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Paul C's 2017 Reading & Life - 32

This is a continuation of the topic Paul C's 2017 Reading & Life - 31.

This topic was continued by Paul C's 2017 Reading & Life - 33.

75 Books Challenge for 2017

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1PaulCranswick
Edited: Nov 20, 2017, 5:24pm Top

Still in my home county of Yorkshire and we are visiting the lovely town of Knaresborough through which the River Nidd flows somewhat languidly.

2PaulCranswick
Edited: Nov 28, 2017, 8:37pm Top

Paul's Poetry

Haiku. The Japanese literary art form. Traditionally three lines with 5-7-5 syllables and the middle line being a link between the other two lines.

Autumn Morning Haiku

Tepid sun rises
Now beyond the Peace Garden
Where the cricket waits.

3PaulCranswick
Edited: Nov 28, 2017, 8:40pm 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 28, 2017, 8:42pm 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 28, 2017, 8:43pm 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 28, 2017, 8:45pm 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 28, 2017, 8:46pm 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
78. The Barbary Figs by Rashid Boudjedra (2010) 191 pp

8PaulCranswick
Edited: Nov 28, 2017, 8:49pm 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 28, 2017, 8:50pm 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 28, 2017, 9:32pm 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 28, 2017, 9:38pm 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 20, 2017, 5:23pm Top

READING PLAN

14PaulCranswick
Nov 20, 2017, 5:23pm Top

CURRENTLY READING

15PaulCranswick
Edited: Nov 29, 2017, 5:30pm 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 RASHID BOUDJEDRA
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 JEAN RHYS
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 29, 2017, 5:38pm 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 : POETS & PLAYWRIGHTS
November : EMMA DONOGHUE, JENNIFER JOHNSTON, MAGGIE O'FARRELL
December : JOHN BANVILLE, SEBASTIAN BARRY, COLUM MCCANN

The selection for January will be named later today.

17PaulCranswick
Nov 20, 2017, 5:24pm Top

NEXT IS YOURS

18ffortsa
Nov 20, 2017, 5:27pm Top

wow! The only reason I'm first is that I skipped the last thread entirely. Sorry, Paul.

The header picture is ravishing. Have a fine trip.

19amanda4242
Nov 20, 2017, 5:27pm Top

Already?! Happy new thread!

20PaulCranswick
Nov 20, 2017, 5:31pm Top

>18 ffortsa: Lovely to see you up first Judy. xx

Knaresborough is a splendid place and I could be seeing it in about three weeks time. Hani and Belle head back to the UK this evening.

21PaulCranswick
Nov 20, 2017, 5:32pm Top

>19 amanda4242: Yes, Amanda, it is that time already. xx

Thanks for dropping by as ever.

22richardderus
Nov 20, 2017, 6:05pm Top

Yowza, my feet hurt from tramping (!) around after you.

23jessibud2
Nov 20, 2017, 6:18pm Top

Wow, another enticing topper, Paul. Happy new thread! Again!

24PaulCranswick
Nov 20, 2017, 6:31pm Top

>22 richardderus: Sorry about that dear fellow.

I think a hot foot bath is in order

25PaulCranswick
Nov 20, 2017, 6:31pm Top

>23 jessibud2: Thank you dear Shelley. I am quite proud to have now hit 32 threads this year.

26jnwelch
Nov 20, 2017, 6:43pm Top

Happy New Thread, Paul! 32 is awesome. Great photo of Knaresborough and the River Nidd up there.

27PaulCranswick
Edited: Nov 20, 2017, 7:02pm Top

IRISH AUTHOR CHALLENGE OCTOBER 2018

IRISH POETRY & PLAYS

I have put them together because a month only reading plays may be too much for all of us!
Poetry is my thing. It is in my blood. It is in the Irishness of my blood.



FROM LEFT TO RIGHT :
WB YEATS, JAMES JOYCE, PATRICK KAVANAGH & SEAMUS HEANEY

Irish playwrights have been incomparable in english language literature to my mind.



FROM LEFT TO RIGHT

OSCAR WILDE, JM SYNGE, G.B. SHAW, SEAN O'CASEY

28richardderus
Nov 20, 2017, 7:03pm Top

Foot bath. Yes, that's exactly the thing.

And bless you for packing the poisonous plays and poetry into a single, missable month. How about making it February?

29PaulCranswick
Nov 20, 2017, 7:03pm Top

>26 jnwelch: Thanks Joe. I hope that we can entice you up to Yorkshire when we get settled there in the coming year.

30PaulCranswick
Nov 20, 2017, 7:08pm Top

>28 richardderus: You're welcome RD.

I figured that:

1. Joyce was too much for the group to bear so I would slip him in in a group scenario
2. Nobody wants to read only plays in a month, but Irish plays (possibly Beckett excepted) are wonderfully enjoyable creations
3. I couldn't pass up the opportunity for poetry with two of my favourites Yeats and Heaney available.

Dear departed William Trevor already has a grip upon February so the poets shall muster as autumn folds into winter.

31drneutron
Nov 20, 2017, 7:46pm Top

Happy new thread! Next year's selections are shaping up nicely!

32richardderus
Nov 20, 2017, 8:10pm Top

>30 PaulCranswick: Perfect! Make it November...NaNoWriMo and US Thanksgiving!

33amanda4242
Nov 20, 2017, 8:51pm Top

>27 PaulCranswick: Oh, more poetry.

34mahsdad
Nov 20, 2017, 8:51pm Top

Happy New Thread!

35msf59
Nov 20, 2017, 8:52pm Top

Happy New Thread, Paul. You have been on fire lately. Are you trying to leave me in the dust? Grins...

36PaulCranswick
Nov 20, 2017, 9:06pm Top

>31 drneutron: Thanks Jim. I am quite pleased with the Irish Author Challenge picks myself and there are only two more to go. I do think that Joyce - though I love his work - would have been rather a heavy one to impose upon the group so fitting him in like this is more doable and means I don't entirely overlook his genius.

>32 richardderus: Thanksgiving for poetry, yes!

37PaulCranswick
Nov 20, 2017, 9:19pm Top

>33 amanda4242: I don't get the most positive vibe, Amanda!? Your BAC performance on the poet laureates was a completists dream!

>34 mahsdad: Thanks Jeff.

>35 msf59: Cheers Mark. No, buddy, I think you are safely at the top of the heap for this year but I expect RD could blow both of us away in 2018.

38humouress
Edited: Nov 20, 2017, 9:30pm Top

Hi Paul. Happy new thread! (I’m managing to keep up.)

>1 PaulCranswick: Please stop doing that; I really want to go and visit, but I can’t :0/

ETA: no, don’t. These places are really pretty. Not the bleakness I expected from Wuthering Heights at all.

39amanda4242
Nov 20, 2017, 9:51pm Top

>37 PaulCranswick: Maybe I'll be more excited about poetry when I'm not being bogged down by Idylls of the King.

40vancouverdeb
Nov 20, 2017, 10:15pm Top

Happy New Thread, Paul! Happy reading!

41Dejah_Thoris
Nov 20, 2017, 10:46pm Top

Didn't we all just congratulate on you on a new thread? Well, congratulations, anyway!

And for the record, I'd be just fine with reading plays for a month :)

42PaulCranswick
Nov 20, 2017, 11:02pm Top

>38 humouress: Yes I will, or I won't or whichever or whatever!

Yorkshire is full of surprises, Nina.

>39 amanda4242: Tennyson would put a lot of people off poetry, Amanda.

The Lady of Onions and all that.

43PaulCranswick
Nov 20, 2017, 11:03pm Top

>40 vancouverdeb: Thanks Deb, I am continuing to make progress with my reading and I do hope to get to 100 this year as always.

>41 Dejah_Thoris: Well, thank you Princess!

And you still may read the plays.

44richardderus
Nov 20, 2017, 11:24pm Top

>42 PaulCranswick: The Lady of Shallots, you philistine. Very *posh* little onions, most delicious, especially accompanied by fines herbes and a bit of Gruyère in an omelet.

Though that pome would put the strongest stomach off its feed, huh.

45ronincats
Nov 21, 2017, 12:14am Top

Happy New Thread, Paul! At least I'm here on the first day of it.

46PaulCranswick
Nov 21, 2017, 12:25am Top

>44 richardderus: Hey, Phil Stein was a good pal of mine. My English sensibilities call out for Wensleydale or Mature Cheddar but I'm all in on the shallots.

>45 ronincats: Roni, from the first day to the last you will always be a prized visitor here.

47richardderus
Nov 21, 2017, 12:47am Top

Shallots, Wensleydale, and some dill sounds Lucullan. A good porter?

48Familyhistorian
Nov 21, 2017, 1:44am Top

Happy new thread, Paul, again. The topper is pretty but then most places look nice when they are warm and sunny, even here would be nice if the sun would actually shine. Are you sure you want to go back to a place that has seasons?

49PaulCranswick
Edited: Nov 21, 2017, 1:52am Top

>47 richardderus: Oh yes please.



You and me are fine but who gets the other ones?

50PaulCranswick
Nov 21, 2017, 1:54am Top

>48 Familyhistorian: It is actually one of the attractions Meg. Somehow it has become tiring staying in a place with no seasons where every day is the same other than by degrees of wetness.

51Familyhistorian
Nov 21, 2017, 2:16am Top

>50 PaulCranswick: Hmm, I wonder how long it will take for the joys of seasons to wear off, Paul? I like seasons except for the winter one!

52BekkaJo
Nov 21, 2017, 2:47am Top

Just getting my feet under the table at the cheese, onion and porter party. Discovered a good one at a beer festival a few years called Dark side of the Moose. Yummy.

Also I bring pickles to add (and get them out of my house). A lot of them. Bumper gherkin crop this year.

53Caroline_McElwee
Edited: Nov 21, 2017, 4:14am Top

>1 PaulCranswick: I’ve been over that bridge on the train.

I’m loving how the Irish challenge is shaping up Paul.

Ha, 32 threads, and I’ll manage 2 this year :=)

54scaifea
Nov 21, 2017, 6:20am Top

Happy new thread, Paul!

55msf59
Nov 21, 2017, 6:54am Top

>37 PaulCranswick: So, RD has us in his sights for '18? I am a bit nervous...

56Carmenere
Nov 21, 2017, 7:00am Top

Here's to your shiny new thread, Paul! I love the languidity of your topper. What a peaceful sight.

57LizzieD
Nov 21, 2017, 7:37am Top

Hi, Paul! Your river on top looks only a bit wider than ours, the much loved Lumber. (My g-grandfather was such a Victorian. Shakespeare was vulgar, Tennyson, so much the superior poet. Yech.)
Happy reading and reviewing on this fine thread.

58FAMeulstee
Nov 21, 2017, 7:59am Top

Happy new thread, Paul!
Your threads go fast again, almost like it was at the start of the year ;-)

59charl08
Nov 21, 2017, 7:59am Top

Lovely topper Paul. Happy new one.

60Crazymamie
Nov 21, 2017, 9:27am Top

Happy new thread, Paul!

61richardderus
Nov 21, 2017, 10:02am Top

>49 PaulCranswick:, >52 BekkaJo: Oh, you know what we forgot? The soda bread.


Bekka's gherkins won't come amiss either.


The porter "extras" won't, I suspect, present much of a problem.

62Deern
Nov 21, 2017, 1:06pm Top

cheese, bread, pickles and dark Irish beer, sounds allright to me! Coincidentally I just had the Italian version which is more summery for dinner: ciabatta, provolone (smoked cheese) and a glass of prosecco, sadly no olives left.

Very happy new bread, Paul!

63RBeffa
Nov 21, 2017, 1:22pm Top

Your threads move too fast for me to keep up! Going back to your prior one, the elements of Kafka on the Shore that bothered you also bothered me a lot. It didn't help that I was quite unsympathetic towards Kafka and even less so by the end. By contrast I liked virtually every secindary character. And I think your choice of the term surrealistic is an apt one. I have been a fan of much of Murakami's work in the past but Kafka really dulled my enthusiasm tremendously. And I just cannot get over the cat torture in the book. The music elements he weaves through his stories almost always charm me but the dark threads i can only take so much of.

64johnsimpson
Nov 21, 2017, 4:02pm Top

Happy new thread mate and another great thread topper photo. I think you could get to 40 threads for the year at the rate you are going but I must say that I am pleased that I have reached 2,000 posts for the year with more to come.

Safe trip for Hani and Belle and looking forward to seeing you dear fellow later in the year mate.

65PaulCranswick
Nov 21, 2017, 4:49pm Top

>51 Familyhistorian: That is an interesting question, Meg, and to be honest it is one to which I don't know the answer!

I do think that the absence of any seasons at all becomes oppressive and tedious over time - even the monsoon season is often none too pronounced these days. That said I don't recall an over-fondness for winter either!

>52 BekkaJo: Pickles go great with cheese don't they just, Bekka?

There is the stuff you are referring to and plenty to share there is me hearties!

66PaulCranswick
Nov 21, 2017, 4:51pm Top

>53 Caroline_McElwee: Spent quite a number of happy days in Knaresborough, Caroline and I remember going there by train as a youngster. I don't think that I have taken Hani and the kids there before so I will need to put that right soon.

I think that the most threads I have managed in a year before is 37 and I think I will be short of that this year. xx

>54 scaifea: Thank you Amber, dear.

67PaulCranswick
Nov 21, 2017, 4:54pm Top

>55 msf59: It is only a supposition, Mark, but I reckon his jet fuelled starts to the year would blow us away now. Years ago I was able to cling to his shirttails but I suspect his fresh wind will be too much for me nowadays. Great to see him back though isn't it?

>56 Carmenere: Thanks Lynda. Languid is a nice description of the scene although I am not sure that the bald guy in the near distance would quite agree as he seems to be having some difficulty steering his boat!

68PaulCranswick
Nov 21, 2017, 5:00pm Top

>57 LizzieD: It is funny because we used to read quite a lot of Tennyson at school when I was much younger although the present generation of students don't seem to have even heard of the fellow. Tennyson had an austere charm but one needs such stamina to wade through his work, Peggy.

>58 FAMeulstee: Thanks Anita. I do often get a second wind towards the end of the year as I start planning for the next one! I have certainly fallen back in love with posting this year as my posting fell to a (for me) fairly miserable 5,123 post in 2015 and recovered to 7,434 last year. Presently this year I am running at 8,622 posts.

69SuziQoregon
Nov 21, 2017, 5:05pm Top

Happy new thread Paul. Beautiful topper as usual.

70PaulCranswick
Nov 21, 2017, 5:05pm Top

>59 charl08: Thanks Charlotte. I am hoping to be able to get to the UK with Kyran in the middle of December for a few weeks; hope to have the chance to look up my LT friend in the North West.

>60 Crazymamie: Thank you, dear Mamie.

Hani and Belle are off on their intrepid travels again. They left for UK last night (hence why I wasn't posting for a while) and a going via Oman, Muscat. Due to a long layover I arranged for them to stay in a hotel near the airport and to give them the chance to say that they have been to Oman!

They have arrived safely but I got a call from SWMBO complaining that they had to buy visas to enter the country of approximately $60 each and she was less than impressed with that!

71PaulCranswick
Nov 21, 2017, 5:11pm Top

>61 richardderus: Soda bread! That sits great with the Irish Author challenge, RD. Good soda bread is made better with lashings of best Irish butter.

>62 Deern: Prosecco can never be enough but I need to add you some olives, Nathalie:

72PaulCranswick
Nov 21, 2017, 5:16pm Top

>63 RBeffa: The treatment of sex in his books seems to me a little odd, Ron. Both Kafka and the lady possibly his mother are clearly deviants and the fine tinkling of lovely music does not distract from that.

The Johnnie Walker scenes are pretty hard going for anyone and especially cat lovers. I don't count myself in that latter group but I was still repulsed by the subject matter's descriptions.

>64 johnsimpson: A good year for Yorkshire in the group John with over 10,000 posts between us, mate.

Hani arrives in the UK tomorrow and will be looking for places to stay in the vicinity of Haworth in the coming weeks. I do look forward to us meeting up again soon, John.

73PaulCranswick
Nov 21, 2017, 5:17pm Top

>69 SuziQoregon: Almost missed you Juli! Thank you and I do try to do the job of the Yorkshire Tourism Board in my thread toppers!

74richardderus
Nov 21, 2017, 5:46pm Top

>70 PaulCranswick: $120 to get into that little rathole?! Dayum.


Seemed a propos.

75PaulCranswick
Nov 21, 2017, 6:38pm Top

>74 richardderus: I wonder how much they'll charge the pair to get back out again?

I would be interested to see what the hell Kafka made of Black Forest Gateau.

76richardderus
Nov 21, 2017, 6:39pm Top

HA!!

77PaulCranswick
Nov 21, 2017, 6:58pm Top

>76 richardderus: Asking how was the hotel was to no avail. She was seriously pissed that she had to pay such a lot to get in to the place.

78richardderus
Nov 21, 2017, 7:18pm Top

I pity da fool who asks her for money to get *out* of there.

79PaulCranswick
Nov 21, 2017, 11:06pm Top

>78 richardderus: I think she will provide the airport with a grand new opening if there is any such talk!

80PaulCranswick
Edited: Nov 23, 2017, 6:55pm Top

IRISH AUTHOR CHALLENGE NOVEMBER 2018

FINAL FEMALE AUTHOR SELECTION

As has been my wont over a few years of the BAC I do like to give some input to the rest of the group and those who may participate in the challenge in the selection process.

So for the last female and male selections I want to give three options and get feedback before confirming the choice.
The three female shortlist for November 2018 are in alphabetical order:

Decision made later and announced on 22 November 2017.

81PaulCranswick
Edited: Nov 22, 2017, 8:54pm Top

IRISH AUTHOR CHALLENGE NOVEMBER 2018

OPTION ONE - EMMA DONOGHUE



Major Works:

Room 2010 Booker and Orange Prize shortlists

The Wonder 2015 Giller Prize Shortlist

82PaulCranswick
Edited: Nov 22, 2017, 8:55pm Top

IRISH AUTHOR CHALLENGE NOVEMBER 2018

OPTION TWO - JENNIFER JOHNSTON



Major Works :

How Many Miles to Babylon? 1974 Guardian 1000 Books

The Old Jest 1979 Whitbread Prize Winner

83PaulCranswick
Edited: Nov 22, 2017, 8:55pm Top

IRISH AUTHOR CHALLENGE NOVEMBER 2018

OPTION THREE - MAGGIE O'FARRELL



Major Works :

The Hand That First Held Mine 2010 Costa Book Awards Winner

Instructions for a Heatwave 2013 Costa Book Awards Shortlist

84amanda4242
Nov 22, 2017, 12:12am Top

Jennifer Johnston looks interesting.

85PaulCranswick
Nov 22, 2017, 12:17am Top

>84 amanda4242: I have How Many Miles to Babylon? on the shelves, Amanda, and plan to read it next year anyway as it is set in the WWI and it is the centenary of the end of the conflict next year.

I have books by all three of them though so, I will go with the flow.

86BekkaJo
Nov 22, 2017, 2:57am Top

Fingers crossed Hanni and Belle get to the UK without any further issues - or Hanni losing it en route :/ Thoroughly agree though - stupid price to have to pay when only stopping for a layover.

87Berly
Nov 22, 2017, 3:16am Top

Delurking to say Hi! I know I won't be able to fit in every month of the challenge, but I look forward to testing the Irish waters. I have a Heaney around here somewhere....

88Caroline_McElwee
Nov 22, 2017, 4:28am Top

It’s years since I read Jennifer Johnson. How about making November multiple choice?

89charl08
Nov 22, 2017, 7:46am Top

If you're offering soda bread, Paul, I would definitely be tempted to join in the Irish challenge! I have got to try and read Joyce before the year is out - wish me luck... Could definitely meet you and the troops for a brew in Haworth. So many bookshops and coffee shops, just perfect.

90karenmarie
Nov 22, 2017, 8:33am Top

Hi Paul and happy new thread!

Your family sure does travel a lot. Wishing Hani and Belle safe and uneventful travels (always excepting the Great Visa Debacle).

>81 PaulCranswick: - >83 PaulCranswick: I've read Donoghue and O'Farrell (Room and The Vanishing Act of Esme Lennox) and have more books on my shelves by both of them, unread. Either would work for me and I've penciled in November 2018 for the Irish Author Challenge.

91harrygbutler
Nov 22, 2017, 9:31am Top

Happy new thread, Paul! I'm running a bit behind on my posting and visits because of travels, but at least I was able to pick up a few books along the way.

92benitastrnad
Nov 22, 2017, 10:03am Top

I am not a Donoghue fan and have never read anything by the other two authors. Guess that tells you where my vote would be.

93banjo123
Nov 22, 2017, 3:59pm Top

Hi Paul! I am not sure how much I will participate in any challenges next year, so not so sure I should get a vote. I am a very big Emma Donoghue fan, so my vote goes there, BUT, I haven't read anything by the other two authors, and both look intriguing.

94PaulCranswick
Nov 22, 2017, 8:35pm Top

>86 BekkaJo: Should have crossed the fingers quicker and harder Bekka. Sleepless night and with the internet down at home. I booked a car for Hani at Manchester Airport but she came to grief when they asked her for additional coverage on the car or a $1,600 deposit. She hadn't paid her cards before setting off (I am transferring money to do that for her) so I was called into action to try and settle it from here. Did it finally but what a palaver.

>87 Berly: Kimmers, you will always be welcome. Most discerning households will have a Heaney or three within their confines.

95PaulCranswick
Nov 22, 2017, 8:36pm Top

>88 Caroline_McElwee: Now there is an idea, Caroline! Let me quickly ponder.

>89 charl08: We'll try to organise that, Charlotte, I'll PM you when I know my dates.

Good luck with the Joyce.

96PaulCranswick
Edited: Nov 22, 2017, 8:39pm Top

>90 karenmarie: The ladies do get to travel more than the gentlemen do in actual fact, Karen!

I look forward to seeing you in the Irish Author Challenge next year from time to time.

>91 harrygbutler: Your book choices are always interesting, Harry. I will scoot over and take a peek!

97PaulCranswick
Nov 22, 2017, 8:41pm Top

>92 benitastrnad: So you don't like one and have not read the other two, Benita. So the answer is?!

>93 banjo123: Thanks Rhonda. The feedback has cleared up nothing except that nothing is cleared up.

98PaulCranswick
Edited: Nov 22, 2017, 9:03pm Top

IRISH AUTHOR CHALLENGE NOVEMBER 2018

MULTIPLE CHOICE

I am going to cop out and follow Caroline's advice.



99benitastrnad
Nov 22, 2017, 9:12pm Top

#97
I was voting for anybody but Donoghue. I figure that part of these challenges is to read authors we haven't read before, so that means either O'Farrell or Johnston.

I loved the use of the word "palaver" in a previous post. That is a word I haven't heard in a long time.

100foggidawn
Nov 22, 2017, 10:19pm Top

Happy new-ish thread!

101PaulCranswick
Nov 22, 2017, 10:30pm Top

>99 benitastrnad: Hani always tells me that I am full of outdated words!

>100 foggidawn: Thank you dear Foggy!

102FAMeulstee
Nov 23, 2017, 6:02am Top

I want to read along with the Irish authors in September next year, as I have Roddy Doyle's Paddy Clarke Ha Ha Ha on my list. I might find some to read in other months.

103PaulCranswick
Nov 23, 2017, 6:29am Top

>102 FAMeulstee: I am biased Anita, but I really rate Irish writing. I am sure something else will catch your fancy along the way.

104vancouverdeb
Edited: Nov 23, 2017, 7:31am Top

I won't vote, Paul, but I did enjoy Room and The Wonder - perhaps especially the The Wonder. Oh dear, clearly I am not a discerning household, as I do not have Heaney within our home. Uh oh!

105jessibud2
Nov 23, 2017, 7:37am Top

I have read only one by Donoghue, The Sealed Letter and quite liked it. I do own 2 others by her though as yet, they are unread.

106msf59
Nov 23, 2017, 7:37am Top

>74 richardderus: LIKE!

Sweet Thursday, Paul. You are definitely sparking some interest for me, in the IAC. Some mighty fine authors.

I hope the work week went smoothly.

107BekkaJo
Nov 23, 2017, 9:56am Top

#94 Poor Hanni and Belle! That's awful. They aren't having much luck this trip. I will keep everything crossed from now on for everything to sort out.

108Berly
Nov 23, 2017, 12:46pm Top

On this day of American Thanksgiving, I am grateful for many things, one of them being my



Thank you for being so wonderful! : )

109Caroline_McElwee
Nov 23, 2017, 12:56pm Top

Bringing my thanks for your friendship over here Paul. And my thanks for your nudge into the 75ers.

i hope things will be less topsy turvy for you going forward.

110sibyx
Nov 23, 2017, 1:57pm Top



Have to bring this over to you to thank you for your lovely thank you's!

That dog would thank us all if we toppled that pan onto the floor!

111richardderus
Nov 23, 2017, 2:05pm Top

Thanksgiving is upon us like a mustard-gas cloud in a chlorine-filled chamber. Yee haw.

But you, Herr Führer von und zu Cranswick, earn my especial opprobrium this year for *forcing* me to read Simon Armitage and thus discover Sir Gawain and the Green Knight as he translated it. It blows a gigantic hole in my anti-poetry case, curse your very bones, by being a brilliant story best told in verse.

It is conceivable that I shall never be able to forgive you.

112amanda4242
Nov 23, 2017, 2:20pm Top

>111 richardderus: Take comfort in the fact you are right about so many other poems!

113johnsimpson
Nov 23, 2017, 3:46pm Top

Happy Thursday Paul, hope there are no more problems for Hani on this trip.

114PaulCranswick
Nov 23, 2017, 4:06pm Top

>104 vancouverdeb: No need to vote, Deb, as I am going with all three!

>105 jessibud2: I have only read Room, Shelley. Though I thought it ok, it failed to blow me away to the extent it did others.

115PaulCranswick
Nov 23, 2017, 4:08pm Top

>106 msf59: Had a decent couple of days, actually Mark, as two of the companies that we have done work for actually paid us this week!

>107 BekkaJo: They are either enjoying themselves now or in a sleeping olympics as I have not had any reply to my whatsApp messages to them!

116PaulCranswick
Nov 23, 2017, 4:11pm Top

>108 Berly: Lovely Kimmers. You are, without doubt, one of the greatest joys of being in this wonderful group.

>109 Caroline_McElwee: Thank you Caroline. I am so pleased you came over to the 75ers this year as your friendship here has been a major highlight of 2017 for me. Had a decent day yesterday so I hope to report more topsy than turvy in the coming times!

117PaulCranswick
Nov 23, 2017, 4:17pm Top

>110 sibyx: Thank you so much Lucy. As you know I work with one American company Haskell and I was at their office this afternoon. They invited me to join a thanksgiving dinner but I had to come home and make sure that Kyran was fed and that Erni had sufficient funds for her household management.

I do want to say a little thank you for our maid, Erni. Lovely girl. Great coffee maker. Indispensable part of our family unit.

>111 richardderus: If I have to receive opprobrium then let it be always so eloquently and from a dear fellow whose anti-poultry prejudices have been dented somewhat fatally. RD, I thought I might get you with a fellow Yorkshireman, Armitage.

118PaulCranswick
Nov 23, 2017, 4:19pm Top

>112 amanda4242: Don't go and spoil things, Amanda!

>113 johnsimpson: Well she sounded happy last time she communicated with me, John.

Ashes started at the Gabba. Vince has pleasantly surprised me and i wish him well. Stoneman I think most of us had been sure that he would do well. I certainly wouldn't have picked Malan but he also did ok. Fingers crossed that we will be bringing those Ashes back to Blighty.

119johnsimpson
Nov 23, 2017, 4:24pm Top

>118 PaulCranswick:, Hi Paul hopefully England will post a decent total and I am glad that they didn't get involved in all the slanging that the Aussies did about individual players and ending careers. It sounds like Hayden fired up Vince with his comments about not knowing anything about him and other players new to Australia and hopefully this will help the other England newbies.

120PaulCranswick
Nov 23, 2017, 4:57pm Top

>119 johnsimpson: I reckon it will be a close series from two fairly mediocre teams, John.

121mahsdad
Nov 23, 2017, 6:23pm Top

I know it's just a US thing, but Happy Thanksgiving. A great time to think about those we care about ! Both near and far

Take care my friend

122PaulCranswick
Nov 23, 2017, 6:54pm Top

>121 mahsdad: Thanks Jeff. It really is a privilege to have been able to get to know so many wonderful people via the 75ers and I like to celebrate that happy fact this time of year since 70% of our number are from the US.

123PaulCranswick
Nov 23, 2017, 6:56pm Top

IRISH AUTHOR CHALLENGE DECEMBER 2018


FINAL MALE SELECTION

As I did for the ladies, December will be a multiple choice a la Caroline's idea.

The three options being:

124PaulCranswick
Edited: Nov 23, 2017, 7:17pm Top

IRISH AUTHOR CHALLENGE DECEMBER 2018

OPTION ONE : JOHN BANVILLE



Major Works:

The Sea (2005) - Booker Prize Winner
The Book of Evidence (1989) - Booker Prize Shortlist

125PaulCranswick
Edited: Nov 23, 2017, 7:20pm Top

IRISH AUTHOR CHALLENGE DECEMBER 2018

OPTION TWO - SEBASTIAN BARRY



Major Works

The Secret Scripture (2008) James Tait Black Prize winner; Costa Prize winner; Booker Prize shortlist.

On Canaan's Side (2011) Booker Prize Shortlist; Walter Scott Prize winner.

126PaulCranswick
Edited: Nov 23, 2017, 7:23pm Top

IRISH AUTHOR CHALLENGE

OPTION THREE - COLUM MCCANN



Major Works

Let the Great World Spin 2008; National Book Award, IMPAC Dublin Award

Transatlantic 2013; Booker Prize longlist

127PaulCranswick
Nov 23, 2017, 7:24pm Top

IRISH AUTHOR CHALLENGE DECEMBER 2018

John Banville, Sebastian Barry, Colum McCann



128PaulCranswick
Nov 23, 2017, 7:28pm Top

And here are the full final selections:



IRISH AUTHOR CHALLENGE 2018

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 : POETS & PLAYWRIGHTS
November : EMMA DONOGHUE, JENNIFER JOHNSTON, MAGGIE O'FARRELL
December : JOHN BANVILLE, SEBASTIAN BARRY, COLUM MCCANN

129jessibud2
Nov 23, 2017, 7:28pm Top

>124 PaulCranswick: - I have read The Sea by Banville but not anything by any of the others. I do remember liking it but not much beyond that as it was some years ago.

130PaulCranswick
Nov 23, 2017, 7:34pm Top

>129 jessibud2: He is also in reality Benjamin Black, Shelley and his Quirke series is pretty good.

131Caroline_McElwee
Nov 23, 2017, 7:39pm Top

A favourite of Banville’s is an early novella called The Newton Letter, and of Toibin’s is The Master.

I’ve favourited the list. Thanks for your efforts pulling this challenge together, I’ll do my best to meet it.

132richardderus
Nov 23, 2017, 11:42pm Top

Colum McCann, please.

133PaulCranswick
Nov 24, 2017, 12:11am Top

>131 Caroline_McElwee: I am enthusiastic about this challenge for next year, Caroline.
I am not sure which Banville book I will read as i have a few of his unread on the shelves.

>132 richardderus: I fancy McCann too, RD. I had a few like Joyce Cary and Flann O'Brien, and John Boyne to be considered but I couldn't find a way of leaving McCann out.

134BLBera
Nov 24, 2017, 11:32am Top

I can't keep up with you, Paul.

Love the topper, as usual. Congrats on reaching and passing 75.

Have a lovely weekend.

135EBT1002
Nov 24, 2017, 6:37pm Top

Paul, my friend, I am so enjoying the lovely tour of Yorkshire. Knaresborough does indeed look like a charming town.

The list of authors you have selected for the Irish Authors Challenge is excellent! There are only a couple of which I have not heard (DEIRDRE MADDEN, JENNIFER JOHNSTON, MAGGIE O'FARRELL) and several of the others are among my favorites. I'm firmly resisting commitments for 2018 but I will absolutely star this challenge and read along as the mood strikes me.

136PaulCranswick
Nov 24, 2017, 8:32pm Top

>134 BLBera: Thank you, Beth.

Weekend started already here although I have plenty of work to do.

>135 EBT1002: Lovely to see you, dear Ellen. I have to admit that I hadn't heard of Deirdre Madden and this was a suggestion of Caroline Mc whose judgement I trust implicitly.

137Whisper1
Nov 24, 2017, 8:49pm Top

Hello Friend Paul.

Please forgive my forgetfulness. Are you currently living in England?

Thanks for the lovely topper. I vow to visit there some day.

Much Love to you.

138swynn
Nov 24, 2017, 10:05pm Top

Stopping by to return the Thanksgiving-observer wishes, a bit late. This group and your participation in it are on my thankful-for list.

139amanda4242
Nov 24, 2017, 10:18pm Top

Now that the Irish challenge is all set, dare I hope we'll see the British challenge soon?

Happy weekend.

140Copperskye
Edited: Nov 25, 2017, 12:24am Top

>1 PaulCranswick: Absolutely gorgeous!

>128 PaulCranswick: Although I rarely participate in the various challenges, I love seeing which authors are selected. This looks like a great group!

Hope you are well and happy, Paul!

141PaulCranswick
Nov 25, 2017, 3:18am Top

>137 Whisper1: No Linda, but Hani is over there looking at places to stay with Belle. I hope everything is going well for you, dear lady.

>138 swynn: Thank you so much, Stephen. I am glad there seems to be more of us guys posting more regularly these days.

142PaulCranswick
Nov 25, 2017, 3:19am Top

>139 amanda4242: Yes indeed, Amanda, I will start fleshing it out this weekend.
I am obtusely going to start in November.

>140 Copperskye: I am ok Joanne and all the better for having you stop by. The selection process is obviously a major highlight of the year for me. xx

143karenmarie
Nov 25, 2017, 7:03am Top

Hi Paul! I hope you're having a good weekend so far. It's been fun to watch the back-and-forth about the Irish Authors Challenge. I won't commit to challenges because then they immediately seem like homework to me, but I may dip in here and there next year.

144msf59
Nov 25, 2017, 7:08am Top

Happy Weekend, Paul. Every time I stop over, you continue to entice me on the upcoming IAC. It looks like I may be joining more than I expected.

Hope you are getting some R & R in.

145Berly
Nov 25, 2017, 8:44am Top

I, on the other hand, know but a few of the selected Irish authors. I won't commit to every month, but I am sure to join in and expand my horizons. Thanks for setting this up!!

146Carmenere
Nov 25, 2017, 9:10am Top

Happy Saturday, Paul! I may dabble in your IAC as I have a few of the authors on my shelf who've been begging to get noticed.

147jessibud2
Nov 25, 2017, 9:30am Top

Paul please let us know once the actual thread is established so I can star it. I will try to dip in as I can. I think I also may have one or two of the authors already lurking on my shelves.....

148cameling
Nov 25, 2017, 9:39am Top

That's a nice crop of authors you've listed for the IAC. Very tempting but I'm not disciplined enough for it, I think .. and also I've just picked up 12 books from the library, none of whom are Irish. (I just checked) So I think I'll just have to lurk and see what gems you're all reading in the IAC and maybe pick up a couple for my teetering tottering wish list.

Hope you're having a great weekend.

149PaulCranswick
Nov 25, 2017, 1:14pm Top

>143 karenmarie: Homework?! That is an interesting thought, Karen. I certainly don't want to send all of us back off to school!

>144 msf59: I had a really busy day, Mark, to be honest. I spent the morning in Kajang where our condo project is discussing the delivery, certification and erection of the two tower cranes we have bought from China. In the late afternoon I had a meeting with a potential client relating to a bid we had made to build a new hospital in a place near KL called Rawang. It looks like my charm offensive may have worked as we were told to expect a Letter of Award for the project early next week with immediate mobilisation. The project is approximately $18 million so it is quite an undertaking.

Sandwiched in between I was remote ordering accommodation in Edinburgh for Hani and Belle.

150PaulCranswick
Nov 25, 2017, 1:16pm Top

>145 Berly: You're most welcome Kimmers. Ireland is very dear to my heart and so I felt it overdue that I pay some homage to its literary achievements.

>146 Carmenere: They do tend to beg and plead those Irish writers, Lynda. I have noticed that with regard to my own shelves!

151PaulCranswick
Nov 25, 2017, 1:20pm Top

>147 jessibud2: I will set it up in the scramble that is the end of December and beginning of January, Shelley. I will be sure to let you know as I can pretty much guarantee being a regular visitor to your threads while ever you make 'em!

>148 cameling: 12 books at a visit to the library is quite something, Caro. I do miss not really having a library to speak of here in Malaysia. I am a member of the National Library here but its lending section is extremely limited.

152Donna828
Nov 25, 2017, 2:10pm Top

I may be tempted to dip in and out of the Irish Writers’ Challenge, Paul. I currently have The Wonder waiting for me at the library to be read for December Book Group. It looks like a great lineup for next year.

Congratulations on getting paid for some recent projects. That is always a good thing!

153PaulCranswick
Nov 25, 2017, 3:36pm Top

>152 Donna828: T'would be lovely to have you along for some of it, Donna!

I am doing my best with work to get back to the situation I was in four years ago when I didn't really have to think too much before I wanted to binge on books. xx

154m.belljackson
Edited: Nov 25, 2017, 4:02pm Top

>83 PaulCranswick:

O'Farrell's The Hand That First Held Mine felt pretty contrived.

Annoying Alesandra and interminable Elina had me flipping pages.

Really depressing postpartum depression...

155Familyhistorian
Nov 25, 2017, 3:59pm Top

>101 PaulCranswick: I think palaver is a very descriptive word, Paul. It would be a very boring place if everyone only used the words that are current in our lexicon. How aggravating all the travel hiccups sound. I hope that everything goes smoothly from now on for Hani and Belle. Visas seem to be one of those things that cost more the closer to entry into the country.

I had been thinking that I would sit the Irish challenge out until you included Donoghue. I have a few of hers on the shelf that I would like to get to.

156cameling
Nov 25, 2017, 5:54pm Top

Paul, and here I wish my library was as expansive as the Kinokuniya in Singapore. But I am very grateful to my town's public library. It's a cosy little place, and part of the Minuteman Library Network, so many of the books I asked for were on inter-library loans from others within the Massachusetts library network. I wasn't expecting all the ones I had requested to come in at the same time. :-)

12 books would be a breeze for you to go through in 3 weeks, but it'll be a bit of a challenge for me since I read more slowly than you do.

157vancouverdeb
Nov 25, 2017, 7:41pm Top

Best wishes to you regarding your potential projects with the condo and the hospital. Sounds very encouraging! I hope Kyran is coping well with all of the changes in his life. Hugs to you!

158PaulCranswick
Edited: Nov 25, 2017, 9:56pm Top

>154 m.belljackson: Post partum depression would not normally make for jolly reading, I guess, Marianne.

>155 Familyhistorian: My challenges are always devised to be able to dip in or out of, Meg.

Hani had something of a major disaster yesterday on the road to Edinburgh. She stopped off at a BP station in lonely Cumbria and filled up her diesel engined car with top quality unleaded petrol/gas! The car of course wouldn't drive and she panicked and couldn't raise the breakdown services given by the car hire company. I had to call the car hire company and they finally managed to get someone to her who was kind enough not to officially diagnose the problem as otherwise a negligence clause would have cost her (well me almost $4,000!) she paid around $500 to get the thing sorted and get back on her way!

She is certainly having some misadventures on this trip!

My use of the word palaver, Meg, just demonstrates again what an old fashioned chap I am!

159PaulCranswick
Nov 25, 2017, 9:55pm Top

>156 cameling: I'm not sure that I would agree that you read more slowly than I do, Caro. I am something of a mood reader and get things done in spurts these days. My numbers this year have certainly not been too impressive.

>157 vancouverdeb: The hospital job will be a challenge certainly, Deb, but the indications were after the meetings yesterday afternoon that we are almost there.

Kyran is coping in his usual unruffled manner with the vagaries of life. xx

160PaulCranswick
Nov 25, 2017, 11:21pm Top

78

The Barbary Figs by Rashid Boudjedra

Date Published : 2010
Pages : 191
Around the World in 80 Books : #37 Algeria.

Two cousins meet on a shortish plane journey and recount their youth and early manhood together in an Algeria torn apart by the struggle for independence and its convoluted aftermath.

This brought the French struggles to keep Algeria "French" to life and was strong on familial ties and the difficulties which arise when loyalties are tested.

A rather difficult read in some respects as the story moves back and forwards (and round and round) but it is worth the trouble to read.

7/10

161PaulCranswick
Edited: Dec 17, 2017, 6:18pm Top

AROUND THE WORLD IN 80 BOOKS

Country 37 of 80 - ALGERIA



Algeria Factfile

Area : 919,595 sq miles (10th)
Population : 40,400,000 (33rd)
President/ Prime Minister : Abdelaziz Bouteflika/ Ahmed Ouyahia
Capital City : Algiers
Largest City : Algiers
Currency : Dinar
GDP Nominal : $173.947 billion
GDP Per Capita : $4,187
National Languages : Arabi, Berber (French for business)
Median Age : 28.1
Life Expectancy : 77.0
Percentage Using Internet : 42.9%

Its a Fact : Algeria is Africa's largest country and has no external debts.

Sources : Various but mainly wikipedia and CIA world fact book

162PaulCranswick
Nov 25, 2017, 11:41pm Top

AROUND THE WORLD IN 80 BOOKS

AN ALGERIAN DISH

Merguez

Berber lamb sausages and entirely delicious. Here served with lentils.

163PaulCranswick
Nov 25, 2017, 11:46pm Top

AROUND THE WORLD IN 80 BOOKS

AN ALTERNATIVE DISH

Jwaz

This is a stew or ragout with vegetables served with couscous. Usually and most commonly potato is a main ingredient.

164PaulCranswick
Nov 26, 2017, 12:01am Top

AROUND THE WORLD IN 80 BOOKS

ANOTHER ALGERIAN DISH

Amina Kaddur

Gamine fashion model

165PaulCranswick
Nov 26, 2017, 12:07am Top

AROUND THE WORLD IN 80 BOOKS

AND ANOTHER ALGERIAN DISH

Brahim Zaibat

Dancer, choreographer and Madonna's ex.

166Familyhistorian
Nov 26, 2017, 2:30am Top

>158 PaulCranswick: Hani really isn't having a good time of it, is she? Maybe she should just hole up in a hotel for a couple of days to reset her luck.

167PaulCranswick
Nov 26, 2017, 4:41am Top

>166 Familyhistorian: I have booked an apartment for her and Belle walking distance to where Yasmyne is staying in Edinburgh so I think that she'll be fine for now, Meg. Poor thing is not used to driving diesel cars but I doubt whether she'll make the same mistake again.

168PaulCranswick
Edited: Nov 29, 2017, 5:53pm Top



BRITISH AUTHOR THEME CHALLENGE 2018

JANUARY - DEBUT NOVELS - https://www.librarything.com/topic/275745#6259410
FEBRUARY -
MARCH -
APRIL -
MAY - QUEENS OF CRIME - https://www.librarything.com/topic/275745#6260378
JUNE -
JULY -
AUGUST -
SEPTEMBER -
OCTOBER -
NOVEMBER - WORLD WAR ONE - https://www.librarything.com/topic/275745#6258461
DECEMBER -

The format of the British Author Challenge next year will be slightly different in that it will be based upon themes.
That said for guidance I will choose 10 books each month to help and guide that theme along but, as you know me, you can then read what you jolly well like anyway! I am going to start in a moment with, oddly, November.

169PaulCranswick
Edited: Nov 29, 2017, 5:58pm Top



BRITISH AUTHOR THEME CHALLENGE 2018

NOVEMBER 2018

This is an obvious one. On the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month of the year of our Lord 1918, the inaptly named Great War came to a tired end. One hundred years exactly next November.

So we will be looking at British books about that great watershed in history especially for our island race as it was the first real notice that imperialism was in terminal decline.

Here are the ten books that I would suggest.

Birdsong by Sebastian Faulks
The Regeneration Trilogy by Pat Barker
Testament of Youth by Vera Brittain
Goodbye to All That by Robert Graves
Death of a Hero by Richard Aldington
Memoirs of a Infantry Officer by Siegfried Sassoon
The Good Soldier by Ford Madox Ford
The Return of the Soldier by Rebecca West
Undertones of War by Edmund Blunden
Private Peaceful by Michael Morpurgo



170BekkaJo
Nov 26, 2017, 7:13am Top

Oooh - well I've been meaning to read the Pat Barker Regeneration trilogy for ages.

171jessibud2
Nov 26, 2017, 7:18am Top

I have Birdsong on my shelf and I can't remember if Private Peaceful is one I've read. I've read a number by Morpurgo.

172PaulCranswick
Nov 26, 2017, 7:27am Top

Since I have had a reasonable time with my work this last month, I thought that I would treat myself this afternoon.

133. All the Birds, Singing by Evie Wyld (2013) 229 pp

Why? Heard good things about it and she owns/runs a bookshop.

134. The Ice Saints by Frank Tuohy (1964) 257 pp

Why? Part of the lovely Apollo series of books that I am slowly collecting

135. The Man on a Donkey by HFM Prescott (1952) 721 pp

Why? A period in history I am hugely interested in and, again, another Apollo series book

136. The Polyglots by William Gerhardie (1925) 390 pp

Why? A comic masterpiece apparently and another Apollo series book

137. Who Fears Death by Nnedi Okorafor (2010) 419 pp

Why? Winner of numerous fantasy awards

138. Scarp by Nick Papadimitriou (2012) 271 pp

Why? Lauded for his poetic musing on the urban landscape of London

139. The Badger : Bernard Hinault and the Fall and Rise of French Cycling by William Fotheringham (2015) 345 pp

Why? Because I was a cyclist of sorts and Hinault was a surly magician.

140. The Witches of New York by Ami McKay (2016) 504 pp

Why? I have a soft spot for good historical fiction

141. Chains by Laurie Halse Anderson (2008) 300 pp

Why? National Book Award finalist and Scott O'Dell Award winner.

142. Armies of God by Dominic Green (2007) 311 pp

Why? Covers the first collision between Islam and the West in modern times on the Nile in the last 30 years of the 19th C.

143. Evicted by Matthew Desmond (2016) 336 pp

Why? Almost everyone's favourite non-fiction of last year and Pulitzer winner.

144. The Lady Vanishes by Ethel Lina White (1936) 255 pp

Why? My Gran was called Ethel.



173PaulCranswick
Nov 26, 2017, 7:29am Top

>170 BekkaJo: I have still only read the opening book myself, Bekka, so it is likely that I'll get round to one or both of the remaining ones next year.

>171 jessibud2: Shelley, I have read War Horse by Morpurgo which had been another possible inclusion.

174jessibud2
Nov 26, 2017, 8:07am Top

Re your selection of The Witches of New York. I haven't read it yet but it sits waiting patiently on my shelf, along with The Virgin Cure. I absolutely loved Ami McKay's first novel, The Birth House and I really look forward to these next 2

175PaulCranswick
Nov 26, 2017, 8:22am Top

>174 jessibud2: I also like the genre very much, Shelley and I am expecting to enjoy the books as I have The Virgin Cure on the shelves too.



176laytonwoman3rd
Edited: Nov 26, 2017, 8:52am Top

I really like the final list for the Irish Author Challenge, not least because I have on hand at least one unread book by so many of those authors! I'm off to add the list to my own thread where I have a chance of finding it in future. Have only skimmed the British ponderings so far, but keep up the good work, Paul. You're doing great for 2018.

177PaulCranswick
Nov 26, 2017, 8:55am Top

>176 laytonwoman3rd: Thank you Linda. xx

I thought that there were so many good Irish authors out there that a challenge was overdue to celebrate at least some of them. Will be great to have you along on that Challenge next year.

178EllaTim
Nov 26, 2017, 9:10am Top

>169 PaulCranswick: I'll be following along Paul. I like the idea of themes, and I would certainly try to participate in the November theme. I have read and loved the Regeneration Trilogy, but there are a lot of good choices left.

Thanks for setting all this up.

>162 PaulCranswick: Like your Algerian dishes! Your thread is moving so fast, it's hard to keep up.

179Carmenere
Nov 26, 2017, 9:14am Top

>158 PaulCranswick: Oh my! How unfortunate for Hani to be alone in "lonely Cumbria" with car issues. Though, all in all, it turned out rather well it must have been a horribly frightening experience for her. I've often wondered, "so what's the big dif between diesel and unleaded?, what could possible happen?" Thanks Hani for, personally, settling that question for me.

180PaulCranswick
Nov 26, 2017, 9:30am Top

>178 EllaTim: Lovely to see you Ella. One of the highlights of every year in the 75ers is in getting to know other group members better and I have thoroughly enjoyed visiting your threads this year and your visits to mine. It is great that you will join along with the BAC in 2018.

>179 Carmenere: Apparently Lynda if it had been the other way round - putting diesel into a conventional engine it would have been disastrous and hugely expensive.

Hani didn't quite get off scot free but it could have been so much worse.

181Caroline_McElwee
Edited: Nov 26, 2017, 12:33pm Top

>172 PaulCranswick: Nice haul Paul, the book I have of those is Evicted.

I’ve been a bit naughty with book purchases the past month or two, I’m supposed to be letting books go hmmm. I’ll have to go and live in the wheelie bin soon, there will be no room for me in my apartment.

182PaulCranswick
Nov 26, 2017, 10:29am Top

>182 PaulCranswick: I know the feeling exactly as I really don't know where to keep putting the books. Even though I have been a lot steadier with my purchases this year I have still bought significantly more than I have read.

183BLBera
Nov 26, 2017, 10:49am Top

Great idea about the challenge for 2018, Paul.

The Barbary Figs sounds good. Onto the list it goes.

>172 PaulCranswick: Nice haul.

184richardderus
Nov 26, 2017, 11:12am Top

How on EARTH did Hani get the gasoline nozzle to fit in a diesel gas-filler? In the US they're physically incompatible and you'd have to make a serious effort to put gasoline in a diesel car.

If I promise *faithfully* to return the other dishes in good, if used, condition, may I please keep >165 PaulCranswick: for my very own?

Read Who Fears Death soon.

Ugh, Sebastian Barry. Blech. The Pat Barker trilogy is outstandingly excellent. And I realized as I perused the WWI list that I am enormously well-read in the English-language literature on the topic! Only three I've never read: Undertones of War, Death of a Hero, and Private Peaceful.

Happy Hospital Job *whammy*

185amanda4242
Nov 26, 2017, 11:32am Top

>168 PaulCranswick: It's here! It's here!

186Caroline_McElwee
Nov 26, 2017, 12:35pm Top

>184 richardderus: agreeing re the Pat Barker trilogy (though her second trilogy doesn’t quite match it).

187streamsong
Nov 26, 2017, 12:44pm Top

Wow - a British challenge and an Irish challenge! I had no idea you were doing both. Looks like I'll have to participate in November, at least.

Congrats on your Algeria read. That's not an easy country to find a book from - I'll definitely keep that one in mind for my global challenge.

Poor Hani - I have a horror of doing that. Besides one vehicle using each type of fuel, I have fuel containers of gas, diesel and 50% oil/gas for various outdoor implements. Glad it all turned out OK.

188charl08
Nov 26, 2017, 12:56pm Top

>172 PaulCranswick: Great haul Paul - lots there I've not come across, look forward to hearing more.

Glad you and Hani were able to get the right mechanic to help. Sounds like a stressful situation.

189m.belljackson
Nov 26, 2017, 1:24pm Top

>158 PaulCranswick:

Why don't the rental companies simply mark DIESEL ONLY on cap (or somewhere else prominent) -
otherwise, it feels like a side scam...

190PaulCranswick
Nov 26, 2017, 1:26pm Top

>183 BLBera: Thanks Beth. It is a novel that informs plenty about the recent history of Algeria.

>184 richardderus: I don't recall the nozzles in the UK being much different RD, but it is quite the effort anyway that she should have made such a mistake.

So I see that your tastes and Madonna's coincide. It should be noted, however, she did subsequently and rather un-lovingly question his sexual prowess in song.

I originally put Who Fears Death on my hit list following Roni's enthusiasm for it.

191PaulCranswick
Nov 26, 2017, 1:29pm Top

>185 amanda4242: *SMILES* I hope that the selections and the format will meet with approval.

>186 Caroline_McElwee: It is often assumed that war writing is a male preserve but I have managed to get a few ladies included there.

192PaulCranswick
Nov 26, 2017, 1:36pm Top

>187 streamsong: I couldn't just drop the BAC this next year, Janet!
I did have a few options actually for Algeria - Yasmina Khadra is Algerian and I have a few of his unread. Assia Djebar was long considered a candidate for the Nobel prize until she died a few years ago. I also have books by Boualem Sansal and of course I could have put Albert Camus into the mix or even Saint Augustine of Hippo.

>188 charl08: Those things are stressful Charlotte because I am sitting at the end of a phone line feeling generally impotent.

193PaulCranswick
Nov 26, 2017, 1:37pm Top

>189 m.belljackson: According to her, Marianne, the problem was more with the filling station. Diesel is normally a black gun but the one she poured was deep blue and had no clear explanation of what it was.

194banjo123
Nov 26, 2017, 2:32pm Top

Hi Paul! I am very sympathetic to Hani, as here in Oregon, we don't even fill our own gas tanks. It's good you were able to help her sort that out.

And I really like the Regeneration trilogy, and think that the third is the the best in the series.

195drneutron
Nov 26, 2017, 2:38pm Top

Yikes! Glad the diesel/gas thing got worked out. That could have been pretty bad!

196richardderus
Nov 26, 2017, 2:55pm Top

>190 PaulCranswick: The kind of prowess Madonna complained about is of no consequence to me. Just sayin'

No big difference in nozzle sizes is important to me at the gas pump, shall we say.

197avatiakh
Nov 26, 2017, 3:31pm Top

I like the November BAC challenge category, I've read about half of these books. I'm a fan of Morpurgo, though haven't kept up with his latest ones.

So glad that Hani's ordeal worked out ok. These things always seem to happen in the remoter places and at the wrong time of day or week.

198amanda4242
Nov 26, 2017, 6:17pm Top

>191 PaulCranswick: Looks good so far. Just don't inflict the laureates on me again, please!

199vancouverdeb
Nov 26, 2017, 6:49pm Top

Oh my Paul, the diesel misadventure. I shudder to think of it. Had I done that , I'm not sure my husband would ever let me hear the end of that. Or at least it would be a while! :-) Glad it is all sorted out! I love that in my city we don't have any self serve filling stations! I am not keen on having to handle smelly, messy gas pumps. I can pump my own gas if I really have to do so, but that is quite uncommon. No thanks!

200jnwelch
Nov 26, 2017, 7:13pm Top

Nnedi Okorafor is a remarkable talent, Paul. I hope you enjoy Who Fears Death. I'm reading everything of hers I can get my hands on.

201PaulCranswick
Nov 26, 2017, 7:16pm Top

>194 banjo123: The critics agreed with you on the Regeneration trilogy, Rhonda.

When I was younger there were attendants also to fill fuel in the UK - automation in this instance certainly not being a step forward!

>195 drneutron: It was more that she was stuck pretty much in the middle of nowhere, Jim, only about halfway to her destination. It was settled but at a little bit of cost.

202PaulCranswick
Nov 26, 2017, 7:19pm Top

>196 richardderus: Hahaha, my Irish cousins have a saying when things are going dandy - sucking diesel! I think I better rethink using that one too often.

>197 avatiakh: Thanks Kerry. The strange thing is it is normally far more likely that I would do something like that than she would. Despite that incident she really is most often the most grounded and sensible of people.
I have read most of the ones listed for the November challenge bar about four of the books.

203PaulCranswick
Nov 26, 2017, 7:22pm Top

>198 amanda4242: I wouldn't dare! I have to say I am so impressed that you managed to turn up some of those lesser known laureates even though you confirmed that there was ample reason for their obscurity.

>199 vancouverdeb: I normally fill up for her over here too, Deb, but of course I was not on hand. I didn't make any issue of it at all actually as she was most upset and there would have been little point to aggravate her upset by chiding her. I just felt so sorry and frankly scared thinking of two people i love stuck there in the cold of winter and not really knowing what to do.

204PaulCranswick
Nov 26, 2017, 7:25pm Top

>200 jnwelch: The write-up on it is tremendous, Joe, so I will with some expectation. She has been compared to Octavia Butler which is fine with me as I really enjoyed Kindred.

205LovingLit
Nov 26, 2017, 7:33pm Top

Looks like I made it just in time to this thread! Gotta be quick, it seems ;)
But it's a lot of challenge talk, so I can sneak off before getting pulled into one. It's just that I think I'm going to be busy next year...
*slowly backs away*

206jessibud2
Nov 26, 2017, 7:59pm Top

>199 vancouverdeb: - Wow, Deb, none? Here in Toronto, all *full service* stations are a thing of the past. I think we have to pump our own everywhere. I was a last hold-out, myself, but once they were gone, I had no choice and it really isn't a big deal (other than having to get out of the car in freezing weather.)

207PaulCranswick
Nov 26, 2017, 8:14pm Top

>205 LovingLit: Hey wait! No need to do the challenges Megan but don't slink away. :D

>206 jessibud2: There are no assisted pumps in Malaysia either that I can think of, Shelley. I think the UK retains a few but obviously not in Cumbria!

208PaulCranswick
Nov 26, 2017, 8:17pm Top

Here's proof that they made it and are together again. The three Cranswick ladies overseeing the Edinburgh Christmas market

209richardderus
Nov 26, 2017, 8:35pm Top

Ahhh...the Three Graces!

210PaulCranswick
Nov 26, 2017, 9:25pm Top

>209 richardderus: I don't know whether that is coffee or something better, RD.

211richardderus
Nov 26, 2017, 9:56pm Top

212PaulCranswick
Nov 26, 2017, 10:12pm Top

>211 richardderus: Thank you RD and thank you Mr. Simon Armitage.

213amanda4242
Nov 26, 2017, 10:34pm Top

So, Paul, you assign Richard a beautiful translation of possibly my favorite poem and you stick me with the Laureate Dunces?! I'm beginning to think I might not be your favorite. *pouts*

214PaulCranswick
Nov 26, 2017, 10:42pm Top

>213 amanda4242: Don't tempt me to make one of those aged stories a theme for next year Amanda. Beowulf, King Arthur, Mabinogion and so on.

You will always be a favourite of mine. xx

215amanda4242
Nov 26, 2017, 10:48pm Top

>214 PaulCranswick: But any/all of them would be wonderful additions! And a great new translation of Beowulf by Stephen Mitchell just came out!

216PaulCranswick
Nov 26, 2017, 11:11pm Top

>214 PaulCranswick: Mmm food for thought. Certainly.

217LovingLit
Nov 26, 2017, 11:39pm Top

218BekkaJo
Nov 27, 2017, 2:47am Top

#208 You have some lovely ladies in your life :)

I'd be all for a medieval month!

219Berly
Nov 27, 2017, 3:06am Top

P--Love the photo of your ladies!! Looking forward to the development of your BAC.

220roundballnz
Nov 27, 2017, 3:34am Top

Impressive book haul up there Mr .....

221PaulCranswick
Nov 27, 2017, 3:52am Top

>217 LovingLit: It is a great post isn't it, Megan. I would certainly recommend his review be sought out though in all seriousness as it is simply tremendous. Great wordsmith is our grouchmeister.

>218 BekkaJo: Thank you Bekka - they are a good looking bunch aren't they? It is all a question of genes - Hani's genes not mine!
I will think on that for the BAC as the historic elements of our culture is fascinating.

222PaulCranswick
Nov 27, 2017, 3:53am Top

>219 Berly: Kimmers thanks! January BAC will be announced imminently!

>220 roundballnz: Thanks Alex. Great to see you posting again after walking the length and breadth of the Antipodes!

223PaulCranswick
Edited: Nov 27, 2017, 4:13am Top





BRITISH AUTHOR THEME CHALLENGE 2018

JANUARY 2018 - DEBUT NOVELS

We debut the new format with first novels or debut novels!

Free to pick your own and we have Adam Bede, Jane Eyre, Wuthering Heights and Sense & Sensibility out there too but this is the ten I have chosen as a guide. Five ladies and Five gentleman authors:

The Miniaturist by Jessie Burton
The Grass is Singing by Doris Lessing
I Capture the Castle by Dodie Smith
Lolly Willowes by Sylvia Townsend Warner
Tipping the Velvet by Sarah Waters
A High Wind in Jamaica by Richard Hughes
The Debt to Pleasure by John Lanchester
The Restraint of Beasts by Magnus Mills
Ghostwritten by David Mitchell
Trainspotting by Irvine Welsh



224Caroline_McElwee
Nov 27, 2017, 6:42am Top

>208 PaulCranswick: Glad to see the three ladies together and enjoying themselves Paul.

>223 PaulCranswick: not sure how much of the BAC I will manage next year, but like the idea of a debut novel.

225Deern
Nov 27, 2017, 8:39am Top

>158 PaulCranswick: OMG, this is one of my nightmares! Drove Diesels for 20 years and now have a "Benziner" and whenever I buy gas I check and recheck I got the right stuff. An error would mean a total motor damage, didn't know it was less bad the other way round. Poor Hani, I'm so glad you got it sorted out!

>208 PaulCranswick: Lovely picture! :)

>223 PaulCranswick: hm.. quite tempted by the BAC as well, but no promises for that one. The IAC is booked!

226amanda4242
Nov 27, 2017, 12:17pm Top

227DeltaQueen50
Nov 27, 2017, 12:27pm Top

Hi Paul, just passing through but did stop to drool over your latest book haul. I have read Chains by Laurie Halse Anderson and can confirm that it is an excellent read. I also like your idea of themes for your British Author Challenge next year. Of course, being a member of the Category Challenge, I am very used to reading by themes!

228lkernagh
Nov 27, 2017, 4:02pm Top

Hi Paul. Stopping by with a quick hello and making note of the lineup for the Irish Author challenge. Looking forward to dipping back into some author challenge reading in 2018!

229PaulCranswick
Nov 27, 2017, 6:55pm Top

>224 Caroline_McElwee: Yes, I could see (because Hani sent me a short video) that the two girls were very happy together with proud mother looking on.

As I have said before, Caroline, my idea with the challenges is that they are there to dip in and out of and do with as you will. I am a failed completist myself so I would certainly not expect any of my pals to outdo me! Amanda does every year of course.

230PaulCranswick
Nov 27, 2017, 6:57pm Top

>225 Deern: I didn't have the heart to scold her, Nathalie, as the poor thing was distraught and not just a little bit afraid. It cost a little money to fix for sure but at least it was fixable and she was able to make her destination to Edinburgh.

Have a look and see what 1001 books fit the challenges as there are sure to be a few during the year in both challenges.

231PaulCranswick
Nov 27, 2017, 6:59pm Top

>226 amanda4242: I thought that the way to debut a slightly amended challenge was to do it with debuts, Amanda!

If I plan it properly that will mean 120 books in the challenge altogether which will give the Queen of the BAC something to get her teeth into. xx

232PaulCranswick
Nov 27, 2017, 7:02pm Top

>227 DeltaQueen50: Guru it is always lovely to see you drop by here. I do miss your presence in the group, I must say.

Hope the challenge will tempt you back a little bit in 2018.

I decided on Sunday to make sure that I bought a mixed bag of books. 2 literary fiction, 1 historical fiction, 1 fantasy, 1 thriller, 2 non-fiction (1 history, 1 current affairs), 1 book on sport, 1 YA fiction and 1 travel book. Since I always get carried away I then added two more of the Apollo series books as I was heading out of the store!

233PaulCranswick
Nov 27, 2017, 7:03pm Top

>228 lkernagh: It will be a pleasure to have you along for whichever months you decide to do any of the challenges, Lori. xx

234drneutron
Nov 27, 2017, 8:10pm Top

235PaulCranswick
Nov 27, 2017, 8:44pm Top

>235 PaulCranswick: Thanks Jim. I am a lucky guy in so many respects.

236PaulCranswick
Nov 27, 2017, 8:46pm Top

I got word last night that the hospital project that we had bid was going to be awarded to us and that the Letter of Award for it is in preparation. The snag is that they require immediate mobilisation to the site - i.e. today, which is nigh on impossible to achieve.

I can see that I am going to have a very hectic day or two!

237amanda4242
Nov 27, 2017, 8:51pm Top

>231 PaulCranswick: Between the BAC and IAC, I'm going to be kept busy next year!

238PaulCranswick
Nov 27, 2017, 9:01pm Top

>231 PaulCranswick: I hope so and there is more coming. May 2018 is about to be announced.

239PaulCranswick
Edited: Nov 27, 2017, 9:29pm Top





BRITISH AUTHOR THEME CHALLENGE 2018

MAY 2018 - QUEENS OF CRIME

I want to make the challenges easier so I will coincide with another challenge where it is possible. I also don't want the challenge to be too stuffy and literary fiction bound as the British tradition is far, far more.

May Murder and Mayhem which Terri has kindly administered this year attracts a lot of attention and rightly so. Here I piggy-back that enthusiasm but with a twist. I am naming ten British Queens of Crime and a signature book of each. Of course you don't have to follow that particular book to qualify for the challenge.

Margery Allingham - Mystery Mile
Agatha Christie - The Murder of Roger Ackroyd
Ann Cleeves - Raven Black
Elly Griffiths - The Crossing Places
P.D. James - Death in Holy Orders
Val McDermid - The Mermaids Singing
Denise Mina - Garnethill
Ruth Rendell - From Doon With Death
Dorothy L. Sayers - Clouds of Witness
Josephine Tey - The Daughter of Time



240msf59
Nov 27, 2017, 9:36pm Top

>208 PaulCranswick: The Cranswick ladies. Looking good.

Hi, Paul. Hope your work week is off to a good start. I just posted on the AAC thread. Just sayin'...

241amanda4242
Nov 27, 2017, 9:36pm Top

>239 PaulCranswick: Hmmm...Christie didn't impress me, but Tey did and I've been looking for an excuse to read Sayers and James.

242EllaTim
Nov 27, 2017, 9:41pm Top

>239 PaulCranswick: Like the setup Paul.

>236 PaulCranswick: Wishing you success with the project and the hectic days!

243roundballnz
Nov 28, 2017, 2:29am Top

>239 PaulCranswick: Nice selection there .... read a bot of most over the years

244Berly
Nov 28, 2017, 2:41am Top

>239 PaulCranswick: Paul--Oh! I am in for May!! Maybe even a multiple read. : )

245Familyhistorian
Nov 28, 2017, 3:01am Top

I told myself that I was going to do fewer challenges next year, especially the ones where you had to read a specific author. The main reason is that I really need to read the books that are already in the house - either that or get lots more bookcases. (But I'm running out of wall space). Then you came up with themes - well, that could actually help me to read the books on my shelves since many of my books have British authors.

>206 jessibud2: Shelley, Deb didn't mean all of Vancouver, just her particular city. My city, Coquitlam, is the same. Your gas is pumped for you, but in the city right next door to me (literally, it is right over my back fence), there are self-serve gas stations.

246PaulCranswick
Nov 28, 2017, 4:18am Top

>240 msf59: Thanks mate, I think that they look pretty splendid.

Work is hectic but promising. Off to look at the AAC thread pronto.

247PaulCranswick
Nov 28, 2017, 4:20am Top

>241 amanda4242: I think some of Christie's books are very clever although of their time. I like all the others except Cleeves and the two Scottish ladies McDermid and Mina who will be new to me.

248PaulCranswick
Nov 28, 2017, 4:21am Top

>242 EllaTim: Thank you on both counts Ella. I love the planning stage of this time of year for next year's challenges.

>243 roundballnz: Yes Alex. I have read work by seven of them so far and like all of them in their different ways.

249PaulCranswick
Nov 28, 2017, 4:24am Top

>244 Berly: Thank you Kimmers! I am liking this new format as I think it will pull in a few of my pals who like specific genres.

>245 Familyhistorian: I consciously wanted to prepare challenges that were easier to fit into your general reading next year and I think that, generally speaking, the themes are broad enough to appeal to a wider cross-section of the group.

I really wish that Hani lived in a town that had attendants pumping the fuel!

250BekkaJo
Nov 28, 2017, 4:26am Top

The planning bit is lots of fun :) I'm cherry picking from various challenges and currently have a colour coded excel sheet that shows my leftovers (previous AAC and BAC that I was supposed to clear this year), IAC, AAC and slowly dropping in the BAC. I'm cherrypicking but it already looks mental.

251PaulCranswick
Nov 28, 2017, 4:50am Top

>250 BekkaJo: I can promise you Bekka to try and find as many cherries for you as possible. xx

252BekkaJo
Nov 28, 2017, 4:55am Top

I suspect I need less cherries! I'm feeling a little overwhelmed from my list so far.

253PaulCranswick
Nov 28, 2017, 5:31am Top

>252 BekkaJo: And there is me an absolute glutton for cherries!

254thornton37814
Nov 28, 2017, 8:21am Top

>239 PaulCranswick: Love the May British author challenge. I'm sure I'll be able to find something to enjoy from those authors!

255PaulCranswick
Nov 28, 2017, 8:45am Top

>240 msf59: Great to see that you'll be joining for the BAC again Lori. xx

256Caroline_McElwee
Edited: Nov 28, 2017, 9:28am Top

>236 PaulCranswick: Congratulations on the new contract Paul.

>239 PaulCranswick: well I have a lot of those authors on my Kindle.

257karenmarie
Nov 28, 2017, 9:58am Top

Hi Paul!

Congrats on the new contract, and sorry to hear about Hani’s car troubles. It’s phenomenally comforting to know that one call to a husband can bail one out – I’ve done it several times myself and it’s just one of the best feelings in the world to know that things will be taken care of and your welfare is of the utmost importance to your spouse. Of course, I’m only taking about in-country, so it’s doubly impressive that Malaysia and Scotland were involved.

>149 PaulCranswick: After I graduated college in 1975, I enjoyed the freedom of reading what I wanted to when I wanted to read it. That’s 42 years ago and I still get the jeebers when required to read something, although several of the recent challenges have been good and good for me.

>208 PaulCranswick: Very sweet picture of the three Cranswick ladies. Thanks for sharing.

>239 PaulCranswick: Excellent Queens of Mystery lineup! However, being a serious mystery fan since the age of 10, I’ve already read 7 of the books. I’ve also read a book each by Allingham and McDermid, but see with interest that The Mermaids Singing is the start of the Tony Hill/Carol Jordan series and I have it on my shelves. It might be one to slip in this year. Only Denise Mina is new to me, and I have added Garnethill to my wishlist and pencilled in for May. Good stuff.

258PaulCranswick
Nov 28, 2017, 10:37am Top

>256 Caroline_McElwee: Thank you Caroline. I managed to get equipment to site today which is a good start and I hope that this project will be a good one for the company - it is by a narrow margin the largest single contract we have won. We now have an order book of some $40 million but scarce little cash until January. I do hope I can steer the ship to calmer waters.

>257 karenmarie: Sometimes Karen we have a premonition that things are about to happen and I may be called upon to help. I always switch off the audio on my phone at night such that it won't disturb me but on Saturday early hours I had the sound on just nicely to be able to be of assistance to my damsel in distress.

I prefer freedom in reading too most of the time, Karen, but I do get myself up for a challenge.

I am long overdue a read of Val McDermid.

259laytonwoman3rd
Nov 28, 2017, 10:58am Top

I like the way you're shaping up the themes for BAC next year, Paul. And doubling up with other challenges is smart. I will certainly be participating in May. I have Allingham and Sayers in multiple unread titles.

260PaulCranswick
Nov 28, 2017, 11:22am Top

>259 laytonwoman3rd: Thank you, Linda. I thought it better to double up on challenges where a theme permits.

261roundballnz
Nov 28, 2017, 1:36pm Top

The only promise I am making is that i will dip my head into the challenges ..... the scheduling of reading does not work with my magpie soul, (& fact i like to take my time some might say meander thru a book) also probably why i struggle with library loans hmmmm BAC is always good source of new & old friends.

262PaulCranswick
Nov 28, 2017, 6:54pm Top

>261 roundballnz: My challenges should suit you Alex because in reality there are no rules. No need to finish or start any of the books in a particular month really and no need to read all of them, or even pretend to try to.

This topic was continued by Paul C's 2017 Reading & Life - 33.

Group: 75 Books Challenge for 2017

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