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Paul C Back to Basics in 2019

This is a continuation of the topic Paul C Back to Basics in 2019.

This topic was continued by Paul C Back to Basics in 2019 Part 3.

75 Books Challenge for 2019

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Jan 16, 5:07am Top

I am hosting the British Isles Author Challenge which is this month looking at books on the natural world. This image is suggested by Robert Macfarlane's The Wild Places which I am reading this month.

Edited: Feb 11, 10:19pm Top

I am Paul Cranswick, sometime group statistician, Malaysian correspondent - construction project manager and avid book accumulator.

Father of three - Yasmyne, Kyran and Belle - the first two already studying in university in the UK and hopeful of a return to the UK in the none too distant future.

Had a tough few years and this affected badly my reading last year which was the first that I have failed to reach 100 books. This year - hope springs eternal so let's see.

Edited: Feb 11, 10:20pm Top

2019 Books


1. Findings by Kathleen Jamie BIAC
2. Black Robe by Brian Moore
3. Love on the Dole by Walter Greenwood
4. Football in Sun and Shadow by Eduardo Galeano
5. The Rider by Tim Krabbe


6. Exercises in Style by Raymond Queneau
7. My Name is Asher Lev by Chaim Potok
8. The Silence of the Girls by Pat Barker

Edited: Feb 11, 10:24pm Top

Currently reading:

The Good Companions by J.B. Preistley

Edited: Feb 11, 10:26pm Top


January 2019 - The Natural World https://www.librarything.com/topic/296824#6632759
February 2019 - Pat Barker and Peter F. Hamilton
March 2019 - The Murderous Scots https://www.librarything.com/topic/296824#6637458
April 2019 - Rosamond Lehmann and John Boyne
May 2019 - The Edwardians https://www.librarything.com/topic/299559#6656870
June 2019 - Nicola Barker and Wilkie Collins
July 2019 - YA Fantasy Series https://www.librarything.com/topic/299559#6660927
August 2019 - Anita Brookner and Jim Crace
September 2019 - Biography and Memoir https://www.librarything.com/topic/299559#6674204
October 2019 - Rose Tremain and Louis de Bernieres
November 2019 -The Jewish Contribution https://www.librarything.com/topic/301575#6688724
December 2019 - Zadie Smith and Michael Morpurgo
WILDCARD - Back to the Beginning - LIVELY and ISHIGURO

Here is a link to the thread:

Edited: Feb 11, 10:53pm Top

American Author Challenge

American Author Challenge 2019

I will be joining Linda's challenge where I can this year and have started:

January 2019 - Chaim Potok - My Name is Asher Lev {READING}

Edited: Feb 11, 10:56pm Top


120 books in this challenge so I am going to have to do much better than last year!

To date : 8/20

1933 - Love on the Dole
1947 - Exercises in Style
1972 - My Name is Asher Lev
1978 - The Rider
1985 - Black Robe
1995 - Football in Sun and Shadow
2005 - Findings
2018 - The Silence of the Girls

Edited: Feb 11, 10:57pm Top


Third attempt at this tough challenge which I have failed miserably at twice.

Create Your Own Visited Countries Map

1. United Kingdom Kathleen Jamie
2. Canada Brian Moore
3. Uruguay Eduardo Galeano
4. Netherlands Tim Krabbe
5. France Raymond Queneau
6. USA Chaim Potok

Jan 16, 5:32am Top

Next is Yours

Jan 16, 5:48am Top

Happy new thread, Paul and all the best for your (reading-)plans!

Jan 16, 5:56am Top

>10 SirThomas: Thanks Thomas.

Jan 16, 6:35am Top

Happy New Thread, Paul. Glad to see the 75ers marching right along in 2019. I hope you enjoy Asher Lev as much as I did. It was 5 stars for me. Hooray for Linda & the AAC.

Jan 16, 6:37am Top

Happy New thread! The vote is still open on my thread😊

Jan 16, 6:41am Top

Happy New thread! You are off to a racing start for the year! ;-)

Jan 16, 6:45am Top

Happy new thread, Paul!

Jan 16, 7:36am Top

Looks like you are doing well--5 down, 1 under way! I think a major international move would be difficult but I do wish you all the best in finding the right home and in "downsizing."

Jan 16, 7:40am Top

Happy new thread, Paul!

Jan 16, 7:47am Top

Happy new one, Paul. Gorgeous topper pic!

Jan 16, 8:22am Top

Happy New Thread, Paul.

I just finished Happiness by Aminatta Forna, a novel which features an urban wildlife (foxes, coyotes, etc.) specialist as a lead character. Interesting crossover with the wilder places outside the cities.

Jan 16, 8:22am Top

Happy new thread, Paul! Hope all is right in your world!

Jan 16, 9:09am Top

Happy new thread!

Jan 16, 9:12am Top

Cheers to your second thread of the new year, Paul!

Jan 16, 9:40am Top

Happy new thread!

Jan 16, 10:05am Top

Happy new thread, Paul! Hope you're having a good week and get to relax a bit over the weekend.

Jan 16, 10:46am Top

Happy new one, Paul!

Jan 16, 11:20am Top

>12 msf59: Linda is carrying on the excellent work of her predecessor, whoever that was!

>13 BBGirl55: Thanks Bryony. Got waylaid but it is my next port of call.

Jan 16, 11:21am Top

>14 cbl_tn: In large part to you and your largesse, Carrie. xx

>15 harrygbutler: Thank you Harry

Jan 16, 11:24am Top

>16 thornton37814: it will probably be both, Lori. Smallish city centre apartment in Sheffield is likely in the early term.

>17 alcottacre: Thanks Stasia. One of my slowest - probably the slowest - of my first yearly transitions, but I am enjoying the group again with a little less stress in my life presently.

Jan 16, 11:27am Top

>18 jessibud2: Thanks Shelley. I really like the topper too and it showcases the British natural world well, I think.

>19 jnwelch: Interesting Joe. I got that one for Carrie as part of my Secret Santa gig last Christmas so I am pleased that it met with approval with you, mate.

Jan 16, 11:28am Top

>20 ChelleBearss: Thank you Chelle. I cannot complain much at the moment. xx

>21 foggidawn: Thanks Foggy.

Jan 16, 11:29am Top

>22 Carmenere: Cheers back at ya, Lynda. I love January!

>23 drneutron: Thank you, Jim

Jan 16, 11:31am Top

>24 bell7: It is super busy but in a good stress way this week, Mary.

>25 DianaNL: Thanks Diana. xx

Jan 16, 11:46am Top

Downsizing! Yikes. I ran across the statistic that the Brits live in the smallest living spaces in Western Europe. Considering I found the Italian and French and German ideas of "spacious" damned near claustrophobic, that gives me referred-pain collywobbles for the fate of your library.

Happy new thread!

Jan 16, 11:51am Top

Hi Paul and happy new thread.

Congrats on 5 books so far. I hope this year's reading is voluminous and stellar.

Jan 16, 12:10pm Top

>33 richardderus: Ah but RD I didn't say anything about losing my library but I will need to be yet more inventive.

>34 karenmarie: I hope so too my dear. xx

Jan 16, 12:12pm Top

Happy new thread!

Jan 16, 12:13pm Top

>36 amanda4242: Thank you sear Amanda.

Jan 16, 12:53pm Top

Happy new one, Paul!

Jan 16, 1:52pm Top

Happy new thread!

Jan 16, 3:36pm Top

Happy New Thread!

I also missed 100 books last year .. for probably the first time since dinosaurs roamed the western plains.

And I certainly didn't make much headway on the 1001 either - only 4 books last year as I burned out a bit on that challenge.

My global challenge is much easier than yours! Although I am trying to read 5 books per country, I have forever to do it - which makes it a nice comfortable deadline. pun heehee :)

I'm also reading and enjoying Asher Lev. Missed reading Potok altogether his books were very popular back in the 70's when I was working in a bookstore during my college years.

Jan 16, 3:54pm Top

Happy new thread Paul.

One of my boys was offered a place at Uni to do Bachelor of Education this year, starts next month. Luckily the Uni is only an hours drive away and not in another country.

How does your wife cope with your two darlings being so far away?

What are they studying?

Jan 16, 4:49pm Top

Happy new thread, Paul. Good luck with the inventive transplanting of your library but if you are in Sheffield won't you have access to a public library so maybe there might possibly be less accumulation in the future?

Jan 16, 5:21pm Top

I didn't reach my usual 300 books last year. I didn't even hit 200. I haven't read that few in decades, if ever.

Jan 16, 5:21pm Top

Happy new thread Paul.

Jan 16, 6:21pm Top

Happy new thread, Paul!

Lovely image at the top, I enjoyed The wild places in 2017.
Belated happy Birthday to Belle!
Downsizing is a hard task, we went from a large 8 room house to a 3 room appartment in 1997. But we did manage and I am sure you will too :-)

Jan 16, 10:13pm Top

>43 Morphidae: Seems like 2018 was challenging for a lot of us!

Jan 17, 1:31am Top

Happy new thread, Paul. You are off to a great start with your reading. I hope this is a wonderful year for you.

Jan 17, 2:39am Top

Happy new thread Paul - just checking in :)

I've been looking at a round the world challenge - but I've also given myself forever (>40 streamsong: love the pun). My problem is getting hold of the really obscure ones. I've (predictably) started with 1,001s.

Jan 17, 7:47am Top

>38 Crazymamie: Thanks Mamie. I will endeavour to get round the threads as soon as possible.

>39 figsfromthistle: Thank you Anita. Great to see you keeping up so well so far this year.

Jan 17, 7:48am Top

Happy whatever day of the week it is in your part of the world, Paul! :)

Jan 17, 7:54am Top

>40 streamsong: Asher Lev does drag you nicely in doesn't it? Interesting take on the global challenge Janet. I am as optimistic as always when I start a year that I'll manage all my challenges.

>41 fairywings: She copes with it by being there! She is presently in Sheffield looking after my mum and visiting the two kids alternately.
Yasmyne is studying Property Development and Town Planning at Edinburgh and Kyran Law and International Relations at Portsmouth.

Jan 17, 9:50am Top

>42 Familyhistorian: I will do my best to get my books into whatever space I have available. Wish I was Doctor Who and had the TARDIS available! The libraries in Yorkshire are not half bad for sure.

>43 Morphidae: So many of us fell short last year Morphy.

Jan 17, 9:53am Top

>44 johnsimpson: Thanks John. Give my love to Karen.

>45 FAMeulstee: I think I'll be fine with the moving. I may leave a number of the books here as it will give me more than a little bit of an excuse to keep coming back!

Jan 17, 9:54am Top

>46 justchris: Indeed Chris. Indeed.

>47 Oregonreader: I'm glad to see you here, Jan. I'll go off and look for your thread.

Jan 17, 9:57am Top

Happy new thread!

Jan 17, 9:58am Top

>48 BekkaJo: It is surprisingly easy to get to 80 states, Bekka, in theory at least!

>50 alcottacre: We are edging towards Friday, Stasia. Liz and Megan and Kerry and Cushla et al in Oceania are already there. xx

Jan 17, 9:58am Top

>55 The_Hibernator: Thank you, dear Rachel.

Jan 17, 8:42pm Top

Happy newish thread, Paul. I love the topper.

Jan 17, 8:58pm Top

>58 BLBera: Thanks Beth.

Jan 18, 6:28am Top

Hi, Paul!

Every time I open this thread and see the topper, just for a second I think it's a detailed drawing of an elephant's butt...

Jan 18, 6:41am Top

Hi Paul, I'm getting the feeling that you're one busy dude. No book reports, no poems?! Me thinks you need to rest some. Have a good weekend!

Jan 18, 8:49pm Top

>60 scaifea: Erm, I can sort of see that, Amber, now that you mention it!

>61 Carmenere: I haven't written a single word of poetry in probably six months, Lynda, and I do hope that that doesn't continue too much longer.

Jan 18, 9:16pm Top

I am very saddened to see that Mary Oliver passed away yesterday. One of the most widely read and appreciated of modern poets, her understated work hid a commitment to craft that I always admired.


Jan 18, 9:20pm Top

This is Mary Oliver's poem Breakage which is a fine example of her art.


I go down to the edge of the sea.
How everything shines in the morning light!
The cusp of the whelk,
the broken cupboard of the clam,
the opened, blue mussels,
moon snails, pale pink and barnacle scarred—
and nothing at all whole or shut, but tattered, split,
dropped by the gulls onto the gray rocks and all the moisture gone.
It’s like a schoolhouse
of little words,
thousands of words.
First you figure out what each one means by itself,
the jingle, the periwinkle, the scallop
full of moonlight.

Then you begin, slowly, to read the whole story.

Jan 18, 10:18pm Top

Happy New Thread, Paul! And the non-obligatory but always heart-felt hugs! (((Paul)))

Edited: Jan 18, 10:21pm Top

>65 ronincats: I do hope to get stateside with SWMBO sometime soon, Roni and I would welcome those hugs real time. My friends on LT have kept me going through some pretty dark days over the last couple of years and I appreciate all of you immensely. xx {{{{RONI}}}}

Jan 18, 11:13pm Top

>64 PaulCranswick: Lovely, as are so many of her poems.

If you manage a US tour, Paul, I hope Seattle or Portland are included in your cities to visit!

Jan 19, 1:46am Top

Happy new thread Paul!

Edited: Jan 19, 6:48am Top

>64 PaulCranswick: it's lovely reading everyone's favourite Mary Oliver poem Paul. I hadn't come across that one.

Jan 19, 9:28am Top

>64 PaulCranswick: That's a lovely Mary Oliver poem. I began reading her collection Devotions the evening of her death. I'd been meaning to start it for awhile as I purchased it for last year's Thingaversary, but I just never got around to beginning. It's really a shame it took her death to make me begin reading it. I've loved all her other work I've read.

Jan 19, 10:26am Top

>70 thornton37814: I like to think that an author's death is their final gift to us, because it so often brings us back to their work, or to it for the first time.

Jan 19, 4:13pm Top

>67 EBT1002: Portland is a must, Ellen. Mary Oliver has a lovely gentle touch with her words.

>68 humouress: Thank you Nina xx

Jan 19, 4:16pm Top

>69 Caroline_McElwee: She produced a fine body of work, Caroline, that's for sure.

>70 thornton37814: I have several of her collections, Lori, but I don't have anything unread - I think.

Jan 19, 4:19pm Top

>71 laytonwoman3rd: That is a lovely sentiment, Linda. That her work is not lost to us is something to rejoice, I suppose.

Jan 19, 9:10pm Top

It's my first visit to this one so Happy New Thread :-)

>64 PaulCranswick: Lovely Mary Oliver. I've loved seeing the variety of her work folks have posted in these past couple of days. She will be missed.

Jan 19, 9:21pm Top

>75 SuziQoregon: Nice to see you, Juli. I read somewhere over the past day or two that Mary Oliver didn't put people in her poems but she certainly peopled them with plenty of interest.

Jan 20, 8:37am Top

Happy Sunday! Love the Mary Oliver poem.

Jan 20, 8:47am Top

>77 Foxen: Nice to see you here Katie and welcome back to the group after quite an absence.

I myself don't write too much on nature but this is something I scribbled a while ago lamenting Malaysia's absence of seasons as my wife was enjoying Autumn in West Yorkshire:

Morning Rain in Ampang

As sunrise streaks into day
I go down paths
where no leaves are falling,

Although autumn breezes blow
in that fickle hour back home -
there is no fall in Malaysia

whose seasons thrusts are stalling.
The air is fresh; a fleeting play
as autumn here blazes

And the morning skies turn ochre,
turn puce before closing ash leaden;
a moment of brooding.

A moment of calm before fusillades
like God and all His Angels weeping
and the streets in rivulets sing.

Just as suddenly those tears subside
and the same streets steam without shame
and without clearing the air.

Jan 20, 9:40am Top

starred, Hi Paul!!

Jan 20, 11:30am Top

>72 PaulCranswick: "Portland is a must!" Now you're talking. : )

>78 PaulCranswick: Very nice. Although sad. Autumn is one of my favorite seasons and I would miss it.

Nice job with the books already--I was happy to just finish #2!!

Big hugs.

Jan 20, 11:31am Top

>79 mckait: Lovely to see you Kath. I hope your posting will be back to normal again this year.

Jan 20, 11:32am Top

>80 Berly: I do miss the seasons, Kimmers. Especially spring and autumn.

Jan 20, 1:32pm Top

Happy Sunday, Paul! Thank you for dropping by the Acre.

Jan 20, 1:43pm Top

Hallooo, Paul. I'm dancing about the threads today. At least for a while. Have a couple of books I want to finish.


Jan 20, 2:30pm Top

Hiya, buddy.

I like your poem in >78 PaulCranswick: a lot. Good use of your two locales!

Nice Mary Oliver poem up there, too. It's hard to lose her, but maybe it will result in more readers giving her a try.

Jan 20, 3:43pm Top

Just running through, Paul. I too love Oliver’s work and am sad to see her go. She reminds me somewhat of May Sarton. I’m doing better with my poetry: not yet at my one per day, but I’ve managed one every other day so far.

Jan 20, 4:57pm Top

>78 PaulCranswick:

Sounds like the gentle leaves and winds of autumn are calling you back to wilder colors beyond puce (which I have to keep looking up).

Jan 20, 6:24pm Top

Happy new thread, Paul! I like your poem in >78 PaulCranswick:

Jan 20, 9:43pm Top

>83 alcottacre: The Acre is always a pleasant spot to graze upon, Stasia! I am so pleased to see it available to your friends again this year. xx

>84 weird_O: I have a few getting ever closer to being finished too, Bill. I have made an OK start to the reading year so far.

Jan 20, 9:46pm Top

>85 jnwelch: Thanks Joe. When I wrote that one, I was in a bit of a period of longing for the Olde Country. Still looking forward to getting back there more often. Mary Oliver must have vied with Billy Collins as being the most popular and accessible of poets. A great loss because that readership is needed to support us lesser scribblers.

>86 bohemima: I couldn't envisage a world in which I didn't read and write poetry, Gail. We can burnish a dull world with colours of our choosing.

Jan 20, 9:49pm Top

>87 m.belljackson: The sky does throw up some incredible colours here sometimes. Puce is a sort of purplish dark brown and suits albeit slightly exaggerates the impact of coming tropical rain on an otherwise pristine skyline.

>88 banjo123: Thank you Rhonda. It is not quite my normal way of writing but still has the little bit of glibness that spoils my art.

Jan 21, 2:07am Top

Hi, Paul. Finally managing to get to visiting the threads and you're already on your second! Hope you and your family are well.

Jan 21, 11:26am Top

Happy new thread, Paul. Wishing you a wonderful week.

Jan 21, 5:13pm Top

Oooh, I look forward to hearing how you've got along with My Name is Asher Lev. It was my very favourite book for a while, and I re-read it quite a few times. Might be time for another read of it.

Jan 21, 8:11pm Top

>92 rretzler: SWMBO is still looking after my mum but should be heading home in early February. Belle is struggling to cope with just her Dad for company. Lovely to see you.

>93 lkernagh: Thanks Lori. xx

Jan 21, 8:12pm Top

>94 evilmoose: It is pretty good isn't it, Megan? Lovely to see you cycling across the threads xx

Jan 22, 10:21am Top

>78 PaulCranswick: Nature poetry! I'm a terrible poet myself. Which is funny because when I was in school and was "forced" to write poetry, I'd always write what I thought of as poetry satire. Like once, I wrote a poem that was in imitation of Sylvia Plath's daddy-hating angry poetry. And I got an A. And then one time I wrote a poem about my pink shower curtain, and wrote the poem in pink with lines that were waving instead of straight. I got an A on that too. I couldn't figure out why people liked my poetry. Now I wonder if they realized it was satire and that's why I got A's? Or did they think I was serious?

Jan 22, 6:52pm Top

Hi there Paul, happy new week. I'm making my way around the threads as I can. No reading to report.

Jan 22, 9:22pm Top

A belated Happy New Year, Paul. I am sure you are wonderful company for Belle, but no doubt you will are be pleased to have Hani home.

Jan 22, 9:37pm Top

Just dropping in to say Hi!

Jan 22, 10:35pm Top

>97 The_Hibernator: What makes good poetry is often in how it is received or discerned by whoever is reading the stuff. Your satire obviously struck a chord Rachel and probably if the teacher was smart enough, he/she knew you were being satirical.

>98 richardderus: Hi RD. I have to finish some pretty important work these couple of days so Asher Lev and Roger Casement and the Good Companions will have to wait for my kind attentions.

Jan 22, 10:36pm Top

>99 vancouverdeb: I will of course be happy to see her back but she brings a different set of stresses and strains with her!

>100 Berly: Always a pleasure, Kimmers!

Jan 23, 4:46am Top

Edited: Jan 23, 1:54pm Top

Paul - here's a Mary Oliver for You - and all of us - today


Did you too see it, drifting, all night on the black river?

Did you see it in the morning, rising into the silvery air,
an armful of white blossoms,
a perfect commotion of silk and linen as it leaned
into the bondage of its wings: a snowbank, a bank of lilies,
biting the air with its black beak?

Did you hear it, fluting and whistling
a shrill dark music, like the rain pelting the trees,
like a waterfall
knifing down the black ledges?

And did you see it, finally, just under the clouds -
a white cross streaming across the sky, its feet
like black leaves, its wings like the stretching light
of the river?

And did you feel it, in your heart, how it pertained to everything?

And have you too finally figured out what beauty is for?

And have you changed your life?

(writing out another poet's words is a pretty cool way to spend a late morning...
"pertained" is the only place that slowed me down...)

Jan 23, 10:10pm Top

>103 Caroline_McElwee: Thank you, Caroline. Your opinion is very valuable to me. xx

>104 m.belljackson: An Oliver poem a day wouldn't be amiss would it, Marianne.

Jan 24, 3:19am Top

Just checking in - hi!

Jan 25, 9:01pm Top

>106 BekkaJo: Hi Bekka.

I will hopefully get time to do my own rounds at the end of what has been a hectic and stressful working week.

Jan 25, 10:38pm Top


Jan 26, 1:57am Top

Just stopping by and wishing you a good weekend, Paul.

Jan 26, 2:23am Top

Hey Paul, love the Autumn (or lack of autumn) poem :)

Jan 26, 8:45am Top

Sorry to hear your week has been so stressful and hectic. I hope your weekend gives you some time for relaxation.

Jan 26, 10:05am Top

I hope you gat a little down time this weekend Paul.

Jan 26, 12:16pm Top

Okay, just forget all your cares and go cheer for RAFA!

You are closer to Australia so that might help.

Jan 26, 4:17pm Top

>64 PaulCranswick: What a lovely poem! I have definitely neglected poetry in my life, and your threads always remind me that I need to do something about it.

>78 PaulCranswick: Very evocative. Fall is my favorite season, and I would miss it terribly if I were someplace where it doesn't happen.

Jan 26, 6:57pm Top

>108 amanda4242: Thanks Amanda - always very welcome

>109 vancouverdeb: Thank you Deb.

Jan 26, 6:59pm Top

>110 LovingLit: Thanks Megan. When I visited New Zealand it was in your autumn and it was indescribably beautiful. I really hope to visit again sometime soon.

>111 bell7: I had a full day of work yesterday, Mary, but I have some hopes for Sunday!

Jan 26, 7:03pm Top

>112 Caroline_McElwee: I am just sitting with coffee and toast on a calm Kuala Lumpur Sunday morning, listening to the birds calling to each other from their hideaway in this urban aviary.

>113 m.belljackson: Hahaha Marianne. I just hope that it is as good a final as the Ladies Final. Osaka played well but it would have been a wonderful story had Kvitova come back from a stabbing and match points to prevail. I do think Rafa will win today for what it is worth.

Jan 26, 7:04pm Top

>114 justchris: Thank you Chris. It is one of my more recent scribblings. I would like to have a little time to spend this year on my poetry and see where it takes me.

Jan 26, 10:53pm Top

I hope your Sunday is full of rest, relaxation and reading, Paul.

Jan 27, 10:01am Top

>117 PaulCranswick:

Paul - alas, poor Rafa - hope this is not his swan song...

On a brighter note to inspire a happier week for you,
I just found what may be my very first poem:


( on a folded card from the 1950s, complete with illustrations)

Your turn! the very first!

Jan 27, 10:45am Top

>119 Familyhistorian: Nice restful day, Meg, with some reading included.

>120 m.belljackson: Djokovic was too good today but Rafa is not yet finished, I think.

Not bad as first efforts go. xx

Let me go and find my first proper attempt which was called Danger in the Snow. I know I have it somewhere.

Jan 28, 1:13pm Top

Glad you had a restful day and some reading too.

Jan 28, 8:46pm Top

>122 SuziQoregon: Seems like no break at all, Juli, as I am straight back into the morass of managing two huge projects. Little respite, I'm afraid.

Jan 29, 11:13am Top

Hi, Paul. Sorry to be so late to your threads. And sorry you are working so hard that vacation has vanished. I remember those days.

When you and Hani finally make it to the States, make sure to let us New Yorkers know when you will be in range.

Jan 29, 6:27pm Top

>124 ffortsa: Lovely to see you here Judy, although I am treading water somewhat.

We would definitely make a beeline for New York and its New Yorkers!

Jan 30, 10:36am Top

Awaiting more Paul Poetry....!

>120 m.belljackson: Nice. : )

Jan 30, 10:58am Top

>78 PaulCranswick: Lovely poem, Paul!

Edited: Jan 30, 11:53am Top

Happy Wednesday Thursday already where you live! (I don't even call this "catching up" any more, passing through and hoping life will give me more LT time soon)

Edited: Jan 30, 12:00pm Top

>121 PaulCranswick: >126 Berly:

Yes, clearly I've missing my calling to be the next Laurel bearer.

With our Minus-55 degree temperatures, many in the U.S. are eagerly awaiting Danger in the Snow!

Jan 31, 5:13am Top

>126 Berly: I will oblige over the weekend, Kimmers!

>127 tymfos: Thank you Terri. I will put up some of my other poems over the weekend.

Jan 31, 5:19am Top

>128 Deern: Hahaha I know exactly that feeling, Nathalie.

>129 m.belljackson: I will look for a tatty copy of my very first venture into verse over the weekend. Callow though I can tell you.

Jan 31, 10:16pm Top

My eighth year thingaversary passed me by (it was on 14 January) and I simply never noticed with work and other issues mounting around me.

I will rectify this at lunchtime today and go in search of my 9 books.

More to follow.................................

Feb 1, 6:30am Top

Oh, you remind me I missed mine as well, it was #11 on Sunday. At least I coincidentally bought a book that day. :)

Happy belated TA, dear Paul, and have a lovely weekend!

Feb 1, 7:21am Top

Thanks dear Nathalie

Feb 1, 7:32am Top

Well here is what I got for my eighth thingaversary

24. My Abandonment by Peter Rock (2010) 225 pp
25. Day of the Oprichnik by Vladimir Sorokin (2006) 191 pp
26. The White Album by Joan Didion (1979) 223 pp
27. If Beale Street Could Talk by James Baldwin (1974) 197 pp
28. The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson (1959) 246 pp
29. The Gold-Rimmed Spectacles by Giorgio Bassani (1958) 125 pp
30. The Black Cloud by Fred Hoyle (1957) 209 pp
31. Young Adam by Alexander Trocchi (1954) 139 pp
32. Little Man, What Now? by Hans Fallada (1932) 338 pp

Feb 1, 7:45am Top

The covers of my new books.

Feb 1, 8:07am Top

I am reading plenty but just not finishing any of them!

I am currently reading:

The Dream of the Celt by Mario Vargas Llosa
Exercises in Style by Raymond Queneau
My Name is Asher Lev by Chaim Potok
Force of Nature by Jane Harper
Good Companions by JB Priestley

Hope to have some finished tomes to report on soon.

Feb 1, 9:12am Top

>136 PaulCranswick: As you can probably guess, I love those Penguin Classics you chose!

Feb 1, 1:29pm Top

Happy Thingaversary! Plenty of BBs there. Hope you're enjoying the start to your weekend. But if you're reading this within 6 hours of me typing... (I checked the time difference). GO BACK to BED! :)

Feb 1, 1:53pm Top

>135 PaulCranswick: >136 PaulCranswick: Only 8 years? Wow! Nice haul!

Feb 1, 2:04pm Top

>136 PaulCranswick: I do love the Bassani and Hoyle covers. For some chauvinistic reason, Hoyle's SF is damned close to impossible to find in the US.

Feb 1, 2:29pm Top

Happy Thingaversary!

Feb 1, 4:08pm Top

>135 PaulCranswick: nice Thingaversary presents Paul.

I'm looking forward to the film of If Beale Street Could Talk, probably not going to get a reread in before I see it though. I'm so glad Baldwin is having a resurgence, he's such a fine writer.

Feb 1, 5:39pm Top

Happy Thingaversary, Paul! I've had a steady drip, drip of books coming in over the past week or so myself.

Good luck on finishing some books, too. I just this week picked up once more a volume of anecdotes that I had set aside quite a long time ago, with the hope of finishing it this year. I don't read more than four or five at a stretch, however, and I have about 250 to go, so it may take me a little while yet.

Feb 1, 6:00pm Top

Happy belated thingaversary, Paul. You just reminded me that mine is upcoming this month.

Feb 1, 6:14pm Top

>138 charl08: Classic and classy covers. You will be pleased to note that I bought The Haunting of Hill House in that version despite the fact that it was about $1 more expensive than another alternative available in store.

>139 mahsdad: Thanks Jeff. What can I say.....I'm an early riser.

Feb 1, 6:16pm Top

>140 thornton37814: Hahaha Lori, don't say it like that! Yes, it must seem like much longer to so many!

>141 richardderus: It is the first time I have seen it over here too, RD, and I have wanted to read that one for an age. Fellow Yorkshireman too was Hoyle, by the way.

Feb 1, 6:17pm Top

>142 amanda4242: Thanks so much, Amanda.

>143 Caroline_McElwee: I have read two other books by Baldwin - Another Country and Go Tell it on the Mountain and I must agree that he was a wonderful writer.

Feb 1, 6:19pm Top

>144 harrygbutler: Nice to see you, Harry. I reckon I'll finish a couple this weekend for sure.

>145 Familyhistorian: I'll keep an eye out for what you buy, Meg. xx

Feb 1, 6:31pm Top

>146 PaulCranswick: The dread "tie-in cover" *flees screaming*

Feb 1, 6:52pm Top

Belated happy thingaversary, Paul!
>135 PaulCranswick: I am not familiar with most of your acquisitions except the Fallada, that is on our shelves.

Feb 1, 7:07pm Top

>146 PaulCranswick: Well 7am isn't SO bad, I'd be more concerned if you replied back at 3 or 4. :)

Feb 1, 7:12pm Top

>135 PaulCranswick: Nice haul, Paul! Happy Thingaversary!

Have a wonderful weekend!

Feb 1, 7:24pm Top

Happy Excuse-to-Buy-Books, Paul. Mine comes up in March. It'll be far less than 8 years/books; well, 4.

Feb 1, 7:54pm Top

>135 PaulCranswick: Nice haul, Paul. Happy Thingaversary.

Feb 1, 9:32pm Top

>150 richardderus: Yep my thoughts entirely - why I paid a dollar more for the other version too.

>151 FAMeulstee: I have now a few of Fallada's books on the shelves and must read one or two of them sometime in the near future, Anita!

Feb 1, 9:34pm Top

>152 mahsdad: Actually Jeff, I fell asleep in front of the TV on our big round sofa and awoke thirsty and crumpled at 5.45.

>153 alcottacre: Thank you, Stasia and the very same to you dear lady.

Feb 1, 9:35pm Top

>154 weird_O: "Excuse to Buy Books Day" is probably the best description of the anniversary I have seen yet, Bill. Will use that henceforward with your leave.

>155 BLBera: Thanks Beth. xx

Feb 1, 10:11pm Top

Happy belated Thingaversary, Paul! We're so happy you found LT!

Feb 1, 10:40pm Top

>159 ronincats: I am at least as happy Roni, that I found you all. I would have almost certainly lost the plot a long time ago without the warmth and support of my friends.

Feb 1, 11:51pm Top

Happy Thingaversary and nice haul!!

>146 PaulCranswick: I watched the series of The Haunting of Hill House -- watch out for the Bent Neck Lady!!!

Hope you have a marvelous weeeknd. Hugs.

Feb 2, 1:08am Top

>161 Berly: Bent neck ladies do sound something to be careful of, Kimmers!

Feb 2, 1:23am Top

In addition to the books I am part finished:

Books by Pat Barker and Peter F Hamilton are on the agenda for February.

I am also keen to make progress with both my 120 years of books (1900-2019) challenge and my seemingly perennial Around the World in 80 Books Challenge.

Feb 2, 6:33am Top

>146 PaulCranswick: What Richard said - good choice!

Feb 2, 9:54am Top

Hi, Paul!

Oh, I do love The Haunting of Hill House tons. The older movie version (1963) is also fabulous, but this tv series looks terrible, I think.

Feb 2, 9:57am Top

Happy weekend, Paul! Nice book haul for your Thingaversary. I've been seeing ads for the movie If Beale Street Could Talk and didn't realize it was based on a book. I may have to look that one up.

Feb 2, 10:44am Top

>165 scaifea: I loved the new version so much I've watched it twice in a row and have another viewing planned. It's amazing. It doesn't follow the story in the book (or the older movie) much, but is more inspired by it. It's more about the psychology of the people (the children, especially) than the hauntings themselves.

Feb 2, 11:37am Top

Happy belated Thingaversary! Nice list :)

Feb 2, 11:48am Top

Happy belated Thingaversary Paul. Good thing you remembered in time; you might have run out of something to read.

Feb 2, 4:15pm Top

Belated happy Thingaversary mate, I still need to get my Thingaversary book haul but we are going to Holmfirth in a couple of weeks when the new book shop opens. Hope you are having a good weekend so far mate apart from todays Leeds result and the abomination that is the England Cricket team, what a shambles. I think Bayliss has to go and Root to relinquish the captaincy as it is affecting his game IMHO.

Sending love and hugs from both of us mate.

Feb 2, 6:26pm Top

>164 charl08: I would, of course, expect you to approve, Charlotte!

>165 scaifea: Haven't seen them, Amber, which is good because it won't spoil the book for me.

Feb 2, 6:29pm Top

>166 bell7: Mary, I bought both Beale Street and Hill House from a stand in the bookstore celebrating movie adaptations.

>167 PawsforThought: Lovely to see you, Paws. I haven't seen it but actually and contrary to Amber's comment, I have heard that it is very good.

Feb 2, 6:31pm Top

>168 ChelleBearss: Thank you, Chelle xx

>169 humouress: Hahaha Nina, I was just thinking that yesterday as I was wrestling with how many boxes I'm going to need to pack if we are to move.

Feb 2, 6:34pm Top

>170 johnsimpson: John, we reaped as we sowed. Disrespected the West Indies, turning up there and not playing proper warm up games before the tests. Unprepared and it showed. Still persisting with three wicket-keepers too is amazingly bad judgment.

Leeds need to score goals and convert possession of 70% per game into points. Norwich were clinical in a game where we had all of the ball and most of the chances.

Feb 2, 10:39pm Top

Book #6 0f 2019

Exercises in Style by Raymond Queneau

Date of Publication : 1947 (6 of 120)
Pages : 195 (1,305 total)
Origin of Author : France (5 of 80)
1001 Books to Read First Edition

99 ways to tell an already tedious story just increases tedium.

Maybe I'm thick but I don't see the reason this was acclaimed as anything other than a poor excuse to cut down trees. Art work was interesting.

Not recommended.

Feb 2, 10:44pm Top

>175 PaulCranswick: The cover of the book completely turns me off to begin with. Interesting, to say the least. Glad I can give that one a pass!

Feb 2, 11:16pm Top

>177 PaulCranswick: It does look like a book that will tell you something else, Stasia!

Here is version 100 :

Guy gets on a bus.
He has a long neck.
He argues with fellow passenger.
The latter has careless feet.
After kerfuffle he sits down.
Later he is seen elsewhere.
He receives inane advice on button positioning.

Just as worthy as the other bloody 99 versions IMHO.

Queneau Limerick

French innovator, Raymond
Made hair grey which once was blond
Style had Queneau
And he let us all know -
The tedious French vagabond.

Feb 2, 11:19pm Top

>177 PaulCranswick: "Tedious" says it all, Paul :)

Feb 2, 11:34pm Top

>178 alcottacre: I wish I had not picked it up when I am enjoying My Name is Asher Lev so much. That one is anything but tedious.

Feb 3, 3:03am Top

Happy Sunday Paul!

>177 PaulCranswick: I agree - can’t see the point of that at all!

Feb 3, 7:08am Top

>180 SandDune: Hi Rhian. I like something that tells a story but not over and over and over again.

Feb 3, 7:46am Top

>136 PaulCranswick: Happy Thingaversary, Paul. Nice book haul, you have there.

I hope everything is going well with you. How are you enjoying Asher Lev? I thought it was outstanding.

Feb 3, 11:33am Top

Thanks for letting us cross a tedious book off the "should read someday" list, Paul. I'm with Mark on Asher Lev - loved it.

Feb 3, 12:33pm Top

>175 PaulCranswick:

Well, here's one for your Ripley's file:

if you search the LT site for Exercises in Style by Queneau,
not only are there glowing reviews,
but Matt Madden has written an updated 99 Ways version!

Feb 3, 9:21pm Top

>182 msf59: I will finish Asher Lev today, Mark, and like you, thoroughly enjoyed the experience.

>183 jnwelch: Some people loved the wordplay of the book and the translator's skill in attempting to capture the author's intention in another language is certainly laudable. Doesn't mask for me that it does become quite annoying after a while.

Feb 3, 9:23pm Top

>184 m.belljackson: I guess that plenty appreciated it, Marianne as it does make the 1001 Books First Edition list. Despite my own love of word play though this one eventually palled for me.

Feb 3, 9:26pm Top

>185 PaulCranswick: Count me in as another Asher Lev fan, although I still prefer The Chosen by a hair.

Feb 4, 12:05am Top

Happy belated thing-a-versery!

Feb 4, 1:08am Top

>187 alcottacre: I worried a little that it may be a little dry, focusing on Asher's religious upbringing but the storytelling carries and indeed elevates the subject matter.

>188 banjo123: Thank you, dear Rhonda

Feb 4, 8:50am Top

I'm sure I'll eventually read My Name Is Asher Lev. I chose The Chosen for the January read.

Feb 4, 3:06pm Top

Stopping by to say hello and best wishes for the week ahead, Paul.

Feb 4, 5:49pm Top

My two favourite Loris together!

>190 thornton37814: Vice versa. I am certain to read The Chosen having read and enjoyed Asher Lev

>191 lkernagh: Thank you Lori.

Feb 4, 5:51pm Top

It is a big, big holiday here celebrating the Lunar New Year or Chinese New Year as we call it in Malaysia.

Gong Xi Fa Cai to all my friends who may celebrate this wonderful festival. In the group I can only think of dear Caro who would definitely be celebrating and who I miss around these parts terribly.

Feb 4, 8:08pm Top

Belated Thingaversary good wishes, Paul. Lovely book haul!

And it sounds like Happy New Year wishes are called for, as well!

Feb 4, 9:03pm Top

Thank you, Joanne.

Edited: Feb 5, 7:02am Top

Book #7 of 2019

My Name is Asher Lev by Chaim Potok

Date of Publication : 1972 (7 of 120)
Pages : 320 (1,625 total)
Origin of Author : USA (6 OF 80)
American Author Challenge January 2019

This is no dry exploration of the meeting of Jewish orthodoxy with the 'western world' although it does certainly make such an exploration.

To what extent would you hurt your loved ones and challenge their profound beliefs in pursuit of your art? How does religion regulate as it educates?

I'm not sure that I learnt the answers in this compelling novel but I enjoyed considering the questions it raised as I feared for and sympathised with its protagonists.

Highly recommended.

Feb 5, 4:59am Top

>196 PaulCranswick: Glad you enjoyed this novel Paul. I know it is one I will reread in the future.

Feb 5, 6:55am Top

>197 Caroline_McElwee: very astute first pick by Linda for the AAC, I must say. Mark are some pretty sizeable shoes to fill but Linda has started wonderfully well.

Feb 5, 7:08am Top

Pat Barker is on the menu this month for the British Isles Author Challenge and I didn't really fancy reading about the First World war just now.

I picked up:

33. The Silence of the Girls by Pat Barker

It tells the Homeric epic of The Iliad from the perspective of Briseis, enslaved to Achilles and the source of his alienation from the main Greek forces.

Started it already and I must say it is jolly good.

Feb 5, 10:19am Top

I'll probably try and squeeze Pat Barker's Noonday in at the end of the month. It's been on the shelf, unread, for a while.

Feb 5, 10:48am Top

>196 PaulCranswick: To what extent would you hurt your loved ones and challenge their profound beliefs in pursuit of your art? As I read ...Asher Lev I kept wondering more about the turnabout question. Will you crush your child's unique gift because it doesn't conform to your beliefs? Will you crush your own child? Does your impulse to blot out your own child prompt the faintest doubt in your beliefs? I guess that's Old Testament stuff.

Feb 5, 11:13am Top

>200 Caroline_McElwee: I also thought about her Border Crossing which I have on the shelves somewhere but The Silence of the Girls was calling to me somehow.

>201 weird_O: Yes Bill. You are right the father/son and father/mother and husband/wife relationships were powerfully drawn and the struggles to conform as well as facilitate and their equivocations were suspenseful.

Feb 5, 2:00pm Top

>202 PaulCranswick: I remember liking Border Crossing Paul, though I now don't remember a lot about it.

Feb 5, 2:31pm Top

>198 PaulCranswick: Awww....shucks! You're too kind sir. I wouldn't mind seeing a little more activity on the February (Louisa May Alcott) thread, though.

>199 PaulCranswick: Hmmm...I wonder if my library has that one. The only Barker on my shelves is Noonday, and I haven't read the preceding books in that trilogy.

Feb 5, 3:23pm Top

>204 laytonwoman3rd: Most of Barker's series novels are OK to read as stand-alones Linda.

Feb 5, 3:24pm Top

I also loved Asher Lev, which was the first Potok I have read. I hope to get to The Chosen later this year.

>201 weird_O: Both are interesting questions.

Feb 5, 7:04pm Top

>203 Caroline_McElwee: She is an author whose Regeneration I admired without really loving, I like The Silence of the Girls much more.

>204 laytonwoman3rd: I'm not sure that I'll manage to join you for Ms. Alcott, Linda, as I have read Little Women and have nothing else on the shelves.

Feb 5, 7:06pm Top

>205 Caroline_McElwee: Yes, Iwouldn't have gleaned that Regeneration was the first in a series had I not known it were so.

>206 streamsong: The Chosen is calling to me too now, Janet.

Feb 5, 7:21pm Top

>204 laytonwoman3rd:, >207 PaulCranswick: What about a super-shorty that's free for ereaders? Under the Lilacs was an 1878 200-page story of a boy who runs away to find love and acceptance in the circus.

I think. I kinda forgot most of it, I suspect, so I'm usin' the Group Read as a way to remember.

Feb 5, 8:02pm Top

>209 richardderus: Scheise, now you've gone and gotten me interested, RD.

Feb 5, 9:22pm Top

>210 PaulCranswick: ...did I mention Sancho the tea-cake stealing mutt?

Edited: Feb 5, 9:28pm Top

>201 weird_O: Remembering from decades ago my readings of Chaim Potok's novels, what the young men wanted was at odds with what their parents wanted for them, but the desires were important enough to subject of real concern. My observation to the dilemma from >196 PaulCranswick: is that girls mostly got squashed, often before they could fully form their direction, boys were frequently forgiven.

Feb 5, 10:12pm Top

>211 richardderus: Hahaha tea-cakes bring back memories of long-ago Sunday evenings, toasted near black with lashings of best butter.

>212 quondame: My Name is Asher Lev is probably lacking a girl lead in that the situation of young Jewish ladies is not really considered other than as a background attempt at arranged marriage. Maybe his other books?

Feb 5, 10:37pm Top

>213 PaulCranswick: Best butter? Is this different than regular butter? Is there a hierarchy of butters in Britain?

Feb 5, 10:55pm Top

>214 amanda4242: Well I am probably showing my age, Amanda. I came from a home which refused to succumb to the cheaper margarine spread alternatives (which were quite yucky back in the day) and my Mum always referred to "best butter".

Feb 5, 11:33pm Top

>199 PaulCranswick: Sounds like a really interesting premise. Had never heard of it, so thanks!

>213 PaulCranswick: Sounds yum. Tea cakes feature a lot in Cherryh's Foreigner books. I always find their appearance in the story entertaining.

Feb 6, 3:41am Top

>215 PaulCranswick: I agree with your mother, Paul, real butter is best!

Feb 6, 9:36am Top

>211 richardderus: Sancho is pretty much the only thing I remember about that book.

Feb 6, 10:00am Top

I loved almost all of Potok’s books, Paul. They are certainly male-centric, but that didn’t, and doesn’t, bother me. I reread In the Beginning last month and found it just as powerful as the first time I read it, many years ago.

Feb 6, 10:13am Top

Hi Paul!

Happy Belated Thingaversary and a marvelous and immediate book haul! Also, happy belated Chinese New Year.

>175 PaulCranswick: Sorry it was a waste of trees and time, even if the foreword was by Umberto Eco. Except for checking it off the list, of course.

>213 PaulCranswick: and etc. “Best butter” reminds me that my high school friend Lori’s stepdad told us how poor they were in the Depression. They had to buy margarine, which came all white and yucky and so not buttery but with a packet of yellow color to make it appear to be butter. And I specifically remember him saying that in the store people would notice if you bought margarine instead of butter and know you couldn’t afford butter. “Lashings of best butter” makes my mouth water.

Feb 6, 12:21pm Top

>209 richardderus: I'm reading that right now, RD. Pleasant and relatively engaging so far.

Feb 6, 12:24pm Top

>213 PaulCranswick:, >214 amanda4242:, >215 PaulCranswick: "Best butter" always makes me think of this exchange from the Mad Hatter's tea party in Alice in Wonderland

" The Hatter was the first to break the silence. `What day of the month is it?' he said, turning to Alice: he had taken his watch out of his pocket, and was looking at it uneasily, shaking it every now and then, and holding it to his ear.

Alice considered a little, and then said `The fourth.'

`Two days wrong!' sighed the Hatter. `I told you butter wouldn't suit the works!' he added looking angrily at the March Hare.

`It was the best butter,' the March Hare meekly replied.

`Yes, but some crumbs must have got in as well,' the Hatter grumbled: `you shouldn't have put it in with the bread-knife.'

The March Hare took the watch and looked at it gloomily: then he dipped it into his cup of tea, and looked at it again: but he could think of nothing better to say than his first remark, `It was the best butter, you know.' "

Feb 6, 12:35pm Top

>218 foggidawn:, >221 laytonwoman3rd: Sancho is pretty much the only thing I remembered correctly! The plot's the opposite of how I remembered it. Oh well, it's short and it's pleasant.

Edited: Feb 6, 1:16pm Top

>213 PaulCranswick: My comment was more about the question in real life - in that my uncle was supported through medical school while my aunt, much more intelligent and effective was forcefully directed by her loving father to nursing, and had WWII not been looming, probably wouldn't have been supported in that. At the time Chaim Potok wrote, that was changing, but my sister still got major grief and no support for medical school. I think much of parental opposition is more at the values level than open opposition - just the daily evaluation of what is worthwhile that is largely insensitive to what catches the child's attention.

Feb 6, 10:00pm Top

>216 justchris: It is an excellent novel, Chis, in my humble opinion.

Toasted teacakes is one of the simple pleasures of life that evokes late summer Sunday evenings for me, watching the now defunct cricket Sunday league game and reading the latest Doctor Who or Alistair MacLean or Hammond Innes book.

>217 FAMeulstee: It certainly is, Anita!

Feb 6, 10:26pm Top

Paul--If you made a New Year's Resolutions and you already broke it by the end of January, now you can try again. Happy belated Chinese New Year!! : )

Feb 6, 10:28pm Top

>225 PaulCranswick: Ooh, Alistair MacLean. When I was an undergraduate, I was introduced to his stories when I discovered a whole shelf of his novels at my lover's place. I binged right through the whole collection one winter.

Your toasted teacakes sound like my experience with toasted crumpets swimming in butter and maybe a little jam during my lazy Sunday mornings, along with some very crisp bacon.

Edited: Feb 7, 12:15am Top

>218 foggidawn: I will go and look up something by Louisa May Alcott for Linda this month.

>219 bohemima: Good writing will usually out, Gail. For sure Potok's is good writing.

Feb 7, 12:27am Top

>220 karenmarie: It was a sense of pride to my mother that she refused to skimp on butter which she held as vital to good health (how times change) and this was before the influx of really good quality spread alternatives. Even though I still always kept butter at home my spread of choice used olive oil as its derivative until I discovered that it was found to contain carcinogens. Maybe my mother was right after all.

>221 laytonwoman3rd: Most likely I will find Good Wives, Linda, in the local stores.

Feb 7, 12:30am Top

>222 laytonwoman3rd: Maybe my mum had literary pretensions after all, Linda? - wonderful quote and well spotted.

>223 richardderus: The short and pleasant bit you also remembered RD. It is probably the most people remember about me too!

Feb 7, 12:34am Top

>224 quondame: RL definitely bears out your observation, Susan. I have seen ladies in my line of work much more competent and capable than males colleagues overlooked for promotion or paid less than those inferior to themselves.

The law firm handling a sizeable insurance claim for us is headquarted in Pennsylvania. It was only in 1980 when the first female attorney there made partner and that was considered ground breaking at the time. Things have gotten better but there is still much to do in terms of equality in the workplace.

Feb 7, 12:37am Top

>226 Berly: Hey, wow! What a great idea, Kimmers. I need to mull over that one.

>227 justchris: Did the same with both he and Hammond Innes and Desmond Bagley and Eric Ambler. Great yarns all. The nearest thing today to those books for me is Robert Goddard whose books I never miss.

Toasted crumpets would do it too, Chris, and I could add some wonderful turkey rashers that we located as an alternative in the UK recently.

Feb 7, 11:09am Top

>226 Berly:, >232 PaulCranswick: ...genius...I am in awe...

Happy Friday, PC.

Feb 7, 6:06pm Top

>233 richardderus: Kimmers needs to be part of the executive. With such innovative thinking even the Ginger Gasbag could sell his policies............or maybe not - she's wise not a witch.

Feb 7, 6:21pm Top

>215 PaulCranswick: Ah! Mystery solved!

Feb 7, 6:53pm Top

>235 amanda4242: I think it is a bit of a Brit thing, Amanda. xx

Feb 7, 7:35pm Top

As to butter, I recall with some fondness having the " privilege" - in my view at the time , of being able to take a bag of margarine and having the fun of being able to squish the bag around with my 4 year old hands and get the yellow dye to distribute the through the white margarine. Initially in the province I lived in , margarine was not allowed to be dyed yellow , but the margarine manufacturer could put a piece of dye in the package that you could self distribute once you were home. Our family had butter too, but oh, fond memories of being able to squash that margarine package. ;-)

Feb 7, 9:13pm Top

>233 richardderus: I try. ; )

>234 PaulCranswick: I would never work with him. As you said, I am wise!! : )

Feb 8, 5:09pm Top

Hi Paul! A friend of mine is planning a trip with his wife to Hay-on-Wye this summer. Do you have any tips for them? Stores of unique merit, restaurants of unusual yumminess, things to avoid? TYVM

Feb 8, 9:11pm Top

>237 vancouverdeb: Fascinating, Deb. I have to admit that I had never heard of that before.

>238 Berly: Of course I did realise that - nobody seems to work with him very long anyhow.

Feb 8, 9:15pm Top

>240 PaulCranswick: So true. And that speaks volumes. OR if they do work with him, they get indicted. Which says just as much. ; )

Happy weekend! Do you actually get one?

Feb 8, 9:21pm Top

>239 richardderus: Summer is a lovely time to visit Hay, RD.

Book shops that for me are a must:

Richard Booth's Bookshop - has most everything
Murder and Mayhem - if you like that sort of thing!
The Poetry Bookshop - at which I am probably now recognised but you would of course avoid like the plague.

There are great strolls to be had along the River Wye and the countryside is rolling but not overly challenging.

Plenty of country pubs and I can recommend Castlefield's Country Pub and Restaurant just outside Hay itself and the charming Riverside cafe which serves good food and has a balcony or outdoor terrace overlooking the river.

The visitor's centre next to the main car park has good maps (free) of the town and its bookshops and the lady who seems to be permanently installed there is very pleasant as well as being knowledgeable.

Who knows I might be there myself at the same time!

Feb 8, 9:23pm Top

>241 Berly: Hahaha I will get a Sunday anyway, Kimmers. What is the likelihood do you think of him getting the renomination of the Republican party? Surely there are enough people on the right of centre in American politics to realise the need to put an end to this man's madness?

Feb 8, 9:26pm Top

>234 PaulCranswick: Never knew you were such a sadist! I'll save you, >238 Berly:!

Feb 8, 10:02pm Top

>242 PaulCranswick: Thank you very much, Paul! If you see a shortish gray-haired American with scary blue eyes and armloads of books, go say "hi Forrest!"

Feb 9, 1:22am Top

>244 Morphidae: He could always build a wall to keep me out. Nancy might agree about the need for that one!

>245 richardderus: I'll try to dear fellow but I'm normally poor at seeing the Forrest for the trees!

Feb 9, 12:34pm Top

Hi Paul! Thanks for commenting!

I just find books to sometimes be too OTT for a proper escape. I like to be able to put myself into the lead's shoes and that's harder to do when someone is being absolutely ridiculous. I admit though that I do need to try to branch out and read something a little "more" sometimes. Maybe that would guarantee a good storyline. :)

Feb 9, 12:36pm Top

>246 PaulCranswick: Ugh! I'm going to leaf now. I wood have left earlier but I had to pine over the knowledge you probably won't make it to Minnesota. I have to ash you though - are you sycamore puns?

Feb 9, 12:38pm Top

Book #8 in 2019

The Silence of the Girls by Pat Barker

Date of Publication : 2018 (8 of 120)
Origin of Author : UK
Pages : 325 (1,950 total)
British Isles Author Challenge

Wonderfully realised retelling of the Iliad from the perspective of Breisis. Enslaved to Achilles after the sacking of her city, she observes and participates in the momentous events known to so many of us.

Bravo Ms. Barker this is a simply splendid novel.

Feb 9, 12:41pm Top

>249 PaulCranswick: Oh dear. Darn. The library has it. *sigh*

Feb 9, 12:50pm Top

>250 richardderus: Mine did too. So here it sits, staring at me.

Feb 9, 2:55pm Top

All this talk of toasted teacakes is making me nostalgic for butter. In the four months that I've been on a diet I've bought no butter at all, and I've realised that it is actually me that is eating all the butter. I do miss toast with butter and marmalade for breakfast.

Feb 9, 3:29pm Top

Feb 9, 3:34pm Top

Happy weekend, Paul! I am going to go put a library hole on The Silence of the Girls.

Feb 9, 3:38pm Top

>249 PaulCranswick: That one is already in the BlackHole, thank goodness!

Happy Saturday, Paul!

Feb 9, 7:00pm Top

>247 genesisdiem: Escapism is one aspect of reading that often appeals although I have to admit I'm not so sure that I'd be too keen to have been transported back to the time of my last read.

>248 Morphidae: Yew wood not be sycamore either wood yew?

Feb 9, 7:02pm Top

>250 richardderus: Good old library, RD, enjoy it.

>251 laytonwoman3rd: Don't stare too long Linda - go and devour it.

Feb 9, 7:04pm Top

>252 SandDune: I'm going to have some toasted tea-cakes in a few moments with best Danish butter.

>253 Berly: I have missed Morphy loads, Kimmers.

Feb 9, 7:06pm Top

>254 banjo123: I always had you pegged as a wise lady, Rhonda!

>255 alcottacre: Thanks Stasia. I'm now eight hours into Sunday. xx

Feb 9, 9:12pm Top

>256 PaulCranswick: Knot me. You'd be barking up the wrong tree if you thought that. Cedar, what I did? Haw haw. I walnut continue else people might start saying my puns arboring.

Edited: Feb 9, 10:06pm Top

>260 Morphidae: You just can't leaf it alone, can ya? Thorn many people who can manage it, but you're A oak A.

Feb 9, 11:29pm Top

>260 Morphidae: Not me, Morphy - I'll always find 'em punny.

>261 laytonwoman3rd: Sunday is forest, Linda - wood yew agree?

Feb 10, 1:52am Top

*groan* People, there is a Bad Joke thread; leaf it over there.

Belated Gong Xi Fa Choi, Paul.

Feb 10, 4:49am Top

>263 humouress: Ok I stop barking up the wrong tree. Lovely to see you Nina.

Feb 11, 9:08am Top

I think Murder & Mayhem sounds like the store I would visit most often in Hay on Wye! I hope I'm able to visit one day!

Feb 11, 11:06am Top

>249 PaulCranswick: I am currently reading The Silence of the Girls. I've read the first 6 chapters and I'm already hooked!

Feb 11, 7:01pm Top

>265 thornton37814: I love Richard Booth's bookshop but there are at least 5 bookstores in Hay I always visit and Murder & Mayhem is one of them.

>266 cbl_tn: It is really good Carrie, isn't it?

Feb 11, 7:06pm Top

I am really looking forward to The Silence of the Girls. I have not read Barker in many years and this looks like the perfect excuse to get back to her.

Feb 11, 9:33pm Top

Hey there, Paul. I hope life is treating you okay. I know it's been a difficult couple of years. Oh, I think I'd enjoy a little Murder & Mayhem if I visited Hay. It sounds to me like the UK really has a lot of great bookstores.

Feb 11, 9:46pm Top

>1 PaulCranswick: >60 scaifea: Now every time I open this thread, I see an elephant’s butt. Thanks a lot.

Feb 11, 9:47pm Top

>268 msf59: I am confident in saying that it is the best novel I have read in a couple of years, Mark.

>269 vancouverdeb: I do miss the bookshops and libraries in the olde country, Deb.

Feb 11, 9:47pm Top

>270 Morphidae: Hahaha good excuse for a new thread, methinks.

This topic was continued by Paul C Back to Basics in 2019 Part 3.

Group: 75 Books Challenge for 2019

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