Paul C Back to Basics in 2019 Part 10

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Talk75 Books Challenge for 2019

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Paul C Back to Basics in 2019 Part 10

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Oct 27, 2019, 1:36am

I really need those book cases!
Books do furnish a room. Discuss.

Edited: Dec 11, 2019, 1:45am

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: Dec 11, 2019, 1:46am

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: Dec 11, 2019, 1:50am

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
48. Kintu by Jennifer Nansubuga Makumbi
49. Eminent Victorians by Lytton Strachey
50. The Lake by George Moore
51. The Seven Madmen by Roberto Arlt
52. Demian by Hermann Hesse


53. Their Finest Hour by Winston Churchill
54. Pedro Paramo by Juan Rulfo
55. Below the Crying Mountain by Criselda D Yabes
56. My Brilliant Career by Miles Franklin
57. North of Boston by Robert Frost
58. Moccasin Trail by Eloise Jarvis McGraw
59. Into the War by Italo Calvino
60. The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupery
61. Serious Concerns by Wendy Cope
62. The Lost Honour of Katharina Blum by Heinrich Boll
63. The Wonderful Wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum
64. Growth of the Soil by Knut Hamsun


65. We, the Survivors by Tash Aw


66. The Perseverance by Raymond Antrobus

Edited: Dec 11, 2019, 2:13am


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: Dec 11, 2019, 2:14am

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: Dec 12, 2019, 1:58am


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

To date : 64/120

1900 - The Wonderful Wizard of Oz
1901 - My Brilliant Career
1902 - The Four Feathers
1905 - The Lake
1908 - The House of Arden
1914 - North of Boston
1916 - Petersburg
1917 - Growth of the Soil
1918 - Eminent Victorians
1919 - Demian
1922 - Just William
1923 - Zeno's Conscience
1924 - Naomi
1925 - In the American Grain
1929 - The Seven Madmen
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
1943 - The Little Prince
1944 - Story of a Secret State
1947 - Exercises in Style
1948 - Half a Lifelong Romance
1949 - Their Finest Hour
1950 - Pippi Longstocking
1952 - Moccasin Trail
1954 - Into the War
1955 - Pedro Parama
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
1974 - The Lost Honour of Katharina Blum
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
1992 - Serious Concerns
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
2010 - Below the Crying Mountain
2011 - Norte
2012 - The Bamboo Stalk
2014 - Kintu
2017 - Sing, Unburied, Sing
2018 - The Silence of the Girls
2019 - We, the Survivors

Edited: Dec 12, 2019, 2:00am


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
35. Uganda Jennifer Nansubuga Makumbi
36. Argentina Roberto Arlt
37. Switzerland Hermann Hesse
38. Mexico Juan Rulfo
39. Philippines Criselda Yabes
40. Australia Miles Franklin
41. Cuba Italo Calvino
42. Norway Knut Hamsun
43. Malaysia Tash Aw

Edited: Nov 2, 2019, 1:47am


The Growth of the Soil by Knut Hamsun

Edited: Oct 27, 2019, 1:38am

First in! Happy New Thread, Paul, and hope you get those bookcases SOONEST!

Oct 27, 2019, 1:38am


Edited: Oct 27, 2019, 1:43am

>10 ronincats: Wow that is quick Roni! I hope to be back next year to my prize giving (book) for being first up to my thread but since I am still facing pecuniary challenges I will limit myself to a big smile and a thank you. xx

Oct 27, 2019, 1:51am

>1 PaulCranswick: Especially if it is the room between my ears. Books bring joy. That is all.

Happy new thread!

Edited: Oct 27, 2019, 1:54am

>13 quondame: Nicely said Susan!

Edited: Oct 27, 2019, 2:09am

Paul, if you're going to have pictures of books you *must* compose the shot so that all titles are readable. :)

Happy new thread!

Oct 27, 2019, 2:11am

>15 amanda4242: ALL TITLES?! Wow that would be some camera, Amanda. xx

Edited: Oct 27, 2019, 2:13am

>16 PaulCranswick: Well, you can't just tease us with piles of anonymous books! I can only identify one book in the entire picture!

Oct 27, 2019, 2:29am

>17 amanda4242: You certainly have a point, Amanda. I know the books and I can only definitely identify two of them:

Serve the People by Yan Lianke


Hawke by Ted Bell

Oct 27, 2019, 3:16am

There was a furniture designer who exhibited at one of the interior design shows in Toronto. He made a wooden rocking chair where the rocking part ( back of chair, rockers at bottom) held bookcases. I haven't seen it recently but that is what you need to hold some of your books!

Oct 27, 2019, 3:27am

How lovely that you have some books, Paul!
Like Amanda, I'm frustrated that I can't make out any titles nor do I recognize any by the covers that I can see.
Happy sorting and stacking when you get around to shelves!

Oct 28, 2019, 7:11am

Happy new thread, Paul.
I hope you get your book cases soon.
But I think it's better to have books without book cases than book cases without books.

Oct 28, 2019, 7:21am

>19 torontoc: I have plenty of plans to house the books, Cyrel, and plenty of plans on how to maintain some provision for expansion. We have 3,400 ft2 of floor space and ample walls to make use of.

>20 LizzieD: I will have a look at some of the other photos and see what I can do to enlighten all on some of the book identities.

Oct 28, 2019, 7:22am

>21 SirThomas: What a very clever and good point Thomas. I would much sooner have the books than the cases!

Oct 28, 2019, 7:42am

Happy new thread Paul. Look forward to hearing more about the bookcases.

Oct 28, 2019, 10:29am

Happy New Thread, Paul. That is quite a topper, that I think we could all identify with. Good luck with the bookshelves. I just finished and enjoyed Ghost Wall. If this is not on your radar, keep it in mind.

Edited: Oct 28, 2019, 11:51am

>24 charl08: I hope to have an update on shelves or bookcases very soon, Charlotte.

>25 msf59: I have Ghost Wall on the shelves (well in a pile on the floor), Mark and will certainly read it soon.

Oct 28, 2019, 12:00pm

>1 PaulCranswick: *happy sigh* How lovely!

Happy new week, Paul.

Oct 28, 2019, 12:23pm

Happy New Thread, Paul.

I may have missed it - how did you like reading The Wonderful Wizard of Oz as a grown-up? I was a big fan as a young 'un, and read all the L. Frank Baum Oz books and a bunch that came after his.

Oct 28, 2019, 5:46pm

Happy new thread, Paul! It's nice to see your book numbers tick up in September and October. I know it's not just about the numbers, of course, but I hope that means that life has calmed down for you some and you're able to take time for enjoyment.

Oct 28, 2019, 6:35pm

Happy new thread, Paul!

>1 PaulCranswick: I love the look, I agree it would improve with bookcases.
It reminds me of our move in 1997 to a smaller house. The movers put all the bookcases and the boxes with books in the small room that would be our library. It was so full, we had to get boxes with books out first, to make a small pathway to make room to be able to put the books on the shelves.

Oct 28, 2019, 7:46pm

And that's only part of it eh Paul ;-)

Enjoy putting on the shelves when you get them. I have shelves, boxes and teetering towers!

Oct 28, 2019, 8:47pm

>27 richardderus: Thank you RD.

>28 jnwelch: I liked it fine, Joe. It was a little darker than the film as I remember and certainly more graphic but an enjoyable read for sure.

Oct 28, 2019, 8:49pm

>29 bell7: I can read better in the new home, Mary. Having said that I have stalled a little since my great reading weekend.

>30 FAMeulstee: I enjoy having the books around me and I am surprised that I have not been given much grief by SWMBO for having them where they are at the moment.

Oct 28, 2019, 8:50pm

>31 Caroline_McElwee: Certainly doesn't do the scale of it justice that is for sure, Caroline.

Oct 28, 2019, 9:12pm

Happy new thread mate, once the shelves are up and books placed on them it will look more like a home, that is what I keep telling Karen, lol.

Hope Hani had a good flight home and that you are starting to settle down in your new home, sending love and hugs from both of us dear friend.

Oct 28, 2019, 10:20pm

Happy new thread, Paul. Yes, I guess you do need some bookcases.

Oct 28, 2019, 10:44pm

>35 johnsimpson: Thanks John. Work in progress for us both then!

>36 BLBera: Thank you, Beth. Have one coming today and hopefully 2 sets of three bookcases within two weeks.

Oct 28, 2019, 1:45am

>1 PaulCranswick: Well, bookcases are swell, but in the meantime, I would have just put a comfy chair in there, and made do!

Oct 28, 2019, 1:54am

Happy new thread, Paul!

>1 PaulCranswick: You are definitely a bibliomaniac.

All my favorite rooms in the house have books.

Oct 28, 2019, 3:47am

>38 laytonwoman3rd: That is being arranged, Linda!

>39 karenmarie: I suppose thanks are in order, Karen. xx I actually make sure that there are books in every room in the house.

Oct 29, 2019, 9:42am

Happy new thread, Paul! Love the piles of books! So comforting...

Oct 29, 2019, 6:32pm

Happy new thread, Paul! I'm also appreciating your piles of books, though I can see why Hani might have been taken aback! ;-)

Edited: Nov 5, 2019, 10:00pm

Happy new thread, Paul. Looks like you have your work cut out for you in your book room. Had to laugh when you said that Hani thought there would be more.

Oct 29, 2019, 7:50pm

Your shelfless books remind me of my place. However, my books are in boxes. It is the boxes that are stacked on the floor.

Oct 29, 2019, 10:15pm

>41 scaifea: SWMBO has turned her attention to the book piles already. She mentioned boxing them up alphabetically until the shelves or cases arrive but my books must breathe!

>42 foggidawn: After 23 years of marriage she does not have the excuse of being taken by surprise, Foggi!

Oct 29, 2019, 10:17pm

>43 Familyhistorian: Of course, Meg, with the photo you don't get the full scan of the room and the fact that two book-cases and a reading stand already occupy 1,500 books.

>44 benitastrnad: I don't care for boxes for books, Benita, so I won't show your message to my boss.

Oct 29, 2019, 12:03am

Happy new thread!

Oct 29, 2019, 12:32am

>47 drneutron: Thanks Jim.

Oct 29, 2019, 1:55am

>45 PaulCranswick: "my books must breathe! " Indeed. I don't like keeping books in boxes either. They're pretty much useless that way.

Oct 30, 2019, 3:24pm

You could always do the temporary bookshelf system consisting of cinder blocks and wood planks. Not as nice as floor to ceiling book shelves but cheap and kind of rustic looking.

Oct 30, 2019, 9:53pm

>49 laytonwoman3rd: Yes I am really not a fan of boxing up books either unless it is for transporting to a new home.

>50 Oberon: Cinder blocks and wood planks may be a last resort, Erik.

Oct 31, 2019, 4:57am

I love your topper!

Oct 31, 2019, 11:53am

Happy new thread!

Even though your books need proper shelving, I find the picture calming :)

Oct 31, 2019, 2:46pm

Oct 31, 2019, 10:55pm

Happy new thread, Paul. That's quite the topper..... It resembles one of my rooms somewhat (and that room *has* bookcases...)

Oct 31, 2019, 10:57pm

>52 banjo123: Thanks Rhonda. xx

>53 figsfromthistle: Thank you Anita. I don't think my better half quite used the word calming!

Oct 31, 2019, 10:58pm

>54 weird_O: Wowzer, Bill. That is Halloween!

>55 jessibud2: Well Shelley,, there are two bookcases and a bookstand in that room too!

Edited: Oct 31, 2019, 2:15am

Well - Malaysia was on the news tonight. Something about the U.S. catching one of your big time government embezzlers. This one to the tune of 600 million (not sure if it was dollars or what?).

Oct 31, 2019, 2:49am

>58 benitastrnad: Ah the infamous Jo Lho! Seems he has cut some sort of deal with the DOJ whereby they have effectively sequestered all his ill gotten gains. I have a feeling that this may cause some issues as I would have thought that most of the stolen money by of right belongs to Malaysia.

He will undoubtedly not set foot in the USA again.

Oct 31, 2019, 3:17am

Lovely topper. Congratulations on having space for the books to breathe. I hope you don't have to wait too long for the furniture to house them. Are books like plants in terms of improving the indoor air quality with their breathing? Inquiring minds and all that.

The movers delivered all of my stuff from storage today, so my living room is now many piles of books in boxes and 3 large empty bookcases. The bedroom has empty bookcases too. I have missed all my friends, even though I brought several boxes of books with me to my temporary housing. Can't wait until Saturday when I'll have time to decant my lovelies...

Nov 1, 2019, 6:39am

>60 justchris: Lovely to hear from you Chris. I too look forward to off-days in order to improve the living conditions for my books!

Nov 1, 2019, 6:10pm

Paul - last night's Netflix of a recent British Baking Show featured the making of Malaysian Sarawak cake.

Many beautiful creations!

Nov 2, 2019, 1:47pm

Wishing you a wonderful weekend, Paul, with Hani back on your side.

Nov 2, 2019, 3:40pm

>62 m.belljackson: It is locally known as Kek Lapis and is notoriously difficult to make

Nov 2, 2019, 3:43pm

>63 FAMeulstee: Thank you, Anita. I plan the day tomorrow with my books.

Nov 2, 2019, 4:56pm

>64 PaulCranswick: That cake looks a bit like what we know as "spekkoek", originating from the Dutch Indies. The Indonesian name is "lapis legit".

Nov 2, 2019, 5:18pm

Happy new thread, Paul. The ideal house has books in every room.

>64 PaulCranswick: Wow, beautiful.

Nov 2, 2019, 6:00pm

>64 PaulCranswick: Wow! I can't even imagine how that layer cake is made. Beautiful.

Edited: Nov 3, 2019, 12:25pm

Lovely cake Paul.

I saw this poetry pamphlet in Halifax today and wondered if it had reached your collection yet.

Zaffar Kunial

Nov 2, 2019, 7:28pm

Paul, I love the mystery of the book titles in all your stacks. It will be so much fun organizing them and putting them on shelves. I wish we lived in the same country. I would be a happy volunteer!

So glad that Hani made it back home after the passport dilemma. I can see why she might be overwhelmed by your books. hahaha

Edited: Nov 2, 2019, 9:36pm

>64 PaulCranswick: >68 jnwelch:

The contestants in Season 7, Episode 7, of The British Baking Show
struggled mightily with the triangle shapes of Kek Lapis, yet came up with some beautifully creative solutions.

Nov 2, 2019, 11:22pm

>66 FAMeulstee: The island of Borneo on which Sarawak lies is partly occupied by Indonesia (Kalimantan) and, of course, the Malay and the Indon are effectively of the same racial and cultural origin. I know that similar cakes are made across the area. Lapis incidentally means "layer" and there are so many different versions of the cake.

>67 EllaTim: Indeed, Ella. Always lovely to see you here.

Nov 2, 2019, 11:27pm

>68 jnwelch: I haven't tried it and Hani doesn't make it but one of her friends actually prepares and sells her own version of the cake.

>69 charl08: No, Charlotte, I don't have that one. I don't own any poetry pamphlets actually and I am struggling to think why. Maybe because they are so difficult to come by here but also because I do like full blown collections which normally indicates that the poet has reached a certain level of maturity. The pamphlets are an early sign of promise though. I will look out for the writer.

Nov 2, 2019, 11:30pm

>70 Donna828: I can think of very few that I would sooner help me with the books, Donna! To share that experience with a "fellow traveller" is always rewarding! :D

>71 m.belljackson: I will try to find that episode, Marianne, as I have to admit that the preparation of much of the local cuisine is an interminably tedious affair. I have a great cook in my household but she doesn't really bake that often.

Edited: Nov 30, 2019, 3:21am

Book #64

Growth of the Soil by Knut Hamsun

Date Published : 1917 (64 of 120)
Origin of Author : Norway (42 of 80)
Pages : 435 (16,495 in total)
1001 Books First Edition :

I must be honest in stating that I hated Hamsun's supposed masterpiece Hunger, but I believe in second chances.

It paid off in spades as I thoroughly enjoyed this story of farming lives in the untilled lands of Northern Europe. Nothing much happened other than the passing of the seasons and the turning of the soil and the toiling of its custodians, but it was strangely gripping nonetheless.

I suppose the casualness of sex as a woman cements her shelter in the wilderness and the "morality" of infanticide if your child is born with a hare-lip to a mother with a similar affliction would afford some action, however, it was the place and the land itself which was the main character in this book.

Glad to recommend this one.

Nov 2, 2019, 1:57am


A Good Man in Africa by William Boyd
The Soil by Yi Kwang-Su
Comet in Moominland by Tove Jansson

Edited: Nov 3, 2019, 10:38am

I have a close to impossible 56 books to read in two months to meet my two main reading challenges :

Close to impossible but not impossible if I add to my reading marathons in the coming weeks.

The 28 books planned this month:

A Good Man in Africa by William Boyd (1981) Ghana
The Soil by Yi Kwang-Su (1932) Korea
Comet in Moominland by Tove Jansson (1946) Finland
The Nebuly Coat by J Meade Falkner (1903)
Father and Son by Edmund Gosse (1907)
The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett (1911)
The Song of the Lark by Willa Cather (1915)
The Castle by Franz Kafka (1926) Austria
The Tower by WB Yeats (1927)
Tarka the Otter by Henry Williamson (1928)
Scoop by Evelyn Waugh (1938)
A Bell for Adano by John Hersey (1944)
The Last Temptation of Christ by Nikos Kazantzakis (1951) Greece
Gabriela, Clove and Cinnamon by Jorge Amado (1958) Brazil
The Time of the Hero by Mario Vargas Llosa (1962) Peru
General of the Dead Army by Ismail Kadare (1963) Albania
A Grain of Wheat by Ngugi Wa Thiong'o (1967) Kenya
In a Free State by VS Naipaul (1971) Trinidad
Sweet and Sour Milk by Nuruddin Farah (1979) Somalia
Raised from the Ground by Jose Saramago (1980) Portugal
The General in his Labyrinth by Gabriel Garcia Marquez (1989) Colombia
The Land of the Green Plums by Herta Muller (1993) Romania
Death and the Penguin by Andrey Kurkov (1996) Ukraine
Foreign Bodies by Hwee Hwee Tan (1997) Singapore
Maps for Lost Lovers by Nadeem Aslam (2004) Pakistan
The Bastard of Istanbul by Elif Safak (2007) Turkey
Frankenstein in Baghdad by Ahmad Saadawi (2013) Iraq
We, the Survivors by Tash Aw (2019) Malaysia

Only 6 1001 Books and 6 Nobel prize winners and a Pulitzer.
Piece of cake really!!

Nov 3, 2019, 10:37am

Good luck, Paul and enjoy reading!

Edited: Nov 3, 2019, 10:39am

>78 SirThomas: Thanks Thomas. Nothing like setting oneself easy targets.

Nov 3, 2019, 12:27pm

>73 PaulCranswick: I had a quick search and he's published a collection with Faber. No idea if those are about cricket as well though!

Nov 3, 2019, 2:26pm

>80 charl08: John Simpson would hunt his books down if they were all about cricket, Charlotte.

I had a look and he was one of 12 featured poets in the Faber New Poets 2015/16 series. I will try to add these to my collection very soon.

The series is:

Faber New Poets 1 by Fiona Benson
Faber New Poets 2 by Toby Martinez de las Rivas
Faber New Poets 3 by Heather Phillipson
Faber New Poets 4 by Jack Underwood
Faber New Poets 5 by Joe Dunthorne
Faber New Poets 6 by Annie Katchinska
Faber New Poets 7 by Sam Riviere
Faber New Poets 8 by Tom Warner
Faber New Poets 9 by Rachael Allen
Faber New Poets 10 by Will Burns
Faber New Poets 11 by Zaffar Kunial
Faber New Poets 12 by Declan Ryan

I have definitely got a collection by Jack Underwood on the shelves and Joe Dunthorne is well known for a few very well received novels including the 1001 Book First Edition Submarine.

Nov 3, 2019, 5:28pm

56 books in two months. The mind reels, one gasps for air, clutching the nearest bookshelf for support...

Nov 3, 2019, 9:36pm

>77 PaulCranswick: Wow! That's a GOAL that is.

Nov 3, 2019, 9:46pm

Nov 3, 2019, 9:49pm

Moomintrolls! That's all I'll say.

Nov 3, 2019, 10:46pm

>82 bohemima: Yes Gail. I don't want to say it to myself either other than very quickly.

>83 richardderus: RD, if I am going to fail, I shall do so spectacularly.

Nov 3, 2019, 10:48pm

>84 quondame: Thanks Susan. I could do with borrowing some of your reading prowess for a couple of months.

>85 jnwelch: Ha! I have been thinking that in 2020 I will get back to reading (and writing) much more poetry. I have an offer to publish some of my scribbles here in Malaysia which I may or may not pursue but I will definitely look at publication in some of the UK periodicals next year.

Nov 3, 2019, 2:50am

A real dearth of science fiction or fantasy in your planned reads, Paul!

Nov 4, 2019, 6:08am

>88 ronincats: Fair criticism, Roni, I suppose. I saw that there is a new series of "classic" (meaning I think long-forgotten) British sci-fi books on sale in Kino. I may add a couple of these these week and they could make an appearance in December.

Edited: Nov 4, 2019, 1:09pm

Hi, Paul. Good luck with the reading marathons. Plenty of good and promising choices on that list. Are you still planning on leaving Malaysia, or is that up in the air?

Nov 4, 2019, 1:19pm

>90 msf59: No, Mark. The eventual aim remains to return to the UK when I get everything in order here. It may take me a while longer to achieve that.

Nov 4, 2019, 5:18pm

Paul, I see you are like me: You don't have a problem with books; you have a problem without them!

Nov 4, 2019, 10:37pm

>92 brewbooks: John, the thought of a world without books certainly makes me shudder.

Nov 4, 2019, 10:38pm

So did you downsize or about the same size?

I'm sorry to hear that you haven't been able to move back to England yet. I know you have been really looking forward to it.

I watched a few videos on Kek Lapis/Sarawak cake. This one is my favorite. It isn't one of the fancier designs but it does show the step by step process of making one.

Nov 4, 2019, 10:42pm

>94 Morphidae: It is a little bigger actually, Morphy. There is plenty of bare wall space for shelves and/or bookcases but insufficient funds presently to do what I want with the place.
We do want to go back to the UK in the near future and light hopefully at the end of the tunnel in that direction.
I am hungry just looking at the videos. xx

Nov 4, 2019, 1:40am

Paul - the intriguing part about the Kek Lapis Sarawak baking on the show was that the cake layers were grilled.

Nov 4, 2019, 2:18am

>96 m.belljackson: That is interesting, Marianne.

Nov 4, 2019, 2:24am

Good luck with the reading goal for the rest of the year Paul. The mind boggles...

Nov 4, 2019, 2:41am

>98 brenzi: Yes it is busy boggling, Bonnie!

Nov 5, 2019, 10:09pm

Good luck reading your 28 for this month, Paul!

Nov 5, 2019, 10:18pm

>100 Familyhistorian: Thanks Meg. I am going to need it!

Nov 8, 2019, 8:15pm

I hope you are quiet because you are reading, Paul!

Nov 8, 2019, 11:51pm

>102 FAMeulstee: Hard at work more like, Anita. The two projects I am working on are at critical points. I am working on a Supplementary Agreement with the Employer's Contract Administrators on PNB 118 which would introduce a Sectional Completion to enable them to use the office are earlier as well as re-setting the final completion date back a further 11 months to November 2021. On my Lot 91 Project we have handed over the first section and are negotiating how much we should be compensated for delays caused to our work.

I am amazingly still managing to read as well!!

Nov 8, 2019, 11:59pm

For those who may be interested this is the YouTube version of progress on the PNB118 for which I am the Contract Manager.

Nov 8, 2019, 12:40am

>104 PaulCranswick: Wow, that is some project!

Nov 8, 2019, 12:58am

Nov 8, 2019, 1:25am

>105 quondame: The other project is a tough one too, Susan!

>106 thornton37814: I do have work satisfaction, Lori. Slightly excuses my reduced reading numbers.

This is the other one. Difficult logistically because it is right in the centre of town and connects physically (and extends) the existing KL Convention centre which itself is attached to the KLCC Twin Towers.

The video is interesting as the motor cyclist at 3.45 is setting off next to a white condominium tower. That is where we live! I spend three days of the working week in the basement of the project and the other three days in a custom built temporary office next to the PNB118 project.

Nov 8, 2019, 2:17am

Very impressive.

Nov 8, 2019, 4:25am

>107 PaulCranswick: Whoa yes! That too!

Nov 8, 2019, 4:49am

>108 mahsdad: It is a good feeling, Jeff, to think that I have had a small hand in shaping the skyline of this vibrant city.

>109 quondame: In many ways the Sapura building is a more challenging project - linking up with existing buildings, keeping the convention centre open, the logistics of location in the centre of a busy city.

Nov 9, 2019, 7:23am

Your building project are inspiring as are your reading plans for the rest of the year. My reading has stalled quite a bit and I unhappily send some great books back to the library unread.

I suppose you heard about the massive fire here in Auckland at the Sky City convention centre currently under construction. What a nightmare.

Nov 9, 2019, 1:53pm

>111 avatiakh: I had a colleague in Auckland at the beginning of the week discussing with our structural expert witness on our insurance claim arbitration on the PNB118 project. I was trying to think of a reason to insist that I should be the one making the trip but overseeing three projects for Samsung makes it difficult for me to be away for four days. It would have been nice to have been able to meet up with you Kerry. Maybe next time.

Hope that the damage caused by the fire can be put right soon.

Nov 9, 2019, 2:54pm

>104 PaulCranswick: That is an amazing building, Paul, thanks for sharing the video. I’m just curious – what is the cladding made of?

>107 PaulCranswick: Nice to see your condo tower.

Nov 9, 2019, 2:58pm

>113 karenmarie: Aluminium and glass, Karen, makes up the facade of the building.

Nov 9, 2019, 4:33pm

...that' That's an amazing structure to be involved with, and quite a calling card.

Nov 9, 2019, 11:01pm

>103 PaulCranswick: Those are two big projects, Paul. I watched the video's (and remember pictures you showed), impressive.
I hope all negotiations work out in your favor.

Glad you are still reading :-)

Nov 9, 2019, 12:30am

>115 richardderus: If finished today it would be the second tallest in the world following Burj al-Khalifa in Dubai which some of my colleagues also worked on.
It is an intense project, RD, that requires patience as well as a bit of street-smart in negotiating with the American Contract Administrators appointed by the Government Linked owners.

>116 FAMeulstee: We also have a third project about to start which Samsung want me to help advise them on. I told them I wanted three salaries but they seemed to think I was joking!

Nov 9, 2019, 4:38am

Hi Paul! Happy weekend and good luck with all your projects.

Nov 9, 2019, 4:48am

Thanks Rhonda. Just had brunch at the KLCC Twins after buying a couple of books:

Inside the Wave by Helen Dunmore (her last poetry collection and winner of the Costa Book Award)
Wild Harbour by Ian MacPherson in the great British Science Fiction series. Written in 1936 it tells the tale of a pacifist couple who retreat into the Northern Highlands of Scotland as the war approaches them.

Nov 9, 2019, 4:51am

Inside the Wave will be included in my year of reading at least one poetry collections a week next year.
Wild Harbour was bought because Roni complains that I too often overlook Sci-fi and the synopsis as well as the cover piqued my interest.

Nov 10, 2019, 10:39pm

Hey Paul,

Hope you had a good weekend!

I'm hijacking your thread to get the word out....

Its 75'er Christmas Swap Time! :

Nov 10, 2019, 10:55pm

>121 mahsdad: I'm definitely in, Jeff. I love this time of year.

I do have a change of address of course which I shall PM to you.

Nov 12, 2019, 4:04am

Just dropping in to say hi.

Nov 13, 2019, 2:43pm

>123 amanda4242: I was thinking about you this morning and especially that I had not "seen" you around for a week or so. Lovely to see you here Amanda - hopefully kick starting my thread for a time!

Nov 13, 2019, 2:46pm

As an avid cycling fan and sort of ex-rider, I was very saddened to read today of the passing of the great but hugely unfortunate Raymond Poulidor. Known as "Pou-Pou" in France he also carried the tagline of "The Eternal Second".

Podium many times in the Tour but never atop it riding as he did through the eras of both Anquetil and Merckx. Probably the finest rider to have never won Le Grand Boucle.

Nov 14, 2019, 3:47pm

Amazing videos, Paul. I showed MrMorphy the video on PNB118 and he said, "That's pretty cool," which is the equivalent of you or I saying it's awesome.

That's after he said, "Isn't that the guy who hides the books he buys from his wife?" LOL.

Nov 14, 2019, 10:50pm

>126 Morphidae: Hahaha, Morphy. I'm not doing a great job of hiding them anymore.

Nov 15, 2019, 7:47am

Attempting to de-lurk. It won't stop raining here and all I want to do is hide under a duvet. Your reading list is as crazy wonderful as always - good luck :)

Nov 15, 2019, 1:11am

Lovely to see my favourite Channel Islander de-lurk!

I am really struggling with my reading this month and despite my best efforts. I have started so many books but got nowhere near finishing any as yet.

I hope this weekend see me break my monthly duck!

Nov 15, 2019, 1:37am

I found a nice little bookshop and cafe near the 118 site yesterday with a very eclectic mix of old and new books. Bought:

Monkey Grip by Helen Garner which I have been looking for for a goodly while.

Nov 16, 2019, 10:38am

Sounds like a nice little bookshop.

Nov 16, 2019, 1:19pm

Hi Paul! Sorry you're struggling with your reading. I've got 4 going right now - a lot for me - but they are all short story or short story equivalents and I've now pulled a novel of suspense off my shelves to see if that makes me less antsy.

Nov 16, 2019, 2:05pm

Happy weekend, Paul.

Nov 16, 2019, 1:18am

>131 avatiakh: It was indeed. Quite a collection of work by Derrida and Sartre. Plenty of poetry too.

>132 karenmarie: I'm determined to break my duck today, Karen. Could spend it sitting on the toilet a lot as I have awoken with an extremely dicky tummy.

Nov 16, 2019, 1:18am

>133 Ameise1: Lovely to see you Barbara.

Nov 17, 2019, 3:52pm

Your building projects are very impressive Paul and amazingly tall. I'm surprised I didn't get dizzy watching the vids.

I'm in a reading slump as well with several barely started books lying around.

Hope you are feeling better today.

Nov 17, 2019, 12:45am

>136 RBeffa: Nice to see you, Ron. I'm feeling a bit ropey actually as I have spent most of the last 24 hours in the Little Boy's Room.

Nov 17, 2019, 2:44am

Sorry you've got some kind of crud, Paul! I hope you're better soon.

Nov 17, 2019, 2:59am

>138 karenmarie: Thoroughly dosed with medication, Karen. Let's see if it keeps me out of the bathroom.

Nov 18, 2019, 10:46am

Get well soon, Paul, and a have wonderful week.

Nov 18, 2019, 1:52pm

Feel better soon, Paul.

Nov 18, 2019, 7:50pm

Hope you feel better soon mate.

Nov 18, 2019, 7:54pm

>137 PaulCranswick: Sorry to hear you are out of sorts Paul, I hope you recover soon.

Nov 18, 2019, 11:29pm

I hope your health returns to normal ASAP, Paul.

Nov 18, 2019, 3:55am

>1 PaulCranswick: Yes! You need those bookshelves! And I honestly love the look of those stacks. :-)

I'm so sorry you're under the weather, Paul. Being too sick to enjoy reading is, well, just not fun at all. Being just sick enough to stay home from work while still being able to read, at least for a few hours in the day -- that is a sweet spot that is hard to nail.

Nov 18, 2019, 3:59am

>140 SirThomas: Thanks Thomas. I am a little bit better today. Purging seems to have stopped but I still feel a little delicate.

>141 BLBera: Thank you Beth. Still waiting to finish my first book in

Nov 18, 2019, 3:59am

Another wish that you may already be feeling better, Paul. Take care of yourself!

Nov 18, 2019, 4:00am

>142 johnsimpson: Thanks John. I have drunk a good number of strong pots of tea. Both for my stomach and in homage to your thread!

>143 Caroline_McElwee: I'll be fighting fit by tomorrow, Caroline. xx

Nov 18, 2019, 4:01am

>144 bohemima: I am almost ok now Gail - lovely to have you visit though. xx

>145 EBT1002: Hahaha I do wish I could have nailed that sweet spot, Ellen!

Nov 18, 2019, 4:02am

>147 LizzieD: I went into work for an hour yesterday, Peggy, but three trips to the loo in that hour convinced me to give it up. Today I am reasonably ok.

Nov 19, 2019, 1:29pm

Good to hear you’re feeling improved, Paul. That sounds like a nasty bug. I’m glad John successfully prescribed tea. :-)

Nov 19, 2019, 2:11pm

>151 jnwelch: John prescribes tea for most everything, Joe!

Nov 19, 2019, 2:13pm

Well I have laboured past 3,000 posts this year. The slowest my threads have been since 2011. Still it is in keeping with the difficulties in my personal life and the busyness of my work.

Thanks to all who have visited here and posted here in 2019. You are all great friends and have kept me going at times when I haven't had much energy to carry on.

Nov 19, 2019, 2:21pm

I hope reasonable okay improves soon into back to normal, Paul.
We all have our highs and lows in books and posts, I am just thankful this group exists!

Nov 19, 2019, 2:37pm

>154 FAMeulstee: I am pretty much back to normal, Anita. I am thankful for all of you.

Nov 19, 2019, 6:19pm

>153 PaulCranswick: You're a cornerstone of the group, Paul, and we're all invested in your, and the whole family's, well-being. Smoother happier days ahead for you all!

Nov 19, 2019, 6:47pm

>156 richardderus: Pot, kettle, black RD. Hani and I will make it to the Eastern Seaboard at some stage in the near future - I'll bring you the complete works of Chuckles and she'll have cooked you something.

Nov 19, 2019, 6:51pm

>157 PaulCranswick: Heh...don't invest in hardcovers, then, they'll hurt a lot more as I chuck them at you.

As long as Hani doesn't mind, she and Jackson can have a pandan onde-onde-off! *drool* That pandan flavor is addictive. I can see why it's "the vanilla of East Asian cooking."

Nov 19, 2019, 8:15pm

So glad you are feeling better, Paul. That crud is nasty!

Nov 19, 2019, 11:22pm

>158 richardderus: Hahaha paperbacks are more portable and less likely to bruise.

A cook-off would be splendid fun especially with the two of us as the beneficiaries.

>159 ronincats: I am now officially fighting fit, Roni.

Nov 20, 2019, 12:53am

Added another poetry collection yesterday.

A Coney Island of the Mind by Lawrence Ferlinghetti

Nov 21, 2019, 6:22pm

I hope you are feeling back to normal, Paul, and that you get to the finish line on a few of the books that you are reading. My reading sped up this year because of library holds coming in bunches. Keep that in mind for future reading slumps once you live close to a library again.

Nov 21, 2019, 11:14pm

>162 Familyhistorian: Back to a place with functioning libraries would be great, Meg.

Edited: Nov 21, 2019, 4:11am

Laura had put up a link to lit-hub's selection of the best books of the last decade.

I have to be honest that my reading is a little less than up to date but this is my take on my best 20 novels of the last decade. In no particular order. Thoughts anyone

Bring Up the Bodies by Hilary Mantel
Among Others by Jo Walton
The North Water by Ian McGuire
The Dictator's Last Night by Yasmina Khadra
The Round House by Louise Erdrich
Look Who's Back by Timur Vermes
And the Mountains Echoed by Khaled Hosseini
Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi
Lyrics Alley by Leila Aboulela
Silence of the Girls by Pat Barker
Harvest by Jim Crace
The Garden of Evening Mists by Tan Twan Eng
The Bone Clocks by David Mitchell
The Yellow Birds by Kevin Powers
Our Souls at Night by Kent Haruf
The Song of Achilles by Margaret Miller
Norte by Edmundo Paz Soldan
The Dig by Cynan Jones
The Orenda by Joseph Boyden
Sing, Unburied, Sing by Jesmyn Ward

Nov 21, 2019, 4:12am


Nov 22, 2019, 8:41am

This is an interesting link to The Guardian's selection of the 100 Best Books of the 21st Century so far.

Two of my selections above make the cut.
I have so far read 19 of the Guardian list.

Edited: Nov 22, 2019, 10:05pm

>164 PaulCranswick: OOooh, a book list! I love the lists where LTers pick their favorites. I trust your judgment so much, Paul, that I will check out a few of the ones I missed. I've read 13 of your 20 faves. Not too shabby.

Good news on the health front. Being sick is no fun at all especially when it interferes with reading.

ETA: I've read 36 from The Guardian list. Their No. 2 is my No. 1: Gilead. I've already read it 3 times!!!

Nov 22, 2019, 11:16pm

>167 Donna828: Wow Donna, 13 of my list and 36 of the Guardian one - impressive.

Nov 22, 2019, 1:57am

>166 PaulCranswick: I've read 17 or 18. I couldn't remember on one if I'd read it or if it was still on my to be read list. I think I did read it though so it's probably 18 read.

Nov 22, 2019, 2:00am

>169 thornton37814: We have similar numbers on that list then, Lori.

Nov 22, 2019, 2:10am

>166 PaulCranswick: I've only read 10 including Atonement which I would burn if I got my hands on it. The others, mostly F&SF are good.

Edited: Nov 22, 2019, 2:15am

I always regret not passing by more frequently. But the wit and wisdom are here for me and everyone else when I do drift in. That topper makes me feel quite at home, since it resembles my stacks in my basement retreat.

Your work is beyond my comprehension. Ohhhh, carry on, man.

Thanks for the Guardian link. I've actually read some of those, and have quite a few others in my stacks. Regrettably, I've read only 4 of your personal top twenty.

Edited: Nov 22, 2019, 3:13am

>166 PaulCranswick: Hmm...I'm suspicious of any "best of" list that includes the highly overrated Never Let Me Go. I prefer the recent BBC list of 100 Novels That Shaped Our World.

Happy weekend!

Nov 23, 2019, 11:39am

>165 PaulCranswick: I also loved North Water & Homegoing. I still have not read And the Mountains Echoed, but your placement of it, on here, is encouraging. I loved his first 2 books.

Happy Weekend, Paul. Always good to see you posting around.

Nov 23, 2019, 12:13pm

>171 quondame: I've read a few by McEwan, Susan, but not yet that one. Find him a bit hit and miss.

>172 weird_O: You always were a smart and charming fellow Bill!

Work is oftentimes beyond my own comprehension so we can certainly agree on that.

Four of my list isn't too shabby as it is based only on my own strange reading choices!

Nov 23, 2019, 12:21pm

>173 amanda4242: I of course love all lists, Amanda. I have read 43 of your list and a couple of incomplete series (Earthsea and Discworld). Not bad, I think.

Note your comment on Ishiguro's book but your list did include something by Jilly Cooper!!

>174 msf59: Mark, I don't think that The North Water got nearly the credit it deserved. The Booker winner that year was, I think, The Sellout which I truly hated, but has made so many lists.

Edited: Nov 23, 2019, 6:40pm

Hi Paul!

>166 PaulCranswick: Ooh, another list. I’ve read 15 of the books on the list.

>173 amanda4242: Novels only list – read 23, have another 17 on my shelves, and have abandoned 7.

Nov 23, 2019, 2:34pm

>177 karenmarie: I've seen so many great lists in the last few days, Karen, that I am a little dizzy!

Nov 23, 2019, 3:37pm

Love, love, love lists.

20 on the first list; not surprising as I am an inveterate Back List Reader

36 on the second list. A so-so record, I think.

I did dislike Never Let Me Go for being too predictable, but I loved Atonement.

Gilead, Cloud Atlas, The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay, The Country Girls, and Wolf Hall would be my top reads, I think. All were memorable in the best sort of way.

Nov 23, 2019, 3:51pm

>179 bohemima: Shared joys are so much a part of this group, Gail!

Nov 23, 2019, 4:13pm

>165 PaulCranswick:, >166 PaulCranswick: Here's LitHub's twenty-plus list:

Editor-in-chief Jonny Diamond even mentions my six-stars-of-five dote Margaret the First!

Nov 23, 2019, 4:29pm

>181 richardderus: I have most of the books listed, RD, but I have only read 4 of 'em.

I saw the lists over on Laura's thread and have saved it on the old Apple.

Nov 23, 2019, 4:50pm

Couple of additions today:

Ducks, Newburyport by Lucy Ellman.

A few sentences spread over 998 pages. Can't wait.

Life of the Party by Olivia Gatwood

Looks like quite a visceral collection of poems.

Edited: Nov 23, 2019, 5:02pm

Nov 23, 2019, 4:55pm

Stopping by to say hi and was happy to see your best of novels list. So many good ones I still need to read.

Nov 23, 2019, 5:03pm

>185 alphaorder: Lovely to see you in these parts, Nancy. I'm sure some of our number have a much wider choice for a favourites list.

Nov 23, 2019, 5:20pm

Hi, Paul. I enjoyed your Best Novels of the Decade list, too, and loved a lot of those. If I had to pick a favorite, it probably would be The Garden of Evening Mists. It cast a strong spell on me, and I've pondered that ending many times since. I've been wondering when he's going to come out with a new one; The Gift of Rain was awfully good in its own right.

Nov 23, 2019, 5:24pm

>187 jnwelch: I think I preferred The Gift of Rain, Joe but it was from 2007.
I was posting at your pad as you were visiting mine!

Edited: Nov 23, 2019, 5:53pm

>176 PaulCranswick: I've never heard of Jilly Cooper so I can't comment on the quality of her writing. The BBC list isn't a best of list; a work can be influential without being, er, highbrow.

Nov 23, 2019, 6:49pm

>189 amanda4242: Quite right and I am not a complete snob, Amanda! John Simpson does like Jilly Cooper but her stuff is apparently verging on chick-lit.

Nov 23, 2019, 6:49pm

>164 PaulCranswick: Only read 3 on your list and am so happy to see you put The Dig which I also rate very high.

Nov 23, 2019, 7:12pm

>191 avatiakh: A very underrated little novel that one, Kerry.

Nov 23, 2019, 7:21pm

>189 amanda4242: A book can be great without being highbrow, but then I think being highbrow is a good way to sink a story and show ambitions which may not be realized.

Nov 23, 2019, 7:26pm

>193 quondame: Agreed Susan. You and Amanda are right, but some skill in writing as well as plotting is still required to carry the whole thing off without too much cringing.

Nov 24, 2019, 3:25am

>164 PaulCranswick: and >165 PaulCranswick: and >166 PaulCranswick: Fun lists! I have not read all of those you list in >164 PaulCranswick: but I agree with a number of those that I have read: The North Water, Bring Up the Bodies, The Round House, Garden of Evening Mists, The Orenda, Sing, Unburied, Sing. All excellent novels.

Nov 24, 2019, 3:27am

>176 PaulCranswick: I wholly agree that The North Water didn't get the attention it deserved. I appreciated The Sellout but The North Water has turned out to be much more memorable.

Nov 25, 2019, 5:30am

Fun lists! I am no good at figuring out my own best-of's, as I always overlook something important, but one book I didn't see was A Narrow Road to the Deep North . I was just thinking about that book, which I read in 2015.

Nov 25, 2019, 7:19am

Hi Paul! I’ve been going slow on LT and haven’t been by for a while. I’ve skipped straight here so I must have missed a lot of your news. Hope everything is well with you.

>166 PaulCranswick: I was surprised to see as many as three books on the list that I’ve read and a couple more are on the shelves (somewhere).

Nov 25, 2019, 9:15am

>195 EBT1002: I would pick The Orenda, The Yellow Birds, The North Water, The Dictator's Last Night, Silence of the Girls and Song of Achilles as my shortlist for Novel of the Decade, Ellen. Interestingly two of the books are based somewhat on the Iliad.

>196 EBT1002: I love historical literary fiction, Ellen, which tells a story so I am pre-disposed towards The North Water as it ticks all my boxes. I also quite liked His Bloody Project which was shortlisted in the same year but didn't feel it held together as a story in quite the same way.
I really didn't enjoy The Sellout as I found it a bit of a pastiche. The satire was so heavy it should have been applied with a spatula!

Nov 25, 2019, 9:16am

>197 banjo123: I considered it too, Rhonda, and I did like it but not quite in my top twenty. If I had chosen another 5 it may have been there!

>198 humouress: Bet you read the Jo Walton one right, Nina?

Nov 25, 2019, 11:03am

Hi Paul! Lots of lists, very nice. I'm in a bit of a reading slump as well, so they might help me find my next read. I did pick up a book I started earlier for the British books challenge: The Seabird's Cry . Still wonderful.

Wishing you good reading, and good health!

Nov 25, 2019, 1:20pm

>201 EllaTim: That does look an interesting book, Ella.

Always lovely to get a message from you.

Nov 25, 2019, 1:47pm

>197 banjo123: Rhonda set me thinking as to whether I had overlooked some of my other favourites when preparing my rather off the cuff list @ >164 PaulCranswick:

And I had!

I should have included:

River of Smoke by Amitav Ghosh - the excellent follow up to the even better Sea of Poppies


Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman which I thought was a throwback to the great storytelling tradition.

I would probably omit Lyrics Alley and The Bone Clocks

Nov 25, 2019, 2:25pm

Hi Paul!

>203 PaulCranswick: I loved Sea of Poppies, started River of Smoke but abandoned it. It’s still waiting hopefully on my shelves.

Nov 25, 2019, 5:49pm

Paul, my friend, I am so sorry you've had an annus horribilis. My hope for you in the new year, 2020 (!?!) is that it is filled with positive resolution, peace, prosperity, joy, and love.

And I'm glad that your poor tummy is behaving itself.

On to responses....



Lists galore! I LOVE lists. Lists... my precious...



>165 PaulCranswick: Yay! I recognize and have read books on your list! I'll start off by saying I did not like the Walton and I'll never read another Mantel after getting THREE-QUARTERS of the way into Wolf Hall and couldn't make myself read anymore. I know a lot of you love it. It's just not to my taste.

There were a couple I read and they were fine but I adore David Mitchell. I need to get caught up on his bibliography. Black Swan Green is next on my list.

There are a couple I plan on reading including Sing, Unburied, Sing but I'm going to need to read it when I'm in the proper mood as I'm sure it's going to devastate me.

>166 PaulCranswick: I've read 20 of the Guardian's Best of the 21st. I've DNFed 4 and have 15 on Mount TBR - 1 of which I own.

>173 amanda4242: I did best on this one. I've read 36 of BBC's Novels That Shaped Our World. I've DNFed 4 and have 16 on Mount TBR.

>181 richardderus: I've read 3 books from the main article (including Dissenting Opinions) from ListHub's 20 Best Novels. I've DNFed 1 and have 15 on Mount TBR - 2 of which I own.

In the Honorable Mentions, I've read 7, DNFed 1,* and have 15 on Mount TBR - 2 of which I own.

* Gone Girl and Wolf Hall sure are popular on these lists.

I used to finish every book I picked up. But nowadays I'm much more adventurous in my reading - I used to read only SF/F and romances - therefore I'm more likely to come across books I don't care for. Notice I didn't say BAD books, though there have been some, mostly they haven't done anything for me.

I have camels sunbathing in my backyard, eating dill pickles with maple syrup.

No, not really. I'm simply surprised you got this far in my wall of text and thought I'd put something silly. :D

Nov 25, 2019, 5:58pm

>203 PaulCranswick: Ah, Sir Neil. (To be.) His entertainment footprint grows and grows, no?

>205 Morphidae: Fried, one hopes. (The dill pickles, not the camels; though a camel with the munchies is presenting a super-humorous visual in my weird little cranial movie theater.)

Nov 25, 2019, 7:10pm

I haven't read many on the lists but there are quite a few where I have read other books by the authors. Kind of surprising as I am not usually one to get to the latest hailed books although this year I happened upon the Gillers and was already reading the winner and had a couple of the other books on my library hold list.

Nov 25, 2019, 7:40pm

>205 Morphidae: Fried dill pickles, yes, dill pickles with BBQ chips, yes, maple syrup? not so sure...I used to make mustard and pickle sandwiches when I was too impatient to grill a burger. >206 richardderus: That pickle eating camel is infectious.

Nov 25, 2019, 8:46pm

>190 PaulCranswick:, Jilly Cooper, more Bonk-Buster than Chick-Lit, that is why I enjoy them and she was brought up in Ilkley for a number of years.

Nov 25, 2019, 9:21pm

I thought I'd read some of Ghosh's novels but not according to my LT records. Must try harder...

Nov 25, 2019, 10:56pm

>204 karenmarie: I agree that it wasn't as good as Sea of Poppies, Karen, but still excellent IMO.

>205 Morphidae: I read through the whole of your post without ever getting the hump, Morphy.

Nov 25, 2019, 11:01pm

>206 richardderus: I wasn't blown away by the "epic" American Gods, but I thought that one was just wonderfully entertaining. i'll have to consult our domestic culinary expert on fried dill pickles as I have not yet had the pleasure.

>207 Familyhistorian: We are similar in that respect, Meg. The shops here are a little slower stocking the latest releases for obvious reasons although they are getting better and my tendency to overplan my reading doesn't accommodate those late releases so readily putting me further behind.

Nov 25, 2019, 11:05pm

>208 quondame: Mustard and pickle sandwiches, Susan, tempts the palate in a not overly comfortable manner!

>209 johnsimpson: Hitler was born in Austria, John, but it hasn't affected my view on him qualitatively one way or the other! Bonk buster? - the mind boggles - horsey types shagging was my understanding.

Nov 25, 2019, 11:05pm

>210 charl08: I have another three of his novels on the shelves (well, floor) and must get to them soon.

Nov 25, 2019, 11:35pm

>203 PaulCranswick: I wholeheartedly agree with you, on River of Smoke & Ocean at the End of the Lane, Paul. I need to find an excuse to get back the Mr. Ghosh. I stalled out after that one, for some unfathomable reason. Are you current with him?

Nov 25, 2019, 12:55am

>215 msf59: No, Mark. Strangely I haven't read the final instalment of the series yet and need to soon.

Nov 25, 2019, 1:21am

>208 quondame: I just tried to think of a disgusting combination for laughs. No one eats such a thing.

Do they?!

Nov 25, 2019, 2:00am

I've read 31 on the Guardian list Paul and I think it's a good list for the most part. I agree with you about The North Water which I loved and The Sellout which I hated. I read Ghosh's whole Ibis Trilogy but agree that Sea of Poppies was the best. I was fortunate enough to meet Amitav Ghosh at a small gathering at the university here. He was pretty wonderful but for some reason I haven't been drawn to any of his other books.

Nov 25, 2019, 2:53am

>217 Morphidae: The wife's friend was telling us the other day that she had eaten camel in Saudi Arabia recently and didn't mind it. In all fairness I am sure it would be more palatable with pickles - fried or not.

>218 brenzi: I don't quite understand my hesitation to read the final instalment, Bonnie, to be quite honest. I have a couple of other novels of his too. I did read his book about Egypt - In an Antique Land many many moons ago, but Sea of Poppies is by far the best thing he has done that I have read.

Nov 25, 2019, 3:48am

>217 Morphidae: Maple dip for fried pickles is entirely possible in some fusion universe - Arkansas/Vermont fusion might seem more likely than Korean/Mexican (which is great), but I don't know.

Nov 26, 2019, 6:47am

>220 quondame: I would try it anyways, Susan - not sure about the camel though!

Nov 26, 2019, 11:10am

Another couple of poetry collections quietly being assembled:

Seamus Heaney - Seeing Things - One of only 3 of his collections I did not possess - I want to complete the collection in early course.

Terrance Hayes - American Sonnets for my Past and Future Assassin

Heard great things about Hayes so I thought I would check him out for myself.

Nov 26, 2019, 11:12am

Nov 26, 2019, 4:11pm

>223 PaulCranswick: Seeing Things has a wonderful cover image.

Happy Wednesday.

Nov 26, 2019, 9:41pm

>224 richardderus: It is a great cover and the book is slightly oversized too which heightens the good impression. Thanks RD.

Edited: Nov 27, 2019, 10:39pm

>215 msf59: & 216
I have read the first two books in the Ibis Trilogy and I have the third one waiting for me on my shelves. I thought that River of Smoke was even better than Sea of Poppies. The second book is all about the First Opium War and takes place in what becomes Hong Kong. I have Flood of Fire on my shelves but just haven’t gotten to it - yet.

Ghosh has just published (in September 2019) a sort of sequel to the trilogy. It’s hero is named Deen Datta. The title for that book is Gun Island and I have already put it on my TBR Wishlist.

In my opinion Ghosh is very underrated. He has a wide variety of work to his credit and deserves to have a bigger reading audience. I think he is a better writer than Rushdie. I have never managed to make it through and entire Rushdie novel, but I have read two Ghosh novels and have Hungry Tide and Glass Palace on my TBR list. Ghosh also has a nonfiction work in climate change that is based on a series of lectures he gave in Germany on that subject.

This is an author that people should be reading. He is good.

Nov 26, 2019, 4:13am

Any readers of this thread going to be in the Munich, Germany area between December 21 and 24? I will be and would be happy to plan a meetup.

Nov 27, 2019, 7:36am

>226 benitastrnad: I wholeheartedly agree that Amitav Ghosh is good. Very good.
I have seen Gun Island in the stores but in the larger sized format that I usually try to avoid.

>227 benitastrnad: I wish I would be, Benita. Beer, Bavaria, and Bonhomie with Benita couldn't be better.

Nov 28, 2019, 8:22pm

>213 PaulCranswick:, Randy Rupert is the star of the series, it's not just shagging but it spices it up a bit and I didn't expect Ms Cooper to write such pieces. Hope all is well with you and the family mate.

Nov 29, 2019, 7:39pm

Hello Paul! I am trying to get back in the LT swing of things. REALLY hoping RL slows down and cooperates. : ) LOVED the links to your two building projects. WOW. Very impressive. And PB118 is absolutely beautiful. And I got to see where you live! Very fun. Wishing you the best of luck on your end of the year reading goals and thanks for sharing your best novels list. Carry on busy man!! Hugs.

Nov 30, 2019, 12:08pm

>229 johnsimpson: Maybe one day, John, slim chance but maybe!

>230 Berly: Lovely to see you Kimmers! On PNB 118 it will be an intense few weeks as I will be basically locked in a room with my two opposite numbers from the Employer's Contract Administrators trying to agree terms for a Supplementary Agreement that will re-set completion of the project by a further eleven months to November 2021.

Nov 30, 2019, 6:46pm

Hi Paul! My son passed by your place just yesterday; which is to say that as he was returning from school camp in Chiang Mai his plane was diverted from Singapore to KL because of the copious rain. I hear that you had quite a downpour on that side, too. So there were all the anxious parents in Changi airport and there were all the kids in KL. But we got them back safe and sound three hours later than we should have (a little grumpy, given that the original flight should only have been about three hours in total).

Nov 30, 2019, 12:10am

>232 humouress: That must have been quite a taxing experience, Nina, both for the kids and parents.
Such heavy downpours are incredibly disruptive including to my construction projects where flash floods can wreak havoc.

Edited: Dec 1, 2019, 2:10pm

Book #65

We, the Survivors by Tash Aw

Date Published : 2019 (65 of 120)
Origin of Author : Malaysia (43 of 80)
Pages : 326 (16,821 in total)

There was much familiar to me about the novel. The locale for a start some of the places described in the story are places I have seen, visited and sometimes avoided.

Then there is the situation - the plight of the foreign workers; battling prejudice and poor living conditions and pittance wages and unscrupulous bosses. I know of scores of Bangladeshi workers engaged in building the most iconic of buildings whose wages are at least three months behind. They are kept here by the necessity of getting their money and the impossibility of escape without the means to do so.

At the same time there is the inherent prejudice against the racial minorities in this country. The impression given that the ethnic Chinese community are all rich and hard-working is a misconception nailed in these pages.

The story is of desperation, ties of community and friendship that culminate in a tragic killing.

It should have been a great novel but somehow wasn't. It didn't quite hold together and insufficient sympathy was generated for the characters. It was as if Tash Aw wanted to tell a different story and his main protagonist got in the way.

I was able to get to the end of it more by the fact that I have lived in the country for 25 years and can understand what isn't written as much as what is. Those in their armchairs in Surrey or Saratoga or Saskatchewan will not love a story that has something missing.

Nov 30, 2019, 3:34am

>234 PaulCranswick: Well at least I save myself from the ignominy of failing for the first time in my adult life to finish a book in an entire month.

Challenges all blown. Now I have to rescue my pride and at least get to 75.

Dec 1, 2019, 5:16am

December will see me reading whatever the heck catches my fancy although I may look at things alphabetically. Choose a book with an author beginning with A and so on.

I'm going to read River of Darkness first up by Rennie Airth - a series I have long wanted to start.

I may do something similar with poetry.

Edited: Dec 1, 2019, 2:24pm

I will also read The Perseverance by Raymond Antrobus which won the Ted Hughes Award in 2018 and the Rathbone's Folio Prize in 2019

Edited: Dec 1, 2019, 2:07pm

Thanksgiving for Friends

Walking in a street of dreams;
paviors whose every indent
cast a memory of thwarted schemes
of time imagination spent.

Reflections of an age now past
whose mulling brings a soul to see;
a thankful shore that die was cast
with thankful thoughts of what would be.

Friends have come to succour and aid
in needful days most anguished
and by their deeds left me unafraid
when despair may yet have languished.

I am at peace now
and life's vicissitudes cannot strain
that relaxed and creaseless brow
protecting an untroubled brain.

Wishing all my American friends a wonderful Thanksgiving weekend and together with all my other LT friends I wish to express my continued and profound thanks and appreciation for your friendship in this inspiring group.

ETA A reorganisation of a clumsy third stanza. This poem was typed straight from a ponderous Sunday morning brain to my thread, whilst thinking of all my friends celebrating their thanksgiving weekends and my being thankful for their friendship.

Edited: Dec 14, 2019, 1:41pm

Book #66

The Perseverance by Raymond Antrobus

Date Published : 2018
Origin of Author : UK (43 of 80)
Pages : 84 (16,905 in total)

This is Raymond Antrobus' first collection and it won the Ted Hughes Award and The Folio Prize and having read and re-read all the poems here I must conclude that he was a more than worthy winner.

This is direct, confessional and brilliant poetry.

Raymond Antrobus is deaf and his condition or the art and difficulties of communication, it's prejudices and tragedies fill the pages emotively. The other major theme here is his difficult relationship with his Jamaican born father and, to a lesser extent, his English mother - all serves to create moving verse.

The title poem The Perseverance is possibly the most effective - The Perseverance was the name of the public house or bar where his father drank away his family's meagre resources. There are plenty of other gems though including the opening salvo.


My ear amps whistle like they are singing
to Echo, goddess of noise,
the raveled knot of tongues,
of blaring birds, consonant crumbs
of dull doorbells, sounds swamped
in my misty hearing aid tubes.
Gaudí believed in holy sound
and built a cathedral to contain it,
pulling hearing men from their knees
as though atheism is a kind of deafness.
Who would turn down God?
Even though I have not heard
the golden decibels of angels,
I have been living in a noiseless
palace where the doorbell is pulsating
light and I am able to answer.

I shall keep returning to this collection. I would be lost without my other love - music but, though Antrobus heard no sounds he certainly puts words together sweetly.

Dec 1, 2019, 2:30pm

Hey Paul, remember me? Lynda? I have not been a faithful poster this year but I hope you and yours are doing well. What a wonderful wife you have to allow you to stack all those books in your house! By the looks of it, you're back to reading regularly and beginning to whittle down those stacks. Carry on, my friend.

Dec 1, 2019, 3:50pm

>240 Carmenere: How to forget the lovely literary journeys you have taken us all on, Lynda. Lovely to see you. What can I say? - I'm a lucky guy.

Dec 1, 2019, 7:36pm

Stopping by to say "Hello" and see how things are in Cranswickland. Hard to believe that it is now December. Like you, I am having to write off all of my challenges this year. I probably won't even complete my walking challenge! Oh well, there is always next year.

Dec 1, 2019, 10:14pm

>242 lkernagh: I have used that mantra this weekend, Lori. "Oh well, there is always next year!"

Lovely to see you here. xx

Dec 1, 2019, 10:30pm

Hi Paul! Lovely poem. Thanks for posting it!

Dec 1, 2019, 10:36pm

>244 banjo123: Thanks Rhonda - I'll pretend you mean mine, not the one by Raymond Antrobus!

Dec 1, 2019, 10:44pm

>245 PaulCranswick: I did mean yours!

Dec 1, 2019, 10:48pm

>246 banjo123: Blushing and happy. xx

Dec 3, 2019, 8:56am

>238 PaulCranswick: Paul--I especially like your last two stanzas. We are here for YOU!! Keep smiling. Thankful to have you as my friend. : )

Dec 3, 2019, 9:10am

Hej Paul, wish you all the best

Dec 3, 2019, 12:37pm

Hi Paul!

I know how hard it is to focus on reading with so many other stresses and strains going on and do hope that you can put together another 9 before year end to get to 75, if only for your own peace of mind.

Last year my goal of 105 was only met because my last 4 books only contained 435 pages total and the last 3 were started/finished on the 31st!

Dec 3, 2019, 12:41pm

>248 Berly: I really do need my friends Kimmers. My monthly stipend from Samsung will be late by a week because the signator is in Belgium until Sunday. This means that I cannot make the payment for Kyran's university fees on time and I am extremely depressed to be honest. My fees are good but they are going to settle accumulated debts with little reserve. I just feel that I am letting my family down.
The emotional support of my pals at this time is precious.

>249 paulstalder: Thanks Paul.

Dec 3, 2019, 12:43pm

>250 karenmarie: I am enjoying some poetry and thrillers this month and maybe a couple of non-fiction that catch my eye, Karen.

I am a little overwhelmed with life at the moment and struggling to focus so my love of poetry can help me focus on words and my love of a good yarn can probably keep me sane. Probably.

Dec 3, 2019, 12:57pm

Hang in there, dear friend. I know hugs can't replace the late payment from Samsung (which is absolutely ridiculous), but we're all on your side, care for you deeply, and hope things are better for you in 2020.

Dec 3, 2019, 2:53pm

>253 karenmarie: Thank you dear Karen. I do have to clarify in absolute fairness to my Korean conglomerate buddies. It is not that the payment is late; it is just that I got so used to it being early!! I desperately needed to receive the payment today and was sure that as usual they would extend the hand of comfort to me. Unfortunately the people needed to make that happen are not in Malaysia.

Dec 3, 2019, 8:29pm


Dec 3, 2019, 8:32pm

Sorry to hear you're having a tough time, Paul. Sending lots of positive thoughts your way.

Dec 3, 2019, 11:23pm

>255 amanda4242: Thank you dear Amanda.

>256 jnwelch: Thanks Joe.

Dec 3, 2019, 1:35am

>254 PaulCranswick: Oh dear, hoping your payment comes in soon Paul so the stress of your business responsibilities can ease a bit. My husband was in business for 45 years and I remember the stress being overwhelming at times. Also, hoping you can be relieved enough to get in some reading.

Dec 3, 2019, 3:24am

Sending hugs your way!

Hopefully, all arrives soon!

Dec 4, 2019, 5:00am

Delurking to wave 'Hello!'

Dec 4, 2019, 6:12am

Sorry to see that you are going through a stressful time, Paul. I hope that life becomes less stressful soon. Best of luck reaching your goal of 75.

Dec 4, 2019, 7:01am

Dropping by for a visit! Take care of yourself Paul.

Dec 4, 2019, 10:08am

>258 brenzi: I am pleased to report that I am managing to get some reading done and that Samsung seem to have found a way to resolve my payment issue - should be resolved tomorrow.
Business is such a stress Bonnie - I am glad that I have gone back to a simpler existence; or that I will have when I get my financial issues resolved.

>259 figsfromthistle: Thank you Anita! I am much humbled by the support of my friends here. xx

Dec 4, 2019, 10:09am

>260 humouress: Hello right back at you, neighbour!

>261 Familyhistorian: Thanks Meg. I can see the 75 being done - let's see how many more than that I manage.

Dec 4, 2019, 10:10am

>262 mdoris: Lovely to see you, Mary.

Dec 4, 2019, 12:10pm

Adding my hugs to the pile, Paul. Here's hoping things get sorted very soon for you!

Dec 4, 2019, 2:17pm

Sorry for all the stress you're facing just now Paul - sending good "vibes".

Dec 4, 2019, 3:17pm

>266 scaifea: From one combining classicism, motherhood and librarianship hugs are always appreciated.

>267 charl08: Good vibes always welcome, Charlotte. xx

Dec 5, 2019, 3:04pm

Glad you've got the payment issue resolved! I'm sorry that you've had to deal with so much of this sort of thing lately.

Dec 5, 2019, 10:45pm

Hi Paul - I'm glad you see some light regarding your payment issues. Being self-employed has always seemed to be very stressful to me.

Dec 5, 2019, 11:23pm

>269 drneutron: Well it has been tough for me these last few years, Jim.

>270 BLBera: When I first started to freelance I was footloose and fancy free, Beth. Then I bought the construction company which threatened to make me seriously rich only to have something like $4 million in bad debts due to Developer failures and the local politics. Now I am freelancing again and slowly recovering.

Dec 6, 2019, 3:36am

>271 PaulCranswick: No good deed goes unpunished. True wherever Humanity is found.

Sad for your broken trust, glad for your resilience.

Dec 7, 2019, 6:11am

>272 richardderus: The ironic thing is, RD, that the biggest single payment default was from an Islamic religious organisation who always make such a fuss about their principles and morality but see nothing wrong with not paying us certified sums due to us.

Dec 7, 2019, 3:15pm

>273 PaulCranswick: You're infidels. You aren't people, so it doesn't count.

Dec 7, 2019, 4:19pm

Hi Paul!

>254 PaulCranswick: Ah, not early, just on time. Got it.

>273 PaulCranswick: “Do as I say, not as I do” seems to include religious organizations, too. Sad.

I hope the reading is moving along nicely for early December.

Dec 7, 2019, 5:39pm

>274 richardderus: Well yes, but as a convert I should have been uninfideled!

>275 karenmarie: Yes, Kyran's bill got paid anyhow which is good. Religious organisations invariably stink, whatever the religion.

Dec 7, 2019, 5:48pm

>276 PaulCranswick: Ha! Not born {choose sort criterion}? You never will be, can be, could be.

Across nations, creeds, philosophies, this is, was, and will be true. People love them some hatin' and excludin'.

Dec 7, 2019, 6:19pm

>277 richardderus: Sad. Sad but most probably true, RD.

Edited: Dec 7, 2019, 3:35am

So, is there going to be another BIAC next year?

Dec 7, 2019, 3:42am

>279 amanda4242: Would anybody be up for it, Amanda?

I will do one and quickly gather the intelligence to put an intelligible challenge together if there was sufficient support for it.

Dec 7, 2019, 4:44am

>280 PaulCranswick: I'm down for another one, obviously. :)

Dec 7, 2019, 4:46am

>281 amanda4242: it may just be just the two of us, kid!

I'll have a think about how to do it this coming year and any ideas would be welcome.

Dec 8, 2019, 5:05am

>271 PaulCranswick: >273 PaulCranswick: I hope you got most of it back eventually?

Enjoy the rest of the weekend!

Dec 8, 2019, 5:33am

Half the weekend gone--enjoy the rest!! Glad Samsung could move things up a little for you. Phew!

Dec 8, 2019, 5:44am

>283 humouress: Not yet got any of it back, Nina. Still struggling as a result but hopefully 2020 will see us through.

>284 Berly: Samsung is a good company, Kimmers and not just because they make good phones and TVs.

Dec 8, 2019, 11:58am

Maybe madness but I will act on Amanda's request and have a final finale of the BRITISH AUTHOR CHALLENGE.

I am sure that there will be less interest than usual but I cannot let Amanda and my other pals who enjoy the challenge, down.


Dec 8, 2019, 6:21pm

>286 PaulCranswick: Hurray!

A few suggestions:
Rosemary Sutcliff
Michael Moorcock
World War II - Next year is the seventy-fifth anniversary of the end of the war.
Victorian literature
Prize winners - Maybe not a specific prize, but any winners of literary awards.

Dec 8, 2019, 6:41pm

>286 PaulCranswick:, >287 amanda4242: Moorcock is a monadnock of the New Wave, but he's a Texan lo these many decades...maybe make New Wave SF a month's reading?

Dec 8, 2019, 11:38pm

>287 amanda4242: A few of those had crossed my mind, Amanda. I will put up January choices later today.

>288 richardderus: To be fair, RD, Moorcock moved to Texas in his fifties and spends half a year there. Don't believe that he has changed his nationality. I have lived in Malaysia since the 1990s too but I am still a Brit last time I checked.

Dec 8, 2019, 12:29am

>286 PaulCranswick: Hi Paul! I applaud the idea of a British Author Challenge for next year, although I failed it miserably this year.

>287 amanda4242: World War II is an interesting theme. And I like Rosemary Sutcliff.

Have a good week ahead, Paul!

Dec 8, 2019, 12:38am

>287 amanda4242: >290 EllaTim: This year I read a number of Rosemary Sutcliff books and found that they didn't suit me as well as they did 55 years ago - all the young men running around Britain proving something.

Dec 8, 2019, 1:30am

>290 EllaTim: Thanks Ella. World War II is probably a shoo-in.

>291 quondame: We did have the YA Fantasy series as a topic this year Susan so I am not certain that Sutcliff will be a starter.

Dec 8, 2019, 1:33am

Hi Paul, stopping by with happy new thread wishes and to lend emotional support while you work through the financial juggling. Stress is never good. {{{hugs}}}

Dec 8, 2019, 1:56am

>293 lkernagh: Thanks Lori. I have missed you not being quite as active as usual. The Canadian contingent have suffered this year with Deb, Ilana and Faith not posting too much and Chelle dropping off in the last Quarter. No Nancy, Judy and Valerie amongst others this year in the group which is sad.

Edited: Dec 19, 2019, 12:51am



Jeanette Winterson


Graham Swift

Dec 9, 2019, 12:46pm

Oooh oooh ooh! BAC! I've been useless at it this year - and probably will be next year, but man I love the planning and playing with my book lists :)

Edited: Dec 9, 2019, 5:00pm

I initially made a comment that I might actually read Winterson's Hogarth Shakespeare installment. Oops! I've already read the Hogarth Shakespeare one by Winterson. Maybe I'll find something else.

Dec 9, 2019, 9:38pm

Waaaay up there at >199 PaulCranswick:
I had forgotten about His Bloody Project. I gave it 3.5 stars whereas The North Water got 4.5 stars. Both were good but I agree that The North Water was special. I do wish I had it in me to go back and re-rate books after time. Both of these are holding up in memory.

Dec 9, 2019, 9:39pm

>295 PaulCranswick: Two good ones! I will likely read Frankissstein in January anyway so it's good timing (for me).

Dec 9, 2019, 10:48pm

>296 BekkaJo: Lovely to see you here and excited, Bekka!

>297 thornton37814: I think January had to be two fairly big hitters, Lori.

Dec 9, 2019, 10:50pm

>298 EBT1002: I am surprised that North Water didn't fare even better in the Booker as it was certainly Booker worthy, Ellen.

>299 EBT1002: I have quite a few by Winterson but I'll likely start with Oranges are not the Only Fruit.

Dec 9, 2019, 11:04pm

I looked to see what was available in our library's e-book collection. I reserved Winterson's Christmas Days: 12 Stories and 12 Feasts for 12 Days. I've got it held so it will hopefully come in around December 30. It's possible it will end up being later in the month if another person decides to read it between now and then, but my place in cue is supposed to be held.

I've reserved Waterland by Graham Swift and requested it not come in before December 30. I think it has enough holds that it's predicted to come in about a week or so into January.

Dec 9, 2019, 11:24pm

>302 thornton37814: Swift won the Booker for Last Orders which I liked, but Waterland is better.

Dec 9, 2019, 11:44pm

>303 PaulCranswick: Good to know! Waterland was one of two available. The others available in some format were Mothering Sunday, Wish You Were Here, and The Light of Day. Waterland sounded most intriguing to me.

Dec 9, 2019, 11:47pm

>1 PaulCranswick: Have your poor books found shelves yet?

Also, super excited by the first BAC selections!

Dec 9, 2019, 1:14am

>304 thornton37814: I will probably read Mothering Sunday, Lori. I have read most of his books except his essays, short stories and last two novels.

>305 amanda4242: Not yet, Amanda. Simply cannot afford it. I enjoyed thinking up my January selections.
February soon.

Dec 9, 2019, 3:10am

>295 PaulCranswick: Two favourites! Well done, Paul. I loved both Oranges are not the only fruit and Waterland.

>297 thornton37814: The Gap of Time might be an option, good idea.

Dec 10, 2019, 12:02pm

>295 PaulCranswick: Mark kindly gave me a copy of Frankissstein and I'm looking forward to reading it for BAC.

Dec 10, 2019, 12:35pm

>307 EllaTim: I am happy with my January picks, Ella.

Dec 10, 2019, 12:36pm

>308 karenmarie: That is great news, Karen. I may add it and read it also.

Edited: Dec 10, 2019, 3:32am

I am still doing my mystery challenge as well. Our little group will be reading the last four books in the Swedish author Camilla Lackberg's Erica Falck and Patrick Hedstrom serie and eight more in Donna Leon's Guido Brunetti series set in Venice. I'll post the link to that thread later this week when I get to a better computer.

The group has already read the first 8 in the 12 book Erica Falck series and we have read 12 in the Brunetti series over two years. However, we still have a long way to go to finish Brunetti because Leon publishes one title per year, with 24 novels so far and number 25 coming out in spring 2020. That's a lot of reading to do.

Dec 11, 2019, 5:25am

>311 benitastrnad: I do keep an eye on the group Benita. I will probably join in on the Brunetti series when you all catch up with me!

Dec 11, 2019, 11:44am

>312 PaulCranswick: I've read four of the eight for next year so I'll only be doing the four unread ones.

Dec 11, 2019, 1:35am

>313 thornton37814: I do quite like the Brunetti books but am staggered that, with solving all those murders, he never gets promoted!
This topic was continued by Paul C Back to Basics in 2019 Part 11.