juliette07's 999 challenge

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juliette07's 999 challenge

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Edited: Dec 31, 2009, 6:01am

Welcome to my thread! Here is my progress so far

42 / 81 books. 51 % read!

After much thought and ruminating I have decided upon the following categories.

1.Women and War - this may well include memoir, letters, novels, or diary of mass observation books on the subject of women and war.

1 Christine : SOE agent and Churchill's favourite spy by Madeleine Masson review here
2 A Fine of Two Hundred Francs (Virago Modern Classics) by Elsa Triolet review here
3 Not so quiet : stepdaughters of war by Helen Zenna Smith Completed.

4 The Deepening Stream by Dorothy Canfield completed.

5 Women in the War Zone: Hospital Service in the First World War by Anne Powell completed.

2.Books from my parents’ library - my dear parents wanted a little girl who would love books as they themselves loved books. They possessed eight 'Minty' bookcases made of mahogany. These were part of my daily life for all the years I was living in our family home. Now, my Mum, aged 93 is in a nursing home where it is not possible to house such items of furniture and all her books are stored in our house. I will aim to read nine of them this year.

1 All Quiet on The Western Front by Erich Maria Remarque review here
2 Lark Rise To Candleford - can't find it - feeling even more miserable. Have bought second hand Penguin and feeling much brighter. Completed

3.Richard and Judy - nine of these books chosen from their selections over the year.

1 The Pirate's Daughter by Margaret Cezair-Thompson
2 The Cellist of Sarajevo by Stephen Galloway read

4.Caught My Eye - for all those recommendations and reviews read.

1 Simon's Night by Jon Hassler - gift from Virago Secret Santa.
2 Hit The Ground Kneeling by Stephen Cottrell read review here
3 The Collecting Jar by Rob Hardy read
4 The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas by John Boyne read
5 Muriel Spark The Biography by Martin Stannard completed
6 The Sea House by Esther Freud read
7 Fatal Light by Richard Currey review here
8 The Harrowing Robert Dinsdale ERC completed

5.Virago Modern Classics - plenty of these green spined books, the main problem being which ones to choose.

1 The Song of The Lark by Willa Cather read
2 A Fine of Two Hundred Francs by Elsa Triolet read.
3 The Crowded Street by Winifred Holtby - completed
4 The Reef by Edith Wharton completed

6.Published in 1929 - I have joined this group here on LT and will be choosing as I go along.

1 All Quiet on The Western Front - bought a second hand 1929 edition published by G.B. Putnam's Sons London. I am thrilled to have it! review here
2 The Trumpeter of Krakow by Eric P Kelly Completed 06 02 09

7.Newbery Award winners - my ongoing project to read all Newbery award winners.

1 1961 Island of The Blue Dolphins by Scott O'Dell review here
2 1929 The Trumpeters of Krackow by Eric P Kelly Obtained from the local library. Completed 06 02 09
3 1947 Miss Hickory by Carolyn Sherwin Bailey review here
4 Julie of the Wolves by Jean Craighead George

8.Book around the World - nine new countries to add to another of my ongoing projects in which I aim to read more widely.

1 The Water Horse by Julia Gregson review here
2 Burnt Shadows by Kamila Shamsie completed
3 Waiting for Anya by Michael Morpurgo completed France
4 A Little Piece of Ground by Elizabeth Laird completed Ramallah Palestine
5 The Things They Carried by Tim O'Brien read Vietnam

Book Awards - nine award winning books from the prize lists continuing the challenge I began in 2008.

1 Kisses for Mayakovsky by Alison Fell review here This volume won the Alice Hunt Bartlett Award in 1984.
2 When Jessie came Across The Sea by Amy Hest

Last year I used the 888 challenge to organise my reading and incorporated other challenges into my sections. I am not inclined to map out or decide upon my book choices for each category - I am far too likely to veer off after an interest that has developed either from reading or life.

I intend to set down my lists and populate them as I go along. All suggestions, thoughts and reflections welcome!

Dec 26, 2008, 6:14pm

Julie - Singled Out by Virginia Nicholson and Not So Quiet by Helen Zenna Smith are two books I could recommend for your category 1.

Singled Out is an excellent social history of the generation of post 1st World War women and the impact of the loss of a generation on them. Although it relates to England, it is also applicable to associated commonwealth countries of the time.

Not So Quiet is based on the diary of Winifred Young, an ambulance driver at the French front during WW1. It was published in 1930 believed to be a reply to All Quiet on the Western Front.

H S Smith was the pseudonym for Evadne Price and Not So Quiet is published as a VMC.

Dec 26, 2008, 11:01pm

"8 'minty' bookcases..." What wonderful memories you must have! :)

Dec 27, 2008, 1:13pm

Thank you Bonnie for stopping by - having just read your profile I see you are an enthusiast for childrens' books so you will understand my Newbery category!

Yes, I was, and remain so privileged to have had an upbringing in which books were given such value. The bookcases were certainly not show cases - rather they were used, cared for and respected! Maybe I should get a photo for you! Have you heard of the makers - Minty - I wonder. Reading your profile was interesting, the more so when you wrote of how you did not own a book until adulthood. I look forward to following your progress here!

Dec 27, 2008, 1:52pm

Thank you Patricia for those really helpful suggestions. I have looked them both up and noted them in my notebook. This 2008 year my reading was mapped out using the 888 challenge and categories, one of which was the same Women and War as I have chosen for the 999. I found it so fascinating and broad that I wished to follow my interest. As for my choice of books I will have ideas but prefer not to cast them in stone .... or rather on my excel spread sheet!

Dec 27, 2008, 2:27pm

Juliette, Not sure if you're thinking fiction or non for the women and war category, but I can recommend two interesting books about women and the Lebanese civil war, if you're interested. The Stone of Laughter by Hoda Baraket and Sitt Marie Rose by Etel Adnan. I'll be looking forward to see what you read for this category - my M.A. thesis was on a related subject!

Dec 27, 2008, 3:20pm

Oh Fanny - thank you so very much for commenting. In relation to the fiction or not question, I am open to suggestion. As you may have read above I used th esame category last year in 888 and read a mixture.

The good news is that I have not read about the Lebanese war at all but would be intersted in finding out more. Sorry to be dim but was your thesis related to Women and War or The Lebanese War in particular ?

Dec 27, 2008, 3:26pm

Fiction written by women during the Lebanese civil war. And you're not dim, how on earth would you know what my thesis was on without asking?!? :)

Dec 27, 2008, 3:36pm

Thanks Fanny - in the time it took me to go and investigate those two books and find my answer from your book reviews you have appeared!!

They sound excellent and I really enjoyed reading your reviews. My background knowledge and understanding of that place and time is limited - I would still really like to go for one of them at least. I would favour The Stone of Laughter.

Previously I majored pretty much on the first and second world war so it will be good to broaden out. In addition such a read would match my book around the world category as well!

Dec 27, 2008, 3:40pm

Can I mention two more VMCs that I am reading for a WW2 related challenge elsewhere?

A Fine of 200 Francs by Elsa Triolet
The Quest for Christa T. by Christa Wolf

Dec 27, 2008, 4:24pm

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Dec 27, 2008, 4:58pm

Fleur - just gone over to investigate those two. I remember hearing all the fuss over Christa T. Love the sound of A Fine of 200 Francs. Just have to try and obtain a copy now. Found one on Green metropolis at a fairly reasonable price - library didn't have a copy. The book sounded really up my street - we are getting to know each other! France, Virago and Women and War!!

Dec 27, 2008, 5:05pm

Thanks for commenting Carolyn and such a very interesting suggestion. Been over to look at description - it would be a real change for me - thanks!

This is thrilling that so many friends are contributing to one another's lists and categories! At this rate I will soon have 81 women and war books alone =)

Dec 27, 2008, 5:22pm

Re: #4, Juliette, I'll read the Newbery Award winners with you! Most of my students in these last few years are younger (K-2) so they often haven't gotten to that level by the time they graduate, plus, as you saw in my profile, I have been avoiding the Children's Books section for the last couple of years because I have no willpower, especially when it comes to picture books, including the Caldecott's. Anyway, I looked at the Newbery Winners for the last 4 years and see I haven't read any of them--how awful! I've got to fix that! I'll star your postings and try to read them at the same time, if you can give me a heads up! :)

Dec 28, 2008, 12:49pm

Hi Bonnie - great idea to read the Newbery books together. As it is one of my ongoing projects I have already read quite a number of them - 19 to be precise. If you go to my library and check the tags you can see which I have read! I have them tagged in two ways 1) Newbery and 2)Newbery library. If you prefer I have a file I could attach and send you if you pm your email address to my profile.

I will most likely get my nine Newbery reads from my library service here in Oxfordshire. Have a think about it and look at which ones I have read already - each one has a review link. There is also a blog site dedicated to Newbery winners! It is http://newberryproject.blogspot.com/ and I have posted my reviews there as well. If you look down the right hand side of the blog you will see the whole list from 1922 right up to the present day.

If you want any more thoughts upon the ones I have read please do ask! Meanwhile I will begin to make my choices, probably based upon availability ... looking forward to hearing from you!

Dec 28, 2008, 1:06pm

Yes, I checked out your library, including both Newbery tags. It looks like you have some of the more recent ones to read as well. I've starred you, so when you're getting ready to read one, maybe you can post it and I'll read it too. :)

Dec 28, 2008, 6:51pm

Will do Bonnie - I look forward to being in touch! Ihave starred you as well =)

Dec 30, 2008, 6:06pm

Just popped by to see your categories - good choices. Looking forward to seeing which books you will read. Good Luck!

Jan 1, 2009, 7:58am

Thanks Valerie and just to say that I have begun reading. In addition I have begun the populating of my categories. The searching, thinking, planning and procuring, not to mention the sharing with like minded friends is a delight.

Jan 1, 2009, 1:17pm

Hello Julie! Great list. Are you planning to (re)-read A Room of One's Own for your Project 1929 category? I've starred your thread so I can easily follow ...

Jan 1, 2009, 3:30pm

Hello Laura and yes, I am thinking about re-reading A Room of One's Own - a number of people are wishing to do a read together. Thank you, as you can see I have not populated too many of my groups yet. I am hoping to use overlaps as, realistically speaking I will never get through 81! The 64/56 of this year was definitely achievable (apart from my other challenges!). This will be nigh on impossible.

Jan 1, 2009, 4:36pm

My favorite Virago is My Career Goes Bung, the sequel to My Brilliant Career, which is also available as a Virago Classic (I think). The books are set at the turn of the last century, in Australia and concern a wonderful protagonist. In the first book she is a budding author and in the second she comes to terms with fame and its discontents.

Jan 3, 2009, 11:09am

Thank you for posting RidgewayGirl - I will look out for those two. Are you a member of the Virago Modern Classics group ? If not and you enjoy Viragos come along and join us. It is a delightful group and great fun. You will be very welcome

Jan 3, 2009, 11:23am

I have just seen that the following Newbery category books are arriving shortly at the library ready for me to collect.

Miss Hickory by C S Bailey
Trumpeter of Krakow by Eric P Kelly
Island of the blue dolphins by Scott O'Dell

Jan 8, 2009, 6:19am

Just passing through looking for inspiration for my WW1 and WW2 thread which may as well as be called WW1, WW2 and women because I guarantee it'll be all women's experience and no military history at all. Unless it's a woman driving the tank!

I have nicked some of the recommendations you've been given for my wish-list. Had intended to give you some wartime recommendations of my own but doesn't look like you need them!

Jan 10, 2009, 1:39pm

Hello Soupdragon and thank you for calling in to my thread. Last year I read a number in this category and became increasingly interested. Later on in the 1929 category I am going to read All Quiet on The Western Front followed by the Not so quiet : stepdaughters of war by Helen Zenna Smith so that should be a great contrast. My next read in the category of Women and War will be my lovely Virago copy of A Fine of Two Hundred Francs by Elsa Triolet. I will now pop over and see how you are getting on=)

Jan 10, 2009, 1:42pm

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Edited: Jan 11, 2009, 3:11pm

1 The biography of Christine : SOE agent and Churchill's favourite spy by Madeleine Masson .

This was my first read for the Women and War category and my review is here

Edited: Jan 10, 2009, 1:51pm

Next read is the 1947 Newbery Award winner Miss Hickory by Carolyn Sherwin Bailey. I am hoping that Bonnie over at 'bonniebooks' will be joining in on this one.

Jan 10, 2009, 3:50pm

Big Smile! Going to go looking for Miss Hickory today! I love having an excuse for heading out to my favorite bookstore. And I can buy it guilt-free, because I can add it to my student library when I'm done with it. :)

Jan 10, 2009, 4:10pm

P.S. Read your review; I always enjoy reading more about what women were doing during war--they bring such a different sensibility to our understanding of how everybody is impacted when a few old men decide that the only solution to conflict should be that their countries should be at war. (Could my bias be any more obvious?) I keep hearing about Virago Classics or Virago Press--I'm going to go check those out as well.

Edited: Jan 10, 2009, 4:44pm

Oh Bonnie - how generous hearted and thoughtful of you to give the book to the student library. Couldn't agree more about women and war.

If you would be intersted there is a LT group Virago Modern Classics. It is a very warm and friendly group of enthusiasts who are delightful and come together to share their love of books from the Virago press. This is the link to the group here

Loving the imagery and delightful lithographs by Ruth Gannett in my 1974 edition. I was reading on the dust jacket that Carolyn Sherwin Bailey was 71 years old when this book was first published. Apparently she was writing at the beginning of the 20th century but this little book has origins that go back to 1880. Her own grandmother did *actually* make her a twig doll like Miss Hickory.

Jan 10, 2009, 4:53pm

Ruth Gannett?! :) Didn't she write My Father's Dragon? That series of three books is still sooo popular with K-2 teachers and their students.

Edited: Jan 10, 2009, 5:16pm

Well Bonnie - thanks for that, and yes you are quite correct. Here is some info straight from Wiki.

Ruth Stiles Gannett Kahn (born 1923) is the author of the My Father's Dragon series as well as other short children's novels. She wrote the first novel, My Father's Dragon after her graduating from Vassar College in 1944, with a BA in Chemistry. After that book received Newbery Honor, she wrote two more novels in that series, Elmer and The Dragon and The Dragons of Blueland. This series of three books has proved so popular that they have remained in print continuously since their first publication.

Gannett also wrote Katie and the Sad Noise and Wonderful House-Boat-Train. She was married to the artist, art history professor and calligrapher Peter Kahn (deceased). The couple have seven daughters and eight grandchildren. She lives near Trumansburg, New York.

A deluxe edition of "My Father's Dragon" is scheduled for release on October 28, 2008.

Jan 10, 2009, 5:31pm

I have visited the Newbery Project and I am beguiled. I have read a couple (The Tale of Despereaux and Holes) and I am hoping to order a few more from the library once I have finished my Childhood Memories Reading Challenge. Thank you!

Jan 10, 2009, 5:43pm

I loved Miss Hickory when my father read it to me when I was about 6 or 7. He then read Hitty: Her First Hundred Years to me -- another Newbery Winner -- and I loved that one even more. I've read Hitty again on my own and aloud twice (to each of my daughters), but haven't ever again read Miss Hickory, though it is a book I've always remembered. I wonder what I'd think now... perhaps I'll join you...

Jan 10, 2009, 7:04pm

# 29 Juliette07 - I have ordered a copy of Miss Hickory to add to my 999 category of 1947 prizewinners - thanks for the reference and the review of Christine : SOE agent and Churchill's favorite spy which is on my Mount TBR.

You might also be interested in Moondrop to Gascony by Anne-Marie Walters which was written in 1946 and won the John Llewellyn Rhys Prize in 1947. The book is written as a memoir of the author's experience in France as a spy during WW2. It contains only one map as a point of reference but no other references. It relies solely on the author's personal recollection of events and conversations, which, in 1946 were probably still reasonably fresh.

Edited: Jan 25, 2009, 11:55am

2 Miss Hickory by Carolyn Sherwin Bailey

This is the first of my Newbery Award winners - my ongoing project to read all Newbery award winners.

review here of this four star book.

Edited: Jan 11, 2009, 3:33pm

#35 Thank you fleur for calling by and so pleased to have helped renew your interest. My Newbery reads and reviews are all tagged in my library under Newbery and Newbery library. Please do take a look and feel free to ask any questions. I have to use Newbery library as I get some of them from the library. I love obtaining the old copies that are kept in the central reserve in library. Despereaux was excellent as was Holes. Have you seen the film? It has been released here but we missed it.

#36 Hello ivyd and welcome to this thread! Thank you for commenting. What a delightful memory to have shared - thank you. Having completed the book I really can imagine such a delight as having it read aloud. I have heard other positive comments about Hitty but have not been able to obtain a copy. Please do let me know if you re-read Miss Hickory. I thought it was wonderful.
If you are interested in other Newbery award winners you may be interested in a blog site dedicated to Newbery winners! It is http://newberryproject.blogspot.com/ and I have posted my reviews there as well. If you look down the right hand side of the blog you will see the whole list from 1922 right up to the present day.

#37 Hello mrspenny and thank you for the suggestion regarding Moondrop to Gascony by Anne-Marie Walters. I will explore a little more and meanwhile put it upon my list. I have not actually been to Gascony but would still be very interested I am sure.

Regarding Miss Hickory - you will not be disappointed and you may be interested in ivyd's comment in #36!

Edited: Jan 11, 2009, 4:40pm

Thanks for the link, juliette -- I found the reviews there very interesting! Many of the books my father read to me were Newbery winners or honor books. Perhaps he had a list of them -- he always chose the books, and I never thought to ask him why he chose them. It is indeed a special memory for me, of a wonderful father who has been gone far too long.

I do hope you are able to locate a copy of Hitty. It was my favorite book until I read Anne of Green Gables a few years later. One of my daughters (now grown) still claims Hitty as one of her favorite books.

I'm thinking I'd like to read Miss Hickory to my granddaughter, but I'm not sure that she's quite old enough yet. She's not quite 5, and is fairly sophisticated in her book tastes, but I'm thinking maybe I ought to wait another year or so... I might have to read it myself first to decide, but it would be so much fun to rediscover the book with her... do you have any thoughts about that?

edited to correct typo

Jan 11, 2009, 4:37pm

Ooh, Miss Hickory looks really good- and Trumansburg is actually near to where I live!

For your women in war category, if you are including fiction, may I recommend The Road Home by Ellen Emerson White? I just recommended it over in the 75 Books Challenge, too. It's a great YA novel about an army nurse in the Vietnam War, her experiences during the war and when she returns home.

Edited: Jan 11, 2009, 5:10pm

ivyd - what a lovely thought to pass on the love of a book that was gifted to you yourself as a child. We naturally share books in our family and have a special shelf space for our grandchild who is 3 and a half years old. We love her visits and she often tugs at any willing reader to her books =)

Regarding reading Miss Hickory to your little one. Mmmm ... my view is that I would probably leave it a little longer so that she will be able to enter fully into that wonderful imaginary, yet so real world, that Miss Hickory inhabits. In addition the depth of some of the action and consequences aspects of the story would be less 'accessible to her. Not that that would necessarily be a bad thing but all food for thought! And of course being the teacher that I am we would probably begin to develop our own Miss Hickory - minor problem at the moment would be the freezing cold that would prevent us gathering the necessary materials!

Jan 11, 2009, 5:09pm

allthesedarnbooks - a warm welcome to this thread and thank you for commenting. You will not be disappointed should you decide to become better acquainted with Miss Hickory.
Thank you fvery much for the recommendation of the book set in Vietnam. It is the first I have received in relation to the Vietnam war and have read no other factual or fictitious works relating to women and that theatre of war. I will keep in touch and pop over to your thread.

Jan 11, 2009, 5:09pm

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Jan 11, 2009, 7:38pm

Nice book photos up there, julie! ;o)

Jan 11, 2009, 7:57pm

Julie - another book you may be interested in for your Women and War category is Last Night I dreamed of Peace by Dang Thuy Tram which is the diary of a young North Vietnamese doctor who was involved in the Vietnam War. It was found among her possessions after her death and has only recently been translated and published. It is something quite different and very poignant.

The other book which I have in my memoir/biography category which you may also be interested in is Women of the Long March by Lily Xiao and Sue Wiles. It is the story of the women who were with the Red Army on the Long March in 1930s. Not an international war but certainly a revolution requiring courage and bravery on the part of the women.

Your category of women and war is providing so many wonderful works of which I was not previously aware.

Edited: Jan 12, 2009, 2:43am

#45 Thanks for visiting Terri - and for commenting. We are all sharing some great books in our threads over here!

#46 mrspenny - thank you again. Not only would those two suggestions broaden out the category but they would certainly fit into my Book Around The World category. I especially like the sound of the lady doctor and will add it to my list.

Jan 12, 2009, 12:36pm

Re #42

Thanks for your comments, juliette. I don't now remember the specifics of Miss Hickory's adventures, but I think you're probably right that she would get more from it in a year or two.

Edited: Jan 25, 2009, 11:49am

3 Island of the Blue Dolphins by Scott O'Dell

This was the second read for my Newbery Award category. review here

Jan 18, 2009, 12:38pm

Julie- I have the same edition of Island of the Blue Dolphins--is yours really old too? I picked mine up for 25 cents at a charity shop. I had to read this book in elementary school (I think I was about eleven) and I hated it, but I plan to reread it one day--I have a feeling I'll like it better now.

Jan 18, 2009, 12:47pm

Joyce - yes it is really old! Sadly it is a library book and I have tagged it as such. The good news is that I have photographed and uploaded the cover you recognise. Amazingly, there were something like 40 covers and this one was not there! I love it when I request a library book that turns out to be a beautiful old book!

I found it an intersting read due to the Historical aspect but kept wondering how contemporary children would find it.

Jan 18, 2009, 2:19pm

Julie, I remember really liking this book as a child but I couldn't get either of my girls interested in it!

Jan 18, 2009, 2:23pm

Thank you Laura.

Mmm QED as far as your children are concerned. My view is that there is insufficient engaging with the reader at the emotional level. Such a lost opportunity as the setting and plot cry out for intrapersonal reflective thinking.

Jan 18, 2009, 2:43pm

Island of the Blue Dolphins was one of my favorite books growing up! I must have reread it at least 10 times between the ages of 8 and 12. I wonder how I would find it now?

I also really loved Julie of the Wolves which is also a Newbery Winner and is in a similar vein.

Jan 18, 2009, 2:51pm

Marcia - thank you for calling in and so pleased to have reawoken a happy reading memory. On Amazon.co.uk there are a number of copies, new and used. My copy was in fact a library book. You may know that I am working on a project to read all the Newbery Award winners so I tend to use the library - I also rather enjoy reading the old copies. In fact I always take photos of the covers and upload them so that a record is kept.

Thank you for the recommendation - it is one I have not yet read.

Edited: Jan 18, 2009, 3:00pm

Currently reading

from my Newbery Award category.

Jan 18, 2009, 3:03pm

I love the library, too! I actually got Miss Hickory from the library on your rec and it's a lovely old copy from 1948, except that they need to replace the plastic dust jacket, which is ripped. My mom and I are actually taking turns reading a chapter out loud to each other, which is great. I'm 23 but I feel you're never too old for family reading and my mom is a retired first grade teacher, so she loves it. Last night we read the chapter where Cow eats all the apples, which my mom loved because she grew up on a dairy farm and could remember that happening!

I'd def recommend Julie of the Wolves. Your library should hopefully have a nice old copy--- it was originally published in 1972, so not TOO old but old enough to have lots of different covers. :)

Edited: Jan 22, 2009, 5:02pm

#57 Thank you - I will return to the top and add Julie of the Wolves. How delightful that you are sharing your reading with your Mum along with the reviving of happy memories.

I know that we/I could buy all the new editions of the Newbery books but by using the library I hope that I may be encouraging the service to maintain the collection. Most of the books I order come from the central store.

Edited: Feb 6, 2009, 3:39pm

Still reading The Trumpeter of Krakow - going rather slowly. Have begun Lark Rise to Candleford by Flora Thompson as it is a group read over on the Virago group. This is despite the fact that it is not a Viargo - just in case you are wondering!

Feb 1, 2009, 12:17am

I've finished Miss Hickory and really enjoyed it. Thank you so much for the recommendation!

My library's Newbery collection is a mised. Miss Hickory wasn't in very good shape and some of the other older books are missing altogether, while they have multiple copies of some of the new ones. I hope you enjoy Julie of the Wolves!

I'll be interested to see what you think of Lark Rise to Candleford, I was just reading about it on the Guardian's 1000 Books Everyone Must Read List and contemplating whether to add it to my TBR pile.

Feb 2, 2009, 11:59am

Marcia - thank you and so glad that you were not disappointed with Miss Hickory! I am finding my Newbery read really slow going at the moment but am relishing Lark Rise to Candleford which is a wonderful evocation of Oxfordshire life in the late 1800s. I would certainly highly recommend it so far - it is shaping up to at least four stars. Do you read Virago books - there is a thread in the Virago group which is discussing it. Lark Rise is not actually a Virago but we all think it should be!!

Edited: Feb 7, 2009, 2:34am

Completed The Trumpeter of Krakow by Eric P Kelly. Sad to say this was my first Newbery disappointment, it just seemed to lag and I was unable to keep up reading momentum. As a two and a half star read it is the lowest star rating I have used.
review here

Edited: Feb 6, 2009, 3:40pm

Am now reading

This is for my 1929 category and I am reading it alongside Lark Rise To Candleford and what a juxtaposition that is. I am finding LRTC rather slow yet strangely rewarding, due imho to the quality of Flora's descriptive writing and aura of calmness.

Edited: Feb 7, 2009, 1:02pm

Completed All Quiet on The Western Front by Erich Maria Remarque.

This book was a special treasure at so many levels. Bought from my favourite second hand emporium it is a hard back version published in September 1928, London. Covered in a friendly protective plastic sleeve it has a beautifully preserved original dust cover with the end pages containing much relevant and historical information. This is available here post 16 and 17 if you are interested in taking a closer look.

In addition this book was on the shelves of one of my parents’ Minty book cases …. Yet I never read it. Sadly, I cannot find that copy now – hence my joy at finding this edition. Of greater import – I wonder why, as a little girl who was always asking of my parents ‘What can I read next ?’ and was generally pointed to another lovely book I was never pointed to this one? Could it be that my father born in 1910 was wary and had experienced so much of what Erich wrote that he wished to protect me…. not just from the grim reality but from even the thought of that reality so that my youthful naivety could remain intact …

How does one begin to review such a work .... if you are interested I have tried here !

Feb 7, 2009, 1:24pm

I read this book before I was a mom of two boys, young men now, and your review makes me want to read it again. I'm not going to promise to do it anytime soon, though, as I still feel like a fink for not keeping up with you on your Newbery Award books. :-)

Feb 7, 2009, 2:12pm

No problem Bonnie - I have you starred and simply wondered if all was well =) I am wondering which to read next. Lark Rise to Candleford is taking some time but I am enjoying the calmness and space it offers.

Feb 7, 2009, 9:59pm

I love your thoughts in #64 Julie. Interesting thought about your father.

Feb 13, 2009, 4:08pm

Thanks Laura - it is one of those books that will remain with me long after it returns to the bookcase.

Edited: Feb 20, 2009, 2:44am

Completed Hit The Ground Kneeling by Stephen Cottrell.


Edited: Feb 15, 2009, 1:00pm

Just finished a magnificent collection of poems by Alison Fell, Kisses for Mayakovsky. review here
I am wondering why she mentioned Mayakovsky in the title. The Elsa Triolet book A Fine Of Two Hundred Francs I am reading at present has links via the author. I wonder if anyone else could spread some light upon this?

Feb 15, 2009, 3:58pm

>70 juliette07:, I don't know, but I just read a reference to Mayakovsky in Frank O'Hara recently, so I think maybe I need to start familiarizing myself with his work more, he seems quite influential.

Feb 15, 2009, 5:02pm

I enjoyed your review of Hit the Ground Kneeling - it sounds a lot like the philosophy that we've discussed in our church. I'll have to add that one to my TBR list!

Feb 16, 2009, 2:27pm

Thanks for commenting Nicola - and for reading the review, even though it was a bit sparse. It was an excellent read - but I do know the author very well - he is Bishop of Reading. He really lives out his faith and is a wonderful orator and writer as well as a great man! If you are serious about wanting to read it let me know and I will send you a copy! God bless! Julie

Edited: Feb 20, 2009, 2:46am

Just completed Elsa Triolet's A Fine of Two Hundred Francs.

An immense book in every sense of the word. At times it was a hard book and at others you could barely put it down. review here

Feb 21, 2009, 4:32pm

That is a wonderful review. Thank you. I'm looking forward to the book but because I am having a difficult time on a number of fronts at the moment I'm going to defer until life is a little more settled.

Feb 22, 2009, 4:58pm

Why thank you Fleur, it was a truly mesmerizing book and one which has fascinated me greatly at so many levels. I was so pleased that I was able to take time to contemplate and reflect. I am sorry that you are in difficult times - you are in my thoughts. I look forward to hearing your thoughts when you have the space to read Elsa Triolet

Feb 24, 2009, 2:31pm

Bonniebooks suggested I check out your thread as we both have Newberry categories. I'd like to read them all eventually too. How far have you gotten?
Really liked your review of Miss Hickory - that was one of my favorites as a kid. Have you read "Jacob Have I Loved"? That was another favorite I'd like to reread. And then "From the Mixed-Up Files ..." I've read over and over and over ... =)

Any Newberry recommendations? My list is partly going to be dependent on what I find at my local used bookstore, but there are so many I haven't read that I'd love some ideas.

Feb 24, 2009, 2:33pm

Oh - I also meant to say that I loved your notes on your 2nd category. I had to look up minty bookcases - gorgeous!

Edited: Mar 1, 2009, 8:26am

Thank you for visiting madhatter22. I have got through quite a few now and need to go back and count the presice number! If you use the tag Newbery on my library that will bring them all up. {Jacob I Have Loved is one I read but the From The Mixed-Up Files - no I haven't got to that one yet.
I get most of my Newbery reads from my library service here in Oxfordshire. There is also a blog site dedicated to Newbery winners! It is http://newberryproject.blogspot.com/ and I have posted my reviews there as well. If you look down the right hand side of the blog you will see the whole list from 1922 right up to the present day. Let me know how you are getting on.

My bookcases are indeed most precious and most classic - not to mention the happy memories! I also have a limed oak case that was *really* my own! My parents gave it to me when I was young - it has been with me all my life. My husband renovated it and now it houses probably my most precious and influential books.

Edited: Mar 7, 2009, 3:17pm

Completed what turned out to be a two star disappointing read for my Caught My Eye category which will also conveniently overlap with my Book Around The World category as well.

review here

Edited: Mar 7, 2009, 3:21pm

Book 10 completed.

A wonderfully thought provoking collection of poems by LT poet and author Rob Hardy.

Mar 10, 2009, 1:01am

I found your thread via reading your review of Miss Hickory by Carolyn Sherwin Bailey. I'm a member of the 75 book challenge group.

I note you, like me, are reading the Newbery Medal award books. I'm having a great time learning more about these books. I recently read kira-kira by Cynthia Kadohata and highly recommend this book if you haven't read it.

I'll be stopping by your thread to read your reviews and note the books you are reading.

Message 77, as indicated above, I highly recommend kira-kira and The View from Saturday by E.L. Konigsburg

Mar 16, 2009, 4:53pm

Welcome Whisper 1 and thanks for calling by and for sharing your interest in the Newbery Medal books. There is a great site devoted to Newbery Medal winners and reviews of the books from many readers, some of whom are here on LT.

It is http://newberryproject.blogspot.com/ and I have posted my reviews there as well. If you look down the right hand side of the blog you will see the whole list from 1922 right up to the present day.

Thanks for the recommendations - I will be getting round to some more Newbery winners very soon.

Mar 25, 2009, 1:37pm

Hello Julie! I was serious about reading Hit the Ground Kneeling - I just haven't been checking my threads for a bit. If you'd like to send me a copy, I'd be delighted.

Mar 29, 2009, 2:24pm

Hello Nicola and thanks for calling by - if you would like me to send you my copy please drop me your address on my profile.

Edited: Mar 29, 2009, 4:32pm

Book 11 completed.

Just finished The Song of The Lark by Willa Cather - five star read for my Virago category.
review here

Hi whisper1 - just to say that, apart from our Newbery interest I notice you have The Things They Carried - I will be reading it soon.

Apr 5, 2009, 1:33pm

Book 12 was a five star read Not So Quiet by Helen Zenna Smith. I will review that very soon.

Book 13 was The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas by John Boyne a four star read soon to be reviewed.

Apr 9, 2009, 3:37pm

Book 14 completed The Deepening Stream by Dorothy Canfield. A five star all time favourite read.

Apr 10, 2009, 6:26am

>88 juliette07:: I've seen you raving about this book elsewhere on LT. There's not much information about it on the work page. What made it so good?

Apr 11, 2009, 1:13pm

hi Laura - will get back to you very soon. I have added some more information and will write my review tomorrow - promise!

Book 15 completed The Things They Carried by Tim O'Brien. Again - I will let this one settle before I review it!

Just started The Cellist of Sarajevo.

Apr 11, 2009, 4:08pm

I'm going to read The Cellist of Sarajevo next I think. I really liked the first few pages that I read when deciding whether or not I was going to buy it. Again, I felt the power of first-person narrative. The sharp-shooter was going to kill someone, yet I felt empathy for her, wanted her to escape being shot at herself. Can't wait to read more.

Apr 12, 2009, 9:16pm

>90 juliette07:,91: I loved The Cellist of Sarajevo! Quite a compelling short read.

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Edited: Apr 15, 2009, 2:04am

Book 16 The Cellist of Sarajevo by Stephen Galloway. Too right Laura - this was a most compelling read. I liked the use of the lives of a few characters to reflect the life and values of such a war torn situation. Yet such a tragic book exposing man's inhumanity to man - when will we learn? How did you get on Bonnie?

So sorry for all the deletions - one click and there were a zillion posts!

Apr 19, 2009, 1:53am

Book 17 The Sea House by Esther Freud - a compelling evocative novel of place, history, love and war. Rated at four stars and highly recommended. Took me a bit of time to get into it at first but I was richly rewarded.

Apr 19, 2009, 11:08am

Curiouser and Curiouser... I've been in this situation before, saying I was going to read a book, and then finking out on you, but I haven't been able to find The Cellist... or N. Hornsby's book which I was also going to read this--Hey, wait! I remember! Yeah! I do have a few brain cells left. OK, I'm going to go read now! :-)

Apr 25, 2009, 7:06am

Since returning from la belle France I have found it a bit difficult to concentrate on my reading. Began The Elegance of The Hedgehog but I can't get into it - what is wrong with me? Received a lovely copy of Enid Bagnold A Biography from an LT friend along with an ERC Fatal Light.

The book that I *am* concentrating upon is a wonderful work related to women and their writing recommended to me by dear mrspenny Writing for Their Lives: Modernist Women, 1910-40
by Gillian E. Hanscombe . Just completed Chapter 3 and am engrossed - so very interesting and enlightening.

Apr 25, 2009, 10:57am

Oh, good to hear! I had already put that on my "books to look at" list. I won't call it a TBR list, because that kind of list just weighs on me, but I'm really enjoying taking my BTLA list with me to bookstores. For one thing, I can buy off the bargain table now because I have more confidence that the book will be worth reading.

Apr 25, 2009, 10:59am

Julie. I read Writing for Their Lives recently. It was very ineresting and I hope to read more of of their work. Maybe next year.

Apr 25, 2009, 12:49pm

OK Bonnie - please tell me what BTLA stands for!!

Oh Valerie, I am just wondering if you too recommended it - sorry if I forgot you! I am so enjoying the Writing for Their Lives book and it is really helping me to understand why it is I so relish the books that I love - interestingly those about women and war at the beginning of the 20th century, not to mention the famous Depening Stream by Dorothy Canfield. I have also been following up a few lines of interest in Adrienne Rich and her life and poetry.

Edited: Jun 13, 2009, 3:55pm

BTLA stands for Books To Look At list! I thought you could spell! **she says in her best "Frances" voice** Your query made me think of Frances's response to her mother in A Birthday For Frances by Russell and Lillian Hoban. I extended my quote from the book to add in my favorite line by Frances--one I use when I'm feeling "green." This is sort of a long post, so I'll delete it after you've read it, but just wanted you to know why I'm still chuckling! B.

"Who is Alice?" asked Mother.
"Alice is somebody that nobody can see," said Frances. "And that is why she does not have a birthday. So I am singing Happy Thursday to her."
"Today is Friday," said Mother.
"It is Thursday for Alice," said Frances, and she will not have h-r-n-d, and she will not have g-k-l-s. But we are singing together."
"What are h-r-n-d and g-k-l-s?" asked Mother.
"Cake and candy. I thought you could spell," said Frances.
"I am sure that Alice will have cake and candy on her birthday," said Mother.
"But Alice does not have a birthday," said Frances.
"Yes she does," said Mother. "Even if no one can see her, Alice has one birthday every year, and so do you. Your birthday is two months from now. Then you will be the birthday girl. But tomorrow is Gloria's birthday, and she will be the birthday girl."
"That is how it is, Alice," said Frances. "Your Birthday is always the one that is not now."

Apr 25, 2009, 2:31pm

Oh Bonnie - do leave it!! I love it =) And thanks for letting me know. I think I will adopt that approach as well. Still chuckling and thank you for bringing a smile to me - life is not straight forward here so I *really* appreciate your humour.

Apr 25, 2009, 3:39pm

Oh goody! I'm glad you liked it. I actually read the whole book out loud to myself afterwards, channeling Glynis Johns (an ENGLISH actress!) who my son and I used to listen to on audiotape read this book as well as Bread and Jam for Frances--another favorite of mine to read to kids. I can't imitate her gravely voice, but I sing the tunes just the way she does. :-)

P.S. I'm going to fix a spelling and bold the first part of the second quote, though. It needs that for the whole--sigh, resigned--affect!

Apr 25, 2009, 5:37pm

>105 bonniebooks:, Oh please leave the Frances quote. It brings back so many memories!

Apr 25, 2009, 10:27pm

> 104 - Julie - I think Valerie initially referred Writing for their Lives to me - there is another very good book by Maroula Joannou called Women Writers of the 1930s which assesses the contribution of left-liberal female writers of the 1930s including some VMC authors - Sylvia Townsend-Warner, Naomi Mitchison and Storm Jameson.

Can I also recommend The White Mouse - an autobiography of Nancy Wake, who worked for the French Resistance during WW2.

There are also two books of poetry which you may be interested in for your women in war category - Scars Upon My Heart Women's Poetry and Verse of the First World War and Chaos of the Night Women's Poetry and Verse of the Second World War both selected by Catherine Reilly.

Apr 26, 2009, 6:44am

Julie and mrspenny - talking about books about women writers I am grateful to you both for your inspiring recommendations. Women Writers of the 1930s looks particulary interesting and I have added it to my ever expanding list of books I would like.

May 4, 2009, 8:07am

thank you ladies for your comments and recommendations.

Just completed an award winner book When Jessie Came Across The Sea. A picture book of great depth and great illustrations it tells the story of a young Jewish orphan who emigrates from an Eastern European country to America. A story of courage, hope and fortitude, I read this as it is connected to a religious education project a friend of mine has used. It will go into the Award Winner category as it won the Kate Greenaway Award in 1998.

May 4, 2009, 11:28am

>111 juliette07:: yes, that's a lovely book !

Edited: May 8, 2009, 1:10am

Book 19 was an ERC from LT Fatal Light by Richard Currey. An amazingly powerful short novel on war - yet it speaks to the reader here and now on the big questions of life. review here

Jun 11, 2009, 6:23pm

Hi Juliette~

I was wondering how you reconfigured your ticker to mention books instead of savings. Would you mind telling me what you did?

Thanks =)

Edited: Jul 29, 2009, 4:48pm

I have failed miserably to keep up my thread as 'life' has intervened and slowed me down somewhat.

20 Completed the brilliant Women in the War Zone: Hospital Service in the First World War by Anne Powell

21 Also completed June 1st Burnt Shadows by Kamila Shamsie

22 Completed the audio The Crowded Street by Winifred Holtby and really enjoyed it. Now listening to The Reef by Edith Wharton on the same Radio 7 link.

23 In addition I completed my LT ERC The Harrowing a four star read by new, relatively young author Robert Dinsdale - rather forced writing in places and a little overdone at times but a really thought provoking book that tackled issues of brotherhood and war.

I am now reading one of my favourite authors for children Michael Morpurgo. Waiting for Anya is set in the second World War in the French village of Lescun where brave people are enabling Jewish children to escape across the Pyrenees to safety in Spain.

Aug 5, 2009, 5:07pm

Life does that sometimes, doesn't it?

But you have read some wonderful books.

As you are enjoying Winifred Holtby can I ask if you have read South Riding? Education is a major theme and so I would love to know your thoughts on it one day.

Aug 5, 2009, 5:28pm

I'd say, "C'est la vie!" But you've had some good, fun reasons for being too busy to write. Enjoy your vacation in France. Hope you have some good books to take along with you!

Aug 6, 2009, 11:33am

Fleur - I do indeed have a copy of South Riding reclining upon my TBR pile of Viragos. Your comment has just edged it a little nearer the top - thank you.

And merci beaucoup Bonnie!

Aug 10, 2009, 9:19am


24 The Reef by Edith Wharton

25 Muriel Spark The Biography by Martin Stannard

26 A Little Piece of Ground by ELizabeth Laird

and am now listening to Villette by Charlotte Bronte dramtised for the daily Women's Hour drama.

Aug 12, 2009, 9:55am

Aug 12, 2009, 10:00am

julie - Read your review and you have persuaded me to get Muriel Spark: The Biography for my 1010 Category Challenge. Thank you.

Oct 3, 2009, 10:48am

TaDa - back again and catching up with my recording.
28 Villette by Charlotte Bronte
29 The Daisy Club by Charlotte Bingham one star read.
30 Margaret Storm Jameson A Life by Jennifer Birkett five star read
31 Lady of The Butterflies by Fiona Mountain four star read

Oct 3, 2009, 12:33pm

Well I'd been wondering, but now I'm definitely off to see if the library have the Storm Jameson biography in stock. Thank you!

Edited: Oct 4, 2009, 7:03am

Jane - if it was mine I would have willingly posted it off to you! Malheureusement it is a library copy. It is one of those books that have truly added to understanding of an author and her times. In addition I revelled in the historical setting and the influence of the times upon this great lady. Cariola and Nanybebette were also very keen to get hold of it - as was christiguc. It merited close study and was exceptionally well complimented with notes, appendices, bibliography etc.

Strange you should call by as I was catching up on your thread and have wishlisted one of your recent books The Best of Men - thank you!

Just have to say how much I loved the little picture of your manager - dear little Briar!

Edited: Oct 4, 2009, 7:12am

I have been so remiss in keeping up with this thread. I even forgot to add one of my best reads at number 32.

32) Company Parade by Storm Jameson
33) The Centre Cannot Hold : my journey through madness by Elyn R. Saks

Oct 9, 2009, 4:02am

34) Maigret's First Case by Georges Simenon My dear departed Daddy was a devoted fan of Monsieur Maigret - in addition to all the classics, Dickens, Hardy, poetry etc. This was the very first I had ever read and found it an engrossing read full of ambience and the taste of la belle France.

Edited: Oct 18, 2009, 2:48pm

35) A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini - I read this amazing novel via BBC Radio 7. What a wonderful example of the human spirit overcoming the most atrocious circumstances.

36) The Things They Carried by Tim O'Brien - this was a read back in the Summer that I forgot to record.

Nov 8, 2009, 2:44pm

37) The Last of Summer by Kate O'Brien

38) Diary Without Dates by Enid Bagnold

Nov 9, 2009, 5:26am

Thanks for reminding me; I've got The Things They Carried to read this month too.

Dec 16, 2009, 8:38am

Have you read it yet Bonnie?

39) The Cruel Way by Ella Maillart - the first Virago traveller I have read. Four and a half stars out of five!! Two wonderful ladies travel from Switzerland to Afghanistan in 1939. Beautifully written with an incredible amount of historical information adding interest. In fact there was so much that I kept wishing I had more time to research many aspects. Sadly though as the ladies arrive in Afghanistan the reader hears the names of so many places with which we are familiar due to the war taking place in that beautiful country.
One of the best reads of my year so far.

Dec 16, 2009, 11:15pm

Not yet, Juliette. I was just telling Judy, though, that my goal for next year is to get my tbr's down to ten books or less. I only have about 30, so I should be able to do it no problem.

Edited: Dec 30, 2009, 4:19pm

40) Dina's Book by Herbjorg Wassmo

41) The History of Love by Nicole Strauss

Edited: Dec 31, 2009, 5:59am

As I round up it is evident that I have spectacularly fallen short of the target but that really does not overly concern me! This has been a challenging year personally so my reading and bookish friendships have meant a great deal to me. Thank you for your contributions and wishing all friends a Happy New Year!

My top five fiction books of 2009
The Deepening Stream by Dorothy Canfield
A Fine of Two Hundred Francs by Elsa Triolet
Not So Quiet - A Novel by Helen Z Smith
Lady of The Butterflies by Fiona Mountain
The Last of Summer by Kate O'Brien

My top five non fiction books of 2009
Women in The War Zone by Anne Powell
The Centre Cannot Hold : my journey through madness by Elyn R. Saks
Hit The Ground Kneeling by Stephen Cottrell
Margaret Storm Jameson A Life by Jennifer Birkett
Muriel Spark The Biography by Martin Stannard

1)Island of the Blue Dolphins by Scott O’Dell. Newbery Award winner
2)Miss Hickory by Carolyn Sherwin Bailey. Newbery Award winner
3)Christine SOE Agent and Churchill's Favourite Spy by Madeleine Masson. christiguc recommended this.
4)The Trumpeter of Krakow by Eric P Kelly. Newbery Award winner
5)All Quiet on The Western Front by Erich Maria Remarque
6)Hit The Ground Kneeling by Stephen Cottrell
7)Kisses for Mayakovsky by Alison Fell
8)A Fine of Two Hundred Francs by Elsa Triolet
9)The Water Horse by Julia Gregson
10)The Collecting Jar by Rob Hardy
11)The Song of The Lark by Willa Cather
12)Not So Quiet - A Novel by Helen Z Smith
13)The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas by John Boyne
14)The Deepening Stream by Dorothy Canfield
15)The Cellist of Sarajevo by Stephen Galloway
16)The Sea House by Esther Freud
17) When Jessie came Across The Sea by Amy Hest
18) Fatal Light by Richard Currey
19) Burnt Shadows by Kamila Shamsie
20) The Crowded Street by Winifred Holtby
21) The Harrowing by Robert Dinsdale
22) Women In The War Zone
23) Waiting for Anya by Michael Morpurgo
24) Muriel Spark The Biography by Martin Stannard
25) The Reef by Edith Wharton
26) A Little Piece of Ground by Elizabeth Laird
27) Villette by Charlotte Bronte
28) Still Alice by Lisa Genove
29) The Daisy Club by Charlotte Bingham
30) Margaret Storm Jameson A Life by Jennifer Birkett
31) Lady of The Butterflies by Fiona Mountain
32) Company Parade by Storm Jameson
33) The Centre Cannot Hold : my journey through Sadness by Elyn R. Saks
34) Maigret's First Case by Simenon
35) The Things They Carried by Tim O’Brien
36) A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini
37) The Last of Summer by Kate O'Brien
38) Diary Without Dates by Enid Bagnold
39) Suffragette Girl by Margaret Dickinson
40) The Cruel Way by Ella Maillart
41) Dina's Book by Herbjorg Wassmo
42) The History of Love by Nicole Strauss

Dec 31, 2009, 6:49am

Well it's really about quality vs. quantity, isn't it? Looks like you read some great books this year, Julie!