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World of Penguins: charl08 travels the shelves

75 Books Challenge for 2019

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1charl08
Edited: Jan 12, 6:15pm Top

Last year I focussed on women writers, but my international stats went way down.* I also started (ha!) to buy more new books, and my TBR pile has gone nuts. So that's the three prong strategy in 2019. (Continuing the focus on women writers, reading beyond Anglophone world and reading my own books.)


Oops. Forgot to say. I'm Charlotte, I read most things, but predominantly fiction, memoir and history. I live in the NW of England, I work for a local university and I tend to read a lot.
*Sidenote: I have been reading how many women writers (don't) get translated into English. Fingers crossed the success of Elena Ferrente will change this.

Currently reading:
These Truths
Almost Famous Women


Book group book:
The Handmaid's Tale


Netgalley book:

2charl08
Edited: Yesterday, 7:28pm Top

Books read 10



Caveat Emptor (F, UK, fiction) audio
A Death at Fountains Abbey (F, UK, fiction)
Out Stealing Horses (M, Norway, fiction)
The Promised Land: poems from itinerant life (M, Italy, poetry)
Behold America: a history of America First and the American Dream (F, US, history)
We Were the Salt of the Sea (F, Canada, fiction)
The Fact of a Body (F, US, memoir)
Hiding in Plain Sight (M, Somalia, fiction)
The Handmaid's Tale (F, Canada, fiction)
A Morbid Habit (F, UK, fiction)

Gender F 7 M 3
Country/ Region UK 3 Europe 2 US & Canada 4 Africa 1
Type Fiction 7 Poetry 1 Non-fiction 2
Origin Library 6 Other (incl mine) 4

3charl08
Edited: Jan 12, 6:25pm Top

African writers

(this is going to be very loosely interpreted, with inclusion rather than exclusion being the focus, because I say so)

Hiding in Plain Sight (Somalia/ South Africa/ US) Published by Oneworld

4charl08
Edited: Jan 11, 2:00am Top

Europe (b#$%* Brexit) and beyond- authors in translation

Chester zoo penguins

Norway: Out Stealing Horses
French Canada: We Were the Salt of the Sea

5charl08
Edited: Dec 31, 2018, 4:09pm Top

Beyond Europe

7FAMeulstee
Dec 31, 2018, 6:27pm Top

Happy reading in 2019, Charlotte!

8charl08
Edited: Dec 31, 2018, 6:47pm Top

Thanks Anita!

I thought I'd report on my popsugar 2018 roundup here- I nearly made it!

2018 PopSugar Reading Challenge -47 down!
http://www.popsugar.com/entertainment/Reading-Challenge-2018-44138581

Final outstanding:

4. A book involving a heist (I have the book, I just have to stay awake to understand the plot).
31. A book mentioned in another book- I have started reading Christ Stopped at Eboli

Advanced Reading Challenge

1. A bestseller from the year you graduated high school
Best attempts have not been successful. May resort to picturebook

9SandDune
Dec 31, 2018, 6:40pm Top

Happy New Year Charlotte!

10Berly
Dec 31, 2018, 6:41pm Top

11charl08
Edited: Dec 31, 2018, 8:55pm Top

>9 SandDune: Thanks Rhian. And happy NY in 12 minutes!

>10 Berly: Happy NY Kim. Wishing you a good one too!

12katiekrug
Dec 31, 2018, 7:44pm Top

Happy new (reading) year, Charlotte!

13drneutron
Dec 31, 2018, 8:20pm Top

Penguins! Welcome back, Charlotte!

14alcottacre
Dec 31, 2018, 8:59pm Top

Happy New Year, Charlotte!

15EBT1002
Dec 31, 2018, 9:40pm Top

Dropping off my star and witching you...

16charl08
Jan 1, 4:28am Top

>12 katiekrug: Thanks Katie. I'm still hovering about the popsugar. I thought it was a bit rubbish that they lumped together in one category reading beyond the US/UK.

>13 drneutron: Indeed. Thanks Jim. Hope this is a great year in space (and reading).

>14 alcottacre: Thanks Stadia. Wishing you a healthy year full of books.

>15 EBT1002: Thanks Ellen! Love the cheery graphic: the same to you.

17susanj67
Jan 1, 4:31am Top

Happy New Year, Charlotte! I love your penguin categories :-)

18charl08
Edited: Jan 1, 4:38am Top

I've just signed up to Pereinne's 2019 subscription: all their three books newly translated into English are by women this year.

https://www.peirenepress.com


(Finland/ France / Germany)

19Helenliz
Jan 1, 4:36am Top

Dropping a star, admirng the penguins (as ever) and wishing you a Happy New year >:-)

20charl08
Jan 1, 4:43am Top

>17 susanj67: Thanks Susan! Hoping they help keep me focussed....

>19 Helenliz: Thanks Helen! They never fail to make me smile. As I was finding the pictures I found I could sign up for a penguin experience at Chester. It's very tempting (until I recall how much the real things pong)... Happy NY!

21Carmenere
Jan 1, 8:16am Top

Cheers to a happy 2019, Charlotte! Yay! for the women making a return engagement!!

22Ameise1
Jan 1, 10:15am Top



I wish you from my heart a healthy 2019 filled with happiness, satisfaction, laughter and lots of good books.

23The_Hibernator
Jan 1, 10:59am Top

Happy New Year!

24BLBera
Jan 1, 12:17pm Top

Happy New Year, Charlotte! Love the penguins. Off to check out Pereinne press. You enabler, you.

25charl08
Jan 1, 12:56pm Top

>21 Carmenere: Lynda, thank you.

>22 Ameise1: Lovely picture Barbara, wishing you a good 2019.

>23 The_Hibernator: Thanks Rachel: wishing you a lovely first year with the little one.

>24 BLBera: Thanks Beth. I thought I'd treat myself. Again (ha!).

26Caroline_McElwee
Jan 1, 1:43pm Top

>18 charl08: Well, thanks for that Charlotte. Not only did I subscribe, but I ordered three of their backlist. You are a bad influence! And we are only on day 1 of 2019.

Happy New Year.

27RidgewayGirl
Jan 1, 1:48pm Top

Happy New Year, Charlotte. I'm excited about finding more works in translation from your thread.

28charl08
Jan 1, 2:29pm Top

>26 Caroline_McElwee: They look good, don't they? Which ones did you order from the backlist? I also ordered Soviet Milk: I don't think I've ever read abything from Latvia.

>27 RidgewayGirl: Thanks Kay - I hope to find some new ones too.
And read something from my shelves (she adds hastily...)

29charl08
Jan 1, 2:57pm Top

This is my new bookshelf: since this was taken I have finally got my wall hanging on the wall next to it.

30charl08
Jan 1, 3:06pm Top

Lancashire winter skies.

31susanj67
Jan 1, 4:28pm Top

>29 charl08: Very nice!

>30 charl08: That's a great photo :-) It doesn't even look too cold.

32FAMeulstee
Jan 1, 4:37pm Top

>29 charl08: And all filled :-)

33EllaTim
Jan 1, 4:43pm Top

Happy 2019 Charlotte! Love those penguins.

>30 charl08: That looks so familiar;-)

34Caroline_McElwee
Jan 1, 5:31pm Top

>28 charl08: I ordered Dance by the Canal (Kerstin Hensel) / 'The Lost Summer' (Ricardo Huch) both German, can't find touchstone for the latter, and Mr Darwin's Gardener (Kristina Clarisonic) , Finnish.

35cbl_tn
Jan 1, 5:40pm Top

Happy new year! Wishing you lots of great reading this yeare.

36PaulCranswick
Jan 1, 6:14pm Top



Happy 2019
A year full of books
A year full of friends
A year full of all your wishes realised

I look forward to keeping up with you, Charlotte, this year.

37Whisper1
Jan 1, 6:17pm Top

>29 charl08: What a great book case. My dream is to have a large house with a library with floor to ceiling cases and one of those beautiful ladders that glide along the selections. I doubt if that will happen, primarily because I gave up the big house, and, I still like to hold on to the dream.

All good wishes for wonderful reading in 2019.

38EBT1002
Jan 1, 10:02pm Top

>15 EBT1002: Okay, typo there. I was wishing you a happy new year, not witching you one.... although.... Heh.

39ronincats
Jan 1, 10:05pm Top

Dropping off my star, Charlotte!

40mdoris
Jan 2, 12:12am Top

Happy New Year Charlotte. Wishing you a year of great reading ahead.

41ctpress
Jan 2, 3:53am Top

I wish you a Happy New Reading year, Charlotte. A new bookshelf is always nice. Quickly filled up I see :)

42humouress
Jan 2, 3:57am Top

Happy New Year Charlotte! And happy new thread!



Wishing you and your family the best for 2019.

43charl08
Jan 2, 7:48am Top

>31 susanj67: It wasn't too bad: today on the other hand...

>32 FAMeulstee: Yes, I'm already wondering if I can fit in another one.

>33 EllaTim: It's a very flat bit of Lancashire, that's for sure...

44charl08
Edited: Jan 2, 7:52am Top

>34 Caroline_McElwee: Those sound good: I also ordered Darwin's gardener.

>35 cbl_tn: Thanks! It's been busy so far.

>36 PaulCranswick:.Thanks is Paul: that's me hiding behind the books!

>37 Whisper1: I would like a proper library!

45alcottacre
Jan 2, 7:52am Top

>29 charl08: Congratulations on the new bookshelf. I am hoping to finally get mine finished this year!

46HanGerg
Jan 2, 8:41am Top

Hi Charlotte! Just popping by to wish you a Happy New Year!

47norabelle414
Jan 2, 10:27am Top

Cute penguins, Charlotte!

48kidzdoc
Jan 2, 11:01am Top

Happy New Year, Charlotte! I look forward to your thoughts about You Would Have Missed Me by Birgit Vanderbeke.

49charl08
Jan 2, 11:48am Top

>38 EBT1002: I rather liked the witching: powerful women, etc!

>39 ronincats: Thanks Roni!

>40 mdoris: Mary, I do hope so...

>41 ctpress: Carsten! So nice to see you about the threads again. It filled up with all the books that had been piled, higgledy piggledy, on top of the other shelves. I am overdue a clear out.
(Or another bookshelf)

50charl08
Jan 2, 11:55am Top

>42 humouress: Nina, I was just saying to the nice lady in the cafe, that one day I'm going to skip Xmas and go to the beach. And that one looks just the ticket... Happy NY.

>45 alcottacre: Stasia, I had hoped my dad, who is a bit of a whizz with woodwork, would build something for me, but instead I bought this one at M&S. I am very happy with it (but need three more and several more rooms. Where "need" is relative, of course).

>46 HanGerg: Hi Hannah, happy new one. Any exhibitions in the offing?

>47 norabelle414: It's a good job we don't have smellovision, though...

>48 kidzdoc: Thanks Darryl - I'm hoping for good things from all the books I've ordered from Pereinne. The blessing is they are deliberately short, so hopefully will prove easy to become a 'travel' book.

51ctpress
Jan 2, 12:29pm Top

Another bookshelf methinks. Always another bookshelf

52Caroline_McElwee
Jan 2, 2:20pm Top

>29 charl08: How come as soon as a new bookshelf takes up residence, you need yet another one Charlotte :-)

53ChelleBearss
Jan 2, 2:53pm Top

Happy 2019! Hope it's a great year for you!

54charl08
Edited: Jan 2, 5:03pm Top

>52 Caroline_McElwee: It's a mystery. Any solutions?

>53 ChelleBearss: Thanks Chelle. Hope the lusty ETA lurgy at your place is all gone now...

55charl08
Edited: Jan 2, 4:45pm Top

I'm reading These Truths with Kim's group read. I love the way Jill Lepore writes.
To write something down is to make a fossil memory of a mind. Stories are full of power and force; they seethe with meaning...

56Crazymamie
Jan 2, 4:59pm Top

>54 charl08: Your response to Chelle made me snort my wine, Charlotte. Thanks for that!

57charl08
Jan 2, 5:04pm Top

>56 Crazymamie: You're welcome. (Darn autocorrect)

58Crazymamie
Jan 2, 5:05pm Top

*bellylaugh*

59ChelleBearss
Jan 2, 5:07pm Top

>54 charl08: Ha! Too slimy to be lusty right now!

60Caroline_McElwee
Jan 2, 5:33pm Top

>55 charl08: I'm hovering over that Charlotte. Might wait till it's in paperback. Glad you are enjoying it though.

61charl08
Jan 2, 5:37pm Top

It's amazing so far, but I'm a fan. Maybe a good one for the kindle: I'm considering doing both as whilst I love the paper version (pictures) it's a real brick to hold.

62BLBera
Jan 2, 8:26pm Top

>30 charl08: Nice photo, Charlotte. I signed up. You should get a cut.

63Berly
Jan 2, 9:21pm Top

>29 charl08: Love the bookshelf, and the fact that it is full!

64Helenliz
Jan 3, 1:23am Top

>63 Berly: bookshelves are always full, aren't they? I thought it was part of bookshelf magic, they fill with books as soon as installed. Or is that just in our house.

Good to see Mamie out and about on threads. Hope you're all well.

65charl08
Jan 3, 1:45am Top

>58 Crazymamie: We live to serve (or my phone is against me. One of the two).

>59 ChelleBearss: Hope you feel better soon. Also, channelling my mother: are you keeping up your liquids? Drinking lots? Of course you are. Good stuff.

>62 BLBera: Cool! Last year they had to go into a second print run for one of the books, so hopefully this wiĺl lead to more translations?

66charl08
Jan 3, 1:49am Top

>63 Berly: I always am amazed by those folk who have arty bits on their shelves. My bear is already facing stiff competition for his spot.

>64 Helenliz: Nope, it's not just your house!

67charl08
Edited: Jan 3, 2:01am Top

Currently listening to Jeeves and the King of Clubs. I love Schott's (imagined?) description of 1930s "gentlemen's" club culture. I'd have been happier in the Athanaeum than in Bertie's Drones (he notes with disgust the supper room full of people reading instead of chat). Although of course neither let in women.
The real question is what has Jeeves really been doing at The Junior Ganymede Club?

68evilmoose
Jan 3, 11:52am Top

Happy new year; here to drop a star, indulge in penguin appreciation, and hover hopefully for recommended reads.

69jnwelch
Edited: Jan 3, 3:00pm Top



Happy New Year, Charlotte!

Oh, I hadn't heard about Jeeves and the King of Clubs. As a Wodehouse nut, I'll be looking forward to hearing your reactions.

My wife and I are going to be focused on trying to clear our tbr shelves, too. So hard to do when irresistible new ones keep coming out! We'll see how it goes.

70aktakukac
Jan 3, 4:26pm Top

Happy reading this year! Dropping a star.

71banjo123
Jan 4, 1:01am Top

Happy new year!

72charl08
Jan 4, 3:11am Top

>68 evilmoose: Hey Megan, thanks for following along.

>69 jnwelch: Wishing you both good luck with the TBR shelves! I am enjoying Schott's take on Jeeves and Wooster. A weather expression that caught my imagination yesterday: enough blue to make a pair of policeman's trousers...

>70 aktakukac: Thanks Rachel!

>71 banjo123: Hey Rhonda, thanks for stopping by.

73charl08
Jan 4, 3:30am Top

Now reading

74humouress
Jan 4, 3:45am Top

>29 charl08: I see enough space next to your new bookshelf for another one or three *walks off, hands in pockets, whistling innocently...*

75HanGerg
Jan 4, 6:57am Top

>72 charl08:. My Grandmother always used to say "enough blue in the sky to make a pair of sailors trousers" Apparently, if at least this much of the sky isn't obscured by clouds, there is hope for the weather to change and the day to be bright. She was always a very optimistic lady!
>50 charl08: No exhibitions lined up for this year. My real goal for this year is to get back to selling my work through an online gallery where I had a bit of success in the past, but haven't put up any new work at all in the last few years. I'm hopefully that could lead to a steady stream of sales, if I can only be disciplined about keeping it up to date and replying speedily to enquiries etc.
>67 charl08:. A new Jeeves and Wooster eh? I'm not sure how I feel about it. My husband is a huge fan of the originals, and now so am I, but I can imagine him giving this idea short shrift. I would be tempted to try it. But surely the thing about Wodehouse is the mastery of language, which it is hard to replicate. Hmm. I might see if the library has it and give it a go.

76RebaRelishesReading
Jan 4, 7:47pm Top

Hi Charlotte. I had trouble finding you in the midst of all those penguins :) but finally did and have star attached now so won't lose you again. Happy new year!!

77Copperskye
Jan 5, 12:49am Top

Happy new year, Charlotte! I love all those penguins up on top!

78Familyhistorian
Jan 5, 1:28am Top

>30 charl08: Nice photo, Charlotte. It does look familiar somehow. Also familiar is the resolve to read from the TBRs. Mine are rather taking over and I have to something about it.

79paulstalder
Jan 5, 7:41am Top



Happy new year.
I wish, that you may find a good and solid path in 2019

80charl08
Jan 5, 2:12pm Top

>74 humouress: Whistle away! Space you say?

>75 HanGerg: Good luck with the online sales: it must be hard to keep up the motivation at the start but how great to get those regular customers. Please share when you are up and running?

>76 RebaRelishesReading: Thanks Reba! Lovely to see you join the penguin party.

81charl08
Jan 5, 2:22pm Top

>77 Copperskye: Thanks Joanne!

>78 Familyhistorian: We can but try, right?

>79 paulstalder: Thanks Paul. Wishing you health and many books.

82charl08
Jan 5, 2:41pm Top

Went walking today instead of the usual.

83RebaRelishesReading
Jan 5, 2:42pm Top

A walk in the English countryside -- how lovely!!

84charl08
Edited: Jan 5, 3:19pm Top

Guardian Reviews Fiction
More at www.guardian.co.uk/books



My Coney Island Baby by Billy O’Callaghan reviewed by Claire Kilroy

"These are two people who should be together but who have found themselves simultaneously on the straight and narrow, and the road less travelled. The question the novel asks of them, and of its reader, is whether they will continue down this path or retreat. Coney Island in a January storm is a deserted, grim sight, “so fit for broken things, it has become their place”. While wandering through what feels like “the last bastion just short of some great abyss”, the couple can’t help but remember what it used to be, “a melding cacophony of a hundred simultaneous rackets eager for their piece of the day”."

This sounds a bit grim.

85charl08
Jan 5, 2:50pm Top

My Sister, the Serial Killer by Oyinkan Braithwaite reviewed by Carrie O'Grady
"It all adds up to a distinctive but uneasy mix of morbid humour, love story, slashfest, family saga and grave meditation on how abusive behaviour is passed down through the generations. The real joy lies in the characters:"

86charl08
Edited: Jan 5, 3:20pm Top

The Binding by Bridget Collins reviewed by Sandra Newman

"Many readers of The Binding will simply sink gratefully into the pleasures of its pages, because, like all great fables, it also functions as transporting romance. I once heard an author of young adult fiction being asked what her novel was about, and instead of explaining its adventure plot or sophisticated science- fiction premise, she said: “Kissing”. This was clearly self-deprecation, but it was also an aperçu about the pleasure that draws readers to a huge array of books, from The Hunger Games to Anna Karenina. The Binding is a kissing novel par excellence, and on this level, it is like a wonderful meal made from a few simple ingredients: the feeling in your chest when you hold someone in your arms for the first time; the sight of a host of bluebells..."

I don't know. Maybe. I love that it's effectively a book about the power of books...

87charl08
Jan 5, 2:58pm Top

Golden Child by Claire Adam reviewed by Rowan Hisayo Buchanan
"...manages to combine two things rarely bound together in the same spine: a sensitive depiction of family life and the page-flicking urgency of a thriller..."

88charl08
Edited: Jan 5, 3:21pm Top

The Order of the Day by Éric Vuillard reviewed by Steven Poole
"The Order of the Day won 2017’s Prix Goncourt for fiction, and is described by the UK publishers as a “novel”, but it stretches the definition of that word a long way. In French it calls itself a récit – an account – and is really a historical essay with literary flourishes. The selection of facts creates surreal patterns, as when Vuillard reveals that Joachim von Ribbentrop, while Germany’s ambassador to London, had paid rent to Neville Chamberlain to live in one of the Englishman’s Belgravia properties. And perhaps a time the author describes pointedly as one “dominated by a mysterious respect for lies” is best captured with a measure of poetic licence. However you decide to categorise it, this is a thoroughly gripping and mesmerising work of black comedy and political disaster. "

Maybe. On the downside, I've read a lot of stuff about Nazis lately, it feels like.

89charl08
Edited: Jan 5, 3:06pm Top

Tentacle by Rita Indiana reviewed by Suzi Feay
"Don’t be deceived by the slender proportions of this novel from the Dominican musician and author Rita Indiana. Tentacle shapeshifts dizzyingly around three time spans and a loosely connected group of characters, and takes on huge themes, including race and gender, the impact of tourism, apocalyptic events and ecological disaster."

Beth?

90charl08
Edited: Jan 5, 3:22pm Top

The Insomnia Museum by Laurie Canciani reviewed by Peter Beech
"Despite some striking moments of alien’s-eye perspective (“She had not realised that the sky was different every day”), characters are thinly drawn and the plot ends up feeling muddled. But this twisted portrait of austerity Britain lingers in the memory: “Everyone needs help. Watch the news. Take a walk. People are poor and nuts. They’re sad.”"

A really mixed review (even though it's short) leaves me really not knowing...

91BLBera
Jan 5, 3:27pm Top

>82 charl08: I'd go for a walk there. :)

>84 charl08: So many books. Off to check to see what is available here.

Thanks, Charlotte.

93charl08
Jan 5, 3:45pm Top

>83 RebaRelishesReading: It was a somewhat abbreviated walk: my mother wasn't happy with the up and I wasn't so impressed with the down. Fortunately someone in the group had a partner meeting us half way, so we sloped off at that point!

>91 BLBera: Anytime you want a tour of the Lakes, Beth...

94Copperskye
Jan 5, 8:16pm Top

Stopping by to say thank you for the adorable Christmas card and love the cause! The first time I’ve received anything stamped Royal Mail except for maybe a postcard or two.

>82 charl08: Having just finished a reread of Jane Eyre, I wonder if that’s the same wall where she met Rochester? :) Looks like a lovely hiking spot!

95lkernagh
Jan 5, 11:39pm Top

Hi Charlotte! Found and starred. Lovely to see the continuing penguin theme. ;-)

96banjo123
Jan 6, 12:00am Top

Yes! That looks like an awesome walk!

97cushlareads
Jan 6, 12:18am Top

I've found your thread at last! The walk looks lovely even if the ups and downs did not cancel out. Too hot and windy to walk anywhere here today - it is about 26 degrees.

I've tried finding These Truths but the library doesn't have an electronic copy and it's expensive on Amazon. Plus I have got to make a dent in what I've got, at least for the first week of the new year.

98Deern
Jan 6, 2:56am Top

*ignoringtheguardianBBs...ignoringtheguardianBBs*
I‘ll probably say this very often again in 2019 and then succumb and buy something. As I did yesterday when browsing the Guardian I decided to buy their November group read... *sigh*

A very Happy New Year to you Charlotte, and many great reads!

99BLBera
Jan 6, 10:13am Top

I'll start planning now. :)

100alcottacre
Jan 6, 10:37am Top

>73 charl08: No idea if the book is any good or not, but I love the cover!

101charl08
Jan 6, 10:59am Top

>94 Copperskye: Glad it made it Joanne! I had fun with the Xmas card shop this year, I have almost entirely stopped sending cards otherwise.

>95 lkernagh: What can I say? I'm loyal/ unimaginative.

>96 banjo123: Rhonda, you throw a stick in any direction in the Lake District and there's a beautiful view. I'm hoping that my annoying PF will permit more walking there this year, as last year was a bust.

102charl08
Jan 6, 11:43am Top

>97 cushlareads: We didn't exactly cover ourselves in glory, but we did have a lovely day out. Ambleside is a beautiful little town so we sat and ate and (imagine this!) admired the small but perfectly formed independent bookshop.

Sorry to hear about These Truths, but I bet second hand copies start appearing soon.

>98 Deern: Good luck with resisting Nathalie: and with reading lots of great books in 2019.

>99 BLBera: Cool beans.

>100 alcottacre: It's rather classy looking I think. The hardback was more like an old pamphlet style, as a print shop plays a key part in the characters' lives.

103Crazymamie
Jan 6, 11:47am Top

>82 charl08: Gorgeous!

Happy Sunday, Charlotte! I think your day out sounds perfect.

104charl08
Jan 6, 12:42pm Top

>103 Crazymamie: And I haven't even mentioned the large slice of chocolate orange cake, Mamie!

105Crazymamie
Jan 6, 12:50pm Top

Oh! Perfection! I love chocolate and orange together!

106charl08
Jan 6, 12:53pm Top

So what have I read so far?

Caveat emptor
Another audio re-read of this series, or at least, I thought it was when I started it, and increasingly wondered if I had missed this one out (sorry Susan).

Here Ruso and Tilla move to what is now St Albans but was a major hub in Roman Britain, asked to solve the murder of a British tax collector (and work out where all the money went). I really admire how Downie writes about Britain as a colonised country using insight of modern historical studies. Here she manages to talk about what it must have been like to be living "In peace" under Roman rule alongside people from other tribes your family had feared for years, as well as how some "insider" groups worked the system. There's a lovely scene of a group of British men in a council meeting trying to make sure the togas don't slip off the shoulders whilst they're gesticulating to make a point, so it's not all grim.

107charl08
Edited: Jan 6, 2:03pm Top

A Death at Fountains Abbey
This is the third in another historical crime series, this one set in the reign of Queen Caroline. Previous books have seen Hawkins, a self-declared gambler, imprisoned in 'The Fleet and surrounded by criminals. Here instead he heads to Yorkshire, blackmailed into trying to solve a crime for the Queen. This series is full of dark humour, and unsurprisingly, the estate he's sent to is as full of secrets as his accustomed haunts.

108charl08
Jan 6, 2:04pm Top

>103 Crazymamie: Thanks Mamie. I certainly needed the exercise if the stiff muscles today are any indication...

109charl08
Jan 6, 2:23pm Top

Out Stealing Horses
This came highly recommended on LT (and more directly from layronwoman3rd, my Secret Santa: thank you!) It started really gently, and I thought it was going to be a very quiet meditation on aging and reflecting on youth, as an elderly man has moved to an isolated home, and fills his days with quotidian tasks hardly meeting a soul. However. it was a lot more than that, as the protagonist remembers his youth and recalls the discovery of his father's war work resisting the Nazis in wartime Norway, the consequences for his mother, and the village they visited in the summer. In the present the reasons for his escape from his family become clear, and almost despite himself, he is reclaimed by a neighbour and his daughter. I was really struck by how the author showed the heroism of the father at the same time as the post-war aftermath as he left his son behind. A lovely book and thanks to everyone who raved about it.

110Caroline_McElwee
Jan 6, 2:25pm Top

Glad it found another convert Charlotte. I should put it on the reread list. And I have at least one on the shelf, of his, I haven't read yet.

111Crazymamie
Jan 6, 6:24pm Top

>109 charl08: I need to read that one - it's been in the stacks for ages, the poor dear.

112charl08
Jan 7, 2:05am Top

>110 Caroline_McElwee: It's such a great read Caroline. Speaking of rereads I'm thinking about picking up Gatsby again after your inspiring description of rereading.

>111 Crazymamie: Oh no! Hope you can get to it, it's not a chunkster so possibly easier to squeeze in?

Someone has requested Educated so I'm going to have to return that unread to the library. Gah.

113humouress
Jan 7, 12:57pm Top

>102 charl08: Merely admired? *raises a sceptical eyebrow*

114charl08
Edited: Jan 7, 4:11pm Top

>113 humouress: I may have bought a book. Just because the book group is doing The Handmaid's Tale though...

115Caroline_McElwee
Jan 7, 3:45pm Top

>114 charl08: Commiserations Charlotte...

116humouress
Jan 7, 10:11pm Top

117charl08
Edited: Jan 8, 8:55am Top

>115 Caroline_McElwee: >116 humouress: Was that the shortest-lived thread resolution ever?

Still reading Sarah Churchwell's book about America First. I feel a bit like I'm being repeatedly hit over the head about the need to be vigilant about democracy. I suspect (ETA) I would have got the point without this, but as it was published in the year of the Orange one...

I picked up Hiding in Plain Sight over the weekend. It's an ambitious book, following Bella as she travels to Kenya to look after the children of her brother. As the family is Somali, the book engages directly with the expectations of the Somali migrant community as well as the prejudice they face in neighbouring African countries.

119Carmenere
Jan 8, 7:51am Top

Howdy, Charlotte! Guardian's list didn't grab me but your review of Death at Fountains Abbey certainly did. Just wishlisted the series.

120Caroline_McElwee
Jan 8, 8:50am Top

>117 charl08: I think that was why I got stuck, too much repetition, but I will get back to it, as there is some interesting stuff Charlotte.

121charl08
Jan 8, 8:57am Top

>119 Carmenere: Hope you like it Lynda.

>120 Caroline_McElwee: I really like the newspaper extracts Caroline - I could have done with more pictures (!)

122The_Hibernator
Jan 8, 10:13am Top

>82 charl08: Looks like a metaphorical walk. I hope you thought lots of philosophical thoughts while walking next to a lovely wall. :)

123RebaRelishesReading
Jan 8, 12:13pm Top

>118 charl08: The Fact of a Body was a Chautauqua book last year. I keep seeing it in the bookstore but couldn't get past the title. I'm anxious to see what you think of it.

124cbl_tn
Jan 8, 12:34pm Top

I've added Golden Child to my library TBR list from the Guardian reviews. I read Caveat Emptor a few years ago. I couldn't resist it because I lived in St. Albans many years ago. I was told then that the Roman ruins there are unique because the medieval town wasn't built on top of the Roman town as is the case in places like London and Chester. The medieval town grew around the site of St. Alban's execution.

125charl08
Jan 8, 12:39pm Top

>122 The_Hibernator: I acknowledge your advanced wall appreciation skills Rachel - Lakeland walling (drystone walling) is known for the skills with which they recycle materials and (at least, in ye old days) don't use any kind of connecting stuff (technical term there!!). At least, that is what we had drummed into us as kids, please don't wiki-disabuse me of my myths!

>123 RebaRelishesReading: I know someone on LT or Litsy must have read it, because when I saw the title I had a moment of recognition. I'll see how I get on!

>124 cbl_tn: I think I visited St Albans with school, but I'm a bit ashamed to say I don't really remember it. Must put it on the list to revisit with a note to pay attention.

126cbl_tn
Jan 8, 12:45pm Top

>125 charl08: If you do get a chance to visit again, you might want to check out my favorite restaurant, The Waffle House. (Note to Americans: this should not be confused with the American chain of the same name!) http://www.wafflehouse.co.uk/st-albans/

I also love market days in St. Albans on Wednesdays and Saturdays. I might have been a tad biased, but I thought it was better than many of the other market towns in the area!

127charl08
Jan 8, 6:28pm Top

>126 cbl_tn: Sounds good! I used to enjoy Edinburgh's farmers' market, they did lovely cheese.

Interesting article on women's work in translation and the "market".
"Part of the blame, of course, lies with Italy. While the increased visibility of writers such as Ingy Mubiayi, Cristina Ali Farah, and Igiaba Scego has been encouraging to see, it is largely still (unfortunately) true that any so-called postcolonial writer working in Italy has to contend with an intensely insular culture that has grown far more claustrophobically racist in recent decades than many could have imagined. In fact, its historical amnesia in relation to its former colonies has become, if anything, stronger than it was a few decades ago ....

Part of the blame, however, I believe, also lies with translation bodies in the UK and the US, who receive funding to promote engagements with other cultures while essentially still largely excluding most non-Western authors—in particular women of color—from their agendas. Many of these organizations profess to be open to non-Western cultures and languages while essentially still living in a time when anything “foreign” worthy of attention could only be written by white Europeans. The National Translation Awards winners in 2018 were from France and Denmark, the PEN Translation Prize winner was Hungarian, and the Man Booker International Prize was awarded to a French writer..."

https://www.worldliteraturetoday.org/blog/cultural-cross-sections/aulo-aulo-aulo-ribka-sibhatu-andre-naffis-sahely

128msf59
Jan 8, 9:16pm Top

Happy New Year, Charlotte. Happy New thread. I thought, I had stopped by earlier but I see that I was wrong. Bad Mark.

Have a great reading year in 2019.

129Whisper1
Jan 8, 9:31pm Top

Happy New Year Charlotte! I vow to be more present on the threads in 2019. Finally, I am retired, and no surgeries on the horizon for 2019...

> I am addicted to children's illustrated books. I've found some pretty amazing artists who use children's illustrated books as their vehicle of expression.

130Familyhistorian
Jan 9, 1:34am Top

>107 charl08: Ooh, the Hawkins book sounds interesting, Charlotte, and I just happen to have the first book in the series. (That should make someone happy.)

131charl08
Edited: Jan 9, 1:51am Top

>128 msf59: Thanks Mark. I have found it has been so busy on the threads it has been hard to keep up! There are still threads I have yet to get to.

>129 Whisper1: There are some lovely ones out there: I find it difficult not to pick up a picture book when I pass one!

>130 Familyhistorian: I look forward to hearing what you make of the series (read in the right order, of course).

132charl08
Edited: Jan 9, 2:08am Top

News reporting this rare opportunity to see Liverpool's Audubon book collection- sadly (or happily for the library of course) no tickets left!

https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/birds-of-america-double-delight-tickets-53861072919?

133LovingLit
Jan 9, 4:11am Top

>2 charl08: I love your penguin poster :) I just finished a book called Skating to Antarctica and there was mention of the thousands that roost on the Sub-antarctic Island of South Georgia. I though of you :)

>82 charl08: looks lovely.

>118 charl08: you will be busy with 5 new reads!!!

134charl08
Edited: Jan 9, 7:09am Top

>133 LovingLit: I think I've read that book... (checks LT, finds that yes, I have, and I liked it). For a minute there I thought you were praising my new picture at home - I got a canvas version of The Common Reader.
The nice thing is our library lets you renew every three weeks for ten times, so long as noone else wants the book. So as long as none of my reservations come in, I'm OK.
Famous last words?

I'm plagued by my bad memory today.
I read about this book on the Guardian page The Cut Out Girl, about a girl who was hidden during WW2 in the Netherlands, and the memories of the grandson of the family who hid her, and his attempts to work out what happened afterwards to her and the family.


The weird thing is, I remember this story - I'm sure I've read it. But LT says no. So I'm a bit mystified. Did I just read a different review? or a different book about a similar case?
https://www.theguardian.com/books/2019/jan/07/the-cut-out-girl-by-bart-van-es-review

135jessibud2
Jan 9, 7:29am Top

It's possible that you did read it but didn't add it to your books on LT, which could account for why LT doesn't show your having read it. I know I don't add all the books I read, mainly the ones I review.

This one in >134 charl08: sounds like one I would like to read

136charl08
Jan 9, 7:46am Top

>135 jessibud2: What's odd is that it doesn't come up in the 'mention' list - and it was only published last year, so I don't think it could be an older book (pre-LT). I certainly don't catalogue everything the way I could / should.

If it's the book I read (or like the book I read) it was a really moving read - and unlike some, aspects have stayed with me. As mentioned in the review she had to leave the first family who hid her, because of a neighbour and a police raid, but the second family treated her badly, as 'the help' and she was abused by one of the adults. But she really loved the first family, and after the war she was reunited with them. The book really made clear her vulnerability.

137jessibud2
Edited: Jan 9, 8:34am Top

Thanks. I am going to see if my library has it. But not immediately. I just got home last night from being away for nearly a week and I see that 3 books are waiting for me to pick up and 3 more are *in transit* to my library branch so things I've been waiting for for months are all arriving at once. I hate when that happens!

138alcottacre
Jan 9, 8:01am Top

>134 charl08: The Cut Out Girl looks to be right up my alley. Thanks for the mention!

139Whisper1
Edited: Jan 9, 9:06am Top

>132 charl08: One of the things I loved about Lehigh University is that under a locked large glass case is a full set of the Audubon's Birds of America. I had goosebumps every time I stood in front of the very large wall-mounted case to see which bird was featured. The detail is incredible!!!!

I'm not sure, but I believe there are only 100-120 intact full plated books.

The set is kept in this beautiful Lehigh Library:



I spent many lunch hours in this building. I was fortunate because it was a short distance from the building where I worked.

The highlight is this incredible window:



https://www1.lehigh.edu/news/linderman-named-%E2%80%98most-amazing%E2%80%99-library

140BLBera
Jan 9, 9:05am Top

Hi Charlotte - A Death at Fountains Abbey does sound good. Onto the list it goes.

>134 charl08: I hate it when that happens. Usually it's a book I read a long time ago, but if this is a new one, that can't be the case. Unless someone else told the story previously? Hmmm.

141cbl_tn
Jan 9, 9:23am Top

>134 charl08: Another BB! Happily, my local public library has a copy. :-)

142Caroline_McElwee
Edited: Jan 9, 10:54am Top

>139 Whisper1: Wonderful building, lucky you.

143charl08
Jan 9, 3:43pm Top

>137 jessibud2: Why does it always work like that? Good luck with those!

>138 alcottacre: I still don't know whether to go look for it to see if I have read it or not though...

>139 Whisper1: What a beautiful library! According to Liverpool there are only 120 sets left of these books.

144charl08
Jan 9, 3:47pm Top

>140 BLBera: I have no clue Beth. It suddenly occurred to me that maybe it was one that Anita had recommended to me, so I've asked on her thread.

>141 cbl_tn: That's handy! Hope you like it.

>142 Caroline_McElwee: I agree Caroline. That's some building.

145charl08
Edited: Jan 9, 4:13pm Top

Finished some books...

The Promised Land: poems from itinerant life
Fascinating collection by an Italian born, Iranian heritage poet, who also translates for a living. Some of the poems reflect on the refugee crisis, others use Rome to look at the end of an empire.



Behold America: a history of America First and the American Dream
I really enjoyed Sarah Churchwell's previous book about the Great Gatsby and Fitzgerald's inspiration in the events of the time (Careless Lives). Like that book, Churchwell draws on newspapers from all over the US to make her case. The whistlestop tour of the American failure to take the American First groups as a serious threat to democracy comes with rather overdone (for my taste at least) references to Trump. In the final chapter she pulls it back in a much more closely argued discussion of the role of history and political lessons. But for my money, the Gatsby book is streets ahead.

146charl08
Jan 9, 5:14pm Top

Now reading Lost Children Archive (an ARC)
I do remember, though, that when I read Sontag for the first time, just like the first time I read Hannah Arendt, Emily Dickinson, and Pascal, I kept having those sudden, subtle, and possibly microchemical raptures— little lights flickering deep inside the brain tissue— that some people experience when they finally find words for a very simple and yet till then utterly unspeakable feeling. When someone else’s words enter your consciousness like that, they become small conceptual light-marks. They’re not necessarily illuminating. A match struck alight in a dark hallway, the lit tip of a cigarette smoked in bed at midnight, embers in a dying chimney: none of these things has enough light of its own to reveal anything . Neither do anyone’s words. But sometimes a little light can make you aware of the dark, unknown space that surrounds it, of the enormous ignorance that envelops everything we think we know . And that recognition and coming to terms with darkness is more valuable than all the factual knowledge we may ever accumulate.....

147FAMeulstee
Jan 9, 5:25pm Top

>144 charl08: It wasn't me, Charlotte, the Dutch translation came only a few months (weeks?) ago.
I have looked around, but did not find an other book like it.

148RidgewayGirl
Jan 9, 5:28pm Top

How are you liking the Luiselli? The Story of My Teeth was such an odd and dislocating book, but I still have it stuck in my mind.

149BLBera
Jan 10, 12:25am Top

>146 charl08: Love that, Charlotte. I have it on reserve. It will be a while before it is out, though, I think.

150humouress
Jan 10, 1:59am Top

>136 charl08: I have vague memories of someone talking about a book like that (on LT) but unfortunately, I cannot remember who.

>139 Whisper1: I want that library!

151charl08
Jan 10, 2:40am Top

>147 FAMeulstee: Thanks Anita. I'm stumped!

>148 RidgewayGirl: I do like her style Kay, there are definite similarities here too, to her other book interviewing child migrants Tell Me How it Ends.

>149 BLBera: Out here next month Beth (at least on kindle). I like she makes me think.

>150 humouress: I had a look at mentions and Suzanne (Chatterbox) has read the new book. But still not sure if that's the one I read!

152katiekrug
Jan 11, 8:09am Top

Just checking in, Charlotte. I hope you have a lovely weekend!

153charl08
Jan 11, 3:54pm Top

Thanks Katie!

I can't stick to my good intentions, and instead am reading The fact of the Body as well as Almost Famous Women. The second one is a nice surprise: late Xmas present.

154Familyhistorian
Jan 11, 7:10pm Top

>131 charl08: Well, I almost picked up The Devil in the Marshalsea to add to the book mix but Plaid and Plagiarism was in the same TBR pile and my hand grabbed that one instead. That's also the first in the series. (I think I've been brainwashed.) The Cut Out Girl looks very interesting and the hold line up at my library is very short so I should get to it soonish.

155charl08
Jan 12, 7:07am Top

>154 Familyhistorian: Sounds like you have plenty to keep you busy there!

156charl08
Edited: Jan 12, 8:31am Top

Guardian Reviews Non-fiction

Not Working: why we have to stop by Josh Cohen reviewed by Barbara Taylor
"...a polemic against our overwork culture and a meditation on its alternatives. "

I love that someone - the author- who professes to be lazy has a lengthy librarything list of publications. (Hmmm)

157vancouverdeb
Jan 12, 7:15am Top

I'm so late to the party, I apologize, Charlotte. I really enjoyed Out Stealing Horses several years ago, and I can also attest to really enjoying Educated last year. Really a fascinating read and quite a quick on too. Like you, I am having issues with books that need to go back to the library unread. It's not easy to get to all of them at once.

158charl08
Edited: Jan 12, 7:38am Top

Quicksand Tales: The Misadventures of Keggie Carew by Keggie Carew reviewed by Robert Douglas-Fairhurst
"...have the knack of easing the reader happily from page to page, leaving us squirming at the situations she finds herself in while secretly hoping that she won't escape them just yet."

I fear this may be too recognisable to be appealing.

159charl08
Jan 12, 7:39am Top

The Cut-Out Girl
See discussion of my poor memory re (possibly) this book. >134 charl08:.
And no, I still have no idea.

160charl08
Edited: Jan 12, 7:57am Top

Chasing the Sun: The new science of sunlight and how it shapes our bodies and minds by Linda Geddes reviewed by Casper Henderson
"...written in the wake of the discoveries of molecular mechanisms controlling the circadian rhythm that won researchers the 2017 Nobel prize in physiology or medicine, but other remarkable findings fill its pages."

Sounds really interesting.

161charl08
Edited: Jan 12, 7:57am Top

The Existential Englishman: Paris Among the Artists by Michael Peppiatt reviewed by Steven Poole
"The world is not short of Anglophone memoirs about living in Paris..."
"Stricter editing wouldn't have hurt..."

I think this review just saved me £10.

162charl08
Edited: Jan 12, 8:03am Top

The Orchid and the Dandelion by W Thomas Boyce reviewed by Philippa Perry
"The take-home message of the book is: orchid children are more susceptible to both negative and positive social conditioning; they have both the best outcomes and the worst."

As the reviewer says, fascinating theories but labels are tricky things, so I'm hovering.

163charl08
Edited: Jan 12, 8:22am Top

The Murder of Rosa Luxemburg by Klaus Gietinger translated by Loren Balhorn reviewed by Lara Feigel
"In 1993 Klaus Gietinger published a book in Germany identifying the particular soldiers responsible for giving the orders and pressing the trigger. Now it has been published in English to coincide with the centenary of the murders....

Gietinger is less adept at exploring the significance of the murders, which he seems to think we can take as read. He tells us that these killings were "one of the great tragedies of the twentieth century ". But why? What could Luxemburg and Liebknecht have achieved had they been allowed to live? "

164susanj67
Jan 12, 8:18am Top

>154 Familyhistorian: Meg, brainwashed! There are some dangerous people out there :-)

Hi Charlotte! Chasing the Sun looks good. Happy Saturday!

165charl08
Jan 12, 8:19am Top

Colliding galaxies and 'Goldilocks' planets: the revolution in astronomy
Cosmologist Jo Dunkley on the most mind-bending recent discoveries, as astronomers use powerful new telescopes to explore nature’s weirdest stars, ‘dark energy’ and the origins of gold
https://www.theguardian.com/books/2019/jan/12/reach-for-the-stars-jo-dunkley

166charl08
Jan 12, 8:22am Top

>157 vancouverdeb: Deborah! So nice to see you here. Have you set up a new thread for 2019?

>164 susanj67: I have no idea (!) what or indeed who, this brain washing could be referring to, Susan.

I had no idea either that there was something in our eyes that works out when it's time to sleep (I suspect I have oversimplified the science here: I need to read the book).

167charl08
Jan 12, 10:46am Top

Yesterday volunteering, I passed on two t shirts for a little one. His mum asked me if it was for her, pretending to try it on. I missed the joke completely and told her it was for (name). Oldest sister stage whispered to me "Its a JOKE, Charlotte".
Oh dear.

A new group of guys have been moved into our town. Spoke with one, a former trade union worker in his country. Impressively fluent, determined to try to make a new life (this week he walked to the next town, about 18 miles round trip to try and get a place at college. They said no.). We were talking about why the traffic was so busy here on Fridays. I assumed that in his country everyone went to Mosque on Fridays as the state religion. No, he said. They preach the government line. We don't agree. We don't go. He looked so sad when talking about his wife, hopefully the documents will come through soon and they can be reunited.

168BLBera
Jan 12, 11:42am Top

Thanks for the reviews, Charlotte. I think I can resist although >162 charl08: is tempting...

>167 charl08: I hope the new immigrants find a place where they can thrive.

169charl08
Edited: Jan 12, 2:24pm Top

>168 BLBera: I had to return a sales purchase today, and of course had to visit the huge branch of Waterstones that is just on the end of the row. I looked for the book about >160 charl08: but instead got pointed to Why we sleep, which I didn't want.

(I may have bought a cookbook and a Mary Oliver though.)

It's a bit of a lottery it seems with folk who are claiming the right to stay here. One guy was talking on Friday about having been waiting three years without even a first appointment with the government agency who decides if they are a "genuine" refugee. I imagine this guy has a good case (in their terms), but the government have effectively put him somewhere that has little link to what he does professionally, so he will have to move again to work if approved, and very few people who speak his first language. It makes no sense in human terms.

170charl08
Jan 12, 5:14pm Top

I've booked to go see my first Brecht next month. It seemed like a good idea at the time...
https://www.royalexchange.co.uk/whats-on-and-tickets/mother-courage-and-her-children

171vancouverdeb
Jan 12, 9:25pm Top

Yes, Charlotte, at last I have set up a thread! Come on over and visit.

172BLBera
Jan 12, 10:48pm Top

You may have? Is that like when books just show up on my door step?

173EBT1002
Jan 13, 12:25am Top

>107 charl08: I'm actually adding The Devil in the Marshalsea to my wish list. First in the series and all that.

>145 charl08: A lovely short poem.

174Berly
Jan 13, 12:46am Top

Hi Charlotte! Loving your Guardian reviews as usual. Not that I need any more books! Happy Sunday.

175kidzdoc
Jan 13, 5:47am Top

>170 charl08: Excellent! I've seen three of Brecht's plays in London in the past couple of years: The Threepenny Opera at the National Theatre, The Resistible Rise of Arturo Ui at Donmar Warehouse, and Life of Galileo at the Young Vic; each performance was superb. I look forward to your thoughts about Mother Courage and Her Children.

176charl08
Jan 13, 7:09am Top

>171 vancouverdeb: Ok, will do. Hope I can find it!

>172 BLBera: Mmm, Beth! It seemed wrong not to. I'd been meaning to get back to Mary Oliver for ages, and my attempt to convince the library to order one did not work. The cookbook is supposed to be helping with healthy eating. We shall see...

>173 EBT1002: It is a bit longer Ellen, but I couldn't take a photo of the whole poem. He had a real range of work, a nice surprise find on the library's ebook collection.

177charl08
Jan 13, 7:16am Top

>174 Berly: I made the mistake of going to look at what I said about a book two years ago, and was reminded of the books I wanted to read back then but haven't got to yet. So never say never...

>175 kidzdoc: I hope so: will be fun to go to the Exchange, it's a beautiful theatre in the round, built in the middle of an old trading centre.

178charl08
Jan 13, 7:30am Top

I finished The Fact of the Body: the review is over on the non-fiction challenge thread.
https://www.librarything.com/topic/301145

I also finished Hiding in Plain Sight: I can't say that it's convinced me the author is the next Achebe (I'm in the minority: the inside cover is full of rave reviews) but an interesting read.

Youngish Somali/ Italian woman returns to Kenya on the death of her brother to look after his children. Full of detail of day to day living in urban Kenya, dealing with the traffic, security, food. In particular he shows what it's like to be Somali in Kenya, having moved involuntarily but never really accepted, facing everyday prejudices. But I felt the author got caught up in trying to make points about diverse and changing attitudes in the Somali diaspora, and lost sight of the story and the characters. I might look for another of his to see if it's just this one for some reason didn't work so well for me. But maybe not right now!

179Deern
Jan 13, 8:25am Top

Brecht... I read many when I was way too young, back in highschool, and I should reread them all. I think they‘re quite timeless (sadly). I hope you‘ll enjoy the play.

Happy Sunday! :)

180banjo123
Jan 13, 4:52pm Top

>178 charl08: The Fact of the Body sounds interesting.

I kind of hate it that every African author gets compared to every other African author. "The next Achebe" is really an annoying phrase.

181charl08
Jan 14, 3:59am Top

>179 Deern: I know nothing, so I hope no prior knowledge is assumed! It's supposed to be a new version, and the actor talking about the production described a new script plus unusual sounding prop / scene design - so that should be interesting.

>180 banjo123: I agree re the Achebe label. It makes no sense, and is lazy marketing.

182The_Hibernator
Jan 14, 6:23am Top

>170 charl08: Wow, I love the theater. Have fun!

183charl08
Jan 14, 7:33am Top

>182 The_Hibernator: It's not until next month. Here's hoping I remember it, first of all!

I finished The Handmaid's Tale last night. What an amazing book. Why did I wait so long?

Still reading Archive of Lost Children
The daily federal quota for undocumented people, he said, was 34,000, and was steadily growing. That meant that at least 34,000 people had to be occupying a bed each day in any one of the detention centers, a center just like this one, across the country. People were taken away, he continued, locked up in detention buildings for an indefinite amount of time. Some were later deported back to their home countries. Many were pipelined to federal prisons, which profited from them, subjecting them to sixteen-hour workdays for which they earned less than three dollars. Most of them, however, were simply—disappeared. At first, I thought Father Juan Carlos was preaching from a kind of Orwellian dystopic delirium. It took me some time to realize that he wasn’t. It took me some time to notice that the rest of the people there that day, mostly Garifunas from Honduras, were family members of someone who had, in fact, disappeared during an ICE raid.

184charl08
Edited: Yesterday, 3:44am Top

Couldn't resist cracking the spine of Soviet Milk: brilliant so far.

186BLBera
Yesterday, 9:57pm Top

I can't wait for Archive of Lost Children; it sounds like one I will like.

>185 charl08: Have fun. :) What will you read first?

187humouress
Edited: Today, 1:04am Top

>169 charl08: >172 BLBera: Really?

Haven't we had this conversation before?

>167 charl08: Good for you, volunteering.

188charl08
Today, 4:07am Top

>186 BLBera: I've got to get holding them first: annoyingly the library cuts mean that Wednesday is early closing day. Although I'm the plus side it gives me more time to read and return some of the ones I've got out already.

>187 humouress: I do surprisingly well out of it: enormous homecooked lunch when we got back from the pool. I used to try and refuse but it caused offence.

189humouress
Today, 4:19am Top

>188 charl08: Ah, so not entirely altruistic. ;0)

190charl08
Today, 7:29am Top

>189 humouress: Exactly!

I finished A Morbid Habit last night - this should come with a big flashing 'read out of order alert', but it was very good, and I didn't feel like I had to have read the other two. Catherine Berlin is a private investigator trying to fight a drug addiction, who sees something she shouldn't whilst taking a night security job to pay the bills. She tells a journalist friend, and things escalate rapidly, involving London's large Russian population - and a visit to Moscow. The writing is good, some great dry humour, and the plot is twisty enough to keep (me) guessing. There are five in total so I'll be hoping the others are in the library system somewhere.
The author's nationality is a headache - she's born in the UK, but her bio describes her as living in Australia 'when she's not in London'. Well, that's helpful for stats purposes: harumph.

191alcottacre
Today, 7:42am Top

>190 charl08: A Morbid Habit sounds like one I would enjoy. Thanks for the recommendation! I will have to see if the local library has it.

192charl08
Today, 4:26pm Top

My pleasure! Hoping to pick up my books tomorrow, maybe they'll have another book from the series.

193charl08
Today, 4:31pm Top

I think I forgot to say about the book club discussion: it was really fascinating. The leader had read the book(the Handmaid's tale) first in the 80s, so had many memories of reading in the context of being a feminist activist. What made us all laugh was her account of a (male) colleague who hadn't come as reading it had been too terrifying. This seemed an appropriate response: however someone said Atwood has been quoted as saying everything in the book has been taken from real events in one to me period or another. Which seems doubly shocking.

Our next book is the novel How to be Happy. Hmmm.

Group: 75 Books Challenge for 2019

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