PawsforThought reads in 2020
Join LibraryThing to post.
I joined LT back in 2012 and have been a bit on-and-off both with my reading and with my presence on the site in the past few years, but I got some of my reading groove back in 2019 and even managed to reach 75 books - for the first time ever! Time will tell if I'll be able to repeat that feat in 2020.
I always try to fit my books into one of the TIOLI challenges, and even when my reading isn't going quite so well I at least check in and see what challenges are posted. The TIOLI is one of my favourite things about LT.
I'm going to keep up with my poetry reading this year and hopefully get a bit more read than in 2019. I did better than I thought I would but would like to improve my "score" this year.
Other than that I'm going to keep reading my beloved Golden Age mystery novels, mixed with various children's books, classics and whatever else strikes my fancy.
Books read in 2019:
Murder Must Advertise - Dorothy L. Sayers (1933. 248 pages)
Lord Tony's Wife - Emmuska Orczy (1917. 239 pages)
Spring Story - Jill Barklem (1980. 34 pages)
Summer Story - Jill Barklem (1980. 35 pages)
Autumn Story - Jill Barklem (1980. 34 pages)
Winter Story - Jill Barklem (1980. 35 pages)
Hercule Poirot's Christmas - Agatha Christie (1938. 235 pages)
Death at Victoria Dock - Kerry Greenwood (1992. 164 pages)
Kensuke's Kingdom - Michael Morpurgo (1999. 147 pages)
Another resolution is to keep up in 2020 with all my friends on LT. Happy New Year!
Happy new thread, Paws! Looking forward to keeping an eye on your reading.
Happy New Thread, Paws. Dropped my star here.
And wishing you a good new year!
Dropping my star. Best of luck getting your reading numbers in 2020!
>22 Fourpawz2: *smile*
Hi Paws and Happy New Year! I'm hoping to read a bit more poetry in 2020 so I'm dropping off my star and will follow your progress on that goal, too.
Hi everyone! Thanks for popping by and for the lovely messages. Sorry I haven't been around much.
This is always the toughest time of year for me reading-wise (I have no energy in winter) so I haven't read more than a few pages this month.
Then there's the on-going drama with my possibly getting let off from work (though thanks to bureaucracy that's unlikely to happen before the summer), plus some minor health stuff.
And yesterday I woke up with my thrid bout of wry neck in as many months. I need to do something about the underlying issues before it becomes a permanent problem.
I hope you're all doing well, and I hope I'll be back to more normal reading (and LT) levels soon.
Ah, I hope you'll manage to sort it all out. My energy is also less in winter, but staying inside means more reading for me. Sorry, that yours is down too much for doing that.
Good luck, and hoping to see you soon.
Hope you are feeling much better, Paws.
I trust your February is going well.
Hi everyone, and thank you for stopping by and leaving sweet messages here. I greatly appreciate it.
While my wry neck hasn't made a reappearance I haven't been doing too well mentally (I have issues with either SAD or bouts of depression, not sure which) and that has sucked a lot of energy out of me. I'm feeling a bit better, though haven't really managed to get back into reading - one chapter so far this month (better that zero in January and February).
I have indulged in some book-buying, though. The annual book sale is going on right now and apart from a collection of Edith Södergran's poetry (some of you might remember I read her works last year as part of my poetry project) I bought a bunch of cookbook - intending to eat a more plant-based diet and bake my own bread - and a book on Swedish flora. I'm quite pleased with my haul.
Still no news on the work front but I'm putting quite a bit of energy into actively looking for and applying for other jobs. No matter how things develop at my current job, I've decided I'm not staying. I'm looking for jobs in my old home town and really looking forward to living there again. Bigger place, less religious, more cultural and more in line with my political views. It'll be good.
>43 PawsforThought: Good luck with the job hunt! I know how difficult that can be. Sounds like you have a good plan, looking in your old home town.
Do not worry about the books - they will be patiently waiting for you when you get back to them :)
>43 PawsforThought: Sounds like good plans, Paws. Job hunting while you are depressed is extra difficult. So wishing you lots of luck and perseverance!
Well, an update and some fun news.
I've applied for a few more jobs, all of whom I think sound genuinely interesting, but none of which I believe I'm the most qualified applicant for. Still, won't hurt to apply and I do believe I could do them even if I don't exactly fit the qualifications. I have a few more applications to send in tomorrow as well. I'm spending most of my time at work either looking through job advertisements and sending in applications.
On the home front, I got a book delivery today. Hurrah! I was looking through the book sale offers at one of the online shops and saw that they had no less than seven of the new (absolutely gorgeous) editions of Maria Gripe's books on sale - I couldn't not buy them. There are five or six more of her books published in these new editions and the rest are supposed to follow so I'll buy them all in time.
I also bought a couple of books for my nephew - Raymond Briggs' The Snowman, because he's snowman crazy, and Nussekudden, because not only is it a classic, but it's also set in my mum's home town - and you can recognise the town in the pictures.
Some pictures of my haul:
Those covers are lovely.
Continued good wishes for all the applications. :)
Hi Cousin Paws! Yes, those Gripe covers are lovely. And good luck with the job hunt and your upcoming move. I'm sure you'll do fine.
>48 MickyFine: I love them so much.
And thanks. I sent another three in today - I don't think I'm qualified enough for more than one of them, but you never know - maybe the other applicants are less qualified than me?!
>49 Fourpawz2: Thank you for the well wishes. The covers are really modifications of the originals. The actual illustrations are the originals by Maria Gripe's husband Harald (he illustrated all her books), and then the fonts are new and the spines are cloth - very nice.
Hooray for the lovely book haul, Paws.
Few people who apply for positions precisely meet the requirements set out by the employer. I hope you will receive some interested nibbles and an invitation to interview, which is where they can properly evaluate your skills and suitability for not just the position but ability to fit into the company's culture as well. *sending positive thoughts and vibes your way*
>51 cameling: Hi Caroline, and thanks for stopping by.
Yeah, I've been telling myself that (when I'm not worrying about completely bombing and interview, that is). And I can't get a job I don't even apply for so I really have nothing to lose from applying, even if I don't fit the criteria. If I think it sounds like something I could do, with some initial help and backup from colleagues, then I apply.
So glad you're putting the applications out there and I hope you get something good in your old home town.
>53 karenmarie: Hi Karen, thanks for stopping by. And thanks for the support re: applications.
I am getting more and more excited about my eventual move (there's no date in sight, I need a job before I can up and move). Yesterday I was googling a shop that I didn't know if it was still running (it is) and I got a list of nearly all the shops in the whole town. So many interesting things. Multiple "ethnic foods" shop - including a massive world foods supermarket, organic shops where you can buy in bulk, music shops, all sorts of wonderful things. And there's the opera house, of course. I'm not an opera superfan but I do love classical music and ballet, and want to get more into opera so I'm going to check up on season tickets when I move.
Sounds great, Cousin Paws! I'm getting a little jealous. My little city does not have any like opera in it.
>55 Fourpawz2: It's a very cultural place, which suits me very well. They have a literary festival too (ongoing right now, though obviously there have been some cancellations)!
>56 PawsforThought: - Okay - now I'm even more jealous. The last bookstore in my city closed and moved out of town probably 20 years ago and eventually shut down for good about 6 years ago. So, a literary festival in this place is likely never, ever, ever, ever going to happen. Sure hope you get that new job - whatever it may be, - soon, so that you can move and start enjoying all that it plainly has to offer.
>57 Fourpawz2: Oh, how sad not to have a bookstore! Even in the town I live now we have one (a chain store). There used to be two, but that's how things go.
There is a Barnes & Noble a town over, but it isn't the same as a nice independent book store with an old bookstore vibe. Keep expecting it to go out of business but am hoping it hangs on. My friends give me gift cards to it every now and again so I do visit it 4!or 5 times a year. Got one of those burning a hole in my pocket from last Christmas right now, but it's going to be a while longer before I want to be in a store setting.
>59 Fourpawz2: Yeah, indies are always nicer, but they're so rare here. I don't think my current town's had a non-chain bookstore since the mid-90's.Understandable that you want to wait to spend your gift card - you'll just have to think a bit longer and harder about exactly what you're going to buy for it.
I'm not avoiding any shops yet - there's still no spread in my region so there's really no reason to become a hermit just yet.
In case someone who's self-isolating or staying put for some other reason is as big of a museum fan as I am and missing the experience, a tweet led me to an article with links to various museums online exhibits/virtuals tours.
There's the British Museum, the Guggenheim, the National Gallery of Art in Washington, Musée d'Orsay, the National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art in South Korea, the Pergamon Museum (a personal favourite), Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam, the Van Gogh Museum, the Paul J. Getty Museum, the Uffizi Gallery, Museu de Arte de São Paulo, the National Museum of Anthropology in Mexico and the Louvre.
There are also tons of other place to "visit": museums, castles, temples, churches and heritage sites. Check out this, this and this for a start.
And someone else recommended the live cams at the Monterey Bay Aquarium if you want to see some animals.
>62 Berly: Thanks for the well wishes, I'm absorbing all the nice words on LT like s sponge.
Glad you liked the links, I'm hoarding culture like the panicked people are hoarding toilet paper. I can live off freezer and pantry food items for a good couple of months and be just fine but the idea of not having cultural stimulation scares me.
Thanks for those links, Cousin. I will make use of them for sure. Just have to figure out where I want to go first.
>64 Fourpawz2: Glad to hear they'll be used.
For opera lovers (or opera dilettantes) and classical music enthusiasts there are plenty of opera houses around the world sharing free streaming of performances (some already were).
There's the Metropolitan in New York, The Seattle Symphony, The Swedish Royal Opera, the Wiener Staatsoper, the Bayerische Staatsoper, the Berlin Philharminics and the Chamber Music Society.
Thanks for those two posts with links Paws! Much appreciated. I have favourited both of them.
>66 EllaTim: Glad to hear it, Ella. Hope they provide some entertainment during quarantine.
New info regarding work: the first and second years (16- and 17-year-olds) are to have online studies for the next month. The third years (18-year-olds) are to remain at school - third year is when you have the national tests and everything has to be finished before graduation. All staff are also to remain at school. So I'll be at work with basically nothing to do. Oh, well.
Murder Must Advertise by Dorothy L. Sayers
After the suspicious death of Victor Dean at Pym's advertising agency, Lord Peter Wimsey goes undercover as a copywriter to figure out what happened and why. The death turns out to be connected to a massive cocaine smuggling operation and Lord Peter and his brother-in-law Inspector parker get a lot on the hands.
This is great, as is always the case with Sayers. Sadly, only a tiny little scene with Bunter, who is my favourite character.
Happy Saturday, Cousin Paws!
Dorothy Sayers! I must dig out Book Number 2 and read it - it's lurking somewhere on my Kindle. I really enjoyed the first one. I think that another one would turn out to be a really good thing to read right about now.
Hope you are doing well this weekend.
>70 Fourpawz2: Hi cousin!
Yes, I think Lord Peter is perfect reading for times like these.
I'm having a good weekend - went grocery shopping with my mum and we saw a gorgeous massive insect hotel at the shop that we're going to try to re-create and put somewhere near the summer house.
The weather is wonderful - perfect spring weather - so we're going to go for a nice long walk in the sunshine soon. I'm making an effort to really appreciate the small things, and spring sunshine after a long winter is a wonderful thing.
I went on twitter, which is strangely becoming something of a haven full of people spreading good deeds and beauty and it's incredibly heart-warming to see. And I stumbled on a thread by the actor Samuel West, who has started recording himself reading poetry by request. I was actually just thinking yesterday that I would really love for someone to do that so it's been great to listen to him. One of the poem was by American poet Mary Oliver, who I was not previously acquainted with. It's a lovely poem, and I felt I wanted to share it with you.
Mary Oliver - Wild Geese
You do not have to be good.
You do not have to walk on your knees
for a hundred miles through the desert repenting.
You only have to let the soft animal of your body
love what it loves.
Tell me about despair, yours, and I will tell you mine.
Meanwhile the world goes on.
Meanwhile the sun and the clear pebbles of the rain
are moving across the landscapes,
over the prairies and the deep trees,
the mountains and the rivers.
Meanwhile the wild geese, high in the clean blue air,
are heading home again.
Whoever you are, no matter how lonely,
the world offers itself to your imagination,
calls to you like the wild geese, harsh and exciting -
over and over announcing your place
in the family of things.
I particularly loved the third sentence: You only have to let the soft animal of your body love what it loves. That is so beautiful.
>71 PawsforThought: - Okay - I have to ask - what is an insect hotel? Is it like an ant farm?
Twitter is now a place where people spread good deeds and beauty? Amazing. Hope they keep it up.
I've downloaded my Lord Peter book and aim to start sometime this afternoon.
>73 Fourpawz2: An insect hotel is a little house-shaped structure you place in your garden for solitary insects (bees, bumblebees, ladybugs, butterflies...) to move into. The "flats" are furnished with various materials for nesting.
Improving the situation for insects is something I've become quite passionate about. I've had "bumblebee baths" (for them to drink water from, not bathe in) out for years now, and I've bought some wild flower seed to sow when the snow and ice melts. And now the insect hotel.
Have fun with Lord Peter!
I just love that! What a wonderful idea.
Thanks. Going to start it after I do the dishes.
I feel like I've been listening to Middlemarch for ages but I'm only about 1/7 of the way through. It's not a matter of not liking it - it's fine so far but time seems to run at a different pace when I listen. I think a lot of it has to do with the reading being a tad slow - I tried to switch to a higher speed but the app only allows for 0.75, 1.0 and 1.5 and 1.5 is too fast and the narrator sounds borderline clown-like. I wish I could do 1.25 - that would make the reading sound okay but not take forever.
I decided to be a bit productive at work today and brought a few pairs of holey socks and some yarn and spent a couple of hours darning (while listening to Middlemarch). I got three pairs done and will do another two (or three if I can find where the last pair have run off to) tomorrow. After that, it's cardigan mending.
Some good news!
There was a baby Asian elephant calf born at Kolmården Zoo/Animal Park yesterday. Asian elephants are endangered and the elephants at Kolmården (who, as far as I know take VERY good care of their animals) are part of a project to save them from extinction. The parents of the newcomer were gifts from the King of Thailand to the King of Sweden and the Queen of Denmark respectively, and so the little one has been appropriately named Carl Gustav (after the King of Sweden).
>72 PawsforThought: I have several collections by Mary Oliver, Paws, she speaks so directly to the reader.
Stay safe in these troubled times. xx
>82 PaulCranswick: I've only read two of her poem, Paul but I like what I've read - I'll definitely keep an eye out for her when I continue my poetry reading.
Thank you for the well-wishes, you stay safe too.
>78 PawsforThought: So cute! All woolly, and he looks like he's smiling!
I find myself looking at animal movies on YouTube. There's a man there who plays Beethoven to elephants, love it.
>78 PawsforThought: He's so adorable. Youtube is great for animal videos. I haen't seen the man playing Beethoven to elephants, will have to look it up when I get home.
>78 PawsforThought: What a cutie and how nice to have a piece of good news for a change. : )
>86 Berly: I think it's more important than ever to try to remind ourselves that there *are* still good news out there, even though almost everything we hear about is frightening.
Lord Tony's Wife by Emmuska Orczy
Another installment in the Scarlet Pimpernel series, where Anthony Dewhurst falls in love with Yvonne de Kernogan but even though they hastily get married, dark forces manage to lure Yvonne away to France where death awaits.
These books are not masterpieces but they are fun to read and this is just the kind of romp I need right now.
Spring Story by Jill Barklem
It's a beautiful spring day in Brambly Hedge, and it's also young Wilfred's birthday. All the mice that live in Brambly Hedge decide to have a surprise birthday picnic for Wilfred.
This is such a sweet and lovely story. I had heard of the Brambly Hedge series before but a thread on Twitter (about what books/media peoplea re turning to in these difficult times) piqued my interest. I've neve rread these books before but I'm so glad to make their acquaintance. I'm a sucker for detailed drawings of old-fashioned homes (particularly kitchens) and this book is fll of that, and lots of other quaint and cute pictures. This is just what I ned right now.
Summer Story by Jill Barklem
Another visit to Brambly hedge, where we get to see the mill and the dairy, and we experience when they respective managers - Poppy and Dusty - get married.
So sweet, and while the story of the wedding is adorable and lovely, my favourite parts are the schematics of the mill and the dairy. Such incredible detail in the illustrations. Just wonderful.
Autumn Story by Jill Barklem
It's harvest time and att the mice in Brambly Hedge are doing their part to make sure the stores are full for the coming winter months. But then Primrose Woodmouse goes missing.
This is just too sweet. In a good way. Not only is this as lovely as the previous books in the series, but it's also about harvesting and gathering foods - which I've always had a soft spot for. I think I might have been a squirrel or somethign in a previous life. The depictions of the food stores (and the food gathering) are wonderful.
Winter Story by Jill Barklem
Winter has come and a thick snow has almost completely covered Brambly Hedge. The mice decide to do what is traditional when there's been a snowfall that big - to hold a Snow Ball.
Delightful as the other books, and I like the idea of roasting crabapples over an open fire to serve with punch.
What a wonderful series Paws. I love those drawings. Never heard of them before, but now I want them!
>93 EllaTim: They're lovely, Ella, and I highly recommend them if you want something sweet and charming with very pretty and detailed illustrations - especially good in times like these. There are four more books in the series that I haven't read yet, but I'll get to them soon.
Hercule Poirot's Christmas by Agatha Christie
Simeon Lee is a rather vicious and mean old man that very few - if any - people like, including his own family. He decides to make all his children come and stay with him for Christmas, but things don't quite work out how he thought, because he ends up with his throat cut. Enter Hercule Poirot and his little grey cells.
Yes, I'm reading a Christmas mystery in April. I started reading it in November but my reading funk kicked in and I didn't get very far. I enjoyed reading this one, even though I disliked every single character in it - except perhaps poor old Tressilian. The ending was interesting, if a bit unlikely.
Death at Victoria Dock by Kerry Greenwood
Phryne Fisher has to deal with a murder (and her own near-death experience), Latvian anarchists and the disappearance of a young schoolgirl. She does it all with her usual flair , and with the help of her friends.
I love these books. The storylines in this book were some of my least favourite ones in the TV series, but I still really like the book.
>94 PawsforThought: All libraries are closed here. I found the book, there's a Waterstones branch here in Amsterdam, but it's closed right now. I am promising myself a good book browsing tour there, when this Covid thing is over!
Can you still visit a library Paws?
97 Yes, all libraries are still open here. Most things are still open.
Most of the Brambly Hedge books can be read on archive.org if you don't want to wait until the Covid lockdown is over.
>98 PawsforThought: Oh, yes, that's an option I hadn't thought of! But I'm not going to cancel that book browsing tour, need something to look forward to. And we're saving money at the moment, no eating out, no holiday outings.
>99 EllaTim: Yes, definitely keep the book browsing tour scheduled for when it's all over. I've promised myself quite the shopping frenzy when this all starts to wind down. While I can still go to the shops and such if I want to, I'm really only going to work and the grocery shop (and hoem) unless I've completely run out of something. So I'm also saving quite a bit. I look forward to spending some again - on companies that can really use the money.
I am thinking of a holiday when the coronavirus furore has died down, Paws, and Sweden suggests itself. My love of Scandicrime books and a yearning for fresh air is making me consider it. Is Gotland a good place to visit for a holiday?
>101 PaulCranswick: Oh, you'll be more than welcome to come to Sweden once all this horror is over with. Gotland is very popular in the summertime and would be an ideal place to visit - lots of culture, good beaches, all the stuff that attracts tourists. I'd avoid going there in the first week of July (week 27) because that's when the "political festival" Almedalsveckan takes over Visby (the main town on the island).
If you're a history nerd, there's also the Medieval week in early August.
I haven't been to Gotland since I was a child, but have many fond memories (it's extra good for young kids because Gotland is home to Pippi Longstocking's house).
>102 PawsforThought: It is funny because Gotland is the setting for the Anders Knutas series created by Mari Jungstedt which I very much enjoy and I created a picture of the place for myself from there which appeals to me (without all the murders of course!).
Kensuke's Kingdom by Michael Morpurgo
Eleven-year-old Michael goes on a round-the-world sailing trip with his parents, but on the way north from Australia they encounter a raging storm and during the night, Michael falls overboard. He wakes up on a seemingly desert island.
This was the only one of Morpurgo's books that are available in my library region that I didn't read last year (during my Morpurgo binge) - because someone else had borrowed it and didn't return it in time. It's a lovely story, like so many of Morpurgo's are, and Michael's life on the island is great to read about.
This topic is not marked as primarily about any work, author or other topic.