: Nov 20, 2017, 5:52pm 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 : COMPLETED Now by Morris Gleitzman

12PaulCranswick
Edited: Nov 20, 2017, 5:54pm Top

OTHER CHALLENGES

Guardian 1000 (998) Books - 330 read https://www.librarything.com/topic/270237#6197972

1001 Books First Edition - 287 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

13PaulCranswick
Nov 12, 2017, 12:48pm Top

CURRENTLY READING

14PaulCranswick
Nov 12, 2017, 12:48pm Top

READING PLAN FOR NOVEMBER

15PaulCranswick
Edited: Nov 20, 2017, 5:55pm Top

AROUND THE WORLD IN 80 BOOKS

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
2 ALBANIA ISMAIL KADARE
3 Algeria
4 Angola
5 Antigua
6 ARGENTINA CESAR AIRA
7 AUSTRALIA PETER TEMPLE
8 AUSTRIA STEFAN ZWEIG
9 Bangladesh
10 BARBADOS KAMAU BRATHWAITE
11 BELGIUM GEORGES SIMENON
12 Bosnia
13 Brazil
14 CANADA BRIAN MOORE
15 CHILE ANTONIO SKARMETA
16 China
17 COLOMBIA GABRIEL GARCIA MARQUEZ
18 CROATIA SLAVENKA DRAKULIC
19 CZECHIA JAROSLAV SEIFERT
20 Denmark
21 Dominica
22 Dominican Republic
23 Egypt
24 Ethiopia
25 Finland
26 FRANCE JEAN ECHENOZ
27 GERMANY JURGEN TAMPKE
28 Ghana
29 GREECE YANIS VAROUFAKIS
30 Haiti
31 HOLLAND HARRY MULISCH
32 HUNGARY SANDOR MARAI
33 ICELAND ARNALDUR INDRIDASON
34 INDIA TABISH KHAIR
35 INDONESIA ANDREA HIRATA
36 IRAN MARJANE SATRAPI
37 IRELAND ELIZABETH BOWEN
38 ISRAEL YUVAL NOAH HARARI
39 ITALY ANDREA CAMILLERI
40 Jamaica
41 JAPAN HARUKI MURAKAMI
42 Kenya
43 KOREA JANG JUNG-IL
44 LITHUANIA ESTHER HAUTZIG
45 Malawi
46 Malaysia
47 Mexico
48 MOROCCO MOHAMED CHOUKRI
49 Mozambique
50 New Zealand
51 Nigeria
52 Norway
53 PAKISTAN MOHSIN HAMID
54 PALESTINE IZZELDIN ABUELAISH
55 Peru
56 Philippines
57 POLAND WYSLAWA SZYMBORSKA
58 Portugal
59 Romania
60 RUSSIA GAITOR GAZDUNOV
61 Saudi Arabia
62 Senegal
63 Serbia
64 Sierra Leone
65 Singapore
66 Somalia
67 SOUTH AFRICA JM COETZEE
68 Spain
69 Sri Lanka
70 St. Kitts
71 Sudan
72 SWEDEN MONS KALLENTOFT
73 Switzerland
74 Syria
75 Tanzania
76 Trinidad
77 Turkey
78 Ukraine
79 ZAMBIA WILBUR SMITH
80 Zimbabwe

16PaulCranswick
Edited: Nov 20, 2017, 6:26pm Top



IRISH AUTHOR CHALLENGE 2018

Format

I will select five males and five females and there will be two special months.

January : EDNA O'BRIEN
February : WILLIAM TREVOR
March : DEIRDRE MADDEN
April : Samuel Beckett
May : IRISH CRIME WRITERS
June : ANNE ENRIGHT
July : COLM TOIBIN
August : MOLLY KEANE
September : RODDY DOYLE
October : Special
November : Female
December : Male

The selection for January will be named later today.

17PaulCranswick
Nov 12, 2017, 12:49pm Top

NEXT IS YOURS

18amanda4242
Nov 12, 2017, 12:52pm Top

Happy new thread!

19Crazymamie
Nov 12, 2017, 12:53pm Top

Happy new one, Paul!

20PaulCranswick
Nov 12, 2017, 12:54pm Top

>18 amanda4242: Thank you Amanda. As always you are one of the first to arrive on the scene!

21PaulCranswick
Nov 12, 2017, 12:55pm Top

>19 Crazymamie: Thank you Mamie, dear.

22richardderus
Nov 12, 2017, 1:16pm Top

Sunday's over for you, I think. My Monday benisons to you and the ever-lovely and vivacious Hani, of course including any children now resident chez vous.

23PaulCranswick
Nov 12, 2017, 1:19pm Top

>22 richardderus: I am hoping that Hani is sleeping RD as she has been having a bit of trouble with insomnia lately (as I do mostly). Good wishes always gratefully accepted and I will bestow your largesse on my now sleeping crew when they wake from slumbers.

24FAMeulstee
Nov 12, 2017, 1:19pm Top

Happy new thread, Paul!
Only one book to go :-)

25PaulCranswick
Nov 12, 2017, 1:20pm Top

>24 FAMeulstee: Will announce which book brought me home for the challenge very soon. Going to nip off to nip off the last few pages. xx

26Berly
Nov 12, 2017, 2:07pm Top

Happy nipping--I am assured you will succeed!

27PaulCranswick
Nov 12, 2017, 2:08pm Top

>26 Berly: I think that I can safely say that this one is very nearly in the bag, Kimmers!

28johnsimpson
Nov 12, 2017, 2:57pm Top

Happy new thread mate and in response to your comment about spending a lot of time at Pinderfields mate, I think Karen has got a season ticket there after all the surgery over recent years and her regular appointment at the Mouth clinic, the car knows its way there on its own now.

29msf59
Nov 12, 2017, 2:58pm Top

Happy New Thread, Paul. Like that bucolic topper.

30jessibud2
Nov 12, 2017, 4:16pm Top

Happy new thread, Paul. Gorgeous topper!

31BLBera
Nov 12, 2017, 4:19pm Top

Happy new thread, Paul - One more to reach 75!

32drneutron
Nov 12, 2017, 5:04pm Top

Happy new thread!

33mahsdad
Nov 12, 2017, 6:12pm Top

Happy New Thread. Your last one got quite a bit away from my (as they usually do). I skimmed thru to get details about your Mom. Best wishes to her and you.

And for something completely different, I want to take a moment to direct your readers to the newly created Christmas Swap 2017 thread. As hard as it is to believe, its that time of year.

Come on over and visit, and let me know if you're interested....

https://www.librarything.com/topic/274870

34PaulCranswick
Nov 12, 2017, 6:19pm Top

>28 johnsimpson: A car on auto pilot would be good for me then I could easily get and see her, John. Pinderfields is not a name that stirs up happy memories for me.

>29 msf59: Thank you Mark. Bucolic always is preferred to bubonic!

35PaulCranswick
Nov 12, 2017, 6:21pm Top

>30 jessibud2: Thanks Shelley. It is a glorious little place in actuality also.

>31 BLBera: Books not threads, Beth! I will keep you all in suspenders a little bit longer!

36PaulCranswick
Nov 12, 2017, 6:22pm Top

>32 drneutron: Thank you, Jim. Wouldn't be the same without you dropping by.

>33 mahsdad: Doesn't time fly, Jeff?

I will surely be popping over and involving myself although I am a little worried about where I shall be living come Christmas.

37mahsdad
Nov 12, 2017, 7:18pm Top

>36 PaulCranswick: Let me know if you want something sent somewhere else, like your Mom's or Yasmyne's if package forwarding might get complicated. :)

38PaulCranswick
Nov 12, 2017, 7:29pm Top

>37 mahsdad: I shall ruminate a day or two, Jeff and let you know by PM.

39Familyhistorian
Nov 12, 2017, 10:48pm Top

Another new thread, Paul? Happy new one, again.

40LizzieD
Nov 12, 2017, 10:52pm Top

I can at least get in at the beginning of one. Hope you're well and prospering!

41PaulCranswick
Nov 12, 2017, 11:08pm Top

>39 Familyhistorian: I am trying to keep my threads happy these days, Meg.

Just hope that the projects start moving as I want them to.

42PaulCranswick
Nov 12, 2017, 11:08pm Top

>40 LizzieD: I am not too bad, Peggy and all the better for your visit certainly. xx

43banjo123
Nov 13, 2017, 12:32am Top

Happy new thread, Paul!

44PaulCranswick
Nov 13, 2017, 1:32am Top

>43 banjo123: Thank you, Rhonda

45LovingLit
Nov 13, 2017, 3:03am Top

In the spirit of celebrating your Canadian and Anzac reading challenges, I present you the NZ PM, meeting Mr Canada :)

Aw! What a lovely *ahem* couple (never mind our PM is with a lovely man already, and JT is equally *taken*) Still, they do make striking statement hopefully heralding a challenge to the male pale and stale MO of politics.
Aslo, happy newest thread. And I love the topper, it makes me want to go on a walking tour of the UK!

46EllaTim
Nov 13, 2017, 8:12am Top

Happy new thread Paul. Love your topper, it looks really welcoming.

47thornton37814
Nov 13, 2017, 8:36am Top

>1 PaulCranswick: I love the village in the topper--and such a great village name too! ;-)

48jnwelch
Nov 13, 2017, 8:37am Top

Happy New Thread, Paul!

I enjoyed the poetic doodle-poem.

>45 LovingLit: Do I ever envy Canada for its leadership right now!

49BekkaJo
Nov 13, 2017, 8:50am Top

I didn't log on other the weekend and now I'm all behind! Hope things are better for your Mum now and she's home again?

Edna O'Brian - I'm in, either August is a wicked month or In the forest

William Trevor - also in, Fools of Fortune

May miss March though.

April thoughts yet?

50m.belljackson
Nov 13, 2017, 11:06am Top

Re: Irish Female novelists - are The Brontes ever considered Irish,
given the strong influence of dear old Dad...?

51harrygbutler
Nov 13, 2017, 11:21am Top

Happy new thread, Paul! A lovely spot in your thread topper. Is that a canal or just a stream?

52lkernagh
Nov 13, 2017, 11:24am Top

Hi Paul! Glad to see your threads continues to be such active ones! I was only Gulp! 7 threads behind. Love reading your "Six of the Best" books and albums. I see some favorites as well as some new ones for me. The prize winner lists were also interesting to see.

Happy new thread!

53foggidawn
Nov 13, 2017, 11:34am Top

Happy new thread, Paul!

54SuziQoregon
Nov 13, 2017, 2:07pm Top

Hi Paul - sorry to hear about your Mom's healt troubles. Hope things are resolved soon.

55PaulCranswick
Nov 13, 2017, 7:32pm Top

>45 LovingLit: Isn't it a surprise when the politicians are suddenly the best looking in the room?

You would be welcome on a walking tour of the UK anytime, Megan.

>46 EllaTim: Thanks Ella - it is a lovely sleepy little place and well worth a look-see.

56PaulCranswick
Nov 13, 2017, 7:34pm Top

>47 thornton37814: It could easily be a locale in a cozy mystery don't you think so, Lori.

>48 jnwelch: Thanks Joe. I actually am really pleased with the first lines.

Yes Canada does shine a beacon of political hope at the moment.

57PaulCranswick
Edited: Nov 13, 2017, 7:40pm Top

>49 BekkaJo: There has been a noticeable spike in activity, Bekka, so protracted time away will leave you with some catching up.

Great to see that the Irish Author Challenge will have a devotee! April pick will go up shortly.

>50 m.belljackson: Would be stretching a point too far to look to include the Brontes, Marianne. Father was of course Irish but the children were very english!

58m.belljackson
Nov 13, 2017, 7:40pm Top

>57 PaulCranswick:

A little jest from the O'Bruntys!

59PaulCranswick
Nov 13, 2017, 7:41pm Top

>57 PaulCranswick: No, to be fair there is a solid Irish connection there, Marianne.

60PaulCranswick
Nov 13, 2017, 7:48pm Top

>51 harrygbutler: Harry it is called Thornton beck so I would say it is a stream.

>52 lkernagh: Lori, that takes some doing to catch up seven threads in a sitting - probably could count it as a book!

61Dejah_Thoris
Nov 13, 2017, 7:48pm Top

Happy new thread, Paul. And, as always, I wish the best for you and yours.

62PaulCranswick
Nov 13, 2017, 7:49pm Top

>53 foggidawn: Thanks Foggy.

>54 SuziQoregon: Thank you Juli. She has some scarring from the previous operation which is apparently exacerbating the problems. They still hope to treat her without another operation.

63PaulCranswick
Nov 13, 2017, 7:50pm Top

>61 Dejah_Thoris: Thank you so much, Princess.

64m.belljackson
Nov 13, 2017, 7:52pm Top

>59 PaulCranswick:

HOW OSCAR BECAME WILDE

suggests the eeriness of both Jane Eyre and Wuthering Heights

may have roots in both author's Irish ambience...

65PaulCranswick
Nov 14, 2017, 12:54am Top

>64 m.belljackson: Quite possibly so, Marianne.

66PaulCranswick
Nov 14, 2017, 5:06am Top

IRISH AUTHOR CHALLENGE APRIL 2018

SAMUEL BECKETT



Beckett won the Nobel prize in 1969. He was a great innovator, a student of Joyce, writer in both English and French and adept at Novel, short story, poetry and drama. His play Waiting for Godot is probably his most famous contribution.

He was decorated as a fighter for the Resistance in the Second World War and died within a few months of his wife, Suzanne, in 1989.

67Deern
Nov 14, 2017, 5:21am Top

Okay, it's decided I'll put Waiting for Godot on hold until April then. :)

68karenmarie
Nov 14, 2017, 5:22am Top

Hi Paul!

Happy new thread.

So did I read right at the end of your previous thread that you will be relocating back to England before Christmas?

69PaulCranswick
Nov 14, 2017, 5:25am Top

IRISH AUTHOR CHALLENGE APRIL 2018

Samuel Beckett's books:

Series
Beckett Trilogy
1. Molloy (1951)
2. Malone Dies (1951)
3. The Unnamable (1954)

Novels
Dream of Fair to Middling Women (1932)
Murphy (1938)
Mercier and Camier (1946)
Watt (1953)
From an Abandoned Work (1958)
How It Is (1961)
Company (1980)
Ill Seen - Ill Said (1981)
Worstward Ho (1983)


Collections
Whoroscope (poems) (1930)
More Pricks Than Kicks (1934)
Seven Plays of the Modern Theatre (1962) (with Harold Pinter)
Play and Two Short Pieces for Radio (1964)
Imagination Dead Imagine (1965)
Eh Joe and Other Writings (1967)
No's Knife (poems) (1967)
Lessness (1970)
Breath and Other Short Plays (1972)
The Lost Ones (1972)
First Love (1973)
Texts for Nothing (1974)
Fizzles (1976)
Odds and Ends (1976)
For to End Yet Again and Other Fizzles (1976)
Four Novellas (1977)
Ends and Odds (1977)
Six Residua (1978)
All Strange Away (1979)
The Expelled (1980)
Rockaby (1981)
Three Occasional Pieces (1982)
Beginning to End (1988)
Stirrings Still (1988)
Stories and Texts for Nothing (1988)
Teleplays (1988)
As the Story Was Told (poems) (1990)
I Can't Go On, I'll Go On (1992)
The Collected Poems of Samuel Beckett (poems) (2017)


Plays
Waiting for Godot (1953)
All That Fall (1957)
Endgame (1958)
Krapp's Last Tape (1959)
aka Krapp's Last Tape, and Other Dramatic Pieces
Come and Go (1966)
Happy Days (1966)
Film (1967)
Not I (1973)
That Time (1976)
Footfalls (1976)
Eleutheria (1995)

Novellas
Echo's Bones (2014)


70PaulCranswick
Nov 14, 2017, 5:27am Top

>67 Deern: I will have a few to choose from, Nathalie. I am a bit ashamed to admit that I haven't read any Beckett yet.

>68 karenmarie: Thanks Karen. No it is not certain on the move and depends on money as always unfortunately. What we have decided is that Hani and Belle will go and pave the way. Find a home and sort out schools etc and Kyran and I are aiming to hit 2018 Blighty bound.

71Caroline_McElwee
Nov 14, 2017, 5:57am Top

>69 PaulCranswick: aah my man Beckett.

72jessibud2
Nov 14, 2017, 6:09am Top

I do remember reading Waiting for Godot. Let's just say, that was enough for me. I remember it being memorable, for all the wrong reasons.

73Carmenere
Nov 14, 2017, 7:56am Top

Howdy, Paul! Just a quick flyby to see what's up. Hope all's well with you and yours.

74vancouverdeb
Nov 14, 2017, 8:33am Top

Prior to your thread, I had no idea that England was also known as " blighty. I admire your courage for letting Hani and Belle go ahead of you , while you and Kyran stay in Kaula Laumpur. Hmm- I think I recall my dad trying to read Waiting for Godot and he was not at all keen on it. I think he tried to get me to read it too, but I just said no. He was a *convincing* man and I learned to hold my ground from him. Yeah dad! My good old dad. :-) I recall in my early twenties one of my great uncles saying to me " your dad is very persuasive" and I thought , yes, that is a very polite way of saying it.

75jnwelch
Nov 14, 2017, 8:41am Top

Nice to see Beckett featured, Paul. I'm a fan. I've read the trilogy ("I can't go on . . . I'll go on"), and seen Waiting for Godot and Endgame. I'd like to see more of the plays. My family, on the other hand, thinks I'm nuts. (Well, they have more than my Beckett fandom as reason for that).

As shown in >66 PaulCranswick:, what a face!

76EllaTim
Nov 14, 2017, 8:50am Top

>66 PaulCranswick: That's a very good portrait of Beckett, makes me wonder what he was like as a person.
Waiting for Godot a bit on the heavy side, maybe? What about one of his novels?

77m.belljackson
Edited: Nov 14, 2017, 9:47am Top

>70 PaulCranswick: >72 jessibud2:

Waiting for Godot,
for me,
ranked as the most boring book ever.

I could not fathom, even the most intellectually pretentious
(and my university overflowed with 'em)
actually reading, then going to watch it.

78jessibud2
Nov 14, 2017, 10:30am Top

>66 PaulCranswick:, >75 jnwelch: - I rather like and am intrigued by his face. So much character and life in it! I can see it as inspiration for an artist or sculpture.

79richardderus
Nov 14, 2017, 11:20am Top

My personal favorite Beckett will always be Murphy. Molloy trilogy second. Ill Seen Ill Said third.

I hate reading plays. I hate watching Beckett plays as much as I hate reading other people's plays. The combination is so painful as to be toxic. Theatre needs to make some kind of sense or what the hell is the point of me spending sixty-three years of my life folded into an expensive, uncomfortable seat with no legroom, no curb service, and no naked men to make it all worthwhile?

80Caroline_McElwee
Nov 14, 2017, 12:46pm Top

82BBGirl55
Nov 14, 2017, 4:05pm Top

Boo!

83PaulCranswick
Nov 14, 2017, 4:59pm Top

>71 Caroline_McElwee: Good or bad, Caroline?!

>72 jessibud2: Yikes, somebody must like him! I must say that I was amazed at how many of his books made it into the 1001 Books First Edition.

84PaulCranswick
Nov 14, 2017, 5:04pm Top

>73 Carmenere: I am coping fine, Lynda. Hani and Belle are getting ready for the UK and that should motivate Kyran and I to sort things out quickly to get and join them.

>74 vancouverdeb: Lovely post, Deb. I cannot imagine having a father who would have put Waiting for Godot before me. I never saw my own father with a book.
I think that the bravery is all on Hani's part. She is a brave and determined lady and is very keen to embrace a new life in the UK closer to the kids as we both realise that it is there the three of them wish to be.

85PaulCranswick
Nov 14, 2017, 5:07pm Top

>75 jnwelch: Your enthusiasm for him does give me some confidence that I too may draw something from him.
I think that photo of Beckett is simply wonderful and, as you say, what a face!

>76 EllaTim: I will see, Ella, that he didn't write anything that was too long. I will read one of his novels but I haven't decided which one as I have three, I think, on the shelves to choose from.

86PaulCranswick
Nov 14, 2017, 5:11pm Top

>77 m.belljackson: Well a complete vote of no confidence! With such a glorious thumbs down, Marianne, it almost makes me want to go and pick up the book of the play to glean just how bad it is!

>78 jessibud2: I would have thought that all those lines in that face would pose quite a challenge to a sculptor. His war record showed him as a doer as well as a thinker and I don't think he was simply waiting for godot in his actual life.

87PaulCranswick
Nov 14, 2017, 5:15pm Top

>79 richardderus: No plays then RD. Leg room is no issue for my five foot 5 inches but the width of the seat needs to accommodate my ample frame. Naked men would not deter me but wouldn't encourage me to put in an appearance.

>80 Caroline_McElwee: :D

88PaulCranswick
Nov 14, 2017, 5:18pm Top

>81 richardderus: Such sartorial eloquence, RD. Is that a hat, a handkerchief or a pair of underpants being waved about?

>82 BBGirl55: BRYONY! What a lovely surprise.

89richardderus
Nov 14, 2017, 5:49pm Top

>88 PaulCranswick: And just who, sirrah, do you think you are addressing? Underpants, of course. Size medium, or in other words, not mine.

90PaulCranswick
Nov 14, 2017, 5:54pm Top

>89 richardderus: Ha! What Caroline said in >80 Caroline_McElwee:. I also cannot fit medium these days unless I am attempting a karaoke falsetto.

91Caroline_McElwee
Edited: Nov 14, 2017, 6:56pm Top

>83 PaulCranswick: >79 richardderus: I’ve read and seen some of the plays, which I love - who needs sense or full comprehension (I’m also a Pinter fan!). I have the novels, unread so far, so maybe I’ll be exploring those in April.

I can highly recommend Jo Baker’s A Country Road, a Tree, a fictionalisation of Beckett’s war experience.

I also have ‘The First Day’ (no touchstone) by Phil Harrison, another fictionalisation of part of Beckett's life, in the tbr mountain.


The full quote is Ever Tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try again. Fail again. Fail better. I keep it on my desk.

92PaulCranswick
Nov 14, 2017, 6:58pm Top

>91 Caroline_McElwee: Do you need to understand something to enjoy it? There is a question. For someone who so loves the company of women I would have to say that I agree with you, Caroline.

93PaulCranswick
Nov 14, 2017, 6:59pm Top

Kudos to the Australian public today.

They voted 61% in favour in a national survey on the question of same sex marriage in the face of some blatantly obnoxious advertising from the no camp.

94PaulCranswick
Edited: Nov 14, 2017, 9:24pm Top

75.

The Spectre of Alexander Wolf by Gaito Gazdanov

Date of publication : 1948
Pages : 167
Around the World in 80 Books : #34 - Russia

What a strange little book to bring up my milestone.

Our hero is in the Russian civil war and hungry and alone. A rider on a white steed races towards him and shoots him off his horse. Our hero rises and as the rider rides closer for the coup de grace, takes aim and shoots him down instead.

Years later he reads just that story in a collection of short stories and goes in hunt of the author he thought he had killed on a sultry day in the Russian forest.

Bits of this were splendid but it had a tendency to meander off the point and some of the digressions left me baffled and not a little bit irritated. It is worth reading for the good parts.

7/10

95Caroline_McElwee
Edited: Nov 14, 2017, 7:07pm Top

Yay for the Aussies.

>92 PaulCranswick: pffft.

96Caroline_McElwee
Nov 14, 2017, 7:08pm Top

Congratulations on 75

97amanda4242
Nov 14, 2017, 7:12pm Top

Congrats on hitting 75!

98jessibud2
Nov 14, 2017, 7:13pm Top

>93 PaulCranswick: - Yes! I just heard this on our nightly news

And congrats on your 75th! (book, not birthday, of course! ;-)

99PaulCranswick
Nov 14, 2017, 7:15pm Top

>95 Caroline_McElwee: 1 out of 2 isn't too bad I guess!

>96 Caroline_McElwee: Long overdue, Caroline.

100PaulCranswick
Edited: Nov 14, 2017, 7:18pm Top

>97 amanda4242: Thank you Amanda. I think that you have read more BAC books than I have totalled this year!

>98 jessibud2: I think it is great news because the Australian LGBT community have had a long fight. It is not over now as it was a non-binding vote but the Australian Prime Minister has promised to introduce legislation to amend the Marriage act.

Phew it is books and not birthdays, Shelley!

101Dejah_Thoris
Nov 14, 2017, 7:20pm Top

Woohoo! Congratulations on 75, Paul!

102PaulCranswick
Nov 14, 2017, 7:48pm Top

Thank you Princess.xxx

103msf59
Edited: Nov 14, 2017, 7:53pm Top



^Congrats on hitting 75, Paul. Always a big deal around here.

104PaulCranswick
Edited: Nov 18, 2017, 7:17pm Top

AROUND THE WORLD IN 80 BOOKS

Country 34 of 80 - RUSSIA



Russia Factfile

Area : 6,592,800 sq miles (1st)
Population : 144,463,451 (9th)
President/ Prime Minister : Vladimir Putin / Dmitri Medvedev
Capital City : Moscow
Largest City : Moscow
Currency : Ruble
GDP Nominal : $1,469 trillion (11th)
GDP Per Capita : $10,248 (72nd)
National Languages : Russian
Median Age : 39.6
Life Expectancy : 71.0
Percentage Using Internet : 76.4%

Its a Fact : Russia has the most shared borders of any other country. It shares a border with 14 other nation states.

Sources : Various but mainly wikipedia and CIA world fact book

105PaulCranswick
Nov 14, 2017, 7:59pm Top

>103 msf59: Thanks buddy.

106PaulCranswick
Nov 14, 2017, 8:47pm Top

AROUND THE WORLD IN 80 BOOKS

A RUSSIAN DISH

Beef Stroganoff

This was a favourite dish of mine when I had to cook for myself (decadent a little, I know). I remember cooking it for Hani early in our courtship and desperate to impress her. She replicated the dish a week or so later and it knocked the socks off my effort. This is over pasta but I always served mine with rice.


107PaulCranswick
Nov 14, 2017, 8:53pm Top

AROUND THE WORLD IN 80 BOOKS

ANOTHER RUSSIAN DISH

Zoya Berber

Fresh faced Russian actress

108PaulCranswick
Nov 14, 2017, 8:57pm Top

AROUND THE WORLD IN 80 BOOKS

AND ANOTHER RUSSIAN DISH

Vasilly Stepanov

Russian actor.

109BBGirl55
Nov 14, 2017, 9:05pm Top

I made it back in time for your 75! Congraz!

110PaulCranswick
Nov 14, 2017, 9:12pm Top

>109 BBGirl55: Thanks Bryony. i am just glad you made it back. I have missed you loads.

111PaulCranswick
Edited: Nov 14, 2017, 9:41pm Top

IRISH AUTHOR CHALLENGE MAY 2018 - IRISH CRIME FICTION



There has been something of an explosion in Irish crime fiction in the last twenty years or so with several Irish writers becoming either bestsellers or cult favourites. It would be tough to pick one of them so why not celebrate them all!?

112richardderus
Nov 14, 2017, 9:44pm Top



Bravo, old thing, well done indeed in this wildly swinging year.

114PaulCranswick
Nov 14, 2017, 9:52pm Top

>112 richardderus: Thank you RD. Things seemed to pick up a bit for me last month coinciding with a return to the fray of a good pal.

115swynn
Nov 14, 2017, 9:56pm Top

Congratulations on 75, Paul!

116PaulCranswick
Nov 14, 2017, 9:59pm Top

>115 swynn: Thank you Stephen. Lovely to see you over here, buddy.

117msf59
Nov 14, 2017, 10:07pm Top

>107 PaulCranswick: LIKE! Definitely fresh-faced.

118PaulCranswick
Nov 14, 2017, 10:46pm Top

>117 msf59: You are connoisseur, monsieur.

119DeltaQueen50
Nov 15, 2017, 12:11am Top

Hi Paul, I am struggling these days to keep up with everyone, but I wanted to congratulate you on reaching your 75th book. I see you are setting up an Irish Author challenge next year - is this in addition to the British Author Challenge or instead of it?

120PaulCranswick
Nov 15, 2017, 12:37am Top

>119 DeltaQueen50: Thanks dear Guru.

I will be doing both challenges next year.

121Oregonreader
Nov 15, 2017, 1:05am Top

Hi Paul, I am very keen on the Irish Author Challenge. I found the listings for April and May but missed the earlier ones. I am always getting behind here and probably skimmed right by them.

122Berly
Nov 15, 2017, 1:08am Top

75!! Congrats, Paul. : ) I love reading about the upcoming Irish Author Challenge. I am trying desperately to not do too many challenges next year, but reading off my own shelf and more spontaneously, but some of these look very interesting, so I am sure I will dip in and out. BTW >108 PaulCranswick: Yum!

123Deern
Nov 15, 2017, 2:50am Top

Congrats on the 75, Paul! I hope to hit mine today or tomorrow with the help of yet another comic book/ graphic novel.

Seems like I'll make some progress on the long-neglected 1,001 list in 2018 by just concentrating fully on the IAC, yay!

I remember Beef Stroganov containing also peppers and pickles (or pickled peppers) and being served with rice. The one in the pic looks more like Zuercher Geschnetzeltes (I guess it's a challenge to pronounce this?) or a very nice ragout. All three way too appetizing for the time of the day (08:45) and more so for a vegetarian, so I'll better look at my work again. :)

124PaulCranswick
Edited: Nov 15, 2017, 4:43am Top

>121 Oregonreader: Sorry Jan, I am about as behind as everybody else is! Full details of the Irish Author Challenge 2018 will appear at post >16 PaulCranswick: above very shortly.

>122 Berly: Thanks dear Kimmers!

I want to be more spontaneous next year but I need to start planning now to be able to do so!!

Even I thought the Russian fellow was good looking.

125PaulCranswick
Nov 15, 2017, 4:48am Top

>123 Deern: Thank you Nathalie. It is not often that either of us are so slow in reaching the milestone!

There are several 1001 Books as options already aren't there? Beckett had loads as I recall, Edna O'Brien several and William Trevor a few too.

I have to admit that I have only eaten Beef Stroganoff over rice before and I couldn't easily find a picture that best represented my own version of the dish. A vegetarian version is a must shortly too.

126PaulCranswick
Nov 15, 2017, 4:51am Top

AROUND THE WORLD IN 80 BOOKS

ALTERNATIVE DISH

Mushroom and Tofu Stroganoff

For Nathalie, Marianne and food lovers throughout the group.

127EllaTim
Nov 15, 2017, 5:13am Top

Congratulations on reaching 75 Paul!

>113 PaulCranswick: The Irish challenge is looking more and more interesting.

And yes, to beef Stroganoff!

128PaulCranswick
Nov 15, 2017, 5:15am Top

>127 EllaTim: Thanks Ella.

I am pleased with the response to the Irish Author Challenge and I am looking forward to some new writers and reacquainting with some old friends.

129Caroline_McElwee
Nov 15, 2017, 5:40am Top

>113 PaulCranswick: well you’ve managed a list I’ve not read anything by any of the authors Paul, so happy whatever is chosen. As much as I enjoy revisiting old favourites, I do like some ‘new to me’ authors in a challenge, however tardily I participate.

130PaulCranswick
Nov 15, 2017, 5:45am Top

>129 Caroline_McElwee: I have read books by four of the writers I suggested above but it is not limited to those Caroline but Irish writing in the crime genre (whatever that is). I have plenty of options on the shelves too so it is a good excuse for me to tackle one or two of them.

131scaifea
Nov 15, 2017, 6:17am Top

Congrats on 75, Paul!

>108 PaulCranswick: Oh, hello...

132karenmarie
Nov 15, 2017, 7:27am Top

Hi Paul!

>84 PaulCranswick: We do desperately want to please our children if we can, don't we? Even with other reasons to be going back to old Blighty (I like that), knowing that's what the kids want makes it even more sweet.

>94 PaulCranswick: Congratulations! Yay 75.

>108 PaulCranswick: Oh my goodness. He's right up there next to Aidan Turner in my book. Thank you for finding such a luscious Russian dish.

133PaulCranswick
Nov 15, 2017, 7:47am Top

>131 scaifea: Thank you Amber. I am glad you liked!

>132 karenmarie: I do think that we are ready for a change too, Karen. Hani is so close to her girls and I think that the thought of them ending up so far away gives her the creeps. I want her to be happy not just for today and tomorrow but for the rest of our lives.

Thank you for the salutations on me tardily reaching 75. xx

When I was looking through "Handsome Russian Men" that photo stood out like the proverbial sore thumb. Probably the easiest pick I have had to make in selecting gentleman. It doesn't come that naturally to me but judging from the feedback my choices aren't too shabby!

134Carmenere
Nov 15, 2017, 7:57am Top

Congrats on times 15!

135PaulCranswick
Nov 15, 2017, 8:04am Top

>134 Carmenere: Matryoshka!! Thank you Lynda; if only it was 5x75 like Anita and Suz.

136drneutron
Nov 15, 2017, 8:37am Top

Congrats on hitting 75, my friend!

137jnwelch
Nov 15, 2017, 8:42am Top

Adding my congratulations on your hitting 75, Paul!

138PaulCranswick
Nov 15, 2017, 9:19am Top

>136 drneutron: Thanks Jim. With my third quarter slump I thought I wasn't going to do it for a while there. Now to get to 100.

>137 jnwelch: Cheers buddy. I have four books on the go that will get done and dusted by the weekend.

139foggidawn
Nov 15, 2017, 9:32am Top

Congrats on hitting 75! The Beef Stroganoff looks tasty, but so does the tofu version.

140aktakukac
Nov 15, 2017, 9:34am Top

Stopping by to say congrats on 75, Paul!

141PaulCranswick
Nov 15, 2017, 9:43am Top

>139 foggidawn: Thanks Foggy. I did promise some of our vegan and vegetarian group members that I would include some vegetarian meals for their delectation. I happen to think that the mushroom and tofu version looks tastier than its more orthodox alternative.

>140 aktakukac: Thank you Rachel. Lovely to see you over here.

142m.belljackson
Nov 15, 2017, 10:00am Top

>126 PaulCranswick:

WOW - that's more like it! Can you direct to a recipe? Have you or Hani made it?

Thank you.

143PaulCranswick
Nov 15, 2017, 10:07am Top

>142 m.belljackson: I cannot vouch for it entirely but this is where I picked it up from.

https://www.cookstr.com/Modified-Diet/Tofu-and-Mushroom-Stroganoff

144richardderus
Edited: Nov 15, 2017, 10:44am Top

>118 PaulCranswick:, >122 Berly: That Russian dish (>108 PaulCranswick:) is best served hot. *drool*

145Deern
Nov 15, 2017, 10:59am Top

>126 PaulCranswick: That looks yummy, thank you for picture and recipe! :D

146PaulCranswick
Nov 15, 2017, 11:01am Top

>144 richardderus: You are welcome RD : I'll stick with the stroganoff.

147PaulCranswick
Nov 15, 2017, 11:03am Top

>145 Deern: Pleased to oblige, Nathalie.

148PaulCranswick
Nov 15, 2017, 11:32am Top

IRISH AUTHOR CHALLENGE - JUNE 2018

ANNE ENRIGHT



Dublin born Enright won the Booker Prize in 2007 for her book The Gathering. She is a novelist, short-story writer, essayist and non-fiction writer. Her work doesn't always float my boat to be honest but I did very much like The Green Road.

149PaulCranswick
Nov 15, 2017, 11:41am Top

IRISH AUTHOR CHALLENGE - JUNE 2018

ANNE ENRIGHT BOOKS

Novels
The Wig My Father Wore (1995)
What Are You Like? (2000)
The Pleasure of Eliza Lynch (2002)
The Gathering (2007)
The Forgotten Waltz (2011)
The Green Road (2015)

Collections
The Portable Virgin (1991)
Taking Pictures (2008)
Yesterday's Weather (2008)

Non fiction
Making Babies (2004)

150brodiew2
Nov 15, 2017, 11:46am Top

Hello Paul. I've been off grid for a couple of weeks. I hope all is well with you.

>113 PaulCranswick: How did you like The Twelve?

151richardderus
Nov 15, 2017, 11:47am Top

>149 PaulCranswick: I read The Portable Virgin long ago and was profoundly unimpressed. Haven't tried her work since. So The Green Road is the one to beat?

152PaulCranswick
Nov 15, 2017, 12:21pm Top

>150 brodiew2: I am doing OK, Brodie.

I haven't read The Twelve as yet but it could get done next May!

>151 richardderus: My least favourite Booker winner is The Sellout but The Gathering precedes it barely. I thought The Green Road was pretty good in comparison at least so, yeah, I would have to say take that one first.

153richardderus
Nov 15, 2017, 12:28pm Top

154mahsdad
Nov 15, 2017, 1:20pm Top

Congrats on hitting 75. Hopefully, I'll be able to get there as well. 3 more to go and we're well into November. Ack!

155SuziQoregon
Nov 15, 2017, 1:50pm Top

Congrats on hitting 75!!

I don't think I'm going to make it this year. Fewest books I've read since I started keeping track. It's just been a weird reading year for me.

156PaulCranswick
Nov 15, 2017, 2:11pm Top

>153 richardderus: :D

>154 mahsdad: You'll do it buddy for sure

157PaulCranswick
Nov 15, 2017, 2:12pm Top

>155 SuziQoregon: I certainly will have my slowest reading year in an age, Juli.

158johnsimpson
Nov 15, 2017, 3:15pm Top

Congrats on hitting 75 mate, I should join you on that by close of business on Friday. I am selecting my December reads at the moment and think I have sorted out what I am going to do in 2018. Hope all is well with you and the family mate, hope to see you before the year end.

159charl08
Nov 15, 2017, 3:28pm Top

Way behind here, Paul. The only crime writers I'd read on your list of Irish writers were Black and McKinty >113 PaulCranswick:
Will be interested to see what you pick!

I'm on slightly better ground with Anne Enright. Did love the last one.

160johnsimpson
Nov 15, 2017, 3:31pm Top

Hi Paul, I am just listening to Five Live and they are giving out the all time Ashes XI as voted by listeners to five live and Test Match Special, I will post it when the last three names have been given out and see what you think.

161bell7
Nov 15, 2017, 3:50pm Top

I am late to the party, but congrats on 75 from me as well!

162johnsimpson
Nov 15, 2017, 4:02pm Top

The all time Ashes XI as voted by the listeners is:

Sir Jack Hobbs
Geoffrey Boycott
Sir Donald Bradman
Allan Border
Steve Waugh
Sir Ian Botham
Adam Gilchrist
Shane Warne
Dennis Lillee
Glenn McGrath
James Anderson

163PaulCranswick
Nov 15, 2017, 5:36pm Top

>158 johnsimpson: I do think that I'll be back before Christmas, John and I look forward to us getting together.

I look forward to celebrating your 75 later in the week - nowadays you make the number with a little to spare!

>159 charl08: I have read Benjamin Black (2), Bateman, Bruen (2) and Connolly to date, Charlotte. I think Eoin McNamee is a certainty Tana French and Gene Kerrigan are likely.

164PaulCranswick
Nov 15, 2017, 5:37pm Top

>160 johnsimpson: I did that one myself so I will be interested to see what they come up with.

>161 bell7: Thank you, Mary. I very belatedly got a move on!

165PaulCranswick
Nov 15, 2017, 5:41pm Top

>162 johnsimpson: Nice to see Sir Geoffrey in there. I had Fred in there instead of Jimmy Anderson but I think the rest of the team was as was. Hayden, Walter Hammond and Tony Greig were all good options too.

166PaulCranswick
Edited: Nov 16, 2017, 1:55pm Top

In expectation of January and the Irish Author Challenge kicking off I couldn't resist adding The Country Girls trilogy to my collection when I came across it in Kinokuniya yesterday.

It is made up as follows:

127. The Country Girls (1960) 224 pp

128. Girl with Green Eyes (1962) 256 pp

129. Girls in Their Married Bliss (1964) 199 pp

all of course by Edna O'Brien

The touchstones have gone walkabout this morning so I shall come back and edit this post later when the LT boffins sort the gremlins out.

167benitastrnad
Edited: Nov 15, 2017, 10:29pm Top

I took a walkabout through the Italian book section of the library this evening and came away with The Abruzzo Trilogy by Ignazio Silone. Has anyone heard of this trilogy? It is a sizable tome at 800 pages so before I start on it I wondered if anybody else had read it?

I also picked up Days of Abandonment by the elusive Elena Ferrante.

168LizzieD
Edited: Nov 15, 2017, 11:04pm Top

Hi, Paul. I can't catch up - not really - but those men with EYES are slaying me!
I remember really enjoying *Country Girls* years and years ago. Hope you liked it too. I've bought other E. O'Brien, but I don't think I've read any. *sigh*
Hearty congratulations on your 75! I don't think I'll make it this year, but I'm proud of you for exceeding the goal with all that you've had going on.

169vancouverdeb
Nov 16, 2017, 1:14am Top

Congratulations on reaching 75 books! And oh those touchstones are sure being touchy - both last night and tonight. It's so annoying! Like you, Paul, I'm no big fan of Ann Enright. I do like John Boyne as I have just finished a book by him lately. He has found favour with me ;-)

170PaulCranswick
Nov 16, 2017, 3:10am Top

>167 benitastrnad: I hadn't come across that one before and Silone is a new author to me. Elena Ferrante is of course a different kettle of fish entirely.

171PaulCranswick
Nov 16, 2017, 3:18am Top

>168 LizzieD: Peggy, I have only read two of hers. The Country Girls and In the Forest and the former was definitely more impressive than the latter.

Actually I am desperate to reach 100 books and I hope that I will do so as I have never failed to do so since leaving school.

172PaulCranswick
Nov 16, 2017, 4:06am Top

>169 vancouverdeb: Thanks Deb. I cannot do anything with the touchstones and it is cheesing me off royally.

John Boyne is a possibility for one of the three remaining gentlemen but I can very confidentially reveal to you only that July 2018 will not be he!

173Deern
Nov 16, 2017, 4:24am Top

>167 benitastrnad: Never heard of him, but checked some of his books on amazon.it this morning and ordered a sample of the first one of the trilogy. The few reviewers say "forgotten masterpiece", "should be on the school syllabus again", etc. I don't expect the books to be fun or easy reads though given the time and situation they were written in.
I'm reading that Ferrante right now, it's very different from the Napolitan quartet, very "viscerally" emotional (can you say that?) and raw, but also very honest.

>148 PaulCranswick: So I might finally get The Gathering checked off my list of Booker winners. If I'm in the mood for it. I liked The Green Road, but it left no lasting impression on me.

174BekkaJo
Nov 16, 2017, 5:10am Top

#66 Excellent- he's got multiple 1001s and I haven't ready any! Been meaning to for ages and ages.

Also The Gathering is a 1001, so I'm in for that one too ;)

175kidzdoc
Edited: Nov 16, 2017, 5:27am Top

It's impossible for me to keep up here, so I'll simply wave hello at the passing high speed train that is your thread, Paul!

176benitastrnad
Nov 16, 2017, 10:52am Top

Unlike Paul, I liked The Gathering. I will save my further comments about that title for the discussion when it happens in April of 2018.

177PaulCranswick
Nov 16, 2017, 12:14pm Top

>173 Deern: It is great isn't it how we come across these overlooked masterpieces and one of us can set off a chain in the group to read them. I do know that if I come across a translation of this in the UK or here, it will finish up on my shelves!

Viscerally emotional is a feeling I am familiar with in recent times, dear Nathalie, so I will have to allow it!

It may have been my mood that did for The Gathering at the time. Perhaps I should re-read it one fine day and reassess my judgement of it.

178PaulCranswick
Nov 16, 2017, 12:15pm Top

>174 BekkaJo: As you know, Bekka, I am slowly (very slowly) working through the challenge but honestly that hasn't played a decisive role in my selection!

Beckett is someone I simply must read soon.

179PaulCranswick
Nov 16, 2017, 12:18pm Top

>175 kidzdoc: Lovely to see you back posting, Darryl, and I am jealous that you are able to do so from my beloved Blighty. We will meet there again next year, God willing, my dear friend.

>176 benitastrnad: I will probably read her The Forgotten Waltz for the challenge next year, Benita. She is certainly not a train wreck of a writer, but from memory, I found The Gathering somehow quite dislocated.

180Crazymamie
Nov 16, 2017, 12:20pm Top

Sweet Thursday, Paul! I love the idea of Irish crime fiction for the month of May. I am not committing to any challenges next year, but your IAC is shaping up nicely. I recently purchased the first three in Adrian McKinty's series after Charlotte recommended the first one.

181PaulCranswick
Nov 16, 2017, 12:25pm Top

>180 Crazymamie: Just as the Scandi craze grabbed so many of us, Mamie, in the last decade or so, so Irish crime fiction seems to be the order of the day. I haven't read anything by Adrian McKinty but he has been quite strongly recommended by a number of our pals so he is certainly on my bucket list.

Thursday was not too shabby as I now wallow in the early hours of Friday morning. xx

182Crazymamie
Nov 16, 2017, 12:28pm Top

Whoops! Happy Friday then - hoping it is full of fabulous.

183PaulCranswick
Nov 16, 2017, 1:02pm Top

>182 Crazymamie: Expecting a busy day, Mamie, but sort of looking forward to it.

184PaulCranswick
Edited: Nov 16, 2017, 2:25pm Top

IRISH AUTHOR CHALLENGE JULY 2018

COLM TOIBIN



Toibin is a brave writer and an excellent one. He considered themes of homosexual love and was openly gay in an Ireland that was especially conservative in the early 1990s. His work has been critically lauded and he has been the recipient of a number of awards such as the Lambda, the Costa Book Award, The Hawthornden Prize, the IMPAC Dublin Prize, the LA Times Book of the Year as well as being long and shortlisted for the Booker Prize on a number of occasions.

185PaulCranswick
Nov 16, 2017, 2:25pm Top

IRISH AUTHOR CHALLENGE JULY 2018

Colm Toibin BOOKS

Novels
The South (1990)
The Heather Blazing (1992)
The Story of the Night (1996)
The Blackwater Lightship (1999)
The Master(2004)
Brooklyn (2009)
The Testament of Mary (2012)
Nora Webster (2014)
House of Names (2017)

Short Story Collections
Mothers and Sons (2006)
The Empty Family (2010)

Plays
Beauty in a Broken Place (2004)

Novellas
The Use of Reason (2006)

Anthologies edited
Synge (2012)

Non fiction
Seeing Is Believing (1985)
Walking Along the Border (1987)
Homage to Barcelona (1990)
Bad Blood (1994)
The Sign of the Cross (1994)
The Trial of the Generals (1995)
Kilfenosa Teaboy (1996)
The Irish Famine (1999) (with Diarmaid Ferriter)
Love in a Dark Time (2001)
Lady Gregory's Toothbrush (2002)
New Ways to Kill Your Father (2006)
All a Novelist Needs (2010)
A Guest at the Feast (2011)
New Ways to Kill Your Mother (2012)
On Elizabeth Bishop (2015)
Henry James and American Painting (2017) (with Declan Kiely and Marc Simpson)

186PaulCranswick
Nov 16, 2017, 7:07pm Top

Books I am hoping to finish by the end of the weekend:

Kafka on the Shore
The Many Days
Wide Sargasso Sea
The Rehearsal
The Barbary Figs

187PaulCranswick
Nov 16, 2017, 7:14pm Top

I am really enjoying The Many Days which are selected poems by Scottish poet Norman MacCaig.

Bearing in mind that Yasmyne is in Edinburgh this one plucked at me a little:

Assynt and Edinburgh

From the corner of Scotland I know so well
I see Edinburgh sprawling like seven cats
on its seven hills beside the Firth of Forth.

And when I'm in Edinburgh I walk
amongst the mountains and lochs of that corner
that looks across the Minch to the Hebrides.

Two places I belong to as though I was born
in both of them.

They make every day a birthday,
giving me gifts wrapped in the ribbons of memory.
I store them away, greedy as a miser.

188Familyhistorian
Nov 16, 2017, 8:41pm Top

A belated congratulations for reaching 75, Paul. Onward and upward to your goal of 100.

189PaulCranswick
Nov 16, 2017, 9:41pm Top

>188 Familyhistorian: Thanks Meg. I do hope to reach the 100 asap. I think I am going to be defeated in my efforts to read the Around the World in 80 Books - if I can get to 78, I will probably include the UK and the US and then technically I will have made it. It really ought to be a two year challenge.

190BekkaJo
Nov 17, 2017, 3:36am Top

#178 Not yours, but definitely mine ;)

Blackwater Lightship is on the Guardian 1000 so I may go for that one.

191PaulCranswick
Nov 17, 2017, 4:34am Top

>190 BekkaJo: I do want to pay some attention to the 1001 and Guardian 1000 (998) Books in the next year or two. I haven't really been planning the authors with that specifically in mind though to be honest, it is just a happy coincidence. xx

192karenmarie
Nov 17, 2017, 5:12am Top

Hi Paul!

>184 PaulCranswick: Well, I finally researched how to pronounce Colm Toibin's name so figure I can plan on reading Nora Webster or Brooklyn next July. Both have been sitting on my shelves for a while.

193PaulCranswick
Nov 17, 2017, 8:54am Top

>192 karenmarie: His book The Heather Blazing is one of my favourite books of the 1990s, Karen. He is a truly superb writer and an extremely hard working one. I will probably read Brooklyn or The South.

194PaulCranswick
Nov 17, 2017, 2:11pm Top

IRISH AUTHOR CHALLENGE AUGUST 2018

MOLLY KEANE



Molly Keane was born Mary Nesta Skrine and wrote originally under the name of MJ Farrell. She took the pseudonym from the proprietors name above a pub door in her locality in County Kildare. She wrote a number of plays and novels under this name before making a huge comeback in the early 1980s with the Booker shortlisted Good Behaviour.

Well regarded for her characterisation, the poeticism of her prose and a keen comic wit her later novels record in some sense the end of Anglo-Ireland.

195PaulCranswick
Nov 17, 2017, 2:21pm Top

IRISH AUTHOR CHALLENGE AUGUST 2018

MOLLY KEANE BOOKS

Novels as "M. J. Farrell":

The Knight of Cheerful Countenance (1926)
Young Entry (1928)
Taking Chances (1929)
Mad Puppetstown (1931)
Conversation Piece (1932)
Devoted Ladies (1934)
Full House (1935)
The Rising Tide (1937)
Two Days in Aragon (1941)
Loving Without Tears (1951)
Treasure Hunt (1952)

Novels as "Molly Keane":

Good Behaviour (1981)
Time After Time (1983)
Loving and Giving (1988) (alternatively titled Queen Lear)

Plays (as "M.J. Farrell"):

Spring Meeting (1938) with John Perry. Filmed in 1941
Ducks and Drakes (1942)
Treasure Hunt (1949) (on which the novel was later based; and adapted as a film in 1952)
Dazzling Prospect (1961)

196charl08
Nov 17, 2017, 3:38pm Top

>195 PaulCranswick: I had no idea that was the same author, Paul. I have the lovely edition of Good Behaviour in the red and black.

197FAMeulstee
Nov 17, 2017, 5:36pm Top

Your thread went fast, Paul, I was only away for a few days and I find over 150 unread posts!
So a bit belated congratulations on reaching 75!

198m.belljackson
Nov 17, 2017, 6:31pm Top

>195 PaulCranswick: >196 charl08:

The lovely rabbit cover edition, which I thought would be fun to see and hold and open, is REALLY expensive used!

199PaulCranswick
Nov 17, 2017, 6:37pm Top

>196 charl08: I think it most interesting that, even at her generation, it was felt inappropriate for a woman to be a writer of novels to the extent that she felt the need to take a Nom-de-plume.
I will probably read The Rising Tide.

200PaulCranswick
Nov 17, 2017, 6:40pm Top

>197 FAMeulstee: I do tend to proceed in fits and starts, Anita. The thread is slowing down a little after being slightly frenetic for a week or two. I love it when my thread is busy but I do have the same trouble that others have in keeping up with myself!

Thanks for the pat on the back for the 75. You are already closing in on your 6x75 this year of course which is simply amazing.

201PaulCranswick
Nov 17, 2017, 6:41pm Top

>198 m.belljackson: She is deemed a very collectible author at the best of times, Marianne, but that particular book is wonderfully striking don't you think?

202LovingLit
Nov 17, 2017, 9:03pm Top

>106 PaulCranswick: in this instance, and this instance only so far, I pick the dish of food over the people dishes!! I have a lovely beef casserole, that looks not unlike that one pictured, on the go at present, and I am excited about dinner tonight!

>184 PaulCranswick: I have some of his to still read! But the books are piling up for me at present.....I simply can't read fast enough! (actually, its prob that I am not prioritising reading lately, a few too many interesting beers have crossed my path lately, and consequently, the sitting and watching of films has taken place!!). Also (excuses excuses) The Master and Margarita has sucked me dry :) (but I am SO near the end!!!)

203PaulCranswick
Nov 18, 2017, 3:04am Top

>202 LovingLit: It is part of the progress we undergo towards full maturity, Megan, when we prioritise our hunger pangs over those more primal! I must admit that the stroganoff was more enticing to me too than Ms Zoya Berber, fresh faced though she undoubtedly is.

I like Colm Toibin but have only read three of his books to date so I have a few to go at next year.

Beers do tend to distract me from reading too!

204vancouverdeb
Nov 18, 2017, 3:11am Top

I've enjoyed Colm Toibin in the past, Paul. Brooklyn and Nora Webster. Maybe I'll try Blackwater Lightship next year. I don't think I'm familiar with MOLLY KEANE. Happy Weekend!

205PaulCranswick
Nov 18, 2017, 3:16am Top

>204 vancouverdeb: Some of the ladies in the group are quite keen on Keane as I recall. Her books are in print via Virago and I am looking forward to reading something by her to be honest.

I will probably read The Master by Toibin but Brooklyn is a possibility too.

206PaulCranswick
Nov 18, 2017, 10:14am Top

IRISH AUTHOR CHALLENGE SEPTEMBER 2018

RODDY DOYLE



Dublin born Doyle is a very distinctive writer with a tremendous force of dialogue driving his stories. He has written for both adults and children and his work is always engaging. He won the Booker Prize in 1993 for Paddy Clarke Ha Ha Ha.

207PaulCranswick
Edited: Nov 18, 2017, 6:54pm Top

IRISH AUTHOR CHALLENGE SEPTEMBER 2018

RODDY DOYLE BOOKS

Series
Barrytown
1. The Commitments (1987)
2. The Snapper (1990)
3. The Van (1991)

Roddy Doyle's Childrens books
Not Just for Christmas (1999)
Wilderness (2007)
Her Mother's Face (2008)

Last Roundup
1. A Star Called Henry (1999)
2. Oh, Play That Thing (2004)
3. The Dead Republic (2010)

Rover Adventures
The Giggler Treatment (2000)
Rover Saves Christmas (2001)
The Meanwhile Adventures (2004)
The Rover Adventures (omnibus) (2008)
The Extra Big Rover Adventures (omnibus) (2009)
Rover and the Big Fat Baby (2016)

Novels
Paddy Clarke, Ha Ha Ha (1993)
The Woman Who Walked Into Doors (1996)
Paula Spencer (2006)
Click (2007)
A Greyhound of a Girl (2011)
The Guts (2013)
Brilliant (2014)
Smile (2017)

Collections
Brownbread and War: Two Plays (1994)
The Deportees (2007)
Bullfighting (2011)
Two Pints (2012)
Two More Pints (2014)

Novellas
Jimmy Jazz (2013)


Non fiction
Rory and Ita (2002)

208PaulCranswick
Nov 18, 2017, 7:05pm Top

Very quiet over here. Not a single post to reply to when I woke up which is pretty unprecedented for a Sunday morning.

The touchstones were still playing up over night so poor old Roddy Doyle's books got no treatment until I woke up.

209amanda4242
Nov 18, 2017, 7:06pm Top

Hi!

210PaulCranswick
Nov 18, 2017, 7:15pm Top

76.

Kafka on the Shore by Haruki Murakami

Date of Publication : 2002
Pages : 615
1001 Books First Edition : 286
Around the World in 80 Books : #35 Japan

What it would be like to inhabit the dreams of Haruki Murakami.

For sheer narrative drive and imaginative force this has been rightly lauded as a classic, but there is plenty to be disturbed about too. Quite apart from the sky raining fish, talking cats and people inhabiting each other's dreams, I found some of the themes of the novel more than a little discomfiting. Patricide, incest and animal cruelty are difficult subjects at the best of times but swept along in this heady brew they seem at times to be trivialised.

I would have to admit that this is a work of genius - to be able to keep the reader sufficiently interested for 615 pages with such a storyline is testament to that, but it is a work of flawed genius nonetheless.

I can see why Murakami has an army of fans but am also reminded why in his army I remain distinctly a pacifist.

7/10

211PaulCranswick
Nov 18, 2017, 7:16pm Top

>209 amanda4242:. Ah Amanda! I should have known that you wouldn't abandon me!

212amanda4242
Edited: Nov 18, 2017, 7:18pm Top

>211 PaulCranswick: Never!

I wasn't enthralled by Murakami either.

213Dejah_Thoris
Nov 18, 2017, 7:20pm Top

>210 PaulCranswick: I think I'll take a pass on Kafka on the Shore - but thanks for the review!

One thing though - talking cats are, er, unusual? Or was that disturbing? I'll have to tell mine to keep quiet when there are strangers about......

214klobrien2
Nov 18, 2017, 7:28pm Top

>106 PaulCranswick: Oh my gosh, that stroganoff looks so good! And not only because I'm really hungry! I want to say that I really enjoy the pictures you post, of all of the "dishes"--it gives nice little insight into the individual countries. Thanks!

And congratulations on reaching 75! Woo hoo!

Karen O.

215PaulCranswick
Edited: Nov 19, 2017, 12:58pm Top

AROUND THE WORLD IN 80 BOOKS

Country 35 of 80 - JAPAN



Japan Factfile

Area : 145,936 sq miles (61st)
Population : 126,672,000 (10th)
Emperor/ Prime Minister : Akhito / Shinzo Abe
Capital City : Tokyo
Largest City : Tokyo
Currency : Yen
GDP Nominal : $4,841 trillion (3rd)
GDP Per Capita : $42,860 (27th)
National Languages : Japanese
Median Age : 47.3
Life Expectancy : 85.3
Percentage Using Internet : 92.0%

Its a Fact : Japan has the largest proportion of elderly people in its population and has more elderly people than youngsters.

Sources : Various but mainly wikipedia and CIA world fact book

216PaulCranswick
Nov 18, 2017, 7:34pm Top

>212 amanda4242: That puts a big smile on my face Amanda. xx

He has simply too much imagination for my liking. I prefer stories that I can follow as well as empathise with but a youngster obsessed with screwing his mother and his sister doesn't quite do it for me.

217PaulCranswick
Nov 18, 2017, 7:38pm Top

>213 Dejah_Thoris: Princess, I think the talking cats was probably one of the least strange things in the book and is actually quite well done. I was amazed by the sheer breadth of his imagination but it is a realm I wouldn't want to inhabit overly long to be quite honest.

>214 klobrien2: Stroganoff was a shoe in for me, Karen, when I got to Russia because of my own personal experiences in cooking it for my wife. I love its decadence as it was cooked using only the very best steak and the choicest mushroom and smetana is a rich accompaniment to the dish.

I am so pleased you enjoy my efforts to celebrate the "country of each author" as I certainly enjoy doing my research on it. xx

218PaulCranswick
Nov 18, 2017, 7:45pm Top

AROUND THE WORLD IN 80 BOOKS

A JAPANESE DISH

Unagi Don with Miso soup

It is a misnomer that Japanese food is all about raw fish. Hani and Belle would choose it as their absolute favourite food without hesitation and, whilst I wouldn't, it is a cuisine that I do enjoy.

I love my Japanese beef curry rice and the temptation was to go there, but I wanted something more distinctly authentic. Therefore I have chosen Unagi Don which is basically eel served over rice usually with a teriyaki sauce and the ubiquitous salty heaven of miso soup.



219PaulCranswick
Nov 18, 2017, 7:50pm Top

AROUND THE WORLD IN 80 BOOKS

AN ALTERNATIVE DISH

Agedashi Tofu

Basically delicately prepared to a crispy fried tofu/ beancurd with a tsuyu sauce topped with green onion, radish and bonito flakes. Hani especially loves this.

220PaulCranswick
Edited: Nov 18, 2017, 8:00pm Top

AROUND THE WORLD IN 80 BOOKS

ANOTHER JAPANESE DISH

Kou Shibasaki

Japanese actress who also starred in the Keanu Reeves, Ronin film.

221PaulCranswick
Nov 18, 2017, 8:01pm Top

. AROUND THE WORLD IN 80 BOOKS

AND ANOTHER JAPANESE DISH

Kei Nishikori

Struggling a bit with this one, but here is the Japanese tennis star in his civvies.

222amanda4242
Edited: Nov 18, 2017, 8:09pm Top

>218 PaulCranswick: & >219 PaulCranswick: Looks delicious! I went to Japan a few years ago with some friends and didn't have a single bad meal. I was especially taken with the okonomiyaki.

223PaulCranswick
Nov 18, 2017, 8:20pm Top

>222 amanda4242: This Japanese savoury pancake is delicious isn't it. Yaki means grill and okono means "what you like" so it can vary quite a bit in content. This is possibly the favourite dish in the Hiroshima area.

224richardderus
Nov 18, 2017, 9:06pm Top

I don't think I've ever had a really terrible Japanese-food meal. I'm not a huge unagi fan, but it's not *vile* and no one's ever offered me whale meat so we're good there.

Not to impugn your taste in dishes, Paul, but I wonder if my more...personally involved...point of view on male loveliness won't provide some, shall we say, counterpoint to the gentleman above:

The late Masaki Koh. Mr. Masaki died at 29, sad to say, after a long and successful international career in gay porn.

225PaulCranswick
Nov 18, 2017, 9:39pm Top

>224 richardderus: There is a restaurant in Kuala Lumpur, RD, well more like Putrajaya really in the JW Marriott there called Midori which has a Japanese buffet at the weekends. For many years it was a favourite destination of ours. Hani became infamous for her capacity to take oysters (fresh shucked with a squirt of lemon and a dash of tabasco). She managed 28 in one session and became known there as Madame Oyster! I was, of course, the unintended beneficiary of all this culinary over indulgence.

I bow to your taste in Japanese dishes of a specific sort. I must admit that I had a look and no particular dish caught my eye.

226PaulCranswick
Edited: Nov 19, 2017, 1:10am Top

Added a few books today when having some quality time with Kyran:

130. The Map and the Clock edited by Carol Ann Duffy & Gillian Clarke (2016) 669 pp

Why? I love poetry anthologies as many visitors here know and I want to revisit some old favourite with the Poet Laureate and then National Poet of Wales.

131. The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett (1911) 313 pp

Why? I loved this story as a child but haven't read it for years and years.

132. The Swiss Family Robinson by Johann Wyss (1812) 472 pp

Why? I want something else instead of Rousseau for my Switzerland Around the World in 80 Books!!
Loved the TV show as a boy.



The Secret Garden isn't the right cover but the site is still playing up and I cannot bring up any alternative covers.

227LovingLit
Edited: Nov 19, 2017, 2:07am Top

I have a fondness for okonomiyaki, and the Japanese male is not off limits for me either!! (apart from the fact that I am off limits to anyone on account of being already *taken*)

eta: Also, The Secret Garden is one i have had for ages, and have never yet read! It's a sin! Is it good, Paul? Is in an adventure? Should I read it to one of my offspring?

228Deern
Nov 19, 2017, 2:50am Top

I (honestly) never tried any illegal or recently legal drugs, but reading Kafka on the Shore in one go some years ago was how I'd imagine a good trip. When I got up from that chair again I felt numb and didn't really know what had just happened and where I'd been.

As you say it has all those elements that should make you abandon the book, but it's mostly on a level above reality as we know it, and that makes it digestible. I rated it very high, but due to the animal cruelty I might never be able to read it again.

Loved unagi back in omnivore times. Eel, usually smoked, is quite popular in parts of Germany, so I never had to get over the "ew, it's a snake" aversion. The tofu dish looks good as well.

I'll give Paddy Clarke a try, if I understand the sample. It's among the less popular Booker winners, and isn't it all in Irish English?

Happy Sunday to you! :)

229PaulCranswick
Nov 19, 2017, 3:38am Top

>227 LovingLit: I think if my meander across the world in books this year has demonstrated anything, Megan, it is:

1 Each nation has food that can tickle your palette; and
2 Each nation has men and women who are able to set all our senses racing.

I remember enjoying The Secret Garden in my pre-teens and it must be 40 years since I read it but I do recall enjoying it. The fact of it being set in my native Yorkshire hardly hurts it either from my point of view!

230PaulCranswick
Edited: Nov 19, 2017, 3:54am Top

>228 Deern: I am another one who has never done drugs. Like Clinton, I am unable to inhale (believe me please even though he was obviously lying) so even "pot" is wasted on me. The narrative sweep of Kafka is majestic and does carry it above the ordinary or entirely distasteful. It is digestible certainly but it does leave rather an unpleasant flavour in the mouth.

I don't dislike unagi but it is not my usual choice as I prefer the Japanese curries and teppanyaki much more. Hani swears by the tofu dish. Her favourite though is natto which are fermented beans which smell absolutely disgusting but taste well a little bit better than that.



Roddy Doyle's books are not difficult to follow. They are dialogue driven and some of the slang may confuse initially but they are certainly not "hard" books in the vein of Irvine Welsh or James Kelman.

231EllaTim
Nov 19, 2017, 6:04am Top

Hi Paul! You are going at a fast pace!

I'm trying to read my first Murakami, but had to lay it aside, because the content bothered me. The wind-up bird chronicle. I'm still hesitating about finishing it.

Have you ever seen the Japanese movie Tampopo? It's about a woman who is trying to start a noodle restaurant. It's really funny, but I also got the impression that food and perfectionism are very important to Japanese culture.

Have a nice Sunday.

232karenmarie
Nov 19, 2017, 7:14am Top

Hi Paul!

>210 PaulCranswick: Congrats on completing Kafka on the Shore. I've now completed two by him, the other being 1Q84, and am reading The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle for the group read. He's an author I may not read any more of though. I certainly can't imagine re-reading either of the two I've completed yet keep them on my shelves in the event that daughter eventually wants them.

>221 PaulCranswick: Ah, Kei. Not a bad choice at all. The pose is a bit silly, although I suppose it's to show off his racket hand, but he has a strong, beautiful face.

233msf59
Nov 19, 2017, 9:29am Top

>220 PaulCranswick: LIKE! Those eyes...

Happy Sunday, Paul. Sorry, Kafka didn't land you firmly in the Murakami camp, but at least you appreciated much of it. His style is definitely not for all tastes.

I LOVE all your Irish author picks. I hope to stop in and check a couple of these out, along with the BAC. I did badly this year, but you can only juggle so many books, right?

234scaifea
Nov 19, 2017, 9:44am Top

Happy Sunday, Paul!

>221 PaulCranswick: NICE. Those hands...

235PaulCranswick
Nov 19, 2017, 10:13am Top

>231 EllaTim: Two of his books in one year would be too much for me, Ella.
Sashimi and sushi do tend towards perfectionism in food in a very minimalist way. I am fond of sashimi served with a light soy with liberal amounts of fresh wasabi and pickled ginger.
I haven't seen that movie but it does remind me of some of the Japanese people that I know. I have a very close Japanese friend, Masao San, who is an extremely sincere fellow but likes to do everything just so.

236PaulCranswick
Nov 19, 2017, 10:19am Top

>232 karenmarie: I am also now on the same status, Karen, having completed two Murakami books - I read Norwegian Wood a few years ago. I can certainly see why he has his adherents but some of the storyline left me a little bit troubled.

I think Nishikori is a pleasant looking fellow and adds a cosmopolitan air to the ATP tennis circuit.

237PaulCranswick
Nov 19, 2017, 10:23am Top

>233 msf59: I am a great one for eyes too, Mark......windows to the soul and all that. She is a cutie for sure.

I have no problems with Murakami's style but do have issue with his themes. I am not sure that his version of the quest novel which essentially is what Kafka is, is quite my normal cuppa tea, but I do admire his narrative drive.

You have done better this year on the challenges than I have, buddy. I thought that the Irish Author Challenge might freshen things up for me next year.

238PaulCranswick
Nov 19, 2017, 10:24am Top

>234 scaifea: Nice to see you as always, Amber.

A tennis players hands are obviously of near prime importance to him/her aren't they? Nishikori has a great touch around the court which they say is an indicator of "soft" hands whatever the heck that means.

239charl08
Nov 19, 2017, 10:26am Top

The food for your Japanese read looks wonderful, Paul. I am not a Murakami fan, although friends have tried to persuade me of his genius!

I love Roddy Doyle. His new one Smile is definitely worth your time. His take on the Irish catholic abuse revelations. I read every book he writes- as much for his ear for a true conversation, as well as the black humour.

240PaulCranswick
Nov 19, 2017, 11:37am Top

>239 charl08: His supporters are very vocal Charlotte! I don't see him as a Nobel winner in all honesty although I wouldn't have picked any number of previous winners including especially Doris Lessing, Patrick Modiano and Bobby D.

Doyle has a perceptive ear for sure.

241jnwelch
Edited: Nov 19, 2017, 12:43pm Top

Good for you for completing Kafka on the Shore. His style suits me perfectly, but he's not for everyone, as Mark said. When I finished the re-read of Kafka on the Shore, I was tempted to start re-reading it all over again. You can tell I'm a goner on his books.

242benitastrnad
Nov 19, 2017, 12:07pm Top

I am a Murakami fan. I think his themes ar sweeping cultural works and he delves deep into the psyche of th Japanese. All of his works are historical in one sense or another. All are about history and memory, and HOW we remember WHAT we remember. Sometimes I think his work is one long screed to the Japanese to not forget that they were NOT nice people, in order to help them BE nice people.

Every author I have read that comments at length on the character of the Japanese people eventually has to deal with some big dichotomies in the culture and history. Paul Theroux, in his travel writing, tends to dislike the Japanese for these very cultural dichotomies.

At the very least Murakami is a great author. Certainly, more Nobel worthy than some who have won that prize.

243PaulCranswick
Nov 19, 2017, 12:15pm Top

>241 jnwelch: No Joe, it didn't leave me with a desire to read it again any time soon. Again it isn't his writing style (as conveyed by his translator anyway) but the obtuseness of some of his ideas. Wonderful but weirdly so!

I really liked the character of the old guy Nakata but Kafka himself grated upon me more than a little bit.

244PaulCranswick
Nov 19, 2017, 12:28pm Top

>242 benitastrnad: Opinions are great aren't they, Benita? I certainly do recognise the breadth of his imagination and talent and I would definitely agree that he deserves recognition over certain others that have already been honoured but as to sweeping cultural statements in Kafka and Norwegian Wood, well maybe I don't understand the Japanese enough to buy fully into that. The surrealism works on a certain level - the speaking cats for example were fascinating but I just don't see the insights into psyche from the raining eels and mackerels or the symbolism of a young man being compelled to sleep with his mother, rape his sister and kill his father.

I actually like most of the Japanese I have met, although they can be a tad inscrutable and I would generally prefer the far more open, if less refined, Koreans as pals.

245benitastrnad
Nov 19, 2017, 12:34pm Top

#244
I think your opinion about preferences are shared by most writers. The Japanese are not well liked in the literary world. As for their sexual proclivities, the writing about the weirdness in that is legion and legendary. Again, in that respect Japan seems to be a weird place.

246richardderus
Nov 19, 2017, 12:43pm Top

Murakami. No.

I have eaten natto. I have eaten durian. Of them both I say, along with Voltaire, "once, a philosopher; twice, a pervert."

247PaulCranswick
Edited: Nov 19, 2017, 1:08pm Top

77.

Wide Sargasso Sea by Jean Rhys

Date of Publication : 1966
Pages : 126
British Author Challenge : March 2018 (2nd book)
Around the World in 80 Books - #36 - Dominica
1001 Books First Edition - #287

Place plays a strong role in this short but extremely dense novel which has been much lauded and variously misunderstood, including by me before, over the years.

Oppression and malevolence are the order of the day here; the landscape with its lush undergrowth and hidden pathways are something to be endured. The society despises and oppresses Antoinette from her youth as a creole, through to her marriage and descent into a condition that replicates that of her mother.

Does anything get added to the story by a realisation that it is a sort-of-prequel to Jane Eyre? Well no I don't think so, but it is an effective and affecting piece completely on its own merits. Rhys had a sly way of creating atmosphere and rather malignant characters that will remain with me along with a distinct odour of rum and rotting vegetation.

8/10

248PaulCranswick
Nov 19, 2017, 12:48pm Top

>245 benitastrnad: There seems to be two schools of Japanese fiction:

1) The aloof school. Led by for example Kenzaburo Oe who are obtuse and chimerical and seem to write about nothing much at all.

2) The surreal school. Definitely Murakami heads this bunch. The proclivity here for a rather unhealthy obsession with the mechanics of sex is noted and not particularly liked. I also note the need to go into details on bodily functions as in the tedious references in Kafka to Nakata and his wonderful "dumps".

249PaulCranswick
Nov 19, 2017, 12:50pm Top

>246 richardderus: On the whole RD, I agree with you. I prefer to see the point of a story to be honest.

Hani likes both durian and natto. I again side with you on this. I have heard it tell that eating durian is akin to eating peaches and cream whilst sitting on the toilet. Squatting above a well used latrine more like.

250charl08
Nov 19, 2017, 12:52pm Top

>247 PaulCranswick: I think Suzanne has mentioned Rhys' other books recently - Your review reminds me I've done nothing about finding them!

251benitastrnad
Nov 19, 2017, 12:53pm Top

#248
I think you have analyzed it beautifully. Every book by Murakami that I have read has weird sex of some kind in it. In Theoux's redux of his train travels through Asia there is a long chapter in which he meets Murakami and the two of them spend a day walking around Tokyo. Weird six shows up, even there. Theroux dislikes it very much and tells the reader so.

I guess that puts you in good company.

252amanda4242
Nov 19, 2017, 1:01pm Top

>247 PaulCranswick: Nice review. And it's a BAC book, too!

253PaulCranswick
Nov 19, 2017, 1:01pm Top

>250 charl08: Her books are strange little monsters, Charlotte. Deceptively thin and easy looking they tend to bog you down in depth of meaning and luxuriance of language.

I tried and failed to read WSS before but I am glad that I persevered this time sufficiently to get hooked enough by it. Some of its scenes are memorably drawn even though it is in parts not so easy to follow as Rhys writes about the fall into madness through the eyes of someone experiencing it.

254PaulCranswick
Nov 19, 2017, 1:06pm Top

>251 benitastrnad: I seem to recall reading a book by Theroux set in Malawi (although he called it somewhere else) in which sexual mores abounded. I do find that the Japanese have a strange attitude to sex and the act itself in particular. Their KTV/Karaoke bars have a sexual element which is distinctly unpleasant and a trip there with a Japanese businessman especially in a group of Japanese businessmen can be decidedly hair-raising.

>252 amanda4242: Thanks Amanda. I had just about forgotten the BAC element to it (shame on me!) but will edit my review to add it!

255streamsong
Nov 19, 2017, 1:10pm Top

Hi Paul. I hope you had a pleasant weekend.

Paul, did you look at the thread for the group read of KOTS? Joe posted what I thought was a totally amazing link toward the end of the thread, which elaborated on some of the themes. I appreciated the book much more after reading the commentary. Perhaps some day, I'll read it again with that commentary in mind.

I took a pass on TWUBC group read. I totally agree that while I want to read more (KOTS was the first for me) two in one year was too much for me. Luckily I have a whole pile of other 1001'ers to read.

256PaulCranswick
Edited: Nov 19, 2017, 1:18pm Top

>255 streamsong: Sometimes, like in reading The Wasteland, the need to look at notes to fully understand the poet's / writers intentions, themes and point is manifest and can be enjoyable. I think the need for such a commentary with Murakami rather makes my point for me on the general obtuseness of some Japanese literature.

I do get quite a bit from the experience of reading him but I think my limit with him of one per year is a sensible control!

Lovely to see you as always, Janet. xx

257jnwelch
Nov 19, 2017, 1:19pm Top

You and RD have such different reactions to Murakami than mine, Paul. I don't see any overemphasis on sexual mechanics or Nakata's dumps (or tedious references to them); for me, they're just given the same kind of emphasis as cats or whatever.

The biggest difference I see is I'm very comfortable with, and in fact, enjoy, magic realism, and that challenge to understand the connections and significance in a dream-like narrative. That seems to be the biggest divider between those who enjoy his books and those who don't.

After I read the first one of his I tried (After the Quake), I went on a months-long reading binge in which I read nothing but Murakami. I believe my friends kept having to pull me by my feet back down to earth. And I spent a lot of time talking to cats.

258PaulCranswick
Edited: Nov 25, 2017, 11:25pm Top

AROUND THE WORLD IN 80 BOOKS

Country 36 of 80 - DOMINICA



Dominica Factfile

Area : 290 sq miles (174th)
Population : 73,543 (195th)
President/ Prime Minister : Charles Severin / Roosevelt Skerrit
Capital City : Roseau
Largest City : Roseau
Currency : East Caribbean Dollar
GDP Nominal : $521 million
GDP Per Capita : $11,429
National Languages : English
Median Age : 33.5
Life Expectancy : 77.2
Percentage Using Internet : 67.0%

Its a Fact : Dominica was the last of the main caribbean islands to be colonised by the Europeans

Sources : Various but mainly wikipedia and CIA world fact book

259PaulCranswick
Nov 19, 2017, 1:30pm Top

>257 jnwelch: We sometimes overlook certain aspects of a novel that grates on another because we are swept up by what we consider to be the majesty of the whole. I like his narrative drive and some of the scenes in the book are extremely effective but, the so called magic realism of the plot (I termed it surrealistic) only works on a certain level for me.

260PaulCranswick
Nov 19, 2017, 1:37pm Top

AROUND THE WORLD IN 80 BOOKS

A DOMINICA DISH

Callaloo

A soup or stew made with taro leaves and okra and sometimes with the addition of some proteins (here it is crab).

261Caroline_McElwee
Nov 19, 2017, 1:47pm Top

>247 PaulCranswick: this is near the top of the tbr mountain Paul. Glad to see it got 8/10, I know it splits opinion though.

262PaulCranswick
Nov 19, 2017, 1:53pm Top

AROUND THE WORLD IN 80 BOOKS

ANOTHER DOMINICA DISH

Michele Henderson

Singer.

263PaulCranswick
Nov 19, 2017, 2:05pm Top

AROUND THE WORLD IN 80 BOOKS

AND ANOTHER DOMINICA DISH

Lennox Linton

Is power attractive? Dominica's version of Barack Obama.

264PaulCranswick
Edited: Nov 19, 2017, 2:06pm Top

>261 Caroline_McElwee: It is a challenging read, Caroline, for such a slime volume.

By the way I was astounded by the amount your little painting reached at auction!

265m.belljackson
Nov 19, 2017, 3:14pm Top

>230 PaulCranswick:

Wine, beer, and my favorites, Champagne and Cognac - are they not merely legal drugs?

266karenmarie
Nov 19, 2017, 3:19pm Top

>262 PaulCranswick: She's gorgeous and I love her hair.

>263 PaulCranswick: Yes. Power is attractive.

267ronincats
Nov 19, 2017, 4:59pm Top

Happy Sunday, Paul, although I know yours is nearly over. I am enjoying mine quietly--you were the first to send me happy wishes and I thank you.

268vancouverdeb
Nov 19, 2017, 6:56pm Top

I'd say power is only so attractive. Barack Obama is so much better looking and attractive than Lennox Linton.

269jessibud2
Edited: Nov 19, 2017, 7:18pm Top

And only when used appropriately. I mean, honestly, trump thinks (his) power is attractive, even if most of us don't agree. And want to barf at the thought, in fact.

270PaulCranswick
Nov 19, 2017, 7:31pm Top

>265 m.belljackson: If we are counting those things as drugs then I am as guilty as the next one!

>266 karenmarie: I had a lot of trouble finding suitable candidates for both men and women.

271PaulCranswick
Nov 19, 2017, 7:34pm Top

>267 ronincats: It was the early hours when you messaged me, Roni. xx

>268 vancouverdeb: I agree with both of those comments, Deb.

>269 jessibud2: And I agree with that one too, Shelley. I couldn't find anybody!

272Whisper1
Nov 19, 2017, 10:08pm Top

How lovely to find my way to your wonderful thread. Thanks for that lovely opening image! I hope you are well my friend. Soon, very soon, I hope to have energy to visit more often.

In the meantime, know you are loved and appreciated!

273humouress
Nov 19, 2017, 10:08pm Top

Hi Paul. I’ve had to thread-skip again to catch up. I’d say ‘happy new thread’ but....

274PaulCranswick
Nov 20, 2017, 12:12am Top

>272 Whisper1: That is a lovely surprise, Linda. You have been very much in my thoughts and prayers lately and it is an absolute joy to have you post. xx

>273 humouress: Hehehe, never mind Nina, perhaps on the next one!

275banjo123
Nov 20, 2017, 12:26am Top

Wishing you a good week ahead, Paul! I have just been skimming through treads, so I can't comment too much...

276PaulCranswick
Nov 20, 2017, 11:28am Top

>275 banjo123: Thank you birthday girl. xx

277m.belljackson
Nov 20, 2017, 12:32pm Top

>270 PaulCranswick:

Ah well, at least we are not enticed by your countryman, Sherlock (Sign of the Four, Chapter One),
choice of being soothed and mellowed out by cocaine or opium,
or we should all be addicted to more than vintages.

Here's a project > rewrite all Sherlock Holmes stories allowing the reader to be given the clues
BEFORE the detective solves them all so neatly. It would be fun to match wits with the master.

278PaulCranswick
Nov 20, 2017, 4:57pm Top

>277 m.belljackson: It is strange how times change. Britain went to war in China to force their opium on the people there and Sherlock was a devotee.

279mstrust
Nov 24, 2017, 12:56pm Top

Dropped in to say hi, and find myself woefully behind on Japanese authors.
>230 PaulCranswick: I thought this was a pick of cheese covered pasta, but is it actually fermented beans?

280PaulCranswick
Nov 24, 2017, 8:33pm Top

>279 mstrust: It does taste really cheesy, Jennifer. Hani loves it and eats it served with lotus root. The dish is called renkon natto and she eats it every time she goes to a Japanese restaurant that serves it.

This topic was continued by Paul C's 2017 Reading & Life - 32.

Group: 75 Books Challenge for 2017

420 members

172,368 messages

About

This topic is not marked as primarily about any work, author or other topic.

Touchstones

Works

Authors

About | Contact | Privacy/Terms | Help/FAQs | Blog | Store | APIs | TinyCat | Legacy Libraries | Early Reviewers | Common Knowledge | 128,989,544 books! | Top bar: Always visible