Paul C Back to Basics in 2019 Part 8

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75 Books Challenge for 2019

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Paul C Back to Basics in 2019 Part 8

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Edited: Aug 1, 2019, 9:43pm

This was me back in the day. Days when I wasn't worried about money and was looking forwards instead of backwards. I was already reading loads though

Edited: Sep 13, 2019, 10:59pm

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: Oct 27, 2019, 9:45pm

2019 Books First Half


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 (AAC)
8. The Silence of the Girls by Pat Barker (BIAC)
9. A Thief in the Village by James Berry
10. The House of Arden by E. Nesbit (BIAC)


11. The Hanging Garden by Ian Rankin (BIAC)
12. Still Midnight by Denise Mina (BIAC)
13. Pippi Longstocking by Astrid Lindgren
14. Naomi by Junichiro Tanizaki
15. The Room on the Roof by Ruskin Bond
16. A Place of Execution by Val McDermid (BIAC)
17. Just William by Richmal Crompton


18. The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas by John Boyne (BIAC)
19. The War with the Newts by Karel Capek
20. This Earth of Mankind by Pramoedya Ananta Toer
21. Came a Hot Friday by Ronald Hugh Morrieson
22. Petersburg by Andrei Bely


23. Sing, Unburied, Sing by Jesmyn Ward (AAC)
24. The Four Feathers by A.E.W. Mason (BIAC)
25. In the American Grain by William Carlos Williams
26. The Bamboo Stalk by Saud Alsnousi
27. Soldiers of Salamis by Javier Cercas
28. Nervous Conditions by Tsitsi Dangaremba
29. Evil Under the Sun by Agatha Christie


30. Friedrich by Hans Peter Richter
31. The Bride Price by Buchi Emecheta
32. Story of a Secret State by Jan Karski
33. The Late Monsieur Gallet by Georges Simenon
34. Zeno's Conscience by Italo Svevo
35. The Weatherhouse by Nan Shepherd

Edited: Sep 14, 2019, 5:47am

2019 Books Second Half


36. They Shoot Horses Don't They? by Horace McCoy
37. Reef by Romesh Gunasekera


38. Half a Lifelong Romance by Eileen Chang
39. Exile and the Kingdom by Albert Camus
40. Midaq Alley by Naguib Mahfouz
41. The Blind Owl by Sadeq Hedayat
42. Norte by Edmundo Paz Soldan
43. The Encyclopedia of the Dead by Danilo Kis


44. The Impostor by Damon Galgut
45. To Sir, With Love by E.R. Braithwaite.
46. Good Morning, Midnight by Jean Rhys
47. Gold Mine by Wilbur Smith

Edited: Sep 13, 2019, 11:00pm


January 2019 - The Natural World
February 2019 - Pat Barker and Peter F. Hamilton
March 2019 - The Murderous Scots
April 2019 - Rosamond Lehmann and John Boyne
May 2019 - The Edwardians
June 2019 - Nicola Barker and Wilkie Collins
July 2019 - YA Fantasy Series
August 2019 - Anita Brookner and Jim Crace
September 2019 - Biography and Memoir
October 2019 - Rose Tremain and Louis de Bernieres
November 2019 -The Jewish Contribution
December 2019 - Zadie Smith and Michael Morpurgo
WILDCARD - Back to the Beginning - LIVELY and ISHIGURO

Here is a link to the thread:

Edited: Sep 13, 2019, 11:02pm

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
February 2019 - Louisa M Alcott
March 2019 - Jon Clinch
April 2019 - Jesmyn Ward - Sing, Unburied, Sing

Edited: Sep 13, 2019, 11:02pm


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

To date : 47/120

1902 - The Four Feathers
1908 - The House of Arden
1916 - Petersburg
1922 - Just William
1923 - Zeno's Conscience
1924 - Naomi
1925 - In the American Grain
1930 - The Weatherhouse
1931 - The Late Monsieur Gallet
1933 - Love on the Dole
1935 - They Shoot Horses Don't They?
1936 - The War with the Newts
1937 - The Blind Owl
1939 - Good Morning,
1941 - Evil Under the Sun
1944 - Story of a Secret State
1947 - Exercises in Style
1948 - Half a Lifelong Romance
1950 - Pippi Longstocking
1956 - The Room on the Roof
1957 - Exile and the Kingdom
1959 - To Sir, With Love
1961 - Friedrich
1964 - Came a Hot Friday
1966 - Midaq Alley
1970 - Gold Mine
1972 - My Name is Asher Lev
1975 - This Earth of Mankind
1976 - The Bride Price
1978 - The Rider
1983 - The Encyclopedia of the Dead
1985 - Black Robe
1987 - Thief in the Village
1988 - Nervous Conditions
1994 - Reef
1995 - Football in Sun and Shadow
1998 - The Hanging Garden
1999 - A Place of Execution
2001 - Soldiers of Salamis
2005 - Findings
2006 - The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas
2008 - The Imposter
2009 - Still Midnight
2011 - Norte
2012 - The Bamboo Stalk
2017 - Sing, Unburied, Sing
2018 - The Silence of the Girls

Edited: Sep 13, 2019, 11:03pm


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
7. Jamaica James Berry
8. Sweden Astrid Lindgren
9. Japan Junichiro Tanizaki
10. India Ruskin Bond
11. Ireland John Boyne
12. Czechia Karel Capek
13. Indonesia Pramoedya Ananta Toer
14. New Zealand Ronald Hugh Morrieson
15. Russia Andrei Bely
16. Kuwait Saud Alsanousi
17. Spain Javier Cercas
18. Zimbabwe Tsitsi Dangarembga
19. Germany Hans Peter Richter
20. Nigeria Buchi Emecheta
21. Poland Jan Karski
22. Belgium Georges Simenon
23. Italy Italo Svevo
24. Sri Lanka Romesh Gunasekera
25. China Eileen Chang
26. Algeria Albert Camus
27. Egypt Naguib Mahfouz
28. Iran Sadiq Hidayat
29. Bolivia Edmundo Paz Soldan
30. Serbia Danilo Kis
31. South Africa Damon Galgut
32. Guyana E.R. Braithwaite
33. Dominica Jean Rhys
34. Zambia Wilbur Smith

Aug 1, 2019, 9:55pm


Aug 1, 2019, 9:58pm



I have two main targets this year.

The Around the World in 80 Books Challenge - I am 24/80
The 120 Years of Reading - I am 37/120

Both miles behind. It could be thought that I have no chance to reach these two target but I'm no quitter!

Let's see if August can see me make some inroads.

I will refrain from listing up books I plan to read as it never seems to materialise but I will be concentrating on these two challenges.

Aug 1, 2019, 9:59pm

Next up is yours

Aug 1, 2019, 10:07pm

Happy new thread, Paul

Aug 1, 2019, 10:11pm

Thank you Anita

Edited: Aug 1, 2019, 10:24pm

Book #37

Reef by Romesh Gunasekera

Date Published : 2004 (37 of 120)
Origin of Author : Sri Lanka (still 24 of 80)
Pages : 188 (10,439 in total)

Atmospheric little novel set mainly in pre-war (Tamil Tigers and all that) Sri Lanka. Our hero is cook and bottle washer to a marine biologist (I guess he would have been called) and observes his patron's attempt to find meaning in a privileged life and order from a relationship with the love of both their lives.

Gentle recommendation.

Aug 1, 2019, 10:45pm

This meme comes via Joe via Karen via Richard via Lucy, originating with Bookbub, if I got that right.

1. The persons who helped me fall in love with reading were:

My parents are not really readers but my Gran was and I was close to her. Two teachers in particular inspired me to read - Mrs Jennison my middle school english teacher and Mr. Lindley, my Headmaster. The latter gave me free reign of his personal library (in his school study) and it was where I first discovered Greene, Maugham and Tolkien.

2. One book I love to give as a gift is:

Would surely be poetry. The collected poems of Dylan Thomas or a good anthology.

4. One book I think deserves more attention is . . .

Charles T. Powers only wrote one book - In the Memory of the Forest but it is a cracker.

5. The friend(s) I always turn to for reading recommendations is/are. . .

My LT friends and my own eye when I'm browsing in bookstores

6. What do you do about a book you're not liking

I will put it down and try to come back to it with a fresh perspective later. I never abandon books completely - even those I haven't finished are not completely given up on.

7. One book that absolutely shocked me was:

I suppose A Fine Balance because I just didn't expect to get so blown away.

8. My favorite place to read is:

On my reading couch.

9. If I could read only one book for the rest of my life it’d be:

Wow that would be a toughie! Probably my two volume set of Oxford Anthology of English Poetry edited by John Wain

10. The books I’m currently reading:

I have so many books part read but I'm currently reading Midaq Alley by the wonderful Egyptian writer Naguib Mahfouz.

Edited: Aug 1, 2019, 11:07pm

Hi, Paul!
Your BB has given me a mortal wound, and I have just ordered a copy of In the Memory of the Forest. I imagine that I'll be comparing it to Aminatta Forna's The Hired Man.
I wish so much that I could enjoy N. Mahfouz as much as you and others do, but I doubt my ability. Oh well.
(And I oooed over your picture when Hani posted it on fb and continue to aaaaah over it here. I have always known that you are the handsome one!)

Aug 1, 2019, 11:13pm

>16 LizzieD: Ha, lovely of you to say so, Peggy; flattery will get you everywhere!

I do hope it doesn't bomb but, if memory serves, I was quite struck by the Charles T. Powers book. Still it was 25 years ago.

I like Mahfouz's historical fiction and his wonderful Cairo Trilogy but I do agree some of his "lesser" work is a bit on the flimsy side.

Aug 2, 2019, 12:38am

Ha! I was waiting for you to turn over a new thread. 300+ messages was too intimidating. In the Memory of the Forest sounds great! Will have to find a copy. I hope you have a lovely weekend of reading ahead.

Aug 2, 2019, 12:40am

Happy new thread! And love the picture. Youth!

Aug 2, 2019, 12:46am

Happy new thread! Best wishes for a smooth move to your new digs too.

Aug 2, 2019, 1:01am

Happy new thread, Paul. Great photo topper from a few years ago.

Aug 2, 2019, 2:13am

Happy new thread!

Aug 2, 2019, 6:05am

>18 justchris: Thanks Chris. I may rethink the 300 barrier and renew the next one at 250 posts if I'm blessed with enough posts that is!

>19 banjo123: I don't even look as if I had started shaving, Rhonda.

Aug 2, 2019, 6:06am

>20 quondame: Thanks Susan. I really believe that the new week will see me in a new home.

>21 Familyhistorian: Probably the best part of 35 years ago, if I had to hazard a guess.

Aug 2, 2019, 6:27am

>23 PaulCranswick: Thank you Amanda.

So far in a fairly miserable 7 months of reading I have only managed to complete 37 books.

During my time in LT I went into August with the following numbers:

2011 68 books read
2012 61 books read
2013 102 books read
2014 69 books read
2015 75 books read
2016 70 books read
2017 51 books read
2018 58 books read
2019 37 books read

Aug 2, 2019, 6:35am

Did add a couple of new books at lunchtime.

102. In the Castle of my Skin by George Lamming (1953) 340 pp

Barbados born writer for the Around the World in 80 Books Challenge

103. The General of the Dead Army by Ismail Kadare (1963) 264 pp

The perennial Albanian Nobel contender's first novel and added for the same challenge.

Aug 2, 2019, 7:01am

Hi Paul! Happy new thread.

Like Peggy - aaaaaah!

Best wishes that the new week will see me in a new home.

Aug 2, 2019, 7:22am

>27 karenmarie: Thanks Karen. Self esteem getting a boost today!

Aug 2, 2019, 7:33am

Happy new thread, Paul!

Lovely picture at the top. Looking forward is for the young ones, the older we get the more we have to look back on.
Good luck getting settles at your new place next week.

Aug 2, 2019, 8:36am

Happy new thread, Paul. Another vote here for that handsome topper!

Aug 2, 2019, 9:06am

>24 PaulCranswick: Best wishes from me too! Good luck!

And me too! Today I tackle the nonfiction books and the giant pile of empty boxes to go with them.

Aug 2, 2019, 10:42am

>29 FAMeulstee: Then I'm still young Anita because I'm still someone who spends inordinate time on planning the future only to be constantly surprised when it doesn't pan out entirely as forecasted.

>30 jessibud2: I could become rather vain at this rate, Shelley!

Aug 2, 2019, 10:43am

>31 justchris: I'm actually looking forward to unpacking my books!

Aug 2, 2019, 10:59am

>1 PaulCranswick:

Your Half-a-Good-Hair Day photograph belongs on the inside back cover of a novel or poetry book!

Here's today's fun for you and your Malaysian Jazz fan = do a quick search for:

Art Ensemble of Chicago deck - Skateboard.

Aug 2, 2019, 2:01pm

>15 PaulCranswick: #9 Oh dear...poor lad, still all flippied and damzeled about by the poeticall pox.

>26 PaulCranswick: I hadda go check to be sure Kadare was still alive. Amazingly he is, 83 despite smoking 500 cigarettes a day or whatever ridiculous number it was. I thought The File on H. was better than most English-language critics did, but it wasn't the deftest of takes on the West's ignorance and blindness.

Aug 2, 2019, 2:35pm

Happy new thread!

Aug 2, 2019, 3:03pm

Happy happy new one from me too. Like the look of those new purchases too.

Aug 2, 2019, 3:24pm

>1 PaulCranswick: I can see Kyran in that photo of young Paul.

I hope the move runs smoothly now.

Aug 2, 2019, 3:25pm

Happy new thread, Paul. Yes, great new purchases.

Aug 2, 2019, 7:22pm

>34 m.belljackson: Thanks Marianne.

Wow they're sassy:

Aug 2, 2019, 7:25pm

>35 richardderus: Yes I figured being landed with only poetry to read would be your idea of purgatory RD!

In the unlikely event Europe wins the Nobel prize this year, I would have thought it a shoot-out between two Ks - Milan Kundera and Ismail Kadare.

>36 foggidawn: Thanks Foggy!

Edited: Aug 2, 2019, 7:28pm

>37 charl08: Charlotte these days I have to make my purchases count as I am not at all able to add with such abandon given my financial circumstances.

>38 Caroline_McElwee: I am more happy with that remark than he would be Caroline! I am sure that the young fellow thinks that God decided to make him attractive to the ladies in spite of his parents.

Aug 2, 2019, 7:29pm

>39 BLBera: Thank you Beth. I am still planning the purchases to fit the countries and the years for my two main challenges.
1953 was free and so was Barbados
1963 was free and so was Albania

Aug 2, 2019, 8:10pm

Happy LEO Birthday to your Mum!

And to my daughter and her dad!

And to my sister!

And brother and his son - both born on July 25th!

Aug 2, 2019, 8:11pm

>40 PaulCranswick:

Wow - that could inspire a whole new generation of virtuoso skateboarders!

Aug 2, 2019, 8:54pm

>44 m.belljackson: My mum is August 14 and my first love who ditched me a few days before my finals was born the Glorious 12th.

Happy birthday all.

>45 m.belljackson: It is quite an attractive board says someone who has never skateboarded.

Edited: Aug 27, 2019, 8:28pm

Looking at my challenges for the Around the World in 80 Books and 120 years of reading, I have pencilled in the following possibilities. One or two books I have on order in this list:

1900 Love and Mr. Lewisham
1901 My Brilliant Career - AUSTRALIA
1902 Four Feathers UK
1903 The Nebuly Coat
1904 Dreamers - NORWAY
1905 The Lake
1906 The Jungle
1907 Father and Son
1908 The House of Arden
1909 Three Lives
1910 Howard's End
1911 The Book of Khalid - LEBANON
1912 Riders of the Purple Sage
1913 John Barleycorn
1914 North of Boston
1915 Song of the Lark
1916 Petersburg RUSSIA
1917 Life of a Useless Man
1918 Eminent Victorians
1919 Demian - SWITZERLAND
1920 Storm of Steel
1921 Scaramouche
1922 Just William
1923 Zeno's Conscience ITALY
1924 Naomi JAPAN
1925 In the American Grain USA
1926 The Castle - AUSTRIA
1927 Tarka the Otter
1928 The Tower
1929 The Seven Madmen - ARGENTINA
1930 The Weatherhouse
1931 The Late Monsieur Gallet BELGIUM
1932 Soil - SOUTH KOREA
1933 Love on the Dole
1934 Burmese Days
1935 They Shoot Horses Don't They?
1936 The War With Newts CZECHIA
1937 The Blind Owl - IRAN
1938 Scoop
1939 Good Morning Midnight - DOMINICA

Edited: Aug 16, 2019, 9:21pm


1940 Casanova in Bolzano - HUNGARY
1941 Evil Under the Sun
1942 Winter's Tales - DENMARK
1943 Our Lady of the Flowers
1944 While We Still Live
1945 Bosnian Chronicle - BOSNIA
1946 Iceland's Bell - ICELAND
1947 Exercises in Style FRANCE
1948 Half a Lifelong Romance - CHINA
1949 Kingdom of this World - CUBA
1950 Pippi Longstocking SWEDEN
1951 The Last Temptation - GREECE
1952 The Killer Inside Me
1953 In the Castle of My Skin - BARBADOS
1954 Unknown Soldiers - FINLAND
1955 Pedro Paramo - MEXICO
1956 The Room on the Roof INDIA
1957 The Exile and the Kingdom - ALGERIA
1958 Gabriela, Clove and Cinnamon - BRAZIL
1959 To Sir With Love - GUYANA
1960 God's Bits of Wood - SENEGAL
1961 Friedrich GERMANY
1962 Silent Spring
1963 General of the Dead Army - ALBANIA
1964 Came a Hot Friday - NEW ZEALAND
1965 Where the Jackals Howl - ISRAEL
1966 Midaq Alley - EGYPT
1967 A Grain of Wheat - KENYA
1968 When Rainclouds Gather - BOTSWANA
1969 Kafka's Other Trial - BULGARIA
1970 Gold Mine - ZAMBIA
1971 In a Free State - TRINIDAD
1972 My Name is Asher Lev
1973 Red Shift
1974 If Beale Street Could Talk
1975 This Earth of Mankind - INDONESIA
1976 The Bride Price - NIGERIA
1977 Aunt Julia and the Scriptwriter - PERU
1978 The Rider - NETHERLANDS
1979 Sweet and Sour Milk - SOMALIA

Edited: Aug 27, 2019, 8:28pm


1980 Raised from the Ground - PORTUGAL
1981 A Good Man in Africa - GHANA
1982 The House of the Spirits - CHILE
1983 The Encyclopedia of the Dead - SERBIA
1984 Cities of Salt - JORDAN
1985 Black Robe CANADA
1986 Redwall
1987A Thief in the Village - JAMAICA
1988 Nervous Conditions - ZIMBABWE
1989 The General in His Labyrinth - COLOMBIA
1990 Lucy - ANTIGUA
1991 Cambridge - ST KITTS AND NEVIS
1992 Arcadia
1993 The Land of Green Plums - ROMANIA
1994 Reef - SRI LANKA
1995 Football in Sun and Shadow - URUGUAY
1996 Death and the Penguin - UKRAINE
1997 The Railway - UZBEKISTAN
1998 The Hanging Garden
1999 A Place of Execution
2000 Memories of a Pure Spring - VIETNAM
2001 Soldiers of Salamis - SPAIN
2002 Johnny Mad Dog - CONGO
2003 Wolves of the Crescent Moon - SAUDI ARABIA
2004 Maps for Lost Lovers - PAKISTAN
2005 Findings
2006 The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas - IRELAND
2007 The Bastard of Istanbul - TURKEY
2008 The Imposter - SOUTH AFRICA
2009 After Midnight
2010 Celestial Bodies - OMAN
2011 Norte - BOLIVIA
2012 The Bamboo Stalk - KUWAIT
2013 Frankenstein in Baghdad - IRAQ
2014 Kintu - UGANDA
2015 Woman of the Ashes - MOZAMBIQUE
2016 Behold the Dreamers - CAMEROON
2017 Sing, Unburied, Sing
2018 Silence of the Girls
2019 We, The Survivors - MALAYSIA

Aug 3, 2019, 12:31am

I have tried to distribute my global reading fairly equally along four main geographical area with the following results for the 80 books:

AMERICAS - 18 books
EUROPE - 26 books
AFRICA - 15 books
ASIA/PACIFIC - 21 books

I have books by authors from amongst others:
Haiti, Dominican Republic, Croatia, Slovenia, Armenia, Afghanistan, Palestine, Singapore, Philippines, Cambodia, Myanmar, Syria, Morocco, Sierra Leone, Sudan, Ethiopia, Rwanda and Tanzania
on my shelves but I can't quite fit them into the other challenge too.

Aug 3, 2019, 1:10am

Happy new thread, Paul!

Aug 3, 2019, 1:36am

>52 PaulCranswick: Thanks Nina. Raining heavily here in Kuala Lumpur - how is it in Singapore this afternoon?

Aug 3, 2019, 3:43am

Happy new one, Paul. I hope the move this weekend goes smoothly.

Aug 3, 2019, 3:54am

>53 Ameise1: Thanks Barbara.

Aug 3, 2019, 5:02am

>52 PaulCranswick: Sunny and hot at the moment, thanks Paul. We’re having less rain this season.

Aug 3, 2019, 9:26am

Happy new thread, Paul!

Aug 3, 2019, 10:36am

>46 PaulCranswick:

So, did your finals turn out okay?

With the many Leos, it looks like the chills of November and December instill great adoration.

Skateboard wheel holes make wall hanging easy!

Aug 3, 2019, 11:42am

Happy New Thread, Paul.

That's the best mugshot ever up at the top.

>15 PaulCranswick: Nice! A Fine Balance takes first place for me as the saddest book I've ever read.

Aug 3, 2019, 1:33pm

Happy new thread!

Aug 3, 2019, 7:43pm

>55 humouress: Generally we are having less too, Nina, but the heaven's opened with a vengeance in the afternoon.

>56 kidzdoc: Thanks Darryl

Aug 3, 2019, 7:43pm

I've been by several times but must have been on the tablet, because I never checked in to wish you a happy new thread and devout wishes that your move is accomplished this week!

Aug 3, 2019, 7:45pm

>58 jnwelch: The missus unearthed it at my mum's house so I really had to share it.

>59 drneutron: Thank you Jim

Aug 3, 2019, 7:47pm

>61 ronincats: Thanks Roni. Tough week financially made better at the end of the week by being able to negotiate the "forgiveness" of interest on the ridiculously high interest loans I took out to make sure that Yasmyne could graduate. It means that I can now see some light at the end of the tunnel.

Aug 4, 2019, 3:52am

>63 PaulCranswick: Glad there is some light at the end of the tunnel for you, Paul. Financial stress isn't good, it wears out.

Aug 4, 2019, 4:54am

>65 PaulCranswick: i think i'll be stuck with financial constraints for a while, Anita, but there is light at the end of the tunnel for me.

Aug 4, 2019, 7:01am

>60 PaulCranswick: I'm attempting a project in my garden of tying orchids into my frangipani trees and hoping they grow (as they're epiphytes, I'm assuming they won't harm the trees). They did well over the last few months when we had lots of rain (and this year, it's seemed heavier than usual) but now we're having less rain, the more recent transplants are struggling a bit.

Aug 4, 2019, 8:19am

>66 humouress: Horticulture is not my bag, Nina, although I do appreciate the results.

Aug 4, 2019, 8:48am

Happy new thread! Hope you had a good weekend!

Aug 4, 2019, 8:57am

Happiest of new threads, Paul! Hurrah for interest forgiveness!
>1 PaulCranswick: What a handsome rascal!! Did you melt Hanni's heart about this time?

Aug 4, 2019, 9:46am

>68 ChelleBearss: So far so good, Chelle. A bit of reading and dinner with the kids.

>69 Carmenere: About a dozen years later I met Hani, Lynda. I had gained about 10 kilos from that time!

Aug 4, 2019, 6:55pm

>1 PaulCranswick: Well, that is one serious, and seriously handsome, young man.

Aug 4, 2019, 7:42pm

>71 laytonwoman3rd: Thank you Linda. I'm not sure that I have quite kept my looks all that well, although Hani miraculously disagrees!

Aug 4, 2019, 8:13pm

>72 PaulCranswick: Which makes her a keeper!

Aug 4, 2019, 9:31pm

>73 laytonwoman3rd: It does indeed. x

Aug 6, 2019, 2:30am

So far behind on LT. Paul, I wish you an easy move, less stress (financial or otherwise) and better books and more reading time!! Take those in any order needed. Hugs.

Aug 6, 2019, 2:33am

>75 Berly: All of them competing nicely, Kimmers!

Aug 6, 2019, 3:19am

happy newish thread, Paul, I am trying to catch up but don't succeed :(

Aug 6, 2019, 3:25am

Would not work with you, would it?

Aug 6, 2019, 6:00am

>77 paulstalder: Always nice to see you here dear fellow.

>78 paulstalder: I guess my mum would be astonished to see me without a book.

Aug 6, 2019, 6:30am

Happy Newish Thread, Paul. Trying to catch up after my long weekend. I like the handsome, youthful topper!

Aug 6, 2019, 8:52am

>80 msf59: Thanks buddy.

Am on a mission to get into better shape. My partner in the construction company is 300 lbs in weight and collapsed in his hotel room in Philippines last week. He has only just been taken off a ventilator to allow him to breathe unaided. Hakem is like a brother to me so I pray he will fully recover - he is back from Manila today.

I am seven years his senior and "only" 240 lbs. I am determined (this time really) to get to 180 lbs before the year is out. To help me one of my colleagues on the PNB118 project weighs the same as me and we are having a competition between us who will lose the most weight in two months. He is going back to Ireland for a family wedding in October and his suit doesn't fit him!

Aug 6, 2019, 9:48am

>81 PaulCranswick: Good luck with your weight loss goals!

Aug 6, 2019, 9:58am

>47 PaulCranswick: >48 PaulCranswick: >49 PaulCranswick: Interesting list here Paul, must have taken you some time to make.

>81 PaulCranswick: That must have been a shock, your business partner collapsing like that. Good luck with your weight loss goals. I have to lose weight as well, it's not easy, but I'm trying to stick to it.

Aug 6, 2019, 10:21am

>82 figsfromthistle: Thank you Anita.

>83 EllaTim: You are right, Ella, it isn't easy. I am sick of being out of breath and sweating far too much.

I am sick of my clothes not fitting me nicely anymore or clothes I like to wear no longer fitting me at all. I am sick of my stomach pushing its way in front of me like an angry mob. I am sick of turning away when I walk by a mirror - especially sideways.
I am sick of being desperate to have an aisle seat on planes as I feel like I "spill-over" the seats in coach.

Aug 6, 2019, 10:23am

>81 PaulCranswick: Good luck with the weight loss, Paul. It doesn't get any easier as we get older. But please, don't cause other problems by going at it too aggressively...rapid weight loss can bring on its own catastrophes.

Aug 6, 2019, 11:35am

>85 laytonwoman3rd: I am not noted for aggression, Linda. I want it to be sustainable and as a result of lifestyle change.

Aug 6, 2019, 1:20pm

Vegetarians who don't load up on sugar, pizza, alcohol, fun pastries and breads, etc., usually look pretty trim.

If it wasn't for the Meat Lobbies and their deep pockets, scientists would long ago have released meat look-and-taste-alikes
that are healthier and more compassionate than three-legged lambs, pigs who have higher IQs than many Americans...

Aug 6, 2019, 5:51pm

Please tell me you moved to your new digs Paul.

Good luck with the getting into shape. It's never easy.

Aug 7, 2019, 1:37am

Best of luck with your weight loss and fitness goals, Paul. It can be done and sustained but it means changing your habits. There are various apps to help you keep track. I find MyFitnessPal very good for keeping track of what I eat and what I expend in exercise.

Aug 7, 2019, 2:05am

May your weight sink.
May your health grow.
May your assets rise.
May your move be a success.
May you be fortunate.
May the books be with you.

Aug 7, 2019, 8:59am

>87 m.belljackson: Out for me at the moment:

Carbonated soft drinks, fried rice and/or noodles, cakes & pastries, chips/crisps, fries, fast food, and, sadly, Beer.

So far three days in and I'm weighing in at 235 lbs an easy loss of 5 lbs.

>88 Caroline_McElwee: Half moved!

They will finished the remainder in the morning. I am going to have fun with my books now!

Aug 7, 2019, 9:04am

>89 Familyhistorian: It needs some motivation too, Meg. Hakem's travails are, I hope, a wake up call.

>90 SirThomas: Thanks for that, Thomas, I should repeat to myself that little mantra every morning.

Aug 7, 2019, 12:48pm

Yay! Almost to the book-diddling portion of the festivities. Happy lightening.

Aug 7, 2019, 1:42pm

I don't know if you got me with a book bullet, but this last week I received some gift books at the library. These were in Arabic. When I checked the catalog records they were by an author named Naguib Mahfouz. It kept ringing a bell, and finally I did a Wikipedia search on him. He does not write children's books so the books can't come into my collection, but then low and behold, I see that you are reading one of his books. I became curious. I checked out libraries catalog and found out that we have 32 separate titles by him. These are both English translations and Arabic originals. Of course, I had to add to the ever growing list of books to be read. I added 9 books today. I don't know when I will get to them, but many of his titles do sound interesting. You are reading Midaq Alley and I wonder what you think of it? It is not one of the Cairo Trilogy titles so I am curious. Tell us about it. Please.

Aug 7, 2019, 5:15pm

Good luck with the health kick Paul - and I hope your partner's recovery goes well. Will you be getting back on a bike?

Aug 7, 2019, 5:25pm

>93 richardderus: Thanks RD. The one good thing about the darned move is sorting out my books.

>94 benitastrnad: I have ten books by Mahfouz and have read four of them to date. Midaq Alley is set in a small district of Cairo and the novel tells the stories of its largely disreputable characters. The Cairo Trilogy is rightly acclaimed as a masterpiece (I have only read the first part and it is brilliant) and this is not on that level but enjoyable nonetheless.

Aug 7, 2019, 5:25pm

>95 charl08: Thanks Charlotte. I will be in the gym from next months and on the stationary bike.

Aug 7, 2019, 10:27pm

Hi, Paul! Best wishes to you in your diet and exercise efforts.

Aug 7, 2019, 11:01pm

>87 m.belljackson: I quit eating meat because I dislike the taste, but I've heard Better Burger is a good analogue, taste-wise. Perhaps it will become more ubiquitous in the near future. I believe it's a California thing right now.

Good luck on the weight loss, Paul. Even 5-10 minutes of walking a day at the start can relieve stress and make maintaining a commitment to the program easier. It truly is amazing how resilient humans' bodies can be.

Edited: Aug 7, 2019, 11:12pm

Having fun with your books sounds super to me!
Ah weight loss! I'm sorry about your partner's problems, Paul. I hope that he is able to join you in your lifestyle/eating rearranging. I have now lost 12 pounds since late April by portion control. I'm on a plateau, but I hope that it has finally opened a way for me to lose more. I'm pretty sure that I can at least maintain this loss - eating as much as I used to is no longer possible. Of course, 12 pounds isn't enough to see the difference or even feel it, but I live in hope. Anyway, celebrate ounces gone!
I can't wait to hear that you're finally in the new place. Congratulations to you!
ETA: In the Memory of the Forest has become a paper and print book for me in the mail today rather than a simple BB. I look forward to it!

Aug 8, 2019, 5:41am

>98 tymfos: Thanks Terri. Lovely to see you posting.

>99 libraryperilous: I haven't heard of Better Burger so I will go after this and look it up. With my job I do do a bit of walking as my office is on the fourth floor of a temporary building three days from six and in the basement of another building on the other three. This involves plenty of stair climbing as there are no lifts in either building.

Aug 8, 2019, 5:46am

>100 LizzieD: I am sure that your plateau is a nice place to be, Peggy. Portions is definitely an issue but so is the speed with which I eat as I realise I don't chew my food nearly enough or savour the experience. There is a body of opinion that if you chew your food thoroughly (30 times per mouthful, I'm told!) then the digestive juices flow better and it will be processed by the body more efficiently. I am trying to take my time with food nowadays.

I do hope that you'll enjoy In the Memory of the Forest as it is a long time since I read it and I hope my memory has not been kinder to it than is normal.

Aug 8, 2019, 6:49am

Wishing you luck with your goals, Paul.

Beyond Meat and Impossible Burger have debuted in Singapore. You could come over and have a competition with my husband for weight loss. Though I think you have a head start.

Aug 8, 2019, 8:11am

Hi Paul!

I’m sorry to hear about Hakem. I hope he is doing better.

>84 PaulCranswick: Yes to all the things you’re sick of – they apply to me, too. Good luck to you in your quest for less.

Aug 8, 2019, 10:51am

>102 PaulCranswick: Oh my, the Horace Fletcher method is *still* out there 125 years later! "One chew per tooth" was his maxim, or 32 teeth for most folks. Nonsense. Its effect on weight loss is likely the same as Émile Coué's "Every day in every way I am getting better and better" which, honestly, is good for beginning a process of change but isn't a place to stop.

Chewing more slowly and thoroughly trains you to eat, not gobble ("Essen, nicht Fressen!"). That leads in the longer term to eating less to achieve full satisfaction. And yes, I had to do it myself, so I speak from experience.

Edited: Aug 8, 2019, 2:23pm

I read somewhere that in reality we only really enjoy the first three mouthfuls of something, so trying to serve only about that of each item on the plate might be worth trying. I did once observe at what point something on my plate became just eating, rather than enjoying, and it was about right. Now I need to put that into action.

The French tend to eat small portions of rich food, sometimes six courses, and you see relatively few overweight French folk in my experience, compared to the UK at least. So maybe they subscribe to the above.

ETA: if you can cope with the faff, I think 2-3 things per course, and several small courses tricks your brain into thinking it has had more. Tricks are good. As you know, I certainly have some poundage to lose, and although I lost 3.5 stone over five years, I don't feel any better for the loss, as I'm not keeping up with the age related changes. So I'm with you on trying to shift some more.

I'm off to Prague in just over 4 weeks, so my goal is 4-7 pounds off, to make travel more comfortable. Then I'd like to lose another stone (14 pounds) by Christmas. Join me in the attempt? Losing slowly should mean it stays off, so I've not set the bar for myself too high.

Aug 8, 2019, 5:48pm

I finished reading Ardennes 1944 by Antony Beevor last night and found it very thought provoking. Beevor is a British historian and his take on the Battle of the Bulge is very different than what Americans have been lead to think. For instance, he believes that Gen. Omar Bradley, the Soldier's Soldier, according to his biographer, was totally out-of-touch with what was going on at the front lines. His only concern was that Montgomery was more in tune with the seriousness of the breakout than he was. Patton had overestimated his ability to get to the pocket and the time it would take him to close the pocket and get his troops back to their assigned places in Alsace. He does not absolve Montgomery and flat out says that today Montgomery would probably be diagnosed with high functioning Asperger's Syndrome.

In addition, he does not shy away from the prisoner-of-war atrocities issues. Beevor says that historians of all the Allied nations (British, French, American, and Russian) have been reluctant to tackle this issue, and so have glossed over the incidents that show some countries in an unfavorable light. He is right. He says that there is no doubt that the German's massacred American Prisoners-of-war, but he believes that the American's response was in kind, and the numbers were about the same. He states that the practice of shooting prisoners was widespread in the American army and was sanctioned at the highest levels. Bradley in particular showed great antipathy about prisoners and tacitly supported the policy of "take no prisoners." Beevor says that this reflects badly on the American officers. For me, it showed that soldiers are soldiers and that when brutalized by war they all react the same way. You can't tell people to kill the inhuman Huns forever, without soldiers believing the inhuman part and then acting on it.

He also addresses the issue of civilian casualties. He says that 5,000 Belgians and French citizens were killed in the Battle of the Bulge. Most by bombing from the air. And there were another 25,000 wounded and disabled. They are still picking mines and unexploded ordnance out of the earth in this region of France, Luxembourg, and Belgium. They are still unable to harvest the forests of the region due to shrapnel embedded in the trees. This has had long term consequence for the region making it one of the poorest areas of France.

It is sad, but as I was finishing the book, I was listening to the TV and some of the coverage on the shooting in El Paso. I thought the discussion in the book regarding prisoners-of-war and the citizens in El Paso were much the same discussion. If the dehumanizing words are used long enough they will be believed and acted on. It is always morality and courage at the top that sets the tone for this kind of behavior. Even during the Battle of the Bulge.

Edited: Aug 8, 2019, 9:07pm

>103 humouress: All the more reason to come to Singapore, Nina!

>104 karenmarie: Thanks Karen. The quest for less. Should be a book title, I guess.

Aug 9, 2019, 12:22am

>105 richardderus: Somebody actually put it forward as a dietary theory! I do think that it makes sense that if you "savour" your food as better digestion must be healthy. One chew per tooth would be daft though as those with dentures would merely have to swallow.

>106 Caroline_McElwee: I hadn't heard that Caroline but I can see the sense in it. I really could do with tricking my stomach into thinking it is full.

Aug 9, 2019, 12:24am

>110 PaulCranswick: Those winning the wars get to write the history of it, Benita. It is impossible to conceive that the Allies didn't themselves commit atrocities in the heat of war but for me it was the systematic annihilation of a people that will always render the Nazis, Pol Pot and the ethnic cleansing in former Yugoslavia / Rwanda as so reprehensible and indefensible.

Aug 9, 2019, 8:06am

>105 richardderus: >110 PaulCranswick: One chew per tooth would be more like 27 or 8 for me as I'm missing a few permanent teeth due to having too small a jaw for them all. I think the idea is, as others have said, taking your time because it takes awhile for your brain to actually register "I'm full," so in the meantime you've eaten less for going slowly.

Good luck on the lifestyle changes, Paul! I need to start getting more serious about exercising again. I've slacked off in the last year, and I'm really feeling the difference.

Aug 9, 2019, 10:59am

Ah, sorry, I meant Beyond Burger. Cool that it's available in Singapore!

Aug 9, 2019, 2:20pm

I experienced magical weight loss about 25 years ago, Paul. I didn't change my diet or lifestyle, but the pounds just melted off. People I saw at work but didn't know came to me and congratulated me and said how much better I looked. Only thing was that I was jittery as hell. Graves disease. A single radioactive iodine pill reduced my thyroid to a cinder. In a short time, the jitters calmed. And the weight come back.

>107 benitastrnad: Sounds like an interesting read, Benita.

Aug 9, 2019, 6:39pm

>111 bell7: I agree with that Mary. Very sensible analysis. x

>112 libraryperilous: Diana, Singapore has most everything except space.

Aug 9, 2019, 6:41pm

>113 weird_O: That sound quite scary Bill. I met a friend (a property agent) after not having seen him for a year or so and was amazed by his startling weight loss. Keen to see whether his method was to my own taste I asked him how he had lost so much weight. His reply was "typhoid"! A little too drastic even for me!

Aug 9, 2019, 11:36pm

Graves Disease! Typhoid - YIKES!!!! Portion control is the way to go. The hardest time is when the plate is clean, and body-accustomed-to-more demands more. If you can tough it through those few minutes until body says, "Yes. That was enough.," you're in business. Leaving off the sugary sweets is also a help.
Good luck to you, Paul!

Aug 9, 2019, 11:53pm

>116 LizzieD: Yes Peggy you are quite right that portion reduction is an essential part of dropping weight. I think that I have done that well enough this week. I did slip last night and had a few bottles of Corona and a couple of shots of Vodka out with clients but the beer is on the light side and the vodka low in calories!

Aug 10, 2019, 1:20am

Happy weekend, Paul.

Aug 10, 2019, 6:39am

Happy Weekend, Paul. Sorry, about the weight issues. Maybe, your friend's close-call will be a nudge, (or shove) you needed. I have always had success with the South Beach Diet. There is more flexibility, which I like. Steering away from the beer is my toughest problem.

Good luck, moving ahead. I am loving both of my current reads- Lanny & Recursion.

Aug 10, 2019, 7:59am

Hi Paul. For what it's worth (probably not much as weight + age equals constant struggle, in my experience) but I stopped using a dinner plate and use a smaller bread plate instead. The plate looks fuller and that can help trick the mind when it comes to portion control. Also, drinking water in between courses, and throughout the day. I am quite sure I personally would have a lot more success if my sweet tooth wasn't so controlling and if I were physically more active. Best of luck!

Aug 10, 2019, 8:30am

>118 Ameise1: Thank you Barbara

>119 msf59: My health, fitness and waistline will benefit from my continuing care of myself. The South Beach diet is basically a low carb diet isn't it, Mark?

Max Porter does seem to be something of a phenom at the moment.

Edited: Aug 10, 2019, 9:15am

So are you all settled in your new abode Paul, unpacking aside?

>120 jessibud2: I do that too Shelley. Age is definitely an obstacle to weight loss. I eat far less than I used to, but don't lose weight in the way that change would imply. I know I am not as active, hormone changes and medication all obstruct weightloss. It helps to know it is not just 'me' in that statistically only 15% of people who lose weight will have kept it off three years later. So if you are carrying extra pounds, and have most of your life, there is probably also some genetic aspect, so you will have to work and sustain so much more effort to achieve loss.

Aug 10, 2019, 12:23pm

One thing that can slow your appetite in the middle of the day is a gigantic take out salad
(with only a few fun things like Tabouli and low cal or no salad dressing) along with some kind of
low calorie, low salt bags of pretzels or crackers with a few cubes of cheese as rewards.

These salads - even for fast eaters - can slow your appetite because they take forever to chew through.

Aug 10, 2019, 4:00pm

>81 PaulCranswick: I am sorry to hear about your partner.

Good luck with your weight loss goals, Paul! It sounds like they are going well.

I relate to your list in of being sick of in >84 PaulCranswick:

As you saw on my thread, I'm working on the same thing. For me, the final straw was the knee injury and wanting to give it as much help every way I can.

I'm a big believer in finding what works for you. Everyone's emotional and physiological triggers are somewhat different.

Aug 10, 2019, 8:06pm

>122 Caroline_McElwee: The move is pretty much done, Caroline. We are living here at least. Plenty of teething problems, the most prominent of which are no gas yet switched on into the home, no internet or TV, insufficient beds and no shelving for my books! I took a couple of bookcases which housed 800 of my books yesterday and I have a shelf/stand thingy which will hold about 300 or so. I have made a plan for shelving which covers two long stretches of the house and could, by my reckoning, 5,140 books. Therefore an instant capacity for over 6,000 books. I have about 4,500 still unread, so that allows me to cull the books I simply can't live without to a manageable number.

There is also room for further expansion!

>123 m.belljackson: I am taking plenty of soups actually, Marianne, although I am partial to the occasional salad.

Aug 10, 2019, 8:08pm

>124 streamsong: Janet, I am leaving the car at home nowadays and availing myself of Malaysia's public transport system. This involves a lot of walking and I hope my joints and feet can put up with it! Let's keep supporting each other!

Aug 10, 2019, 9:26pm

I will add my two cents worth on the weight loss, Paul. First of all, best of luck to you. I think the walking will be a big help for sure. Personally, I would much rather exercise more than deprive myself of the foods I love. I'm thinking pizza! Baby steps (hahaha) are good. I know when I try to make drastic changes to my life I am pretty miserable and end up backsliding. Keep us posted. And send us some pictures of your new residence when you get settled in. Hefting your books onto the shelves will be terrific exercise!

Aug 10, 2019, 9:31pm

>127 Donna828: I also like my pizza, Donna, but have started making my own using Arab bread as the base. Fresh baked they are absolutely delicious and I am quite good at them already.

I better wait for SWMBO's return before posting pictures as I am sure that the kids and I haven't got the place quite to her liking yet!

I am not planning a total life change, but cutting out some of the excesses and obvious things that are bad for me (potato chips, fast food and too big portions, including beer intake) should have me on the right path before I start slightly more vigorous exercise.

Aug 10, 2019, 9:44pm

So, is the move back to the UK off the books for now? Sounds like you are still in KL. Sorry if I missed your mentioning it somewhere back there.

Aug 10, 2019, 9:48pm

>129 jessibud2: Not necessarily, Shelley, but we will always maintain a place here too, I guess.

Aug 10, 2019, 10:17pm

Glad the move went well. Enjoy organizing your books :)

Aug 10, 2019, 11:12pm

When does Hani return to KL, Paul?

Aug 10, 2019, 11:42pm

Hooray for the MOVE!!!!
I'll be happy to learn that the mundane things are taken care of and you can spend time getting your books just right.

Aug 11, 2019, 3:17am

Glad to hear that you finally moved and it looks like you've got plenty of space.
Good luck with your weight loss. For me it's something like a life long challenge.

Aug 11, 2019, 3:23am

>125 PaulCranswick: Yay for space for more expansion! Absolutely critical to build that in at the start. I thought that I had, but now (eleven years after moving) I’ve run out of shelf space and am petitioning, semi-successfully, for more.

I would chime in on the weight loss advice but I haven’t found a successful formula myself recently. My weak spot is my husband; he keeps bringing home desserts for us (the kids and me) and my will power can only take so much. It doesn’t stretch so far on a normal day as it is.

Aug 11, 2019, 5:35am

Congratulations on moving Paul! but insufficient beds? No gas? But have fun organising it all.

Aug 11, 2019, 9:20am

Congrats on the move, Paul. I hope the lacks start filling in. The good news is that sounds like a lot of book shelf space when the time comes.

I'm having to lose some weight, too, to get my health numbers to where the doctor wants them. No fun. For me, the worst part is there's no way of getting around eating less, even with lots of exercise. Ah well. At least no one asked me to cut back on reading.

Aug 11, 2019, 10:41am

Happy to read the move is done, Paul, now hopefully soon everything will work as it should.

Good luck with loosing weight, we had good results with low carb diet, and walking every day.

Aug 11, 2019, 11:36am

>131 figsfromthistle: More time spent today but I need those shelves, Anita

>132 kidzdoc: Probably at the end of next week, Darryl.

Aug 11, 2019, 11:38am

>133 LizzieD: The books beat gas as a priority any day, Peggy.

>134 Ameise1: Space isn't at all bad.
The weight loss will be a challenge.

Aug 11, 2019, 11:40am

>135 humouress: I have the same problem, Nina, at not being able to resist the "treats" brought into the home. I am doing a little better at keeping them out with SWMBo safely in England.

>136 EllaTim: Minor teething issues, Ella!

Aug 11, 2019, 11:43am

>137 jnwelch: A diet of reading is a terrifying thought, Joe.

>138 FAMeulstee: Well I am certainly doing plenty of walking, Anita.

Aug 11, 2019, 3:23pm

Good to see you finally moved in, Paul. Best of luck with the weight loss goals. I lost weight in the early 2000s and kept it off. I found it can be sustained by keeping track of what I eat and off by setting some of the intake with exercise.

Aug 11, 2019, 3:45pm

I’ll add my wishes for good luck with the weight loss goals. It’s been a lifelong struggle for me. I’ve had some luck (or not?) lately restricting portion sizes — I say “or not” because I’ve been dealing with some anxiety that made me not want to eat, and I think my stomach actually shrunk. No cloud without a silver lining? At any rate, the anxiety is not nearly as bad now, but I’m trying to maintain the smaller portions and remind myself that I do not have to eat all of something just because it’s on my plate.

Aug 11, 2019, 4:07pm

Chiming in on the weight loss discussion. I did it once by counting fat grams. I was limited to 20 per day. I lost quite a bit on that diet. I could still enjoy a lot of things, but it was a pain to figure out what I could eat at a restaurant. I'm currently losing just by downsizing portions. If I eat out, I often take half of my meal home. I did that today. I ordered a grilled chicken salad and brought half home so I can take it with me to work for tomorrow's lunch. (The restaurant did offer a half portion for $1 less than the full size ($9 vs. $10) so I thought it was a better option to make two meals of one dish.)

Aug 12, 2019, 3:12am

>142 PaulCranswick: So far so good, Meg. I don't want to shed a bit only to pile it straight back on with interest.

>143 Familyhistorian: Smaller portions are definitely a good idea, Foggy, but it is essential that it doesn't leave me begging for more food.

Aug 12, 2019, 3:13am

>145 thornton37814: That is a really good idea, Lori, and a way of saving money too, which I need at least as much!

Aug 12, 2019, 3:16am

Happy Hari Raya Haji, Paul!

I hope the celebrations don't throw out your dietary plans. But *sigh* I would completely understand if they did.

Aug 12, 2019, 8:50am

>146 PaulCranswick: Yeah, that's the tricky part.

Aug 12, 2019, 10:15am

>148 humouress: Thank you, Nina and Eid Mubarak to you and all my friends here. Most of Malaysia and Singapore is unusual in the sense that the Haj holiday slightly gets put into the shade by the holiday that ends Ramadhan. Still it is a nice time for families to be together which makes it even more trying that the Matriarch of mine is in the UK still.

>149 foggidawn: I am doing quite well with it at the moment, though, Foggy!

Aug 12, 2019, 10:44am

Book #38

Half a Lifelong Romance by Eileen Chang

Date Published : 1948 (38 of 120)
Origin of Author : China (25 of 80)
Pages : 377 (10,816 in total)

I am a sucker for a novel that actually bothers to tell a story and this one has narrative drive to spare.

Beginning in pre-war Shanghai and Canton and taking our characters through fifteen years, friends and colleagues become betrothed and estranged in a sweeping tale that wrings at the emotions with cruel twists of fate the weight of familial circumstance.

Could easily have slipped into soap opera but the prose and skill of the author elevates it into literature.

Edited: Aug 14, 2019, 4:31am

(Still Currently Reading)

Midaq Alley by Naguib Mahfouz

Aug 12, 2019, 3:06pm

A belated happy new thread Paul, we had a great holiday and now back to the nitty gritty of real life. I am posting bits about our holiday and hope to post some photos after I have got them off Karen and hope not to bore anyone with it. I am going through all the threads and hundreds of posts to try and catch up on what has gone on whilst away and will be back to posting again. Hope all is well with the move and sorting things out mate. Sending love and hugs from both of us dear friend.

Aug 12, 2019, 5:11pm

>153 johnsimpson: I did follow your holidays a little through photos and postings John and you knew you were guaranteed a good holiday in Funchal!
I don't know how much you caught the first test, John, but really I do think that some of the top order are very, very lucky not to lose their places. Bairstow and Buttler are still in World Cup wind-down mode and should be rested to return to get some form in the longer game and Denly is a rabbit in the headlights. I would have replaced the three with Dominic Sibley, Sam Northeast (or James Hildreth) and Ben Brown.
I am also really annoyed with the useless organising of the Cricket season. Play the 20/20 competition like the old Sunday league and keep the 4-day game going the rest of the time. Those fighting for places are not getting an opportunity to play and we wonder why the longer game is seemingly dying.

Aug 12, 2019, 6:55pm

>151 PaulCranswick: Oh, I need to read this. I love Chang's short fiction, and I normally eschew both short stories and domestic fiction. I suspect her writing talents can carry a soapy novel quite well. Aside: The NYRB edition of Love in a Fallen City has one of their best covers ever, imo.

Aug 12, 2019, 9:30pm

>155 libraryperilous: Do strongly recommend it, Diana.

Aug 13, 2019, 1:24am

Did you see Lust, Caution at the cinema, Paul? Beautiful looking film, the historical detail was impressive.

Aug 13, 2019, 3:38am

>157 charl08: I have seen and enjoyed it very much, Charlotte. Tang Wei was with me in my sleeping hours long after seeing the movie!

Aug 13, 2019, 11:21am

PAUL - today's (August 13, 2019) free online Atlas Obscura has a great article: Republishing Maya!

Aug 13, 2019, 11:30am

Kuala Lumpur Noir? This is a thing?

Aug 13, 2019, 8:50pm

>159 m.belljackson: Yes it wasn't half bad but I enjoyed the article on Morrison's Ohio hometown more.

>160 richardderus: I wouldn't say so, RD. There is though a nightclub called Le Noir which is apparently quite happening and to where I have never taken myself.

Edited: Aug 16, 2019, 9:41pm

Book #39

Exile and the Kingdom by Albert Camus

Date Published : 1957 (39 of 120)
Origin of Author : Algeria (26 of 80)
Pages : 117 (10,933 in total)

Six short stories from the wonderful French/Algerian author Camus which formed a collection released in the year he won the Nobel prize.

I prefer the ones set in Algeria and particularly one in which a settler is tasked with taking a prisoner to the authorities and doesn't feel able to.

The Fall, The Plague and The Outsider are three excellent novels and this is lighter fayre but still more than worth the trouble to read.

Edited: Aug 16, 2019, 9:43pm

(Still Currently Reading)

Midaq Alley by Naguib Mahfouz

Aug 16, 2019, 2:52am

>158 PaulCranswick: Ah, quite a different experience then: I loved the fashion and the sets!

>163 PaulCranswick: Sounds intriguing: is this the author who won the Nobel?

Aug 16, 2019, 9:13pm

>164 charl08: Yes, Mahfouz won the Nobel in 1988 if I'm not mistaken. Worthy winner too as he was a marvellous storyteller.

Edited: Aug 19, 2019, 8:48pm

Book #40

Midaq Alley by Naguib Mahfouz

Date Published : 1966 (40 of 120)
Origin of Author : Egypt (27 of 80)
Pages : 286 (11,219 in total)

Still with Nobel Winners and still in North Africa.

Mahfouz does a good job in recreating the hopes and aspirations and desperations of the people in a poor area of Cairo known as Midaq Alley.

Most want to better themselves and a few are more than willing to stop at little to get there. Ambitions of betterment especially when worldly wise are often the route to unhappiness as the author reveals.

Murder, paedophilia, adultery, prostitution are all to the fore in this tale and it is testament to Mahfouz's imaginative skills that he is able to put himself in the shoes of those characters falling so low and still have some sympathy for their pathetic ways.

Recommended although not a patch on the Cairo Trilogy.

Edited: Aug 16, 2019, 11:45pm

Currently Reading

The Railway by Hamid Ismailov

Aug 16, 2019, 11:52pm

>166 PaulCranswick: I haven't read this yet, but soon after finishing his Palace Walk I watched the Mexican 1995 film, El callejón de los milagros which is based on Midaq Alley, starring a younger Salma Hayek.
Just watched Salma Hayek in a more recent film - Tale of Tales, gothic fairy tales, very satisfying.

My daughter, Yasmin, just made a quick trip back to NZ this week, her partner's best friend died in a car accident so they rushed back for the funeral. The last time they came back was for his wedding, so a very sad time, especially for Scott, her partner. Anyway wanted to mention that she works for Barratt Developments which you've probably heard of.

Aug 17, 2019, 11:09am

>168 avatiakh: Kerry, Palace Walk is, I think, one of the great post-war novels and Midaq Alley is good but nowhere near that good.

Salma Hayek is a favourite of mine especially as we were both born on 2 September 1966.

I know Barratt Developments / Homes of course one of the UK's biggest house builders.

Aug 17, 2019, 12:25pm

I think it's entropy. Or maybe a larger daily dose of synthroid is in order. Gotta get moving...

Aug 17, 2019, 9:11pm

>170 weird_O: I am moving towards negentropy, Bill. Should have two huge new sets of bookcases next week and books largely organised.

Aug 18, 2019, 1:15am

>171 PaulCranswick: Excitement!

Are you going to order them alphabetically, by author, by subject, by DDC (or MDS), by favourites, shove them on the shelves any old how....?

Hmm; and then maybe you can let people in and charge them borrowing fees ....

Aug 18, 2019, 3:23am

>166 PaulCranswick: I have that one as an audio. It looks like I should transfer it to my mp3.
Happy Sunday, Paul.

Aug 18, 2019, 4:36am

>172 humouress: I think that you know well, Nina, that I won't just toss them on the shelves. Alphabetical by author. I will separate fiction / non-fiction and poetry though.

Aug 18, 2019, 4:38am


Well, as long as you keep your couple of fantasy books, sign me up as a patron.

Edited: Aug 18, 2019, 5:03am

Some more additions :

104. Rotherweird by Andrew Caldecott

If ever there was a case of a cover selling a book

105. The Beginning of Spring by Penelope Fitzgerald

She could write out the phone book and still make it readable

106. A Foolish Virgin by Ida Simons

A word of mouth classic according to the Daily Mail (pinch of salt then)

107. The Ropewalker by Jaan Kross

Adds Estonia to my Around the World in 80 Books possibilities

108. Segu by Maryse Conde

If I add dependent overseas territories then Guadaloupe also comes into the picture now

109. The House on Mango Street by Sandra Cisernos

Enjoyed her poetry so should get her prose

110. My Sister, the Serial Killer by Oykinkan Braithwaite

First purchase for this years Booker longlist

111. The Return by Dulce Maria Cardoso

Grew up in Angola so I think I know you know why I got this one.

Aug 18, 2019, 4:51am

>173 Ameise1: Once you get used to the characters the story takes over, Barbara. I'm sure that you'd enjoy it.

>175 humouress: I have a few sci-fi and fantasy writers Nina - you'd be surprised. Aldiss, Bear, Cherryh, Donaldson, Eddings, Feist......I could go through the alphabet with such authors on my shelves, some of whom I even read!

Aug 18, 2019, 5:20am

Aug 18, 2019, 11:29am

>171 PaulCranswick: I'm looking forward to photos!

Have I mentioned to you the film of Penelope Fitzgerald's The Bookshop? Patricia Clarkson was memorable as the revolting Violet. It's available on Amazon Prime if you can access that.

Aug 18, 2019, 12:16pm

Yay for new bookcases, Paul!

Have fun sorting and alphabetizing and filling them.

Aug 18, 2019, 12:21pm

>177 PaulCranswick:, >178 PaulCranswick: I added Rotherweird to my TBR a few months ago because of the cover. I must say, though, that the Fitzgerald book's cover is so lovely that I might have to read it. I tried Fitzgerald in high school and loathed her. I am older now, though, so maybe ...

Happy shelvings, Paul!

Aug 18, 2019, 12:39pm

Glad to see you are settling into your new place
Good luck with the weight loss. Nate and I struggle with the spare tire and I'm sure it will only get harder to manage as we age.

Aug 18, 2019, 12:46pm

Great haul there!

I have the Conde on my shelf, Paul. Say the word and I shall read along with you. I need a nudge.

Aug 18, 2019, 7:25pm

>179 richardderus: I will get round to photos Richard - eventually. Photos at the moment would get me into trouble as there are books everywhere sorted into alphabetical piles. I will look out for the film version of The Bookshop.

>180 karenmarie: I am enjoying it, Karen, but it is hard work too.

Aug 18, 2019, 7:27pm

>181 libraryperilous: Thanks Diana. Fitzgerald generally wrote short novels so the dislike could never be too long lasting!

>182 ChelleBearss: Yes, I can confirm that! Age is certainly an intruding factor in preventing weight loss.

Aug 18, 2019, 7:28pm

>183 charl08: I'll nudge you, Charlotte, but it may not be for a few months! You read much faster than I do so I'll have to jog as you walk through it!

Aug 18, 2019, 11:27pm

>171 PaulCranswick: So does having the books organized mean that huge pile previously living on top of the wardrobe has found a real home? ;-)

Aug 19, 2019, 6:11am

>187 ronincats: I believe that I can accommodate them all, Roni, but let's see.

Aug 19, 2019, 7:13am

Happy Monday, Paul! Hope the unpacking and organizing of books is going well.

Aug 19, 2019, 6:12pm

>189 bell7: It is going well Mary, but I need those bookcases.

Aug 19, 2019, 6:20pm

Hi Paul
>171 PaulCranswick: YAY! for enough bookcases for your books!
>178 PaulCranswick: Nice haul, how many of these before you need a next bookcase?

Aug 19, 2019, 6:34pm

>191 FAMeulstee: I have to get my calculations done fairly carefully Anita and the honest answer at the moment is that I don't really know. I have given plenty of read books away to school libraries over the years as has Yasmyne - sometime with disastrous consequences - as she once gave away books in the wrong box that I hadn't read! I have also some books still in the UK from various trips, etc. So the exact number in the new home is uncertain at present.

Aug 19, 2019, 6:47pm

>192 PaulCranswick: When you have them all sorted alphabetically in the bookcases it will be much easier to check LT and add the missing ones, Paul. One day those in the UK can be added :-)

Aug 19, 2019, 6:59pm

>193 FAMeulstee: It is more likely that some of those catalogued are no longer with me thanks to my philanthropic daughter.

Aug 19, 2019, 7:09pm

>195 FAMeulstee: Okay, Paul, reverse: re-acquire the missing books :-D

Aug 19, 2019, 7:20pm

>195 FAMeulstee: I will at least be able to figure out which they were now, Anita!

Edited: Aug 27, 2019, 8:21pm

Book #41

The Blind Owl by Sadiq Hidayat

Date Published : 1937 (41 of 120)
Origin of Author : Iran (28 of 80)
Pages : 115 (11,334 in total)

This novella is lauded as a gem amongst Persian literature.

Maybe those Persian fellows are way smarter than me because I couldn't follow this at all. Maybe it was the point as it seemed to be about opium induced dreams of longing, desire and violence.

Since I have never imbibed of the stuff couldn't relate, no way, sir.

I could discern that this was not without literary merit but, honestly, I want an author to tell me a story not dance hysterically across my brain like a rat on speed.

Couldn't recommend this one unless of course opium is your bag.

Aug 19, 2019, 9:15pm

Hi Paul, I loved The Cairo Trilogy and have Midaq Alley on my Overdrive list. I'm glad to see you liked it too. I'm not surprised it's not as good as the trilogy but even a lesser Mahfouz is bound to be excellent.

Aug 19, 2019, 9:42pm

>197 PaulCranswick: - Well, it seems to have a lovely cover..... ;-)

Aug 19, 2019, 9:53pm

>197 PaulCranswick: I read this about 6 years ago and felt much the same. I was happy to leave the paperback for others to 'enjoy' at whatever hotel I was in at the time.

Aug 19, 2019, 10:33pm

>198 brenzi: Fair appraisal, Bonnie. Once I got familiar enough with the characters the novel took me off to the sights, sounds and smells of Cairo - a city that I know and love.

>199 jessibud2: Hahaha Shelley. The cover is better than the content on this occasion. I'll read it again one day and see if I understand it this time.

Aug 19, 2019, 10:33pm

>200 avatiakh: I am relieved to be in good company, Kerry. xx

Aug 19, 2019, 10:57pm

>192 PaulCranswick: You should try this site called 'LibraryThing'. They have this cataloguing function, see, and they also have an inventory column :0)

Aug 20, 2019, 2:33am

>204 humouress: Hahaha Nina. I have almost 12,000 books catalogued. What I am not certain of is which books were disposed of by my daughter in giving books to various libraries of schools and orphanages.
This is why I am unsure of the exact number of books in the house and so unable to predict exactly the shelving space required. The fact that I double-up the shelves with one book behind another does sort of give me double the space.

Edited: Aug 20, 2019, 6:36am

>205 PaulCranswick: ... and you can create different libraries collections within your catalogue.

Unfortunately, training offspring to use it properly isn’t something I can help you with. I’m not having great success in that area myself. :0/

ETA: of course, you probably have to sort them as you enter them and before they get lost in the depths of your 12,000.

Aug 20, 2019, 11:11am

>206 humouress: I loved cataloguing the books Nina and I will love reassigning them all in The Pearl.

Aug 21, 2019, 11:10am

Hi - Clues to The Pearl reference?

Otherwise, what is remembered is a fairly steamy Victorian collection, The Pearl.

Aug 21, 2019, 7:46pm

>208 m.belljackson: No great mystery, Marianne, The Pearl, is the name of the Condo we have moved to.

Aug 22, 2019, 4:53pm

>208 m.belljackson: There's also the less-steamy Steinbeck novel. :)

Edited: Aug 22, 2019, 4:59pm

How's your eating and exercise plan going Paul?

Looking forward to seeing photos of the new home/library too.

Aug 22, 2019, 6:29pm

>210 libraryperilous: Ah yes, a small gem indeed!

>211 Caroline_McElwee: I'm doing ok Caroline, to be honest. Had a couple of treat days but generally taking better care of my diet and am doing a LOT of walking.

Aug 23, 2019, 4:18pm

Just popping in to wish you a happy weekend!

Aug 23, 2019, 5:27pm

>209 PaulCranswick: >210 libraryperilous:

The Victorians, in this instance, were a bit more cheerful -
while daughter and I just watched Jamie placing a long pearl necklace - "Scot pearls!"
over Claire's head. My first ever binge watching.

Aug 23, 2019, 5:45pm

>213 amanda4242: Thanks Amanda. I am hoping for a book filled one.

>214 m.belljackson: Jamie was Jacobite, Marianne. We had a George on the throne at the time. I love that show!

Aug 24, 2019, 9:40am

Hi Paul!

Book heaven continues apace at The Pearl, I see. Sorry about the books given away unintentionally by Yasmyne - both Bill and Jenna know not to reshelve books (because I have them cataloged with location tags) or give books away that may appear unwanted (because one entire little table in the Sunroom has books tagged 'TBS' - to be shelved.) These books are not to be confused with the bags of books on the floor which can be given away, but there are three different destinations, so they don't even touch those books.

>208 m.belljackson: I have that book although it's not cataloged on LT. *smile*

Edited: Aug 24, 2019, 4:01pm

>215 PaulCranswick:

I read all the OUTLANDERs a few years back and am thrilled that the films have felt so magically familiar.

For now, I wish their time at Lollybroch had not been so brief. Immersion in that locale would have been a welcome respite.

For the past, for those eternal Gerard Butler fans (and yes, he was too old and certainly lacks Jamie's cute innocence),
why couldn't he be Black Brian?!? And, in every volume, Jamie is supposed to stand out as the tallest man in the room. Yikes.

Aug 24, 2019, 11:07pm

Best of luck with your book shelving, Paul. Hope you don't get too distracted and end up adding more to the current reads you are juggling.

Aug 25, 2019, 12:47am

>216 karenmarie: It was my fault really as there were a few books in different bags and she gave the wrong bag away.

I still don't have the shelves as I am juggling money until my next fees payment.

>217 m.belljackson: The show is great and the books are familiar which is the opposite of your experience and yet the same if you see what I mean, Marianne!
Gerard Butler for James Bond, perhaps?

Aug 25, 2019, 12:48am

>218 Familyhistorian: It is likely though isn't it, Meg, given my track record.

Aug 25, 2019, 10:18pm

One of my favourite places is Hay-on-Wye which is now famous for its bookshops and Annual Book Festival.

The prime mover of the development of Hay as a centre for books and the festival was Richard Booth and he sadly died in the last few days. Thank you, sir, for all you have done for book lovers everywhere. The book shop bearing his name in Hay is also one of the best in the UK for browsers such as I.

Edited: Aug 26, 2019, 5:43am

Hay-on-Wye has always been on my bucket list. Don't know that I will ever get there but this is sad news indeed. I re-posted this on the In Memoriam board, Paul. Hope you don't mind.

Aug 26, 2019, 5:53am

Best wishes for all your changes/changing

Aug 26, 2019, 6:34am

Hi, Paul. I hope you had a good weekend. Any stand out books, that you have read over the past few months?

Aug 26, 2019, 9:01am

Hay-on- Wye is on my bucket list, too, Paul. Plus Wigtown, now that I've read Diary of a Bookseller.

Aug 26, 2019, 11:00am

>222 jessibud2: Of course I don't mind, Shelley. I should have posted it there myself!

>223 paulstalder: Thank you, Paul. Life is really so tough at the moment but I do hope that I'll be able to get the family back to some sort of equilibrium by the end of this year.

Aug 26, 2019, 11:04am

>224 msf59: The book I am engrossed in at the moment, Mark, Norte is a bobby-dazzler. I also really liked Half a Lifelong Romance by Chinese author Eileen Chang was also very good.

Need to pick up the reading pace a lot though.

>225 jnwelch: I have been to Hay a good number of times Joe and really enjoy both the Richard Booth shop and the Poetry shop in particular. I have also heard good things about Wigtown but Yasmyne (not the greatest judge, admittedly) went there and was disappointed.

Aug 26, 2019, 1:58pm

Friendly reminder: It’s not hoarding if it’s books

Aug 26, 2019, 10:06pm

>228 weird_O: Well I will certainly agree with that, Bill, but my bedroom (which is more than ample in size) looks like a still from one of those hoarder shows at the moment - I really need the book cases.

Aug 27, 2019, 9:55am

I'm glad you have a new roof above your head, Paul. Xx

Aug 27, 2019, 6:29pm

>230 DianaNL: Thanks Diana; so am I

Aug 27, 2019, 8:26pm

Book #42

Norte by Edmundo Paz Soldan

Date Published : 2011 (42 of 120)
Origin of Author : Bolivia (29 of 80)
Pages : 326 (11,660 in total)

Powerful stuff this.

Three Latin-Americans cross into the USA - one habitually, a serial killer, one an artist captive in a mental institution and one frustrated writer/author who is at one a waitress but also lover to her Argentinian college professor.

The three perspectives don't ever quite coalesce as is promised in the blurb but nonetheless they are tenuously linked. Violent, thought provoking and epic.

Aug 30, 2019, 8:36pm

I have been a little bit off the radar with my moving and organising and trying to work and settling other problems etc etc etc etc.

It is Malaysian Independence Day here.

Aug 30, 2019, 8:55pm

Hope you're recovering from the move, I've lived in my house for over 20 years, I don't relish the thought of packing. I admire your bravery for moving your wife's stuff without your wife being there, either that or I admire her trust in you. :)

Happy Independence Day!

Aug 30, 2019, 11:12pm

>234 mahsdad: I am sure that my moving skills will be picked apart when she returns, Jeff!

Edited: Sep 1, 2019, 5:27am

Book #43

The Encyclopedia of the Dead by Danilo Kis

Date Published : 1983 (43 of 120)
Origin of Author : Serbia (30 of 80)
Pages : 167 (11,827 in total)

Nine short stories (if indeed they could be called so) on the theme of metaphysics, death and belief systems.

They don't all work for me but there was enough to intrigue and appall me in almost equal measure.

Despite the 167 meagre pages this was neither an easy nor a comfortable read.

Sep 1, 2019, 5:26am

September 2019 Reading Plan

Again to do better than last month.
I did better in August than July which is a start and now I want to do better in September than August.

I have made a flying start:

Edited: Sep 2, 2019, 9:27pm

Book #44

The Impostor by Damon Galgut

Date Published : 2008 (44 of 120)
Origin of Author : South Africa (31 of 80)
Pages : 249 (12,076 in total)

Made me think a lot this one. Would you recognise all your contemporaries from school at the remove of 35 years? Looking at my pals on FB most of them have changed considerably but few to the extent that they are unrecognisable. That is the basic premise of this fascinating novel which melds literature and psychological thriller very adroitly.

Adam is a poet who has lost his job and seeks to get away from it all by relocating to a small house in a very small town miles from the big cities in order to find himself again. What he finds is told in the pages of this fine novel.

Sep 1, 2019, 6:07am

>238 PaulCranswick: Sounds intriguing.

Good luck with the book cases. A lot of work, but isn't it nice to have all those books pass through your hands again, a bit like getting to know them again? (How many of those are unread?)

Sep 1, 2019, 12:57pm

Happy Birthday, Paul xx

Sep 1, 2019, 1:18pm

A birthday, felicitations Paul. I hope the year ahead is better than the one behind.

Sep 1, 2019, 2:59pm

Hi PAUL - not sure where the time change comes into mighty tiny Token Creek,

so am wishing you an Early Happy HAPPY BIRTHDAY -

with Best Wishes for a Great Celebration surrounded by Friends, Family, and Fun Foods!!!!!

Sep 1, 2019, 3:29pm

Happy Birthday!

Sep 1, 2019, 4:10pm

Is it your birthday, Paul? Did you ask for a book, I wonder? All the best to you and yours.

Sep 1, 2019, 4:28pm

Happy birthday mate from both of us, hope you had a good day and got some quality reading done or some new books. Have a good week ahead mate and we both send our love dear friend.

Sep 1, 2019, 4:29pm

Happy Birthday!

Edited: Sep 1, 2019, 9:06pm

>239 EllaTim: It is a good novel, Ella.

I have sorted all the books into neat piles already and hopefully I can get some of the book cases this week.

>240 DianaNL: Thank you, Diana. Lovely to see you

Sep 1, 2019, 9:09pm

>241 Caroline_McElwee: They were exactly my thoughts, Caroline! An annus horribilis in every sense has come to an end.

>242 m.belljackson: Thanks Marianne. I called my twin brother to inform him I has passed into 53 eight hours before he had.

Sep 1, 2019, 9:09pm

>243 banjo123: Thanks Rhonda xx

>244 weird_O: Thank you Bill. Busted! I sent a list of 5 books to the UK to be ordered for me!

Sep 1, 2019, 9:11pm

>245 johnsimpson: Thanks John and love to Karen. Friends have gotten me through a really hard year.

>246 quondame: Thank you Susan. I have really enjoyed your company this year. x

Sep 1, 2019, 9:53pm

Happy birthday, Paul! 8 hours?! your poor mother! that's a hell of a long time of labour, between births!!

Sep 1, 2019, 10:11pm

Happy birthday!

Sep 1, 2019, 11:07pm

>251 jessibud2: Hahahaha You know of course that I am referring to the time difference between Malaysia and the UK! Peter was actually delivered less than 30 minutes before I was.

>252 amanda4242: Thank you dear Amanda.

Sep 2, 2019, 1:13am

Good morning (at my place), Paul.
Happy Birthday to you - and your brother.
I wish you a beautiful day, a beautiful week and a beautiful life.

Edited: Sep 2, 2019, 1:21am

Happy birthday Paul!

>234 mahsdad: >235 PaulCranswick: I hope, for your sake, that you moved all of Hani's stuff intact. I am reminded that my husband takes advantage of any absence of mine to 'tidy up' my stuff. It doesn't make for a comfortable few weeks after my return.

Sep 2, 2019, 2:33am

>254 SirThomas: Thank you, Thomas. That is a troika that I would happily settle for!

>255 humouress: Well I'm sure that I got most of it!

Sep 2, 2019, 4:49am

Happy birthday, Paul, may the year ahead be much better.

I would trust Frank completely moving my stuff. Actually when we moved to Lelystad nearly 14 years ago, I was already in Lelystad with the dogs and he did (together with the movers) all the packing in Rotterdam. I had no complaints at all.

Sep 2, 2019, 5:41am

Happy Birthday, Paul.

Sep 2, 2019, 6:59am

Happy Birthday, Paul. Miss seeing you around, mate!

Sep 2, 2019, 7:29am

>253 PaulCranswick: - Well PHEW! I hadn't realized there was such a time difference between the 2 countries. Happy for your mother, then! ;-) Hope it's a great day!

Edited: Sep 2, 2019, 8:05am

Happy birthday, Paul. I hope some time soon you can enjoy just one day of rest! It'll do you good.
I would totally trust Bill in packing our things for a's me, I'm the one he'd have to worry about, I'd throw out everything :0D

Sep 2, 2019, 8:06am

Happy birthday, Paul, and hope you have a great day!

Sep 2, 2019, 9:37am

Hi Paul and happy belated birthday to you!

>238 PaulCranswick: Your description intrigued me, but the Amazon blurb scared me off.

Sep 2, 2019, 11:08am

>257 FAMeulstee: Frank certainly would put me to shame then, Anita!

>258 sirfurboy: Thanks Sir F!

Sep 2, 2019, 11:10am

>259 msf59: I'm still here, Mark, just cannot be as active as I would have liked these past few weeks. I will soon be back to normal.

>260 jessibud2: Hahaha, yes indeed, Shelley.

Sep 2, 2019, 11:16am

>261 Carmenere: Thanks Lynda. Sounds like I should have had you along for the move! Erni threw nothing away and I was left to reduce the debris that she brought from one home to another.

>262 bell7: Thank you Mary. I did have a nice day mostly. Public holiday here but I worked for some of the day and Belle joined me for lunch which was nice. Still waiting for the other two to return home with a mere 45 minutes of my birthday remaining.

Sep 2, 2019, 11:17am

>263 karenmarie: Still timely, Karen, and not in any way belated! I'm also thanking you in good time!

I haven't seen the Amazon blurb but I would still recommend the book.

Sep 2, 2019, 11:37am

Happy Birthday, Paul! Sneaking in before time's up. :-)

Sep 2, 2019, 12:56pm

Happy Birthday Paul!

Sep 2, 2019, 3:14pm

Hope you've had a lovely day, Paul.

Sep 2, 2019, 8:36pm

>268 jnwelch: Thanks Joe. In LT time it is still my birthday!

>269 mahsdad: Thank you Jeff

Sep 2, 2019, 8:38pm

>270 charl08: It was good, Charlotte. I waited and waited and slept and waited for my two eldest to return from Johor Bahru and they made it with 15 minutes to spare.
I had not eaten waiting for them and most things were closed so we ended up with McDonalds immediately breaking my no fast-food pledge!

Sep 2, 2019, 9:08pm

>238 PaulCranswick: Forty-one years later, I suspect I'd fail to pick most of them out in a line-up.

Best of all New Years, personal and religious.

Sep 2, 2019, 9:26pm

>273 richardderus: Thanks RD. I have to say that I do have a good memory for names and faces but those faces have to resemble the ones I last encountered and it is even worse with the ladies as they often carry a different name!

Edited: Sep 4, 2019, 8:30pm

Book #45

To Sir, With Love by E.R. Braithwaite

Date Published : 1959 (45 of 120)
Origin of Author : Guyana (32 of 80)
Pages : 185 (12,261 in total)

Braithwaite's skin colour didn't matter a fig when he was in the RAF and ready to die for Great Britain. Demobilised though it is a different story as, despite a degree from Cambridge, he fails to obtain the engineering job through a creeping, unstated but always obvious racism.

In despair he meets an old man on a park bench who advises him to try his hand as a teacher. What follows is his first school year in the rough East End of London where he educates the children but they also educate him.

This is a very satisfying read. A quick one but one that will stay with me a long time.

Edited: Sep 4, 2019, 8:44pm

Now reading:

Good Morning, Midnight by Jean Rhys

I have always had trouble with Rhy's short novels. This is a 1001 Book First Ed.
Counts for 1939 in my 120 years of reading challenge
Counts for Dominica in my around the world in 80 Books challenge.

Sep 2, 2019, 10:13pm

I don't really know where I got my love of reading but one of my early influences was the Doctor Who books which started in the early 1970s under the TARGET imprint. Writer of by far the most of the Doctor Who novelisations was Terrance Dicks and he unfortunately passed away yesterday.

Thank you Mr. Dicks for being a vital cog in the wheel of my reading apprenticeship.

Sep 2, 2019, 10:35pm

Well, happy birthday!

Sep 2, 2019, 10:44pm

Thanks, Jim.

Sep 2, 2019, 11:33pm

>271 PaulCranswick: And for another week or three, right?

>275 PaulCranswick: Hmm, maybe.

Sep 3, 2019, 12:49am

Sep 3, 2019, 4:48am

>280 humouress: I will keep my birthday going as long as possible, Nina.

Apparently it was a film starring Sidney Poitier but I cant remember having seen it.

Sep 3, 2019, 4:49am

>281 Berly: Thanks Kimmers! That looks like a challenge to eat.

Sep 3, 2019, 7:34am

>282 PaulCranswick: - The film was excellent, by the way. I never read the book but I think this may have been one of Poitier's first films and I remember loving it (and him!)

Sep 3, 2019, 8:33am

I might as well join in the birthday (or belated birthday) greetings!

Sep 3, 2019, 10:16am

>283 PaulCranswick: You have to blow the candles out first. ; )

Sep 3, 2019, 7:25pm

Hi Paul! A very happy belated birthday to you, dear Sir! I hope this year shapes up to be your best year yet in every possible way. Life can be such a b*tch sometimes, and so hard to just keep things calm. Hang in there, and know you have friends around the world supporting you and rooting for you!

Sep 3, 2019, 9:03pm

>284 jessibud2: And it had sweet Suzy Kendall.

>285 thornton37814: And more than welcome, Lori. xx

Sep 3, 2019, 9:05pm

>286 Berly: Oh I still have plenty of puff, Kimmers!

>287 LauraBrook: What a lovely birthday surprise! I could hardly wish for anything nicer than have you visit again, Laura. xx

Sep 3, 2019, 11:23pm

I wished you happy on facebook, but it seems only right to do it again here no matter how late. Glad you had a decent enough day and looking forward to hearing that your personal new year is shaping up to be a fine one!

Sep 4, 2019, 12:27am

A belated Happy Birthday, Paul. I was off the internet over the weekend (thanks, AT&T) but got back on this afternoon. The film of To Sir With Love was quite good. Poitier and Tracy Ulman.

Edited: Sep 4, 2019, 4:22am

>290 LizzieD: I don't look at facebook much nowadays, Peggy so I am glad that you came to see me here too! Thank you. xx

>291 ronincats: The film cannot have had Tracy Ulman, Roni but I think that there was a later TV reprising of the story with Poitier again in the lead role. I will go and check.
No, Roni, Tracy Ulman didn't appear in either but Judy Geeson and Lulu appeared in both and Suzy Kendall was his love interest in the original film.

Sep 4, 2019, 9:54am

Happy belated birthday!

Sep 4, 2019, 5:17pm

I hope you had a Happy Bookish Birthday, Paul? Did you get the 5 books on your list?

Sep 4, 2019, 8:29pm

>293 ChelleBearss: Thank you, Chelle.

>294 Donna828: Thanks, Donna. I managed to order a few books by Book Depository and sent them to my mum's house to at least give the appearance that she is buying them for me!

Edited: Sep 10, 2019, 2:13am

Book #46

Good Morning, Midnight by Jean Rhys

Date Published : 1939 (46 of 120)
Origin of Author : Dominica (33 of 80)
Pages : 159 (12,420 in total)

Deceptively difficult are the novels of Jean Rhys. Slim volumes whose words meander flutteringly and sadly across the pages with sparse cogency.

There is a stream of consciousness style at play here as our character, a lady of a certain age, is cast adrift in Paris, looking for and avoiding company, drinking herself into stupors that fails all her other attempts to pull herself together.

A sad little piece both the novel and its protagonist with a rivetingly sad final few scenes, this is nevertheless a book that punches above its weight. I will always prefer storytelling novels but I can admire the skill entailed in entering the mind of a desperately sad individual.

Sep 5, 2019, 7:14pm

The film version of To Sir, With Love was a great movie. Lulu played an East End Tough and she did a fine job. Unlike you, I was unaware that there was a book and the film was an adaptation of it, until I was in library school in the 1980's.

Sep 5, 2019, 9:17pm

>297 benitastrnad: I was going to comment on the movie "To Sir, With Love," too! Excellent movie. Sidney Poitier was the teacher, right? and he was superb. I think I need to find that book!

Karen O.

Sep 5, 2019, 10:04pm

>297 benitastrnad: I have already found and watched it, Benita and enjoyed it quite a bit. The book is better.

>298 klobrien2: Poitier is exactly as I pictured Braithwaite to be honest, Karen.

You will enjoy the book.

Sep 6, 2019, 1:23am

Happy belated birthday, Paul. I remember the first "To Sir, With Love" movie well. It was filmed in the east end school that my father attended.

Sep 6, 2019, 3:06am

>300 Familyhistorian: That is an interesting anecdote, Meg.

Sep 6, 2019, 2:14pm

>299 PaulCranswick: On the subject of movie adaptations of books, if you're lucky enough to have me as your Santa at this year's 75'r book swap, you'll be getting something special. The last 2 years I've sent a bookish pin with my gifts and this year's is a fun one on just this topic. :)

Sep 6, 2019, 8:15pm

>302 mahsdad: Now you have me hoping we get twinned buddy!

Sep 7, 2019, 4:28am

Hi Paul, happy weekend! I think I did see trailers for the film 'To Sir, With Love' but I don't think I actually saw the film.

Sep 8, 2019, 11:19am

>304 humouress: Happy weekend, neighbour

Edited: Sep 8, 2019, 11:37am

>304 humouress: Thank you. There isn't much of it left, though. :0)

Sep 8, 2019, 3:16pm

>296 PaulCranswick: After Leaving Mr. Mackenzie was my favorite novel in high school. I can't bear to read any of her other novels, for fear my memory of the book, and what it meant to me, will be wrecked. One of those right book at the right/needed time dealios.

Happy belated birthday!

Sep 8, 2019, 4:51pm

Hi Paul, hope you had a really good weekend mate and have a good week ahead, sending love and hugs from both of us dear friend.

Sep 8, 2019, 8:48pm

>306 humouress: Indeedy, and now it is gone!

>307 libraryperilous: After Leaving Mr. MacKenzie is a novel I haven't read but the plotline is extremely similar to Good Morning, Midnight.

Thanks Diana. xx

Sep 8, 2019, 8:55pm

>308 johnsimpson: Thank you, John.

England reaped what was sown in the fourth test. No heroics from Stokes this time to plaster over a poor performance with the bat again. I have to say that Smith is an infuriating batsman to watch - never looks comfortable and plays such awkward and unorthodox strokes - but keeps compiling runs and never seems to get out. England have lived to rue some of the missed chances putting him down before he was set fair a time or two.

I really do think that a shake up is required.

Only Burns, Root, Stokes, Archer, Broad and Leach would keep their places in my team for the Oval.

Denly's 2 fifties are not enough to save him especially when you see how much he struggled for the runs he did get. Buttler's resistance on the last day doesn't mask less than 100 runs in 8 innings. Bairstow has been poor and needs a rest. Craig Overton batted ok but does not bowl quickly enough to cause problems on the faster Oval track.


If Northeast plays as if he belongs I would make him captain as he has the best cricket brain in the Country game at present.

Sep 8, 2019, 10:02pm

Wishing you a great start to your work week!

Sep 8, 2019, 10:17pm

Thanks Anita. Officially it is a public holiday here but I am in the office for the morning. It is the Agong's birthday. The Agong is the Chief Sultan or King so to speak. The 9 sultanates effectively take it in turns to have the honour and at the moment it lies with the state of Pahang (Central and Eastern Malaysia).

Sep 9, 2019, 3:14pm

>310 PaulCranswick:, Can't disagree with that line up mate but nothing has changed

Sep 9, 2019, 8:38pm

>313 johnsimpson: I think it is a disgrace John when four players Denly, Roy, Bairstow and Buttler cannot average even 30 over four tests and are kept in the side anyway. Very disrespectful to such as Azad, Sibley, Northeast, Hildreth and Pope. The fixture list needs to change - only 13 first class games in the CC this summer and none at all for how many weeks. How on earth are players going to be ready to play?

Edited: Sep 14, 2019, 6:06am

Book #47

Gold Mine by Wilbur Smith

Date Published : 1970 (47 of 120)
Origin of Author : Zambia (34 of 80)
Pages : 294 (12,714 in total)

It is easy to see why Wilbur Smith has sold so many books. Fast paced and well told this adventure is about greed in the South African gold mining industry. With a couple of interesting sub-plots and a delectable love interest this is probably a creature of its time but engaging nonetheless.

Good fun

Sep 11, 2019, 12:11am

Hello there friend!! Alas, my trip ends tomorrow. But on the plus side, all my visitors are gone and trips are over so maybe now I can find time to play on LT again. I have missed it. And you. : )

Sep 11, 2019, 4:25pm

>315 PaulCranswick: ...and he's still at it! I am *gobsmacked* that, at 86, he's still compos mentis and in harness.

Sounds like he's no fun as a person, though.

Sep 12, 2019, 3:24pm

Hi Paul, another disastrous batting performance masked late on by Buttler's hitting and Leach sticking with him. I am beginning to think that Bairstow's run is going to end, he is being touted as a luxury too much, the batting is weak and he is making errors behind the stumps, we have the likes of Foakes and Pope to go behind the sticks and they can bat and then as you said we should be looking at Sibley, Northeast and finally I think they need to look at Hildreth, he could be our Chris Rogers or Mike Hussey.

Hope you are having a good week mate, sending love and hugs from both of us.

Edited: Sep 12, 2019, 10:07pm

>317 richardderus:
I heard an interview of his a few years ago and was totally amazed that he is still writing and that people are still buying his books. I read one years ago and said that was enough. Even though I am not a fan, I have to admire that he is still writing and still manages to produce something that others want to buy.

Wilber Smith and Jeffrey Archer - peas in a pod.

Sep 12, 2019, 11:51pm

>317 richardderus: Yes he is still churning books out isn't he, RD?

Apparently he is very much a man's man whatever the hell that is supposed to be.

>318 johnsimpson: John, I am beginning to despair of the ECB. The cricket season fixture list is set up to thwart the test team. Basically we are now running April through to September. I would refocus it to the extent that we go back to the old system of 18 teams playing each other once. So 17 first class games. I would have the knock out competition in exactly the same way that the old Gillette Cup proceeded with mid week knockouts and I would introduce the 20/20 competition along the format of the old Sunday League with an end of season play-off system and finale.

The first class fixtures which would be 19 including each side playing at least one University Game and against tourists or versus MCC or Lions teams. With a season of approximately 24 weeks that is more than enough to schedule one week for 20/20 play-offs and one weekend off for the Lords knock out final.

As to the test team selection, I think that it sets a very bad precedent that players get picked irrespective of what they do when selected. Buttler showed some application and form yesterday but really he is so lucky to survive.

Sibley, Azad, Hildreth, Pope, Northeast, Dent, Hain are all unlucky to be overlooked when at least three of the batsmen should have been replaced at some stage in the proceedings and probably 4.

The Oval is not the pitch to use BOTH Curran and Woakes (although Curran does add some swing and local knowledge) and really we should have been looking at someone bowling at more pace (Tongue or Jamie Overton) to exploit the pitch.

I would have liked to have seen Ben Brown rewarded for his excellence this season as Jimmy Bairstow (who I have always liked has simply not managed to put the World Cup behind him).

In all fairness to them however it is really unfair to any incoming batsmen to expect them to prosper having played no first-class cricket.

Sep 12, 2019, 11:52pm

>319 benitastrnad: Whilst his books are certainly not literature, Benita, he is able to tell a story. I prefer him to Jeffrey Archer but then again Ambler, Bagley, MacLean and Innes are streets ahead.

Edited: Sep 13, 2019, 9:31pm

MacLean - now there is an action writer. Almost as good as Deon Meyer.
This topic was continued by Paul C Back to Basics in 2019 Part 9.