Paul C Back to Basics in 2019 Part 8
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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.
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
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
January 2019 - The Natural World https://www.librarything.com/topic/296824#6632759
February 2019 - Pat Barker and Peter F. Hamilton
March 2019 - The Murderous Scots https://www.librarything.com/topic/296824#6637458
April 2019 - Rosamond Lehmann and John Boyne
May 2019 - The Edwardians https://www.librarything.com/topic/299559#6656870
June 2019 - Nicola Barker and Wilkie Collins
July 2019 - YA Fantasy Series https://www.librarything.com/topic/299559#6660927
August 2019 - Anita Brookner and Jim Crace
September 2019 - Biography and Memoir https://www.librarything.com/topic/299559#6674204
October 2019 - Rose Tremain and Louis de Bernieres
November 2019 -The Jewish Contribution https://www.librarything.com/topic/301575#6688724
December 2019 - Zadie Smith and Michael Morpurgo
WILDCARD - Back to the Beginning - LIVELY and ISHIGURO
Here is a link to the thread:
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
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
TO DO BETTER THAN LAST MONTH!
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.
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.
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.
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!)
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.
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
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.
Like Peggy - aaaaaah!
Best wishes that the new week will see me in a new home.
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.
And me too! Today I tackle the nonfiction books and the giant pile of empty boxes to go with them.
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.
>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.
I hope the move runs smoothly now.
>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.
1953 was free and so was Barbados
1963 was free and so was Albania
And to my daughter and her dad!
And to my sister!
And brother and his son - both born on July 25th!
Wow - that could inspire a whole new generation of virtuoso skateboarders!
1900 Love and Mr. Lewisham
1901 My Brilliant Career - AUSTRALIA
1903 The Nebuly Coat
1904 Dreamers - NORWAY
1905 The Lake
1906 The Jungle
1907 Father and Son
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
1917 Life of a Useless Man
1918 Eminent Victorians
1919 Demian - SWITZERLAND
1920 Storm of Steel
1926 The Castle - AUSTRIA
1927 Tarka the Otter
1928 The Tower
1929 The Seven Madmen - ARGENTINA
1932 Soil - SOUTH KOREA
1934 Burmese Days
1939 Good Morning Midnight - DOMINICA
1940 Casanova in Bolzano - HUNGARY
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
1949 Kingdom of this World - CUBA
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
1958 Gabriela, Clove and Cinnamon - BRAZIL
1959 To Sir With Love - GUYANA
1960 God's Bits of Wood - SENEGAL
1962 Silent Spring
1963 General of the Dead Army - ALBANIA
1965 Where the Jackals Howl - ISRAEL
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
1973 Red Shift
1974 If Beale Street Could Talk
1977 Aunt Julia and the Scriptwriter - PERU
1979 Sweet and Sour Milk - SOMALIA
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
1989 The General in His Labyrinth - COLOMBIA
1990 Lucy - ANTIGUA
1991 Cambridge - ST KITTS AND NEVIS
1993 The Land of Green Plums - ROMANIA
1996 Death and the Penguin - UKRAINE
1997 The Railway - UZBEKISTAN
2000 Memories of a Pure Spring - VIETNAM
2002 Johnny Mad Dog - CONGO
2003 Wolves of the Crescent Moon - SAUDI ARABIA
2004 Maps for Lost Lovers - PAKISTAN
2007 The Bastard of Istanbul - TURKEY
2008 The Imposter - SOUTH AFRICA
2010 Celestial Bodies - OMAN
2013 Frankenstein in Baghdad - IRAQ
2014 Kintu - UGANDA
2015 Woman of the Ashes - MOZAMBIQUE
2016 Behold the Dreamers - CAMEROON
2019 We, The Survivors - MALAYSIA
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.
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!
>1 PaulCranswick: What a handsome rascal!! Did you melt Hanni's heart about this time?
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!
>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.
>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.
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...
Good luck with the getting into shape. It's never easy.
May your health grow.
May your assets rise.
May your move be a success.
May you be fortunate.
May the books be with you.
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!
>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.
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.
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!
>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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
>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.
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.
>107 benitastrnad: Sounds like an interesting read, Benita.
Good luck to you, Paul!
Good luck, moving ahead. I am loving both of my current reads- Lanny & Recursion.
>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.
(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.
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.
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.
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.
I'll be happy to learn that the mundane things are taken care of and you can spend time getting your books just right.
Good luck with your weight loss. For me it's something like a life long challenge.
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.
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.
Good luck with loosing weight, we had good results with low carb diet, and walking every day.
I hope the celebrations don't throw out your dietary plans. But *sigh* I would completely understand if they did.
>149 foggidawn: I am doing quite well with it at the moment, though, Foggy!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 ....
Happy Sunday, Paul.
Well, as long as you keep your couple of fantasy books, sign me up as a patron.
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.
>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!
Have fun sorting and alphabetizing and filling them.
Happy shelvings, Paul!
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.
I have the Conde on my shelf, Paul. Say the word and I shall read along with you. I need a nudge.
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.
>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.
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.
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.
Otherwise, what is remembered is a fairly steamy Victorian collection, The Pearl.
Looking forward to seeing photos of the new home/library too.
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*
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.
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?
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.
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.
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.
It is Malaysian Independence Day here.
Happy Independence Day!
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.
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:
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.
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?)
so am wishing you an Early Happy HAPPY BIRTHDAY -
with Best Wishes for a Great Celebration surrounded by Friends, Family, and Fun Foods!!!!!
Happy Birthday to you - and your brother.
I wish you a beautiful day, a beautiful week and a beautiful life.
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.
I would totally trust Bill in packing our things for a move......it's me, I'm the one he'd have to worry about, I'd throw out everything :0D
>238 PaulCranswick: Your description intrigued me, but the Amazon blurb scared me off.
>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.
I haven't seen the Amazon blurb but I would still recommend the book.
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!
Best of all New Years, personal and religious.
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.
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.
Thank you Mr. Dicks for being a vital cog in the wheel of my reading apprenticeship.
Apparently it was a film starring Sidney Poitier but I cant remember having seen it.
>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.
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.
Happy belated birthday!
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.
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.
Sounds like he's no fun as a person, though.
Hope you are having a good week mate, sending love and hugs from both of us.
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.
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.
A GREAT DOZEN BRITISH ACTION THRILLERS
1. Hammond Innes - Wreckers Must Breathe
2. Alistair MacLean - Where Eagles Dare
3. Eric Ambler - The Mask of Dimitrios
4. Desmond Bagley - Running Blind
5. Helen MacInnes - Assignment in Brittany
6. Jack Higgins - The Eagle has Landed
7. Ken Follett - The Eye of the Needle
8. Robert Harris - Fatherland
9. Erskine Childers - The Riddle of the Sands
10. John Buchan - The Thirty-Nine Steps
11. C.J. Sansom - Dominion
12. Gerald Seymour - Harry's Game