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World of Penguins: charl08 travels the shelves #12

This is a continuation of the topic World of Penguins: charl08 travels the shelves #11.

75 Books Challenge for 2019

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Edited: Nov 8, 3:27am Top

Nearly there for 2019!

I was looking for Xmas presents last weekend and found lots of very cute things. Not sure that everyone in my family wants penguin figures though, so I'll put some of them here instead.


Edited: Today, 7:34am Top

Books read
This month: 9
Last month: 23
Total: 246

November 9
Rain (Multiple, GN)
Death in the East (M, UK, fiction) Netgalley
The Psychology of Time Travel (F, UK, fiction)
Hot Winter Nights (F, US, fiction)
We Have Always been here (F, Canada, memoir)
Good Talk (F, US, Graphic memoir)
The Little Bookshop of Promises (F, US, fiction)
Confessions of a Failed Southern Lady (F, US, memoir)
Pumpkinheads (Joint, GN)

October 23
Heaven my home (F, US, fiction)
The Incurable Matchmaker (F, Canada, fiction)
Things in Jars (F, Ireland, fiction)
The Greatest Traitor (M, UK, biography)
Grand Union (F, UK, short stories) Netgalley
A Crisis of Brilliance (M, UK, collective biography)
Trouble on Tap (F, US, fiction)
Awkweird (F, US, fiction)
The Second Sleep (M, UK, fiction)
Stasi 77 (M, UK fiction)

The Stories You Tell (F, US, fiction)
The Case of the Wandering Scholar (F, UK, fiction)
The Sanctuary Murders (F, UK, fiction) Audio
Bringing Down the Duke (F, US?, fiction)
Where the Crawdads Sing (F, US, fiction)
Ottoman Odyssey (F, UK/Cyprus, travel/ politics)
Well Met (F, US, fiction)
The Okay witch (F, US, GN/ children's)
The Dish (F, UK, fiction)
Reel Love (M, UK, GN)

A Girl Like Her (F, UK, fiction)
The Red Thread: mazes labyrinths (F, UK, biography/ lit crit)
Or the Bull Kills You (M, UK, fiction)

Nov totals

Gender M 1 F 6 Multiple 2
Region UK 3 Europe 0 US & Canada 5 Africa 0 Latin America 0 Asia 0 Austalasia 0 Multiple 1
Type Fiction 6 Poetry 0 Non-fiction 3
Origin Library 2 Other (incl mine) 7

Netgalley 1

Running totals
Gender F 181 M 58 Multiple 15
Country/ Region UK 74 Europe 45 US & Canada 110 Africa 7 Latin America 4 Asia 4 Austalasia 1 Multiple 12
Type Fiction 202 Poetry 5 Non-fiction 48
Origin Library 96 Other (incl mine) 160

Netgalley 28

Edited: Nov 8, 3:04am Top

African writers

(this is going to be loosely interpreted, with inclusion rather than exclusion being the focus)

Hiding in Plain Sight (Somalia/ South Africa/ US) Published by Oneworld
My Sister the Serial Killer (Nigeria) Published by Atlantic (UK)
Zeina (Egypt/ US) Published by SAQI (UK)
Travellers (Nigeria/ US) Published by Hamish Hamilton (UK)
The Wife's Tale (Canada/Ethiopia/UK) Fourth Estate (UK)
A Stranger's Pose (Nigeria) Cassava Press (Nigeria / UK)
Taduno's Song (Nigeria) Canongate (UK)
Goodbye Lucille (Nigeria/ UK) Vintage (UK)

Edited: Nov 8, 6:26am Top

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

Chester zoo penguins

See previous thread but one for longer list: some favourites

Columbia: The book of Emma Reyes Translator Daniel Alarcón (Spanish)
Egypt: Zeina Translator Amira Nowaira (Arabic)
France: Cry mother Spain Translator Ben Faccini
The Years Translator Alison Strayer
Tell them of battles, kings and elephants translator Charlotte Mandell
Germany: Dreamers when the writers took power, Germany 1918 Translator Ruth Martin
You Would have missed me Translator Jamie Bulloch
Latvia: Soviet Milk Translator Margita Gailitis
Sweden: The Wolf and the Watchman Translator Ebba Segerberg

Edited: Nov 8, 5:09am Top

Just read Good Talk, which I had to order from Amazon to get free delivery for something else.
(Good excuse, no?)
This was every bit as brilliant as Beth and Joe and Ellen and I'm sure many more have said. Jacob is married to a white man with a mixed race small son, and in this book she takes the conversations she has with him, all starting with an obsession with Michael Jackson, and turns them into a simultaneously hilarious and really moving narrative about race, family and living in America.

(My poor photo. Sorry about that.)
We think our hearts break only from endings - the love gone, the rooms empty, the future unhappening as we stand ready to step into it- but what about how they shatter in the face of what is possible?

Nov 8, 5:04am Top

>1 charl08: Happy new thread and the little penguins are so cute!!

>5 charl08: How did I ignore all those guys chatting about this book? Well, now you get the credit for the book bullet. : )

Nov 8, 5:53am Top

Happy new thread, Charlotte!

Nov 8, 6:52am Top

Hi Kim, nice to see you ?although what time is it there?

Hi Susan, thank you. Have you tried out the mini stepper yet?

On the plus side, I've just bought a little bag to go with my outfit for the wedding tomorrow. On the down side, I was only in the shop because my train (with seats booked) was cancelled. Fingers crossed this train has enough free seats unreserved...

I like train travel, honest.

Nov 8, 7:45am Top

>8 charl08: Charlotte, it's not coming till the 20th (which I thought was closer when I decided not to pay for speedy delivery...) but I sent the roomie a link and she said it was a good choice. And she's a former high-performance athlete, so that was nice :-) How annoying about your train. Fingers crossed that the next one has plenty of unreserved seats and no hyperactive toddlers. OK, any toddlers at all :-)

Nov 8, 7:53am Top

Happy new one!

Edited: Nov 8, 9:11am Top

Happy new thread! When would you like to read New Jim Crow?

Nov 8, 10:10am Top

Happy new one, Charlotte!

Nov 8, 10:12am Top

Happy new thread, Charlotte. You had a fantastic reading year so far. I would never be able to read so many books.
Sorry to read about your train issues. I hope you'll get a nice journey.

Nov 8, 1:19pm Top

>9 susanj67: I'm sure that'll come round in no time at all. I like Helen's idea of doing it during pointless. Maybe I should do the same thing.

>10 figsfromthistle: Thank you!

>11 The_Hibernator: It would be good to break it down into sections I think. I'm not very quick at reading Non-fiction, but if we said eg a chapter a week that would probably be doable.

>12 katiekrug: Thanks Katie. Hope the jury service is averted.

>13 Ameise1: Barbara, for the brief time I was teaching I hardly read anything at all, I think you are amazing to do such a demanding job and read fiction (not to mention talk on here in another language!)

Nov 8, 1:24pm Top

>I could do that. 🙂 Should we start, say, Monday with the introduction?

Nov 8, 1:40pm Top

Well, I'm hoping the wedding itself is a bit smoother than my journey here. First train cancelled (which meant I had time for hot chocolate and a handbag from Primarni, so I'm not complaining - so much - about that - £6!!). Then got on second train, but this one was run by another company. Repeated announcements that our tickets were not valid. Please get off.
I got off. I realised I had confused my (booked through the app) tickets with e tickets, and had been lucky not to be fined for that. So picked up the tickets from the machine, wondering what the point of an app without e tickets was, exactly... Waited for the next train, some two hours later than my original one. Got to Edinburgh, walked past my old flat feeling nostalgic (and also breathless, because my home town now is almost entirely flat as a pancake).* Decided that it would be a good idea to have some emergency alcohol soaking crisps. Got out some cash for the bar and got annoyed because: Scottish money, which means I'll either have to spend it all or try and exchange it before I go home (they don't like it in Lancashire much). Saw Oxfam bookshop and bought emergency book supply.

Caught bus. Listened to an ill advised American try to get directions from an Edinburgh bus driver (they are not keen on this), and then get talked at by a local for half an hour about fishing. I think she was going to a Harry Potter related event, judging by the outfit. Got off bus a stop early (why I had wanted to arrive in the daytime), only just avoiding leaving one of my bags thanks to a very kind and surprisingly speedy very senior citizen. Walked down the (dark) hotel drive, wondering if they have themed events for Halloween, to be interrupted by an Aussie couple who tried to give me a lift. Got to lovely room, realised it wasn't the right one and was given one up two flights of stairs instead.

Now thinking I may just use the emergency crisps in lieu of dinner and collapse.

*It has always been flat, but I have not always lived there.

Nov 8, 1:41pm Top

>15 The_Hibernator: Sure. And if it isn't working out we can always rework it.

Nov 8, 1:48pm Top

>16 charl08: Oh dear, what an odyssey! Thank goodness you made it OK in the end. Darn those train companies, though - at UK train prices you should be able to travel on whatever turns up first.

If you have Scottish money left, you could always visit that Oxfam bookshop again :-)

Nov 8, 1:56pm Top

>16 charl08: Oh my goodness, Charlotte. I am exhausted just reading about your travel adventures. Here's hoping you've gotten all the bad stuff out of the way and the rest of the weekend is smooth sailing.

Nov 8, 2:16pm Top

>16 charl08: - Whew! At least it wasn't raining...?

Hope the rest of the trip is less *adventurous*...

Nov 8, 2:51pm Top

>16 charl08: That was quite a trip!! Hope you've used up all of the allotted problems and things will go smoothly from here on.

Nov 8, 3:55pm Top

Happy new thread, Charlotte!

>1 charl08: Maybe you can give them to yourself at Christmas?

>16 charl08: That was not the trip you hoped for. I hope the rest of your stay will be easier on you.

Nov 8, 4:14pm Top

Scottish money? Do I miss something?

Nov 8, 4:28pm Top

>16 charl08: oh my, what a palava Charlotte. I hope things improve going forward.

Nov 8, 6:41pm Top

Happy new thread, Charlotte. Love the penguins. Your journey sounds harrowing - an adventure! I hope all the rest goes well.

Nov 8, 7:48pm Top

Happy new thread!

Nov 8, 8:49pm Top

Charlotte happy new thread. Glad that your long day ended well. Love the penguin topper!

Nov 9, 3:41am Top

>18 susanj67: It was really frustrating, they seemed to have enough space for everyone. (And yes, re the Scottish money!)

>19 rosalita: I hope so too!

>20 jessibud2: Yes, I think I'm done with adventure now. I really hope so, anyway!

Nov 9, 4:22am Top

>21 RebaRelishesReading: The thing that made me laugh about it was that I hadn't even thought about it being an issue - I've done the trip to Edinburgh back and forth for years now.

>22 FAMeulstee: I am tempted to self gift, Anita. I have also sent the link to family as a heavy hint!

>23 Ameise1: The Scottish banks print their own notes, and it can sometimes be hard to convince people they're legal tender south of the border!

Nov 9, 6:05am Top

>24 Caroline_McElwee: Me too Caroline! I just have to sit and look happy now, which shouldn't be too difficult, I hope...

>25 BLBera: Thanks Beth. I have safely delivered the bubbles, so my work here is done.

>26 drneutron: Thank you!

>27 mdoris: Me too. Fingers crossed the penguins turn up in my Xmas stocking.

Nov 9, 6:16am Top

>29 charl08: I had to google it. Couldn't believe it first.
Wishing you a wonderful day.

Nov 9, 6:34am Top

Happy Saturday, Charlotte. Happy New Thread. I am so glad you loved Good Talk. One of the best of the year. I hope the rest of your trip goes well. Fingers crossed.

Nov 9, 3:59pm Top

Happy new thread, Charlotte.
Hope the wedding is more enjoyable than getting to the wedding has been so far.

Nov 9, 8:23pm Top

Have a lovely weekend, Charlotte.

Happy new thread!

Nov 9, 9:32pm Top

Wow, Charlotte, just wow! Glad you are finally in your own room and hope all the rest goes smoothly.

Nov 9, 9:39pm Top

Happy new thread! Your penguin toppers are so cute.

Yesterday, 12:17am Top

Your journey sounds like quite the odyssey, Charlotte. I hope everything goes more smoothly for you now. I'm with you on the Scottish money. Somehow I never bring any home so I must have it sussed.

Happy new thread!

Yesterday, 12:30am Top

Happy new thread Charlotte! I'm so far behind that I had to skip a thread, sorry.

Gosh, that sounds like quite a journey - especially when you've done it so many times before. That's weird about the trains; when I lived in England, BR was still 'getting there'. And I didn't know that about Scottish money although I do remember that England, Ireland, Scotland and Wales have (/had?) different symbols on their pound coins.

Yesterday, 11:04am Top

>31 Ameise1: It takes a while to get used to Barbara!

>32 msf59: I agree, Good Talk is exceptional, Mark.

>33 Helenliz: Thanks Helen. It was a lovely ceremony.

Yesterday, 11:07am Top

>34 PaulCranswick: Thanks Paul. Hope your mammoth readathon is going well.

>35 ronincats: It was lovely to find a comfy chair, and my friend arrived to check in and we had a nice dinner. Or at least, I had a nice dinner. Complaints of too much salt from the other three we ate with.

>36 banjo123: Thanks Rhonda. The site says only two left! Oh no!

Yesterday, 11:11am Top

>37 Familyhistorian: Sounds like you're ahead of me there, Meg.

>38 humouress: On the plus side I got a seat! There's some change afoot as Virgin has lost the contract, so it will be interesting to see what happens next.

Yesterday, 12:39pm Top

Kindle daily deals today includes a whole batch of Toni Morrison books.

Yesterday, 12:39pm Top

Happy new thread, Charlotte. You'll need to open another one by Thursday at the rate the posts pile up!

Regarding The Testaments, I think you may be right about people perhaps wanting Offred's story to continue, although I doubt I could have been persuaded to read it had that been the case.

Edited: Yesterday, 4:41pm Top

>42 elkiedee: I should probably be good: I've raided three bookshops in Edinburgh...

>43 RidgewayGirl: I'm not sure what happened to this one! I liked what Atwood did with the book, and more on Offred was unlikely to please many readers, given she left it so open to the readers' imaginations in the previous book. It made sense to me that the rulers of such a corrupt state were not so ethically motivated or smart. I'm not sure they ever have been. Just motivated by power and greed.

Edited: Yesterday, 5:20pm Top

A Little Bookshop of Promises
A very sweet story set in a small fictional Texan town. Lots of the stories are a continuation of previous books, so probably not the best place to start.

Confessions of a Failed Southern Lady
This made me laugh. A memoir about growing up in the US in the 1950s Washington DC. Florence's family is comedically dysfunctional, just about clinging on to respectability. She gets a scholarship to access a college education. She finds herself in a college that doesn't offer the one course she wants to complete, and surrounded by students that only want to get married. Published in the 1980s she is able to be open about experiences that she makes clear weren't widely discussed, discovering her sexuality in the 1950s, from hard to believe levels of ignorance, to coping with threatening calls in the middle of the night when dating her first girlfriend.
Her lack of interest in a teaching career highlights the sense of humour here...
...my love of reading and study stood alone, untainted by any personality traits that could conceivably make it pay off. Getting along in the groves of academe required a gift of manipulating people, a willingness to attend meetings, a tolerance for male hens, humility in the presence of important alumni...

Yesterday, 5:32pm Top

Hi Charlotte,

I'm hijacking the most popular threads to get word out, and you are one of them...

Its 75'er Christmas Swap Time! : https://www.librarything.com/topic/312848

Yesterday, 5:37pm Top

>46 mahsdad: Yikes, already? Wow. I must sign up.

Yesterday, 8:50pm Top

Hi Charlotte! Hopefully the rest of your weekend has gone more as planned and you've spent all your Scottish money on stuff that you are pleased with. :)

I'll start reading The New Jim Crow on Monday. I would have read it slowly, anyway, so don't worry if you need to pause the reading for a little while. Otherwise, we'll just do a chapter a week like we said. :)

Today, 7:01am Top

>48 The_Hibernator: Thanks Rachel. I'll head over to your thread when I've finished the intro - probably later this week, if that works?

Edited: Today, 7:06am Top

I'm reading The Testament of Jessie Lamb for the work book group. Only I wouldn't have picked it up if the book group hadn't chosen it (they needed one to stand in for another chosen one that, it turns out, is not yet available in paperback). Finding it really depressing: everyone's infected with a bug that kills pregnant women. Then they find a way to keep the babies alive (but not the mothers).
I remember things that make me ashamed now, like driving home from the caravan at Scarborough with Mum and Dad, and all the roads around York being clogged up because of a mass funeral at the Minster. Dad had forgotten to check online. And I was impatient to get home and call for Sal. We were stuck behind the traffic for two hours. I remember staring at all the miserable people in their cars and saying ‘Why can’t they just stay at home to mourn? The women who’re dead won’t care!’
I have such a bad record of completing book group books I feel I have to Really Try to complete this one though.

Today, 8:05am Top

Sounds good!

Edited: Today, 8:49am Top

>51 The_Hibernator: I'm looking forward to reading it.


Loved this! Really sweet story about two kids hanging out together whilst working at the local pumpkin patch, and their last session before heading off to college.

Today, 9:54am Top

Today, 11:51am Top

Yes, very much so Beth!

I am putting off walking home as it is truly horrible outside: dark, wet and windy. I walked from one side of the campus to another an hour ago and am already pretty soggy. Am not looking forward to the walk home!

Edited: Today, 12:05pm Top

This sounds good. Although - London.

Writing Lives

Of writing biography, Hermione Lee has said, ‘There is a tension between the muddle and repetition and fragmentariness of a life, and the desire of the biographer to turn it into story narrative.’ How does a biographer make sense of a life’s complexities? In this event, four writers consider experimental life-writing and the limits of biography. Lara Feigel is a literary critic and Reader in Modern Literature at King’s College London. Her most recent book, Free Woman, is part personal memoir and part biography of Doris Lessing. Delia Jarrett Macauley is the author of the novel Moses, Citizen and Me, winner of the 2005 Orwell Prize, and a biography of the writer and first Black woman employed by the BBC, Una Marson. Anthony Joseph is a poet, novelist, and musician. His most recent book, Kitch: A Fictional Biography of a Calypso Icon, combines fact with the imaginative structure of the novel. They are joined by biographer and critic Hermione Lee, Emeritus Professor of English Literature at Oxford University, whose work includes biographies of Virginia Woolf, Edith Wharton and Penelope Fitzgerald.


Today, 2:08pm Top

>16 charl08: aaah the joys of travel :):):)
I loved reading this.

Group: 75 Books Challenge for 2019

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